Lazy Links #16

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LL16

Lazy Links were a feature way back in 2013/2014 but after a few month it dwindled off... but for not real reason! I love reading blogs so so much and discovering new things on the Internet, so I thought I'd bring it back and make it a weekly weekend thing once more. Below are all my favourite current links that are worth checking out!

BEAUTY 
 My Beauty Cabinet (The Londoner)
 Drugstore Makeup Favourites (I Covet Thee)
 Updated Makeup Storage (Couture Girl)
 Vivianna Does Makeup Interview (Into The Gloss)
 Black Seaweed Peel-off Masque (Miss Budget Beauty) 
Water-only Washing (Almost Exactly)

LIFESTYLE 
 6 Free Printable Prints (Ann Meer Design)
Rifle Paper Co Calendar Gallery Wall (The Creativity Exchange)
Read in January 2015 (The Book Journal)

BLOGGING
10 Awesome Calligraphy Fonts (A Little Opulent)
 15 Ways to Motivate Yourself (The Private Life Of A Girl)
 The Perks of Having a Smaller Blog (Fashion And Beauty Tribes)

YOUTUBE
How Do YOU Define Yourself (Lizzi Velasquez - Ted Talks)
 Winter 'Uptown Funk' Lookbook (Sprinkle of Glitter)

BLOG LOVE

Feel free to share your own links with me!

Fee xo.

eBay Bargains #13 - Winter Edition

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1. White Rabbit Sweater (£1.77 + £5.99 p&p here
This quilted top looks like a mix of Zara and H&M, both brands I love! What I sometimes love about clothes on eBay is that you know no one else will have anything similar. Absolutely love this!

2. Daylight SAD Light Bulb (£5.48 here
Never did I think I'd be suggesting a light bulb! But for over a year now I've been using a daylight bulb in the lamp on my dressing table and not only does it solve the dilemma of that warm orange light that most ceiling lights give that make applying makeup difficult but it also can be used to help SAD (seasonal affective disorder) if used in two lamps. This can also be great for using in a lamp when blogging/writing as it gives less glare on the screen and makes reading text much clearer. As I currently have eye strain I will definitely be getting another one of these to replace my standard energy saving bulb next to where I use my laptop.

3. Compressed Face Mask Sheets x 12 (99p here
I love Korean beauty finds like this! These are strangely compact tablet shaped sheet masks that swell and expand when soaked in any solution. Which means you can apply a face mask or cream, soak one of the tabs in water and lay it over the face, creating your own sheet mask. Alternatively you could soak one of the tab sheet masks in toner or your favourite cream face mask, open it out and place it over the face. This is such a great idea!

4. Warm Knit Snood (£1.99 here
In winter I love snoods! They look great with most coats/items of clothing and unlike scarfs they always stay in place. The above snood has a lovely texture to it and comes in 5 different colours. I personally love the above grey but I'm very tempted to go for the red one. 

5. The Body Shop Hemp Hand Cream (£3.99 here)
Hand creams are a must in winter and this one is a good one. I can't say I love the herbal scent but it works, and it seems to work better than the other scents in the range for some reason.  A winter must-have!

6. Argan Treatment Oil for Body & Hair (£4.45 here)
Argan oil I've found to be one of the most nourishing oils and amazing on both hair (to de-frizz and nourish) and skin (so moisturising). You can even use it as a cuticle oil, on stretch marks and as an overnight treatment for the hair. So this truly is a multi-purpose oil. My hair really couldn't be without it now. 

If you have any theme suggestions for upcoming eBay Bargains posts I'd love to hear them! 

Fee xo.

Elle Mag UK with Free & Exclusive Benefit Roller Lash Mascara Sample!

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Free-Benefit-Mascara-Elle_UK-March-2015 

Freebie alert! 
Yup, it's freebie time again and one you won't want to miss if you're a Benefit fan. 

With the March issue of Elle Magazine UK (On Sale Jan 29th - this Thursday!) there will be an exclusive Benefit Roller Lash Mascara... that even Benefit haven't started selling yet! 

Roller Lash mascara will of course be sold at full-size on all Benefit counters at the end of February, but if you want to try it out before then, snapping up Elle is the only way! The mascara aims to curl your lashes and lengthen which sounds good to me.

As always when it comes to good freebies it worth picking up the magazine ASAP before empty stands and ripped open magazine packaging occurs.

I aim to pick up a copy come Jan 29th as a mini mascara would be ideal for my upcoming holiday in March! 

Fee xo. 

What I Love & Hate About Makeup on the High Street

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gdos

As most of you will know I love high street makeup! It makes up most of my makeup collection and I couldn't be without high street makeup brands! But however much I love it, it isn't without it's faults. So in today's post I thought I'd celebrate the amazing-ness that is high street makeup as well as sharing with you a few serious gripes I have with high street beauty brands.

