Monday, 22 September 2014

GAGA ABOUT BEAUTY: HOW TO WEAR MAC CRANBERRY




Mac Cranberry is pretty much a cult shade in the beauty blogging world, but not the easiest to wear. Although it is absolutely gorgeous swatched, its reddy tones can wash you out quite easily if you're pale or make your eyes look super tired. After trying out quite a few combinations here are my top tips on how to wear this autumnul shade and look as fabulous as it does!


Firstly, I never wear it alone. This is not a one-sweep shadow. I always use a taupe-y shade in the crease as a transition shade before I apply so that I aren't blending the red up to the high heavens. Here I used Mac Omega. I then apply Cranberry all over the lid and blend slightly with a 217 brush. I then take a smudgey brush to line the bottom lashes with it too. 
At this stage I still look like I've been rubbing my eyes for about an hour, so I line the upper lash line with a very, very, very thin line of liquid eyeliner and also use a brown/black kohl on the lower lashline and blend this into the Cranberry. You can see this on the top picture. I think bringing the colour slightly underneath the eye keeps it really modern and also keeps detracts from eye bags! I also add a little Mac Smut into the outer eye to create a wing and darken up the look, but if you're not used to a dark smokey eye just the Omega would be enough.
Add lots of black mascara to open the eyes. If you need to, a nude liner on the waterline would also stop you from looking tired. 

The complexion is equally important too. I make sure to use lots of bronzer to warm me up and prevent me from looking like a zombie, plus a little of Mac Stereo Rose to add colour without overloading and ending up with a bad case of rainbow face. 
I stay lipstick free on this look and just wear a little balm as the eyes are quite colourful. You could always go for a 'Your Lips But Better' nude too which would look fab, or go all out plum with a berry lip if you have the guts!


I used all Mac products here from my quad but obviously they aren't the cheapest, you could always use other alternatives. I'd love to know a cheap Cranberry dupe if anyone knows of one!


How do you wear colourful shades? What do you think of this look?
Charlotte x

Friday, 19 September 2014

GAGA ABOUT TRAVEL: 3 Spots you shouldn't miss in Paris

Paris is without doubt my favourite place on the planet (the Selfridges beauty hall comes a close second). Although I admit I'm not well travelled yet, Paris is a place I fell head over heels in love with from the word go and I can't imagine anywhere else beating it. In a couple of months I'll be heading there again, and so I thought I'd put together my three must-see things to do whether you're a new visitor or an old friend...


1. TAKE A BOAT TRIP
The first thing on most visitors lists is to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower to take in the views, which is of course, another place which is high on any Paris itenary. But every time I visit, the first thing I like to do is take a river cruise along the Seine. You can take in most of the major sights within just an hour, all with a tourist guide's snippets of info, but even if you've heard the history of Paris a million times it's the perfect relaxing start. I especially recommend this if it's hot, like it was this day (above), being on the water is just fab! Alternatively save the pennies, pack a picnic, and stroll along the Seine from the Notre Dame to the Champ de Mars for a couple of hours. It's the perfect place for a romantic lunch.


  2. VISIT VERSAILLES
Again not on the top of most travellers list, mainly because it's out of the city centre, but boy is it worth the 40 miunute RER ride. The train is overground which makes the journey more pleasant, and the palace is well worth the queues too. But the real gem here is the expansive gardens. I'm not exagerating when I say you cannot see the end of them (just take a look at this picture I snapped if you don't believe me). Take a mini train to Marie Antionette's farm for a taste of a real life fairytale, or just simply explore. There's something so charming about the whole place, from the hidden cabins to the musical fountains. Spend a day here to feel like a princess.


3. CLIMB TO THE SACRE COUER
My favourtite place in the whole of Paris. Look at those views. Sure the Eiffel Tower is pretty spectacular, but sitting here at the top of the Monmatre you can truly soak in the Parisian culture. My top tip- don't take the lift to the top, and spend an hour exploring the little streets and making your own way up the hill. It's filled with little cafes and restaurants that are a million miles from the tourist shops at the bottom, plus the oppurtunity for romantic photos is around every corner. Watch the sunset over Paris here whilst spotting famous landmarks in the distance. Afterwards, wander back down the winding streets and marvel at the bright lights of the Moulin Rouge. 

What are your favourite Paris spots? Where should I visit on my next trip?
Charlotte x

Monday, 15 September 2014

GAGA ABOUT BEAUTY: LIPSTICKS BY KIKO


If you haven't heard me rave on about this yet (and if you have apologies in advance), but there is now a KIKO in Leeds. Wahoo! 
I absolutely love the brand and think it doesn't get nearly half the credit it deserves. My favourite must-have item by them is the Gel Effect Top Coat, I prefer it to Seche Vite and that is saying something. Although previously you could'nt get hold of this outside of London, I now have one on my very doorstep and have managed to squeeze in two trips to the store already in the last week, where I grabbed these two lipsticks. Oopsy!


First up was a berry shade from the new Ace Of Diamonds range, which I knew I had to get hold of once Anna recommended it. And it is every bit as fab as she claims. The colour is your classic autumn berry, with a satin finish. It's so creamy when applied it can be done in one swipe, but then dries down to something with real staying power. I have only had to reapply after around four hours, and then a stain was still left so the reapplication was not a must. At £8.90 it's also not bad for such good quality. I've heard a lot of people calling Kiko 'drugstore', but I find it to be as just good quality as high end. 


