Friday, 28 March 2014

How I: Trim My Fringe!

Hi guys! I've just uploaded a new video, showing the internet my bathroom, as well as how I trim my fringe. Living that student lifestyle means I am from time to time poor and/or lazy, thus I tend to trim my own fringe when it's getting a little long and obstructing my view. I am by no means a hairdresser, not even close, but I do think I do and alright job of cutting my fringe, and I thought I'd show you how I do it and what I use!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

A Sephora Haul & A Chit-Chat

Let me be the first to apologise for my absence last week on the blog and the YouTube - as Emma and I knuckle down for the final few hurdles this academic year, we've had a few blips to our normal schedule. I'd be a liar if I said it won't happen again - I don't hand in until May and Emma has exams in June - but we are still committed to our little piece of the internet. I know we have a few regular readers (hello, and thank you!!) and I don't want you to think we're forgetting about you! Needless to say, please bare with us until Summer - we'll have a lot more time to commit once school is out! (Think 'What Time Is It?' - HSM2 style, hell I know I do.) Enough chit-chat and on with what I got!

I was a silly billy and left my SD Card in Uni - I've taken this from my Instagram - @Alicethomasss

Now you may not be aware, but Sephora US have started shipping to the UK, meaning us Brits can get hold of a fair few brands which we couldn't or it was very hard to. There are a few rules and regs - no nail varnish or perfumes due to ingredients, and no big name brands which we can already get our hands on (Nars, Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown etc) which I think is because of agreements big brands have with retailers in the UK. You need to spend £75 before tax (which you don't have to work out, Americans don't like including tax in the label price, which I find incredibly infuriating - you'll get the horror of the tax at the checkout) to qualify for the £10 flatrate for shipping, which I think is a great idea as you're not faced with a ridiculous customs charge you weren't expecting. Basically, you're looking at spending at least around £100, which is a lot of commitment and not a sum you'll be dropping every pay day, but a nice treat here and there, and something like a mass Christmas present shop, it is justifiable (to a beauty addict like yours truly!)

Since the launch of the MJ line in Sephora, the beauty community has been rife with it's high quality, high price tag line. Particularly on the pedestal there's the genius gel foundation, the nail varnishes and the Lolita eyeshadow palette - the neutral palette of the Gods. So far, the impressions are good ones, which is to be expected. This palette has great shades for my daily matte shadow, defined crease look but also a few shimmery ones and even a highly glittery shade for those who really want to go all out. Testing is still very much in progress and expect a full blown review!

I must confess something, I am a complete newbie to mineral makeup, and if I'm honest, foundations in general. I've barely dipped my toes in the world of foundation - I only took the plunge to get one last IMATS - so I'm still playing and discovering all manners of the stuff. I also was gagging to try something from Tarte, but the classic choice of a blush wasn't going to happen since recently acquiring both the Nars x Guy Bourdin blush palette and Stereo Rose MSF by MAC. This also being a new launch, and a type of product I haven't tried, I went for this guy, and so far I am very impressed! It just evens everything out without me looking like I got a cream pie to the face. Again, still road-testing, playing about with what concealers work well and the whole wet product/dry product shebang - but watch this space, I may be a mineral makeup convert! Side note - Tarte is coming to QVC this Friday and they're selling this product with the brush, along with a whole host of others, so you may want to check out what they're offering before shipping it over from the states!

I know FAB are available through various sites based in the UK, but this was a 'whilst I'm here' purchase, as I'd been hearing good things about this cleanser from other oily gals. Again, as far as I can tell after a few uses, this is another winner of a product. First off, the product looks like a ruby slipper (it's red and glittery, it makes me feel like I'm in a glamourous horror movie) and just leaves my skin feeling bloody (geddit?!) brilliant!!

Sephora Event Eight Shadow Palette - currently unavailable
An impulse buy at the checkout, but a good reminder that maybe I should try some of the own brand makeup Sephora has to offer. Did I mention this guy was also on sale for £3.19? In the basket you go! I must admit I've only done several swatches of this guy, rather than putting it on the lid. One shade is very similar to Nars' Fez, there's also a glittery black and a matte black, as well as a good selection of mid-tones for a daily look or one heck of a smokey eye.

So! That was what I got for my first Sephora shop. I'm heading over the pond this summer so I don't think I'll place another order just yet, and hold out until I'm in an actual store. I'm so happy this service is now available, although I would be even happier if the actual store arrived on British shores (c'mon Sephora - you can make it happen) but until then, this is a nice stop gap, even if you do have to 'bulk buy' for what of a better word. Go have a scroll on the website and start up that wishlist!!

Have you placed an order?
Do you like the look of anything I got?

