20.7.14

Bright Eyed & Bushy Tailed

I'm slowly powering through my last week of school. Lack of sleep is getting the better of me, though, and I've been choosing to spend that extra 15 minutes in bed in the morning rather than prepping and preening myself for the day ahead! I need quick fixes that will wake me up and provide that healthy glow.

It's all in the name, really - Rimmel's Wake Me Up concealer (£5.49) was built for school. A dab under each eye, blended out with your ring fingers, adds an extra hour or two of sleep in terms of appearance. It's got a very liquid-y consistency and is natural looking so it's hard to make it look cakey, too. I have the shades True Ivory and Ivory Beige, neither of which are particularly pale, so give te shades a swatch before buying as unfortunately the line only caters to light/medium to tanned skintones.

We all know the wonders of a swipe of nude liner in the waterline, and the Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Nude (£3.99) does the trick. I'm a regular contact lens wearer so I don't use this every day, but it does noticeably brighten up the eyes.

If all else fails, add a tonne of highlighter and just roll with it. I love The Balm's Mary Lou-Manizer (£16) because it's incredibly finely milled with no glitter in sight. I use a duo fibre brush to dust a sheer sprinkling of glow onto my cheekbones and bam, my skin is suddenly the skin of a girl who's just had a facial and 10 hours of sleep. It's like magic! Either that or a dab of Topshop Glow in Gleam (£9) does the trick.

What are your favourite quick morning fixes?

Ella xo

16.7.14

Topshop Lipsticks & Swatches

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I've been meaning to start YouTube for a very long time now, I originally planned to film my first video as soon as I got my camera in April, but then life got in the way and I never found the time. I've finally gotten round to filming and editing my first video and I'd really appreciate it if you would give it a watch and maybe subscribe? I didn't spend as long as I would have liked editing, but I'm still quite happy with it - despite how my camera goes out of focus towards the end. And my awkward posing. And 2 day old hair. I'm really selling myself here, right?

Basically I just really love Topshop lipsticks and I think the best way to show swatches is on the lips, so I did a little demo video - it's much less awkward than talking if you ask me! Hope you enjoy it, and maybe even give me a subscribe or comment or two... Don't forget to bump it up to HD!

Ella xo

15.7.14

Guest Post • Simply Sitara



 


Hi, my name is Sitara and I am the writer behind a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog name Simply Sitara. I am so grateful to Ella for giving me a chance to guest post on her blog. Hope you enjoy this post! :)

Everyone know the Louvre and when you're in Paris, you can't really miss it. The architecture, the pyramids, in my opinion, it's the second thing, after the Eiffel Tower, the tourists come to see in Paris. My family and I weren't there at the biggest touristic moment, yet, we had to wait a super long waiting line to enter the museum. What do you do, then? Obviously, you take pictures of yourself at the Louvre. I was lucky enough to have a sunny day because the previous days were cloudy. 

I had an amazing time at the Louvre. My favorite parts of the museum were the ceiling. I'm still dumbstruck over the talent of the artists who paint all the paintings on it. Can you imagine the time and the patience it took?! If someone ask me what was the most disappointing thing at the Louvre, I would automatically say the Mona Lisa. Should I have say that? I'm not sure, but it was super small and in the middle of a white wall. Plus, you have all these people fighting to have a chance to be in front of the famous painting - I am not over-exaggerating on this part. Trust me, I almost chock because I was squeeze between two people for a long time. Not cool ... There was a couple taking so many pictures of the Mona Lisa (and they were lucky enough to be at the front) that I don't think they understood we were all waiting for them to let someone else take the place. Overall, I enjoy my experience there, but I won't be going there another time. Too many people ...

What I'm wearing:

Dress: H&M
Jacket: Zara
Belt: Unknown
Hat: Topshop
Shoes: TJ Maxx
Purse: Coach

XOXO, S

Thanks to Sitara for writing this post, it's making me miss Paris so much! Follow her on bloglovin here.






9.7.14

Summer Polish Picks


I wrote this guest post for the lovely Sara the other day and we agreed that it would be okay for me to pop it up on my blog too. I just really like nail polish, okay? Summer is my favourite time of year beauty-wise. I love sheer, bronzed skin, beachy hair and, most importantly, bright lips and nails! 

