A Makeover at e.l.f. Store Cardiff

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Make up products at Elf Store Cardiff

One of the many things I love about living near Cardiff is that the city is home to an e.l.f. store  the first (and, as far as I'm aware, only) e.l.f. store in Europe, in fact  and when they offered to book me in for a makeover* I couldn't refuse.

Everything in the store is set out so you can browse and swatch the products, and I've always found the staff to be very friendly and welcoming, without being pushy. This occasion was no exception ('You're Beth the blogger!')

It's been a long time since anyone has done my make up for me, but Antonia made me feel very relaxed, and asked me what I wanted. Since it's Autumn, I decided on berry lips, and jumped at her suggestion of winged eyeliner to go with it.

Eye Mineral Eyeshadow in Celebrity; Elf Mineral Foundation in Porcelain

She started with base. The first foundation, a liquid one, was too dark, but the mineral one was spot on (and meant I didn't need a separate powder). Antonia concealed the skin under my eyes, filled in my brows, and then used a light shade of bronzer for contouring. A fairly neutral shade of blush was popped on the apples of my cheeks, and cream highlighter was applied along my cheekbones and the centre of my face.  

Antonia used cream liner to apply the best cat-eye flick ever, which I have yet to recreate myself. I went for brown, as black can sometimes be too harsh in the day, especially with a dark lip. She added a pop of gold mineral eyeshadow to the inner corners, which I wouldn't have thought of doing but loved, so much so that I bought the eyeshadow afterwards. A couple of coats of mascara and my eye make up was complete.

Elf Cream Eyeliner in Coffee; Elf Lip Liner and Blending Brush in Wine

My lips were defined with Lip Liner in Wine, a beautiful berry shade which comes with a blending brush on the end. Red lipstick was layered over the top for the finishing touch. I usually wear lighter shades, as darker ones can sometimes look a little gothic, but this didn't wash me out at all, and when I went to the hairdressers later that day they loved it.

I absolutely love this look. Lots of people in the store commented on how vintage-looking it was, and although it's more glamorous than the make up I'd normally wear during the day I'll be trying it again for sure. If you're ever in Cardiff then I really recommend a visit to the store, whether you want to buy some products, have your make-up done, or just enjoy browsing.

I couldn't resist buying some of the products that were used to create the look, and walked out of the store with:
  • Mineral Eyeshadow in Celebrity, £3
  • Mineral Foundation (SPF 15) in Porcelain, £5.95
  • Cream Eyeliner in Coffee, £3.95
  • Lip Liner & Blending Brush in Wine, £3.95

*Makeovers at e.l.f. Store Cardiff cost £20, which is redeemable against products. My makeover was provided for free, but I purchased some of the products afterwards (there was no obligation to do so).

In My Make-Up Bag | October 2014

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

I always find myself reaching for more make up once autumn arrives  there's something really comforting about it, although I'm not sure why. Possibly because A/W make up is more my thing than S/S? I get way more excited about coppery eyes and berry lips than I do about bronzer. Anyway, I thought I'd share my current routine with you; enjoy!

I've mentioned this before, and I know it's outside the norm, but I always apply my eye make up first. I tend to make mistakes if I'm in a rush, so this way I don't have to start from scratch and do my base again if I mess up.

I start by filling in my brows. Topshop Brow Pencil is a really good cool-toned brown; I use it every day without fail, and although I've had it for six months it's still going strong. I like use my Slanted Brush from The Body Shop to apply a little bit of Seventeen's brow powder for a stronger look, as I think that defined eyebrows really frame the face.

Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow Palette in Dolce Vita

The next step is curling my lashes  I use eyelash curlers from Models Own to do this. My current pair are on their last legs but I plan to repurchase; they create a really pretty curl.

Like many of you, I'm obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury's Dolce Vita palette. I wasn't really using the Enhance shade over the summer, but now it's colder I am all over it; it's such an autumnal colour. I buff the powder into the upper lashline and then swirl it into the crease. When the weather's bad, as it usually is here, I tend to only apply mascara to my upper lashes to avoid panda eyes. I'm still loving Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara.

