Underrated beauty and makeup products

OK so, a lot of times people hype over popular things and upon purchase one discovers they are either amazing or just a bit meugh . . .BUT I feel like some underrated makeup and beauty products need to be mentioned. Often it is because they are affordable or have a bad rep that many simple gloss over ( pun intended haha) their powers. 

I am going to get straight into it, first one of my list is Baby powder as a setting powder. I have yet to find something that works so well and is so easy to apply. I bake my face with baby powder almost everyday and I have personally not noticed any clogged pores or skin imperfections from using it. The staying power is phenomenal and it is great for oily skinned girls as it really works to soak up the oil on the face too. At £2 a bottle what is not to love? I would choose baby powder as a setting powder over any high-end brand without doubt.

Looking for a highly pigmented white eyeliner? MUA £1 white eyeliner. This brand received massive recognition last year for its one pound lipsticks however after a major revamp the other products from the range upgraded hugely. I am such a fan of the white eyeliner because it actually stays put and is a bright shade of white, not just a barely there sliver of silver which rubs off after an hour. The creamy formula just glides onto the waterline effortlessly, I have no idea why people pay more for a white eyeliner when this one is simply a dream product. 

Ok I think this next product is discontinued or in process of being discontinued so scan your local Superdrug clearance bins because B. sculpted contour kit is beautiful. I *think* this is a brand developed by Superdrug anyway, I discovered the contour kit last year and after it ran out I thought nothing of it but then a few months later I really appreciated how cool toned the contour shade was, so it differed from a bronzer in tone hugely! The highlight it comes with, a kind of clear gel, was pretty useless so I only used this little kit for the contour and just a few days ago I found one kit in Superdrug reduced to £1.99! I was chuffed! I kind of wish I stocked up on a few of them and best believe I will be going back shortly to see if the store I visited still have them. This contour powder doesn’t make my skin shiny, it doesn’t oxidize and it lasts all day particularly on my nose which is where I use it on the most. 

All of the George at Asda primers! I don’t know the exact names of all of the primers but I am honestly blown away by these little tubes! I really liked the luminous primer and the matte primer as both do what they say. The texture is creamy but still very much liquid, think the texture of a slightly runny moisturizer. I discovered this primer on a whim when I was last-minute holiday packing and ran to Asda ( I literally live next door) to grab the cheapest primer I could find. I was pleasantly surprised and will be repurchasing. I feel like supermarket own makeup often is looked down upon but having such a positive experience with a cheap primer ( it was 3 pounds!) has made me braver to try supermarket branded makeup occasionally as I do believe in the saying ” Buy cheap, Buy twice”

Eyebrow razors! They are sold for less than £1 online and whilst I wouldn’t use them on my brows I love removing cheek fuzz with them because it removes the top layer of dust on the skin too. THIS IS NOT A REGULAR RAZOR AT ALL. It looks like a thin stick with ONE single blade used to remove hair in small areas like the corners of brows but you can literally remove fine hairs in a flash with this tool which makes makeup glide on so much better! Makeup doesn’t get stuck in the hairs meaning a smoother canvas. 

I also really rate L’Oreal mascaras as a whole over high-end mascaras ( you will know how much I rave about them if you follow my posts) and Lauren Goodger ” Lauren’s Way” fake tan! It is one of the only tans that actually is super dark ,like it states on the bottle ,and olive based, you can see results so quickly, but it is a nightmare to remove after it starts to go patchy as it doesn’t come off easily which can be a good thing and a bad thing.

Any products you guys think need more attention? Let me know!

Beauty found in your kitchen?

We have all seen Instagram come alive with a ton of DIY makeup hacks and skin care secrets found in the kitchen, I always thought these were a little bit irrelevant but after doing some research and experimenting some tricks were actually surprising.

As well as many of the norms that are plastered of the internet, I am also going to mention some own great ways your kitchen can help your beauty regime as some of these tips I have used for years.

Lemons- My go-to when I want to remove my fake tan! Lemon juice almost dissolves any patchy tan due to its acidic nature. I apply lemon juice on to a small cloth and scrub in circular motions. It really helps to remove stubborn areas of fake tan much better than many tan removers out there and lemons are literally 30 pence!

