Friday, 31 October 2014

The only face brush you will ever need.

I jumped on the band wagon. I've walked past the range of Real techniques brushes in Asda wayyy too many times for me to ignore the urge to buy one any longer. This is my first Real techniques brush and I chose the Expert face brush. It's perfect for liquid, cream or powder foundation as well as blusher, bronzer and face powder - hence it's called the Expert face brush! This brush really is a versatile one brush fits all kind of brush, so much so that I've ditched my regular kabuki for applying my bronzer as I'm so impressed with it. 

I've only ever had one other foundation brush before and due to the flat shape of it, it made applying foundation difficult as you were unable to brush in circular motions to buff your foundation in and so you were left with the dreaded brush stroke lines. I ditched this brush fairly quickly as I found myself using my fingers to blend in the foundation anyway. 
Watching the expert face brush tutorial, which you can find here, I learnt that the reason the bristles (which are synthetic and 100% cruelty free!) are formed in a rounded and slightly domed shape is so that you can brush your product outwards towards the edge of the face as well as using circular motions to blend and buff your product in; leaving a smooth picture perfect and streak-free finish without needing a separate brush to blend. Other pros include the handle as it makes it really easy to use, the fact that it's self standing, the bristles which are super soft yet firm, and of course the price, at just ten pounds I really don't know what you're waiting for. 

Through researching I have found that some people are unhappy with the amount of bristles that have shed, however I have not had this problem at all. Some reviews which agree with me are suggesting that some could be aggressively tugging at the bristles when cleaning the brush, so of course if you pull a bristle hard enough, it will fall out. But again, this has not been an issue with me whatsoever.

I really have got excited over this brush and I almost look forward to applying my foundation because of just how perfect it comes out now by using this! I love that this is multi-purpose as well and am so pleased this is the brush I chose first, I'll never need to get another face brush again! 
I did say need, but whether I want another is a totally different matter..

Have you tried Real Techniques brushes?
cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

OOTD: Please don't tell me I look like Miley//Faux fur jacket

I have finally found a beautiful, bargain faux fur jacket. I've never committed myself to buying an expensive vintage one in fear that it isn't actually fake fur but also because they can be very pricey for something that may never be the same again if you spill anything down it. Being a well known mucky pup, I waited patiently for high street shops to start getting in the fur. It has cropped sleeves which I think look quite cute, being as short as I am I didn't want a coat to swamp me so this was an alternative which I was happy with. It does come with a rather tacky looking sparkly brooch, but I unpinned and binned this straight away.

I wore this with a Topshop crop which is from last year as the mustard patterns broke up the black on black on black. I also added a gold necklace from Primark as I felt like I needed something there seeing as I my hair was all up. With a crop top meant I had to wear high waisted jeans, I chose my black New look ones and then my Primark boots which I wrote about, here, still loving them!

Do you like the hair? Too Miley?
Are you as obsessed with faux fur as I am?
cottonandcandie x

Monday, 27 October 2014

No7 Lipsticks that are a match made in heaven.

As a real pale girl there's lots of debates around what colour lip you should wear. An assistant from Mac advised me that you can wear whatever shade you like as long as you feel confident enough to pull it off, and so because of this you can go really bold. Then there's other assistants who shudder at the idea of pairing the typical English rose complexion with a dark or a bright shade. So, when No7 advertised their match made lipstick service which determines your skin tone and then the lip colours which will complement, I was all over it. 

Earlier this year I had my foundation colour matched (surprise, surprise, I'm Calico - No7's lightest shade!) and I was so impressed with how on point the match was that I've used it ever since. Because of this, it made matching my lipstick colours easy as they already have little cards made up which display a selection of lipsticks which will work well with the foundation shade you are. I picked up the Calico card and headed to one of the friendly ladies at No7. I picked Rose berry and she recommended Soft tulip, these are both from the Moisture drench range as I didn't flip the card over to see the Stay perfect choices!I tried both on and she definitely knew best. Soft tulip is quite an unusual colour as in some lights it's a delicate peachy coral and in others it looks more pink. At first I was a little uncertain as it did make my lips a little dry, I asked her about this and she said that she also has the same problem and that she never goes out without a gloss over the top of her lipstick. She found a gloss which matched Soft tulip (I'm so sorry I don't know what shade she chose!) and smoothed some over the top, this not only made the lipstick feel good on the lips but also locked in the colour. 