What I Hate About High Street Makeup 

Disgusting, disgusting testers 
Testers are a necessary part of makeup stands. It's often what makes you decide on a product or it at least what allows you pick the correct shade. However after hundreds of fingers delving into testers they aren't going to be the most hygienic of  places. The solution would be for the testers to be sanitised on a weekly basis at the very least, but nope! We get none of that. This not only makes the stands look a bit gross but it's also beyond unhygienic for customers and really shouldn't be allowed... in fact I don't know how it is?! This is such a pet peeve of mine and don't get me started on how I feel when I see someone applying a tester directly to their face or heaven forbid their lips?!

Crazy prices of new products 
Remember the day when foundations use to be under £5? I do! Yes, ok I realise with the price of inflation everything has to go up, but seriously to me £12-14 for a single high street makeup product is crazy! Brands now offer much more '3 for 2' deals and introductory prices due to this but still it's easy to come out of Boots with only a few products and be £50 down, hell it's easy to spend £100+ on makeup in one go! This is why I look to discount websites such as Fragrance Direct and Xtras more and more. Maybe I'm being a bit scrooge here but I honestly think the high street can't get anymore expensive! 

Already open packaging
Seriously how frustrating is it to open up a new product at home to only discover that it's been used? I've had this many times and each time it makes me on the verge of being rage-ful. A few brands such as Barry M, the new BD range at Tesco have the right idea and fully seal their product. This is the total solution and even though 5% are still opened (who are these people?!) at least you can see that they are and pick another sealed product. A few brands go half way and 'seal' their product with a bit of tape on the side of the lid/opening, but again this is just pointless! Only last week I had to walk away from a Revlon stand as all 10+ Lip Lacquers had be used. This surely loses the brand money and really can be corrected!

The quality and hygiene of reduced products
The above leads nicely onto my last 'hate'. So what happens to smooshed up, tested products? They go in the "reduced to clear" bin of course! Because everyone wants a bit of  E. coli, right? Seriously though, the state of products I've seen in reduced bins is disgusting and I don't say that lightly. Of course they may not be put it there in that condition but surely it should be part of a sales assistants job to clear out products that are beyond saleable condition and sanitise the rest of the products. Sadly I think a lot of young girls may be the ones delving into these reduced bins for a bargain and really these used products should never even be on sale in the first place.Though this is the fault of stores/shops and not the individual beauty brands.

What I Love About High Street Makeup 

Amazing quality products
High street beauty brands certainly know how to produce high quality products! Yes, we may find some products don't work for us and brands sometimes do come out with a range of bad quality products, the Sleek matte lipglosses spring to mind, but on the whole high street beauty brands offer amazing quality products. That for the most part are as good as high end brands, albeit the luxury packaging. Standout brands for me would be Bourjois, Maybelline and L'Oreal. I'd love to know which high street beauty brands you love?

Constant new products and brands 
Each week it seems a new makeup range is launched or an exciting new brand. In fact I tend to find I can't keep up even as a beauty blogger! This means constant new products to lust after and a huge selection to choose from. Also recently brands such as Makeup Revolution and Essence have been offering up new exciting products almost weekly. This makes beauty shopping always exciting and fresh!

Beauty points! 
Ahhh, you have to love Boots Advantage Card and all the others out there. If you're beauty obsessed then a points card can be a great thing. With money-off vouchers and deals they can save you a lot over the course of a year, plus if you save up your points you can treat yourself to something amazing! With my last lot of Boots points I treated myself to a lovely Philosophy gift set that I wouldn't have normally purchased due to the price. Love beauty cards!

High-end dupes 
Beauty bloggers really have made 'dupes' a thing but it's a fact all high street brands model their products on higher end products.  When shades and textures are spot on to much higher products it's pretty great! I've found Bourjois foundations to be very similar to Chanel foundations but then again they are owned by the same people. And only recently I found an amazing dupe for MAC Orchid lipstick with Gosh Velvet Touch 'Temptation' Lipstick, which gives a huge saving of £9.00. I've love to hear what your favourite dupe discovery is?! 

On the whole the high street is pretty damn amazing but if only brands would work on their hygiene standards!

What do you love and hate about high street makeup? I'd love to know! 

