Sunday, 10 April 2011

Icon Series...Lady Gaga

Recently I had a new idea for my blog,basically over the next few weeks,months or however long I end up letting it run I am going to dedicate posts to some of my favourite style icons.It might not necessarily be there makeup I admire it could be their fashion sense or talent for instance.I`m going to kick my little 'series' off with someone who is inspirational to me in many ways.From her unique dress sense to her groundbreaking musical achievements and her honourable charity work,if you have read the title you will already know who I am talking about,it is of course...
Lady Gaga!

I want to start off by saying I am not somebody who has been a fan from the start in fact when Gaga first came on the scene I found her down right annoying,yeah she had 1 or 2 catchy tunes which I 'liked' at the time but I just couldn't`t get past the crazy outfits that screamed little short of attention seeker to me.I think for some time the outrageous outfits and bizarre stories I would hear seemed to outshine her actual talent and I never paid enough attention or took enough time to realise how much of an incredibly talented performer she actually is.

Slowly things began to change,Gaga released more material and performed at prestigious award ceremony's The Brits,The Grammys,The VMA's there was no escaping her and it seemed like everyone loved Gaga but me.This put me off even more,you see when someone becomes very hyped I tend to want to dislike them,I get tired of hearing the same name and in actual fact it puts me off them.The same thing happened with Cheryl Cole.

But this is Lady Gaga we are talking about and where Cheryl Cole lacks musical talent Gaga most definitely does not.As time passed I found myself becoming more and more interested in her as a musician,and as a person.I learned that she had began playing the piano age 4,written her first piano ballad at 14 and at age 17 was writing songs for artists such as The Pussycat dolls,already I was impressed but not as much as I was when I later read about how she literally worked her way from the bottom to the top.Gaga has certainly paid her dues when it comes to the level of fame she has achieved in such a short space of time having worked her way around the New York club circuit she is definitely not one of those picked from a reality TV singing contest,born into a famous family or pulled from a model casting stars.In her own words she 'did it the way you are supposed too'.

Over time I became hooked and although I of course loved her music (Telephone,Monster,Dance in the Dark and Paparazzi being my favourites to date) ,I also began to admire her for the once found 'annoying' outfits she is so well known for.I began to realise that it wasn`t a cry for attention it was a way of expression.I began to admire her for her unique dress sense and learned that she designed and created many of her outfits herself.Of course I would never pull of (or care too) 99% of the outrageous ensembles but that is my point.Lady Gaga does not care about being the prettiest girl in the room and I for one find that not only admirable but refreshing.
On the subject of being 'pretty' I for one think that despite that eccentric outfits,makeup and hair Lady Gaga is truly beautiful with a figure to die for.She may not present herself to be what men find typically attractive but to me that's what makes her just that.

What I have found through supporting and being a fan other celebrities for example Michael Jackson,is that the press are very quick to publish bad press about a star and not so fast to highlight the good.Of course reading about who`s cheating on who and who's taking what in Hollywood may be more exciting but I feel that alot of stars do not get the recognition they deserve for the amazing charity work that they do.Gaga falls into this category (although not so much as the late MJ did,however I`ll save that for another time.)

Gaga partnered with Virgin Mobile on her Monster Ball national tour offering premium VIP tickets to fans who volunteer their time to homeless youth organizations, which in turn more than $80,000 in proceeds to support homeless young people in the US.Gaga also donated 100% of proceeds from her January 24Th 2010 concert in wake of the Haiti earthquake,this included ticket sales and merchandise and came to a total of $500,000.

As makeup fans I am sure you are all well aware of Gaga's Mac Viva Glam Campaign which along side Cyndi Lauper has managed to raise over $160 million in the fight against HIV and Aids as well as bringing awareness of the diseases to millions of women all over the world.As Gaga has teamed up with Mac for a second year running who knows the greatness of awareness and money that can be raised.

