Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Make up brushes, are they worth the hype? feat Real technique make up brushes

I was looking over some of my old wedding photos, yes they are nearly twelve years old, thats old right? It still pains me when I look at them, as I am barely wearing any make up, eek!. Before I became a make up artist I did not use any brushes! Actually writing this, sends a shiver down my spine. I always had a love for make up and knew the basics, but always felt my clothes should speak louder than my face, as at that time I was working in the fashion industry, so I decided to keep my make up very natural. Then a perfect opportunity arose to train as a make up artist, it was only then that I realized what I had been missing out on.

The truth be known our fingers can do many jobs that a make up brush can do, but the brush has the upper hand. "Blend,blend,blend" the mantra still rings in my ears from the lovely Pablo R, a senior make up artist with M.A.C while I was attending a Bridal make up course. You can only achieve that kind of perfection with a brush. If you were like me and had no clue on which brushes you could skip and which you must have, then you have come to the right place.

1. Foundation brush- Must Have
2. Concealer -Skip
3. Bronzer- Must Have
4. Blusher -Skip
5. Eyebrow -Must Have
6. Eye shadow -Must Have
7. Powder/face brush -Skip

My personal budget brushes are the *Real techniques make up brushes. They do cater for all needs. The brushes are outstanding quality for the price and can easily rival my more high end brushes. Over the last few years I have obtained  a modest amount (see picture) but I have also selected my 'must haves' for any discerning make up wearer.

Modest collection!!
Expert face brush

1. RT expert face brush perfect for blending cream and powder foundation, by using circular motions on the skin you get a perfect pixel finish. I also use this brush when applying cream highlighter and cream blush, but be aware as the bristles are tightly packed together, which makes the brush denser, so be light handed when applying these products, for there is endangerment of looking like a clown!

2. RT complexion face sponge   is my new love!. This sponge is woefully underrated for the finish it can give. If you have heard of the Beauty blender, which is a whopping £17.00. This little beauty, does if not, a better job for just £5.99. I use this sponge to apply foundation by pressing into the skin, (not dragging it across the face which the 'how to' video shows you) under eye concealer, applying powder to set foundation by once again pressing into the skin, cream highlighter, cream blush and even pushing a little bit of lipstick onto the lips for a more natural look.

3. RT setting powder brush I use this to set any powder product, or if I want to touch up my concealer over the course of the day, because it is a smaller brush, you can be more precise where you want to place your powder or cream product. Great little brush and fits very nicely in your hand bag or baby bag!
Setting powder brush

4. RT eyes shadow brushes   they are all super brushes. They blend out eye shadow like a dream and wash up beautifully, looking brand new each time.

Collection of some of the Real technique eye shadow brushes

5. RT bold metals powder brush 300  you always need to have a fluffy powder brush in any make up bag arsenal! you can use it to apply powder, bronzer, blusher, and powder highlighter, or when you have those days when you may have been a little heavy handed with the blush or bronzer to buff away any mistakes.

So there it is, do we really need brushes for everyday make up application? well yeah, but not a 101, I think that as I've shown,  just a few in your make up bag can really make a difference to your every day make up look.

Have you tried any of the Real Technique brushes? Which one is your favorite? Have you tried any other budget brand brushes and found them to be just as good? Please leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Love Nay x

*Disclaimer- I have not been paid to advertise any brands or products mentioned above, I just like to share.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

BooHoo.com 3 looks in 1 budget dress

When you become a mother, fashion tends to be last on your list of priorities. Everything is about your bundle of joy, until you really get the first year under your belt. Anything that you really enjoyed fashion wise, whether that was a new pair of killer heels or a stunning clutch bag, seems to get put aside. The pair of killer heels get replaced by soft, comfortable, a low heel (if any heel) practical shoes, and the dreamy clutch bag gets replaced by a oversized Cath kidston baby bag, breaming with all manor of baby paraphernalia, to get you through a gruelling day with baby.

Then that first year passes, maybe your baby is sleeping through, you may have decided to stop breast feeding and you can finally claim your body back, and some of us may be going back to work and need to start thinking about your wardrobe needs again. Whatever your reason is, its time to claw back, dare I say the word a little "me time"

I recently stumbled upon this budget dress while hunting for the "dress" for my friends up and coming wedding. I have to admit, I had not really gotten into on-line shopping for clothes as much as the other kinds of on-line shopping, as I am a odd size and would normally prefer to see, feel and try on, before purchasing.

Boohoo was my first choice when I typed into Google search "dresses for wedding guest" they really had alot to choose from, and at a price that made me even happier. I picked a Rosie panelled body con midi dress in a pretty nude tone, which I felt could be teamed up with lots of other little pieces, but if nude is not your thing Boohoo do this dress in eight other beautiful colours. As the reviews were a overwhelming thumbs up and most said to order a smaller size, I decided that anything that had to be ordered a size smaller had to be purchased.