Fee xo. 

eBay Bargains #12 - All Things Brushes

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ebay-uk-brushes 

1. 10 Piece Makeup Brush Set (£7.05 here) 
First up an incredibly cheap brush set. I've purchased brushes similar to these on eBay before and they are some of my favourites in my collection. These are surprisingly well made and soft! 
 2. Microfibre Drying Mat (£1.58 here) 
When it comes to drying my brushes after cleaning them I just use a towe,l but this microfibre drying mat looks ideal... and how cheap?! Already snapped one of these up!
 3. Makeup Brushes Holder Case (£4.99 here 
 How pretty is this?! The case very much reminds me of a Ted Baker print and looks great quality. This can be used as two holders on your desk or as shown above to carry your brushes in. The listing includes 4 other styles.
4. Makeup Brush Drying Stand (£9.49 here) 
 Another more advanced way of drying your brushes after cleaning. This is probably the ideal solution so water stays away from the brush ferrule and the brush dries in the correct shape. Slightly pricey but compared to £20+ ones I've seen this isn't too bad.
5. Silicone Brush Cleaning Glove (£2.95 here) 
When it comes to cleaning multiple makeup brushes it can be harsh on your hands, not to mention time consuming. This is why using a silicone oven glove is such a clever idea! Your hands stay dry and you can rub subbed up brushes against the embossed pattern to really get them clean. I already own one of these and I wouldn't ever go back!
6. Silicone Brush Cleaning Finger Glove (99p here 
 A similar option to the above is this ridged finger glove. This fits over your 4 fingers and you simply work your dirty brushes with shampoo/washing-up liquid over the ridges. Already bought this as I think it could be great! 
7. 5 Pack of Blending Brushes (£1.59 here) 
 This is such an incredibly cheap set and one I absolutely love! For this price you wouldn't expect much but these are some soft soft brushes. Perfect for both blending eyeshadow and blending out concealer. A must if you are looking for some new brushes or just want a few spare clean brushes to hand. 
8. 15 Pack Brush Guards (99p here 
 Lastly a good option for keeping your brushes in perfect condition. How I store my brushes I feel I don't need these but if store them in your makeup bag or against each other these are great. Though I am tempted to buy these for when I use a makeup bag on holiday and my brushes are squished in there. 

Hope you enjoyed this post! Finding eBay bargains is one of my favourite things to do! 
 
Fee xo. 


Huge The Body Shop Haul

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The-Body-Shop-UK-Haul

Haul time again! 
With The Body Shop offering their amazing '£25 off when you spend £50' deal I couldn't resist. Over the past few months my to-buy list for products from The Body Shop has grown, so this was an ideal opportunity to snap everything up at 50% off, plus free delivery!

*The Body Shop deal includes - £5 off when you send £15, £10 off when you send £25 and £25 off when you spend £50 with the code 'TREAT'. Offer ends midnight 26th January 2015.* 

Honey-Bronzer-pale-skin

Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Light Matte
£13.00 here
Finally, finally, I have my hands on the one bronzer I've been lusting for for over a year now! I really don't know why it's taken me so long to get it but I'm now so pleased it's in my life.. even if it's just to look at, because this is one pretty product! Already I know this will be a go-to contour option as it's a great match for my pale skin and has such a perfect tone - no undertones of oompa loompa here. So excited to try this out now!

Moringa Eau De Toilette 
£8.50/30ml here
Out of all The Body Shop scents 'Moringa' is definitely my favourite. I discovered it a few years back in summer when I was after something fresh and floral and it just hit the spot. Since then I've been re-purchasing the Moringa Body Mist and while I love it I can't just throw the 100ml glass bottle in my handbag. So this time I decided to opt for the more travel friendly 30ml size with the eau de toilette version which also offers a longer lasting, more concentrated scent. The scent is best smelt in person but to me this is a wonderful light floral white flower scent that is so fresh and very true to warm flowers giving off their scent in summer. Just beautiful for spring/summer!

Aloe-lip-care-body-shop

Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream in Light
£8.00/40ml here 
This was very much an impulse purchase to bump up my basket to the £50 mark (so I could get everything for £25!) but one I'm sooo glad I took a risk on. Generally I'm not a fan off BB creams - never enough coverage, never feel that great on my skin and they never seem to be light enough for my skin tone. Until I discovered this one! If you have a oily/combination skin type then I urge you to try this. It covers, concealer, feels so light on the skin and it's light enough to actually be called 'light'. I'm sure this will be popping up in other posts as I'm just so impressed with it.

Aloe Lip Treatment 
£5.00 here
This was another to-buy product that I hadn't bought due to it always being sold out (at the time of typing this post it's still in stock - woohoo!) in fact two stores I visited were also sold out of it and both asisstants told me it was a popular product indeed! Is this due to the Essie Button effect (she raved about it a few times), I really don't know, but I'm expecting miracles! I have way too many lip balms but purchased this as a night-time lip treatment, well that's what I've been telling myself so I could allow myself to buy it, that can get to work and renew my dry winter lips. I'm interested to see how good this.