At long last: base. I'm still using a tube of The Porefessional~, which was a pre-cruelty free purchase, but after it runs out I'll be on the lookout for something new. Hit me with your recommendations in the comments! Next, my trusty GOSH CC Cream, which gives light, natural-looking coverage and is perfect for pale girls. I apply it using the Real Techniques Pointed Foundation Brush. I used to hate using a brush for foundation, but this one is so good at getting into all the little crevices round the nose and eye area that I've put my sponge aside. My current concealer is Seventeen's Stay Time Concealer, which works equally well under the eyes and on blemishes, and lasts for hours.

I've only recently learned how to contour my cheekbones: I use the Real Techniques Contour Brush with the matte shade of Soap & Glory's Solar Powder to add some subtle definition. Blush wise, I still have a place in my heart (and my make up bag) for The Body Shop's All-In-One Cheek Colour in Marshmellow. Although it's a scary pink in the pan, it's actually quite natural on skin (and can be built up if you want a stronger look). I use the Real Techniques Blush Brush to gently swirl it on the apples of my cheeks.

Bourjois Shine Edition Lipstick in Beige Democrachic

Lipstick wise, I can't get enough of Bourjois Shine Edition Lipstick in Beige Democrahic. I have to admit, it's not a shade I would have picked myself. In the bullet it looks pretty beige but on lips it's actually a beautiful nude pink. It's slightly glossier than I'm used to, but in a shiny and glowy way, not a sticky one. I am in love.

Lastly, to set everything, I use the Elf Studio Stipple Brush to dust The Body Shop All In One Face Base in 03 over my skin, concentrating on the t-zone.

I hope you enjoyed reading through my routine! Have you tried any of these products? How does your make up change in autumn? Let me know in the comments!

Shopping My Stash | Soap & Glory Orangeasm Super Rich Body Butter

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Soap & Glory Orangeasm Super Rich Body Butter

Over the summer I fell in love with Soap & Glory's Super Tonic Fragrance, so it was only a matter of time before I picked up something else from the Orangeasm range. I opted for the body butter, but I've only been using it for the past couple of weeks, since the weather's turned colder. My house is absolutely freezing, and although it's tempting to jump straight into my pyjamas and onesie straight after a shower (yes, both of them, it's that cold! I wear my onesie over everything) I know my skin will thank me if I take the time to moisturise.

The Orangeasm scent contains fresh green mandarin, sicilian lemon and sweet orange oil peels. It's lovely and light and will perk you up in the morning, but it's also not too invigorating if you prefer to shower in the evening. The body butter contains 'shea butter massage balls' and something that's (rather aggressively) called 'MANGOMILK'. I don't have a clue what MANGOMILK is, but I presume it forms part of the citrus scent. The massage balls are, I believe, the bits of orange suspended in the butter that break up on contact with the skin.

Strange beauty jargon aside (I love you, S&G!), the Orangeasm body butter is very moisturising but not too greasy, which is something that has put me off using body butter in the past. It needs a bit of time to sink in, but the results are worth it, and you can use as much or as little as you need. A 300ml tub lasts for a couple of months, and costs £10, so it's good value (plus the Soap & Glory products are usually on offer!)

Have you tried anything with the Orangeasm scent? What are your favourite Soap & Glory products? Let me know!    

Tagged | What's Your Beauty Number?

Friday, 17 October 2014

I first heard of the idea of a 'beauty number' from Hayley, but originally the idea was discussed on Abigail's blog, after she saw a tweet which stated the average woman uses 12 products a day. I'd be willing to bet that most of you use more than that  I certainly do!  so I thought I'd sit down and work out exactly how many products I use on a daily basis. Ready? Let's go!

1. Lush Rehab Shampoo
2. John Frieda Full Repair Conditioner
3. Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel
4. Soap & Glory Orangeasm Body Butter

Morning Skincare
5. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
6. Lush Eau Roma Toning Water
7. Yes to Grapefruit Eye Cream
8. Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Day Cream

Deodorant and Fragrance
9. Mitchum Powder Fresh Deodorant
10. Soap & Glory Orangegasm Super Tonic Fragrance Spray

Hair Styling
11. Percy & Reed Wonder Balm
12. John Frieda Heat Defeat Protection Spray
13. Percy & Reed Volumising No Oil Oil For Fine Hair

Make Up
14. Topshop Brow Pencil
15. 17 Brow Kit
16. Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume Mascara
17. Benefit The Porefessional~
18. GOSH CC Cream in Porcelain
19. 17 Stay Time Concealer
20. Soap & Glory Solar Powder
21. The Body Shop All In One Blush in Marshmellow
22. Rodial Stem Cell Superfood Glam Balm Lip
23. Bourjois Shine Edition Lipstick in Beige Democrachic
24. The Body Shop All In One Face Base