When I received the dress, the colour is true to the picture a pretty blush tone nude perfect for spring/summer. The fabric is soft to the touch, but is still stiff enough, which is common to a body con style to give the desired effect. I was pleasantly surprised how it did "suck" you in. I do wear support underwear as standard, as it smooths out post pregnancy lumps and bumps and gives a more cleaner silhouette.

My first look, I put a leatherette style necklace from Topshop and Nudes Sandals from New Look SS15 collection. This look would be great for a wedding, date night or night out with the girls. I really love the colour of this dress and I feel it looks elegant, yet edgy.

My second look, I paired a grey long sleeve cardigan, with a black woven belt wrap around the waist both from Primark, a pretty four layered sliver plated necklace and black bowler hat, both from Topshop, and finally black ankle socks with black Spartacus shoes from Wallis. you could wear this look weekend shopping or in the workplace.

My third look, I just added a denim
shirt from New Look (which I got a couple of seasons ago), my old faithful's, Converse hi-tops and Red or Dead glasses. You could wear this out for brunch at the weekend or to a trip to the cinema.

So this was my take on three looks with one budget dress, to be worn on lots of different occasions. What would you wear with this beautiful dress? Let me know your thoughts.

Love Nay x

Disclaimer: I have not be sponsored to advertise on any of the brands mentioned above, I just like to share.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Brow routine feat: Anastasia Beverley Hills Dipbrow, Maybelline brow drama and colour tattoo 24hr eyeshadow

I recently posted a picture of my seasonal change in makeup. The usual trends in makeup come around every season, just get named differently. We know that for this season spring/summer 15 that Inky black eyes and pretty nudes, pinks and peaches will be on the rise, but a trend that has carried on for a least three, if not maybe four seasons is the strong brow look. This look, if anything is getting bolder, and looks like a trend that will be staying. We are told its makes you look youthful. This was confirmed for me when recently I posted a picture of my new brow-age and was told by one of my friends it was like looking at my nine year old daughter. Result indeed. So I decided to embrace this look fully this season as I am no one" hit wonder kind of girl".

"So what" you may think and I would normally agree, but on this occasion I have something to confess, I have been wearing my eyebrows the same way for the last twenty years! From the moment makeup started to come into my life at the tender age of fourteen. The trend in the early 90's was to shave or over pluck the ends of your eyebrows and then pencil the rest in a thin strong line!  Yes it was as hideous as it sounded. If any self respecting thirty-something will know if you did that, then growing them back into their bushy virginal state is no easy task.

Where do we go from here? Do not fret my darlings I have taken on the laborious task of hunting for products to give us this youthful brow. My problem has always been that brow pencils have always had too much red tone in them. They needed to have more ash tone in them to look truly natural. So, I always stuck to shadows, any matte shadow which had a ash base tone too it would do the job. I always preferred matte shadows by MAC in the shades Omega,Brun,Wedge,and Concrete, they seemed to give a more natural, long lasting finish. Then a brand called Anastasia Beverley Hills brought out the brow wiz, excellent long lasting waxy product but still didn’t give the "natural" filled in look that I wanted. Then Anastasia Beverley Hills brought out Dipbrow Pomade!!  It boasts "The ultimate choice for perfectly precise brows, Dipbrow Pomade has a smudge free, creamy formula which glides effortlessly onto the skin and adheres to the brow hairs for optimal definition. Perfect for oily skin and humid climates, Dipbrow Pomade can be used as a brow definer or eyeliner and provides luxurious colour and sculpture". This product literally sang to me! It was everything I was looking for and more. It doesn’t disappoint, it does exactly what you want it to do. Gives you beautifully natural brows.

Products Used
My brow routine now is as follows : I add the extra hairs with my Anastasia Beverley hills dipbrow pomade in the shade medium brown, or Maybelline color tattoo 24hr cream shadow in the shade permanent taupe with a MAC 266 angled brush, as this gives you the look of thin hairs, I then brush through with Maybelline Brow Drama gel in the shade blonde. I stumbled across this little beauty a few months back and much prefer it to any other brow gel I have tried. The brush applicator in itself is a triumph! A brow gel really is a must to tame any stray hairs and to keep all your hardwork in place.  I do sound a little Maybelline obsessed at the moment, but recently they have produced some great products and at reasonable prices.

There you have it, my step nearer to looking abit younger, well I hope!

The Finished Result

I hope you enjoyed this post, if you have a particular brow routine or a brow product you enjoy using, let me know.

Love Nay x

* Disclaimer- I have not be paid to advertise any products in this post, I just like to share.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Maybelline color tattoo 24hr cream eyeshadow

I could be forgiven for missing this little gem of a eyeshadow, when it first landed here in the U.K back in April 2012. We had just gone through the most stressful house move. We moved from a modern fully decorated three bedroom maisonette, to a three bedroom 1930's semi with no hot water, no heating and was generally in need of a full renovation. It still had the old wash room round the back with its sloping floor. I was half expecting to find in there an old mangle and bucket to boot!

