Wednesday, 13 August 2014

TRAVEL BEAUTY: What's in my Summer Make-up Bag?

I've been well overdue a Daily Makeup post so what better time than now to share with you the makeup that made the cut on my recent trip to Mallorca, a what's in my makeup bag, summer holiday edition if you will...

When packing I tried to be very selective with the products I was going to pack in my case with the mindset that this would allow for more outfit and toiletry options. For my base I went for a lightweight option from Philosophy, their Be Your Best BB cream (review). This evened out my skintone and provided me with a light dewy base. For extra blemish coverage, and under my eyes, I used my trusty Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in the darker shade of Medium 3. I then used a combination of my two favourite face powders; Rimmel Stay Matte and MAC MSF Natural 'Light' to keep me matte and my makeup in place. To add to my summer 'glow', I packed my MAC Soft and Gentle MSF to use as a blusher/bronzer duo and applied this using my RT Contour Brush on the tops of my cheeks.

For my eyes I decided to pack the MUA Undressed Palette in hope that I would experiment with different shades and get more use out of the palette. To keep these shadows in place I also packed my MAC Bare Study Paint Pot which didn't disappoint. I also, because the MUA palette didn't have a matte flesh coloured shadow, packed my Estee Lauder Eyeshadow quad for using on my brow bone and finished my eye look with my current favourite Bourjois 1 Second Mascara.

My lips I kept surprisingly low maintenance while on holiday by just packing my BALMI lip balm in the mint flavour which worked great in the day too due to containing SPF15.

For brushes, again, I was very selective and limited it to my 4 favourites; my Real Techniques Multi Task Brush, Buffing Brush and Contour Brush for my face and my MAC 217 for my eyeshadow.

I am very proud of myself for my capsule makeup bag and found myself reaching for everything that I had packed and not needing anything else!

Are you an overpacker? What do you pack in your holiday makeup bag?

Beth xx

P.S Keep an eye out for more shopping the stash posts as I hope that this series can make a come-back!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Review: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

You may have seen me ramble on about the infamous Real Techniques brushes, namely their face brushes, however there has now been a now-not-so-new foundation tool in town, the RT Miracle Complexion Sponge and this really is a miracle worker.

Where you thought your foundation looked amazing before, you NEED to try this. When held under running water, and the excess rung out, this sponge expands to over twice its original size and makes your foundation much more flawless yet natural looking.

If you have trouble with a certain foundation caking when you apply it, as I did with the apparently cake free Rimmel Stay Matte, this helps to significantly reduce this while also allowing you to build up the coverage.

The sponge has a wide flat side, a rounded pointed end and and a more precise pointed edge. This combination of the three means that you can apply your foundation in layers, and over a large area, but blend in precise areas of your face, such as under your eyes and around your nose, and at ease.

For £5.99 there is no need to splurge £20ish on the beauty blender as, for me, this does all that I would want the beauty blender to do without the hassle of ordering online and wasting extra cash.

It is also worth saying that this was surpisingly easy to clean versus other foundation sponges I have tried - I run it under the hot jet of my shower and lather clean using baby shampoo and the sponge is returned to its original bright orange coloured glory.

If you want a change from your usual foundation application then I would highly urge you to pop to Boots, or online, and buy this as this multi-tasking beauty is an essential in my opinion. 

Have you tried the RT Miracle Complexion sponge?

Beth xx

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Review: Sleek Contour Kit

I'll admit, MAC MSF in Soft and Gentle shall always have a place in my heart, however,  when I spotted a shiny new Sleek stand in Boots I couldn't say no to this contour kit that has always been on my wish list and much hyped about.

The first thing I noticed about the highlighter, compared to Soft and Gentle, was that it is much more wearable but nevertheless leaves a lovely pink sheen to your cheeks that blends out effortlessly with a combination of my MAC 109 and 168 brushes.

The contour shade is initially equally as impressive. The colour is a perfect suede brown that doesn't look orange on my cheeks and has a great colour pay off but equally, when applied with a light hand, works great if you want to opt for something more natural. That being said, I have found myself neglecting this shade in my collection as unfortunately this has a tendency to look stripy on my cheeks. For me, it is difficult to blend this as the balance between a light hand and actually wanting to have colour pay-off to contour is rather difficult without my cheeks looking muddy and patchy.

