Bristolian Beauty

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Possibly the most important letter i will ever write

 I'm back! These last few months have thrown a lot at me and my poor little blog has been left a little unloved but I have returned! 

This post is a letter that I feel the need to write. It's something that I think is important to do because I often struggle to put important things in to words. I am slowly learning to use my blog not just as a place to talk about products but as somewhere I can write things that I wouldn't necessarily say in day to day life. You know when those little thoughts that are all knocking around in your brain somehow create a pretty powerful opinion? That moment that you realise you have something to say, quite a lot to say in fact but you aren't exactly going to sit in the pub with your friends and go on a 20 minute rant because...awkward. Ok maybe sometimes I go on a bit of a rant in real life too (sorry..!) but that's besides the point. Here I can really take my time and say things how I really want to say here goes.

This is to the person who always makes my life that little bit harder. You make it harder because you never fully support me. You make it harder because you never complement me, but are quick to put me down. You make it harder because you seem to make me cry more these days than make me smile. And I am so tired of it. Always being questioned and never feeling sure of yourself is a difficult way to be. It can make life a pretty gloomy place and when someone encourages that kind of behaviour, it can make things a hundred times worse.

One of the worst things is that really, when I think about it properly, I don't understand why you are so cruel. I know I am not the best person. I am rubbish at keeping in touch with people. I'm lazy, a bit grumpy and sometimes I am a little selfish but I'm not the worst person in the world. For a long time now I have let your harsh words bring me down but I'm finally starting to see that I shouldn't. While I may be those bad things, I'm also a dreamer, a fun-loving geek who loves to give presents that make people's eyes light up and I'll drop everything for someone who needs me..and I'm not too hideous either. I may not be perfect but lets be honest, who the flipping hell is? (If you know of them, give me their number, we need to have words.)

A few days ago it was my hen do... a crazy, drunken, amazing night full of some of the most fabulous and beautiful people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I was completely floored when two of my closest guy friends from university even turned up, braving the hen do madness and driving for hours, just to celebrate with me. Now these people are the kind of people that you find yourself in awe of. They are stunning, unbelievably intelligent, hilarious and ridiculously fun to be around, they are everything I have always wanted to be. Yesterday I realised something very important. Those people were all there for me. If people as wonderful as these lovely ladies and gents are willing to go to such an effort just for me then I must be doing something right...right?

So I ask again, why do you not see it? What is it that you find so distasteful and annoying? Someone wants to marry me. Another person calls me their platonic penguin (aka a friend for life). Yet another has been told my darkest secrets and yet he still remains as loyal as ever. When you realise you have this collection of really special people in your life that are always there for you it should make you see that if there is someone who is really bad for you, it's time to say goodbye.

The biggest problem is... the person that is really bad for me, the person I am writing this letter me. I am the one who cuts me down. I am the one who tells me I can't do things or I'm not pretty or enough fun. I am the poison to which I'm sure many people can relate. Because I think at times we all have that little voice inside us that tells us to get back in the box. Now it's healthy to sometimes pull yourself back a bit of course. The danger is sometimes we pay attention to that voice far too much...I certainly do. On my hen do I said something that was to be honest just obnoxious and down right annoying. When my friend told me what I said I was mortified. Yet his reaction was just to laugh and say "lucky I'm fond of you hey" and the other people I have told thought it was downright hilarious. The voice told me to be embarrassed and not drink as much in future yet the people who love me didn't give a hoot.. so why should I?

At 27, the lesson I am finally learning is to not be so hard on myself. Yes I can make improvements to myself and my life, and if there are serious issues then I need to give myself a talking to. But I'm not so bad really. So I have decided to give myself a new cheesy motto to go by when I'm about to go into judging mode, "If you were a friend and not me, what would you see?"..because I think all of us need to see ourselves through other people's eyes sometimes.


Monday 9 November 2015

What to buy a blogger - Stocking Fillers

Do you have a blogger in your life? Are you wondering what would be the best present for someone that is always on top of the latest trends? Or are you a blogger thinking about treating themselves to a few things?

