31 January 2012

January Favourites 2012

Last year I remember January being ridiculously long - I'm not quite sure how it was this year! I do feel like it was AGES ago that I was with my parents and I feel like I've been back for months when in reality - I've been back for just over 3 weeks!

Anyway, I squeezed in some Favourites time last night so I hope you enjoy! :)

The good news is, I think the 720p option actually shows up this time! The bad news is, it's still not great quality of the crap lighting.. haha I'm getting there!

I also haven't done my favourite Youtubers/Bloggers for this month, but I'll be sure to compile a list from December-February for next month's favourites or even earlier :)

I'm slightly tempted to go back to my January favourites from last year, and see how different it all was. In second thought, I'll probs just cringe and vom in my mouth, so I'll save myself the hassle :P

What were some of your favourites this month? :)

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29 January 2012

Beauty Box Reviews: Mitchell & Peach Shower Gel

The most I've spent on a shower gel is probably at Body Shop so when the all new Joliebox contained this posh-looking one, I was quite excited! I know many people say shower gels are boring, but I enjoy them because they are something that I'd actually try and use up.

Now the first thing I love is the container of this shower gel. It's really clean-looking, simple and gorgeous.

The smell.. OH, the smell. It's ABSOLUTELY gorgeous, it just SCREAMS, "I'M PACKED WITH ESSENTIAL OILS AND NATURE-LOVING LUXURY GOODNESS!" which is something I don't think you can get with drugstore or high street shower gels. It smells so relaxing and it's something that really calmed me down these past few weeks that I've been so busy I'm not quite sure I ever touched the ground.. (slight exaggeration, I'm firmly rooted incase you were worried.) I especially loved it because during this busy time (and due to a lack of a bath tub), you'd feel slightly guilty taking the time out for a full blown bath, but this shower gel will let you get the same relaxation for a shorter time.

My only downside is, it doesn't lather very well. A part of me likes this, because it kind of goes with the "essential oil" feeling of the product, so I ended up kind of doing a massage rather than a wash (again, very relaxing), but I do like having a bit of foam in my shower gels because it feel like all the city muck will come off with the bubbles.

Afterwards my skin wasn't particularly moisturized nor dry, just kind of there. I wasn't dying to slather body butter, but I wasn't really feeling all plump and lovely either.

The winner for this product is definitely the scent, which to be honest isn't enough for me to want to purchase this in full size yet. That being said - it's absolutely gorgeous, so if you can afford it and have had a bit of a crazy week, this will do the job and calm you right down.

I don't know much about Mitchell & Peach - any favourite products from them?
What did you think about the shower wash?

*Received for consideration.
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27 January 2012

A Few New Things.

So you may have noticed in the past couples of days that Let's MakeYuUp has had a bit of a transformation and an expansion..

I've got my own domain! :) I decided it's a bit of a faff typing it up, and it didn't cross my mind when I first made a blog that my blog title was not in fact, "makeyuup", but "Let's MakeYuUp", and that people would pick up on the "let's" unlike me (lol) - so it is now www.lets-makeyuup.com! However, it seems to be taking absolutely ages to migrate, so please if you click on a link that doesn't work - replace the front bit with my old address, makeyuup.blogspot.com :) Sorry for the faff!

Also I need to mention that I've switched back to the Blogger's commenting system so all Disqus comments have now disappeared from the blog!

I wasn't very happy with my pink layout. I liked it for a change but I'd like something simpler, something I wont want to change every month (and it reminded me too much of Soap&Glory), so I'll be thinking about it over the next few weeks, maybe even months, so please bare with any (odd) experiments I may conduct between this time.. :P


I'm sure you have heard of the new box on the block - She Said Beauty! She Said Beauty also has a blog to go alongside it, and would you believe it - they wanted me to write for it! My first article went up last night (here!), so I hope you pop over and take a look :) The content is more about fashion, hair, beauty and skincare than the box itself so I'm sure it'll prove an interesting read (my favourite so far has been about micellar water and a man's perspective on Geordie Shore - the latter which almost made me piss myself (to put it eloquently :P). I'm really excited to see what this new box will bring to the beauty box family!

And Lastly..
I just want to say hi to my coursemates that have found my blog/YouTube and have been very supportive of it! Lots of love, peace and good human rights-ey stuff ;)

Speak soon :)

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25 January 2012

February Wishlist..

So I haven't done too badly in limiting myself to 3 products per month.. lol who am I kidding, I SUCK! This month I've bought 4 things - Clarins Blush Prodige in Miami Pink, Clarins Instant Self Tanner, Illamasqua Skin Base and the MAC 130! I did pick up some extras that I did feel I need, like the LUSH Ocean Salt scrub and the La Roche Posay Effaclar Astringent Toner, as well as 2 clothings bits - a jumper and shorts - both on discount though (NewLook has a 20% off sale for students atm!). In my defense, I sold and gave away a lot of my stash - for my random bursts of Twitter Sales, follow me here! :)

Anyway, I digress. I've got a pretty big wishlist for February and thought I'd share it with you!

