Pearly and White

Saturday 31 August 2013

I will spare you a very up close and personal picture of my teeth, but lately I have been indulging myself in a little whitening. Not having been blessed with beautiful pearly whites I have always been a little self-conscious about my less than perfect teeth, but after wearing braces for 2 years during my early teens I decided not to waste all that hard work and invest in a few whitening products. 

Not being able to afford the £200 price tag of professional treatment, I opted for Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects, an American product I purchased from Ebay for around £20 for a 10 day course (similar seller here!). Using these for half an hour each day by sticking the plastic sheets to both the upper and bottom teeth really did make a big difference to my overall smile. I would take a guess that my teeth dropped about 3 or 4 shades in colour, considering they were pretty yellow to begin with and are now a much nicer cream colour. I will never have perfect pearly white teeth, but this does make me a lot more confident with my smile and for £20, why not?! 

Things to bare in mind; these may cause a little sensitivity, I had some by about day 8 but persevered and it disappeared a few days after I finished the 10 day course, also these do not work on veneers or anything other than real teeth! I had a few teeth problems when I was younger resulting in me having to have some extra build up on my canines which is technically not real tooth so the strips did not whiten them. I think if I went any whiter with the strips this may become a lot more noticeable so am reluctant to go whiter without a visit to my dentist first! I also use whitening toothpaste to maintain the colour (normally Macleans!) but will probably do another course of whitening within the next 6 months to keep up the colour, unfortunately it wont last forever!

How do you usually whiten your teeth?!

Cut It Out

Friday 23 August 2013

Top - Primark   Jeans - Zara   Boots - Primark   Watch - Marc Jacobs   Nails - Models Own BlooBoo

I have been lusting after a pair of leather-look cut out boots since they first appeared in torrents all over my instagram and tumblr feeds, making multiple appearances in YouTube Back to School fashion videos and doing the rounds on the interwebz. I spotted these black cut our babies from Primark for only £18, and snapped them up. Buckles make them adjustable to any size and a good chunk of a heel means I am near enough a 6ft giant clomping around in these! Chilly feet aside these are my Autumn transition shoes sorted, and will be glued to my feet for the next few months.

I paired them with a monochrome outfit with a flash of navy nautical stripes on top, with a little baby blue on the fingertips. In summer if you ever see me without bright blue or bright red on my fingernails, shoot me!

Have a faaaabulos weekend!

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Monday Masks

Monday 19 August 2013

After a very big week involving exam results, results night and V Festival, it is an understatement to say my skin is looking a little lack-lustre! Stress, a little overindulgence, alcohol, lack of water and sleep deprivation has left my skin crying out for moisture and a major detox. Whenever I need a pick me up, I always turn to masks  to restore some life back into both my skin and slightly frazzled hair.

First up is the Una Brennan Pore Purifying Clay Mask, which I slather all over cleansed skin with fingers leaving it on for around 15 minutes or until it hurts to smile! Warm water and a muslin cloth gets this baby off in no time and leaves fresher, less de-congested skin behind. I then add some kind of serum I have lying around (Hydraluron being the obvious choice today!) and then a thick layer of Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, which not only smells amazing but also imparts a whack of moisture which my skin desperately needs. 

For hair that is soaked in festival grime - fingers crossed only cider and mud rather than anything worse! - I will be shovelling on the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer overnight to try and restore its shine and softness, and tomorrow morning will be washing it out with Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo which is clarifying enough to lift the grime!

I hope that everyone who received any results last week got exactly what you wanted, and if not remember everything happens for a reason. Have a great week!

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my eyebrow routine

Tuesday 13 August 2013

In my opinion, eyebrows can either make or break a face. They are the single most important factor in pulling together any makeup look, and whether you go for fine and natural, or full and thick Lily Collins-esque brows, suiting the shape and colouring to your face shape is vital. My preference has always been as thick and bushy as possible - ohh err! - and after many a brow mishap in my past from an almost fully fledged uni brow, to two tiny, sluggish mistakes, I am reasonably pleased with my brows at the moment, bar a few gaps which are pretty easy to fill in!

In terms of maintenance I am pretty low key. I have never had them done professionally, and honestly don't trust anyone else enough to get them done. My Tweezermans get pulled out about once a week to tame the stray hairs, going along with my natural brow shape, and banishing that uni brow back to the depths of 1998! I also have pretty unruly hairs in my brows, so tend to trim the front part where the hairs stand upward to keep them neat and tidy.

On a daily basis, I could not live without my Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash, my absolute favourite brow pencil which I use to fill in any gaps, lightly pencilling in the more sparse hairs at the front and extending them lightly at the ends. I also sweep a little Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel through them although this step is optional, as I am still on the hunt for the perfect brow gel. Anastasia's offering has a slightly too large brush which packs on a little too much product for my liking.

So there you have it, without a tadpole or even a scouse brow in sight - shudderrr!

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Brighton Rocks

Sunday 11 August 2013

A month or so ago I went to visit Brighton for a friend's 18th birthday, and apart from the weather being a little blah and windy, I loved my first visit to the little seaside town. Brighton is pretty beautiful, the lanes shopping is especially fabulous, and of course the pier and beach are massive favourites. Apart from a small incident with a rather over friendly diving seagull, I had the best time.

I wore my favourite red dress from River Island which always instantly screams summer and brightens my mood even if everyone and their mother already owns it, paired with black tights and my bright blue cable knit jumper from H&M to counteract the pretty harsh wind. Clashing primary colours is the way forward! Plimsoles are completely necessary with long days and lots of tourist sight seeing to do, so my comfy navy shoes from Primark were a perfect addition to my outfit.