What do you think to my lipstick match? Have you tried the No7 match made lip service yet?
cottonandcandie x

Saturday, 25 October 2014

The budget boot(s)

I am not a boot girl. The only boots I've ever owned are hand-me-down ones from my Mum. I'm very much a Vans person, and seeing as they have amazing grip because they're skater shoes Vans have been my all terrain all weather shoes for a good three years. Only when I started blogging did I realise that every outfit that I put together immediately became casual and scruffy when I put on my one of four pairs of worn out vans - I even thought about taking photos with no shoes on before I considered actually buying some shoes which weren't Vans!

These are 15 pounds each and are both from Primark and I can honestly say they are both amazingly comfy, especially the brown Timberland looking ones. I bought both at the same time and wore these first. I love the almost military feel about them and instantly feel a strut in my step when I wear them. I will admit that I did want a pair of Timberlands but seeing as I wore them today and someone mistaked them for the real thing when I didn't have to pay ten times the price I can definitely say I'm happy. Actually comparing them to the ones I looked at on the Timberlands website I think that these look a little more feminine, I think it's because of the slight heel and that the boot ends higher up the ankle so they don't look as much of a man's working boot.  I also feel like Lara Croft in them which is a huge bonus.

When I picked up the black pair my friend laughed and said that they were "so me" and she could already see that they suited me - she wasn't wrong. I've always wanted a pair of boots which are black and chunky but not covered in chains and straps and all that scary looking stuff. As they're platformed I think they make you feel that little more dressed up as well, which is great for when you're teaming these with jeans and a big jumper for uni!

Will you be investing in a new Autumn boot?
cottonandcandie x

Thursday, 23 October 2014

My Barry M nail paint collection


I've always loved Barry M, as a teen I spent many a weekend gushing over the different shades of their dazzle dust and although I'm not into the "stumbled into a glitter pot" look now, my adoration for their nail paint has never ceased.

Firstly, I always find that Barry M is just one step ahead with their nail polish ideas, the crackle ones, magnetic, matte topcoat, gelly, they're always bringing out something which us ladies can't help but pick up and try.

Here's my Barry M collection, and yes I do like blue. I also went through a stage of almost repurchasing very similar colours to ones I already owned just so that I had the gelly hi-shine version as well as the regular.

First row: Espresso matte, Foil effects silver, Rose quartz glitter, Diamond glitter, Matte topcoat and Magnetic violet. 

A good old fashioned black nail is what I reach for most of the time, black is timeless and it goes with everything. I especially like a matte nail, so Espresso matte is my absolute go to nail polish. Foil effects I was a little disappointed with as I thought it would really give my nails that almost mirror effect shine (yes, I know I must have had really high hopes for this.) Rose quartz and Diamond glitter I often add to an accent nail if I'm going out or Christmastime - gotta sparkle at Christmas! The matte topcoat I reviewed here, and the magnetic one I've sadly lot the magnet for it!!

Second row:  Limited edition pink, Passion fruit, Bright red, No name! (red glitter), Mango

The limited edition pink I got from some of my friends for my birthday (they know me so well), and I absolutely loved it. It looks very barbie like in the bottle but on the nails it's a gorgeous pinky purple which isn't too girlie - a must for me! Passion fruit (I love that all the gellys are name after fruit) looks like it should be a real neon pink but after two coats it comes out as your standard red, which is a bit of a shame! Next is "Bright red", don't let the lack of an exciting name fool you, I've had to repurchase this twice! It's a real bold colour, and yes, I guess I would say it was "bright". Next to this is one which has no name, it's a glittery red but painted on the nail it looks clear with small dots of red, if any. You really need at least 500000 coats of this to be an actual glittery red nail but it does have a nice subtle effect if you apply it on top of a red nail. 
Mango. Every time I've applied this I've taken it back off again, and now it's Autumn I feel even less inclined to try and rock this real shocker of a colour!

Third and final row: Blackberry, Guava, Greenberry, Blue grape, Nail effects Blue crackle, Cyan blue, Blueberry, Indigo. 

First up is blackberry, this is the most recent polish I bought and it was on the featured section for Autumn, it's a real nice inky blue which makes a change from the standard black. Guava is one of my personal favourites and I actually have two bottles of this because I didn't realise I had already bought it! Greenberry is really quite bright, this is the exact colour I think of when people say turquoise and I wore this loads on holiday and throughout Summer. Next to this is Blue grape which is a royal blue, definitely a very understated colour, everyone needs this in their nail wardrobe! I never really got on with the crackle polishes, especially seeing as I had it in blue and could never really decide what colour to pair it with. Now Cyan blue was literally my colour in high school. I'd wear it on toes and fingers and when it chipped I would take it off and repaint the exact same colour. Gelly hi shine in Blueberry is a shade I never get bored of, I love that it's pastel without being wishy washy. Finally, my last colour is a blurple, which looks more blue with a second coat and looks quite translucent without. 

