Friday, 27 February 2015

The £7 Brushes: One Month On

10 Brushes For £7

Last month I posted about those brushes that every was talking about (here). I mean really, can it be true that you can get a set of 10 brushes for only £7 that are actually decent? In short, yes! I decided to give a little update on how I am finding these brushes after one month of daily use.

I've been using either the Flat Foundation Face Brush or the Round Kabuki Face brush to apply my foundation daily. Like I said previously, the bristles are compact and gives a lot of coverage, but tend to be pretty tiring on my arm. Hey - I guess I'm getting a good workout, right?!
I've been experimenting with the Tapered Pointed Kabuki Face Brush to apply cream contour. It is really good to give a sharp line as well as using the side for a more blended application, but I'm definitely still getting used to the technique.

The Precision Flat Kabuki Eye Brush is still being used to apply concealer under my eye as well as set smaller areas with powder, although the bristles are starting to splay out a lot, which is probably due to me being a bit heavy handed!
The brush that I was most surprised to love is the Precision Flat Angled Kabuki Eye Brush (seriously, could these names be more of a mouthful?) The sharp edge makes it really easy to apply eyeshadow as a liner, a cut crease, or to blend eyeshadow under the eye.
The Precision Round Kabuki Eye Brush was one that I wanted to love, but it's just too damn big for my small eyes. Unless I'm doing a dramatic smoky eye, it applies too much colour onto my eye and I end up needing to use another brush to blend it out.
The last brush I use regularly is the Precision Tapered Kabuki Eye Brush. It's another brush that makes a good crease brush, or to add a dark colour into the outer corner.

10 Brushes For £7

The only downsides to these brushes are that they are pretty hard to clean, take a good 24 hours to dry and the glue on the Flat Foundation Brush has come away. Neither are a massive issue, although it is my pet peeve when bloggers take a photo of unclean brushes and even though mine are clean, they look pretty unsightly! As for the bristles coming away from the ferrule I have spirit gum at my house that I think will be able to fix this issue without causing too much damage to the brush!

Have any of you tried these brushes? Which brand are your favourite budget brushes?

Banana Beauty


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Bobbi Brown Nectar Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Nectar

Back in January I decided to give myself a treat and buy some high end products that I had my eye on (here). One of the products I had wanted for the longest was the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick. I took forever to decide which colour I wanted to go for as I wanted it more for myself than my kit, but since I've been wearing a lot more peach toned blushers, I chose Nectar.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Nectar

I was a little worried that this would be too glittery and bright on my pale skin as I've had similar products from different brands that are more of a glitter than a shimmer, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it gives a soft peach/pink glow. The brick is made up of 5 colours, 4 peach and pink as well as one light beige highlight tone. I usually swirl all the colours together as I feel it gives a more natural, blended finish.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Nectar

 The only thing I was disappointed with was the size of this product. I know it will last me a long time, but for the price I just felt the actually size of the product would be a lot bigger than it would. It's quite a small square in the middle of the plastic, whereas I thought it would come almost right to the edges of the packaging! This being said, I love that it gives a soft, dewy finish rather than a full on shimmer and I really want to try the Beige and Rose for my kit. They would be perfect for bridal to give that beautiful healthy flush on the cheeks.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Nectar Swatch

Have you ever tried the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks? Or maybe you can suggest a cheaper alternative? Let me know in the comments below!

Banana Beauty

Monday, 23 February 2015

MOTD: Grungy Smoky Eye

Burgundy Smoky Eye
Excuse the brows!

I usually go for polished, neat make up looks so going for something that is a little rough around the edges always seems a bit weird. But one look I do love is a grungy smoky eye. I usually go for a burgundy shadow with an orange/red to blend as I think it gives that rock 'n' roll feel without being too dark.

I start off with the burgundy colour and using my MAC 217 brush, I buff the colour over my lid, starting in the middle an moving into the inner and outer corner. Then, I dip into the red/orange shadow, tap off the excess and blend from the outer corner up slightly above the crease. I add this under my eye as well. I then use a tiny dome shaped blending brush to smudge on some Kohl liner. I sometimes only do this on the bottom, but for this post I decided to line the top as well.

