Monday, 27 October 2014

Real Techniques: Nic's Picks




Sam and Nic (pixiwoo) really do know how to make the best brushes at an affordable price. Mac
brushes are amazing but £21 for one brush is just crazy to me. Whereas with the real techniques sets you can get 5 brushes for the same price of one Mac brush. Having previously purchases the core face and eye sets I have been won over by the brushes ever since. I knew I had to pick up the limited edition Nic's Picks Set. I actualy bought mine from their USA site as even with postage it worked out at around £21.99 much cheaper than boots which is crazy. Superdrug do have them on offer now though so pick them up here.
 
The set consists of 5 brushes, 3 of these are exclusive to this set. I love the silver chrome finish and the matte black handles on them, they look very luxurious sat amongst my other brushes. As always the bristles are super soft and I haven't noticed a great deal of shedding.

 The top two face brushes you can see here are the duo-fibre face brush and the cheek brush. The duo-fibre face brush is one of my favourites already. It's super super soft and the bristles work so well at lightly dusting powder over my skin. I really love using this to powder under my eyes because it's so light to use and leaves your skin looking flawless!

The cheek brush is a great shape as it's tapered into a round shape, meaning it's great for applying blushes and bronzers precisely. It also works great with cream products, blending them in effortlessly. Again this brush is super soft and another favourite.


The angled shadow brush is designed with the perfect cut for layering different eyeshadows in the crease of your eyelid. Again it is quite a fluffy brush which does make it good for blending and applying shadows seamlessly.
 
The base shadow brush is one I already own from the starter set but even so I'm happy to have antoher. This means I can have a clean brush for layering different eyeshadows. The dome shape of this brush is very clever as you use the flat side to pack on eyeshadow and the soft bottom bristles to blend it in perfectly. If you've ever seen pixiwoos youtube tutorials you'll also see how they love to use this for under eye concealer too.
 
The eyeliner brush is one that I haven't got a great deal of use out of so far. I don't tend to use gel or cream eyeliner but I think it would be great to use to apply shadow close to my lash line. The bristles are pretty dense and it's quite a small brush and I found the eyeliner brush in the starter set to be rather long and difficult to use. I also think it's a great shape to use through your brows, so I'm going to give that a go and I'll let you know what I think.

 
What's your favourite brush brand? Have you tried real techniques?









 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Favourite Foundation: Nars Sheer Glow

 Foundation is one of those products I never wore growing up. I remember dipping into different products like the Maybelline dream matte mousse (blast from the past) but never committing to an everyday foundation. In fact, it wasn't until I started university that I would wear foundation for nights out but never in the day. I do believe that not using foundation for quite a while has left me with good skin in my twenties, I get comments about how clear my skin and I think this is down to not wearing face makeup everyday. But when I do go out for special occasions and nights out my go-to foundation is Nars Sheer Glow.


Now the name is the first thing that got me. It definitely isn't glowy and dewy as it sounds but gives you more of a matte flawless finish. I did worry about it sitting on my dry skin but it vanishes into the skin, rather than sitting on the top and looking cakey and really does make my skin look amazing. They have a great range of shades but I like to mix two of my favourites to achieve the best colour. This also means I can use both bottles in Winter and Summer as my skin changes. It really is one of those formulas where a little goes a long way, so it will last you a fairly long time and is a great medium coverage yet buildable foundation! I like to use a buffing brush with mine but recently I've been using the real techniques blending sponge (review to come shortly) which has been really nice too!
 



If you'd like to see this on my skin click here.  It retails for around £31 but it will literally last your forever and is such a great foundation, you wont regret it! You can pick up your Nars Sheer Glow from SpacenkSelfridges or even asos.
 
What's your favourite foundation? Have you tried Nars Sheer Glow before?

Monday, 20 October 2014

Motivational Monday: Workout Clothing

Good Afternoon lovelies! Now I'll be the first one to admit that new workout clothing gets me right in the mood for a good old workout and maybe to flaunt it down at the gym. But anything that motivates you to workout is obviously a good thing and definitely worth it in my eyes. Today I'm sharing some of my favourite fitness brands including the obvious Nike and another one of my favourite's Lorna Jane. I've also included some of my favourite high-street brands including H&M and Forever 21, who both have brilliant sportswear lines consisting of affordable yet great quality gym wear. Enjoy your workout!