I will be putting together a series of posts about blogger gifts and I'm starting it off with the perfect stocking fillers!

Giftcards! While they can be seen as the lazy present in some circumstances, giftcards are a great idea for bloggers as they often have very specific products in mind that they would like to try out. It can also be tough to know exactly what a blogger does or doesn't have as they are often the owners of rather extensive collections! If they are food or travel bloggers, you could even pop in a gift card for a meal out or an activity somewhere!
Bloggers are often on the hunt for little accessories to add to their photos and will always welcome some extra knickknacks they can use. Pretty little dishes and trays, delicate rings and large sheets of card in different colours for backgrounds are all great ideas. The nice thing about these particular types of presents is while they are great for blogging, they are also a lovely present in their own right.

Notebooks and blogging planners will always come in handy whether you have a brand new blogger on your hands or a complete pro. Coming up with content never stops so it's really useful to have handbag sized notebooks that you can jot down ideas in and planners help to keep everything running smoothly.

Books about blogging or their main subject area are a great go to and will help a blogger to improve their skills. Blog, Inc is a particularly popular guide for setting up and making the msot of any kind of blog but that is just one of many. If you have a food blogger on your hands, pick up some recipe books that feature new techniques to broaden their repetoire or choose magazines like Elle for your fashion blogger. As a (mainly) beauty blogger myself, I would be a very happy girl if someone picked up Makeup: The Ultimate Guide by Rae Morris for me!

Products to review! A huge part of blogging is obviously talking about products. Whether thats a handbag or the latest children's toy or the sparkliest nail varnish you have ever seen. So naturally adding to a bloggers collection is going to be a plus for them! As I mentioned earlier it can be tough to work out what exactly they might not have but a bit of investigation work into their stash or some casual questions should give you some ideas!

If I have done my job right, I hope you are already pulling up websites to kick off the Christmas shopping for the blogger in your life! I'd love to hear any other ideas you guys have or what you are hoping for this Christmas!

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Beauty and the budget - Freedom makeup haul


Although I use a fair number of high end makeup products, I think I get far more satisfaction from finding great products that don't make me wince when I get to the till (I'm looking at you MAC). Given this, whenever a new low cost brand is launched I am often first in line to try it out! When I heard that Adam Minto from Makeup Revolution and Neil Phillips from Distribeauty UK (The people responsible for bringing e.l.f. to the UK!) were teaming up to create Freedom Makeup I was immediately interested.

This brand has been described as a low cost makeup brand for professionals, an affordable MAC if you will so I was excited to see how they would measure up. With lipsticks for £1, brow kits for £3.50 and eyeshadow palettes from £2.50 they certainly have affordable down but can a brand that is so low cost really deliver a line suitable for professionals? I was more than happy to investigate by purchasing a number of products across the line. My haul of 16 items came to a cost of just £17.75 thanks to an amazing deal of getting £15 worth of makeup for free if you spent £15. Over time I have noticed that they have great offers on a regular basis which makes them even more better value. In fact, they are currently running a 3 for 2 mix and match across all products!

Admittedly the vast amount of this cheeky purchase had been left untouched until very recently when I suddenly remembered my little stash of goodies! After rediscovering them, I have been thoroughly testing them out and wanted to share my thoughts with you all!

From Left to Right - Sugar Fix, Jammy Dodger, TGIF, D-ream
The first products I tried were the Pro Melts, a collection of liquid lipsticks that come in an amazing array of colours. From nudes to brights to berries, there is certainly something for everyone and at only £3 they are an absolute steal. As you can see in the picture above, the colours are incredibly pigmented and the formula is really smooth. There was no stickiness like you normally get with cheap liquid lipsticks and for all but D-ream, they lasted an impressive amount of time. Unfortunately while I loved the colour of D-ream it didn't set in the same way as the other three and wore off fairly quickly. However if you are happy to keep it on hand, it's easy enough to top up if you need to!

