LITTLE BLACK DRESS

A LBD goes a long way… Here I am with the old age argument as to why everyone should have a timeless LBD in their wardrobe. Ever since I was about 11 and going to school discos, I have always loved having a black dress. Back then it was more Tammy-Girl than Topshop, but the fact still remains the same – it is a universal must have for women.

It is timeless. You will never not need a LBD. They are suitable for almost every occasion – a work do – a family do – going out with friends – going for a meal – … a funeral? Maybe not quite..

So I thought I’d share with you my LBD. I originally bought it for my 19th birthday in September but have worn it so many other times since, and I think that is purely down to it’s classic and flattering design. It is from Oh My Love, which is an online retailer, but can also be found in Topshop and it was just £39! They also do 20% student discount at the moment!

Halter necks aren’t for everyone – but as I am more pear shaped, the halter neck attracts attention to my neckline and collarbones, rather than my chest. The mesh cut outs in the side give the illusion of a slimmer waist and although the material of the dress is very tight, it is also stretchy enough to fit round my lumps and bumps seamlessly.

I teamed this dress with MAC’s Viva Glam III lipstick, a strong cat eye and no accessories for a simple yet classic look when I wore it on my 19th. Yet, for a more casual look I have just worn very minimal make up and let the dress speak for itself. Either way – the LBD worked without me looking like I was just ‘recycling an outfit’ which I actually have no problem with anyway..

Anyway, this is my go to dress when I don’t know what to wear and also don’t want to buy something new! At only £39 and good quality, as it has kept it shape through my many drunken times, I couldn’t recommend it enough!

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What's your go-to dress?
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LAURA MERCIER SILK CREME FOUNDATION REVIEW

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After a 5 year relationship with MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid I was becoming more resentful towards it and felt like it was time to break away and try something new. I had heard so much about Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation and so after watching countless YouTube videos, I decided to take the plunge and got colour matched in Selfridges.

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I find colour matching foundations really difficult for my skin tone as I am pale and have red hair, but I don’t have that porcelain/ blue undertone to my skin, and I think peach/rose undertones are really unflattering on me and often leave me with an orange toned face. I much prefer yellow undertones in foundation as you can go quite light, but still have a warm, glowing undertone. Shall I say undertone one more time?

One of the good features about Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation is that the 4 lightest shades all have different undertones – it doesn’t just jump from 1) light to 2) medium etc like some foundations. The colours that are included in the lighter shades are, Soft Ivory, Cream Ivory, Rose Ivory and Peach Ivory. Soft Ivory seemed waay too light and would completely wipe any colour from my face, Rose Ivory was too pinky undertoned, and Peach was too orangey undertoned – so I was happy when I saw that they did a light colour with golden (yellow) undertones in the form of Cream Ivory.

The lady colour matching me said it was the fullest coverage foundation they do, but that it is classed as medium coverage but buildable. When I tried it at home however I would definitely say it is a full coverage foundation as one ‘coat’ completely covered my freckles and any blemishes I had – I also checked on the website and it comes under full coverage, so I guess the lady got confused……

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Despite Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation being a water based foundation, the formula is very gel-like and is quite a thick consistency. At £33 the foundation is quite expensive, but a pea sized amount covered my whole face so I imagine the bottle will last me a while.

This post is going to be in two sections, one of my thoughts after the first few days wearing the foundation and secondly after two weeks. They change a lot.

MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Full coverage without using concealer underneath was exactly what I wanted and exactly what I got.  It gave me a very natural finish, maybe verging a bit shiny – I definitely need to use a setting powder with this foundation.

Once I finished and completed my make up I was very happy with the results. I didn’t have to use a white concealar to bring the colour down (like I had to do with Studio Fix Fluid) and I didn’t have to ‘bronze up’ loads as it did not leave me with a white/ porcelain finish – but with an illumination healthy glow.

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When I went to work I got a compliment straight away saying my skin looks flawless so I was very pleased with that. Overall on the first few days, I was really happy with the foundation and would advise it to anyone who is looking for a high medium – full coverage foundation, with a natural finish, perfect for day and night. I would just say get colour matched properly because the different undertones really make a difference.

 One last thing – I reeally like the packaging of the foundation. It looks really sleek and the squeezy tube makes for a much better bottle than the glass ones with pumps you get, this makes it a lot handier for travelling.

