The Cost of Beauty

28.5.11

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I've seen a few ladies, like the lovely Jennie and Alyse, do these "how much is your face worth?" posts lately and I found the idea really interesting. I often don't really pay close attention to how much my makeup costs as I view it as a kind of "necessity" that I have to buy. Obviously I buy cheaper brands if I'm short on pennies, and I will moan if I have to fork out £20+ for a single item, but I will still buy it without hesitation and without properly considering the fact that I don't actually need it. Anyway, here's how much my average daily makeup costs me...

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L'Oreal Studio Secrets Resurfacing Primer: £14.29
Benefit Boi-ing: £16.50
Benefit Erase Paste: £19.50
Total = £50.29


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Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation: £25.50
Lily Lolo Flawless Matte Finishing Powder: £12.49
Total = £37.99


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Rimmel Glam'Eyes Liquid Eyeliner: £5.29
Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil: £13
Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara: £10.99
No7 Stay Perfect Trio Eyeshadow: £10 (not pictured)
Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil: £2.99
Total = £42.27


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Benefit Dallas: £23.50
Models Own Lip & Cheek Tint: £6
Chapstick: £1.29
Total = £30.79


Grand Total = £161.34

£161.34 does sound like a lot, but if you think about how many times you would use each product (most of these would last me for over 6 months) it probably works out at only a pound or two per day. Most of my makeup is middle-range in both price and quality but once I'm no longer a student I would like to invest in more high-end products as they are much better quality and usually last longer.

How much do you spend on makeup?

Gillian x

Outfit: Calling All Skeletons

23.5.11

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Dress: ASOS
Shoes: New Look
Necklace: Topshop


A couple of weeks ago I ordered some things from ASOS and this dress was one of the things I got. I haven't actually worn it out yet as I'm not sure if I really like it, but here's a potential outfit I've put together. That's the main thing I hate about online shopping, things never look quite how you expected them to once you see them in the flesh. So I need some advice - how would you wear this dress?

I would normally wear black tights with a dress this length but I wasn't sure whether black tights with a white dress would look a bit too much like I was in some kind of fancy dress. Likewise with a belt - I generally don't like going belt-less but I didn't want to go for a black one, maybe a brown belt would look better?

White and gold are always a good combination, so I've gone for some summery gladiator sandal style heels from New Look. They look dangerously high (and they are) but are surprisingly quite comfy to wear because of the big platform and lots of buckles to keep your feet strapped in. I originally bought these shoes to wear on a toga party themed night out, but I've actually worn them quite a lot since as they look great with skinny jeans.

My favourite part of this outfit is definitely the skeleton necklace. I quite often walk round Topshop and find nothing I particularly want to buy in the clothes section, but there's always some jewellery I love! This necklace is great addition to a plain outfit to jazz it up a bit. I like the fact that it's a bit of a statement piece, but it's still delicate and not too in-your-face.

I wanted to branch out from my usual colour palette and try something lighter for the summer, but now I'm not sure. How do you wear white dresses? Is it better to keep it plain or do you like to accessorise with bold colours?

Gillian x

Review: E.L.F. Cosmetics

18.5.11

A couple of weeks ago ELF were doing a special offer where everything was 20% off. I've been wanting to try ELF makeup for ages but never quite got round to it, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to place my first order. Here's what I bought and what I though of it all...

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Studio Tinted Moisturiser in Porcelain:
I've never used a tinted moisturiser before but I thought, seen as summer is coming up, I'd like to try a lighter alternative to foundation. I'm really impressed with this product, especially considering it was only £2.80. I got the lightest shade available and at first I thought it was going to be too dark, but once it's blended in properly it doesn't look too bad. I would probably only use this in the summer when I'm (a tiny bit!) more tanned so the colour shouldn't be too much of a problem anyway.
It smells really good (reminds me of a cleanser I had from Clarins yeeeeaaars ago) and has a really smooth consistency. The only thing to watch out for is to make sure your skins is properly exfoliated because the colour tends to stick to dry patches. Overall, I'd really reccomend this and I think this has started off a new obsession to find the perfect tinted moisturiser!

