B is for Beauty

Today is the second post in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  If you would like to read more of this series of posts you can find them here.

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

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Beauty, so it has been said, comes from within but, sometimes, we all need a little help with the outside too in the form of makeup.  Today, as part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, and today being the letter B I’m going to share with you the beauty items that I use.

Primer

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I use the Flawless Original Primer by Barry M as my base for my make up application.  I really like this primer as it’s not sticky like some primers can be, it is really easy to apply and you only need a tiny amount.  When I use this my foundation applies really nicely and seems to last a really long time compared to when I apply foundation without a primer.

Foundation

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I currently flit between 2 different foundations W7 Genius Feather Light Foundation in Buff or Collection Illuminating Touch Foundation in Warm Vanilla, depending on the type of coverage I need.  The W7 foundation has a fairly light coverage, the consistency is really runny but it blends well and dries to a powder like finish which I love as I can save a little bit of time by then skipping powder.  I love that this has a dropper applicator that gives a precision application directly where you need it, I then blend with a beauty blender for the best finish.  The Collection foundation is a slightly darker tone but matches my skin tone perfectly.  This has a pump top and it has a nice, thick consistency.  I have found that you need to work quickly with this product as it seems to set quite fast though I do like to use a powder once I have applied the foundation just to make sure it is fully set.  I like that this product is a fuller coverage and is brilliant for when my skin is not looking its best.

Concealer

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I use Maybelline Dream Brightening Creamy Concealer in Light I love that this concealer is a pencil design and twists up from the base to access more product.  I use this before foundation under my eyes to illuminate the area and after foundation to conceal any spots or blemishes that may not have been covered by foundation alone.

Powder

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I use Revolution Luxury Banana Baking Powder to set my foundation.  I really like that this powder is really fine and helps to brighten my skin tone.  Under the twist off lid is a salt and pepper type of shaker lid and I sprinkle this onto a buffing brush before applying over my foundation.

Contour

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I use the Collection Highlight, Blush and Bronze Trio for contouring, though as you can see, I have hit pan on the blush so I only really use this pallet for the highlight and the contour now.  I really like that this product is easy to apply and blends really well.  I use a contour brush to apply the powder and an angled blush brush to apply the highlighter.  The only thing I dislike is that the highlighter seems to be a bit hard in places so it looks weird in the pan but it doesn’t seem to affect the application.

Blush

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Technically this is a highlighter and not a blush but the pink tone of this Revolution Rose Gold Ingot Highlighter lends itself well to being a dual purpose product – a highlighter and blush all in one!  This product is not too sparkly or overly shiny but adds a warmth and a golden tone to cheekbones which looks really pretty.  I love using this product on bare skin and with foundation, either use makes me look really healthy!  And this is the third purchase of this product I have made!

Highlighter

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This highlighter pallet, Revolution Ultra Cool Glow, is my favorite to reach for when I am going out for the evening.  I love the variety of different coloured highlighters and like to match them to my eyeshadow colour or the colour of the outfit I’m wearing.  A little goes a long way with this product as they are super pigmented and bright.  And, I have a confession to make, when I bought this product I didn’t realise it was a highlighter pallet, I was looking for an eyeshadow pallet that I could take with me to a festival and grabbed this quickly in a rush… but, I do love a product that has a dual purpose and these highlighter colours have made really nice eyeshadows too!

Eyeshadow

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These eyeshadow products are my go to shadows.  The first is the Make Up Academy pallet in Poptastic (which seems to be discontinued though the Silent Disco Pallet seems to be very similar….), the second are loose powders from the Sugar Skull Collection by Concrete Minerals (I have the full set of these and also the Zombie Girl Collection)  These shadows seem super bright in the pan and pots but all have a really buildable colour, blend really easily and you can create so many different looks with each collection.  I don’t always wear these together, sometimes I use a grey or silver shade as a base and add a pop of colour along the socket line or combine 2 or 3 different shades to create a super colourful smokey eye.

