Sunday, 21 December 2014

Alexa Chung Starter Kit

As a Vogue contributor, the face of Longchamp, and renowned supermodel, Alexa Chung has influenced thousands with her unbrushed-hair and iconic fashion. Not only a 'pretty face': Chung released her book 'IT' in 2013, replete with sketches, life quotes and quirky anecdotes. Alexa is often seen wearing A-line mini skirts, peter pan collars and a pair of designer flats. I have recreated an outfit worn to the Margret Howell show back in 2012 (see photos below).

The outfit consists of 3 simple pieces, all of which are available at high-street stores.

Firstly the shoes- Alexa is shown wearing a pair of black velvet smoking slippers, with a gold embroidered palm tree detail. I have chosen a pair of loafers from Carvela by Kurt Geiger, which are now substantially reduced from £75 to £39 (buy here). They can easily be dressed up or down, and here add some interest to what would be a casual outfit. I also found a similar pair from Jack Wills, if you wanted an alternative, (buy here). 

I have been looking everywhere for a crew-neck button-down cardigan. This one is from Zara, and includes a nice detailing on the buttons. Word of warning: you may want to wear a vest underneath because it often gapes between the buttons (if you get my drift...). Zara have released this piece in six other neutral shades too (buy here).

Despite often being an outfit-essential, a pair of blue jeans can easily uplift and add colour to an outfit. Alexa is seen wearing a pair of slightly cropped, indigo-toned blue jeans, which are only loosely skinny (although I suspect that is due to her supermodel match-stick legs). I believe my pair are from Zara a couple of years ago. 

Thanks for reading,

Charlotte x

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

I'm back (back, back, back again)

I just wanted to update you that I will be returning to this blog, and hopefully dedicating a bit more time to this little online platform. When I started blogging originally, it was purely out of enjoyment, so when I realised how much time it was taking out of my school-life, I thought it best to take a backseat in the blogging world, which ultimately lead to me quitting completely.

I have recently discovered that starting a blog can help you get into the market of publications and journalism -something I am seriously considering as a career path. So perhaps that 60 minutes out of my week spent writing blog posts isn't such a crime!

I have decided to return with a strict schedule, and new blog-post themes; I will be writing on Wednesdays about current affairs and my views on certain aspects of society, and the Sunday post will consist of a review of a product-whether that be fashion, beauty etc.

I hope this new style of blogging appeals to you; I am really looking forward to finding my feet in the blogging world again, and connecting with readers.

Charlotte x

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Budget Buys: Brown-Eyed Girl

Did you noticed the Van Morrison reference? Great song, great song... Today I am going to be talking about a few eye-makeup products I have picked up recently! As the title suggests, they are all brown shades. I have never been one to even consider wearing eye makeup until recently, but I found that off-black shades are a great way to ease yourself in. Although I am still yearning for the Tom Ford eye defining pen (which comes with a painful £42 price tag), these are all drugstore products as I wasn't willing to invest in anything pricey for my first editions. I am using a soft kohl, liquid eyeliner and lengthening mascara to achieve this look. Keep reading for more about the products themselves!

L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes £10.99- I picked this up a few months ago, when I first tried to get into eye makeup. The brush is quite thickening, lengthening and does a good job of separating the lashes too. I like to apply this as the last step. 

Rimmel Soft Kohl eyeliner £2.99- This is the cheapest of the trio, and probably my least favourite to be honest! I originally bought it for the my waterline/top eyelid, but the crayon formula means that it melts very quickly and cannot achieve a precise line. I now use it as an eyebrow pencil, which I much prefer. The colour is perfect for me and make my brows appear much darker/bolder. 

Maybelline Master Precise eyeliner £5.99- This is the product I am most excited about. I have always wanted to be one of those girls with an elegant swan-like flick on the outer corner of their eyelid, and although I am not quite there with the cat-eye look, I am very very close. The eyeliner is brown, making it a lot more subtle, and I apply it in an arch shape, making it a lot thicker near the outer corner of my eye.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Review: Real-Techniques Core Collection

Today's post is on a set of Real-Techniques brushes. The range was brought about by the Chapman sisters (Sam and Nick) a few years ago, and due to their synthetic fibres and affordable prices, have become very popular! I also have the powder and blusher brush, (which are sold separately) from the range, but maybe I'll talk about those another time. Real Techniques have many different ranges for sale, including a duo-fiber collection, starter set and travel essentials, but this brush quartet exclusively for face makeup is just my cup of tea!

I actually purchased this set around 6 months ago, and wrote a blog post on my old blog a couple of days after (read that here). Now that I am a long-term-user of the set, I thought it appropriate to give a second in-depth review! 

The set consists of four brushes, all adapted for face makeup. They are all suitable for wet and dry products, here is what I use them for:

1. Buffing brush- When I originally bought this, I used it for powders, bronzers and sometimes blusher, but I soon realised that it would make a great brush for buffing in foundation (hence the name). I always thought that foundation would be soaked up if I used a brush of this size, but along as I apply the product onto my face first, and then buff it, it works fantastically! 

1. Contour brush- This is probably my most un-used of the bunch. The name states that you can contour with it, creating imaginary cheek bones 'n' all that jazz, but I find that it creates a very defined line, which can look unnatural. Due to the shape, it is really good for blending in under-eye concealer, but I prefer doing that with my ring finger, so unfortunately I don't reach for this brush often! 

