IMG_5093

The party season is well and truly upon us and out come the sequin dresses and most sparkly shoes. One of my favourite thing about this time of year is that anything goes; you can wear a glittery number out to the shops and nobody will judge. You can pop on a red lip without questions of who you’ve put in the extra effort for and you can pull out the most out there pieces and rock them at the office party. Now as an unemployed student I do not have a Christmas party, and so I chose to wear this look on a day out shopping with my friend (hence it looking slightly worn in, I didn’t have time to take pictures pre any wind/rain/scarf in face situations and so this is the real deal. I am so glam.

What we’re dealing with here is the super simple go to Christmas party look, with the golden eyes and a pillar box pout. To create my take I started with the Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Foundation, because I figured for a party you’d want a fuller coverage and something with little to no flashback, I then smothered on a generous helping of the Urban Decay Naked Concealer and set my creasy (not greasy) under eye work using the Hourglass Ambient Light Powder in Diffused Light. For a pick me up I added the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer for shape and warmth and was unusually heavy handed with my application of MAC Soft and Gentle Mineralise Skin Finish. After all, it is Christmas. I filled in my brows with a teeny weeny bit of MAC Omega Eyeshadow. For my eyes I used the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette and begun with White Chocolate all over the lid up to the crease before blending in Milk Chocolate through the outer part of the socket. I then packed on a fair bit of Creme Brulee onto the lid to make me look like a golden goddess before applying Max Factor’s False Lash Effect Mascara. For lips I used MAC Ruby Woo lipstick.

Do you like this look? Make sure to follow me on Bloglovin to see my #Blogmas posts everyday at 9am (GMT) and to see the next installment of my Christmas party looks!

the best products

More often than not, I can be found rambling on about or roaming the aisles for the best dupes. Often with hyped up high end products, drugstore brands catch on to the buzz and create something similar but more affordable; emphasis on the word ‘similar’. Most of the time i’ll settle for the budget alternative but occasionally i’ll get this itch to get my hands on the real deal to see if there really is a difference between high street and high end beauty products and moral of the story is that there is. High end options are usually made with higher quality ingredients making them a higher quality product; hence the higher price tag… You’re not always paying for the name.

I have literally gone on and on and on about alternatives for the hyped up By Terry Ombre Blackstars, and eventually ended up spending more than the due £28 on a number of cheaper options when I could have just splashed the cash and been very happy with my purchase. Compared to similar offerings from Bourjous and No7 to name a few, By Terry Ombre Blackstars are a lot softer on the lid, don’t take as much blending and last a lot longer. Sometimes I have to admit defeat…

Another thing I could’ve searched high and low for in search of something more generous to my bank balance is the BeautyBlender. This £15 sponge expands significantly more than it’s drugstore counterparts, feels softer on the skin, aborbs little to no product and washes well. Plus the shape is in fact completely unique.

Next in the firing line is the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil, a more expensive version of the Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer. Now, I word it this way because something leads me to believe that the high street offering from Bourjois actually came out before the Too Faced option, but nevertheless the more expensive item is much better quality, isn’t at all chalky and comes in a trio of chocolate shades to suit any skintone. We’re on to a winner.

Finally, the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors have been reinacted by the likes of Topshop and No7, each creating their own take on the squeezy gloss. The range from Clarins delivers a plethora of shades compared to the mere handful at other beauty stands, as well as having a unique foam applicator with nine pinprick holes for even application, rather than distributing all of the product to the centre… Clever. 

august favourites

I don’t know how I’ve managed to not go on and on and on and on and on about this, but August saw me taking a trip to the city of loooove. As well as holding that pretty great title, Paris also offered me great pharmacies and a number of Sephora’s. I went hard on my bank balance and picked up everything I could ever want, but because this is absolutely not a haul post, I’ve narrowed it down the the absolute best of the bunch. Allow me to introduce to you my August Favourites…

From the Skincare Stash comes a moisturiser which is the bees knees, or the creme de la creme, if you will. When someone says Bioderma, you immediately think of their Micellar Water, however Bioderma as a brand expands wayyyy past water and on Lisa Eldridge’s recommendation, I picked up their Hydrabio Riche. If Lisa loves it, so will everybody else and this lotion applies lightly but works wonders on tight feeling dehydrated skin. I’ve shunned the rest of my cream collection.

Let’s just take a moment for Marc Jacobs. If you don’t like his designs, you will love his lippies and if you do like his designs, you’ll love his lippies too! The price of this badboy took my breath away slightly but it’s so damn pretty I couldn’t resist. I’ve got the New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Understudy and it glides on like a dream, offers up a perky pink shade and looks oh so Parisian chic when you pull out the bullet from your bag. That magnetic closure though.

I finally gave in after buying multiple expected dupes and bought the real By Terry Ombre Blackstar. I opted for Bronze Moon (a light bronze/brown with silvery wet look shimmer) as an easy go to shade and I already want every other shade in the collection. Every single day since purchase I’ve scribbled this creamy dream onto my lids, softened the edges and been done with my eyes. Sometimes dupes just don’t cut it. There’s more of that coming later this week 😉

Lord have mercy my undereye bags have been beaten! My weapon of choice? Urban Decay Naked Concealer. Forget the Naked palettes, this product is an absolute show stopper, in fact it stops everything. Offering unreal amounts of coverage with a feathery lightweight feel, I’ve never looked so awake.

Finally for this months picks, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara has revolutionised mascara for me. It gives me long, thick, fluttery lashes which I can usually only achieve using faux hair and glue. I said it in my review post, but you really do need this mascara.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset I know that this is technically old news, and that there’s an exciting second edition of this palette out, but i’m just starting what I predict is a long term love affair with Too Faced as a brand. And so whether you’ve heard it all or not, today i’m going to talk about/sing the praises of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar.

Packaged in metal casing which looks suspicously similar to my favourite evening treat, Too Faced Chocolate bar is a palette of 16 buttery eyeshadow shades, enriched with cocoa itself. Colours range from neutrals to brights with subtle plums and deep olive shades bridging the gap between the likes of Strawberry Bon Bon and Haute Chocolate. The product smells like a chocolate surprise and while I probably wont be pressing Candied Violet onto my lids anytime soon, I may well bury my nose in it.

There’s a happy mix up of mattes and shimmers; mattes are smooth without being chalky where shimmer shades blend like a dream. (Can you tell I like it yet?) So far I’ve made a dent in Creme Brulee and Hazelnut but I already know i’ll be swishing on Cherry Cordial or Gilded Ganache come the time for a girls night out. I’m not usually one for mattes, but all bar Strawberry Bon Bon float my boat, my crease has never been so defined…

A great all round palette coming in a tad cheaper than the likes of Naked and with more shades. Have you tried anything from Too Faced?

Too Faced Better Than Sex MascaraThe name of this mascara makes me cringe beyond belief, but it’s so damn good it gets away with it. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara has made it’s way through the blogosphere with nothing but good feedback, and of course I was keen to give it a try.

Housed in pale pink metal packaging, this wonder wand is weighty and I can already see the pretty outer being scratched beyond belief. Luckily, it’s the inside that counts. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara uses a revolutionary hourglass shaped brush to grip onto each and every lash, providing a generous coating of carbon black formula where needed. It’s very black and delivers great length and volume to even the most stubby lashes, as well as holding any tool induced curl. I have had no trouble with this mascara smudging, nor have I had to scrub to remove it at the end of the day.

It is a more expensive addition to my usual favourite weapons, but I do think that this mascara is well worth the extra pennies. I just hope it doesn’t dry out too soon…