Wednesday, 30 January 2013

MUA Virgin - My first go!

I recently bought some make up from MUA (Make Up Academy) for the first time. I have seen it in stores and had never really thought about using or buying any of the products. At least until I started blogging and reading other bloggers reviews and tweets about MUA. Then I saw they were having a 50% discount online and decided to order some items (even though the site was a bit slow).

I seemed to get loads for the £15 I spent so I was chuffed with that.
I received - 

  • Pro Base Fixing Mist - I can't wait to see how this works tomorrow at work. I have pretty long hours and a moderately stressful job so fingers crossed!
  • Mascara in a brown shade. I've never used a brown before so paying £1 for one was a bargain!
  • Pro Base Complexion Kit - It has cream to powder foundation, concealer and highlighter.
  • False Lashes - To be used this weekend! They look really long but not too heavy which is perfect for me.
  • Pressed Power in shade 4. To be placed under the fixing spray tomorrow.
  • Mosaic Bronzer in Sunkissed Glow
  • Matte Perfect Primer.
  • 12 shade glitterball palette eye-shadow which I have used below.
  • 3x 3 in 1 contour pen in Smoked Plum, Gun Metal and Auburn - aka purple, grey and brown.

I liked the 3 in 1 Contour Pens as you can use them for different effects (hence the name). Here is a sample on my hand - 

Will be using Gunmetal tomorrow I reckon along with one of the colours from the Glitterball Palette. Love the grey and silvery white colours. I had a go at using them and I like the colours, especially the glittery/shimmeryness of them. You need a few coats to make the colour stand out but very good value for the money.

Have you got any tips or reviews of MUA? Let me know via twitter or commenting below!

*I realise shimmeryness is not a word... but I don't care!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Pink Double French Manicure!

I realise I haven't blogged for a while but I have been without phone (which I usually use for photos) and ill this week. Glad I'm feeling better so had to do my nails to cheer myself up some more. I decided to do a double pink french manicure that I've done before but with some different colours.

First I made sure my nails were shaped in a long square shape, you need slightly longer nails as you need space to paint the tips. Short nails wouldn't work for this design  I then used a very light pink base coat from Nails Inc. This helps even out the colour and make the rest of my nails shiny as well!

Once this had completely dried I carefully painted a dark pink/red on the tips as you would a normal french manicure. I am able to do this freehand as I have been doing french manicures since I was 14, however if you are not so confident some shops sell guide stickers to do it. Alternatively I have heard of some people using masking tape for this. Either way it is very important that the base is completely dry!

Once this is dry I used a Barbie pink varnish to go over the ends of the first french tip colour. Again I do this freehand but it's up to you how you feel you could do this!

Hope you like the results -

(By the way the pictures have been taken on my webcam - hence they are a bit odd!)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Having an odd day...

This is post isn't about one specific topic but just generally about my day. Started off pretty annoyed as I have managed to lose my third hand - my iPhone. I'm gutted it's gone as not only can I no longer call or text people I can no longer tweet, facebook, instagram, blog, wiwt, or even take pictures out and about! I do realise this seems a little web based but I do talk face to face with humans all day long as well... Probably why I'm slightly behind with some work filing! One of the annoying things about the phone personally though is the camera. I love taking pictures throughout the day, either of things I see that make me laugh or my clothes, nails other blog opportunities.

Then I witnessed some hair mistakes this morning on the tube into work. Firstly I was confronted with a scrunchie on a grown women. Scrunchies, for me at least, are not good. If they have to be made then only children aged 6 or under should wear them. However, the weirdest thing was that the women only had the tiniest section of hair through it, like 30 strands! Seriously what was the point? The other was a mother daughter coloured hair combo. Have you seen Notting Hill? Do you remember when Hugh Grant talks about the radical hairdressers where everyone comes out looking like the cookie monster? Well it was like that... only poorly coloured and one was blue and one was pink.

