Monday, 23 July 2012

Real Techniques: The Core Collection & Starter Set

 Groan, not another Real Techniques brush post... I don't consider myself a "beauty blogger" at all, nor am I a professional make-up artist. I am simply a teenage girl who just enjoys putting on make-up - easy as that! I recently sold my old mobile phone and with the money I received for it I could afford to treat myself on these brushes I've been coveting after for quite some time. The Pixiwoo girls (Samantha and Nicola Chapman), if you don't know are two professional make-up artists who also have their own YouTube channel where they provide easy to follow make-up looks. I've always lusted after the gorgeous brushes that Samantha created with Real Techniques so when they were launched in Boots earlier this year, I've been waiting for the day when I could finally pick them up! I initially purchased the Stippling Brush back in April and have been using it for my foundation. I've loved using it however recently have found it can leave faint streaks on my face so I tend to smooth them out with my fingers. So I felt it was time to purchase these new brushes to improve my complexion. At £21.99 each for these two kits, as a student this feels like an awful lot of money to spend on make-up brushes. I've never really been one for make-up brushes, simply using my fingers for foundation and cream blush and creamy based eye shadows. However these brushes are actually an excellent investment as each brush has multi-purposes and are also incredibly good quality.
The Core Collection is a set of four make-up brushes used primarily for your face. From left to right we have the Contour Brush, Pointed Foundation Brush, Detailer Brush and Buffing Brush. Out of all four of these I doubt I'll find much use from the Pointed Foundation Brush, simply because instead for foundation I find the Buffing Brush is pretty fabulous. It's so incredibly soft and large enough to pick up the right amount of product to cover your entire face. I could maybe use the Pointed Foundation Brush for concealer but I'm not sure. I tried out the Detailer Brush for my concealer and found it blends it in like a dream and is great for any size blemish or for blending in any under eye concealer. Finally, the Contour Brush is something I've been really eager to try for some time. I've really wanted to get into using bronzer and as my mum kindly gave me a freebie bronzer from Clarins she got recently, put two and two together and you get a very happy Lucy! It fits perfectly into the contours of my cheeks and like all the their brushes in the collection is so incredibly soft so it feels heavenly to apply.
Overall, I'm pleased with this set of brushes and really feel I've got a great collection of brushes to achieve a flawless base for my make-up. My only quiver is the Pointed Foundation Brush because as a stingy student, I hate knowing I've not got my money's worth. However fingers crossed over time as I become more and more confident with make-up application, I'll find a use for it...
This set of brushes are known as the Starter Set, ideal for anyone who needs a couple of basic eye make-up brushes. I've never been one for eye shadow, occasionally using my BeneFit Smokin' Eyes set or a random creamy eye shadow that's lying around in my room, though if I'm honest I'm just an eyeliner and mascara kind of girl. However, I've been really keen to experiment a bit more with make-up, particularly for the eyes. From left to right we have the Deluxe Crease Brush, Base Shadow Brush, Accent Brush, Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush and Brow Brush. As with all of Real Techniques' brushes, they are all incredibly soft and feel of excellent quality. I found some random Marks and Spencer and Next eye shadow sets from Christmas stockings a few years ago, both of which look like dupes for the NAKED palettes! I simply did an everyday brown smokey-ish eye look with the brushes and found them all incredibly easy to use and was impressed with the results. The only brush I didn't use was the Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush simply because I wasn't really in the mood for eyeliner and it also seems quite thick - not exactly "Pixel-Pointed" like it claims.... however I'll definitely give it a try, I just think I'll get quite a thick line from it. There's really not much else to say about this set other than it really is great and if a total eye shadow novice like myself can use it, anyone can!

So I hope you found this post interesting and useful. I do whole-heartedly believe these are great investment purchases, especially if you're into make-up. Most kits like these would cost a fortune from other brands and the fact you're getting really good quality brushes for the price is fantastic.
Do you have any of the Real Techniques brushes? If so, which are your favourite? Or are you interested in purchasing any of the brushes? As always, leave your comments as I always love to hear from you!

Lucy xxx

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Topshop Makeup

I, like many others, adore Topshop make-up. I'll admit, I don't really have a great deal, in fact I think I've only ever purchased three items from their range before (though two of them being the same product). However whenever I pop in to do a bit of shopping or browsing, I can't help but lust after the pretty nail varnish colours and lipsticks, blushes, eye shadows and other beauty products. With their cute packaging, adorable names and affordable prices, there's really nothing not to like.

