28 Mar 2015

Blogging Conundrums

Blogging Conundrums
As somebody who writes about beauty so often I have over the last three years come across various little issues that I have to work around; I'm sure you have too. For the record this is by no means a post complaining, in fact it's quite the contrary as I thought I'd pop together a light hearted post where I share some of the various blogger conundrums that I have come across in that time. Feel free to leave yours in the comments below; I'll enjoy reading them when I get home from work.

To swatch or not? -  I've read a lot of opinions in the time that I have being blogging in regards to beauty swatches, some really positive and some really quite negative. When I started off writing A Little Boat Sailing I always included swatches however over time I developed more of an interest in the presentation of my blog and found that I rarely felt happy with swatch pictures. Generally speaking that's why there are not many on my blog these days, it's not because I don't like them, it's purely because I'm still yet to find a way that I'm happy to portray them. One final thought is that I couldn't care less whether someone includes swatches in a post or not; it's their blog at the end of the day. It's great to see the product on but let's face it the product will probably look different on everybody anyway so whether you post swatches on your arm, hand, finger tips or forehead or you decide to not to include them at all, who would I be to judge? 

Photograph before use! - Hands up who is guilty here? I know this may seem silly to some but if I have a new product then nine times out of ten I will wait until I have photographed it for a future review before I actually use it. Some people may not be bothered about this fact and do you know what that's completely cool, however for me personally it's just something I like to do. 

Grammar errors at 2am - No matter how often I re-read my blog posts I'm almost guaranteed to spot an error when I'm looking back on a post at a rather unnatural hour. You bet your bottom dollar I'll find one in this tonight.

Winter is coming - Whilst many bloggers find themselves super excited for the arrival of autumn and winter, queue snoods and ankle boots galore I can't be the only one who is secretly miserable inside at the sheer lack of light to come. I really do find it difficult to get nice pictures at that time of year and often spend a lot of my time in august taking photographs that will see me through over that period. I'm yet to buy dedicated lights for my blog as I prefer the look natural light if I'm honest however if you have any good recommendations then please do let me know.

Oh shiny! - Shiny packaging aside from cylinder products (until I discovered blue tac) are the bane of my life when it comes to featuring them on here. The amount of times I have come to edit pictures and have my seen little face glaring back at me on a product; it's not pretty. I have also discovered through this that my floors are clearly not flat; I've chased a few products across the floor in my time.

I'm a gymnast and I didn't know it - Photographing products can be quite the challenge at times, it's not all white card and pretty notebooks folks. The amount of odd positions I've found myself in and things that I have balanced on in the past to get a decent photograph is quite interesting. On many occasions I've found myself standing on a chair leaning over something so far that I'm convinced I will fall off.

Restart EVERYTHING - Yup, I'm not going to lie I have already started the process of going through older blog posts in order to tidy them up by making sure that links are coloured in grey and bold (they used to be blue) and re-sizing photographs. It's so incredibly time consuming and part of me wishes I could just leave it but I just can't, is anybody else like this?

Lists - The amount of lists I create for my blog is endless, I even find myself adding things on that I know I have already done so I can just tick them off (it makes me feel good).

I've also been known to buy pretty stationary just to use as props in blog photos...yes guilty as charged.

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26 Mar 2015

The Muji Files | Part 5

The Muji Files Part 5
Quite possibly my favourite part of my make up routine these days aside from eye shadow is applying lipstick. I find this quite funny because I never used to wear it at all aside from a bit of tinted lip balm; oh how times have changed. My last Muji draw holds the majority of my lip products as aside from the ones that are in my hand bag I have just a few extra that sit on the very top of my Muji draws in a little acrylic holder, that has room for twelve lipsticks in which I will discuss those at a later date for the conclusion to this little series.

So before I delve into this collection I do have here a few products which I must confess are a little old however I did take these pictures back in September last year where since then I have had a sort out, some sadly didn't quite make the cut. I decided to keep this picture though because if I'm honest very little has changed barring a few things.

Lip crayons were incredibly popular last year however this year I can't really think of any that have caught my eye as of yet.  All the ones above are off the high street and consist of the Revlon Kissable Balm Stains along with the No7 High Shine Lip Crayons, out of the two I'd say that the Revlon ones are my favourite as I find that they last longer once applied however I do have a soft spot for the No7 High Shine Lip Crayon in the shade Daydreamer which is a beautiful nude. From crayons to pencils the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils have so far in my opinion yet to be beaten, although please note I haven't tried that many. The shade Cruella is probably the most beautiful matte red that I have seen and worn, whereas Sex Machine, despite the name is a gorgeous mauve toned nude that I like to wear during the day.