Let us know in the comments!!

Monday, 17 March 2014

(Coffee's For Closers)


Another month has been and gone and I've had a rather constructive one! I booked my big summer holiday - a 10 day trip to Las Vegas!! I am bloody excited and am already picking out bikinis... I've also been having a serious reminisce about my trip to New York City - which I took over 2 years ago now, how time flies - still, I'm happy I'm heading back to the states!

Beauty-wise, I've had quite the month! I've hauled a whole heap of stuff over on the YouTube channel, finally got my mitts on the Narsissist palette, which I also did a full blown post and video on - you're probably sick of me talking about it by now!! And lastly, but by no means least, I've discovered Zoeva brushes!! I've been in the market for some new brushes for a while now, and settled with the Vegan Face Set. So far I have been absolutely loving them, and have my eyes on a few more!

I don't know if I've ever mentioned in on here, but I'm a vegetarian, and I have recently perfected my veggie cottage pie, which could easily be a vegan one if you omitted the cheese. It is bloody delicious, even if I do say so myself! Emma and I went to Thornbury Castle for cream tea the other weekend (Henry VIII stayed there and everything - how very English of us!) and we couldn't finish the cakes, afterwards we went into a serious tea coma. Mmm, tea. My boyfriend and I have been trying out a few new places to eat and drink near his place, and we've struck gold with a few of them, I can't wait for summer and to find a few more nice spots!

And lastly... I saw Fall Out Boy on Saturday! I know that they won't be to everybody's taste, but I haven't been able to see them in 5 years, and they are my absolute favourites! Needless to say they put on a great show and I have been buzzing ever since!

What have you guys been up to?
Read my last Instagram update here.
Follow my Instagram & Twitter for updates as they happen!!

Friday, 14 March 2014

A Chit Chat About The Narsissist Palette

Hi guys, here's a follow up video to my Narsissist Palette post (which was my last post!) and I just thought it would be fun to have a bit of a natter about it!! I hope you like it!! If you'd like to subscribe to my channel I'd be over the moon!!

See you soon!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The Narsissist Eye Palette Review + Swatches

Hi guys!! I know I'm very late on the Narsissist train (video coming tomorrow explaining my struggle to get this bloody palette!!) but nevertheless I thought I'd share my thoughts on one of the most biggest buzz products from the last month or so, and swatch the shadows too!!

The Narsissist palette retails for £55

It is a thing of beauty

Top: Pandora #2, Dogon #2, Bad Behaviour, Lhasa, Bellissima #1
Middle: Mekong, Brousse #2, Ashes To Ashes, Nepal, Madrague #1
Bottom: Coconut Grove, Bali, Fez, Madrague #2, All About Eve

Index - All About Eve, Middle - Madrague #1, Ring - Bellissima #1
When first swatched and sat next to each other, these three look fairly similar, All About Eve is a pinky champagne colour with some shimmer running through it, which I think is a great 'barely there, but a little something' quick colour. Madrague #1 is a matte flesh tone and I love it as a base if I'm going for liquid liner. Bellissima is the highlight shade in the palette, a shimmery white which would work both along the brow bone or in the inner corner, the glitter is definitely there, but isn't too in your face or chunky. 
Index - Madrague #2, Middle - Nepal, Ring - Lhasa
 Madrague #2 is what I would describe as a sandy camel colour which pairs well with it's Madrague counterpart (funnily enough) if you're looking for a subtle crease colour, or it could be used as a quick wash of colour across the lid, or a nice transition shade - it's a very boring, but versatile shade (I'm definitely considering getting the Madrague Duo!) Nepal is a deeper, more coral version of All About Eve, and I think if you mixed these together you could get a nice highlight for your cheekbones. I also think it is another colour which works well on it's own, or thrown into a million shadow look to add a little sheen. Lhasa is actually a shade I own in a full sized single - I purchased it because I thought it would work well in the crease and with your contour shade - and I was right! If you wanted Chanel Notorious but couldn't get your mitts on it, I found this makes a nice substitute. The shimmer isn't too overpowering so it can work in your contour and it does a great job of cooling things down - so if you wanna look a little bit more - dare I say it - gaunt - this works a treat!
Index - Fez, Middle - Ashes To Ashes, Ring - Bad Behaviour
Fez I think is one of the stand out shades for most, and for good reason. This thrown into a smokey eye, particularly Olsen style, would make blue and green eyes especially just pop! I think it is an absolutely lovely shade with the right amount of glitter in it to make it fabulous, not tacky.  Ashes To Ashes I think is that taupey 'throw this with any look' shade and I think although it may look a little boring, it's a versatile shade. I was thinking about picking Bad Behaviour up as a single shadow prior to the release of this palette, I think it's a lovely, buildable shade which would work wonders in most smokey eye looks. This was part of the Guy Bourdin collection, which was limited edition, although I'm unsure whether or not this has made it into the permanent line.
Index - Bali, Middle - Brousse #2, Ring - Dogon #2
 Bali is a greyish matte brown which I like to use to really define the crease and although I haven't tried it, you may be able to get away with this one through your eyebrows! Brousse #2 is greyish purple shade with purple glitter running through it which I think would work great when doing a smokey eye! Dogon #2 is a nice bluey grey shade which is another smokey eye shade!!
Index - Coconut Grove, Middle - Mekong, Ring - Pandora #2
Coconut Grove is a really rich warm toned brown and I think would look nice a liner or smudged into the lash line. Mekong is deep shade with glitter running through, and when layered up can give an intense smokey look. Pandora #2 is a matte black shade, which is basically a palette essential!!

