Thursday, 29 April 2010

Nail SOS - The Teabag Method Tried & Tested (plus NOTD)


Products Used:
-Barry M Base Coat, Top Coat & Nail Strengthener
-Barry M Bright Red Nail Paint (262)
-1 teabag (mine happened to be of the PG Tips pyramid variety ;)

Last night whilst filing my nails I noticed a tiny little nick in the side of my thumbnail, thought nothing of it, went to bed and went about my business today. Then later today I noticed the little nick had turned into a full on split. It's pretty low down meaning I'd have to trim my nail down very short to get rid of it and avoid further splitting.

I've seen a few videos about using a teabag to help strengthen the split, allowing you to grow it out - as I'm trying to grow my nails I thought I'd give it a go. I'm estimating it's going to be about 2 weeks for the split to grow out at the rate my nails grow so I'm going to do a follow-up blog. I don't mind repeatedly applying a little square of teabag every time I re-paint my nails if it means I'm not going to have to trim it down.

The split in question - complete with arrows to point out the dreadfulness of it all! ;)
Please ignore how the second image makes my cuticles look like death - I can assure you they're happy and moisturised in reality.

Firstly I washed my hands of course, then cut a piece of teabag this size:

Then applied some clear nail polish to the area I was going to be applying it to, and placed the tea bag square right up to the edge of the split ensuring it covered it completely:

The bottom half of the tea bag wasn't stuck on fully – at this point I was thinking there's no way I'm walking around with a huge white hunk of tea bag stuck to my finger like an idiot. A bit more clear nail polish to attach it fully soon sorted it out however.
I applied a generous top coat of clear polish and to my delight the square became invisible and smooth:


(Super close up with the light reflecting off it - I'm sure if you were looking at it ridiculously close or with a magnifying glass it would be slightly noticable but I think you can get away with just clear polish.)

To cheer myself up I whipped out my favourite red polish (Barry M Bright Red nail paint).
This is 2 coats + topcoat - no visible tea bag at all. The consistency of the polish is more of a jelly red than a creme.

(click to enlarge)
And voila! A full set of happy red nails, which completes the 'Tea Bag Method' application and NOTD :)

I'll update on the end result.


Thursday, 15 April 2010

Dior Fall 2008 Inspired 1960s Makeup

I believe the extremely talented Pat McGrath did the makeup for this show. God knows how she managed to do all the girls, it took long enough to do mine! There were a lot of 60s-esque eyes using bright colours like bright pink, turquoise and orange but I decided to use Coco Rocha's look as inspiration as I thought the contrast of just the black and white looked lovely.

(click to enlarge)

The colours are a bit off in this picture, as I had 2 lamps in front of me for lighting haha, so it's put a strange orange-y cast on my hair and washed out the eyes a bit. They looked a bit bolder and the white looked more contrasted to my skin.

And of course the inspiration – both images from Google Images.
I desperately wanted to do the huge hair too but it would have been a nightmare to comb out! Maybe some day.

I changed a few things up, mostly being the top lashes as the ones used were enormous and I didn't have any that resembled them. Also, the bottom lash line was drawn in a bit thinner. I didn't carry down the lines towards my nose either. I'd say the look I did was a lot toned down in comparison.

*edit* I've just noticed that the angle of the camera is making my cheekbones look like they're down by my jawline! I can assure you they're not, there's a fair bit of space there haha. I think it's both a combination of the camera angle and me doing such a strong contour so low. Coco Rocha has cheekbones to die for!

Products Used

Face :
-Maybelline 24H Superstay Foundation
No7 Contour powder mixed with a mid-brown shadow
Brows were washed out using a mascara wand loaded with foundation to get the bleached effect. Then drawn in thicker using a lighter mid-tone brown from the eBay 120 palette.

NYX Jumbo Pencil – Milk
Sleek Graphite palette – white and black
Rimmel eyeshadow – matte white
L'oreal Super Liner – Carbon Gloss
3 sets of lashes total – bottom and 2 on top.

Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lip Liner: Risque
Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick – Nude Delight

This was a bit of a weird one for me as I'm so used to lining my waterline!


Monday, 12 April 2010

ELF Review

(click to enlarge all images)

These arrived last week, within 2 days of being dispatched so I was very impressed. I've been using for a week to get a good idea of what the product is like before putting my opinion of them on here. These are the first products I've ever tried from the company and I'm certainly very glad I decided to try them out.

Firstly, the brushes. I ordered from the regular line the Concealer and the Blushing, Bronzing and Blending Brush.

I really like these both, the concealer brush is great for covering small blemishes, and can also be used as a lip brush as it's the perfect size for creating a rounded cupids bow.

The Blushing, Bronzing and Blending Brush isn't the softest brush in the world but I don't mind it it's quite soft, what I do like is that it's very small, angled and the perfect size for creating a precise contour. I wouldn't really use this brush for bronzing or blending at all, maybe blush but the shape certainly calls for applying a contour or highlight to the cheek area.

