FASHION & BEAUTY / Post birthday haul (2018)

After the birthday celebrations comes… the spending of more money! I was lucky enough to get a bit of money for my birthday too so, coupled with some of my own, I hit ASOS and Harvey Nichols hard.

There were a lot more things as part of this haul, mainly fashion, however they’ve had to go back because they either didn’t fit well or look good, so I decided not to include them.

FASHION

Palm print shirt, Wednesday’s Girl at ASOS

If this shirt doesn’t scream summer, I don’t know what does! This is actually part of a coord with some wide leg printed trousers which unfortunately went out of stock before I could get my mitts on them, but luckily this works really well with most things. The material is really light and the not too fitted so it’s going to be lovely to wear on hot summer holiday days/nights.

Faux leather biker jacket, ASOS

I’ve been looking for a new biker jacket for absolutely ages, and saw this one recommended on Instagram for an absolute bargain at £35. I thought for the price it was worth giving a shot, and I’m not at all disappointed. It has a great shape (I really don’t like the look of unfitted biker jackets on me) feels really good and looks pretty decent too, not at all shiny or fake as so many cheaper versions do.

Ruched waist jumpsuit in red… and black, ASOS

This is also one I spotted on Instagram (I actually think this a much better way to shop than browsing the ‘new in’ sections these days) and picked it up in both colours (obviously, it is me after all) and felt like this would be perfect for dressing up or down during the warmer weather.

The fit is really flattering with the waist detailing and wide leg, and the material is really light, the only slight issue is the bra sitch – you can’t wear a normal or strapless bra, and I definitely cannot go without! I’m going to try a stick on bra and see how I go, because I can definitely see these as part of my regular rotation for summer.

BEAUTY

There’s really only one reason why a gal like me is shopping for beauty products at Harvey Nichols…yup, I finally picked me up some Fenty Beauty!

Cheek hugging highlight brush

This brush just makes so much sense; how on earth is Rih Rih the first person to bring it out?! I’ve always struggled to find the best highlight brush for me, I have a fan brush and a Real Techniques highlight brush but usually end up applying it with my fingers, so I’m hoping this will help position and blend more easily.

I managed to bend some the strands as I was removing the (very tight) brush cover which is why it looks a bit crazy at the side, boo!

Killawatt foil freestyle highlighter duo

And this is one of the things the brush will be out to work on…how pretty! I spotted this Rihanna’s Vogue makeup tutorial and thought the colours were just fabulous for summer. Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate how pretty the summer product packaging is with all the pinks and florals?

I’d describe these colours as pigmented but more sheer when applied so they are buildable, making them great for subtle and more out there looks.

Match Stix trio

I’m determined to get better at the base/contour/highlight thing, and these bad boys are gonna help me do it!

I went for the lightest shades as I’m fairly pale and the swatches online seem to match my skin the best. These feel really creamy which I think will help me to blend things more easily, and the contours shade is more cool toned which I think will be a better match to my skin. The concealer is a similar shade to the one I use now and the highlight has a nice shimmer that’ll really pop in the sunshine.

Bomb Baby mini lip and face set

My final FB purchase was this duo of mini products. I couldn’t justify buying both of these as full sized products so this felt like an easy compromise that would also fit into my travelling makeup pouch so much easier. Win win right!

I really wanted to try the lip gloss since the range first dropped, and so far I’m really liking it. Although it looks dark in the tube, it’s actually applies as a really nice neutral sheen that enhances your natural lip colour and pretty much matches any makeup look.

The highlight is the same formula as the duo and also has a nice buildable colour, which is kind of peach-toned and quite similar to cult fave BECCA Champagne Pop. I think I’m going to experiment with this as an eyeshadow to get a kind of cohesion to my look that more natural but with a bit of shimmer.

I also picked up a few non-Fenty products too

Even though I recently had my eyebrows microbladed (you can read about my experiences here) I thought picking up a super-fine brow product would be really useful for enhancing the areas that didn’t quite take the pigment for nights out. I don’t foresee that I’ll use it too much as I’m fairly happy with how things look at the moment, but it’s good to have it on standby.

