AmfAR Gala 2014 Beauty Roundup

The annual amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) Gala is a black tie event thrown to raise money for the foundation and awareness of AIDS/HIV. Many celebrities attend and often it is a time for headline grabbing outfits, as this gets the foundation even more attention in the press. Celebrities are often criticised for their daring outfits but it is all to draw attention to the foundation and the good work it does.

This year the headlines were mainly about Rihanna and Miley Cyrus. This post with similarly be mainly about Rihanna as she looked, as always, fan-bloody-tastic.

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That makeup. Come on. Flawless!

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She has the perfect 80s orange lipstick to match her skin tone and her eye makeup, which is a burnt orange colour. All this makes her green eyes pop, and the chronic lashes for days add glamour.

The Hair

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I LOVE the sleek ponytail look. It’s something I do a lot to instantly solve a bad hair day and it’s really easy to recreate. They look great with a centre or a side parting. Rihanna is rocking hers with a side parting which adds a bit of retro glamour to her look.

Next up, Miley’s makeup was actually really cute:

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The feline flick eye liner complimented her pixie crop and works really well with her elfin features. I would like to see this look on her more often,.

Lea Michelle looked FIRE

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Lea Michelle has the best beauty team. She always steals the show for me on the red carpet. I love the brown smokey eye, it works so well with her chocolate brown eyes and caramel highlights. Her hair is big and beautiful, and even though I don’t think the bronzer is the right colour for her, it does match her highlights.

Alessandra Ambrosio

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Another example of a great sleek ponytail, this time with a centre parting. When you have an intricate dress and makeup, it is always best to go for simple and elegant hair. This ponytail works perfectly for that purpose.

Kelly Osbourne

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I like this makeup because it reminds me of one of my staple looks. I often like to go for an edgier bold liner with that barbie pink shade of lipstick. It works really well with Kelly’s unique style and it’s very youthful. I used to use the Lady Gaga Viva Glam lipstick but as it’s limited edition and mines running low, a look-a-like is Mac’s Saint Germain (£15.50).

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I can’t wait to see what these guys do for Halloween tonight!

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The unsung hero that is Nivea Creme

Nivea crème has been around since 1911 and since then it hasn’t stopped being a beauty staple. It is an all over beauty crème that can be used as many different ways as there are parts of the body. It is one of the cheapest products on the market yet it has beaten products ten times the price in tests. So what can you do with it?

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Moisturiser

You can apply is as a day or night cream in place of your fancy moisturiser or serum. It reduces appearance of wrinkles, redness, scarring and dryness.

Cleanser

As it is oil based you can use it with water to remove your makeup

Lip Balm

Apply it to lips if you are caught out without a lip balm. It does the job just as well as most medium strength balms.

Body Lotion

Apply it to any part of the body that needs extra care. If you have dry, cracked heels, cover your feet in it and apply a sandwich bag over the top and just let it soak in while you watch TV or overnight for brand new feet in the morning.

Cuticle cream

Applying this to your cuticles heals them and can prevent infections caused by hangnails

And apparently…

According to the youtube account macshadowcombos you can even use it as a polish for leather goods such as bag and shoes. She demonstrates how to uses a dab of cream to get rid of a scuff on a shoe and it’s like magic.

I just felt like it needed a whole post to itself because it’s often underrated and for £1 for 50ml you can’t go wrong. Especially as it could competently replace several items in your makeup bag.

5 French pharmacy brands that you can get in the UK

There used to be a time when you had to stock up on half a years supply of these products when visiting France, but now the UK has coined on to the popularity of these brands and they are now available in most (decent) pharmacies. These are the brands that models swear by.

  1. Bioderma

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This gentle cleanser removes all makeup and dirt while still being as kind to your skin as pure water. Great for sensitive skin (£3-9.99)

  1. Embryolisse

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This cult classic is now available in the UK thanks to BeautyMart. The Lait Creme Concentré is one of Makeup Artists’ and Models’ favourite moisturisers. It contains Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, beeswax and soy proteins. (£13)

  1. Caudalie

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This brand has some great best sellers, and quite a few stockists in the UK including SpaceNK. They have hero products such as Vinexpert Firming Serum (£45), Divine Oil (£27) and SOS Morning Eye Rescue (£18). However, although they are a pharmacy brand, these are not pharmacy prices. This stuff is hella expensive, so maybe not for everyday.

