Basic Girls Guide to: Nails

Hello,

I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine! If you’ve read some of my previous blog posts you would have seen that I am quite into keeping my nails looking POPPING. Having your nails looking chic really draws your outfit together and helps you feel more professional… well it does for me! Today I just wanted to cover a range of nail areas including advantages and disadvantages of nail treatments available at the salon, how to get professional looking nails at home AND discussing my favourite nail polishes.

Salon Nails:

  • Acrylics: Acrylic nails allow you to extend your nails and then finish with a french manicure or a regular nail polish. The advantages are that all your nails look even, you can have different shapes, they last for around 2/3 weeks (sometimes longer!) AND you can continue to get in-fills, which is cheaper than a new set each time. This does take longer than other gel treatments like Shellac, they can look a bit old when they start to grow out and are difficult to remove yourself, without damaging your nail bed.
  • Gel: This can be a great alternative to acrylics if you already like the shape of your natural nails. Salons offer a wide range of different gel formulas, one of the most common (and the one I’ve used the most!) is CND Shellac. The positives behind choosing gel nail polish include the high-shine finish, it lasts for about 3 weeks, is easier to peel off yourself, it grows out more subtly than acrylics and does not take as long! However, they can use UV lights which if used repeatedly can dry out your hands, the colour range can be more limited and if you’re very hands-on or if it gets very warm it can peel off.

Professional looking nails at home:

  • 3 Stripe Rule: I am NOT an expert, obviously, but recently my nail painting skills have improved a lot! Since I’ve stopped relying on the salon for my nail care needs I’ve now decided to improve myself. SO I googled a lot of different ways to paint nails accurately and I think the 3 stripe rule is the best way. This is simply paint one central stripe down your nails then one either side. Try and keep a gap between the paint and the edge of the nail the whole way round.
  • Vivid Colour and a High-Shine Topcoat: Layer the coloured polish until you get a deep colour, usually it takes 2-3 coats. Having an opaque colour makes it seem more professional, especially if it is even too. Then you need a really shiny gel top coat to lock in the colour and protect it. My favourite one is Barry M’s Plumpy Topcoat which is only £2.99 and doesn’t leave air bubbles.

Favourite Nail Polish:

All my favourite nail polishes are from Barry M because they has SO many different colours, formulas and are ALWAYS on offer so it is easy to pick them up. My favourite formula is the Gelly one with Blueberry, Acai Berry and Damson being some of my go to shades. The Coconut Infusion and Sunset Nails are definitely worth a try too for some long-lasting colour and they each cater to different shades. Barry M is always coming out with seasonal shades and formulas whilst adding to the original lines, sometimes they do limited edition paints too but I haven’t given many a go!

I hope this was helpful and has given you some ideas to help develop your nail painting skills! Don’t worry about getting it all around your nails, it will always wash off AND give it time to try. I still get frustrated sometimes when painting nails but when you get it right, it is SO satisfying! Continue reading

Basic Girls Guide to: Make-up Brushes

Hello,

Today’s blog post is ALL about make-up brushes. They are the tools we use regularly but can get overlooked in when looking in your beauty bag. When I first got into make-up I really had no clue about what brush did what AND for a long time I was really confused about the ‘right’ way to clean them. So I’ll be sharing a few of the things I’ve learnt recently, obviously I’m no expert… but I think that’s already clear haha! This is just a basic girls guide to EVERYTHING about make-up brushes.

Cleaning your brushes:

  • PRODUCTS: I use these little brush eggs from Amazon, which are only £1.11 AND they come in lots of different colours, which pleased me more than it should have! I just used this  cute tool and baby shampoo- this will last you quite a few brush cleaning sessions as well!
  • METHOD: You just put some baby shampoo on the little egg and scrub the brush against it. Rinse the brush in a cup of water or under the tap and leave to dry- EASY PEASY. I think this is the easiest and one of the cheapest ways to do it.
  • RESULTS: Once the brushes have dried they return to their normal shape and pretty much return to how they were when you first bought them. The baby shampoo is very gentle on the brushes so it leaves them feeling super soft.

IMG_8843

Don’t forget to get a pretty/ HILARIOUS pot to keep all your brushes in, this is mine!