(exotic shine lipstick in 03, ace of diamonds lipstick in 27)

Next up I also purchased a discounted lipstick from their summer range, which I have an eyeliner from and loved. I heard a lot about the Exotic Shine Lipticks, so when I saw they were on sale I picked up a bright orange-coral-red which is a fail-safe colour for me. Although I don't usually go for non-matte finishes, this sits somewhere between balm and lipstick which really makes it work. If you were excited but then disapointed with Benefit's balm releases this is probably what you were hoping for. I think it was around £4 in the sale.

These two are absolute winners in my eyes and once again have left me wanting more from Kiko. I warn you now, the store has so many shades and formulas you might feel a little overwhelmed at first, but it's well worth swatching to your hearts content and reading a few reviews because once you buy, you will be hooked. 

I'd love some more recommendations so please comment below with anything I should pick up (or shouldn't for that matter)!
Charlotte x

Thursday, 11 September 2014

GAGA ABOUT FASHION: THE BARGAIN FLOPPY HAT




I have a love/hate relationship with fashion (fashion, not clothes). I love some trends, but others I just don't get. And I much prefer to go with my own style than follow a trend just because it's in. I tend to like simple, classy and neutral clothes. You'll find my wardrobe packed with monochrome, khaki, camis, leather jackets, scarves and handbags. I'm all about the accessories. And for that reason a floppy fedora is a recent trend that is right up my street, but also something that's bang on trend this season. I've been wanting one for ages (in fact I used to own a tan one that I never wore, I must dig that back out), but never plucked up the guts. Plus the fact that they're sooo expensive, just for a hat, put me off for a while too. I've had my eye on this Miss Selfridge one for ages, but for that price, no way.
Then I came across this one in Primark last week, for a bargainous £8! I absolutely love the plaited detail, in fact I'd seen someone wearing it earlier that day and thought it looked really expensive. Although it would work in summer, I think it could look even more glam teamed with a leather jacket and a fur collar. And a Celine handbag, but that's extremely unlikely/ never gonna happen. I'm thinking I'd love to pick it up in burgundy too for an even more autumn-friendly version, so any more suggestions of how to wear it in the cold weather would be much appreciated!

If you've been lusting after a floppy fedora just like me, but don't want to commit to a more expensive high street offering I suggest hot-footing it to your nearest Primarni before these babies sell out!

What do you think of the hat? Do you have the guts to wear something like this, am I the only scaredy pants out there? Let me know what you think!

Charlotte xx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

GAGA ABOUT BEAUTY : CHARLOTTE TILBURY DOES THE 90S TREND




First up, apologies for the line across the first photo. I don't know where it came from, but by the time these photos were uploaded this look was long bioderma-ed off my face and the other options, extreeeme close ups, were scary to say the least. I also don't know where I thought I was looking in both of these pictures, but clearly not at the camera. Anyway. I'm a huge fan of Charlotte Tilbury as an artist so I knew I would love her makeup range with it launched, and I've been building a steady collection of it over the past year. This has only expanded rather quickly with the launch of a counter here in Leeds Harvey Nichols. Here I pieced a few of my favourite bits together to share my take on the much hyped 90's trend...

On the eyes I used the 'Colour Chameleon' pencil in Dark Pearl, the option suggested for brown eyes. I'm lucky that I have hazel eyes, meaning I can wear the shadows for brown, green and hazel eyes depending on how I feel that day (although really anyone could wear any). I love this rose-toned shimmery taupe, and the formula of these is just spot on. Super creamy but doesn't budge after about ten seconds, plus as a pencil its easy to swipe, blend, and go, on the go. I also added some of Charlotte's 'Rock n Kohl' eye pencil in Barbarella Brown to the waterline.
For the lips, I first lined with 'Lip Cheat' in Iconic Nude. This is a darker than I expected when I purchased it, but I really love it. I cringe to type this, but it's got that Kylie Jenner thang going on (not again). On top I used what is possibly my all time favourite nude- Charlotte's K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Nude Kate, a winner in colour, formula and staying power. It's slightly lighter and more satin than the liner, but makes a perfect match, and has been my go-to all summer. Pouts at the ready!


I haven't indulged in any face products yet, but I have the 'Wonderglow' primer and 'Filmstar Bronze and Glow' on my lust list. Any recommendations would be much appreciated!

What do you think of this look? What products do you love from Charlotte Tilbury?
Charlotte x


Thursday, 4 September 2014

GAGA ABOUT FOOD: AUNT BIBBY'S HULL

So earlier this week Tom and I visited one of our favourite places to eat here at home- Aunt Bibby's Smokehouse. The food they serve is right up our street and the atmosphere really cool too. Apologies for the photos, it was quite dark in there (all part of the vibe) and also crowded so I couldn't wapp out the flash without looking like some kinda wierdo. Not that the below photo needs flash for you to appreciate it's wow factor. 


Most importantly, let's talk food. I love it here. Anywhere that sells good pulled pork is a winner for me, but this stuff is really something else. I've had both the pulled pork and shredded chicken sandwiches here now, and both were juicy and so tasty, absolute perfection. Tom, as always, chose the biggest thing on the menu, the 'Lard Arse', which had two cheese burgers, a chicken breast, bacon, pulled pork, onion rings and salad (which he took out and gave to me). I tried a bite and can say it was absolutely amazing. Although in a lot of places I find the bigger plates to be lacking in flavour, this certainly wasn't. 
The real winner here though are the 'Aunt Bibby's' Fries. Oh my word. A mixture of normal and sweet potato fries (why don't they offer this everywhere) topped with pulled pork, bbq sauce and gooey melted cheese. Pure chip heaven. 

