Tuesday, 25 September 2012

NOTD: Illamasqua Scorn and Barry M Black

Another super quick post today, I've been busy trying to get myself organised for going back to uni next week and I haven't really had time to take the photographs I need for my draft posts (plus it has been so dark and gloomy here recently so the lighting has not been good) so I'm posting yet another NOTD.

This is Scorn by Illamasqua with Barry M's Black on the tips. I could've technically used a clear top coat on the tips instead of using the Barry M.

I must apologise for the state of my nails. The red that I had on before this seriously stained my nails (despite using a base coat) and I just can't get it out of my cuticles, and using varnish remover on it seemed to make it worse, and then I managed to get Scorn everywhere and it's all just a bit of a big mess. My nails are still breaking all the time and I can't seem to get them to grow any longer. I may have to go and get some more imPRESS nails to use while they are growing out.

I quite like having glossy tips on a matte base, it's a bit more interesting than having just matte nails, and it was super quick to do. I really miss having long nails...

Do you have any tips for growing nails?

Disclosure: I bought these myself.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Collection 2000 Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner

I've been on the lookout for a felt tip liner for quite some time now. I wanted to something cheap as I just wanted to see if it was any different to apply than the other liquid liners that I own, in the end I went for the Collection 2000 one as it is definitely on the affordable side, and I liked it after swatching it on my hand in store.

This liner comes in sleek black packaging and has a thin felt tip applicator. The nib is thin enough to get a thin line which can easily be built up and made thicker.

This liner glides really easily and it is very pigmented. It's opaque in a single swipe, it's very intense! I don't really have the problem of it drying out or having to shake it every two seconds like I have to with other liners I've used either. I've also found that it's easy to correct mistakes, it dries quickly but allows time for you to wipe away any errors.

I definitely think that this eye liner makes it a lot easy to draw even lines and flicks. I have very shaky hands so it works really well for me. I imagine that with Halloween coming up it would be excellent for playing around with face paint designs. The only problem with this liner is it not suitable for contact lens wearers. It doesn't seem to say this anywhere on the packaging so bear this in mind.

The lasting power is really good, I'd say it lasted around five hours or so before it began to fade a little bit. Unfortunately I haven't yet been able to test out the 24 hour claim!

The biggest plus side to this liner is the price. It's one of the cheapest that I would find (I haven't tried the MUA one) at £2.99 it is very affordable. It also comes in purple, teal and blue. I swatched the purple one on my hand in store and it looks beautiful! I may end up going back to get it at some point.

This liner costs £2.99 and can be bought from Boots and Superdrug. Unfortunately I cannot seem to find it on either website.

In other news, it's my blog's first birthday today! I genuinely cannot believe just how fast the past year has gone...it really doesn't feel that long ago since I was getting very excited about having ten followers and now I'm somehow at 180?! To be honest I find it completely confounding that ten would want to read my blog let alone any more than that! I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for taking the time to read and comment on my blog since I started. It really does mean a lot and it brightens up my day! Thank you! 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Alchemy Gothic Aurum Mortis Ring

Are you all sick of these posts yet?! I actually wasn't going to blog about this one, but then it arrived and it was pretty and I couldn't not blog about it...I'm easily swayed.

I ordered this the same day that I published my Autumn Wishlist post, because I discovered that it had been discontinued. Not many places had my size left, so I ended up ordering it from Ebay. I think it cost around the £22 mark including postage but I'm not one hundred percent sure.

Aurum Mortis means 'Golden Death' in Latin. I think the name suits it well, it features a golden crystal above a tiny skull face, and also some dangling skull charms and a little pearl. The dangling skulls are my favourite part of this piece, even though I can never get them to sit right. They are particularly interesting as the skulls aren't identical. One has a narrower, more eroded face than the other one. I think it's a really nice touch, and makes it much more intriguing to look at! It also has some intricate detailing on the sides.

Like the majority of the pieces I own, the crystal really catches the light. It's a really unique piece, it won't be to everybody's taste, but I really like it.

My only issue with this ring is that it seems to be a tiny bit bigger than my Elizabethan Ring. This means that it will sometimes slip off and it's a bit too big for me. I'm contemplating getting one of those ring adjusters (like these) that you attach to the back of your ring to get a snug fit. I'm scared to wear it outside in case I lose it!

Have you all seen the new Alchemy Gothic pieces? I had a browse the other day (I sort of wish that I hadn't) and there's so many lovely new things! I think this one has moved to the top of my wishlist...

