IWOOT Xmas 2015 Event & Voucher Code

A few weeks ago I was very kindly invited to the IWOOT event by the lovely Heather, despite being on the verge of flu (sorry if anyone did get ill after), I braved the cold and rain to attend - and I'm so glad I did. It was held at Ziferblat in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, a really cute room full of tea, cakes, drinks and games where you pay 5p a minute for unlimited supplies, so a great place for students.

Cream Eyeshadows

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Cream eyeshadows are a product that initially confused me way back when I first became interested in makeup; to me cream eyeshadow just connoted creasing, hard to blend and jelly mixed with glitter eyeshadows - you know the ones? But after trying a Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Pink Gold I was a total convert, I wore that eyeshadow everyday until there was nothing but a few dried out crumbles left. I'd now say I wear cream eyeshadows 90% of the time I'm wearing makeup, they're so quick and easy to apply, have the ability to blend out and look awesome on their own or act as a base to any eye look, and pleasingly they have become so readily available on the high street - in my opinion again because of Maybelline's fantastic range.

Clinique's Autumn Beauty Picks

Like all bloggers and females of the Internet, I love Autumn and Winter; despite the fact it gets ridiculously cold and I have to wrap up in about 30 layers I have the chance to wear cute clothes and dark make up (and lots of it), I can decorate my house with fairy lights and festive decorations, and I am just a general lover of all things Christmas - I've already even bought some decorations. One thing not to be loved is the affect the cold weather has on my skin, I generally have slightly dehydrated normal skin throughout the year, but come winter and my nose and cheeks become flakey and dry and my makeup struggles to sit as well as it does through the warmer months, so I have to start paying a bit more attention to my skin.

Why It's Okay To Ask For Samples

why it's okay to ask for samples, samples, store samples, asking for samples Samples are probably one of my favourite parts about visiting Space NK, if I'm going to be dropping £30 on a cleanser I want a complementary treat or two along side it; but as well as that, most of the products in there are so expensive that I like to 'try before I buy', I'll try a cleanser without a tester but moisturisers and serums are a bit different.

The Urban Decay Primer Duo That's Awesome

Urban Decay are a brand that I think have killed it the past couple of years, they set the trends and know what makeup needs people are craving before we know ourselves. I don't think a day goes by where I don't use at least one item of makeup from them, and just yesterday I've ordered more from them.

L'Oreal Haul and Reviews

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On a maybe not so recent trip to Boots - I'd probably say 10 weeks ago - I noticed L'Oreal Paris were on a 3 for 2 offer, now with me needing a new eyeliner and having wanted to try their new foundation for a couple of months now, I felt it was the perfect time to take advantage of the offer, whilst getting myself a little freebie!

The Eye Cream You Have To Try

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Eye creams to me have always been a product I forget to apply, I seem to buy a couple then find them practically untouched 6 months later. I'm only 20 years of age so I don't yet have wrinkles and I've never really suffered with dark circles - other than on a Monday morning. However I recently developed quite a dry under eye area, I woke up one morning with a random red mark under my eye that just became drier and drier; it was starting to cause my concealer to sit quite badly under my eyes, so I knew I had to try something.

Where Have I Been?

Getting back in to blogging is something I've wanted to do for a long time now, you may have seen my sporadic posts here and there, maybe once a month, twice if I'm pushing myself. But I didn't want to start each review or post I did with a reason as to why I haven't blogged, and honestly there have been a few reasons.

Four Smaller YouTubers To Watch

With YouTube having become so huge in the past two years I think it's quite easy to get in a routine of watching the same big "stars" of the Internet, and not really discovering any new people. I'm completely like that, not only do I find it hard to find smaller YouTubers but I have to admit, I'm slightly lazy when it comes to looking. So I thought I'd share the blogging love, and tell you about some of my favourite smaller YouTubers, who I think deserve a fair few more viewers.

Contouring On A Budget

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I think it's fair to say, that since the Kardashians hit our screens nearly 10 years ago women all over the world have gone crazy for contouring, with the aim of getting the chiseled cheeks just like Kim. It used to be a Hollywood's secret to perfect cheekbones, but with the help of the budget brands, the everyday woman can now sculpt and highlight her face to her hearts content.