(my much smaller portion)


As well as the great quality food the prices here are surprisingly cheap. I think the mega 'Lard Arse' was around £13, including sides, and my pulled pork sandwich around £7. Altogether, with two drinks each, this only totted up to £30 for two. Bargain!
A mention also needs to be given to the special sauces you are given here, all different variations on traditional bbq. These are much runnier than normal sauces, but really yummy drizzled over your food. Treat them more like a nandos sauce than you would a dipping sauce. My favourites are the Louisiana Hot and Bourbon variations, but there's chocolate and blackberry twists for the more adventurous. 



Finally, what tops off the whole thing is that going for tea at Aunt Bibby's is a real experience too. You enter to an american style bar and go through traditional saloon doors to enter the restaurant. Everything is really what I call 'deep south' american, imagine yourself in the wild west or on Route 66. There are signs all over the walls, and the likes of Bon Jovi and Dolly Parton are playing throughout. If you're a Rock Of Ages fan, you at least need to come by for a drink.

All in all, I very much recommend Aunt Bibby's if you're in Hull. This won't be the last time I visit for sure!

Find Aunt Bibby's here.

Have you been here before? Could you suggest anywhere similar for me to try? What do you think of of my new foodie posts?

Charlotte x

Saturday, 26 July 2014

GAGA ABOUT BEAUTY: MAINTAINING A GORGEOUS SUMMER GLOW


If you didn't know already, I'm a slave to the fake tan when it comes to summer. Although in winter I can be a bit on/off with it, I just don't feel right without a tan in summer, and getting a real one is time consuming, probably not gonna happen anyway, not to mention not good for you! But a constant summer glow is also hard to maintain. Here I thought I'd share my routine that keeps my tan going and going right through the sunshine...

Day 1

In the shower : Give your skin a good scrub. This is either to remove any remaining stubborn patches from when you last tanned, or simply to give a smooth base. Whether you have tan on already or not, you need to scrub before reapplication to avoid a multi-coloured effect! Although it might seem like you're just rubbing it away, exfoliating WILL prolong tan in the long run.

After the shower: Moisturise all over, but with a very light moisturiser, concentrating on the dry bits like elbows, wrists and underarms, so that you're not too slippery but wont turn out like patchwork. A great option is The Body Shop's lotions.
Then Tan! I recommend letting the moisturiser sink in for ten minutes for the best results then slap on the good stuff with a mit.

Day 2

In the shower: You want to prolong your tan, so rather than scrub I just use a flannel or hands to wash, no scrubby loofa! This way you won't be seeing all your hard work running down the drain before it has chance to stay. This also applies if you rinsed your tan on the first day (usually I leave mine overnight).

After the shower: On the non tanning days you want to up the moisturing game with a luxurious body butter so keep dry patches at bay and lock in that tan.

Day 3

 Okay so today you can go back to normal loofa scrubbing to gently exfoliate and carry on buttering up. Continue this until you feel ready to tan again, then go back to day 1. I like to tan about once or twice a week, but really it will depend on what fake tan you use. Even if you use a daily gradual tan, I would follow a similar routine of gentle exfoliation and lots of moisturiser.

And that's it! Writing this up it seems a bit long and tiresome, but I promise it's not. It's really just tweaking your shower routine and committing to a bit of extra moisturising, which we should all do really anyway (but don't)!

What are your top tan-prolonging tips? What are your favourite tan brands?
Charlotte xx







Monday, 21 July 2014

GAGA ABOUT BEAUTY: THE ULTIMATE IN BODY SCRUBBING


Now summer's in full flow and us girls start baring our limbs more and more, our beauty regime obviously has to up it's game too. Keeping on top of tanning, shaving and attempting that last minute bikini diet, we're busy busy busy beautifying ourselves to the max. If you'll be shaving those legs and fake- tanning yourself in the coming weeks, having smooth skin is mega important to ending up looking more golden goddess than streaky wotsit. Trust me, I learnt the hard way. Apart from moisturising, body scrubbing is fab for getting smooth skin, and who doesn't want that anyway?

I've been a massive body scrubbing fan for years, buffing my skin a couple of times a week, and I've tried a lot a lot of products. And this Sanctuary Salt Scrub is easily my favourite of the bunch. It's really grainy which means you get a really good scrub, and the oils are really moisturising and lovely. Plus it has that gorgeous sanctuary scent. But what really does it for me is that unlike a lot of other scrubs this one is really concentrated, basically just a tub of oily salt, which means it doesn't just run off the arms in the shower if a little water splashes. The salt really sticks to your skin, meaning you can scrub and scrub and scrub as much as you like (which also means a little goes a long way). Afterwards, I have soft skin like never before, plus it's nice and supple from the oils too.

I realise I'm not the best at describing scrubs here, but this is one you need to try, and I promise you won't regret it. It's not going to break the bank, will 100% last you agessss, plus how gorgeous is the glass jar? I've declared it my all time favourite, and that's saying a lot from me!

Sanctuary Salt Scrub is £11.50 and available here.

What's your summer essential body bits? Let me know!
Charlotte xx

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

GAGA ABOUT BEAUTY: ANYONE FOR ORANGE-AID?

Orange is definitely the it-colour this summer. Clothes, accessories, lips and blush, tangerine shades are popping left right and centre. But orange is a daunting shade to rock, even for a bright lip lover like me. I've been putting many different offerings to the test over the past couple of months and I've come up with four gorgeous products that can rock that orange trend whether you want to be subtle or bold.

