Vol 1. Splurge, Spend or Save?

Happy November my fellow beauty bingers. Can you believe the year is almost over already? I sure can’t. I’m sure by now the Christmas shopping plans are underway and whether you are willing to do a little splurge or are looking for items that do the job where you can save I’m here to help. I’ve decided to start this series called Splurge, Spend or Save. I’ll pick around 3 items for each series and then give you three options of each where you can either splurge, spend or save. I’ve selected products that I’ve tried or tested so as to give you options that I know will work. We don’t need to be shooting in the dark..bang bang. Ok, so before you nod off at your desk lets grab a coffee or tea (I’m on some herbal bronchial tea with honey my chest has been hit hard by the flu) and then let’s get started.

1. Foundation

  • SPLURGE: For today’s splurge I’ve chosen a cult or beauty guru favourite. If you are a frequent blog reader or tutorial watcher you’ll know about this beauty. The Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (R 1054.50). It is an effortless smooth and silky coverage and is totally worth the price tag if you can afford it. Talk about a lightweight good coverage foundation

.Giorgio Armani Foundation

  • SPEND: I know I know i couldn’t write a blog post that spoke about foundation and not include MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation (R 360.00). This is the airbrushed full coverage mother of all foundations and it lives forever in my makeup collection.

Studio Fix

  • SAVE: You don’t need to spend the earth to get a good quality foundation that works for you, and this is where the L’Oreal Infallible 24hr Mattifying Foundation comes in (R 189.00). It’s smooth and not drying which is surprising for a matte foundation and has pretty good coverage and a wide selection of colours too.

l'oreal infallible

2. Blush

  • SPLURGE: I’ve been trying out The Balm products recently and yup yup they are truly worth the hype. For a pretty highlight type of blush i suggest the Frat Boy blush by The Balm (R 320.00). In actual fact any of their blush colours are great the colour selection is just up to you.

frat boy

  • SPEND: MAC Powder Blush (R 245.00) is something that again seems to be growing in my makeup collection. The colour selection is just so pretty and versatile and the colours are pigmented, soft and always great quality for money. These blushes last me a long time.

blush mac

  • SAVE: This one is more than a save it’s a literal steal. Essence Silky Touch Blush (R 39.00). I’ve had this blush in my collection since i started to learn about makeup. Its soft and pigmented and lasts all day. The colour selection is great and it doesn’t break the bank. I used to use this blush everyday and have repurchased it multiple times. A definite thumbs up!

Blush

3. Mascara

  • SPLURGE: Long full and glam lashes. AHHHH i love lashes they transform your whole look, don’t believe me? Try a pair of falsies on for yourself and then start believing me =). Ok but in the case where you don’t want to wear false lashes everyday (I know i can only do it when i wear contact lenses they just don’t work with glasses) that’s where mascara comes in. My splurge item is MAC Zoom Lash ( R 210.00). I first got this as a sample when i purchased from MAC online ok i have like 3-4 samples but as i used it more and more i had to get myself the full tube. Thick luscious lashes that don’t clump and last through even a hard-core gym workout (tried and tested! Virgin Active has yet to break my face lol).

zoom lash

  • SPEND: Now this is my absolute favourite brand for mascara I would purchase this any day and still do. Its my everyday mascara. Maybelline Colossal Mascara (R 129.00). Maybelline knows how to capture my heart with their mascara the packaging the quality the performance, just take my money! If i had to pick only one this would be my winner.

colossal

  • SAVE: Now this mascara it works best for me when I’m prepping my lashes for some falsies or for when i want to add some drama to my lower lash line. It’s Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara (R 64.00). Honestly for the price tag you’d be surprised at what this little lady is actually capable of. Definite value for money.

lash princess

I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if there are any specific items you would like me to add to this volume series e.g. concealers, highlighters, face creams etc. I will try my best to diversify it up so also use facial and body care items and not just makeup. Well that’s all from me so I hope you have a wonderful and productive week.

xxx

Steph

My Top 10 MAC Products

Anybody that knows me knows I am MAC obsessed. You honestly just need to take one look at my collection and you’d see it for yourself. I know that a lot of people complain about MAC for the following reason 1) their foundations make people break out 2) they are really expensive 3) that store is very intimidating to walk into and the people who work there are not always so friendly and 4) their stuff is almost always sold out and it takes forever for new stock to come in.

