Monday, 29 August 2011

The Easy Way to Fix A Broken Lipstick!

Hey Everyone!

So it's happened to us all at some point, your favourite lipstick breaks, disaster! :( But fear not, there is a ridiculously simple, easy cheap effective way to fix them! First of all I don't claim to have come up with this method, after some researching blogs, youtube videos and all that, this is the best and easiest way I have found and it doesn't involve the use of lipstick molds or any complicated stuff! So this is what you will need!...

You will need: A Hairdryer, your broken lipstick, some baby wipes to clean up and a fridge (not pictured!)

The first thing you need to do is take the tube that has a little product left in it and stick the hair dryer on it on a high heat setting. Do this for about 15-30 seconds or however long you find it takes to slightly melt the remaining product in the tube. 

Once this is done simply press the lipstick back into the tube on top of the the slightly melted lipstick. Press it down to your desired position and leave it in the fridge, upright like the following picture, for approximately 30 minutes.

And voila! Your lipstick will be fixed! This worked perfectly for me, no wobble or anything, my lipstick was back to normal! Also the lipstick I used in the pictures in Rose Pearl from Natural Collection, and this has happened me three times with Natural Collection lipsticks!

Anyways I hope you enjoyed this post! :)
Karen :) xx

Saturday, 27 August 2011

An Eye Primer Extraordinaire!

Hey Everyone!

I am so very excited to tell you about this amazing eye primer I came across recently. It's the Catrice eye shadow base and it looks like this...

It claims to intensify eye shadow and increase durabililty. I bought this from my local pharmacy, it retails at €4.79 (Around £4.20) but it was 50% off all Catrice on the day I was there so I got it for €2.40 (Around £2.10), for 2.1ml of product, what a bargain!..I had recently been thinking that I had never come across any eye primers by the more affordable brands (maybe there is but I have never seen them!) and so there wasn't really a good alternative for anyone who didn't fancy spending £16 + pounds on the "cult favourites" like Two Faced shadow insurance, or Urban Decay primer potion. 

SO enter Catrice eyeshadow base, this stuff is amazing! The first thing that I thought when I was using it is that it is very similar to the Urban Decay primer potion (previously mentioned cult fave!), the product itself, consistency,  feel, application etc. all very similar. It gives a really smooth soft finish, as you would expect. Here are some swatches..

When I apply my eye makeup over this, you can really feel the primer "grabbing" the shadow, and it really does intensify eyeshadow, like it claims it will. This is all great but the main thing I want from an eye primer is to increase durability, so does it live up to it's claim?...YES!.. I have used this first thing in the morning, carried on through a normal day, then into the evening, over 12 hours and still my eye shadow did not budge. I also used it on a night out last night my eyeshadow stayed perfect all night long and (I'm really not proud of this) I didn't take my makeup off when I got home (disaster, I know!) BUT when I got up, my eyeshadow was still perfect!!...And all this for €2.40? AMAZING!

I'm so impressed by this stuff, the only downside being I know Catrice are not overly represented in the UK, so it may be a little hard to come by, but anyone from Ireland should be able to find this pretty easily. Anyways, wherever you are if you come across this product buy it, you won't be sorry!

Hope you enjoyed this review! 
Karen :) xx

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Preparing for University! Tips for first time students :)

Hey Everyone!

It’s that time of year, back to school, back to college, back to uni. For a lot of people it’s their first time heading off or away from home and this is quite daunting. I’m no expert and maybe this won’t help anyone but I’ve been through it, so I said I would do a little post on preparing for university! I started university 3 years ago (I’m finished now, sob) and I moved quite a distance! I’m from Ireland but I moved to the U.K in order to do a course that wasn’t available in Ireland. It was incredibly daunting and hard considering I had just turned 18 and not only was I leaving home, I was leaving my home country. When I moved over it was lonely and it was scary and I did find myself questioning if I had done the right thing by moving for the course. Now I’m finished and I am about to start my dream job, so I can definitely say it was the right move.