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Studio Concealer in Ivory:
I would say this was a pretty average concealer stick - not amazing but not awful either. It's quite good for covering up spots or blemishes but I think it's a bit too dry for under-eye dark circles. The concealer is quite creamy but dries almost instantly once you apply it so you have to blend it in really quickly. I probably wouldn't bother buying this again, but it's an okay product and not a complete waste of money.

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Studio Under-Eye Concealer & Highlighter in Glow/Fair:
I love this concealer! It's much better than I was expecting it to be, I only really bought this product so I could add a few extra pounds to get free delivery. The concealer is really creamy and hydrating and perfect for covering up dark circles.
I'm not entirely sure where the highlighting part is meant to go, the ELF website just says "around and on top of the eye". I think it's far too bright/sparkly for using right next to the eye, but it works really well as a highlight on the browbone. I'm not too fussed about the highlighter but I would buy this product again just for the concealer side.

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Mineral Lipstick in Natural Nymph:
I always like the look of nude lipstick on other people so I thought it was time I tried it out for myself. I'm not convinced, however, as I think it just looks like I'm wearing foundation on my lips. My lips are quite deep pink naturally so even though I applied a base on my lips first, I think my lips kind of mess with the colour of this lipstick. The lipstick itself is really creamy and applies easily but this colour just reminds me of a Barbie lipstick i got free with Girl Talk magazine circa 1996.
I would probably buy this again in a different shade, but I don't think I'll get much use out of this colour. Red lips 4eva!

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With and without flash. Natural Nymph Mineral Lipstick

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Studio Conditioning Lip Balm in Blissful Berry and Mellow Melon:
I think these are probably my favourite items of the whole order. They've got a really creamy texture and are so easy to apply. They are really pigmented for a lip balm, especially the darker shade, Blissful Berry. And they smell like coconut which is always a good thing!
I'm also really impressed with the packaging of these, the glass jars (well, plastic jars!) look much more expensive than they are. I would definitely recommend these and I could see myself buying these in lots of different shades.

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With and without flash. Blissful Berry Studio Conditioning Lip Balm
Mellow Melon Studio Conditioning Lip Balm

(These look almost identical here but they're quite different in real life - have a look on my Flickr for some more swatches of all the products).

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Studio Blush in Candid Coral:
In the compact this blush looks scarily gold and shiny but once it's applied it's actually really subtle and a gorgeous peachy-coral colour. If anything, it could be a little bit more pigmented as I had to apply a couple of layers to get it bright enough.
I quite like this blush though, I think I would probably buy it again as I love the colour.

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Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder in Luminance:
I'm a little bit disappointed with this as it's not very 'bronze' at all. It looks lovely as a highlighter with just a tiny hint of colour, but I definitely wouldn't describe it as a bronzer. Perhaps I made a mistake choosing the lightest shade, but considering I am super pale I didn't want anything that would make me look too orange.
I wouldn't buy this product again and although I'm sure I will manage to use it for highlighting it's pretty much useless as a bronzer.

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Clarifying Pressed Powder in Light Beige:
This is probably the worst of all the products I bought. It's far too dark for me, it just makes my skin look really dirty. Even if it was the right shade, it's really heavy and almost kind of sticky feeling once it's applied. With a pressed powder, I expect it to de-shine my skin and just even everything out but this doesn't as it really hard to blend properly.

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Studio Cream Eyeliner in Black:
I've never used a cream/gel eyeliner before so I thought I would give this one a go seen as I wear eyeliner pretty much every single day! I think this is probably perfectly fine for a cream eyeliner, but I just prefer my liquid liner. I find it hard to apply as it doesn't give a smooth line and it needs more than one layer to get it looking really black. I'm not sure if this is just down to this product or whether I don't like cream eyeliners in general.
Any of you who have tried ELF's eyeliner and have also used MAC's Fluidline, what did you think of this product? Do I just need more practice applying it?

