Tuesday, 24 May 2016


Contouring has been massive for a while now, and then everybody (except me) stepped away from their beloved contouring palettes and threw themselves head first into highlighters, also known as "strobing". Creams, liquids, powders, strobe creams, anything that shimmered was necessary. Now, the tide has changed again, as Kim Kardashian has once again influenced the masses with her epic makeup game to introduce the concept of "non-touring". What is non-touring, you ask, well let me tell you.


Non-touring is essentially a low-maintenance version of contouring. It still uses contouring, which begs the question: why is it called non-touring? It seems we are stepping away from the popular "Instagram" makeup which is quite heavy, for fresh, healthy looking skin that isn't achieved with layers and layers of makeup. In comparison to contouring, non-touring is soft, it emphasises glowy skin and moving away from heavy coverage makeup in favour of light, fresh bases more suited to the summertime.


Steps to achieve "non-touring" are to start with a luminous, hydrating primer. Following, with a glowy, sheer base such as the Light Wonder foundation from Charlotte Tilbury and your favourite concealer (if required). Add a liquid illuminator to a BB cream or tinted moisturiser for extra glow, if you don't have a suitable foundation. Set your face with a finely milled loose powder only in the areas you need it. Optional step: using a shade one or two shades darker than your skin lightly dust this into the hollows of your cheeks, to balance use a warm (but somewhat natural looking) bronzer on the perimeter of the face. This has to be done very lightly to create the illusion of a natural shadow. Finally, highlight for the gods using your favourite products. Many bloggers like using Benefit Watt's Up as a cream base for their highlight. Popular powder highlights include Urban Decay in Sin, Becca Cosmetics Champagne Pop, Balm Cosmetics Mary LouManizer and the Laura Geller's Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminators. Here is a tutorial showcasing this trend in more depth from Huda Beauty:

I love Huda Beauty videos, I think she is gorgeous. I love contouring and as I have skin that tends to be more on the oily side, I don't think this trend is for me. So much like strobing is something I have no interest in, so is non-touring. I also find it a little ridiculous that we have to conjure a name for everything. Non-touring simply seems to be the halfway point between that heavy glam, extreme contouring we see in Instagram posts and strobing which is very popular on the catwalk. I am pretty sure I have been non-touring for a very long time now, but I refuse to call it that. Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below and don't forget to comment and follow. Take care.

Contouring? Non-touring? Strobing? What do you prefer?



Monday, 23 May 2016


We've all had our fair share of bad days and good days. When you are in the thick of your awful, couldn't-be-worse day it is hard to see past it. So I wrote this post of 4 key things to help all of you, and myself, to keep your head and stay positive when you are in the midst of your bad day. I hope it helps.

It's temporary. Bad days, bad times even, do not, will not last forever. I promise, that ,one day, it will be better. It might not be today, or tomorrow, or even next year, but when it does get better (and it will!) it will be so worth it. This quote is one of my personal favourites: 'And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person that walked in. That is what the storm is all about.' I love this quote, I love it. To me, this is life. This is how we grow as people and how we get a better understanding of what kind of people we are, which brings me to my next point ...

With every hardship you face, a valuable lesson is learnt. To demonstrate this point, here is an excellent quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger 'When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength'. Often, we underestimate ourselves. We are a lot stronger than we think, and it is actually mind-boggling what the human mind and body can survive. As an example, did you know that your liver is able to repair itself? My colleague's uncle had 60% of his liver removed and was able to regrow it, just because our biology is that awesome. That is freaking cool. 

Perspective is so important; it could always be worse. I had a shitty day not too long ago, just a succession of minor issues. My ear was in extreme pain and I had experienced a bad day at work. It sounds really petty, I know, welcome to my life. On the way home from work, I saw a guide dog leading a woman, the dog was trying not to bump into me so I stopped so they could get past without being disturbed. In that split second, I was hit by such a rush of gratitude it was almost overwhelming. 

I am so lucky. Not to say that people without sight or hearing are not because I know first-hand that such impairments are not always a hindrance, but if you actually imagine what your life would be like if you lost your sight or hearing it would be profoundly different. I am not ashamed to say I like being able to see and hear. So that one incident eradicated all the bad parts of my day and the remainder of my journey home was spent gazing in wonderment at practically everything while listening to Zayn Malik's frankly beautiful vocals. 