First Things First
So you’re about to head off, what advice can I give you? The first thing I would say is this; don’t do a course, just for the sake of it. Do something you will love and enjoy and that will lead you to a job and a life you will love when it’s all over. If you don’t know what it is you want to do, then take some time out, think about it. If you’re not interested in your course, you won’t enjoy the lectures, you won't want to attend, you won’t want to do the work and usually that means you won’t be very successful. I seen it happen on my own course, there was people who didn’t want to be there, who barely turned up and when they did they spent their time disrupting the rest of us. Needless to say they dropped out at the end of the first year, not only is this a waste of time, it’s a waste of money. I know there is often a lot of pressure to head off to college or university straight away, but there is nothing wrong with taking time out to figure out what you want to do. One of best friends went to college to do a course she wasn’t really interested in and ended up dropping out. She took a year out and now this year she is returning to uni to do a course she is actually interested in.

The Practical Stuff!
Well the first thing you will need is stationary (Woohoo!). I would recommend the hardback notebooks with dividers – do not use just a refill pad! – Notes fall out, get lost etc and it’s not good! The divider notepads allowed me to keep all my subject notes together and because they were hardback, all my notes are still in ace condition! Aside from notes you take yourself you’re bound to get handouts as well so I also had a sturdy folder, which I bought dividers for so all my subject notes could be categorised in the same way as they were in my notepad! The other thing I had was a regular ring bound notepad, this I used this for rough assignment and research notes. This is not a lot of stuff but it enabled me to be very organised and even now I would have no problem finding subject notes from any of my years because they are so well organised! :) Aside from this it also helped to have a diary with assignment due dates, exam dates etc. in, that way you will not forget!

Home Comforts
I think a lot of first time students move into student digs, these tend to be pretty plain and not too fancy! I found that simple things made a big difference to me, a nice bed set, posters for your walls, picture collages (my favourite!) etc., anything that makes your space a bit more YOUR space. It’s probably the first “home away from home” for most people and so you really want it to be a place that feels like yours and that you’re happy to spend time in.

Get involved!
For a lot of people university is the time they come out of their shell and although it can be intimidating, remember 99% of people there are feeling the exact same as you! At my university all dorms were arranged with first years together and a fresher crew member that had been there before. So everybody that was there was in the same boat as I was. The important thing I found was this, the first people you hang round with don’t have to be your only friends; get out there, get talking to people as much as you can until you find a group of people you feel you fit into. A lot of uni life does centre around socialising and drinking, if this isn’t your thing don’t feel pressured to do it, there will always be people around with the same values as you. Join clubs and groups that reflect your interests, personally I found my best friends were people from my course, because we had the same interests. The other thing I found helped me was getting a job at our uni bar, you meet and talk to lots of people and it helped me to come out of my shell, make friends and earn a little extra cash!

The most important thing is to know what you want to from your university experience and make sure you get it. I had the best three years of my life (so far!) at uni and I’m sure when you finish you want to be able to look back and think the same, so enjoy it :)

Hope you enjoyed this post and it that it will be of some help to some of you :)
Karen xx

Collection 2000 Smokey Eye Palette Review

Hey Everyone!

I recently received this as a gift from one of my friends and was very excited to try it! It's the Smokey Eye Palette from Collection 2000 and it looks like this...

First off I like the packaging, it's not fancy or anything but it's a good size and would be great for travelling with. It has 9 shades which include shimmers, mattes and a cream and they are classified into dark, medium, light and cream. It also comes with a nice double ended applicator and a step by step how to guide on the back. The applicator is actually pretty nice, it looks like this...

It has a large side for packing shadows on and a smaller side which is good for using in the crease, along the lower lash line etc. The guide on the back is pretty simple but covers the basics in a four steps, it looks like this..

So the shadows themselves..I found them to be ok, not great, not awful. Here is a swatch in the order they appear in the pack..

Now I know the picture quality isn't fantastic but I think you can see what I mean. The shimmer "Medium" shades are nicely pigmented and I quite like them. The darker shades aren't as pigmented, like the matte black shade is very light, and I found it took quite a bit of effort to get the kind of "BAM" look I want from a smokey eye. However the pink toned light shade and the cream are really nice and really good highlights. 

Overall the feeling I got when using this palette was that it would be perfect for a smokey eye beginner. The medium and light shades are really nice and the darker shades are quite forgiving and so if you were trying a smokey eye for the first time I think this would be perfect! To sum up it's a nice little palette and well priced at under £5. If they were to make more smokey eye palettes using some different colours; plums, blues etc. I would definitely consider investing!

Hope you enjoyed this review! :) 

Karen xx

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Final Confession of Mabel Stark - One Of My Favourite Books

Hey Everyone,

This is something a little different and non beauty related, but something I wanted to share! I came across this book in a second hand store and bought it for 50p. I have just finished reading "The Final Confession of Mabel Stark" by Robert Hough; and I have to say I enjoyed this book more than any I've ever read. 

