30 July 2011

July Favourites :)

What a month it's been! I've spent so much on make up this month, that it's only expected that I have a favourites crammed with raving and freaking out to myself about the lovely products I've found this month - so very excited for you guys to see! :) It's a bit different from past months where I'm showing you guys products that I've had for a while and loved particularly that month - it's more like a ravefest of new goodies :) Enjoy!

And as for some blogs I've loved this month.. (and the first one I finally found the link to thanks to Charlotte - who's also listed below!) :)

Hope you all had a lovely July! Here are some snaps of the lovely Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds areas that I took while travelling :)

See you in August :)

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28 July 2011

Graduation OOTD/FOTD (& Some Mulberry Lovin'..) :)

I must admit, this graduation was much less emotional than my high school graduation, but it was a day to share my university experience with my parents who was never able to visit me during my time there. I got to see my coursemates who I admittedly didn't spend too much time with bar 2 or 3, and I guess most relevant to my blog is that I got to dress up ;).

Lisa & I :)
Credit: Lisa's Dad :D

Yes, I realise my dress is 90% under the gown - but it's a beige dress from Debenham's, with a really cool collar that was completely lost in this ridiculous gown! The shoes were suede-ish red heels from Dorothy Perkins. I also got my hair done at a lovely hairdressers in Stratford-upon-Avon.

For my face, I went for a natural look, and here is what I wore:

Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation in RF233
Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer
MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC35
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach
Bourjois Compact Powder in 73 Miel Dore
NARS Blush in Luster

Clinique Super Fine Liner for Brows in 03 Deep Brown
MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre
MAC Eyeshadow in Patina
MaxFactor False Lash Effect Mascara
UNE SkinGlow Pencil in G07

17 Mirror Shine Lipstick in Beehive

BA Sociology Class of '11 :)
Credit: Lisa's Dad! :D

So all in all it was a lovely day - it wasn't sentimental or exciting as it was left way too long after exams! But I had a really enjoyable day, being nervous about tripping, taking photos, catching up with coursemates, and just with everyone there in one place :) My mom, dad and grandma, I assume, were happy to be there, and us four and Ben all went to dinner afterwards at a Chinese which was lovely!

Aaaaaaand, the gift I bought myself, as promised in the previous post.. :)

Mulberry Locked Cosmetic Purse in Oak

My first self-purchased designer brand item :) I've been carrying it around absolutely EVERYWHERE as both a pouch inside a bigger bag, and as a clutch. It fits everything - powder, lipbalm/lipsticks, blotting paper, painkillers, camera, phone - it's REALLY deceiving, and needless to say - PERFECT! :) I'm not sure I'll ever need another clutch/pouch/make-up bag!

I love the little embossed Mulberry logos, but the bird CRACKED me up! To be honest, the buying part was an experience - it was me, stood in the Knightsbridge shop with my boyfriend, uhm-ing and ah-ing. I decided to take the plunge when I realised that if I walked out of the shop without it, I wouldn't be pleased that I saved money - I'd be gutted that I didn't get what I've wanted for so long!

The woman who sold it to me wasn't amazing - she was sweet, but in the process of explaining aftercare, she decided to mention that it was made out of calf skin - who wants to hear that?! I felt like a murderer for about 5 minutes after that, even considering reversing the purchase despite not being an anti-leather person, vegetarian, or a vegan by any stretch of the imagination.

Anyway, after that, the attaching of the unnecessary bird commenced, which very much reminded me of the scene with Rowan Atkinson in Love Actually - I was twitching to not start laughing, as was Ben from what I could tell :P

Despite setting me back quite a bit, I haven't spent a second regretting it. It's perfect, my pride and joy, and something I intend on using and cherishing forever! :) Strangely this has made me want to save, not so much in the way of - crap, I've spent so much, but mostly in the sense that it feels REALLY good to spend money on something you absolutely adore, rather than buying cheap bits and bobs that you may or may not like. And thus commences my saving for my next Mulberry lust.. the Chocolate Bayswater.

Anyone felt like that before? :)

Anyway.. that was a long rambly post! Hope you guys enjoyed it anyway :)

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26 July 2011

A Big Fat "I'm Back!" Haul :)

So why have I been so on-and-off? To explain in short, after moving out from university, I spent 1 week in Malta, 2 weeks with my boyfriend and his family, and 1 week with my family to attend my graduation - and now I am back at my parents' house in Tokyo, Japan :)

During this time I've done some major shopping - some essential bits that you can see here. But I've also really been treating myself to make up for my graduation (OOTD/FOTD post coming soon!) as well as just.. stuff. Haha! So here they are!

