ELF Studio Makeup Mist & Set

Over the weekend I decided it was time to have a little clear out of my dressing table. Now that Autumn has arrived, it is time to pack away those bright lipsticks and revisit the warmer shades that have made their way to the back of my drawers. Whilst sorting through my collection, I stumbled upon the ELF Studio Makeup Mist & Set that was still wrapped up in its packaging (oops!) and decided to put it to the test. I’m not the biggest fan of setting mists, but I did read that this was a fantastic dupe for Mac Fix Plus. 
The bestselling, invigorating mist not only moisturises and soothes the skin with its Aloe, Green Tea and Cucumber ingredients, but also claims to keep makeup in place all day. The lightweight formula (alcohol free) promises to improve makeup wearability and prevent colour from running or fading. Simply spray 16-18 inches away from face (with eyes closed!) after makeup application or throughout the day for a quick refresh. Let the mist dry naturally on the skin or blot with tissue to help speed dry if necessary. 
After using it religiously over the past couple of days, I must say I am not a fan. I am not sure if I have purchased a ‘dodgy’ bottle, but the mist sprays in all different directions! I did pump a few times into a tissue to see if it was blocked, but it didn’t seem to make much difference. I felt that it left my face extremely wet, and I was conscious of blotting quickly to ensure my makeup wasn’t left streaky. On a more positive note, I really like the ingredients, but can’t help but think it would be more beneficial in my skincare routine as a toner than my makeup. 
I have recently visited the ELF website to confirm the price of this product, but noticed that it is no longer listed (apart from in the US). As far as I am aware, it has been rebranded as their ELF Revitalising Mist £7.50 (in new swanky packaging) and has added ingredients of Witch Hazel, Rosemary, Chamomile and Honeysuckle, yet still claims to refresh makeup. It has a mixed array of reviews, mostly positive and a few helpful tips I thought I would share. A couple of people have mentioned that they don’t spray this directly on their face, but on their brushes prior to makeup application. I dampen my Real Techniques Complexion Sponge with water on a daily basis, but may try spritzing with the Mist and Set formula from now on.
What are your thoughts on the ELF mist products?

NVQ L2 Hairdressing

This Saturday I will be starting my NVQ L2 Hairdressing course and I couldn’t be more excited. Back in 2013/14 I completed my NVQ L2 Beauty Therapy on a part-time basis alongside my current full time job, and I will be doing the same again this year. When I graduated from University back in 2012 with a Business Studies degree, I knew I wanted to use it towards a career in the Health and Beauty Industry, an area I am extremely passionate about and enjoy. My long term goal is to eventually own my own business, but I want to ensure I have the adequate qualifications and experience to offer a top class service to my future clients.
The NVQ L2 Hairdressing course covers the following topics;
  • Follow Health & Safety Practice in the Salon
  • Develop and Maintain Effectiveness at Work
  • Promote Additional Services or Products to Customers
  • Colouring
  • Blow Dry
  • Styling
  • Finishing
  • Reception Duties
Many of these modules overlap with Beauty Therapy, so I am hoping to use them as recap sessions. The maximum number of students in each class is 4, therefore the sessions will be intimate and there will be ample opportunity to ask questions and get immediate help if needed. You are required to buy a basic kit (£130) and black tunic uniform with name badge (£35) prior to the course taking place. This differs from my Beauty Therapy Course, as full kit was included in the price, but was shared with fellow students. Priced at £820 for the 25 week course, it isn’t exactly cheap, but having a full time job means I am able to afford the payments comfortably.
From the beginning, my plan was to always study Level 2 in each unit (Beauty Therapy and Hairdressing) whilst working full time, and then attend any specific follow-up courses once qualified depending on Business demand – I will be sure to keep you all updated on how I am getting on throughout the Academic year!