From Left to Right - Adorn, Sooner or Later
As with the pro melts, there are a huge selection of lipsticks and even some great sets that can save you a bit of money. Amazingly they are just £1 each so I initially didn't hold out that much hope. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was completely wrong! The lipsticks are pretty sheer but the colours build up really nicely and they are silky smooth to apply. I absolutely love both of the colours I bought as they are so wearable and have a gorgeous sheen to them.

From Top to Bottom - Pro Conceal and Correct Light, Pro Matte Foundation 02
These were probably the only products in my haul that I wasn't overly impressed with. The foundation had a really sticky consistency and didn't really blend well at all. Similarly, the concealer just kind of sat on top of my skin rather than giving a nice finish, not to mention the fact that it was extremely yellow toned. I'd give these a miss to be honest unless they decide to reformulate.

Pro Blush in True Loved

The blush I received in True Loved was a lovely peachy pink colour that was nicely pigmented and blended out really well. It also lasted all day so it was amazing value for only £1! I'm definitely planning to pick up a few more of these in a couple of different colours as the quality is lovely.

Pro Eyebrow Kit in Light-Medium
This was a lovely little treasure that was one of my favourites out of the whole selection. The eyebrow kit costs £3.50 and has 3 different shades of powder that can be used to create the perfect shade and some wax. In addition, it came with a mini brush and pair of tweezers (apologies for not including them in the photo!). Now I'll be honest, the brush wasn't particularly usable and I have a bit of a hatred for mini tweezers (why make something like tweezing extra fiddly on purpose!?) so I wasn't really a fan of the extras. However the powders were really great to use andit's easy to use the three colours to create an exact match to your eyebrow if needed. As an added bonus, I've discovered that the lightest colour (top right) is also a fantastic contouring colour for fair skin tones!

Smoulder Eyeshadow Palette

When you are presented with a 10 eyeshadow palette for just £4 you'll be forgiven for not expecting much. Yet this little palette and some really great eyeshadows included that I was genuinely impressed with. The first two colours on the right reminded me alot of Urban Decay Thirteen and Combust which are possibly my favourite base and transition colours. 

The pigmentation isn't quite as strong but they build up really well. I particularly loved the shimmers, especially the gorgeous blue green shade second in from the left. While they aren't the best eyeshadows I've used and certainly wouldn't be a professional standard, they are none the less a nice little addition to my makeup stash.

A selection of  Gilded Mono Eyeshadows
From Left to Right - 216, 218, 217, 219
These four eyeshadows are by far my biggest surprise and my favourite products out of the whole selection. They only cost £1 each and yet are so amazingly pigmented and blendable. The swatches above are only after one application and they are such gorgeous colours. 219 really reminds me of Mac Old Gold which is one of my favourite pigments ever so I was really happy with this cheeky little find. There is a fair selection of mono eyeshadows already but I would love to see more, especially from the gilded section.

I think it's easy to see that I have been really impressed by the Freedom makeup line. Their prices and quality are a truly fabulous combination and I can't wait to try out some more products from them. They have recently released a strobe cream and what looks like an Anastasia Dipbrow dupe so those will definitely be my first choices on my next order!

Have you tried Freedom Makeup yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday 1 November 2015

Glam Werewolf Tutorial - Simple Halloween Makeup #6

 I know this post is a touch late but even if Halloween has just about passed us by, I felt the need to represent the werewolf. I am after all Team Jacob so it's only I was far too happy with this look to not share it!

To create this look I used Urban Decay Naked Smoky and their 24/7 eyeliner in Perversion along with NYX Milk, an eyebrow pencil, a glue stick and my normal foundation and concealer. Pretty much all normal items that will be available in most makeup bags (and houses in general) or that can be easily substituted.

Since this is going to be quite a glam look, start off with creating a flawless base. I used Estee Lauder Double Wear and Benefit Boi-ing concealer as both of these are particularly long lasting and quite full coverage.

