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27 September 2014

Autumn/Fall Makeup | Zoella Gold Eyes & Berry Lips Re-creation

Zoella is HUGE at the moment. After the launch of 'Zoella beauty' this week as well as her first novel 'Girl Online' due to be released later this year, it's fair to say Zoella is a YouTube sensation and 2014 is definitely her year. I've been a reader of Zoe's blog 'Zoella' for years now - before she started her YouTube channel - and I'm proud to say she was my biggest influence when creating my own blog back in 2012. 

Last weekend, Zoe posted a 'gold eyes and berry lip' tutorial on her YouTube channel which I loved, so I thought I would re-create this look today. 

As I was experimenting with autumnal shades, I figured I loved the look of both the golden eyes combined with a berry lip Zoe wore in her video, so here is how I re-created her look!

The great thing about Zoe's tutorial is that every product she used I managed to have a product similar and didn't have to break the bank investing in new products. Zoe used MAC eye shadows in her tutorial, but I opted for dupes from the Urban Decay Naked 1 palette. 

I started off by applying my favourite CC cream by Max Factor. I find this product blends better using my fingers and also allows for extra coverage with a bit more of the product on any problem areas. 

Zoe used Nars Sheer Glow in the shade Deauville in her tutorial.

I set my CC cream with my favourite powder, Rimmel Stay Matte in Transparent. I used a Real Techniques multitask brush to buff the product into my T-zone and any other areas which tend to get oily during the day.

Zoe used Makiash Perfect Finish lose powder in Transparent in her tutorial using a Zoeva Silk Finish Brush.

I applied some bronzer on my temples, cheekbones and jawline to give my face a bit more definition. I'm very pale but I find Rimmel London's Bronzing Compact Powder in the shade Light matte is perfect for warming up my complexion without it looking too orange.

I desperately need my eyebrows reshaped, but at the moment I'm letting them grow out so I can get them done professionally, so excuse the state they are in just now! I filled in the gaps of my eyebrows with a Revlon Colorstay shadowlink eyeshadow in the shade 'Cocoa'.  

Zoe used the Body Shop Brow & Liner kit in 01 in her tutorial using a Zoeva 317 Wing liner brush.

I set my eyebrows in place using Maybelline's Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in the shade dark brown.

I don't normally curl my eyelashes before applying eyeshadow, but because I'm using a pencil eyeliner, I've opted to curl them before applying this as my eyelash curlers tend to smudge my eyeliner if done so afterwards. I'm using a Shu Uemura eyelash curler.

The eye makeup in Zoe's tutorial focuses mainly on bronze eye shadows. As I do not own any MAC eye shadows, I hunted out my Naked 1 palette and found some dupes for the eye shadows Zoe used in her tutorial.

I patted on 'Half Baked' all over my eyelid using a Real Techniques Domed shadow brush. I also added a bit of shadow in the inner half of the bottom of my eye to brighten up my eyes.

Zoe used MAC Amber lights eyeshadow in her tutorial.

I then used 'Smog' and patted this on the outer crease of my eyelid. I also added some shadow to the outer half of the bottom of my eye to add some more definition to the look.

Zoe used MAC Bronze eyeshadow in her tutorial with a Zoeva 228 crease brush

This is how my makeup looked after both eyeshadow shades were applied.

I then took a brown eyeliner pencil to thinly line my top eyelid. I used Rimmel London's Soft Kohl Pencil in the shade 'sable brown'. Zoe mentioned in her tutorial she didn't want the eyeliner to look too harsh, but more smokey so opted to use a brown pencil instead of black or a liquid eyeliner. 

Zoe used Tarte SmolderEyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Brown in her tutorial.

I finished off the eye makeup by applying my favourite mascaras, Maybelline the Rocket Volum' Express in waterproof black and Max Factor masterpiece Max to both my top and bottom eyelashes.

Zoe used Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara in her tutorial. 

This is how my eye makeup looked once completed. 

