Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Welcome to Miami / Bienvenido a Miami

"I was inspired by the fresh, glowing look you get at the beach" Bobbi Brown
Welcome to Miami / Bienvenido a Miami

Shimmery shades of copper, gold, nude, bronze, coral and pink feature in the new Bobbi Brown Miami collection. A concoction of tropical themed warmth, oozing Miami, this collection features everything you need to enhance your inner beach Goddess, this 12-piece release of limited and permanent products is available now.

Shimmer Cheek Glow
Bobbi's new Shimmer Cheek Glow is a sheer powder formula that gives skin a healthy, natural-looking glow with a soft shimmer. It glides on smoothly and blends easily for a weightless feel. £30.50

Treatment Lip Shine
This lightweight, soft shine lipstick doubles as a rejuvenating treatment. It instantly comforts dry, chapped lips and provides long-term moisturisation. Now in four new shades: Peach Sorbet, Pink Seashell, Sunset Beach and Orchard Pink. £18.00

Long-Wear Cream Shadow
Just when you thought your makeup couldn't stand up to the summer heat, now it can. The innovative Long-Wear Cream Shadows deliver saturated colour with a soft, velvety finish. Now in four new shades: Copper, Bronze Sugar, Nude Beach and limited edition shade Candlelight. £17.00

Bobbi Brown Beach Fragrance
Bobbi's best-selling fragrance in a sleek new bottle. Designed with a light, intoxicating blend of Sand Jasmine, Sea Spray and Mandarin, it captures the essence of summer in a bottle. £38.00

Fragrance Oil
This unique, moisturising body oil gives skin a sultry shimmering glow scented with Beach Fragrance. £30.00

bobbi brown miami collection swatches
Swatches from MakeUpAndBeautyBlog from the left: Treatment Lip Shines SPF15 in Sunset Beach, Pink Seashell, & Pink Sorbet; Long-Wear Cream Shadows in Candlelight, Nude Beach & Copper; Shimmer Cheek Glow in Gold.

Seriously, how gorgeous does this collection look? The corals and golden bronze are right up my street, and so perfect for the Summer. I'll try and do a full review on the longevity of these products as soon as I can.

What do you think of this collection? Will you be picking anything up?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Beauty Basics: Top 5 MAC Eye Brushes

So you want to create flawless eye shadow looks but you don't know where to start in terms of which brushes to get? Here’s my guide to 5 basic MAC makeup brushes for eyes, to begin with, that will help you create your desired look.

Top to Bottom - 219, 217, 224, 239
Left to Right - 219, 217, 224, 239

MAC 219 Pencil Brush (£19.00)
For precision shading on lid, in eye crease or along lash line. The soft, smooth fibres of this brush are gathered into a pencil-shaped tip. It is ideal for blending eyeliner into eye shadow to create a smoky looking eye.

The 219 is a staple in any makeup brush set. It has so many uses such as depositing colour into the crease, defining shapes (outer U/V), tapping colour on the lower lash line, or smudging colour. The soft, fairly firm brush, with densely packed bristles means that you can get a good amount of colour on the brush, and then have most of it deposited where you're applying it to. This brush also works well at smudging out creamy eye liners on the upper lash line to create a more smokier effect.

MAC 217 Blending Brush (£22.00)
For shading or blending of colour or creamy products. This brush has fine, densely packed fibres that are arranged in an oval shape.

A popular brush sold by MAC. This brush makes blending for beginners really easy. The ultra soft, slightly fluffy but dense bristles does a great job of blending out harsh lines to soft fading gradients. The brush is soft enough to blend out seamlessly, but dense enough to pack on the colour too. This brush does everything the 224 does, but with more intensity. In terms of blending, if I am using a number of colours of the same palette (such as dark brown, medium brown, warm brown) I will stick to this brush to blend them out.

MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush (£22.00)
For controlled eye shadow application. This brush has soft fibres which taper to form a medium size dome shape.