Ok so here is my view. I’ve never had an issue with breakouts from my mac products so I think it’s a very person specific issue, you’d need to try it out in order to know. Yes they can be a little pricey but its worth it. Their products last me a long time, it’s really great quality and they work! Yes for a makeup beginner the store is intimidating when you don’t know what you want and sometimes you get an unfriendly assistant but it’s not always and the more you go in the better it gets and just know that they are there to help you so don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and for them to try stuff on you. Lastly unfortunately yes they do run out of stock fast but I guess there is nothing really we can do about it, that’s what happens with a popular brand.

So I thought to make it a little easier I thought id share my Top 10 favorite MAC products with you. I hope you enjoy.

1. Foundation

Ok so I couldn’t just pick one…I know I know but I did limit it to two and for valid reason. The first one is the Waterweight Fluid Foundation. This is a light coverage but its buildable to at least a medium coverage. It’s a really good foundation for everyday use as it’s not heavy and legit feels light as a feather. It’s a new release and I’ve been trying out for the past few weeks and I love it. It also has  SPF 30 which for me is always a benefit of any foundation the higher the better. It covers redness but still leaves you looking covered yet natural. If you have a lot of areas you need to cover up or scaring I wouldn’t suggest this one but if you have fairly clear skin then this one is a winner.

Next is the Studio fix fluid foundation. The holy grail of full coverage foundations. If you want to look airbrushed to perfection this is your winner. It’s a heavier foundation so I wouldn’t suggest it for everyday wear but more for going out or special events. I believe its SPF 15 so not as high as the later but still really great. Like the Waterweight foundation it comes in a wide range of shade so almost everyone will find their perfect shade! Just go to the MAC counter and ask an assistant to help you find the right shade and foundation for you =)

waterweight foundation studio fix fluid

2. Prepping and Setting Spray

Don’t you just love a product that can do a million things at once! I certainly do. Fix plus can be used firstly to prep your face before you add foundation which one cools you down and helps to evenly lay the foundation over your face. Secondly it can be used to help up the pigment of eye shadows and powder products, and lastly it helps to set your makeup once you are done. A definite must have in your makeup kit! They recently came out with limited edition scented ones (which sold out really fast) but I managed to get my hands on the coconut one and it is AMAZING!

Fix Plus

3. Concealer

This too is the holy grail of concealers.  don’t know one person who wouldn’t recommend this or one makeup artist who doesn’t use this its just thaaaaaaaaat amazing. The Prolongwear concealer. This baby covers up anything and everything, dark circles, redness, scars. It’s a miracle in a bottle. My suggestion is to go 1-2 shades lighter than your normal foundation colour as it is a good highlight as well.

MAC concealer

4. Highlight

Considering highlighting and strobing is so in why wouldn’t I just jump on the band wagon. I mean who doesn’t want that JLo glow???? erm hello. Ok so I have two suggestions here my personal favourite is a cream highlight in the form of the cream colour base in Shell. But for those who aren’t yet brave enough to go cream then powder is for you as its easier to apply and a lot more forgiving. In that case id go with the Minerelise Skinfinish in soft and gentle or global glow. Both products give you that soft yet amazing shine as the light catches you. All of the mentioned shades suit almost all skin tones too. (Starting from the left: Global Glow & Shell. Bottom: Soft and Gentle)

global glow shell soft and gentle

5. Lipstick

I think MAC is most popularly known for their lipsticks. Yup they are that good. I’ve never had one bad experience with a MAC lippie. It was really difficult to pick my faves so I picked my top 3. I also decided to leave out the limited edition colours as it wouldn’t be fair to list them if you can’t get them anymore so I picked from their permanent collection. Firstly Faux, ahhhhh I love this colour its a nude pink shade and some would call it that Kylie Jenner lip shade. I really think its flattering on all skin tones, its opaque and very moisturizing as it is not a matte shade and is also very pretty.

faux

Next comes Yash. This is the perfect nude. I know everyone will say that Myth is the perfect nude but its really light and not for those ladies with tan to darker skin tone. Unless you want those porn star lips of course. So for me Yash is the perfect nude for anyone with olive or tan skin. I also love it because it’s a matte shade so it lasts for sooo long.