OK – END OF FIRST IMPRESSIONS

SECOND WEEK

From using a thin consistency foundation such as Studio Fix, to going to a really thick- gel like foundation has been hard. I can definitely feel when I have Laura Mercier on my face, it feels quite heavy and you can definitely tell it’s foundation.  Also I have found that for some reason it really enlarges my pores, I guess the gel-like formula just doesn’t sit well in them as opposed to a proper liquid foundation. Which is odd because it is water based foundation. Lastly, I like a semi matte finish and I have to wear a lot of powder to set this foundation as it feels like it’s just going to make me look a bit sweaty. The powder doesn’t blend very easily into the skin, it sort of clings on to the foundation rather than letting it glide over meaning you have to use more. Also unfortunately, I have noticed that when I am not in direct sun light, it is actually quite dark. The photo’s below look like it is my exact colour match, because a big window is right in front of me. When I have looked at myself in the mirror at work or at uni, I think it is about half a shade too dark.

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Before and after the foundation

HOWEVER, it’s not all bad, as I do think this would be a brilliant foundation for the evening when you want a fuller coverage and darker shade which I do need on a night out to avoid the flashback in photo’s that I can some times get.

I tried so hard to love this foundation as it was £33 and gets such good reviews, but I had to be honest and I didn’t love it!

I feel like there needs to be a better system of trying foundations because you just cannot tell properly in the store..

I am overall giving this foundation a slightly disappointing…

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Have you tried Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation – if so I want to hear your experience!? 

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EYEBROW TUTORIAL | BENEFIT BIG BEAUTIFUL EYES

Eyebrows are such a staple part of my look. I could go out with no foundation, no concealer and no mascara, but as long as I had my eyebrows on I would feel happy(-ish!)

I use Benefit’s Big Beautiful Eyes Palette, in the matte brown shade and a MAC 212 brush to complete my look.

Find out how I make this transition below:

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I’m quite lucky in the sense that my eyebrows are blonde and in the summer turn basically white, so I don’t need to thread them as much as some people. I used to get them done once a month but then I was thrown into the world of being a university student and having no money, so I usually get them done about 4 times a year, (around every 3 months.) A drastic difference I know! But I have realised that they don’t actually need them done that often – although these photo’s might tell a different story! On an everyday basis, you really can’t see the hairs. So here is a step by step guide to how I get my perfect eyebrow shape.

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These are my brows with absoloutely no product on!! Shameful! They have minimal shape and are barely visible to the naked eye.

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I began using a powder to do my eyebrows just before Christmas, before that I used Rimmells eyebrow pencil Hazel for years. Yet I found using a powder gives a much more precise line and you don’t have to faff around with sharpening it etc.. Also I found that Hazel had quite an orange undertone, which was very visible in pictures with a flash especially. I didn’t particularly like that, so I tried a matte brown eye shadow that comes in the Benefit Brown Smoky Eye Palette and have continued using that since. I’m so annoyed that the picture below came out slightly blurred as I didn’t realise until I zoomed in on the computer. Aside from that, my first step is to draw the top end of my brow. I know a lot of people start with the bottom, but I find it easier to define an arch and control the shape by beginning with a line at the top.

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I then draw a line at the bottom to the desired shape, which creates the template to my eyebrow. I like an arch, but still a relatively straight and thick brow with a sharp point at the end. I also like for the point of my brow to be a lot darker than the beginning of my brow and this is an easy way to achieve that.

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With a light hand I drag the bottom line of the brow to the beginning, trying to get fainter and fainter as I do it.

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The next step is my favourite as you just colour in your brow!! Stop ‘colouring’ with a heavy hand about ¾ into your brow …

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Wipe some product of you brush, and gently do upward strokes from the beginning of your brow to create a less harsh finish.

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If you’re shape isn’t as precise as you would like it, a simple trick is to put a concealer/ highlighter underneath and maybe above your brow with a brush. This will stop any out of place lines or smudges from showing and give your eyebrow a flawless finish. (I haven’t blended my concealer in don’t worry!)

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My finished eye brow! Hope this helps, practice makes perfect so don’t be disheartened if it goes wrong.