High End Beauty Wishlist

I seem to go through phases where I'm not interested in buying any beauty products at all, and then phases where I want to buy everything within sight, there's no real in between. I'm currently in the phase of wanting to buy everything I can get my hands on, but after my MacBook Pro broke last week, I've ended up £800 down replacing it, meaning there's no beauty spending for me. But my birthday is next month, so hopefully I might be treated to some of these!

I've really got in to buying skincare recently, after my skin had a major breakout last month I pretty much ditched everything I was using and started again, meaning a lot of Space NK trips happened. But I'm still to get in to chemical exfoliants, I thought the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads would be a good start, they're gentle, exfoliating and don't contain a bucket load of alcohol like a lot of cheaper alternatives do. Another skincare item, that also featured in my first ever wishlist, is the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, I nearly took the plunge last week but I'm still needing that extra push, but the fact I've wanted it for over a year says something right?

I've also become massively into watching Sali Hughes recently, she knows what she's talking about and her videos are so addictive. She constantly mentions the Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Powder, and from what I've gathered I have similar skin to her, so I think this will work amazing for me, I'm constantly needing a new powder. Another Charlotte Tilbury product is the Eyes to Mesmerise in Marie Antoinette, I'm loving cream eyeshadows at the moment and when I watched this in Selfridges recently it felt so creamy and blendable, and was the most gorgeous colour.

I've also really been in to watching Lisa Eldridge a lot recently, and this has got me really craving Laura Mercier's Undercover Pot Concealer. She made the great point of rather than layering loads of medium coverage concealer on to the skin, just put a small amount of a high coverage concealer, aka pinpoint conceal, and you get a more flawless finish. Another makeup wish is the Lancome Hypnose Mascara, I got a sample of one around Christmas and I'm not sure which it was because there are so many to pick from. But I absolutely loved it, I'm so picky with mascaras because I have long straight eyelashes, that don't curl for anything or anyone, but this added so much volume and curl. At the moment I just can't bring myself to spend £22.50 on a mascara.

Two little extras are a Z palette, for years I heard American YouTubers speak about these, but I've noticed I have a lot of random single eyeshadows, and bulky palettes that would be a lot better deported in to one of these. Finally is the Urban Decay Primer Potion, I wear eyeshadow pretty much everyday and I constantly have random samples, but I think it's about time I actually got a proper full sized primer. 

What is on your wish list? 

Free £59 Beauty Box With M&S

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Lets be honest, when we think about going beauty shopping, we would never really think about popping in to M&S for their beauty aisles. I live in Manchester so I have a huge Boots, two Superdrugs, a Selfridges, Debenhams, House of Fraser AND Space NK, so I'm pretty spoilt for choice and can never make my way around even half of them before I'm knackered. But on a recent shopping trip looking for a pair of shoes for my boyfriend I noticed how amazing their aisles were, not only do they have their own brands, Autograph and Lola, but also Neal's Yard, Nuxe, Philip Kinglsey, REN and so many more. If I wasn't with my boyfriend I imagine I could have spent a long time in there looking around.

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On the hunt for a new moisturiser I decided to pick one up from Nuxe that I'd noticed Ruth Crilly mention, having originally planned to pick it up in Space NK I'm so glad I had been dragged in to M&S, because I was awarded with this amazing gift with purchase. If you spend £20 at the moment you get a beauty box full of products both full sized and sample sized, worth £59, completely free.

There's a 20% off voucher for all beauty products which has actually ran out now, slightly confusing because I bought the moisturiser on my second visit to M&S and they didn't have these boxes the first time, so that's a bit redundant. But you get a full sized Nuxe hydrating face mask, which I'm super excited about, a full size Leighton Denny nail polish and what I think is a full sized perfume, it's 25ml so it's a big enough size anyway. There's also a sample REN serum and the Philip Kinglsey Elasticizer, which I've heard so much about, so again something I'm very excited to try.

I can't find anything about these on the website, but my local M&S had so many on a table, so I'd check your local M&S if you're planning any beauty buys, especially skincare, that seems to be their forte. 

What are your favourite brands at M&S?

Review | W7 Sculpturing Face Brush

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Current Beauty Favourites

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I seem to have again been neglecting my blog, I feel like once I start posting regularly something comes along such as an assignment, or an exam or in this case an Easter holiday where I was working a lot whilst I was back home. I seem to have missed April favourites by a long shot, so I thought I'd share some of my favourites for the past couple of months.