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Concealer Brush, Eyeshadow Brush, and Studio Stipple Brush:
These brushes are all pretty good, basic brushes. Considering the concealer and eyeshadow brush only cost me £1.20, they're excellent! I've been wanting to try a stipple brush for ages but didn't want to fork out the money for a MAC one in case it was rubbish. I haven't used the brushes much so far but they seem great, I would definitely recommed ELF brushes.

Overall, I think ELF is a bit hit and miss. Most of the Studio products I bought were quite good but the ordinary range wasn't great. My favourite products are the Conditioning Lip Balms and the Under-Eye Concealer and Highlighter, I would definitely buy those and a few other bits and pieces again.

What are your favourite (or least favourite) ELF products?

Gillian x

Outfit: Pink & Polka Dots

11.5.11

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Dress: Vivien of Holloway
Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins
Belt: New Look
Wedges: New Look


I'm sure many of you will have already heard of the fabulous Vivien of Holloway but if you haven't, make sure to have a browse through the website for lots of wonderful vintage inspired dresses. I bought my first Vivien of Holloway dress back in 2007 to wear to my 5th Year school prom. Most of the other girls were wearing floor length dresses with layers and layers of tulle and silk, which is really not my style. I was much happier prancing about in a 1950s style halterneck swing dress! Sadly that one (a pink and black spotty number) doesn't fit me anyomore, but a year or two ago I bought this dress to replace it.

I haven't actually had the chance to wear this dress all that much, as I feel it's quite dressy for day-time and a little bit too fancy to wear on an average VK-fuelled night out. But as midi-length skirts are very much "in" at the moment, I'm going to bite the bullet and just start wearing it all the time this summer for picnics in the park and strolls around town. (This would also be the perfect opportunity for any eligible young gentlemen reading this to invite me to a fancy soirée so I can wear this dress whilst drinking champagne cocktails...)

I love how this dress sits and it's perfect for spinning round in circles! I tried to take a motion-shot but got dizzy from twirling around too much and walked into the table - fun fact. I think the dress looks great on its own for a day-time look, but once I've got some more pennies I would love to invest in a petticoat to make it all floofy and big for potential night-time wear.

If I had endless funds I would probably buy all of the Vivien of Holloway dresses (I've got my eyes on these ones especially - Rose Garden Blue, Sweet Hearts Pink, & Black Satin Stars). Vivien of Holloway also do some lovely pencil dress and sarong-style dresses which I'd love to try one day too!

Gillian x

River Island Shop-In Wishlist

9.5.11

As I'm sure many of you already know, this week River Island are holding student shop-in events at stores across the country. I'm off to Edinburgh's River Island store tonight to grab myself a bargain as everything is 20% off. In preparation, I've had a look through their website and chosen my favourite items that I will be on the look-out for tonight.

1. Green Grecian Shift Dress 2. Turqouise Feather Thong Necklace 3. Cream Long Sleeve Shirt 4. Cream 3/4 Sleeve Jumper 5. Chelsea Girl Print Skinny Jeans 6. Pink Strappy Sandals 7. Black Bandeau Shirred Prom Dress 8. Gold Aviator Sunglasses


I will probably end up coming home with something completely different, but nevermind! What have you got your eye on from River Island at the moment? Are you planning to go to one of the shop-ins?

Gillian x

Outfit: Miss Scarlett

5.5.11

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Dress: Vero Moda @ ASOS
Belt: Dorothy Perkins
Wedges: New Look


I recently ordered a few things from ASOS and this bright red shirt dress by Vero Moda is one of the things I purchased. I only really bought it because I needed something to bring the total up a bit so I could get free delivery, but I think it's actually my favourite thing from the whole order! The colour is a gorgeous bright reddish-orange which is perfect for the summer (please excuse the excessive boobage in the last photo - it showed the colour really well!).

The only downside to this dress is the fact that it's made of a silky fabric which seems to be really staticky, so the skirt ends up sticking to my legs instead of sitting properly. Any tips on how to stop clothes from being static?! Think I might have to buy an old lady underskirt or something!

