20 January 2016

Guide to Brow Make Up

Guide to - eyebrow make up - brows - eyebrow pencil - eyebrow powder - eyebrow pens - eyebrow liner - eyebrow pomades - eyebrow products - how to - which should I use

Whether you're into bold and natural or defined and arched there is no denying brows are still the in thing. I personally don't think there is one style to suit all. Its all about what you like and what suits you best. You can find out more about my personal brow views here.

No matter what style or shape you go for, brows make a big difference to our faces. So since we all tweezer and tweezer to get our ideal brow. the beauty market has become awash with every brow product you can imagine. It can become slightly overwhelming to decide what products you actually need and what they actually do. Today I'm going to be looking at the different types of brow filling products available and how they can help you get the brows of your dreams.

Eyebrow Pencils

The original brow product used to define your hairs and add a light colour to the hairs. Perfect for brow beginners as they are easiest to use, however not the greatest for those with over plucked hairs as it can be hard to get a natural hair look on the skin, unless the nibs are really thin. They come in a variety of shades from light blonde to black. Although even those with really dark hair should really stick to darkest brown. Black can look harsh and unnatural. Look for a easy to blend and slightly, not too hard or crumbly.

use small light strokes to fill in your brows and use a small brush or spoolie to disperse the product through the hairs.

Eyebrow Powders

Great for giving a natural softer look, although you need a steady hand and a thin small angle brush to create a hair like finish. Fabulous for creating a natural yet defined look. Chose a shade ever so slightly lighter than your own hair shades to stop a draw on look. They come in a variety of shades but always stick to matte shades, you can even use a matte eyeshadow if you find the right shade.

Use a small angled brush in small stroking motion to give the impression of hairs on any areas where hairs are sparse and lightly in the same motion over the rest of your brows.

Eyebrow Gels

Amazing for keeping brows in place. If you have natural fantastic brows and just want to stop them becoming unruly this is the product for you. Tinted gels are perfect for adding a extra hint of colour and giving them brows some extra definition. Use gels with added fibres to help add thickness to your hairs. I wouldn't recommend this for those of us wanting to create a new shape or for over plucked brows.

Most come with mascara wands style applicators remove excess then comb through your brows.

Eyebrow Pomades/Waxes

Without doubt my favourite way of filling in brows. there tends to be not as much colour variety as with pencils and powders but they are still relatively new to the market. The colour pay off is second to none as is their lasting time. Can be slightly hard to work with so I'd recommend some practice before trying this on a night out. A brilliant way to fill those sparse or bald areas.

These come in a little pots filled with the waxy formula. Use a small thin angled brush and wipe off any excess product as a little really does go a long way. Using a light hand draw along the bottom of your eyebrow then with a spoolie disperse the product through the brow. Then use light feathery strokes to fill in any areas with less hair. Try to focus the most defined and filled in area at the arch and tail to give a more flattering finish.

Eyebrow Pens/ Liners

Another slightly newer to the market product is Eyebrow pens and eyebrow liners. They are much like felt eyeliners they have thin and easy to work with nibs. They come in a range of finishes from quite sheer to really opaque so you can pick the pigmentation you desire. Always opt for the thinner nibs as these will give you the most natural hair like look. These tend to be really long lasting as well so great for lasting all day.

These are much like pencils but with a more workable liquid or gel formula. Perfect for creating thin hair like strokes, use like a pencil with a light hand a small strikes.

I really hope this helped you make sense of the different products you can use to fill in your eyebrows and which products might work best for you. If you're anything like me you will like to mix and match your brow products depending on how you want your brows to look each day. What products do you use to fill in your brows? Will you be trying out any new products after reading this post? Let me know all your thoughts by commenting below.

Lots of love,
Laura x

19 January 2016

Trend Alert - Glowing Skin

Without doubt 2015 was all about 90's brown lips, bold brows and of course contouring. Who knows what mini beauty fads 2016 has in store for us but one trend that is set to last the duration of 2016 is a glowing healthy looking base.