Just last month Gaga was honoured for her LGBT work when she received the Randy Shilts Visibility Award by the Service members Legal Defense Network at a special event in Washington DC.Gaga has worked hard to end the 'Don`t ask,don`t tell' policy which prevents openly gay people serving in the US military.Under the policy it is forbidden for anyone who is openly gay to serve and they face expulsion if their sexuality is revealed.This law is something I was previously unaware of so it just goes to show the kind of impact and amount of exposure a star like Lady Gaga can achieve.

In December of last year I got the chance to see Gaga in concert and although I was happened to be really ill (trust me!) It was still one of the best nights of my life.I have never heard anyone sing so well live,I was truly impressed and came away with even more respect for her than I did before.I would and hopefully will see her in concert again however I think I will book a seat this time as I was in whats known as the 'golden circle' at the 02 Arena and let me tell you,I may have been right near the stage but there are some serious hardcore fans in that circle that you do not want to mess with.Thank god I was wearing heels is all I can say!

I hope you will enjoy these 'Icon posts' I know my blog is primarily beauty based but I think its nice to throw a few personal posts into the mix and although I do love Gaga for her musical talent her makeup and fashion sense also inspire me,primarily to have less inhibitions and to be myself!

Benefit Hoola Bronzer Review/Rave/Holy Grailness!

Today I thought I would write about one of my all time favourite makeup products,as you can tell from the title it is the rather popular bronzer Hoola from the brand Benefit.Now holy grail is not a term I just throw around I can actually only think of a handful of beauty products that would come under that category,Hoola however is definetly one of them.

I first purchased this bronzer about 3 years ago and yesterday I repurchased for the 3rd time,I am someone who likes to wear a lot of bronzer almost every day.From Dior to Bourjois,cream to powder Hoola is by far my fave and here`s why

  • Matte-Typically I do not like shimmer on my face,I have combination skin and extra sparkle in the T zone is the last thing I need thank you very much.

  • No orange or red tones-I can not bare bronzers with an orange or red undertone,Hoola has an olive undertone,and looks natural on the skin not obvious like some bronzers.

  • Texture-I find it to have a smooth texture that is easy to blend,as with all products you should apply with a light hand and build up.Some people say this bronzer looks muddy on them,I say maybe they are applying it incorrectly or perhaps it doesn`t work for extremely fair skinned ladies.

  • Perfect for contouring-I find that Hoola is the perfect contouring product due to the fact it is matte and is exactly the right shade for my skintone,I am typically an NC35 although sometimes I can be quite a bit darker and considerably lighter in the Winter time If I not wearing fake tan.I find that altering the application enables me to use Hoola all year round.I simply use a heavier or lighter hand depending on how tanned I am at the time.

  • Value for money-Although it is a pricey product,currently £23.50 (I believe when I first purchased it was around the £22 mark) you get a decent amount of product for your pound,11grams to be exact.Like I said earlier I have repurchased 3 times and each box has given me about 10 months of continual use.If I find a product that works for me then I don`t mind paying for it whatever the cost,what sucks is when you spend a fortune on something and end up hating it.I would suggest applying it at the counter before you buy if you think it might not work for you and reading the reviews at makeupalley as I always find them helpful when I`m reseraching a product thats new to me.

The only negative thing I have to say about Hoola (and to be honest it doesn`t bother me that much) is the packaging.As I use the product alot and it lasts me for some time I find that the cardboard box gets worn quite easily and looks tatty.I also find it quite hard to get my brush into,I use a mac 129?,I think.Anyway its a large fluffy powder brush from Mac and although I love the effect it gives its quite hard/impossible to swirl it around the box.I do however occasionaly use the 109 to contour and that fits in no problem.A plus for packaging would be that I don`t think it is as likely to break if you dropped it compared to a plastic cased product.If you travel alot this might be something you want to bear n mind as although the box does get tatty and the edges a little worn,overall it seems pretty durable.