NARS bronzing powder in Laguna

I’ve become a bit disillusioned with my Benefit Hoola bronzer recently as it’s starting to feel a bit too warm for my skin (I also have Hoola Lite, but it does virtually nothing as it’s just too light). I remembered that the MUA at the NARS counter applied this for me last summer and that it looked really nice so thought I’d try this out since a lot of people seem to love it.

Although the tones are still quite warm, it’s much less severe so I’m hoping it will work a little better alongside the pink and neutral toned looks I’m planning for the summer.

Urban Decay primer potion

This one is a repurchase of an old fave after temporarily switching to the Eden variation for the past few months (which I’ve been much less impressed with). This version has great tacky-feeling base that keeps eyeshadow put and increased for a good while. I won’t be switching it out ever again!

If you’ve tried any of these products and have some styling or make up looks for me to try please free to link them in the comments; I always enjoy getting inspiration from how other people do things.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


BEAUTY/ My microblading experience

I have rubbish eyebrows.

I was one of the infamous 90s over pluckers (I was 12 and there was nobody around to educate us tweens properly back then) in addition to this I kind of ‘play’ with my brows as a kind of comfort mechanism which is made them extra crazy and sparse.

I’m also rubbish at doing things to my eyebrows to make them look half decent. I’ve tried every kind of powder, pencil and wax (to the tune of hundreds in f pounds I’m sure) read hundreds of blog posts and watched as many YouTube tutorials, but I still haven’t been able to master the illusive #BrowsOnFleek

After being self conscious for years I decided a few months ago that I wanted to get some expert help, so I turned to the brow queen of the Hull and East Yorkshire area, Gemma Winstanley.

Before

I’ve never showed my bare brows to the internet before! They don’t look quite as awful from the angle of this photo, however you can see that they are pretty spares and short. I’m not wearing any makeup because I had the day off work so decided to give my face a break, but it’s absolutely fine to wear your usual products when having the procedure.

Next came stencilling of the shape. This picture is a lot smaller because it was cropped to hide my double chin and resting bitch face!

Gemma spent a lot of time making sure the shape was absolutely spot on, so I trusted she’d picked the right one before I even saw it for myself. One of my brows is slightly lower than the other so this was accounted for; the outline looks a little larger to account for shrinkage of the tattoo line (I know, weird right) although all strokes are kept inside the drawn out shape.

Then came the procedure itself. I have a HUGE phobia of needles so was pretty anxious, however Gemma had shown me her equipment during the initial consultation so I knew what to expect. I have a bit of a low pain threshold so was worried I wouldn’t be able to bear the pain (I even asked her to a bit on each side so they’d still be even if I needed to tap out) but I found it completely bearable – it was a very fine, yet occasionally sharp, scratching sensation. After the initial strokes were in Gemma was able to numb my brow area and then I didn’t feel a thing.

Well, that was until the rubbing alcohol was applied. Damn, that smarted!!

A light/medium colour was used as I was worried they’d end up too dark (There is the option to darken up in a later session) and applied using a manual process (i.e. no machines). It sounds very much like a finger running along comb teeth, which gets louder when covers a section that has more hair.

After treatment 1

After the entire treatment had finished my brow area was extremely sore, like a bad sunburn. However by the time I arrived home (about 40 minutes later) that has reduced significantly to a milder soreness. Another hour later and it was gone completely.

Now Gemma had done her job, I had to do mine. As part of the aftercare I needed to clean my brow area with cooled boiled water a few times per day, before applying a conditioning balm to help them heal well. For the first few days some of the pigment will appear on the cotton pad after wiping, which is just the excess coming away from the treated area.

The soreness returned a teeny bit for the next 2/3 days, which is normal, and I continued to aftercare. Then, after 3 days, part of my brow literally disintegrated as I was applying the balm.

As you can imagine, I freaked don’t just a little bit. After a quick message to Gemma including this delightful photo, she assured me that this sometimes happens and I hadn’t done anything wrong. Just keep at it, and fill in missing areas with pencil until my next treatment.