I recently popped into Topshop as I had some gift vouchers I kindly received for my birthday back in March that needed spending. I decided the make-up would be my best bet on getting full use out of the vouchers, despite a very tempting sale section!

Without a doubt I was in dire need of a repurchase of their cream blush, Head Over Heels. I last bought it back in July last summer and since then it has been my everyday blush. Now, with only a tiny amount left in the pan I thought there was no way I could leave without it. Described as a coral colour which is a "Lightweight cream to powder blush that melts into the skin giving a natural luminous, radiant finish. Smile and brush onto apples of cheeks for a rosy glow."

I truly adore this colour, it's so pretty and really brightens my complexion. I apply it with my fingers as I find that's the best way to get a natural finish and a 'just-pinched' cheek look. At only £6, a product that truly lasts a long time and also comes with a little mirror, you cannot doubt that this is a fantastic product.

The next product is something I have been desperate to get my hands (and lips!) on for quite some time. I was browsing the Topshop website a while back and this truly fabulous looking lipstick look right up my street. Tease, which is described as a Barbie Pink, there's no way I couldn't have this, especially as a big pink and Barbie (shh...) lover! This really is a great lipstick. It applies like a dream and has between a matte and creamy finish. I would recommend that if you have dry lips you give them a good scrub to exfoliate away any dead skin and keep them moisturised before applying as you may find the lipstick clings to the dead skin. Despite that, it gives a great bright pink pop of colour to your lips. It's a blue toned pink so no yellow teeth here! I'm so thrilled with this lipstick and will happily include this as part of my daily make-up routine. It's £8 which I think is pretty reasonable for a high street lipstick.

So, what are your Topshop make-up must haves? Do you have any recommendations? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Lucy xxx

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Weekend Wishlist (14/07/12)

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

1. This fur collar quilted leather jacket from Topshop is to die for, isn't it?! I've been desperate for a really great, staple leather jacket for some time now but have never found one that suits me. The shape is always odd for my body or it just isn't flattering or it's just too expensive! Sigh... however this is £58 which I think is reasonable, especially for Topshop. I really like the fur collar, though it's also removable. I'll definitely try and search for this bad boy when I'm in Topshop next.

2. All the shops are previewing their Autumn/Winter12 collections right now which is slightly depressing seeing as the British summer just hasn't really turned up, or it did briefly a few months ago. I guess we just have to grin and bear it and spend the rest of the year in jumpers now! So I spotted this cosy looking loose knit coral jumper from River Island and think it's! Unfortunately it's not available in my size or any bigger sizes that would be acceptable to wear without making me look like I've drowned in knitwear, so I guess I'll have to go to the shop or wait and see if it comes back in stock online.

3. These boots look exactly the same as those Topshop boots everyone had last year though at only £45 they are a total bargain version and I think much nicer. Well done Topshop, you're really impressing at the moment! Need to get my feet in these asap.

4. I've heard many people absolutely rave about this Stila "In The Light" eye shadow palette. The shades look very wearable, plus it comes with an eyeliner which is apparently very good too. It's currently £25 on ASOS. I'm not sure if I'll doing everything I can to get my hands on it but if it goes down in price or the opportunity arises when I think "why not?!" then I'll definitely make a purchase. Very pretty though, all the same.

5. I saw this gorgeous new colour nail varnish on the Topshop website a few weeks ago and it looks like the ultimate nail colour for the summer - perfect with a tan or on your toes with some pretty sandals in. I adore the name - Helter Skelter - how cute and retro fun-fair sounding is that? It's only £5 so I think once I've returned from Portugal in two weeks with - fingers crossed - a nice tan, I'll go and pick this up to go with it!

6. The last item on my Weekend Wishlist is this to-die-for plaited shopper with studs from Zara. I spotted it in the Women's new collection in the 'Advanced' section - so the A/W12 collection. They've brought out many different variants of this bag and although I've seen some fantastic looking dupes on eBay, there's nothing quite like the real thing. I'm a sucker for anything with studs and I'm a total sucker for Zara, and a new handbag. However, at £129, I don't think I could quite cope with spending that much on a handbag, no matter how gorgeous it is. So perhaps it's just going to have to stay in my wishlist....sob.

I hope you all have a fab weekend. Got anything exciting planned? I'm going to do some last minute holiday preparations, hit the gym a couple of times and probably start packing my suitcase for sunny Portugal!
Let me know what you think about the items on my wishlist in the comments section, I really do love to hear from you!

