Friday, 24 July 2015

Tips For Choosing The Perfect Foundation

How To Choose The Perfect Foundation

Before I worked in make up, I literally had no clue about choosing the right foundation, other than selecting the shade that looks the most like white paint. Now, I can't believe I never stopped to think about what I actually wanted from a foundation - I didn't even consider what kind of coverage I was looking for!

So let's start with the simple things:

What kind of coverage do you want? Do you want something that's going to looking natural, designed to even out the skin tone and blur imperfections? Or do you want something a little thicker, with a higher coverage designed to cover blemishes, scars and hyperpigmentation.

What is your skin type? Normal, Dry, Combination, Oily or Sensitive? This is definitely the main question I never thought about when I was younger. I'd use skin care to help combat my combination skin type, but then I would just slap on whatever foundation I fancied the look of! If you're not sure of your skin type, pop in to a make up counter and ask for help - it can be intimidating, but these ladies are trained on skincare, so they know their stuff! 

Now, for the more pernickity things:

What undertone suits you best? I had to word this one a little differently, as I know first hand that the undertone you're meant to be isn't always the one that looks best. I have a pink undertone, but half the time when I buy a foundation with the same tone, I end up looking a little salmon tinged! Also, sometimes the skin on the neck and on the face can have different undertones, so it's up to you what you want to match your foundation to.

What finish do you want? Some people prefer the dewy finish, some prefer matte. There is even a satin finish, which is in between! When my skin was oilier I always opted for a matte finish to combat and oil, but now my skin is normal to dry and I much prefer a dewy finish to help my skin look healthier.

What formula do you want? There are so many different formula's for foundation these days. It's not just the choice of a liquid or a compact anymore. You can go for a liquid, a gel, a pan stick, a dewy compact, a creamy compact, a powdered compact... the list goes on and on! Again, don't be afraid to ask for help. Trying on a foundation to see how it looks first is always the best in my opinion and I always take a couple of hours to see how it lasts and changes on my skin.

That's all I can think of to consider for the moment, but feel free to comment below with anything else you can think of, or with recommendations for different skin types!

Banana Beauty


Monday, 20 July 2015

Spartan Super Edinburgh 2015

Spartan Super

You know those crazy ideas that start off sounding great, then one day it hits you that you're totally unprepared and possibly going to die? Yup, that was me with the Spartan Super. 

I wouldn't say I'm particularly out of shape - I exercise regularly, take a pole class once a week and go for a run most nights. So when one of Scotts friends suggested we get a group together and take on the Spartan Super - note, we decided to skip the first race, the Sprint - I jumped at the chance to challenge myself. But, the closer we came to the race and the more I looked up possible obstacles, the more worried I became about my imminent failure.

Spartan Super Edinburgh 2015
Before - Smiling and excited to take on the Spartan Super!

For those of you who don't know, the Spartan Super is an 8+ mile (apparently ours was actually 10 miles) obstacle course with 25+ obstacles, where you do 30 burpees if you fail or pass on an obstacle. (More info here) The Scottish Spartan was at Spittal farm, meaning we were running around the Pentland Hills. 

The whole time I was training I was shitting myself about the obstacles, but when it came down to it, it was the hills that majorly hindered me. My little legs just weren't prepared to spend 5 hours clambering up and sliding down steep hills and I hurt my left leg, making things even worse! Most of the obstacles weren't that hard at all, but by the last mile my legs were giving up on me and I just wanted the race to be over.

There were a massive range of obstacles, from crawling under barbed wire (which was really easy), rope climbing, monkey bars to carrying weights, climbing over walls and swimming across water. The terrain was just as you'd expect, muddy and pretty damn tough! One of the obstacles was a set of posts half a metre apart that you had to step across, each post being wide enough for only one foot. I slipped as I was going across and came very close to smashing my ribs of the top of one of the posts, but managed to twist so that my thigh and hip took the brunt of the impact. I felt a bit winded and got a bit of a fright, but I just wanted to move on and get the course done so I pushed on, spending the rest of the race feeling a bit miserable and in a lot of pain!

Spartan Super Edinburgh 2015
After - The smile doesn't seem to genuine anymore!

I did enjoy the race and would do it again with more training, but I can't help but feel like it wasn't well organised! I understand that the venue was changed last minute, but there were a lot of things that could have been better. There were no signs leading up to the venue, just a flag on the edge of the turn leading up to the farm. The car park was in a field on a hill so, when we had to stop and wait for boards to be put down in the mud, we were worried that the car would slide down the hill. A lot of the obstacles didn't take you further on the course, but took you in on a circular detour before you moved on, and it seemed like a lot of the course was just there to make up the distance. As well as the obstacles - usually involving carrying bricks, logs etc - taking you in a circle, there were some points where we were clearly just trekking through mud, water and trees to add distance.

All in all it was a fun day out, but the group agreed that it felt like we had gone on a massive hill walk rather than an obstacle course/race. Most of the terrain was so steep that it was pretty much impossible to run and the obstacles seemed few and far between.

Have you taken part in any of the Spartan Races? What are your thoughts?

Banana Beauty


Monday, 13 July 2015


This time last week I posted my Lush Empties (here) and it got a really good response, which reminded me that it's been a while since I've posted a general empties!

The one item I go through most is the Dolly's Mixtures Body Wash. It's only £1 from ASDA and has heaps of amazing scents, as well as being perfect for use as a bubble bath. My favourite scent is definitely the Pina Colada!

