Monday, 29 October 2012

The High Beam Dupe

Left to right: High Beam by Benefit & High Lights by Technic
Left to right: High Beam by Benefit & High Lights by Technic (unblended) 
Left to right: High Beam by Benefit & High Lights by Technic (blended)
I'd heard a whisper or two in the blogosphere about the Technic High Lights highlighter before I decided to buy it a few weeks ago. As you can probably tell by the totally original (cough cough) packaging, it is supposed to be an alternative to Benefit's miracle product, high beam.
First things first - the prices. High Beam costs a hefty £18.50 for 15ml (pictured above is a sample which was a magazine freebie) compared to Technic's version which sells at around £2.50 for 12ml. So, with Christmas looming you can see why High Lights could be an affordable gift.
In terms of the products in their own right, I prefer High Beam. It's subtle enough to blend into a tube of foundation for a dewy glow and stunning on the cheekbones in its own right. As you can see from the photograph, High Lights is a much wetter formula which means a little goes a long way, but you often end up with excess product which is a pain if you're own the go and trying to avoid Edward Cullen-esque hands. The brush is diabolical in comparison to High Beam's, however altogether unnecessary as a ring finger or a blending brush will apply the highlighter perfectly. There's also a little more shimmer than I would prefer in High Lights, but like I said - a little goes a long way.

Despite it's many flaws, High Lights is an excellent highlighter independently of its predecessor and gives the big brands a run for their money. You can pick it up on Amazon or at your local Bodycare.


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Nailed It: Revlon's Autumn Berry

Revlon Nail Polish in 480 Autumn Berry
As some of you may know, I've been growing my nails for the past few weeks. You must be sick to death of hearing about it, but you just don't understand... glancing at your fingers only to find bitten, sore and quite frankly repulsive fingernails for seventeen years is an emotional rollercoaster! Okay, I'm exaggerating. But it's such a treat to be greeted with something a little easier on the eyes. They aren't perfect, they're still short and in terms of nailcare I'm virtually clueless - but I'm enjoying the effect nail polish can add to an overall look.
So, after that preamble - onto the colour! I picked this bottle up from a discount cosmetics store for £1.99 but you can find it on eBay if you've fallen for it too. It's Autumnal with a subtle sheen that makes the nail-painting skills of an amateur like me look vaguely impressive. It also encompasses another of my favourite trends - vampy shades.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Azealia Banks: Who I Saw + What I Wore

Moira and I on the bus, looking discheveled from the rain...
Intense excitement = bizarre facial expressions
Zebra Katz 
I wore a sheer tee, metallic pencil skirt, chelsea boots and a tote bag. 
On the 3rd of October I saw Azealia Banks perform at a university union. Not only did I ditch my Mother on her birthday (a technicality I failed to notice when buying the tickets) but I actually left the house on a weeknight. May I reiterate how big a deal that is for me!? Ah, the sentiments of a true hermit.
It was a typical, wet Yorkshire evening as I sprinted to the bus stop to meet my scantily clad friend who was sheltering from the rain. An odd ginger man tried to strike up a conversation which I hastily avoided - I recognised him from the library and he had already tried and failed to work the magic. I won't divulge the embarrassing details - like I said, a typical Yorkshire evening. 
Zebra Katz was the first to perform with support from Njena Reddd Foxxx, which set a dark atmosphere before a set from DJ Cosmo. Listen to Zebra Katz' breakout single Ima Read and visit DJ Cosmo's official website for a taste of the night.
Then, it was Azealia's turn. You probably know her for '212' but that barely scratches the surface of her talent. I'm far from a music critic so I'll simply direct you to her FREE mixtape and let you make up your own mind. But I have to give the girl credit - backing dancers, LED lit bralet and incredible green hair extensions made for an spectacular show. My favourite track of the night was Esta Noche but her overall performance left nothing to be desired. Plus, she wore pieces from Topshop and American Apparel! 
The only downside of the night was that I nearly fainted in a sea of pushy teenagers clad in Fresh Prince of Bel Air-esque outfits, so I'd have to call it a success.

P.s. What is your choice of attire for a gig?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Vidal Sassoon Cut

I was roaming inconspicuously around my city centre when a stranger tapped me on the shoulder. My first thought was please don't ask me for money, my signature or sexual favours, but instead it was a trainee stylist on the lookout for hair models! Need I confirm my relief? She told me she needed a model for a one length bob and I fit the bill, so without further ado, I booked an appointment for Monday afternoon.
I was expecting (or rather hoping for) a basic trim and a fringe reshape, but the stylist was eager to try something different. When she suggested a full fringe, I was sceptical. I've tried the look many times before and found it unflattering on my face, but after some convincing I agreed to a soft, Alexa Chung style fringe.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of hair modelling, it's completely free and usually an opportunity for trainees to practice different styles or techniques on real life models. It was my first Vidal Sassoon experience and I must say, the quality is outstanding. The process took a total of three hours, (I was informed this hairstyle is the very hardest to achieve as literally not a single hair can be out of place) give or take tea top-ups, loo breaks and waiting, but it was more than worth it. It is the most impeccable haircut I have ever had the pleasure of receiving and it has given my hair a new lease of life! I'm no haircare fanatic, but I've spend the evening browsing Boots online for products - I've vowed to look after my new do!

P.s. What is your favourite haircare product?
P.p.s. I will be having my hair dyed free of charge in the next fortnight: any colour recommendations?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Lazy Skincare

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Dove Stick Original 40ml
Is this even considered skincare? Who knows. 

