5 Great Drug Store Brands

1. Batiste

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As in the dry shampoo. I have tried some of the most expensive, high-end dry shampoos out there, and none compare to the cheap and cheerful Batiste range. My hair gets greasy almost 12 hourly. But because I want my hair to be healthy, I try not to wash it everyday. Which means dry shampoo is a staple in my beauty regime. (£2.99)

2. Eco Tools

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Get the Gloss recently did a study into the best foundation brushes and the Eco Tools Bamboo Foundation Brush (£7.99) made the cut with a 9 out of 10 score! Despite it’s low price, it didn’t shed and was great for blending. So now we know, great makeup brushes under £10 DO exist.

3. Nyx

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Nyx Cosmetics have a wide range of products from every kind of makeup to tools, to nail polishes. They even sponsored RuPaul’s Drag Race a bunch of times. Their hero product is their Matte Lipsticks (£6) and they also do a Soft Matte Lip Cream (£5.50), which applies like a gloss but dries matte.

4. ELF

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Eyes Lips Face (or ELF) are an online stockist with drugstore prices. In fact, less than drugstore prices. When they started, their attracting gimmick was all their products were £1.50. That is still their baseline price, but for some larger palettes or kits, prices are a little higher. You can get an 100 (!) eyeshadows palette for £15. Which is roughly the price of one Mac eyeshadow.

5. Sleek

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Sleek are an underrated high street brand, best known for their NARS dupe blushers. For just £4.49 these 11 shades offer quite a good imitation of the famous NARS blushers. They obviously aren’t as good NARS, but for a quarter of the price they are more than worth the money. Priced at twice as much, they’d still be a good buy.

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Milan Fashion Week SS15 Beauty Roundup

Some more familiar looks from NYFW popped up at Milan, reinforcing the coming beauty trends. And one unique look that stole the show for me. But first, the confirmed trends:

Side Parting

photo 1 (2)Just Cavalli

As seen at New York and London, it looks like the side parting is here to stay. Square faced girls everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief

Warrior Braids

photo 2 (2)Giorgio Armani

Just like at New York. This look is so Mother of Dragons. To recreate, section off your hair into three parts and dutch braid each part, coming together at the back of your hair for a ponytail or bun. Or keep braiding each section to the end for a more edgy look.

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Doll Lashes

photo 4 (1)Costume National

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Another repeat. I can see why. It’s easy to recreate and it’s pretty.

Graphic Liner

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This is a simple one to copy, with a decent gel liner. I use Mac’s Fluidline in Blacktrack (£15.50) and the best brush I’ve found is the Bobbi Brown gel liner brush (£18). Experiment with different looks and shapes, and if you mess up, just pretend it was on purpose.

Simple Glam

photo 2 (1)Dolce and Gabbana

D&G really won it with this simplistic, old Italy glam look. Similar to the Burberry look at LFW, the wine stained lips look classy and they have added a cat eye flick which makes it more of an evening look than Burberry’s bare eyes.

photo 3 (1)Pucci

That’s Pucci, Not Poochie

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To recreate this look, try sleeping in plaits. If you don’t have 12 hours, plait your hair and then go over the plaits with a straightener. When you take the plaits out you should have gorgeous Cersei Lannister beach waves.

Now for my favourite beauty look from all of MFW, Moschino‘s Barbie Girls!

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This look is so pretty and wearable and it reminds me of me circa 2011. I lived for the Barbie lips and was never seen without my Lady Gaga Viva Glam lipstick. That was limited edition, but some great alternatives are Pink Nouveau and Saint Germain from Mac (£15.50)

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My guess for Paris is more side partings, doll lashes and maybe some purple eyeshadows. Let’s hope we don’t get any more garage doors though…

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NO!

LFW SS15 Beauty Roundup

I’d just like to start this post on London Fashion week with a couple of looks from the last day of NYFW

Firstly, some bright brows from Badgley Mischka

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This look also appeared at LFW at the Vivienne Westwood show

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I really like these alternative brow colours, although it probably won’t take off as an everyday look. It reminds me of model Charlie Barker circa 2013

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Only for the brave!

And then there was my new favourite beauty look from NYFW, at The Blonds show:

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I love this look because like me, it’s a bit chola, a bit ratchet and a LOT fabulous. The gold is everything. I love the idea of overlaying the liner with gold glitter and that big hair piece is TO DIE.

Ok, so back to London. I actually saw some very keen looking photogs outside the JW Anderson show trying to get a shot of someone famous, while I was on my way to the National Portrait Gallery. There weren’t as many beauty looks that I was excited about as at NYFW, but here are the highlights.