What motivates you to work out? What're your favourite sportswear brands?





Saturday, 18 October 2014

L'Oreal Colour Riche Exclusive Reds | Blake Lipstick

L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Exclusive Reds | Blake | £6.99
Blake Lively has been gracing red carpets and front covers for a while now and with her gorgeous blonde hair and perfect skin she's definitely my beauty idol. After the success of Loreal's nudes collection it wasn't long before they brought out the beautiful reds, consisting of different shades of red lipstick from famous faces such as Blake, Eva, Liya and Julianne. Being a blonde and in adoration of Blake Lively I had to go for the 'Blake' even if I was hugely influenced by the fact is was  'Blakes'.
The packaging is chic and has a great pointed shape to the lipstick which makes it much easier to apply such a bold lip colour, especially if you're not using liner. I would describe the lipstick as a cooler toned red with blue/pink undertones, which makes your teeth look super white and shiny! Some people have commented on the smell of the Loreal lipsticks and they're obviously no Mac lipstick but I don't think they have a 'smell' and it really didn't bother me. It's a really beautiful colour and even though I don't think it's a typical Autumn/Winter shade I will definitely be wearing it throughout the Fall. For only £6.99 you really can't go wrong and I'm very tempted to go and pick up a few more!

Have you tried any of the Loreal Colour Riche Red Collection? Which is your favourite?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

No7 Stay Precise Felt Tip Eyeliner

 

No 7 Stay Precise Felt Tip Eye Liner | £8.00
 
A black winged eye is a classic look and I think i'll be sporting it so much this Autumn/Winter with a gorgeous dark berry lip. I'm always on the hunt for the next holy grail eyeliner and usually this takes the form of a felt tip. Felt tip's are great for those who aren't so steady with eyeliner. My favourite drugstore eyeliner is the Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner but when I recently ran out I decided to try the No7 one.
 
The packaging is much like the collection one the only difference being that the actual tip on the No7 liner is quite hard. I thought this would be great for control and to help me to perfect the perfect flick. The tip is quite small which makes it good for using very close to the lash line to make your lashes look fuller. If you want a thin controlled line this is great. However, if you want a line thicker than the 1st one on the picture above this is literally impossible. I found that when you go back and try thicken the line up it just rubs off the previous eyeliner. The formula also doesn't stay at all. It fades away leaving you a grey line across the top of your eyes, not good! I thought this would be the perfect liner to give me a controlled and perfected cat eye but I'm so wrong. It's such a shame because the felt tip nib looks great but it's a pity it has no staying power. I think for now I'll be sticking to the collection eyeliner, especially for a great price of £2.99.
 
What eyeliner would you recommend for the perfect winged eye? Have you found this eyeliner to be disappointing?
 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Gym Classes Explained

Good Morning lovelies, I hope you're all enjoying the weekend. I'd just like to let you know that Laura's Little Loves has had a little make over by a lovely blogger and blog designer called Lauren. She was great to work with and so co-operative, I'd definitely recommend her to anyone wanting a bit of a revamp, you can check out her profile here.
 
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So today I'm talking gym classes. Now I know that you're probably sat there with a fry up watching Sunday morning tv but maybe this might give us all a bit of motivation for Monday! Many people say that they have never been to a gym class because they fear they might not know what to do or just look a fool. But when your paying money for a gym with inclusive classes you should make full use of all facilities. However, I do know that feeling as I used to be scared of going to classes too. But once you set your fears aside you'll never look back to the cross trainer. Personally, I love classes because of the following:
  • Motivation: You're not going to give in or walk out when there's a class full of other people and a trainer. You want to impress and keep up with the rest.
  • Structure: In the gym you might find yourself not knowing what to do next or just spending an hour on a cross trainer watching the TV but you could be working so much harder and better in the short time of 20 minutes. You'll also be amazed at how quickly time flies.
  • Commitment: I put my name down for the classes I want to go to on a Sunday. Which means when Monday comes around I can't talk myself out of it and I'll make sure my ass is there!
 
