Sunday, 4 September 2016

Apologies, for two things. Firstly, the awful phone quality pic up there, and secondly the lack of posts. The start of last month was pretty awful for me, I got dumped, and a few days later ended up with someone in the back of my newly bought little Kia Piccanto (first car, my heart breaks). But towards the end of the month, things were looking up - I passed my driving test, got the grades I wanted in my AS Levels and then, got my hair chopped and I honestly feel the best I have for months. Sometimes you need changes like these to realise how much better off you can be.

So, because I haven't shown off my new hair enough, there's a nice collage up there for you. This is a major change since for ages I was adamant I was growing my hair super long, but I think this blunt chop suits me and my personal style so much better.


Saturday, 30 July 2016

When I recently went on holiday, I decided I wanted to have my lashes and brows tinted so that when I was in the pool, they actually looked a little more defined and I wouldn't feel so bare faced. Although I was ultimately still not wearing makeup, I wanted a bit of definition. I had decided that going to get them done professionally was too much money and sort of gave up on the idea, until I spotted the Colorsport 30 Mascara Eyelash and Brow Dye Kit in Boots.

The set seemed pretty simple, 2 solutions (a liquid and a gel) which didn't involve any mixing, and could be used multiple times. I also chose this set because it takes a matter of minutes to do everything.

If I'm honest I noticed more difference in my brows, and will definitely keep tinting my brows with this set because I don't have to do as much work on them with makeup. A lot of my eyebrow hairs were quite fine and blonde and so they looked slightly misshapen even after I had groomed them, so this really helped me out. As for lashes, they did look a bit darker but not anything majorly different that I experienced with my brows. Perhaps it was because I was a little worried of having it near my eyes for too long.

Generally speaking though, this set is definitely worth the try. I got the Dark Brown version and it works perfectly for me, but there's also a Black version which might be better for those of you that want to see more difference in your lashes. They also have versions for Brows/Lashes alone, but to save money I went for the joint set. It's really up to your preference, but let me know in the comments if you've tried this out before, or similar at home sets.


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Whilst having a look around my makeup drawers the other day, I seemed to notice I had a wide collection of Maybelline products; some that I use daily and some that I tend to push to the back. So, I thought it'd be a wise idea to do my take on a 'brand focus' esque post, and share what I think are the best bits of the brand.

LIPS: I have quite my fair share of lip products, but for when I'm on the go, I always seem to throw a Colorsensational lippy in my bag. I think it's because I can slap them on without a mirror and they just seem to work well. To show just how much I like them, I even had Coffee Craze as my prom lipstick shade.

EYES: I think everyone knows of the Colour Tattoos, and I have 6 of them myself. On and On Bronze is the classic shade, and mine has near enough completely run out (and I will definitely be buying another ASAP), and is the best option for when you want a look that seems as though you have put the effort in, but really it was a one sweep wonder. Maybelline also do pretty well with mascaras. the Lash Sensational is my personal favourite and I've repurchased this countless times, but the Collossal Go Extreme and the Rocket and pretty good options too. I love how waterproof Maybelline mascaras can be and I'm always safe from smudging.

BROWS: The Brow Drama is one of the best budget brow gels I have found, and also one of the only ones to actually sit on the aisles of the drugstore. I go for the transparent, but I have tried the tinted ones too and they do a pretty good job aswell - something a little extra for the brows. I also actually use the Colour Tattoo in Permanent Taupe for my brows, something I've now been doing for months and don't think I will actually move away from. Like a Dipbrow alternative, this pot of wonder costs just under a fiver and gives me the perfect shade of ashy brown for brows that could last for days.

NAILS: Maybelline nail polishes also aren't a bad option. The Super Stay options really wowed me when I first used them - they genuinely were ''super stay''. For something a little quicker, the Colour Show 60 Seconds polishes are quick drying, but also rather pigmented and some of them can actually work with a single coat.

So, pretty impressive overall. Although I don't tend to go for Maybelline for base products (I prefer Bourjois, Rimmel and L'Oreal), their product range is pretty solid with quite a few gems in there. Definitely one I wander towards each time I go into Boots...


Monday, 25 July 2016

My hair often lacks volume, especially in the roots. Having my hair down usually ends up tucked behind my ears and flat to my face and ponytails end up making me resemble a boiled egg, so I'm pretty much always trialling new solutions to give me a bit of texture, and a bit of bounce too. 

The Charles Worthington Volume and Bounce Texturising Spray offers me both of those requirements, so I thought it was about time to give it a try - especially considering this product has received a whole lot of hype in the past. I'd class this as a mix between a hairspray and a texturising spray, so not quite as powdery as some others, but it depends on your preference. For a budget option, it does serve rather well and helps me add the volume I need; especially useful for second day hair. 