You are not alone. No one's life is as perfect as it looks. If you are feeling alone, I highly recommend listening to Michael Jackson's 'You Are Not Alone', I will feature the video below. It is a stunning song that often brings me to tears. My point here is that people are rarely as happy as they seem, and there are other people who are feeling just as terrible as you right now. I just want to emphasise that just because people, of course, have it worse than you. There is always someone less fortunate than we are, that doesn't make your suffering any less. You can only see from your own perspective, so don't feel guilty. That is not the point of this post, I am not at all saying that you shouldn't feel like you have had a bad day just because you weren't murdered. Just be mindful and hopefully that will shift your thoughts and improve the quality of the rest of your day. 

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. Please leave a comment below and follow me on Bloglovin', I really appreciate it. I post every other day and read every single comment. Let me know what you thought of this post and what you would like to read next. Take care. 

What happened on your last bad day and how did you move past it? What do you do to turn your bad day around?



Saturday, 21 May 2016


In a recent post - Lash Princess Mascara Review - I received some comments recommending fabulous-sounding mascaras. Mascara is one of my favourite items to apply. Day to day, I tend to skip wearing mascara because I love clump-free, separated, long, thick lashes therefore it can take a decent chunk of time before I am happy with how my lashes look. They should look like eyelash extensions by the time I have finished and I refuse to leave the house with clumpy, messy lashes.

Nevertheless, I do love applying mascara. I could apply mascara to my lashes for hours and never get bored so I thought this would be an interesting post for all you mascara lovers out there. I have read up on the recommendations I got and did some research of my own, finally I narrowed it down to 10 mascaras that allegedly will blow all our socks off. If you like clumpy lashes, this post will not be for you. I have a few dupes here as well, so get excited! There are 5 drugstore mascaras and 5 high-end mascaras, all of which I desperately want to try. This isn't a review, more like a mascaras that should be on your radar list. Let me know in the comments if you have any more recommendations for me, I would love to know your top mascara picks, whatever the price!


This mascara is designed to make your lashes look visibly thicker and longer, it is a firm favourite in the beauty blogging community and for good reason. The formula is really smooth and you can see the wand has lots of bristles with a fair bit of space in between; fantastic for preventing clumping.

This mascara builds those full, healthy-looking lashes without that brittle feeling. Genuinely gives you full, soft lashes with a great buildable formula that stretches your lashes as far as they will go.

This is a one-stop shop type of mascara for the girl that wants everything: volume, length, definition, lift and intense colour. It comes in both brown and black with a unique "small but mighty" wand designed for mega-lash impact. The wand will ensure every lash gets the benefit of this formula.

One of my lovely readers recommended this particular mascara as a dupe for the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. The curved wand will give you a wide-eyed false lash effect look with fanned out volume. I really like the shape of this wand and the bristles. A great almost dupe.

This is notoriously difficult to get hold of in the UK, apparently the UK equivalent is Max Factor Clump Defy Volumising Mascara (£11), but even with shipping from the US it still works out cheaper to get CoverGirl's Clump Crusher mascara, so I included both.

You can see that they are very similar in terms of both the wand and packaging. The only real difference is the colour. CoverGirl is green and Max Factor is purple. These two mascaras remind me a lot of the Maybelline The Falsies (£8) mascara, one of my personal favourites.


This mascara surely needs no introduction. It is everywhere, every single blogger I watch and follow loves this mascara to death. The hourglass brush (similar to the Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam) is the perfect silhouette to coat and curl each lash to movie star perfection. It is buildable and infused with collagen. A great mascara, with a very ambitious name!

This mascara has been raved about, it is comparable to the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara but holds a curl better. I love the packaging and the wand again, It is an ultra-volumising, lengthening yet lightweight mascara that will give you amazing dramatic lashes. Trickier to use on lower lashes because the formula is quite wet, but for top lashes that look like falsies this is your guy.

The reason I included this is because Samantha Chapman from Pixiwoo loves this mascara and that is a good enough reason for me. It gives you lovely lashes that look like lash extensions and not falsies (which I prefer) and it is really easy to take off. It doesn't smudge and lashes don't wilt. Lovely.