Another obvious one with lemons is mixing with baking soda to form a paste and use to whiten teeth but truthfully I have not seen any benefit to this at all. I feel like the mixture may damage the teeth more than whiten as I certainly didn’t notice any whitening on my teeth after doing this for a month.  I guess everyone is different though so it may work better for others.

Sugar- Again an obvious one, but wonderful for any type of exfoliating especially when combined with the lemons! For example, it can be made into a scrub for lips or into an exfoliate for the body, I use one cup of sugar and one lemon to form a gritty paste when I have run out of exfoliating scrub. I think a bonus to this is that you know there are no harsh or nasty chemicals in the scrub.

Egg whites- Whisk one egg white until it is kind of foamy and paste it on to the skin for ten minutes as a mask to target pores. Hey if it is good for Kim Kardashian then . . .

Mayonnaise- Put. It. On. Your. Hair. You guys will thank me later, so nourishing for the hair and it promotes hair growth due to proteins in the egg. I try to do this once a week and I feel that it really seals split ends. I leave it on my hair for an hour then wash off with water and then shampoo.

Honey- Use the TINIEST bit to use as a facial lotion, it really gives such a glow to the skin and whilst I don’t know the science behind it my skin always looks so smooth after applying a tiny drop of honey on to my face. It is slightly sticky but it kind of seeps into the skin, I remove any excess with a warm towel.

Banana- Great for hair and for face. A mashed up banana and honey can be used to condition hair but also to put on to the face as a thick mask to promote radiance. I have never tried this but almost everyone I know swears by this so I need to jump on to the bandwagon!

Coconut oil- Can use for all! Lather it all over the body, put in your mouth as a mouthwash to whiten teeth and get rid of bacteria, use in hair to seal split ends and create glossy locks, use for lips as a lip balm and finally rub into eyelashes for conditioned lashes. Coconut oil has been so hyped up this past year for a reason, it simply delivers in many ways.

Olive oil- This is a fantastic one for cuticles as a little olive oil on cotton wool or a cotton pad nourishes the nail bed which over consistent use helps to grow strong and healthy nails. This is one of my faves. 

Cocoa Powder- Ok this one is for my fellow brunette babes, if you are running out of dry shampoo but need to refresh your hair then a small dusting of cocoa powder on to the hairline absorbs any oil temporarily. I have no idea why this trick doesn’t get more recognition because it works wonders!

Flour- Another one for people who like to fake tan, after washing off fresh tan there is always fear that there may be some colour transfer in areas such as elbows, underarms, wrists, neck and ankles so rubbing flour into these areas helps to create a barrier between your clothing and your skin meaning no stains.

Honestly some of these tricks save so much money and time, for example I can get through a ton of body scrub but I don’t wanna be paying £7 per bottle every two days! Sugar and lemon is literally under £1

Any tips you guys have for beauty straight from the kitchen?

 

 

Hair Extension Help

IMG_8130 (Hair extensions firmly clipped in here)

I have been wearing hair extensions for the longest time, so I feel I defo can give an insight! Whilst my hair is not that much shorter than my extensions, I like them for volume and for a little length. Truthfully I have had the same hair extension set for 2 years because I have looked after them well and the quality is wonderful! I got mine from Cliphair.co.uk and my shade is chocolate-brown although I did have to dye them to get them to match better as my hair is very light at the ends. I am honestly blown away by the customer service, the quick delivery and the products themselves. The choice of shades is beyond the standard black-brown-blonde-red colours that a lot of hair extensions seem to focus on. Cliphair offers so many different tones and lengths that it really is virtually impossible not to find something to suit you.  I am wearing two head sets but my mum kindly sewed them on to one track so that it would be less clips! 

One thing I would suggest to make hair extensions last is to avoid putting a lot of product on them such as hairspray as this requires you to wash them more often and then when you straighten them the hair kind of burns. I also try to make sure I leave the extensions to air dry as much as possible before I switch to a hair dryer. I see a lot of people use shampoo specifically for hair extensions but after looking at the ingredients I feel baby shampoo is gentle enough for hair extensions and costs just a few pounds so it saves you serious money.