I already know I will get a lot of use out of this palette, I don't own a high end palette bigger than the Naked Basics which has 6 shades or my MAC palette which I'm (very) slowly building. I also think this is good value for money, it works out about £3.60 a shade, which gram for gram compared to the single shadows is a little less than half price. Sephora have recently started shipping to the UK, which opens up the possibility of the Marc Jacobs Lolita or the Lorac Pro to me, and the Smashbox Full Exposure is readily available in my local Boots, but I must say I'm very happy I have this one. It's a shame this one is limited edition as it gives you a great spectrum of Nars shadows if you're new to them, maybe Francois will reconsider? I bloody hope so. Packaging wise it is what you expect from Nars, it's sturdy, matte black (with your finger prints all over it) with a mirror the size of the lid. Maybe checking your local Nars counter is your best shot at getting this guy. I personally got mine from Asos and when typing 'narsissist' into the Nars website you're prompted to sign up to their newsletter so you'll know when it's available again. This puppy is my new love, and is making me fall more and more in love with the brand.

Did you get your hands on the Narsissist palette?
Have you got a favourite shade?

Let us know in the comments!!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Alice's February Favourites

Hi guys!! Here's my belated Feb faves for you all, sorry it's been late, I've been super duper ill this week, buckets on standby, the lot. (Too much information? Probably.) That's also why my Wednesday post was a day late this week, I hope you guys understand!! Anyway, enough about my pity party for one, have a wee goosey gander at what I've been loving through the month on February!! I hope you like it!!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Wax On, Wax Off: Two Nail Products For Quick Application And Removal!

With a job that doesn't allow nail varnish to be worn, and all the while being quite impatient, I love products which help me take off my nail varnish quickly and speed up the drying process too. Recently I have found two products which aid me in my quest to wear nail varnish regularly and I thought I'd share them with you:

Let's start with the putting on, shall we? I'm fully aware my nail painting skills, or more my waiting for them to dry skills, are not the best. I always manage to get my fingerprint or a smushed corner on at least one nail, leading to a rather sticky mess and a rather flustered me. One Boots trip a couple months back, I saw this on the shelves and threw it in my basket, it was a hyped up product and a staple for most, so I thought I'd take the plunge and give it a whirl - and I'm glad I did! No longer do I have to look like I'm praying, and still snagging my nails. No, the drying isn't instant, but a damn lot shorter than it would be if I didn't use it. I can start on nail number 1, and by nail number 10, number 1 is practically dry. It has been working an absolute wonder for me and a big recommend for me, it even ended up in my January favourites!!

I remember this product being released, and even before I was really interested in beauty I remember thinking 'fad' - they've just soaked a sponge in nail varnish remover, and have always kind of ignored it on the Bourjois stand. Then one day something possessed me to give this a go, I can't have nail varnish on at work so I thought this would be a good locker essential. My first impression of this product is technically correct - it is a sponge soaked in nail varnish remover, but I think I overlooked how good that idea actually is. The solution itself is acetone free, and contains sweet almond oil which feels quite conditioning on the nails, leaving them feeling clean, not stripped or brittle. The speed is also a massive benefit, a few swivels in the sponge and the nail clear, and if not, just dip it back in with a bit more precision, and it is. Glitter nail varnish is always a bit of a pain to remove, but you can hold the finger in the pot, and really soak the nail in the solution, to get that mean old varnish off. If screwed on tight, this could live in your bag, it's the only piece of kit you need, so no fluffy cotton rounds at the bottom of your bag or sodden toilet roll falling apart when you're taking the polish off.

So, there you have it, two products helping me in the fight for wearing nail polish. Do you have any nail product favourites? I'm looking into getting a new base coat so would love some suggestions!!

Let us know in the comments