Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top-Ten Tuesdays ~ Girly Reads

This week's Top Ten Tuesdays will focus on my top 10 girly reads to date :) Here goes!

10. Spa Wars ~ Chris Manby
9. Enchantment The Life of Audrey Hepburn ~ Donald Spoto
8. The Fabulously Fashionable Life of Isabel Bookbinder ~ Holly McQueen
7. I Heart New York ~ Lindsey Kelk
6. Shopaholic and Baby ~ Sophie Kinsella
5. Last Night at Chateau Marmont ~ Lauren Weisberger
4. Everyone Worth Knowing ~ Lauren Weisberger
3. Chasing Harry Winston ~ Lauren Weisberger
2. Confessions of a Shopaholic ~ Sophie Kinsella
1. The Devil Wears Prada ~ Lauren Weisberger

Have you read any of these books ladies? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

NOTW: The 50's Red Manicure... vamped up!

It's Sunday once again and that means another nail tutorial! This time I opted for something plain but classy... the 50's Manicure.  In the 1950's, many women used to wear another version of the classic red manicure.  It is essentially the same look, except that the half-moons at the base of each nail are left unpainted.  Instead of the traditional red, I have used a darker nail polish to achieve this look.  The only requirement to get this look yourselves is a steady hand! Let's get started! 

1. Apply a clear base coat all over the nails and leave to dry.

2. Select the colour you want and start painting a stripe of nail polish down the centre of the nail, starting just above the lunula (half-moon) at the base of your nail.

3. Apply a stripe of nail colour to each side of the nail, following the line of the half-moon.  Apply a second coat if desired.

4. Finish the manicure off with a coat of clear top-coat all over the nail.

Blogger Templates

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gel Nails in full colour

Good afternoon everyone :) How's Saturday treating you so far? Mine is actually quite good! Today, the weather improved greatly in terms of sunshine but we still have strong winds blowing all the time.

Anyway, I had to attend to a client today and as usual, I wanted to share the final result with you all :)  My client opted for something delicate to we went for this gorgeous bordeaux colour with a hint of gold shimmer and then I did a simple grid on the ring fingers with some gold glitter gel. Hope you like it!

Blogger Templates
Blogger Templates

Friday, February 18, 2011

Request: How To Compile Your Work Portfolio

I was asked by Enigma to share my tips on how to do a work portfolio and explain in further detail what it is exactly. Since I am staying in tonight thanks to the bad weather and Force 8 wind blowing all the time, I figured I will do this post and as tomorrow I have a client to go to, what better time to have a look at my portfolio?  The only works I didn't include are the nail designs involving stickers and stamping as anyone can do those.  In my portfolio, I only portray free-hand work.

Let me start by explaining what a portfolio is... to put it in simple words, a portfolio is basically a portable showcase of your work related to a particular field, be it nail art, modelling, make-up artistry, etc.  While most portfolios are complied out of pictures of the work you have done, I found that for nail art, I can use a cheaper method that still looks professional and presentable... displaying my work on nail tips! Alternatively, you can always take pictures of your finished work and stick them in a photo album instead :)

Here are some pictures of my own nail art portfolio:


As you can see, I divide my nail art in categories and then affix them to A4 black paper with some clear glue. This is just a small selection of all my designs as I have other categories like sponging, marbling and animal print as well but I took pictures of these to give you an idea. Do not do the same mistake I did the first time round and try to affix the nail tips with super glue as this will react with the plastic and form a white cloud on the nail, obstructing your design.  When all of them dry, I place the black paper in a plastic folder with holes on the side and put all of them in this floral ring file.  It is made out of thin plastic so it is light weight and easy to carry around and I really like the floral motifs on it.  

Happy weekend ladies and let's hope the weather here is better tomorrow :)

Blogger Templates
Blogger Templates

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review: Inglot Under Make-Up Base

I had been lemming this make-up primer for a whole year before I got round to purchasing it! The lovely ladies from Inglot offered me a complimentary make-up session and the make-up artist started with this primer and I instantly loved the texture of it on my face as well as the results it delivered.  Last December, I had been offered the same opportunity for a free make-up session and I went with the intention of buying the product so as soon as my session was finished, I asked the make-up artist for it.  It comes supplied in a transparent, plastic tube with a twist-off cap (bottom?), all neatly packed in this sleek, little black box:

You get 30ml of product but don't be deceived! A little goes a very long way with this one!  I like to use this primer when I am going to put on a heavier foundation so that the foundation itself does not clog my pores.  Benefits of using this particular primer include:
~ It mattifies and smoothes the skin
~ Improves make-up application and length of stay on the skin
~ Absorbs sebum and doesn't make me feel like I have an oil rig on my face!

