Beauty | Fashion | Lifestyle

Sliced Finger SFX

Halloween may be over, but my interest in gore-y makeup is definitely not. To create this look I started off by using some clear DUO eyelash adhesive on the areas that I'd be applying 'extra skin' to, preparing it for the wax. Spirit gum or Pros-aide would work well here, but eyelash adhesive is all I had.
Next, I went in with some Ben Nye nose & scar wax on a metal spatula dipped in petroleum jelly to prevent it from sticking to the tool. To create the 'sliced' effect, you need to apply wax to below the bottom crease and above the top on one side of the finger, and to between the two creases on the opposite side. Place a somewhat flat disc of wax onto the corner you're working on, and then use the tool to smooth out and take away the wax on the centre of the finger, trying to create a seamless edge. 
I then used a sharper metal tool on its side, dipped again in petroleum jelly, and 'cut off'/ neatened up the sliced edges, following my natural crease lines in the finger. 
After that, I dabbed a dry makeup sponge over the wax to remove the shine from the petroleum jelly, then I used a stipple sponge to try and recreate the skin's porous texture onto the wax. 
Here, I used some of the Benefit Benetint applied with my fingers to try and colour match the wax to the redness of my skin. Alcohol activated paints would work much better here, but this is all I had. 
To finish, I used some of the Ben Nye thick blood along the insides of the wax and then the Ben Nye stage blood along the crease lines of my finger to create the 'cut' effect. Less is definitely more in this area. 

Final notes: If I were to recreate this look I'd hopefully have something like the Skin Illustrator flesh tone palette to hand to enable a better colour match from the wax, and I'd definitely use some Ben Nye neutral set powder to mattify the whole look a bit more. For a first attempt at 'real' SFX, I'm quite pleased!

Would you ever try SFX makeup?


The Holiday Post 2015

Between lounging around the pool, eating my weight in crepes from the nearby ice-cream shop and reading The Book Thief, I've been itching to blog about my time in Portugal so far. At a grand 7th visit, I'm still only aware of about three words of Portuguese (one of them being the translation for ice-cream), but for a second trip to this town - Carvoeiro - I'm a bit more aware of the surroundings and everything's therefore less of a challenge. A lot of pros have come from the trip so far:
I tried tapas. Less of a discovery if you're aware what tapas is (and it isn't, to my surprise, a Spanish rice dish). Our fourth night involved a meal at a tapas bar - the view displayed bottom centre - overlooking the sea and all of the chaos that is the town centre at night. A good experience, not only because the restaurant offered blankets to keep you cosy as you ate, but I actually found out that I quite like squid, and a few other odd-bits that I tried, which is a surprise from such a fussy eater.
I've seen the sky change about 6,000 times. Slight exaggeration, but it's been a roller coaster of colours up there. This may be The Book Thief talking, but I've seen some extremely beautiful sights whilst being here that I can't imagine you'd see too often at home. The skies at night are so much clearer, enabling a view of stars and deep blues to win you over. I'll probably return with some form of neck injury from looking up so much.
And the last one I'll mention, I've got a really good tan. Less sentimental than the others, but coming home will sure be easier with this long-lasting reminder of how good the weather's been painted on my skin. Or maybe it'll be harder. 

Because life isn't all sunshine and roses, two cons to even things out:
The villa is on such a hill - correction - mountain, that it almost isn't worth walking down to get crepes and such. 
I've had my first two encounters with cockroaches on this trip and I hope to God that they're my last. One more and I'll be on an early flight back.

How's your summer going? 


What's In My Prom Clutch?

Clutch - Whistles at Asos

With my prom coming right around the corner, I decided it was time to finally put my Pinterest boards to use and organise what's going inside of my bag. Some are obvious, but there's a few which I consider to be handy tricks...