Evening Skincare
- Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
- Lush Eau Roma Toning Water
- Yes to Grapefruit Eye Cream
25. The Body Shop Vitamin E Serum-In-Oil
26. Nature’s Response Tea Tree Oil

Hands and Feet
27. Neal’s Yard Geranium and Orange Hand Cream
28. Soap & Glory Heel Genius Foot Cream

Phew! The OCD part of me is very happy that my beauty number is a nice even 28, but that is a lot of products! I imagined it as a day when I washed my hair, which isn't an everyday occurrence, but the make up was pretty chilled  no eyeliner, or eyeshadow, or lip liner, or anything like that. I didn't expect my total to be quite this high (it's more than double the alleged average) but I don't feel like I should cut down, since everything I use has a specific purpose.

I found this really interesting, and I'd love to know how I compare to other bloggers. If you do work out your beauty number, be sure to let me know!

 Indicates that the product was purchased before I went cruelty free.

Review | The Body Shop Double Ended Blackhead Remover

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Body Shop Double Ended Blackhead Remover

I tend to get an annoying collection of blackheads around my nose and chin, so I picked up this little tool in The Body Shop. I've seen a similar one in Boots, but it was £10, and I didn't want to spend a tenner on something when I had no idea whether it worked or not. This one was £4, but as I have a Love Your Body card it only cost me £3.60  far more reasonable.

There are mixed reviews online, with some people claiming that the blackhead remover works wonders, and some people insisting it does nothing. I fall into the first category. The trick is all in how you use it; you have to open your pores first by using a hot flannel or steaming your skin (over a bowl of water, or by jumping in the bath or shower). You place the appropriate end of the tool round the blackhead or blemish and press firmly on the skin, which releases all the gunk inside your pores. This part can sting a little, depending on the amount of pressure you have to exert. You then scrape all the dirt away, taking care to clean it off the tool, and apply a spot treatment afterwards.

The amount of crap I managed to extract from my pores was ridiculous! I'm not joking: it was like an exorcism for my skin. My chin and nose were a little red and sore afterwards, and the tool leaves indentations in your skin, although luckily these fade pretty quickly. The redness takes a bit longer to disappear, so it's best to use the tool before you go to bed so your skin can calm down overnight.

For £4, I think this is an absolute bargain  much cheaper than pore strips  and well worth a go if you have pesky blackheads and blemishes. Just don't forget to open your pores first!

The Double Ended Blackhead Remover is available from The Body Shop, instore and online.

Shopping My Stash | Bedside Beauty Essentials

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Michelle from B.L.M. recently did a lovely post on the products she keeps by her bedside, and encouraged other beauty bloggers to do the same, so I thought I'd share my stash with you. I like to limit the amount of items I have by my bed, otherwise it can get quite cluttered, but there are a few products I like to keep close by.

Bedside Beauty Essentials

Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion, £10.75 for 150ml
Sometimes I wake up and my eyes feel so heavy and tired. A quick swipe of this instantly perks them up and, as the name would suggest, has a soothing effect. It's also pretty good at removing any mascara goop from the night before (lovely!)

Nature's Response Tea Tree Oil, £4.99 for 10ml

For any pesky spots. It's great at drying them out, and also reduces the swelling caused by those horrible under-the-skin blemishes.

Soap & Glory Heel Genius, £5.50 for 125ml

If my foot cream isn't somewhere I can see it then I forget to use it, and then I end up with horribly dry feet! I usually apply this before bed, and then pop some cosy socks over the top.

(Malin + Goetz) Lip Moisturiser, £10 for 10ml

I did a separate post on this two weeks ago but I had to include it here as I love it so much. It's so hydrating and sinks in quickly without any stickiness.

Philip Kingsley Scalp Toner, £8 for 75ml
My scalp has been a lot better recently, but I always keep this toner in easy reach for instant relief. The pointed nozzle means that you can target the exact spot that's giving you grief.

Neal's Yard Geranium and Orange Hand Cream, £10 for 50ml
The scent of this has really grown on me, and even though the cream is incredibly moisturising, it doesn't leave a greasy film. On a par with Hand Food, no doubt about that.

So those are my bedside essentials, what would yours be? Let me know if you've made a post similar to this one!