So side partings continued to be a trend, as demonstrated at Jean-Pierre Braganza

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Very Coach. I think a side parting is so flattering and also great if you’re hiding roots.

Another trend we saw at NYFW that made an appearing in London is the purple eyeshadow:

photo 1 (2)Matthew Williamson 

I like this look more and more each time I see it. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the purple eyeshadow.

Burberry went for classic British elegance:

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The slightly darker red lip with minimal eye makeup is a really easy way to transition into fall makeup and looks classy while still being easy to recreate. A Mac lipstick in Ruby Woo or Russian Red (£15.50) would be a great match to this colour.

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The Grunge look was revived at Tom Ford 

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Models sported a smudged out smokey eye with bare lips, giving the semblance of as little effort as possible having gone into the look. Which is cool. Looking like you’ve tried too hard never earns the ‘cool’ label. Recreate the eyes with a smudgable kohl eyeliner, like Rimmel’s Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil if you’re on a budget (£2.99) or Mac’s Eye Kohl (£14) if you feel like splurging.

Now let’s see what beauty bombshells Milan drops…

NYFW SS15 Best Beauty Looks

The fashion weeks are upon us, and with New York’s nearly over, here’s a summary of the beauty looks of the runway. Some good, some so so bad.

Purple Eyes

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I love purple eyes for the winter months, but with a nude lip this look proved its versatility for spring. I may be biased, because having brown eyes, purple brings out the rich chocolate in them, but it looks good with other eye colours too. See the Naked 3 Palette from Urban Decay (£37)

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Bombeshell

photo 2 (6)Diane Von Furstenberg

The Bardot look is universally flattering and easy to recreate. Backcomb your hair with the help of Umberto Giannini’s Backcomb in a Bottle (£6) and kohl line your eyes. Pair with a nude lip for easy 60s glamour.

Neon Liner

photo 3 (7)Peter Som

Be daring and go for a splash of neon on the eyes and keep the rest minimalist. For great coloured liners see my post from last spring.

We are Warriors

The warrior look was prevalent among the shows this year. I am currently reading a book about Boudicca, the Warrior Queen who tried to fight the Roman Invasion of England, and I am all over this look!

photo 1 (6)Marissa Webb

Warriors used to braid the sides of their hair to signify their warrior status. Lets bring this back!

photo 2 (7)Nicholas K

Go for liner on the lower lids only for added fierceness.

photo 1 (3) photo 2 (4) photo 2 (8)Herve Leger

Or go Samurai Warrior, like the girls at Herve Leger with thick blunt eyeliner and bangs tied back. A great gel liner to help achieve this look is Bobbi Brown’s black gel liner (£18)

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White Out

photo 3 (4)Nanette Lepore

Y’all know I love my white eyeliner. Replace your black eyeliner with white and try some graphic liner look with lots of mascara. See Lime Crime’s liquid in Lunar Sea ($14 or £12)

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The Pony Club

photo 4 (3) photo 1 (8)Wes Gordon and Jason Wu

Go for a sleek low ponytail for instant sophistication. Straight or wavy and voluminous, either one looks fab.

The Side Parting

photo 2 (9)Coach

The side parting might be about to make it’s comeback, which is good news for us square faced gals with chronic roots. I find this look much more flattering than a centre parting on me.

More Sixties

photo 3 (5)Nanette Lepore

White eyeliner again, and babydoll lower lashes. Try some Mac False Lashes, Numbers 33 and 40 look particularly good on the lower lash line for a Twiggy look:

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Top it off with a messy bun on the top of your head, the kind you wear to bed.

And now for the bad…

Not every look is a winner, and some of these runway looks have me praying they don’t stick!

First off, Baby Hairs

photo 1 (7)DKNY

Please. No. The Nineties trend has a line, and this has crossed it. We all regret this and I don’t think we are gonna be doing it again any time soon.

Garage Doors

photo 4 (5)Honor

Garage Doors are when you do your eyeshadow in a block that wings out to the side without any blending. These are car doors. One word: Blend!

A personal Pet Peeve of mine…

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And that is when people use orange bronzer on pale white skin. It doesn’t look natural. So many shades are so much more flattering on pale skin than this. There is no reason to use the one colour that doesn’t work.

Ok, that’s my summary of the NYFW Beauty looks. I will leave you with a picture of Rihanna on the Front Row

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You’re Welcome.

 

Magnifibres VS Talc

These days it’s all about fibre mascaras that build on your natural lashes. There are plenty of products on the market that promise to deliver an extra swish to your blink, such as Fast Lash by Japonesque (£15) and Younique 3D Fiber[sic] Lashes ($29, seems to be an Avon type deal where there are individual sellers, yet to find a UK seller).

