Anastasia Modern Renaissance Review

As you may be able to tell by the five million selfies lately (sorry bout it) I've been mixing things up a bit in the makeup department. I've never been one to wear colour on my eyes but since I started sporting coloured lenses I've become one of those palette hoarding maniacs. And I'm okay with that.

I've been on the hunt for the Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette for a while now but every time I've looked online I've been faced with the words 'sold out' Every. Damn. Time. The other day I was contacted by a website called Octer that allows you to compare different websites and brands in order to find the exact product you're looking for. Obviously, I headed straight for the palette section of their beauty department and with a few scrolls, lo and behold, there it was, the ABH palette of dreams. I couldn't throw it on my face fast enough.

And guys, if any of my palettes deserve a dedicated blog post, it's this bad boy.

The brush that comes with the palette is surprisingly decent as well - so really good if you're on the go and don't want to lug around your entire brush collection.

Of course this palette is geared towards more warm-toned neutrals and pops of red, pinks and oranges, but generally speaking it's a really good all rounder for an every day eye look as well. The colours are mostly ultra-matte finish, but there are a few shimmery almost wet-look shades that work perfect for the inner corner or packing all over the lid. Like most shadows, they work best with a good eye primer under neath, but even without that last throughout the day without any creasing.

I was going to do a pro and con sort of blog post, but - in all honesty - I've yet to come across anything negative about this palette. Sure, it's pricey from the get go, but considering you get fourteen super pigmented pans (ten of which are neutrals) each colour works out at less than £3 each - cheaper than any drugstore shadow.

The pigmentation is absolutely ridiculous - in a good way. One tap of a brush and you've got enough pigment to cover your lid and then some. The colours blend in almost effortlessly - perfect if you're a bit of an eyeshadow noob like I am - and layer up nicely without every looking patchy.

SHOP THE LOOK:

WATCH THE TUTORIAL:

Bottom row

Raw Sienna - Neutral amber (Ultra Matte)
Burnt Orange - Deep orange (Ultra Matte)
Primavera - Iridescent champagne (Metallic)
Red Ochre - Deep burgundy (Ultra Matte)
Venetian Red - Crimson red (Ultra Matte)
Warm Taupe - Ash taupe (Ultra Matte)
Realgar - Warm orange (Ultra Matte)

Top row

Tempera - Light beige (Ultra Matte)
Goldern Ochre - Yellow-brown (Ultra Matte)
Vermeer - Irridescent Shell (Metallic)
Buon Fresco - Cool-toned Lavender (Ultra Matte)
Antique Bronze - Warm sable (Metallic/Satin)
Love Letter - Deep fuschia (Ultra Matte)
Cyprus Umber - Dark chocolate (Ultra Matte)

Voting ends tonight! (you can vote three times) xo


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Summer festival essentials

Anyway, this week, I've been given the chance to head off to Boardmasters festival as a VIP for the whole week with none other than Original Source (AKA the makers of those amazing smelling shower gels), which means goodbye port-a-loos, and hello private showers. Now that my friends, is my kind of festival. Here's what I'll be packing to keep me feeling fresh.

I always used to think I was a fairly low maintenance kind of girl (I say this prior to my phase of putting 47 kilos of makeup on my face each day) but whenever festival season comes about I realise exactly how much I cherish my home comforts. I like to shower, I like to wash my face and I like my hair to be at least somewhat clean at all times. Is that really too much to ask?! 

The Beauty Products

Since I'll be throwing on a full face of makeup before I leave,
I've decided to only bring some of the basics along with me, including a spot of my favourite SPF (just incase the sun
decides to randomly show up) a travel size of dry shampoo to keep me feeling fresh, a refillable travelo spray (to keep me smelling fresh) and a nude-tinted lip balm because - let's be
real here - who wants to constantly top up their liquid lipstick when you're dancing around in a crowd of five thousand people? 

In the UK, festivals aren't always sunshine and sandals. In fact, it's more of a case of wet mud and wellies all week long, which is exactly why I've shied away from camping at festivals. But now, since I've got the luxury of VIP showers I'm of course going to bring some of the new Original Source Moisturising Shower Milks because, well, it'd be rude not to, right? They come in four different flavours (I legit want to drink them) - Cherry & Almond Milk, Sweet Apple & Vanilla Milk, Green Banana & Bamboo Milk and Lime & Coconut Milk. 

 


SHOP THE POST:

THE GADGETS

And of course - what with Pokemon Go taking over my life and wanting to Instagram-story just about everything these days, a portable charger is a must. I'll also need enough battery to hook up to my trusty portable speaker - for those times when I just want to chill out, blast some music and eat pizza with my friends on the beach.

What sort of internet person would I be if I didn't bring every gadget I own to a festival? I've had an Instax camera for ages now, but I only bring it out for special occasions that I'd like to document - like a festival. They might not be the most practical thing to lug around, but I lobe being able to collect memories in physical form.

WHAT FESTIVALS HAVE YOU / WIILL YOU BE GOING TO THIS SUMMER?