Lucy xxx

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Lucy Diaries: Midweek Instagram (09/05/12)

1. Cosmo will Mollie from The Saturdays ❤ 2. OPI Nails in Atomic Orange 3. Puppy Patrick all wrapped up 4. Bedtime reading - love this book series! 5. Bath time 6. Mumma bought me back a BUCKET of milk + white chocolate Maltesers - help me! 7. Le maquillage 8. Outfit of the day - denim jacket, Topshop dress/tunic, skull scarf, leggings + Topshop boots 9. Tuesday afternoon reading to cheer me up 10. Strawberries 

Hello lovelies, I hope you're all having a lovely week so far. It seems strange writing this post what with the Bank Holiday weekend! This weeks a total jumble. I didn't really do too much this weekend, just babysit my brother + dog ha. Tried out lots of cooking for my future student life at University. Speaking of which I made my final offers yesterday - eek! Fingers crossed it all goes well and I get in. Better get revising for my exams right now if I'm honest...
I haven't got too much planned for the rest of this week. Hitting the gym tomorrow for the first time in just over a week, cannot wait. Illness and the Bank Holiday has totally messed up my regime so I'm very keen to get back on track!
This Saturday my boyfriend has a 'surprise' lined up for me... hmmm... I'm hoping it's something good and not just something that pleases him - *sigh* boys....

I'll let you all know how that goes....
Anyway, speak soon and hopefully there'll be a few more posts from me over the next week. Have a lovely rest of your week.

Lucy xxx

Monday, 7 May 2012

The Lucy Diaries: Cheesy Chilli Beef Nachos [RECIPE]

Who doesn't love Mexican food? Tacos, enchiladas, chilli con carne... oh and a cheeky Margarita to help wash it all down!
Today I wanted to try something new on The Lucy Diaries. So, I am going to show you how to make my incredibly highly praised 'Cheesy Chilli Beef Nachos'. They really are delicious but I must warn you of the giant food baby that will be expected immediately after licking your plates clean (and he/she will grow at a very rapid rate so this should only ever really be a treat meal!). It's incredibly easy to do, if you know how to make chilli con carne or even a bolognese sauce, you're halfway there.
To make your Nachos you will need:
  • 500g minced beef
  • A large onion
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • A tin of tomatoes (400g)
  • Red kidney beans (410g)
  • Chilli Con Carne mix (though if you want to be more authentic or your own personal chilli recipe includes an actual chilli/chilli flakes you are more than welcome to use that alternative)
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Crème fraîche or soured cream (soured cream is better in my opinion but crème fraîche works just as well)
 1. Chop your onion and garlic
 2. In a large pan/wok (I prefer a wok as the pan gets hotter faster making it a much speedier process, thus nachos on your plate sooner!), add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil to your pan and gently fry your onions and garlic until the onions become clear.
 3. Add your mince. Break it up and keep stirring so you brown all of the meat.
 4. Once all of the meat has browned, add your chopped tomatoes.
 5. Pour your kidney beans into a sieve over the sink, draining the excess juices. Then carefully transfer the drained kidney beans into your pan and give it a good stir.
 6. Pour in the chilli mix/chopped chilli/chill flakes (depending on what you're using), making sure it's well mixed into the rest of the mixture. Now your meat is done, take it off the heat and let the sauce reduce. Stir occasionally if you need to but it should become a thick meaty mixture!
 7. Now the fun part! I must add, this is my younger brothers portion with a VERY large appetite! You don't even want to know how measly the portion I had was....
Arrange your tortilla chips onto a plate and add a dollop of the meat sauce into the middle. Top with grated cheese and pop it in the microwave until it's melted (usually between 45 seconds-1 minute, the heat from the meat should help). Now top with spoonfuls of guacamole, salsa and crème fraîche/soured cream...
And here is the finished product! Tuck in and if you happen to have some Tequila and lime lying around, feel free to add a Margarita to your meal.

Let me know if you try this out or if you'd like to see more recipe's like this in the future.

Lucy xxx

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Lucy Diaries: Midweek Instagram (02/05/12)

1. Obsessed with Marina and The Diamonds new album, particularly Teen Idle 2. Trying on a Mary Katrantzou inspired dress in Primark, gorgeous! 3. Feeling feminine and fancy in a pink collared shirt dress 4. Finally found the Primark dress I wanted in a lovely coral/pink :) 5. Told the hot guy at Starbucks that my name was Britney ;) 6. Beyoncé + Britney! 7. Sparkly purple OPI nails 8. Wild Saturday night in watching Moulin Rouge 9. Umpteenth Liz Earle purchase 10. Chocolate cake I baked for my beautiful best friend, Izzy's (or BelRse as she's known on here) birthday 11. Cheeky Topshop goodies! 12. More OPI from my Mumma - such a nice surprise!
Hey everyone, hope you're having a good week so far. I'm currently nursing very sore battered and blistered feet from my new Topshop boots :( Not such a good idea to do one of my trek's in them when it was my first time wearing them out.... Also got a rather upset stomach at the moment, so once I get some work done I'll curl up in bed with a hot water bottle and watch The Apprentice (can I just say, I'm still gutted Duane got fired a few weeks ago, he was brilliant!).
Anyway, hope you're all having a fabulous week.