1. BM Beauty Foundation - I'm a human rights student, there's no way I wasn't going to be interested in this brand. This is a not-that-new brand by Kimberly Wyatt (who I have no knowledge of other than when she judges that dance show), that commits to being cruelty-free and paraben-free. I also don't have a mineral foundation, and found the £14 price-tag quite reasonable, and easy to stick with if I end up liking it!

2. No7 Natural Blush - So, so, random. I love the packaging, I love the colour - that's about it. OH and I have a £5 voucher - BAM!

3. Chanel Rouge Coco in Rose Dentelle - I'm always uhm-ing and ah-ing over Creme Cup - it's almost been over a year since I bought it and I still don't know if I get on with it. I'd like a pale pink that is foolproof on my skintone. And I don't have a Chanel lippy, so that's like tantamount to blogger crime.

4. MAC 217 - I've recently fallen in love with the concept of the Sigma E25 (don't like the actual thing though) and decided I need a proper, full-sized, soft one!

5. Estee Lauder Doublewear Foundation - Blame Corrie and Emma.

6. BM Beauty 121 Foundation Brush - It looks like my dream Sephora Airbrush Foundation brush, so on the wishlist it goes!

And can you believe it, I forgot to add another one..

MAC Compact Mirror
Because I like checking my eyeliner and shiny face.. and sometimes I don't carry powder.

Which 3 will a stick with, do you think?
Or will I just get all of them :P

What's #1 on your wishlist this month?! :)

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24 January 2012

Beauty Box Reviews: Deborah Lippmann Razzle Dazzle

Everyone was SO excited when Glossybox included a Deborah Lippmann nailpolish in their box - I was one of them! Her nailpolishes are so hyped and so expensive so the chance to try them out was an absolute treat! However, I'm sad to say that I wasn't too keen on the rest after my first shot at the Razzle Dazzle nailpolish.

The shade is gorgeous, there's no doubt about it. It's festive, it's fun, it's girly and it's blingin'. However, it's also a bit generic and the glitters are a little bit small for my taste.

Tastes aside, you assume that the quality will be good if you pay more. This wasn't the case with Deborah Lippmann Razzle Dazzle, in that firstly, it didn't dry anywhere near as fast as other high end companies, and worst of all, the lasting power was appalling. By the next day, the tips had started to wear off. For a £16 polish, you'd expect a bit more than that! In fact, that's what I would expect from a £2 polish.

I also found the brush to be a bit awkward - it really did not like splaying out flat, hence the bumpy bottom edge on my nail. This I could live with more than the lasting power issue.

I'm wondering if maybe this was just specific to this formula? However, I do think Razzle Dazzle would be nice if you were to use it on top of a dark base, like a black or a grey just to clean the edges up a little bit but still have the Razzle Dazzle factor ;)

Has anyone tried other shades from Deborah Lippmann?
What did you think about Razzle Dazzle?

You can get Deborah Lippmann's Razzle Dazzle for £16 from the Glossybox website.


*Received for consideration.
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23 January 2012

New Bits of Skincare :)

I love skincare. I just love it! It's relatively cheaper and easier to go through than make-up, and it makes SUCH a difference to your confidence when it works, and it's just.. urgh, I love it. So these days I've been using up quite a bit of my skincare up, so I went out and got a few new things that I wanted to show you guys - and am SO excited to try out :)

First up is the La Roche Posay Astringent Lotion Micro-Exfoliant. I am a huge fan of gently exfoliating everyday, as I found with Liz Earle's cleanser and Clinique's toner. I seem to get little cyst-like bumps on certain areas of my face, which I'm hoping will go away with daily exfoliation :) I'm also really excited to pop my La Roche Posay cherry, as everyone just seems to rave about everything they come out with!

Second is LUSH's Ocean Spray, which is a exfoliator for the face. This is also a part of my effort to get rid of my cysts, but also because my St. Ives exfoliator is a little over a year old.. yeah, probably not so great lol. When the lady at LUSH used it on my hand, it felt AMAZING, so I just had to get it, there was no second thoughts :) The smell is so refreshing and I'm really crossing my fingers this helps!

The last little tub is a sample of LUSH's Cupcake mask that I've been wanting to try for absolutely ages, but couldn't because I don't own a fridge (I don't live in destitution, I live in halls.. there is a difference despite many similarities..)! So she gave me just one pot that I can use tonight - how nice of her! I absolutely love the staff at the South Molton Street store in London - they've never let me down!

Have any of you tried these products? :)
What have been your recent skincare adventures?!

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My New Favourite Pencil Eyeliner

I think a black pencil eyeliner was the first make-up I wore religiously everyday. I piled that thing on like no one's business back in middle school, and although we've gone our separate ways for the past year or so, I'm back to loving it - and one in particular: the Milani Liquif'eye Metallic Eyeliner in Black.