Top 3 Favourite Brushes:

  • Real Techniques Setting Brush, £5.80: I ordered this off Amazon because I couldn’t find it on its own in Boots, sometimes Amazon is cheaper too! I love this and I use it to blend my concealer- under my eyes and on blemishes. Sometimes I use it for highlighter too and it picks up just the right amount product too!
  • Real Techniques Buffing Brush, available in the core set £10.77 on Amazon: If you’re starting to dabble with brushes then this core set will set you right up. This brush is definitely one of my most used because it can blend your ENTIRE base. One of my favourite things about this brush is that I just really trust it to make sure my base looks FLAWLESS. I like to use for foundation AND then I go round my whole face with it after ALL the base make-up to make sure my make-up looks less harsh!
  • Real Techniques Blush Brush, £7.01: The shape of this is perfect for the apples of your cheeks! I think it applies blush AND bronzer really nicely and evenly, sometimes I use it for both to give a natural, sun-kissed glow. It is a good alternative to a powder brush too because it is quite big and fluffy!

Hopefully this post has given you some ideas on how to clean your brushes and some recommendations on some brushes you might want to try! You don’t need to go overboard on brushes but I think that these ones will really help build a solid, core collection. Let me know your favourite brushes below!

Amy💖

 

Hits and Misses: Mascara Edition

Happy Sunday,

In yesterday’s post I decided not to include mascara in my minimal make-up look, but today mascara is getting their very own post… lucky thing! I use to be a lot more into mascara than I am now, so I have a few to share with you. Personally, the main properties I want in a mascara are no clumps, so complete fullness across the lid, for it not to transfer under my eyes and for it to be lengthening. These are the main things I look for in a good mascara and I’m still not convinced I’ve found my favourite, but here are 5 of the selection that I have tried:

Mascara Hits:

  • Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara, £8.99: I don’t usually hear many people talk about this one, but I really like it! It comes with two wands- one for the top lashes and one for the bottom. This feature really makes it because I use the one for the bottom lashes to separate my lashes and give them a really natural look. It does’t transfer and can be built up if you like a more full-on look.
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational, £8.99: This is quite a popular mascara online but I think it is worth the hype. It gives a lot of volume, but I don’t see it as a everyday mascara. The results can be dramatic, but because of the two different sides of bristles you still get definition with your lashes, which I think makes it one of my favourites.
  • KIKO Volume Eyes Plus Active Mascara, £7.90: This mascara probably my favourite natural mascara, it is quite light but deepens the lashes nice and evenly. It separates them and the shape of the brush makes it easy to reach the lashes in the corners of your eyes.

Mascara Misses:

  • Benefit Bad Gal Lashes, £18.50: This is not necessarily the worst mascara ever BUT the performance of it just does not correlate with the price. If this was a similar price to Maybelline’s products then it would maybe not be as disappointing. I feel like it is too dramatic for my simple make-up looks, it gives more of a ‘fluffy’ lash look and the brush tends to pick up a lot of product. I like the packaging, but overall I just don’t really think it is worth the higher price tag.
  • Max Factor Excess Volume Extreme Impact Mascara, £12.99: I bought this on a complete whim when it was new out and really it is nothing special. Firstly, it is very bulky and not as compact as other mascaras with dual-wands. One wand is for ‘extreme volume’ and the other is to add a ‘dark lacquer’- the latter wand is similar to the KIKO mascara but provides less length. When I initially used this is use to make my eyes feel a bit puffy but I didn’t want to waste it so sometimes I just use the ‘dark lacquer’ end which gives better results for me. Again, it is not AWFUL but it just is not worth the money.

Hopefully this list has given you some suggestions if you’re on the lookout for a new mascara. I would say the best brand to go to is Maybelline, out of the ones I’ve tried anyway, but I’ve heard L’Oreal is a good one too but I am yet to try them! I’m still looking for my ultimate mascara, I would like to try Benefit’s Rollerlash in the brown shade but I don’t know if it really will be worth the money and I’m not sure if brown mascara will look right? Let me know if you have tried it below and I’d love to hear your favourite mascara!

Amy

 

Drugstore Minimal Make-up

Happy Saturday!