  • Safety pins: For, god forbid, if you or one of your friends' dress/suit were to break. They don't take up room, so it's worth taking some just incase.
  • Oil absorbing sheets: Since I'm using a loose powder for my prom makeup, the container was far too big to bring along with me for touch-ups. The solution? Oil absorbing sheets. They don't ruin your makeup, clear your skin of oil, and they're in a tiny compact ideal for a clutch.
  • Lipstick: Fairly obvious. For touch-ups throughout the night.
  • Mirror: To aid these touch-ups. Even if you're planning on doing so in the bathroom, it's easier to have a little mirror that you can use up-close. Mine's tiny and thin.
  • Eyelash glue: No matter how sure I am that my falsies are glued down, nothing will stop me from taking along the glue- just incase.
  • Phone: It's obvious, but it's always good to check that it fits in your clutch along with everything else. Prom pictures with your phone in your hand just aren't as nice.
  • Tissues: For spills and tears, always needed.
  • Comb: Since I'm going for a 'brushed out curls' hairstyle, this will be handy for when my curls spring up and no longer look 'brushed out'. 
  • Blister plasters: These things can save the night if your heels begin to cause blisters.
  • Socks: ...and if the plasters don't cut it, by the end of the night you may be feeling ready to take the heels off all-together. 

Summer Skin Essentials

There's no doubt that whilst we're still receiving the expected rainfall every few days in England, Summer is definitely here and our skin routines are definitely in need of a re-vamp. With a mix of skincare and makeup suggestions, I've got you covered with five of my summer skin essentials;

Benefit POREfessional Primer - £24.50 at Boots
My holy grail primer. Not only does it minimise the size of your pores, it's also great for keeping your base glued to your skin throughout the day. I find that even when the heat melts away the powder from my face, my skin continues to give that holiday-esque finish due to the smooth, pore-free base that this stuff gives me. And if you buy it in store at Boots, there's usually smaller sizes (I get 7.5ml) for a much cheaper price! Even the smaller versions of this primer manage to last me months. 

Piz Buin Allergy Sun Sensitive Face Cream SPF30 - Currently £6.00 at Boots
Everyone often forgets to protect their face from the sun during the hotter months. I always find it's best to buy a cream specifically for your face, which tends to be most sensitive on the skin and slightly less shiny-looking. This one's the perfect factor to protect your skin completely and gives a healthy-looking glow, over the 'disco ball' effect that I've received from other facial suncreams.

Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder - £29.00 at House Of Fraser
Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Completely. I tend not to go for high-end nor loose powders, always content with my Rimmel Stay Matte. This, however, changes everything. It's far more luxurious, easy to apply, and doesn't highlight any pores or dryness. It eliminates greasy-looking shine and encourages your makeup to last for around 4-6 hours without a touch-up, and doesn't give a chalky wash of colour like other translucent powders do. A must-have to keep your makeup sweat-proof this summer.

Topshop Glow Pot in Polished - Currently £9.00 at Topshop
A more glow-y makeup look is definitely 'in' this summer- and this little pot of magic helps to achieve exactly that. It's a cream, which I find is easier for the summertime, and enables you to blend it out nicely - especially helpful if, like me, you're more likely to mess up your highlighter than any other makeup product. Great for a gorgeous glow, and generally making your makeup look more summer-ready. Plus, with their '5 Years of Beauty', rose gold anniversary packaging, how can you resist? 

Bourjois Paris Bronzing Primer - £9.99 at Superdrug
Whether you're using it for a primer or as an above-foundation cream contour, this stuff wins. It's a holiday-bronze in a tub. The actual packaging of the product is quite luxurious and it'll last forever. It's got a pleasant smell and blends effortlessly underneath foundation. Above foundation, you've got to be a little more careful, but it's still fairly easy to get the hang of. Perfect for bronzing up your complexion this summer.

What are your summer skin essentials?


Tips For Drinking More Water

If you read my 2015 post you'll know that it was a goal of mine to drink more water this year. Three months in, I'm still keeping it up. I've noticed a few things that helped me to remember to drink more water and mixed them with Pinterest ideas to form a few tips.

Buy cute bottles.
As odd as it may sound, a pretty bottle to drink from is the easiest way to get motivated to drink. I got two VOSS bottles from Amazon that are just slightly nicer than your average supermarket bottle or a glass. You can also take them around with you everywhere you go and count your intake in 500ml portions.

Count days.
I saw on Pinterest the idea of creating habits through counting. It can take 30 days to form a habit, so drink water for those 30 days and count them as you go. Simple sticky notes on your wall numbered with a marker can be an easy way to keep track. After those days are up, it should be more of a habit to drink lots of water every day.

Use your phone.
I'm sure there are many apps of the sort, but iDrated is a free and useful app to track your water intake. You set your own target and put your measurements in as you go, with reminders popping up if you go too long without a drink. If you reach your target or get close in the day, you get medals that show on the page. There's a graph to show your average intakes for the week and you can look back at the months to see your progress. If you're not sure on your target, you can simply put in your weight etc and have it calculate for you. 