Disclosure: I bought this ring myself.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

NOTD: Barry M Tangerine with black tips

It feels like it has been ages since I got round to doing one of these posts! My nails have been breaking constantly, and they're now very short, and it seems like whenever they grow the slightest bit they break again. Whenever my nails are short I try to do something a bit more interesting with them. I'm not very good at nail art to say the least. My hands are very shaky and it almost always goes wrong. I decided to try something different again yesterday, and this was the result.

This is Tangerine by Barry M, with Illamasqua Scorn on the tips. I added a top coat to take away the matte effect of Scorn. I can't find my glossy black that I own anywhere, so I had to improvise. The first finger is very messy, it didn't dry as fast as the others so when I applied the tips it pulled the polish a bit.

The orange could have done with another coat (I used two here) as it applies a little sheer. I used one coat of Scorn for the tips.

I don't think it looks too terrible, but it would certainly look better if it was neater! I like the overall effect though, it's a bit Halloween-y (it's never too early to get excited about Halloween) and it was very easy to do.

Barry M polishes cost £2.99 and can be bought from their website, and Illamasqua polishes cost £13.50 and can be bought here.

Have you tried either of these polishes? What did you think?

Disclosure: I bought these polishes myself. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

L'Occitane Cocoa Flower Lip Balm

L'Occitane are one of those brands that I seem to hear a lot about, but I never really buy from myself. They're on the more expensive side, which is probably why, but I also have a habit of buying it for other people, even though I don't really use a lot of their products myself! My mum found a voucher for a free gift in the newspaper, and wanted to know if I wanted it (there wasn't much of a chance that I'd say no was there?) and I happily ran off to L'Occitane that day and picked this up. I suffer from very dry lips anyway, particularly at this time of year.

I was quite surprised by the tube format. I'm used to having the stick or round tin format, so this was a new one for me. The packaging is really pretty, and it's still nice and compact. I love the patterned packaging, and it also has a screw on lid, so there's no chance of it coming undone in my bag (you wouldn't believe how many times this has happened with other tube products that I own).

I was expecting this balm to have a creamy texture, but it's more like a clear gel, a little bit like lip gloss. It left my lips feeling very soft and smooth, and it also left a glossy finish. I can't decide if I like the glossiness of it yet. I tend to wear lip balm underneath lipstick quite a lot, and this isn't quite suitable for that. However it is perfect on days where you want some product on your lips without having to wear a lipstick. I suppose it's like a moisturing clear gloss.

You only need to use the smallest amount of this product, a little bit goes a long way. Too much of it can make your lips feel slick and a bit oily. It also smells divine, it's very sweet.

This lip balm is expensive but you only need the tiniest amount of it. I can see this tube lasting a very long time!

This lip balm costs £8.50 and can be bought from L'Occitane. Unfortunately it is a limited edition product.

In other news, I receieved my timetable for uni yesterday...So far I have two 9am starts, which isn't great since I'll have to be on the bus before 7:30, but luckily I have all the modules that I wanted for next year! It also means that I might be vanishing a little bit in October while I get adjusted, so bear with me!

What's your favourite lip balm?

Disclosure: This product was free with a voucher from a newspaper. 

Saturday, 8 September 2012

MAC Lipstick in Diva

This post has been at the bottom of my draft post pile for ages! I've been getting lazy when it comes to charging my camera and I've been forgetting to take pictures. I bought this last month, and I've been meaning to blog about it since. I'd been on the lookout for a dark red lipstick for awhile as I'm on a bit of a red kick at the moment. I have Man's Ruin by Rockalily but not many others, and I decided that I wanted to get one by MAC because of the staying power. I ended up narrowing it down to Diva and Media (I had also seen both on lots of blogs running up to this and decided I wanted a nice dark red), but in the end, Diva just had that certain edge over Media that I preferred. I think it's because Media looks a little more purple toned whereas Diva is more of a burgundy?

This lipstick comes in the standard MAC bullet packaging. I still prefer square lipsticks - I had to chase this around again to photograph it! I very nearly used blue tac to make it stay still...

Diva is a dark burgundy with a matte finish. As always with MAC lipsticks, it's super pigmented and opaque in a couple of swipes of the tube. I'd like to take a moment now to say that my lip swatch on this post is absolutely useless. My camera wouldn't pick up the colour of the lipstick, and unfortunately the colour shown here isn't very accurate and is nowhere near as nice as the actual colour of the lipstick. The majority of my pictures came out bright orange. It was very frustrating!