Already seen all over the catwalks, this trend harps back to yester year when less was more. Although I'm sure I'll still be knee deep in products and taking hours to get ready lol. Unlike strobing (lets be real highlighting) the look is much more natural. The aim is for the skin to look as if you are glowing from within. It's all about trying to create the perfect looking base without masking your skin. No cake face allowed this year girls its all about trying to look fresh and luminous.

Everyone and his brother will be bringing out new textures and formulas to mirror the 'no make up' base look. Heavy duty and matte foundations will be swapped with dewy lightweight textures and serum style formulas.

If you're shaking in your boots at the thought of parting with your matte base, fear not I will be posting a how to get the look guide in a few weeks. So keep your eyes peeled for that and in the mean time it's time get moisturising.

After a last years clown contouring and heavy full coverage make up, will this trend have you rethinking your daily look? How do you feel about this shinier skin trend? Let me know all your thoughts by commenting below.

Lots of Love,
Laura x

13 January 2016

Amba Hotel - Marble Arch London

Amba Hotel - Marble Arch - Oxford street - Hotel - review - hotel stay - room - the bar - the grill - bathroom
Photo From Amba Hotels

Just before Christmas Dave and I were lucky enough to be invited to stay the night at The Amba Hotel Marble Arch. Newly refurbished in its original Art deco style the 700 room hotel
is situated right on the corner of Marble Arch, so is perfectly positioned for a spot of shopping on the world famous Oxford Street.

Being just before Christmas we wanted to have a stroll around London and look at the Christmas lights and have a look around the shops. So we were eager to drop off our bags so we could get exploring. When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by the extremely professional and friendly staff. Whom we chatted away to while we were promptly checked in and told about the services available. The staff was ever so helpful and I can imagine would prove to  be invaluable to newcomers to London who want to make the most of their stay.

Amba Hotel - Marble Arch - Oxford street - Hotel - review - hotel stay - room - the bar - the grill - bathroom

I couldn't believe how big and spacious our room was especially since we were in the centre of London. The room was beautifully decorated and impeccably clean. Every room comes with a complimentary filled mini fridge, a fully stocked coffee machine and a massive smart TV. If that wasn't enough the room comes with a I pad for you to use during your stay. Through the I pad you can order room service, look and book hotel services. and also look up things to do in the area all on the app or you can simply use it to browse the web.

Amba Hotel - Marble Arch - Oxford street - Hotel - review - hotel stay - room - the bar - the grill - bathroom
Amba Hotel - Marble Arch - Oxford street - Hotel - review - hotel stay - room - the bar - the grill - bathroom

After a quick freshen up with the complimentary toiletries in the really roomy ensuite bathroom, with a full size bath and gorgeous rainfall power shower. We decided to take full advantage of the amazing location and pop just across the road to visit Winter wonderland in Hyde Park. Once we had our fair share of fun and Christmas snacks we took the two minute walk back to the hotel to sample the bar and put the in- house mixologist to the test. 

Amba Hotel - Marble Arch - Oxford street - Hotel - review - hotel stay - room - the bar - the grill - bathroom

The bar is without doubt my favourite part of the hotel, not only because of the colossal array of cocktails and drinks. The bar is beautifully styled in keeping with the 1930's feel, it gives a classy yet comfortable feel. The staff are on hand for your every need and serve some of the best cocktails I have ever sampled so well worth a visit.

Amba Hotel - Marble Arch - Oxford street - Hotel - review - hotel stay - room - the bar - the grill - bathroom
The Bar - Photo from Amba Hotels
Amba Hotel - Marble Arch - Oxford street - Hotel - review - hotel stay - room - the bar - the grill - bathroom

Amba Hotel - Marble Arch - Oxford street - Hotel - review - hotel stay - room - the bar - the grill - bathroom

When walking around the hotel its startling how vast the place is. Even with its recent refurbishment you still get the sense of the history of the hotel, with pictures of the hotel through the ages decorating the walls. Even the toilets off the lobby are styled to perfection with a powdering area with spot light mirrors on entry, very handy for a quick touch up.

Amba Hotel - Marble Arch - Oxford street - Hotel - review - hotel stay - room - the bar - the grill - bathroom

After a perfectly undisturbed sleep and feeling surprisingly sprightly after so many cocktails we ventured to the Grill restaurant for our breakfast. Hoping it would live up to our late night meal we had delivered to our room which was overwhelming in size and couldn't have been tastier. Thankfully the breakfast didn't at all disappoint with an multitude of dishes available from a full English breakfast to fruit and cereals.