Two old favourites that I wore constantly when I started blogging and therefore repurchased are the 17 Mirror Shine Lipsticks in the shades Beehive and Belle. Whilst they're not the most long lasting lipstick I have ever tried they are incredibly easy to wear and require very little maintenance, they're not drying either and cost less than £5 which I think overall makes them an awesome budget beauty find. The packaging of these has changed since I last purchased one which goes to show it has been a little while now, although secretly I do prefer the garish blue of these as they remind me of when I first started blogging.

I've a few products from some other well-known high street brands such as the L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Tempting Lilac which I think has now sadly been discontinued although you can see my review of that here. As well as that I've also tried the much hyped Rimmel Apocalips* in the shade Across the Universe which to date is one of the most pigmented lip products I have ever tried. I've also in the past road tested one of the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets in Peach Club however in hindsight I do regret purchasing that shade because whilst I love the formula I do think I struggle to pull it off; see a full review of that here.

My favourite products on view here would have to be the Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector, Rimmel 107, Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect and finally 17 Beehive although I do try and keep all of these on rotation throughout the year.

What are your favourite lip products?

More in the series: The Muji Files Part 1, 2, 3 and 4.

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24 Mar 2015

RMK Vintage Sweets Collection

RMK Vintage Sweets Collection RMK Vintage Sweets Collection RMK Vintage Sweets Collection RMK Vintage Sweets Collection

RMK is a brand that I have mentioned before yet up until now I have never tried any of their make up for myself in the comfort of my own home. Back in November I attended an event held at the RMK counter in Selfridges where I got to see the launch of the Christmas range. This time around I was kindly invited back to have a look at the utterly beautiful RMK Vintage Sweets Collection which is the spring and summer launch for this year. 

The Vintage Sweets Collection boats an array of delicately chosen fresh floral colours which are candy like in appearance helping to portray a sweet, soft and natural finish when worn. From eye shadows, nail polishes, lip glosses and blushes there is a little something for everyone within this collection; I like to think of it as a form of candy that isn't bad for you.

Starting off with the RMK Sweet Sugar Eyes (£21) there are five different eye shadows within the collection which are all equally as pretty as one another. They're relatively shimmery so that's something to watch out for however with a steady hand and application they are beautiful when applied; Ting looked absolutely gorgeous once she had her make over with the collection. One of the most impressive products from the new collection and one which actually took me by surprise was the RMK W Color Mascara (£25). There are five in the range and what makes them so unique is that they have different coloured ends, take for instance the middle image in the second picture. The model has blue mascara on her top lashes and pink on the bottom, I think that image is so beautiful yet creating this look is quite achievable for you too. I had the opportunity to try the blue and pink mascara myself and I was pretty impressed actually where if I'm honest I really didn't expect to be as it's not every day you wear two different shades of mascara. Whilst it probably won't be for everyone I do think that for those who simply love their make up and enjoy experimenting it's an incredibly fun way to add something more adventurous to your routine.

Blushes are fast becoming one of my favourite make up products so it's of no surprise that I had to add one of the RMK Vintage Candy Cheeks (£20) to my little collection. There are four limited edition shades of which I chose Candy Red Rose; this is incredibly elegant and suits my complexion really well as it adds a healthy flush of colour to my cheeks. As you can see there is a pretty little pattern within the blush, in fact it reminds me of old fashioned lolly pops however it is in fact a blush and highlight in one. You can use them separately however I personally do find that a little tricky as they're close together and it is only a small blush, therefore what I have being doing is simply using it as one product on its own for my cheeks. Together the two shades really do work very well so I'm happy to keep using it in that way.

On my way home from the event I had a little peek into the bag that the team at RMK had given us. They had kindly included some samples of some other RMK products along with a full size RMK Vintage Drop Gloss; I got the shade Butter Scotch which could not have been more perfect as I adore that scent. Generally speaking I do shy away from any form of lip gloss because I never get on with them very well however today I decided to wear this to work in order to test it out. Overall I have to say it felt really lovely on the lips, it wasn't sticky and it tasted pretty nice too although I'm not sure that's what you're supposed to do with lip gloss. On a slight tangent I think it tasted of fruit salad sweets which happen to be one of my favourites!

The collection also has Vintage Sweets Face Color (£33) which comes in two different shades, blue lilac and yellow green. Blue lilac can be used to create a luminous finish whereas yellow green can be used to help diminish uneven skin tone; personally I have never tried anything like these although I'd be tempted to give them a whirl in the future. RMK have also launched the Nail Color EX (£14) which consist of some beautiful pastel nail polishes, they really are gorgeous and are said to have a pretty good formula or so I have been told; I'm yet to try them for myself but do hope to at some point this year.

