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27 March 2015

Everyday Makeup Storage

Although a simple makeup bag for my every makeup products is perfect for travel purposes and keeping everything compact and in one place, I found myself opting for the same makeup looks which involved using the very first products I could place my hands on in my makeup bag. I'm quite visual and like to see all my products laid out so I can decide on what look I fancy that day. I decided I would keep my makeup bag for travelling purposes only and find a storage unit for my everyday makeup products.

So today, I thought I would show you how I store my makeup as well as all the essential products I use on a day-to-day basis.

I received this clear jewellery storage container for Christmas. I found it in the BHS home department and although it is labelled as a jewellery organiser, it has a pull out drawer and different sized compartments I thought would be perfect to store my makeup in.

The size of the storage unit is perfect. It's big enough to fit in all my essentials and compact enough to tidily sit in the corner of my desk without it looking messy and cluttered.

I store my makeup brushes and lip products individually in the smaller compartments of the storage unit. I also store my current foundation, concealer and CC cream together in one compartment. 

I store my face powder and bronzer in front of my foundation products and my eyebrow products and a moisturiser in front of all of my lip products and brushes.

L'Oreal Paris True Match Concealer (2 Vanilla) I'm loving using this concealer recently. As I have acne-prone skin, I'm always looking for skin products that won't break me out. This concealer is oil-free and I haven't suffered from any breakouts since using it.

L'Oreal Paris True Match Mineral Powder Foundation (W1 Golden Ivory) I don't think I'll ever buy another liquid foundation after discovering mineral products. The coverage this foundation gives is completely flawless when applied over concealer, or offers a natural finish when used on its own.

Max Factor CC Cream (40 Fair) When I'm in a hurry, I'll opt for a CC cream instead of concealer and foundation to save time. This CC cream is perfect for the winter months as it is very hydrating and is the only product I find that fits my pale skin tone perfectly. It offers medium coverage and contains SPF 10. 

Rimmel London Sun Shimmer Bronzing Compact Powder (Light Matte) I don't often use this product, but during the summer months this is a staple makeup product for me. I find the light shade gives me a natural bronzed look without looking orange.

Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder (Transparent) I use this powder to set my foundation and rarely have to re-apply it during the day as it manages to keep the oily spots at bay for most of the day.

Collection Smokey Eyes Eyeshadow Palette I don't tend to use this product so much now I have my Naked palette, but I use the eye shadow sponge applicator to fill in my eye brows and will sometimes use the black eye shadow to line my lash line if I am going for a subtle makeup look.

Revlon Colorstay Shadowlink (Coca) I use this shadow every day to fill in my eyebrows. The colour matches my eye brow colour perfectly and I haven't managed to hit pan yet even though I've been using it for months!

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara (Dark Brown) After filling in my eyebrows, I comb this product through my brows to set them in place.

Nivea Daily Essentials Oil Free Moisturising Day Cream Before applying concealer and foundation, I moisturise my skin using this. It takes seconds to soak into my skin and leaves a matte finish.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm (Showy Flamboyante) I love Revlon's matte balms as they hydrate my lips as well as adding colour. This matte balm is a hot pink shade.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm (Mischievous) This matte balm is an orange shade. I love using it in the summer months to switch up my makeup look.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm (Complex) This matte balm is a nude shade. It is a little too brown for my lips to pull it off as a nude lip shade, but I still wear it regardless.

Rimmel London Kate Matte Lipstick (107) I love Kate's lip stick collection. My all-time favourite is the shade 107, a beautiful dark red lip stick I like to pair with black and white outfits or for nights out. I rarely have to re-apply this lipstick - the staying power is simply amazing!

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick (Alarm) This is my go-to red lip. The finish is more matte than glossy and lasts for hours.

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick (Sultry Sand) I picked this nude lipstick up for my University ball and I was really impressed with the colour. As I am very pale, I struggle to find a nude lipstick that isn't too brown and doesn't make me look like a ghost! I love the packaging of this product and it's definitely my go-to nude lipstick. 

Carmex Lip Balm (Cherry) I apply this before I put on my makeup, so my lips are moisturised for lipstick application.

Real Techniques Multi-task Brush I use this brush every day to apply my mineral foundation and pressed powder.

Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush I use this eye shadow brush when I'm applying one eyeshadow shade as I find it fits my eye lid shape perfectly and gets the job done in one stroke.

I store all my eye makeup products in the pull out drawer. It contains a lot of mascaras I switch between depending on how dramatic I would like my eye makeup to be. I apply a waterproof mascara to my top lashes and a non-waterproof mascara to my bottom lashes. 

I also store a mixture of liquid and pencil eyeliners, an eye shadow primer and my eyelash curler here.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler I've been using this eyelash curler for years and it's still going strong! I regularly buy pad refills on eBay.

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer When I'm wearing eye shadow, I will apply this underneath to ensure my eye shadow stays in place all day.

Bourjois Paris Liner Feutre (Noir Moka) I went through a phase of wearing brown eye liner instead of black a couple of months ago and I really love the way it looks. I tend to opt for black eye liner usually, but on a lazy day, I'll pick this up.

Bourjois Paris Liner Feutre (Ultra Black) I have a love-hate relationship with this eye liner pen. The shade is amazing as it's so black, but I hate how it drags along my eye lid which sometimes leaves a scruffy line!

Soap & Glory Supercat Eye Liner Pen I love this eyeliner pen, but I wish it was more pigmented. I find it's not as black as my Bourjois eye liner pen, so I tend to draw the line with this pen, then go over it with the Bourjois liner.

Rimmel London Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer (261 Noir) When I'm wanting my makeup done quickly, I'll line my upper lash line with this pencil and use the other end to smudge it out. I also use it to line my tight line and lower lash line on an everyday basis. 

Max Factor 2000 Calorie Waterproof Volume Mascara (Waterproof) I tend to switch up my mascaras depending on what mood I'm in. I find this mascara is very pigmented, covers all my lashes and lengthens without making them look clumpy.

L'Oreal Paris Miss Manga Mega Volume Mascara (Waterproof) I love this mascara as one quick coat is literally all I need for all of my lashes to be coated and volumised. It's sometimes quite difficult to control as the brush is very big! I also find it dries out quite quickly, so I end up buying new ones quite often.

Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Express Mascara (Waterproof) I used to be obsessed with this mascara, but I think there are better mascaras on the market now. The falsies/rocket/colossal range is fantastic but I find myself using this product less and less the more I try out new mascaras.

L'Oreal Paris Excess Volume Million Lashes (Waterproof) This is my current every day mascara and I love it! It's definitely my favourite mascara so far, apart from the fact it's probably the most difficult to remove!

Benefit They're Real Mascara This is my staple bottom lash mascara. I use the length of the brush to coat my bottom lashes, then use the end of the brush to coat the harder to reach lashes at the edges.

Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara I also love this mascara to coat my bottom lashes. I love the plastic brush and I think it's the perfect size for a mascara wand so I definitely want to try some more Max Factor mascaras in the future!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please let me know what your staple makeup items are and where you store them all in the comments!

8 March 2015

Review | USpicy Cosmetic Brush Set

I was kindly sent a 10 piece cosmetic brush set from USpicy* a couple of weeks ago. I had never heard of the brand before, but after doing a bit of research online, they looked very similar to the Real Techniques brushes (which I adore) so I thought I'd give them a shot!

The brushes come in a drawer style gift box. My initial thoughts were that the set would be perfect for a birthday or christmas gift for a friend or loved one. I think the sturdy box is great for storage purposes - most of my makeup brushes are constantly exposed in a brush pot on my desk which probably isn't the most hygienic!

Inside the box contains 10 individually packaged cosmetic brushes, a user manual and a gift card.

As a makeup brush rookie, I found the user manual was extremely helpful when it came to understanding how to use each of the brushes. I only use three basic brushes normally - powder, eyeshadow and foundation brush - so this set really opened my eyes as to different shapes and styles of brushes makeup artists would use on a daily basis.

The brushes have white wooden handles with 'USpicy' printed on them and gold coloured metal at the brush end. My initial reaction was that the brushes were of reasonable quality. Some of the brushes had a letter in the 'USpicy' print slightly worn away and there were a couple of marks on the white wood, but I was impressed with the quality for such a low priced box set.

USpicy have a variety of brushes for sale, ranging from the same 10 piece set in black or a smaller 6 piece set.