The photo above is another way I use this product. Although you might be wondering why my hair isn't HUGE in the photo, by curls look pretty relaxed and soft - right? I find this spray a good option for loosening up curls so you don't have goldilocks ringlets all day, and instead something closer to a tousled curl. 

I'd totally recommend this if you are seeking a volume booster in the aisles of the drugstore, to avoid spending what might feel like an entire payslip on something from the likes of Oribe...


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

It's getting close to the summer holiday season yet again, and you can guarantee I am sweating it out in the gym most days a week in the hope of pulling together some sort of glowing bikini body in the next month or two (we'll see about that one), but there is no point of all the exercise if I don't have any bikinis to rock.

Most years, I really struggle to find a well fitting bikini, because my boob size to be honest isn't quite as proportional to the rest of my body and everything tends to look a bit off. But this year, I've found two perfectly fitting bikinis from ASOS, the one place I can pretty much always rely on. I'm not sure if these are still available as they were sale finds, but they have very similar styles anyway so it's worth a look.

The first is the Fuller Bust Girly Woodblock Print Marilyn Bikini, a triangle style which ties into a halter neck. I like this because of the thick band - it tends to offer me more support than similar style bikinis without it. I also love the pattern on this one - a pretty floral design in pastel shades.
The second is a little more intense, a mash up of animal print and floral designs - something I wouldn't usually go for, but unusually love. This is the Fuller Bust (these work best for me) Tropical Animal Moulded Plunge Bikini, yet again offering me lots of support. This also ties to a halterneck, and has underwire in proper cups for a more structured style than the former.

As I said, these fit perfectly, and I'll definitely be heading to the ASOS Swimwear if I am after any more for my holidays, and to be honest, knowing these pretty bikinis are waiting for me makes me work that extra bit harder at the gym...


Sunday, 5 June 2016

Topshop Waverly Wayfairer Sunglasses - £14

Usually, Primark sunglasses get me through the summer months mainly because I can't bare to spend more than £3 on a pair of sunnies that I'll probably leave in my bag to get scratched, lose, or even sit on and crush (talking from actual experience for that one). But, this year I happened to be looking in Topshop and fell in love with a frame I couldn't leave behind. 

I can't find the exact pair online but they are the Waverly Wayfairer frame style and there's a couple of other 'prints' if you will. I didn't think £14 was bad at all, and the fit of these is perfect. I have quite a slim face so I tend to get swamped by glasses but these are perfect. I had a pair similar last year but all black - this time I opted for still a black pair but they have a faint floral/palm print within the frame too which just adds an extra touch. 

To be quite honest, I've even been eyeing up another pair in this style online but I'm not sure I can allow myself to make the purchase, considering these are so loved anyway. I genuinely don't think it is possible for me to fall out of love with these, because they literally work with every item of clothing in my wardrobe. Never a complaint. 

I've found a similar pair here, just with a thinner frame, but to be honest I prefer these. Have a browse of the Waverly Wayfairer style and let me know your opinion. 


Sunday, 29 May 2016

It's safe to the the glow, THE glow, is something of popular culture nowadays. It seems that throughout an Instagram feed there is always mention of highlight and the absolute beauty of it. I've tried my fair share of highlighters, and I've finally found the glow getters that work for me. 

I've realised, it starts from the base. I use the Collection Reviving and Anti-Fatigue Illuminating Primer; which cost me something short of a fiver. I wasn't expecting much, but this really brightens my complexion and creates the perfect base for my foundation and concealer. This surprised me, and I'll definitely be purchasing again. Another option is to mix an illuminating product into your base, which I find really effective if you want to look naturally glowy. The Rimmel Wake Me Up one in Shimmering Sands, or the Dr Lewinns Skin Perfect Illuminiser both work really well at this instead of pinpoint highlighting because I find them slightly too intense alone, but really nice mixed. 

Sometimes it isn't just the highlight that can be glowing. Although I prefer matte bronzer and of course contour, a sheen for blush is sometimes rather pretty. A cream blush can do this pretty well, or if you want extra glow the Rimmel Wake Me Up Illuminator in Radiant Rose is a good bet. Not too sparkly, but just the right level of glow to add something extra to the cheeks. 

In terms of actual highlighting, I do love the one in the Sleek Contour Kit (not pictured, because I have literally used every single bit of mine), but I've also recently discovered two other options. The Benefit High Beam is a cult classic - and I have definitely understood why this is the case. The other is another recent release from Collection - the Speedy Highlighter. This one requires a little more blending because it is a 'stick' form, but the champagne glow it gives after the effort is completely worth it.

