Friday, 18 September 2015

20 Tried and Tested Beauty Tips and Tricks

I always love reading about beauty tips and tricks, or life hacks. Most of the time they are things you've never thought to do, yet they are always so simple and easy to achieve. I have put together 20 tried and tested beauty tips and tricks that I've come across over the years. I'm definitely not the first to have tried these and I don't claim to be the genius who invented them, but they are things that help me out and make my life that little bit easier. 


To tame those fly aways spray hairspray onto a toothbrush (obviously not one you are currently using) and brush down those annoying strands of hair. You can also use a toothbrush for some last minute back combing at the roots to add extra volume to your hair. Then just flip away to your hearts content.

Apply your dry shampoo the night before. When you wake up in the morning the dry shampoo will have absorbed any excess oils throughout the night. Brush through your hair and you're good to go. 

Brush through your hair before washing. It makes it a lot easier to manage once it's been washed. 

When brushing, brush from the centre to the ends and then from the scalp to the centre. This will cause far less damage than dragging your brush from your scalp to the ends in one painful sweep. 


Almost finished your favourite lipstick? Melt it down in the microwave and mix it with Vaseline, honey and your favourite essential oils. Leave to set and you have a brand new lip gloss.

Mix sugar with your favourite lip balm to create your own lip scrub. Use to exfoliate and soften your lips before applying your favourite lipstick. 

Loving the matte lip trend but don't have any in your collection? Apply your favourite lipstick and then cover with your regular face powder. This will absorb any oils and create a matte look without having to buy a new lipstick. 

Looking for a fuller pout? Apply lip gloss to the centre of your lips and look for products that contain mint as a natural pout enhancer. 


Running out of brow tint? Apply dark tanning lotion to your brows as a quick fix. Wash off as normal and your left with a subtle added colour to your brows until you can get to the shops or beauty salon. 

Spray hairspray onto an old mascara wand and brush through your brows. This will tame any wild hairs and keep your brows in place all day. 

Stand away from the mirror when filling in your brows. This will give you a better perspective of how your brows are looking and prevent any 'over drawn' disasters. 

Waxing at home? Draw your eyebrows in with a pencil first and then just wax the stray hairs that are around the outside of the brow. Waxing at a salon? BE PATIENT let those brows grow out. The finished result will be worth it. 


In a rush? Apply your eyeliner to the upper rim of your eyelash curlers. When you press down to curl your eyelashes, the eyeliner will print onto your lid. You can touch up any sparse areas afterwards. 

Press your eyeshadow onto your eyelid, rather than swipe. This will give a more pigmented and intense look. 

Running out of your favourite eye make-up remover? Use coconut oil as a gentle yet effective alternative.

Place ice cubes inside a cloth and place on puffy eyes to rejuvenate them in the morning. 


If your favourite nail polish dries up, apply a few drops of nail varnish remover into the bottle and shake. This will provide you with one last manicure before you have to say a proper goodbye.

Cut across the nail, rather than into the corners. This will prevent any ingrowing nail problems from occurring. 

Line your nails with craft glue or vaseline for an easy clean up. Once you've finished either wipe away the vaseline or peel off the excess glue. Job done! 

Use a white nail polish as your base coat. This will make any top coat colour pop. 

Do you have any tips or tricks to add to the list? If so, get in touch and let me know. 

Jade x 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Max Factor Facefinity All Day Primer Review

I've been on the lookout for a primer to wear underneath my foundation to make my makeup last a little longer throughout the day. Ideally, I wanted an oil free and silicone free primer however, these are few and far between when shopping on the high street (they are available if you want to invest in the more high end brands). So, after a little research on the internet I came across the Max Factor Facefinity All Day Primer. Everybody seemed to be raving about it and after popping into my local store and seeing it on offer it seemed like fate that I should pick it up.

Now although it doesn’t claim to be oil or silicone free, the reviews I read suggested it was different to many silicone primers and didn’t irritate the skin or cause breakouts for those who had used it. Therefore I was willing to overlook my requirements and test it out anyway.

Firstly, I personally like the feel of the packaging. The bottle is made of glass, which for me makes it feel a little more expensive than it is. Although some may disagree as it’s not ideal for travelling and I imagine it’s going to be tricky to extract the product when you come to the end of the bottle. The bottle does contain a pump, which makes it easy to dispense the right about of product (usually 1 pump is sufficient to meet my needs).

