Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Best Of 2013: Make Up

The New Year is almost upon us (less than 2 hours away) and as well as reflecting on the past year, I thought now would be a good time to show you my favourite products of the year. I am only going to do 2 posts, make up and skincare, as I don't have many body or hair favourites. I try a lot of products (not good for my bank balance I know) so the items included today are the best of the best in my opinion. 

This post is solely dedicated to make up items which is one of my favourite topics to blog about. There were a lot of contenders but I managed to whittle it down to my absolute favourites. If you would like me to review any of the products let me know.

I use 2 face primers on a regular basis but if I had to pick a favourite I would have to choose this one purely for the skin benefit I feel it has. I'm not entirely sure if it is working in the long term benefits side of things but when I put it on my acne looks so much less red and foundation sits much better on my face and I also think it lasts longer. As you only need a tiny amount to cover your whole face the bottle lasts forever.

I discovered this foundation in April this year and have used nothing but this ever since. The coverage is medium but is buildable. It contains SPF so is great to use over the winter when people usually forget to use sun protection! I love the heavy glass bottle and sleek black lid as well as the fact it comes with a pump. In case anyone is wondering I have the lightest shade, Calico, however No.7 do the foundation match made service for free so you can find your perfect shade out of the 17 available. 

This is a bit of a cheat but I only really like 1 of the products out of the three in this little camouflage kit. I love the facial concealer which is step 2, its even beaten my love for the collection lasting perfection concealer which I haven't used for around 3 months as I think this is so much better for concealing blemishes and redness. Its such a creamy concealer which is so easy to blend. The yellow shade of the concealer helps to cancel out redness. I don't really use the white powder unless I'm out and need to reset the concealer as I find others work better as setting powders. I also find the under eye concealer is too thick and dry to blend properly under the eye so don't use that either.

This was the first powder highlighter I tried. I didn't have high expectations of this (after hating Benefit's Highbeam) but it is an amazing cheekbone highlight as well as an all over face powder to give a glow to the skin. The shimmer in it is so subtle so you don't get the disco ball effect with this. The powder is also really finely milled which makes it lovely on the skin. I think this would suit basically any skin tone so is an all round amazing product.

I use this blush from Liz Earle 90% of the time. I love how pigmented this blush is however make sure if you use it you use it sparingly. I have used this so much already and the Liz Earle indent on the top still hasn't disappeared. The powder is so fine, its not chalky at all and blends into the skin so beautifully. I will definitely be investing in a few more shades in the New Year as they are the best blushes I have ever tried. 

This is without a doubt the best volumising mascara I have used and trust me I have a lot of mascara's. Two thirds of the brush have long bristles which are great at separating and volumising lashes. The outer third has tiny rubber bristles which mean that the inner eyelashes are coated in mascara too which helps to creates the false lash effect that the mascara claims to give. It also lasts really well throughout the day and doesn't often smudge or transfer to the eyelid. 

I apologise for the amount of Soap and Glory products, they are really amazing. The What's Nude eyeshadow palette contains my favourite eyeshadows. I think it's rare to find a neutral eyeshadow palette that contains mostly matte shadows (3 of the 4 are matte). As much as I love shimmer, on a day to day basis I find matte eyeshadows much more wearable and easy to work with. The eyeshadows are really easy to blend and although there not the most pigmented eyeshadows, I really enjoy wearing them as they last well throughout the day. They also work out at £2.50 per eyeshadow which is a bargain!

As I am not a big lipstick wearer I really love this tinted lip balm. The raspberry shade isn't too out there for me but is still a fairly natural shade. As well as giving colour to the lips it also moisturises them. Its a win win situation really!

Again this is a fairly neutral shade however I really love the matte effect of it. I think this is a really lovely product as although matte, it doesn't make the lips look extremely dry like some matte lip products do. This is in fact actually quite nourishing on the lips.

There is no question that this is the best face brush I own. If I could only have 1 face brush for the rest of my life I would choose this as it can be used for anything. I use it for buffing in foundation which it does seamlessly. I also use it to apply cream blush when I'm wearing it as I feel that this blends it in better than natural haired brushes and other synthetic brushes. 

NANSHY EYE CREASE BRUSH (only available as part of a set)*
This brush has become a staple in my make up routine. Even though I've only had it since the beginning of November (sorry if I'm cheating) but I really love how precise this brush is. I've done a full review of it (here) if you want to read more about it.

This brush does a similar job to the Nanshy crease brush but is much more fluffy so better for blending than applying product. 

This is an amazing brush which I use to apply eyeshadow onto my eyelids. It packs colour on really well as the bristles are fairly short. I also love that the brush is travel sized and has anti bacterial bristles. 

Happy New Year to you all (when it comes). Let me know your favourite products of 2013 in the comments!