Do you have any tips for drinking more water?


Everyday Red Makeup Menu

With red being my favourite colour, I've found my own favourite ways of wearing a red lip in different situations. I always make sure I've got a slightly bolder-than-usual eyebrow going on and a clear bace, so that nothing is to interfere with the lipstick. With an everyday red lip, I tend to keep the eyes quite light and the lashes separated, to keep the attention nearer the mouth. Playing around with blush is always paired with red lips; for this look I keep it quite subtle, but not so little that you're washed out. I think that the easiest way to dress-down a bold lip is to go for a soft hairstyle - I just added some texturising spray to my natural hair - and to go even further, wear something slouchy (I threw on a baggy cardigan from Boohoo over my outfit). 
In need of a high-coverage base, I reached for my Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in Sand. It's perfectly buildable and you can get away with only powdering once. To brighten up my under-eyes I went for Rimmel's Wake Me Up Concealer in True Ivory, and to set both base products I used Rimmel's Stay Matte Powder in Peach Glow. I added definition to my face with the oh-so-classic NARS Bronzer in Laguna, colour with a NYX Blusher in Mocha, and added some glow with the highlighter from my Sleek Contour Palette in Fair. As usual I filled my eyebrows in from my Naked Basics palette - Urban Decay's Eyeshadow in Faint, to be precise. For the eyes I used a loose pigment, Lily Lolo's Mineral Eye Shadow in Vanilla Shimmer. It was my first time using it and I'm really happy with how it turned out, especially since it didn't meet my upsetting expectation of turning my eyelids into disco balls. For everyday mascara I've been loving the Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara in Noir Midnight, and so chose that. Finally, the lipstick. I chose Rimmel's Lasting Finish by Kate in 01. Not too dark, nor too light, and it's fairly long lasting - overall, it does what it says on the tin.

What's your go-to everyday red?



If you read my '2015' post you'd know that it was amongst my resolutions to get fit. I did my research and found that the best way to change your lifestyle in terms of diet and exercise was to first do a detox to cleanse your body so that your new, healthier habits will be able to have their full effect. 
SLENDERTOXTEA offer a 'teatox', which is essentially a detox with teas. I tried the 14 day 'daytox' alongside the 14 day 'sleeptox'.
The daytox contains 14 tea bags, and you're supposed to take one each morning. The sleeptox contains 7 tea bags, and you're supposed to take one every other night. The benefits of both include increased energy, colon cleansing, increased metabolism efficiency and they also aid weight loss. All the details and instructions etc come with the tea and it really helps to get you clued up before you start.

You can buy the teas here

How I found it: I expected the taste of the tea to be poor, as all detox style teas I've had before haven't been pleasant. To my surprise, the taste wasn't too bad at all. My stomach felt settled constantly and I feel like I got great changes without doing much.

How much weight I lost: 6 lbs

What changed: I had a lot more energy than usual in the days and went to sleep a lot more easily. The energy definitely helped to boost workouts. 

Would you ever try a 'teatox'?


LP Brookies

It wasn't too long after Lily Pebbles shared the recipe that 'brookies' became half an internet sensation. 'Brookies' -meaning a brownie mixed with a cookie- are supposed to pick up the crunch of a cookie with the inside chew of a brownie. A mouth-watering idea with an instagram-worthy outcome, no wonder so many bloggers have taken it upon themselves to dash to the kitchen and have their own attempt (myself included!). 
You can find the recipe here, and for an advanced warning- it makes a lot of brookies.

My final outcome: I loved them! They went down a treat with everyone who tried them, they're light, and they look great. I found they taste best dipped in something (I used milk), as they're a lot more brownie-like. Easy recipe, providing you allow yourself some time for it. 

Have you tried 'brookies'?


Nanshy Blending Sponge*

The 'Marvel Makeup Blending Sponge' is designed to enable a buildable coverage, aiming for a smooth finish. The brand is cruelty free, which is important to look for. The sponge itself is latex free, non-allergenic and odour free. All good stuff.

With all my sponges, I prefer to wet them before use. I feel like it stops them absorbing foundation and generally helps with blending. After soaking this one under the tap, I was amazed at the size of it. This-sponge-gets-huge. It made applying my foundation a lot quicker and the shape of it meant that I was still able to get into smaller areas. The finish was smother than any I've tried before and I especially noticed that I was getting more coverage out of my under eye concealer. The sponge was a lot denser than the BeautyBlender etc, and I felt that I could really get a good blend with it. Overall, I'm impressed. 