Eyeliner and Mascara

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I like to use different mascara and eyeliner depending on the look I am going for.  Day-to-day I tend to use George Va Va Volume Mascara – Black as it doesn’t tend to flake or smudge and just enhances my lashes a bit.  It is also really easy to remove which is a plus on week nights!  I like using Model Co Eye Define Pencil – Black for a softer eye look and this pencil is perfect.  It is soft and doesn’t drag the skin, is really easy to smudge out if I want a softer, more subtle look or can be left as it is for a more defined look.  I like to use Collection Extreme Coloured Lengthening Mascara – Black if I am going to be going out after work or on the weekend if I am out as it really defines my eyes and makes me look more awake.  And it is true to its word – it really does add length to the lashes with just one swipe!  And for a more defined, cat eye look I really love Essence Superfine Eyeliner Pen – Black as it is a felt pen design and is has a really accurate, precision application which is just what you want for a sharp eyeliner look.

Fix

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I really loved this product but it was discontinued a while ago.  I was really lucky to snag myself a few of these from Amazon not too long ago but I’m down to this last bottle.  Collection now do another spray for setting make up with called Primed and Ready Make Up Fixing Spray which I am considering getting once I run out of this.  This spray is fab for fixing make up in place once you have finished applying it, the handy spray pump ensures that the product mists finely over the skin and covers well.

Lipstick

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Rimmel London Kate Moss Lasting Finish shade 107 is one of my favorite shades of lipstick.  It is not too dark or light, can pull any make up look together and the shade is good for day or night.  I really like the formula, it is creamy and feels moisturising, it lasts a fair few hours and doesn’t seem to bleed or feather.  I really like all the Kate Moss lipsticks and own a few darker shades that are perfect for evenings.

What are your go to beauty/make up products?

A is for Apps

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

A is for Apps

Today kicks off the April A-Z blog Challenge (you can find all other related posts of mine here (for all related A-Z posts) and here (for all blog challenge posts)).  I have chosen the topic of Apps for this first post.

I’ve not long upgraded my phone from an iPhone 6 with a memory capacity of 16gb to an iPhone 8 with 64gb of memory space and what a game changer that has been!  I found, with my 6 that I was always having to back up my photos and delete things from my phone as it was constantly full, usually it was images that took up all the memory space.  I hardly had any apps as I didn’t really have the space for them and only had basic ones that I used constantly on my phone.

I have so many apps now, I don’t really want to count how many… but today I’m going to share with you some of the ones I have on my phone and let you know what I like or dislike about them.  I shall place them in the categories I have them in on my phone.

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  • Readercoin I downloaded this a few months ago.  It is an app that you can read books or listen to audio on, and you earn “coins” by reading or listening and giving feedback.  I like the concept and really enjoy reading but, the books available on the app are either really old books or they are not very well written.  And I’m not that keen on reading on my phone.  That being said, I like having it on my phone incase I forget my kindle at any point or have some extra time to kill.  I’ve not used the audio part of this yet so I can’t comment on that.
  • Weather Live  I use this app, not particularly regularly as I’m mostly indoors, but if I have plans to go out for the day or want to do something outside then this is weather app is the one I use.  It seems to give the most accurate weather for where I am.  I really like that there is a section on the app that lets you report what your weather is doing if it is different to the weather report.  I’m not so keen on the pop up ads, and to get rid of them you have to pay which, for the amount I use it I’m just going to put up with them.
  • Bitmoji  I downloaded this last month and wish I had downloaded it a lot sooner! If you don’t know what Bitmoji is, it’s an app that lets you make your own avatar.  You can customise hair, accessories, clothes and loads of other things too!  It makes sending texts and WhatsApp messages more interesting!