After I remove my hair extensions I always brush them and store them in a loose bag so that they are not tangled when I next wear them. It gives me anxiety seeing so many women just throw their hair extensions on their desk in a massive clump! It goes without saying, you get what you pay for. I always make sure I buy human hair because it lasts so much longer and looks much more real. Human hair can be pricey but Cliphair regularly do discounts and offers as well as incredibly affordable prices as it is.

If in doubt of your shade, always get lighter! This way you can dye them easier as it is always easier to go from light shades to dark rather than dark hair dye to light. I was really impressed with Vidal Sassoon Hair dye as it was strong enough to dye hair extensions and there was very little colour transfer, in fact virtually none. I did have to use around 4 boxes of hair dye though . . .  Truthfully it was hard to get even distribution of hair dye on to the hair extensions but I would gently massage the dye into the hair and kind of rub it so that there was no patchy areas.

I think so many girls get worried the clips are going to show when wearing hair extensions and my advice would be to put as many clips as you can at the bottom of your hair and work your way up with less clips. The bottom of the head isn’t going to be visible unless you are constantly doing hand stands or something! Also in all my years wearing hair extentions I have never experienced any hair extentions falling out unexpectedly- largely due to the quality of the clips ( touch wood haha)

I would like to point out, whilst clip in hair extensions are one of the less damaging forms of extensions they do still cause damage over long-periods of time and can lead to a stop in hair growth as I experienced a few years ago. I recommend taking Biotin tablets and fish oil to promote hair growth and give your hair a break from time to time from extensions!

Hope some of this info was useful! Has anyone tried vixen and blush clip in extensions by the way? I would love to try out the Russian quality of the hair but wanna know if anyone has tried it? Sadly I wasn’t blessed with the Russian hair genes of my mum and sister. .  .

This wasn’t sponsored or anything! I genuinely love Cliphair extensions seeing as I have tried so many in the past!

Falsies without using falsies . . .

IMG_6844

If you know me personally you will know I love long and thick looking lashes but truthfully falsies just scare me! I always get worried they will just come off at the worst moment or that the weight of the lash will turn my eye red. Over the years I have found some ways in which you can achieve a falsie look without actually wearing them. People always ask me if I am wearing fake lashes and I never do so knowing these tricks work is a major boost!

Before I start I understand everyone has different types of natural eyelashes, mine are on the long side but they have no curl whatsoever and are not as thick as I like them to be naturally.

  1. Prepping lashes is key! Ever heard that old trick of applying Vaseline to lashes overnight to promote healthy grow and to nourish them? I defo swear by this but instead I use Castor oil which is known for its encouragement of the growth of hair follicles. I simply apply a little on to my finger and smudge it into my lashes before bed, but be warned its kinda sticky so applying with a cotton pad is also an option! I brought my bottle of Castor oil in a health store for around £10 ( 500 ml I believe) and I honestly get so much use out of it because I sometimes use to cleanse my face. Note: I recently saw an article stating Castor oil had made someone’s lashes fall out, whilst this is extremely rare please make sure you are buying Castor oil from health shops as supermarket versions may contain additives which irritate the skin)
  2. Dust powder onto lashes before you put any makeup on them. I learn this from makeup guru HudaBeauty. The powder on the lashes acts as a primer and helps to thicken up the dimensions of the lashes pre-application of mascara. I have tried actual mascara primers in the past and meurghhhhhh I wasn’t impressed. I don’t think a mascara primer makes all that much difference and the use of powder gives a more weightless feel to the lashes. I just use my regular setting powder to dust onto my lashes with a brush, I don’t feel like it has to be a specific powder to work.
  3. Invest in an eyelash curler for your eye shape. I can not preach this enough! Before I would just use any affordable eyelash curler but recently I invested in an eyelash curler for big eyes from Sephora and I am so happy with the placement of the curl as it fits my eye shape wonderfully. Sephora have a few curlers for different eye shapes such as almond and small eyes and they come with a few replacement pads too. I wholly recommend investing in this beauty tool as it drastically makes a difference as to how awake your eyes look because it lifts them at the root which makes lashes appear longer.
  4. YES THE MASCARA IS KEY! Not all mascaras achieve the same purpose, as I am sure you are all aware there are tons of mascaras out there with different selling points. I have noticed that a mascara with a plastic wands lengthens much better than a mascara with a bristle wand as the bristles tend to add more volume. For this reason I use both! My current faves are L’oreal False Lash Sculpt in Black for length followed by L’oreal Voluminous Lash for volume. In my eyes L’oreal can do no wrong when it comes to mascara and truthfully I would buy L’oreal mascara over any high-end brand! The Voluminous Lash masacara is a total dupe for Lancome’s Star masacara. Both the L’oreal mascaras mentioned come in brown too for all you people who prefer brown masacara.
  5. Apply the mascara as close to the root as humanely possible! So many times I see people applying it from half way from their lash meaning the mascara is visible as there is a line of natural lash colour and then mascara colour. Therefore that old trick of looking down when applying mascara is defo relevant here! It just makes everything look more “natural” and seamless as there is no clear start to where you applied your mascara. Also spend time stretching out the product of the mascara on the ends of the lashes by lifting with the wand to the side and spacing the lashes out as it creates a lovely butterfly look to the lashes which is often achieved with falsies.