Another main focus in Zoe's Autumn makeup tutorial was a bold, dark lip. She mentioned applying the lipstick initially using a lip liner brush and then applying the lipstick on top of that. I couldn't find my lip liner brush so I went straight in with the lipstick. I used Rimmel London Kate Moss lipstick in the shade 107. 

Zoe used Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Glaston-berry in her tutorial with a Zoeva 330 Lip Contour Brush.

I love the Kate Moss lipsticks as they are very long lasting and are matte but do not dry your lips out as I've found other lipsticks have the tendency to do. I've heard Zoe mention in her previous videos that the Kate Moss lipstick in the shade 107 is her favourite from the range. 

I used a tissue to dab the lipstick into my lips. I find using this method then applying another coat of lipstick on top really helps the colour last longer on my lips. 

And this is the finished look!

I hope you enjoyed this post, I really enjoy making these type of posts and would love to do more so please let me know of any celebrities you would like me to re-create the look of in the future!

Are you a fan of Zoella? Which YouTubers are you subscribed to?

21 September 2014

Beauty Empties #2

I'm usually quite good at re-purchasing products before they run out, but this month has been pretty hectic and I've been left with a bunch of empties with no new products to replace them (argh!). Thankfully, lots of empties is a very good excuse for a blog post, so I decided to gather them all together and show you what I've used up over the past month or so.


1. Dove Nourishing Oil Care leave-in conditioning & care spray - I'm quite lazy when it comes applying hair products after I've washed my hair so this product was great as it acts as a 2-in-1 leave-in hair treatment. Part of the product is oil based and the other part conditioner based, which is activated when you mix them together by shaking the bottle. The solution is in a spray bottle, so I didn't need to worry about my fingers getting oily during application. The product smelled amazing and did a great job of adding extra moisture to my dry ends. I have actually re-purchased this product in the past, but I might look for something new as I like to change up my hair products on a regular basis. 

2. Batiste Dry Shampoo (full size and travel size) - I went through dozens of Batiste dry shampoo bottles last year until I discovered Dove's Dry Shampoo which I found left no white residue compared to the Batiste bottles. I went into a smaller Boots store one day to re-purchase, but they had none in stock so I decided to give Batiste another try. I'm still on the fence about Batiste dry shampoo. I find it doesn't do a terribly great job of actually cleaning my hair when it's dirty, unlike other dry shampoos. Instead, it simply masks the dirt whilst adding a bit of volume. I think I'll stick to my Dove dry shampoo however, I enjoyed having a travel size Batiste bottle in my bag to give my hair a bit of volume during the day. 


3. Dove Summer Glow nourishing lotion with gradual self-tanner - This was definitely my holy-grail product during the summer months. I am very pale and I found the fair to medium skin formula was the perfect shade for sun-kissed skin without looking completely orange. I found the lotion needed to be worked really thoroughly into the skin to avoid streaky tan lines- but I expect this with most gradual self-tanners. There was also no distinct fake-tan smell like other tanning lotions I've tried in the past. I've already bought another tube of this and also purchased the medium-dark skin shade for nights out.

4. Aveeno Cream - I found Aveeno Cream was the only moisturiser that completely got rid of my stubborn dry patches when I was on Roaccutane, back in 2013, and I've stuck with it ever since. Recently, the skin on my face has been slightly oilier than usual, so I've been opting for a lighter moisturiser. However, I've been regularly using Aveeno Cream to moisturise any dry patches on my body. The pump bottle is very convenient and seems to last forever, so I'll definitely be picking up another one of these.


5. Bravura London 15% glycolic acid detoxifying gel - I was left with a lot of acne scarring after my Roaccutane treatment, so I decided to invest in a glycolic acid solution to exfoliate my skin to reduce the appearance of any scarring. Only a small pea-sized amount is required to cover my whole face and the small bottle has lasted 6 months! I've seen a noticeable difference in the appearance of my scars, they're a lot less inflamed and angry-looking and I'm delighted with the results. The solution is not as concentrated as solutions used in salon facial peels, but I'm thankful I've found a great glycolic acid product I can use at home at a fraction of the price of a facial. 