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  • Enlight This is a photo editing app that I have used for several years.  It is a fairly simple app to use and I like the different effects you can add to images and that there is so much creativity in this app, such as blending 2 images together.
  • PS Express Another photo editing app that I have used for years.  I tend to use this app for fine details such as red-eye reduction and blemish removal as the control in the app is really good.
  • LogoScopic  I’ve had this app since just before I started this blog.  I downloaded it as I wanted an app that was easy to use to create logos with.  This app was probably the best one that I downloaded out of several and the one that I have stuck with.  It is really easy to use and you are able to create custom logos quickly.  The only thing that I don’t really like is that there is no feature to view all logos, each category of logo has several folders of images that you can customise but you need to scroll through them all which can be a bit annoying.
  • Canva  I only recently discovered Canva but it’s now one of my go-to apps for creating Instagram pictures and all sorts of other graphics for the internet!  I’m still learning all about this app and what it can do but so far I have not found anything to dislike about it!
  • ColorStory  I’ve yet to use this app but I downloaded it after reading about it in a magazine.  I was intrigued as the app has been designed by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman who created A Beautiful Mess (which I used to love for the filters!) so I thought I would download this and give it a go at some point!

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  • Calm  This app is really useful and I like to use it when I can feel stress, anxiety and panic starting to build.  I put my headphones in and use the breathe section which helps to regulate breathing and just focus on the breath and really helps to control those panicky feelings.  I also really like the scenes section where you can choose different background nature sounds to play, and if you go back to the home screen of the app a video will play the chosen scene.
  • Insight Timer  Insight Timer is something that I downloaded after undertaking a mindfulness course around 2 years ago.  Though I don’t use this app much anymore I do like that you can choose length of meditation, what sort of meditation you want (spoken word, sounds etc) and there is a vast number of different meditations to choose from.  For me, the only problem is the sheer amount that you can choose as I can take forever to select a meditiation and I waste more time looking for a meditation to follow than actually meditating.
  • Breethe  I’ve not used this app for a while but still keep it on my phone as the free meditations are really good.  I used to like listening to the “Wake Up with Intention” meditation in the mornings but got out of the habit when I was off from work.  There are a few good free things with this app but I found a lot of the content you have to be a subscriber to access and for me that cost is way too expensive.
  • Headspace  This is another app that I’ve not used since switching phones.  I did love that it would send through little notifications in the day called “Mindful Moments”, I chose to have 4 sent through a day but you could set it for as many as 5 times a day.  I also liked that you could set a reminder for meditation at different points in the day too.  Again, the only thing I’m not too keen on with this app is that there is a huge cost involved with unlocking all the content which I just can’t afford.
  • MoodNotes  I’ve been using MoodNotes since November.  It is a kind of emotions journal where you can record how you are feeling along with a diary entry.  You can then choose to add further emotions to your entry, both negative and positive.  There is a section with questions that you can use to “enrich” your entry and helps you to look at things from a different perspective or analyse your thoughts and feelings surrounding journal events.  I find this app really useful as there are analytic sections that show data including mood trends and insights that cover mood over time where you can see percentages of how your mood has been.

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  • TouchNote  This app makes sending your own personalised cards and postcards really easy and quick!  I downloaded this a few years ago before going on holidays as I wanted to be able to send postcards to my family and not have to worry about finding a post box or stamps on the way!  This app made sending postcards so easy and it was lovely to take photos specifically to make into postcards too.
  • Thortful  Another card sending app, this one supports artists who have designed the cards.  There are so many to choose from which would suit anyones taste and style.  The cards are printed on really lovely quality cardstock and can be sent straight to the intended person or sent to you to give to the recipient.  I use this company fairly regularly and am always impressed that the cards turn up on time and are really good quality!

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  • Forks Over Knives I use this app when looking for new recipes to try out and there are so many to choose from!  The layout of the app is really easy to navigate and the recipes are broken down into type – breakfast items, sides and salads etc, so you can always find appropriate dishes for each meal time!  I’ve not yet used the resources section where you can find things like meal planning and a Cooking School.  I have used the shopping list section which is really useful when you have decided on a recipe and can add the ingredients you need to the list.
  • Foodsaurus  I’ve yet to use this app but it is a translation service for ingredients into different languages.  I can’t remember why I downloaded this app but I remember thinking that it may come in useful one day.  The time has not yet come to find out though….
  • Olio  This is such a good idea.  It’s a bit like freecycle but for food items that you may have overstocked on, tried once and didn’t like or items that are close to their use by date that you are not going to use or items in your food cupboard that you know you won’t get around to using.  You can advertise the food on this app or find food in your area that may otherwise end up being binned.  And with so much food waste going on worldwide I really think this is a fab idea!  Unfortunately, not many people in my area seem to know about the app or use it so it’s been a bit hit and miss but I totally recommend it and is something that I really would like to see people using more!