At £5.49 is an absolute steal however following the easy break of the compact, the risk of looking like a zebra  and the lasting power being somewhat something to be desired, I won't be repurchasing as for my pasty complexion, this doesn't help me to bronze, nor contour and I shall be glad to use this up.

Have you tried Sleek? 

Beth x

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

BethMayBakes | Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Macaroons Recipe

Yesterday I spent the majority of my day baking and Instagramming (@BethME) my favourite sweet treat, macaroons! Seeing as the recipe we used proved to be extremely successful, and tasty, I thought that I would share this recipe with you all!

(Recipe Source)

170g icing sugar
160g ground almonds
120ml egg whites from about 4 medium eggs, separated into 2 equal batches
160g granulated sugar
½ tsp red food colouring

120g double cream
110g dark chocolate, finely chopped
25g unsalted butter, room temperature
Fresh Strawberries

Place the icing sugar and ground almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 15 times until fully combined. Sieve this mixture into a large bowl, discarding any particles that stay in the sieve. Add the first batch of egg whites to the almond mixture, mix to form a thick paste and set aside.

Tip the second batch of egg whites into a spotlessly clean, heatproof bowl and have an electric whisk at the ready. Place 50ml water and the granulated sugar into a small saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup registers 110C, using a sugar thermometer, at which time start to beat the egg whites on high speed. 

Once the syrup is at 118C pour it slowly down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the moving whisk. Continue to whisk on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and you have a shiny peaked meringue mixture – the bowl should no longer be hot to the touch, but still warm. Add the colouring and whisk to combine.

Tip the meringue onto the almond mixture and gently fold together. It is important not to over-mix the batter – it should fall in a thick ribbon from the spatula . The ribbon should also fade back into the batter within about 30 secs – if it doesn’t, fold a few more times.

Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3-4. Line 3 baking sheets with baking parchment. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe rounds about 2.5cm in diameter onto the prepared baking sheets {we printed off templates and placed these under the baking sheets for consistency}. 

Leave to rest for 30 mins out of the fridge, or until the macaroons have developed a skin.

Bake the macaroons for 14 mins (this needs to be precise so you could test a macaroon first). Immediately slide the parchment onto the work surface and cool for a few minutes before gently peeling the macaroons off the paper.

To make the filling, place the cream in a small saucepan and the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream just to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand for a few mins, then stir to combine. Add the butter and stir until smooth, then leave to set until thickened. 

Place the chocolate mix into a clean piping bag with a smaller nozzle and pipe around the edge of half the macaroons. Fill the centre with a finely sliced strawberry {you could also use jam} and sandwich with another macaroon shell.

These are best eaten on the same day, especially as we used fresh strawberries, or kept in a cool dry place outside of the fridge to prevent them from turning soggy!

Have you made Macaroons before?


Disclaimer: This recipe was sourced from BBC GoodFood but tasted too good not to share!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Summer Empties: Beauty Trash - Part 1

It doesn't seem two minutes since I posted my last beauty empties but I've soon managed to rack up a substantial bag of beauty trash to share with you!

Avon Senses Lemon Lime and Ginger Shower Gel 

I was a little underwhelmed by Avon shower gels. You could hardly distinguish the scent and despite producing a rich and foamy lather, I didn't feel clean after using this and couldn't wait to finish a bottle that seemed to last forever. Because of this, I won't be repurchasing.

Dove Summer Glow Fair to Medium

I only had a few last uses in this from where I had frequently used and loved this last year. If you can tolerate the typical biscuity smell of a gradual tanner then this tanner is great for adding a hint of colour to your skin that isn't streaky if your application is careful.
 This particular shade Fair to Medium was perhaps too fair for my incredibly fair skin and I would normally opt for a shade darker so keep that in mind when buying this as otherwise it doesn't make much of a difference to your 'glow'. Full Review Here

Blanx White Shock Toothpaste

This worked to an extent as my teeth did seem whiter after using this, however,  I do think that the light-activated element of this is very gimmicky and unless on offer, this is overpriced for a toothpaste and one that I wouldn't repurchase.

