Friday, 29 July 2011

Wedding Weekend

An ultra quick post to say little more than the big day has come, I am on official bridesmaid duty tomorrow for my brother's wedding and here is a little look at where I'll be. Am incredibly nervous about the whole thing as (sad as it sounds) since I've been ill I've never slept away from home, so over four years, and the wedding means 3 days away. What with that and having to take the dog to be looked after is making the whole thing very stressful. I don't think it is a coincidence that 6 of us in immediate family have chipped our teeth this week (stressful tooth grinding).

The wedding venue ( I think it is from Tudor times)
Fingers crossed my brother has a lovely day. What I am learning is that my mother makes an awful client makeup wise, she is so demanding! Plus it is quite challenging trying to do makeup on someone other than myself, and someone 40 years older than me who hates makeup.

As I can't get through a post without directly relating it to beauty, my brother is heading to Hong Kong and Borneo for his honeymoon and as I have been wanting to try BB creams for ages, does anyone know if he should be able to get me a couple easily in Hong Kong? Which ones would you recommend? To have any hope of him bringing me back a present I need to be very specific!

See you all Monday when I might have some pictures, depending on how hideous I look in my bridesmaid get up! x

Monday, 25 July 2011

Tee time in Sandwich

No that isn't a spelling mistake in the title, I am referring of course to golf. This has nothing to do with beauty so feel free to switch off now before I get into golf geek mode!

You may or may not know that in golf there are four majors a year and only one of those is held outside the USA, The Open. It is held at a different links course around the UK every year and I am fortunate to live right by three that have had this honour. The club I belong to sadly hasn't had it since 1932, but St George's, (women members are not allowed there) is only round the corner from me and tends to get it every decade. The town has been building up for The Open for months and months, but the actual tournament is just 4 days.

Golfer Adam Scott modelling for Burberry
Before I lose everyone right now, I had better admit that as well as admiring the very talented golfers, the main thing that got me interested in golf as a teenager was one talented golfer in particular, Australian Adam Scott. He has modelled for Burberry and is easily the best looking player on tour. To make this year's tournament all the more exciting, he became my next door neighbour for the week.

This is probably going to make me sound like the worst golf fan in the world but I really prefer the practice days if I am down on the course. Phones are completely banned and we had to go through security similar to airports which seemed excessive, and you could only take cameras on the practice days. There is no way my health would allow me to traipse all over a hilly course for 4 hours following my favourites so instead I chose to loiter around the putting green, 18th hole and 1st tee. If you really want to follow the golf closely, I find it better to watch the TV coverage, as it is impossible to keep track of 132 golfer's progress on the course.

The stands at the 18th green before the tournament started
It was Rory McIlroy's first tournament after his major victory in America so there was a lot of hype about him, and luckily I quite by accident managed to see him play with Darren Clarke and others at 6.30am one morning.

Rory McIlroy at practice

 To put it into perspective, my town is very quiet and tends to be populated by the over 65s, so when an international event like this arrives on your doorstep, bringing 180,000 people with it, it is quite a sight to behold. Although I studied in St Andrews and was there for the same tournament in 2005, the home of golf actually has hotels etc and is so much more geared up for something like this.

At The Open in St Andrews 2005, the weather was a lot better there!

Sadly the weather was diabolical, wind, rain and just plain miserable. The only decent day was Friday, when I had to be at Canary Wharf, so I saw less of the golf than I had wished, but the most depressing part is how quickly it is all over. By 6am the morning after Darren Clarke's emotional win, the signs were down, and everything was being dismantled. It is like a ghost town. In St Andrews it wasn't the same as tourists visited constantly and there was always a buzz about the place, along with the annual Dunhill Links. Lets hope I don't have to wait another decade for something interesting to happen here!

Couldn't let this post go by without at least one picture of Adam & I!

Makeup Mavens Weekly Roundup

For all of my taupe homies, look no further than u-taupe-ia aka Hopelessly Devoted to Makeup's review on the epic purple taupe that is Delicate Hummingbird eyeshadow. 
I know we are always on the hunt for that perfect luxurious, vibrant pink lipstick. Look no further because Lipstick Luvvies is in love with By Terry's Cherry Cherry lipstick. Talk about stopping traffic *wink*
Lovesong for My Lipgloss is really adoring her new travel companion, which is Hourglass Illume Cream to Powder Bronzer Duo. I must say, the stuff looks pretty awesome :D
Bridal makeup is definitely always something we want to perfect since we all want to look awesome on our wedding day. It's no surprise that  Mookie On The Bench has some great ideas on what items to use and it's a bonus to see her skills in action. 
Looking for an amazing concealer and treatment in one? Product Doctor is smitten with Le Metier de Beaute's Peau Vierge Corrector and see what a difference it has made for her skin.
It's July and it's always nice to find pretty, very luminous bronzy highlighter that gives a soft warmth to your cheeks. If you're in the market for one, check out to see if it really is Raspberry Rouge's alternative to Dior Amber Diamond. 
Since The Black Panties always afraid of warm palettes, she has decided to step outside her comfort zone and take the plunge on my first Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow in #5 Sakurakaba. 