Treatment 2 (Gemma and I both forgot to take pics of this stage, oops)

On going back for my next appointment, I discovered there had been a bit of an epic fail in my healing process. Part of this was my fault – I had mistaken some of the dead skin on my brows as scabs that needed to heal so hadn’t cleaned them away, which had led to the pigment not taking hold properly and my skin becoming a flaming mess. The other part of the problem was just unfortunate – I seemed to have had a reaction to the conditioning balm that made my skin extra red and flaky.

I was sent home to return a couple of weeks later to apply the next lot of strokes, after being advised by Gemma to switch to coconut oil for the conditioning.

When I came back everything had healed much better and the second lot of strokes were applied with darker pigment, which took less time to do (about 35 mins v 50/60 mins the first time). This time, the pain was heightened a little due to there already being an ‘open wound’ when product was being applied. Again, after the skin had been broken numbing cream could be applied and took the sensation away. Then it was the same rubbing alcohol and sunburn like feeling.

I was a lot braver with my brow care this time and made sure the area was cleaned gently but firmly twice per day and followed up with coconut oil. I noticed the results were better immediately, and the pigment took hold much more easily.

The only downside to the coconut oil was that it would slide throughout the day and destroy any attempt at eye makeup; even when only using a tiny bit and wiping the area underneath thoroughly did little to help.

Before treatment 3

As you can see, the pigment definitely established after the second go, but still needed a bit more ‘oomph’ to get it to stay put. Over the course of the month I’d still felt as I could manage without product in the brow area though which has been brilliant, it saved a hell of a lot of time getting ready is the mornings!

After treatment 3

As this was a fresh wound that had now been aggravated twice, the pain went up just a little bit more again, to the point were even the numbing cream didn’t take it away completely.

This time the healing process was much quicker and less “messy” there was less scabby fallout or flaking skin. I kept up the wiping and coconut oil application for a couple of weeks, then went to just applying coconut oil in the evenings for another weeks or so.

How do they look now?

Overall I’m mostly pleased; I feel more confident going out without eyebrow makeup in the daytime and it takes less time to do my make up (not to mention how much money I’ve saved on brow products that I use, break, re-purchase and lose).

However – it has been a little tricky to get the pigment to ‘take’ to my skin so they’re not perfect like they were immediately after each treatment, parts of the pigment simply peeled off without leaving any colour whatsoever, which sadly I think is just bad luck as we had three sessions of treating the area. More than a bit annoying for the amount of money it cost, but unfortunately just “one of those things”.

My overall aim now is the keep conditioning the area in the hope that this will maintain the colour of the pigment for as long as possible and encourage hair growth in the sparse areas at long last.

Cost and advice

My treatment with Gemma cost £350 – this included 1 consultation and up to 3 treatment sessions. This was split into instalments – £20 to secure the consultation, £80 after consultation to secure 3 treatment sessions (both non-refundable) and the final balance after treatment 1. Top up treatments are charged at £175 and include 2 sessions.

If you’re considering microblading, these are my top tips

– Be sure: this is pretty permanent and costly procedure, so take some time and give it some serious thought before you take the plunge.

– Pick a reputable and qualified practitioner: this is a procedure on your face, and a pretty permanent one at that, so do your research and find the best person for the job. View results of their work and ask people you trust for recommendations. As Gemma herself says, the end result is like a billboard showing the quality of her work.

– Be prepared to wait: both for the treatments and the end result. If they’re good at what they do, it’s likely that they’ll be busy and therefore not have appointment straight away (unless you’re lucky and manage to get a last minute cancellation). From booking my consultation I had to wait around 8 weeks for the first available appointment, then another 6 weeks for the first available treatment session. Each treatment is 4 weeks apart to allow your brows to heal and then ‘settle’ into the pigment. You may also have short periods where your brows don’t look their best whilst they’re healing, as I did.

-Ask questions: about anything you’re not sure of. A good practitioner will have answers for you and be more than happy to speak to you on the phone/online about any concerns between treatments.