For my base I've been loving two new additions to my collection, the Rimmel Lasting Finish Nude Foundation and Revlon Colorstay Concealer. I've loved the Revlon Colorstay foundation for around two years now so I don't know why it took me so long to pick up the concealer, but I'm so glad I did. It's medium coverage and blends to a really nice finish on the skin, it has a really creamy and moisturising formula that lasts all day - think Collection Lasting Perfection but not as drying. The foundation is also a medium coverage - my skin hasn't been the best it could be recently - that blends really easy in to the skin to give a flawless complexion and lasts all day. I've had some dryness recently and this hasn't worked too well on that, so this is defiantly one for normal to oily skin.

Another base product I've been loving is the Benefit Watt's Up highlighter. I've always preferred pinky highlighters so when I got this in the Benefit blush palette I originally had no care for it, but I have been loving the gorgeous natural glow it gives to the skin. It's a cream highlighter that's slightly golden and just blends out to a lovely sheen on the cheekbones. I'm a total cream highlighter convert now, and would go as far to say this is my favourite Benefit product ever! I've also been loving an oldie in the form of the Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner, an amazing eyeliner that once it's set does not budge. The formulation is super black and long lasting, and the actual pot itself lasts a really long time, I've had mine over a year and it's still creamy and going strong.

Finally are two Bourjois products, I spoke about these in my Everyday Makeup Routine back in February and I'm still loving them now. The Bourjois Colorband 2-in-1 Eyeshadow and Liner in Rose Fauviste is a really pretty shimmery pink for the lids, the perfect sweep of colour if you're in a rush, but also the perfect base. Finally the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Ole Flamingo, is still a lip product I'm having a bit of a love affair with. It's a bright pink matte lip that lasts well over 6 hours even through eating and drinking, and just looks simply stunning on the lips. The camera never seems to pick up the real colour, so you'll just have to trust me that this is a colour you need. Both of these Bourjois products are the two I would recommend the most, they're amazing!

What have been your current favourites?

5 Helpful Tips For Using Pinterest To Boost Traffic

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Source: Little Bits Of Lovely

I'm going to start this post by saying I'm really no expert when it comes to Pinterest, social media, SEO or anything of the kind, my boyfriend studies IT and the first thing he said when he looked at my blog was "you could really improve your SEO" - whatever that means, but I'm learning and trying to discover the best ways to market my blog and boost traffic. Recently in a bloggers chat the topic was the best way to gain traffic and bloggers use of social media, there were several bloggers discussing Pinterest and how they want to start using it or they don't understand, I tweeted a few people saying it's my main source of traffic and a few people replied asking for tips, so I thought I'd do my 5 easy tips for helping boost your traffic.

1. Try to join a bloggers board! MissMakeupMagpie created one, here, it has over half a million followers making it great exposure for you and your blog. It's currently closed to new members but if you are part of it start making use of it, if half a million people see it and only ten of them pin your post, all of their followers will see it, then if 3 of them pin it all of their followers will, and so forth. If you can't join at the moment still follow the board because she may open up to new members again, plus it's a great way to find new blogs, which leads me on to my next tip.

2. Follow and pin other peoples posts. If you're not going to follow and pin other peoples blog pictures, why should they follow and pin yours? Not only are you helping other bloggers out by getting their name out there, it's also getting your name out there to them. If you're their only new follower that day or you're one of only 3 people that pin their post, odds are they'll check your page out and will hopefully stick around.

3. Try to make your pictures look as nice as you can. I'm not saying I'm a photography maestro, but Pinterest is a vain little part of the Internet, the people like things to be pretty, bright and clear, or to at least look like they've been taken by a DSLR expert. If you look at pictures on the bloggers board the ones with the most interactions are the bright and sharp pictures. Of course certain pictures such as MAC products are always going to get a lot of pins, but if you can make a unfamiliar product look interesting people are more likely to become interested.

4. Post links to your blog and the posts. I'm honestly not patronising you here, because when I started using Pinterest I forgot to do this myself, it was only weeks later I decided to go back and change them, however by then they'd become lost in the abyss of Pinterest. Have your blog and Twitter linked up in your bio and I would recommend installing a Pinterest button to your blog, such as this one here, so you can automatically pin pictures from your blog and then don't have to worry about putting the link to the blog post manually. Pinning through a button will do it all for you, put the link, the title and your name, it's so simple!