Facial-massager-caroline-hirons-recommended

Facial Massager 
£6.00 here
This was without a doubt a Caroline Hirons inspired purchase after reading her blog post on this exact facial massager here. If you love reading beauty blogs then you will know Caroline Hirons is a skincare God, actual the God of skincare. She knows her stuff and when she recommends something on the high street I snap it up! I'm hoping this will remedy the lumps that sometimes develop under my jawline, that feel like blockages in my skin and develop into sore under the skin spots. Also I love the idea of using this with a facial oil when I'm wanting to pamper my skin. I expected the roller to be hard plastic but was pleased to feel it's actually got some give to it and it is really comfortable to use.
 

Coconut Oil Hair Shine 
£5.50 here 
I love coconut oil and I love using it on my hair as an intensive treatment so when I spotted this it was straight in my basket. This is quite a simple product it that if melts under contact with the fingertips and can be used on the ends and fly-away parts of the hair to tame frizz and add shine. The Hair Shine has great reviews of The Body Shop website so I have high hopes for it. Also you can just tell this is a product that will last forever!

Banana-conditioner 

Banana Conditioner 
£4.50/250ml here 
Ahhhh, banana conditioner how I love you so. You are so wrong but also so very right. 
This is one of those products you need to trust me on and have a cheeky sniff of in The Body Shop, because trust me, this smells a lot nicer than you'd ever imagine. It's almost a sweet banana scent that is quite fresh and just different. I doubt I'd love this scent in anything other than haircare but as a conditioner it just works. As for the conditioner itself it works a treat for my dry over-heated hair, leaving it soft and smelling sweet... not banana-y.

Rainforest Shine Shampoo & Radiance Conditioner Mini 
£2.00/60ml here | £2.00/60ml here
These are just two minis I added in with my order for an upcoming holiday in March. The shampoo is SLS-free and a really nice one. The conditioner works well enough, though I will be making sure to take a mini Aussie 3 Minute Deep Conditioner with me for sea salt tangled hair that needs extra nourishing. 

Hope you enjoyed this haul! 
Remember the amazing offer is on until Monday night if you are planning on buying anything! 

What is your favourite ever product from The Body Shop? 

Fee xo.

Midweek Mixed Haul

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beauty-mixed-haul

After my 'Collective Christmas Beauty Haul' post last week I realised I do love a good haul! However as it is January I've been trying not to over spend as frankly I have enough new things! But I thought a few items I've picked up recently were worth mentioning and called for a little midweek haul. 

Hope I don't enable too much! 

thebalm-cindy-lou-manizer

Freeman Face Masks - both 99p from Tesco
Chocolate & Strawberry Facial Clay Mask | Honeydew & Chamomile Sleeping Mask
Since the start of the year I've been trying to make an effort to pamper my skin more. This includes steaming my face between double cleanses and treating it to a lovely face mask at least once a week. So when I was doing my food shopping in Tesco last week I of course wandered down the beauty aisle and spotted a new range of face masks I haven't seen before! At 99p each it's just a tiny treat so I picked up a yummy one with the Chocolate & Strawberry Clay Mask (it smells amazing by the way - think a milk chocolate mousse) and one that I was curious in trying, the Honeydew & Chamomile Sleeping Mask as my skin can always do with some extra hydration with how much I use my central heating in winter. These really look like they could be good but I will make sure to do a review of them both when I've tried them out. 

theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer 
£14.40 - Feel Unique here 
  Now sadly this was a 3am impulse purchase, and I say sadly as I bought the wrong one! I was actually after Mary Lou (the amazing highlighter that everyone raves about) but my late-night delirium caused me to be confused and I ended up with Cindy Lou! All isn't lost as I actually do like the shade but I will still be treating myself to Mary Lou in the future. Compared to Mary-Lou which is a very pigmented champagne highlighter this is a lot more pink toned and is more of a blusher with highlight. It can also be worn as eyeshadow which I'm already tried out and loved. On the cheeks this gives a glow from the highlight but also a peachy pink hue which is very flattering. I am a bit sad I'm still yet to try the infamous Mary Lou Manizer but I'm glad I found this product because I know I will get a lot of use from it, particularly in summer.

Bobbi-brown-everything-eyes-review

Bobbi Brown Everything Eyes
£5.49 - Amazon here 
I felt it was time to add another makeup book to my collection so decided to pick up this smaller Bobbi Brown book as I knew it had a whole section on makeup for glasses wearers. Unfortunately this seems more of a way for Bobbi Brown to show off her eyewear line than actual detailed tips. As for the rest of the book the imagery and looks are nice but again basic. So really I'm in two minds about this book - I love the looks but the lack of detail makes this only useful for someone just getting into makeup. A nice enough edition to my bookshelf but not a makeup book I will be going back to time and time again. Full review to come.