A long, fluffy brush with a dome-shaped tip, designed for assisting you with blending out colour. This brush is a dream to work with. The brush really does all the work for you - blends out colours beautifully. The fluffiness of this brush means that you can use it to deposit colour more subtly compared to the 217, and also means that you can apply a wash of colour to the entire eye area quickly and effortlessly. In terms of blending, if I am using a light/dark colour combination (such as light beige & dark brown), I will use this brush to blend them together. I also use this brush if I am using a number of colours that are not of the same colour palette (such as beige, blue, silver, dark brown).

MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush (£19.00)
Soft and dense to shade or blend eye shadow or emollient-based products. This brush has a tapered, rounded edge with smooth, firm, fine fibres. It can be used to build intense colour on the eyelid.

Possibly my favourite MAC brush - you can do everything with this brush if need be - apply, blend, crease, highlight, lower lash line, smudge... the list is endless. The fluffiness means you can blend colour while the density allows you to still be able to pack on the colour for a more intense look. This is the first brush I would recommend to anyone looking to buy their first eye brush.

MAC 227 Large Fluff Brush (£22.00)
An extra large paddle-shaped brush with fluffed, rounded tip. Of soft natural fibre, this brush is versatile in function and can be used on either the face or eye. Use for applying, blending, or highlighting any powder-based products.

This brush is perfect for applying colour as a highlight to both brow bones and the inner corner of your eyes. Its big enough to pick up the right amount of product to cover the desired area, but small enough so that it doesn’t go everywhere. I also like to use this brush to apply highlighter to my cheekbones and collarbone.
This is a lovely brush which has amazing precision of application. Cannot fault it.

So there you have it - my top 5 MAC eye brushes. What are your top 5 MAC brushes? Do you use any of the brushes above for additional purposes? Let me know...

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Beauty Basics: Top 5 MAC Face Brushes

Are you considering investing in brushes for your face? Don’t know where to start? Here’s my guide to 5 basic MAC makeup brushes to begin with, to help you achieve that flawless look.

MAC 187 Stipling Face Brush (£32.50)
A large full circular brush, used for lightweight application and blending of face powder. The brush is made from a super soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres. 

I originally used this brush to apply MAC mineralize skinfinish and I loved the results! The application was really soft and gave a lovely soft, light coverage to my skin; more of a subtle glow as a pose to shine.
I have recently been using the brush as my go-to everyday brush for powder blusher. Sometimes ultra pigmented blushes are really hard to blend out, but with this brush, it is amazing at picking up the right amount of blush to give you a dusting of colour that is perfect for a day-time look.
I have used this brush to apply cream foundation (Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Even Finish Compact Foundation) and the results are very natural and light. Personally, I prefer using a sponge to apply this particular foundation as I really only use it for special occasions where I want to have full coverage. I am yet to try the 187 with liquid foundation (I use Bobbi Brown Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation SPF 15) as I currently use my fingers, but this brush has been known to create an ‘airbrush’ look to your skin with the use of liquid foundation so I will definitely be trying it out soon! 

MAC 130 Short Duo Fibre Brush (£28.00)
A short, round dual fibre with flat head composed of both natural bristles and synthetic fibres ideal for application with creams, emulsions & various powder products.

I’ve been using this brush to apply my cream blushes and it works wonderfully. I lightly swirl it in the cream blush and then blend into the apples of my cheeks in small, buffed circular motions. I like the firmness of this brush in comparison to the MAC 188 – which can also be used for cream blush.
Alternatively, this brush can also be used for cream bronzers, buffing in the same way you would a power bronzer.
If you tend to wear foundation just on your T-Zone, this brush could also work in applying your liquid foundation as the compact, dense brush head allows for greater control and blending as well as being small enough to apply product around the nose.

This brush is definitely a must-have for those who wear cream blush or cream bronzer on a regular basis. Especially coming into the Summer months, a buff of cream blush or bronzer can give your skin a really fresh dewy JLO glow.

MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush (£26.00)
For expert application of cheek contour. The brush is a large angled contour – the fibres form a buffed edge and are soft and firmly bundles.

The 168 is excellent for contouring cheekbones, forehead and jaw line. The 168 is soft to the touch with minimal shedding. The bristled rounded angled brush has a bit of fluffiness to it, making it perfect for picking up the right amount of product to contour (or apply bronzer with) so that you can layer for intensity as desired.