5. Post at the right times! Just like your blog posts and tweets, you need to post pins at the optimal time to ensure you're reaching the largest amount of people possible. From experience I've found around 10am/11am and 7pm-9pm the best times to post, sometimes the 10am one can be a bit hit and miss, you'll either got loads of people or just a couple, but some of my most popular posts have been through pinning at 10am. The best way to find out is through your own trial and error, but as a starting point I would say 7pm.

Hopefully you found these helpful, these are just the basic ways I've helped boost my traffic. I've basically doubled the amount of traffic I receive since signing up to Pinterest and like I said, it's now become my main traffic source. These tips won't bring in millions of people, but I feel like following these few steps will help anyone to increase traffic, even if it's only a small proportion of their regular views.

Let me know if you found these useful, or your best tips!

Grab Yourself A Free Burberry Lipstick!

As far as marketing campaigns go Burberry have got it spot on with the release of their latest lipsticks, Burberry Kisses, a hydrating lip colour which allows you to apply a sheer wash of colour and build upon this until you have full intensity. In order to celebrate the release of these new lipsticks they're giving away free samples, with the choice of a nude or a red lipstick. You receive a 1g sample of the lipstick, making it just under a third the size of a full size lipstick, giving it a value of around £7.50 - not bad considering it's free eh? I was expecting a sachet sized sample so was so surprised for this to turn up, because not only is it bigger than I expected but it's embossed like their full sized lipsticks and is in the exact same packaging, just a bit smaller.

If you're wanting to claim a free sample you have one of two options: comment your Twitter name below and I'll nominate you to receive a free one, or follow this link, here, and nominate yourself through a separate Twitter account. If you're feeling generous you can even nominate your friends after you've claimed your own sample.

I'm not sure how long this campaign is happening for, so be quick to it!

The Pinks To Make You Spring Ready

The perfect pink shades of eyeshadows, lipstick and blushes to get your makeup Spring ready. mac pink nouveau, urban decay naked 3, pink makeup, spring makeup, summer makeup

Despite it still being freezing cold outside and the rain doesn't seem to want to budge, Spring has apparently sprung. This means the dark vampy purples are being put in to hiding for another 8 months and the fresh girly pinks are making a come back - although I love pink all year round, I just love it that bit more in Spring.

You can't really talk about pink makeup without giving a shoutout to the Urban Decay Naked 3, the twelve shade palette containing mauvey and rose gold pink shades, some mattes, some shimmers and two very glittery shades. I only really use this in the Spring and Summer months because I prefer a more deeper eye in Winter, but it's already started to make a return this month and I can see it creeping back even more in the coming months. It's the perfect palette for any pink lover and complete makeup addict this season. An alternative palette if you're on a bit of a budget, or you're just not massively in to pinks to make the commitment to a £38 palette then the L'Oreal Color Riche Quad in Smokey Eau de Rose is for you. They're all shimmery shades which are perfect for adding a shine to the eyes and they blend and last on the eyes wonderfully. They're slightly less pigmented than the Naked 3 and a bit more peachy pink than golden pink, but if you're after a condensed Naked 3 this is the way to go.

In terms of lipstick Rimmel's Kate Moss Matte lipstick in 101 is a staple all year round for me, it's a pretty muted blue toned pink which matches well with any makeup, but looks especially gorgeous paired with glowy cheeks and pink eyes in the Spring. If you're going to buy one new pink lipstick this season I'd make it this! However, if you're feeling spendy and you're going to invest in a second lipstick I'd make it MAC's Pink Nouveau, a bright barbie pink lipstick which is sure to turn heads. It doesn't seem to appear as bright in the summer, presumably because I tone the rest of my makeup down, so it's the perfect bright pink and a lipstick I found myself wearing on a daily basis last summer. If I'm ever wanting to feel a bit brave or need some confidence for the day I wear this, it sounds silly but if I can have enough confidence to wear a colour this bright, I can have the confidence to know I can pass an exam.

