Thursday, 30 June 2011


Hey Dolls :)

Of late, my favourite way to wear lipsticks is to pat on the teeniest amount using my finger, almost like a stain. For the last couple of days I've been particularly enjoying doing this with MAC's Impassioned. Normally, impassioned is gorgeously bright however, it looks equally as pretty sheered out...

I love how different the colour looks when used so sparingly. Also, because it's so bright, impassioned can take a lot of work to wear, from prepping my lips to using a liner, however with this there is no hassle, I can just pat it on and go!

I'd love to know which lipsticks are your favourite to use like this - another one of mine is Revlon's cherries in the snow...but I suppose you could probably of guessed that anyway!

Lots of Love

Thursday, 23 June 2011


Hey Dolls :)

When pushed, I would probably say cheek products are my favourite (shhhh don't tell my lipsticks) and lately, I definitely have been favouring a gold highlight.

This all started with my grad ball when I wore amber diamond with their original tan in 002 honey. Ever since, I've been raiding my make up drawers trying different gold toned cheek products. Here's a little overview of some of my favourite gold higlight products.

1. Illamasqua's Glint

Although I may not have blogged about illamasqua's bronzing duo in glint/burninsh in a while, it still remains one of my favourites. Despite much of my attention previously being directed toward the darker side, burnish (which is also very pretty though is a little more red/brown toned) I have recently found a new appreciation for Glint. It is a little lighter and is more golden which looks beautiful on the cheekbones with tanned skin. The pigmentaton is not as good as burnish however, in a way, this works in its favour as it creates a really subtle, but pretty, highlight.

2. Prestige Mineral Bronizing Powder in 02 Glam Tan

How amazing does this look in the pan? Similarly to glint, glam tan is marketed as a bronzer, however I could never imagine using this as I do my regular bronzers. As you can see, there is a beautiful gold veining that runs throughout the powder, which really does catch the light. The pigmentation is amazing, especially for the price, so a light hand is definitely needed. When wearing glam tan, I tend not to wear anything else on my cheek, it has enough dimension to work on its own.

3. Dior Amber Diamond

As I mentioned, Amber diamond used over dior's honey tan bronzer is my number one cheek combination of the moment. I tend to swirl all the colours together on my brush and apply it to my cheekbone which I can always depend on to brighten up my face when I feel a little run down and blahhh.

4. M.A.C Cream Colour Base in Pearl

I constantly recommend pearl to people who ask me about a cream highlight. The colour itself is absolutely beautiful, a golden pearl, meaning the product is completely free from any glitter. Out of those listed so far, pearl is probably the most natural and is one I choose when I don't want to wear a lot of make up but still want my face to appear a little brighter and more awake. As long as I tap the product onto my cheek I can apply it after my blush - just make sure not to drag or you will get a streaky cheek!

5. St Tropez Skin Illuminator in Gold

This is a little different to those previously mentioned. I use this all over my face before foundation which gives such a pretty luminosity to my face make up. Again it's much more natural than the first three which makes it perfect for work during the week. As you can see, the illuminator comes out of the tube a white cream until blended. If you like a more luminous but natural finish to your make up I can't recommend this highly enough.

Lots of Love

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Full Coverage Foundation

Hey Dolls :)

After my last post, I recieved a couple of emails asking about Estee Lauder's maximum cover camouflage make up, and so I decided to give a run down of my favourite full coverage foundations.

I want to begin by saying for a long time in my opinion, I used full coverage foundations in a silly way creating a mask of foundation on my face, which often left me with cakey make up in a matter of hours. It is probably only in the last couple of months I have started to use full coverage products in a much more skin friendly way. By this I mean, I rarely use the product over the whole of my face, instead concentrating foundation on the areas in need of some extra help. As you can see for me, the two brands that get full coverage right are Estee Lauder and Vichy.


I think the sale of Vichy dermablend must have seen a dramatic increase when Lisa Eldrige used dermablend in one of her videos. And quite rightly so...

