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Foundations; Application, Colour Matching and Other Tips

Recently, I've realised that over the course of the few years I've really delved into beauty and makeup, my foundation routine has been constantly changing and developing. Thankfully, all this change has led to me being able to confidently make a post to tell you all you need to know about how to get a great skin base. It's definitely taken me a while to get to this point and I've gone through all the awkward stages; patchy, dry, too sheer, oily, but I've finally come out on the other side, confident and looking pretty good, and if you too struggle with foundation, hopefully this post will help you end up feeling the same.

I can't stress how important it is to start with a good base so moisturise with your favourite moisturiser and then pick a good primer. Some of my favourites are the smash box photo finish primer and the mac radiance primer and if these two are a little out of your price range that's totally fine, LA girl does some nice primers too for a much more affordable price. After you've moisturised and primed your face, it's time to pick your tools. I always use a beauty blender and I really think it's worth investing in a really high quality, soft blender. I see heaps of companies these days making rock hard beauty blenders that are extremely difficult to use and dirt cheap. I really wouldn't recommend buying these, even though the prices are amazing, because you just won't get the same finish. It also helps to dampen your sponge before applying foundation by just squeezing it under a running tap and then squeezing out all the excess water.

When it comes to the actual application, it helps to start in the middle of the face and work your way outward with dabbing rather than swooping movements. Personally, I pick the foundation up straight onto my beauty blender and slowly work it in to my skin but you could also dot foundation on your face and then go in with the blender if you wanted to be a little more considerate regarding how much product you're actually using. This is the part I really encourage you to take your time and work in the foundation because you don't want to have a thick layer just sitting on the top of your skin. Then when you're happy with your base, go in with a light concealer, drawing triangle shaped under your eyes reaching down to your cheeks.  Then draw a similar shape on your forehead and a line down the bridge of your nose. Make sure to blend this in super well to ensure your foundation doesn't end up looking like a whole bunch of different colours. Then, finally, set your foundation with a powder (preferably loose and translucent) to protect you from having your foundation come off or setting into any lines during the day.

Finally, I'm going to have a quick chat to you guys about colour matching. This is the part where so many people fall short so I'm going to quickly go over a few basic points on the topic. First, you have to identify your undertones. This means analysing whether your skin has a yellow (cool), pink (warm) or neutral base to it. If you don't feel confident doing this yourself, it's always good to ask a beauty consultant for help (we don't mind, trust me it's like 90% of our job). Then when choosing your foundation shade with matching undertones to your skin, swatch the colour on your neck just under your jawline for the most accurate match. I think it's also helpful to remember that if you're unsure and you don't want to ask for help, to just go with the lighter shade as you can always bronze yourself up.

Those are my basic tips when it comes to foundation and I hoped they helped you a little! Let me know in the comments if you want me to turn this into a fortnightly or monthly segment where i can do a general overview of how to use various products. I hope you all had a merry christmas and happy new year and thanks for reading!

December Fashion Favourites

Due to the (extremely) busy month of december almost being over, I've decided to make a little post on my favourite fashion pieces that I've picked up this month. Truthfully, I've probably spent a little too much this month but between buying presents and seeing the amazing selection of clothes that's started to appear in my favourite shops, I think it's well justified. The clothes in this haul all come from Missguided, Topshop and Ego and since it's sumer where I am, I'm going to be mostly posting outfits for warmer weather. Hope you guys enjoy this little haul/favourites post and let me know what you think in the comments below!

I'm going to start off today with what I bought from Topshop, I only bought three items but I think three is plenty when you really love the pieces. Firstly, I bought a summery spaghetti strap top with a delicate butterfly print. I love this top so much, I think it would work so well with jeans or shorts and you could add a nice wooly cardigan for when it gets a little warmer. It's just a really pretty, versatile top and a well needed addition to my minimalistic summer clothes collection. Next I've got a basic tee that has "bad habits" embroidered, I promised myself this year that I would try to avoid buying more basic tee shirts but I thought this one was so cute and would be a good addition to my wardrobe for school next year due to it being so comfy and casual. Finally, the last piece I bought from Topshop is a pair of high waisted jeans (pictured above). I love these so much, the embroidery looks so cute and the style is really flattering on so it was a no brainer. I really want to pair these with one of those indie buckle belts, pointed black booties and a brown silk spaghetti strap. I've had that outfit idea playing on my brain since I bought them so it sounds like I'm going to have to invest in a new pair of boots and a belt in order to play out my little fantasy.

