Heat Proof Makeup Hacks

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For anyone who speaks ill of British weather, I strongly advise you to take a look at our recent weather reports. It’s a scorcher! Granted we only get a bit of heat and sunshine 10 days out of the year, but when it gets hot, it gets HOT!

I love a bit of sunshine, but extreme heat can prove to be quite challenging for a makeup lover like me. Foundation, eyeshadow, brow pencil and all that in between can take a turn for the worse when the temperature rises, but surely there’s a solution? Well on most days, I forgo the base makeup – it’s simply not worth my foundation dripping half way down my ankles. However, on special occasions, giving up on my foundation, contour and highlight is simply not an option.

I’m extremely hot blooded, and get quite flustered at the drop of a hat. Even in the winter, I often sleep and get ready with the full blast of my tower fan. Crazy I know, but other than sticking my head directly into the crevice of a deep freezer, I’m not sure what else to do. However, there are a few tips and tricks that I adhere to, particularly in the summer, when I want to keep my cool.

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Here are my top 8 makeup hacks when fighting the heat:-

1. Keep your lotions and potions in the fridge – Facial moisturisers, balms, eye creams and gels can all be stored in the fridge to give you an amazingly cooling sensation when applied to the face. Gel-based products feel particularly amazing because of their high water content. Applying a cool base before going in with your foundation regulates your body’s rising temperature and provides you with a great starting point for keeping cool all day. In the summer months, I tend to keep a fair number of my beauty products in the fridge. From eye pencils to my favourite body moisturiser, the cooler atmosphere preserves their functionality and ensures that your money doesn’t melt away (literally).

2. Blot the shine away – It’s a given. Now matter how prepared you are, you are bound to encounter a bit of shine throughout the day. Blotting papers are a God send for ‘glistening’ t-zones like mine and the NYX Green Tea Blotting Papers are by far my favourite. However, there have been times when I’ve been left blot-paper-less and I’ve had to make do with what is around me. Cue fast food napkins. Believe it or not, but I keep a stash of Starbucks napkins in my handbag for days that I need to soak up the grease, but I’m left in a predicament. The napkins actually have the right amount of substance to them to adsorb excess oil without sticking to your skin. What makes them even better is…they’re free (well sort of). Next time you’re out treating yourself to a soy chai latte, make sure to grab a bunch!

3. Bake baby, bake – No I’m not talking about cupcakes here. ‘Baking’ is a technique stolen from the drag world and made famous by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and her makeup maestro Mario Dedivanovic. Baking is simply the method of applying a thick coating of powder with a damp sponge to seal in your foundation or concealer. When the temperature rises, liquid products tend to slip and slide. Applying a thick layer of powder over the top of the liquid ensures it ‘sets’ in place and doesn’t budge all day. You may feel like you’re putting on an unnecessary layer (or rather, several layers) of makeup, but baking actually works in your favour when you want your makeup to last all day and night. Bake in the areas that you normally find your base makeup disappearing i.e. under the eyes and on the t-zone. If you have extremely oily skin – bake your whole face. Who cares?! If it makes your Tom Ford foundation stay where it should be the go for it!

4. Contradict yourself and stick to creams – Contrary to my previous point, sticking to cream based products will ensure that your makeup will win the war against sweat. However, rather than your foundation or concealer, I’m talking blushers and eyeshadows. Cream products ‘stick’ to your skin, unlike powder blushes and shadows. Applying a cream shadow stick or a gel-based blusher will not only save you application time, but will last a lot longer than traditional powders. Clinique’s Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balms and Maybelline’s EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadows are two of my best summer time beauty products that I’m obsessed with.

5. Keep your lippie where your mouth is – Most makeup articles will suggest that dark, matte lips are for autumn/winter. They suggest that lip stains, tinted balms and glosses are most suitable for the summer. I say – if you like a dark vampy lip in the peak of July, then you should rock it! However, it’s easier said than done. Keeping a highly pigmented lipstick in place when the weather is warmer is very hard for mere mortals like myself. I do find though that a light dusting of translucent powder over the top of your chosen lippie helps to remove excessive oil and avoids your lips from becoming tacky in the heat.

6. Invest in a good base and top coat – Much like a nail colour, applying a good base and top coat is essential in keeping your face from melting under the sun. I’ve tried many, many, many primers and finishing sprays over the years, but I’ve yet to find a brand as good as Skindinavia. It does exactly what it says on the tin and my makeup stays in tact every time that I use them. So confident in their products, that I recommend them to everyone who is on the look out for something similar.

7. Extend your lashes and avoid mascara woes – There are plenty of waterproof mascaras available on the market, but let’s be honest – they’re a pain to remove. Personally, I find applying lash extensions and strip lashes much easier than applying multiple coats of mascara, worrying about whether or not I look like I’ve been punched in the eyes when I’ve been sweating on the London Underground. Investing in eye lash extensions can not only save you time in the mornings, but it gives you a perfect doe-eyed effect that would be hard to achieve with a mascara.