The bits I picked up for my graduation were the Illamasqua Rich Liquid foundation, the MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre and NARS blush in Luster :) The MAC 224 was an impulse buy at the airport, when I saw it discounted - it's a brush that I know I will get at one point, so why not at a discount? :P I love the finish it gives to concealer - def a must have!

I went to the Trafford Centre looking for a natural blush for my grad, and I was set on MAC's Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul, but when I swatched it I found it pinkier than what I was looking for, so I gave up and was wandering about NARS when I realised - they're my favourite blushes, so why am I not turning to them?!

NARS Luster is one in a million. It's a gorgeous peach tan with a golden sheen, which works as a 3-in-1 of highlighter, blusher and contour. I absolutely adore this - it's up there with Orgasm and Sin, and is perfect for a tan or a natural glow :) That being said it might have been a bit too sheen-ey for the flash photography at grad - you can be the judge of that in my grad post :D

The palette you see up top is my ArtDeco palette that I got a while ago in my Berlin haul. I photographed it to show you the Camouflage Cream, which is like a concealer, and the beige-ish eyeshadow, both of which my friend Lisa picked up for me while she was in Berlin - they don't disappoint :D Thanks Lisa!

The Illamasqua Rich Liquid foundation was my foundation of choice for my graduation - full coverage, matte, not too expensive, and no SPF. This thing is INDUSTRIAL. I'll do a full post on how I use this and how it turns out,  but you mix it with a face primer, or else it is like.. Sudocrem. That being said - in love :) Just a bit tricky to use!

The lovely 25FLONDON sent me a sample of the much talked about UDPP, but due to incompetent university post room policies, I never got it :( So I went for MAC's Paint Pot in Soft Ochre - because from where I was, Harrod's was closer than Debenham's :P I haven't worn eyeshadow recently, but I can safely say it did the job on the big day :)

Now for the biggy.. the Chanel Poudre Universelle Compacte.

I really really wanted a nice, on-the-go natural powder. My MAC MSFN has been letting me down with the lack of mirror, crumbliness and lack of oil control, the Maybelline Mattifying Powder is atm too light for me, and my all time favourite mattifying powder, the Bourjois Compact, is on the verge of cracking (again). What better excuse to indulge in my first ever Chanel? :)

I was always reluctant to buy something else from Chanel - the packaging is always so gorgeous, so I wanted something that I'd carry around and take out - casually of course ;) HAHAHA (vain!).

The Poudre Universelle Compacte is Chanel's "for everyone" powder, which claims to give a transparent satin finish. Honestly, it does. It's not amazing at oil control but honestly, that's only something I need in the summer and the finish is to die for. So far, I much prefer this to the MAC MSFN, not only because of the more portable-friendly packaging, but because it really does disappear into your skin! Hopefully I will have a full review when I have used it more :) But so far - impressed!

And a sneak peek at my graduation gift to myself..

I try not to add up how much I've spent in this haul :P Anyway, with that - I will be back to regular posting, of both blogs and videos, hopefully for atleast another 2 months :) Thanks for sticking with me guys!

Have you used any of these products?
How have you been?! Let me know! :D

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21 July 2011

The Goodness of Skintone Eyeliners: UNE SkinGlow Pencils

I remember when I was completely addicted to black eyeliner - I didn't need or want anything else on my face, if I had this I was good to go! For better or for worse, those days are gone!

In its place, though to a much less degree of essential-ness than black eyeliners in the past, are skintone coloured eyeliners, and the one in particular is the UNE SkinGlow Pencil, which retails at around £7 from Boots or Superdrug. I chose this over white eyeliners for the obvious reason - it looks more natural, especially on medium-toned skintones like mine!

The reason why I got this was because I liked the idea of having brightened and awake eyes, and while it does do that, I think the best way to describe its function is to say that it defines your eyes without looking unnatural.

Black eyeliners really bring out your eyes, but it makes it 10x obvious that you're wearing make up, and on a darker skintone like mine, so do white eyeliners. Personally, this isn't a look I go for in the summer, so I wanted this definition without the obvious make-up.

Up close I suppose it's still a little bit obvious, even if this is G04, the darkest shade they have. In this pic I suppose it wouldn't make a difference if I'd gone for a white eyeliner instead!

But from afar, it really does do your eyes a favour - brightens, get rids of the redness on your waterline, and it defines your eyes.

I find that this particular eyeliner doesn't last very long - but unlike black eyeliners where you are constantly worried whether you look like a panda from melting eyeliner, this is a walk in the park because even if it melts it's not so obvious under your eyes, and the eyeliner is easy enough to carry around :) So no harm in being forgetful like me and forgetting to occassionally wipe under my eyes or top up on make up!