TY-beanie-erasers-poundworld 

TY Beanie Puzzle Eraser
£1 for set of 4 from Poundworld
Okay I have a mental age of 8... I'll admit it! These were such an impulse buy in Poundworld last week, that's if you can call spending £1 an impulse purchase. I don't have any real need for these but I just couldn't leave them. I'm sure they will either sit on my desk making me smile or on my bookcase. Each little rubber has a name and some even have moving parts! My favourite has to be the seal which is called Seamore and the little rabbit, Hopper. Just adorable and so cheap!

Le Creuset Rose Stoneware Mug 
£13.00 - Debenhams here 
 So I have a thing for mugs, which amuses the people that know me as I'm not that keen on hot drinks (I hate tea!) but I feel that's why I view mugs as special as when I do have a hot drink it's a treat. This means I do have a mug wish list, well a mental mug wish list in my head and this specific mug was at the top! Yes, £13.00 on a single mug is a little crazy but I did have a voucher left over from Christmas so I thought I'd treat myself and complete my mug collection... for now! Le Creuset are such a quality brand and this mug really is perfect with it's rose ombre and chunky feel. I'm very pleased to have this in my collection! 

Let me know if you like mismatch hauls like this or just beauty ones, I'd love to know!

Fee xo. 

Current In Shower Favourites

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Top-shower-products

When it comes to the depths of winter I love nothing more than a long, warm shower to warm up and relax. This means I like to spend that little bit more on products I know I will love and offer that bit of luxury. Below are a few of my current in-shower favourites that are just that bit more special and also multi-purpose. 

soap-glory-shower-cream-butter

Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner 
£16.50/250g - Lush here or in-store 
First up a shower product that is ideal for winter and parched skin that needs some intensive moisturising. According to Lush the idea of the product was based off  hair conditioner... just for the body instead! And that's exactly how you use it. Towards the end of your shower simply rub a small amount over the body which will feel silky soft, then step out of the shower and pat yourself dry. This is when you will notice the slightly waxy/waterproof feel to your skin which is all the lovely oils. I don't generally love this feel to my skin but once your skin has fully dried the body conditioner fully soaks into the skin, leaving your skin fully hydrated and smelling beautiful. The body conditioner contains argan oil, cypress oil, capuacu butter, Brazil nut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter and almond oil so you know you are getting great ingredients to moisturise your skin with. As for the scent, I'm obsessed with it! I wish Lush would actually bring out a full body range in this scent in fact. To me this is a heavenly scent of both sweet rose and argan oil that just smells so unique and divine. As you may have spotted this isn't the cheapest of products but thankfully there is a smaller sample size pot of it in the Butterfly Giftset (£8.95 here) which also contains a wonderful soap that has a cream lather ideal for the shower. If you love super moisturising products that smell amazing then this body conditioner is for you! 

Soap & Glory Whipped Clean Shower Butter
£7.00/250ml - Boots here or in-store
Following along similar lines to Ro's Argan this is another in-shower body moisturiser but a lighter option and one that doubles up as a body wash! Compared to general body washes/shower gels this comes out of the tube like a buttery moisturiser but on contact with wet skin and when rubbed this give a wonderful soft lather and smells beyond yummy - think a sweet vanilla, pistachio scent (kind of popcorn-y like the S&G Smoothie Star Buttercream!). Once out of the shower you definitely notice a moisturised feel to the skin but anyone with extra dry skin may want to still moisturise.This also works well as a moisturising shaving cream as it doesn't lather if it's not rubbed and just glides over the skin - a great multi-tasking product. If you love most of Soap & Glory's products and love their yummy scent then this is a must to add to your stash. Perfect for both summer and winter.

tresemme-revival-hair-scalp 

 Tresemme Renewal Hair & Scalp Deep Conditioning Masque 
£5.50/180ml - Boots here or in-store 
 Another two-in-one product here that I pleasantly surprised by (I generally can't stand the chemically smell of Tresemme products). This is actually an all over hair conditioner that can be used on the scalp, the length of the hair and the ends. Surprisingly this moisturises the hair well but doesn't leave the roots of the hair at all greasy, in fact they feel soft and my scalp does actually feels renewed. This isn't the most intensive conditioner so I still opt to use my favourite Aussie 3 Minute Deep Conditioner over the ends of my hair. Overall this is quite a unique hair/scalp conditioner on the high street and one I will keep on purchasing. Finally Tresemme you have ditched the awful chemicals and come up with a pretty great product! 