From the studio brush line I ordered the Small Angled Brush, and I must say it's smaller than I expected! I've been using this to fill in my brows and it's very good if you like to be precise in this area. I found it ideal for the outer part of my brow as naturally my brows tail off very thin, so I don't like to fill it in with too thick a line. This is also a great brush for applying eyeliner.

One product I do dislike that I purchased is the Wet Gloss Clear Lash & Brow mascara – I use clear mascara to set my brows usually but I really don't like this product at all. For me the mascara wand is simply too stiff to apply product to the brows and feels like it's scraping your skin.

From the Studio line I purchased the Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder.

I was initially very surprised with the size of this I expected it to be a lot smaller. Both the blush and bronzer are amazingly pigmented, the blush is a lovely peachy pink with gold shimmer. One thing I will say about the bronzer is that it's not ideal for contouring with as it's very shimmery = the opposite of what applying a contour is supposed to do. Creating a natural shadow with a shimmery product is defying the purpose in my eyes. Using this as a bronzer it's very nice however, and not muddy looking at all. I'll definitely repurchase this.

(really huge close-up picture, click to enlarge)

Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder in Luminance.
I LOVE this as a highlighter. This isn't the most tightly pressed powder in the world so I imagine dropping it would result in a shattered powdery mess, but it's very soft pale golden powder that looks amazing when it catches the light. I can see this suiting a lot of skintones. It originally came with the ELF logo embossed on it but as I've been using it it's worn down. I can see myself repurchasing this time and time again. It gives a healthy glow that's not glittery or shimmery, it's somewhat metallic.

I took this photo today after wearing it for a few hours on my cheekbone. This is applied to moisturised skin as I went foundaiton-free today. As you can see I have some very light freckles that are visible hehe. I took this with a flash so my whole cheekbone isn't illuminated, just the area the flash hit - don't worry I didn't have patchy highlighter.

And that's everything I purchased I'm afraid.


Saturday, 10 April 2010

Maybelline Foundation Review: Dream Creamy & Superstay 24h

Superstay 24H Foundation
Picture from Google Images

I purchased Maybelline Superstay 24 hour primarily based on the colour range, 005 Light Beige matches me perfectly. I've been trying out this foundation for just over a week now, I've worn it through the day and I've worn it out for drinks in the night. Overall, I've had some mixed feelings about it so it's probably best to break it down into:

  • Maybelline's claims on the lasting power are something I have to agree with, it looked just as good as when I applied it when it came time to remove it. When going out in the evenings I had no need for touch-ups, and it did last in a humid environment.
  • Coverage – like nearly all foundations I applied this with both a duo fibre brush and then a MAC 109 brush for areas that needed more coverage. I feel like this is a medium coverage that can certainly be built up to a full. If you're looking for a lightweight foundation this probably isn't it.
  • Despite not feeling this is a lightweight foundation, the formulation feels a lot lighter in comparison to Revlon Colourstay – which feels much thicker in comparison. Superstay is much more of a liquid formulation (or runnier to simplify).
  • No need to powder after application as it sets to a matte finish.
  • As I've mentioned before despite having dry skin I'm prone to some hormonal acne around my chin and I don't like wearing heavyweight foundation around this area despite wanting full coverage to mask light acne scarring. This not only covered well but didn't break me out at all whilst using it. The formulation of this is oil-free and claims to not clog pores.

Dislikes -
  • Dry Skin – this foundation did not stand up well against dry areas of my face. It definitely made dry skin stand out more as it clung to it more, this was amplified by the matte finish. This is why I prefer a dewy finish as I feel it's much more suited to my skin type. If you have dry skin I would recommend exfoliation and moisturising well if you're thinking of using this foundation as when my skin was dry this is what I had to do. I don't have to do this with Revlon Colourstay foundation and it sets to a more dewy finish on me.

Overall I give it a 3.5/5.
I don't think I'd repurchase as the formulation isn't ideal for my skin type – I think this is more suited to normal/oily skin category due to the matte finish. I don't think a foundation has to have a matte finish to last well and I'll be going back to using my Revlon Colourstay.

Dream Creamy Foundation
Picture from Google Images

Maybelline Dream Creamy foundation I purchased for the full £7.99 as I missed the introductory reduced price. This foundation is also the one I've been testing for the longest amount of time being just over a month. Maybelline claim this foundation is “Specifically designed for normal to dry skin”. The breakdown:

  • Coverage – I needed to apply this foundation sparingly as I found it to have more of a full coverage compared to a medium. The coverage is fantastic even when applied sparingly using a duo fibre brush, or built up more using a MAC 109.
  • The finish although slightly matte, is less matte than the Superstay 24 which is just my personal preference as I don't like a totally flat finish.
  • It photographs well – I tend to use this foundation when photographing makeup looks for my blog.

