Made From Real Unicorn Hair | Spectrum Brushes Review

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There was once upon a time* when I was at college, with me little pots of Barry M Dazzle Dusts (You know what I’m talking about girllll), and because I was way ahead of the curve, I decided that my makeup applied better with my beautiful paint brushes that I had for  my course. I didn’t really know that you were supposed to use brushes anyway, but as a 15 year old, I thought I was being pretty innovative.

*Have you noticed how all of my posts have a little anecdote, I’m like you Nan aren’t I? Awh.

Anyway, any makeup artist, Youtuber or eyeshadow enthusiast will tell you that the tools you use are the secret to a seamless finish. A far cry from the paint brushes I used to use, when looking for brushes, I consider everything from affordability, bristle softness, and aesthetics – you want a brush to obviously be good quality with£out breaking the bank, and more often than you want it to look great on your dressing table.

Spectrum are a brand that covers all of those bases, and then some. With individual brush prices starting at just £3.99 and finishing at £9.99 you could not ask for prettier or more effective brushes. What’s also handy, is that even if you’re  newbie to the brush world, they’re labelled on the website for their uses so, minimal confusion. Yay.

The brushes are heavy enough to feel comfortable and controlled in the hand and my goodness me are they fluffy, I mean damn, they are bunny rabbit soft – and also vegan. I have almost 10 of their beautiful brushes now and they are honestly a staple in my collection. I keep one clean, just for blending the edges of my shadow.

Their entire range is to die for, with beautiful iridescent details, and ranges including marbled handles with rose gold ferrules.

I honestly cannot think of more gloriously gorgeous brushes, and at around about a fiver a go, could you ask for more?

I could not.

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The Best Online Shopping|Beauty Websites

When I was a teenager, I used to mooch off into town and spend my Saturday afternoon browsing the isles of Boots and Superdrug and when supermarkets started offering their own brand makeup ranges, I used any excuse to go to Adsa with my Mum. These were the days when we had dial up internet, couldn’t use the phone at the same time as being online and eBay was barely even a thing.

Cool story bro, get back to your slippers – I know, but my point is this – “beauty” is far more accessible to us than it was ever before. And ain’t it grand! There’s a wonderful community available to everyone regardless of race, religion, politics, age or gender that actively participates in making this industry more enjoyable, more personal and more inspirational than ever before.

The products that we have available to us now are a far cry from my 10-pot collection of rainbow Barry M pots that I had when I was 16, and the industry is all the better for it. The vast range of colours, textures, finishes and tools available to us has given us the freedom to transform ourselves day in and day without even having to leave our bedroom. How liberating is it that any single one of us can be day dreaming about having rainbow eyebrows and glitter lips and we can pop onto ASOS and the next day we can create our new chameleon skin.

What was once an industry restricted to stuffy, old fashioned counters in high end department stores or to cheap, teenage-aimed drugstore brands is now an industry that is thriving now more than ever before, and what’s best is that it’s all at your fingertips.

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Feel Unique – Beauty product heaven, it has everything. Literally everything.

They stock tens of thousands of products, you can save a favourite brand and you get 10% off. My wishlist is 150 items long… Not sure what else to say, aside from that if there’s something you want – it will be on here.

Fragrance Direct – Super crazy cheap drugstore brands

Fragrance Direct is like Boots had a 70% sale, all year round. It’s incredibly cheap, and the products are perfectly good. They stock all your high street faves like Maybelline, Rimmel and Bourjois, as well as the higher end of the highstreet brands and even Clinique and MAC –  but superbly discounted. They stock skincare, haircare, makeup, mens and fragrance.

Their customer service is great (having ordered from them before at least three times). You really can get a good haul for around £20 – £25 and when you spend as much as I do on feeding a makeup addiction, sites like this are a godsend.

ASOS – Best for a little bit of everything

When I discovered ASOS, I basically said goodbye my wages for the rest of time.

They stock some crackin’ brands and this is where I first discovered my love for NYX. The thing about ASOS, is it’s like a one stop shop for everything. Need a new blazer for work? Party shoes? Hair care? Bridesmaids dress? ASOS has got your back.

