Month: January 2017

Makeup Obsession Contour Cream Dreams – My first guest post

Ladies and Gents, I am proud to announce that Blogmoo! has it’s first guest blogger. My most amazing buddy Kirsty, who I am dragging along with me to #BlogConLDN, has lovingly agreed to write me a blog post. So without further ado, please read on about her most recent discovery….. Makeup Obsession’s Contour Cream…..

Kirsty’s new discovery – Makeup Obsession Contour Cream

“You can’t go out like that!” Maybe you heard that every week when you were a teenager, but my nan was pretty cool, so when she said those six words, I did stop to listen! My quick fling with loose blusher powder hadn’t gone well and it was banished to the back of the cupboard, never to be used again!

I was born with an eye condition that means I can’t see anything apart from whether the light is on – no colours, movement or shapes. When I was a teenager, I mastered make-up such as lipstick and mascara, but blusher proved to be more of a problem, especially the loose kind. Nail varnish was also a challenge, but I managed to work out a good trade at school – I would help my sighted friends with their questions about our lessons or homework, and in turn they did my nails!

Anyway – the blusher disaster was washed off and I went out without any. Later I tried compressed powder, which meant I didn’t look like a clown, but I still wasn’t convinced that it looked as good as it could have, so I tended not to bother with it.
Fast forward 20 years and my friend Amy bought me the Makeup Obsession (Live Love London) – Contour Cream C107 Light.
We had already established that cream eye shadows are easier for me to apply than powder ones, because there is less chance of fall-out, so we started to look at other cream alternatives. I didn’t even know that cream blushes, contour creams or highlighters existed, so the journey of discovery has been an exciting one!
The contour cream comes in a square compact. It’s not difficult to get in to, but you have to watch that it doesn’t fly out. Apparently the pot of product is detachable so that you can use the products to build your own, larger palate. I’m not going to do this, and I think a clip-in design would have been better, but as long as you have it on a flat surface or hold it at the side, not underneath, the little pot of contour cream won’t escape!
I measure three fingers away from the side of my mouth, then draw a line of the cream from the hollow of my cheek diagonally up to my hairline. I think most people go inwards, but I find it easier to start in what I know will be the right place and finish in an obvious place, which is why I go outwards. I then blend in the product with my fingers.
If you can’t see what you’re doing, it’s important to do what you can to minimise the chance of mistakes, and using cream products does this for me because I can monitor how much product I’m using and where I’m applying it.  I’m really happy with this contour cream and grateful to Amy for snapping it up for me. Make-up shopping with Amy is a lot of fun!
If you want to read more of my posts, you can visit my blog at http://unseen-beauty.com or I’m @englishwithk on Twitter.

NB – Kirsty wasn’t able to take photos, so here is mine…. I may have snapped up the Makeup Obsession contour powder for myself…. maybe…..

Can you, WILL YOU, give a little piece of yourself…?

I am struggling how to start this post off. I have lost count of the amount of times that I have started, and deleted what I have written. It’s always the way when you are trying to address something close to your heart, especially when you are going to share a little bit of your soul. We all have words we hate, that when we hear them have a ‘nails down the blackboard’ affect on us. Mine is Cancer. To me its a swear word, the most heinous of words to ever be said, yet it seems that more and more of us are hearing this word from the mouths of our nearest and dearest. I remember a time, when I was about 6 or 7 that the worst C word you could use was calling someone a Cow. I have very vivid memories of some young boy in my class calling me this, and the tears that I shed because of his hurtful words. If only this was the most hurtful word I would have ever heard…… Life would be so different.

It seems today that there is not one of us who isn’t touched by Cancer. We all know someone, or are someone, who is fighting Cancer or, worst still, has lost their battle to it. It seems that every other advert on the TV/Social Media/Internet is a charity calling us to arms, asking for donations so they can try and find a cure or deliver palliative care to those fighting their last fight, but there is only so far that my bank balance will stretch. I take my hats off to the palliative care staff. This is not a job I could do. Seeing people, everyday at their worst or dealing with the worst situations in life. It was these brave souls which allowed my Gran to pass at home, giving her her final wish, and allowing us to say goodbye in familiar surroundings.