Next it's time to contour again, both to create some pointed wolfey looks but also to provide areas that we will turn into fur a little later on. As for most of  the Halloween looks I have created, we need to ramp up the normal contouring by using darker colours than might normally be used. In this case I used UD's Password and Whiskey but any matte greys or browns that you have to hand will work.

I decided I wanted to be a silver wolf so the colours I have chosen lean mainly on the grey side but you could easily change that up if you wanted to.

First things first, lets get some wolf brows going on! I was inspired to create this look by a well known makeup artist on Youtube called Chrisspy (check her out if you haven't come across her before, she's amazing!) so I mainly followed her steps for the eyebrows. I took a brow pencil and essentially traced the line of my eyebrow and carried it on in a straight line rather than following the arch. Use small feathered strokes here to create the illusion of actual hair. Take a spoolie brush and really fluff up your brows with quick upward strokes. If you like, you can also enhance your eyebrows by drawing in little hairs coming out of the top of your brow to give a wispy effect.

We then want to hide the tail of our real eyebrow! This took a fair bit of patience and time and is probably the fiddliest part of this entire look. The best thing to do is to use a glue stick (ensure it is non toxic) and brush it over the tail end, both against and with the hair. Once the hair is stuck down, give it a little time to set and then take a white eyeshadow or NYX Milk and some concealer and apply it to the area. You may need to do this a couple of times before the brows are completely hidden.

 To create the eye look, the idea is to try and give the illusion of slightly more oval shaped eyes. This can be achieved by pulling your eyeshadow up to a point that follows the angle of your eyebrow. Use an eyeshadow primer such as Urban Decay Primer Potion first to make the colours really pop. 

Then brush a shade close to your natural skin tone (I used UD Combust) all over the lid and up to the brow. This will serve as your transition colour once you add in the darker shades. Next take a light grey shade (I used UD Password) and brush it all across the lid and up to a point. I then went into the crease and up to the point with a darker grey (UD Dagger) and again with a black eyeshadow (UD Black Market). 

Using NYX Milk or a white eyeshadow on a small angled brush, create a pointed shape in the inner corner of your eye. This will make your eyes appear larger and more pointed.

To add a little more definition to the lid, apply either a white cream eyeshadow or NYX Milk all over it. Then pack on a grey eyeshadow with a shimmer (UD Slanted and Armour) over the top.

At this point, take the same grey and black eyeshadows under your eye and up to the side of the light coloured point. Also use a black kohl eyeliner on your water line and smudge it across your top lashes. To finish off the eyes, add some fake eyelashes if you are planning on using them and then layer on a volumising mascara.

Now it's time to add the fur! Using a grey shadow on a firm brush, draw in little hairs along your cheek contour and all around the edges of your face.

For the lips I wanted to create a silver ombre effect to go with my silver wolf look. You could easily choose a different colour though if you wanted to mix it up a little. To create the lip, I applied NYX Milk as a base and then a silver eyeshadow all over. For the ombre effect, I used a black eyeliner and applied it as I would a lipliner and then gently blended it using a lip brush to drag the colour out.

I felt a bit of glamour for my hair would work well with the intensity of the makeup and of course a fur wrap seemed like the ideal choice!

I hope you've enjoyed all of these Halloween looks that I have created this week and that you've had a great Halloween! Let me know what outfit you chose in the comments, I'd love to see what everyone came up with!

Friday 30 October 2015

Skull Tutorial - Simple Halloween Makeup #5

I know what you're doesn't look overly simple at first glance does it? But actually, when you break it down into the steps below this skull look is pretty easy to achieve! Just believe and give it a go! This was actually the first time I have ever tried a skull look so the pictures you see below are literally with no practice at all, so if I can do it, you lovely people most certainly can too!