I was trying out a new mascara when I did this look, which turned out a bit too clumpy for my usual liking. But, because I was going for a look that was so rough around the edges, I decided to go with the flow and thicken it up. For such an extreme look, this only took my about 5 minutes to create as there is so little to it!

Burgundy Smoky Eye

What do you guys think? Do you mix up your make up with a look you wouldn't normally wear?

Banana Beauty


Friday, 20 February 2015

The Me Time Tag

Banana Beauty

Last week I was tagged by Emelye Kate (emelyekatefashionandbeauty) tagged me in the "Me Time" post. I love such personal tags that really let you get to know bloggers, so I was excited to read her answers and see how they compared to mine! Sometimes life feels a little crazy and you just want to lock yourself in a room, so I think everyone can relate to this tag.
What do you watch or read during me-time? 
I watch a LOT of Netflix! At the moment I go between Ru Paul's Drag Race, Sons Of Anarchy, Gossip Girl and American Horror Story. So you can see I have a variety of genres, so I just switch between them depending on my mood!

I really wish I read a lot more, but I've fallen out of the habit! When I was younger I was a massive book worm, I even got let into the teen and adult section of the library early! (yeah, that's how cool I was!)

What do you wear during me-time?

Some sort of tracksuit bottoms/pj bottoms and a big t shirt. If I'm cold then my dressing gown on top. I have far too many lazy clothes, but I just can't bare to chuck them out!

What are your me-time beauty products? 
Exfoliator, Pore Strips and masks! I love a bit of a pamper, as you can tell by my pamper night post here

Current favourite nail polish?  
I haven't worn nail polish since I got my gel nails as my nails are pretty wrecked and constantly breaking!
Healthy Smoothie
I wish I drank super healthy, chia seed smoothies like this!
What do you eat/drink during me-time?
ALL OF THE FOOD. Oh wait, that's just all the time...I'm probably having a coffee, pizza, chocolate and probably Doritos.

Current favourite candle? 
Louise recently gave me a little cherry tea light that smells aaaamazing. I have no idea where it's from though. I also really love my Oud & Bergamot candle from Jo Malone.

Do you ever have outdoor me-time? 
I used to run about 3 times a week and loved it to clear my head or be with my thoughts. I've fallen out of the habit, but as soon as I kick this chest infection I'm going to get back into it! I miss running and I'm starting to get some serious back fat!

Would you ever go see a movie alone? 
I don't think so, I'm quite an anxious person so eating alone or going to the cinema is too scary to me!
Favourite online store? 
I think Missguided have really upped their game this year! Although I haven't had the money to buy new things so I haven't really shopped online unless it's for something specific!
Banana Beauty

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Ginger In Amsterdam: Nemo Science Centre and Farewell!

Nemo Science Centre Amsterdam

Our last day in Amsterdam was spent at the Nemo science centre, which is about a 5 minute walk from Central Station. It's pretty much designed for kids, but we had a LOT of fun. There are 4 floors full of displays, with signs telling you what to do and how it works.
Nemo Science Centre Amsterdam
The first floor was all about evolution and genetics. There was a room of skeletons and what I really, really hope were fake fetus' from different animals. It was pretty cool to see how different animals had larger/smaller bones in certain places and to see how similar primate skeletons are to us humans! There was also a little mirror that ask you questions and told you what percentage of visitors gave the same answer. At the end it told us how many visitors there were that were exactly like us and as you can see by the photo, no one like me had been!
Nemo Science Centre Amsterdam

There was a little bit of everything, from building a bridge to a mini Milgrim experiment. The top floor had a quite a few personality tests and challenges for groups to do, but by the time we got there it was time to leave! We ended up getting a slice of pizza an a nutella crêpe as a dinner, before making our way back to Central Station and onto the airport.