  1. Eau Thermale Avene

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These products are so pretty to look at, and they have a huge range of products to tackle all kinds of skin problems from rosacea to psoriasis. My favourite Avene product is their Spring Water spray (£10). This is a cooling spray that stays cool. Perfect in summer when you feel all grotty from the tube, or for using in a hot car. I don’t know why it feels so much cooler than other water sprays, but it just does.

  1. Klorane

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Klorane is a hair care brand that also does makeup remover. Their hero product is their gentle dry shampoo, but they also have a range of shampoos and conditioners using plant products to suit all hair problems. Their conditioner was a bit heavy for my fine hair but for thick hair it would be perfect.

Product Review: High Street Gel Nail Polishes

I love long nails. Back when I could afford it, I would forever have long acrylic talons that I had re done every 2 weeks. Now to save money I try and grow my own nails and do the manicures myself. I am in no way an expert. My hands shake, I smudge them, and then as soon as they start to chip I have to do it all over again because I can’t abide chipped nail varnish.

I love the gel look, it works really well on shorter nails, and if I can’t grow talons myself, I will make do with a good quality gel.

I recently purchased two different drug store brand gel nail polishes. These are home gel polishes that do not require a UV light to set them. I thought I would give them ago and see if I can recreate a salon quality look at home.

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The first one I tried was from Models Own HyperGel line. Like all Models Own nail varnishes, it was £5. My first thoughts were “Wow, this is hard to apply”. The brush is very VERY thin, almost like a nail art brush. So you have to be very accurate (which I’m not). It also took 3 coats before it looked opaque and gel like which is more than their normal varnishes take. After you have managed to get this on your nails, be prepared to sit still and not touch anything for about 12 hours. Even after you think they’re dry, you can still leave a thumb print (if you press you thumb on your nail) after 24 hours. And it only lasted a day so by the time it was definitely dry, I was taking it off anyway. The colour is great and it would look very pretty for a night out if you left enough time to apply it with precision, but for ease of application, drying time and lasting power I’d give this product a 4/10.

Next I tried this baby from Bourjois

photo 1 (4)Price ranges from £4.50 to £5.99 depending on where you shop

This 1 second Gel polish is unbelievable. I read a very positive review of this on getthegloss.com which is why I thought I’d try it. The author of the post said this lasted 7 days. I scoffed at this as no nail varnish lasts that long on me. But now I can believe it (if you don’t do any housework or physical work). The brush is shaped so you only need one stroke down the centre and it coats the whole nail. In fact you could even get away with just one coat of this, but I went for two just to look extra good. It dried much quicker than the Models Own. With all home gel polishes they will take a longer time to be bone dry, as the gel is so viscous and malleable. I applied this on sunday and with the exception of one nail which I had to reapply, my nails are still chip free. No home manicure has ever lasted this long on me. I plan on buying this product in every colour. Ease of application, lasting time and drying time – 9/10. I highly recommend this product for a quality home gel manicure.

Over-Hyped and Over-Rated: The Baby Lips Story

Maybelline released their Baby Lips line of lip balms last year. The hype was unbelievable. Apparently some places were selling out. They were purported to provide 8 hours of moisture, while giving a hint of colour and an irresistable flavour, all at only £2.99. Well I can’t argue that that is certainly a good price. And all the bloggers were talking about them, so of course I bought one. The pink one. I replaced my standard cocoa butter vaseline with it and at first there were no problems. But then after about 2 days my lips started to get really dry and cracked. I had to use more of the product, which just made it worse. It was the Baby Lips that was drying my lips out! I stopped using it and I upgraded to Carmex which I only need to apply once every 24 hours.