yash

Last but not least I could not go without a full on colour shade. I searched high and low for the perfect purple and once I found this I have never looked back! Yes its Living Legend. It’s the perfect purple, cherry black. Also from the matte range so lasts super long, as well as a colour that is right on trend and will suit everyone. Its daring but amazing, and I cant help but say MAC lipsticks smell divine.

living legend

6. Eyeshadow

Again another difficult one to pick a few, but again I picked my top 3. This time I went all nude because I think the nudes are more flattering on all skin tones and more wearable than the brighter shades for everyday. So my top 3 are: All that glitters a beautiful pink gold with shimmer that can look fantastic on its own all over your lid or paired with other shades, pretty for day but also sparkly for night so a versatile shade. Next we have Nylon, this is the perfect highlight shade whether under your brow bone or in the eye ducts this product is very pigmented and a little  goes a long way. Also you can use this as a cheek highlight and can be used by almost all skin tones. Lastly I’ve chosen soft brown. This is the perfect crease shade and can be used as a crease colour with absolutely any shade it just makes the colour transition that much more sleek and natural and makes the blending process simple. (From top to bottom starting from the left: All that glitters, Nylon and Soft brown).

all that glitters nylon soft brown

7. Bronzer

With highlight comes bronzer and I was late to jump on this bandwagon but ever since I have I’ve never looked back. Give me Sun! is my ultimate favourite ever bronzer. It is not to brown and not too orange its soft and light and super blendable. I would recommend it anyone and everyone who is in that olive to tan skin tone range.

give me sun

8. Blusher

Ok so here I was able to pick one and that’s only because the other blush I would have picked is limited edition meh. Ok so drumroll please…here we have Modern Mandarin. I picked this because I think pinks and reds don’t always suit everyone, are so predictable and really one shade I have been loving recently is that orange but peachy cheek and that Is exactly what Modern Mandarin is. It’s so pretty and would suit a lot of people.

modern mandarin

9. Setting Powder

If you want your makeup to last all day they setting powder will be your best friend. I can understand some people’s fear of looking cakey but that’s why I’ve chosen the one I have. Its light weight (it legit feels like you haven’t put anything on over your foundation it’s that light). It’s the Mineralise Skinfinish natural powder. It comes in a few shades its sheer too so don’t think the powder with transform he colour of your foundation. And a bonus for the oily ladies it gets rid of any sheen or shine and for the dry ladies like myself it doesn’t over dry you out or cling to dry patches.

medium plus

10. Eyeshadow Base

What is eye shadow if you don’t prep it properly? Haven’t you noticed that if you just apply eye shadow to your eyelid halfway through the day you have creases or sweat lines through it? Yup that’s where an eye shadow base comes in, it stops the shadow from creasing and also provides a cover for any eye veins or discoloration as well as a good canvas as the whole eye is one even colour. My favourite is the paint pot in soft ocre. They do have a few other colours so if this colour isn’t for you then no worries.

soft ocre

Ok so those are my top 10 best MAC products that I would definitely recommend for those who are unsure what to get and what products are really worth the hype. I would also say that these products would make the best MAC starter kit for anyone looking to try MAC out for the first time.

So I really hope you found this helpful and interesting, until next time.

xxx

Steph

My Haircare Guide

Hello my lovelies =)…

Ahhhhhhh the way I am so happy that summer has made a comeback lol. I really dislike winter…its like an everlasting feud between the two of us. Ok so I received a comment from a lovely follower/reader of my blog asking me to share some of my hair care tips and I thought what a great blog post that would be for me to write. I mean our hair kind of makes us who we are right. Most people chop and change their hair to portray their new style and likes. Our hair frames our faces and all in all our hair says a lot about us.

So I know as a girl obsessed with my hair that meant a lot of dyeing over the years, and I don’t mean salon appointments every month. I was a student on a student budget and that meant home dyeing in my sisters bathroom with box dyes and the dreaded PEROXIDE…eeeeek So trust me I know all about colour damage and hair breakage. But after a lot of TLC my hair is finally where I want it to be healthy and super long. So here are my tips and tricks to how I got my hair to the beauty it is today.

