Friday, 30 January 2015

Shop My Stash: Make Up Academy Palettes

Make Up Academy Palettes

Lately I've been wearing some pretty bright eyeshadow colours, from purple, to orange, to green. But I decided to go back to more neutral colours and after moving my ever growing palette stash, I realised I've been neglecting my Make Up Academy Palettes.

Make Up Academy Undress Me Too Palette
The colour that cracked was a medium matte brown, I'm so gutted as I always used it for my crease :(
Make Up Academy Undressed Palette
Undressed

For a good while I was tempted to buy the Urban Decay Naked and Naked 2 palettes, but had also heard many good things about the Make Up Academy Undressed and Undress Me Too palettes, for only £4 each! Shortly after I was at my friends house and spotted the MUA Matte palette on her bedside table. I asked her and she highly recommended I try out the palettes. I immediately when home and ordered both the Undressed and Undress Me Too 
 palettes from Superdrug, which came a few days later.

Make Up Academy Palette Swatches
Fiery (UD Too)//Shade 6 (UD)//Corrupt (UD Too)

I still can't get over how good the pigmentation is in these eyeshadows! They're a really soft powder, so the buff well into the bristles of my brushes and give an amazing colour payoff. The frost finish shadows have an amazing, molten gold effect that I really cant get enough of. There is a good variety of tones and finishes in both palettes and I like that Undress Me Too even has a matte black colour Corrupt (although I find myself using the dark bluish colour Shade 12 in the Undressed palette more!

As I've never actually tried the Naked Palettes I can't really make a comparison, but what I can say that for a mere £4 - which is cheaper than a lot of drugstore single eyeshadows - you can get a great neutral palettes with amazing pigmentation, colour payoff and finishes. The packagings pretty cheap and even though they live in a drawer where they don't knock around the writing has chipped off a bit, but that's perfectly fine by me!


 Have you tried the Naked or Undressed palettes? What do you think of them?

Banana Beauty
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Monday, 26 January 2015

Jo Malone Oud and Bergamot Candle


Up until the start of the year, I had never even entered Jo Malone. Then, after hearing so much about the candles from the girls at my work I decided it was about time I treated myself to one. I recently went all out and bought a few high end pieces (here) along with the Jo Malone Oud and Bergamot Candle. I went into the shop and smelled pretty much every single fragrance, but it was the Intense scents that really struck me. I narrowed my choice down to Dark Amber and Ginger Lily, Oud and Bergamot and Velvet Rose and Oud. 

The packaging for the candle is gorgeous. I love the metal lid on the Jo Malone candles, it definitely gives it a luxury feel. The glass of all the Intense scented candles is an off-black brown, which I prefer to the clear glass.

The best way I can think of to describe the scent of Oud and Bergamot is a tangy, smoked smell. I've read a lot of reviews saying that the scents don't last long or aren't that strong, but I've burned this candle three times and always been able to smell it even after it's been burning for an hour or two. It burns nice and evenly, if not a little quickly compared to some other candles I've had. 

The only complaint I have about the candle is how much smoke comes off it. I always trim the wick as much as possible, but it burns blackish smoke when I first light it and smokes A LOT when I blow it out. I've looked it up but couldn't see anyone else with this issue, so maybe it's just my candle?

This is definitely a treat that I won't be buying all that often, but I'm also not going to be one of those people who doesn't burn their candle because it was expensive! Have you tried any of Jo Malone's scents? Which are your favourite?

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The £7 Make Up Brushes That Are Actually Pretty Good



Best Budget Brushes



At the start of the month I saw Lisa from The Beauty Type's post (here) on a set of 10 make up brushes for £7 from eBay! I ended up getting a set for £7.99 as I figured you really can't go wrong and I love Due Fibre Brushes. After a little research I couldn't help but notice how much the brushes resemble the Crown Infinity Brushes, although I have never tried them so I can't compare. I've been using them for a few weeks now so I decided it was a good time to write up a little review as I can already tell which brushes I will continue to use in the future.
Best Budget Brushes

The brush I like the most so far is the Flat Eye Brush. I use it to blend out concealer under my eyes and to set the areas of my face like my under eye, sides of nose and chin with powder. It's gives a flawless finish without over applying product to the face.