Finally we've got blushes and one of the easiest ways to make the transition from Winter to Spring is to add a bit of cream to your makeup, one of my favourite blushes for this time of year is the Max Factor Miracle Creamy Touch Blusher in Soft Pink. It is a real cream blush - none of this cream to powder - that blends like a dream on the skin and leaves a gorgeous healthy glow to the skin. It can be easy to go a bit overboard but it's easy to just blend it out with your foundation brush. The blogging world had a bit of a moment with this blush a few summers ago and I'm still having that moment, it's one of my favourite blushes of all time! Despite saying that creams are the easiest way to transfer to Spring I still love the Sleek Blusher in Pixie Pink which is a completely matte blue toned pink. A little really does go a long way with this one, it's super pigmented so you just need to dab your brush lightly, it can be a bit of a struggle to blend but I like to use a slightly fluffier brush rather than your standard dense blush brush and this sorts the problem. It really brightens up the face and is the cheapest product mentioned here so it's the perfect colour for Spring!

What are your favourite makeup items for Spring?

Don't forget I have a MAC giveaway up here

Review | Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Bath Oil

If you saw my last post you'll know that I was challenged by House of Fraser to create the ultimate Mother's Day gift guide, there were some great picks in there for every budget and for different mums, depending on whether she's a beauty lover or more of a candle fiend. One of the products was the Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Bath Oil*, a product and brand name which just instantly makes you think luxury and maybe a little expensive.

Mother's Day Gift Guide

With Mother's Day approaching very soon - 15th March if you didn't know - I was challenged by House of Fraser to create gift guide, with a gift option for everyone to choose from. Everyone does Christmas and Valentine's Day gift guides, so why not a Mother's Day one?

For any occasion you can never go wrong with a picture frame, just put a special photo in the frame and it becomes an incredibly thoughtful gift, and will probably be one of their favourite presents. Linea do amazing homeware in general, I always seem to be a bit too late for their amazing sales, but the Gold Effect Frame range are such pretty picture frames which will fit in to any home. The gold also helps to make them look a bit more expensive than they are. Another gorgeous homeware item is the Shabby Chic Flower Garden Giftset, it comes with two candles and a reed diffuser. Again a great gift which can fit in to any home not matter what the decor theme is and looks super classic and vintage. The great thing is your mum can then use the candle jars for decoration after they've melted, and you can buy refills for the reed diffusers - it's the gift that keeps on giving!

If your mum is a bit of a beauty addict there are always going to be those brands that you know you can go to if it's the night before and everything else has failed. Jo Malone is one of those brands because let's face it, who wouldn't want to open a Jo Malone box any time of the year? I've recently tried their Pomegranate Noir Bath Oil* and the scent is amazing, I'll have a review up soon. They're a little pricey at £40, but your mum will get at least 20 baths out of this, and when you compare it to the price of a Lush bath bomb at £3, it's actually cheaper per use. If your mum isn't much of a bath person but still loves her beauty then a luxurious lipstick is always going to go down well. I've never tried a Chanel lipstick but I'd recommend their Rogue Allure Luminous Satin Lip Colour in Badine, because you want her to get use out of it, so picking a satin lip colour that's a neutral pink means it's not too opaque or matte, but is special enough that she will appreciate it a lot and perfect for everyday.

If you're on a bit of a budget, but still want to buy something pretty and luxurious for bath time then Bayliss & Harding have you covered. Their Rhubard and Vanilla Cream Pamper Kit sounds delicious, and again looks a lot more expensive than it is. It comes with everything need for the perfect relaxing bath, and if you know your mum isn't in to sweet scents they have so many different gift sets and scents on offer. If you're not after a beauty treat but you're still on a budget then this Therapy Jennie Cosmetic Bag is a great option, plus it's reduced at the moment. Everyone needs some little bag for their handbag, whether it's to hold makeup, pens or just everyday female essentials, and this is a really cute option. It looks similar to Ted Baker ones but so much cheaper, and because of the red I feel it looks that bit more sophisticated than a floral Ted Baker one.

Finally, speaking of Ted Baker they have these gorgeous Heart Stud earrings. I'm not much of an earring wearer because I find cheap ones tend to hurt my ears and make them itch, but even I am tempted by these. They do them in silver, gold and rose gold and they're all gorgeous, but I feel silver is the most safe option because it can look sophisticated and classic for both work and night time. They're £19 which isn't ridiculously expensive, but they're not the cheapest option either, but I can guarantee anyone would love these and they're a great gift which will last a lifetime.

What are your favourite picks for Mother's Day?

100 Follower MAC Giveaway

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Some time last week I finally hit 100 followers via Bloglovin, which is completely insane! My followers and page views have increased so much over the past 6 weeks and I'm so thankful to everyone who follows, reads or leaves any comments on my blog.