Cult Beauty – As the name suggests, some really high end and ‘cult’ brands

Their skincare range is phenomenal, and they stock the Jouer cosmetics mermaid highlighters. Enough said.

Love Makeup – Best for pro kit, American brands and unusual lipstick shades

Love Makeup is another firm favourite and a lot of the blue lip shades that I wrote this post about are from there. they stock Lime Crime, Z Palettes, SugarPill and some mad airbrushing tools that look a little frightening. Some really unusual brands are stocked on here – it’s a babe.

 

Beauty Bay – Best for stocking up on Makeup Geek

I think I’ve used Beauty Bay twice and both times I was really rather disappointed with their customer service – the first time I actually complained. They must go through thousands of orders a day and far be it from me to take those experiences and tell you that it’s always pretty bad.

Their brush range is incredible, and that Anastasia Beverly Hills range their Makeup Geek selection is the thing of dreams.

Cocktail Cosmetics – Hard to get hold of, quirky brands – Jeffree Star, Sugarpill, Violet Voss and Milani 

I have only ever ordered a Jeffree Star lipstick from this site, although they do stock some brands which are hard to get elsewhere.

Their site is an extension of their shop which is in Sutton Coldfield, in the Midlands. If you live near to the shop, it’d be worth taking a road trip to get there…

Space NK – The sale is epic

There are some truly beautiful products on Space N.K, sadly they all come with eyewatering price tags. However, the sale is beyond amazing. I managed to pick myself up a Laura Mercier lipgloss, some Shu Uemura eyelashes and a Lipstick Queen lipgloss for £14.50.

They heavily discount their stock around sale time, some items are reduced by 75% – you really can get some brilliant bargains. Bear in mind that during peak sale times, delivery may take a little longer, and costs £4.
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If you guys have any other favourite internet makeup havens, make sure you let me know. Because we all know what I *really* need is more excuses to spend money online….

 

 

 

 

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Charlotte Tilbury: On The Prowl

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Whenever you spot a smudgey, smokey eye on a red carpet or on the catwalk, then you can almost bet money that Charlotte Tilbury – the undisputed Queen of Rock and Kohl – has created it. If there’s one thing Charlotte knows, it’s how to smudge and blend her way to eyeliner perfection. I’ve long lusted after Charlotte Tilbury products – the combination of Art Deco and Old Hollywood in her packaging, and the contemporary take on classic glamour is beauty Nirvana.

Before I commit to spending a huge amount on products, I like to dip my toe into the brand by just purchasing a small item and the ‘Nocturnal Cat Eyes to Hypnotise‘ duo I spied on Net-a-Porter seemed like the perfect way to introduce myself to Charlotte. The set includes the coveted ‘Rock ‘N’ Kohl’ eyeliner in ‘Supernova’ and a complementing shimmery plum shadow.

LOOK AT THAT EYESHADOW… it’s straight out of the Great Gatsby.

The shadow itself is more subtle than I expected it to be, I needed to build it up quite a bit for it to be as dark as I wanted it. That’s not a bad thing though, the shadow is so smooth it makes the shadow easy to blend, it’s also far more purple than I expected it to turn out – it’s quite a light pigment as I was expecting the colour to be deep, rich and bronze’y. Used with the darker eyeliner, it creates such a beautiful depth to the eyes that I don’t think would be easily achieved should the shadow be darker, so it being lighter than I thought is a blessing in disguise – Charlotte really knows her stuff huh!

I feel the real star of the show here is the eyeliner. The buttery formula makes it the easiest eyeliner to smudge out that I’ve ever used (I was a proper little emo kid in the mid 00’s – I’m no stranger to eyeliner). It has a beautiful royal purple glitter in it and blends so smoothly it’s unreal – at £29, the set is well worth the investment for Charlotte Tilbury products. Use with lashings of black mascara and a slick of black kohl on the lower lash line… finish with black leather, unkempt hair and a pint of snakebite and you’ve nailed it.