For a barely-there pop of orange, if you don't wear much makeup or just want easing in, Benefit's new Cha Cha Balm is the most subtle orange I've come across, but isn't very buildable, so more pigmented lipped ladies should probably steer clear. Still for the tiniest pop of orange this is a really lovely moisturising balm too that's fool-proof in application too. Next up is another sheer offering but something that packs a little more punch. Topshop's Sheer Lips in Play With Fire is a more muted orange, more like a salmon meets coral, so more wearable than a more true orange shade. However, this will still give a shot of colour. Another good option, and one with a little more orangeness, is Topshop's Infrared, a bright orange with a glossy, wearable finish. Finally, for anyone who fancies going all out on the orange lip trend, Mac's Morange is the most obvious choice. Slightly red toned, this is easier to wear than it looks, plus has a really brightening effect to the face. If you're worried about whether you can pull off an orange, a reddy toned one like this could be your best friend, and with a semi-matte finish it can be blotted to matte for more impact or left slightly glossy for less bang!

 (left to right: benefit chachabalm, topshop play with fire, topshop infrared, mac morange)

What are you're favourite oranges? I would love to try more so let me now what you love...
Charlotte xx

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

two eyeliners you MUST try this month...

 
For me summer is all about a bright lip. Forget dark smoky eyes, a pop of orange, pink or red is where it's at. So naturally a simple eye also becomes a daily staple. A thin liner or subtle cat flick is perfect for this but liquid and gel eyeliner isn't all that easy, even if you've been lining your eyes for years. Benefit's much hyped They're Real Eyeliner promises the easiest application yet, and I have to agree. You simply click the bottom to release the perfect amount of product, and the angled tip makes it super easy to draw a line across or stamp a cat flick on the outer corner, making the angling so so much easier than ever before. I admit before I bought this I thought it would be all talk, but this really is fab.
Another liner which I've been loving, and one which you can pick up in Glamour at the moment for on £2 (much less pricey than the £18.50 Benefit option) is Eyeko's Skinny Liquid Eyeliner. I accidentally picked this up in Navy rather than Black, but now I am so so glad that I did as I LOVE it. It stick comes across almost black unless close up, but adds a little something something to the look. Blue eyes would look amazing in this, plus it makes a bright pink pout really really pop. It also comes in black too, and for just £4 why not pick up both. However, what really stood out to me about this eyeliner above other is it's staying power. I've worn this though a whole shift of work, a shopping afternoon, and then went to bed with it on (shame on me I know), and woke up with two catflick perfectly in tact. That's nearly 24 hours perfect wear! Through the hot and sweaty months this might just be your staying-put best friend.

These are two eyeliners that I totally recommend this summer, whether you're a liner lover or new to the trend. A quick flick and go is just what you need to stay glam this summer without the effort, and is a perfect look which you can build up with lippy for a beach to bar look. Have you tried these liners? Do you have any recommendations I should try?
 
Charlotte xx

Thursday, 26 June 2014

the only reds you could ever need


Lately I've been revamping and de-cluttering my room, and I've been thinking about ways of streamlining my ever-growing collection more and more. One thing I have way way too many of is red lipsticks. Although I will probably never stop buying them, more than ten red lip products is really too many for the average person. In fact, I've shortlisted my favourites to just three key red lip products to help you achieve every look you could want without the heavy price tag.
 

1. The Buildable Balm: A red tinted balm is any red lip virgin's best friend. Plus perfect for daytime. The Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me is the best I've found; one layer is a your lips but better tinge, two or three and you can build up punchy, sheer colour. Summer red, check!

2. The Blue Red Liner: The winter red. These tend to be darker than your orangey reds and super flattering (really eye and teeth whitening too). It layers fine under orange-reds without changing the undertone as well as being gorgeous on its own. Now you could have this as a lipstick, but having it in a liner like Barry M Lip Liner in 03 also gives you the option to create a subtle ombre lip look with darker tones around the outside. Ombre = fuller, sexier lips.

3. The Orange Red Lippy: A failsafe and an all year favourite. Can be layered over the darker liner or worn alone for a bright pop. If you're feeling ill, hungover, or had one too many late nights an orange red lip like Nars Red Square or Mac Lady Danger can perk you up in a jiffy. Here your balm can come in to create another look, layered on top to create a juicy but full pigment look. Gorgeous in photos too. Or you can layer with the blue red liner to create a more true red, if you have some time on your hands.


So there you have it, a balm tint, a stronger sheer gloss, a blue toned red, an orange toned red, an ombre, a true red, a glossy take on both reds, a range of shades and finished for all seasons and all occasions. In just three products. I'm proud even if I do say so myself.

What red's do you rely on? What are your multitasking favourites? Could you stick to just three lipsticks?
 
Charlotte xx

Monday, 23 June 2014

the review: theBalm Mary-Lou Luminizer


 

I've been wanting to review The Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer for a while now as here in the UK it's not an easy to product to get hold of outside of London, and not one you're able to swatch or see in person. But there's no swatch here, I hear you say. Well the reason I haven't is because the swatch really doesn't do this product justice. This highlighter has to be the most natural in terms of texture and blendability (is that a word?) I have ever used, so much that it doesn't look like anything but a lovely natural sheen to the skin that is only obvious in person. On the face it is a million times better than the swatched (which are also gorgeous, fyi). Helpful, I know. But it does mean that it doesn't matter that you can't see it. Mary-Lou is one of three offerings, one more pink and one for more tanned tones. It wears really well and despite being really natural, it is very strong pigmented as well, so a little goes a long way and is very very buildable. I've been wearing this day and night, just adding more, and also taking a big brush to add all over glow lightly, I stress lightly. I've warned you it's pigmented so don't go in heavy handed here. It really does luminise beautifully just as it claims. For £16 full price it's not the most budget friendly but not the most expensive, and look out for offers on Asos or Feel Unique, there's always plenty of them. I really think this is a highlighter that will suit all as it isn't heavily warm or cool toned and is just soooo natural on the skin. You can catch me wearing it in this pic. 
 