Garnier Micellar Water 

After the disappointment that was the Loreal Micellar Water, I had high hopes for this. Fortunately this outperformed loreals offering and didn't require cotton wool pad after cotton wool pad in order to take off your face and eye makeup. This didn't sting my skin, break me out ( as far as I was aware anyway!) and wasn't scented. A definite repurchase and a product that I will be repurchasing in the near future once I finish out my current alternative.

ReGen Cream 

A £3 Aldi purchase that I unfortunately didn't agree with. I found that it did nothing but sting my skin when using it and the runny cream in a tub very impractical. I much prefer Rosehip oil for scarring and therefore  wouldn't repurchase this.

Aveeno Cream

My sister has always sworn by this for her Eczema however this works equally as well for dry and sensitive skin on your face or body. I would definitely use this again and I would repurchase if I ever ran out of moisturizer.

Ginvera Exfoliating Marvel Gel // Clarins Hydraquench Cream Mask // Anatomicals Puffy the Eye Bag Slayer 

 I always find it difficult to work out whether I like a skincare product based on a sample size however the Anatomicals I am intrigued to try again as despite being a strange concept, the gel patches were refreshing and great at cooling and soothing heavy eyes and dark circles. The marvel gel, however, I didn't have much luck with as it didn't seem to make a difference to the surface of my skin  despite the exfoliating beads. In addition, the Clarins mask, due to the hotter weather more recently, felt far too heavy for my skin and therefore is hard to gauge how 'quenching' the mask really is.

Klorane Mango Butter Shampoo // Garnier Ultimate Blends - The Sleek Restorer // Peter Thomas Roth Mega Rich Shampoo // John Frieda Full Repair Hydrate and Rescue Shampoo // MilkShake Colour Shampoo // 
Herbal Essences Bee Strong Shampoo

If I was to repurchase a single shampoo from those photographed in this months empties then the John Frieda Full Repair Hydrate and Rescue Shampoo would be a clear winner. This did a great job at cleansing my hair without stripping my scalp nor weighing it down and making it greasy. Unfortunately the other shampoos, despite smelling great, were too rich for my hair and left it feeling weighed down and for that reason shall not be purchased in their full sized glory.
Pure BB Cream (Light) // Rimmel Stay Matte  // MAC Face and Body 

From these three foundations there is a clear winner which is my trusty Face and Body. Unfortunately the BB cream was far too dark for me and the Stay Matte far too cakey whereas at risk of sounding like i'm reading a fairy tale, the MAC was just right. It was the right shade for my skin in the summer and lightweight on the skin while providing buildable coverage. I haven't yet gone out to repurchase this foundation as the shade N1 was bordering on too dark at times however I wouldn't rule out a repurchase because of this.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

I love this concealer and no matter how hard I try to buy another concealer, I always cave in at the last minute and repurchase this. This particular shade was Fair 1 however upon trialing this in Medium 3, the results have been equally impressive, either way I don't seem to be straying from this £4 bargain and highly recommend.

MUA Pro Base Fixing Mist // Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer

For long lasting makeup this is my dream combination. The primer, despite perhaps being the culprit behind my pesky breakouts, provides a smooth base for my makeup and keeps it from caking throughout the day. This combined with the fixing mist ensures maximum lasting power and stops it from sweating off in the heat. Both of these I would repurchase.

YSL Babydoll Mascara - FULL REVIEW HERE

This worked great during the first 3 months of its life but soon after this it started to dry out which for an almost £25 mascara was disappointing. That being said, for the 3 months prior to this, this did a great job at lengthening my lashes and adding curl in the process. It worked well but unfortunately is a little out of my price range to promptly repurchase. 

MAC Naked Lunch Eyeshadow 

 I loved this eyeshadow - the champagne peachy pink was pigmented and great for everyday and evening wear alike. Paired with Mac Bare Study Paint pot, this provided a long lasting light base for my eyeshadow and one that I reached for on a daily basis. I would highly recommend this eyeshadow and if I wasn't to have a drawer full of champagne eyeshadows already, then I'd be straight back to the MAC counter to repurchase.

