Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Crown Brushes

I've had a few brushes from them before and been a happy customer, I for one was just so happy to find a huge range of quality brushes at great prices. It was time to expand my range and having dipped my toes into the online gamble of brush buying I was happy to trust crown brushes once more. 

These are the beauties I came away with, very happy for roughly £70

And these are just the new syntho brushes which have been relaunched are incredible. All for my kit right now until I can spoil myself with some personal buys. I've been on a quest to get the perfect fan brush for my kit to dust over and perfect base when on shoots. This might just be that find. For myself, I wanted the Laura Mercier duo fibre fan brush to perfect all those pesky bits that get uneven/ creased throughout the day, particularly when I'm on the shop floor I might add. At £25 or so, I'll favour buying this one for myself by Christmas perhaps. 

All of the brushes from this range disperse different textures of powders beautifully and don't suck up too much liquid pigment. Perfect for even finished. When they hit certain numbers of followers of Facebook crown brushes will release discount codes, that is when I will be completing this range! Can't wait! So spread the love and get liking crown brushes uk on Facebook and we can all enjoy that bonus! 

Mid September Haul

I'd been meaning to set in place a cleansing routine for myself, I kept pondering brands and vowing to sample a few but Lancรด me had these great gifts when you bought products. So I figure, go for it, I've at least tried theirs before from my mother's cast off freebie gift sets of tissue off cleanser&toner. 

Express Cleanser £22.50, Toner £22 each & Gel Cleanser £22

To receive the two full size products also, a third purchase had to be made. So I purchased the (L-R above) Express cleanser, Toner & Gel wash off cleanser. Below is the full size scrub I received, the mini's set and a tissue off hydrating mask. I love discounts and freebies, so I have to say having seen things like the Caudalie alternatives since in the Bentalls Beuaty Hall (where I work) at a much better price point (£15ish) I know I was well and truly sucked in by the lure of freebies (apparently over £100 worth of gifts! I don't doubt it at their price per ml!)

Scrub, minis set & hydrating gel mask.

So it's great that I'm finally looking after my skin, but my main irritation with such a routine is that you seem to use a lot of product and yet it removes far less product than a swipe of a face wipe. I am finding  I'm using alot of cleanser&toner and cotton wool to get off all my make up and that more often than not I still have a little mascara showing itself after my shower the next morning. The above pictures were taken after I've had them for 4/5 days and I feel every time I use them it really shows in the bottle. So it it that great that on my student budget I am paying over £40 as opposed to a few quid on face wipes? I also usually stock up when wipes are on offer so I pay a pittance really. Anyway, I do hope that I can report back to you that my skin is better for it and that in 10 years time I'll be grateful I moved on to proper cleansing in my twenties. 
Please do share your cleansing routines and cleanser vs.wipes views, I love a good bit of beauty market research!

Onto my kit haul! I had a job to prep for and I debated the possibility of buying a pre-made neutrals palette but it's not that I don't have neutrals, it's just that I felt lacking in a range and some particular shades. So as much as the costs rack up, I went for a Mac Pro pallette and refills. 

(L-R) Retrospeck, Sumptuous Olive, Bronze,
All That Glitters, Woodwinked, Mythology, Cranberry,
Malt, Quarry, Charcoal Brown, Blackberry, Scene.
Pro Palette Large/Single & Insert £20.50 and Single pan shadows £10 each

I already owned the entire middle row and the 2nd in Olive colour, I had to dig them out of their existing single pan container by forcing the thing apart & holding a lighter to the base to warm and loosen the glue holding the pan in place. I had to use a blade to slip in and prod a lot and I did nick a couple of the shadows as you can probably see. The red shadow in 'Cranberry' actually came out unharmed and I then proceeded to drop it on hardwood flooring between placing it in the brand new pallette :( I'm clumsy, you can probably do better! Really pleased with my new colour choices, much used on set for that job & used them alot on myself since. Retrospeck was a pleasant surprise, using it loads!

Eyeshadow in Mekong £18.00 & Satin Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu £17.50

Against my planned make up haul list, I picked up some Nars goodies! This photo isn't going to give you a good idea of what I've picked up and I've not yet swatched it as I hadn't decided if I would keep them. But in typical Beth-style I've since swatched the lip pencil with a Longwear gloss over the top from Mac, and I'm in love with the combo. So instead of returning something, I have to buy something else to warrant keeping it, hmm! The eyeshadow in Mekong was a shadow alternative to a Mac shade I found not to be as pigmented, plus I've since compared swatches and think that Mekong as a copper sparkle suits me more than the Mac's purple sparkle. Now with these, I promise full swatches and so I'll post again after comparing shadows in photograph & after picking up the gloss. The lip pencil is beaut on it's own! I just crave a glossy dark lip... that seems to be more dangerous somehow.