This primer is a gel type and has a very nice, velvety-smooth texture that feels beautiful on the skin.  It is quickly absorbed and doesn't carry a scent.  Here's a little swatch for you guys:

That is enough to cover my whole face! Now the picture is actually a close up of... brace yourselves... 1cm of product!!! A little really does go a long way with this make-up base and I like how the make-up doesn't feel like it is weighing my face down when I use the primer.

I really recommend this primer to people who have oily or combination skin as it effectively absorbs oil and keeps you shine-free all day!

The Inglot Under Make-Up Base retails for €21 and is available to buy from Inglot stores.

Blogger Templates
Blogger Templates

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mid-Week Beauty Master class: Bronzers

Last week, we had a look at blushers, now we will focus on their cousins... bronzers! Bronzers are not just for summer, however, you need to find the shade that looks best on you so you don't look OTT (click here for more bronzer blunders to avoid).  Bronzers are a great way to contour your face and give it a nice, warm glow all year round. Let's have a look at the bronzer options available out there!

Powder Bronzer is the most common type of bronzer available and you can find it in either a plastic compact or in a jar with a sifter (much like mineral foundation powders etc). Bronzers in compacts may either be just one single colour or a mixture of colours swirled together or else different separate colours in one compact (usually 4 or 5 shades).  The best way to apply this type of bronzer is with a contouring brush and always remember to use a light hand especially with highly pigmented products.

Bronzing Pearls are an alternative way to get a sun-kissed glow without looking too obvious.  You just have to swirl your brush over the pearls to get some product on and then just dust it on your face as shown below (same places apply for the powder bronzer).

Bronzers are best applied to critical points on the face to give your complexion a nice, healthy glow rather than risking looking too orange like you just had your face fake tanned.  They can be very tricky to apply so first make sure you get the correct shade for your skin tone.  I use elf Warm Bronzer since you get 4 colours in one compact and you can choose which shade to use or swirl them all together depending on how dark/fair your skin is.  Like all other make-up products and techniques, bronzer application need practice to get it perfect so go on, get your brushes and bronzers out and experiment to find your best shade and become a pro at getting a sun-kissed glow without going out in the sun! Have fun ;)

Blogger Templates
Blogger Templates

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

OPI Katy Perry Collections Giveaways

If you want to be in the chance of winning the OPI Katy Perry Collection, check out these two giveaways:

Beauty By Brittany                                  Enamel Girl

Blogger Templates
Blogger Templates

Top-Ten Tuesdays ~ Nail Polish Shades for Spring/ Summer 2011

This season be ready to paint the town in purples, oranges and deep berry hues as these will be the hottest colours to wear on your nails along with acid brights in the summer that pay tribute to the 80's. Enjoy this season's top nail polish colours from my stash inspired by the O.P.I. Texas Collection and China Glaze Anchors Away Collection for Spring/Summer 2011 :)

10. Nude taupe-y colours will be making a come-back this season. I really liked this trend as it deviates away from the traditional pink nudes we are used to.  My recommendations are elf Desert Haze and for those who do not want to embrace these colours yet and remain faithful to good old nude pink, L'Oreal Resist & Shine Titanium in shade 100 is your best bet.

9. Deep berry shades will also continue to be popular during the coming season so make sure you have a bottle or two in your stash.  My favourite is a nail polish by Eugene Perma (hair colour brand) which is a deep plum shade with a hint of dark red.  Elf Rosy Raisin is also a gorgeous colour for those who favour a more rosy shade.

8. Speaking of deep berry tones, red as always will be a very popular colour to sport on your nails. My choices are elf Cranberry and Velvet for Spring and then a brighter red such as Max Factor nailfinity Red Passion would suit brighter summer days perfectly.

7. Moving on to an even more summery interpretation of reds, coral will be big this year as well.  I favour BYS Coral Sea and another shade from Eugene Perma (a lighter coral).

6. Shocking pink is the perfect colour for girly nails in the coming season.  A vast array of choices is offered here and I am settling on yet another Eugene Perma pink shade as well as Shocker from Rimmel 60 Seconds for that added shimmer.

5. Purple is the IT colour of the moment ranging from neon variations to more sophisticated darker shades.  My choices are BYS Ultraviolet and Rimmel 60 Seconds Pompous for the daring whilst elf Lilac suits light-hearted types more.

4. Pastel shades are always big come spring and I really like elf Mint Cream, Desert Haze and Lilac best. They give a sophisticated feel instantly!

3. Aqua tones reminiscent of the ocean and clear blue seas are also favourites with me when it comes to SS nail colours.  This year I will opt for Inglot shade 309 and BYS Aqua Pool.

2. Neons will be the perfect way to pay tribute to the 80's this year and nails are no exception.  Try BYS Ultraviolet, Coral Sea and Lime Spritz to get your fix. 