3. Pointed foundation brush- This is probably one of the best shaped brushes for applying foundation to your face, and getting it where you want it. It doesn't soak up any of the product, and because it is flat, you can use it similarly to a paintbrush, and sweep your foundation around your face easily! 

4. Detailer brush- This brush is also quite flat, and has a sharp point, great for detailing (all the names seem very apt don't they). I like to use this when applying high-coverage concealer around my nose area or on any blemishes. It's also good for contouring your nose, highlighting around your eyebrows, or even colouring in your eyebrows! 

You can buy the core-collection here, and watch some of Sam and Nick's tutorials here

Have any of you invested in this set/other Real-Technique products?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Yes To... New skincare!

I have been looking for some new skincare for perhaps a month or so? In the past I have used a strange mix of Simple, Lancome and Clean & Clear products, but they have never been anything specifically suited to my skin type, just whatever I had seen advertised recently, or found in the supermarket! I would describe my skin as oily, with occasional dry patches. Also being in my teenage years makes it important for my skincare to be anti-breakout. What I like about "Yes To" is that all their products are categorised for different needs and preferences: there is a range for dry skin/hair, for age refresh, spot-prone skin etc. Have a look at the table below showing the range of brand selections. When I saw this, I was interested Yes To Cucumber, Grapefruit and Tomatoes. I recently picked up a product from each of these categories, so keep reading for a review of them!

Yes to grapefruit exfoliating wipes, £3.99- Fist of all, can we just talk about the smell? It's so good. There are many times when I have opened the packet with no intention of even using a wipe, just so I can smell the delicious-ness. Aswell as the scent, I am loving this product. It was the first Yes to product I picked up, and inspired me to buy more. I actually bought this in a rush, thinking they were cleansing wipes, but my golly they are so much more. Ok, they do not actually remove makeup, but don't let that put you off. The wipes are described as being brightening, and that's exactly what they do; I use them before bed and when I wake up (2-3 times a week) and they give me the ultimate refreshed feeling. Aswell as making my face feel better, it also seems to wake up my face and lift the eye area. All in all, a fab product: I wouldn't consider the £3.99 price tag for 25 wipes too bad, since this really is a miracle worker. P.S. I have read some reviews online that this has caused irritation and rashes to people with dry/sensitive skin. I didn't notice anything like this, and these reviews are the minority, but just to inform you before you end up triggering the next epidemic... 

Yes to tomatoes daily cleanser, £6.99- This was the range I was most eager to try, but most hesitant to purchase from. £7 for a cleanser is quite an investment when you are a teenager, and this was the cheapest item from the range. What I liked about the 'tomato' range was that it was specifically to breakout-prone skin; I would say I have 'oily' skin, but none of my past cleansers/skincare have been designed to suit my skin type specifically. Although I have only been using this for a week or so -which is not long enough to notice any dramatic changes- I have not gotten any spots/blemishes recently, so maybe it is down to this product! The cleanser is actually a runny gel, which I was not expecting. It lathers up easily, and is a good constancy to work with! Side note: this product leaks very easily, so although it stands perfectly on it's lid, keep it up-right all the time!

Yes to cucumbers soothing facial wipes, £3.99- I have always been told to steer clear of facial wipes, for one reason or another. I think it is due to their inability to remove all of your makeup, and the fact you are scrubbing makeup residue back onto your face while using the wipe perhaps? Anyway, I do not intend on using these wipes as a replacement for a cleanser, just for backup or as a soothing agent. Due to the cucumber extract, they cool and replenish your skin, perfect for evening relaxation. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Music Favourites

I recently returned from my holidays, during which I listened to a lot of music! I never really plug my earphones in any other time apart from when I am travelling or doing artwork, but here are a few tunes I have been enjoying recently (not in any specific order):

Essie Prep 'n' Protect

Alas, yet another post about Essie nail varnish! Today it is about a topcoat/basecoat duo which I picked up a few weeks ago (buy it here). If you look closely at the photos, you will probably notice that the clear topcoat is only 1/3 full. This, my friends, is because the other 2/3 was accidentally poured over my bedside table some time between painting my nails, and waking up the next day. Aswell as now having patches of glossy-top-coat-residue on my nightstand, I have wasted quite a lot of nail varnish...

Let's get into the product itself; the base coat is called Grow Stronger, and I was desperate to try it when it was recently released. My nails seem to go quite flaky, and split, so I was willing to try anything to get rid of this. It has improved them, but I wouldn't consider it a miracle worker. I really like the consistency of the product, it is a translucent varnish which dries almost clear, and matte. I have never used this on it's own, but I find It works quite well at getting rid of visible ridges.

The top coat -what's left of it- is great! It leaves a really glossy effect, and makes my nail varnish last for up to a week as opposed to a couple of days without it. This product claims to dry in seconds, I haven't found that it dries any quicker than regular nail varnish, so maybe thats something you want to consider. I have tried a few topcoats, including Essie's 3 in 1 base/topcoat combination. I find that topcoats that double up as basecoats are never as good, so I will definitely be re-purchasing this product (well it looks like I am going to have to...).

Have your tried any good topcoats/basecoats recently? Will you be purchasing this?