Love Lucy xxx

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Topshop ACHEIVE Boots

(apologies for the baggy leggings - not a good look!) ACHEIVE Elastic Side Boots
After seven months of doing 6 mile treks every day in my beloved £15 Primark boots, it has come to the end of the road due to a giant hole in the soles which have not been particularly useful with the current rainy days we've been having in the UK. Cue immediately drenched socks and soggy feet - not nice for a full day of college!

Anyway, new shoes were therefore a necessity so I spotted these boots on the Topshop website and knew I had to grab them straight away. At £75 however, I was hesitant. In an ideal world I would have bought the AMBUSH boots from Topshop's AW11 collection and my feet would look fabulous forever but I think these are a great alternative. They do have a slight heel on them and although I'm a bit like Bambi in heels, I can happily tell you that they are very comfortable to walk in, so fingers crossed I'll be able to walk miles every day in them!
They're a very flattering cut and shape I find and will definitely be great transition boots going into Summer (whenever it arrives). I think they'll look great with anything: hot pants; floaty skirts; pretty summer dresses and playsuits. Alternatively, in the Autumn and Winter I will no doubt be teaming these boots with my wardrobe staple - leggings! Jeans or tights will go perfectly with them too, as they're such versatile boots. Of course, at their extortionate price I would like to claim that these are in fact an investment buy! There's no way I'll be able to afford boots like these come AW12 when I'll be living as a University student, clutching onto my pennies for dear life!

I hope you're all having a fabulous week so far. This morning I had my French AS Oral retake which I hope went ok... I had a bit of déjà vu however as we had pretty much the exact same conversation as last year! We discussed Lady Gaga's influence on young people's lives... my favourite topic! Fingers crossed I did ok otherwise. Now I have less than a month until the rest of my A-Level exams so no doubt I'll be a busy bee revising hard for them, hoping I'll have done enough to get into Uni.
What are your plans for the rest of the week? And let me know your thoughts about the boots in the comments!

Love Lucy xxx

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Weekend Wishlist (28/04/12)

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Hello guys and girls,
My first weekend wishlist for quite sometime! And it's a biggun'! I hope you're all having a lovely weekend so far. I'm just procrastinating, lazing about in bed watching YouTube videos and wasting my life on the internet - anything to stop me from revising for my French retake oral exam on Tuesday (!) or for my A-Levels (!!). Anyway, here's a collection of things I'm lusting after at the moment, and surprise surprise, all mainly from Topshop!

1. I'm loving the neon-trend, as you can tell, at the moment. These neon pink jeggings from Pull & Bear are gorgeous. I actually tried on a similar pair in Primark the other day but they were far too big - a size 8! Can't believe it but they were just horribly baggy, yet they looked tiny, I was worried I wouldn't be able to fit in them at all haha! Anyway, Pull & Bear have this gorgeous pair for only £19.99, they have them in a whole range of colours and I'm also loving the neon yellow and neon orange.

2. This Topshop dress is a rather garish and daring colour, I'm sure you'd agree! However I saw this on the website a few weeks ago and fell in love. As I mentioned, I'm loving neon especially neon yellow. This dress + a gorgeous golden tan = holiday fashion Goddess perfection.

3. How ahh-mazing are these pyjamas?! I think I could quite easily say that Topshop, hands down, do the best pj's! I still am loving moustache print things, and I'm still desperate to find a ring and necklace like everyone and their Grandma has. Anyway, these are so cute and kitsch, and I love how snuggly the pyjama bottoms look too.

4. A perfect, shimmery and sparkly Barbie pink nail varnish. I'm actually yet to purchase a Topshop nail varnish, however I received a Topshop gift voucher for my birthday a month ago that I'm yet to spend and I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing over whether to buy nail varnishes, a lipstick or some jewellery. 

5. Neon yellow again! There are quite a few neon yellow nail varnishes out there however I've heard the American Apparel one is the only one that cuts it. Beyond tempted to purchase this.