Overally RMK have created yet again another beautiful collection, it's a brand that in the past I have never seen much of yet every time I pop to Selfridges these days I have to stop by to see what is new. It's well worth stopping by to have a look at this collection as well as the skin care that's on offer; their cleansing balm on a side note is also pretty great.

RMK can be found at Selfridges.


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21 Mar 2015

MAC Lipstick Collection

MAC Lipstick Collection MAC Lipstick Collection MAC Lipstick Collection MAC Lipstick Collection

I remember back when I very first started blogging three years ago when I had never heard of MAC, sacrilege I know. I had never gazed at the vast array of lipsticks and eye shadows on offer and I had certainly not experienced the hustle and bustle of the MAC counter at Selfridges. Fast forward three years later and I have now managed to accumulate a few MAC lipsticks into my collection. If there is one thing I think about when it comes to MAC then it is the lipsticks, whether it is the various finishes or the sheer array of shades on offer I believe that there is a MAC lipstick out there for you. Once upon a time I heard that they used to cost around £10 however these days they will set you back £15.50, perhaps even £17 if you opt for a limited edition shade from a collection.

Being a typical beauty blogger through and through I thought it was about time I shared with you the shades that I have. It'll already be quite clear to you that I very much urge on the side of caution with my lipstick choices as most of these are all nudes and easy to wear pinks if I'm honest, although I actually can't quite believe that I found myself looking at Acai today from the new Julia Petit collection, maybe there's an adventurous lipstick wearer in there somewhere after all! So jumping straight into it I'll give you a quick low down on the MAC lipsticks that I currently own, starting off with my only MAC red.

1: Salon Rouge - I feel slightly awkward starting off this with a limited edition shade as I know it's not available any more. Just one of the shades that was available from the MACH Heirloom Mix Collection this was the one that caught my eye the most. This is currently my only MAC red and it is one that I simply adore, it's a matte finish and has a cool undertone to it which I think suits my complexion much better in comparison to a warmer red. Like most matte lipsticks in my experience they are always slightly drying yet I do find this to be pretty comfortable to wear. It's a beautiful berry toned red and is one that I have a dedicated review to if you'd like to know more about it; find that here.

2: All Fired Up - This was my first matte lipstick from MAC and was one that actually won in a giveaway held by Julia. This is a bright fuchsia matte which surprisingly isn't as cool toned as you would think with it being fuchsia as, in my opinion it does have quite a warm tone to it. Again like the previous matte finish it is again drying so lip balm is a must, in fact I'd also say that I find this more drying in comparison to Salon Rouge. All Fired Up will be an awesome shade for the summer time, my top tip for this lipstick would be to keep your lips moisturised and exfoliated in order to show off this gorgeous shade in all its glory. Once again I have a dedicated review to this lipstick here.

3: Plumful - Last year I wore MAC Plumful pretty much none stop alongside Patisserie. It's such a beautiful lipstick that is so incredibly easy to wear on a day to day basis. Being a lustre finish I find that it provides enough colour without it being too much maintenance, it's sheer to an extent but can be built up, as well as this it also feels extremely comfortable on the lips as it isn't drying in the slightest. However on that note I have found that other lustre finishes I have tried have been a little drying at times yet for some reason unknown to me I have never had this problem with Plumful. As the name would suggest there is a plum tone to this although it's still very much based around the pink spectrum, it's very different to the other pinks I own as it is darker without it being too vampy; again this is another beautiful shade for the summer and indeed autumn.

4: Hot Gossip - This is my most recent MAC lipstick seeing as I only purchased it around two weeks ago. Hot Gossip is a cremesheen finish which like lustre I find to be extremely comfortable to wear on the lips overall. I've read that people can find this finish drying although I've never really had any major issues personally, although I guess there is a first for everything. Hot Gossip is a relatively soft pink with a cool undertone, in fact in comparison to Plumful I feel like this is its baby sister almost as to me they almost look as though they are just a a few shades different in intensity.

5: Patisserie - Without a shadow of a doubt this is my most worn MAC lipstick to date and will most likely be the shade I repurchase first. Patisserie is a muted pink with a hint of brown, it is for me the perfect nude. It's the lipstick that I always reach for when I'm wearing heavy eye make up or when I have no idea what to wear, I know I can simply pop it on and reapply it just as easily throughout the day. If I had to sum it up I'd call it a fuss free nude, it's beautiful! If I'm honest I'd be quite lost without it.

6: Creme Cup - If there was one MAC lipstick that I had heard the most about then it would be Creme Cup. It's funny that this was a shade that I wanted really badly but these days isn't one that I reach for very often; I'll have to address that as it really is a very pretty pink, especially for this time of year. It's definitely one of the palest pinks that I own although it does not lack pigmentation. Like Hot Gossip this is a cremesheen finish making it extremely easy and comfortable to wear, again this formula alongside lustre I would argue are my favourites because they make wearing lipstick easy. Being a cremesheen finish longevity isn't its strongest point however I'm more than happy to reapply something more frequently if it means the product being more comfortable to wear in the first place.