I have then broken a nail, slipped over, had little sleep and had to chase the cat round the kitchen to stop it 'being dirty' all over the kitchen floor! The only answer this evening was to blog, tweet, drink wine and eat Chinese whilst watching Calendar Girls (I've seen Notting Hill recently so decided against it). I also bought some bits from MUA to try as never used it before. Very good prices, I hope the quality is good though as for me, it's a false economy and I'd rather spend a bit more. Fingers crossed it's all good. I have now done my nails, in a lovely Matte Gold, but it's still drying and too messy to photograph and post now, Plus I get up in 5 hours time for work so I better get some beauty sleep and hope I don't run out of concealer in the morning!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Everyday Make Up Look

Everything I used.

Hi, another day in the snow!! I thought I'd post my everyday make up today to see what you thought, (feel free to comment, as long as you're not here to be too mean!). This is the look I go to when I'm in a rush as I know exactly what to do so it takes very little time but I think I still end up with a natural but polished look. 
The overall look.

How I did it...
Firstly I made sure my face was cleansed, toned a moisturised of course. Every girl needs a clean base to start with. Then I used Rimmels wake me up concealer under my eyes and on my blemishes. It would be ridiculous to pretend I didn't have them and unfortunately, depsite my best efforts I still get the occasional breakout. I find this concealer gives good coverage without looking like it's been put on with a shovel.

Next I used one pump of Rimmels wake me up foundation. I applied with my fingers, blending all over to make sure I didn't leave any marks. Using a hand held mirror as well as a dressing table mirror furhter away helps me with this. That way I can see as close up as possible and also what people who aren't invading my personal space are seeing!

Next was Benefits High Beam on my cheeks and between the brows. I also used a very tiny amount under my eyes to brighten them. I have seen people use lots of highlighter under their eyes and I think it just looks too bright, white and if I'm honest - mental!

Now my face has good even coverage and an almost look of flawlessness I use Bella Bamba blusher from Benefit to give me some colour. I really like this colour for my skin tone and complexion. Then I use Rimmels waterproof gel liner in black. I make sure I follow the lash line carefully and slowly and then finish with small flicks upwards for the day time. Flicks and liner that are too big need eye-shadow and false lashes on me otherwise it all looks out of proportion! This gel liner is really easy to use, it's not like a pencil which can be too dry and it's not as slippery as liquid liners which I can get into a bit of a mess with, and nobody wants that.

This is followed by a quick coat of Scandaleyes mascara in black, I've lost my benefit They're Real - HELP!! This gives a nice colour and can lift they eyes for a subtle look. I then finish by using Rimmels Lasting finish lipstick in heart breaker. I apply it with a brush for the day so it's no too intense. 

That's it! Takes toughly five minutes and in my opinion makes me look less scary than a bare face! Just because I feel tired doesn't mean I need people to know about it, especially in my job.

The lips up close looking very subtle but not too plain. I look a bit washed out if I have nothing on my lips at all. The necklace is new too. I bought it in the Dorothy Perkins sale for £3 on Friday  A bargain and very cute, a statement necklace, which I love.

Close up of my eye, lined with black liner and a quick and simple coat of mascara. Of course there are some concealer products here as well, no ones perfect after all and I don't use photoshop so it's needed!!

The finished look again. Subtle make up but I feel more confident and look less tired. Might be time to go and play in the snow now and build a snowman. I'll then need a large coffee, a sofa and a movie to warm up. Might even make casserole for dinner later. Perfect winter day!

Maria xx

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Big hair! - heated rollers tutorial

Hi, hope anyone reading this is having a good weekend and not too affected by snow if you are in the UK. For Christmas I finally got some Enrapture Extremity Heated Rollers and I love them!
Picture from -

They heat up in less than 5 minutes and are easy to use. The roller and the clip are both heated so they are good to use on my thick hair. You get 10 medium sized rollers and 10 larger rollers to create waves, bounce and volume. I realise I'm starting to sound like I work for them, (I don't), so I'll show you the before, during and after process for using them. 

