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10.24.2016

Beauty | Nails of the Day & a Glitter Steal!

Hello everyone! Happy Monday. In today's post, I'm going to share with you today's nail look. I'm really enjoying nude nails at the moment and so I decided to go with a beautiful mauve shade with a glitter accent nail to give the nails a little twist. The main shade I'm wearing is from Mavala and it's called "Orchid Mauve" - one of my all time favourite nude polishes.


The glitter is one of which I recently purchased from TKMaxx - an absolute steal from Essie called "A Cut Above" along with another glitter called "Ce-Les-Tial is More" from OPI. If you've never checked out TKMaxx and their beauty aisles, you definitely should - you can often find some real gems.


What do you think of my current nail look? What are your favourite polish brands?


Levinia xo


PRODUCTS MENTIONED:

Mavala | Orchid Mauve
OPI | Celestial is More
Essie Luxe Effects | A Cut Above

10.21.2016

Beauty | 5 Products / Techniques I Have Social Media to Thank For

Social media is at the core of most our lives in the modern world. It has a huge outreach and the capacity to allow us to share, create and learn. In one of the many ways that social media has influenced my life is in the way that I do my makeup. Whilst social media of course has a far more serious and deeper capacity to change lives than just through our beauty routines, I thought this would be a cute, lighthearted blog post in which I share 5 beauty techniques & products I have social media to thank for.

The Coveted Beauty Sponge

How did I ever apply my foundation without a beauty sponge? Prior to using this glorious invention, I had never found the perfect way to apply my foundation for an even, flawless coverage. After watching several beauty videos and seeing guru's always rave about using a damp beauty sponge, I finally decided to buy one - opting for the Real Techniques Miracle Sponge. Whilst it took me a while to figure out how exactly the sponge is best used, once I got the hang of it I knew I was never going back to a brush for my foundation, oh no. My sponge has since become a core tool in much of my makeup application; from foundation, to powder to concealer - it really is a miracle sponge.

Contouring and Highlighting

So, for ages I just didn't understand contouring or highlighting and even on initial implementation of these techniques into my routine, I still wasn't impressed. It's safe to say that "Instagram Contouring" is not what I'm talking about here. I don't have time nor the desire for that kind of dramatic look - it's just not my personal cup of tea. But, with practise and playing around with what DOES work for me, I have come to really enjoy contouring and the effect it has on my makeup look. And highlighting? I'm all about that glow and since purchasing Mary-Lou Manizer and popping it on my cheekbone for the first time, I have never looked back!

** Don't be afraid or daunted by either of these two techniques and please don't think you've gotta carve your face like a pumpkin to achieve a contoured look. Do what works for you and understand that makeup and beauty have no set rules, only guidelines. **

Loose Powder and Baking

For a long time, I thought the idea of baking was kind of... silly. Even now, I'm not a massive fan of the highly dramatic bake technique that we're used to seeing on social media. I like to go for a bake using a translucent or similar skin toned powder for the purpose of setting my concealer and avoiding creasing as oppose to baking for the purpose of an intense highlight under the eye. The way that I bake has really improved the look of makeup when applied to areas I tend to get creasing or oiliness. Loose powder is my new go to for powdering anywhere and I definitely recommend you give this technique a go.

** And what exactly is baking you ask? It's essentially packing on a large amount of loose powder in a particular area - generally under the eyes, the nose and the forehead - and letting it "bake" there whilst doing the rest of making. Once "baked" fully, you sweep off an excess are a less with a flawless, highlighted finish. **

The Magic that is Brow Gel

I think we've all had crazy, regrettable brows in our pasts. I certainly have had my fair share. Whilst I still consider it the most tedious step of my beauty routine, brow gel has really helped to achieve the natural, defined brow look that I always aim for. This is a must have product in my opinion - especially for those of us with thinner brows as it really helps to define your brow hairs giving a more natural, authentic look. Getting a tinted brow gel as well makes this look even more realistic as it adds even more definition to the individual brow hairs and can even be used alone if you're in a hurry.