6. Priori gentle facial cleanser - When I received a glycolic acid facial peel a few months ago, the lady at the salon recommended a facial cleanser with Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA's) to thoroughly cleanse the skin, giving it a healthier looking appearance. As I was concerned about my acne scarring, I decided to give it a go and I was very impressed with the product. It does a fantastic job of cleaning my skin and gets rid of all my makeup during the process. I have re-purchased twice, but I'm on the hunt for another AHA cleanser to try, so if you have any recommendations or any other face washes for acne scarring please let me know!

7. Boots tea tree & witch hazel peel off face mask - I picked this up during a bad skin day a couple of months ago in Boots as it was fairly cheap. The mask is a gel consistency when applied, hardens and is ready to peel off between 5-10 minutes after application. I found it did a great job of tightening my pores and removing the oil from my skin. My spots didn't disappear any quicker than usual but the skin around the breakouts felt thoroughly cleansed after use. 


8. Mitchum Advanced Control deodorant - I'm a huge fan of Mitchum's Advanced Control deodorant in the scent 'Water Lily', but I think it may have been discontinued as I can't find it in shops anywhere! So, I picked up the deodorant in 'powder fresh'. It has a pleasant floral scent and doesn't leave any white marks. I would consider repurchasing this again as it was quite cheap, but I'm still holding on hoping a 'Water lily' bottle will appear again someday!

Have you tried any of these products before? What are your opinions? 
If not, what beauty products have you used up this month?

10 September 2014

University | Fresher's Week Survival Tips

I'm starting my second year of University next week and it's currently mid-Freshers Week at the moment, so I thought I'd share with you a few of my tips I learnt from my first experience of Freshers' Week back in 2013!

1. Freshers Week is the only week of the year you can talk to everyone and anyone on campus without people thinking you are weird!
- If you're staying at home or living in student accommodation, try to get to know as many people as possible in your Freshers Week. Don't forget, you are all in same boat! Don't worry if you're a bit nervous about not knowing anyone, plenty of other people will be in the same situation too. Universities hold hundreds of events during the week - whether it's night-time events or excursions during the day - make the most of these opportunities, that's what they are there for!
- Talk to others about where they are from/what they are studying/what their interests are. Everyone will be doing it around you and 9 times out of 10 you will talk to so many people during the week, you'll forget all their names anyway!

2. Attend the Socieities' Fair
- The societies' fair is an excellent opportunity for you to join new clubs and societies- a great way of finding new friends with the same interests as you. Depending on your University, societies can range from sporting clubs and music groups to academic interest groups. This is the perfect opportunity to sign up to the societies' emailing list to find out when, where and how much it costs to join the society (most will charge a small fee, or be free of charge). 

3. Start saving money in your first week
- University campuses and events are always flooding with freebies and discount vouchers- make the most of them!
- Remember to collect your University card during Freshers' Week as most high street stores (and lots of other places like restaurants) offer discounts to students, this will save you a lot of money throughout the year.

4. Familiarise yourself with the area
- If you're moving to a new city or living nearby, it's always useful to find out where all the main buildings are on campus. You will probably be in a lot of the main University buildings during the week, but make sure to look out for where your lectures will be held and how long it takes to get there from your accommodation- this will save time in preparation for classes starting the following week. 
- Most Universities will hold tours of the city during Freshers' Week, this would be useful if you are new to the area!
- It's also useful to know where the office is for your course, this will be necessary later on in the semester when you have to hand in coursework/essays. They will also be able to help with any queries you have during the year.