See what I mean? This makes it look really drying too. It isn't. 

This lipstick has a matte finish, but feels very comfortable after applying. I was quite surprised about the texture actually - I didn't feel much like a matte when I applied it, it's quite creamy! It doesn't enhance the dry areas of my lips after immediate application, but overtime it becomes quite drying and a little patchy (or at least it does on my chronically dry lips) so I'd definitely recommend reapplying if you're going to be wearing this for a long period of time. I would still suggest applying a balm before you apply this, however.

I really love the colour of this lipstick. It's exactly what I searching for. It isn't too light and it isn't too dark either, it's the perfect balance that I was looking for, and definfitely my new favourite red in my collection.

The staying power of this lipstick is fantastic, and also my reason for buying it. This survived a meal and drinks the other week, and didn't need to be reapplied until the evening (and that was because it had become patchy, not because it had faded). I haven't had any issues with it fading whatsoever.

I really love this lipstick, and I see me getting a lot of use out of it. I'm very glad that I went with this one in the end!

This lipstick costs £14.00 from MAC or Debenhams.

What's your favourite red lipstick? Do you have this one or Media? If you have Media, how do you think it compares? Is it still worth looking at?

Disclosure: I bought this lipstick myself.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Beauty vs Brains Tag

I always enjoy reading some different 'tag' posts, and when I saw this one on Zombies Wear Eyeliner I just had to give it a go! It's a definitely something that interests me.

1. Favourite Book?

My favourite books are The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien. My Dad is a huge Tolkien fan and I hold him responsible for my current love of reading. He bought them for me when I was 11 and they completely changed the way that I read and defined my interests in literature. Sadly when I took them to Spain with me this year they began to fall apart and I had to leave them behind. My Dad has promised me (technically both of us) a new set for Christmas. I felt very sad leaving them behind, I felt like I was abandoning part of my childhood!

2. Favourite Quotation?

This one is so difficult! I'm an English student so I have so many quotes that I love but all for different reasons! I really like 'This above all, to thine own self be true' from Hamlet. I have another Shakespeare quote in my sidebar from Sonnet 130.

3. English or Maths?

This one is a bit of an obvious one isn't it? Never maths! I had a really bad maths teacher in my school days so I was pretty much self taught and I scraped by at GCSE with a B. I may have liked it otherwise, but I absolutely do not miss it!

4. Science or Art? 

Science. I am so bad at art, even my stick men are wonky. I took A-Level Biology which was a bit of a nightmare, but I do like science, and I find it enjoyable. 

5.  5 musical artists that changed your life?

This is quite difficult! There's been so many bands that I love that have changed the way that I think about music. I'm going to have to say:

1. Metallica - My Dad gave me my Mum's copy of The Black Album when I was eight, and I fell in love with it. I borrowed it from him (who had in turn borrowed it from my Mum) and I finally gave it back to her a few months ago! It's still my all time favourite album and Metallica are still my favourite band. I've been to see them four times now!
2. After Forever - After Forever were one of the first bands that really got me into symphonic metal. I saw them for the first time at Download in 2007 and I saw them again in my home town shortly after. They were such a fantastic live band, and I was pretty gutted when they disbanded.
3. Def Leppard - Def Leppard along with Deep Purple and Rainbow were constantly played around the house when I was growing up. My parents and I have very similar music tastes! My mum and I have been to see Def Leppard together twice now! Their music never fails to cheer me up.
4. Satyricon - Satyricon were the first band that I ever saw live. It was at Download in 2006, and I had just turned 13. They were absolutely incredible, and the ground was trembling it was so loud! They definitely introduced me some heavier bands and I saw them again that year. I'd really love to go and see them again!
5. Black Sabbath - When I was 11, my Dad bought me my first CD of my own. It was a mixed CD, and it had both War Pigs and Paranoid on it, and I was hooked. I think I played those two tracks over and over to death! The CD didn't survive very long, it was battered. War Pigs will always remind me of my Dad as it's one of his favourite songs. I was finally able to see Sabbath at Download this year, and they're one of the best bands I have ever seen live. I couldn't stop smiling for weeks afterwards!

6. Favourite and least favourite subject at school?

My favourite subjects were English and Geography. I've always been stuck in the middle of them. It was a hard choice when I went to uni, and I still feel like there's a gap in my life without Geography but I feel like English is my calling so to speak. As for my least favourite, probably anything practical, like woodwork or electronics. I am not very handy to say the least! One time in woodwork they had to shut off the power in the entire room after they let me use one of the machines!