1. Shampoo and Conditioner

Ok this is like putting fuel into your car, you can’t go anywhere if you don’t. Same with shampoo and conditioner. You need to make sure that your hair is clean and that it is getting the nourishment it needs. You don’t want to not wash it and so your hair becomes oily and you scalp is congested with dirt and oil trust me your hair will start to look stringy and icky. You also don’t want to over wash it because then you’ll be stripping your hair of all its natural oils. I was my hair around 1-2 a week and use a conditioning mask at least once a week.

Now im going to be honest I don’t have a go to shampoo and conditioner, I really chop and change. If you’re looking for the budget friendly alternative my advice is anything from the L’Oreal Elvive range, I used to alternate between the different options in this range and it leaves your hair silky soft, and you can find it in any local store.

elvive

If budget is not an issue then what ive been using recently is from the Kerastase range and ive been using the Elixer range. It’s a rather pricey brand but its sooooo worth it as it not only smells amazing (its floral) but it leaves your hair feeling like silk for what feels like forever. I also particularly like the mask in this range and I leave in my hair for about 10 min after shampooing. This brand Is available online and at certain hair salons.

Kerastase

A tip I like to use is before I rinse the conditioner our I take a brush and brush through my hair, it just seems to help detangle my hair and when the conditioner has been rinsed out no tangles. Somehow I also feel like it helps to make your hair feel soft (but im not sure how). I use my tangle teezer because its less harsh on my hair than a normal brush because as you know brushing your hair while its wet is bad because your hair is more brittle when wet. If you do not have a tangle teezer, tangle angel or any other kind of detangling brush you can alternatively use your fingers.

Also when drying your hair try not to use a towel as it is rough on the hair, I use an old t-shirt and it works just as well. Its more gentle on the hair.

2. Hair Oil

So Im very picky with hair oil. I need something that will nourish my hair. I also don’t like artificial products with a lot of alcohol or added chemicals. My personal fave is an organic 100% argan oil and in all honesty other than heat protectant is the only hair oil I use. It makes your hair sooooo soft, less frizzy, it helps to repair any damage and it also helps with hair growth (oh and it can be used on your body as well). I apply 1-2 drops after washing while it’s still wet and then 1 drop after heat styling. I order mine online from amazon but im sure you can also get it locally if you do a google search. The key to knowing if its 100% argan oil is firstly check the ingredients the olny ingredient should be argan if there are other ingredients it’s not 100% and the more ingredients it has the less argan is probably in the bottle. Argan  oil is also kind of clear in colour so if its yellow it’s not it. lastly argan oil needs to be stored in a brown glass bottle as it is affected by the sun so if it’s in a plastic bottle or a glass bottle of any other colour it’s not 100%. The one that I use is:

Argan Oil

3. Heat Protector and Hot tools

Ok as much as I want to say don’t use heat that’s probably never going to happen. I use heat myself because my hair is easier to handle when its straight and also because my hair is naturally big waves it’s also easier to style when its straight. No after washing my hair I let it air dry so no blow dryer the less heat the better.  After its dry I apply heat protector, this is a crucial step you need to protect your hair as the heat damages the strands. I’m not picky about a specific brand but for the past 2 years ive been using the L’Oreal Elnett Salon range. I found this at my local Dischem so im sure any store should stock it.

Heat Protector

Ok once your hair has been protected then we can use heat. I personally flat-iron my hair you may blow dry its really up to personal preference. You want to avoid as much as possible using a tool that is waaaay to hot so anything where you can control the temp is two thumbs up! Remember the less heat or the less hot the better.

As I mentioned above once im done I apply one drop of argan oil and voila im done.

5. Brushes

Brushes are super important! yes they really are. Some brushes are too harsh on the hair and tend to pull out your hair. Just look at your brush after you’ve run it through. My personal fave is the tangle teezer I own like 3 of them lol. I also have the tangle angel wich is not as great but I use it when I flat-iron my hair as you can use it with heat and you can’t use the tangle teezer with heat. But my suggestion is to use a detangling brush rather than a normal brush its less harsh and doesn’t hurt at all.

tangle teezer

6. Hair Ties

Another strange thing that is super important. When styling your hair you don’t want to use hair ties that get caught in your hair and pull strands out and you also don’t want to tie your hair too tight and pull it too tight from the roots. You need to smooth it and tie a neat but lose pony or bun. I love to use and infact only use the spring like hair ties below. They are really cute don’t tangle with my hair, don’t pull out half of my hair and also don’t leave that dreaded hair band line when you take it out. They also last pretty long.