So yes - for the summer days atleast, I am a complete convert to skintone eyeliners. That being said, sometimes I do forget to put it on - I mean, it's fleshtone at the end of the day! But I think it's a great thing to have in general for that little oomph to your eyes, especially for days with really red or tired eyes!

How do you keep your eyes natural during the summer? :)


P.S. Apologies for the lack of posting/tweeting - I've been on holiday with my family, as they are here in the UK to see me graduate on Friday! :) Will hopefully be back in business on Monday, from good old Japan :) I've got lots to show you, so I'm very excited! Keep in touch :)
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15 July 2011

Peach Poison's Affordable Swarovski Jewelry

Swarovski is one of those brands that I love looking at because the designs are often very classy or cute - but the price is insanity and way beyond what I can afford. So when I found Peach Poison Jewelry I was ecstatic!

Peach Poison Jewelry is run by Lucy, and she sells genuine Swarovski crystal jewelry which she designs herself for a very reasonable price - usually around £20 for necklaces, or even less! I've been emailing her to customize my own Swarovski necklace, but in the end, I bought something she designed herself called the "Warrior Heart" - here is the beauty itself:

"The Warrior Heart necklace was inspired by strong, tough, confident girls who are fighters and stand up for what they believe is right. The large Pegasus Swarovski stone represents the tough side of a girl, and the Swarovski heart crystal represents her softer side."

I picked the Warrior because I wanted something relatively neutral and wearable with anything - I also thought the Topaz is a great summery colour :) The crystals are a bit bigger than I thought they'd be, and I thought they might be more appropriate on a longer chain - but it works! I also like how I can take one charm off if I want to :)

The chain and leaf bails that fasten to crystal are sterling silver, and the crystals are genuine Swarovski. These ones in particular are the large Topaz Heart and the large Moonlight Pegasus crystals. They're quite heavy, good quality and catch the light like crazy..

Look at the reflected light! These pics don't do them justice! And it's good fun to twirl in the window and the sunlight and turn your room into a discooooo :P

I'm so happy with my necklace, and would definitely recommend Peach Poison because of the reasonable prices, awesome communication and great quality! She also sends you the necklace in a proper jewelry box which adds to the experience, and I definitely want something smaller too, and will be turning to her for gifts for friends and family! :)

Check out more of her jewelry here! :)

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14 July 2011

Picking Up Some Essentials.. #2

These days I've been buying a lot more beauty 'care' products than make-up, and because a lot of them are feeling like they'll be essentials, I decided to do a second part of a post I did ages ago about picking up some essentials :)

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails in Clear - £4.75
Tangle Teezer - £11.99
Good Things Miracle Mattifier Moisturizer - £8.16
The BodyShop Lip Roll-On in Orange - £3 (introduction price)
The BodyShop DeoDry in Fresh & Floral (refill) - £2
LUSH Grease Lightning - £5.65

The Good Things Miracle Mattifier Moisturiser caught my eye on Ellie's Beauty Blog's May Favourites and as the summer was making oilier than usual I had high hopes! I love that it has such good ingredients, very light and the smell is berry-like. It lingers for a short while, and is quite strong so if it wasn't as fruity I probably wouldn't like it, but because it's a very natural smell I don't mind it. As for the mattifying effects, I don't find it amazing - I find it reasonable. For that I'd recommend Boot's Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Mattifying Lotion, but that one smells horrible! So I think I'll be sticking with this :)

After not being able to locate my hair brush, I bit the bullet for the Tangle Teezer which I've been lusting after for ages! It's a lot lighter than I thought it'd be, but the results are about what I expected. I didn't expect a 100% WOW factor, and while I was right, I'm still impressed! My hair does feel softer, and brushing my hair is easier - I love the idea of protecting my cuticles and the instruction leaflet was so helpful. I'm not sure if it was £12 worth, but other than that, no regrets here at all! :)

When I got my nails done in Malta, the nail woman told me my nails were weak, and recommended Decleor's treatment oil.. for £52. I quickly refused and went on a search in Boots yesterday - as you can see I haven't opened this Sally Hansen Hard As Nails yet, partly because I'm not 100% sure how to use it.. most people recommend it as a base coat, so I'll be doing that soon :) A bit concerned that it's not natural and doesn't promise an infusion of nutrients.. anyone have any cheap recommendations? :/ But I did learn that when you paint your nails you have to leave a gap at the bottom because that way the live cells on your nail can breathe :)