Another product I bought a few times is the Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Shampoo and Conditioner (review here). I've stopped using it to try the Mane 'n' Tail shampoo and conditioner as I've heard so many reviews about it, but I would highly recommend Curl Conscious!

I still use the Garnier Summer Body Moisturiser (again, review here) after I shower, applying with a tan mitt. It gives me a nice even application that doesn't look fake!

I've had Viva La Juicy for a loong while now, saving it for evening wear. I love the fragrance as it's deep and just a little bit spicy, my favourite!

On the make up front, I have a quite a few items! As you can see, all of them are from my beloved MAC except for one; the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer. It's still my favourite concealer, both for spots and the under eye. I had many lash cases from MAC, as well as the Mineralize Powder and Brush Cleanser. I'm saving there for the Back2MAC scheme, where you return 6 empties containers and get a free lipstick.

What are your recent empties?


Friday, 10 July 2015

A Quick Guide To Strobing

How To Strobe

Last week I did a little post on how to contour (here.) But, what if you don't want to contour? It's a little bit scary and not everyone feels comfortable adding shadows to their face for fear of looking muddy. So, today I bring you: Strobing! Strobing is pretty much the opposite of contouring, where instead of adding shadow to the face, you're adding light. Think of the make up images you've seen lately, I'm pretty sure you'll agree that it's been all about the dewy, light reflecting skin. There's something about that glow that screams youth, so here is a guide to get the look!

How To Strobe

Starting off with the things to consider, what kind of product do you want to use? I do prefer a cream for this, but I have pretty normal skin and can understand why someone with oily skin would want something with less oil content. As long as the product has a shimmer and not actual glitter particles, you should be fine.

How To Strobe

The main places to add product too are the cheekbones, down the centre of the nose, the cupids bow, chin, the inner corner of the eyes and the brow bone. You can also add highlight to the top of the brow, but I did find that a little weird. 

Personally I don't feel that comfortable with just strobing, as you can see I added a little blusher in the second photo and I would definitely continue to contour! 

Have you tried strobing yet? What product do you use?

Banana Beauty


Monday, 6 July 2015

Lush Recycling Scheme

Lush Recycling Scheme

Back in May I took my first trip to Lush in a very long time (haul here.) Since then, I've taken a monthly trip to get a new face mask and try out a few products. Lush have a recycling scheme where you bring back five full sized pots or tubes and get a free face mask.

The first time I went to lush, my skin was really dry so I picked up the Oatifix. With banana, almond, oatmeal and kaolin it sounded like a miracle worker! It really did help to add moisture to my skin, but I'm just not a fan of the texture. The oatmeal makes the mask super thick and I find it hard to spread over my face without dropping and wasting a lot of product.

I also bought a tub of BIG Sea Salt Shampoo, not to help with volume, but to give my hair a deep clean. As I only shampoo my hair twice a week, it can be pretty hard to clean in two shampoos, especially as the first shampoo never lathers properly. I feel like I can give my hair a good scrub with BIG and it's left feeling super clean. It lasts me a good while as well!

The second mask I tried out was the Catastrophe Cosmetic. I get bad breakouts around my chin and jaw when I go out drinking, so I decided this would be a good one for when I got back from Ireland. Again, the mask worked well on my skin, but I found the texture hard to work with and felt like I ended up wasting a lot of product.

The last mask out of my empties to return is Love Lettuce. This one has little grains that help to gently exfoliate the skin, leaving it super soft and fresh.It's the easiest out of the lot to apply, so it's no surprise that it lasted longer!

The item I most recently purchased from Lush is the H'suan Wen Hua Hair Treatment. I was looking for something that won't pull the colour out of my hair too much and with ingredients like egg, banana and avocado, I couldn't resist. The mask is put onto dry hair, wherein lies my problem with it. I'd say my hair is between mid length and long, is of medium density. I only got two good uses and one sparing use out of the mask and with the tub costing just under £10, it's definitely not something I can afford to purchase regularly!

I feel like this post makes it seem like I'm moaning, but I do really like Lush products! I love the BIG shampoo and the Sea Salt Spray, so I always pick up those when I finish them. I also like the Tea Tree Toner and to be honest, the masks are great, it's just me being fussy!

What are your favourite Lush Products?

Banana Beauty


Friday, 3 July 2015

June Favourites

June Favourites

It's been another fast month for me, with a lot going on! My favourites this month are simple items that I've been reaching for the most.

A new snack I've discovered thanks to my mum is the Laughing Cow Mini Cravings. They're perfect to add to my lunches, or to nibble on when I'm craving food. To be honest all three flavours kind of taste the same, but I'm completely ok with it!

Superdrug Colour Effects

The second item that I discovered last month was through Erin. Since I bleached up my hair and dyed it ginger, I was looking for something to stop the blond coming through. Superdrug sell a wash in, wash out dye for a mere 99p. It promises up to 3 uses, but I'm yet to finish a bottle after a good 6 washes! I got this in Warm Copper Gold and Rich Red and it keeps my hair looking bright and fiery.

I like to mix up my foundation routine to suit my skincare needs, as it changes from dry to combination/oily quite easily. Over the past few weeks it's been pretty normal, so I've been opting for NARS Sheer Glow. (Previous review here.)  

Brazil Nut Body Mist

The last item in my favourites is one I've had for a while. I used to love the Brazil Nut range when I worked at Body Shop and I recently fell back in love with it. I've ran out of the Brazil Nut Eau De Toilette, but I still have two bottles of the Body Mist to get through. 

What are your favourites for the past month? Let me know in the comments below!
Banana Beauty

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