8. Invest in a facial spray – Facial sprays are slightly different to finishing sprays as mentioned previously. Facial sprays are perfect for adding moisture to parched skin throughout the day and also provides an instant refresh for your makeup. My recent obsession has been Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir Spray and La Roche-Posay’s Thermal Spring Water to give me the kind of shine that I really want, not forgetting the cooling sensation it gives me without ruining my makeup masterpiece.

What are your top tips for keeping cool in the heat? Comment below with your suggestions.

My Handbag Staple | Dr Paw Paw Multi Purpose Balm

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The contents of my bag reflect that of a typecast soccer mum. I have a solution for every problem that may arise – gum for obvious reasons, ‘holy grail’ lipsticks for impromptu post office events, hand sanitizer to rid myself of the filth that festers on the London Underground and feminine products; which I hope needs no explanation. I’m a firm believer in ’emergency’ handbag essentials; which may be the reason for my consistent shoulder pain! Call me overzealous if you will, but I like to be prepared for the unknown and carrying around my ‘things’ gives me comfort to say the least.

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It was in the midst of my search for a new ‘handbag’ lip balm, when I stumbled across the DR. PAWPAW Multi Purpose balm. I’m no stranger to multi purpose balms, Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream had been my ride or die for many years. However, the name along with the endless list of natural ingredients intrigued me.

Labelled as a one-stop-beauty shop by makeup artists and celebrities worldwide, it can be used for a number of ailments for skin, hair, nails and all that in between. The highly moisturising formula also contains antibacterial properties to protect you from harsh elements. Use as a lip balm, cuticle smoother, hair tamer or even makeup primer – this balm can really do it all.

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This UK-based invention coined its name from the primary ingredient; which is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Papaya (or Pawpaw as it’s commonly known in various countries) contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamins A/C and acetogenins; which helps in aiding skin repair. Olea Europaea, or rather, olive oil, is also included; which contains a compound called Hydroxytyrosol. This rare antioxidant prevents free radical damage on skin cells and is absorbed deeply into the skin. It has many anti-inflammatory properties and is great for dry skin and hair. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (aloe vera) is added for restoring moisture, promoting a healthy glow, minimising the appearance of pores and rejuvenates skin allowing for an even tone.

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The look and feel of the balm resembles that of Vaseline, however, it’s petroleum free; which studies have shown to be quite detrimental to the skin. The squeezey tube extracts the balm, much like a thick gel-like consistency, but it’s not to be confused with the greasy mess you normally get with multi purpose balms. The formula is completely scent free and perfect for those with sensitive or problematic skin like eczema; which can be aggravated by perfumed products. You get 25ml in their oh-so-cute little tubes (bigger sizes available on their website directly). This makes it perfect for travelling and popping in your handbag. I briefly mentioned this product in my Beach Essentials post; which explained my love for this product when I’m on holiday.

You need the tiniest amount; which we all know is a description that gets thrown around a lot. However in this instance, the tiniest amount really does go far! I use a half pea sized amount to moisturise my lips and that keeps me going for hours. Traditional lip balms, although can be highly addictive, leave your lips craving for the next swipe. The balm alleviates the need to multiple applications. The screw-top lid ensures that the product does not squirt and spill all over your handbag, however, the formula is so thick that it wouldn’t cause a mess even if the lid was to fall off.

So what can it be used for? Well as the name already suggests – everything! You can use it for:

• cracked/dry lips – this is my favourite and most common use for this balm. I love adding the tiniest amount to my lips for an overnight treatment after I exfoliate or as a relief in the colder months. The balm easily glides over the lips like butter and provides moisture like I’ve never seen before.
• cracked heels – smooth over your heels and apply socks immediately to lock in the moisture.
• smooth flyaway hair – a great alternative to serum.
• elbows and dry patches of skin – those with eczema and psoriasis have claimed to see a massive improved in skin appearance after two weeks of use.
• a cuticle balm – perfect for those who want to relieve dry, cracked cuticles, but don’t want to deal with greasy hands.
• soothing nappy rash – the ingredients list says it all and is perfectly safe to use on babies.
• shaping and taming unruly eyebrows – apply a tiny amount to the brows and run a spoolie (mascara wand) through them to save money on brow gel and achieve a natural finish.
• conditioning eyelashes and nails – additional moisture promotes growth in both areas and ensure they are kept strong.
• a highlighter for cheeks and brow bone – applying a small amount of this balm before going in with your highlighter will intensify the pigmentation.
• conditioning ends of the hair – parched and split hair ends are relieved instantly.
• perfume primer – much like a highlighter, the perfume will ‘stick’ to the balm and therefore prolonging its wear and intensify the scent.
• legs for a lasting shine – apply a swipe down the centre of your legs to elongate and slim down your pins without having to faff about with body contour.

