Friday, 30 October 2015

Last-Minute Halloween Tutorial For Amateurs: Pop Art Cartoon!

It's almost that time of the year! Halloween might be characterised by carving pumpkins, watching scary films and kids knocking on your door in terrifying fancy dress begging for sweets, but for me it's ALL about the "adult" (as if) fancy dress parties! I love any excuse to dress up as something ridiculous and this year is no different. I probably won't be wearing this look I've created on the night but I've always loved the pop art/comic strip make-up look for fancy dress so thought I'd give it a bash and give you my thoughts as a first-timer (oo-er). I'm no make-up artist WHATSOEVER and unfortunately my GCSE Art qualification doesn't help me much nowadays, so I like to think of this as a tutorial for pretty much anyone! 


I started off with just the make-up I'd been wearing during the day (because I'm lazy) and the main things I used were a black liquid eyeliner from MUA, a white kohl eyeliner also from MUA, an old lipstick in the colour Cherry Pop from Collection and a lipstick from Makeup Revolution in the colour Luscious. 


I started by stencilling the detail on my face using my MUA liquid eyeliner, so I drew a line down the front of my nose and defined the crevices around it. I then defined my chin and around my eyes. I drew on fake cartoon-like eyelashes and filled in between my waterline and the eyeliner line beneath my eye with the white eyeliner pencil.


I wanted to properly define and contour my cheeks, so I used a bronzer along my cheekbone and then defined this with a thick eyeliner line. I used a couple of strokes of the liquid eyeliner brush to make a thicker line, and then filled in any gaps.


One of the pop art characters I took inspiration from had the comic strip-style tears coming out of one eye so I tried to mimic that. The eyeliner brush was quite thick and stiff though and it was hard to curve around, so I'd definitely recommend using a felt tip liner or a very thin brush to do this bit. I also didn't have much blue make-up to add a pop of colour, so I made do with a light blue eyeshadow. This step is totally optional though so if like me, you don't have all the fancy resources, it can definitely be left out. I also added definition around my chin with the liquid eyeliner, which I think made a hell of a difference!


The final bit of definition was in the lips. I first filled in my lips first with the bright red lipstick from Collection. Then, using the liquid eyeliner again, I outlined my lips, making sure to get right into the creases so you don't look weird(er).


The last and most important step is the renowned pop art cartoon dots. For this, I used the coral-coloured lipstick from Makeup Revolution. Starting with my forehead, I dotted methodically in lines until my whole face was complete. And that's it! I'd say if I'd done this without having to take photos in between, it probably would've taken me about 30 minutes, so very do-able on a time budget as well in my opinion! If I'd created this look again I probably would've filled in my eyebrows to make them look more cartoon-like just to complete the look.


And here it is all finished! I hope you like it and perhaps gives you some Halloween inspiration! Have a fantastic time whatever you're doing and let me know what you're planning on dressing up as in the comments below!
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Monday, 19 October 2015

PLB South West Bloggers Meet-Up!

Photo credit: http://www.adelesmith.co.uk/2015/10/plb-south-west-blogger-meet.html
On 10th October I attended my first blogging event since I moved away from London, and I must say it did not disappoint one bit! The event was organised by the lovely Adele and Kirsty at PLBloggers (@PrettyLBloggers on Twitter) - they put on multiple events for bloggers in the South West/Midlands ranging from meetups to blogger sleepovers! I would thoroughly recommend you check them out.

The event was held at Cosy Club in Bristol which is an absolutely gorgeous venue - perfect for lots of photo opportunities! There were two brands there on the day: DryU, a new brand that produce high quality waterproof bags for any occasion in a range of sizes and colours; and Sass, a company that create intimate skincare products for women, that have the most gorgeous packaging to take away the embarrassment of buying clinical-looking tubes and bottles. The brand representatives were so friendly and we were all able to spend time chatting about the products and our own blogs.



We also ordered some super yummy drinks and food to see us through the meet-up and I loved spending time with the other girls there, chatting about all things blogosphere and everything in between! 
Kirsty and Adele organised a raffle to raise money for Mind - a charity very close to my heart having previously worked and aspiring to work in mental health. Everyone received a prize which topped the day off nicely! We also received the most amazing goodie bags (which I did struggle to carry back home) with so many wonderful samples and gifts (including enough Rachel's Organic yoghurt to last me at least a month).