-Consider a trainee practitioner: I don’t make this suggestion lightly! There are opportunities to receive the treatment from someone who is in training that will be supervised by someone qualified throughout, which would come at a reduced cost if you’re unable to afford the kind of price I paid. If this is something you’d consider then any research you do should focus on the training academy and the supervising practitioner; reputable establishments will not allow someone to practice on a real person if they don’t have faith in their ability and are in hand to assist if anything didn’t go quite as smoothly as planned. That said there is always a risk, as there is with anybody carrying out a cosmetic procedure, that something could go wrong, which is why you should be sure you want to start the process.

I hope sharing my experiences have provided a more real insight into microblading overall, whether this encourages or dissuades you from doing it.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


LIFESTYLE/ 20 years since Sex and the City: how relevant is it today?

I first saw Sex and the City when I was about 18, and last year I made a pilgrimage to Carrie Bradshaw’s famous stoop whilst on holiday in New York City. Even at the age of 34, 16 years late, I was still beyond excited to pay it a visit.

Although I’m asking this question as a die-hard SATC fan, I can’t help but wonder (see what I did there? Hehe.) if asking it out loud makes me sound a bit judgey/traitor-ish, or merely philosophical. I suppose what I’m really trying to ask is this: if the women of this generation watched the show, how much of it would resonate in the context of society today?

Blooming heck; I feeling the English graduate in me coming out a bit here…but this isn’t going to be an academic essay applying any kind of critical theory, promise! I’m merely going to chat about some of my fave quotes from the show and see if they’re still a thing. K? Let’s do this….

This is DEFINITELY still a thing, it’s sooooo a thing! We see this assertion from men on reality shows all the time – If a woman has a alternative opinion, she’s a bitch. Not simpering over a man? Bitch. If women don’t act in accordance with male expectation, they’re referred to as either a bitch or “on the blob”. Because it couldn’t possibly be their problem could it? Don’t be silly.

This is one that should still be relevant, but that women of today can struggle to accept because of our friend social media. We all see the perfect girls on Insta, our own Natasha’s if you will, and feel just a little inadequate that we can’t quite nail it like they can. But sometimes they can’t, we just don’t see that, but there’s a definite movement to raise up womankind and celebrate “imperfections” (or as I call them “what you look like irl”) which will hopefully get society back to a more Carrie frame of mind.

Social media is definitely responsible for making this more of a problem than ever before! How many times have you thought “I can’t wear that, I’ve been seen wearing it on Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat/Insta” because I’ve thought this A LOT over the past 10 years. That’s probably why I’ve had a borderline online shopping obsession and constantly have suitcases full of clothes to sell or donate. Thanks to celebs like Kate Middleton it’s becoming more acceptable to ‘shop in your own closet’ again and re-wear items (though if I was paying as much as her for a frock I’d be wearing it multiple times too) and I’ve noticed a few YouTuber styling videos based on pieces they already own, so I think is one is going to make a brief u-turn…before we go back to the same old dilemma. Can’t resist the lure of a New In section!

Men; mocking the things they do not understand and cannot appreciate. Luckily for us, fashion is subjective and it doesn’t usually matter. Although I do have times where I dress because I’d like the Mr to think I look nice, primarily I dress for me. Oh, and for other women. Hehe.

This quote has two current meanings attached for me. The first is the currently trendy “I don’t want to be around other humans; I’m gonna stay in and communicate using only the mediums of reality tv and food delivery apps” which is kinda cute and not entirely concerning. However, I’m present day society a statement like this could also be symptomatic isolating oneself due to their mental health, which is troubling. It’s fine to have time out for yourself, but don’t feel as if you have to be alone because you think you’re a burden or that nobody will care. They do, promise. We should all make sure we have each other’s backs as much as possible.

She’s not wrong – we should all have the guts to channel a little of Samantha’s confidence. I’ve always been a firm believer that what you wear on the outside can have a huge impact on how you feel inside, which will the help to improve you state of mind – so pull on your favourite outfit, take a look in the mirror and think “yass queen” before strutting out of the house to show the world who’s boss!