Dislikes -
  • Colour range – despite getting the lightest shade: 04 Light Porcelain it's slightly too dark for me. As you can see below the Superstay 24h is paler. Looking at the Maybelline site the colour range is a lot more limited for this foundation in comparison to the Superstay also.
  • The main thing that irritated me about this foundation is that it clings to dry skin, and again as it has a somewhat matte finish it only amplifies this. As Maybelline marketed this as being moisturising and "Specifically designed for normal to dry skin" I strongly have to disagree. I found this foundation only worked well on well moisturised skin.
  • The packaging – although this is a solid cream foundation, I don't like that I have to dip my brush into the container repeatedly for the thought of bacteria build up especially being prone to break outs around the chin area.
  • The coverage – although I like the coverage at times it's a love-hate relationship as I don't always want such a heavy coverage. I had to apply this sparingly. If you applied it like a regular foundation you'd end up looking somewhat plastic as it covers EVERYTHING and can easily look cakey. I found I could even use this foundation as a concealer when using lighter coverage foundations.

Overall I give it a 3/5.
I wouldn't repurchase as although the Maxfactor Miracle Touch foundaiton is more expensive the formulation is a lot nicer than the Maybelline and doesn't have the cakey high coverage feel that this foundation does. I feel this foundation is best suited to normal skin types more than anything, certainly not dry.

Please note that this review is based on my personal experience with these foundations. As everyone's skin is different what doesn't work for me might be ideal for you.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

NOTD - Collection 2000 Dynasty

I finally chipped off a bit of nail varnish from my 'Glitter Manicure NOTD' - but it did last from Thursday evening until today to I'm quite impressed by the lasting power of Barry M's 3 In 1 nail paint (base coat, topcoat & nail hardner).

I decided to give Collection 2000's Dynasty nail polish from their Hot Looks collection a try.
It's a pale pastel lilac that has a pink tone to it. Very pretty! For £1.79 a bottle I thought I'd give it a go and I'm glad I did! This is 2 coats with a base coat and topcoat (Barry M 3 In 1 nail paint). The application was very smooth and streak-free.
I feel like these pictures pick up the pink tone a lot more than the lilac, in daylight there's a definite lilac tone to it. So imagine it a bit more lilac-y ;)



As you can see from the picture below, the bottle size is fairly smaller than your average nail polish, compared to the 10ml Barry M polish, the 8ml Collection 2000 one looks tiny!


I'll have a few more makeup posts up this week for those getting tired of my NOTDs!


Thursday, 1 April 2010

NOTD - Glitter Tips

My nails are finally starting to grow out without breaking so I thought it was about time to do a manicure. However, I didn't have any white polish - the alternative? Holographic glitter of course.
This probably won't be to everyone's taste but I think it's really fun, and of course very sparkly.



Products used - Stargazer holographic silver glitter, Barry M 3 in 1 nail paint (base coat, topcoat, nail hardener): I really like how glossy this looks when it's dried.
Naturally, the camera doesn't really pick up just HOW sparkly this is in real life.



Collective Haul

(l-r) Laugh A Lot (Lustre), Petals & Peacocks (Amplified)
I purchased Laugh A Lot for my mum as it's her go-to lipstick, so she asked me to pick her one up. It's a really pretty pink mauve with gold shimmer.
Petals & Peacocks is the lipstick I initially went in for, when I first saw it I was like WHOA MAGENTA - and I've kind of gone back on myself after the whole not liking Girl About Town, but I really like this colour.

Cremesheen Glass - Loud & Lovely
While talking to the MUA I told her I was looking for a bright pink lipstick, but after going through them I either own them or have tried them and not repurchased... So she talked about glosses and put this on over the Petals & Peacocks tester on my hand and I instantly fell in love, it makes the lipstick look slightly less purple and more pink toned. The texture of these is lovely too as I'm not particularly fond of the Lipglass formula, or Dazzleglass for that matter. This is really smooth and not sticky or gloopy.

Bronzing Powder - Refined Golden
Just a mid-tone bronzer with shimmer, it's a really lovely colour.

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hour Foundation, Collection 2000 Hot Looks - Dynasty

I've fallen out of love with Maybelline Dream Creamy foundation - it claims to be "Specifically designed for normal to dry skin". I really have to disagree - my skin has become dryer lately and this just looks ridiculously cakey and dries to a matte finish - amplifying any dryness on my face. Also, although I have dry skin, I'm prone to breakouts around the chin area so I didn't like the idea of bacteria build up from dipping my brush into the container every day.

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hour Foundation was on offer for £5.99 in Superdrug, and I wasn't all too keen on using another Maybelline foundation until I saw the colour range. If you have very fair skin like me you might want to take a look. There's a lot of very pale shades and I believe I got one of the palest: Light Beige. Light Beige looked more pink toned than the more yellow toned Sand. It claims to not wear off all day - I haven't tried it out yet so we'll have to see about that. But based on the colour it looks promising.

The nail polish is just Collection 2000 from their 'Hot Looks' range. I've been looking for a good lilac nail polish and this was only cheap so I thought I'd try it out.