1. Pearl whites, golds and grey will also persist this season and I recommend Rimmel 60 Seconds Silver Bullet, Golden Rose Paris Collection no. 41 and essence colour & go Movie Star.
Blogger Templates

Valentine's Day Presents & an exciting purchase!!!

Happy belated Valentine's Day cupcakes :) How did you celebrate yours? Me and my bf spent almost the whole day out as he took the day off and I didn't have lectures.  We then had dinner along with my family at home where he and Mum prepared everything (they are both awesome cooks mind you).  We exchanged presents last Saturday and I had to really work hard to open up mine lol (the pictures that follow will explain everything)...

Left: The big box all taped around and filled with the smaller box (right) and bits of paper.  Present was in the smaller box which again was filled with paper.  At least I was allowed to use a pair of scissors to open the second box lol.

Dan Brown's 'The Lost Symbol' and the Me To You card from my bf.  There were also shiny hearts with the book... some little ones and other larger ones with a hollow heart shape in the middle :)

I was really happy with his gift as I was lemming the book as soon as I learnt it is going to be released but I kept putting it off as I wanted the paperback edition as it is obviously more portable. I really like how this illustrated edition is presented and I am already at Chapter 23. Thank you so much Johan you made my day!!! xoxoxo

I got him a Tazmania parasol and gear-lever cover. I wanted to get him matching seat-belt straps as well but they were sold out ;( I forgot to include the card in the picture for some reason, sorry :S


Finally, here's the day's exciting purchase!!!

Another pair of shoes!! I'm soooo happy with these! Mum told me she spotted them last Saturday and I was like I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO GET THEM!!! So off we went on a quest to buy these shoes and here they are! I'm really into vintage inspired clothes/accessories as I am a big fan of every decade between the 1920's and 1960's and these shoes really remind me of Marilyn Monroe and I think the acrylic bow adds a somewhat original and modern touch! 

I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day whether single or loved up! Feel free to share how you spent yours! I'd love to know ;)

Blogger Templates
Blogger Templates

Monday, February 14, 2011

Review: Montagne Jeunesse Blemish Mud

A few weeks ago, the lovely people from Montagne Jeunesse sent me a generous selection of their face masques to try out for review and the one that caught my eye first, was the Blemish Mud.  I had been lemming this masque for quite a long time now as we only get a small selection of the MJ masques here in Malta.  For those of you who do not know who and what Montagne Jeunesse is, it is basically a company who produce face masques, foot scrubs and even hair treatments out of all natural ingredients.  I have been a fan of theirs for quite some time now and I am always looking to try out more and more of their products as they never failed to impress me (hair masques next on the list hehe)!  Where was I? Ah yes, the Blemish Mud...

I really like the fun packaging this company presents their products in especially the ones where chocolate is involved! Lol it makes me want to gobble the whole thing up! Pity it's not edible lol.  Here's what the Blemish Mud looks like:

You already know that two ingredients are Aloe Vera and Willow.  They both possess blemish fighting properties so they really fit in this masque.  When you open the pack, a smell very similar to tea-tree oil is what greets you.  Personally I don't mind the scent and it fades away after some time so don't worry about it.

The masque itself is pale green in colour and has quite a thick texture.  It dries to a white tight-feeling masque in just about 10 minutes or so.  I managed to get 5 applications out of one pack and each time, I was left with super soft, clear skin. I admit I was experiencing some nasty breakouts lately but this masque has really contributed to clearing them up faster so I am really impressed with this one.

All MJ masques are priced very affordably and are worth a try, if not for their benefits, for their sumptuous smells lol!

Have you tried any masques from MJ? Which ones were they and how did you like them?

Blogger Templates
Blogger Templates

Sunday, February 13, 2011

NOTW: Zip open some girly fun!... Valentine's Day Tutorial #3

Good morning make-up cakes :) hope you've all bought your gifts for the Valentines in your lives and have everything planned for tomorrow :) However, Valentine's Day is not only for loved-up people so for those ladies out there who are single, I did the last Valentine manicure with you in mind :) I know some of my girly friends who are single and go out together on Valentine's Day for some girly fun without boys and I thought I would steer away from hearts and roses and go for something fun! And what better way is there to represent fun on your nails than by wearing glitter? So let's get started on this fun manicure!

1. Prep your nails with a clear base coat and follow with a thin coat of a nude pink polish to prevent your nails from being stained with the darker pink polish.

2. Apply two coats of a nice bright pink polish on all your nails bar the ring fingers and any other nails you want to make the design on.  If you are going to do the design on all your nails, skip this step altogether.

3. For the design, you will need the same pink you used on the other nails, a glittery pink and a black striper polish.

a) Start by drawing a little upside down triangle at the tip of the nail with the glitter polish and leave to dry.
b) Paint the remaining areas of the nail on the sides of the triangle with the bright pink polish and leave to dry thoroughly.
c) To draw the zips, start from the tip of the triangle that is facing downwards and draw little horizontal strokes with the black polish, working your way down the length of the nail.  Do the same on the sides of the triangle to make it look as if you are opening up the zip!
d) Finally, draw a little circle just under the tip of the triangle and place a pink rhinestone in the middle to resemble the actual zipper.