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Clinique: 1,2,3 Simple Skincare Routine

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Clinique Skin Care Kit for Oily Skin, £20 available online from most well know beauty websites and retailers. Cheek Pop Blusher, in Plum Pop £17.

I don’t really *do* skincare. Or at least, I didn’t until my skin changes as I got… older?

Ordinarily, I had the driest, easy to manage skin – in fact, all through my teens it was pretty good. Aside from a few larger-than-I’d-like-pores, I had no real complaints. About 6 months ago, I noticed a real change in my hormones (my bloody implant is really causing havoc #sozTMI), and at the ripe age of 24 my skin because the skin of a 16 year old. Whereas once I could get away with not washing my face all day and it being glowing and happy, now – I follow a skin care routine morning, lunch and evening. And if I don’t follow it.. I end up with spots that would rival any high school boys. Nice.

So I decide to invest in some skin care, but skin care confuses me and I get a bit lost on the FeelUnique website and in Debenhams I feel a bit flustered, so I opt for something that my Nan would tell me was a good idea and buy some Clinique.

I decide to buy a little kit for £20, that catches my eye and I decide that with this easy to follow routine, skincare will be easy. And it is. There’s a few of these beauties for different types of skin and naturally I select the one for oily to combination skin. This is a very simple way to have a skincare regime that works. You buy the three different potions in your particular permutation, apply them in the order suggested, and voila: good skin that people notice.

The unscented formulas smell a little clinical, and I like that. I feel as though they might strip enough oil from my skin to actually make a difference, and they really do make enough of a difference that people notice when my skin is recovering from a particularly terrible breakout. The soap is mild and doesn’t hurt my skin as many formulas for super oily skin do – but it makes it feel clean, the toner makes it feel facial-clean and calmed and the moisturizer is light enough for even me to wear.

Weirdly though, the skincare, the results, the price aren’t the best thing about buying a few little lotions and potions from Clinique. It’s what it represents to me. When I started taking notice of the makeup my Mum wore and the skincare that she used, it was Clinique, and I feel strangely united with all the other generations of women using their famously classic and effective products.

And so, I’m going to add these products to my absolute staples list and know that, with a brand that both my Nan and my Mum loved, my skin is in good hands.

(Also included in this picture is one of their cheek pop blushers, £17, which I have yet to try BUT LOOK HOW PRETTY IT IS!)

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Sausage and Spinach Gnocchi Bake (V)

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Sausage and Spinach Gnocchi Bake 

You know what’s better than a warming, (fairly) healthy, bowl of carby comfort food? Nothing.

I feel like I should be eating some more salad because yayspring and all of the light, healthy food, but apparently the British weather is having other ideas and, I mean, have we ever had a worse Spring weather wise? I think not. So, as it’s sleeting in May, I reckon I can get away with a winter inspired comfort food recipe. It’s got spinach in it – it’s practically a salad, am I right?

So whining about the weather aside; this is maximum happy-belly food with minimum effort. I think the hardest part of this recipe is dicing the onions, and unless you’re planning on doing that with a spoon, that ain’t hard.

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Hair Scare to Hair Care | Hair Care Haul

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I have a confession to make. In fact, I have several hair related confessions to make.

My first confession is this: I do not own a hair brush. There, I said it. I don’t know why I don’t, and yet still, sometimes I am surprised when I have to cut knots out of my hair.

Secondly, I only wash my hair about once a week… it’s so dry that it doesn’t tend to need much more than that.

Finally, I wash it quickly with a cheap shampoo and conditioner, haven’t had a trim in at least a year and have bleached it at least 5 times this year. I also only ever ‘style it’ by pinning it on top of my head – I sleep with it like that too – which leads to it becoming matted and much like the fur you’d expect to see on a stray cat. 🙁 It’s not unknown for me to cut chunks of matted hair out, because detangling the knots is too sore and too time consuming – when I had blue hair and cut the knows out, I ended up having what looked like little blue unicorn tails laying around everywhere, kinda cool, shame it was my *actual* hair though.

As far as crimes against hair goes, I’ve committed them all.