If you are familiar with Hoola or other Benefit boxed powders you will know that they all come with a little square shaped brush (as pictured)I haven`t used the brushes myself as I prefer a much larger fluffier brush to apply my bronzer.They seem like they would apply the product a little streaky/stripey but I wouldn`t like to comment for definate as I normally just throw them away after a while.They are a nice touch however I would much rather Benefit just stopped including them and put the price down about £2.

For anyone who hasn`t tried Hoola I really do reccomend it, especially if you are interested in a product that can be used for both an all over face bronzer and contour product.I think its excellent value for money and a real staple in my collection,perhaps it will become one in yours too.

FOTD:Simple Sunday look with Mac`s Costa Chic

Hey everyone,

Recently I blogged about my latest Mac lipstick purchase-Costa Chic and today I decided to try it out in a FOTD for you however I`m kind of dissapointed with how it seems to be coming out in pictures.I don`t know if its because I have very pigmented lips or the fact I`m wearing no fake tan or bronnzer but I expected something more coral.Reguardless I quite like it and its a nice change from usual nudey pink lipsticks,I may try layering it over something like Myth next time to get rid of the pigmentation in my lips before applying this.

As its Sunday and I`ve been at home all day I decided to keep my makeup very basic.I`m wearing pro long wear concealer by Mac which I am loving at the moment and Studio Fix Fluid foundation,the only product on my cheeks is the G blush by Guerlain.On my eyes I have a light sweep of Mac's All That Glitters with Estee Lauder Double Wear pencil liner on my water line and for mascara I`m wearing Maxfactor false lash effect fusion.

I hope you are all having a lovely sunny Sunday!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

March favourites...

Hey everyone,I`m back with a monthly favourites post,I can hardley believe we are now 5 days into the month of April.My birthday month hurrah!Anyway onto my favourites from the month of March,no skin care this month other than the Soap and Glory Heel Genious foot softening lotion which I am loving at the minute.I`m not a fan of peppermint smelling foot creams and this one has a light clean,fresh fragrance which doesn`t bother me.It works extremely well when left on over night,I`m really enjoying using it at the moment,especially since Spring/Summer is coming and its almost time for sandal season!

I`ve been loving the Charles Worthington mineral hair mask since I purchased it about a month ago.I have been using it about once a week and can really tell the difference when I do,it gives my hair added moisture and makes the ends look much healthier.I have long,very thick hair-and alot of it!I`m not sure how it would work on fine hair as its a pretty thick formula but If you have hair like mine I highly reccomend.I think it was about £6 something from Boots.

Makeup wise I have absolutely been lovng warm soul blush by Mac and have worn it almost every day,it is my new favourite blush,I`m really loving neutral toned blush at the moment and deffinetley need to add more to my collection-suggestions? When I haven`t been wearing warm soul I have been wearing the Guerlain G blush which I blogged about a while back,for some reason I only like this on me when I`m tanned,its not particularly bright so I`m not sure why.When you swirl all the shades together,which is what I do you get a lovley light peach natural flush of colour which I love.I`m all about less obvious blush at the moment and the bright pinks and even my beloved melba by Mac have been shoved to the back of the drawer.

In other makeup news I have been enjoying a few finds from the 'drugstore' these include the Palmers coco butter lip balm which is now my favourite lipbalm and the Prestige lipgloss in Soft Peach.Its none sticky,cheap,a beautiful light peach pink shade with a hint of shimmer and even looks good worn alone.Whats not to love?Other drugstore finds include the Maxfactor false lash effect fusion mascara and Ardell false eyelashes,both are doing an excellent job of enhancing my pretty pathetic eyelashes and I would repurchase both in the future.

Lipstick wise I have been loving the new Viva Glam Gaga lipstick,its the perfect nude for my skin tone and I love the creamy,moisturising formula.As soon as I applied it the first time I knew it was going to be a hit.I`m going to go as far to say as I will repurchase this while I can.

From Clinique I am loving there All about eyes eye gel,it makes applying under eye concealer a dream and I find that it goes on so much easier,it literally glides on and requires less concealer to be used.I have been using this to prep my eyes for makeup every single day.