Dermablend Corrective foundation is quite a fluid product that blends into the skin quickly and seamlessly. It covers all redness and blemishes on my skin easily without clinging to any dryness or becoming cakey. However, for me, dermablend has two main drawbacks. Compared to the others in this post, it doesn't last as long on the skin and by mid afternoon, you can definitely see some imperfections creeping to the surface. Also, there is a limited colour range, 15 opal is the lightest shade, and on me is quite orange toned. This isn't too much of a problem as I only use it on small areas of the face but would be even more of a dream to blend if there were more shades. This is where the cream stick comes in...

This was given to me by Ann (whatta babe!) and is a little lighter in colour to the fluid (despite being the same name, opal). When a foundation comes in a stick, I always fear that it will be thick, grainy and difficult to work with. However, dermablend is the complete opposite - it's really creamy and smooth and again blends beautifully into the skin. Also, being in stick form, it's a lot more convenient when in a mad dash in the morning - no mess! I actually find myself reaching for the stick more than the fluid. As for application, I use a M.A.C 224 to buff the product onto my face (unless I really am in a rush and I will use my fingers).

Estee Lauder.

Out of the four, double wear is probably the one foundation that I am prone to wear over my full face. As I've mentioned before, it's best to work in small sections as it sets quickly, which could cause cakey or streaky makeup. For this reason, I tend to use my fingers to apply it. I have quite oily skin and don't need to wear a powder when using double wear and it lasts all day. For me, double wear is the perfect work day foundation, I can apply it in the morning and don't need to worry about it at all as the day progresses. I would say the coverage is on par with dermablend but it's longevity is a definite plus.

Being the most full coverage of the four, maximum cover had a lot to live up to in my expectations. The coverage is outstanding, however I fear it would be so easy to get wrong. I could not wear this over my full face, instead I use my elf powder brush to buff it into the most needed areas, however it is definitely the most difficult to blend. As mentioned in my previous post, the formula feels quite odd, almost powdery, which can leave my skin feeling a little dry. It's quite long lasting, maybe a tad less than double wear on me, as it doesn't control oil as well.

One thing I have learned is, if using a full coverage foundation, try and mix it with an illuminating fluid...

The new St. Tropez skin illuminators are beautiful, I have the rose and gold tubes - in particular when tanned, the gold mixed with double wear looks beautiful! Similarly, benefit's high beam and moon beam are equally as pretty mixed with foundation - I always find moon beam to be the prettier of the two, though often gets neglected in place of high beam which is a shame. Clarins beauty flash balm acts as a brilliant base for full coverage foundations as you apply a layer of the balm over the skin without massaging it in before applying your foundation on top. This leaves a lovely, bright base!

Love Nicola

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Trying something new...

Hey Dolls :)

As promised, I recreated the make up I wore to my grad ball on Thursday using some new products I have recently bought. Before talking about some of the new products I've been recently using, here is how I wore my make up...

Face - Estee Lauder Maximum Cover / Prestige Skin Loving Minerals / Dior Bronze Original Tan / Dior Amber Diamond

Eyes - MUFE Aqua Eyes / MAC Carbon / MAC Old Gold / Chanel Inmitable Intense Mascarra

Lips - Chanel Rouge Allure 81 Insouciante / Chanel Glossimer 287 Aurore

Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover

Despite beginning this post saying I love all of the products I mention here, maximum cover really has me split. There is no denying it gives a ridiculous amount of coverage, it literally covers any imperfection, I even tried it on the beauty spot at the side of my eye and it was barely detectable. However, I personally don't think I could ever use it as a foundation - I tried it and in a couple of hours it was horribly cakey, despite using the smallest amount. However, when used as a concealer in small sections of the face I love it! I think it's the texture of the product that puts me off, it's so thick and almost feels like a whipped foundation (an extrememly heavy duty one) but when it settles it can feel quite dry. Sadly, I think this has been discontinued, I had a look online and you can still get limited shades on a number of websites (selfridges, debenhams etc) - if you're looking for a heavy duty concealer, I can't recommend this enough if you can get your hands on it!