As with all of the other Halloween looks I have put up this week, I used normal makeup bag items to create this one. For the white I used NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk and a white eyeshadow. You could definitely use facepaint to create this whole look however I will say unless you have a great white facepaint that gives a smooth, opaque finish, go the eyeshadow route instead. It makes the look so much cleaner and it's also easier to apply the black over the top. For the large black areas I used a black gel eyeliner (Seventeen Gel Eyeliner in Smoulder) and the teeth and smaller details were created using a combination of a black Kohl eyeliner pencil and a liquid liner in felt tip form. In reality you could create the whole look with just one of these products (or a decent black facepaint) but I found it a little easier to swap between products. I also used black and grey eyeshadows to help blend things out.

So to start, I really recommend using a primer. Not only will it help keep the look in place, it will also act as a barrier between your skin and the facepaint or large amount of makeup. This is particularly helpful if you have quite sensitive skin. Next, take your chosen products and white out your entire face. I drew lines all across my face with NYX Milk (which I really recommend by the way for both this and normal looks as a base) and then blended it out. Then I went over the whole area with a white eyeshadow which gave a more even finish as well as the added bonus of helping to set the NYX Milk.

Now it's time to get your main features in place. Outline the eye and nose shape, lightly sketching until you are happy and then fill it all in. Go for a slightly more square shape around the eyes rather than round circles as this will help it look a little more authentic. At this point my fiance came home and pronounced that I look like a dalmatian...good start!

Next, using either a smaller brush or an eyeliner pen, draw lines out from the corner of your mouth and out towards your ear on either side. Try to follow the line made in the hollow under your cheekbone as a guide and stop when you are as far out as the edge of the black circles around the eyes. Then it's time to add in the vertical lines which will form your teeth. leave fairly even spacing between the lines until you get to the last four or so. At this point, make the lines get gradually slightly closer together just to taper it off nicely.

Once all of the lines have been drawn, draw little v shapes coming off of each end of the lines. Don't worry about being super tidy here as these are more of a starting guideline.

Start extending out the lines of the v shapes lightly so that they start crossing over each other and begin to shade in the inner point to make it stand out a little more. One important thing to note here, don't panic that your teeth are all different shapes, this actually gives it a far more believable look. After all, are every single one of your teeth exactly the same?

Now that you can really see the shape of your teeth, add in a little more grey eyeshadow around the outsides of your teeth and then blend it out towards the rest of your face so that it gradually fades out. Also add in little diamond shapes at the point where the teeth lines and centre line meet to give definition between each tooth.

We've got a bit of a lighting change in the rest of the photos as at this point I lost natural light. The danger of makeup experimentation on winter evenings! Once you've got your teeth sufficiently blended, you'll want to go back in with some white to create your pearly nashers. I used a small brush to apply NYX Milk to each tooth and then just gradually brushed down with the edge of the brush to create the root of each tooth.

Since we've got our teeth sorted, it's now time to create the cheekbone. I have no idea how to decribe the shape here so follow the image below and draw it right where your ear is. The smaller part that comes out will follow the hollow line under your chekkbone so that it will match up nicely with where your teeth are. Use a grey eyeshadow to blend out the area around the teeth until they look like they gradually face into eachother. You may also want to darken up your ears at this point too!

If you like you could finish the look there but adding in some details will really add to the overall effect. I added in some little points coming off the eyes, some soft lines around the main features and lines running from the corner of my eye up to my temple on both sides. I then took a brush and gently blended them a little so they didnt look too harsh. Using a light touch I traced in a few cracks here and there as well.


Ever the fan of contouring, I took a grey eyeshadow and blended it along my jaw, temples and forehead. Depending on what you are wearing, you might want to extend the white down your neck and chest. Alternatively you could go all out and create a bare bone effect down your neck. I think if I created this look again, I would add in some more cracks across the cheeks and forehead for a scarier finish so you might want to add in more when you create this look yourself! 

To add a little flare, I decided to backcomb my hair as a sleek do just didn't look quite right to me. So here is the finished look!

Would you give this look a go? What do you think of the skull makeup? Would love to know what you think so do pop a comment below!

