Saturday, 30 June 2018

CELEBRITY MAKEUP ARTIST MASTER CLASS WITH DEBENHAMS AND AMYSMAKEUPBOX

Debenhams Beauty Club / Doll Beauty / Celebrity MUA Masterclass / My Glam Squad by AMYSMAKEUPBOXAfternoon Tea Cakes
AMYSMAKEUPBOX Makeup Brushes
AMYSMAKEUPBOX Glam Model Look
AMYSMAKEUPBOX Makeup Kit
AMYSMAKEUPBOX Makeup Kit
AMYSMAKEUPBOX Makeup Kit
AMYSMAKEUPBOX Bridal Model Look

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen my story where I was up and out bright and early to head into Manchester to attend the Celebrity MUA Masterclass hosted by Amy's Makeup Box and Debenhams Beauty Club. 

It was a really intimate class of 12/15 so all questions could be answered and we all got to know eachother over afternoon tea which was really nice.

I took 12 pages of notes(!) - Amy demonstrated 2 looks - Bridal and Glam and both looked sensational.

Eyes First

I feel like I have been told this previously but never fully appreciated it until I watched this application in progress. It means you don't get those annoying flecks of dark on your cheeks and ruin your base if you get the majority of the eye done first.

Amy also talked through how she uses a beauty blender to it's maximum potential and it's all about getting them damp (not wet) to really work the products into your skin. Amy recommended squeezing out the beauty blender on to a piece of kitchen towel or a flannel to get as much moisture out as possible.

I am no stranger to MAC Paintpots as a priming base and Amy's shade of choice was Soft Ochre for both looks. Amy recommended the Anastasia Beverly Hills 'Soft Glam' and Becca Ombre Rouge Palettes for Bridal looks in particular. The transition shades are what will help you achieve a multi-dimensional smokey look even if on the later shades of the spectrum. It makes such a difference!

To achieve a subtle smokey eye, Amy prefers to apply a very fine line of a felt tip liner, very close to the lashes and take a dark eyeshadow shade and smudge it using a brush such as the Zoeva 237 brush. This provides definition but is much softer than a crisp liner application.

For lashes, Amy applies a coat of waterproof mascara just to darken the lashes and help the false lashes blend along with some gel eyeliner on the upper water line to make the eyes pop and then used Ardell Demi Wispies customised with some Red Cherry Knot Flare individuals on top.

A tip for applying lashes is to look down rather than closing the eye fully as it changes the shape of the eye and means that when you open, one of the corners will likely lift.

Brows were applied with precision using Anastasia Beverly Hills Taupe Pomade making hair strokes where you need them.

An Ace Base

In terms of skin prep this was where Amy recommended taking your time as it ensures that the base goes on and sets properly without looking cakey. Amy recommends an eye gel as it is thinner and uses a Bare Minerals one. For priming the skin, Amy used Laura Gellar Champagne under makeup primer or Benefit Porefessional to address any texture issues. MAC Fix Plus was then sprayed on the face.

The foundations of choice were either Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk or Estee Lauder Double Wear. Interestingly I bought Luminous Silk after some serious blogger hype and I didn't love it. Amy said to get the best out of this foundation it is best applied to damp skin which I have not tried previously! I'll give it a go and report back...

For Bronze, Amy uses either the Inglot J-LO Bronzer or Makeup Forever Bronzer in Amber and applies it under the cheek bones, under the chin and into the hair line. In terms of highlight, Amy outlined that she would only use a small amount as brides end up naturally being quite glowy as they get warm!

Amy sometimes uses lipstick as blush on brides as it provides a nice subtle finish - a particular favourite is the L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in 352.

Lip Service

For lips, Amy prefers a natural look, working with the brides natural lip colour. She lines the lips and would only over draw on the middle of the top or bottom lip and then connect it to the natural shapes of the sides.

For a Glam look, you can't go wrong with a nude - MAC Stripdown Liner applied with HudaBeauty Bikini Babe Lipstick is a particular fave of Amy's!