Sunday, 24 July 2011

FOTD courtesy of my American friend!

There have been many reasons why my posts have been so lacking recently, mainly the golf (which I'll post about later) but also my brother's upcoming nuptials. I have been a very bad beauty blogger but to try and redeem myself, here is a quick face of the day.
What makes it special is that I have been using some of the products sent to me by my very lovely friend Jeanie of Makeup Merriment. She kindly acts as my Le Metier stockist since they cruelly withdrew from the UK but even better than that she also sends me items from brands I've never heard of before or have access to.

Products used in FOTD

You might also notice from the pictures that my eyelashes seem to have grown. This is due to eyelash extensions from Daxita Lashes that I had done on Tuesday, in preparation for the wedding. I am beyond ecstatic with them but have been trying to take the best care of there so this is the first time I've worn eye makeup since having them done. I'll do a full post on them once I know exactly how long they last but at the moment I would highly recommend them.

Now onto the products, although this is a natural look and doesn't show up too great on camera, it is the first time I've used Tarte and Julie Hewitt products. Here is the breakdown:

  • Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Mont Blanc
  • Chanel Blush in Tea Rose
  • YSL Colorama Metallic Compact Powder
  • YSL Touche D'or

  • Eyelash Extensions by Daxita Lashes
  • Julie Hewett Eyeshadow in Terra
  • Tarte Lifted Natural Eye Primer
  • Bobbi Brown Party Mascara (only on bottom lashes)
  • Le Metier de Beaute Eyebrow Pencil in Natural Blonde

  • Julie Hewitt Lipstick in Oona Noir
  • Le Metier de Beaute Lip Kaleidoscope in Ecumes D'or (bottom colour, only used in last pic)

Not the best blending skills ever but at least you can see the lashes and the eye colour a lot better in this pic

Can you tell I somewhat obsessed with my eyelashes?!
For the final picture I decided I couldn't wait any longer to try out my new Le Metier Lip Kaleidoscope so I added the bottom shade, which is the darkest, a bright cherry shade, and used it over the top of the Julie Hewett lip colour that I have patted on previously.

There was little to no skill involved in anything in this look, only one eyeshadow colour used and no liner, but I did take the shadow under the lower lashes. I haven't used Nars Sheer Glow for quite a while as in the summer I prefer to use Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser but I am impressed with it. Tea Rose is probably one of my favourite Chanel blush shades and I would not be without my Le Metier eyebrow pencil.

As a slight aside, I am nearly out of my Laura Mercier and can't decide whether to repurchase that or try out the Burberry foundation, that I think from reviews seems to offer a similar coverage to a tinted moisturiser. Anyone have any thoughts or tried it? Also, I have to sort out my nails for this wedding. My bridesmaid dress is a dirty lilac colour with an ivory band under the bust and the other two bridemaids are having French Manicures. I've been given free reign but not sure what to go for. I would love to wear Chanel Jade as a contrast to the lilac, but I think that would be an absolute no no from the bride. What colour would you go for?

Finally, thank you Jeanie for always surprising me with such wonderful things! xx

Monday, 18 July 2011

Makeup Mavens Take Five (one day I'll write Take That by mistake!)

The Makeup Mavens present makeup you may have missed. This week there are delectable delights from the likes of Chanel, Shiseido, Le Metier De Beaute, Chantecaille and Becca. One Maven shares an interesting post on the link between beauty blogs and spending habits and another offers you the chance to win yourself a gorgeous cream blush.

Want to win yourself some Le Metier De Beaute? Hop on over to Hopelessly Devoted to Makeup for a chance to win a beautiful Poppy Creme Fresh Tint.

Are beauty blogs bad for the wallet? Lipstick Luvvies shares her thoughts on the subject this week, so pop on over to her blog to find out if they are friend or foe to the bank balance. 

Lovesong for My Lipgloss introduced us to the newest additions in the Chantecaille range, Poudre de Perle and a new Compact Soleil shade. Check out her gorgeous swatches of Biwa and St. Barth's. 

Are shimmery, coppery shadows your thing? If so, you need to visit Mookie On The Bench for a brilliant review on Shiseido's Hydro Powder Eye Shadow in Tiger eye.

Product Doctor fell in love with Chanel's limited edition Topkapi palette. Check out her swatches of the silvery taupe, gold and rich browns and you'll see why.  

Raspberry Rouge discovered Becca's long lasting Eye tint's and shared a review and swatches of Baroque, a foolproof soft brown shade.

The black panties got to play with Le Metier De Beaute's Silk Road Eye Kaleidoscope. Head on over to see some beautiful swatches of gorgeous plums, purples and chocolate-y shades.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Makeup Mavens - what did you miss?

The Makeup Mavens present makeup you might have missed. Once again we give you a range of products by Chanel, Clinique, Becca, Chantecaille, Nars and By Terry. There's bound to be something to delight your senses! We even got a look inside one Maven's storage space!