Here is the before. Please excuse the lack of make up and my grumpy face but it's the only picture I have! Luckily the lighting doesn't show up the bags under my eyes too badly! I have washed and blowdryed my hair and added Tresemme heat protection spray and some John Frieda blonde volumising mousse to help keep the style in place.

I put the rollers in starting by sectioning my hair in half to each side, making sure I had no tangles, which can be a complete chore for me. I then put a mix of the roller sizes in the top then bottom section of the hair. I made sure that the rollers on top were as close to the top of the roots as well to avoid a kink at the top. I then did my make up and they had cooled by the time I finished, roughly 10 minutes. Below is the result...

 In my opinion my hair looks much bigger and has more volume in the top. Love the curls and how my hair looks. I finished it off with Pantene Strong Hold Hairspray. Personally I love pantene hairspray and always use them. I have tried others but these seem to be the best for my hair.
 I hope you like the result too, let me know what you think by commenting below. xx

Friday, 18 January 2013

Snow day manicure - Rimmel Long Lasting Azure

As I'm sat here keeping warm on 2013 snow day I decided to of course sort out my chipped nails (as mentioned in Snow and Work). Today I bought Rimmels Lasting Finish nail varnish in 198 azure. It was on sale in Boots so thought I'd give it a go. I like the colour as it's quite shiny and has very small bits of glitter in it but not too glittery (not that I believe you can get too glittery). In short, it is subtle shimmery bright blue.

As usual I used my Sally Hansen Double Duty base and top coat but I decided it looked a bit plain on its own for the weekend. A while ago I purchased some nail stickers on eBay (love eBay for a bargain), and got 50 sheets in black, white and colour, in an assortment of designs for around £2.50. Brilliant in my book! I love nail stickers. They are such an easy way to create designs without needing nail art pens and a steady hand. Also a lot cheaper than heading to a nail salon! Win win all round. However, they probably don't last as long but I don't mind as I usually change my nails at least twice a week anyway.

I also have purchased a new lipstick/gloss from Rimmels Facebook Shop. I have had an email and seen it advertised from them for a new product called Apocalips. The pictures look good. It seems like a bright punchy gloss colour so I hope to do a review and swatches when it arrives!


Snow & Work!

Snow day in London (in case you didn't know)! Had to go to work today, although I was sent home early and trying to decide what to wear was a nightmare. It was a combination of complete tiredness, freezing weather and still having to look smart and professional.

In the end I went for layers! Lots and lots of layers to keep warm! The dress is floaty but able to layer vest tops underneath  love this dress though. Got it on eBay brand new and it's made by Yumi, it was a fraction of the original price so I love wearing it. Big baggy cardigan  less for the professional side and more for the warmth and cosiness! The coat is warm and structured and the belt helps create some sort of waist over the many layers I was wearing. I managed not to slip over in the snow today wearing my flat ankle boots with massive thick socks underneath!

 In the end I think I did an OK job getting ready today, I even managed to look OK having a wine filled lunch when I was sent home, as well as being active at work. I hope you like this blob, I just read it through and don't really know the point of it but thought I would share it anyway. I hope to blog tomorrow as I need to go out and get some new lipsticks. My nails are pretty chipped too so I expect to do those this evening. xx

Monday, 14 January 2013

Golden Globes 2013

Was looking through the golden globe pictures today and thought I would share with you my favourites and also the ones I found the worst. Essentially, I'm not too worried about the films. I like watching them but get to the cinema so rarely it is hard for me to form an opinion. Mostly though my favourites are the classics  Breakfast at Tiffany's, Casablanca, Some Like It Hot, Dirty Dancing etc. Anything else I see which happens to be more 'critically acclaimed' and I like is just a bonus!