Best Budget Brushes

The second brush I can see myself using in the future is the Flat Foundation Brush. It's perfect for a lighter coverage foundation as it gives an even finish without leaving any streaks on the face. I wouldn't use it with a thicker coverage however as I find it just clogs up the brush. 

The only other two brushes I would use I'm not convinced with yet. I do really like the Round Face Brush for a full coverage foundation, but it is a lot of work which hurts my wrist (no, seriously!!) and does take a lot of buffing to get a smooth finish.

Best Budget Brushes

I've been looking for a Due Fibre brush for my eyeshadow and have tried the Precision Round Eye Brush, but I was hoping it would be good for blending all over the eye as well as in the crease and it's just a tad too big for the crease. I'm going to keep using it to see if I can build a technique.

The other brushes are still nice, but I just couldn't personally see myself constantly using them! Overall, I'm really impressed with the quality for the price! They don't shed when washed and give a really nice even distribution of product. The only downsides are that I find the brush fibres are so close together in the face brushes they can be hard to clean and half the time aren't dry by the morning. I can't say much about the longevity of the brushes, but to be honest if they latest for more than 6 months with regular use I'll be extremely impressed!

What are your favourite budget brushes? Have you ever bought cheap brushes and found they've worked really well? 

EDIT: To see updates on these brushes, see here and here

Banana Beauty
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Monday, 19 January 2015

High End Haul

Best High End Products


There comes a time in every girls life when she just has to treat herself to a little something something. I decided it was time to get some high end products that aren't my beloved MAC, using the reason "I can use them in my kit" as an excuse. So, I made an online order and yesterday it finally arrived, after what felt like ages! 

I recently tried the Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Shampoo and at first I was a little unsure. Before I only needed to wash my hair once or twice a week, using the Body Shop's sulphate free shampoo. I feel like my hair needs shampooed every other day with the Curl Conscious shampoo, but my curls are a lot bigger and more volumised! Before my hair was still curly, but got frizzy super easily and only held for a day before turning into waves. Now, even when I brush my hair it slowly goes back into curls, although the top layer is still quite frizzy. I'm happy to compromise, because my hair is thicker and better then ever!

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Nectar

The next product I've had my eye on since Leeds Festival last year. I saw a girl with an amazing highlight on her cheeks and I just had to ask what it was. I'm not sure what colour of the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick she had, but I was torn between the Rose and the Nectar versions. I eventually decided on Nectar, as I've started to move away from pink colours to more peachy tones. I haven't actually tried it yet, but it gives off such a nice highlight that I'll probably make a separate post reviewing it!

Estee Lauder Double Wear

The next product isn't actually something I bought for me, but something I've been meaning to buy for my kit. The two most talked about foundations used by make up artists are MAC and Estée Lauder, specifically Estée Lauder Double Wear. After a little research I chose three colours of the foundation and two of the concealers. I'm really excited to have them as I've heard so much about them.

Jo Malone Oud & Bergamot Candle

The last product I ordered is probably the one I am most excited about it. I've never had a Jo Malone Candle before, mainly because they're so expensive. I went for the Oud & Bergamot, but to be honest I would of been happy with any of the Intense Collection as they're all gorgeous and spicy smelling.

What are your favourite high end products? What others would you like to try?

Banana Beauty
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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Skincare Routine


Top Skincare Products

Skincare is something I hardly ever skip as it's so important to look after your skin. I've been pretty lucky with my skin, I only had about 2 years of bad skin and through my teenage years my skin was actually pretty prefect, although I didn't think it then! The only skincare problems I have now is a combination of oily skin and dry patches, with open pores and red marks where I've had blemishes when my skin was problematic.