Although everything in this post is still pretty relevant, I’m very aware that there are things I haven’t mentioned that would raise more eyebrows today than perhaps they did back then – casual racism (remember when Samantha dated the black music producer, and dated the rich man with the Asian maid) and the portrayal of ethnic minorities in lesser skilled roles (with the Lucy Liu cameo as the only notable exception) are just a couple of examples, however I believe that the overall vibe of female empowerment and independence most definitely sits well within the current issues facing women in society.

So what do you think; am I right or wrong? Which episode still resonates the most with you and why? Don’t leave a gal hanging; shout me out in comments below!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


FASHION, BEAUTY & LIFESTLYE/ My birthday wish list (2018)

It’s almost that time of year again….I really like birthdays, but this year I’m feel a bit oversensitive about getting older. Ugh.

So I’ve put together a few things I’ve had my eye on lately, hopefully one or two of them will end up in my hot little hands come 21 June!

1. Oliver Bonas mug

I’ve coveted this mug for a while but it keeps going out of stock so I haven’t managed to snaffle it yet, though I’ve managed to pickup the turquoise version. I just think the design is cool, it’s wide so it holds more tea, and the colours are just simple yet pretty.

2. Quay Australia x Missguided cat eye sunnies

Ah, my obsession for sunglasses continues. I only found out about this collab on YouTube last week and I’m already obsessed, however I find it super annoying that Quay prices seem to have rocketed up over the last year or so for no discernible reason. Still doesn’t stop me imagining how fierce these shades would look when I head off Santorini in a few months…

3. New Look linen look jumpsuit

This really caught my attention because it’s so simple and chic, yet comfortable looking, it could easily be dressed up or down during warmer weather. The material feels pretty nice when I’ve seen it in store so I think it will also help to keep me cool when the weather is (hopefully) hot hot hot.

4. Huawei media pad

I’ve recently ditched my iPhone in favour of a Huawei P Smart, which is working out pretty well so far, but I do miss my photos automatically synching up with my iPad. Solution? Upgrade my tablet to this cute lil’ number!

5. Urban Decay Beached eye shadow palette

UD have brought out yet another palette for me to lose my shi*t over (the last one being Naked Heat, obv) and neeeeeeeed it! I’m dying to jump on this blue shadow bandwagon – unlike the last time I experimented with it sometime in the 90s, I may be able to make it look half decent this time.

6. Topshop round straw bag

I can’t think of any gals who either don’t want want this bag, or already have it. I already have it in black (the Mr ‘lovingly’ refers to it as my “sewing box”) and really like it, and you know I like to buy things in all the colours…but it wouldn’t count if I got it as a present, right?

7. Urban Decay Backtalk palette

2 UD palettes on the list? You better believe it! This one would be a genuinely good investment, as I wear a lot of subtle pink shades for my everyday makeup (you can nosey at all of my go to makeup products here) as well as having a few brighter shades to experiment with. Coupled with the cheek colours, I thought it would be a great one to take on the go.

As I have done for the past couple of years I’ll probably be doing a ‘what I got for my birthday’ post so keep you eye out for that to, feel free to pop over to my social media channels for a nosey at my birthday shenanigans and general random life events!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


BEAUTY/ I tried the Primark ‘Nudes’ collection

I’m not usually a ‘do a review on a current beauty product’ kind of a girl, in fact I usually go out of my way to avoid being that girl. However, I’ve been seeing some chatter online about the new Primark ‘PS… Nudes’ collection and decided that actually, this time I am going to be that girl! I’ve jumped on many a beauty bandwagon over the years but this time I’ve done so purely in the name of finding out if a product was worth the hype, rather than because it was something I was desperate to get my mitts on. Bit of a game changer for me, but I hope you like it…

Firstly, let’s talk packaging and overall concept. It’s obvious that this collection is positioning itself as a high street alternative to the KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics – the products within the collection, shade names and neutral-coloured packaging, it’s all there. If any of the products end up being as good as their higher end counterparts this will be great news for the gals in the UK and Ireland, as it’s trickier (not to mention more expensive with exchange rates and customs charges) to get this side of the Atlantic.