Difference in Glam vs Bridal

The application methods were very similar between the Glam and the Bridal looks, it was more the choice of colour and intensity of the products used that differentiated the looks. Glam was obviously darker and more defined with contouring, more obvious highlight and a glitter eye whereas Bridal was focused on coming across amazingly on camera and also soft and subtle enough to last the day.

In Summary...

I basically wanted to go home and throw all my makeup on my face after picking up some amazing tips and tricks from Amy. She was so lovely, very talented and shared her knowledge and tips to us which was most welcomed by me! I do feel that I can try a smokey eye with slightly more confidence than I have been previously.

The makeup was absolutely flawless and whilst alot of steps were taken to achieve the look it didn't look too much at all which I think just shows how experienced and skilled Amy is.

Massive thank you to Debenhams Beauty Club for sponsoring the event and sending us away with a few bits and bobs to try and to the organisers of Celebrity Makeup Artist Masterclass for a truly lovely day!
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Thursday, 28 June 2018

MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS

Relaxing Beach Scene
Mental Health on Scrabble Tiles

Some may say that our mental health matters even more than our physical health. After all, we can deal with physical health issues if we have the right mental attitude, but if we are feeling depressed or anxious, it can make even the most difficult of tasks seem like an uphill struggle. With that in mind, you will be pleased to find out that there are a lot of ways you can take good care of your mental wellbeing. Read on to find out what they are.

Be Here Now.

One method for taking care of your mental health is to be here now, a strategy promoted by the legendary Ram Dass in the book of the same name which you can find on sites like http://financialadvicescheme.org.uk.

The essence of this approach is that much of our stress and worry comes from living in the past through memories, or worrying about the future through prediction. Neither of which is happening to us at this very moment! Therefore, by engaging in this behaviour, we are missing our real, and probably less stressful lives that are happening right now in favour of things that have gone or may never happen!



Of course when you hear it explained simply it makes a lot of sense, and what is being promoted here is a primary form of mindfulness meditation that requires you to refocus your attention back to the present moment. You can do this by tuning in to what you are seeing, hearing, touching or even smelling. Something you can learn how to do with the help of the clip below.



Then, by practising these skills, it can, in turn, help you to disengage with your thoughts and be more centred at the moment that you are in, promoting positive mental wellbeing. 

Get Some Help.

Next, if you are struggling with some mental health issues, it is often an excellent side to seek some help from others. Now, how yo do this is up to you, and it may also depend on how severe your problem has become.

For instance, if you have noticed that your mood or a particular issue isn't clearing up after a few weeks, you may wish to discuss this with a close family friend or adviser, or even visits your doctor to get checked out.



Alternatively, if you are aware that you have a mental health issue such as a depressive disorder or generalised anxiety disorder and are struggling with day to day life, you may wish to seek some counselling or therapy as an outpatient, as well as medication for your problem. Something can find out more about at https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/.

Lastly, please don't forget that even if your problem is well established and you are struggling to see the wood for the trees, there is still help that you can access. In fact for those with things like long-standing addiction issues programs such as these https://www.rehabclinic.org.uk/ that offer inpatient residential care. A way of approaching the problem that can help you to get in control a lot quicker than other approaches because of its intensive nature.

Take A Mini Vacation.

Wouldn't it be wonderful, that if every time you got stressed out or there was a problem at work, you could down tools and take a vacation like the ones shown at https://www.teletextholidays.co.uk?

Sadly, real life isn't like that, but you can provide yourself with shorts breaks throughout the day that gives both your mind and body some respite, something that is an excellent strategy to use to look after your mental health.

Of course, this in itself can be a challenge because modern life is so busy and workaholism as well as using activities to distract from our thoughts and problems is a widespread issue in the contemporary world.

Unfortunately, distracting yourself in this way will that only provide temporary relief at best, and in fact, it is much better to allow yourself some time in which to decompress, relax, and even get quiet enough to hear what your mind is saying honestly.