Avalon Organics Lemon Bath & Shower Gel 
£6.99/350ml - Holland & Barrett here or in select stores
Finally a lovely organic shower gel from a brand that was totally new to me. This is of course SLS and nasties free with a whole load of essential oils packed in there. I just had to include this shower gel as finding body washes for sensitive skin can be hard on the high street and ones that smell nice! This specific shower gel lather well, smells lovely and fresh and most importantly caters for anyone with sensitive skin or anyone wanting an organic product. Also so little is needed of the huge 350ml bottle meaning this really does last ages! A great all round shower product that I'm very glad to have discovered. 

Are you more of a shower or bath person? 
What products do you love to use? 

Fee xo.

Pale Face Wonders

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When it comes to shopping on the high street for a pale skin tone this is where you can see a real difference between high-end and high street. Most foundation ranges just don't offer a broad enough spectrum of shades, resulting in both light and dark skin tones generally not being catered for. This can also be a problem with concealers, I know I've struggled to find a brightening under-eye concealer for years because even the lightest concealers are that touch too dark, and of course the same for face powders though opting for a translucent powder is an easy fix/substitute.

But thankfully due to my makeup obsessed ways and determination in finding face products that match my very pale skin I have discovered some great products that should be suitable for even the lightest of skin tones. Below are just a few of my favourites, though I've also made sure to include other product suggestions to suit different needs/wants.

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FOUNDATION

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation 
010 - Light Porcelain - £8.99 Tesco in-store 
 If you read my blog often you will know this is a fairly new foundation for me, though it's one that has been raved about so much in the past year or so. What sparked my interested other than rave reviews was Rimmel had actually increased the shade range and added an even lighter shade with '010 Light Porcelain'. I will admit most stands I visited didn't stock the newer lighter shade but as I found it in a Tesco store and Tesco Direct do sell it I'm quite certain most Tesco stores will have the newer shades (though it's still worth checking the Rimmel shade in both Boots and Superdrug if you are out shopping). Amazingly this is the lightest foundation I've come across on the high street and if you don't mind the added sparkle it contains it could possible be a winner for very pale skin. However Rimmel do offer the same shade (010) in the Lasting Finish Nude Foundation (£7.99 - Boots here) if you want a non-shimmery medium coverage foundation - I've good things about this one. 

Other foundations suitable for porclain complexions
All Max Factor Foundations - Over the years Max Factor foundation have been some of my favourites. Sadly it seems my favourites are the ones that get discontinued but still their lightest shade in all their foundations are perfect for porcelain complexions that are more cool toned and lean towards needing pinky toned foundation. Definitely worth swatching!
All Bourjois Foundations - Not for the super pale but great for warm undertone pale skin tones as all Bourjois foundaions are fairly yellow toned. In summer their lightest shade ' Light Vanilla' is a pretty good match for my skin with my favourites from the range being Bourjois Healthy Mix and 123 Perfect Colour Correcting Cream.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream (light) £8.00 here or in-store - Another new buy for me but one I know I will love on simple makeup days and in summer. Yes, it's not a foundation but if you are after light coverage then this is worth trying out. A great neutral shade here that just evens everything out.
Revlon Age Defying Advantage Makep Foundation (Bare Buff) £13.99 Boots here - I haven't actually tried this one out (in fact I've never tried any foundation from Revlon - shocking I know!) but a friend suggested this when I mentioned I was writing this post. I've looked at swatches and it is surprisingly light and seems a good option if you have dry or ageing skin.
Avon Ideal Flawless Invisible Coverage Foundation (Light Pink) £12.00 Avon here - This is a foundation range with a lot of shades! In fact when this range launched I got sent them all and didn't have a clue what to do with them all! But it did help me find the most perfect cool toned foundation for pale skin. This as for may have guessed from the shade name is fairly pink toned and is great for soft porcelain complexions and concealing redness.
No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation (Calico) £13.50 Boots here - No7 offer quite a wide range of shades, so thankfully they go quite pale. I do find all the palest shades are quite neutral so they are neither pink or yellow toned, but I like that. This is a great foundation if you have oily skin and want a matte finish. But all the foundations from No7 are worth looking at. P.S Don't be put off by the counter staff! They aren't pushy and actually quite helpful, but will leave you alone if you say you're just looking.
Makeup Revolution The One Foundation (Shade 2) £4.00 here - Another huge foundation range and also one with the lowest price tag! Makeup Revolution have come out with some amazing products and this is one of them. Shade 2 is a lovely light, though fairly runny, foundation that's quite neutral toned and will suit both warm and cool undertones. The range also offers a pure white foundation which may be good to add to foundations you have bought but have found too dark, though I haven't tried it out - yet!. MR are now is many Superdrug stores - you can find the list of stores here.

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CONCEALER

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer 
Light - £8.49 Boots here
This was a concealer/highlighter I just had to mention as I use it most times I apply my makeup. Lightly yellow toned when swatching this actually diffuses out to a lovely brightening concealer that is perfect for using next to the outer corners of the eyes, along the brow bones and basically anywhere that needs pepping up and lightly concealing at the same time - great for tired skin days. I also like to use this under a more full coverage concealer under the eyes as it just adds a slightly brightened effect.