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* This post is in collaboration with Original Source *

Rihanna 'Work' Makeup Tutorial

simple every day look. I mean, I guess when you plonk a metallic blue/green lipstick on your face you can't really go more crazy, so do let me know if you want to see more makeup looks!

And of course - if you think I'm good enough - I would love it if you'd consider voting for me in the next round and getting me to the final 10! Voting opens in around a week so keep your eyes peeled. Spoiler alert: I didn't cut off / bleach all my hair. Syke.

A few weeks back you might remember that I became one of the 30 finalists for the #IAmFreedom makeup awards competition, to which I kindly asked / begged you to vote for me to help me get to the next round and, well, we made it! Thank you so so much. I won't get all emosh on you guys but it really, truly, means everything to me knowing that you all have my back. 

So here I am, sitting not-so-comfortably in the final 20, the stakes are high (like, a £20,000 prize kinda high) and having played it safe in the beauty department for well, my entire life, I decided it was finally time to step outside my comfort zone for the next 'Modern Icons / Hollywood Glamour' challenge, and (attempt) to turn myself in Rihanna from her 'Work' music video. Only with less dancing, more clothes, and less of a booty.

I've wanted to do makeup tutorials for such a long time now, but I've never felt confident enough to do anything other than a

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS MAKEUP LOOK? WOULD YOU WEAR IT?


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Love Me Beauty July 2016 Review

Love Me Beauty Review July 2016

It's been a while since I did a good old fashion Love Me Beauty review, but now that I'm back to blogging regularly I thought it was about time I brought back my monthly reviews. I've been subscribed to LMB since their first ever box over three years ago, but recently they started sending me out PR packages so that I can test drive a bunch of the different products available in their boutique.

If you're not already familiar with Love Me Beauty, they're a monthly subscription box that work on a credits basis, allowing you to choose the contents of your own box each month so that you don't end up with a bunch of beauty products that you're never going to use. Every month you get given 60 credits to spend as you wish, with products starting from just 5 credits.

Another great thing about Love Me Beauty is the brands they have available. Every month they seem to be recruiting more and more amazing brands, including everyone from Rodial to Tangle Teezer to Pop Bands. July's edit (also known as The Wanderlust Edit) is full to the brim with products from Pixi, Caudalie, Yes To and even OPI to ensure you're festival ready. This month's edit even includes samples of Agentum's La Potion Infinie cream that retails for a whopping £145 for the full size. The box itself costs just £10 plus p+p. Yeah, I know.

So anyway, for the past few weeks I've been test driving a bunch of the products from the latest Love Me Beauty edit and - guys - they're all kind of amazing. Here's a little run through of all the products available this month and why you need 'em..

CAUDALIE GLYCOLIC MASK & MOISTURISING SORBET

I'm forever on the hunt for a product that gives me a glow, so when I opened up the LMB package to find the Caudalie Glycolic mask I slapped it on my face almost instantly. I loved how quick it was to use and how soft my skin felt after using it. You only need a tiny bit as well so a little really does go a long way! I'm yet to try the Moisturising Sorbet, but the size makes it perfect for travel.
 

PIXI GLOW TONIC, BEAUTY SLEEP & CORRECTION CONCENTRATE

If you've been following my Youtube for a while you'll know that I've been a fan of Pixi's Glow Tonic for years. It's similar to Caudalie's Glycolic mask but it applies more like a toner. I use it every other night to exfoliate my skin. I'm still yet to try the Beauty Sleep Cream but anything that works on my face whilst I'm snoozing gets a big thumbs up from me. As for the corrector? It's honestly perfect for concealing under eye circles thanks to it's peachy colour. You really don't need a lot of this stuff so use sparingly!
 

O.P.I NAIL LACQUER IN 'LUCKY LUCKY LAVENDER'

As you can all probably tell, I do not do my nails myself, so I'm yet to try out this particular shade of O.P.I on my nails, but I have swatched it and the colour looks perfect for summer. I know for a fact that I love O.P.I polishes, so as soon as I get through this nude nail phase that I'm in I'll be sure to take it to my nail technician and give it a go.
 

ARGENTUM LA POTION INFINIE CREAM

This Argentum cream costs more than a month's food shop for me, so I was almost scared to use it incase I fell in love. Guys, I fell in love. It's generally considered an ageing cream which - unless I want to look like a ten year old - isn't quite for me yet. But as for a general face cream? It hydrates my skin in seconds without leaving any greasy residue.
 

YES TO COCONUTS BODY LOTION SPRAY AND BODY SCRUB

The first thing that got me about these products was the smell, but when I realised the body lotion came with a pump I was officially in love. I've been a huge fan of Yes To products for a while now because they're simple, but effective. The body scrub is great for getting rid of old fake tan. And the lotion? It has a pump. Need I say more?

HAVE YOU TRIED THE LOVE ME BEAUTY BOX BEFORE?

Use 'coco50' for 50% off your first LMB order!