Megan xx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas Gifts From BHS

You know those people, the ones who have everything you could ever imagine (slight exaggeration but you get the point), they are so difficult to buy Christmas presents for. I for one don't really buy Christmas presents that are pointless and that will be shoved to the back of someone's drawer or even recycled as a present next year. If I don't know what to get that awkward person I try and buy something fun and unique but also something useful. This year BHS have a great range of gifts which fit this bill. 

How cute are these mugs? I think they would make a great gift for a tea/
coffee lover or for someone who works in an office to brighten up their day. Another thing about these is right now at BHS they are reduced in price. I got my dad a Mr Happy mug last year and am thinking of getting him a Mr Grumpy one to add to his 'collection'.

Its an owl! What more do I need to say? The fact it's an owl should make you want to run out and buy it before they sell out! This also comes in blue and I think any animal/home decoration lover would be thrilled to receive this.

As all of the stocking fillers are really affordable I think they would make perfect secret Santa gifts.

As well as these BHS have so many more gifts ranging from little stocking fillers to electrical appliances so it could really be a one stop shop. I am definitely going to pop in on Saturday to see if they have any retro sweets in stock. It would be rude not to right?

The BHS Christmas advert is really good this year, with all of the Christmas gifts becoming animate objects and speaking! If you haven't seen it yet have a little look below.

I hope you liked this mini gift post!

Megan xx

Post sponsored by Spreaditfast

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Christmas Jumpers

Christmas jumpers have become somewhat more popular and have become a tradition within many families. Personally I have never had a Christmas jumper before but am definitely getting one this year, partly because my sixth form are having a Christmas jumper day next week. After having a long look online I am stuck to decide between hundreds (slight exaggeration) of jumpers that I love! Here are a few of my favourites.

1. I love this Fairisle robin jumper from Asda. In case you haven't noticed from previous posts I love Asda clothes, I think they are amazing quality and they always have really on trend pieces. I think this jumper is a lovely and as it's only £14 its really affordable.

2. Another robin. Another jumper from Asda. I love bird jumpers and think this would be okay to wear all winter. It's only £16 so you can't really go wrong, plus it's going to keep you extra warm and cosy.

3. This gorgeous polar bear jumper from Next is slightly more expensive at £32 however I don't think its exclusively a Christmas jumper and can be worn all winter instead of just over the festive period. Next clothing is always wonderful quality so it's definitely worth the money.

4. Reindeer's or stags are my favourite thing to have on jumpers. I think this really basic jumper is lovely if you want a subtle festive jumper. Its £16.99 from Missguided. 

5. This is probably my favourite jumper of the bunch. It's a bit more out there than the others but I think this would be a great Christmas day jumper! I'm definitely considering buying this one. Its £16.99 and from Missguided.

6. I think this is more of a tunic than a jumper but really love the print. Next have really classy Christmas jumpers so if you don't want a typical 'tacky' one then Next is the place to go! This one is £35 but like I said it's more of a tunic than a jumper so the higher price is understandable. 


7. I love the colour of this jumper from Misguided, I'm a huge fan of marled jumpers and think they make an outfit more interesting. I would personally wear this all winter as it isn't really a Christmas jumper but think it would be lovely to wear to go Christmas shopping or for a casual meal.

8. I love gingerbread men and this jumper from Topshop makes me want to bake some! You can't really get any cuter than this jumper though and I really do love it. I don't think I could part with £42 to buy it, but I know that some people take this Christmas jumper thing very seriously and would be happy to spend that much!

9. This jumper is from Topshop and I think the print is lovely and really unique as I haven't seen any holly jumpers anywhere. As much as I love this I do think it is a bit expensive at £50.

Have you got a Christmas jumper for this year?

Megan xx

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

DIY Tree Decorations

I love decorating the tree for Christmas, its one of the best parts of Christmas. What am I saying? All parts of Christmas are the best! Anyway I love making decoration and my favourite to make is so simple and overall cheaper than buying decorations. It also makes your tree more personal and they would even make a great gift.

To make this you'll need;
Small polystyrene ball
Sequins of different colours
Short metal or plastic pins
A thin piece of ribbon 

I got all of my things from Hobbycraft, everything definitely came to under £10.

They are so easy to make, the pictures are self explanatory but i'll tell you anyway!

Basically you can do this in 2 ways. Either decide which part of the ball you want to be the top and use a pin to pin a loop of ribbon onto the ball. You can do this part last if it is easier. I always leave a gap and do it last so I don't have a bit of ribbon flopping around while I'm doing the rest. You can also make a cross over the ball with ribbon to separate different sections which is what I have done.

(Please excuse my thumb!)

Decide on a pattern and start to put the pins through the middle of the sequins and push them into the ball. I told you it was simple!

You can also use polystyrene stars or any shapes you wish and be as creative as you like. I have been making these decorations for a couple of years and think the look lovely on the tree. I will include some pictures of some of the ones I have previously made in a later post (when I find them in the decoration box).