What's your favourite shade? Do you have a go-to brand for nails?
cottonandcandie x

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

OOTD: Over the shoulders jackets

There's something just so chic about wearing a jacket over your shoulders. In every set of wedding photos, the ones where you've been kindly given (or pinched) a suit jacket and someone has put it over your shoulders so you don't get cold: that is always the nicest lot of photos of the evening. Am I right? 
The second photo was my regular OOTD, a H&M vest dress in teal, H&M statement necklace, chunky boots from Primark which featured in my last fashion post and Mac: Viva Glam I on my lips. 

The first jacket I tried was a light grey blazer from New look. I like this office-y, just got out of work look and I think it can look really classy. I rarely wear this blazer as it never sat right however putting it over my shoulders instead has definitely made me wear it more. 

The second jacket I don't think looked quite right as the arms stuck out a bit (maybe I could tuck them into the pockets?) but I love the furry collar with this outfit and think that the photos taken closer up looked nicer. This jacket is from River Island last year, it's quite an unconventional parka jacket as it's quite a deep green and the material and quilted effect to it are entirely different from what you'd expect a parka to look like. 

Which jacket do you prefer with this outfit? Will you be rocking the coat as a cape trend?
cottonandcandie x

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Bewitching bronzer

Firstly, not one of these photos are edited. My face really did look that pale and ill before I applied my newest bronzer. Some of you may recognise the packaging, this is Body shop's Honey bronze bronzing powder in 02 - fair matte. I've been using bronzer for around three years now and I was on a mission to find a new one. I wanted a matte bronzer with no sparkle or shimmer which could be applied all over the face as well as for contouring. I read one recommendation and immediately went out to try it. I agree you definitely shouldn't be swayed by other opinions as what works for one might not work for another, but the assistant only had to rub a little on my hand for me to go weak at the knees and march to the till. There is a lighter shade than this however it has more pinky tones which didn't look as nice on me. I was advised to go for 02 instead as it more neautral. 

I just love how it entirely transforms my face. I think I look more awake, it reduces shine, covers blemishes and just really makes me feel like I glow. 
To apply, dab a kabuki brush onto the bronzer and use circular motions around your entire face until you achieve a warm finish. No need to tap off excess product off of your brush as it is a very buildable product. 
It is expensive at 13 pounds but for a product this good I would pay double - also, Body shop often have 40% off sales! No excuses!

Do you have a favourite bronzer? Will you be wearing it through Autumn?
cottonandcandie x

Friday, 17 October 2014

Lingerie lusting

You guys worked out that I like alliteration yet?
I really really need an underwear revamp. I wish I could just chuck absolutely everything and start afresh. No Primark 1 pound pants lurking around, just pure, pretty lingerie. So, if that were possible, here is what I'd pick..

Here are my favourites from Topshop, New look and Lonely lingerie at the moment. If you've never been on the Lonely lingerie website or heard of them at all then I urge you: do not go on their site. Everything is beautiful and everything is excruciatingly expensive, sadly. -We're talking 100 a bra. A girl can dream..

I'm loving anything lace for Autumn, so of course lingerie is no exception. The cut out style and crossover back bras are my favourites at the moment, a real fun and playful side to lingerie - move over t shirt bras!

Which one is your favourite?
cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Blushin' over Topshop's metallic cream blush

It was love at first sight. I read no reviews, I didn't even know Topshop did a cream blusher, I picked up the first shade I saw, tried it on and yes. This was the one. 

This shade is called Pulse, it is a metallic cream blush which is described as "blossom pink" by Topshop. To me it's much more than this, it's a beautiful deep peachy pink which finishes with a highlighting sheen across your cheeks. It is a sheen rather than a shimmer, which I believe is where the "metallic" part comes in. It seems to catch the light giving your cheeks a warm yet subtle glow.

Applying this is fool proof. A quick swirl of the product with your finger tips and then simply dab onto your cheeks and blend upwards across your cheekbones. Topshop recommend applying just to the apples of your cheeks but as it really seems to brighten and highlight I prefer it swept all the way across my cheekbones. The product is really quite solid, so you can get as much as you need rather than becoming a sticky creamy blushing mess which I've found with lots of other cream blushers. It's also really buildable, so it's suitable for a slight flush of the cheeks for daytime and then applying a little more for a real glow at night. At just 7 pounds I think this is worth every penny.

Are you a fan of cream blush?
cottonandcandie x