We were both really sad to leave as we had such a delightful stay and would have loved to have stayed longer to sample more of the Hotels delights including the deli snack bar and gym. I really did enjoy my stay and adored the luxurious feel of the hotel. I would without doubt jump at the chance to stay at the hotel again particularly since all this comes at such a reasonable price especially for such an amazing location. Room prices start at around £160 per room.

If you are looking for a city break or to treat yourself to a glamorous night up town, The Amba Hotel Marble Arch would be the ideal choice. Then once your feet can take no more from roaming the local landmarks and shops collapse into your super comfy bed or relax in the beautifully decorated restaurant or bar.

Have you stayed in The Amba Hotel? What would you do if you had an overnight stay in central London? What do you think of the Art deco design? Let me know all your thoughts by commenting below.

Lots of Love,
Laura x

I would like to thank the Amba Hotel for allowing us to visit and for all the staff who made our stay so lovely and enjoyable.

11 January 2016

Urban Decay - Gwen Stefani palette

Urban decay - Gwen Stefani - Eyeshadow palette - make up - eyeshadow - swatches - review

When I first heard that Urban Decay had teamed up with Gwen Stefani to create a limited edition eyeshadow palette I was really excited. I love Urban Decay and their eyeshadows are some of my all time favourites especially the now cult classic Naked Palettes.

I was so excited when I received the palette for Christmas. The packaging is really unique and complements Gwen's glamorous yet edgy image. With its gold rimmed case and gold plaque, on a ultra modern white and black circle design,it's fair to say it is stunning.

If you are a fan of bold and bright shades, you maybe slightly disappointed as it isn't filled with the wacky shades of the early 90's Gwen. Although there are a few more fun gem toned shades in the palette you may love, most are neutrals and beautiful nude shades. Even the brighter of the shades are actually really wearable and great for adding a bit of colour to your usual looks.

Urban decay - Gwen Stefani - Eyeshadow palette - make up - eyeshadow - swatches - review

Gwen was really hands on in the creation of the palette. From the packaging to the shades and picked the colours based on what shades she wished she had in her collection. Comprised of 15 shades, the palette is a mixture of matte, satin, metallic and glitter finishes there really is something for everyone. 12 of the shades are brand new and can't be found anywhere else.

So let's take a closer look at the shades.

Blonde - Described as a pale beige with pink iridescent shift. I'd describe it as a creamy ivory shade with a light pink shimmer.

Bathwater - Is described as a pale beige with gold pearl. I'd describe it as a light creamy yellow with gold frosted shimmer.

Skimp - Described as a pale nude satin. I'd say it's a really light warm toned ivory shade.

Steady - Described as a medium rose with metallic warm shift. It's warm coppery pink tone with a metallic finish

Punk -  is described as a reddish brown matte. It's a soft plum to red toned brown with a matte finish.

Urban decay - Gwen Stefani - Eyeshadow palette - make up - eyeshadow - swatches - review

Baby - Described as a cool metallic rose, it's a champagne pink shade with a metallic finish.

Anaheim - Described as a light taupe brown matte, it's a soft medium taupe brown in a matte finish.

Stark - Is described as a nude pink matte. I'd say its a light peachy nude matte.

Zone - Is described as a medium brown matte. I'd describe it as a warm soft medium brown in a matte finish.

Serious - Described as a smoky grey with iridescent floating pearl. It's a warm greyish brown with a fine glitter and shimmery finish.

Urban decay - Gwen Stefani - Eyeshadow palette - make up - eyeshadow - swatches - review

Pop - Described as a pale coral with iridescent sparkle, its a light warm toned beige with lots of white glitter. This is the only colour that I noticed significant fall out with.

Harajuku - Is described as a metallic blue - pink with iridescent micro-glitter. Its a cool light pink with a strong shimmer and a dusting of glitter.

Danger - described as a deep metallic royal blue with blue micro-glitter. I'd describe it as rich navy blue with metallic sheen finish.