There are so many classes out there so there will always be one to suit you, from treadmill classes to lifting weights and yoga. Here are some of my favourites..


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Metafit - Body Weight Training
A fairly new class which is a completely different concept to anything I've ever done before. Basically 30 minutes of pure working your ass off with a maximum of 20 seconds rest between each exercise. No but really, it helps to burn fat by raising your resting metabolism but also works major muscle groups at the same time. It's not only a cardio class because it consists of exercise which mean using your own body weight to work particular muscle groups. Some typical exercises are tuck jump squats, burpees and walk out press ups but for all of these the instructor offers an easier and harder alternative. I love this class, even  though the thought of it is torturous, you will see results and changes real quick (achy legs for the next 2 days aswell). If your gym doesn't offer metafit classes similar classes are: insanity, circuits and any plyometric training. Before I started this class I couldn't do a press up, now I've progressed to full press ups and even doing the variations!
 
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Body Pump
The Les Mills classes are everywhere now and have truly made a mark on gym timetables across the country. If you haven't heard of Les Mills before they are the masters of all gyms classes including: body pump, body attack, body combat, RPM (spin) and body balance. Body Pump is a barbell class which sculpts, tones and strengthens your entire body. I know you'll be thinking, what WEIGHTS, I don't want to look like a body builder, but seriously even 10 minutes of resistance training 3 times a week can increase the amount of energy you burn by 127 calories a day! Each track focuses on a certain muscle groups and you change the weights on your bar to suit your own strength. I love this as it's not as scary as approaching the free weight area and the instructor helps you to perfect your form in positions such as deadlifts, chest press and bicep curls. A great class to feel an all over burn without getting out of breath.
 
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Yoga and Pilates
Many a time people ask, what is the difference between these classes? Yoga focuses more on the mind and using breathing techniques to achieve relaxation, whereas pilates uses breathing techniques to provide muscles with the energy that they need for the movements. They're both great for stretching and strengthening (with yoga focusing more on flexibility whilst pilates focuses on strengthening) but I've recently turned to yoga for the 'me time' and relaxation it brings.  There are also so many variations of yoga from bikram (think hot and sweaty) to ashtanga (a fast paced sequence of movements, read more here. Once you look past the women walking around with their yoga mats and bare feet it really is a great class. I've found it's helped hugely with anxiety and stress and I'm going to continue in my path. If you're a little nervous about starting yoga then check out some beginners videos on youtube then walk in a class looking like a pro.
  
I know there are so many more other classes but I couldn't list everything. I'd also like to mention Spin or RPM is great for cardio and I do it inbetween runs to help with recovery, as unless you fall off the bike you can't really injure yourself.
 
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 If you'd like to know about any more of my workouts or any other classes or tips just let me know in the comments! I'd also love to hear what classes you love and would recommend for me to try. Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to work out this week, never miss a Monday!!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter








A few weeks ago I won a twitter giveaway hosted by the lovely Sophia at tattooedtealady and she kindly sent me The Body Shop's Sumptuous Camomile Cleansing Butter. Now if you've seen my Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm review you'll know how much I loved it and if it wasn't for the giveaway I wouldn't have considered another cleansing balm but I'm so glad to have tried it.
 
The packaging is lovely and I prefer it to the Clinique one as it isn't as bulky. It works in the same way as any other cleansing balm with you applying it to your dry face and then with the heat of your skin it turns into an oil consistency helping to melt away any makeup. I try to apply it all over my face first before rubbing my mascara off. It takes a little longer to take off your mascara than the Clinique one, especially if like me you love to wear waterproof. However, I must say I do prefer the smell of this, the camomile is really refreshing and relaxing. It works great for my dry skin, making  it feel clean but doesn't leave it feeling tight. I've also seen that those with oily skin find it great too as it helps to balance the oil levels on your face. At only £12.00 it's cheaper and dare I say better than the Clinique one and just a brilliant everyday cleanser.. You can get yours here.

Have you tried this before, what are your thoughts? How do you feel about oil based cleansers?