invisi bobble

7. Colouring

Ok as I said in the intro I’ve been there with the box dye and home peroxide. DISASTER! as much as its cheaper, my advice is if it’s a drastic change and if it involves bleach please go to a salon, they know what they are doing they are trained and they will use products that wont damage your hair. My hairdresser is a master colourist so I put my hair in her hands. I know its pricier but its worth it you’d rather pay then lose half your hair and yes I’ve lost more than half my hair to dye before. My hair broke after a bad home ombre attempt with peroxide and I had to cut it shoulder length for my university graduation it was horrible. You can see before and after pics below.

image2 (YEAR: 2013 About shoulder length hair)

image1 (YEAR: 2015 just above the waist)

image3 (YEAR: 2015 two weeks ago waist length)

Ok so all in all I treat my hair really well. I don’t skip steps, I try to use as little heat as possible and as little product as possible honestly you only need the essentials (shampoo, conditioner/hair mask, an oil and a heat protector) and I make sure it that if I’m styling it I don’t tie it too tight and that I use the correct hair ties. Your hair is your baby and the way you treat it will determine the way it looks and grows.

PS I sometimes go for a brazilian treatment (1-2 a year) just to manage the frizz. If you have really curly or frizzy hair or are like me with wavy hair then I suggest giving it a try it also helps with using less heat as your hair will be much straighter so you’ll either not require heat at all or it will take less time to style with heat.

I hope you found this helpful.

xx

Steph

A Beginners Guide To Online Shopping

Oh my goodness where has the time gone!! I’ve really been MIA haven’t I…I do apologise life got real, deadlines appeared out of nowhere merp!

Ok ok enough of that. I think I should start off by saying…Hello my name is Stephanie and I am an online shopping addict. I need to go to OSA (Online Shopping Anonymous) like seriously I feel for my bank account lol. But hey lets turn a negative well is it really a negative, if it is we’ll make it positive by myself giving you some hints and tips to online shopping. Kind of like a beginners guide for those who haven’t tried it out and are hesitant. This can be a part 1 so just the guidelines and then maybe ill do another post with my favourite sites to shop on and which sites ship internationally and so on, sound good? Ok let’s get straight into it!

1. Use familiar Websites

You may be reading this and saying but Steph if I’ve never online shopped before how do I know which is a familiar website. Easy a site for a store or brand that is well-known, so shopping on Mr Price Clothing, MAC, Takealot or Amazon. Basically the big names that most people throw around. I’d say start by using a local site first to get a feel for how it works (payment methods, shipping fees, delivery times etc). You’d rather learn what you are doing simply because international is a whole nother ball game, I mean foreign currency, taxes, duty etc. So if you’re hesitant start small and see how you like it.

2. Read and understand the website policies

You want to go to the info page on the website or the FAQ section, this is where they will answer some of the most common questions with regards to return policies, shipping, duty and taxes and so on. You would rather find out first that the website doesn’t ship to your country rather than fill your cart with lovely things then head to checkout and you only then find out you wasted your time because they don’t ship to your country. (HINT: On Amazon there is a filter button on the left hand side of the screen which helps you to filter the products on whether they can be shipped to your country). (HINT: If the FAQ section is not specific on whether they ship to your country  pick one item check it out then go to the checkout window and in the information section you will see an area where you have to pick your country and if your country is not there then they don’t ship there and vice versa).

3. International Shipping

This is the bane of my online shopping existence!! So many beautiful things and some of them just don’t ship to South Africa…why oh why!!! Ok I will admit over the last 2 years or so its gotten much better, before you would struggle to find items that you want that actually ship to you but now more and more places are shipping to almost everywhere and even if the parent company website doesn’t there are other websites that carry their brands that do! Just remember my checkout, filter button and FAQ hints above =). Also something important to be aware of is the shipping costs, if you are lucky you can get free shipping. Some websites run promos where you can get free shipping if you spend over a certain amount, some offer a fixed shipping amount irregardless of how much you order and others vary the shipping depending on how many items you have bought or the weight of those items. So make sure you are aware of the fees because you don’t want to get a shipping fee that’s more expensive than all the items you’ve bought.