 Urban Decay 'All Nighter ' fixing spray £19.50, 'Turn On' Lipstick £15 & Liner £14, Grindhouse Sharpener £7 and Deluxe Sample of the Eye Primer Potion

I picked these up in Debenhams the evening before a shoot, because if you read my last haul post you'll remember me picking up above lipstick and promising myself the lipliner... didn't take long did it! You'll notice that about me, I can't leave a good beauty buy alone long! Very happy with the difference, it takes the lipstick from a very pigmented satin finish to a creamy full pigment finish and slightly matte somehow. Now I forgot to pick up a sharpener in Boots minutes before, then she tells me theirs are £7, I guffaw... until she tells me 3 buys will get me the Eye Primer Potion sample, something I'd been checking for cheap samples of on eBay days before! SOLD. It's that easy with me :s
The fixing spray, I'd seen a recommendation that day of an MUA using it on an underwater shoot and the make up not budging! Hell if water doesn't budge it, I want it in my kit! Been using on myself as well as on set and not convinced it does quite that much.. I hope to tell you very soon that it kept my make up perfect through thick & thin. A big night out in Cardiff next week should answer that! PHOTOS, I promise! I think I photograph enough for my blog posts then realise I've not got comparison pictures etc. I'll be a better beauty blogger I swear!

I bought these a couple of weeks ago but have neglected to show them off for you. Just a snap to show you what I picked up in a Beauty Wholesalers, so no prices as these were trade prices. Bed Head Shampoo & Conditioner picked up against the advice of my friends & those who worked there... they don't rate them but I needed to feel reassured by a description of anti colour fade and specifically for redheads, which this does. It smells like toffee and it tells me the right things so I am happy. The hairspray has been great, not too heavy and brushes out; perfect for me and on set. Ditto the shinespray, I'm a shine whore when it comes to my hair. It's either textured and wavy and thus shine is less important or it's loaded with shine products. Great, not dissimilar to what I had on the go, a Lee Stafford can; also used on set and very content with. One for me... one for my kit, just how I like it! You'll notice I use alot of kit for myself... I am a full time student so I'm not working enough to warrant an entirely separated kit and personal collection. I try to keep the bulk of kit in my kit trolley and my personal stuff out but there is crossover. 

Bubblegum Lip Scrub £5.50

This is one of those things I wished I'd considered in my kits before I did all those graduate look books. Just a learning curb, I didn't think about lip prep but it is essential. Nobody likes a flaky lip honey! It smells great, you can eat it straight off and it tastes good and it's all natural. Models will love putting it on, I know mine did the other day :)

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

At Home Play

Had a little play, as posted on my Instagram the other day.

It mainly began with wanting to use my kryolan aqua colours I picked up in my haul (see here) earlier this month. I wanted to play with shading them around my neckline & face contours. This escalated into layers of all sorts. To be honest, the colour pay off wasn't even with the aqua colours, so I started using Illamasqua cream pigments to 'draw' out my neckline and accent where I could get some colour with the aqua colours & going over them with the Kryolan eyeshadows that I sort of picked out as powder counterparts. 

So I did get the colours I was looking for... but I kind of gave up with the entirely ethereal glow I had aimed for in purchasing the aqua colours. 
I had spent the past day cleaning out my mother's beauty collection, so I had confiscated several eye palettes that she a) hadn't touched and b) do not work for her olive tones. So these Lancome, YSL and Clarins palettes came out to play. 
Sidenote, the mother says she does not like shimmer eyeshadows yet she is hoarding more shimmer than matte... and welcome my darlings to a beauty closet you will be appreciated within.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The bare truth

Now I don't want to be all about the beauty and veneer on here when personally, there's nothing I like better than getting home and wiping the slate clean. It's in my job description to wear a certain amount of make up so naturally coming home it's like taking off the uniform.
Isn't it just amazing to see the difference make up does make though. My eye is wider with the lashes fanned up and out, my whole eye area looks bigger and lifted with the brow defined and my skin just looks even and smooth. 
The whole look was just put on for some evening drinks, so its largely Laura mercier with silk creme foundation as base, baked bronze and caviar stick in plum on the eye and a brown liner with some brown shadows and a vanilla mac Pigment for highlight. Other products are a benefit prime duo of porefessional mixed with that gal brightening primer, rockateur blush, they're real mascara and  an illamasqua highlighter in aurora tapped on the cheekbone. 
As you can guess from that list I do use alot on the eye area but I can be lazy with things like the skin in terms of concealing and perfecting. Though I'm such a fan of blending and fluff brushes on the eyes my looks are usually done in 5 or 10
Minutes. I love doing more detail when playing for creativity, something I plan to show you more over the next week. 

Monday, 2 September 2013

First Haul of the month! All by the 2nd..

I have had so many good intentions and photos saved to do blog posts... and all I have is a saved draft since June. So I would like to formally welcome you to my blog with a beauty haul that has had me smiling with every transaction today! I am literally fresh from Covent Garden/SoHo/Oxford St with the bags and debt to prove it, and it feels good (the guilt can wait).