There is only one thing which is worse than Cancer, and that is a child with cancer, or a child with any life limiting condition. I have had the greatest honour to meet some children who have suffered with some life limiting conditions such as Cancer through the local charity which works with my son who has Autism, but I have also had to hear that these children have lost their fights. This is something which should not happen. We are in 2017, this should not be something young children who are yet to start experiencing the world should be faced with!! No mother or father should outlive their children.

Being a Mum myself, I was desperate to try and find someway I could help. Something meaningful I could do….. But I am only one person right, what difference can I make….. Well, you can make one HELL of a difference. As I said above, there is only so far my bank balance will go, and donating old clothes just wasn’t doing it for me, although this is also very important and you should never ever stop doing this, I just wanted to do more. Back in March 2014 I added myself to the Bone Marrow Donation Register. Gone are the days of painful surgery to donate Bone Marrow, it can all be done by donating blood if you are found to be a match. I donate blood when I can (I HATE needles, but the staff are just outstanding and you can get numbing cream if you let them know before hand, but honestly stubbing your toe hurts worse than giving blood, which is tis but a scratch, and then the pain is gone) and signing up to the NHS British Bone Marrow Registry is done when you go and donate blood, as long as you are between the ages of 17-40. You get a groovy little card in your wallet, and thats all you need to do, until you get the call that you have been found as a match to someone. 

This wasn’t enough though, I wanted…. No I NEEDED to do more. I mean come on, a couple of pints a year is just not enough. There are other charities that you can link into like Anthony Nolan who are dedicated to matching up potential donors and working to find a cure for bone cancer. Amazing right? To become a potential donor all you need to do is contact them for a kit, swab your cheek, send it back to them and they do the rest….. I mean how hard is that?? Alas my age was against me as Anthony Nolan will only let you register if you are between 17 and 30 years of age. I spent years thinking that I was doing all I could by giving blood and being on the registry, until someone on my facebook posted up about DKMS. Like Anthony Nolan their key mission is to register donors and help find suitable matches. The concept is the same, get a kit, swab, they do the rest. Bonus for me is they take people from 18 until the age of 55 years old. GET IN, this time I qualify. I contacted them right away on line and a few days later my swab package turned up. No hassle or fuss! 

You get two swabs and pretty clear instructions about what they need yo to do. Follow these and swab the inside of your cheek, let the swabs dry for 5 mins and then package them up as directed. Pop this into the post box and BOOM, you are done. Wham, Bam, Thank you Mam. You could possibly become a life saver.

World Cancer Day is Saturday 4th February, so why don’t you do something amazing and reach out to DKMS and register yourself as a possible lifesaver? Even better do this AND find out where your next opportunity to donate blood is and sign up for that too! These things cost nothing, you don’t have to lug heavy bags of stuff to a charity shop, just sit and let everyone else do the hard work. What could be better huh? Reward yourself afterwards with an amazing cuppa tea, because you did something amazing that could change someones life. Don’t wait, because time doesn’t wait and your actions now could save a life NOW. Your actions could save a family. Your actions could make the day for someone who has just received some of the worst news they could ever have received. One day someones actions could save YOUR life or the life of someone you love and wouldn’t you have wanted someone to do something as simple as this…….

I’m going to end it here folks, as I could go on and on and on…. So until next time,

XO’s

Amy

 

Holy Mask Batman!!

I love face masks. Its a great excuse to have some ‘you time’ and relax whist giving your skin some TLC. They recommend a couple of times a week treating your skin, but the issue I have is the mess. The glorious mud gets all over the place and the clean up can end up stressing you out more than you were in the first place, defeating the object of trying to relax. If I am honest it puts me off doing them.

Enter the Sheet Mask, the latest craze. No mess or fuss, just beautiful skin. Whats not to love. I got this one in my recent Glossy Boxes, which I was too late to do an unboxing for alas. It really was a good box!! This item is Vitamasques’s Manuka Honey Face Mask which boast three layers of mask which aid in hydration, so that can only be a good thing. Retailing at £3.99 you can grab them here and it looks like they do a whole load more of them, so I shall be stocking up I think, although this one I got in my January Glossybox.

I left the mask on for the specified 20 mins and once removed massaged the rest of the product into my skin. Some masks have quite a strong smell, but this one didn’t smell of much at all. It also didn’t tear on me which was nice. It fit my face really well and I was able to get it into all the little nooks and crevices. I have to say I am pretty impressed with this mask. My skin felt amazing afterwards and still felt super soft into the days after.