I know, I know, it's inaccessible in the UK but this is a forewarning - if you ever do a swap, if you ever go to the States, if you LIVE in the States - this is an AMAZING eyeliner.

Now I don't have particularly watery eyes, but pencil eyeliners generally do not like my waterline. They like chilling in the bags under my eyes, which I'm not so cool with. But I found that this Milani eyeliner will stay put on your upper waterline for the whole day, and if it does migrate from your bottom waterline, it'll just be right under your waterline, where it looks like eyeliner anyway (not giving you a black halo).

I also love how black it is. Above you can see in order from left to right: MAC Powerpoint Pencil in Engraved, AVON Supershock Gel Eyeliner in Black, and the Milani Liquif'eye. MAC is just blown out of the water in terms of pigmentation (and staying power), and while Avon comes close in the blackness, it just does not compete when it comes to staying on the waterline and not transferring. You can also see that the Milani have fully infiltrated all the little wrinkles, whereas some of Avon have glided over them.

In conclusion, I love this stuff. It really helps round my eyeshape a little bit when I line my upper waterline paired with my gel eyeliner on my top lid, and for nights out, I don't have to worry about looking like I'm crying and constantly wiping under my eyes (and rubbing away concealer/smudging and streaking eyeliner etc., etc.,). In short it's an absolute dream! :)

What is your favourite pencil eyeliner?
Have you tried the Milani one? :)


*Thank you to Mandy for sending me this in our swap! :)*
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21 January 2012

Beauty Box Reviews: Dead Sea Spa Magik Salt Brushing

So I've recently been making the effort to use a lot of the things that are included in beauty boxes, as many of them are expensive so it's difficult to buy them without reading reviews, and a lot of the products come with offers if you buy them through the website, so it could be a good way to grab a bargain (if you know the products are good!). Also, a lot of blogs seem to do posts on what's inside, but not in depth reviews on the products.. so hopefully this will be of some help ;) All these goodies will be shot in front of the corresponding box so you know where to find them :) First off is the..

I was so excited to try this - I love me some intense exfoliators! I do have strange bumps on my lower thighs where I cross my legs, and I am on an eternal mission to get rid of them permanently so any intense scrubs are welcome in my bathroom :P

First thing I found about this was the instructions were really vague! The front picture made it look like a paste, the instructions said to use this 'paste' but when I opened it it was salt and oil..? So I added a bit of water to it and made it a bit easier to apply because when I tried it without, it was like hail flying off my skin.. lol. But applying it was still a faff. A lot was falling off, and the chunks were a bit big and awkward.

When I washed it off, however, the residue of the oil was very nourishing and my skin was super smooth, but not greasy or sticky. The smell was also gorgeous, it just smelt really herbal-ey and relaxing so despite the awkward texture, I did feel like I was in my own little spa.

The result? My skin on areas that didn't initially have problems looked a lot brighter, more even in colour and smoother, where I just kind of casually scrubbed, like my decolletage. However, areas where I focused my scrubbing like that odd patch of thigh, elbows, my heels and parts of my foot, my skin looked very dry. Dry, but not irritated.

So I'm not quite sure I'd call this an exfoliating product - I think I'd say it's probably more of an invigorating, circuit-increasing product, and it's definitely best used as gently as an 'all over' product - forget to focussing and scrubbing! This is how Feel Unique's website describes it, and I feel like Dead Sea Spa Magik's own description is a bit off. I also later read that you were meant to brush til the salts dissolved - with rocks that size, Idk how long I would've been stood there!

So if I were to forget that it was an exfoliator - I ADORED using it. It's a little treat and luxury that I would use before going out or after a long week. The scent was relaxing and my skin just looked and felt really bright, nourished and really healthy!

On Feel Unique's website, this product is £13.50 for 500mL which I think is a great deal as I can't see myself using this incredibly often but it's something that I could really see the effect of after one use and would definitely love to see what it can do in a few weeks. I've been really impressed with the Dead Sea Spa Magik stuff that I've used so far, so glad to add this to the repertoire :)

Did you get this in your box?
What did you think about it? :)

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20 January 2012

A Little Bit of MUJI Storage

Aren't I a rebel, going for a MUJI container that aren't drawers? ;P

I'm VERY picky about my storage - it has to be the right height, the right width, right number of sections etc., etc.,. And so far, the only 2 that I've found to meet my needs is the WHSmith drawers, and these - the MUJI.. stand, thingy.

So what do I use this for? General, everyday products that I like to leave out, and tall products. The back part is separated into 4 taller slots, while the front is two shallower sections, which on the one downside, really isn't that interesting, and quite monotonous.. haha. In the back you can see my (unorganized) lot of brushes. When organized, they usually go 1 - travel sized brushes 2 - eyeliners/eyebrow pencils/primer 3 - face brushes 4 - eye brushes.

The front usually has my powder of choice (Bourjois Compact Powder), 2 concealers (Bobbi Brown Correcter and MAC Studio Finish Concealer), a bronzer (CANMAKE Shading Powder) and whatever foundation I'm fancying. Sometimes I put in a blush when I'm really fancying it - but atm I'm kind of being a blush slag, and giving them all a go.

