Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit

Contouring is everywhere. I mean everywhere. Probably the most popular contour kit I've noticed being used by bloggers I admire is the 'Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Series Cream Contour Kit'. I find it fascinating that we can give the illusion of changing our face shape and features, solely with the power of makeup, and my favourite instagram photos have to be contouring before and after posts.

Anastasia Beverly Hills was founded by Romanian born Anastasia Soare, who first opened her own salon in Beverly Hills before becoming a worldwide brand name. Being an American product, I was able to purchase my contour kit from UK website Cult Beauty, who offer free shipping over £50 and free samples with orders over £40. Rather than put faith in sites like eBay, I confidently bought from Cult Beauty knowing that they only sell genuine products and are a reputable company.

The biggest decision I've ever had to make (kidding), had to be choosing between the cream or powder contour kits from Anastasia. Both kits retail at £39 and are both loved by bloggers and makeup artists everywhere, it really just comes down to personal preference. Considering I'd been working with a darker cream foundation to contour before, I went for the cream kit in shade 'Light'. The kits come in 3 shades to suit every skin tone.

Before using this, I'd normally contour on a daily basis, quite quickly and with 1 dark shade. The Anastasia Beverly Hills kit is a little more overwhelming and comes with 6 colours to both highlight and contour with. The choice of 6 colours allows for a more natural look, being able to blend contour and highlight seamlessly, fading from the darkest to the lightest shades. Each cream shade is removable and magnetic, but unfortunately I can only find cream refills from American stockists.

From left to right: Banana, Vanilla, Cool Pink, Cream, Nude, Cinnamon

After experimenting with this kit, I regretfully wish I had bought the powder kit instead. The cream kit is very heavy and it's hard to control the coverage, where as with powder the coverage is buildable. This is great for nights out or for special occasions where heavier makeup is perfect, but it wouldn't be my daily go-to choice for makeup. Unfortunately, it was only after I bought this that I had realised the ratings for the powder kit were higher, and it's a higher seller on the Anastasia website. Also, anyone with a pale complexion may find that the shades are a little too warm and 'orangey' for them. Hopefully this review will help anyone who's thinking of purchasing an Anastasia contour kit.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Alex and Ani

'The bumblebee is hard working and extraordinarily loyal to the Queen Bee and the entire community. A symbol of nature's perfect balance, the bee reminds us to slow down, smell the flowers, and taste the sweet honey of life. Wear the Bumblebee Charm to channel the bee's meticulous energy, work diligently towards a goal, and ultimately appreciate the sweetness of life.'

As promised, here's the Alex and Ani bracelet I mentioned in my Olivia Burton post. The 2 just go so well together, and were both presents for my 22nd birthday. Alex and Ani bracelets are the creation of Carolyn Rafaelian, a spiritual enthusiast and each piece is 'made in America with love'. Their jewellery is said to 'adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit'.

I'm not sure how much I believe in the so called 'positive energy' that this bracelet holds, but let's just say I'm a fan of the Alex and Ani look, and what their charms stand for. Leading up to summer, I plan on building my Alex and Ani collection, and starting a 'stack' like the many they share on their @alexandani instagram page. You can find out more about the energy their jewellery has, and see more designs here.


Saturday, 13 June 2015

Mermaid Heels

On my recent trip to Dublin I picked up these beautiful heels in Penney's (our Primark), that can't help but make me channel my inner mermaid. They're maybe the most beautiful shoes I've ever purchased and just happened to be a bargain at €18. They really do shine in their blue and green glory, in real life like they do in these pictures - I haven't edited these one bit! Plus, not only do they look the part but they're also quite comfy thanks to the thick heel. However, not so ideal on Dublin cobbles. As we all know, Primark/Penney's don't have an online store (sob), but I'm pretty sure these will still be in store. Fingers crossed!


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Olivia Burton - Personalised Big Dial

I've just turned 22, and for my birthday my lovely mum was kind enough to get me this gorgeous Olivia Burton watch. My mum, like I'm sure a lot of mums, needed a few little hints and maybe a not-so-obvious link or 2 to the Olivia Burton website! I've wanted a watch for a while now but was fed up with everyone having a Michael Kors or Marc Jacobs on their wrist. Daniel Wellington watches had caught my eye, but it wasn't until my friends were eyeing up the Olivia Burton watches, that I soon fell for the brand. I'm basically copying my friend Kathryn, who had the genius idea of ordering an Olivia Burton straight from the ASOS website to benefit from the student discount. Fun fact - the duo behind the brand actually have fashion experience in buying for ASOS and even Selfridges.

The Olivia Burton brand is the genius love child of the duo Lesa Bennett and Jemma Fennings, who met on their first day at London College of Fashion, cute! And there was me thinking it was created by someone called Olivia Burton. Wanting to make a statement with my watch, I opted for the big dial in black, with a matching black soft leather strap and gold frame. I also received a gold Alex and Ani bracelet for my birthday from my friend Lauren, that goes perfectly with this watch - blog post coming soon.

Having received this for my birthday I wanted it to be extra special, so I added the personalised option on the Olivia Burton website. For an extra £30 you can choose up to 6 letters (A-Z only in caps) to be embossed on the leather wrist strap. After an extensive Google search I could only find 1 example of their personalised watches, so I'm hoping these pictures will help anyone thinking of paying the extra money. My name is 6 letters long, but rather than the obvious 'Hannah' I opted for 'HM' instead, 'M' being the initial of both my middle and last name - safe for if I ever get married in the distant distant future! If I'm being honest, I'm a little disappointed that the embossing isn't that clear, but it doesn't make me love my watch any less! I'm more of a less-is-more kind of girl but if that isn't your thing, they have a ton of illustrated and colourful watches to choose from.
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