In the morning I use some form of cleanser to get rid of any dirt build up overnight. Right now I'm using a sample of DHC Deep Cleansing Oil I got from Latest In Beauty, which is lovely and softening on the skin. Oil cleansers are good for oily skin as "like removes like" meaning oil with help to remove oil without stripping the skin. Random tip, I was taught "like removes like" from hairdressing - when you have staining from hair dye, before you wash the dye off rub a little bit of hair that has dye on it on the stain and rinse, it will help to remove the stain!

To moisturise I've decided to go back to Simple and use the Simple Kind To Skin Vital Vitamin Night Cream for day and night, as my skin has a lot of dry patches at the moment. After my moisturiser has sunk in, I apply a primer and my base make up, before putting a little bit of Dr Lucas Paw Paw Balm on my lips to keep them nourished.

At night, I use Garniers Micellar Water to remove my make up, concentrating on my eye make up. Then I go in with cleanser to get rid of any left over make up and dirt. Again, I use Simple to moisturise.

Twice a week (usually the night before my day off so my skin can have a rest and my pores can close before I pile more make up on) I use MAC's Ash Exfoliater with a teeny tiny amount of water to get rid of all my dead skin cells. Then, once a week after this I use a deep cleansing face mask, followed by Pore Strips on my nose and chin (once a month) and a Moisturising Face Mask.

I've found that this routine has really improved my skin (as well as cutting out the weekly Papa Johns/Dominos) and kept the dry patches at bay, so I'll happy stick to it until the weather is warmer and my skin gets more oily. Then I'll go back to using The Body Shops Vitamin E Sorbet during the day and exfoliate less if I don't need it as much!

Do you have a skincare routine? What products do you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!


Banana Beauty
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Monday, 12 January 2015

My Favourite Perfume

Viva La Juicy The Body Shop Vanilla Perfume

The other day myself and my mum were talking about perfume. She told me a story about her friend, who had bought a perfume she hadn't worn in a long time and her husband immediately remembered that it was the perfume she wore when they first met. It made me think about how powerful the sense of smell is and how perfume can bring back memories or remind you of someone you know. 

When it comes to perfume, everyone has different preferences and there are literally thousands of scents to choose from. I love having a different scent for day and night, always choosing sweet scents for day and something a bit more spicy for night. 

During the day I've been wearing The Body Shops Vanilla perfume. Obviously I don't need to describe the smell for that one! When I first started wearing it I was a bit worried that it smelled really strong, but the smell calms down quickly whilst still lasting for hours. I always get compliments when I wear it and I like that it's a bit more girly and soft.

For night, I wear Viva La Juicy. Although I said I like spicy scents, Viva La Juicy is describes as a "gourmand floral" scent. It has a mixture of sweet and floral notes from caramel, vanilla (shock) and gardenia as well as deeper, what I would call spicy notes such as amber and sandalwood. It's a bit more of a grown up smell and I think it suits my skin really well!

Both of these bottles are about 3/4 of the way through now and I will definitely be purchasing Vanilla again for everyday, but I'm not sure if I want to mix it up for night! I quite like Viva La Juicy Noir and after a recent trip to Jo Malone, I'm really tempted to get the Oud & Bergamot Cologne. 

What is your favourite scent? Do you mix it up or stick to one perfume? Let me know below!



Banana Beauty
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Saturday, 10 January 2015

Daily Make Up Brushes

Daily Make Up Brushes


I love reading blog posts on daily make up and go-to products, but lately I've seen more of a focus on brushes and it's something I've really been drawn to. Good brushes are usually a bit of an investment and can cost a fair penny if you want them to last. In the past year or so I've focused a bit more on finding the perfect brushes that will last me longer than a year. I used to think cheap brushes were just as good without the longevity, but after discovering the MAC 217 brush, I started to see the difference in higher end brushes.

I've now got a collection of brushes (mainly MAC) that I'm pretty happy with and would definitely recommend to everyone, hence the post! Because I work in make up I do wear quite a lot of make up every day, which means quite a lot of brushes!