So I thought I'd do a giveaway to celebrate reaching 100 followers and give you a bit of a choice on what you win. You can win any permanent MAC lipstick, eyeshadow - in pan or compact - or paint pot from MAC's standard range of your choice. Just simply enter via the form below, UK only sorry. The competition will run for just under a month giving you plenty of time to enter, plus I'm on a bit of a spending ban until my exam is done, so it finishes on the day of my exam meaning I can do some shopping for myself when I go to buy the prize.

Thank you to everyone that follows my blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The One Sweep Wonders

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When it comes to eyeshadow a lot of the time I find it impossible to just leave it at one shade on the lid, I always feel like it needs the extra crease definition or just deepening up on the outer corners, it's probably down to having that many eyeshadows that I just want to play with them all in the morning. But in the past couple of months I've been putting the blending brush down and realising that some eyeshadows can work wonders just swept over the lid on their own, meaning they're the perfect shades for when you hit the snooze button one too many times leaving you 10 minutes to get ready.

The Urban Decay Naked Palette is 100% my favourite palette, it's my go to palette for every occasion because I just know it's never going to fail me, whether I want a girly daytime look or a deeper smokier look. If I'm in a serious rush my favourite from the palette to reach for is Toasted, a gorgeous warm bronze toned pink with an almost metallic finish. It's the most amazing shade on the eyes, it blends out beautifully and is an amazing colour for the winter months. It's my most used shade with a serious dent in it, I can feel the pan getting worryingly closer every time I use it.

An amazing alternative to Toasted, just slightly less warm toned and a bit more silver, is the L'Oreal Color Riche in 201 Cafe Saint Germain. The product looks a bit bruised and battered because the eyeshadow is essentially a pressed pigment, so after getting it home when I bought it the shadow had completely smashed in the bag. Partly my fault, but on closer inspection I think it was partly the manufacturers fault. However, this wasn't going to stop me trying it, so I pressed it back in to the compact and have been reaching for it a lot recently. It has an amazing wet look about it, and even has a wet but creamy feel to it on the fingers. It isn't the easiest shadow to blend out because of it's texture, but the colour is simply gorgeous.

I imagine by the end of February people will be bored out of their brains hearing me talk about this one, but it really is that good! The Bourjois Colorband in 04 Rose Fauviste is a golden beigey pink, after doing some online searches it's very MAC All That Glitter's esque. I mentioned this in my Everyday Makeup post, so I won't go on too much. But it's just an amazing cream eyeshadow stick,all it requires is a few swipes across the eye, a quick bit of blending with your finger and it sets like paint, this seriously isn't budging for anyone!

The next two I'm going to speak of in a more broad term, because they were both limited edition shades that I got in Christmas sets last year. The pink glittery shade is from Soap and Glory, and I have an inkling that you can get it in their Off The Wallflowers palette, but this style of shade is one which I feel everyone needs, it's a frosty pink with glitter running all through it, similar to MAC's Naked Lunch. The next is a simple champagne shade, this one is from No7 but I have no idea what shade it is, but not only are these shades great for your base, but they work perfect for just swiping over the lids to cancel out any redness or veins on the lids. Both of these style of shades are perfect for if you're just starting out with makeup, because they're so simple and easy to pull of.

What are your favourite 'one sweep wonders'?

Why Primer Is An Everyday Essential

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Primer is a stage I feel a lot of people seem to skip in their makeup, some people feel they don't see any benefits to primer or some people just simply can't be bothered. I personally couldn't wear my makeup without primer, I find it acts as the glue for my makeup and provides a much needed barrier between my moisturiser and foundation, without it my foundation would just slip and slide around. Finding the right primer to suit your skin or the foundation you're wearing can however be a lot harder than it seems.

In my opinion, the most obvious choice when buying a primer would be Benefit the POREfessional, it's the UK's number one selling primer and the beauty community regularly give it the thumbs up. This was the first high end product I ever bought, and although I don't use it everyday anymore I do still love it. It smoothes out your complexion, blurs any imperfections and slightly mattifies the skin ready for foundation. This is one I grab for when I'm going on a night out and I want a flawless complexion, I find if I use it everyday it can start to clog up my pores - slightly ironic considering it's supposed to blur them - so I reserve this for when my skin is in dire need or if I'm after a flawless look.