It got me thinking, I put so much time and effort into dressing nicely and I spend hours meticulously applying primers, foundations, shadows, highlighters, lip plumpers, eyebrow gels and whatever else, that I should probably be taking a little more care of my hair. Heaven forbid it all falls out before my 25th birthday!

You might be wondering why someone that is so obsessed with beauty and taking care of themselves, inside and out is so dire at taking care of their mop and I think it’s because I’m used to having short hair. As a teenager, I routinely had the sides shaved and have it trimmed into a boyish elfin crop. Having a hairstyle so short took very little maintenance, and I’ve never gotten into the habit of looking after it properly. So now I have shoulder length hair, it’s high time I started treating my locks with a bit of r.e.s.p.e.c.t. I might play that song now, amazing.

So, on a casual Saturday morning, after grabbing my weekly Starbucks treat (seriously trying to cut down on them but damn I just love Vanilla lattes too bloody much!), I took a stroll around humble old Boots. I did have a look on all of my favorite beauty websites but after deliberation, I decided I wanted to go into the shop and have a lil’ smell of all the products, to be able to read the bottles, and above all, not have to spend a small fortune on my new haircare range. Boots offer me the opportunity to get a feel of what I’m buying and stock effective products generally at lower price points. I also popped into Superdrug, because they have a younger market and I thought would probably offer me some tropical concoction to smooth over my hair that will have promises of Kardashian like results. I could also snoop the Lottie stand and lust over the metallic Nails Inc polishes, so off I trundled into town.

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L’oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Shampoo and Conditioner, £2.89 for 200ml bottles

Before using these, I was using Herbal Essences, and as much as I love them I had definitely got stuck in a rut with them. I’d been using them for a good year or so and totally sworn by them, but I felt like they started making my hair greasy and I had loads of build up from them. “L’Oréal Paris Laboratories have combined 3 Refined Clays to create its first re-balancing range revealing perfectly balanced, beautiful hair.” Now, I’m no hair care expert but these are brilliant. Enough said.

Will I buy these again? Yes.

Toni and Guy Reconstruction Mask, £6.50

I really enjoyed using this, it smells great and leaves my ends feeling nourished. I pop it on in the bath a few times and a week and leave it whilst I’m doing my skin care routine. I prefer it to the Aussie hair mask I picked up and at £6.50 it feels like a really luxurious product without the price tag. Good works Guys, and Toni. I regret saying that.

Buying again? For sure.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructer Conditioner, £4.99

I’ve used Aussie products before, and they are good don’t get me wrong but I feel a bit let down by this. I feel like it’s probably more of a good conditioner rather than a 3 minute miracle. It does smell gorgeous though, and if you want a intense conditioner rather than a hair mask… this is your gal.

Would I but this again? Na

Umberto Giannini Overnight Beauty Moisture Balm

I can’t find a link for this anywhere. Big sad face! It seems to have sold out on the Boots website and from the UG website! Damn. Anway, did I love this? Hmm. It’s *very* heavy, and it leaves my ends feeling very heavy and greasy, it also smells a bit ‘medical’. It has the most gorgeous packing though, so there’s that.

Would I buy this again? No, but I do really want to try other products from the range.

Fudge Urban Iced Tropical Cocktail Miracle Ends, £5.99

So. Much. Yes. I’ve long been a fan of the Fudge products, and this is no exception. It’s lightweight, smells like candyfloss and leaves my ends feeling silky and far, far less frizzy. I can’t fault it.

Buying it again? Buy it! Can I bathe in it please? Yes.

ORS Monoi Oil Anti Breakage Rejuvenating Spray, £3.99

Guys, I’ve saved the best till last. This spray, is the best out of this haul, it’s from Superdrug and it’s not a range I’ve come across before. A light spritz on my dry ends leaves them feeling so nourished and healthy, it also makes my hair shiny and I cannot even tell you how good it smells. It smells like tropical paradise because of the monoi, which is apparently “a fragrant Tahitian coconut oil with omega 3 and 6”. I really love this, I cannot recommend it enough and I will 100% be trying other products from their range.

Will I buy this again? I’m off to buy the whole range… laters!

 

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