To practically facilitate this it can be useful to have a mini vacation from your smartphone for an hour or two, talk a walk outside in nature, or even take part in a yoga class that focuses on feeling the sensations in your body rather than getting you into the latest position for Instagram. Something you can find out more about at https://specialyoga.org.uk/.

Phone dominating your life? It could be affecting your mental health.

After all, we humans weren't always so overstimulated in term of media consumption. Therefore remembering this, and making some adjustments in our lives is a helpful way of taking care of our mental health on an everyday basis.
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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

FAMILY COMES FIRST

Hanging Wooden HeartsMatching Tattoos, Pinky Promise, Holding Hands

It should go without saying that family should come first. To a lot of people, family is something they just don’t have, so if you’re blessed enough to have a tight family bond, you should be doing all you can to protect that. As we get older, we soon realise that the roles are reversed, especially between us children and our parents. Think about to your youth, they were the ones waiting on you hand and foot to make sure that you were happy, and had everything you wanted. But as they move on into old age, you take on more of the roles that they will have had. It’s a sad thing to watch happen, but it’s something we’re all going to have to deal with at some point. Even if you’re not dealing with that situation yet, it’s important to find ways to make sure that you’re always putting family first, and we have a few of them lined up for you!

When The Roles Do Switch

As we’ve said, you might get to a point in your life where you feel as though the roles are going to have been reversed a little. You might have to take your parents shopping, or do a bit of house work for them. As time goes on, the tasks you’re having to do will grow, and you might come to a point where you’ll feel as though they’re going to be better off under the care of someone else. This is not palming them off, as some people feel it is. It’s giving them a chance to be looked after properly, without feeling as though they’re burdening you. Porthaven is just one of the many establishments that would be able to take good care of your beloved parents. Just because they’re going into a home, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be confined to their chair all of the time. As long as they have good mobility, they can do whatever they want. It’s a great way for them to make new friends, and to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle.

Making Time For Family

It’s so important that you’re making some time for your family. As everyone grows old and creates their own family, it’s so easy for family meet ups to become a little harder. We get that life does drift people apart, but family should never be one of those things. Once a month, make sure you get together to catch up on what’s been happening in each others lives. You could go out for a meal, or simply have your family round for dinner!

Sharing Issues

If there’s one thing a family seems to be terrible at, it’s sharing the issues that they might have. Not necessarily with each other, but in grand scheme of things. If you feel like a family member is distancing themselves due to stress, make sure that you’re the one who is comforting them, checking up on them, and generally being there for them!

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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

SALON SUCCESS SUMMER SOIREE

Hair Products, Paul Mitchell, Neuro Style, Grand Pacific
Neuro Style Hair Products
Chandelier
Chandelier, Blogger Event

One of my favourite things about blogging is getting to form relationships with brands and other bloggers. I used to be quite antisocial (as I can be shy around people I don't know) and really struggled with networking. Being able to develop this 'skill' in a friendly and 'safe' setting with people that I know I have common ground with has been invaluable.

I have spoken about Salon Success previously as they very kindly invited me to their #JingleMingle event last year and talked to a group of us from the North West about their new product launches.

Their recent event was held at Grand Pacific in Manchester and was so lovely! Gorgeous food and surroundings and then we learned all about even more product launches and got some treats to take home and try.

I'll report back on each of the items but the new launches include the Mighty Brush from Vogetti, the new heat protection range Neuro, and the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree ranges. I'm so looking forward to trying them out properly and seeing what I think!

Thank you once again for the most lovely evening with my blogger faves 😍
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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

WORLDWIDE FESTIVALS

Paint Powder, Woman, Holi Festival India
Holi Festival India, Woman with Paint Powder
Scenic Shot of Pamplona Spain
Dia De Los Muertos Mexico
Scenic Shot of La Tomatina Spain
Monument in the Moonlight Greece
Image C/O https://greekcitytimes.com/2017/08/06/full-moon-festival-greece/
It's festival season and around the world people are preparing for their local celebrations. There's something for everyone as not all festivals include beer and music!