 I have to admit, the depth of the latter do bug me a bit, as it's too wide for just one product, but a bit narrow for some products to be stacked one behind another. It bugs me that you see the bits in front of the storage that I can't fit! So it's not the perfect ever organization (as it's also a bit wide..), but I think it's the best I've found for this purpose. I think too many small slots can really restrict how you organize things, and big ones can get messy. Too many lipstick slots are useless unless you're into lipstick, and drawers can be very limiting, cuz you have to put most products on their backs, and I like stacking! :P So I suppose this is the best option I've found yet! :)

What do you use for general everyday make-up stuff?

You can get this at MUJI for about £8.. I think. Don't quote me :P

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17 January 2012

Love Hearts & Crosses.. and Octopi.

I hardly ever buy jewelry, I'm just not that fashion-creative enough to break away from my simple, everyday jewelry - I wear simple stud earrings, a double-hearted Tiffany necklace and a charm bracelet or a bangle. But that doesn't mean I don't adore looking at cute jewelry..

Love Hearts & Crosses Jewelry is a company I've been following for a while. Since I heard of them months ago, I've loved everything on their site! Their pieces definitely deserve to be counted as "pieces", not just goods, because they are all so unique, quirky but at the same time absolutely gorgeous. I make a point to stay away from high street jewelry as I find many a bit boring, lacking of personal touch (which is a no no for jewelry for me!), and not very good quality for the price. There are also so many shabby chic independent jewelry stores out there, and they just aren't up my street - LHC Jewelry's definitely are, with a bit more edge, bit more colour, and more personality.

The Mr Octopus necklace you see above instantly caught my eye, and I spent about an hour deciding what colour to get, and settled on this coral shade with orange stones - I absolutely adore it! I am crap at wearing interesting jewelry but this is one that I thought I'd definitely make an effort to wear - starting tomorrow! The chain was much shorter than I imagined, but I actually prefer that. I find that long ones can get a bit generic, and a bit "distant" from the outfit - so I'm super excited - two novelty features! ;) I usually don't spend much on jewelry - all the stuff I mentioned above were gifts, so shelling out £15 for a necklace was definitely a record in my books, and one well worth it! :)

Their Twitter-bearer is lovely, and the parcel arrived the day after I got an email telling me it was sent - amazing! At the moment if you like their Facebook page, you get to use the code Facebook10 for a 10% discount, and they also have a great sale on! I intend on keeping my eye on their site for future pieces! :)

Have you found anything you like on LHC's website?
Who are your favourite independent jewelry retailers?

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15 January 2012

The Only 4 Brushes I'll Ever Need

I am guilty of possessing ridiculous amounts of brushes. But when it comes down to it, these four are probably the ones that I could really do my whole face with, and not really ask for more!

This is described on MAC's website as a powder/blush brush - it speaks for itself really! The size works for both, and what MAC missed out (maybe for the sake for keeping the name short) is that it works AMAZINGLY for contouring as well. The tip is tapered to fit into your cheek bones. It also works great for blending, as it's so soft.

I think the only time you wouldn't find this that multitasking is if you were to use cream consistencies or not very pigmented products. It doesn't have the stiffness to blend creams, and as for pigmentation - the bristles are very soft and not incredibly dense.. but these two kinds of products can be covered with the next brush.

Incredibly famous and rightly so, MAC 109 is described as a contour brush, but it's so much more than that. I use it for foundation, cream products, less-than-pigmented blushers, powders and contouring. It's great to brush on foundations with a really light hand, or buff it in properly. The bristles are stiff enough to pick up creams and buff it on. The brush is dense enough to pick up a lot of product if you swirl it in, so this is a go-to for not very pigmented blushers. And when I use powder foundation, or I want to use setting powders like the MAC MSFN for foundation, this is what I use to buff. And of course, the size and shape is perfect for contouring - but I don't use it for that so much ;P

The only downside that many people mention is how it sheds. My trick would be - don't stick it directly into the product forcefully! A great example is the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel, that everyone seems to leave hairs in from their 109's. Take some of the product with your fingers, put it on the back of your hand and go from there! :)

This is your standard flat shader brush. It packs on colour well, but I'd say only for eyeshadows that aren't so densely packed (MAC Frost finishes, I'm looking at you!). But most eyeshadows aren't, and the reason why I'd say this is part of the few I can live with, is because of how incredibly flat and tapered it is. The top edge can be used to line your lids with eyeshadow or highlight your inner corner with.

Not gonna lie - not a fan of this specific brush (bit stiff, bit fray-ey, extremely scratchy..), but having something of this shape (cough MAC 217 cough) is invaluable. I love it for applying crease colour, but also for blending out product. It's also handy to have if you have extremely pigmented or very bright eyeshadows as this brush will only disperse a wash of product over your eyelids. Applying brow highlight is a synch with this shape, and believe it or not, face highlighting as well!

