Thursday, 26 June 2014

the only reds you could ever need

Lately I've been revamping and de-cluttering my room, and I've been thinking about ways of streamlining my ever-growing collection more and more. One thing I have way way too many of is red lipsticks. Although I will probably never stop buying them, more than ten red lip products is really too many for the average person. In fact, I've shortlisted my favourites to just three key red lip products to help you achieve every look you could want without the heavy price tag.

1. The Buildable Balm: A red tinted balm is any red lip virgin's best friend. Plus perfect for daytime. The Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me is the best I've found; one layer is a your lips but better tinge, two or three and you can build up punchy, sheer colour. Summer red, check!

2. The Blue Red Liner: The winter red. These tend to be darker than your orangey reds and super flattering (really eye and teeth whitening too). It layers fine under orange-reds without changing the undertone as well as being gorgeous on its own. Now you could have this as a lipstick, but having it in a liner like Barry M Lip Liner in 03 also gives you the option to create a subtle ombre lip look with darker tones around the outside. Ombre = fuller, sexier lips.

3. The Orange Red Lippy: A failsafe and an all year favourite. Can be layered over the darker liner or worn alone for a bright pop. If you're feeling ill, hungover, or had one too many late nights an orange red lip like Nars Red Square or Mac Lady Danger can perk you up in a jiffy. Here your balm can come in to create another look, layered on top to create a juicy but full pigment look. Gorgeous in photos too. Or you can layer with the blue red liner to create a more true red, if you have some time on your hands.

So there you have it, a balm tint, a stronger sheer gloss, a blue toned red, an orange toned red, an ombre, a true red, a glossy take on both reds, a range of shades and finished for all seasons and all occasions. In just three products. I'm proud even if I do say so myself.

What red's do you rely on? What are your multitasking favourites? Could you stick to just three lipsticks?
Charlotte xx

Monday, 23 June 2014

the review: theBalm Mary-Lou Luminizer


I've been wanting to review The Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer for a while now as here in the UK it's not an easy to product to get hold of outside of London, and not one you're able to swatch or see in person. But there's no swatch here, I hear you say. Well the reason I haven't is because the swatch really doesn't do this product justice. This highlighter has to be the most natural in terms of texture and blendability (is that a word?) I have ever used, so much that it doesn't look like anything but a lovely natural sheen to the skin that is only obvious in person. On the face it is a million times better than the swatched (which are also gorgeous, fyi). Helpful, I know. But it does mean that it doesn't matter that you can't see it. Mary-Lou is one of three offerings, one more pink and one for more tanned tones. It wears really well and despite being really natural, it is very strong pigmented as well, so a little goes a long way and is very very buildable. I've been wearing this day and night, just adding more, and also taking a big brush to add all over glow lightly, I stress lightly. I've warned you it's pigmented so don't go in heavy handed here. It really does luminise beautifully just as it claims. For £16 full price it's not the most budget friendly but not the most expensive, and look out for offers on Asos or Feel Unique, there's always plenty of them. I really think this is a highlighter that will suit all as it isn't heavily warm or cool toned and is just soooo natural on the skin. You can catch me wearing it in this pic. 
After this I'd love to delve into more The Balm products, what do you recommend?
Charlotte xx

Friday, 20 June 2014

prep school

Some days we all find ourselves in a bit of a face rut. Nomatter what makeup we try, it just doesn't look its best. Or the products we're used to just don't seem to be doing it for us any more. I know for one I have these days a lot. But over time I've realised three key ways to avoid bad face days (I still haven't found the cure for bad hair days though).

1. Moisturise. I seriously believe there is no such thing as over moisturising. But before makeup it's one of those steps that is all too easy to skip in the early mornings, especially if you're oily and think this will just make the situation worse. But in fact I combatted my teenage oily nightmares with lots and lots of moisture. I actually find the more I try to dry my skin, the more it goes wild. Smoothing on a light and refreshing moisturiser like Soap and Glory Feel Good Factor Translucent BB Cream before your primer or foundation will make the whole process a lot smoother, dry or not. By giving my face a drink, I find I get much less patchiness and wear throughout the day.

2. Lip Balm. A morning prep with lip balm can make the world of difference if you'll be wearing lipstick, especially matte lipstick which I am a sucker for. Although any lip balm will give some hydration, putting on something extra thick like Dr Lipp's Nipple Balm for Lips (my holy grail lip balm) will get your lips supple and smooth in no time. I like to apply this while I do all other makeup, brush it off when I brush my teeth for a bit of exfoliation and then apply lippy. Dry patches be gone!