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But then a couple of weeks ago, I was in Boots and I wondered if I had been too quick to judge Baby Lips. I believe in trying everything twice, and the new Baby Skin line was out so I wanted to get on board with this whole range. I bought the cherry Baby Lips and, like before, at first I loved it. I really loved the colour and it seemed to leave my lips always cherry red, even when it had worn off. I went on holiday taking my Baby Lips as my only lip balm, and boy did I regret it. Once again, my lips chapped and dried out to the point where smiling was painful. I don’t have a cold and it was lovely sunny weather. What the hell, Baby Lips? The people that use this product regularly must have never known a good lip balm if they think this is hydrating. Some lip balms actually dry out your lips to make you keep applying more of the product. I believe this is one of those. Cosmetic companies pack in too many chemicals in order to give you that fancy colour and fragrance, but these are terrible for our lips. It’s why lipstick is drying. You would be better off constantly applying Mac’s Ruby Woo. From now on I will be sticking with my good old trusty Carmex.

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My Top Ten Buffy Moments

Tomorrow I am off to Italy for a week. I meant to review a load of products and schedule the reviews to release throughout the week, however life got in the way and I’ve got nothing set to release next week. So I will leave you with something to tide you over. As I didn’t manage to review the products, this is just going to be a post on another passion of mine, Buffy.

My top ten Buffy (and Angel) moments. By top ten, I mean the best written, acted, filmed moments. Not necessarily moments you want to watch over and over again because they can be very emotional. So the top ten are ones that made me feel the most (happy or sad). And moments is a loose term, some are particular scenes, some are whole episodes.

10. Season 4 episode 8 – “Pangs”

When Angel comes back to warn everyone that Buffy is in danger (doy, she’s always in danger), and every one keeps asking “Are you evil again?”

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Bonus moment, Spike is tied up and the ancient tribe are shooting arrows that keep narrowly missing his heart:

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9. Balthazar

This is in Season 3 episode 14 – “Bad Girls”.

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Basically the most hilarious bad guy ever. Also because this is the episode where we first meet Wesley and it is full of great moments between him and Giles and makes Giles look super cool.

8. Killed By Death

Episode 18 of series 2. This is one of the scariest episodes, and it is the genius of the fever dream feeling combined with the scariest baddy plus vulnerable children that makes it so creepy. Just look at this guy!

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As if the underbite wasn’t scary enough, he also has disproportionately long fingers, which is the fastest way to make someone look terrifying. In my opinion this guy is scarier than The Gentlemen. I find The Gentlemen too funny to be scary with their sassy little handbags.

7. Spike on the cross

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This is in the second episode of series 7 titled “Beneath You”. Spike has gotten his soul back so that Buffy will love him but it’s made him temporarily a bit insane (due to remorse over the people he killed probably). He has a moment with Buffy in a church where she finally realises he has his soul back and the last shot is of Spike draping himself on a cross and it burning him. It’s brilliant and heartbreaking and SO symbolic of the forgiveness he seeks. It is also the first of many times in the future that we cry for Spike.

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6. Buffy kills Faith. Kind of.

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In “Graduation Day” the season finale (part 1) of series 3, Faith poisons Angel to distract the scoobies from the Ascension. Angel will die unless he drinks the blood of the slayer. So Buffy sets out to bring him just that. Faith’s blood. They have this great fight and at the end Buffy stabs Faith in the stomach with Faith’s own knife. Of course, Faith escapes by falling onto a truck and Buffy has to make Angel drink her own blood which is also another favourite moment. These episodes really show the strength of Buffy’s love for Angel.

5. Out. For. A. Walk. B*tch.

Season 5 episode 5. Spike is in love with Buffy. She finds him lurking in her garden and asks him what he is doing there in “five words or less” Spike’s reply is amazing.

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4. Dark Willow

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One of my all time favourite Big Bads. Evil Willow. The end of series baddy of series 6, Evil Willow is a product of her grief, caused by Warren’s accidental shooting of Tara. She’s fantastic and badass and terrifying with all her flaying power. And she is stopped from destroying the world by love. When Xander cures her by telling her over and over that he loves her, even though she keeps trying to shut him up with painful magic…endless tears. I’m welling up just remembering it. A classic example of the beauty of this show.

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3. The Body

When Buffy comes home to find her Mum dead on the sofa, and realises as she says “Mummy?” is one of the most heartbreaking moments in televisual history. The episode that follows, “The Body” (episode 16 series 5), is a fantastic showcase of brilliant acting and writing. It goes from Buffy trying to wake her lifeless mother, to Willow being unable to decide what to wear because it’s the only part of the situation she can control, to Anya’s disbelief that someone she knew who was warm and caring is suddenly no longer living and can’t go back to her body. There is no music or score in this episode, and it is often described as one of the best television episodes, not just of Buffy, of anything, ever broadcast.