In terms of high street primers, they never seem to offer anything too much for your skin except helping to make your makeup last a bit longer on the skin. Some budget options would be the W7 Prime Magic Camera Ready Face Primer* which helps to smooth out the skin and blur any fine lines. It has a slightly strange smell, not offensive just not what I expected, and makes the fingers feel slightly dry after you've applied the primer, but it leaves the skin feeling silky smooth and ready for your base. I have normal skin but I can imagine this would be nice for people with oily skin as it helps to mattify the skin and soak up any oil in the skin. Another would be the Maybelline Baby Skin, a little really does go a long way with this primer, if you add too much your foundation will slide right off the skin, but if you can find the perfect middle ground it will help your foundation will last all day. I'm not quite sure it lives up to it's claims of being pore minimising, but if you're after a basic inexpensive primer this is a nice option.

If you're someone who doesn't struggle keeping foundation on the skin but just wants to have the added glow to the skin then you'll love MAC Prep + Prime Skin Base Visage. I bought it recently after trying a sample of it, and it's defiantly my personal favourite of the bunch. It starts as a pearly white with a creamy texture with slight reflective glitter throughout but blends in to the skin to add a hydrated and moisturised look, but without the shine of a moisturiser. The glitter adds a highlight and glow to the face without looking like a disco ball and I've found my makeup does last that little bit extra when I do wear this. It's cheaper than the POREfessional but is still on the slightly pricey side of things, but for me it's an all round winner.

Do you wear primer, and what is your favourite?

My Current Everyday Makeup Routine

Everyday Makeup Routine, mac prep and prime, collection concealer, sleek blush, bourjois eye crayon, rimmel match perfection, bourjois rouge edition velvet, rimmel stay matte, brow archery

I've been keeping my makeup relatively simple at the moment, but seriously loving the look. Rather than having lots of eyeshadow and a simple lip I've been doing the complete opposite, and I can't get enough. I've worn this look for over a week now, which is probably the longest I've worn the exact same look in a long time.

Review | Real Techniques Duo Fibre Brush Set

With the release of the new Bold Metals collection it's easy for a lot of the Real Techniques brushes to fall of the radar and be forgotten about, so after finding these pictures on my laptop I thought I'd give them some of the recognition they deserve.

Recipe: How to make your own granola

Recipe: How to make your own granola
Granola is something I have started to love eating over the past year, I love the crunchy taste of the oats, honey and nuts mixed together in clusters and it makes me feel a lot healthier eating nuts and oats in the morning rather than sugar coated flakes, but compared to other cereals it can get expensive. I was also noticing that towards the end of the box the taste disappears and I'm left with what might as well be cardboard for breakfast - not very appetising. So I decided to try and make my own, turns out it's a lot tastier and cheaper than boxed granola, but is super easy to make.

Double Your Lips In Seconds | Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk With Swatches

You know those products that on first use just make you think "YES, YES, YES!"? This was one of those products. After seeing Amelia Liana talk about it so much I felt like I needed to try it, especially when she said Rimmel's Eastend Snob is a dupe for it because I love that lipliner, knowing I would never pay £16 myself for a lipliner I knew this had to be on my Christmas list.

One of the first things I noticed was that the formulation is slightly drying and the pencil does have a tendency to drag along the lips, the liner basically feels like it's stuck to the lips which does seem to help give it some longevity. I find putting a lip balm on when I first start applying my makeup helps it out and does make it apply and feel more comfortable. Using the lip balm also means the liner doesn't highlight any lines, creases or dryness on the lips, because the formulation is quite drying it can have a tendency to do this.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk With Swatches

The colour is a slightly brown, nude with a pinkish undertone to it. It's a typical "my lips but better" shade which means it blends seamlessly in to the lips and helps to enhance and double the size of the lips but still look natural - I apply it all over the lips and ever so slightly overdraw them helping the lips to look really plump and juicy. Full and plump lips are the biggest trend at the moment, but a lot of them I find can be too brown or too mauvey, I still love those shades, but if you're after something to look natural and still enhance, this is your best bet. It has become my go-to lip colour for when I'm in a rush because I know it will look great with any look or outfit, but will also last me the whole day. I find it lasts around 7 hours on the lips even after eating, I do like to top up the lip balm because the dry formula starts to become more obvious and uncomfortable as the day goes on.