3. Tweeze. Obviously this one is not such a daily occurrence. But having well shaped eyebrows before you begin can make all the difference. It's not so much the shape or thickness that's the issue but the tiny strays that you often miss that once my full face is done can just make the whole thing look not finished. If you can't pinpoint just what's wrong, have a closer look at them arches. A couple of plucks and you might just be looking at a brand new you. Tweezerman Tweezers are the only ones I've found to pluck the tiniest hairs with ease.

What are your top prepping tips? As always I love to hear from everyone!
Charlotte xx

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

worth the splurge or resist the urge? glamglow mud mask

Welcome to a new feature I just thought up here on GAB : worth the splurge or resist the urge? I'm going to be testing out more expensive goodies to hopefully help fellow beauty addicts stop regretting those naughty purchases (I am only a poor student though so don't expect this reviews to be coming thick and fast, haha). First up is the much hyped Mud Mask by GlamGlow....

So what's all the fuss about the newest cult mask to circulate the bloggersphere? That's what I was wondering until I picked up this very expensive skincare gem, maybe the most expensive beauty product I have ever bought in terms of how much product you get. This baby set me back a whole £25 for just 15ml (which is around the size of a tub of carmex lip balm), and compared to my Una Brennan or Origins mask lover-lovers only offers around 5 full-face uses. I really didn't think I would ever fork out that many pennies for such little product, but after hearing that you can actually see it pulling the oil out of your face I couldn't resist. Plus I got £5 off (still trying to convince myself that it was a bargain). 
I've included a not so attractive picture of it in action below. As you can see it dries to a light green colour which tightens the face in the typical way. Think Hillary Duff's step-mum in A Cinderella Story (brownie points for knowing this reference). It does tingle on the face A LOT so if you're on the sensitive side I don't know if you'd love this, but it doesn't leave the face too tight or dry. Plus the tiny dots you can see on my nose, that's the oil coming out. It's kinda gross, but kinda cool too, and it makes me feel like it really is working. I would say make sure to feed your skin with moisture afterwards though if you are oily to avoid your skin going into oil-making overload. 
In terms of the effects, I've used this three times now and each time I have seen brighter and clearer skin which feels uber-smooth. I think it's perfect for prepping your skin for a special occasion or night out, but I'm not convinced it makes a lasting impact in overall improvement in the same way my Una Brennan Tea Flower Clay Mask has. Maybe this is just because I can't afford to use it twice a week with such a hefty price tag. 

Overall I really like this mask, and having tried it out on a couple of my nearest and dearest, I think it will work wonders for really oily or problem skin. I've been quite dry lately, so I'm not the target audience, but I still saw visible and immediate results. Plus there was no redness which means I could go straight out. If you have the extra pennies, this is absolutely worth a try, but once it's gone I don't think it impressed me enough to make me throw out my alternatives and repurchase. I'll be saving this for sudden breakouts, nights out and maybe keep applying it just to my nose to clear any clogged pores. I really feel that had it been cheaper, this could have been a holy grail product, shame!

Verdict: If you're oily, worth the splurge. If you have so called 'normal' skin, resist that urge!

Have you tried glamglow? What did you think?

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Review: Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette

Way back in December I first dipped my toe into Too Faced with their Smokey Eye Palette, and instantly it was love. Fast forward six months to some serious palette craving and a cheeky purchase of this beauty, the Natural Eyes Palette. This is a new version of their old bestseller but I actually didn't realise this until about four days after I ordered it and saw reviews popping up here there and everywhere. I'm a massive sucker for neutral eyeshadows, and have been looking to expand my matte collection for a while now. It was the top row (first three) shades that really sold this for me, but since arriving it's the middle row that I've used the most. Saying that, I've already got good use of the whole palette, I've worn it a lot lot lot. Every single day in fact. As with all Too Faced eyeshadows these are incredibly pigmented and easy to blend, plus the shades are super wearable. There's none of them annoying shades that you will never use and wish was something else that always seem to sneak into palettes. I like that there isn't too many light shades in here, as I'm a smokey kinda gal, but Silk Teddy is a gorgeous highlight and Heaven makes the perfect base shade or matte highlight. Also, I love that Nudie comes in a larger size as matte light browns are my most used shadows by far, for bases, under eye smudges, or subtle crease definition. It also makes a fab transition colour to prevent block shadow.I must admit I kinda wish there was a matte black in there, but I know that's not a shade most people look for. At £32, it's not cheap but for the amount I will use it I don't consider it ridiculous either.  

It's also so slim and sleek but with the normal size shadows which makes it perfect for travelling. I've been taking it out with me during the day, and that's saying something for me as I never carry makeup. You ain't gonna find me trekking around with a Naked Palette, but this one hasn't left my side.

If you have any extra pennies and fancy treating yourself, I can't recommend this more. I'd go as far as saying this baby is my new best friend. Does that make me crazy?

The Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette is £32, available here.

Charlotte xx

Design by | SweetElectric