We have all heard about this mascara, I love the They're Real Mascara (£19.50) too, but the Roller lash has the cutest packaging I have ever seen. This mascara is all about creating a lasting curl and lift to the lashes; the wand grabs, lifts, separates and curls every lash. The formula claims to hold for 12  whole hours! As an alternative, you can get the Mini Roller Lash for £10 at Boots or £6 on eBay.

Taking your curl to new heights with this in-curved wand. This mascara boasts a volumising formula that immediately plumps and reshapes the lashes.I love the shape of the wand. If you want curly flirty lashes this is the one you want. It will give you full, curvy, pretty lashes.

Thank you  so much for reading this post, this was requested by quite a few readers so I hope you like this post and found it helpful. Please leave a comment and don't forget to follow my blog on Bloglovin', I really appreciate it. Thank you so much. Take care.

What was the last mascara you bought?


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Thursday, 19 May 2016


Sonam Kapoor, a beautiful Bollywood actress, has been slaying the red carpet at Cannes as of late, and recently, Sonam's makeup artist Namrata Soni posted an Instagram picture of this gorgeous soft peach makeup look with a step by step guide on how to achieve this look. She didn't mention any specific products, I assume mostly L'Oreal products were used but I don't want to confine this post to one brand. Instead, I will summarise the steps Namrata Soni posted and recommend products I have used myself. This glam is flawless, fresh-faced, dewy, glowy, feminine but wearable. Follow along:

1) Prep the skin. Namrata recommends using a face mist first, the NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray (£7) is a great budget option for this, alternatively you could use MAC Fix Plus (£17). Then, moisturise well with a good moisturiser, I recommend the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream (£21.60) for people with dry skin and Benefit Cosmetics Triple Performing Facial Emulsion Moisturiser (£21) for girls with oily skin. Use an eye cream underneath the eyes for extra moisture (Origins Plantscription Eye Treatment or the Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm £48)

2) Colour Correcting. Use a corrector, only if you feel this is necessary. For those with lighter skin use a salmon coloured concealer underneath the eyes to combat dark circles, for deeper skin tones use an orange/yellow concealer.  The LA Girl Pro Concealers (£5 each) are brilliant for this, and very affordable and so is the Tarte Cosmetics Wipeout Colour Correcting Palette ($45).

3) Base. For a flawless glowing base, use a medium to full coverage foundation, like L'Oreal's True Match (£10) or Nars Sheer Glow (£31). Apply with a damp Beauty Blender (£16) for a seamless and fresh finish. Use a loose powder to set foundation and concealer, I recommend the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (£29) or ELF HD Setting Powder (£7.50).

4) Eyes. Use a gold eyeshadow as a base for the inner half of the eye, apply up to the brow bone and on the outer half apply a peach shadow from the lash line to the brow bone again. Blend the two shadows together in the centre of the lid. Make the peach shadow extend to the tail end of the brow. Add a soft brown shadow into the crease to create a shadow, lightly. Apply the same soft brown underneath the eye, extending it towards the tail end of the brow like a very soft wing. This will lift the eye and create a feline shape. Luscious, Just Peachy and Charmed, I'm Sure from the Sweet Peach Palette could create this same peachy pink eye look. As this palette is so hard to get hold of here are some MUG alternatives: Shimma Shimma, Peach Smoothie and Mocha (£4.95 per pan). Deepen the wing with a black gel eyeliner; I love the Barry M (£5.50) or Maybelline Gel Eyeliner (£8).

5) Lashes. Beautiful lashes start with a good curl, curl your eyelashes well and then apply two coats of your favourite mascara. I recommend Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (£17.50) for a look like this. For fuller looking lashes add Ardell Medium Individual Eyelashes (£5) predominantly to the centre of the eye. This will help your eyes look bigger.

6) Cheeks. For that gorgeous glowy skin apply a shimmering gold highlighter to the high points of the face, focusing on the tops of the cheekbones and bridge of the nose. some gorgeous gold highlighters are: Anastasia Beverly Hills So Hollywood, Becca Cosmetics Champagne Pop (£32) and Balm Cosmetics Mary Loumanizer (£17.50). For warmth add an orange blush to the cheeks, this will complement the peach tones on the eyes, MAC Ambering Rose Blush (£18.50) would look gorgeous. 