Eyeshadow palette

It has a good range of the neutral colours I use on a daily basis – pinks, browns and some highlighter shades – which in theory means I’d find it very wearable. I tried out a pink smoky eye (in the same kind of style as I do my everyday makeup) using three colours on the lid and a really pale pink underneath. I was pleased with the result (no photos because I haven’t learnt the art of taking a good photo of my makeup. Tips welcomed) although it’s a little too bright to be referred to as a ‘nude’ shade, and after about 4 hours out and about it’d creased quite significantly. However, I forgot to apply primer before the shadow, so I gave it another shot.

Next I tried out some of the brown shades for a natural yet slightly smoky look, after applying my trusty Urban Decay primer. This time the shadow lasted longer and only creased a tiny bit towards the end of the day. The colours are nice and the payoff is as good as some of my more expensive palettes, which is amazing.

Lip liner and matte liquid lipstick duo in ‘Fling’

The liner seems to have a nice consistency but I just couldn’t see any proper colour payoff when I applied it Me lips. The liquid lipstick is a lovely consistency and wasn’t too drying but the colour was awful – instead of the nice pink shade indicated by the tube, I can only describe it in real life as ‘neon nude’. Its not a wearable colour and I can’t imagine a natural fit for anybody’s skin tone. The liner/lip colours also aren’t an exact match, so a bit of work needs to be done if they want to compete with Kylie; there are already plenty of other high street rip-offs trying to do just that.

Matte eye collection in ‘Girl Code’

The liner is the same kind of creamy consistency and finish as the lip liner (I suspect it’s exactly the same formula but passed off as an eye product) and the shadow dries down in a very similar way. It’s a really nice colour, but my concern is the durability of both – the liner is pretty soft and may slide, the shadow could crack when it gets too dry. I haven’t quite made up my mind about them yet.

Body shimmer dust

I think this is my favourite of all the products I’ve tried, and I’d go as far as to say a hero product of the whole collection. It has amazing colour payoff, a little bit goes a long way, and I’d say it’s a pretty great dupe for the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in the Pearl shade….which is kind of annoying, given that I just bought that very item a few weeks ago. Take my advice – buy this one and save yourself £28; it won’t quite fit as nicely into your handbag but you’ll get just as many compliments.

Contour stick duo

I thought with the sponge and brush ends this could make a decent tool for ‘on the go’. The brush end is pretty soft yet firm enough to buff in a good contour

Overall verdict: I think Primark have been clever to develop a product that taps in to the cult beauty/social media market, and they’ve definitely captured people’s interest. Some of the products work fine for regular use, others less so, which is probably about right for a budget high street range. The Body shimmer dust was a surprising highlight, no pun intended! I hope that Primark carry on developing and expanding this range, as I think it could become something pretty decent.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


BEAUTY/ My every day makeup look

Month 1 of 2018 is finished already, wow. Come at me February!

Today I’m sharing the products I use to make myself feel more human and presentable each day – in no way can I profess to be expert in this area, but I’ve found a simple look and items to create it that works well for me and my current capabilities.

This creates what I’d call my ‘regular face’ – the one people will mostly see from me at the office or if I’m having a more casual weekend. Time is usually of the essence as I set of work reasonably early and I’d say it takes me about 20 minutes from start to finish with what I use and how I use it:

Prep

I like a good primer (sometimes I choose to wear it without anything applied over the top) but haven’t got one that I’m loving at the moment so am leaving it out of my routine for the moment. I am however applying Urban Decay Eyeshawdor primer potion my my eyelids as this is really great for keeping shadow in place.

I have two different kinds but I reach for the original formula most often as it has more of a silicon consistency which feels as if it’s ‘grabbing’ the shadow better (though the Eden version I have seems to work just as well, but just applies like a really light concealer consistency).

Base

I keep my base very light as I don’t really like the feel of foundation so instead use NARS Radiant Tinted Moisturise as it gives a bit of colour (and SPF coverage; which was great for my summer trip to NYC) but doesn’t feel too heavy.