So that's all of my empties for now! I already have a Part 2 in my drafts so do keep an eye out for that!

What have you finished recently?

Beth xx

P.S I am planning on writing an AS Level Advice Blogpost/Q&A so feel free to leave any questions below or tweet me @CosmticLover! 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Bourjois 1 Second Volume Mascara* Review - (Before and After Pics)

£9.99 / Boots
I'm never really one to get excited over new Mascaras as it takes months for me to get through a tube however  I was intrigued to try Bourjois new addition that claims to give you '1 second' volume after the recent hype in the blog-o-sphere.

For me, the summer allows me to fully test a mascara as I suffer from severe hayfever, runny eyes and persistent sneezing. Because of this, I jumped at the chance to try out Bourjois latest number and share the outcome with you guys as I knew I'd really be able to put it through its paces!
BEFORE - Bare Lashes
AFTER - 2 Coats of Mascara
The mascara is packaged in a silver tube with coral accents of which a very large plastic barrel brush is contained. If you look carefully at the brush there are small plastic balls among the bristles said to 'wrap every lash' and the straight bristles to create clump-free definition.
Where I do feel that 1 second volume is a little optimistic for me without ending up with mascara all over my face, it is very easy and quick to create my desired result (photographed), only requiring 2 coats to fully coat and volumise my lashes and when doing so, doesn't clog or clump my lashes!
 This also looks good after 1 coat however produces a much more natural finish this way so it is totally dependent on the look that you go for. It is also worth mentioning that the results photographed are without eyelash curlers.
My only downfall with this is that the does smudge on the edges of lower lash line, even when only wearing mascara on my top lashes day-to-day, so hasn't passed my hayfever test. That being said, I haven't yet found a mascara to withstand my hayfever symptoms this season so I don't blame the mascara for this. In saying this, I am sure that the waterproof version would be much longer lasting so if you want to prevent this happening, then perhaps try the latter.
This mascara is priced at £9.99 which seems to be the average for high street mascaras nowadays but hasn't yet started to dry out despite trialling for a month or so already. It also is very convenient to remove with my normal removal method, micellar water and coconut oil, and you won't wake up with Panda eyes the next day.
Have you tried Bourjois latest Mascara addition?
Beth x

Friday, 18 July 2014

Summer Beauty: Take Care of Your Feet - CCS Foot Care Cream*


Like many I’m sure ( well I hope anyway!) my feet are a part of my beauty routine that are neglected during the winter months yet when the sun decides to show for what is the British summer, I make a mindful  effort to get them into tip top condition for wearing flip flops and sandals - enter CCS Foot Care Cream.

I have tried a handful of foot creams in the past and various other foot care products in my bid for softer and supple feet and this is definitely a product I shall continue to use this season and one that shall be making the cut for my summer holiday.

Although nothing, in my opinion, will ever replace theFootner Exfoliating Socks for leaving your feet soft, supple and banishing extremely dry and cracked skin (tmi- sorry!), this definitely does a great job at improving the condition of your feet.

As a result of using this for a couple of weeks, my feet are still not in their ‘perfect’ state; I still have dry patches and rough skin. In saying this, however, the majority is considerably softer, perhaps due to the 10% Urea in the cream .

I tend to use this overnight, smothering my feet in the cream, putting a pair of fluffy socks on and leaving this to work its magic. You can also apply this twice daily, however I do find that this can be greasy on your feet in doing so, and so tend to avoid this method of application.

It is also worth saying that I have had better results from this than that of Soap and Glory's Heel Genius, so if you are willing to part with an extra couple of pounds and can manage with a mild non-obtrusive foot cream scent versus your typical soap and glory smell then I would definitely give this a try. 

Despite not matching up to the results of the Footner socks, I will definitely continue to use in bid for gradual improvement in my feet in time for my holiday next week.

Have you tried the CCS Foot Care Cream?

Beth x

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