The product itself is white in colour and I did need to give the bottle a good shake before use as the first few pumps were quite runny in texture. However, when mixed you end up with a nice creamy product. Unfortunately, when you first dispense the product, there is quite an overpowering smell to the primer. I can’t quite describe what it is, but it’s not appealing and definitely doesn’t smell as though I should be using it on my face. That said, once applied to the face and absorbed into the skin, the smell does disappear.

The primer does sink into the skin really quickly and leaves a smooth, almost matte finish to the skin. It also seems to slightly improve the look of my skin and forms a nice even base for foundation. I have used a few foundations on top of this primer and some do seem to sit better than others. I’m not too sure why this is, but if it doesn’t seem to be working on the first attempt, it might be worth trying it with another foundation. This is a bit of a disappointment as I would like and expect it to work with all of the foundations I own. I would also advise to use the ‘less is more’ mantra when applying this primer as using too much also seems to ruin the foundation application and can create a bit of a patchy mess.

However, after playing around with the primer, it does seem to make the foundation last longer than normal and this is what I was after in the first place. I feel more confident that my makeup is staying in place throughout the day when I have this on underneath. It also (touch wood) hasn’t caused any irritation to my skin, which is a major plus point for me.
Overall, this primer is ok! I am a little disappointed, as after reading other reviews, I was hoping to love it, but the fact that it has a strange scent and only works with certain foundations in my collection means that I don’t think I will be repurchasing this.

The hunt for the perfect primer continues.

Do you have any primer recommendations? If so, get in touch and let me know.

Jade x

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Collection Contour Kit Highlight & Sculpt Review

I recently re-purchased the Collection Concealer, it’s been raved about since it was first launched and I forgot just how much I loved it until I added it back into my daily makeup routine. Whilst picking this up, I also opted to buy the Collection Contour Kit Highlight and Sculpt palette. Everything within the Collection brand was under £4 that day and you can’t turn your nose up at such a good deal (I’d also seen Zoella raving about it in her latest YouTube video). As the name would suggest the palette contains a bronze shade to contour and a highlight to bring luminosity to the face.

The contour shade is perfect for my skin tone, but being quite pale I don’t know how this would stand out on darker complexions and to my knowledge there’s not a range of shades like other brands. However, you may be able to build up the colour to add a more intense contour to the face. The contour does blend really well into the skin and I don’t find it orange in colour, which is a big bonus for me. It’s also completely matte with NO shimmer to it, again another major advantage to create a more natural defined look.

The highlight within the palette is quite nice and adds a subtle shimmer to the skin. It’s not packed with glitter either so you’re not going to sparkle like a disco ball. Unfortunately, I do have other highlighters in my stash which I will continue to reach for before thinking about using this one. In my mind, I want my highlight to stand out and have a bit more of an impact than this one gives but it’s nice to have in your bag as a back-up throughout the day.

Overall, I’d definitely say the contour is the clear winner within this palette and although the highlight is not my favourite, at £3.99, the palette is really affordable and would be a great addition to a new makeup kit.

Have you tried the contour kit? If so, get in touch and let me know what you think.

Jade x 

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Barry M Eye Shine Shadow and Glaze Palette Review

Whilst perusing the internet, I came across the eye shadow of my dreams that being Mac’s Coppering. Reluctant to spend £13 on one eyeshadow, I then came across the Barry M Eye Shine Shadow and Glaze Palette for the bargain price of £6.49 and most exciting of all it contained a similar shade to what I was looking for, so I snapped it up.

On closer inspection the Barry M Palette is Limited Edition, which probably means you should snap it up quickly if you’re interested. It also comes complete with two eye shadow applicators, a handy mirror, 6 eye shadows and a glossy top coat. To be honest most of this escaped my attention when I first picked it up, but now it seems like an interesting idea for a palette.

The colours themselves are quite bright and well pigmented. Some of the colours are definitely more wearable than others depending on how brave you are feeling, but I think the blue and green colours would look lovely as a pop of colour under the lower lash line. However, the bronze and terracotta colours are perfect for Autumn and I’ll definitely be getting a lot of wear out of them this season.