I usually apply this with my fingers as I remember a NARS MUA telling me that it warms the product up which helps it to apply more nicely, it I usually finish by using a sponge to blend in any stubborn areas.

I conceal under my eyes and any redder areas (around my nose, the apples of my cheeks and occasionally forehead) with Collection Lasting Perfection – I usually mix up shades 1 and 2 and been using a small dry sponge.

Brows

I use Benefit Goof Proof (shade 3 or 4) by taking the pointier side to create a more defined shape, then the flatter side to fill using small sweeping strokes. I use a cotton bud to clean up any wayward edges.

Eyes

Despite the fact I’ve invested in some more expensive makeup palettes over the past 12 months, most days I still like to use the Collection Eyes Uncovered palette in Nude Rose as I still consider it one of my hero products and a game changer. There’s something about pink shadow that really brightens my eyes and makes me feel very natural yet put together when I’m wearing these. I did try out the matte version when it launched in 2017, but I wasn’t as keen on the the way shades looked without the shimmer.

I use shade 2 all over my lid, shade 4 on my outer crease and a up towards my brow bone (this is also a beautiful colour to wear over the whole lid) and the darkest purple shade in the outer corner.

To apply I use my Nanshy blending brush and eye crease brush and blend with a MAC 217.

I finish with one coat of mascara (2 if I feel a bit of extra sass is needed) – I’m working my way through a Sephora Lash Stash on the go set featuring 4 different brands, at the moment I’m back on which seems to be working for me a little better than the first I tried it last year (read my first impressions in this post)

Lips

I finish off with a slick of Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips. I have a lot of hot drinks throughout the day so anything more would be constantly wiped off, but weirdly I can’t bear not having anything on my lips when I’m wearing makeup everywhere else so this just allows me to feel ‘finished’.

And that’s my face! As part of my current spending detox (which I’m sure you’ll be sick of hearing about by the time I complete it) I’m trying to use the make up products I already have and know work me as much as possible – unless something runs out and needs re-purchasing or there’s a new release that blows my mind (I don’t think we can rule out another Naked Heat – style scenario this early in the year). I may do more posts throughout the year when my makeup bag favourites change as the seasons progress, so do shout out in the comments if that’s something you’d like to nosey at.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


BEAUTY/ How I keep my hair healthy

At the start of last year my hair was very, VERY mad at me. Apparently it didn’t like being blonde as much as I did! It became horribly dry and frayed, luckily I had the lovely Chelsea and the Cook Hair Anlaby gals to help get it back to a good place. After months of nourishing darker tones, my locks are now very happy (and looking very nice, I must say) with some subtle copper highlights running through the mid section.

Taking good care of my hair is now extra important so that I keep it healthy, so here I’m sharing the top three products I use to achieve this in between salon appointments


Herbal Essence Daily Detox Clean shampoo

I’ve never found a shampoo that’s really fit me before, but this formulation seems to really agree with my hair. I started using it about three months ago and have since noticed that my hair is shinier than it’s ever been when I’ve washed it at home, I’ve had a lot of compliments to this effect too. It’s safe for colour treated hair so doesn’t make it fade or even turn brassy, surprisingly for me.

I know you’re meant to alternate what you use every so often but I haven’t used another brand since getting this. I’ve recently bought the Daily Detox volume (pictured) to alternate with which is crimson orange and mint, which seems to be working pretty well so far.

Milkshake Incredible Milk

This brand is used at my salon and smells delicious, so I picked up a bottle of this to kick my home hair routine up a gear when it was really suffering. It’s worked brilliantly – six squirts into the palm to distribute through the lengths before blow drying keeps my hair soft.

Wet Brush lil

Last year I picked up a full sized Wet Brush for home, but this beauty lives in my wash bag so I can use it on the go. It’s perfect for combing product through my hair after I’ve washed it as well as keeping tangles in check, my hair is prone to knotting but has been pretty good since investing in this.

I hope sharing my hair heroes may help if you have any similar problems – I’m recommending these alongside the care I get from regular touch ups, toners and trims at a professional salon, which isn’t always cheap but worth investing in if you have the money to do so.

Thanks for reading,

J xx