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser 125ml
I've used this for about six years as my Mother has always been big on moisturising. Her mantra is basically as follows: if you want perfect skin, moisturise. Now that, dear readers, is the ignorance of a dry skin sufferer. But, I have to follow suit as my skin is virtually oil free, it just turns a little chalky in the cold. This stuff is fantastically cheap and a little goes a long way. I suggest the light moisturiser for the day time and the rich moisturiser for the night, unless you're really in a dry skin crisis.

Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne Eau de Parfum 30ml
A duty-free purchase from a ferry ride back from France this Summer, and my true love in perfume form.

Jergens Natural Skin Firming Body Moisturiser 200ml
Does it really firm the skin? I'm not sure, I don't pay a lot of attention to it. I bought this on a whim, seduced by sale signs and really, it does as much as I'd hope for. It smells fresh and natural and softens the skin.

Dove Summer Glow Lotion Fair to Normal 250ml
In terms of fake tanning, this is as far as I'll be tempted; I've previously used Johnsons Holiday Skin but couldn't get past the biscuity tan smell. Dove Summer Glow gives the skin warmth with one application, so it's great on bare legs if you don't have the energy to cover your whole body - but it is buildable. 

Clean & Clear Deep Action Cleansing Wash 150ml
It's tingly, it's purifying and it's easy on the bank balance. I did a Cheap Tricks post on this facial wash if you'd like a more in depth review!

Simple Cleansing Wipes x 25
The Simple range is a very reliable place to start if you're new to the complexities of skincare, plus it's extremely affordable. As most of you will know by now, I'm a tad lazy (hence the aptly named post). So, I'm a bit of a cleanserphobe and stick to my trusty facial wipes. These take as much of your make up off as you can expect with a wipe and surprisingly they do last if you're inventive. I sometimes use one wipe up to three times by neatly focusing my make up removal in certain areas. 
P.s. What's your skincare secret?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

An Antique Affair

Vintage Penguin Books
A mismatch of jewellery and a gorgeous compact mirror
Chains, beads and jewels
4711: the scent of my childhood
I currently have a strange obsession with pastel coloured glass...
Ah, advertising has really gone downhill since the Atkinsons Soap days
I've started venturing into the world of rings now that I have half decent fingernails to accompany them!
(The one on my ring finger is a family heirloom)
I was extremely restrained despite the beautiful junk that blanketed every corner of the hall.
But I did buy this woven choker necklace for five pounds!
It's been a difficult week, but you know what they say, desperate times call for antiquing - so that's exactly what my Mum and I spent this morning doing. There were vases, radios, perfume, jewellery, World War II memorabilia and bargains aplenty. Due to said 'difficult' week it might take me some time to get my blogging feet back on the ground, but there are posts to come!

P.s. How did you spend your Sunday?

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

September Beauty Favourites

Vaseline Healthy Hands and Strong Nails Hand Cream 
The moment the temperature dropped in the slightest I headed straight to Boots to stock up on hand cream. I wanted something cheap, cheerful and good for the nails (which I've been growing - more on that later) and  this little tube ticked all the boxes. I wouldn't say it has a majorly lasting effect on the hands but they do feel instantly softer and hydrated. Plus, it's compact and handbag friendly for college days.

Maybelline Superstay 24 Hour Concealer
This has to be my highstreet holy grail concealer. I've tried and tested many others, including the much hyped about Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer, but as far as I'm concerned this is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. It's creamy, long wearing, brightening and blendable. Just buy it, okay!?

Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Sienna
Sienna is my all time favourite lipstick. The formula is outstanding, it glides on effortlessly, moisturises, stays put and is beautifully pigmented. It is undoubtedly my go-to colour and looks great on warm complexions   To be frank, I also really like that an accurate colour representation is printed on the top of the tube, (not visible in these photos - oops) but I'm never too picky when it comes to packaging anyway.

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Nude Delight
I bought this and featured it in a haul at the beginning of Summer with a despairing description - the lipstick itself is lovely, but I was convinced it washed me out completely. However, by some bizarre turn of events it has become my nude lip colour of choice! My only qualm with the Rimmel Moisture Renew lippies is that they slide off quite quickly. I suppose I can't help but compare them to the Revlons of the world...
Sienna is like the highly achieving eldest child, and Nude Delight the awkward middle child with average grades that will never quite fit the bill in comparison. Now that, folks, is a weird analogy. Philosophy books are sending me cuckoo.

Burt's Bees Lip Balm
Lovely jubbly. That's all I have to say.

Natural Collection Blush in Peach Melba
A natural, Summery glow in tub for two quid. You just can't go wrong.

Tiger Balm
I occasionally get cramp in my knees and legs in the evenings which makes falling asleep a challenge and a half (just call me Grandma Sara). I have to give credit to my Mum for discovering Tiger Balm as it really is a miracle product. The slogan is 'works where it hurts' and there's no debating that statement! It seems to instantly relax muscle aches and strains. But be warned, this stuff is smelly - try and give it a whiff in your local drugstore without drawing too much attention to yourself... 

Body Shop Kabuki Bronzing Brush
I've wanted a Kabuki brush for such a long time but didn't want to pay a high end price. Luckily, I didn't have to pay anything as this beauty was a birthday present! It has super soft bristles and blends product really easily.

Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle
As I mentioned earlier (and in previous blog posts) I've been growing my nails after a lifetime of biting. This was collecting dust in a bathroom drawer from a past attempt by Mum to break my habit, so I thought I'd give it another go. I'm clearly not very informed on the subject, but my nails seemed to catapult into looking vaguely normal within a few days, and have been looking healthier as everyday goes on. That Sally Hansen knows her stuff!

Here comes the chunky postscript!  
1. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my lovely new followers!
2. Would you like to see a non-beauty favourites post for September?
3. Expect a 10,000 pageviews mini giveaway in the coming week!