I had no plans to get the new BodyShop Natural Lip Roll-On in Orange but I'm so glad I did, I am in LOOOOVE! Again, the natural ingredients are a major plus for me and the applicator is a metal ball that applies the oil onto your lips. And I LOVE the idea of applying oil onto your lips because that way your lips actually absorb the oils, instead of a cream that just sits on your lips, and so they feel moisturized from within. This deserves a post of its own really, but definitely recommend picking up while it's on introductory offer price! It comes in Orange, Mint, Rose, Coconut and Grape :)

The BodyShop DeoDry in Fresh & Floral is my staple deodorant - full review here :)

I first heard about LUSH Grease Lightning from Vivianna and I've been quite impressed! While I was a bit skeptical because the tea-tree oil from the BodyShop never worked on me, this one has been great! It's an antiseptic, with a gel-like consistency and a pump, and smells like a mix of tea tree oil, lavender and rosemary - gorgeous. I had two under-the-skin pimples right next to each other on my chin, which made me look like I had a Siamese chin, but since I've applied it each evening underneath my night moisturizer it's been getting a lot smaller - very impressed :)

So there it is! My recent essential purchases :)

What have you been buying/loving in your essentials recently? :)

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10 July 2011

Sheer Lip Colour Love :)

A few months ago, tell me a lipstick was sheer and I would've written it off. But somehow over the past few weeks, I've been craving some colour and gloss but not a block of full-on colour that makes it so obvious I'm wearing lipstick. I've been wanting something more natural.

Here are the things I've been turning to, to achieve this more natural look that provides some colour and gloss - not a solid colour like lipsticks, and not a glossy faff of a lipgloss :) (I always find lippies easier to keep up during the day than glosses).

The Body Shop Born Lippy in Watermelon
17 Mirror Shine Lipstick in Nudist Peach (depotted)
17 Mirror Shine Lipstick in Beehive

L to R: TBS Born Lippy Watermelon; 17 Nudist Peach; 17 Beehive

The Body Shop Born Lippy, which retails for £2, gives a really pale pink-ish tint, and the smell is lovely! However, the rest of the range are more like the two lipsticks, in that the formula is more see-through than this - so Watermelon is the one I've been reaching for :)

17 Beehive

The 17 Nudist Peach doesn't do much to my pigmented lips, just give it more warmth. 17 Beehive is my newest addition, which gives me a pale pink lip (as above) - a bit cooler than what I would prefer in the summer, but mixing the two 17 lippies gives a really nice pale peach that I've been loving :) That being said, at £4.59 it's not the most expensive lipstick so I find it has that nasty cheap, plastic, lippie smell.. but the effect is lovely :)

As you can see they have a very nice sheen, that makes it quite natural and great for the summer, and the pigmentation is just right to have a wash over your lips - somehow I associate matte pigmented colour with colder climates and gloss sheer colour with warmer climates.. am I nuts? :P Either way, it's what I've been loving recently! :D

Do you prefer sheerer colours on your lips sometimes?
What are your favourite products for this? :)

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7 July 2011

Custom Havaianas! :)

Last night my boyfriend took me to the Trafford Centre for an evening out and I had an absolute blast! Surprisingly, my purchase wasn't of the cosmetic nature, but of the footwear - Havaianas!

Now I've wanted Havaianas for ages, but it was only a month or so ago that I thought I'd bite the bullet, cuz £18 for flip flops aren't cheap. But I put it off forever, until last night when I came across the Havaianas stand in Selfridges & Co., which are putting on a 3 month program where you can make your own Havaianas! So glad I waited because I love customization! So these are what I made :)

First thing you do is decide on your size - they've got actual-size pictures on the ground that you can match yourself up to. Personally, I love that the sizes range between 2 numbers cuz I'm right inbetween!

Second, you pick whether you want the original (which I got at £20) or the slim (£30). The original is unisex, thicker and wider, whereas the slim is more for women, and are slimmer both in width and thickness. This applies to both the base and the straps.

Third, you pick your base - there's loads of colours, especially if you go with the original! Some others I contemplated were navy, taupe, yellow or orange.

Fourth, you pick your straps - again, loads of colours, which range from matte ones like mine or metallic ones. The straps on the slim type are all metallic.