With the sun shining this morning I thought I would share a post containing a few of my top products for a minimal make-up look, all from the drugstore… or Boots or Superdrug as we say in the UK! I tend to wear a variation of these products regularly, but even more so during the summer months because I am usually a sweaty mess so cannot be dealing with heavy make-up. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 staple products to keep it extra minimal this summertime, but obviously you can add others to make a more substantial look:

  • Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, £4.19: One of the most popular products online, so I won’t go on too much. There probably isn’t much I can say that you won’t have already heard about this concealer, but in short I really like it on blemishes. I don’t like to use a heavy base during the summer months so I just REALLY go for it with this concealer and I don’t feel like it goes cakey like some other ones I’ve tried.
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, £3.99: I know, another unoriginal product but I promise I do actually use these! One thing I would suggest with this powder is to actually consider buying one with a coloured tint and not just the transparent one. I go for shade ‘002: Pink Blossom’ which with the concealer helps give me more coverage whilst keeping shine away!
  • Rimmel Brow This Way Gel, £3.99: This is one of my favourite eyebrow products and it really is a one-stop-shop. I use the transparent one because I already have quite thick brows, but I’m sure the tinted ones will be just as good on sparser brows. I prefer the brush on this gel, in comparison to Maybelline’s Brow Drama, and it doesn’t leave your eyebrows all crispy.
  • Bourjois Aqua Blush, £8.99: On a no make-up, make-up day I go for blush because I am naturally flushed, so I use the natural make-up just to enhance that. If you prefer to go more bronzed then obviously you can swap that in for blusher, or go for both! I love this blush because it is a gel consistency and blends seamlessly into your cheeks to give a natural, long-lasting glow.
  • Nivea Care Lip Balm, £1.65: I know this isn’t the most exciting product but I am not that adventurous with lip products. So I usually just go for a simple sheer balm, to keep my lips looking fresh and some of these balms have SPF in too which is a bonus! If you want more of a tint then Nivea do have some coloured options or Maybelline Baby lips are worth a try too.

Together these products create a really simple, natural and light look that is perfect for summer. These are just 5 base products that can be completely adapted with different lip looks, mascara, smokey eyes, bronzer, there is so much you can do! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this post and would consider giving these a go next time you’re shopping in the drugstore. Let me know your favourite minimal make-up products, I’m still on the hunt for a natural fluttery drugstore mascara and a nude-tinted lip balm.

Enjoy the sun,

Amy💖

Spring Essentials

Hello,

Spring is a lovely season, despite it still being a bit cold and cloudy in England right now BUT when the sun’s out it’s so pretty. Shockingly enough though I won’t pretend its my favourite season, I am more of a winter gal BUT I try and make the most of it. I thought I would share a couple of things that I would consider my top Spring essentials:

  • Converse White All Star Oxford Trainers, £45: These are my Converse of choice, the traditional white ones with the blue and red trim. They’re SO lovely, really comfy and brighten up any outfit. I think most Converse are pretty for Spring, whether you prefer the hi-tops style or a different colour. They are light weight and I see them as a good transitional shoe because it isn’t quite warm enough here for sandals yet! I have a navy pair which I like too, but I have been reaching more for the traditional white ones this Springtime. 
  • Embroidered Shirts: I love this fashion right now! I only have two, both from New Look, but I am constantly wearing them. They’re perfect for Spring because, if worn with a thin underlayer, then you can brave it without a coat- honestly it is such a struggle to dress for English weather haha! I think they’re such a pretty fashion trend because they can be flattering on everyone and have cute pastel design.
  • Benefit Dandelion Blush, £22: This is one of my favourite blushers EVER, closely followed by Benefit’s Rockateur. I think Dandelion is more fitting for Spring though, it is a rosy pink shade that compliments pale skin- like mine! Another blush that I really like in Spring is the Bourjois Aqua Blush, in the shade ‘Pink Twice’, this is a gel formula that creates more of a dewy, natural look compared to a some powder blusher… as you can tell blush is definitely one of my favourite beauty steps.
  • Nivea Essential Care Lip Balm, £1.65: This is my current favourite lip balm and I think naturally plump, moisturised lips are perfect for Spring. I had used Vaseline for years, but I think that long-term it just didn’t give me the same results as this Nivea one. Also it is so cheap that I buy a few so I can keep them in different place which is ideal because my lips can get chapped and drys still even in the Spring. I would love to try the Elizabeth Arden 8hour lip cream, but I don’t know if I can justify a high price tag for some lip balm!
  • Barry M Gelly Nail Polish, £3.99: I won’t go on about these too much, because I have already written about them in my April Favourites. I thought they were important to mention though because they really complete an outfit and the Spring shades are really pretty. The shades that I think deserve a shoutout are ‘Blueberry’ and ‘Acai Smoothie’, which is a sophisticated pinky-purple. The Coconut Infusion nail paints are pretty too, but I don’t think the shade range is as pretty, the only one I have really loved is the shade ‘Laguna’ which is a turquoise blue.