The Barry M Gelly Hi Shine nail polishes are just incredible, I think I have about 8 or 9 because the colour range is beautiful and the glossy formula is so quick to use. Greenberry is a super bright greeny turquoise colour that was made for tanned skin - it looks absolutely incredible when I've caught the sun.

If you know me you'll know I'm a bit of an Essie addict, the white-lidded bottles get me every time! Bikini So Teeny is a lovely lilac-blue pastel with subtle silver shimmer. It's just so pretty! Fear Or Desire is on the opposite side of the spectrum - a punchy true orange that screams to be worn. Both polishes have a beautifull opaque formula and excellent brush - but that goes without saying from Essie anyway.

I picked up a Formula X Sephora nail polish whilst in Paris last month, and I can't stop wearing it. Uber is an eye catching, vibrant, orangey red shade with a gorgeously glossy formula. I personally find it works best when you layer it over a coat of white to make the most of the stunning colour. I only wish we had Sephora in the UK!

Finally, this whole white nails trend is one I can really get behind. I think white nails are just as easy to wear as nude, but cleaner and more modern. They just look so fresh! Sinful Colors is a stateside brand you can now buy from in the UK, their fabulous range of polish colours all retail for £1.99 each, so obviously I couldn't resist Snow Me White, which has a creamy formula with full coverage that is all you could ever want from a white polish. And don't forget the bargain price point!

So that's my list of summer polish picks! Have you tried any of these? Thanks again to Sara for letting me post, and if you enjoyed this then please follow my blog on bloglovin', or me on any other social media!

Ella xo

Liner 101

I think it's fair to say I know a bit about liquid eyeliner. Although I've grown out of my cat-eye-every-day phase, I've pretty much mastered the technique of almost-symmetrical flicks so I though I'd share three of my favourites!



• The Long-Lasting One •

The Maybelline SuperStay Gel Liner in Black (£7.99) used to be my No.1 go-to. I just use the freebie brush as I find that works a-ok, but you could use a small angled brush if you wanted. This liner stays put! The only way to remove it is with an oil or a bi-phase solution which I can't be bothered with every evening, but if you always find that your flicks have rubbed off by lunchtime, this is for you. I'd really like to try the pen version they have out!

• The Easy One •
Topshop's Magic Liner (£6.50) is absolutely foolproof. I've found pen liners the best for beginners as they're so simple to use and barely require any technique or fancy tricks. The end of this dries up with in 2 months or so, but for me it's useful because it reminds me I need to replace mine! It's so easy to create symmetrical flicks as you can just stamp them on at a 45 degree angle and fill in. 

• The Precise One •
If, like me, you're a bit of a perfectionist with your eyeliner (I've been known to go at my lids with several rounds of Bioderma just because of a tiny smudge) then the L'Oreal Superliner Precision Ink (£6.49) is perfect. I unfortunately can't find it online, but they still sell it at my local chemist. L'Oreal can be a bit confusing about discontinuing products! It's essentially very similar to the Topshop one, but in a dippy tube/pot rather than a pen so it doesn't dry out so fast. It's also a little 'sharper' so you can get more detailed flicks, which I love! Don't hesitate to pick it up if you see it anywhere. 

Next on my list is the Benefit They're Real Push Up liner - what about you?

Ella xo

7.7.14

The Perfect Palette




I still haven't had the 'Mac phase' every blogger seems to have experienced - I don't own much at all from the brand. The slightly scary shop assistants, endless limited edition collections and confusingly huge range of products usually sends me over to Space NK instead. However, the colour range of their eyeshadows is pretty much unbeaten and I couldn't resist...

Although at £10 a pop, the eyeshadows, at first glance, don't seem overly expensive, it's pretty pricey to buy a 4-pan in one go - £46.50, when you buy the empty palette too. You can buy pre-made quads for the lower price of around £33, but that takes away all the fun of choosing! I'm super indecisive, so it's taken me a few months to buy all four shadows, but I don't regret a single one (and it softened the blow to my wallet!).