I had a really good time in Amsterdam and would love to go again, as there is so much to see and do! I really want to go to the Van Gogh Museum as well as the Anne Frank House, so hopefully we will be returning soon!
Banana Beauty

Monday, 16 February 2015

A Ginger In Amsterdam: Cocktail Cruise, Artis Zoo and The Ice Bar

Baby Chimpanzee, Artis Zoo Amsterdam

As I'm sure you're all aware by now, I spent the first part of the week in Amsterdam. To read about my first two days, including a visit to one of the sex shows, you can check out my previous post (here). We pick up our journey on the Canal Cruise. There were plenty to chose from, but we settled on the Cocktail Cruise. When we arrived at the boat, we were sat at a table with plenty of food to snack on. There were a poke of crisps and a plate full of bruschetta with salsa, guacamole and sour cream to dip it in. 

In retrospect, we probably should have started our break with the canal cruise, as it gave us a good idea of where everything is and we got to learn a lot about Amsterdam. Our cocktails were a Mojito, which I normally wouldn't like and a Cosmopolitan.

Artis Zoo Amsterdam

After a good nights sleep, we headed to Artis, the zoo. We bought a joint ticket for Artis and Micropia, a museum about microbes. There were plenty of indoor enclosures for different animal groups, like reptiles and insects. The first indoor enclosure we went through was the best, as it you were in amongst the animals! There were teeny tiny monkeys, a sloth, bats, little squirrely guys and some exotic and rather noisy birds. There were plenty of animals to see throughout the zoo, but I think our favourites were the lions, chimps (one of them made himself a bed out of straw!) , wolves and for me, the fennec fox!

Chimpanzee, Artis Zoo Amsterdam

Fennec Fox, Artis Zoo Amsterdam

Lions, Artis Zoo Amsterdam

Wolf, Artis Zoo Amsterdam

After we explored the zoo for about 2 hours, we went onto Micropia. It was quite a dark building, but it had lots of microscopes showing different micro organisms and had plenty to see and do. There were ants, fungus, things so smell and touch as well as stamps to collect. There was one little dark booth with a massive screen, that showed different micro organisms throughout the world, especially in places that humans couldn't survive!

Ice Bar Amsteram

At night, we ventured up to the Ice Bar. I was super excited for this and for some reason had it in my head that it would be a mini club! In reality, it was a bar with a room of ice and a mini bar that was freezing. We got a complimentary drink at the main bar, as well as 2 drinks from frozen glasses in the ice bar. They had really nice Puschkin Vodka in whipped cream, which they served with a tiny splash of mixer, which was pretty good! After milling about finishing our drinks, taking a few selfies with the polar bear and accidentally smashing our ice glasses, they novelty wore off and we left pretty early. I think it shows that I was a little disappointed by this one, but really it's my own fault for having such a high expectation! It was only 17 euros each, which is probably the price of three drinks anyway so I can't really complain!

Have you got any city breaks planned? Where to? Myself and Scott are looking to book another city break later in the year so we're open to all suggestions!

Banana Beauty

Friday, 13 February 2015

A Ginger In Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum and The Red Light District

Houseboat Amsterdam
This is the view from our houseboat, not our houseboat!

As mentioned in my previous post, myself and Scott booked a last minute break to Amsterdam. We stayed in a houseboat in Jordaan, a nice quiet neighbourhood that was only a 10 minute walk away from the Central Station and the streets that were filled with shops, food stalls and all sorts of nik naks. I've never been to Amsterdam before and didn't really know what to expect. Scott told me that a lot of people travel by bike, which was a bit odd to me. It was so hard to remember to look for cyclists before crossing roads, as they have separate bike lanes on a lot of streets. The houses are massive and beautiful, I think the most fun was just looking about as we wondered around!
When we first got to Amsterdam, we unpacked and headed up towards the Anne Frank House, which had a massive queue. We decided to give it a miss, but never quite got around to getting tickets for another day. We spent the day getting our bearings, wondering the city centre and planning our next few days.