Hopefully these little tricks work for you guys! Anyone want to wade in on the eyelash primer debate? Worth it or nah? I can’t help but think it is just an extra step that is unnecessary but do any of you have a lash primer you swear by?!

Can we just rave about these products . .

YOU GUYS, I honestly can not speak more highly about the following products. I have been using all of these for a while now and it is fair to say I am obsessed with them. Most of them are available in supermarkets and they are defo worth purchasing as they give such benefits to the face.

  1. Neutrogena Visibly Clear Oil Free Moisturizer. If you guys have seen my previous blog posts, you will know I have oily skin so this oil free face cream has been my staple product. I apply it before I put my makeup on as well as at night and it does such a wonderful job of keeping oil shine at bay. It costs around £4 which is super affordable and I have yet to find a better oil free face cream. On top of this the lotion is not sticky and dries quickly. It is such a multi-use product and I really recommend any oily skinned ladies like myself to invest in it.
  2. Sally Hansen Cuticle Nail Oil. Looking after my nail beds has been something I only started to do this year and I am already noticing such a difference in the quality and strength of my nails. The cuticles are crucial to nourish for long and healthy nails so after applying this everyday for a month I have genuinely seen my nails grow much healthier and stronger. The trick is to paint on bare nails and gently massage in into the skin, when you paint your nails make sure to remove all traces of the oil though! It costs around £7 and you can buy it in all large supermarkets. Sally Hansen is the queen of nails after all . . . .
  3. L’Oreal Brow Artist Brow Mascara ( shade medium/dark) I am not one to really fill in my brows with a ton of product but what I do like to do is keep my brows groomed and defined. This brow mascara keeps my brows in place and doesn’t add too much colour to my already dark brows. The brush is small enough to ensure precision when coating and the bristles grip enough product meaning only a little is needed. This was about £7 and I honestly feel it does the job just as well as the Benefit Brow Gel. Whilst there are only a few shade choices, the colour is not super intense meaning you can get away with a shade slightly lighter or darker.
  4. E.L.F Poreless Face Primer. I adore the consistency of this primer. My pores look smaller and my makeup just glides on. I am a real fan of E.L.F products as they are professional looking and have such a good quality to them considering the low price tag. This primer feels like a mix between a gel and cream and creates such a smooth canvas. It was about £5 and I got it in America but E.L.F do have a website so I really recommend checking it out! Other products from the range worth buying are the Liquid Setting Spray/ Face Mist and the white baking powder for setting concealer under the eyes. The best part? All under £5 the last time I looked.
  5. Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation. My saviour. Not only does it give full coverage but it is so long-lasting. I honestly can go a full day without touch ups! Yes I put it to the test when I had to be at the airport for 34 hours without re-applying my makeup and it passed. The applicator is genius as you can use it as a concealer too meaning this product serves many purposes.OK at £25 it is not the cheapest but it is also not the most expensive high-end foundation out there! It is also oil free and fabulous for sensitive skin. The shade ranges are categorised into tones so you can be sure to find a shade and tone that ou are happy with. For reference I wear shade 8 in Golden Neutral which is the most yellow tone from the range.

If you buy one product with your wages this month make sure it is one of these. I have been blown away by these products hence always re-purchasing them whenever I run low.

Let me know if you guys have tried any of these!