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There are three colour options in the Dr. PAWPAW range. The original balm (yellow tube) contains no colour or scent, the peach pink tint (peach tube – go figure) leaves you with the slightest hint of coral and the red tint (red/dark pink tube) adds a hint of cherry red. The colours, in no way shape or form, change the formulation of the balm. Each provide the same amount of moisturisation as the last. I opted for the peach tint this time around as I love to add a hint of colour to the lips, but the original shade would be my option if I was looking to apply it else where. Nevertheless, the colour of the tinted balms are in no way offensive and add a transparent ‘your lips but better’ wash of colour.

The Dr. PAWPAW balm is fairly easy to locate in the UK as it is a UK based company, however, those abroad may be able to purchase from lookfantastic.com and Amazon. I purchased mine from feelunique.com where they’re currently offering 20% discount on all three shades, but it’s fairly easy to track them down at your local Superdrug. Priced at £6.95 (feelunique.com and Superdrug currently have them at discounted prices) this balm is a beauty bargain. A lot cheaper than my Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream and I’ve barely made a dent in the tube since purchasing it at the beginning of the year.

It’s fair to say that my love for the DR. PawPaw balm is here to stay and not only has it become my handbag staple, but I’m never without a tube of this miricle worker around the house.

Have you tried the DR. PAWPAW Multi Purpose Balm? Comment below with your thoughts on it!

Colourpop Comes To The UK | My Favourite Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks

Whilst I appreciate that everyone has their own individual tastes when it comes to down time, my thrill comes from a time pass that every self-proclaimed makeup junkie adores. Reading, long walks and even a tall glass of wine (bottle) may seem tempting at times, but when I’m looking to wind down I go shopping – online shopping that is!

Whenever my mother and husband question where my money goes each month, their questions are quickly dispersed by the sight of packages pilling up at my front door. What can I say? I’m a self-confessed online shopaholic! Trolling the sites of makeup brands that, with much regret, are not as readily available here in the UK. I’m a glutton for punishment – adding things to my shopping cart; which I know will either cost me a hefty fortune to ship over or are not available for international shipping at all. Much was my dismay when I discovered Colourpop

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Colourpop took the makeup world by storm via Instagram and quickly became the topic of choice for many influential beauty bloggers/vloggers. Their colourful persona and vast array of makeup products (including their amazing Super Shock Shadows) redefined the way we look at makeup. Lipsticks, eye shadows, highlighters and many more were given a new lease of life; and bright, vivid colours became all the rage. What really makes Coloupop stand out from the crowd is that they offer highly pigmented makeup items for a mere $6 each (approx £4.62)! Yes you read that correctly…only 6 bucks! I love a bargain as much as the next person so I knew that I needed to get my hands on Colourpop pronto!

Alas, this Californian based brand only offered shipping within the US. That was until July 12th 2016. The day that changed my life. The day that my whole existence became clear. The day that the heavens opened and the angels began to sing glorious hymns whilst strumming on their gold encrusted harps…or in less dramatic terms – the day they began international shipping.

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I almost broke into a song the day that I tore into my eagerly awaited parcel. Surprisingly, shipping was fairly quick (about 6 days from order completion) and there were no nasty custom charges turning up at my door; which was a huge bonus. True to Colourpop’s form, my parcel included this cute little note; which would put a smile on even the toughest critic.

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I decided that my first (notice how I didn’t say only) Colourpop order would consist purely of their Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks, with a cheeky little brow pencil thrown in there; which by the way, I absolutely adore! I would definitely like to try out their shadows next, but I currently have an over flow of eye shadow palettes in my makeup collection so I thought it would be a little excessive of me.

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For $6 these liquid lipsticks aren’t bad at all. Just like it says on the tin – they’re 100% matte and super long wearing. Some colours are slightly more powdery than others, but if you’re used to matte lipsticks it shouldn’t be a problem. I quite often apply a balm or lip primer before application to make the feel slightly more comfortable, but they’re definitely more lightweight than other brands that I’ve tried.

They dry pretty fast once applied to the lips and once they’re on – they’re on! Some of the brighter colours do tend to stain my lips after I remove them; which isn’t a complete game changer. You would need an oil based remover to get these off. The Body Shop’s Camomile Oil Cleanser works a treat. They wear about 8 hours on me, even through eating and drinking, but the formula glides on so smoothly that a touch up wouldn’t add any cakey-ness to the look.

I tend to gravitate towards warmer colours and certainly mauve and pinks are most favoured shades. They have a a huge collection of colours to choose from, but the ones below are my holy grail collection. I love mixing the colours together to create my own bespoke lip colour so I can get the most out of them. A few of the shades below may seem extremely light for my complexion, but they were purchased on the intention of mixing them with the brighter colours to achieve a fuller pout.

