Empties #17

Hello my lovelies,

Another empties post, although I haven’t done one of these for a while I know another one will be coming very soon. I can go a week or so without using anything up and then all of a sudden I finish everything at once. As I have quite a few products in my basket I thought I’d ensure there is a mix of products in each post just so there is something for everyone.

Benefit – Precisely my Brow Pencil in Shade 4 see here

So if you have read my blog for a while you will know that I LOVE this brow pencil, I am obsessed. I mentioned it in my Top 3 Eyebrow Products and it is still there grabbing the top spot. Up until recently though I used this mainly to finish off my brows and ensure that the shape was right, now I use it for my whole brow with the use of no other products and I have fallen in love with it even more – I didn’t know this was even possible. It creates such a natural brow and I love the finish. I did mention in my recent Sephora Haul that I will be comparing the ABH Brow Whiz as I now have both so watch out for that!

Obviously I have already purchased this and to be honest I have gone through so many I don’t see myself stopping buying anything else anytime soon. Benefit’s brow range really is great, if you are unsure on what to go for, head to your local Benefit and they are more than happy to test the products out on you and find the right one for you.

Too Faced – Better than Sex Mascara see here

So, a lot of people love this and I mean really praise that it is an amazing mascara. It took me a long time to finally accept that I needed to try it out and I was lucky enough to receive two at once for my birthday last year. Now, don’t get me wrong it’s a good mascara but was I wowed by it? No. It gives volume and my lashes look nice but I find this very flaky and it is rather annoying. I think there are better mascaras out there that are around the same price point or actually lower. If you still want to try it, I would suggest buying a mini version to make sure you like it.

I still have another one of these to get through but it’s just not something I reach for very often. I just have better mascaras in my collection which I much prefer. I’m sorry to all you fans out there of this mascara but it just isn’t my favourite. I don’t think after I have got through my next tube I will be repurchasing.

Gariner – Fresh Radiance Boosting Scrub see here

At first, I didn’t think was my cup of tea. I like a scrub that is fairly thick, I just feel like it works with my skin better and also my skin can take it. However, I persevered because the scent is amazing. It is this beautiful orange citrus scent that really does make me want to use this. I’m so glad I carried on because I really enjoyed this and I think my skin did too. Although the scrub in finer it still works wonders on the skin and I feel like my skin looks a whole load brighter after using this.

By the end I was gutted that it was all gone as I would happily continue using it. I have a lot of exfoliators/scrubs in my collection so I will use some of those up first but I will keep an eye out for it when I’m shopping for a new exfoliator.

Rimmel – Lasting Finish Foundation in 200 Soft Beige see here

I think, currently this is one of my favourite drug store foundations. I was so annoyed as I went to use this and realised it has pretty much run out. I very quickly repurchased this as I just find if my skin is not playing ball I can pop this foundation on and I feel a lot more presentable to the world. This is different to a lot of my foundations with it not being matte. I am more oily than anything else but I don’t have any problems with this at all. The longevity of this is incredible and although I have tested the whole 25 hour claim I would say a solid 14 hours and it’s still battling on.

It has been a massive saviour in the summer with SPF 20 in it, it’s just one less layer of cream on my face and it has saved me I’m sure when it comes to not burning my face. I don’t see this foundation being talked about an awful lot in the blogging community but for me I flipping love it. Whether you have dry, normal or combination skin I think you can happily makes this work.

Lush – Snow Fairy Shower Gel see here

You may be thinking, hun this has only just been released again. Yes I know, but I stock up around Christmas time so I can use this all year round. I love it too much to just appreciate it for only a couple months of the year. It is a little pricey for a shower gel but it is so worth it. If you are into your sweeter scents then this right up your street. If you have never tired it though, seriously where have you been!? I won’t delve into my love for this too much because I could write pages and pages, yes I am addicted.

I believe I still have another bottle in my stocks to use but I am sure I will be stocking up now I know it has been released again and of course it will be going on my Christmas list so if you want to get me something this right here makes my life complete!

Herbal Essences – Hello Hydration Conditioner see here

I am a big lover of Herbal Essences. I have tired a lot of their different ranges and there aren’t many I don’t like. This I would say is my favourite as dry ends is something I really struggle with. It helps that it’s cheap and cheerful but it really is good for the price point. I notice the difference when I change to a different brand, my hair just doesn’t seem the same. I recently had a hair cut – I hadn’t had once for over a year, I know it’s bad. But with the hair cut and using this my hair is in great condition!

I have a few conditioners to use in my collection before I go out and buy something new but I always go back to this especially when it’s on offer which it quite often is, I just can’t refuse.

MAC – Velvet Teddy Lipstick see here

Sorry, how in the world did did these lipsticks creep up to £17.50!? If you are going to buy a lipstick MAC is the place to go however, wow they are getting expensive. This is a proud moment for me because this is the first lipstick I have EVER finished. I knew it was going to be this because the shade is just great. This is the shade that set off my love affair with brown toned lips, I barely wear anything other than brown now. This is a great lipstick and if you are still on the fence about it I would totally put it on your wish-list. Especially with a lip liner underneath it’s just a beautiful shade.

This the one product I will be keeping hold of for my back-to-MAC I just need one more product to then be able to pick up a free eye shadow or lipstick. If I am honest I think I will just get this little baby because I really miss it in my collection but I’m not convinced I want to pay £17.50 for it!

Nip + Fab Viper Venom Micro Blur Fix see here

Again if you have read any primer related posts from me you will know that this is currently my favourite primer, and to be honest I don’t see that changing any time soon. If you prefer a more silicone based primer then this is worth giving a go. I find that for my oily skin this works wonders and I am never left disappointed by it. You only need a little bit on your face and I really notice the difference when I don’t wear this. I have actually written a full review on this here so if you want to know more than this may help.