I'd love to know what you think of this and if you've made any Christmas decorations this year!

Megan xx

Monday, 2 December 2013

Blurb Photo books

I personally think that photo books make the most amazing presents. They are personal and although they're not expensive they are one of the best presents someone will receive. I have got my mum a photo book 2 years in a row and she loves them. They are so much easier and cheaper to make than a photo album.

As we train guide dog puppies, last year my mums photo book was dedicated to our first puppy and I put around 30 photos of him in it. This year I decided to include all sorts of pictures from our year. I buy my photo books from Blurb as I find their photo book programme really easy to use. They have 3 methods of making the photo book so no matter how techy you are, you will be able to make one using one of the methods. 

(Please excuse the bad quality image, I didn't want to remove the plastic which keeps it clean)

Blurb photo books are really high quality and prices start at around £10 which for such a special present is really cheap. You can make your photo book square or rectangular as well as selecting from about 3 sizes. All books use standard paper or you can pay a bit extra for glossy or semi matte paper. This time I went for glossy and am super happy with the outcome of it. You can also choose what the cover of the book is like. You can have a soft cover, hard cover dust jacket and hard cover image wrap the latter of which I went for. 

I really cannot fault the quality of either of the photo books I have created with Blurb. Another great thing is if you want to add more pages then you just pay for the extra pages you want. Some other photo book companies only allow you to add an extra 10 pages and don't allow for individual pages to be added. The delivery from Blurb is also excellent, I ordered last week and was told it would come before the 9th December and it arrived on 27th November although I expect they may get busier over the coming weeks.

I think photo books make amazing gifts for any occasion. Maybe you want to put all of your holiday photos in one or even wedding pictures. I highly recommend Blurb and after using them twice I wouldn't buy from anywhere else.

Blurb have a website which is really easy to navigate and have a secure checkout.

Are you buying anyone a photo book for Christmas?

P.S I haven't been paid to say good things about Blurb, I just really love the quality and value of their products.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Nanshy Eye Brush Set

Today is 1st December, the fist day of Blogmas and it is now officially okay to get excited about Christmas (like I wasn't already though). Basically I am going to do 25 Christmas related posts for the next 25 days which will include gift ideas, festive food ideas and home items to make your house more festive. 

Today's post is a review of the eye brush set from Nanshy. I think this would make a perfect gift for anyone whether they are just starting out with makeup or already have enough make up to last 100 years. 

The first thing I would like to say about Nanshy products are they are made with antibacterial, synthetic vegan bristles. They are a cruelty free company and have the bunny logo on the box of the brush set. The brush set contains 7 eye brushes and each brush can be used in multiple ways. The handles of the brushes are pearl coated which makes them look elegant and they are a bit different to the standard black handles of most make up brushes.

The precise bent eyeliner brush in my opinion is the most unique brush in this set. Its not the type of brush that I have seen before and I only own straight eyeliner brushes. The bristles are quite firm on this brush and they go into a point at the top so it makes eyeliner application really easy. I do really like this brush however it isn't in my top 3 from this set.

The flat definer brush is a great brush to apply eyeshadow on the lower lash line and under the eye as the bristles are in such a thin line. The bristles are really dense and I personally find the brush good for applying concealer in precise places such as around the nose. This is the only brush from Nanshy which I have used and experienced shedding, however it isn't that bad that I have stopped using the brush. 

The large shader brush is one of my favourite brushes in the set. It is amazing at packing on colour all over the lid which is something I have found difficult to do with natural hair make up brushes. The brush is really dense but still really soft to use which I love. 

The blending eyeshadow brush is a great blending brush however I prefer to use it to blend out the top of my eyeshadow instead of the crease colour as it is quite a large brush. The bristles are fairly flimsy which makes it more effective for blending.

The tapered crease brush is similar to my favourite eye brush from japonesque. The point at the top makes it really easy to apply a colour to the crease before blending. The bristles are quite dense which helps with precise application of colour. Its also great for applying eyeshadow to the inner corner of the eye.

The eye crease brush is basically a massive fluffy brush. I love it! I've been using it for under eye concealer as well as for blending eyeshadow in the crease. The bristles are long and slightly domed at the top which really gives it that fluffy feel. This is definitely one of my favourite brushes in the set.  

The angled detailer brush is the perfect eyebrow brush. I haven't had an angled brush like this before and normally just use the tiny one that came with my HD Brows palette. I have also used it to apply eyeshadow along the lashline to create definition and it really is precise and easy to work with.

I love this brush set and since I got it I haven't used any other eye brushes, I think im converted. The set costs £29.95 on Amazon which works out at around £4 per brush which is really good value for such high quality brushes. 

What beauty gifts are on your wishlist this year?

Megan xx