Barbara Daly Even Smoother Eye Primer 
Vanilla - Reduct £1.50 Tesco
This was a product I was in two minds about featuring as the BD line has been discontinued and products are currently being heavily reduced in price to clear them. So this product may or may not be available anymore in your local store! But if it is then seriously this is a run and grab product. Eye primers that are clear or don't change the colour of the eyelids are easy enough to find but if you are wanting a primer to also conceal pigmentation/veins/redness then getting a pale one is important. I was yet to find one, until I tried this one and was amazed I hadn't heard great things about it on blogs upon trying it out. This not only brightens the eyelids but hides any redness/veins on the lids and really just smooths things and of course helps eyeshadow stay put. I will actually be going back to the Tesco I found this in to pick up some back-ups before it's gone forever.

Other concealers for pale skin tones 
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (Fair) £4.19 Boots here - I couldn't not mention this concealer could I? This is the most raved about concealer online and rightly so. The lightest shade is suitable for pale skin and is lovely and creamy with good coverage. 
No7 Match Made Concealer £7.50 Boots here - This range contains a massive 17 shades, with the lightest two offering options for both warm and cool pale skin tones. I personally love this as I have combination/oily skin and it's ideal for oily blemishes but for that reason anyone with dry skin should strictly avoid it.
Revlon ColorStay Concealer (fair) £6.99 Boots here - Another great light enough concealer here that will cover blemishes and dark circles. Good for combination to normal skin.

3

POWDER 

L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Powder 
Light Skin £6.99 Boots here 
 There's nothing worse than trying out a new powder over your perfectly made up face only to find that it's made your face look cakey and orange. But thankfully with new lighter powders that can be a thing of the past! This is one of the new good ones that I love to use with a large fluffy powder brush down the T-zone of my face. This actually looks quite a cream shade in the images above but in fact is more neutral than that and a step above a transculent powder, giving you a softer look/finish to the face. This keeps my oily t-zone at bay for most of the day.

Other light face powder recommendations 
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder (Translucent) £3.99 Boots here - This was the first translucent powder I came across and really loved. Even though I now love my Clarins Loose Powder oh so much I still come back to this from time to time and take it on holidays as loose powder in a heavy jar is far from practical. What I love about this powder is that it's so light and finely milled that it doesn't look at all heavy on the skin or adds that over matte look to the skin. Also as it is a translucent shade there's no chance of it changing the shade of your foundation. A must buy if you are looking for a new powder to remove shine or set makeup with. 
Bourjois Java Powder £9.99 Boots here - When you think setting powders you instantly think mattifying but if you want a dewy look or you have dry skin but still want to set your makeup then there a very few high street products out there. But thankfully Bourjois have brought back their Java Powder and I personally love it! This really is one to use sparingly on a large powder brush but it can be used over the entire face to give a slightly radiant look. The powder also makes the skin feel silky soft and has that vintage scent to it (though it does die down). This is definitely a unique product but if you're after a setting powder that won't mattify the skin then this is the powder for you! 

Woosh, what a post! I do get carried away once I start writing. 

Hopefully I've pointed out a few products that have piqued your interest. I'm always on the look out for more so if you do have pale skin then let me know your favourite base products in the comments!

Fee xo.


5 Fail-safe Tips For Taking Great Blog Photos

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beauty-blogger-photography-tips

  Today I thought I'd talk photography, specifically blog photography! This is a true passion of mine and with photography playing a huge part in blogging these days I thought a few tips would be helpful to fellow bloggers. 


Whether you own a compact digital camera, a bridge camera or DSLR most of these tips can be applied/tried out! 

Natural Light, Steady Hand 
When it comes to lighting for still-life/product photography natural light is without a doubt the best... unless you have thousands to spend of studio lighting that is. To this day I've yet to use the built-in flash on my camera or any artifical lighting to light my photos as it does basically look articifal and harsh. So natural lighting for me wins hands down. Now I know most of you will be thinking "But Fee, there's no light in winter!" and I so hear you, I struggle with that too on a daily basis! However I have 3 tips for this, besides from shooting at the brightest time of the day (between 12-1pm in winter) and keeping all lights turned OFF.