Sample game? STRONG

Who doesn’t love grabbing new samples at makeup stores? But sample collecting can actually save you a load of money if you are savvy . . .

I wanted to quickly write about a way to save money on foundation for those times when you really can’t afford to splurge out on a new full-sized bottle. You know those mini pots and bottles sales assistants put samples of foundation in? They can easily last a week. By storing these little samples and requesting them regularly your foundation supply will last much longer. I used to live off a sample pot every week for about 3 months meaning I didn’t have to buy foundation. Sneaky? Oh yes, but beneficial? Without a doubt.

Most makeup stores will willingly give out foundation samples but there is a certain technique to it. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Obviously don’t go to the same department store every time to request samples. The sales assistants will just realise you are rinsing their sample supply. 
  2. Once you know which shade you love, always make sure you request that shade so you are given a colour you are happy with, say something along the lines of ” I got a sample of ( insert shade lighter) but it is too light, can I have a sample of ( insert the shade you want) to try” This ensures you are given the correct shade, if you repeat this in a few department stores you will have 4 samples of foundation which can last you a month.
  3. Most glossy magazines feature adverts on foundation, rip out those pages as usually small print at the bottom says ” bring in this advert for a free 10 day sample” Most times you won’t need to show the advert but it is good to have just in case some sales assistants are snooty and less than willing to give you a sample.
  4. Always mention your skin type. When I want to buy a new foundation I always ask for a sample as I have oily skin and some foundations just don’t help that.This technique is pretty much certain to get you a sample as certain foundations work for certain skin types better, a person will dry skin will appreciate a creamy formula much more than a person with oily skin so always ask if the foundation will suit your skin and then ask for a sample so you can try it yourself.
  5. Don’t be disappointed if you are told ” we don’t have that shade in sample size” as you can ask for the closest shade to perhaps mix with your other foundations. The skin is not all one colour on the face therefore different shades of foundation within the same colour spectrum actually can add more dimension to the face. I never just apply one shade of foundation over my face.

I hope this quick guide helps you ladies out, hey broke college students I know the feeling perfectly of not having money for full-sized foundation . . .

Beauty secrets I learnt at KIKO MILANO

Last year I worked at KIKO MILANO for 7 months and I genuinely adored my job. Not only were the staff wonderful but I learnt so many tips and tricks from the company but also the staff which I wanted to share.

  • When cleaning brushes, the quickest and easiest way to do so is by spritzing some brush cleaner into a tissue and swirling the brush around until there is barely any colour transfer from brush to the tissue. Before I would just rub the brush into a bar of soap which heavily ruined the bristles of my brushes.
  • This one isn’t really a secret as it was something staff had to do everyday but SHARPEN SHARPEN SHARPEN! Everytime you apply a pencil product always sharpen it! Not only will it give you a more clean and precise look but it gives you more control when applying the product on your face.
  • I worked with the queen of liquid eyeliner ( Sharan if you ever see this I am talking about you!) and she told me the brush of liquid eyeliner makes such a difference in terms of the ease of application. Now I only look for thin brushes which offer more precision. For me personally, chunky brushes are just harder to use.
  • Eyeshadows can make wonderful contours. KIKO has such an amazing range of shadows and the pigments are generally fairly strong therefore some taupe shades or earthy tones make effective contours. A slightly grey shadow makes a much better contour than some typical contour pallets which tend to be orangey.
  • Don’t neglect fixing spray. My colleagues would use fixing spray for every makeup look and I genuinely think it makes a difference. When I was working a long shift I would apply fixing spray in the mornings before my shift and my makeup would last up until closing. I never really used fixing spray before working at KIKO but now I can’t go without it. I do prefer the liquid setting sprays much more than the aerosol ones but that is because it adds a more dewy finish.
  • Applying lip liner before lipstick can help to make it stay put for longer as the lipstick has something to grip on to. It doesn’t have to be a lip primer specifically but just putting something before your lipstick really helps keep the colour in place.
  • Prepping skin is essential for a long-lasting look. Removing all traces of makeup before a fresh application as well as priming and applying lotion really contribute to a glowing complexion.
  • Dabbing your face with tissue after you have done your makeup gets rid of any excess such as those annoying powdery patches of blusher which collect on baby hairs.

Anyone else worked or work at KIKO?