4. Signing up vs guest checkout

Most websites will require you to sign up in order to checkout, this will mean that they will always have your details saved to your profile in case you wish to order again then you don’t need to re type all of your details. If you sign up this will also keep track of all of your orders and you can normally track your orders through this page as well as reorder products you’ve previously ordered. If you checkout as a guest you will fill in your details once and that’s it you wont have a profile, sounds simple but if you wish to track your order you wont be able to so my suggestion just create the profile you’d rather have your details there for future use as well as the need to track your orders so you know by when you should be expecting them.

5. Checking Out

You’ve added all of your items to the cart and you are ready to pay, great! This is where you’ll click on the little cart icon or the checkout button. It normally takes you to a screen which requires you to fill in all of your details (Name, shipping and billing address, contact number, bank details, shipping method), this window should also give you a break down of your order and the total cost, normally once you’ve put in your shipping address and you’ve selected your shipping method it will add those to your total (HINT: If you are doing international shopping my suggestion is to use the google exchange calculator fist to convert the cost into ZAR so that you can really get the just of the damage you’re about to make, it’s all hunky dory when you see $90 on your screen but when you convert it haha be prepared for the mini heart attack). Ok so once you’ve filled in all of the information you will hit checkout and boom bang your first online shop has been completed!! Hoooorah!! You should be then taken to a screen that gives you a detailed breakdown or your order and your order number and you should also get an email with the same details.

6. Safeguarding your banking details

Now I know this is a touchy subject. Everyone that doesn’t online shop normally doesn’t do so because they fear the safeness of their personal info and banking details. But don’t fear there are systems out there that can assist you! The most commonly used one is PayPal and the one I’ve been seeing pop up locally is PayU. Basically these are programs where you can save your banking information and then when you shop online they will do the money transaction without sharing your banking details to whomever the service provider you are using is, and so when you shop online most websites will give you the option to checkout with PayPal for example when you click on this option it will ask you sign into your paypal account and then you will agree to the transaction and voila you are done. You wont need to fill in your bank details or give any of those details to the website or provider.

7. Delivery

Ok so delivery can vary depending on the website, the shipping method and the country from where your parcel is coming from. It can be really quick (3-5 days local and 2-3 weeks international) and it can take forever (9-20 days local and 2-3 months international). So if you are one of those people who wants it and wants it now then online shopping is not for you, because here you have to play the waiting game. Please note that most international parcels will need to be collected at the post office (it’s normally the colsest one to your shipping address) as you will need to pay for duty and taxes (don’t worry ill explain this below). Local parcels normally are delivered to your door and websites like Amazon whom charge duty and taxes beforehand will also deliver to your door.

8. Duty and taxes

AGRGH if there’s anything I can’t stand its duty and taxes. Why? well honestly because you never really know what the cost will be. Some people are really lucky and don’t have to pay and then sometimes its just not your day, for example I’ve had duty fees that came up to R120 which really wasn’t so bad but then I’ve also had a duty fee that was R660 (yup I nearly had a heart attack when I found out) My suggestion is to calculate 30% of the total cost of your parcel or deliver and that should be about the amount you’ll be likely to pay for taxes and duty.

Ok so those are my hints and tips for anybody who’s an online shopping beginner. I really hope you found this useful.

xxx

Steph

TREND ALERT: Strobing

Well hello there my fellow beauty bingers! Happy Wednesday, we are only that much closer to the weekend! eep! Yup im excited..ive been very sick with a chest infection that doesn’t seem to want to go away and the amount of travelling ive done this past week is probably not helping =(. So I plan on getting a whole lot of rest this weekend and a whole lots of fluid in my system, snuggle up under a blanket and probably get the boyfriend to look after me..lol

Ok so I know that most off us have only just figured out the whole contouring and highlighting trend, probably after a whole lot of trail and error. But as we know new trends are always popping up just as we thought we would have been done spending money on new beauty products (I tell myself this to make me feel better but I doubt ill ever be done spending money on makeup) we start all over again.

So whats this new trend that’s been taking over social media and magazines? Its strobing!

Hmmm strobing, you’re probably thinking what on earth is that? but honestly its just a fancy word for saying highlighting really. So basically strobing is the use of highlighters or illuminators to ones high points of the face or the areas which we want to catch the light so that we can get the glowy or naturally lit face.