Now to the interesting part – the glossy top coat. Once I realised this was in the palette I had my doubts about it right from the start. oweHhH However, I was willing to give it a go. Unfortunately, it lived up to my fears and it’s the only thing to let the palette down. It’s pretty much like smearing Vaseline onto your lids once you’ve created the perfect makeup look and then watching it crease and ware away before your eyes.

Overall, I love the palette and the colours in it (especially the terracotta colour). For the price Barry M have done a great job and offered an affordable palette with beautiful pigmented eyeshadows. I would stay clear of the glossy top coat, but if you find a way to make it work then do let me know.

Remember to get your hands on it before it sells out!

Have you tried any of the Barry M palettes? If so, get in touch and let me know what you think about them.

Jade x

Sunday, 30 August 2015

SkinOwl Lavender Beauty Drops

I came across the SkinOwl brand after reading Lilly Pebbles' blog post which you can read here. After reading this post I did some research of my own and decided that the entire range and ethos behind it sounded amazing! Basically, the brand was founded by Annie Tevelin who battled with her own skin issues for years and decided to create her own skincare range to overcome the problems she was having. You can read all about this here. The beauty drops caught my eye immediately, the brand offers three different beauty drops Lavender, Geranium and Clary Sage. They also offer a Mangosteen night time oil. The Lavender Oil had my name written all over it, as it is specifically targeted towards acne prone skin and claims to;

Nurture sensitive, acne-prone skin, while calming redness and inflammation. Best for oily or oily-combination skin types. 

I ordered a bottle of the oil from Cult Beauty and it arrived within two days and I put it to good use immediately. The oil comes packaged in a simple bottle with a pipette style applicator which makes it easy to dispense as little or as much of the product as you would like. The instructions state to use 5-7 drops in the morning and a whole pipette for the evening. I would agree with this, I think any more than 5-7 drops in the morning would be too much for daytime wear and possibly interfere with makeup application and a whole pipette is perfect to nourish the skin in the evening. 

The oil glides onto the skin effortlessly and gradually sinks into the skin. As the name would suggest the oil has a delicate scent of lavender to it, but nothing too overpowering and it definitely doesn't linger on the skin. After using the oil, my skin felt incredibly soft and nourished and definitely looked more radiant and healthy. After a few days of use there was a noticeable difference to the redness of my skin and a few of my blemishes has definitely reduced in severity and looked a lot calmer. 

So far, I am completely happy with my purchase of the beauty drops Lavender oil and i'm impressed with how my skin feels and looks after even a few days of use. I'm definitely going to look into purchasing the night time oil and add this to my evening routine. 

Have you tried any of the SkinOwl products yet? If so, get in touch and let me know what you think. 

Jade x 

Friday, 28 August 2015

Balance Active Formula - Youth Serum, Hyaluronic Moisturiser and Stop Puffy Eyes Gel

I recently stumbled across the Balance Active Formula range whilst browsing the internet and reading reviews on many new beauty products. These products stood out as they seemed to be targeted towards some of the issues I was having with my skin. Surprisingly, the price tag was beyond affordable (I purchased 3 of the products and spent just over £6 at my local Savers store).

I picked up the Balance Active Formula Hyaluronic 554 YouthSerum, the Balance Active Formula Hyaluronic Moisturiser and the Balance Active Formula Stop Puffy Eyes Eye Gel. The three products can be used within one skincare routine or, as sold in bundles on their website, can be mixed and matched with other products in their range.

After cleansing my face, I start the regime with the serum. This serum comes with a pipette style applicator so you can control how much or how little you need. I usually use 5 drops in the morning and a whole pipette in the evening. The serum is very watery (I almost thought it was water) so can go everywhere if you’re not careful. It does feel nice on the skin, has little to no smell and sinks into the skin really quickly. The product claims to be a;

lightweight and non-greasy serum, containing Syn-Ake, a snake venom-like peptide that reduces expression lines, and active levels of Hylasome EG10 for visibly younger looking skin that is perfectly hydrated and smoothed. 