Thursday 29 October 2015

Zombie Tutorial - Simple Halloween Makeup #4

Since my first three looks have been fairly friendly looking, I thought it was time to do a bit more of a creepy look for tutorial number four! It's time to turn into a zombie! To create this look all I used were a few eyeshadows, a red lipstick, a purple lip pencil and a purple lipgloss so hopefully it will be pretty easy for most of you to create it on a whim! There are loads of amazing zombie looks around with incredibly realistic looking wounds but generally they always involve using liquid latex which I'm guessing is not a makeup bag staple for most people so I've given that sort of thing a miss this time!

To kick off the look, we want to make ourselves look like we are literally wasting away so you'll want to make your neck tendons and collar bone really stand out. 

To do this take a red lipstick and apply it in the areas I have shown below. Apologies for it being a picture I have edited to show where I used the lipstick rather than the real thing, I got a bit carried away with creating the look and then realised I hadn't even taken any  photos! In case it isn't clear enough, you want to basically place the lipstick in the areas that you want to really darken up. So I have ran it each side of my collar bone and then up the centre of my neck, leaving a gap where the tendons are. I also put a line straight down the centre of my chest. 

Once you have drawn your initial lines, use either a fairly stiff makeup brush or your fingers to start blending out the lipstick. Then go over the same areas with some brown, grey and even khaki toned eyeshadows to really enhance the look. Leave the actual collar bone and tendon lines untouched until the very end and then just lightly brush over a little grey eyeshadow so that they still stand out but they don't look obviously normal in colour. Congratulations, you are now the owner of a zombie!

Now onto the face! It's completely up to you if you want to do a layer of foundation before going zombie. Personally I just used my Smashbox primer and a little concealer as it seemed a bit counter productive to make my skin look flawless when I'm trying to create a mottled, dead effect. In fact for once my delightfully blotchy skin and under-eye circles actually came in handy! But guys, it's your face after all so do whatever makes you feel comfortable! 

Again, it's all about looking like you haven't had a good meal in a fair old while so let's get our contour on big time. This isn't the time for subtlety so use grey and khaki toned eyeshadows to really define the cheekbones, chin, nose and temples. At this stage I decided we could do with even more freaky colouring so I got the red lipstick back out and placed dots along main contouring areas as shown below. 

Now as you'd do normally, blend out the lipstick and even add a little more grey over the top of you think it's gone a bit too pink. 

Next take a pink eyeshadow and blend it all around the eye socket, particularly underneath the eye. If you have a red or pink eyeliner, pop that on your waterline to make your eyes look extra sore. A more likely item that you'll have is a red lip pencil which can also be used but do check that it's safe to be used next to the eyes first as ingredients do vary!

It's then time to get that really sunken eye look going on so grab a black eyeshadow and start blending it around your entire eye socket and down the side of your nose. Try not to completely cover up the pink but apart from that you can be pretty messy here. Don't worry about following exact lines or perfect blending because hey, since when are zombies "on fleek"?!

After the eyes are all darkened up, it's time to add in the details to the face. I used a purple lip pencil to draw veins and marks on my face to give a sufficient "my skin has gone transparent and gross" look and then lightly brushed a brown eyeshadow over the top to dull them a little. 

I also used a grey and a khaki eyeshadow and just added in little splotches here and there to make me look a rather unhealthy shade as well as a little bit grubby. 

Again, feel free to branch out with your detailing here. Add in a bigger wound or add mucky patches of brown if you want to look like you've just pulled yourself out of the ground. It's completely up to you!

For the finishing touch, add some blood (or in this case, LA Girl Lip Paint in Tempt)! My particular zombie strain is virus related so I thought some eyebleeding would work well. I then wanted to look like I'd just carried out some serious chomping so I focused quite a lot around my mouth. Given that, I didn't bother with putting anything on my lips beforehand. 

If however you aren't keen on the bloodlust, I'd suggest using concealer on your lips to pale them out a bit and then use blue and grey eyeshadows dappled over the top to get that no circulation lip. 

Finish up the look with some setting spray if you have some handy to keep yourself looking wonderfully undead for the whole evening. 

Thinking of being a zombie for Halloween? Let me know how you get on in the comments below!
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