One of the first products to do this was Magnifibres Brush on False Lashes (£15.80 on beautybay.com. This price has gone up, when I first bought this product it was £10). I haven’t tried the other products, but I do own the Magnifibres and it does work. It will build your lashes noticeably however it also gives them a spidery look. Not just a spidery look, but a hairy spidery look. Like a tarantula. Some people like this look, some don’t. I personally am scared of spiders, although I do appreciate their beauty. 

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It’s basically like applying cotton candy to your lashes and painting over it. I stopped using it because it seemed to always make me feel like I had bits of it in my eyes. It wasn’t particularly comfortable to wear. I have read lots of beauty ‘hacks’ saying that you can use talcum powder to achieve the same effect as these products. So I put this to the test. 

photo 1 (3)The left side (as you look at it) is talcum powder, the right side is with Magnifibres.

The eye where I just used talcum powder is a lot more clumped together. I looks like I have exactly 4 eyelashes. It was also quite hard to apply the talcum powder to the lashes. I used a q tip and brushed it only the lashes, however not much of the powder stuck. 

The Magnifibres eye is not much better, but it is probably the way I applied it. 

 

photo 2 (3)Top: Magnifibres. Bottom: Talc

Overall, the Magnifibres did work better, as you would expect. But if applied better, the talc might work. It seemed to tangle up my lashes so it made them look worse than if I had just used mascara on it’s own, but again that could just be my own incompetence. Let me know if you have tried this and got on better than I did. 

Back to school/Off to uni

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A new school year, or a brand new university, is the perfect opportunity for a beauty makeover. My school was incredibly strict and we weren’t allowed to wear makeup, dye our hair, or even fake tan. We also had to keep our hair tied back. The rules relaxed a little in 6th form, but my first chance for a real beauty makeover was university. So whether you are just being released from the tight grip of school rules, or you go to a school where you are allowed to express yourself through your appearance, here are some great tips for becoming the new You 2.0. 

Tan

Not everyone looks best with a tan, there are some lucky people who really pull off the alabaster skin look. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. When my tan fades I just look like a jaundiced Lord Voldemort. So having a tan is a great confidence booster for me and a great way to start the school or uni year looking healthy and glowing, like you spent the summer on a yacht instead of watching hundreds of hours of netflix (which is what I actually did). 

If you are not a fan of actual tanning, why not fake it with something that comes pretty close to the real thing. 

My favourite fake tan is Xen-Tan 

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This Dark Lotion Absolute Luxe is currently £25.24 in the feelunique.com sale and it is the one I use. It’s the darkest they do, but they also have a medium and fair range to suit all skin types. What I love about this tan is it has olive undertones, instead of orange. Like, for real, it comes out green. You apply the guide colour onto freshly exfoliated skin and leave it overnight. Wash off in the morning and you are left with the perfect tan.

If this isn’t dark enough, you can top it up with something cheaper, like St Moritz (£4.49 on feelunique.com)

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Yes, it’s very cheap so it doesn’t have great lasting power, it’s more of a wash off tan. But it goes on super dark and I used to apply this just minutes before going out, on top of my original tan. Even though it is cheap it is not orange. It comes out as a mahogany brown foam, and it stays mahogany brown on your skin.

TIP: to make your tan last longer, moisturise. Do not moisturise before applying your tan or it won’t absorb as well, but moisturising is crucial for retaining a tan, real or fake. 

Hair

Heat stimulates hair growth, which is why your hair grows more over summer. The sun also can lighten your hair. I am naturally brunette, but I died my hair blonde for uni, and kept it up until about a year ago. I loved being blonde but it killed my hair. But a few highlights are always flattering. Dark hair doesn’t suit me, and when I first started highlighting my hair I got so many more compliments. So why not try some honey or caramel toned highlights?

For light hair:

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For dark hair:

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Nails

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I would never have been allowed any kind of nails when I was at school. Neither was I allowed when I was nursing. It was so liberating when I stopped nursing just to be able to have the longest, most ratchet nails possible. I love a stiletto nail, a squareletto nail or even a simple square. So if your school allows nails, or if you are headed to the freedom of uni, why not treat yourself to a manicure before you go. You could stick with your natural nails with a cute gel polish, alla Kardashian

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Or go more gangsta with it, like Lil Debbie

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or Kylie Jenner:

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Whatever you choose, you will feel pretty much ready for anything with your new look. Good luck in the new school/uni year!