Lip Liner

Wait, why exactly am I thanking social media for lip liner? Well although I knew of lip liner prior to social media, I didn't really get it. Of course I knew its use, but didn't really see the need for it until I started watching youtube videos and beauty guru's insisting that they were necessary.  Boy, had I been missing out. Bye bye bleeding lipstick and weird shaped lips, hello full, plump lips and clean lines! Lip liner is a must in my makeup routine and I simply don't wear a lip product without it!


What beloved products or must do beauty techniques do you have to thank social media for?

Levinia, xo

10.19.2016

Beauty | Review: Nyx Lip Lingerie in Bedtime Flirt

Hi everyone! I hope you're having a good Wednesday so far! Today I'm back with another NYX review for you all. I've been really enjoying NYX and their products lately and their Lip Lingerie lipsticks are what I'll be reviewing for you in this post - specifically the lipstick shade "Bedtime Flirt". 

So first as always before I get into my review, let's see what NYX says about this product:

"Slip into something seductive with Lip Lingerie, our new weightless liquid lipstick with a plush matte finish.

Available in a range of colour-kissed nudes—from cinnamon pink and chocolate brown, to warm mahogany red and classic nude beige—each sultry shade will coat the curves of your lips with irresistibly creamy colour."

Colour & Pigmentation:



The colour "Bedtime Flirt" is described on the NYX website as a red toned pink - a description I would describe as fairly accurate. The colour itself has definite undertones of red as well as orange and brown in my opinion and is somewhat similar to Kat Von D's "Lolita" (though certainly lighter in shade). It's a perfect autumnal shade for me and one i've been wearing often these past few months. In terms of pigmentation, this shade is nicely pigmented though a little patchy in places - nonetheless, the colour is rich and true to the tone in the packaging when swatched on the skin. 

Application, Formula & Wear Time:


This lipstick applies nicely to the lips though as mentioned above, it can be patchy in some places. This is easily fixed with a little more layering and it isn't difficult at all to get an even, opaque coverage. The lipstick dries matte in around 30-45 seconds and doesn't transfer to the touch once it has done so. 

The lipsticks are lightweight and feel velvety on the lips. Despite drying matte, they can sometimes transfer and feel almost "sticky" when you press your lips together. This isn't a massive deal however and always, it's best not to rub your lips together too much anyway when wearing a liquid lipstick.
The wear time of these lipsticks are very good - I have worn them for full days at work with only 1 need for a touch up. When drinking, there's little to no transfer or wearing and they react well to contact with food. 

Final Thoughts:

 Overall, I'm a big fan of these liquid lipsticks and I have to say, I definitely prefer them over the formula of the much loved Soft Matte Lip Creams! Definitely give these a go if you're a liquid lipstick fan.

Have you tried the NYX Lip Lingerie range yet? What are your personal thoughts and what are your favourite liquid lippies?

Levinia xo

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

10.10.2016

Let's Talk | Body Shaming - A Skinny Girls Perspective

Body shaming in one capacity or another has been around for as long as our abilities to perceive conceptions of beauty have. Unfortunately, the topic of weight is now at the forefront of this issue and it is often primarily "fat shaming" as it has come to be known that is first thought of when we think of weight shaming. However, "fat shaming" is not the only kind of shaming that's out there; skinny girls are shamed too. The shaming of the skinny girl is often done through underhanded, subtle comments - more often or not in the form of a compliment to someone of another weight. These can be direct - "you look ill, you need to put on more weight", "do you actually eat?", "why do you want to work out, you're already skinny?", "you need a burger". These comments as mentioned above can also be in the form of "compliments" to others: "don't worry, men don't want skin and bones, men want curves", "only dogs like bones", "real women are curvy". 

It is often thought that if you are skinny, you are privileged - therefore you have no need nor any right to moan or feel offended about the comments of others. And yes, perhaps (at least in the society that I live in), the commonly favoured, Westernised standard of beauty is the one featuring a slimmer, skinnier woman - but that doesn't mean that these women can't and won't be shamed too. More so than this, what we must remember is that at any any given time, these standards of beauty have and will change and that they are constructed ideas, not truth or fact. Being skinny does not automatically grant you happiness, body confidence or self acceptance.