Although it seems my collection is already extensive enough, I desperately want to add more pretty highlight shades to my collection. Any recommendations?


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Concealers can work wonders for the face, and I tend to rely on them pretty much every day for ensuring a (near) flawless looking complexion. Concealers have the ability to hide the worst of blemishes; if you know how to apply them properly. So, in a collaboration with my friends at Into the Gloss and checking out their Best Concealers post, I am here to share my favourites, tips and tricks.

I know most people seem to prefer high end concealers, but in my opinion if you know where to look you can find some gems among the high street instead (particularly good if you are a student and have a part time wage which is the opposite of generous). Usually, I go for the Collection Lasting Perfection for the skin, and heavy duty concealing. Using your fingers is probably the best option because it can look a bit more caked on with a brush. For quick touching up in the day I wouldn't go for this, I would probably pick the Bourjois Healthy Mix because I don't feel the need to powder this when I reapply.

There's always the old trick of buying a shade lighter for under your eyes, but I don't tend to do this. For me it seems to look a bit odd, but I think nowadays there are far better brightening options. The Rimmel Wake Me Up and the L'Oreal Lumi Magique seem to be pretty luminous and do a better job of brightening than a lighter shade probably will. The best way for me to do this is to apply a triangle sort of shape and use something like the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion makes it smooth to apply and tends to work the product into the skin far better. The key for under the eyes is to set it (very lightly) to avoid creasing, as well as avoiding a whole lot of layers - a  h u g e  mistake I used to make with stick concealers in my early teens and ended up looking like I had reptilian skin under my eyes.

Once you know how to start with concealing, it's pretty self explanatory and you'll find a routine good for you. There's plenty of posts over at Into the Gloss about concealers if you want to broaden your knowledge even further.


Monday, 9 May 2016

It's safe to say, it has been a while. I've been meaning to do an update for quite some time and it was only when Megan updated her blog that I actually got a kick up the backside to do it myself.

Basically, I'm here to say that I haven't disappeared forever, and that I plan to be posting again ASAP, even within the next few days or weeks if time will allow it. I've got excuses all over the place but to be honest only two of them are actually decent enough to be mentioned in the post. I think that says something about my motivation over the past month or two - non existent.

Firstly, I think I underestimated the stress of A Levels, I'm days away from beginning my AS exams and so the pressure is mounting and unfortunately things like blogging have to take a back seat every now and then. At the same time though, I'm getting more interested in universities; I currently have the aim of doing a History degree because it's my favourite subject, but also a hard one to get onto in terms of entry requirements - even more reason to increase the revision big time. To be honest, it is pretty hard to maintain your education, part time job, driving lessons and something like a blog all at once at the age of 17.

Other than that, when my motivation came back, my health decided to somewhat bail on me and I got really poorly. Its not the most interesting of topics to be writing about, but its an excuse. I've almost entirely recovered from whatever mystery illness I had (it look its toll on me whatever it was), but because of not being able to go to school, do any revision or keep in touch with school work whatsoever whilst being poorly, yet again I had to sling the blogging to one side while I caught up with all that.

I don't really know what the purpose of this message is, but to be honest, it was mainly just a reminder that I'm still here, will be making a return, and that generally life is good for my part. Hopefully, I'll be doing much more of this soon.


Monday, 21 March 2016

(Hair styled by myself)

Since I was young, I was never one to enjoy wearing my hair up and it was near enough only for the sake of PE in school where I would slick my hair back into a ponytail through gritted teeth and extreme reluctance. In terms of braids, I would only ever wear these overnight to achieve rather mad wavy hair in the mornings, but since the dutch braid has come into fashion and seems to take up 70% of my Instagram feed, I've become partial to the odd pair of plaits on a pretty regular basis.

For work I have to wear my hair up/out of my face for hygiene reasons, and I often opt for these braids for a more fashionable alternative than a regular ponytail that leaves me looking rather 'egg' like. I like the 3D effect a dutch braid gives, in comparison to the usual French braid. This is rather simply achieved by passing each strand under the others into the middle rather than on top.

I think what I like the most is that this works on any length of hair. My sister (pictured above) has a shoulder length chop and this still works just as well as those that have hair to almost their waist, and I personally find that its this versatility that makes it a go to style for so many. It also works a treat for when you don't have time to wash your hair; with the help of a few spritzes of dry shampoo.

Are you a fan of the dutch braid or are you yet to master it?


Thursday, 17 March 2016

This is a post that I promised myself not to mention 'Kylie Jenner' in, but it seems to be the surrounding connotation to the shade and has been for quite some time, so I'll get it out the way nice and early to spare any eye rolls. Velvet Teddy has been on my wishlist for a while now, and when my dad went on a trip of course I jumped on the duty free opportunity for him to get me one on his travels.