As much as I adore these 4, I have to admit that the brushes you reach for definitely depends on what products you are using. There are some blushers, foundations or powders that just require a duo-fibre or a synthetic brush - and I suppose that's why I have them! But these four are what I use for products that I've been using a lot.. which you can see in my Currently Using post ;) I find that finding multi-tasking brushes is extremely rewarding cuz a lot of brushes can cost an arm and a leg! Okay maybe not that much, but I find that in the long run, it is very much worth it because apparently with good quality brushes, you wont need to repurchase in a good 5 or 10 years if you take care of them well :)

Do you have brushes you reach for everyday? :)
What are your favourites?

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13 January 2012

A Small Clarins Haul..

Everything I've tried from Clarins thus far has been excellent, so it was no surprise when I couldn't resist these two babies..

Not that I've already gone on about this enough, but this is a gorgeous, gorgeous shade! A lovely warm pink, it has the subtlest shimmer which makes it an everyday blush alongside my other favourite, NARS Orgasm. The brush and mirror are both very useful too! While the shade is gorgeous I've yet to really observe the staying power/blendability - incredibly busy days and bad lighting don't help with make-up testing much!

Can you believe I've only swatched this?! I really wanted a face tanner as I decided that was the cheapest solution to my ever-changing skintone - if I tan my face, I can use the same shade and same tone for most of the year :) It was a no brainer when I went on Feel Unique, searched face tanners and I saw this for such an affordable £13.75 in the sale - right now it's £15.30. From the swatch, it felt almost like a silicone primer and the little patch of my hand tanned beautifully, just to let you know ;) Hahaha.

So that's 2 out of my 3 allowances of January, and would you believe it - I've used that up too? :P It wasn't Clarins so I thought I'd tell you guys about the third product some other time ;)

Have you tried either of these products?
What face tanner do you use?


P.S. I've switched back to Blogger's commenting system as they have introduced a reply function! My blog is also made compatible to mobile phones, so feel free to browse on the go ;)
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12 January 2012

Review: Whirl-A-Style

This summer, so many girls were sporting huge, messy, WHABAM buns on the top of their heads - I LOVED it. I almost always have my hair up these days, as I find mine gets in the way, it's an awkward length and I'm not sure I like my hairstyle! So I tried so many hair products this summer - donuts, backcombing, hair ties, bump its etc., etc., but my favourite was definitely the Whirl-A-Style.

I realise I should've probably photographed it in the packaging cuz it just looks like a slab of plastic, but what you do is slide your hair in the slit, hold it horizontally and roll up towards your scalp. Once it's reached your scalp, you bring the ends together in a loop, clasp the ends together and you have a perfect bun.. like this:

But this isn't the way I prefer to use it.. I prefer the aforementioned, frigg off buns:

That's more like it! :P To do this I tied my hair in a ponytail, backcombed a little and did the same as the classic bun :)

Whirl-A-Style also have a YouTube channel showing you different ways to use it, but it didn't help much personally as I thought a lot of the hairstyles were out of date and it was a bit difficult to see for those of us who are a bit slow when it comes to hair.. :P

But the product itself - it's perfect, ideal, a godsend! It doesn't tug at your hair, it's weightless, unnoticeable, it doesn't give you headaches and it stays put for literally forever. It really is incredibly gentle to your hair and I have no fears of it kinking, tangling or tearing my hair. I was also amazed at how unnoticeable it is in your head because it doesn't tug, it's lightweight and it doesn't strain your hair.

I have to give credit to the Whirl-A-Style for the big bun too, because when I tried the donut, it didn't work because I have long, thick hair that can loop around the donut til the cows come home, but Whirl-A-Style comes in different sizes and colours to suit your needs :) Having long hair actually works to your advantage if you want volume!

I have to admit that I do use my hairtie more often just because it's often faster, it's easier to take out, travel with and redo without a mirror. I also found that when you roll upwards, and clip at the bottom, the hair at the bottoms fall out easier, and when you roll downwards and clip at the top, the hair doesn't do a full circle due to, well, gravity. So I prefer to do the former and just use 1 bobby pin at the bottom to keep the loose hairs in place!

All in all, I love the Whirl-A-Style, and recommend it to anyone who feels their hairtie is a bit too harsh on their hair. I do wish it was a bit more convenient, but I think for certain things like these it's worth training yourself to use it because you know it's better for your hair!

The one I have is black Jumbo Large Whirl-A-Style, which retails for $10, and it comes in Mini, Small, Jumbo Medium and Large as well! You can figure out your perfect size on their chart here.