India

Holi in India (and other locations) is the festival of colour and signifies the victory of good over evil,  the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships.

People smear each other with colours and drench each other. Water guns and water-filled balloons are also used to play and colour each other. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders.

The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and other musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People visit family, friends and foes to throw coloured powders on each other, laugh and gossip, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks.

Spain

Spain are big on the festival front and have La Tomatina and the Running of the Bulls.

La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, a town located in the East of Spain, in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in a tomato fight purely for entertainment purposes. Since 1945 it has been held on the last Wednesday of August, during a week of festivities of Buñol.

The Running of the Bulls is a practice that involves running in front of a small group of cattle, typically six, of the toro bravo breed that have been let loose on a course of a sectioned-off subset of a town's streets.

The most famous running of the bulls is held during the nine-day festival of Sanfermines in honour of Saint Fermin in Pamplona, although they are also traditionally held in other places such as towns and villages across Spain, Portugal, in some cities in Mexico, and Southern France during the summer.

The origin of this event comes from the need to transport the bulls from the fields outside the city, where they were bred, to the bullring, where they would be killed in the evening. During this 'run', youngsters would jump among them to show off their bravado. In Pamplona and other places, the six bulls in the event are still those that will feature in the afternoon bullfight of the same day.

Mexico

The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, but in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican ancestry living in other places, especially the United States. It is acknowledged internationally in many other cultures. The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.

The holiday is sometimes called Día de los Muertos and it is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a public holiday. 

Greece

Archaeological sites remain open at night during the August Moon Festival, giving visitors the unique opportunity to experience these sacred places bathed in moonlight. Some will even offer outdoor music concerts within the sites – a rare opportunity!

The celebrations usually include at least 106 archaeological sites and museums around Greece which will remain open and offer free admission. 

The full moon festival in August is the only day of the year when visitors can enjoy free admission to participating archaeological sites and museums after sunset, a tradition which began in 1996.

Many of these will absolutely make it on to my bucket list as they look to be the most spectacular sights! I love seeing things that make wonderful memories and I am pretty sure the photographs would be awesome too! Definitely tales to tell the grandkids.

Click here to start making plans....
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Sunday, 10 June 2018

CITRUS SCENTS OF THE SUMMER

Citrus Fruit Oranges
Scentaddict Bottle The Fragrance ShopScent Addict, The Fragrance Shop
A lovely scent can invoke special memories and I love trying new ones.

My Nose is Happy

I was recently introduced to Scentaddict by The Fragrance Store which is a monthly subscription service where you get to try a months worth of fragrance for £12 a month. I love the concept as this means you don't end up with loads of bottles of perfume that you couldn't possibly get through before it gets past it's best!

My Purse is Happy 

It is also a fantastic way to try a more expensive fragrance without buying the full bottle and perhaps not using it as much as you would expect to. Perfume smells so different on people so it means you get to try it at all times of the day.


Gimme all the Orange

You can express an interest in the perfumes you would like to try and as I love a citrus based fragrance for Summer I basically checked allllllll the smells with those notes.

Bronze Goddess Eau de Parfum

My first fragrance to come through is Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau de Parfum. I already knew I loved this, it is a more sexy musky version of the Eau Fraiche version and is perfect for sandy feet and beach hair at night.

I am not sure what is next but I am so looking forward to my second summer scent to try!

Click here to start your subscription today!
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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

BIG FAN OF THE TAN

Polished Toe Nails in the Sand
Female Sunbathing on the Beach

5 tips to get an even tan

Self-tanning at home doesn’t have to be difficult or frustrating. In fact, with the right product and the right method, you’ll soon wonder how you ever suffered from a patchy, flaky fake tan.

How do you choose the right tan?