After this I'd love to delve into more The Balm products, what do you recommend?
Charlotte xx



Friday, 20 June 2014

prep school


Some days we all find ourselves in a bit of a face rut. Nomatter what makeup we try, it just doesn't look its best. Or the products we're used to just don't seem to be doing it for us any more. I know for one I have these days a lot. But over time I've realised three key ways to avoid bad face days (I still haven't found the cure for bad hair days though).

1. Moisturise. I seriously believe there is no such thing as over moisturising. But before makeup it's one of those steps that is all too easy to skip in the early mornings, especially if you're oily and think this will just make the situation worse. But in fact I combatted my teenage oily nightmares with lots and lots of moisture. I actually find the more I try to dry my skin, the more it goes wild. Smoothing on a light and refreshing moisturiser like Soap and Glory Feel Good Factor Translucent BB Cream before your primer or foundation will make the whole process a lot smoother, dry or not. By giving my face a drink, I find I get much less patchiness and wear throughout the day.

2. Lip Balm. A morning prep with lip balm can make the world of difference if you'll be wearing lipstick, especially matte lipstick which I am a sucker for. Although any lip balm will give some hydration, putting on something extra thick like Dr Lipp's Nipple Balm for Lips (my holy grail lip balm) will get your lips supple and smooth in no time. I like to apply this while I do all other makeup, brush it off when I brush my teeth for a bit of exfoliation and then apply lippy. Dry patches be gone!

3. Tweeze. Obviously this one is not such a daily occurrence. But having well shaped eyebrows before you begin can make all the difference. It's not so much the shape or thickness that's the issue but the tiny strays that you often miss that once my full face is done can just make the whole thing look not finished. If you can't pinpoint just what's wrong, have a closer look at them arches. A couple of plucks and you might just be looking at a brand new you. Tweezerman Tweezers are the only ones I've found to pluck the tiniest hairs with ease.

What are your top prepping tips? As always I love to hear from everyone!
Charlotte xx

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

worth the splurge or resist the urge? glamglow mud mask


Welcome to a new feature I just thought up here on GAB : worth the splurge or resist the urge? I'm going to be testing out more expensive goodies to hopefully help fellow beauty addicts stop regretting those naughty purchases (I am only a poor student though so don't expect this reviews to be coming thick and fast, haha). First up is the much hyped Mud Mask by GlamGlow....

So what's all the fuss about the newest cult mask to circulate the bloggersphere? That's what I was wondering until I picked up this very expensive skincare gem, maybe the most expensive beauty product I have ever bought in terms of how much product you get. This baby set me back a whole £25 for just 15ml (which is around the size of a tub of carmex lip balm), and compared to my Una Brennan or Origins mask lover-lovers only offers around 5 full-face uses. I really didn't think I would ever fork out that many pennies for such little product, but after hearing that you can actually see it pulling the oil out of your face I couldn't resist. Plus I got £5 off (still trying to convince myself that it was a bargain). 
I've included a not so attractive picture of it in action below. As you can see it dries to a light green colour which tightens the face in the typical way. Think Hillary Duff's step-mum in A Cinderella Story (brownie points for knowing this reference). It does tingle on the face A LOT so if you're on the sensitive side I don't know if you'd love this, but it doesn't leave the face too tight or dry. Plus the tiny dots you can see on my nose, that's the oil coming out. It's kinda gross, but kinda cool too, and it makes me feel like it really is working. I would say make sure to feed your skin with moisture afterwards though if you are oily to avoid your skin going into oil-making overload. 
In terms of the effects, I've used this three times now and each time I have seen brighter and clearer skin which feels uber-smooth. I think it's perfect for prepping your skin for a special occasion or night out, but I'm not convinced it makes a lasting impact in overall improvement in the same way my Una Brennan Tea Flower Clay Mask has. Maybe this is just because I can't afford to use it twice a week with such a hefty price tag. 


Overall I really like this mask, and having tried it out on a couple of my nearest and dearest, I think it will work wonders for really oily or problem skin. I've been quite dry lately, so I'm not the target audience, but I still saw visible and immediate results. Plus there was no redness which means I could go straight out. If you have the extra pennies, this is absolutely worth a try, but once it's gone I don't think it impressed me enough to make me throw out my alternatives and repurchase. I'll be saving this for sudden breakouts, nights out and maybe keep applying it just to my nose to clear any clogged pores. I really feel that had it been cheaper, this could have been a holy grail product, shame!

Verdict: If you're oily, worth the splurge. If you have so called 'normal' skin, resist that urge!

Have you tried glamglow? What did you think?

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Review: Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette



Way back in December I first dipped my toe into Too Faced with their Smokey Eye Palette, and instantly it was love. Fast forward six months to some serious palette craving and a cheeky purchase of this beauty, the Natural Eyes Palette. This is a new version of their old bestseller but I actually didn't realise this until about four days after I ordered it and saw reviews popping up here there and everywhere. I'm a massive sucker for neutral eyeshadows, and have been looking to expand my matte collection for a while now. It was the top row (first three) shades that really sold this for me, but since arriving it's the middle row that I've used the most. Saying that, I've already got good use of the whole palette, I've worn it a lot lot lot. Every single day in fact. As with all Too Faced eyeshadows these are incredibly pigmented and easy to blend, plus the shades are super wearable. There's none of them annoying shades that you will never use and wish was something else that always seem to sneak into palettes. I like that there isn't too many light shades in here, as I'm a smokey kinda gal, but Silk Teddy is a gorgeous highlight and Heaven makes the perfect base shade or matte highlight. Also, I love that Nudie comes in a larger size as matte light browns are my most used shadows by far, for bases, under eye smudges, or subtle crease definition. It also makes a fab transition colour to prevent block shadow.I must admit I kinda wish there was a matte black in there, but I know that's not a shade most people look for. At £32, it's not cheap but for the amount I will use it I don't consider it ridiculous either.  