You can get these online from Whirl-A-Style's website, as they ship internationally! :)

Have you tried Whirl-A-Styles?
What's your favourite hair tool? :)


*Received for consideration.
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9 January 2012

Currently Using #1 Video

Recently I've become a creature of habit and have started using very similar things everyday - it's partly because I didn't have a lot to play with when I went back to Japan (in the standards of a beauty obsessed person..) I wanted to check out the video functions of my new camera, so I made a video for it - hope you enjoy! :)

Yay my first video with my new camera! Except it totally failed, and when I uploaded it, it didn't have the 720p option - can anyone help me with this? :P Is it something I have to set on my camera, or something on iMovie? I hope it was better quality than what you are used to anyway ;)

I totally am loving that I can take decent photographs without natural sunlight! ;)

What have you been loving lately? :)

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8 January 2012

I'm Baaaack! Japan & Australia Haul :)

Oh look at those bags! What a hectic few days it has been! I flew back from Tokyo on Friday morning, via Frankfurt to London where my lovely boyfriend picked me up - and the next day, we spent an amazing day out and about in London for his 22nd birthday! And today, pfft, today was a sad excuse of a Sunday as I spent the whole day writing an essay.. but hey! I have a haul!

The first item is.. well you can probably tell from the picture above ;) My parents were convinced I should be using a better camera than my 5yo CASIO, as I am always taking photographs when we go on holiday, and gifted me this lovely red Canon EOS 1100D as a belated Christmas present (I had gotten pig shaped muffin cups on the actual day hahaha, I love my mom!). I was over the moon, felt absolutely spoilt and couldn't thank them enough - but was reassured that this would be the last big Christmas present, as by next year I should hopefully have a job and be buying myself these things! :P Lots of love for the parentals.

Now on to the make-up haul! :)

Paul & Joe Protective Foundation Primer UV
Another donation at my mom's shop, so we decided to take it to Australia as a face sunblock. Did it work? No, but I'm sure it'll suffice for the less angry rays over here! It's actually a non-sticky, blendable consistency :)

Jurlique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator
I got this in Duty Free at the Cairns Airport, and so far.. not quite sure how I feel about it. I haven't used it enough to see the effects, but it's a chemical exfoliator that you leave on your face for 5min and wash off.

Nanoce BB Moist Cream
I've only worn this twice but I'm tempted to say it's my favourite base yet. It just about evens out your skintone, minimizes the appearance of pores, and lets your skin show through and gives you the most natural finish, somewhere between dewy and semi-matte.. lol. I absolutely adore this! The consistency feels thick at first, but when you rub it in, it just turns into a feathery finish. This was recommended to me by Nic Nic - so glad, thank you!

I also got a Maquillage White Repair Essence Base that I forgot to photograph but you can see here :)

CANMAKE Blush in PW29
I used to have this in another shade, but sold it as it was kind of similar to MAC Style. This shade is limited edition and can only be described as a warm pink, that has a hint of coral in it - it's SO unique! Sadly, when I applied it the other day it hardly showed up on me, but I will attempt it with another brush and wait til I'm not as tan lol.

KATE Wide Edge Eyes Eyeshadow in BR-1
On Christmas Day, I decided I wanted a glittery but sheer eyeshadow palette and as I've been meaning to get a KATE one anyway, I decided to go for this one. The shades are gorgeous, but I've only worn it once and was setting off to Oz so didn't really have time to look.. lol.

So there you go! I really enjoyed my time in Japan again, and miss my family lots already!

How has your first week of 2012 been? :)
Any new purchases? I did quite well sticking to Japanese products this time! :)

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5 January 2012

Project Eyebrows & a FOTD!

My eyebrows have literally gone through thick and thin - I started plucking when I was about 12, and between about 16 and 20, peaking on 18, I had no eyebrows and thought it looked perfectly fine! Now I look back on it and am a bit like.. "what on earth".

So since about April-ish of 2011, I've slowly been reshaping and growing out my eyebrows, into a shape I see a lot on Japanese and Korean celebrities. I figured my eyebrows grow in such a different way from the Western celebrities I'm used to seeing, that I should "go back to my roots", shall we say, and make them into a shape that complements my features better :)

This winter I took the opportunity of this holiday back home to enforce a bit of a (terrifying) no-pluck rule! I did have to a little bit as I went to Australia, and have seen a few friends, but the end result is just about getting there. They still look a bit unruly, bit uneven, there's lots of gaps that are still being pencilled in but hey - we have to start somewhere! :P

At the moment, I've been using Benefit's InstantBrow pencil in Medium, which is a really soft, waxy pencil with a brush on the end. Not gonna lie, not my favourite. It goes blunt way too easily, it's not super pigmented, and it's just a little bit sticky (which would be good if you wanted the flat, glued on look.. or if you had lots of hairs!). But hey, I bought it and I'm going to use it :P My favourites to date has been the CANMAKE Brow Kit, ELF Studio Brow Kit and the Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows - the last being my ultimate favourite for defining brows! As you can see I like my brows to be a little bit lighter than my dark hair, so my black eyebrows stick out a bit. I'm hoping to rectify that with a brow mascara, but the ones I see here seem to all be quite light - any suggestions? I'm thinking of trying the MAC Brow Set in the darkest shade. I'd also like a pencil that is a bit harder but not too pigmented either..