I feel like this has caused me to get a bit of a Charlotte Tilbury/high end makeup bug. I barely buy high end makeup for two reasons: I find the stands a little too intimidating or busy and the price just puts me off, I always think for £15 I could get three lipsticks in Boots instead of one from MAC. But every time I try something high end I'm always impressed by it a lot more than I am with budget brands, whether I will ever have the courage to spend £40 on a palette from Charlotte Tilbury is another question. But if you're not as shy with your money as I am I really recommend this lipliner, it's a product I think will suit every skin tone and every look and I'm sure will impress everyone who uses it just as much as it did me.

Have you tried anything from Charlotte Tilbury?

Review | L'Oreal True Match Foundation

Review | L'Oreal True Match Foundation

Funnily enough, this was actually the first foundation I ever bought. I only started wearing makeup in 2012 after discovering Pixiwoo and saw an advert for this in a magazine, Cheryl Cole was the model and for some reason that convinced me it would work wonders for me. It made my skin appear dry, but at the time I had no skincare routine so that could have been the problem. I decided to pick it up again recently after so many raving reviews.

Silky Skin With No Fuss | The Body Shop Beautifying Oil

The Body Shop Beautifying Oil

Despite being a massive find of taking baths and loving a bath bomb I'm the worst for nourishing my skin once I get out of the bath. I have a ridiculous amount of body butters and lotions from 3 for 2 offers or gift sets from Christmas, but I can never be bothered to actually use any. I get out of the bath and just want to get in to my pyjamas instead of standing about in the cold. I received this in the BBB Latest in Beauty Box, and honestly it was sat in my bathroom for a while, I wasn't really that interested. If you got this in the box and we're like me, you NEED to try it because this product is a revelation for anyone like me, it nourishes you but can be applied whilst still relaxing in the warm bath, it's the best of both worlds!

Review | Colab Sheer Invisible Dry Shampoo

Review of Ruth Crilly's Colab Sheer Invisible Dry Shampoo
Colab Sheer Invisible Paris Floral Fragrance Dry Shampoo - £3.49

After my last experience with YouTuber products you would think that I had low expectations for this. But Ruth doesn't have THAT many subscribers compared to a lot of YouTubers, so I went with the assumption that a company doesn't have as much money to invest in Ruth, so they had to make a good product. Unlike other YouTubers she doesn't have legions of fangirls that will buy her products even if it's rubbish, so I thought a lot of effort will have gone in to making a product that Ruth is proud of and isn't just interested in a quick buck.

High End Beauty Wish List

My current high end beauty wish list
I don't know about you, but I find after Christmas I seem to be wanting more than I did beforehand. I have a wish list of stuff I want before Christmas but when people start asking what I want it's always "I don't really know", then as soon as Christmas is over you're reminded of everything you've ever wanted and more.

Does Wearing Makeup Make You A Liar?

Does wearing makeup make you a liar?

Boxing Day Sale Haul

I feel like I'm slightly late with this one, but I know that a some of these products will still be available in Boots, especially bigger Boots stores. The Manchester one still had loads of stock, including the big Soap and Glory gift, they had hundreds of them last time I was in. I also placed a massive Lush order, but you defiantly won't be able to get the stuff now, so I don't know if there would be much point?

Top 15 Discoveries of 2014

My top 15 beauty discoveries of 2014
My initial intention for this was to do my top 14 of 2014, but when I was taking the pictures and writing down my choices I couldn't kick one out, because they're all amazing products, and whilst I feel I'm a bit late to the 2014 favourites I still want to do one. Exam revision is slightly taking over my life but I've been thinking and planning this post for a few weeks now. Instead of doing top products I've decided to do my top discoveries, because I don't think I could whittle down my top products in to a select number and I wouldn't have a favourite for every category. Some of these products are new to the market this year and some are just new to me, but hopefully you'll find something you'll want to try this year!

Review | Tanya Burr Lip Gloss in Afternoon Tea

To start, lip gloss is defiantly not my thing, I love a good bold matte lip all year round. I don't mind a satin finish and at most I can handle a coloured balm, but lip glosses are something I've never really got on with. I tried some from Maybelline in the summer that I quite liked, but wouldn't really say they changed my opinion of glosses in general.  I'm not trying not to like them, I almost want to, I imagine they would easier to handle when on the move, so when Tanya Burr released her lip gloss range months ago I was intrigued to see what they were like. They received rave reviews from everyone, people claiming they're comparable to Chanel lip glosses and other people saying they converted them to lip glosses.