1987- described as a bright metallic yellow gold. Its a warm medium to light yellow gold shade with a metallic sheen.

Blackout - Described as blackest black matte. Its a deep neutral toned pure black with a matte finish.

The shadows in this palette are all super buttery to the touch and are beautifully pigmented just what you would expect from Urban Decay. If you're a smoky eye lover like me this palette will be right up your street. I can definitely see this palette getting a lot of use.

Which of the shades do you like best? Will you be adding this palette to your collection? What palettes do you have your eye on at the moment? Let me know all your thoughts by commenting below.

Lots of Love,
Laura x

6 January 2016

Most used products of 2015

As it's the start of the new year it's the perfect time to look back at some of the most used products from my stash! These are staples and products I automatically reach for on a daily basis, not stored away for special occasions or only worn once or twice. These are the products I used the most and/or repurchased more than others. 

Most used products of 2015 - popband - rub rub rub - Lush - Nailene - Velvet Teddy - Lee Stafford - macadamia oil - loreal - lumi foundation - anastasia beverly hills - contour palette - fit me concealer - clarisonic

Popband Hair Ties
I try to use heat as little as possible on my hair so mostly I have it up in a messy bun or a ponytail. Pop bands are a lot kinder to your hair than normal hair bands. I have pretty much been using these daily since discovering them in the summer and have noticed a lot less breakage! 

Lush rub rub rub
Since discovering this I have become addicted. It's amazing at removing dead dry skin and leaving your skin silky smooth! It's perfect for removing and prepping the skin for a tan. No scrub I have tried leaves my skin softer. Check out my full review here.

Nailene Nails
Throughout 2015 I have been loving creating my own nail art looks. I don't have to worry about my own nails being broken and stubby as I simply decorate these nails from Nailene. I'll match up the nail sizes to my nail bed then get creating. Once I'm happy with the design I'll just stick them on. Not only are these glue on nails fab for creating a salon style manicure at home the glue that comes with it is amazing and really lasts.

Mac Velvet Teddy
Without doubt the lipstick shade of the year. Whether worn on its own or paired with a gloss, or mixed with myth to make my ultimate nude, which you can
view here. Velvet Teddy has been a constant companion in my bag.

Lee Stafford Breaking Hair Treatment
The constant bleaching and toning of my hair to keep it silver, really takes it toll. So I have had to really look after my hair especially as I like to have it long! I have been using this religiously since I first tried it at the beginning of the year and it really helps keep my long locks healthy and shiny. 

Macadamia Oil
Although its not a new product this is the one hair oil I always go back to and repurchase. It smells amazing and leaves my hair soft and shiny. It's also definitely one of the less expensive hair oils around so it also helps my bank balance as well as my barnet.

Loreal Lumi Magique Foundation
This has been my go to day to day foundation, its amazing at giving buildable medium coverage, without leaving skin with a cakey finish. Skin is left looking dewy like it's glowing from within. With added hydration it stops any foundation clinging to dry patches of skin. If you have drier skin this is really worth trying.

Anastasia Beverley Hills Contour Palette
I don't really know how I survived with out this ,the contour colours are beautiful and perfect for day to day use. I know a lot of people were disappointed that the highlighters aren't shimmery. However I use them to set my foundation and concealer. I also use the lighter shades on days when I don't want an in your face highlight and to just lighten the highlighting areas. 

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
I have loved this stuff for years! Even though I have tried lots of different concealers, I always go back to this one. It's an amazing dupe for Nars Creamy Concealer but I personally prefer Fit Me. If I'm low I will always pick up another of these bad boys. Its the best concealer I have found for the under the eyes as its not too thick so no creasing or caking. So for someone with really dark circles like me it's a must have. 

Clarisonic Smart Profile
Although I haven't had this for much of 2015. Ever since receiving it I have used it everyday without fail. It's just what I needed, I know I get a deep down clean in less than 2 minutes. The timed cycle makes removing my make up and daily grime super simple. Plus it leaves my skin squeaky clean and gets rid of any dry patches with ease. Check out my full review here.

What products have you used the most over 2015? Have you tried any of my most used products? Which products have you been loving the most this past year? Let me know all your thoughts by commenting below.

Lots of Love,
Laura x

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