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The above apps I have not really used yet but downloaded as I wanted to explore ways of scheduling my content to go live on Instagram and Twitter and getting more creative with my Instagram feed.  I did schedule a post from Tailwind but even though it said it had posted to my Instagram it hadn’t and I’m not sure why.  These are apps that I’m interested to have a play around with and find which one works best for me over time.

  • Wunderlist  I used to use the Notes app to keep a running list of things that I needed to do, usually all the different things I needed to get done were all bundled together into one note and it was really disorganised.  I found Wunderlist through a friends recommendation and love that I can make lists of differnt things and switch from one list to another so easily and add subtasks too, for example I can add “write beauty post” to my Blog list then add subtasks for that particular thing like “research moisturizer, take photos of products” etc rather than list them as individual tasks.  It really helps me to keep on track with what needs doing for each big task.

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  • The Moon Calendar  I’ve had this on my phone for ages, so long, in fact, that I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t have the app.  I love this app, it tells you about the moon cycle on a day-to-day basis, gives you ideas for self-care and different rituals, has a to-do list, intentions that you can add your own things to (like quotes and photos) and a journal section.  (I did pay for some of the functions on this app through a gift card I had for my Birthday).
  • Countdown!!  I use this app pretty infrequently but I do have count downs active on there as I really like knowing how long until or since certain events (like my Birthday, how long I’ve had this blog, how long I’ve been in my home, how long until Roxy’s Birthday etc…).  I find this app super interesting and easy to use and it adds a sense of excitement to events that are coming up too!

What apps do you have on your phone that you would recommend?  What are your thoughts on my apps?

Blogging from A to Z

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This month I am going to be taking part in  the Blogging from A to Z Challenge where each day through April, excluding Sundays, I will be working my way through the alphabet, one day at a time.  To see more about this challenge please see the link (here)

You can expect to see a post from me each day with a topic relating to that days letter, these will be posted each day except Sunday’s.  I will also be posting my usual blog posts (Top 10 Thursday, and posts on a Tuesday and Friday too).

Here’s a calendar so you can see which letters will be on which days…

Blog Calendar April A-Z Challenge

 

Planning for April’s A – Z Blog Challenge

I have decided to take part and attempt the April A – Z Blog Challenge, it is a challenge where you start on the 1st April with a topic beginning with A and work all the way to Z through the month, blogging every day, except Sundays leaving your last post – Z being published on the 30th April.

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Attempting a blog challenge seems like a nice way to push myself in my writing and topics that I may not normally cover and might be a way for you guys to learn a little bit more about me along the way!  I’m hoping that my writing skills will improve, that my photographs and images will get better and that I may learn something about myself through the whole challenge.

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But today, I’m focusing on planning for the challenge.  I had to sit down and think really hard about undertaking this challenge as I don’t really like starting something and then not finishing it, and I wanted to know that I can give my time to crafting posts and getting them up in a timely manner through the whole of April.  I have decided that I would like to run the challenge alongside my usual posting schedule so, on some days, not only will I be creating and sharing 2 posts I will also have twice the amount of preparation to consider.

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So far, in preparation for the challenge I have added the alphabet to April’s calendar alongside ideas for my usual posts and also created a spreadsheet with this information on it.  To the spreadsheet I have started putting topics against the letters that I could write about, some letters have several topics I could cover and other letters (here’s looking at you – X…) have none what-so-ever.  I like to be prepared rather than writing ad-hoc as it helps me to prepare content and decide which topics will be the most interesting.

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The next plan of action is to go through the list of topics I have and start drafting out more concrete notes and make a plan for what the posts will need (graphics/photos/headings etc) and once I have all that done I just need to sit tight and wait for the challenge to begin!

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Are you taking part in the April A – Z Challenge?  How have you prepared so far?