I've already used my DryU waterproof bag for the gym multiple times - it's the perfect size! And I know it'll come in useful for other things such as festivals and travelling next summer. I've introduced my flatmate to Sass (which is sold nationwide in Boots store) and she agrees that it's a great idea! I'm hoping to do a more in-depth blog post about the products too as female intimate skincare is such a taboo topic that really needs to be talked about more!


A massive thank you to Adele and Kirsty for organising such a fantastic event - I can't wait to attend more in the future! If you're a blogger and interested in attending events, see my post I wrote a few months back giving some tips to first-time attendees here!

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Friday, 9 October 2015

Prague Photo Diary: Part 3

Missed Part 2? Read it here!

The last instalment of my Prague photo diary! So after getting ready back at the hotel, Tim and I decided to head back to Old Town and the surrounding area as we'd been recommended some bars nearby. We chose a hotel restaurant to eat at that sat diners outside just on the outskirts of the main square, so we were able to watch the busy-ness of the Old Town night life from our little candlelit table. 

As it turned out, the restaurant we ate at also had an amazing bar - voted 4th best hotel bar in the world last year in fact - called Black Angel's Bar. The bar was beautifully decorated and unfortunately photos weren't allowed! But it had a fantastic gothic feel to it, there was a live piano player and the cocktails were incredible. I would definitely recommend sitting at the bar if you do visit, as the bartenders were so friendly and you can watch them put together the cocktails with such skill and effortlessness. Even better for us students, the cocktails were so reasonably priced - they worked out at about £5 each - for such quality cocktails and the amazing atmosphere!


After a couple of cocktails at Black Angel's Bar, we headed over to AnonymouS bar - its location is very much synonymous with its name. We found it quite quickly but only because we'd done a bit of research prior to our visit! The atmosphere in this bar was different but just as exciting! It's a themed bar based around the ideas of "V for Vendetta". It's probably the quirkiest little bar I've ever been to and again, the cocktails were fantastically made as well as being fantastically priced (similar to the prices of Black Angel's Bar). When I was unsure of which cocktail to choose, the barman asked me about my usual preferences and made me the most delicious vodka-based watermelon cocktail - I honestly could not fault it at all! After perhaps one too many cocktails, we headed back to our cosy hotel room.


We had a very chilled last day - our flight wasn't until late so we stayed in the hotel all morning, then set off for some last minute sight seeing in Old Town. We did a few casual gallery and museum visits and had lunch at this gorgeous cafe before heading back to the hotel bar for one last drink.  We made our way to the airport with plenty of time to spare so we could do some last minute duty-free shopping! 

I guess the rest of the details are pretty mundane, so I'll leave it here! I hope you've enjoyed revisiting my Prague adventure as much as I have! Let me know your favourite summer holidays in the comments below, I'd love to know your recommendations!
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Thursday, 1 October 2015

REVIEW: Nanokeratin System Shampoo & Conditioner


Hello all! 

I was gifted a couple of samples of the Nanokeratin System shampoo and conditioner for natural/virgin hair and I thought I would share my thoughts on them with you! I was given enough for two hair washes so I will give you a first impressions review.

First off, I was impressed to see that these products contain no parabens whatsoever, and the shampoo is also free of sodium laurel sulphates (SLS) which I spoke about in a blog post earlier this year. You can read more about that and keratin products by clicking here. Although I don't ruthlessly sought out products that are SLS-free, I am aware they are potentially a lot better for my hair so I embrace them when they come my way!

Onto the actual product: I substituted my usual shampoo and conditioner for the Nanokeratin System Revive shampoo and Rehydrate conditioner. The shampoo had a delicate floral scent that wasn't artificial at all, unlike some cheaper hair products which can smell more synthetic. As for the application, it was just very similar to other shampoos, which to be honest I expected - I never really expect miracles simply from a shampoo - so the scent was enough for me! Onto the conditioner, which had the same scent: as soon as I squeezed the product onto my fingers I knew it was something special. It felt like pure silk in my hand and was a dream to put through my hair. It left my hair super soft after I'd used it. I let my hair dry naturally and put a small amount of my usual anti-frizz serum through my hair while it was still damp.

As you can see, my hair was left looking smooth and shiny after using the Nanokeratin System products. I didn't even need to use any other styling or heat products! If you're looking to spend a bit more on hair products, I could definitely recommend these. As a student, it's not a hair routine I could afford on a regular basis, but definitely a luxury product I would consider buying as a treat. If you want to find out more about Nanokeratin System's products, including others such as their hair masks, you can find them by clicking here.

Have you ever tried any Nanokeratin System products before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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