These are my top Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick shades…

Avenue – Deep, yellow red
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Mars – Florescent red fuchia
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Bad Habit – Dusty, mauve pink
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Scrooge – Rose pink
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Ouiji – Coral red
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More Better – Deep violet wine
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Tulle – Dusty mauve
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Lumiere 2 – Nude mauve
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Teeny Tiny – Grayed out plum
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Beeper – Warm, mid-toned taupe
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MIDI – Soft, natural beige
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You can purchase the Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick range here

The Best Eye Pencil I Have Ever Used | Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon

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Lining your waterline can be a real struggle, particularly if you’re a contact lens wearer like me. The makeup routine of my early years would consist of black pencil liner smothered into my lower waterline and lashings of mascara. The first few hours post application would go swimmingly, but low and behold, by the end of the day, my makeup would resemble that of Marilyn Manson’s.

Keeping your pencil liner in place seemed like an impossible task to many women, until, of course, gel liners exploded onto the market. The little pots of wonder provided extreme colour payoff with long-lasting power. Heaven sent for some, but a pain for others. Although I love my Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner, I’m not partial to placing it into my waterline. I find placing a mousse-like texture directly into my water line feels uncomfortable, unsecured and messy (particularly when applying it on the move).

So what’s the alternative? Rimmel’s SCANDALEYES Waterproof Kohl Liner had been a good contender for years, but despite the label, it wasn’t as long lasting as I hoped. I almost felt defeated in my search for the perfect eye pencil until Marc Jacobs released their oh so fabulous cosmetics line *cue the singing angels*.

August 2013 saw the release of the much anticipated Marc Jacobs beauty line. With a highly established fashion legacy behind its name, we all knew that the products were going to be very luxurious with a price tag to match. I’m OBSESSED with anything Marc Jacobs, so you can imagine the delight on my face when I heard that they were branching out into their own brand of makeup. Many fashion brands have tried their hand at the makeup world, but very few have had the success that Marc Jacobs has over the years.

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The Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon is, in my opinion, the Rolls Royce of eye pencils. Much like a traditional gel liner, the super-malleable formula glides on smoothly for an incredibly pigmented and long lasting wear, but gives you the convenience of a pencil liner. There are 25 shades in the range from bright neon to traditional black. I’ve not had a chance to play around with the colours too much as I don’t feel like they’re necessary for the looks that I create, but ‘Blacquer’ and ‘In the buff’ are by far my favourite colour options.

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The pencil itself epitomises all that is great with Marc Jacobs designs. The black and silver details along with the simple ‘Marc Jacobs’ logo mimic the minimalist nature of the brand. The top end of the pencil contains a band of colour; which corresponds to the colour of the eyeliner. This makes it easy to spot the eyeliner of your choice in your makeup bag without having to lift off the lid. You get 0.5g of product here; which doesn’t seem like a lot, but a little goes a very very long way.

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My biggest objective with pencil liners is by far the comfort of the formula. As mentioned before, I’m a contact lens wearer who spends most of my day in front of a computer screen, so having an eyeliner that won’t irritate my eyes is a must. The texture is incredibly creamy and glides into my waterline with absolutely no tugging at all. The sharp point on the pencil allows for me to place the liner in the exact direction that I desire with no chance of poking myself in the eye (yes, that has stupidly happened to me before).

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The colour payoff is what initially sold this pencil to me. Marc Jacobs describes it as a richly pigmented, extreme-wear, waterproof eyeliner – all of which I cannot deny! This liner is like a magnet to the eyes. Be it humidity, rain or emotion – this liner will not budge. I will warn you though, if you’re planning on wearing your makeup for longer than 16 hours, things will start to shift. That’s to be expected with any makeup item and it would be ridiculous to expect this eyeliner to last longer than that. With that being said, I tried this liner on my eyes for a wedding last week and it required no topping up at all even though it had been on pretty much the entire day. It’s obviously the gel component that gives the pencil its intense colour, but it even rivals many of my liquid liners. Oh and if you’re wondering how you would go about sharpening the pencil without it smudging all over your sharpener? – there’s an in-built sharpener, meaning you simply need to twist the bottom of the pencil in order to get more product out.

So here’s the catch, or should I say catches? – it’s £19.00 and it’s only available at Harrods (in the UK or Sephora.com from the US). Some would say the price tag is extortionate for a simple eye pencil and I certainly agree. It is a steep price for an eyeliner, but I’m completely hooked. This liner has by far exceeded any expectations that I’ve ever had for an eye pencil and I doubt I would use anything else. I suppose the price can be justified considering that it uses significantly less product than traditional liners because of its gel texture, but then again, when have us makeup enthusiasts ever needed justification?

You can purchase the Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon at Harrods and Sephora.com