 1. Position your set-up facing and near a window - This means your subject will get the maximum light possible and it will be as even as possible. Also this means you will have your back to the light source, avoiding any glare or being blinded... though this is highly unlikely in winter. 
2. Hitch up the ISO (your sensitivity to light setting) - Most cameras have this setting, even digital cameras, and it's easy to keep it on auto. But on dull days setting it a little higher and overriding the auto settings can do the world of good. Anywhere from 200-600 won't compromise the photo quality and can really brighten overall images. However a steady hand or tripod may be needed, which nicely leads on to my last tip.
 3. A steady camera is a must - This is a total must for sharp images that are blur-free. However a higher ISO, dull natural light or a case of the shakes can really prevent this. My main tips if you use your camera handheld is to securely grip your camera near where you press the shutter release button and use your other hand to rest the camera on, keeping it steady. Then keep your elbows into your body or rested firmly onto a solid surface. If you still suffer from your camera shaking then opting for a tripod may be the best thing. All tripods pivot and move quite freely so really won't restrict how you take photos unless you like to take them overhead.

auto-vs-manual-focus

Up Close Shots - Manual Focus 
Now if you're a stickler for sharp images or want to ensure your image is totally in-focus for cropping/zooming purposes when editing then this may just be a handy tip. As you can see in the two images above, the right image is just that bit more clearer and sharper (this can be most noticed in the writing detail and the texture of the ribbon). This is achieved by switching to the "MF" setting on the camera lens and manually focusing the lens. To do this you simply turn the focus ring of the lens (if you have a zoom lens you will have two rings and it will be the ring towards the end of the lens) until your subject is fully in focus. This is also useful for times when your camera just won't focus on auto-focus due to an overcrowded setting or when the light heavily reflects off shiny surfaces or products and the camera insists on focusing on that rather than the entire product. 

 Another great use of manual focus is to ensure even the most zoomed in part of your subject is totally in focus. This is great when cropping specific sections on an image in the editing process or zooming in when editing to create ultra up-close images (thinking lip swatches, up-close product images, nail swatches).

before

To do this you simply manual focus as normal with the screen as your viewfinder in live view mode (basically so can see exactly what you are shooting), press the magnifier button to zoom in, fine tune the focus, press the magnifier button again to zoom out before taking the shot. Above are three shots I've used this technique in, as you can see they aren't styled or pretty in any way as my intension was to crop them in editing, which you can see below!

after

  Yes, you could take the shot as normal and then crop it when editing the image but 9 times out of 10 the detail won't be focused enough for your liking. This method basically focuses detail that the naked eye just can't see well enough!

Light from all angles 
Back to lighting now and a subject that is often overlooked. In my first point I mentioned how your set-up should be facing your light source to achieve the most even light. However there will be times when parts of your subject/set-up are darker or are casting shadows. To eliminate this a number of tools can be used - mirrors, white foam boards, silver reflectors (can be homemade - see DIY posts here). All of these can act as reflectors of the light entering through the window and bounce the light back onto your subject. These can be positioned just on one side or on both sides of your set-up - playing around with them is the best thing here! 

Another option for even light is to place a board/background onto a windowsill and photograph at a birds eye view angle. This is something I often do!

beauty-blog-photography-tips

Style the Shot 
 This is possibly the thing that could make the most difference if you aren't doing it already. Styling the shot, especially in still-life photography, is essentially what makes the image. You could of course opt for a plain white background but switching it up is much more fun and will make your blog photos instantly more eye-catching! Above I have a few different examples all on different background and laid out in different ways. 

For images with a large amount of products (generally hauls and monthly favourites posts) I opt to shoot from above and zoomed out to make sure I include everything in the shot, or I will bundle everything in a gift box and angle all the products so the labels are visible. For specific beauty topics I'd suggest trying to set the scene with props... talking about what's in your shower: place a towel next to your products and maybe even splash them with water, writing about your 5-minute face on last-minute mornings: place the products falling out of a makeup bag on your desk next to a cup of coffee. It really is as simple as that! As for backgrounds, wallpaper samples pasted onto a large white piece of card is such a cheap option and one you can have a few of/switch up when you get bored or with a change of season. But for more durable background, contact paper (adhesive and wipe clean) on a wooden board will last you forever and look great! 

If you are still stuck for ideas it's worth taking inspiration from product photography in magazines and catalogues.

Edit! 
Last but not least the very step that should be last thing you do before uploading your photos to your blog. Because even the best photos require editing... actually it's probably what makes them the best! All my photos are edited with the brightness increases, sharpened and the colour temperature altered. Brightness and sharpening speak for themselves but colour temperature when increased can change a blue/cool toned looking image into a normal warmer looking image and an orange or yellow looking image can be toned down by decreasing the colour temperature - this can be a very handy tool! As for free photo editing programs I personally love to use Photoscape (download from CNET here), though the editing part of the Windows Photo Gallery will suffice if you are new to blogging.

This has been a little more detailed than I had planned! But I very much hope these tips will be of help if you are wanting to improve your blog photography skills! 

Fee xo.

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