So whats the difference between strobing and highlighting and contouring?

Strobing vs contouring

The difference is pretty simple, when we highlight and contour we not only pick out on the areas that we want to catch the light but we also apply a darker colour to give the effect of shadows giving our face that chiseled definition. The difference with strobing is that we only focus on the highlighting and we leave behind the contour.

Ok so now we know what strobing is and how it differs from highlighting and contouring how can we achieve it? Here are some of the products I think will help in getting that perfectly strobed face ;).

1. Colour correctors

A colour corrector is almost like a concealer of sorts and it normally will come in the colours green or orange. You would use this on the areas where you have darker pigmentation (eg. your under eyes) or where you have red spots (eg. the corners of the nose). This is used before applying concealer and will assist in concealing any discolouration to give a flawless face.

Catrice 1 Catrice 2

2. Foundation

You want to apply a good foundation, my preference is a liquid foundation as the dewiness will assist in getting that fresh face rather than a powder or mattefying foundation which I feel will work against the look. Oh and don’t forget to apply a good primer or moisturizer before putting on your foundation.

MAC

3. Concealer

Now to really conceal all of our imperfections or discolourations we want to add the concealer on as well as placing it on the areas of the face that we want to highlight.

prolongwear concealer

4. Illuminate/Highlight

So this is where we will add some extra light on the face. You can apply your illuminator on top of where you applied the concealer and also to any other areas you feel you want to catch the light (eg. the cheekbones, chin, cupids bow).

MAC prep and prime highlighter

5. Shimmer

Once you have blended all of the product on your face (and neck do not forget your neck) and you have set it with the powder of your choice (you don’t want all that product to crinkle) you want to add some extra shimmer on your face in the areas that we have highlighted (eg. the bridge of the nose, the cheekbones, under the eyebrows, cupids bow).

Mary-lou Manizer

6. Setting Spray

Ok so now we want our look to stay put as well as to add that dewy fresh look to our faces and this can be achieved by applying a setting spray. (I honestly use this after applying moisturizer to prep my face as well as at the end to set it but how you use it is up to you).

Fix Plus

Happy strobing beauties

xx

Steph

The Top 5 Eyebrow Trends That We Need To Leave Behind

I think that eyebrow game reached new levels in 2014 and continued into 2015. Never before have people been so obsessed with eyebrows!! We’ve all seen the hashtags such as #EyebrowsOnFleek #InstaEyebrows #EyebrowGame . Now im all for a defined strong eyebrow but not everyone seems to be doing this trend justice, I mean I’ve seen some cringe worthy eyebrows out there!

All that we ask for is eyebrows that look natural and enhance the structure of your face and not to mention just add that little ooompf to your makeup application. I just wish that, that was what we got when the brow trend erupted. Unfortunately 2014 and 2015 brought on some eyebrow trends that we need to leave behind I mean 2016 called and they don’t want your eyebrows! Heck how about we leave them behind today!

So here are the top 5 eyebrow trends that we seriously need to leave behind:

1. The shaved eyebrows

Come on! we’ve heard comedians make jokes about this, I mean who doesn’t remember Trevor Noah’s interpretation of this! Why would you shave your eyebrows to draw them back on? Your eyebrows are your guide to the shape you desire, I mean all you need to do is get them waxed or threaded into a pretty shape and you’re good to go! We don’t need anyone coming up with their own unique eyebrow shapes..Lets not determine our mood for the day on how we feel in the morning. I’ve seen not one good set of eyebrows come from shaving them all off.

Shaved eyebrows

2. Box Eyebrows

Eyebrows are supposed to look natural! Box eyebrows are like saying hey look I drew on my eyebrows today. It’s too harsh, they should have a natural fade as they come to the mid-point of your forehead. So don’t draw a box around your eyebrow, fill it in just passed the midway point and then either use an eyebrow brush to brush the product lightly to the rest of the brow to give it a fade or use an eyebrow powder to give it that lighter fade going into that darker arch and defined tip.

box brows

3. Halo Eyebrows

Why oh why do your brows look like they have been outlined with a concealer that is ten times too light for your face!?!?! It almost looks like you copied and pasted some brows on your face. I’m sorry but light is not the only concearler colour available on the market, you need to use something that is closer to your skin colour id say you might even get away with 1 or 2 shades lighter but nothing more!