6+7. Topshop lipsticks are some of the best high-street lipsticks out there, in my opinion. They've recently released three new colours and I adore these two. Tease is described as 'barbie pink' - hello! Anything Barbie pink or in fact Barbie related catches my eye (the 5 year old is still in me....), and Whimsical is described as a pinky nude. I only really love it for it's name! Whimsical, ooh it sounds so magical! It was recently reviewed on Lily's second blog, albeit slightly more nude than expected, however I need a good nude lipstick in my make-up collection. 

8. I so nearly purchased this gorgeous white skirt from River Island on Thursday when having a browse during their 20% off for students day. However, my friend did point out it's similar to a white skirt I purchased from there last year but it's so, so pretty! What do you think?

9+10. I'm quite eager to find some new tops at the moment as I'm rather bored of all of mine. This pink, pleated, Peter Pan collar top from Topshop is adorable, and I love this bargainous peplum style t shirt from Topshop too. There are some cheaper versions of the peplum t shirt on the high street, from New Look for example. I think if you want to take on the current peplum trend, a simple t shirt is the easiest way to work it into your wardrobe.

11. More cute, kitsch Topshop things! This unicorn necklace isn't very me but I just couldn't resist, it caught my eye straight away and I love a good piece of statement jewellery.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and enjoyed my wishlist. What's caught your eye this weekend? And what are you up to? Let me know with a comment below.

Love Lucy xxx

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Lucy Diaries: Midweek Instagram (25/04/12)

1. Saying goodbye to Puppy Patrick in the window 2. Birthday cards speaking the truth 3. Birthday nails 4. A glass of Rosé for the birthday girl 5. Sunbathing during lessons...naughty 6. Strawberries for lunch 7. Been shopping 8. Marc Jacobs for me? 9. Finally, my watch fits my ridiculously small wrist! 10. Goodbye CrapBerry, hello iPhone! 11. The bestie and I playing around with my iPhone 12. Reading for the train journey.

Hello everyone,
I don't know about you but I l o v e Instagram posts! I know it's kind of become a phenomenon in the blogging world and on twitter. I actually downloaded it last July but never really used it. However, now that I officially own an iPhone (good riddance to my BlackBerry, it's time really was well and truly over), you will be seeing a lot more of me around here ;) And I know it's a bit of a tradition on here to post your Instagram posts on a Sunday, I thought I'd do mine every Wednesday as I think it's quite nice to have an unexpected nosey in the middle of the week. The sudden rush of posts in a Sunday is fab but it's nice to have some in the middle of the week too. You can follow me @lucyloves.

Just a little apology, I know I promised quite a while ago I'd be properly blogging, however due to lots of busy and stressful times at college and a broken camera (sob), I've been unable to. However my camera is back to it's fine and fit self now and I'm very eager to get posting! Despite the fact I have 7 exams to be preparing for.... though I guess the two General Studies exams don't count, right? Shhh ;)

Hope you're all fine and fabulous,
Lucy xxx

Friday, 10 February 2012

What I've been up to....

Hello everyone, I cannot believe I just have had no motivation to post anything for the past few months (yes, months, you're probably reading this thinking "I don't even remember following you" - oops). I really am so sorry, I should make it a February resolution to post more on here.
Anyway, I thought I'd post a rather picture heavy (you have been warned) post of what I've been up to in the past few months......

1. Breakfast in Studio City, LA 2. At Britney Spears' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame 3. Trying on clothes during my lunch break in New Look 4. Hangover cure 5. Gifts from New York 6. Front row for Britney! 7. Party 8. Homemade chilli beef nachos! 9. Christmas Starbucks with Izzy (of course, we got hot chocolate) 10. Cheeky Christmas tree cookie from Reeves 11. Christmas day outfit (jumper from Topshop) 12. Christmas dinner (I promise, I looked 7 months pregnant after eating all of this!) 13. Christmas dinner outfit (dress from Topshop) 14. Stocking goodies from Father Christmas 15. Christmas presents 16. A fabulous evening with my two favourite men 17. New Year's Eve with my best friend 18. My baby 19. Lusting after Spring/Summer '12 clothes in January... 20. Getting distracted from revision by OPI nail varnish 21. Hot Chocolate with le boyf 22. Lana Del Rey wannabe 23. Masquerade ball (minus the masks) with Chloe looking gorgeous 24. Rather tipsy with Hannah (my dress is from Missguided)

Hope to speak soon, send me messages on my tumblr if I don't post again soon!

Much love,
Lucy xxx