• All That Glitters •
A staple in any Mac lover's collection, All That Glitters is a stunning satiny neutral champagne with veins of peach running through it. It's my most worn of the four I have here, and so versatile - I love it with a slick of black liner and it also pairs beautifully with most bright lipsticks. I actually think it applies more pigmented if I use my fingers, which is a little strange!

• Woodwinked •
Another cult favourite! I think Woodwinked would look amazing on bluey greeny eyes but that's not to say it's unflattering on me. It looks like a fairly typical bronze in the pan, but on the lids it's so much more - a stunning warm bronzey shade with orange-ish undertones that blends out to a much darker deep bronzey brown. I like it with orangey lipstick becasue of the matching tones, and it's perfect for summer.

• Espresso •
Although I do use this shade often, it's the most disappointing for me. Mac's matte formulas are just not as buttery as their satins and shimmers, so if you're looking for perfect matte shadows then I'd point you in the direction of Urban Decay instead. Having said that, it's great for the crease, bold brows, or a smudge of soft liner, and I think every palette should include at least one matte for versatility. I actually use it for my brows most days!

• Sable •
Sable is my most recent purchase, so I haven't yet worn it thousands of times. However, it's absolutely gorgeous, and much more complex than you'd guess at first glance! It's a gorgeous shimmering taupe/grey/purple shade that would look heavenly on green eyes. It's the perfect everyday-plus-a-little-extra colour that's so easy to wear. I love smudging it under my lower lashline.

What are your favourite Mac eyeshadows? Any I should add to my wishlist?

Ella xo

5.7.14

What To Buy in London

image c/o freeartforall.com

Having been a Londoner my whole life, sometimes I forget that not everyone has all the shops I have just a tube ride away! If any of you are visiting this Summer (*cough* Sitara *cough*) then I thought it might be nice to see a list of 'essentials' from an actual London-person - I'm only doing this because I read through a multitude of similar Paris posts last month!

Not going to lie, this post will be 100% beauty products! It's my speciality *winky face*. If you can't get Soap & Glory where you live, it's a must. I adore so many of their products, from skincare to body bits to makeup, but my top five are the Peaches and Clean cleanser (£8), Smoothie Star body buttercream (£10.50), Sugar Crush body wash (£6.50), Thick and Fast mascara (£10) and Peach Party highlighter (£11). Avoid the Face Soap and Clarity face wash (£8) if you can though!

In most European countries you can get Bourjois, but I believe  in America, Canada and some parts of Asia it's unavailable. I love Bourjois' products, they could easily be my favourite drugstore brand! I can't get enough of the Healthy Mix Serum foundation (£9.99) and Java Rice powder (£9.99), and the Color Boost lip crayons (£7.99) are my absolute favourites!

It's definitely worth getting your hands on some Una Brennan Superfacialist skincare, I haven't tried much from the range but everything I've used has blown me away. It's a relatively inexpensive brand but their packaging feels so high end. I recommend the Tea Flower clay mask (£8.99) and Vitamin C+ Skin Renew cleansing oil (£10.99). Some of the products are scented, so whilst my sensitive skin is okay with them, just beware that your's might not be.

It's a bit expensive for me, but if you can afford anything from Charlotte Tilbury's makeup line, then their products are beautiful! They're only sold in two stores in the whole world so if you're near Selfridges then don't hesitate. I've heard fantastic things about the Film Star Bronze & Glow (£49), The Dolce Vita eyeshadow palette (£38) and the Light Wonder foundation (£32), but as you can see the prices are on the crazy side of things (though if you're on holiday it doesn't count, obviously).

I hope you've found these recommendations useful! Don't forget to buy nail polish from Sinful Colors, Barry M and Models Own - and cheapo makeup from MUA and Makeup Revolution - and affordable skincare from Yes To (an American brand, technically, but they're stocked in Boots), Simple, and Lush... Okay, I could go on for hours, but you get the gist! If you need any specific recommendations just tweet me (@ellabooxo_) and I'll reply ASAP...

Ella xo
 
Images by Freepik