Of course I have already repurchased this and I will continue to for the foreseeable future. TK MAXX is a good place to pick up nip + fab a little cheaper than the drug store. Having said that drug stores always have offers on with nip + fab or 3 for 2 so it’s definitely worth looking into.

Primark – PS Oval Cotton Pads

Of course these are in here, they make an appearance near enough every empties post. These cotton pads really are the only ones I will use and I don’t see this changing anytime soon. Every time I pop into Primark I am always stocking up on these babies I mean for 90p you really can’t go wrong. They are a lot more durable than a lot of other cotton pads on the market. Seriously try them out for yourselves you won’t be disappointed!

Batiste – Dry Shampoo in Cherry see here

Last but by no means least, another regular empties product the holy grail hair product my dry shampoo. I honestly don’t know how I coped before using dry shampoo and in particular Batiste. It’s just incredible and to be honest I don’t need to try another dry shampoo because I know that this does the job. I can’t  just have one of these in my draws I always have to have another one as a back up in case I run out. What’s your favourite scent as I feel I just use the same two!

Congratulations if you made it to the end of the post! I didn’t realise how long this will be, but you all earn yourself a gold star. Let me know if you have tired any of these products and what your thoughts are on them. I’d love to know!

-A x

How I Edit My Photos

Hello my lovelies,

So this is a slightly different post than usual I know, but actually it’s been requested along with people always commenting on my photography so I thought I would share with you the process I use. Don’t worry guys it’s super cheap and actually takes no time at all. I don’t spend a lot of time on my photos, mainly because I’m not creative in the slightest. I have really pushed myself with the whole blogging and actually it has taught me a lot. But, also when you read these types of posts they have crazy lighting and backdrops etc. Seriously I don’t have the time to set it all up or the want to spend my money on all the equipment – of course this is a personal preference.

When I started blogging, for me the words came naturally as soon as I choose a topic I could write for ages. It’s the photos that really stump me and why it takes so long to put up. Now, this isn’t down to the editing it’s literally down to inspiration and creativity. It’s just not me and although I follow some amazing blogs & their Instagram’s for inspiration the photos I take never really wow me. Maybe I’m just very harsh on myself as many people love my photo’s but I’m never that happy.

One thing that has made me happy is to realise that actually to have pretty pictures you don’t need the latest camera or all the fancy lights and backdrops for your pictures to look amazing. It’s something I have always thought about but actually I want to spend my money on make up and skincare because I’m a shopaholic, I know I have no shame.

I have always used my iPhone 6s to take my pictures, if you see the pictures below you’ll see how they come out without editing. They aren’t bad and actually I’m pretty happy with it. People worry that they aren’t good enough for blogging or Instagram because they don’t have a really expensive camera with a fancy lens – to start off with you really don’t need it!

Now you may think, hmm that’s quite bright and not natural lighting – no it’s not I have two tricks up my sleeve. One is that in my blogging room, my lovely Dad actually put in white LED spot lights in the room. They are bright and I don’t sit with them on very often but actually they are a massive life saver especially in the winter months.

The other is a handy little gadget which is a ring light that clips onto your phone. I believe these have been around for a while but it’s not something I have ever really thought of buying to be honest. I never thought I would get the use out of it although I thought they would be handy when you want to take a picture and it’s dark.

I was very kindly sent one of these gadgets by Radiance Ring and was asked to try it out, realistically I thought yeah this would be handy for nights out. Not blogging I know but you know when your out with your friends and you get awful pictures because of the light – yup whip this out and you’re all good. However, I thought that it was worth a try to see what impact it would have on my photos.

I can notice such a difference, below is the picture of the ring itself with just my phone and my LED spot lights. Not bad right? BUT the picture above has just the ring light.. Personally I love them both, mainly because they give slightly different effects – not bad though from a tiny little light.

The ring light is SO simple to use, literally clip it onto your phone press the button and the light comes on. I was worried that it would block one of the cameras on my phone but it doesn’t. The ring light has three different levels of lighting depending on what you are looking for, see below the 3 pictures..

My other concern is that I thought it was going to be heavy and weigh my phone down but it’s really light and its pretty durable. I actually took this on a night out to give it a little test and actually I was really impressed. I shoved it in my bag and whipped it out when I needed it to. Everyone was actually really impressed by how the pictures turned out. The picture below is me and my sister on her 21st birthday with the only light in the room being disco lights. Now it’s no professional picture but I can only imagine how awful it would look without it.

Once I have taken the picture I do edit it. Now, I don’t mean sorting out my eyes or whitening certain areas really it’s just a filter. I use VSCO on my phone, it’s a free app to download and I know a lot of bloggers use this. I literally put every photo through the same motion which is to put the T1/Moody filter on the photo to +12 and I’m good to go. All my photos then look like the photo at the start of this post. Simple right?

It takes me all of two seconds to edit and I’m happy with that. People may be shocked or think I’m not a great blogger but this is just me & I wanted to share just how easy it is to achieve semi-decent pictures.

The only thing to purchase is the ring light, which actually I highly recommend. It’s a good little investment and is something that just isn’t limited to blog photos. Seriously I hate waking up after a night out and realising I don’t have a good photo and they are all pitch black. Not no more, hello beautiful photos!

If you want to find out more about the Radiance Ring Mobile or buy one for yourselves – see here

Fellow bloggers – how do you edit your photos?

-A x

*please note I was kindly sent this product to review, however all the opinions are my own.