5. Be prepared to start classes the following week
- Freshers Week is all about meeting new people, exploring and settling into University life. However, don't forget what you are at University for. Find out if any of your course handouts are available during Freshers' Week for you to have a read through, it helps a whole lot to be knowledgeable of what you will be learning that semester. 
- Don't worry about buying every textbook on your reading list, most textbooks are available at the University library or on line free of charge. Your University may also hold a second-hand textbook sale event where you can pick up cheap books.
- Shop for all your essential stationary such as pens/pencils/notepads and if you're planning on note-taking using a laptop, make sure you are connected to the University Wi-Fi and have a word processing document installed (Microsoft have a great 4 year Office package offer for University students). 
- Depending on your University, you may also meet your personal tutor/mentor during Freshers' Week. This is the perfect opportunity to ask any questions about your course that you may have. 

6. Be aware of the notorious Freshers' Flu
- My lectures were full of people coughing and sneezing after Fresher's Week. It's quite common to catch colds and bugs being in a new environment surrounded by lots of people, so make sure to look after yourself during Freshers Week to avoid missing lectures the following week nursing a cold!

ENJOY! Remember you only technically have your own Fresher's Week once, so make the most of it! :)

When is your Freshers' Week? What events have your University got planned? If you've already experienced Freshers' Week, what tips would you give to new Freshers'?

2 September 2014

Tutorial | French Braid, Three Ways

I've been trying to experiment a little more with everyday hair styles, so I've decided to show you three different ways to do a french braid. I love this hairstyle for days where I want my hair out of my face and each braid gives a different wave when untied at the end of the day too!

My little sister kindly let me do her hair for the purpose of this blog post. She is interested in photography and you can follow her account on instagram if you wish (@bethstainesphotography).


Take a section of hair from the crown of the head (about the top quarter) and split this into three strands. 

Cross the strand on the right OVER the middle strand in-between the left and middle strand, then cross the strand on the left OVER the middle strand and in-between the middle and right strand (like a traditional braid).

Add a section of hair into each strand crossed into the middle. If you are crossing the right section of hair OVER the middle and in-between the left and middle strand, take a stand of hair from the right side too.

Likewise when crossing the left strand OVER the middle strand and in-between the middle and right strand, add a section of hair from the left side of the braid too.

Continue to braid and add sections of hair until there is no more hair to be added, all the hair should be added into the braid by the time it reaches the nape of the neck.

Braid the rest of the hair using three strands and secure with a hair bobble at the end!


Take a section of hair from the crown of the head (about the top quarter) and split this into three strands. 

Instead of crossing the right strand OVER the middle section and in-between the middle and left strand (like a traditional braid) cross the strand UNDER the middle strand and in-between the middle and left strand.

Cross the left strand of hair UNDER the middle strand and in-between the middle and right strand.

Add a section of hair into the right strand of hair and continue to braid the hair by crossing the right strand UNDER the middle strand and in-between the middle and left stand. Likewise, add a section of hair to the left strand when crossing UNDER the middle strand and in-between the middle and right strand.

Continue braiding the hair until all the hair is gathered into the braid at the nape of the neck. Braid the rest of the hair using three strands, crossing the right strand UNDER the middle strand and in-between the middle and left strand and the left strand UNDER the middle strand and in-between the middle and right strand (and so on..)

When complete, secure using a hair bobble!


Take a section of hair from the crown of the head (about the top quarter) and split this into two strands. 

Take a small section of hair from the right side of the right strand and cross it over to the left strand.

Take a small section of hair from the left side of the left strand and cross it over to the right strand.

Continue to braid the hair but add a section of hair not in the braid to the section of hair being crossed over to the other side. If crossing a section of the right side over to the left side, add a section of hair from the right side of the head. Likewise, when crossing a section of the left side over to the right side, add a section of hair from the left side of the head.

Braid the hair until all the hair is added into the braid at the nape of the neck then braid the end of the hair using the fishtail method (taking a small section from the right side of the right strand over to the left strand and vice versa).

Secure the end of the braid using a hair bobble!

I hope that was somewhat helpful and let me know if you wear any of these looks already or re-create them yourself :)

What is your go-to hairstyle for lazy days?
Copyright @ Alix Staines.