We live in a society dominated by media insinuations that in the favour of the "body positivity" movement see it fit to justify the victimising of one body type in order to show support to another.  Song lyrics, memes, Instagram photos - this contradictory "support" is something I have seen all too much of. We must remember that these standards of beauty, these ideals are fed to us by these institutions - they are trying to adapt and frame our perceptions of taste and what beauty is and should be - a reality that can be damaging to us all.
The shaming of the skinny is not right - just like fat shaming is NOT right. Neither should be accepted, neither should be justified in any way. I simply don't believe in the degradation of one cause in order to aid another. I don't believe in bringing others down to bring others up - I believe in the support of all causes in order to rid our society of a wider issue - the issue of shaming of any kind.

As a skinny girl, I don't want to be told that my lack of "curves" are unappealing and mean that I'm not a "real" woman. I don't want to be told that I need to eat more or that I can't go to the gym or workout because I'm "skinny enough".  Just like the larger girl, just like ANY girl, I have the right to feel beautiful, to feel accepted and to feel confident. 

I'd like to see a movement in which one size isn't pitted against another, in which we simply celebrate the beautiful differences within ourselves. I want to live in a world in which we are judged by the integrity of our character and not what the scales have to say.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic, please do leave them in the comments so we can continue this discussion! As always, thanks for reading.

Levinia, xo

10.08.2016

Beauty | Review: Nyx Vivid Brights Eyeliners

Hey everyone! Happy October, it feels like these past few months have just flown by, right? In this post, I'm going to be sharing with you a review on a beauty product I've been testing out for a while now. The products in question are the Nyx Vivid Brights liquid eyeliners.



What Nyx Says About This Product:
"Line your lids with vibrant colour with our new Vivid Brights Liners. Available in nine incredible shades, these pro-level liners deliver instant and intense colour payoff."
As you guys may know, Nyx arrived in Boots stores around the UK a few months ago and this is when I first discovered these eyeliners. After a little bit of a swatch session in store one day, I initially picked up two of the shades from the collection; Violet and Envy. I was also gifted the shade Fire from a lovely colleague of mine at work. I have tried and tested all of these shades and in this review, I'll share with you my thoughts and feelings - enjoy!

Colour & Pigmentation:

The colours available in these liquid eyeliners are awesome. It's really difficult to find colourful liners in liquid form in high street stores and so it's really impressive that Nyx as a brand are providing them at accessible and affordable prices. There are colours for every eye colour and every skin tone - allowing anyone to add a dash of daring colour to their eye look. So, are these eyeliners pigmented? Hell yes they are. They're extremely pigmented and have really amazing colour pay off - whilst the packaging alludes that the colours are a little bit more neon that they are in reality, the colours are nonetheless bright and vivid as Nyx states.

Swatches from L to R: Violet, Envy & Fire
Application, Formula & Wear Time:

In terms of application, these liners apply really well - the brush itself allowing for easy, precise application. The liners are impressively opaque in their application as well - something surprising for such an inexpensive product. You need minimal layering to get a solid block of colour on the eye and they dry down in a matter of seconds. Some colours are slightly more opaque than others - generally these tend to be the darker shades but with a little layering, all the colours that I have tested are easily built up.


The liner dries down to a dryer, matte finish meaning they give off no shine or lacquer finish. They wear incredibly well and as stated dry very quickly which means there's absolutely no transfer from them which is always good. I have worn these liners for full 8 and a half hour days at work and there is zero crumbling, flaking or fading - amazing!

Final Thoughts:

Overall, it's safe to say I'm a massive fan of these liquid liners. They have great pigmentation and are long lasting - not to mention come in a variety of bright, alternative colours that we certainly aren't used to seeing in cheaper, high street makeup brands. These liners are definitely worth the money and worth a try - there's a colour for everyone and you should definitely give them a go if you haven't already!

So, those are my thoughts on the Nyx Vivid Brights liquid eyeliners! Have you tried them, if so what are you own opinions on them? 

Thanks for reading.

Levinia xo


PRODUCTS MENTIONED:

Nyx Vivid Bright Eyeliners | £5.50

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