It's also so slim and sleek but with the normal size shadows which makes it perfect for travelling. I've been taking it out with me during the day, and that's saying something for me as I never carry makeup. You ain't gonna find me trekking around with a Naked Palette, but this one hasn't left my side.

If you have any extra pennies and fancy treating yourself, I can't recommend this more. I'd go as far as saying this baby is my new best friend. Does that make me crazy?

The Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette is £32, available here.

Charlotte xx

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

a tale of two bronzers...



It's fair to say I've been on a bit of a bronzer binge lately. First it was contours, then it was Nars Laguna, now it's two of MUA's bronzer offerings. Although I don't usually try the budget drugstore brands, after my Makeup Revolution success and being pleasantly surprised by Sleek blushers (turns out everyone was right about them) I dipped another toe into MUA. I admit I would have tried more from this brand before but the stands in Superdrug are always empty, does anyone else have this issue a lot with Superdrug in general?

Anyway, on to the review. The first one I tried was the Mosaic Bronzer which has a really lovely patterny bronze in different colours. As you can see with the swatch, its quite subtle with more of a sheen than a shimmer, but as you might tell from the pictures it has a lot of pink tones in it. All over my face this pink hue just doesn't look right, but I am absolutely loving it as a subtle blush. Girls who don't love blush, this is for you. Its sooo pigmented one swipe is all you need, and it just gives a really nice glow which complements the bronzer perfectly. A hidden gem although not for what it thinks it is!

Mua Mosaic Powder Sunkissed Bronzer, £2.50



Say hello to my favourite bronzer of the moment. I bought this on a whim as it was absolutely huge, only £3, and unlike most drugstore bronzers it is completely shimmer free and quite cool toned. I've been applying this with a giant fluffy brush over the high points of the face to look subtly and naturally bronzed, but a little buffed into the hollows of the cheeks looks perfectly natural too. Plus I love how big it is, perfect for one swirl and go. Plus the pattern is pretty cool too. I urge you to pick this up just to try it, it's a dark horse that deserves a hype. Love it!

Mua Bronzer Bronzed Perfection £3.00, here

At just £5.50 for the pair, it would be a crime not to...



Charlotte xxx

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

whats on my face? effortless glamour that stays put!


I'm not one for doing makeup tutorials really, the thought of me on video scares me way too much at the moment! However, I love reading what products other people use and see them in action so here's my version of a tutorial, more of a Whats On My Face...

I personally love this look but it's not one I do all that often but I think a subtle eyeliner flick and red lip is so classy and glamorous, but also looks quite effortless. It also goes perfect with my favourite outfits which are usually very black. Boring eh!

For the base I used Mac Studio Fix as I was going out for a meal and then clubbing, so I needed something that would stay, but any base would do for a daily look. Next I used Benefit Brow Zings as per usual to fill my brows. Nothing too out of the ordinary so far. 

But for the cheeks I used a new product of mine, the Illamasqua Sculpting Duo which I am a little in love with, it's so natural but as you can see above makes an impact. The highlighter gives the most natural sheen and is one of the most skin-like shades I have come across. To line the eyes I used another Illamasqua favourite in their Gel Eyeliner, with a Models Own angled liner brush, and then slightly shaded the socket line with a dark brown shadow and blended well. Any would do, as with all the products really, but my personal favourite is from Urban Decay's Naked Basics. On the lower lash line i used a little black eyeshadow from the same palette to smoke it up slightly and rebalance my eyes (I look really wierd with only top eyeliner). I only went for a subtle flick as I was shading underneath, but if you can wear it bigger is better in my opinion! Finished with lashings of Lancome Hypnose

On the lips I went for a new favourite, Bourjois's Velvet Rouge in Hot Pepper, which I've raved about enough already. I finished off with a little Max Fix + to set it all in place and headed out for a night on the tiles!

I love this look as it's so simple but glamorous! Do you have a favourite quick and easy night out face? Let me know!

Love Charlotte xxx

Sunday, 11 May 2014

makeup revolution haul...


After the success of the Iconic 3 dupe for Urban Decay's Naked 3 which I raved about here, I thought a little Makeup Revolution haul was in order. There's quite a lot to discuss here so I'll get down to it...

Essential Shimmers Palette- I didn't need any more naked dupes (although I admit I was tempted) so I thought I'd go for one of the more original offerings. I didn't want anything with too many mattes as we all know budget mattes aren't the best so instead I went for this. The quality is really lovely again, especially as this only cost £4, all a decent size and easy to use. I have found them all to be a little warm in tone, not that this is a bad thing but something to be aware of if you wanted something cooler. There's lots of golds and amber variations in here. 

Awesome Eyeshadow and Eyebrow Palette Disappear Till Tomorrow- Wow, that's a mouthful. This one is another popular one among bloggers, and I can see why as it has a nice mix of easy shimmer and matte neutrals with darks and lights, allowing you to go subtle or dramatic depending on what you fancy. Although I don't know anyone with yellow eyebrows, the darker brow shade is also fab to for filling in and it's really nice to have it a palette with shadows. It makes it super easy for travelling and that's what I've been reaching for every time I wanted to take makeup away with me lately. The name says it all really - you can pop this easily into even a small bag and disappear till tomorrow. A travel hero. 

Eye Dusts- These pigments have really impressed me. I love the high density finish you get with using pigments instead of shadows and even though only £1 these are no different. They can be blended to give a soft finish or pressed into the lid for full on colour and unlike a lot of pigments out there these come in nice neutrals as well as the regular bright paint box colours too. I picked up Virtuous and Agonise, but I can see a lot more of these coming my way. 