On our second day in Amsterdam, we made a 40 minute walk to the Stedelijk Museum

Stedelijk MuseumStedelijk Museum
Stedelijk Museum

Stedelijk is the Museum of modern and contemporary art and design and has three floors. (At the moment the lower floor is under construction.) When our tickets were scanned, the gentleman told us something curious, which neither myself, nor Scott understood. I think it was "Take a ride on the backseat of economy." Can anyone shed some light on this? The two floors were filled with some weird and wonderful pieces; from paintings to sculptures, a room with a 9 minute looped video playing, to a container with a replica of a bar, where all the people had clocks for heads. It took about 4 hours for us to go through the whole museum.
Stedelijk Museum
Stedelijk Museum

Ok, **Spoiler Alert**, this next paragraph is all about the Casa Rosso Sex Show and there is literally no way I can be discreet about it.
We went for a wander around some of the main streets and quickly found ourselves in the Red Light District. After a walk up and down, into a few shops and past all of the theatres, we decided that we might as well go to one of the shows. It is Amsterdam, after all! Most of the theatres were owned by Casa Rosso, so we went to their main theatre. The show looped and lasted for about an hour and a half. When we first walked in, there was a couple half way through their set. It was pretty plain to be honest, just plain ol' sex. The solo acts were definitely more interesting, from a girl getting people to eat a banana out of her lady parts, to a girl who wrote the word "dick" on someones chest (I'll let you figure out how she was holding the pen.) 

I thought it would be extremely weird watching a sex show with my boyfriend, but after the first act it was not at all awkward to watch people getting busy with it on stage. Some of the acts were enthusiastic, others seemed pretty damn bored. After about 20 minutes it all got a bit samey, but obviously we wanted to get our hour and a half worth!

After the show, the Red Light District was in full flow and a lot of the windows were filled with ladies looking to earn their keep. Even though we'd just spend an hour and a half watching a live sex show, I found myself feeling a bit embarrassed and avoiding eye contact, I wasn't giving them business and I didn't want to stare!

Have any of you been to Amsterdam? What did you get up to whilst you were there?
Banana Beauty


Monday, 9 February 2015

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

The other day Abi from Tellin Stories nominated me for the Versatile Blog Award. I'm always so honoured when other bloggers nominate me for awards, it really makes me feel like my blog is worth the effort I put in! So thank you Abi, it really made me happy to read your comment!

 The rules are:
  • Show the award on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Share 7 facts about your self
  • Nominate 15 blogs
  • Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know
7 Facts About Me:
  • I'm left handed.
  • I'm a vegetarian. I don't believe that animals should be bred specifically to be food.
  • I've been learning to pole dance on and off for about 5 years now, but this past year is the longest I've stuck to it.
  • I'm a trained hairdresser, beautician and make up artist, but it's make up artistry I want to make a career in.
  • I'm a bit of a party girl. I just love doing big smoky eyes, bright/dark lips and having a wee drunken boogie.
  • I'm a bit of a gamer, I love Fallout 3/New Vegas, Skyrim and miss playing WoW.
  • As much as I know I sometimes come across as a bit of a cold hard bitch, if I like you I will be the most compassionate person ever. I hate knowing someone isn't happy and will try my best to do something to cheer them up, even if it's as little as going to Boots to buy 5 Red Bulls and sticking them in a Christmas gift bag. (The person I did this for cried because they thought it was so sweet = Mission accomplished)

I nominate:

Banana Beauty

Friday, 6 February 2015

I'm Going To Amsterdam!

MAC Angel Lipstick Swatch
I have literally no photo's to put in this post - so here are my lips...

A little update for you all - on Sunday myself and Scott are off to Amsterdam for a few days! We decided to book a last minute break and we're going to stay in a houseboat, how cool?! I'm going to try and take some photo's of anything interesting we do, so hopefully I'll have a nice post on my time away in a week or so! Scott is also taking his GoPro with him, which should be a lot of fun.

Have any of you guys been to Amsterdam? What would you suggest we do while we're over?