Jennifer Lawrence looked beautiful in this dress. It is simple yet very effective, her waist looks slim, her boobs look good (not too in your face) and the skirt is just the right size and not too big and in the way. The colour and coordinating lipstick also look incredible. Simple, beautiful... I'm jealous!!
Jessica Alba was probably my favourite of the dresses I've seen. This is a beautiful colour on her olive skin, I'm not sure \i'd have liked it on someone who was paler. She's lucky to have an amazing figure that looks great in this dress, very classic. The necklace is also completely fabulous, and I should hope so as I hear it cost £9 zillion (approximately). Overally her hair is well done but doesn't distract from the necklace and dress combo. I love this look!
I always think Adele dresses well. She gets some stick for being 'fat' but I think she looks lovely in this. She has dressed for her size, she's a new Mum on a night out with her Mum friends and it's beautiful  Simple with some embellishment and flattering for her figure.

Isla Fisher looks lovely also! Simple dress design with lots of sparkle and my favourite hairstyle on the night. Overall the best thing abut this is that she looks very confident, what more could you want when being watched and photographed by so many people?
Emily Blunt looks very chic in this. Shows her her figure nicely and is a beautiful colour on her. Again - simple and elegant but not in a boring way.

Least Favourites (worst):
The flower embellishment on Sienna Millers dress just don't do it for me. It looks a bit childish for my taste. Not so sure the shape does wonders for her figure either...
I think Taylor Swift looks a little too grown up in this personally... or too young. I can't decide! It's either a 15 year old wearing a debenhams dress to the leavers ball or an older women (who I actually think could look lovely in this - like Helen Mirren) looking classy and sexy without being trashy. 

I don't think the colour suits Jessica Chastains' skin or hair colour. I don't think it flatters the figure at all either... I think she could have chosen some lovely colours to match that hair as well...
Alyssa Milano is only 5' 2" and I think this dress swamps her a little. The ruching at the empire line also makes her look larger than she is around her stomach. Love the earrings though!

Let me know what you think of the Golden Globes Fashion choices. I also thought the men in their Tom Ford suits also looked very handsome and Bradley Cooper always looks beautiful!


Saturday, 12 January 2013

Glitter at my fingertips!

Spent last night in relaxing. I really needed it after a busy and tiring week at work followed by the return of my mild insomnia! Of course to relax it meant I had to do my nails, they had also been chipped for two days and this was making me very sad! In order to decide what to do I laid out all of my nail varnish collection. 35 is my current number, probably why I find it so difficult to choose my designs. I also have a large collection of nail stickers which I found on eBay.

35 nail varnishes - Rimmel, Sally Hansen, Nails Inc, Barry M, Nail Art Pens, Collection 2000.
In the end I decided to go for a simple but pretty design. I used a Nails Inc light/neutral pink as the base coat once I had cut and shaped by nails, and of course applied a base coat. My nails have been getting chipped and split this week so I have cut them short so they can all grow to the same length. I'm hoping to get nice shaped stiletto style nails soon, just not too sharp or pointy as I think they look a little odd personally. After they had dried I added a gorgeous glitter varnish over half of my nail adding slightly more to the tops for a subtle gradient effect. 

Here is the final varnish. I took the picture in different lights as it was difficult to take the picture without natural light last night. I like this one as I think it's quite pretty and should go with any outfit I wear this weekend. 
I'm hoping to have a very positive weekend. Parties to go to and planning for a busy and very exciting year. Hoping to involve some moving around in various areas of my life. I have wanted a change for a while but have always been more talk than action, finally I'm am taking action and not being too scared about change!

Glittery fingers crossed 2013 is not an unlucky number and year for me!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


Thought I would share my jewellery selection for today. I was wearing a pleated maroon skirt with a black top, tights and biker jacket. (The one from my previous Sunday Sale Shopping blog) 
The bracelet opens up on a hinge and is really striking. I usually get compliments for wearing it. Unfortunately it's quite old so probably not available in shops - although eBay is a good place to search usually.