Blushers- I picked up one powder blusher for £1, in Wow. This is a bright pink shade that requires a light hand to apply. Lovely and pigmented, although not the best at blending. I like this for looks with more simple eyes and lips where the blush can do to the talking. The baked blushers impressed me much more, they are so so pigmented. I picked up Hard Day and Loved Me The Best, which are both shimmery pinks that work well on the cheekbones as a blushy-highlight. To be honest once blended both are very similar, with Loved Me The Best just providing a little more warmth. They remind a lot of Mac Skinfinishes, but without the hefty price tag. Picking up at least one of these is a must. 

Pink Lights Highlighter- I'm not sure why this is called pink lights as it's actually a very unique lilac shade, very cool in tone. Everyone is raving about this but I'm not so sure, it seems to be a bit too silvery on my skin, although I can't fault the amazing pigmentation. I imagine pale skintones will suit this perfectly. Despite the colour I like the formula and will be trying the other colours in the future.

Again I'm really impressed with this brand and left wanting more. Let me know what you think of Makeup Revolution...

Charlotte xxx

Thursday, 8 May 2014

worth the hype? nars laguna





I recently gave in to all the hype around Nars Laguna and made a purchase, although what I make of it might not be what you're all expecting.
 First off, Nars packaging, need I say more? Beautiful and simple as always. I also really like the tone of this bronzer, not too orange (although not suitable for contouring my skin) and really subtle. But I also found this a little too subtle. I wouldn't say I had a medium skin tone but I seem too dark for this to really show up without building up a good few layers of the stuff. I much prefer a big sweep with a big ol' powder brush for a wash of colour. I still do like it, especially for pale days, maybe in Winter this will get more of a look in. But it just hasn't been love at first swipe like I expected. The formula is buttery soft, but I wanted a little more pigmentation in there which I just didn't get when I applied it to my face. Don't get me wrong I like it, but it won't be my go-to bronze this summer, especially not with the high price tag. I'll be in no hurry to repurchase. Sorry Nars, I dostill love you, but Laguna doesn't love me!

What do you think of Nars Laguna? What's your holy grail bronzer?
Charlotte xxx

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

dug out from the stash: soap and glory arch de triump



I'm about to make a not so secret confession. I am a beauty hoarder. Hardly breaking news. But here in a new feature on GAB I've decided to hunt through my stash from time to time to bring you the best bits from a very big collection that seem to have got lost along the way. If you're a fellow blogger, or fellow hoarder, you'll probably be all too familiar with getting caught up with the hype or in a trend, loving a product for a couple of months then moving on to the next thing. Or in the never-ending search for bigger and better things, our once favourites get a little bit neglected. Soap and Glory's Arch de Triumph is a perfect example. 

First things first, what an amazing product name. Ten out of ten for another brilliant play on words from S&G. Probably one of the first brow pencils I ever bought, this pencil houses a brow pencil on one end which is a really nice cool shade, perfect for my (and I imagine a lot of people's ) natural shade as it isn't too warm. Its also quite hard in texture, which I really like in a pencil for brows as it allows you to draw on tiny lines to fill in areas unlike some softer offering which end up as once big dark line. The only niggle I have is that it is a tiny bit thick for me, I prefer a thinner offering. But the reason I really love this product is the highlighter end. It's gorgeously creamy and unlike a lot of highlighters really matte which makes it really natural when blended into the brow bone or even down the nose and center of the face, contour style. It's really good for contouring the T-zone as you won't leave people wondering if you're looking Kardashian-esque or just a bit too oily, as some shimmers can. I wouldn't it on the cheekbones, simply as it's too small. The colour is a dead ringer for Benefits High Brow highlighter pencil, and in fact the packaging in quite similar too, with both Soap and Glory and Benefit rocking that kitsch retro thang. 
But why buy this over High Brow (which I also love, FYI)? The price. Both products perform exactly the same, but at £9 Arch de Triumph is £6.50 cheaper than benefit with the added bonus of a brow pencil too. The fact that it's double ended also makes it great for travelling. 

I'm so glad I had a rake through my stash and put this baby back into my everyday makeup bag, I'm really loving it. Although I don't think the brow pencil is about to give my powder a run for it's money, the highlighter is once again a daily staple. 

Find Arch de Triumph here, for £9. 


Charlotte xxx


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

bourjois rouge edition velvet matte liquid lipsticks



Say Bonjour to my new favourite French beauty products! These new liquid lipsticks are like lipgloss that dries to a velvet finish, very matte but not drying on the lips like typical matte liquids, more velvety, with a satin like finish. These are the most long lasting lipsticks I've tried, lasting right through dinner, brushing my teeth and a good 6 hours after that. I am amazed! The colours are really pigmented too, as you can see, but I do wish Bourjois had gone a bit more out-there with their shades, putting in a purple or more nudes, or a popping on-trend orange. Whine over, I really do love these. The one's pictured above are Peach Club, Hot Pepper and Frambourjois. Peach Club is a lovely subtle peach but still bright, for those who are a little shy when it comes to bright lips. Hot Pepper is a bright bright orange-red which is right up my street, my favourite of the bunch, and Frambourjois is a nice reddy-pink with I thought was a little more wearable than the other pink offering, Pink Pong. I can see me collecting the other shades very soon, although annoyingly I can only find 6 of the 8 shades on sale anywhere! What's with that?

If you try one thing in the next few weeks, make it these.

At £8.99 they aren't the cheapest lip offering on the high street but are quite unique and amazing quality. You can also pick them up on 3 for 2 at Boots at the moment, or Superdrug Buy One Get One Half Price. Find them here, or here.