Not directly beauty related (although she is beautiful), I thought you might like to see how my puppy has grown!

Neutrals boring? Not with Chanel's Fall Prelude Eye Shadow Quad! Hopelessly Devoted To Makeup gives us a complete look at the palette including EOTD!

Who says cake stands are just for cakes? Lipstick Luvvies gets creative with a unique makeup storage solution!

Clinique's Black Honey Brush On Cream Liner is a beautiful shimmering brown. Check it out on Lovesong for My Lipgloss!

Mookie on the Bench is loving her Becca Beach Tints. With choices from Guava to Watermelon, they're perfect for summer!

Product Doctor has your prescription for easy, beautiful summer skin with Chantecaille's new Ultra Sun Protection SPF 50 PA+++ Anti-Glycation Primer!

Is Rasberry Rouge happy about her Nars Happy Days Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil? Read her post to find out!

Can't decide which luxurious By Terry product to try first? Black Panties is over the moon about By Terry Ombre Blackstar Color Fix Cream Eye Shadow in Bronze Moon!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Q&A: Beauty blogs - bad for the wallet?

When I first began to read beauty blogs, and then eventually started my own, I'll admit I did so with the somewhat naive assumption that it would save me money. My thought process went something like this:

'Gone are the days of frittering money away on magazines to show me the latest products and wasting even more money on said products that never lived up to their hype.'

Along with that came the idea that I would end up with a beautiful streamlined makeup bag full of holy grail products, making me a far less cluttered and more organized person. I think the photo below shows you how that turned out!

One half of my unbelievably cluttered dressing table
It is plain to see that my streamlined makeup bag vision is a long way off!

Since finishing my exams, I don't have the revision excuse to put off tidying (well until August at least) so this last week I have been trying to create some kind of order out of the chaos of my living space. I feel so much happier when everything is neat and I can see the floor, but this rarely happens.

To cut a long story short, the process of tidying really brought home just how much makeup I have, and more surprisingly how much of it has been bought since I started blogging. I really love blogs and think they are a fantastic shopping tool, as well as the social element they contain, but they have been very bad news for my bank balance. It is like when I was trying to eat healthily whilst working at Pizza Express with staff food allowance, very difficult if you have a soft spot for dough balls!

I think my main problem is that however happy I am with a product, there is always a part of me that thinks there could be a better one out there. This is especially the case with foundation, concealer and skincare. Reading a variety of blogs exposes you to so many new brands that however happy I am with my current regime, I can't resist at least trying the latest next best thing.

Don't get me wrong, whether or not I read blogs and blogged myself, a large part of my disposable income would still go on makeup, but I wondered if anyone else had noticed a change in their spending habits since reading blogs or blogging themselves?

My beautiful dressing table being attacked by a combination of makeup and toiletries!
I have been slightly distracted this month with the upcoming British Open Golf Championship that is being held almost round the corner from me (I'm a bit of a golf geek), especially with the knowledge that my favourite player is staying next door! As a result, I've hardly read any posts or written any and my spending has quickly switched from makeup to clothes.

Is this just a coincidence? I'm not so sure. When I usually spend at least an hour a day reading, writing and tweeting about makeup, a Zuneta order or Chanel splurge seems almost par for the course, and bank statements get pushed unopened to the back of a drawer. A perilous approach to personal finance!

There is a direct correlation between the amount of time I spend beauty blogging and the amount of money I spend on beauty products, something I like to call beauty bloggitus, but am I alone in suffering from this condition? Have any of you managed to stick to a spending ban or specific budget whilst continuing to blog?

In the words of Oscar Wilde, 'I can resist everything except temptation'.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Makeup Mavens Take Four

Makeup Mavens present makeup you might have missed. This week we posted about the beauty of online shopping, Chanel polishes, luxury brushes, Becca eyeshadows, Dior bargains, favourite products of June and we looked deeply in the purse of one makeup maven. Hope you enjoy the posts!

Jussi's first bath (totally un-beauty related!)

Jenn of Hopelessly Devoted To Makeup was not all that impressed with the new Chanel nail polishes from their Fall collection. However, as you'll be able to see, sometimes it pays off to give the products a second chance.

Online shopping is definitely becoming more and more popular. Check out some of Lipstick Luvvie's favourite online shops and products that she found on the www shelves.

Christina of Lovesong for My Lipgloss shows us what's in her bag. And guess what product is one of her 3 must-haves (tip: it's all in the name).

The latest post from Mookie On The Bench might make you green with envy as she shows you what a great deal she got on two Dior products.

Product Doctor posted about her June favourites while travelling around Spain and Portugal (lucky girl). Some truly lovely products from Becca, Le Metier de Beaute and Chanel made it on her list.

Natalie from Raspberry Rouge showed us photos and a lovely look she did with the Becca eyeshadows from the Enigma palette which looks like a beautiful trio of everyday neutral colours.

The Black Panties tempted us with her review of the luxurious and very-hard-to-find cheek brush by a Japanese manufacturer Chikuhodo.