4. Finish with a clear top coat and you're done!

I hope you liked this nail design idea and that you will try it out yourselves! If you do, please do link me to your photos as I love to see your work :) Have fun tomorrow and Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Blogger Templates
Blogger Templates

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review: e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer in Rosy Beige

Today's review will focus on elf's Tinted Moisturizer in Rosy Beige.  If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know I have pale skin with a rosy undertone so this shade of moisturizer is the perfect match for me (unlike the Nivea one which you can read a review on here); during winter at least!

Let's take a look at the packaging first:

The tube itself is supplied in this blister pack that is typical of elf's regular line products.

You get 12g of tinted moisturizer in a little plastic squeezy tube.  I find that a little goes a long way with this moisturizer so I think it will last quite a long time.  I have been using it everyday ever since I got it (I think I got this in January) and I still have a ton of product left.

What I like about the packaging is the smallish nozzle as you can really control how much product you  squeeze out.  I also like the fact it is transparent so you can actually see how much product you have got left.

This tinted moisturizer has the sweetest scent ever that elf describe as being that of sugar orange; I'd say it is more like sweet almonds and I really love it! It is not a strong scent though and fades away very quickly. The moisturizer itself delivers light coverage so I'd say to use it on days when your skin only needs to be perked up a little.  Since it contains SPF 15, I recommend using this only during the day.  In fact, I have substituted my mineral foundation with this one as it offers just the right amount of light coverage I need during the day +  added protection against the sun's rays.  Here are some swatches:

Left: What the colour looks like; Right: Blended to perfection!

I apply it by putting 4 dabs on my face as follows: 1 on each cheek, one my forehead and another on my chin and then blend them using my fingertips to make sure I get an even skin tone and reach all those areas you can easily miss with a brush.  Now I find that my face feels a bit shiny until all the moisturizer is absorbed so what I do is I dust my face with the elf Studio Complexion Perfection by means of a big fluffy brush.  This will mattify my skin and also neutralize my skin tone further.  The moisturizer itself lasts me for a long time so I'm really happy with it!

I have read that some people have been breaking out with this moisturizer especially when we changed seasons. I haven't noted any breakouts due to this product though but if I do, I will update this review :)

Overall, I really like this moisturizer and since it is the perfect match for my skin tone, I will definitely repurchase it! 

You can buy yours from the elf cosmetics website for only £1.50/€1.70 and from a range of 7 tones, you're bound to find your perfect shade!

Blogger Templates
Blogger Templates

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mid-Week Beauty Master class: Blusher

First of all, excuse me ladies for not posting this yesterday but I was very very busy with errands I had to run and other things Uni-related. This week, as you can tell from the title, we will take a look at blushers.

Blusher is perhaps one of the most commonly encountered products in every woman's make-up collection. From the hoard of colours available ranging from all pinks imaginable to all peaches imaginable, every girl is bound to find her perfect shade(s)!

Let's have a look at the blusher formulations available on the market...

Cream blush usually comes in a little plastic pot or in twist-up tubes (like NYC Creme Sticks).  They are the best blushes for people with dry skin whilst if you have oily skin, you can use these as a base for your powder blush to stick to.  Cream blushes have a fairly thick consistency but they intensity of the colour can be built up.  I like to apply cream blushes by dabbing the blush on my cheeks and then blending it outwards with my fingers.

Powder Blush is perhaps the most common type of blusher.  They are very light weight so the colour will be very buildable in most instances.  Powder blushes usually come in pan format and are best applied with either a flat-top brush for a much easier application or else with an angled blusher brush to help frame the face better.

Mineral Blush, like all other mineral make-up is gaining popularity real fast; the reason being, mineral make-up is paraben-free and preservative-free, therefore making it an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin.  Mineral blushes are usually supplied in jars with sifter tops and the best way to apply them is with a nice fluffy brush.

Liquid Blush is another type of blush that usually comes in a jar similar to foundation ones. Sometimes they come with a pump to give you more control on how much you put on. 

Blusher Pearls offer a nice alternative to baked blushes where you can just swirl a brush over the pearls to get the right amount of product and then just dust it on your face for a nice shimmery sheen.

Now that we have looked into the different types of blushers available, it  is time to determine which shade suits you best! To do this, it is very easy... just put a pink towel on one shoulder and a peach towel on the other and see which one suits your complexion best.  This will also determine if you have a cool skin tone (pink) or a warm skin tone (peach)!

Finally, to learn that extra little bit about blush, click here for some fun facts :)

Blogger Templates
Blogger Templates