Love,
Charlotte xxx


Saturday, 26 April 2014

the budget contour : sleek face contour kit


It seems to have been budget-central here at GAB lately, after chasing cult products and visiting Mac way too much lately I've turned my hand to a bit of bargain hunting. You've already heard about my love for new budget brand Makeup Revolution here, but I also had my first dip into Sleek products last week in a little Superdrug haul. One product that has been raved about a lot is the Sleek Face Form Palette, but it was out of stock and I'm not a big blush girl, so I went for the smaller contouring palette, at £6.49. I'm a big big fan of contouring, in fact I rarely leave the house without a little help shaping and sculpting my face. But finding a budget bronzer which is grey-toned enough to leave you looking sculpted and not selectively tangoed isn't the easiest task. Enter Sleek. 
It comes with two powders, one for sculpting under the cheekbone to create a natural shadow, and a highlighter to brighter the tops of the cheeks. The sculpting powder is a lovely grey toned brown, although this one is light and rather dark for a 'light' shade so I'm not sure super-pale beauties would have much luck with this. I'm semi-pale and its works just right for me. It's not too dark however that you can go awfully wrong, just keep a light hand in mind. It's also shimmer free creating a natural look. The highlighter is really beautiful and rather shimmery natural shade -don't be using this to contour your nose- but adds a gorgeous sheen which can be blended to a subtle finish or built up for more dramatic looks. 
I was also pleasantly surprised at the packaging- compact, smooth, and dare I say sleek? It reminds me of Nars packaging quite a lot. If I was picky I wish the highlighter was a tad smaller and sculpt powder a little bit, but for £6.49 who can complain? If you're into blushers I'd recommend picking up the full Face Form palette as at £10 its a steal too! I can see this becoming a handbag staple, much easier to carry than a bronzer and highlighter....
Buy it here.
Have you tried any Sleek products? Do you love this contour palette as much as me? I would love some recommendations to try out more from the brand!

Love Charlotte xxx

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

a new obsession


Say hello to the new brand on the street, Makeup Revolution. It only came out of the beauty woodwork last week but if you haven't heard about it yet, where on earth have you been?!

The main product the bblogging world has raved about is this, the Iconic 3 palette, a stellar dupe for Urban Decay's Naked 3. And I have to jump right on the bandwagon and tell you how amazing this is. Looking at the pictures above it is easy to see just how much of a dupe this is - colour for colour. And the colours really are pretty much the same, as you can see. You can't even tell the difference between the shimmers, and the mattes are only very very slightly different. The Makeup Revolution swatches are on the left above. The quality of course isn't quite the buttery formula of UD, but it's still really really good for an brand, never mind the £4 price tag! I also don't think the packaging is bag for such a budget brand. I'm totally in love with this product and can't wait for more from the brand, after trying this out on my eyes and seeing how well it performed I went straight back to Superdrug and ordered a whole lot more products. Seen as I already own all the Naked's, I've passed this on to my younger sister to stop her borrowing mine all the time. If you were thinking of picking up any of the Nakeds, I'd seriously consider purchasing these instead. You could have all three palettes for £12, a third of the price of just one from Urban Decay!

Available here, with free delivery over £10.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

new brush storage!


Say hello to the newest addition to my ever-expanding brush storage. Perfectly matching my muji and other acrylic storage I already use, including far too many ebay lipstick stands, this baby is perfect for organising my brushes into different sections while keeping them all in one place. No more lugging around five different pots or trying to find the right brush amongst a million. 
Here I've gone for base brushes on the left, all powder/blush/bronzer types in the middle and eye brushes on the right. It's really helped me in the mornings as I can move through them stage by stage. Plus, there's so much more room in there for new brushes, how convenient. Queue new wishlist of brushes I need to fill those empty spaces. 

I picked this up at TK Maxx for £5.99, what a bargain. There was plenty of different shapes and sizes on offer, I suggest you get to the nearest store fast as I can see these flying off the shelves!

Love Charlotte
xxx

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Lustlist #7 Out of my reach


You might call it greedy. You might call it plain stupid. I call it having aspirations. 
Whatever it is, the lustlist is definitely way out of my reach right now. 


Micheal Kors Bag / £170 / I will have this eventually. I now have a mug in my room that I'm collecting spare change and the odd fiver in. Every little helps. 

Nars Matte Multiples/ £30 / So gorgeous but so pricey at thirty quid for such a small product. I know they're really pigmented and will perform so well, but without swatching I can't quite convince myself to buy just yet. 

Models Own Polishes / £5 / Okay so this one is possible. After the success of Models Own Polish for Tans last week my love for Models Own has very much been rekindled. Now I just want more and more.
Nars Contour Blushes/ £30 / I can't really have a matte multiple and this now can I? They essentially will do the same job, so I think it's another wait until I can see them in person and I might just have to get one, or both.

Illamasqua Gel Liner / £18.50 / I'm on the hunt for a new holy grail dramatic liner. Every time I come home I borrow this from my Mum, it's so easy to use with an angled brush, dries really quick and stays put all day. It's love.

Bobbi Brown Gel Liner / £17.50 / This is the gel liner alternative if I decide to try something new, every bblogger and their dog has raved about it so maybe I should go for that instead. Suggestions please. 

Kate Spade Phone Case / £30 / I spied this in the store at Westfield's in London and fell in love. The only problems are the price, the fact I already own far too many cases including a Marc Jacobs one, and the fact that Kate Spade is so difficult to get your mitts on. Actually that last one is probably a good thing. The bags are gorge too.


I think I'll be lusting after these beauties for a while yet...
Charlotte xx

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