Mabel Stark was a world famous Tiger trainer with various circuses in the 1920's, including probably the most famous circus in the world, The Ringling Brothers. Now this is probably the main reason I loved this book, given my love of Tigers (you'll know what I mean if you've seen my "about me" page!). But whether or not you love Tigers the story of this book is truely amazing. I should say that Mabel Stark's story is a remarkable one anyway, however a lot of points in the book are fictionalized, to fill in the parts un-recorded in history (bare in mind she was born over 100 years ago). Even though I believe there was controversy over these inaccuracies, I can't say it changes my love for the book. It's just such an amazing story, the parts involving the Tigers, and the parts involving her personal life (a hint-she married five times). It's written by Hough but using I guess the voice of Mabel - her story, how Hough imagined she would have told it. 

The book includes everything from mental institutions to marrying a millionaire to life a circus trooper. I won't give away any details in case any of you do want to go out and buy this book; but when I finished the book I cried.....actually cried! This is something I have never in my adult life done over a book. Not only did I cry, I put the book down, went to bed, continued to think about this amazing lady ....and cried some more! (Before realising how ridiculous I was being and getting some sleep.)

The bottom line being that's how into the book and the story of Mabel I got. I suppose her love of her Tigers being something I feel I could relate to. (Though perhaps not to the extent explained in parts of the book - if you read it, you will understand!) It's totally and utterly enthralling, so I would definitely recommend it! I'm going to finish with some pictures of the lady herself, followed by a few disclaimer points at the bottom!

Hope you enjoyed this post :)
Karen xx

Mabel - Once the most famed circus performer in the world

Mabel training some of her Tigers

An older Mabel who moved to a zoo in her later days and continued to train Tigers

Disclaimer Points!
1)  I do not agree with animals in the circus, this book is set almost 100 years ago, knowledge and attitude was a lot different back then; though I didn't enjoy reading about the techniques they used to use, it didn't affect my enjoyment of the book.

2) I do not believe dangerous animals like Tigers should ever be in contact with human's like they are in the above pictures. Only the other day a keeper in the U.S had her arm ripped off when she tried to stroke a Tiger. As I've already said times were different back then.

3) I do believe that animals in captivity (for conservation purposes) are important, though not to be used for entertainment as they are in circuses. For example the Ringling Circus still runs a Tiger show; I believe 100% that this is wrong. However I do believe some level of animal training is important and a form enrichment for animals in captivity. Something proven correct by research recently conducted by a friend of mine who showed the benefits of positive reinforcement training for Tigers in captivity. 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Miss Sporty Perfect Colour Lipstick - A Review

Hey Everyone!

So I think pretty much everyone knows the brand Miss Sporty, they are an affordable brand that have been round as long as I can remember! That said I have never really tried any of their products, a few nail polishes and that was really it! Then about 5/6 months ago I was on the hunt for some new lipsticks. I went into my local Superdrug and asked one of the staff what was the best lipstick they could recommend to me...the answer she gave was Miss Sporty!..

I was definitely surprised but she said that she never bothered with expensive lipsticks because for the price and quality, as well as the choice of shades, Miss Sporty was the best all rounder. So taking all this praise on board I went for it! I bought two shades from the "Perfect Colour" range, a pink and a red, two quite intense shades (well for me)!.The pink is called "Innocence - 009" and then red is in "Dream - 055" and they look like this...

"2 of each, Karen that doesn't make 3?..."..I have two pinks, don't ask!

Dream 055

Innocence 009
So the first thing I will say about these is that they are nicely pigmented, you get a pretty good colour pay off with little effort. They go on really easily and really well, so my first impressions were really good! Here is a swatch..

The pink doesn't come off well in this picture but I really like the shades themselves and I was impressed with their pigmentation. Here is what they look like on...1st my lips "au natural!", then with the lipsticks (excuse the poses, my pouting skills aren't the best!)..
No lipstick....



Now for the but!.....I have two issues with these lipsticks, here is the first..

Longevity...The staying power of these lipsticks is really not great, now when I've used them I've used them on their own and with gloss on top (I've never tried with lipcote so maybe that would help) but neither stayed on very long. As I've mentioned in previous posts my usual make up test is how well a product performs on a night out; I found that when wearing these they needed constant re-application to maintain a good look, not particularly convenient when my nights out involve lots of liquid consumption etc! So staying power - not good.