These products have become staples for me so far this Spring, especially my Converse! Have you tried any of these products? I would love to hear your Spring or even Summer essentials, as we look ahead to months of sun… fingers crossed!

Amy💖

Spring Lust List 2017

Lust lists are just products that I want to try and would love to buy. They are mainly higher end beauty buys because I only ever buy it on very rare occasions. It’s like an ongoing shopping list basically, that just never seems to end. Here are my current top 5, but they do tend to change around regularly:

  • Too Faced Sweethearts Bronzer, £25: This is top of list for summer because I think it looks wonderful, apparently it smells of chocolate too! The pan is split between two shades of bronzer- a lighter and darker one. It is a shimmery bronzer but from what I’ve read it gives a natural glow- which is what I am looking for!
  • Benefit Rollerlash Mascara, £20.50: This sounds like such a lovely, natural and fluttery mascara. I just don’t know if I can ever justify spending £20 on a mascara because there are definitely ones that do a similar job on the highstreet, such as Maybelline’s Lash Sensational.
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion, £17: I won’t lie, the packaging is one of the main reasons I have for wanting this. It’s SO cute though. I would like the shade ‘Sin’ because I would probably use it on its own some days because of the glow it gives. This product is interchangeable on my Lush List with the Charlotte Tilbury Shadow sticks because I am just looking for a very simple eyeshadow look.
  • Kylie Jenner Cosmetics, Lip Kits and Highlighters: Unfortunately, I think that Kylie’s products will always be on my Lush List because of the custom fees that we have to pay in the UK, but a girl can dream. I love the Kardashians and these products looks so dreamy. The new Kylighters look gorgeous especially the shade ‘Strawberry Shortcake’ which is filled with pink sparkly gorgeousness. Then there are Kylie’s signature Lip Kits that seem like such a staple. There are so many options, I am not picky haha! The new Kim collaboration looks lovely but then the traditional shades like ‘Posie K’, ‘KoKo K’ and ‘Kristen’ have all caught my eye.
  • Too Faced Peach Palette, £39: I would just love a high end eyeshadow palette, I don’t really have any palettes! Shocking, I know. I am not very creative with my eye make-up but this palette looks so lovely. I would definitely consider the Urban Decay Naked palettes too, but I find it difficult to choose between them all!

Have you tried any of these products? What products are on your Lust Lists? My list is always changing depending on the seasons, my mood and new releases but these have been staples for a couple of months… Maybe I’ll have to treat myself post-exams!

Don’t forget to treat yourself too,

Amy💖

Spring Body Care

Recently, I have discovered a few new body care products that I wanted to write about. It’s never been something I was particularly interested in, apart from a good moisturising bubble bath obviously! However, since using these more regularly I can feel a difference within my skin, especially after the bitterness of winter. I have targeted my smoother skin down to these 3 key products, but am definitely still looking to develop my routine further. Here they are:

  • Soap and Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub, £8: This product I’ve been loving for around a year now, so I have definitely tried and tested it. I really love it, especially THE SMELL. It’s very sweet like maple syrup, definitely head into Boots just to give it a sniff. It is a sugary scrub that exfoliates your skin, perfect to prep for fake tanning!
  • The Body Shop Almond Milk and Honey Body Butter, £6: I got this for my birthday because I liked the idea of it being for sensitive skin. The smell is lovely and not overpowering, like some of the body butters. I mainly use this on my legs after I have shaved, this helps eradicate dryness and flakiness skin! I’d definitely look into purchasing the larger tub once I’ve made it through this one.
  • Dove Derma Spa Summer Revived Body Lotion, originally £7.79 but bought on sale for £3.89 from Boots: I have dabbled slightly into self-tanning before, but have ended up with patches and streaks ALL over. This is my favourite one by far, it is much less streaky because it applies simply as a moistriser and develops subtley. I use the shade Fair to Medium, which can go plenty dark enough on me especially because I am looking for a natural sunkissed glow. It makes your skin very soft and you can determine the pace you want it to build up. Really good for beginners like me, who are just entering the big wide world of fake tan.

I really love all 3 of these products but I am always on the look out for more! I think next on my radar will be a moisturising shower gel and I’d like to try some different shaving products too- like the D’fluff Shaving Soap from Lush. Have you tried any of these products? Are there any body care buys you would recommend- comment them below, I would definitely be interested in trying them!

Happy pampering,

Amy💖