Secondly, I placed a reasonably big order (by my standards) from Missguided. I can't remember specifically but I think this particular order was inspired by a fifty percent off student discount and lets be real, who can resist that? The first item I've got is a cropped orange hoodie, I love this piece so much because of the really cute ripped texture at the bottom and the beautiful nude orange that the jumper comes in. I think I'll be wearing this a lot with high waisted yoga pants and a sporty shoe to match. Next we have two tee shirts, one's a more feminine nude coloured crossover tee and the other is just a classic band tee from Guns and Roses. I think these are so cute and versatile so I know I'll definitely be getting a lot of wear out of these. Finally, moving into swimwear, I picked up two bikinis, one i consider a hit and the other seems to be a bit of a miss. The white sporty style bikini looks so cute on and fits me surprisingly well while the other white and nude fishnet triangle bikini doesn't quite measure up. I don't want to give this bikini a bad review or anything because in reality, triangle bikinis usually don't look quite right on me so really this was to be expected. I also didn't like that there weren't separate sizing options for the tops and bottoms (I know a large amount of girls out there feel my struggle here) but otherwise I was really happy with what I bought.

Finally, I only received one lone package from ego shoestore but I'm going to rave about how great their shoes are for a hot minute. I always saw youtubers and instagrammers wearing shoes from this shop and they always looked amazing on. When I finally went and had a look on the website I was actually blown away by how affordable these shoes were too, so I put an order in for the floral embroidered booties (can you tell I'm really into this embroidery trend?) and they arrived SO quickly. I put an order in early December but because they were on pre-order until the 17th I expected them to arrive after christmas, maybe even after the new year, but they arrived on the 20th! This may not be a big deal for american or european readers but for someone that lives in New Zealand that was really fast. The quality was amazing too so overall I just had a really positive experience with ego and I wanted to make sure you all knew how cool they were.

So that's all for my little favourites this week but I promise I'm going to start trying to post more regularly on here, hopefully like twice a week or more. I'm also on the very brink of gaining enough confidence to start a youtube channel, so cross your fingers and send good thoughts my way! I hope you all have an amazing week and I'll talk to you again very very soon! x

Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide

Hi guys! Sorry for the very late blog post this week but this gift guide is going to be pretty helpful for any of you that are totally unorganised like me these holidays. When you've left it to the last minute, finding a good christmas gift for friends and family can be pretty difficult and stressful. To relieve a little bit of that stress for you guys I put together this post which can cater to absolutely anyone. I think the most important thing to remember when buying gifts is to not just get thing that you would like to receive. Really think about the person you're buying for; do they like music, beauty, books or nice smelling soaps and bath bombs? Once you've got a basic idea of what they're into, it makes them much easier to buy for.

For those who always seem to have their head buried in a book it would obviously be a good idea to head to your local bookstore. A good idea is to look for penguin book because not only do they have an amazing variety of classics (and who doesn't love a good classic) but the prices are really low as well. A couple of my favourite books from the penguin range include The Secret History by Donna Tartt and The Beautiful and Damned by Scott F. Fitsgerald. And while we're on the topic of books, let me know if you guys want me to post some book reviews or start a monthly book club in the comments below!

When it comes to friends and family that love music, there's so many different gift options you can take advantage of. Find out their favourite band and get them a poster or some cool merch, or you could just get them some CD's or vinyl (make sure they have a cd/ record player first though!). If you really wanted to splash on a present you could even pick up some concert tickets or a record player and I'm sure you'd end up in their good books this Christmas.

It's hard to know where to start when choosing a gift for the beauty obsessed, picking makeup for another person can be pretty tricky and expensive at the best of times. A brand that I always find to be great for Christmas presents is colour pop. They're one of the cheapest brands I know that sell such high quality products and they have the cutest gift sets, I tried to buy a fall set for my friend's Christmas gift but ended up keeping it for myself! Otherwise, Kylie cosmetics is an exciting way to go if you want to splurge and you'll definitely earn the title of best gift giver, especially with the new Christmas collection out now. If you need your present to arrive quickly, try looking for legitimate colour pop and lip kits being resold on trade me or ebay.

You always have the risky option of buying clothes or jewellery too. If your friend/family member has a pretty clear style this could be the way to go. When buying clothes I always think that one nice item of clothing is better than ten things you would never wear so try to just pick one really nice item that you know your friend would love. There are so many options when it comes to jewellery and its the type of gift almost everyone loves receiving. You an choose between watches, earrings, necklaces and bracelets and theres a great price variation in stores now day meaning that you can spend as little or as much as you want on a nice piece of jewellery.

Lastly, we've got gifts for those friends that are difficult to buy for or ones that are known to like things that smell good. These are pretty standard ideas but lush is always a safe bet, I don't think I know anyone that wouldn't be stoked with a new bath bomb or soap as a Christmas present and they even do gift packs if you wanted to get a little selection. If lush isn't really your speed, you can always go down the candle path. There are so many good candles out there, my favourites include any Christmas themed yankee candles and the Tahaa candle by glasshouse, otherwise known as the thing that makes all peter alexander stores smell so good (Kiwi's and Aussies know what I'm talking about).

I hope this little guide helped you all this holiday season! Let me know if you use any of my ideas and how your friends and family react! Thanks for reading xx

Battle of the Liquid Lipsticks

I'm probably a little late to start talking about liquid lipsticks but this post is for all of you who, like me, still love the ease and durability that they offer. The three brands that I'm going to be talking about today include two low end products and the other is reasonably high end. I want to feature a lot of high quality low end brands on p&t because I know there are many people out there that can't always justify spending close to fifty dollars for one lipstick (I definitely can't!).