I first heard of the *Maybelline Color tattoo 24hr cream shadows when I read fleur de force blog about them back in January 2012, she had recently been to America and had picked up a few shades of the eye shadow from there. With everything that was going on at home, the whole hype about them passed me by..... until I watched Tanya Burr's drugstore haul on YouTube recently and was intrigued to give them a whirl.

I decided to stay safe, and went with the colour "On And On Bronze". It is a pretty golden bronze colour which would accentuate any eye colour. The consistency is smooth and blends easily with your finger or a synthetic brush.They claim to be smudge, crease free, and last for 24 hours. Why would anyone like to keep their make up on for that long, I don’t know, and if we are all to follow the holy grail of beauty and ALWAYS remove make up before you go to bed, keeping it on for that long is just bad practice in my eyes!  On a normal busy day I would apply my make up at 8am and would be removing say 11p.m. On checking, I can confirm it had stayed in place, but there was a little creasing in the socket area. For nearly 14 hours of wear, the said product really could possibly last for 24 hours! 

It got me thinking though that if it can stay on that long on the eyes, where else could you possibly use it?. I went out and bought the colour "permanent taupe" on recommendation from a fellow subscriber on Pixiwoo Make up dupes or drugstore alternatives who said she used it to fill in her brows. upon trying it, it really is perfect to use on the brows too and has the right amount of ash tone to it. A product that has a dual purpose I think deserves to be bought at only £4.99 in Boots or Superdrug.

In my opinion, these shadows are similar to MAC paint pots, not only in terms of how they blended out and colour pay-off, but also its staying power. I like to put this on as a base and then layer with a powder shadow to intensify and give the shadow a different dimension.

I tried out two different looks with this product (pictures above) Golden Goddess and a 90's Grunge. In both pictures I used the product on my eye lids and brows.

So with spring here (really!!) why not treat yourself to some pretty pastels to really kick start this season off.

I hope you enjoyed reading this little blog, if you have found any "forgotten gems" let me know.

Love Nay x

*Disclaimer- I have not been paid to advertise this product, I just like to share.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Hair care routine with Tigi Hair Reborn

As I woke this morning hearing the north westley wind whipping around our house, it occurred to me that spring had definitely not "sprung" yet. Alas, my hair of late had not either. It was in serious need of some TLC.  Since having my third baby my hair has not seemed to have recovered from A: the shock of falling pregnant for the third time, B: the riggers of pregnancy, looking after two young children, working, and all the other joys that family life brings and C: all the above. With having the heating on constantly ("curse this draughty old house") and with the British weather adding its pennies worth, I was in need of pampering.

My attention was turned to a new product that we had recently received in the Salon. We had finally taken the plunge and invested in *TIGI Hair Reborn Luxury Treatment haircare range, but I had yet to dip my toe in the more luxurious home care conditioning treatments. As for most working mums time is crucial so this kind of pampering can be overlooked, but with TIGI Hair Reborn it provides a spa experience with their home care conditioning treatments.

I chose to try the TIGI Hair Reborn Reparative Nocturnal Therapy or the "orange one" as I fondly refer to it in the salon. The packaging is luxurious, and would fit in well on a dressing table or proudly displayed on a bathroom shelf. A smell of a product is a big deal for me, and this product does not disappoint. The product boasts to have black orchid opulent floral, blended with Jasime, Tuber Rose and Tiare flowers from Polynesia. The title itself was enough to attract me "Repartive, Nocturnal Therapy" It treats advanced signs of damage while you rest. Anything that works that hard while I sleep deserves a chance!.
Directions state to " emulsify 2-3 pumps in hands and apply midlengh to ends on dry hair prior to bedtime". The consistency is thick yet not gunky and their are little sparkly flecks, which to me just adds that little bit of glamour, which has been so lacking in my life of late. When I had 'emulsified' or rubbed into my hands, I smoothed the product onto my hair, washed my hands, but a strange thing happened, my hands were incredibly soft!  The smell is like you have been transported to a day spa and that the pampering had only just begun . I diligently followed the instructions and was looking forward to being awoken to a glossy mane. The reality was quite different. It was lank,and somewhat greasy looking, then I recalled to shampoo and condition, which i did immediately.

Upon drying my hair the results could be seen and felt straight away. I was really thrilled with how glossy, nourished and soft my hair felt. That kind of result for minimal effort certainly gets my vote. That's why this product will be staying on my bathroom shelf for the foreseeable future.

I hope you enjoyed this little review, let me know if you have any good haircare products that you are loving at the moment i would love to hear from you :)

Love Nay x

* I have not been sponsored for this review, I just like to share!