The fifth step is the optional step, but one that I personally think is the best part about customizing! You can get these pins like you see above, which are enamel based for £2 each, or you can get Swarovski crystals for £3. I wasn't a fan of a lot of them as a lot of the enamel ones looked tacky and the Swarovski ones were quite small, or had really thick golden rims but this football was definitely 'me' :)

So here they are! I absolutely love them, they are so comfortable and you can tell they are very good quality. I'm definitely getting another standard pair - the ones with the Brazil flag on. My bf even squeezed his foot in one to test its comfiness, and we're now going back next week in hopes that they'll have bigger sizes in stock! :P

It's also good fun to watch them make it for you in front of you with cool little machines :) The staff I talked to were so friendly too, even at 9:30PM!

And as a person who wears lots of white tops with plain jeans or shorts in the summer, these are perfect to spice up my outfit. I could've gone for calmer colours - my original choice was a navy base with pink straps - but it just seemed like such a waste to customize something that is relatively normal. So I went mental instead ;P

Do you have Havaianas?
Will you go to customize your own pair? :)

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6 July 2011

What I Took To Malta: Beach/Pool Make-Up!

I'm back! Hello to the new followers, and a big I-missed-you hug to the old! Malta was absolutely gorgeous and the perfect wind-down from 3 years of uni. Ben and I also found out that we have graduated with a 2:1 on our degrees - so it was a great week in general!

Today I'll show you what I brought to Malta - hopefully you can take away what I think is great to have for a beach holiday, in case some of you are off on one soon! We had a 15kg limit so a lot of the stuff were compact :)

Before that, I'll show you some snaps of our week there :) We stayed at the Radisson Blu on Golden Bay, courtesy of Ben's aunt for his 21st - we were there with Gary Neville!

Mokka Bar - We always had after dinner drinks here :)

Our kitchen/dining room/living room - I KNOW! We had a suite! :D

TV in bathtub - very convenient for the Wimbledon season! :)

Golden Bay

The pool

The Malta busses - 54p to the capital! :O

Streets of Valetta

 Ben & I at the Grand Harbour

Honestly, I am struggling a bit with a lack of foundation/powder/concealer to match my skin! I also got my nails done, which was fun - OPI Glitzerland is very pretty! On days where we weren't by the pool or the beach, we went to other places like St. Julian's and Mdina - I think my favourite was Valetta - it is absolutely gorgeous!

On to the make-up!

I bought myself a brand new make-up bag for this holiday, and it's this baby from Glitzy Glam. It is so much fun to come up with your own bag, and it's absolutely massive! You can see more in my June Favourites video :) Anyway, this is great for if you're going anywhere for over a week. It also fitted my brushes, moisturizer, and my mini-shower stuff too.

I brought loads of make-up, but the ones I used were things that gave me the most natural and beachy look - here are the kinds of things I'd recommend to someone who is off on a sunny holiday :)

- NIVEA Stay Real Blush in Shades of Rose
This is a great summer shade because it's like a really tanned pink, so it's very natural and goes with the golden glow of a tan! :) Anything else felt too unnatural and unbeach-like because it was too much of a pop of colour.

- CANMAKE Gokubuto Mascara
Waterproof mascara is a must - this one is also natural, in that it separates and lengthens so it was good for a natural beachy look.

- MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque
I only wore this in the evening, just to add some colour on my eyes - it's a bright gold with a salmon duochrome, which again compliments a tan, and you don't need a brush!

- UNE SkinGlow Pencil in G04
I didn't really use this too much - it got too light as my tan grew! But it's still a great summer-time product that opens up your eyes and no worries about the black eyeliner melting :)

- Lipice Suncare SPF25
Somehow a lipstick seemed too unnatural, and I felt like with such a dark tan, a natural lip was best. So I used this lipbalm with SPF the most, and the lemon-scent is gorgeous! :)

- MAC Moisture Tint in Medium Dark SPF15
While the Bourjois Healthymix was light and natural enough for a beachy feel, I didn't need a lot of coverage because of the tan and my blemishes were going away with the healthy amount of sun! The SPF was a good reassurance too :)

For the bath essentials, I brought mini-things of my favourite body wash and cleanser - the Bodyshop Grapefruit Shower Gel and the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. I also brought the BodyShop Grapefruit Body Butter, which helped a lot with dried out sunkissed skin!

The biggest difference from my usual routine was my shampoo and conditioner - the LUSH Godiva Shampoo/Conditioner Bar. I picked this because 1) it smells amazing and 2) it's a 2-in-1. It is far from the best haircare, and I felt my hair wasn't in the best condition, but it's definitely a good product for holiday :)

So there you go! I had an amazing time, and I'd definitely want to go back to see more of the country some time. The atmosphere, the architecture, the culture - everything was lovely! And I hope you got some good tips for products or what kinda stuff you might wanna bring to your holiday :)

Who else is off on holiday?
What are your beach holiday must-haves? :)

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