Banana Beauty

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

January Degustabox

January Degustabox

I've been pretty busy this past few weeks and I haven't been home to see my family almost all month. Today I had a day off that actually was a day off and spent it at home with my mum, dad and brother. It also meant that I could pick up my mail, in particular the January Degustabox.

I think this is the best Degustabox I've had - granted I've only had three! There were so many items that I was immediately excited to try out.

January Degustabox

Let's start with the drinks. I'm not a massive fan of milk and normally I drink soy or almond milk, but I've never tried coconut milk. Koko Dairy Free was the first item I spotted when I opened the box and I was pleased for the chance to try it out.

Clipper Green Tea is something that I've tried before, so it's always good to see it in the Degustabox! This is the lemon version, so it will be really nice and refreshing 

I've tried both of these Little Miracles flavours before in the Boots meal deal and liked both.I love flavoured water and these are a little more unusual than your standard flavours.

Magners isn't really a brand I'd normally drink, but I love that they have not only a light version, but with a berry flavour!

January Degustabox

The second items that stood out were the Morningflake Top Porridge in Golden Syrup and Nutella. I'm trying to be a bit better at eating breakfast as I normally just have a coffee, so these are perfect for me! Plus, you really can't go wrong with Nutella!

I've been having soup for lunch at work for a looong time now, but the Finn Crisp Crispbread reminds me how much I like hummus or soft cheese for lunch.

I spotted Kabuto Noodles one day when myself and Scott were shopping in Sainbury's and we both pointed them out for their unique packaging. It was a nice surprise to see them in the Degustabox.

January Degustabox

I'm not sure how I feel about Howards Piccalilli, but I guess I can't knock it until I try it! I'll probably use it in a stir fry or something rather than a relish, because the colour is a bit off putting!

I've never heard of rice bran oil before and have always used vegetable or olive oil, so this should be interesting! I wonder if it tastes any different, or if it's just an overall oil taste?

The last item in the Degustabox is the one I tried out first. I was pretty interested to see if "just add water," free from everything bread would actually taste nice, so I mixed up the contents and put it straight in the oven. Once the bread was ready, we all had a little nibble. Granted it wasn't that great on it's own, but with a bit of butter and dipped in bread, it's a really nice seedy bread!

Have you ever tried a Degustabox? What would you like to see in it in the future?

Banana Beauty

Monday, 2 February 2015

January Favourites

January Favourites

I've had so many new things to play with this month, but sometimes you just can't beat the products you've had for a while!

January Favourites

I've been using eye lash curlers on and off for years, but I've gotten back into a routine of using them daily and I don't think I'll be going back any time soon! They're not at all fancy, coming from good old ASDA. But, I clean them regularly and so far the rubber hasn't been replaced so they're a great investment. To curl my lashes, I put the curlers about a centimetre away from my lash line, gently clamp and bend the curlers upwards to get maximum curl.

Another eye product I've been using for a while is the MAC Prep and Prime Lash Primer. It's white in colour and helps to condition and strengthen the lashes, as well as add a thick base for mascara. I wasn't sure if it would really make a difference or if it was just a massive gimmick, but after almost using up all of the tube I can definitely see a difference. My lashes are visibly longer - at least to me - and I've even noticed a lot more lashes growing at the base of my eyelid! I've tried wearing volumising mascara without Prep and Prime Lash last week and just couldn't get the same thick effect without it.

I think it's safe to say I'm known as a Lime Crime Velvetines fan and only need three to complete my collection. Throughout January I've been loving the vampy look that Wicked brings and the fact that I only need to reapply it every few hours.

The last product in my January Favourites I've had for a few months. I have learned to love my curls, but they can get really frizzy and dry if I don't look after my hair. Bumble and Bumbles Curl Conscious shampoo and conditioner keep my curls tight and soft. I wish the bottles were bigger as I finish them quite quickly.

What are you favourites this month? Have you had a lot of new products this month or are you sticking to old favourites?
Banana Beauty
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