Sunday, 9 February 2014

Love to Love # 2

'Skinny' Baking: If you've read any of my 'Operation Disco Pants' posts, you will know my love of a food blog called 'Skinny Taste'.  I don't know how Gina does it but she consistently creates naughty tasting food in health conscious way.  I've spent my Sunday recreating two of her baking recipes - Amazing Flour-less brownies (with a secret ingredient, black beans!) and an old favourite, Mango Nut Bread.

Dune Dlocket Bag.  One of the prettiest bags I've owned, Dune's 'Dlocket' bag feels like it has been surgically attached to me this week.  I'm in love with how structured it is and it's beautiful deep red colour.  Unfortunately the red version seems sold out everywhere but can still be found in navy on the Dune website.

Dance with Dragons. I am a huge 'Game of Thrones' fan and have slowly been working my way through the books.  I've found that I've needed to take a small break between reading each book - I started 'A Dance with Dragons' this week and already can't put it down.

Pukka Original Chai.  I've been loving Pukka's 'Original Chai' this week - it tastes quite strongly of cinnamon and ginger and went beautifully with a slice of fresh-out-the-oven mango nut bread this afternoon!

Lush Rose Jam Bubbleroon.  This has to be one of my favourite products I've tried from Lush in a long time.  It smells amazing - just like the Ro's Argan body conditioner and creates a beautifully bubbly bath.

Topshop Blazer.  I loved how this white blazer from Topshop looked with my H + M faux fur stole this week.

Watching.  I've became addicted to 'American Horror Story' over the last couple of weeks, I'm currently half way through Asylum - have any of you watched it?  I think I'm slowly falling more and more in love with Evan Peters.

Online.  Eden's blog 'Sugar and Charm' is one of the best online discoveries I've made this year so far.  I love the idea behind her blog: 'add a little charm to the everyday'!

Lots of Love

Thursday, 6 February 2014

High End/Low End:Translucent Powders

High end/Low end is a new series I've been thinking about writing for a while and stemmed from the fleeting new years resolution of curbing my spending habits (I've failed miserably already).  The aim of high end/low end is to post about two similar products at different ends of the price scale.    While the products don't have to be dupes of one another, it's always nice to have a more affordable alternative! Translucent powders may not be the most exciting or glamorous make up product to begin with, I've actually found finding a good powder surprisingly difficult!  In a face powder, the three main this I look for is a natural finish (no additional coverage!), decent mattifying properties and comfortable wear.

High End.  Chanel's 'Poudre Universelle Libre' (£36) is a beautiful loose powder.  It gives a very pretty, satin finish to the skin yet still manages to mattify and set my make up.  I've recommended this powder to numerous people and always describe it as an instant halo for the face! The powder is buttery soft and melts into the skin beautifully.  While I mentioned that 'Poudre Universelle Libre' has a mattifying effect on the skin, it is not the longest lasting of finishes and I probably get about 5-6 hours of the semi-matte finish before I have to blot.  For this reason, Chanel's 'Poudre Universelle Libre' is my translucent powder of choice for nights out as it adds a lovely, soft finish to my make up and photographs beautifully.  I also love to use it as a setting powder for my under eye concealer daily.  

Low End.  When I need a longer lasting powder, there is one that instantly springs to mind: Rimmel's 'Stay Matte' pressed powder (£3.99).  'Stay Matte' isn't the smoothest of powders (especially when compared to Chanel's offering) however it provides a very matte finish and dramatically increases the longevity of my foundation.   It can be a little on the powdery side but despite this, I've never had it look cakey on my skin. If you have a drier skin type however, I imagine there is a higher risk of the powder clinging to drier areas. 'Stay Matte' is the perfect translucent powder for the working day; it's affordable, works well with my skin type and keeps my make up looking fresh throughout the day.

  I would love to hear some of your translucent powder recommendations!

Lots of Love


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

A Primer for Every Occasion

Before starting Magic's in the Make Up, I had never used a primer, in fact I probably wouldn't of been able to tell you what a primer was.  Fast forward four years and using a primer has become a necessary step in my makeup routine.  Using a primer helps prep the skin for foundation, ensuring the  skins surface is clean, the texture is smooth and moisturised.  For me, I have fairly oily skin and using a primer dramatically increases the wear of my foundation throughout the day.  However, there is a primer out there for all different skin types!