This has become one of my most regularly used lipsticks in my collection, and definitely is my favourite by a mile. I think the perfect mix between brown/nude/pink (I could not possibly give more of a vague explanation) paired with the matte formula is what makes this perfect. I firmly believe that if this was not matte, the colour wouldn't work for me. Lasting time is pretty long, even without a liner, and although sometimes I get a line around the lips if I eat a full meal with it on, this is only faint and the majority of the pigment remains on my lips. I would suggest if you have dry lips to definitely opt for a balm underneath else you'll struggle with dryness.

Out of the three MAC Lipsticks I've owned, although I haven't had the widest range of options this is definitely my favourite formula and shade in my drawers overflowing with variations, and I think the countless compliments and constant 'oh thank you it's MAC Velvet Teddy' responses I've dished out, it is pretty clear that this gets a gold star from me.


Monday, 7 March 2016

I rarely venture outside the household's shared shampoo and conditioner when it comes to hair care products, and my standard heat protecting and shine giving sprays and serums, so when these Amika products* popped through my letter box, I was extremely excited to try them out.

The first of the trio is the Heat Defense Serum*, a nice alternative to the usual heat protective sprays. What I like most about this is that you can really coat all of the hair because of the serum formula, and it leaves my hair (which tends to go frizzy after blowdrying) feeling silky smooth and shiny looking. Because of this in comparison to my usual post-blowdry locks I am rather impressed with the protecting abilities of this one.

Usually when it comes to dry shampoo I am loyal to Batiste. I've ventured out to other brands before and missed out on that Batiste level of reliance and some even made my between-wash hair look worse than it did before applying anything. This however, is an exception to my 'Batiste only' rule; not only did it smell brilliant, it made my hair look extremely fresh with no powdery look or feel after a brief massage. This Perk Up Dry Shampoo* definitely ticks the boxes for me.

Finally we have the 'Haute Mess Texture Gel'* - the one I was perhaps most uncertain of. I rarely use products like this, as I fear I will be left with matted hair rather than beachy waves. I think the key is moderation, and the best method I have found is to apply a pea sized amount to the lengths of the hair and then do a french plait overnight, as by then it has done the work without me having to.

This brand has definitely surprised me, and I look forward to implementing these products into my everyday hair routine.

*PR Samples


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

I never used to make the extra step of using a priming base for my makeup, until a few Chirstmas' ago I received a sample of a Smashbox primer, and I've never looked back. I've tried my fair share of high end and drugstore, with my favourite being the Benefit Porefessional, but last time it came to restocking my primer it was a while off payday and I couldn't justify the price so I settled for the L'Oreal Infallible Mattifying Base. 

One thing I praise this primer for is its ability to smooth the skin - it pretty much perfects the skin for foundation and helps product to settle really flawlessly into the skin. In terms of the mattifying claims, it does reduce the shine initially, however isn't something that lasts all day as I do tend to have to touch up my shine. Despite this, it does make my makeup last far longer in the day.

One gripe I do have about this is that if you apply too much and straight after moisturising it tends to form into little pieces (I'm sure you know the ones I mean although I can't quite explain it) so bear that in mind. For £7.99 though, this is a pretty impressive primer and is rather similar to other formulas I have tried from higher end brands, and is really worth the try.

I've heard great things about the matte foundation too, and I'm kind of eager to try that out too - does it live up to the hype?


Monday, 4 January 2016

For me, 2015 had been the biggest and busiest year to date - I completed my GCSEs, got my first job, started learning to drive, and began the pathway into A Levels. If you couldn't tell already, all of those were the priority aside from blogging, and it became extremely difficult for me to balance all those things happening in my life with regular posts. Hopefully, it can improve this year but secretly I'm hoping 2016 is just as exciting and busy as the last. I'll try my hardest.

I've got a gym membership (classic move in the new year, let's see how this plays out) and I'm reading to head into 2016. Hopefully on the blog this year I want to even out the fashion and beauty aspects, with more lifestyle posts too. There's a certain style of writing I want to convert my posts to in the future, but I'm not sure how it'll go down so I'm testing the waters bit by bit.

One thing I do plan for this year is to work on my Instagram more, which I have been doing more recently so if you don't already, follow @petitedecember. As I did last year, the most popular posts from this year have been listed above, but surprisingly my 2014 Kylie Jenner Lips post has remained the top post throughout the whole year consistently, so it'll be interesting to see whether that stays the same this year or not.

Another roundup for Petite December, who knows what will be in the 2016 installment...
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