Dior Bronze Original Tan 002 Honey

For the last couple of weeks, I have longed for a change from my usual pink cheeks and on a mooch around Frasers, I swatched Dior's bronzer in 002 honey. The bronzer has quite a subtle gold shimmer which looks lovely on the cheeks - especially paired with amber diamond as I have done above.

It's quite golden in colour and though it contains shimmer, it is very finely milled creating more of a glow than a shimmer. It is extrememly buildable and lasts the day without needing touching up!

Chanel Rouge Allure 81 Insouciante and Glossimer 287 Aurore

Finally, I believe I have found the perfect nude lip combination for my skin tone!

Rouge Allure 81 Insouciante is maybe one of the most beautiful lipsticks I have ever owned - though it is one I would never dreamed of trying. It's quite beige toned but has enough pink to balance this out and still look quite natural. Formula wise, it is so smooth and lightweight that you don't really feel like you're wearing anything. I would love to hear any other rouge allure recommendations.

Glossimer 287 Aurore is a new release from Chanel's summer collection and it is BEAUTIFUL! It's a peachy pinkgloss that contains the most amazing gold micro glitter that catches the light amazingly. It isn't sticky and lasts a good length of time - However, it is quite sheer so perfect for layering on top of lipsticks. Together, I think the two are so pretty and natural together!

Love Nicola

Friday, 10 June 2011

Oh, well. What's a royal ball?

After all, I suppose it would be frightfully dull, and-and-and boring, and-and completely... Completely wonderful.

Last night was my graduation ball and it was the perfect end to uni (though Graduation is still to come). When I mentioned I was going to my ball on twitter, a few beauties asked if they could have a peek at my dress...

My dress is from Monsoon and I think has just the right amount of embellishment around the neckline that I didn't need to wear very much other jewelry, just a simple ring from Orelia. My shoes are also from Monsoon - I really struggled finding plain gold formal shoes, but these are really pretty and actually quite comfortable!

We all had such a lovely night that included dancing to the macarena (which, when dancing to it, never seems to END), posing for lots of photos in the photobooth and finally munching a McDonalds in our dresses.

I never got a good photo of my make up, but I'll get round to recreating it soon in a 'what I've been loving lately' post as I've been using lots of lovely new things!

Love Nicola

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Umberto Giannini Glam Hair Big Hair Heated Volume Rollers

Hey Dolls :)

What a ridiculously long title for a post! I am in love with Umberto Giannini's heated rollers (despite their silly name) which I have used everyday since I bought them.

You get six rollers in total, comprising of four large and two smaller rollers. They are probably the biggest heated rollers I have ever used/seen which was why I was instantly drawn to them. Once switched on, they are ready to use within ten minutes,- I turn them on when I blow dry my hair and leave them in my hair while I do my make up and munch my breakfast which I've found to be the perfect time for my hair (around half an hour, however the thicker your hair is, the longer the better). With a spritz of hairspray the style lasts all day!

Importantly because of the size, these rollers are not designed to curl, rather they are to be used to achieve volume. Here is a before/during/after...

As you can see, the rollers add shape and body to my hair, using a fraction of the heat I normally would using straighteners or tongs. They have taken all the work out of styling my hair early in the morning! Unfortunately, due to the size and weight of the larger rollers, it can sometimes tug at the root of the hair which can be quite painful, however I've found if you reposition the roller and ensure the hair is wrapped really tightly this is solved. You can also see the length of my natural hair isn't particularly long and I can still use the larger rollers, it takes a little practice (and I'm still not very neat) to get the position right but persevere and it becomes easy!

If you like curled hair, these would be brilliant to use in conjunction with smaller heated rollers to give beautiful, bouncy hair! I got my set in boots for £30 - are you a heated rollers fan?

Love Nicola