I love this belt and wear it quite a lot, but I'm not sure if it's a bit too tough and chunky for this dress. What do you think? I almost always wear belts so I felt I needed something, but next time I wear it I might swap this one for a skinner belt. I'm going out for a meal and some cocktails for my friend's birthday on Saturday and I am planning to wear this outfit, so I will experiment then!

I bought these wedges last summer but as much as I love them, I haven't actually worn them very much. Definitely going to change that though and get as much wear out of them as possible over the next few months.

Gillian x

Review: Eyeko Makeup

3.5.11

Last week I put in my first order at Eyeko and when I got home this afternoon there was a lovely little package waiting on the doormat for me. The website said it could take up to 28 days for delivery so I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived in less than a week. So without any further ado, let's have a look at what I ordered...

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Frosting with and without flash

Fat Balm in Frosting:
The Fat Balms are one of Eyeko's most famous products, a favourite of many beauty bloggers. I ordered 'Frosting' which is a lovely bright pink shade. In my head I thought the product would be much bigger, but it's the perfect size for putting in your makeup bag for a night out. I was expecting it to taste/smell like vanilla icing but in fact I think it smells like sugary donuts. YUM!
The Fat Balm is somewhere between a lip balm and a lipstick, so they apply really easily but still give a bit of colour. I only applied one layer and found it was the perfect brightness for me, but you could easily apply more to get a darker colour. I think this will fast become one of my favourite makeup essentials as I love the bright (but still quite natural-looking) pink colour and it makes your lips feel lovely and soft.

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Purple Graffiti Pen with and without flash

Graffiti Eyeliner Pen in Purple:
I wear cat-eye black liner pretty much every day (I'm far too lazy to faff about with eyeshadow, a quick slick of eyeliner is much easier!) so when I saw this purple eyeliner pen on the Eyeko website I thought I would branch out and mix up my usual eye routine a little bit. It really is just like a felt tip pen so it's really easy to apply and it doesn't seem to smudge at all.
I was expecting it to be a little bit metallic-looking but it's not, it's just a really nice deep shade of purple. It's subtle enough to wear during the day time and for night time I think I might pair it with some Urban Decay Glitter Eyeliner for a bit of sparkle.

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Loud Mouth with and without flash

Liptastik Glossy Lip Pen in Loud Mouth:
The Liptastik pens are a great alternative for those of us who love lipstick but are too lazy to apply it properly! The product glides on really easily and has amazing colour payoff, I only applied one coat and my lips looked great. The colour is quite a warm, rosy pink so I think it would suit most skin tones.
There is a little bit to twist at the bottom to 'release' more product (I have no idea what word I am looking for, I'm sure you know what I mean!) so there's no need to sharpen it. The only thing I would be worried about with this though is that the tip would no longer remain sharp so you might need to use a lipliner to get a neater shape.

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London Lips in Portobello:
Eyeko have an Ambassador scheme which allows customer to get rewards when they enter an Ambassador's code at the checkout, and this was the free product I recieved. I'm a little bit annoyed, however, as when I placed my order the free product being advertised was Fat Balm in Cherry (I was originally intending to buy this, but as I thought I was getting it for free I didn't bother - wish I had now as I really wanted to try it!) and I got this instead. I do understand that this was a free product so I shouldn't complain too much, but I really think Eyeko should have been a bit clearer so I could have ordered accordingly. It's especially annoying as I never really wear lipgloss!
The lipgloss is quite sticky which I don't like but it's a lovely pale pink colour with little gold flecks through it. I think it might actually be a little bit too pale for me as I tend to go for bright lip colours rather than nudes. But as I said I'm not much of a lipgloss person, but for those who do like lipgloss this would probably be a great product!

Overall I'm very happy with these products and would recommend them all, even though I personally am not a huge fan of the lipgloss. I will definitely be ordering more of the Fat Balms soon!

Have you ever used any Eyeko products before? What did you think of them?

Gillian x