7) Lips. Complete this look with a creamy coral lipstick MAC Mehr (£15.50) and a layer of gold lip gloss on top for extra shine (Nars Gold Digger, £19.50). 

Thank you so much for reading, hope you liked this post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments and don't forget to follow my blog and other social media, it means a lot to me. Take care.

Which celebrity style do you most admire (fashion or beauty)? 

Love ♥

Wednesday, 18 May 2016


Let's talk about the Gosh Cosmetics Boombastic XXL Swirl Volume Mascara (£6.49). It is a "full-bodied, creamy, really spreadable mascara." It claims to "blacken and thicken the lashes without looking clumpy".The mascara is packaged in an eye-catching highlighter green tube and is infused with argan oil and bamboo extract that moisturises the lashes leaving them stronger and more nourished over time.

The wand for this mascara is rubber and gigantic, it is massive. The head of the brush is spiked similar to the They're Real Mascara, but that is where the similarities to the UK's best-selling mascara ends. I really don't really know how to be polite about this, but this mascara is awful. The rubber wand is uncomfortable, so it can actually be painful to put mascara on. It does nothing to my lashes, it does make them look clumpy. It might be okay for volume but it is terrible for length and separation. Furthermore, the packaging I am not too keen on. Green is my least favourite colour especially this shade of green, it looks cheap and feels cheap. The formula is so "creamy" that it is a mess to apply. 

The original price for this mascara is almost £9 and that is ludicrous to me. What are you paying for? I honestly have no idea. If you have patience then you can make any mascara work for you: wipe off the excess, comb through your lashes with a lash comb between layers of application and clean up any smudges with a cotton bud and some makeup remover, but you shouldn't have to work this hard to get decent lashes. I wouldn't buy this mascara again and I don't recommend it, there are plenty of better mascaras for a cheaper price point available. You can see below the results of one application:

  • Potentially not a bad mascara for volume

  • Not clump-free, bad at separating the lashes
  • Doesn't make lashes look longer, thicker or better
  • Rubber wand actually hurts
  • Not worth the money
  • Unappealing packaging

I hope you found this post useful, my reviews haven't been very positive lately but hopefully that will change, if you have any product recommendations please leave them in the comments below. I read them all. Hope you are all having a lovely week. See you tomorrow for my next post. Take care.

What beauty products are you loving right now?

Love ♥

Monday, 16 May 2016


I found this poem on Tumblr a long time ago and I have been haunted, since, by how beautiful it is. To me, this captures entirely what love is all about. I am not a hugely social person and I don't date a lot at all, possibly because I am so impatient and it is so hard to meet anyone organically these days that it kind of just makes me lose hope in the whole thing. I just want to skip to the part where I am with the person that I am supposed to be with forever, and not wasting my time. That sounds really lazy, I know. I hope you like the poem, I am pretty sure this is the Tumblr account of the author

I want your Monday morning
sleep soaked eyes
dream drenched voice
lazy bones
'five more minutes please babe'.
I want your Tuesday afternoon 
coffee break ,
glasses off, laughter on
'just hold me for a while 
it's been a hard day'.
I want your Wednesday evening
fingers through hair 
teeth nibbling nails,
neck craning, eyes glazing 
'this paperwork never ends'.
I want your Thursday night 
drinks for two
bones unbind
muscles let loose
flats, slacks,
'just me and you'.
I want your finally Friday 
stretch soul smile 
sun sipping light
from the glaciers in your eyes
fingers unfurl, hand extends,
'C'mon babe, let's go wild'.
I want your weekend.
Your movie marathon Saturday,
reading by the fireplace,
kissing in the blankets.
I want your Sunday morning 
orange juice and pancakes, 
white sheets, tender skin,
hair like Fourth of July,
'let's not get out of bed today.'
I want your ordinary
and your stress, rest, release.
I want your bad day and that
terrible night.
I want you drunk in my arms, 
forgetting the place but never my 
I want your lazy and your lonely 
and your first full of fight.
I want you every day
in every way
for the rest of my life
                                                               - On Both Knees | Alfaazkibarsaaat

Happy Monday, all you wonderful people. I hope you adored this poem as much as I do and thank you so much for reading my blog, you have no idea how much it means to me (a heck of a lot). I am still figuring out exactly what I want this blog to be, it is first and foremost a beauty blog because of my addiction to makeup but I also want it to be so much more than that. I have a plethora of travel diary posts coming your way, but I also want to share with you my own writing, and I hope you will like that too. Thank you for support and your comments and kindness, it is the best feeling. Take care.