Sometimes half of the battle is deciding which fake tan to choose. These days, there are a lot of products out there that work to mimic the colour of your own skin to create the most natural looking tan. Choose an organic fake tan that’s free of chemicals and that you can use on your face and body.

Exfoliate from head to toe


One of the biggest problems you can face with fake tan is a patchy application. This tends to happen when you fail to exfoliate beforehand properly. If dead skin cells are still present on your skin, your fake tan isn’t going to last very long. Use a natural, oil-free exfoliating scrub the day before you’re planning to apply your tan. Make sure to rinse off with cool water to help your pores close up; otherwise the fake tan formula may be absorbed.

Moisturise problem areas


When it comes to tanning day, make sure that you hydrate areas that are likely to soak up a lot of colour. If you’ve used fake tan before then, you’ll know how frustrating it can be to come away with orange patches on your knees, elbows, and heels, so to prevent this apply a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser that will create a barrier between the product and your skin. 

Don’t forego the use of a mitt


You should never apply fake tan with your bare hands. No matter how light it looks on the bottle, once you’ve lathered it across your whole body, it will develop into a much darker colour that will be difficult to remove.  Applying it with a mitt won’t only keep your hands a normal colour but help to prevent streaks and provide flawless coverage. Try to hold the mitt as flat as possible during application.

Wipe away any excess formula


Once you’re done, if you still have excess formula in places you don’t want it then wipe it away as soon as possible with an oil-free makeup wipe. The cuticles on your fingers and toes have probably picked up the majority of this excess formula so don’t be afraid to give them a scrub before you gently apply a thin layer of tan.

Rinse away


Some products may require you to rinse it off with warm water. When you do so, make sure to pat yourself dry with a towel rather than rubbing aggressively as to prevent the removal of any of your perfectly applied tan. You can also enlist the help of your hairdryer to speed up your tanning process, especially if you’re in a rush to get ready for a big night out.
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MERRY AND BRIGHT #SWATCHTHIS

Neon Green Swatch Watch
Neon Swatch Watches Display
Bee Swatch
Nautical Swatch Watches on DisplayShopper Bag Swatch Collection
Swatch Event Studio White Background
Graffiti Hearts Board
Graffiti Boards
Graffiti Stars Demo Board
Graffiti Lesson
THE VIBE COLLECTION BY SWATCH
A few weeks back I was invited to check out the new NEON Collection by Swatch and learn how to Graffiti - and it was one of the most fun Blogger events I have been to for a long time, if ever!!

Introducing the Swatch Vibe Collection

The new timepieces in the collection are gorgeous and perfect for summer and beyond. I am firmly in the 'my entire wardrobe is black' camp so I always enjoy a splash of colour to liven things up.

There are lots of variants of colour ways so definitely something for everyone in the collection. My personal fave was a matte frosted white/clear watch with neon green accents and visibility of the inner cogs within the face.


There are 16 watches in the collection, ranging from £38 to £76.

Becoming a Graffiti Star

I always love viewing new collections and getting to see the latest looks hot off the press, but this part of the event was the stand out bit for me! I am creative and enjoy arts and crafts so learning something completely new is always a plus point for me. I have never used a spray paint can (I don't think!) so being handed a blank board and lots of spray paints was great fun!

The workshop was hosted by Graffiti Stars and covered the basics of Graffiti and tips and tricks of how to achieve certain styles of painting. It is more difficult than you would think but we all had a great time creating our own masterpieces which ranged from Banksy style numbers, to my print style created with a template and a graffiti Chanel No5 Bottle - which I must say I was rather jealous of when it was completed!

I decided that simplicity was probably sensible and made my own heart template to spray over/around - and it worked nicely I think! I had plans to try and make a Manchester Bee template but the lack of scissors meant that I couldn't make it work, but I definitely have plans to hit up hobby craft and make something involving bees!

I can honestly speak for all of us who attended when I say it was a fantastic event and thank you again to Swatch and Graffiti Stars for a really fun evening 👍👍😊



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