Monday, 22 April 2013

Creepin'

Top - ASOS*
Tank top - Primark (underneath)
Disco leggings - OMG Fashion*
Creepers - Shusole*

I am finally a part of the creeper family!  I have been lusting after a pair of creepers for so so SO long and Shusole are to thank for this gorgeous pair.  I never realised just how versatile these shoes are, but I think they're going to give my flatforms some competition in my future outfit posts.  In case you haven't already heard on Shusole, they're an online company, selling beautiful shoes at very purse-friendly prices.  Their website launched yesterday so make sure you go take a peak and show them some love on Twitter! -- they're also offering free UK delivery and 30% discount to new customers upon registration (an even better excuse to treat yourself to a new addition to your shoe-drobe).

I teamed my creepers with my OMG Fashion disco pants/leggings which I received just in time for my summer holidays last year.  They're such a flattering fit and the wine colour brightens up any outfit.  I'm often afraid to add colour to my outfit, so I've subtly added it to this look with a neutral top & footwear.  The top was given to me by my mum -- she bought it recently from ASOS but it swamped her!  It actually swamps me too but it's a better fit when it's tucked into a pair of leggings or jeans.
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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tutorial: Houndstooth Nails

I'm a huge lover of anything Houndstooth and decided to try and put my nail art skills to test.  I've put together a little tutorial of how I did my Houndstooth nails, it's a lot simpler than you might think.  I hope this is helpful for any of you budding nail artists (or those of you that aren't normally daring enough to give nail art a try!)

To begin with, you'll need a base coat.  I decided to go for the timeless white/black Houndstooth print -- however, if you're feeling a little more creative, you could do an ombré base or maybe even use a pastel colour.  I think yellow/pink and blue/purple are such gorgeous combos when it comes to ombré.  As I stuck to the original pattern, I used a white base coat - for this, I applied Essie 'Blanc'.  I gave a good three or four coats to ensure the colour didn't look streaky.  Once dry, I applied one coat of clear Rimmel 60 Second Nail Polish to prevent the white colour from chipping and to give a shine to my nails.

Next, you'll need to draw some squares.  For this, I used my black Rio Beauty nail pen.  If you don't have a nail pen, you could always use a liquid eyeliner and sketch out little squares on your nails.  They can be a little messy looking as they will get tidied up in the next stage.  I think it might also be good to point out that you will need to leave quite a bit of space in between the squares (maybe more than I did -- I have quite narrow nails so it restricts how much space I can leave).

My step-by-step tutorial for Houndstooth printed nails
Once you've drawn out your squares, it's time to fill them in.  Whilst filling in the boxes with your nail art pen/liquid eyeliner, you can try to tidy up any lines that are a little wobbly or enlarge the squares if you wish to.  Make sure the boxes are filled up to all of the edges.

My step-by-step tutorial for Houndstooth printed nails
Lastly, this is the easiest part!  On the top right of every box, you will need to draw two flicks with your nail art pen/liquid eyeliner -- this will look like a very small 'v' shape/crown on the square.  Then, on the top left/bottom right corners of the squares, simply draw a diagonal line coming away from each, like a 'forward slash'.  Once you have done that, you should end up with a design similar to the photo above.  It is up to you whether you wish to apply a top coat to this or not - when I use a black nail art pen, I often prefer to apply a top coat prior to using the nail art pen.  I find that if the black lines haven't fully dried, you will get a lotttt of streakiness, and it is such a shame after spending a long time drawing out the design(!!!).  A top coat will ultimately help to preserve the design and stop it from chipping, however.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial!  A photo of my Houndstooth nails is actually going to be featured in the next LOOK Magazine (very exciting news!).  If you would like any further tutorials, feel free to leave me with your requests :).

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No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick in 'Classic Rose'

No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick in 'Classic Rose'
No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick in 'Classic Rose'
No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick in 'Classic Rose' Swatch
No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick in 'Classic Rose' Swatch
No7 Stay Perfect lipstick in 'Classic Rose'*

I'm back with another lipstick review, which I seem to be notorious for at the moment - oops.  Alex's mum, Caroline, very kindly gave me this No7 Stay Perfect lipstick recently and I cannot express how much I love it!  It's in the shade #5 'Classic Rose' which is such a good match for my pale skin tone.  I haven't got along well with the No7 face products in the past, but I'm so so impressed with their lipstick range.  Classic Rose is a dark pink shade with a purply-tone upon application.  The texture is so creamy and rich, with excellent lasting strength.  I love the shape of the lipstick itself too - the flat angle (as opposed to a typically-rounded end) is really handy when it comes to giving your lips a more defined shape.  I actually use the edge to line my lips first (I don't own a lip liner!) and then fill them in with a good few coats of lipstick.  Even one coat of this is thick enough, but I always like the build up the colour with about three coats to get the maximum potential.

I think this is such a fab lipstick in terms of 'standing out'.  I personally really love the look of red lipstick, but I feel a little too self-conscious going out in it, it's a bit too daring for me.  'Classic Rose' is a more subtle option - it's still very vivid on the lips, but it's suitable for those of you that aren't quite so daring to go red.  I think it's also worth a mention that it works great as a cheat for whiter-looking teeth!
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Thursday, 4 April 2013

Clinique Clarifying Lotion

My thoughts on the Clinique Clarifying Lotion

It's been quite a while since my last skin care post, so I'll give you a little update on my skin situation first.  I have dry/acne-prone skin - especially around my chin area.  My skin became so painful & generally caused me a lot of discomfort (mostly appearance-wise) with day-to-day activities that I resorted to paying another visit to the doctors.  Last year, I was on Erythromycin tablets for nine months - as well as being an antibiotic often prescribed for infections, it is also commonly used to help reduce acne.  It really helped me a lot last year, and since coming off the tablets around September time, my skin flared up again.  I paid another visit to the doctors last month and have been prescribed Erythromycin again for a further six months - it's only been a month since I started taking them again & my skin has cleared up dramatically.

Along with taking tablets twice daily, I have to pay serious attention to my skincare routine.  I virtually swear by Clinique's Clarifying Lotion.  I sweep this over my face/neck with a cotton wool pad in the morning & evening every day.  It's the only product of this kind that works for me.  After trying the Clean & Clear Deep Cleansing Lotion years ago, I've been so reluctant to putting strong products on my skin - the alcohol in Clean & Clear used to practically burn my skin, leaving it very red & irritated.  However, with Clinique, I've never had any irritation.  You can certainly feel the lotion doing its job - you can instantly feel the cool sensation on your skin, but it's in a positive way!  It actually feels like it is helping to clean your skin.

The Clarifying Lotion is part of Clinique's '3-step Skin Care System', however, this is the only product I own from the range.  I personally prefer to use the lotion once in the morning, prior to applying my Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion to give my skin even more moisture (mine really needs it!).  In the evenings, I remove my makeup with Simple wipes, which I know may be a bit of a 'sin' to some, but it works for me.  I use the Clarifying Lotion after to get rid of any excess makeup that the wipes haven't removed - you'd really be surprised by the results & how much makeup comes off on the cotton wool pad!

I really do think the Clinique Clarifying Lotion is excellent.  I personally have had no negative reactions to this & it is simply aiding to help clear my skin of the acne.  It is a pretty steep price at £16.00 for a 200ml bottle (and it is very easy to over-pour the product due to the bottle & lid design - as opposed to a dispenser) but I choose to invest in the 400ml bottle for £25.00.  It does hurt having to pay so much for the bottle, but I know my skin appreciates it in the long-run.
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