Share one thing you are thankful for...

Love ♥

Saturday, 14 May 2016


I have been using the NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette (£18) for a few weeks now, in fact the minute I heard that NYX was available in Selfridges I ran there and picked this palette up. It retails for £18, which is a little steep. For this reason, I want to mention, what looks like a spot-on dupe, the Makeup Revolution Iconic Lights and Contour Pro Palette (£8), you can see this below. It looks near identical to me, plus you make a decent saving of £10. Can't complain.

Above you can see the swatches of the MUR Palette, but let's ignore that for a moment and focus on the review. The NYX Contour palette is fast becoming a favourite of mine. I had the Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette (£8) which was okay but I didn't use it every day. On the other hand, I reach for this palette all the time. The contour colours are lovely, they are so pigmented that I can use the lightest shade (Sculpt) to contour my face. They are all either neutral or cool in tone, Tan is the warmest, so perfect for adding dimension to the face. I love contouring with this!

My only issue with contour palettes like this are the lighter powders, I never seem to get much use out of them. I made the biggest mistake ever trying to bake with Cream, a yellow powder, and it left this horrible yellow cast on my face that I had to furiously blend away with a powder foundation. Similar to the contour powders they are smooth, buttery and blendable. Ice Queen, the lightest shade is the least pigmented; it doesn't pack much punch at all. Fortunately, Soft Light, Cream and Nectar are just as pigmented as all the contour shades so I would say to use them with a light hand and do not use them for baking, or if you do don't leave them on for longer than five minutes at most. Personally, I don't use any of the four powders below. The colours are just a little off for me, too pale, too icy, too yellow/orange. I really can't think of any skin colour that would work well with Nectar. Ice Queen and Soft Light would look really pretty on fair to light skin I think and I believe Cream is supposed to be a good setting powder for anyone with olive/medium skin. Unfortunately, after that one bad experience I am reluctant to dive back into that one. Generally, I prefer loose powders to set my skin. I just think it looks a lot better, less heavy and more long-lasting.

But but but, the contour powders give me life. Toffee is my favourite to use for every day, sometimes if I want to go really light I will only use Sculpt (the lightest). Tan is the warmest of the four, thus making it a great bronzer and Hollow is the darkest. I have yet to use Hollow, it is so dark that it is a little intimidating. All in all, I am so impressed with the shades. They hit so many different skin tones with this palette. Except paler customers would struggle with this, as like I said Sculpt the lightest shade in this palette still manages to sculpt my face. So fair-skinned people should skip this if they want to use it for contouring solely.

  • Fantastic contouring shades: a variety of cool-toned, neutral and warm suitable for light to dark skin tones.
  • The majority of the powders are nicely pigmented 
  • Easily blendable, smooth and not too powdery
  • Great pan size
  • Some nice highlight shades for people with fair to light skin
  • Ideal product to have in your kit as a makeup artist
  • Will last you a long time

  • The price is still up there for a "drugstore" brand, but it works out very cost effective: £2.25 per pan.
  • There is a very similar palette on the market for a lot less money (£8 - £1 per pan)
  • Ice Queen has barely any pigmentation
  • Only use two or three pans at most (if buying for yourself only)
  • Not suitable for very fair skin
  • Not many light powders suitable for medium/tan skin

The NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette is available at ASOS, Selfridges, Boots and Feel Unique, all for £18. Alternatively, you can purchase the Makeup Revolution Iconic Lights and Contour Pro Palette from the Makeup Revolution Website for £8. I am not telling you to buy the MUR palette because I don't know anything about the quality or pan sizes, but it is worth checking out. The problem with palettes like this is that a lot of us don't need an eight pan palette to contour, at most we need three shades so hopefully NYX will make single pans available separately. I know I would pick Toffee up in a snap. Thank you for reading, I hope you liked this post. Please let me know your favourite contouring products in the comments below. Have a great weekend. Take care.

How do you contour?

Love ♥

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