How do you apply your foundation?


Joe Dulude II Interview

With huge awards and achievements, Joe is the makeup designing mastermind behind hit productions Wicked, Grease!, Follies and many more. He's recently begun to share his talent through theatrical makeup master classes, after fifteen years of freelance, work at MAC, runway shows, makeup for TV appearances and broadway makeup. If all of that artistic experience wasn't enough, Joe is also a fine artist and photographer in his spare time.

Recently, I've had the pleasure of being in contact with Joe and arranged an interview about all things makeup. His wisdom and experience of the industry shines through in every response. 

01- What made you want to get in to the makeup industry?

I always loved makeup as a kid.  I loved watching old monster movies like Dracula and Frankenstein and wanted to do that makeup on me.  I did a lot of theatre when I was growing up (acting) and so would practice doing makeup on myself or my young nieces.  I love being able to create a character and dressing up in costume.

02- Which brand of makeup do you predominantly use?

I use a lot of different brands.  MAC eyeshadows and blush, Make Up For Ever HD Foundations, powder, flash color palettes, Temptu airbrush makeup, Graftobian creme foundations, Ardency Inn foundations (my new fav), Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (amazing loose pigments, liners and lip tar), Ellis Faas concealers, Cozzette brushes, Crown brushes.  I think it's important to branch out and use different brands.  You get different pay offs with different lines.  Of course MAC still has my favorite shadows.

03- Out of your work, what looks are you most proud of?

I love my design for Madame Morrible in Wicked.  It probably is my favorite character I have ever designed.  I like that the makeup can transform as the actor transforms their character.  And there is only one small change in the makeup as well.  Also overall, I love my design for Follies, that starred Bernadette Peters.  It was such a creative high for me to be able to design makeup for all these amazing women and have it set in 1971.  I had to decide if the characters would be current with makeup in the early 70s or whether they would still be a throwback to when they were a star in the Follies.  Then I also got to design the ghosts of these ladies, all played by younger women.  I had to make them look period (early 1900s through 1940s) and yet make them look ghost like.

04- What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting a job similar to your own?

RESEARCH!  When you get a job, you need to know the time period, the style, etc. of the makeup.  Find as many reference pictures as you can, and knowing that sometimes there are multiple styles of makeup during that time period, depending on who the person is.  Be knowledgeable about it, so that you can back up your work.  But also know that you will have to adjust it to make it work for stage.  You can't do a straight period makeup and expect it to read perfectly on stage.  So sometimes you have to alter it so it looks right to the audience, yet still looks period.

05- What's one thing you wish you'd learned sooner than you did about makeup?

I wished I had learned to be confident in myself and my work.  I think I learned that long after I should have.  And that is another piece of advice.  Confidence.  If you are confident, employers will like that.  If you make a mistake, don't make a big deal out of it, just fix it and move on.  It shows you to be reliable and knowledgeable about your work.

06- What's the first thing you consider when you're about to design a look? 

There isn't just one thing.  I consult with the costume designer and find out time period, feel, theme of the show.  Then I find out about each character individually.  You need to take all aspects into consideration before starting your design.  If you just focus on one thing you will lose so much in the design and it won't be correct for the show.

Huge thanks to Joe for lending me his artistic expertise for this post, and for all of the great advice that I'll hold on to. 


Liebster Award

Picture- Rachel's post.

I'm sure most of you are aware by now what the Liebster award is all about, but for those that don't: a blog with less that 200 followers is nominated and given eleven questions to answer. The idea behind it is to discover new bloggers and share a little bit more about your blog. I was nominated by the lovely Rachel from Raytoria, so thank you Rachel! 