7. Favourite celeb with a brain?

I'm not really sure about this one? I don't really follow 'celebs' and I'm not really all that interested. I'm going to have to say Russell Brand though. I know a lot of people might disagree with that, but I really like him. It's very easy to judge him based on his appearance, but he speaks very eloquently and honestly, and I like that about him. 

8. If you could study anything anywhere, what would it be?

I'm quite happy studying English where I am! I don't have a preference.

9. What is your 'nerdy little secret'?

My nerdyness is never secret, haha! I suppose one thing that would surprise people is that I own a rock collection. I used to want to be a geologist, and I still have a ton of fossils and nowhere to put them, but at the same time I don't want to part with them! My old geography teacher from school gave me lots of her old collection when I left, which was really sweet of her.

10. Favourite beauty gurus who you admire for more than their love for beauty/fashion?

There's so many other bloggers that I admire! Far too many to list here. I'm going to get round to doing a links page soon so I'll make a list there!

11. If your channel couldn't focus on beauty/fashion, what would it be?

My blog would either be on literature or music. Probably lit, actually. Or creative writing. Maybe both?

12. Name some things that you're obsessed with that other people would find strange.

I think most people find me strange anyway? I think the rock collection would definitely fit the criteria on this one, haha! Or theatre. I got really excited about the theatre module at uni and everybody else hated it and thought it was a bit odd that I liked it so much. They certainly didn't share my enthusiasm!

13. Name 5 people who inspire you (not friends or family)

Most of my inspiration comes from writers, so I'm going to list those!

1. Shakespeare - Do I need to explain this one?
2. J.R.R Tolkien - See question 1!
3. James Clemens/Rollins - I suppose you could consider him quite an unknown writer, but he's absolutely phenomenal. I've read The Banned and the Banished so many times that I've lost count. A wonderful writer and his plots are excellent.
4. Lewis Carroll - I don't think I need to explain this one either! Wonderland has always had an influence on me, and it was my Dad's favourite novel as a child so we all share the wonderland love!
5. C.S Lewis - Another fantasy writer that influenced me as a child. My grandparents bought me The Chronicles of Narnia was I was really very young, and I loved it. 

14. Who is your intellectual soulmate?

I have absolutely no idea for this one!

Has anybody else done/thinking of doing this tag? If you have please comment with a link!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

imPRESS Press on Manicure

I love having long nails. I never used to be able to grow my nails as I used to play the violin, so when I gave that up I really wanted to make the most of being able to grow them. I've now had pretty much constant long nails since. Earlier last week they all began to break, so I had to cut them down, and they've ended up being very short. I have had these press on nails by imPRESS for months (a friend gave them to me who didn't want them) and I had put them in my box and forgotten about them, mainly because they're so short and I didn't want to have to cut my nails just to wear them! So when I was looking at my sad little nails I decided to finally give them a shot. Now, I don't know the shade name of these as it isn't listed on the box! If anybody knows please comment and I'll update this.

To apply these, you have to measure them against your nail, choose the five that fit you the best and peel off the tape on the back. You then apply them to your nails, with the thumb applied last. At first this was really easy, but I struggled to get the sticky back off after I'd finished one hand! Overall it was a very easy and also a very quick process. It took me about five minutes to apply these! Some of them are a little wonky as it was first time using these (my first time using fake nails, in fact) and some of them that I applied using my left hand are more than a little crooked, but overall they're quite neat.

If you read this blog frequently then you'd know that this is the neatest my nails have ever been! I really like the overall effect of these, they make having short nails much more bearable. The colour is nice, it's a reddish brown that seems to change depending on the light. These don't really feel like false nails either. They are very comfortable to wear and the shortness of them means that they are very easy to work with. They feel very secure.

These lasted for four days until one of them popped off (I was trying to get one of my tablets out of the packet when this happened) and I'm really pleased with how long they lasted. Some of them are tougher than others (the ones on my left hand for example I had to remove because none of them were coming off) but overall they all lasted well.

I think these nails are excellent if for example you have to have short nails for work or because you play an instrument and you want to have longer nails for a week! They are very comfortable to wear and the shortness of them means that they don't feel awkward. I'd definitely wear these again.

These nails cost £8.99 from Boots.

Disclosure: These were given to me by a friend.
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