When your skin feels a little dull. Clarins 'Beauty Flash Balm' is perfect for days when your skin feels a little 'blah' (it's definitely not a product to be used everyday).  The Clarins 'Beauty Flash Balm' moisturises, brightens and tightens the skin, and if used properly can be seen to lift and sculpt the contours of the face.  The balm shouldn't be massaged into the skin; instead a thin layer should be smoothed gently onto the face, creating a smooth base for foundation and skin that feels youthful and radiant.  I think Clarins 'Beauty Flash Balm' is the perfect primer for someone with a drier skin type.

When faced with a long day.  While having an oily skin type has some advantages (delayed signs of ageing being the biggie!) one of the major drawbacks is the lack of make up longevity.  Benefit's 'Stay Flawless 15-hour Primer' is designed to help make up last longer, increase the appearance of foundation and refine the skins complexion.  While I don't think 'Stay Flawless' helps foundation last for 15 hours, it does help with my foundations longevity.  You can read my full review here

When you need to tighten the purse strings. I've read a lot of different opinions on Maybelline's 'Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser'.  I personally love it, however it took a couple of attempts to become familiar with the products texture and finish.  The primer is a silicone based gel and feels extremely slippery when applied to the face.  I've found it's best to apply the primer and wait at least five minutes before applying foundation.  This will prevent your foundation and concealer slipping but won't affect performance.  Rather than completely filling in pores, 'Baby Skin' blurs their appearance and provides a smooth surface for foundation.  

When you need a little something special.  My most extravagant primer purchase is Kevyn Aucoin's 'The Sensual Skin Primer'.  At £34 for 10ml of product, 'The Sensual Skin Primer' is not for everyday use.  Instead, I like to use it for special occasions - it's the perfect night out primer!  'The Sensual Skin Primer' creates a smooth, matte base, minimises the size of pores and feels quite lightweight on the skin.  Most importantly, it really helps my foundation last all night, no matter how hot the dance floor gets!

Two of my other favourite primers include Laura Mercier's foundation primer which you can read about here and Smashbox Photo Finish Light which you can read more about here.

I would love to hear some of your primer recommendations!

Love Nic

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Love to Love #1

Sundays are one of my favourite blog reading days, I love everyones weekly round ups.  As each week passes by, my beauty wish list grows ever longer and I always find new books to read, new music to listen to and new T.V. shows to watch.  I'm so excited to start my own round up series 'Love to Love'.

Jurassic Park T-Shirt.  I bought this Jurassic Park t-shirt from Primark this week and I'm in love with it!  I bought the t-shirt a size up and wore it yesterday on a trip to Kelvingrove Art Galleries (one of my favourite places) tucked into skinny jeans and Converse.  The perfect lazy weekend outfit!

Miffy Slippers.  Another Primark purchase this week, these Miffy slippers are adorable! They have a super cosy lining and are really comfortable to wear.

The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter.  Angela Carter is one of my favourite authors and I was delighted when Nick bought me this beautiful edition of 'The Magic Toyshop'.  It's a magical book that you may have to read a couple of times to fully get its complexity - I can't recommend it highly enough.

Laura Mercier Ambre Rose Lip Glace.  I've been loving wearing a bronzed make up look this week and 'Ambre Rose' compliments this beautifully.  You can see how it looks here.  

Paperchase List Book.  This list book from Paperchase has been a life saver.  On the right hand side is a larger, lined notebook that allows you to write a more detailed list and on the left, all of the sections are sticky notes.  I particularly love the tick boxes!

Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue.  I bought 'Light Blue' from Duty Free on the way home from Portugal last year and it has quickly shot to the top of my most worn list.  It may not be the longest lasting scent but it's perfect for every day wear.  It's citrusy, fresh and amazingly clean smelling.  While it may be classed as more of a summery scent, it's really helped to brighten up all of these horrid, rainy Glasgow afternoons.

Watching: 'Her' is one of the most perfect films I've seen in a long time.  It's beautifully shot, amazingly written, has a wonderful soundtrack and Joaquin Phoenix is bloody brilliant!

Listening. Kitty Daisy and Lewis (Baby) Hold Me Tight

Online. I've been obsessed with Daily Candy this week.  With beautiful photography, regularly updated content and some of the most amazing recipes and beauty ideas I've seen, it has quickly became one of my most regularly checked websites!

Lots of Love