 

See, this is one of the reasons I love Glossybox and boxes similar. Without them I would never have known about Vitamasques, or the many other products that I have totally fallen head over heels in love with. So I would encourage you to grab a Glossybox (not Birchbox though, as I have had nothing but issues from them), or skip that and check out Vitamasques directly. I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

XO’s
Amy

What do Will Smith and Ashley Tisdale both have in common….

Ok, so the opening to this post is a little bit like ‘Whhhhhy is a Raven like a writing desk’, but I betcha can’t guess. They both have songs called ‘Switch’ and I couldn’t think of a better lead up to this post and with all the wonderful blogs out their, a gal has gotta try something to stand out.

Anywho, I stumbled across this little marvel when I was Amazon surfing. When I get bored I like to window shop, and the benefit to doing this on your phone/laptop/tech device is that you can do so in your pyjamas, heated lap yeti on full blast, cuppa in hand and know that you don’t have to face the outside world. Whats not to love, right? During a recent browsing I found the Shadow Switch by Beauty Essentials.

It is a dry brush cleaner which quite simply you use to clean your brush off after you have used it, so you don’t end up with a muddy mix of eye shadows on your freshly primed lids. Maybe it’s just me, but I just use my pyjamas to do this, which in fairness made a muddy mess of them. At only £5.99 I knew I had to have it and one prime delivery later it was in my grubby little mitts.

It is, very simply, a round tin with what I can only describe as an open cell foam inside. The instructions are quite specific in that you ‘glide your eye shadow brush around the black sponge in a clockwise motion to remove the colour’ and you can then use the same brush to dip into a new colour without any crossover. Side note, I am not sure what would happen if you went counterclockwise with your brush, the instructions leave this information out. Maybe if you risk it, a fairy loses her wings or something, so chance it at your own peril if you grab one of these pots.

The sponge, whist quite dense, is easy to remove and cleaning is simple with just water and fragrance free soap. I use my brush cleaner and have included the Shadow Switch into part of my make up brush cleaning routine, and it has done it no harm.

Whilst I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this little pot is a staple part of my makeup routine, it certainly has helped my application of shadows as they only blend when I want them too now, and has certainly saved my pyjamas from a grubby demise. For the small sum I paid I think it is worth it, but maybe you should be the judge of that. If you have a gazillion makeup brushes then you probably won’t need to add this to your collection, but who knows it might be the best thing since sliced bread for ya!

Until next time peeps,

XO’s

Amy

(NB – Affiliate link above to Amazon, just FYI in case you want to use your own link <3)

Searching for the Holy Grail.

Searching for the Holy Grail.

*Cue Indiana Jones soundtrack here*

I think that finding the perfect concealer and foundation is like finding the Holy Grail. You spend your lifetime searching for it, leg it out of the shop (once you have paid of course!) like you are being chased by a gigantic ball of rock and then place the bottles on display on your make up table like they are something amazing to behold. You tell everyone and their dog about your find, and potentially may even buy back ups because, well just in case…. Right? No? Ok so only me then.

As I am getting…. Cough…. Older, I have noticed a number of things. Lines where lines never used to be, my skin plays me up a whole lot more and takes a whole lot more work now, and my make up just isn’t doing the job that it used to. It adds to the depressing feeling of being in the next age bracket up when you are filling in forms. I have always been a MAC Cosmetics girl, and I love and believe in their products so I know it must be me and not them so I have set myself a task….. to find the Holy Grail of concealers.

I started by addressing my problems:

1) Fine lines,

2) Dark circles which will not quit,

3) My face eating the product,

4) Powder, both loose and pressed, making me look like I have scales on my under eye.

Surely there must be a product or products out there for me, a 30 something, which could take these issues and eat them for breakfast. The intermerweb is brilliant for these things, but I wasn’t prepared to pay gazillions of pounds buying products for them to not work. So I donned my Indie hat, well my warm hoodie, and I set off into town to see what I could pick up.