Daily Make Up Brushes


For my base, I either use MAC's 159 Duo Fibre Brush, or the Pro Performance Sponge. The sponge is amazing for creamy/gel based products and gives a really even and flawless finish. The brush is good for thinner liquid products as I can buff and pat them in to stop any pesky application lines. Both are also good for a cream/liquid contour as they have pointed tips to gently blur harsh lines without over applying product. The only issue I have with the sponge is I can never seem to clean it properly! 

For a powder contour I love the Crown Jumbo Kubuki brush. It's massive and fanned out, meaning I can evenly spread out product over my cheeks, jawline and forehead without any harsh lines.

I use one brush for blusher and highlighter, the MAC 109 Small Contour Brush. I used to use this for my contour, but after switching to the Crown brush, I've started using the 109 in small circular dabbing motions to apply a pop of colour to the apples of the cheeks, then blend up my cheekbone. Then I dab highlighter along my cheekbones and onto my temples to give my skin a healthy glow.

For eyes, I either use the MAC 217 blending brush for a heavy application or one of the tapered brushes I got on my course (it's quite like the Crown C139) for blending out shadows. I also use the MAC 219 Pencil Brush to apply colour into the inner corner or the undereye area.

I use gel on my brows and the best brush I've found is the Ecotools Slanted Eyeliner. It's quite firm so perfectly distributes product without creating harsh lines. To brush the gel through after I have a generic spoolie brush.

The last brush that I use daily is a paint brush from Hobbycraft, which I use for eyeliner. It's teeny tiny bristles and softness help to create a smooth line with eyeliner, making it much easier! Plus, it only cost me a couple of pounds!

Phew, I didn't realise how many brushes I use on a regular basis! On last thing I want to say on the subject of brushes is that you shouldn't just use brushes for the purpose stated on the website/package! Lot's of brushes, especially duo fibre brushes are great for both liquids and powders! I use eyeshadow brushes for concealer, foundation brushes for powder etc etc!

What are your favourite brushes and how do you use them?





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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

2013 Favourites Revisited


2013 Favourites Revisited

New Year 2013 seems like a long time ago to me! I hadn't really gotten into blogging and had barely discovered the online community. As you can see here, my photo skills have greatly improved!! I've always been into beauty products and regularly try out different products, but I always gave them a wee google beforehand, which lead me to the blogging community in the first place. Last year I wrote about my favourite products for the year, so I decided to revisit them and see if I still use and love them!
2013 Favourites Revisited

Bioré Pore Strips

These have been one of my favourite products for years and I constantly mention them on here and recommend them to friends. They honestly clear out blocked pores so well and I still use them at least once every two weeks.  

I never got round to trying their other products, but recently my mum bought the 1 minute face mask and the ash cleanser, which I have tried and quite like! The 1 minute mask is a really good idea and it warms up nice and quickly for a skin treat!

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment

I actually haven't used this in a few months! When I got my hair done in October, I started using the Schwarzkopf Omega Intensive Mask to keep the ends nice and moisturised. I don't really use heat on my hair so it doesn't get too damaged, so once I finish the Schwarzkopf masks I want to get the Lee Stafford Treatment again. It really helped to repair my hair after it was damaged from being highlighted and my hair grows so slowly so hopefully it will help it grow a bit longer!

MAC Viva Glam IV 

This was my first MAC Lipstick and still is one of my favourites! Because it started to run out I for some reason don't wear it as much, even though I can easily go and buy it again. It's the perfect deep plum tone with a frosted finish. As I got this as a present, I wasn't aware that it's actually a charity product! 100% of the selling price of MACs Viva Glam Lipsticks go to the MAC AIDS Fund, which help those living and affected by HIV/AIDS. (More information can be found here) I think it's amazing how something as simple as buying a lipstick can help to save lives!

Essie Nail Polish

Again, I haven't used this in a while as my nails are a shambles after getting Gels for my birthday (my own fault, I took them off myself instead of going back...) so I don't want to draw attention to them by painting them. But Essie is still my favourite nail polish brand by far, as they last a week without chipping! I can't see me buying any other brand of nail polish to be honest!

Do you still use your favourites items from last year? Or have you got new products you swear by? Let me know in the comments! 