Your makeup brush collection is not complete without this classic, basic angled brush, which you can never go wrong purchasing.

MAC 129 Powder/Blush Brush (£26.00)
All-purpose for blush or face powder. This brush is particularly good for blush application. The fibres are soft and form a full, rounded shape.

The 129 is a rounded, dome shaped brush which I use with powder blush when I want a more intense look, and also with bronzer for everyday.
I also use this brush to blend out powder to blush as a pose to applying powder direct as I don’t use that much face powder anyway.

This is again, another staple brush to add to your collection, one that can ultimately be used to apply 3 different products effortlessly.

MAC 227 Large Fluff Brush (£22.00)
An extra large paddle-shaped brush with fluffed, rounded tip. Of soft natural fibre, this brush is versatile in function and can be used on either the face or eye. Use for applying, blending, or highlighting any powder-based products.

This brush is extremely dense, soft, and packs on colour well. I like to use this brush to apply highlighter to my cheekbones and collarbone. Its big enough to pick up the right amount of product to cover the desired area, but small enough so that it doesn’t go all over your cheeks too!
This brush also doubles up as a highlighter for brow-bones and the inner corner of my eyes.

This is a lovely brush which has amazing precision of application. Cannot fault it.

So there you have it - my top 5 MAC face brushes. What are your top 5 MAC brushes? Do you use any of the brushes above for additional purposes? Let me know...

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Step into Summer with Yankee Candles

I am a big fan of Yankee Candles so when these new fragrances were launched I couldn't wait to try them out. I purchase mine from Yankee as you get points every time you spend, so you can accumulate them and then use them as money off a next order. The packaging is always great and I have never received anything faulty or incorrect... touch wood! 
I picked up 3 out of the 5 new Q2 Summer fragrances; Pink Dragon Fruit, Wild Passionfruit, and Fruit Fusion.

If I haven't smelt the fragrance of a candle before, I always purchase either the wax tart or the sampler. It is a cost effective way to 'try out' the fragrance before committing to a large jar (for the record I only purchase the large jars as they are most value for my money).
Yankee recommend you put the entire wax tart into your oil burner for optimum results, but to be honest, thats just wasting the tart in my opinion. What I do is slice up the tarts into 8 separate pieces, wrap up in cling film to keep fresh, and use only one piece as and when required. The tart will turn into a wax liquid (the same colour as the tart!) but it will not evaporate like regular oils...the smell will simply weaken and eventually, after about 4 hours, you will be left with just the oil in the burner.
A clean way to remove the oil is to pop the burner into the freezer for about 10-15 minutes, then when you take it out, tease the edge of the frozen oil with a tooth pic (or something similar) and the frozen oil will come away clean in one chunk. Don't try to re-burn another piece of wax tart before the burner has reached room temperate or else the tart piece will burn around the edges to a liquid, but the middle will remain hard gloop.

Now onto the frangrances:
Pink Dragon Fruit - I don't actually know what dragon fruit smells of as I have never eaten one but this fragrance is definitely colouful and intriguing. It does have a distinctly tropical aroma to it, something I would describe as similar to tangy sweet strawberries with just a hint of zesty lemon. Absolutely lovely.
Wild Passionfruit - Bright and vivacious, this exotic passionfruit is blended with melon and mandarin. The melon is subtle, the mandarin is more apparent, and the passionfruit is extremely true to life. A fresh, fruity, summer fragrance that is not too heavy or sickly.
Fruit Fusion - Berries, orange and lime make this sunny fruit blend refreshingly tart and sweet. Definitely the most heaviest out of all 3, but still very useable. The notes are typical of sweet oranges more so than berries, but the lime in this brings out the zesty-ness, so the overall smell is not at all heavy or sickly like some of the typical 'orange winter' fragrances.

Overall, I will definitely be purchasing the corresponding large jars of these fragrances. The bright, summer colours of the candles themselves will look lovely this time of year and bring a Summer feeling indoors as weather in the UK is pretty rubbish at the moment :-(

Have you purchased anything from the Yankee Candle Q2 collection? Tried mixing 2 pieces of tart to create a unique flavour before? Let me know...