We have a moderately sized Debenhams, so I thought that I would start there to pick up a few samples. The longer you hang about on my blog you will see I ADORE samples. I mean whats not to love. You get to try products, without having to pay, and might find something that you really can’t live without. Also, if you really love a product and you are going traveling, you don’t have to pack your full sized items or faff with small pots which you will always forget what is inside. Genius. I was surprised that certain brands would not allow you to take samples away. They immediately lost my business (Benefit I am looking at you). I know and appreciate that there are certain things you simply can’t take away, pressed powders for example, but for what I was after I didn’t feel it was too much of a tall order. Even stick concealers you can scrape some off and pot it up, lord knows this is what Dior did for me, yet other brands with similar products won’t do the same. If you pay a premium price, you expect a premium service, and that includes me being able to use these products in my own home, at my own convenience, even if it means making a small mess of your tester products (which is what they are there for anyway!!!).

Anyway I digress, I picked up a number of products from Debs. Concealer, correction sticks, foundations… Oh my! (I really should keep my movie references to one movie per blog right). I also picked up a few high street concealers from my local Boots. My aim is to test them out over the coming weeks and let you know how I get on.

My ‘hit’ list, so far, is:

Dior – Diorskin Nude Air Loose Powder and Fix It Colour 2-in-1 Prime & Colour Correct

Clarins – Instant Concealer

Bare Minerals – Mineral Vale Powder

YSL – Touche Eclat 01 and Setting Powder

Clinique – Super Primer Discolouration, All about the Eyes Concealer, Super Balance Foundation, Beyond Perfect Foundation and Loose Powder Invisible Blend.

Estee Lauder – Double Wear Foundation

NYX – Dark Circles Concealer and HD Concealer

Maybelline – The Eraser Eyeshadow

LA Pro Girl Concealer

What do you use? If you have any suggestions for me let me know and I shall add them to my ‘Hit’ List.

So, until next time my lovelies,

XO’s

Amy

Best make up remover I have ever tried.

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You will never see me without a full face of make up. Not because I feel I NEED to wear make up, but because I love to play with it and experiment with colours. I have never been artistic, but I am creative, and I see make up as a creative outlet which if you get wrong, washes off at the end of the day. No harm, no foul….. right? I love to paint my face with an array of wonderful eyeshadows, blushes and highlighters. I adore learning new techniques, absorbing everything that the world of make up can throw at me. If only I had a bigger budget, then my make up collection would be far better than it is now, although I am sure my other half would argue that it is big enough already.

One thing that comes with wearing a full face, or make up of any kind, is the removal of it. In the world of waterproof this that and the other, there are a fair number of lotions and potions that profess to remove the gunk and make your face glow. Lord knows my dressing table is as full of bottles as it is with lipsticks. I was getting frustrated with the daily slog of removal, of products just not doing what they claimed they would, and quite frankly bored of the same old stuff. I was certainly finding that the skin around my eyes was taking a battering as I was scrubbing at them trying to get the layers of mascara from my lashes.

That is, until I found Clinque Take the Day off balm. Ohmygeeze, I mean seriously, this stuff is amazing. It is very rare that I am raving after one use of a product, but seriously if you buy nothing else in 2017 (and I include food and bills in this!!!) then you NEEEEED to get one of these pots of magic. You will thank me, I promise you. This little pot of magic looks like a solid, but once you scoop out a small amount and rub it between your hands, it turns into an oil like consistency. Simply rub your hands over your face, focusing on the areas where you have more stubborn make up (for example, your eyes or lips if you have a liquid lip on). Your make up will simply melt away. I wash my face with a damp washcloth, and carry on with my routine. It has reduced the amount of time I spend removing my face, without compromising on the actual cleaning of it, and the way it feels the following morning is as soft as my most amazing heated lap yeti (ahhh I bet I caught your eye. I will explain all in another post soon I promise)

 

It comes in at £22.00 on Clinque’s site direct, but with 125ml of product it will last you a long while making the cost not so steep. It’s light weight, non drying or greasy and doesn’t clog your pores, which is also a bonus. It really is suitable for all skin types, which means you won’t hit any restrictions if you want to pick up this bad boy. Side note, not all counters stock this product so I had to get mine from the webpage, but it allowed me to pick up a few additional extra freebies in the form of a Take the Day off Make up liquid remover, Liquid Facial Soap and a Moisture Surge moisturiser, which I have yet to dig into as they are perfect travel size and as I am going to be going away in April I thought I best try and keep them for then.

Until next time party people,

XO’s

Amy