We spent much of the day running around on the beach, eating alllll the food ever made and of course went dancing off into the night as soon as sunset hit. Makes you realise how much fun staying in the UK can actually be, not that I will be swearing off my sunny summer holidays anytime soon!
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the waterproof roundup

Thursday 8 August 2013

Waterproof mascara is a life or death necessity for straight, elephant lashed girls like me, which even after vigorous curling, lashings and lashings of regular mascara will always always turn my lashes into sad down turned spikes. Not attractive. Waterproof is the way forward, the high oil content makes lashes much more likely to hold their shape, even if they are an absolute bitch to get off!

My favourite of the bunch is L'oreal Telescopic Waterproof, a sadly now discontinued offering I bought on recommendation from Anna's blog, and have never looked back! I have a stash of these under my bed ready to fill its spot when this runs out, and I have previously professed my love for this wonder tube here. To sum it up; perfect, ridiculously long and separated lashes which will seriously last and last until you decide to attempt to scrub it off... I'm talking 48 hours+ here, I have tried it... naughty!

Coming in second is Maybelline's offering of the Falsies Waterproof version, which is a much wetter, much more volumising version of the telescopic. Some days this gives me fabulous, thick and perfectly curled lashes, on other days it gives me clumped up, sad, sticky lashes, dependant on my lash cycle (ie. if they are looking a bit sad anyway!) and on how much I can be bothered to curl them in lash pre-prep! This mascara is a saviour if you need nice lashes in about 3 swipes as this is so easily applied, no building up nessecary here!

Coming in last in Clinique High Impact in, you guessed it, waterproof. This was an impulse purchase in New York, and sadly has not wowed me in the mascara stakes! I find this does not hold the curl in my lashes very well at all, and while it is not as bad as normal mascara, it is by no means on the same curling level as L'oreal or Maybelline. I like to layer this over a tiny coat of the L'oreal Telescopic to give it some hold as I do like the volumising power of this mascara, and the best thing about it is that it is a lot easier to get off, so much less eye scrubbing and expensive makeup remover is required!

For reference, I use the Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover soaked on two cotton pads, holding one underneath my lashes and one above for about a minute or so and then rub them over my lashes. What do you use to remove waterproof mascara!?

I would love new recommendations for waterproof mascaras in the comments if you have any personal loves, I am always on the hunt for new favourites! 

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my lipstick collection

Saturday 3 August 2013

This by no means is an exhaustive post on all my lipsticks, as unfortunately I have another draw full of slightly dusty and very unloved lipsticks and glosses which are only reached for on rare occasions, but this clear plastic lipstick organiser holds 24 of my most reached for shades, placing them on full display so it really is just a case of grab and go in the mornings. The holder is from Ebay, which I picked up for only £2.99 here.

They are loosely arranged in order of most favourite to least favourite, left to right and then by brand with all names facing upwards for easy identification, yet my carefully designed order generally gets less organised by the day due to my general laziness at putting them back in position. My ultimate favourites have to be my beautiful MAC, YSL and Sleek lipsticks, and my Clinique Chubby sticks are my most reached for shades ever!

In order from left to right, top row to bottom row;
MAC Hue, Sleek OMG!, Clinique Chubby Stick Chunky Cherry, Sleek Barely There, Clinique Chubby Stick Super Strawberry, Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector 02,
MAC Shy Girl, Sleek Peaches & Cream, YSL 30, No 7 Classic Rose, Rimmel Apocalips Big Bang, No 7 Lip Pencil in Nude, Bourjois 3D Effect Rose Pacific, 
MAC Cream Cup, Avon Peach Silk, YSL 1, Revlon Lip Butter Tutti Frutti, Rimmel Nude Delight, Barry M Lipgloss 11, 
Fresh Sugar Passion, MAC Sheen Supreme Full Speed, YSL 13, Topshop Macaroon, GOSH Darling, NYX Mega Shine Lipgloss in Smokey Look.

Phewww. What is your ultimate favourite lipstick/gloss?!
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the individual lashes

Thursday 1 August 2013

Having not been blessed with a perfect, full lash line to flutter around I usually opt for false lashes on a night out. Strip lashes are generally my lashes of choice, with Ardell Demi Wispies being my ultimate favourites (wearing in this post!), but since Prom when I delved into the unknown territory of individual lashes, they have knocked strip lashes off the top spot in my heart!

My individuals of choice are the Ardell Individual Lashes in Medium Black, which I apply with tweezers, around 10-15 on each eye. While they are ridiculously fiddly, take about 5x more of my precious getting ready time than normal strip lashes do, and are extremely difficult to clean, I am a little in love with them. They could almost pass for real lashes and are just such a beautiful finish for any smoky or even simple neutral eye. Unfortunately these take me a good 20 minutes or so to get them looking perfect so are not suitable for use all the time, but every so often I crack them out if I have a little extra time on my hands.

I generally curl my lashes partially (not too much or they will be a complete bitch to apply!), add one thin coat of waterproof mascara - L'oreal Telescopic Waterproof, of course - and get cracking with lash application. One amazing tip I learnt from this Lisa Eldridge video which is so simple but is ridiculously helpful is to turn the lash box round the wrong way, so the lashes are the right orientation to apply with tweezers. I add a dollop of DUO Lash Glue to my hand, allow it to become tacky and then work across my lash line systematically. Once fully dry and the glue is no longer white, I re-curl both the fake and real lashes to force them together and add as much mascara as necessary for a little added umph. I also add liquid liner on any glue spots which may still be visible, et voila... perfect lashes!

Do you prefer strip or individual lashes?

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