Large brushes:

1. Flat brush: application of liquid or cream products to flat areas of the face

2. Tapered brush: application of liquid of cream foundations onto contours of the face

3. Flat angled brush: blends foundation onto harder to reach areas of the face

4. Angled brush: blush application

5. Round brush: mineral product application

Small brushes:

6. Precision flat brush: concealer application to smaller areas of the face

7. Precision tapered brush: blush/highlighter application

8. Precision flat angled brush: concealer application around harder to reach areas of the face, such as eyes and nose

9. Precision angled brush: application of product around nose and hollows of the cheeks

The brushes, overall, are very soft and have no hair fall out at all, which I find most desirable in a set of makeup brushes. The brushes did smell a bit like paint brushes when I first received them, but with a quick wash, they dried quickly and were immediately suitable for use.

I wish I could make use of all of the brushes, but as my makeup routine currently stands, I would only have use for about 3 or 4 brushes at a time. I'll definitely use the rest for special occasions when I use blush and highlight products, but I'm also thinking of substituting some of the smaller brushes for general eyeshadow application too.

Overall, I'm incredibly impressed with the USpicy brush set. The brushes offer huge variety when it comes to makeup application and retailing at only £12.99 now on Amazon, it's an unquestionable buy. 

The USpicy 10 piece cosmetic brush set is available to buy HERE.

What are your go-to makeup brushes? Have you heard of USpicy or have tried any of their brushes before? 

4 March 2015

Top 2015 Makeup Artist Shows You Cannot Afford To Miss

This week, I am handing my blog over to Hanna Johnson, a freelance editor currently living in Italy, to tell you all about Makeup artist shows in the UK. Thank you Hanna for this blog entry!

Credits: Gennadiy Pozynyakov
As an aspiring or professional makeup artist, you are always looking for ways to improve and hone your craft. Luckily, there are some amazing events across the UK that will help you develop as an artist. They are also lots of fun and you’re sure to meet other artists, producers and customers that are just as passionate about beauty as you are. Make sure to get your hotel beforehand because these events are very popular and usually packed with passionate artists eager to share innovations and styles! So here are the top makeup artist shows of 2015:

Credits: Serg Zastavkin
BeautyUK 2015
The Beauty UK show 2015 runs from May 10th to 11th and is located in Birmingham. The show is totally free if you complete the pre-registration. If you don’t, a ticket costs £20 at the door. Car parking is £12 and the event is held at the NEC. This year BeautyUK welcomes NailsUK, BarberUK, HairUK and Holistic Health for special shows. There will also be exciting competitions sponsored by UK Nail Tech. Stick around for the National Makeup Artist Awards and the WorldSkills UK West Midlands hear. On top of this, the hottest new products and treatments for spring and summer 2015 will be launched at this event. The networking opportunities are unlimited and you can stock your kit with the best new products and discount prices. If this isn’t enough to convince you, the free education program provides lectures and demonstrations from leading brand representatives in the beauty industry. So what are you waiting for? Get to Birmingham! Just make sure to buy your train ticket from London to Birmingham ahead of time so you don’t run into problems with tickets and overbooking.

United Makeup Artists Expo
Back for it’s third year, the United Makeup Artists Expo is dedicated to education, demonstrations, sales of new products and overall professionalism. Professional and aspiring makeup artists from all around the world flock to London for the event, held every year in the Business Design Centre in Islington. There are great networking opportunities as well as education and product acquisition. The show is dedicated to the needs of the industry and is committed to evolve in time with the world of beauty itself. It will be a show to remember, taking place from April 11th to 12th. Tickets should be booked beforehand, and the prices are as follows: £40 for one day and £50 for both days (if you are a professional or student). If you are not a professional or student, the a ticket for one day costs £50 and the entire weekend costs £60. I assure you, it is money well spent as you are investing in your career!

International Makeup Artists Trade Show (IMATS)
The IMATS show began back in 2002 and has continued to be one of the most foundational events for developing artists. This year it will be held from July 10th to 12th in London at the Olympia National. At IMATS you can hone the tools that will advance your career. From classes in TV, fashion, film, editorial, theatre and red-carpet, there is something for everyone. Networking opportunities are endless here, and you just may meet your future employer. An event not to be missed!
Copyright @ Alix Staines.