Here they are with the rest of my face - not too bad I'm hoping? Hahaha, anyway here's what I'm wearing:

Maquillage White Repair Essence Base UV
Koh Gen Do Water Foundation in OC1
MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC35
Bobbi Brown Correcter in Peach
Bourjois Compact Powder in Miel Dore 73
CANMAKE Shading Powder in 02
NARS Orgasm Blush

Benefit InstantBrow Pencil in Medium
MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre
UD Sin, UD Naked, UD Buck
Clinique Gel Eyeliner in 02 True Black
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers
Covergirl Lashblast Volume
Avon Supershock Gel Eyeliner in Black

MAC Faerie Glen Lipstick

This is probably the most make-up I've worn in the past 2 and a half weeks - MADNESS!

Hope your new year has been off to an amazing start! I'm off back to the UK tomorrow morning - I always hate leaving after winter because I'm always gone atleast half a year every time I do! But I'm coming back with a new camera, so hope you are looking forward to clearer pictures (and dealing with me learning how to use the bad boy :P)!

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3 January 2012

Japanese New Years Shopping

Today I went shopping with an old friend that I've known for literally my whole life, and as Japanese New Years lasts until the 3rd, the city centre was bustling with people who were shopping the sales! Thought it'd be interesting to show you guys what it was like - and what I picked up :D

This is my local Body Shop - I adore the staff here, as they are so helpful and never nag! One summer I went there so much that they knew my face, and gave me the Body Shop loyalty card for free ;) It was a bit awkward to take pictures of the whole place, but trust me - it was packed even in this small town!

The bags you see there I'm sure you haven't seen in Body Shops in the UK! :P These are called "fukubukuro"s. These are special to New Year's here, and they are traditionally secret goody bags in paper red and white bags, that stores put together and sell for a set price. You never know what you will get, but that's half the fun! Sadly most stores now show what's inside (you can see it in the clear bag on the lower level), and put stuff in more later useable bags, but it's still good fun :) I haven't got one this year, but I was treated to one last year from an accessories store by my gran :) My first ever one - back when I was about 8 or 9, was from a stationary store.. was and am a bit of a pen/notebook freak, which is actually not uncommon amongst kids here (in my defense)! :P

Anyway, we were mostly make-up shopping as she needed some new foundation for her new job (yay congrats!) and I.. well, you know, haha. This is one of the things that really surprises me everytime I come back..:

How different is everything from the UK?! It's much girlier, glittery-er and a lot more eyeshadow and lipgloss based. Although it's a lot less girlier than other brands in Japan, I always find that elsewhere, it has a bolder characteristic, with brighter shades and flashier packaging.. if you get my drift :P Although I say I try not to get Western brands while I'm here, I'm tempted to try some of Rimmel's stuff over here! :)

This has been a topic of discussion between us since the summer when she visited Korea Town here in Tokyo - snail mucus. Apparently it's all the rage in Korea due to their beauty qualities, and while I was walking around with a mask in my hand for quite a while, I just could not bring myself to buy and try it. SNAIL MUCUS ON MY FACE?! It'll take a few pints or a boat load of money for that thank you :P

So in the end, I bought a few bits of earrings..

..with my New Year's money from my gran, and as I have sensitive ears, I prefer to get these plastic studs or titanium to avoid any risk of irritation. Japanese stores usually mark clearly what the earrings are made of, so I find it much easier to shop for earrings here. I also love the delicate designs that are here -they were just admired though haha, as you can see these are quite simple, because I just wanted small studs for my second piercing, and the hoops were inspired by my friend. She pulls off piercings better than anyone I've ever seen! She has 2 on her lobes like me, but on the other ear she has her cartilage pierced as well, and somehow she makes it look graceful! I have NO idea how she does it! Everytime I see her, I wanna get a cartilage piercing myself :P (Sorry about the crap pictures, I took this quickly after dinner :P)

Heh heh heh - cheeky make-up purchase. This is Maquillage from Shiseido's, White Repair Essence Base. Now my mission this visit was to get a foundation, but none of them seem to give me the dewy, poreless, no make-up look that every other girl in the country has :P I was sat with a sales assistant to try some foundations when she told me how important a base is. Now the closest to a base I've used are primers, which are very different from what Japanese people consider a base. These usually consist of some SPF, they're usually very watery, light pink and apparently the "thing" these days is to include some beauty serum function. They are also usually marketed to brighten, minimize pores, wrinkles and sunspots.