Questions from Rachel

01- What's your favourite thing about blogging?
I love the community that comes with blogging, the friends you make from sharing an interest in it. I also love how much you learn from blogging, since it prompts you to read other blogs more regularly. That's two... I couldn't choose. 
02- Who are your blogging icons?
VIVIANNADOESMAKEUP and LILYPEBBLES have been my favourites for a long time. I've met both and they're so lovely and inspiring. 
03- What is your dream job?
I'm about to start training for a diploma in Hair & Beauty with Photographic Makeup, to then go on to Theatrical, SFX and Media Makeup with hair in college. These are building towards a job in theatres doing makeup, which I'd love. Making a career out of blogging would also be incredible. 
04- What is the one object you couldn't live without?
I'd have to say my camera. I currently use a Panasonic Lumix G2 (more info in my FAQ section), and I'm not sure how I'd manage without aimlessly snapping away on special days.
05- Do you like to travel? If so, what is your dream destination?
I love to travel, and I'd love to go on a snowy holiday. That, or New York. I've been to America twice but only Orlando, NY fascinates me and I think I'd enjoy the shopping opportunities. 
06- What do you do as a hobby?
Before reading this question, I wouldn't have put myself down as someone with a hobby. I guess that this blog is my hobby, as well as photography, travel, makeup, football. Perhaps I might have a hobby or two...
07- Describe yourself in three words.
I dread these sorts of questions, I'll go for creative, happy and unreserved.
08- What is your favourite quote?
I have so many, but the simple 'have a little faith' is big to me at the moment.
09- If there was a movie about your life, what celebrity would play you?
This is such a weird question to answer, but if it were down to me I'd have to pick Leighton Meester.
10- Who is your favourite band/musician/artist? 
I go through phases of different music genres so I could easily say the Arctic Monkeys or Hozier, but I've been listening to a lot of Beyonce and Bruno Mars lately.
11- Any guilty pleasures? 
Glee / Hairspray / Grease / Christmas songs at any time in the year.

Now I've done my questions, I nominate other bloggers and set them eleven questions. There's also a few rules/instructions that you pass on with your post;

- Link the person who nominated you.
- Answer their questions given to you.
- Nominate eleven other bloggers with less than 200 followers. // I stuck to five, but eleven is the usual amount to nominate //
- Link and notify these bloggers.
- Create eleven questions for them.


 I nominate:

If I nominated you and you write the post, be sure to leave the link below!


After being nominated by BEAUTY CHECK - LADY SHAZ (thank you!) I've decided to answer her questions on here, to keep everything together.

01- Why did you choose to blog?
After following so many blogs for such a long time and having such an interest in beauty/fashion, it seemed natural to start my own. I love to write and I often have a lot to say about everything, haha!
02- What would you do if you got 1000 followers?
Besides from shock and joy, I'm pretty sure a giveaway would be in order. 
03- What's your favourite joke?
What did the buffalo say to his son when he left for college? // Bison.
04- How would you describe yourself?
I like everything artsy, and I laugh a lot.
05- Who's your favourite YouTuber?
Lisa Eldridge (although I see her less as a YouTuber and more a general makeup artist) makes incredible videos, I always learn a lot from watching her.
06- What's your favourite novel or book?
Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella and John Green's The Fault in Our Stars have been my favourites recently, but I'm always changing them.
07- If you could only shop at one store, which would it be?
If Boohoo counts, I'd pick that. They sell everything I could need. If not, Forever 21.
08- What do you do in your spare time?
Study // watch football // blog.
09- What's your favourite tea flavour?
I love green tea but peppermint would probably beat it for me.
10- If you were stuck on an island for one month with only one person, who would it be?
If I knew them probably a parent or my brother, or any friend. If we're meaning anyone, perhaps Alexis Sanchez? Ed Westwick? 
11- What's your dream job?
Theatre makeup artist // full time blogger.

DIY Brush Pots

If, like me, you're a sucker for a nice candle every once in a while, you'll know that it's surprisingly disappointing when it's come to it's end and it's time to throw away the empty glass pot. This hits even harder when it's of the likes of Jo Malone and comes with a fee over £20. It's because of these pricey wastes that I started to up-cycle my empty candle jars, using them primarily for makeup storage. 

  • To start, you'll need a completely burned out candle. You could probably use one with a bit left, but I just assumed that it's best not to waste a candle with a working wick. 
  • Next, use a metal spoon to gradually remove the leftover wax.
  • Once the wax is gone, gently prise off the wick holder.
  • Using a little hot water and some washing up liquid, get rid of any black marks on the glass. 
  • If you're removing the label, do so and either put the pot through the dishwasher or simply scrub off the remains with washing up liquid. If you're not, be careful not to get the label too wet.
You may now fill your up-cycled jar with whatever you please. I use mine as pots for my makeup brushes. If you don't want to stop here, you can always decorate the jar; mod podge and glitter or some simple twine help to customise the storage to your own space.

What do you keep your brushes in?


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