Halo Brows

4. Tapered with a fade

Now this is one ive seen many people commit! In fact many people on my FB even let alone IG! Why do we want our eyebrows to look like they are joining in matrimony in the middle of our forehead? I don’t know it just does not make sense to me. It looks so unnatural..It honestly looks like you have a uni-brow. Like why?

tapered with a fade

5. Overly Tweased Eyebrows

The tweaser happy! stay away from the tweaser! I know its difficult especially for those who are eyebrow obsessed and want their brows to look identical (they never will stop trying) and want to twease what looks like regrowth..youll end up with no eyebrows, or thinning eyebrows. You want naturally full brows trust me you want it! So lets put the tweaser away ok.

Overlly tweased

So im really hoping we stop and think about this, natural is a million times better. Natural looking eyebrows are the ones that are really on fleek! So lets all sit in front of the mirror and practice because practice is how we end up with the perfect end result. Lets not commit anymore eyebrow offences and lets leave the bad trends behind.

So here’s to fuller looking naturally filled and shaped eyebrows, 2016 is thanking you already, lol.

xx

Steph

How to identify the different types of MAC lipstick finishes

Wow two posts in one week! I must really be on a roll here =)..lets see how long it will last lol. I’ve had an addiction to MAC lipsticks for a very long time now but I know that when I started out (yes we’ve all been newbies at some point) I didn’t know that they offered different finishes and that each finish meant a different look or appearance to the lips, I just thought you go to the store you look at the options and you pick a colour you like!

Lipsticks

Now maybe some of you are reading this and saying, but what do you mean different finishes? Don’t worry I thought that too. But now im here to help! Below is my guide to the different MAC lipstick finishes and how they differ from each other with an example of some of their more popular shades in each finish. Lets get started:

First off id like to make a note that in order to determine what finish the lipstick is you can look underneath the lipstick bullet and above the name of the shade it should identify the finish, so for example: This shade is called “Impassioned” and it has a “Amplified” finish.

bottom

1. Matte

This is a highly pigmented colour with a full opaque coverage (that means that it doesn’t let light through so its not sheer at all). It is very long wearing with so shimmer or sheen, the colour is completely flat. Matte lipsticks can be drying on the lips as they have no added moisture to them. Popular examples are: Candy Yum Yum and Styled in Sepia.

candy yum yum styled in sepia

2. Retro Matte

This type of matte is even more mattefying than the regular matte option. It is also highly pigmented and has a full opaque coverage. It can be drying to the lips and may be slightly difficult to apply as it is so dry. Popular examples include, Ruby Woo and Relentlessly Red.

relentlesly red ruby woo

3. Satin

This has a slight sheen finish to it. It is pigmented and has opaque coverage. It is less drying to the lips then the matte versions. Popular examples (I own both of them) are Myth and Rebel.

myth rebel

4. Amplified

This is a highly pigmented colour with some added shine to it and slightly glossy. An example of this would be the limited edition Rocky Horror Picture Show lipstick in Oblivion.

oblivion

5. Amplified Crème

This is a well pigmented colour with a very creamy feel. It also has a glossy finish to it. It is not drying to the lips but does not have that long of a wearability as that of te mattes. Popular examples are, Girl About Town and Saint Germain.

girl about town saint germain

6. Cremesheen

This lipstick is creamy, and has a gloss-like shine to it. It is not drying but also is not that long wearing. Popular examples include Shy Girl and Crème Cup.

creme cup shy girl

7. Cremesheen Pearl

This is very similar to the cremesheen finish but it has a more frosty finish to it and is slightly less pigmented in colour. Popular examples include, Coral Bliss and Pink Pearl Pop.

coral bliss pink pearl pop

8. Lustre

This lipstick is not pigmented and can come across as sheer. It has a slight sheen to it and is not long wearing. Popular examples are Plink and Hug Me.

hug me plink

9. Frost

This lipstick has a medium coverage with a medium weartime. It is shimmery and slightly glossy. Popular examples, Angel and Costa Chic.

angel costa chic

10. Glaze

This is the most sheerest of the MAC finishes. It has a slightly glossy finish to it. Popular examples are, Hue and Pervette.

hue pervette

I really hope you found this helpful and that it assists you the next time you go MAC lipstick shopping.

xx

Steph