My other issue - drying out my lips...Now I know this can be quite a common complaint from lipsticks, they often tend to dry out lips but this affected mine more than anything I've ever used. In particular the red shade; I once had to dress as a pirate for work (I do miss my old job sometimes!) and this for me involved intense red lips! Throughout the night I found that again it needed constant re-application and by the end of the night my lips felt like they were cracking, incredibly dry!

SO! Overall given the good and bad points, I still quite like them. I think this is purely because I enjoy the shades more than anything and they are affordable. I haven't tried any similarly cheap lipsticks (I'm thinking the MUA lipsticks which I have yet to try - shock horror!) so maybe there are some better ones out there..If I find them I'll let ya know! :)

Hope you enjoyed this review,
Karen :) xx

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

An apology!

Hey Everyone! 

This is just a quick sorry for my lack of posting recently! I haven't done a post in a while and it will be another little while before I'll probably get a chance to do one :( 

Life is a bit hectic at the moment, I'm starting a new job soon, I'm moving back to the U.K., house-hunting, organising my 21st before I leave and some other personal stuff too!..So it's hard to find the time at the moment! As well as all of this there's all the terrible events that have been happening across the U.K and in the last number of days I'm not sure how many would of considered "reading a blog post" of high importance!

So I hope you don't mind and I will try my best to post again very soon!

.............AND to win you over here is a picture of a makeup-less me with my gorgeous boy Zack (A.K.A the most handsome dog in the world)


Karen xx

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Want Long Lasting MakeUp?...

.....Of course you do!

Hey Everyone!
This is going to be a review of the NYC (New York Colour) Smooth Skin loose powder. I bought this product about a year ago maybe, so I've had it for quite a while and without a doubt it is the best product I have ever used in terms of making my make up last. It was the first translucent powder I had purchased and I am still so impressed. I have tried other pressed powders and the E.L.F mist and set spray but they do not compare. (Let me know if you would like a full review of the E.L.F spray!) 

So to start off it looks like this...

It contains 15g of product which is really good considering I payed €3.58 for this and it retails in superdrug for £2.99. I purchased it in the shade Translucent 741and it is also available in Natural Beige. The translucent powder is just a white shade that blends into the skin and becomes "invisible" . NYC states that the product is gives an "ultra sheer soft and natural finish" and I would have to agree! 

I really love it. It gives me such soft skin, to the point where my friends have just stroked my face because it feels so good! I also find it adds a flawless finish to my makeup and gives a nice sheen that really just finishes the look. It doesn't cake and blends really well. I would enjoy using this to set my makeup in general but to top all this off, it makes my makeup last so much longer, and better! It keeps the "flawless" look for longer than anything else I've used and it stands up to the "night out" test! I always judge a product on how well it lasts when I am either travelling or on a night out - both of which are times when I need my makeup to last for hours, without touch up. The NYC Smooth Skin powder has passed both! If I had to find a negative it would be the packaging. I always have spillage incidents and the style of the packaging means that there is a lot of product stored in the top area. 

But overall I am very impressed and would definitely recommend! As long as this is available I will be repurchasing (though I have yet to need to because there's so much in one pack!) 

Hope you all enjoyed this review :)
Karen xx

Monday, 1 August 2011

2True Blusher - Review

Hey Everyone!

This is going to be a review of a product that I have had for quite a while but that I've recently re-discovered!  It is the 2true blush, in shade 1-pink. It looks like this..

I bought this a long time ago and at first I loved it. Its a nice colour and has a nice shimmery finish. It goes on really nicely and I really like the way it looks! Recently I was packing up a lot of my stuff and I came across this again (my organisation is not 1st class with my makeup so it had got lost somewhere along the way!). So I started using it again and I remembered how much I loved it! Here is a swatch..

This pay off is from very little effort and the blush is quite nicely pigmented. It's very blendable and buildable, which is how I like my blush! 2true as a brand are pretty hit and miss for me, there are a few products of theirs I really like and a few I really don't, but I think this is quite an impressive little blush. It's only £1.99 so really affordable, the packaging isn't amazing and in terms of ease of use I would prefer if there was a bit more product in there, but for the price you pay I think it's pretty sweet!

Hope you enjoyed this review! :) 
Karen Xx