I do agree that the serum is lightweight and non-greasy and my skin definitely feels smoother after using it. I don’t believe I have been using it long enough to notice any difference in expression lines or younger looking skin, though I’m always sceptical about those claims anyway. It does say it leaves your skin perfectly hydrated, which I’m not sure I feel is quite accurate (for me anyway). I tend to feel a tightness to the skin after use, almost as though I want to slather a tub of moisturiser on my face to combat it. However, throughout the day this feeling does subside and my skin feels more hydrated.

After the serum, I apply the Balance Active Formula Hyaluronic Moisturiser, which as just mentioned I do feel the skin needs after applying the serum. The moisturiser claims to be a day and night cream (bargain 2 for 1 deal), which gives a more radiant look, evens out skin tone and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. The moisturiser is lovely and hydrating but definitely not greasy. Much like the serum it sinks quickly into the skin and has a slight scent to it, which I quite like. Again, I don’t feel as though I can comment too much on the ‘wrinkle’ claims, but I do feel I end up with a more radiant complexion after use and I do feel as though my sensitive skin is looking a lot better in terms of redness and breakouts.

As a final step, I use the Stop Puffy Eyes Eye Gel. This is another product that can be used morning and night and one which claims to reduce eye puffiness, moisturise and revive the under eye area and refresh and cool. My eye cream journey seems to be a little hit and miss as I have never found one that seems to do anything for me and this seems to be another one to add to the list. It’s just one of those MEH products. It’s quite a nice thick gel consistency and sinks in quickly and it doesn’t irritate the eye area, but other than that I haven’t been bowled over by any instant change in appearance.

Overall, I am pleasantly surprised with the products and the effect they have had on my skin

considering the very affordable price tag. I will continue to try out the serum and eye cream to see if I do fall in love with them after all. The moisturiser is lovely and I’ll definitely finish the tube. Overall I’d say give it a go, for the cost; you really don’t have anything to lose.

Have you tried any of the Balance Formula products? If so get in touch and let me know what you think.

Jade x 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Get the Glow

Highlighting and strobing are all over the place at the moment and I must admit I did have to do a little ‘strobing’ research to fully understand its meaning. However, it did sound right up my street. If I could smear glitter and sparkles all over my face on a daily basis then I probably would. I can’t help but be drawn to anything that shimmers, sparkles, glitters etc, etc. They’re just so pretty to look at and this week I found the perfect products to fulfil my sparkly needs.

The Simple Illuminating Radiance Cream has been in my collection for some time and I didn’t really give it a fair chance, but to add some glow to my base I decided to dig it back out of my makeup draw and I’m glad I did. I either use this before applying my foundation or mix it with my foundation, either way it does illuminate the skin and give a dewy, healthy radiance. It does feel quite moisturising on the skin and I would suggest that less is more.  I think there could be a tendency to apply to much and end up looking like a disco ball as the product does contain particles of glitter. As with all Simple products, it promises ‘simple goodness’ in other words there’s no artificial perfume, colour and no harsh chemicals. For someone with fairly sensitive skin I can’t help but love the simple products in general so I’m sure that this is going to be a new firm favourite of mine.

L-R: Topshop's Shuffle the Cards, Topshop's Glow, Simple's Illuminating Radiance Cream 

 My next two offerings come from a last minute decision to take a look at Topshop’s growing makeup collection. I’d already heard great things about the Glow highlighter and when I tested it out myself I quickly decided that I could not leave the shop without it. The product is amazingly creamy and easy to blend into the skin, a little also goes a long way so even though it seems like a small pot, the product could last forever. Once blended, it leaves behind the most beautiful highlight without being overly glittery or obvious that you are wearing it. It just looks like dewy healthy skin and I’m in love!

Finally, and perhaps my favourite purchase is the ChamelaonGlow in Shuffle the Cards. Again, I tested it out and just new that I desperately, without a shadow of a doubt NEEDED this. I did assume that this was just an eyeshadow, however Topshop suggest that it can be used as a facial highlight too, so you get two products for the price of one. I bought this with the intention of using it over eyeshadow to add a pop of colour and sparkle and it looks beautiful! The colour is amazing and so pigmented with an iridescent finish. It’s very glittery and when it catches the light it looks amazing. I will definitely be picking up the other shades in this collection very soon.

Have you got any recommendations from Topshop’s makeup collection that I should take a look at? If so, get in touch and let me know.

Jade x 

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