After trying out two foundations I wasn't happy with, I decided to go for the base instead. I already have way too many foundations for 1 face, so I figured this would be a smarter purchase and it may solve the issue I am having if I try it with some of the samples of Japanese foundations I've gotten :)

I absolutely love New Year's in Japan, it's just so festive, fresh and all the traditions just make me all happy and giddy inside (you can see some of them here on Nic Nic's post!) :P I also didn't enjoy Christmas completely this year, as my Dad wasn't here so very happy to have the family together for some festivities! Today we saw some of the extended family, and in the evening we enjoyed some ridiculously posh wine that my mom had bought my Dad, as he hit retirement age last year - cherished every drop, me :P Happy with all my purchases too, and very excited to try out the base tomorrow, as I am off to see my long lost best friend who I haven't seen in almost 2 years! No make-up shopping I'm assuming though, because well, he's a bloke :P It's fine though, he's a gay best friend in my eyes, minus the girl-perving back in high school and his girlfriend now :P

What has your New Year's shopping been like?
Any new experiences? :)


P.S. Thank you for all the great feedback on my new layout - I'll be keeping it this way then! ;)
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2 January 2012

Make Up Resolutions 2012

Happy new year everyone! Hope you all had a lovely evening and day :) I wanted to start the year off with something.. "start of the year"-ey, so what better than some good ol' resolutions I can look back on and laugh in disbelief (and a bit of horror, probably)? :P

Last year's resolution-like thing for me was the Project 10 Pan, but at the end of the year, I'd only finished 8 make-up products.. so not amazing! I look back and I realise how ambitious this was considering I hadn't hit pan on ANYTHING! This year, I wanted to do something a bit more manageable but as ambitious because after last year, I've learnt a lot and many goodies have been well used and things that weren't have been sold or given away. So here are my resolutions for 2012 :)

A bit much for my liking.. :P

1. Only buying under 3 beauty products a month.
I didn't find this too difficult last year, in fact, it made life cheaper and everything I got I absolutely loved. As soon as I went on a splurge in May, I found many of the things I got then I've already sold! I'm going to try to include clothing and accessories in here too, because being unemployed I really shouldn't be spending so much on things I don't need. While I'll try to plan ahead (limited edition, sales, holiday), things like blog sales, finished products, season changes and discounts may sway it by one or so, but I'll be pretty strict on myself and always count it if it was before I'd bought my 3. This includes nailpolishes,  brushes - anything! I've also got a monthly haul list going in my notebook so I'll always know what I've bought that month :)

P.S. I've done crap this month btw - I've already bought 3 :P However, 1 - they were all discounted 2 - I don't want to leave Japan having just bought 1 piece of make up, and I've gotten some New Year's money.. so.. no more non-Japanese make up for me in January! :P

2. Finish 1 foundation, 1 lipgloss and hit pan on 1 blush.
Foundation is one of those things isn't it - you use it everyday, so surely I should be finishing atleast 1 a year?! Hopefully this will help me in not buying so many!

As for the lipgloss, I just have way too many and they need to be used! I hardly ever use them so I'm giving myself a do-able number of 1 :P

Blushes are probably my biggest weakness, and because I haven't hit pan on any, I'm not sure I can finish a whole one in a year - so pan hitting it is!

3. Finish everything I've hit pan on at the moment.
This includes my Rimmel bronzer, CANMAKE bronzer, Bourjois powder, ELF powder, Bobbi Brown correcter and a few eyeshadows. This is the easiest way to downsize AND get your money's worth - so why not? :)

4. Downsize bathroom/body products to a bare minimum.
This is because there just isn't a reason why I shouldn't! I usually reach for the same things anyway, and it'll be fun to be able to buy more things after I finish them :)

5. No lipglosses, no eyeshadows, no blushes.
Lipglosses - I just DO NOT USE, and yet I have 17?! Definitely no need for more. As for eyeshadows and blushes, they probably are my 2 favourites in make-up so saying no to everything will be difficult - but including that in the bold title there would have sounded silly :P! So I've given myself exceptions. For blushes I'm allowed a baby pink and a brick peach. For eyeshadows, I'm allowed the NARS Pleasures of Paris, a high end palette (probably Dior, YSL or Estee Lauder) and occasional MAC :). Fair dos? :P

6. Finish 15 products.
Yep, I'm at it again.

Some other things I want to do this year, but am not enforcing strictly are.. 1. use up a perfume, 2. use my MSFs more, 3. downsize/use nailpolish, 4. hit pan on eyeshadows, 5. write more reviews, 6. stay as natural, ethical and chemical-free as possible :)

So I'm pretty much about downsizing and having a fully loved/used collection this year. Last year, I was about getting rid of things I didn't use/want and replacing them with things that I would really use and love. I'd say I got pretty close in the end, because I'd say I use 80% of my make up every week, because I use different eyeshadows, blushes and mascaras almost everyday. This year, I don't want to replace anything, I just want to use use use!

I'm really excited at the prospect of having a more manage-able, healthy collection and I'm also excited that hopefully by the end of this, I can finish one product and be able to research to choose what to move on to next - I think researching products is one of my favourite things to do! :P

What are your resolutions for this year? :)
Any tips on using, using, using? :)

I think I should count up how many I have of each product, and see if I really downsized at the end of the year ;) A must do when I'm back in the UK!


P.S. I've changed the look of Let's MakeYuUp! Any comments appreciated :)
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