7: Plink - MAC Plink was my very first lipstick from MAC therefore it holds a rather special place in my make up collection. This was a prize I won in a giveaway by Emma all those years ago, it still seems like yesterday when I received her email telling me I'd won my very first MAC lipstick, oh the excitement! Plink is quite a sheer lustre on me, especially in comparison to Plumful which I think is actually quite pigmented considering it is a lustre finish; they're quite notorious for being sheer. I do find that if I'm not careful with this shade then it can end up looking a little frosty on me whilst building it up which isn't a look I like to achieve. I'm still yet to find a way to make this work for me so it has for a while sat being a little unloved, it's time to dig this back out to see what I can pair it up with.

So there we have it, my MAC lipstick collection. Overall I'd say that my favourite finish is lustre although it's a close call between that and cremesheen as I really do like an easy lipstick that feels comfortable whilst wearing it.

Do you have any personal favourites from MAC?


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19 Mar 2015

A Beauty Wish List

Beauty Wish List

In a world that is constantly moving where beauty is concerned I find that there are always products cropping up on my wish list. Whether I end up buying them is often a different matter however it's nice to be able to share with you the products that I have being looking at recently, maybe some of them have caught your eye too. These are all from Boots as that's my first point of call these days; points make prizes or so I'm told. They can of course all be picked up from various other stores such as Superdrug, Debenhams etc; you all know the drill by now.

First up is a fragrance which I smelt whilst out shopping with my friend a few weeks ago. The Jimmy Choo Blossom Eau de Pafum despite being a parfum and not a toilette it isn't overly strong in my opinion; this tends to be my downfall where parfums are concerned as I often struggle with really strong fragrances. This however is really fruity and smells absolutely delicious on the skin, I wasn't too sure I would like it as I have never been a big fan of Jimmy Choo fragrances in the past however this made me want to reach for my sarong and flip flops with one quick spritz; it'll be a fantastic summer fragrance. For the record I do not need any more eye shadows in my life however I always find myself looking at more. The bareMinerals Ready Eye Shadow 2.0 in the shade Epiphany has really caught my eye over the last few days, so much so that I have being looking online for it everywhere and so far only Boots seems to have it. This little duo looks beautiful and would be perfect for taking away or popping in your handbag, I don't know about you but all of my palettes are rather big in comparison to this little compact. 

Recently I've seen a fair bit of coverage on Nip + Fab products whereby I have to say that I haven't read a bad word about them. With Terri also stating how much she loves them (she's not one to beat about the bush) I thought I'd pick up a few things to try. The Nip and Fab range is currently on offer in Superdrug and Boots so it's well worth popping down if you too are interested in what the brand has to offer. I have picked up the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfolaiting Facial Pads along with the Nip + Fab Deep Cleansing Fix so I'll hopefully be back in the near future to share with you my thoughts on them. From relatively affordable skincare to a luxury high end make up item I now have my eye on the newly released Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer which not only looks gorgeous bur also seems to be receiving quite positive praise. I will however be holding fire on this to see how it goes down over the next few months once all the newly released hype drops off a little.

Claudia for me always chooses such gorgeous nail polishes and often features the Maybelline Forever Strong range on her blog therefore whenever I read one of her posts I always tend to jot down the shades. This formula from what I remember is really nice and is pretty affordable too, I definitely need to have a look at the range as it has been a while since I last did of which I'm fully aware that they have plenty of new colours to choose from. Between both Maybelline and Max Factor I feel quite the high street make up purchase coming on as I'm also quite keen to try out the new Max Factor Colour Elixir Gloss which are new releases as far as I'm aware. The shade radiant rose looks lovely so I'll be popping in to see if they have that, although I'm tempted to hold fire as I'd like to read some reviews to see what they're like before I pick one up as if the gloss is sticky then it'll be a big no I'm afraid. Has anybody here tried them?

I have also picked out the Barry M Bold Waterproof Eyeliner as I have read some good things about this one in particular. Recently I have being enjoying using kohl liner once again but have really struggled to find one that has not bled underneath my waterline; for the price I'm really quite keen to give this a shot. Finally rounding off with a skincare item from one of my favourite brands I have chosen the Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator. I have just finished using my current one and find myself on the lookout for something more gentle. I really do trust Liz Earle products to deliver and having had such a positive experience with them in the past only makes me more inclined to give this product a whirl. Plus, who knew that Boots now stock Liz Earle? I'm clearly out of touch here.

What's on your current beauty wish list?
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