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