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2. Buffy kills Angel

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The number 2 spot is a tie. Buffy kills Angel in the season finale of series 2, “Becoming”. Angelus has opened up the mouth to hell and in order for it to be closed, Buffy must kill him. Meanwhile Willow is working on a spell to restore Angel’s soul. It works at the last minute. Angelus suddenly goes back to being Angel mid fight but it is too late, Buffy still has to kill him. It’s amazing because not only is it a modern day Romeo and Juliet (except where Juliet has to kill Romeo and live with the pain) but it also shows the strength of Buffy’s moral power, to sacrifice the thing she loves most in order to save the world.

2. The Prom

Joint second place, episode 20 of series 3, “The Prom”. This is a multi cry episode. First, Angel dumps Buffy. The worst part of that is that they both still love each other, but Angel thinks he’s doing what’s best for Buffy. WHY CAN’T THOSE CRAZY KIDS JUST WORK IT OUT?

Then later on at the Prom, Buffy has no one to dance with when she sees Angel walk in wearing a tux (omg) and they dance together for what they know will be the last time.

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Also she is awarded Class Protector and given that sparkly umbrella which is another cry moment.

1. I will remember you

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Number 1 is from an episode of Angel. Episode 8 of Series 1 of Angel, Angel gets turned human by some demons blood. He realises that as a human he can now be with Buffy and they spend a whole 24 hours together as proper boyfriend and girlfriend. But of course, being Angel, he decides he can’t be human because it would endanger everyone blah blah blah and he manages to convince the Powers That Be to turn back time so the last 24 hours would have never happened. He just has time to tell Buffy what is going to happen and it. is. EMOTIONAL. If I ever need to cry on cue, I’ll just think of that scene. Buffy is inconsolable and breaks everyones hearts by saying “I felt your heart beat.”. Angel tries to tell her that she’ll forget it all, and she is gripping onto him saying “I’ll never forget, I’ll never forget” when the Powers That Be turn back time. Buffy will never know what happened and how happy they were, but Angel will remember forever. If that doesn’t make you bawl your eyes out, you are incapable of tears.

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I know I have left a lot of great moments out, but I wouldn’t be able to fit all my favourite bits in even if it was a top 100. Also fun fact, during the filming of I Will Remember You apparently Sarah Michelle Gellar was actually really crying because she always wanted Buffy and Angel to be together. Those are her real tears. And I don’t know how true this is, but if you listen carefully to that scene you can supposedly hear Angel say “It’s ok, Sarah” instead of calling her Buffy. But I cannot confirm this because I have only ever watched that episode once and can’t bring myself to do it again.

Sorry for all the Buffy, but I will be back to beauty when I get back. I just love Buffy. I’d love to hear about your favourite scenes if any of my readers are Buffy fans. Just comment and let me know!

Paris Fashion Week SS15 Beauty Roundup

The last of the fashion weeks are over, and the summary for spring/summer 2015 is…well you’ll have to read this post and find out.

The beauty highlights from Paris are:

The Mermaid

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Sleep in your braids! The easy way to achieve this look.

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This one’s even easier to copy. Although not to be taken literally. I don’t think the hair stylist actually wants people to be walking around with wet hair. I think (hope) it’s just a nod towards the mermaid trend.

Jewel Tones

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Teal, purple (called it!) and gold. Seems like it’s all about the richly coloured eye shadows. To recreate the teal look, I recommend Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Liner in Junkie (£15). The Glide On liners come in 39 colours and anyone who has ever used their blacker than black Perversion liner can testify to their pigmentation and long wear-ability.

Neon Brows (again)

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This might be too much as an everyday look for some, but it’s a fun look for a party. You don’t have to use bleach or dye.You can just draw over them with the Urban Decay liners I mentioned, or with an angle brush and an eyeshadow. For thicker darker eyebrows you may need to go over them with a concealer first, before applying the colour.

And remember, ALWAYS USE A PRIMER

or your eyeshadow will look like this…

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