Pictured above (L to R) is my Illamasqua goodies, all from the brand new and highly praised Sacred Hour collection and the innovative new under eye concealer offering from the brand to keep up with their successful and sought after Skin Base foundations. To their right all on his lonesome is an Urban Decay 'Revoloution' Lipstick. Beyond him, my Charles Fox haul, some Kryolan goodies! A new brand for me to buy into but one I've lusted after when stopping by the Covent Garden store and one I would trust given that it is a professional brand used by make up artists of all varieties. The little black pot besides the Kryolan pallette is a Make Up Store product, Sweden based and the only store left in London is this one on Caranaby St as the shop assistant informed me that the Shepard's Bush Westfield branch is closed down! A pity, such a great stop off to pick off Kiko, Inglot and the Make Up store bits.
Below and up front, the Obsessive Complusive Cosmetics Lip Tars, something I had to really hunt around for in the Selfridges Beauty Hall but I was excited by the colours once I did find them.

On with some swatching..


As per, a lovely visit to the Illamasqua Flagship on Beak St, my stop of choice as I can get the loyalty discount there unlike the department store counters. Somewhat surprised to see new team faces and none of the familiar, but they were just as welcoming and beautifully expressive in their make up. 
I knew I'd want this new lipstick in 'Shard', it's red, it's purple, it's Illamasqua, it was bound to be a shade for me. And alas, even more beautiful than expected. Photos of it in action on a make up look to come soon.
£16.50 at Illamasqua

Hello 'Reflection' Palette, you of course are beautiful to swatch in colour and in texture. But I have a complaint, yes you are the innovative gel/mousse cream to powder like formula of the 'Paranormal' Collection's palette that I picked up earlier this year. But you do crease, just like your older sibling. Blend-able as you are, even more wearable in these shades, I will always go for a crease-less formula over you as I will just look better and more polished for an entire day/night. There is a saviour, some tips from a lovely lady of the Beak St team who's name I've ALREADY forgotten! She suggests one, powder my eyes first before use and/or two, using the gel liner on a brush lightly buffed into the eyelid, best for the darker smoky colours obviously as the liner is blackest of blacks after all! So I will be experimenting with this pallette too for a look with the 'Shard' Lipstick and posting soon. And you can tell I still believe in the textures, colours and brand itself if despite reservations of the formula, I still purchased.
£34 at Illamasqua

 (Not my swatch, Illamasqua website pulls)

Swatches of the Nail colour in 'Facet' to follow soon also! I need to paint them... and I already have Hemlock before it was released in this collection, so I couldn't resist picking it's dark counterpart up ready to experiment.
 £14.50 each at  Illamasqua

After reading Laura Louise's review I made a mental note to stop by an Urban Decay counter when I passed a Debenhams or HoF and try them out an undoubtedly purchase. So it was really just a case of honing in on a shade I adored and one not too similar to my already vast lipstick collection. I also played with the matching lipliners and seriously wanted to appease my addiction and the sales assistant's figures and just say yesyesyes, give me that too please... but alas, I was sensible. I did note that the matching lipliner to my chosen 'stick shade 'Turn On' made a big difference when applied first, stronger colour and matte effect, so it will be purchased at some point. I did also want to pick up a Naked/2 Palette, perhaps their most iconic pieces, but at £37, I want to wait until Debenhams pop on one of those Beauty Hall sales and give me % off... oh the student saver in me!
£15 a Lipstick, £14 a Lipliner at Urban Decay

Kryolan goodies from the Charles Fox shop just behind the Piazza & London Transport Museum, a hidden haven of pro make up goodies. Since I went some months ago and pawed rose-gold and bronze tones I've known I shouldn't purchase until I was actually going to follow through and use them. But I've been soaking up inspiration this summer and not acting upon it, and it's getting to a couple of free-ish weeks and I'll be my own canvas; who needs models or actual jobs when you have your bedroom full of make up and natural daylight! So alas, out I came with my forever favourite shade of ethereal multin-tonal fuchsia/purple and rose gold aqua colours. Deciding I already have bronzes I can use for metallic detail. I bought super small ones so I don't waste and let them dry out. Roughly £5 each.
The palette was a self made eyeshadow pallette, given that they were £5.95 each or £17 for 3 in a palette. The first colour I think is much like a sunset blush MAC released in that limited Orange Collection, so that will get used as a blusher too, beautiful coral-pink shade and quite pastel-ly. Much bigger than typical eyeshadows too no? And the other two shades are pretty much powder equivalents of the aqua colours so they're more versatile for everyday use for me and will be great highlights with the aqua colours.

Are you not just excited by the very gloss of these?! Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars are something I've seen on some of my most frequented blogs and are apparently a must have in kits. Well yeah, but first they will grace my make up drawers before the kit gets them! So many shades, I picked out the sparkling deep ruby and the nude first, as they're not colours I really have, so naturally I must need them?! The pink caught my eye but I deduced I have so many lip colours like it, that is until I swatched them thanks to this adorable sales assistant and I knew I could not walk away without them. He then gave me these cotton pads that have a little flap to pop your fingers in so you can use the silky smooth surface to cleanse away make up... before I can even curb my spending thoughts I've asked him  if they sell them and added them to the basket. And that, beauty addicts, is how you spend on a beauty haul.
£11.50 each OCC Lip Tars available at Selfridges