Products I used:

  • Benefit’s Big Beautiful Eyes Palette – Matte Brown Shade
  • MAC 212 Brush
  • Collection 2000 concealer in #1 ‘Fair’
  • L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara
  • Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Cream Ivory
Whats your holy grail eyebrow product? Let me know in the comments or tweet me at @making___up

MISSGUIDED PVC INSPIRATION

MISSGUIDED INSPIRATION
Although I published some of my key winter trends a couple of weeks ago.. winter is a very long time in England and new trends are emerging all the time!  I have completely fallen in love with Missguided’s PVC selection. Topshop do a very similar skirt but Missguided are quickly becoming the online highstreet-go-to store, for their inexpensive but still on trend pieces.
You can dress PVC up or down, a cropped fluffy jumper is so on trend and makes the look more casual. But team the skirt with heels and a cropped top and you’re ready for a night out.
PVC used to be called the cheap and tacky material, but  I think this glossy look is classy and glamorous. It’s funny how trends and fabrics evolve, it reminds me of the leopard print transition, as it was once known for being cheap, but at one point not long ago, it completely took over the high streets, and it was definitely one of my favourite prints.
Give PVC try and let me know what you think, even better, tweet me a picture of you wearing your PVC item @making__up!

BARRY M GLITTER NAILS

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I know I’m a little late but I really wanted to get these pictures up as I was really pleased with the way this nail varnish came out… It was Christmas and New Years and in my eyes, it’s illegal not to have those tacky – all out – glittery nails. Because in the words of Love Actually if you can’t say do it at Christmas, when can you eh?

I used Barry M’s 337 Nail Polish, simply called Pink Silver Glitter (£2.99), and I used 2-3 coats to get an opaque coverage. I got loads of compliments and people said they didn’t think they were tacky (but maybe they were just being nice?)

What do you think?

MY BEAUTY COMPARE | beauty junkie heaven

The world of the blogosphere has grown more than ever these past few years and has given beauty bloggers like myself a chance to explore all different kinds of products that are tried and tested by unbiased and real people – but the problem is, one product that works on one person may not work for you oryour skin tone and type –  simply how do you know without wasting your money?

So, what if I told you that a website has been launched to revolutionise the way you search for products online – as it searches and compares over 200,000 products especially for you. That’s right – newly launched website mybeautycompare.com keeps you from being overwhelmed with product reviews that aren’t right for you by refining your search based on the information you give.

 I set up a free account with My Beauty Comapare to see if it really did work and to see if it was more than just a gimmick – so below I recorded my steps to show you how you can too. After entering the basics, for example, your skin complexion, type, concerns etc.. this website gives you a chance to provide even more information that affects the type of skin you have – some things I didn’t even think of! (See screen shot 2)

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As you can see My Beauty Compare takes into consideration your diet, water intake, amount of sleep you get and your occupation. This definitely gives a more personal feel when you get your recommendations, because it is much more than saying – ‘she has dry skin, give her a moisturising foundation’  – this website is really tailoring your wants and needs into the perfect product matches. After a really quick and easy joining process, I was ready to go!

Foundation is something that I find really hard to buy, as I have fair skin that also has a lot of redness, so I was really interested to see what product matches they had for me. I was really impressed with their selections, when I clicked on the #1 foundation, it’s description states that it contains a 15 SPF,  that its suitable for fair skin tones, and skin with imperfections. Powder foundations are never something I have looked at for myself properly before, but the product description fits perfectly so I will definitely be trying it out.

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Overall I think My Beauty Compare is a great website that all beauty lovers should use and will love, as it refines its searches especially for you and allows you to search across 1500 brands and 200,000 products whilst giving you unbiased reviews by people with the same or similar skin type.

Give mybeautycompare.com a go and tell me what you think?

Sorry if you cannot see everything in the screen shots – I tried my best to get it up to the greatest quality. Best thing to do is try it for yourself!

THE BEST BEAUTY CHRISTMAS GIFT SET OF 2013

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So every year I like to treat my Mum at Christmas (as we all do) and so for one of her main presents, I bought her this amazing Yves Saint Laurent Beauty Gift Set. I was so excited to give it to her as it has the award winning Forever Youth Liberator, Volume Effect Mascara and the absolute classic, Touche Éclat.

……..but what an anti-climax.

Obviously she appreciated YSL brand, but when she said ‘so what’s this?’ *picking up the touché elcat* I wanted to walk out, lock myself in a room and scream into a pillow. I think I would have cried if I got this gift as I can no way afford these products, but she just didn’t understand the wow factor of it. So I thought I shall share this gift set with my fellow beauty junkies and hopefully feel like my money was well spent…

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 For an amazing £48.50, the gift set included all full sized products and came with a classic black and gold make up bag. This was definitely my best beauty Christmas gift sets of 2013, but it was closely followed by Benefits range, who I think really pulled out all the stops to impress with their gift sets.

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What was your best beauty buy this year? Let me know!