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Sunday, 4 January 2015

2014 Favourites **Giveaway Closed**

2014 Favourites

It's been a rollercoaster of a year for me and I think a lot has changed! I've developed my blog a lot and discovered so many new products. It was really, really hard to narrow this down enough to make a little giveaway, but I really wanted to give something back to my readers and I wanted it to be items I truly love and regularly recommend, be it on my blog or to my friends!
2014 Favourites

No surprise here, but the first pick for 2014 is:

Biore Pore Strips

These are hands down the best pore strips I've ever used. They actually get most of the gunk out of your pores, to the point almost all of them are visible on the strip.
Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask

I've always seen these, but never really bothered with them. I bought them on a day that I decided to give myself a bit of a pamper (here) and haven't looked back since. the Chocolate Orange scent is my favourite as it heats up and really cleans out the pores.

Dr Lucas Paw Paw Balm

I had never heard of this until I trained at The Academy of Make Up, but it's pretty much amazing. It can be used on the lips, or as moisturiser for dry skin. It's kind of like a better version of Vaseline, to put it simply!

MAC #7 Lashes

As I mentioned in my December Favourites (here) I've been wearing these lashes almost every few days and I really like them. They look natural enough that they're not mega obvious, but they finish any eye look off perfectly!

Lime Crime Black Velvet Velvetine

I've been in love with Velvetines for over a year now and have almost completed my collection! The colour's are lovely and really do stay on for the whole night. Black Velvet is the ultimate black lip colour and a fun addition to any make up addicts collection.

Yankee Candle

I wouldn't be a true blogger if I didn't love Yankee now, would I? With so many beautiful scents to choose from, there really is something for everyone! For my giveaway, the lucky winner can choose any scent of Tealights or Small Jar candle (provided my local store have it stock!)

In regards to the giveaway, the rules are simple. It will be open to all UK residents until the 19th of January at 00:00. I winner will be chosen and contacted within 24 hours. They will then have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Also, I WILL BE CHECKING that you have fulfilled the criteria. I cannot stress this enough, last time I spent hours removing entries who hadn't done so.  

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Friday, 2 January 2015

December Favourites


 
So here we are, 2015. It seems daunting for some reason, don't you think? So far all I've done is eat and drink, but hopefully today I am going up Bennachie with Scott and one of our friends! Over December I haven't really used anything new, as I was waiting to see what I was getting for Christmas, so it's no shock that some of my Christmas Presents have made it into the list.


Crown Jumbo Kubuki Fan

I was so surprised to get this from my mum as it was an item I kept meaning to buy but never got round to! It's perfect for contouring, as I hate my chubby face and cover half of it in bronzer. This brush is so big that I just need to brush it back and forth a few times on each section and boom, Kim K style contouring! 

Lime Crime Velvetines

I now only need Pansy and Cashmere to complete my Velvetine collection, which makes me extremely happy. I'd been wearing Suedeberry for the start of December, but since getting Wicked I can't help but reach for it almost daily.

MAC #7 Lashes

I'm going through a stage of wearing lashes a few times a week, but I don't really like anything too dramatic. #7's are amazing and the blend well with my natural lashes and a lot of time people have to ask if they're real or not! A lot of bigger lashes are too long for my small eyes and need trimmed, making them look unnatural. Plus, they're super light and don't irritate my contacts or give me bloodshot eyes at the end of the night!

New Look Furry Hairband

Sometimes in the morning my hair is a bit wild. Almost every morning I don't have time to deal with it. So sticking on a beanie or headband helps to tame my unruly locks as I rush to work! I had my eye on this headband for ages and bought it quite a while ago. But it was always raining so I couldn't wear it without getting a wet crown. I don't know why I like it so much, but it makes me feel incredibly cosy whenever I have it on!


Dollys Mixtures Body Wash

I saw this in ASDA a month or so ago and couldn't believe how amazing they smelled. The next time I went with my mum I just had to buy a few! I currently have the Pina Colada scent in the shower as it's my favourite cocktail, yumm! Plus, these were only £1!

What were your favourites for the last month of the year?

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