I purchased a new foundation brush this month,although I diddn`t get around to blogging about it.Its actually the big,fat,firm foundation brush from Coco Beau.Its so unique,I don`t think I have ever come across such a thick foundation brush,it literally applies your foundation in a few seconds.It is pretty pricey,£30 but I`ve been using it every day when I`ve been in a rush to get ready so I`m deffinetly getting my moneys worth.

I have been trying out alot of new nail polish in March but my favourite has to be Deborah Lippmann's Waking Up In Vegas.I wont talk about it too much as I have already done a post on how much I love and reccomend it but everything I have said previously still stands,I am loving this nail polish.

Finally I have included a product that has become a total holy grail of mine.It is Benefits boxed powder bronzer Hoola.I love this bronzer so much I am now ready to purchase my 3rd box (and these last a really long time!)I love this bronzer for contouring and for use all over the face,I`ve used several other bronzers but nothing compares,I could literally chuck the rest of my bronzers out and use this for the rest of my makeup wearing days.I hate orange bronzers and those with any sign of shimmer,Hoola however has neither.Its perfectly matt and has 0 the chance of looking orange.I`m not sure how it would look on very pale skin although I`m sure with a light hand you could make it work,on my skin however I never find it to appear muddy which is another thing I can not stand with bronzer.The only downsides to this product is A,the packaging and B,the price which both I`m not too fussed about to be honest.If something is that good I can usually cope with the packaging and although its expensive-about £23?You do get alot of product and mine lasts me for about 7months of continous use.

So thats my favourites for the month of March,hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Mac Quite Cute haul and more...

Earlier in the week I noticed the new mac collection was available online,'Quite Cute' is the latest offering from mac and I was vaugely interested in the selection of new products.After looking at swatches online I decided to purhcase just two items,Little girl type nail polish and Playing Koi lipstick.Most of the lipsticks offered are either brights or pastels,I can not stand lilac or pastel pinks,St Germain is disgusting on me.However Playing Koi caught my eye,it is a pale,peachy shade,with a hint of pink but is most deffinately one of those nude lipsticks you have to make work for you.I haven`t had chance to try it properly but it doesn`t appear to be one of those 'throw it on and go' shades.It kind of reminds me of myth but pinker,I love a nude lip especially for a night out and as I have very red pigmented lips shades like this accompanied by a pink gloss usually work well to tone them down .Little girl type is a lovely liliac shade that is quite unique to me,its a very pale liliac and I own nothing else like it.Like I said I haven`t had time to try these out yet but I shall do a NOTD using this very soon,I`m so excited to try it.

Other products purchased included were two backups,sff in NC35 and All that glitters eyshadow.I have been without All that Gitters in my collection for about 2 months now,its the only eyeshadow I have ever used up completely and I highly reccomend.I love how it can be applied alone with a hint of eyeliner for a super quick ,no fuss day time look but also works well teamed with something darker in the crease for at night.It is SO versatile.I also ordered an empty quad for when I go on holiday as I don`t want to travel with my big palette.I thought it was about time I add some Mac eye brushes to my collection as currently I`m using benefit ones I`ve had since I was about 17.I have several mac face brushes which I use regularly so I was excited to add the 217 and 219 to my collection.

The final two products were Mac face and body foundation which I ordered in C4,I was very excited to get my hands on this as I`ve been wanting to have a lighter coverage foundation in my collecton for periods when my skin is doing ok (which is not at the moment may I add!).I was torn between C3 and C4 but decided to go with 4 after reading some reviews on makeup alley.I ordered Mac`s latest concealer offering which is of course their pro longwear concealer.I tried this out under my eyes today and I love it,its not as thick as I imagined it may be yet it did a great job of covering up my shocking under eye circles.I don`t want to speak to soon but so far so good.

Updates on these products will be coming up shortly once I`ve had chance to use them properly and come up with fair opinion on everything.Is there anything on your Quite Cute wishlist?