The necklace was purchased from a sale in accessorize a few years ago also. I think it works well with this top as it is quite plain. However without a necklace the top makes me feel/look a bit bare so the necklace gives detail and coverage.

The earrings were a present from Forever 21 for Christmas  understated but sparkly and pretty. Large and detailed are a interesting to wear with your hair up as they can get lost under long hair when it's down. I had mine in a high bun so they were shown off well, as was the necklace as my hair wasn't covering it!

I hope you like it all! Feel free to comment below. xx

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Glitter nails

Just used my rimmel pro nail varnish in urban purple. Looks great with glitter on the ring finger nails. Lots of shine from Sally Hansen double duty top coat. More of a pinky red than purple though. Hope you like it.

Sunday Sale Shopping

Last day of freedom before work so thought I'd go to London for shopping. Headed to Covent garden and found a cute t-shirt in the Zara sale. Black with a gold leopard heart. Perfect for casual days.

Ted Baker also had a good sale on, so many pretty dresses. My favourite was a multi brown silk skater dress with mesh t-shirt sleeves. Very pretty for dinner/dates etc. Sadly none in my size so I'll have to hunt for that one.

In h&m I found a leather look biker jacket. Very in this season (glamour,vogue, grazia) and in their new collection. I wasn't sure at first but this one feels nice, looks classic (no fashion bits that will look old next year) and only £29.99. I thought it was a good bargain and if I decide its bit my style then I haven't wasted lots of money. If I love it then its a stepping stone to a more expensive longer lasting one.

As usual probably will wear the t-shirt and jacket ASAP as I do with all shopping!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Friday night make up

After another day of exercise and diet I'm going out tonight with friends. I managed some cardio/aerobic dancing with toning and stretching exercises. If I keep this up I reckon in a month or 2 my body will begin to show the results. I'm sure ill start feeling benefits before though.

Off out for dinner tonight so have decided to wear a marroon pleated skirt and plain top. Yet to decide which jewellery but as I'll wear my tan boots it will be gold. Bearing this in mind I tried out a gold/plum/brown smoky eye. Here it is!!

Here is how I did it:
My 'makeupless' eye. 

The Sephora eyeshadow pallette used.

Start by putting the light beige/silver/white colour at the top of your eye near the eyebrow. Focus mainly on the outside and only use a small amount near the bridge of your nose.

Next I used the dark goldy brown colour on the lid near the corner of my eye. I worked it to about half way across the eye. Make sure when applying shadow you tap or gently blow excess powder off the brush otherwise it will end up on your cheeks!

Then I used the red/plum colour on the edge of my lid carefully blending it to the centre so the two colours are blended and not leaving a line. Use more or less as required.
The final result with mascara. (Benefit They're Real)

Hope you like it!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

My wardrobe

Have started the year well! Lazy day on the 1st to make up for going to bed at 6am was of course needed. The 2nd started slow but I made some lists, tidied and sorted and feel much more ready for the year. I even managed to paint my nails in a lovely nails Inc varnish called Victoria. It's dark red/burgundy and is on its own for a change. No glitter, nail art or stickers today.

I have also started my exercise and diet routines for the year. I know it's only my second day but I feel like I will make some good progress this time. My attitude feels different this time, I have more determination to lose weight and have a healthy body and lifestyle.

To give myself an additional boost however I went through my wardrobe to pick out things that don't currently fit me. (I would normally say no longer fit me so I'm positive thinking!) I found a lovely lipstick red, boned, tulip, strapless dress from French Connection. They used to be very popular styles in the store and I absolutely adore mine. The only problem is that at the moment it doesn't fit. I look horrendous in it. Like I'm trying to stuff myself into something Victoria Beckham owns. This is now my inspiration - I MUST fit into this dress again. It hasn't gone out of fashion and I love it so it seems perfect. Everytime I consider missing a work out or heading to Starbucks for a lemon poppyseed muffin I'll think of the red dress. The red dress will help me!!