The first product I want to talk about is the Australis Velourlips collection. The lipsticks sell for around fifteen dollars each, this puts them in the low end category and in my opinion, I think you're definitely getting your moneys worth. The colour range is really beautiful and unique featuring a number of really bright shades. The formula goes on smoothly and I haven't had any problems with patchiness, even with the darkest shades and the product definitely stays on well. On the downside it does take a while to properly dry which means if you put your lips together theres a good chance some will shift and clump up. It also seems to transfer after it has supposedly "dried down". I found it extremely drying on the lips, and I don't usually have an issue with dryness so if you are sensitive to it, Velourlips may not be the lipstick for you.

My one high end lipstick I want to include in this comparison is the famous Kylie Cosmetics liquid lipstick. There has been so much controversy over her brand and products so I want to give you all a quick rundown on my experience with her products. I have a couple of matte liquid lipsticks from her. The formula itself is great but I only have some of the lighter colours so I can't say whether patchiness becomes a problem when the colours start getting darker. The colours I own (Candy K and Exposed) have perfect coverage and only need one layer, however the smell is a little overwhelming in my opinion. I've heard a lot of people say how much they love the smell but to me, it's much too sweet. Velourlips has an amazing smell, it almost reminds me of raspberry candy. Overall I think the colours, formula and durability that the matte Kylie Lipkits offer make them worth the money and I'll definitely overlook the few little issues I had and buy more in the future.

Colourpop ultra matte liquid lipsticks are the final line I'm going to talk about in this post. I recently bought the fall collection which included the matte shades mama and love bug. Firstly, I just want to say how impressed I am with the quality and the price! I spent thirty New Zealand Dollars and i got two ultra matte lipsticks, one ultra satin lip and a ultra glossy lip and the quality is fantastic. The formula of the colour pop ultra matte lipsticks is very liquid opposed to cream like the Kylie and australis products. It drys down super fast and has great durability but the product can feel quite drying on the lips. It doesn't particularly bother me but I thought I should mention it for those of you who are sensitive to the drying feeling. I'm really, really, really impressed with the colour pop lipsticks and I think they're worth every dollar.

If I had to pick a winner, taking into consideration the price, formula, smell and feel, Colourpop would win hands down. The price point is so fantastic and the quality is so high I can't recommend it enough. So let et me know if you want to see some lip swatches rather than arm swatches in the future and comment your favourite liquid lipstick brand below! Thanks for reading.


Holiday Party Makeup Tutorial

It's that time of the year where most of us are plagued with Christmas work parties, family dinners and various other festivities, while this can all be really fun, picking out makeup looks for all these events can be difficult if you're lacking motivation. So for all of you out there searching for an easy glam look for the Christmas season, look no further because this look is super easy and you only need a few key products to put it together. 

For my base I stared out with moisturiser and the mac prep and prime to get my skin ready for my foundation. I always use the mac water weight foundation because it feels so light on my skin and never breaks me out. If you're looking for a little more coverage I'd recommend trying makeup forever HD foundation because it still offers the barely there feeling while being a little more buildable (is buildable even a word? probably not). I then go in with my la girl concealer for under my eyes, my chin and my forehead. I use the shade porcelain because it not only conceals really well but it acts as a very subtle highlight. For contouring, highlighting and blush i use the extremely affordable w7 hollywood glow palette and a nars blush in the shade orgasm.

Moving on to the eyes and brows I use my anastasia beverly hills dip brow in medium brown. This pomade has been my go to for over two years now and I don't think I could imagine my morning routine without it! Then for eyeshadow I prime my lids with the urban decay eye shadow potion and smooth it over with a light eyeshadow shade, any bone colour would work well. I then use the warm toned mac pre made eyeshadow palette mixing a light brown and burnt orange shade together for the crease, the outer corner and below my bottom waterline. I then go back in with a bone coloured shade in the middle of my lid to act as a base for the gold glitter. Finally I use some fake eyelashes I bought off aliexpress for only a dollar. That's right ladies and gentlemen, one dollar. No shipping. There are some pretty bad quality falsies on aliexpress so you have to be careful what you're putting on your eyes but these ones were fantastic and even came in a pack of five. 

Last but definitely not least, I use the kylie lip kit in Candy K. There's been a lot of controversy over Kylie cosmetics and I feel conflicted when talking about them online. The formula is fantastic on both the lipliner and the lipstick but the led of my liner broke very easily and now keeps slipping back into the pencil. I also find the smell too overwhelming and it usually gives me a bit of a headache when I leave the lipstick on for a long time. There are good aspects and bad aspects to every product though and Kylie has released some really beautiful shades over the lifespan of her company and I don't think these problems would stop me from buying for her again. 

Thats my holiday party tutorial for you guys, I really hope you enjoy it and if you try it out be sure to tag me in your selfies on instagram so i can see! Also let me know in the comments if you'd like to see a tutorial with some more Christmas-y colours. Happy Holidays! xx