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My Teeth Transformation

Never in a million years did I think I'd be posting a timeline of my teeth transformation. For a few pesky chunks of whatever the hell they're made of, they've caused me a lot of grief throughout my 23 years. I mean, health-wise they've stayed in fairly good nick - especially considering during the ages of about 10 to well, now, the majority of my diet has consisted of  e-numbers and additives, but in terms of emotional grief..let's just say my gnashers and I haven't always been the best of friends. Never in a million years did I think I'd get to the point where I actually felt even at ease about my smile, let alone feeling confident. 

Now for some people, the appearance of my teeth back in 2009 might look like nothing, but as I'm sure you all know, kids can be harsh. And if it wasn't for them, I probably would have grown up gap-toothed and gummy without a care in the world. Instead, I grew up with nicknames such as 'goofy' and 'Bugs Bunny' accompanied by a series of insecurities that stuck around for over a century. 

editing out without any real thought. I don't know if I wanted it gone to get rid of the chip itself, or because I wanted every trace of my old grin gone for good. Regardless of why, I knew it was time to get it gone for good.

So when I was offered up the chance to get a free treatment at the Elleven Dental Practise in London (who, by the way, treat everyone from Ferne Cotton to David Gandy) I said yes, yes, yes. I've never been a fan of dentists to say the least, but I was assured that this would be like no other dental appointment, and boy, were they right. The practise itself was huge, and the treatment room (which equates to about the size of my current house) looked more like a hotel than anything else. Think full-length sofas, floor to ceiling windows and the most beautiful ornate balconies. Normally I would rush out of a dentist as soon as possible, but this time? I was quite happy to stick around and enjoy myself. That's right, I did just say relate the word 'joy' to being at the dentist.

Anyway, onto the treatment. Originally I was expecting to get my teeth contoured (a fancy word for re-shaping), but after a short consultation with my new favourite dentist he told me that contouring was out of the question, and that he didn't want to file down my teeth in order to create something that didn't exist: perfection. He took a closer look at me and quickly realised that my orthodontist from years ago had left a lot of glue on my teeth from the braces. Over a period of around four years, this discoloured slightly, leaving me with discoloured parts of my teeth that even I - self-consious Steph the spy - didn't pick up on. He gently filed away at the front of my teeth for the next twenty minutes. My teeth had never looked so white. Then, we moved onto my chipped tooth - the last part of my 'imperfect teeth from the past' that had got me down for so long. Within a few minutes my tooth was filled with a composite filling, shaped accordingly to balance out my two front teeth, and that was me done. Operation Teeth transformation: Complete.

This is actually the first time I've ever even looked at my own 'teeth transformation' (let alone shown it to anyone), but if you told me the teeth in the last photo belonged to the same person in the first I'd have laughed in your face - whilst covering my mouth of course.

Thank you so much to everyone at Elleven for closing the book on this teethy chapter of my life. I guess good things do happen to those that wait - or at least, those that go to a really great dental practice. Still waiting on Gandy though..

It wasn't until 2011 that I finally made it to the top of the waiting list for braces. I'd been metaphorically perched on that waiting list for four years, unable to do anything but just sit around and hope that my time would come. There was no way I or my family could afford to pay for them privately, so I just had to stay hopeful that the NHS would make me a brace face before my eighteenth birthday. Anytime after that and I would no longer qualify for free orthodontic treatment. Thankfully, a few months before I hit the big 1-8 I got called in for my consultation. A few weeks later and I was a fully fledged metal mouth - rubber bands and all.

I'll spare you the next few years of my teeth transformation, since a lot of you will already know the pleasures of having braces tightened and having the wires scratch the inside of your mouth on an almost hourly basis. It sucked, but it was absolutely one of the best things I ever did for myself. Almost three years later - right before I started University - and I was able to get the go-ahead to have them removed. As you can see, it was quite the improvement.

But as you can also see, I didn't quite stop there with my teeth. I was happy with what I had for a little while, but then I became fixated on the idea of having perfect pearly whites like I saw in the magazines. Pretty tough, considering I was necking around five cups of coffee a day and five glasses of red a night (#unilife). I tried every whitening treatment on the market - both professional and uh, potentially damaging, and finally I came across a routine that worked, that was safe enough for me and my teeth. 

By this point I was more confident about my mouth than ever before. Without even thinking about it I began to find myself smiling more and laughing more without even attempting to cover my teeth. My new gnashers didn't just make me look different - they made me feel different too. For the first time in my life I could look at myself in the mirror and think - you know what - I might not be perfect, but hey, I ain't that bad either.

And that was that, I thought. But if you read my recent post on why I decided to change myself in order to love myself, you might remember that I mentioned I had one final thing done - almost like the final piece of the puzzle. As a blogger I see more photos of myself than most. I see every pore, every pimple, every imperfection. Soon, I set my sights on a slight chip in my front tooth that I'd had right since the start, that I had been

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR CONFIDENCE HAS CHANGED IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS?


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