Love Me Beauty | September 2014

Friday, 10 October 2014

Love Me Beauty Box

"Another beauty box post?!" I can hear you crying. And I understand, I do. Usually I tend to read maybe one or two beauty box posts per month, and leave it at that. After all, the contents of each box is the same, right?

Not for Love Me Beauty anymore. You fill in your beauty profile, and it recommends a selection of products for your box. You can pick all of these, if you like, or choose from a wider range of products and customise your box for that month. You get six credits for each box - full size products are worth two credits; samples are worth one.

Love Me Beauty Bag

I think the recommendations may need a little work, as it suggested a treatment for oily skin even though I told them that mine is dry, but it's a good idea. So many times I've seen comments about how hit and miss beauty boxes can be. At least with Love Me Beauty you have control over what you're receiving.

This is very important for me because, firstly, I only buy cruelty free beauty products, and secondly, I think that £10+ per month is a lot to be paying for mediocre contents. If I'm able to pick what I receive, then I can make sure everything is from a cruelty free brand, and I can make sure I get my money's worth.

This clear to see from September's box, which contains:

Love Me Beauty Box (contents)

  • Percy & Reed Lovely Light Foaming Treatment Mask (2 credits, £20 for 150ml)
  • Percy & Reed Abundantly Bouncy Volumising Mousse (2 credits, £12 for 200ml)
  • Anatomicals Botanical Cloth Face Masks (2 credits, £4.50 for 50g)
  • Montagne Jeunesse Hot Spring Sauna Masque (1 credit, £1 for 1 sachet. I found a code online for an extra credit, it's always worth hitting Google and seeing what appears!)

The two Percy & Reed products were my picks, and then I let the people at Love Me Beauty choose the last two products. I am super excited about using the Percy & Reed products, as I've yet to find one that disappoints, and I can't wait to relax with the face masks. Altogether the products in the box have a value of £37.50, which is crazy! 

£13.95 is quite a lot to be shelling out each month, so I'll probably only get a box every now and then (exam time, anyone?) but I love this new concept and there are some lovely products available. I'm hoping to review the two Percy & Reed products in detail when I've used them. What do you think of the new Love Me Beauty box? Have you subscribed? Let me know!

Thoughts and Musings | Switching Off

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

I spend a lot of time browsing Twitter, checking my emails, creepin' on my Facebook friends, reading blog posts and writing comments, and looking for new Instagram accounts to follow. But it wasn't until recently, when I was heading back to uni, that I realised just how much attention I pay to social media, and electronics in general. I was stuck in my Travelodge room with no WiFi (they did have it but it cost extra, and going back to uni is expensive enough already) and, I thought initially, nothing to do.

I've always thought of myself as being pretty balanced when it comes to social media. I refuse to get Facebook on my phone, for example, since it means that once I've left the house I can only be reached via call or text. But lately I've noticed that I've been spending a lot of time staring at one screen or another, and I'm not sure I like it. It used to be that I worried my online presence wasn't great enough; now I worry that by focusing too much on the virtual world I'm missing out on the real one.

Don't get me wrong, social media can be a wonderful thing. I keep in contact with family and friends over Facebook; when I'm scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard I can see a photo that makes me laugh out loud, and then read a thought-provoking post immediately after; the #bbloggers chat is my favourite thing about Twitter.

However, during the short time I had no internet access, I devoured the October issue of Elle, which gave me a load of beauty inspiration. I was fully focused on the latest episode of Mock The Week, able to chortle at the discussions about Scottish independence, Boris Johnson, and, of all things, Facebook and Twitter. I finished the the ebook I'd had on the go (Panic, by Lauren Oliver). I sorted out everything for the next day. And then I sat down to scribble this post.

There are things I want to achieve, and they won't get done if I am constantly glued to my newsfeed. There are a tonne of books I want to read – really read, not half-heartedly flick through. I want to explore more of my uni town, and get to know the area the same way I know back home. I want to socialise with my housemates and have proper conversations with the people I meet, instead of having one eye on my phone all the time. I want to develop the short story I wrote for my portfolio last year, and maybe even turn it into a novel one day. I'll be trying to find a way to do all these things and more, while reducing the amount of time I spend on social media. I want to get the balance right again.

What are your thoughts? Is your life ruled by social media or have you struck a good balance? Do you like to switch off now and then? Let me know in the comments!
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