The Importance of Body Brushing


During the summer months, body care is a top priority in most beauty routines, however as we head into the cooler seasons, certain areas tend to become neglected. The thought of standing nuddy in your bathroom freezing your butt off whilst you apply various lotions and potions is our worst nightmare and that’s why most tend to skip out important steps.
To put it simply, detoxification is performed by many of our major organs, glands and transportation systems (gut, kidneys, liver, lympthatic system etc.) and body brushing helps detoxify and stimulate this method. 
Body brushing is easy to do at home and simply involves using a soft natural brush to exfoliate the skin, starting with your feet and working your way up yours legs, always brushing towards the heart. Use long sweeping strokes and apply a pressure that is most comfortable, but avoid sensitive areas such as the face and/or broken skin. It is usually performed on dry skin, but many people prefer to do it in the bath/ shower (to keep warm!). Body brushing is a way to stimulate organs to detoxify, which helps with the skins natural healing process as well as many other benefits;
  • Can help eliminate cellulite
  • Exfoliates dead skin
  • Help the skin to look young and supple
  • Eases muscle soreness
  • Stimulates circulation 
Being an avid fake tanner, exfoliation and body brushing is essential part of my beauty routine in order to ensure even application, coverage and fade. Whilst running a hot bubble bath, I use a long handled body brush and use a comfortable amount of pressure, in circular motions, all over my body, focusing on my problematic areas (tops of my legs and bum). Once I have shampooed, conditioned and conducted all other routine essentials, I then finish with a creamy shower gel and my trusty pair of exfoliation gloves to leave my skin super soft and prepped for a fresh layer of fake tan.
Image Source: http://blog.freepeople.com/2014/06/beauty-rituals-benefits-dry-body-brushing/

Max Factor Colour X-pert Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Being an avid winged eyeliner wearer (pretty much on a daily basis), I have mentioned a handful of my favourite eyeliners in various makeup posts here on BT. I go through stages of loving kohl, gel and liquid formulas, but always tend to stick with my trusty picks. Barry M Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner Pencil has without a doubt been a staple in my makeup bag for the past couple of years, but I only tend to wear it in my lower lash line. It is a super soft, long lasting, extreme back pencil sold at a budget price – highly recommend! Another favourite of mine is the L’OrĂ©al Superliner, but after it being out of stock on several Boots visits, I had given up and was on the hunt for something similar. My want list included something super black, waterproof and with a very fine brush, and first impressions of the Max Factor Colour X-pert Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner fit the bill!
This eyeliner has a very precise dip-in tip which can be used to create bold, dramatic eye looks. Its waterproof formula gives an intense finish and fabulous staying power against humidity, rain and water. Encased within slim black and gold packaging, it is also available in 4 vibrant shades to compliment a variety of makeup looks. 
For those that struggle with winged eyeliner, begin with a kohl pencil to draw an outline on your eyelid as a guide to follow. Tilt your head back at a slight angle, and keep your hand steady using a flat surface (jaw bone is most convenient!). Gently lift your eyelid taut and apply the liquid liner in a continuous line from your inner to outer corner, following your kohl guideline. For a striking look, finish with a flick from the outer corner of your eye. Trust me when I say practice really doesn’t make perfect. 
I have been using this eyeliner religiously for the past couple of months and there is no sign of it drying out (a common problem with some liquid formulas). Priced at £6.99 it is super affordable, easy to use and has become a firm favourite in my makeup routine – a definite repurchase.

Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer

L-R Nude, Light

The summer is undoubtedly one of my favourite seasons and like most, my skin becomes much clearer. A touch of concealer, a dusting of loose powder (t-zone) and a generous swirl of bronzer is as complicated as my base gets. Before I jetted off on holiday, my Mum bought me the Maybelline Eraser Concealer as she had been using it for a few weeks, and was raving about it. I packed it in my make up bag alongside my holy grail Collection Concealer, as a precaution in case I didn’t get along with it!
My first impression was a little apprehensive as I struggled to click-release the fluid into the sponge applicator. After approximately 20 twists (or more!), the sponge filled with concealer and I applied it directly under my eyes. I used the tip of my Real Techniques Complexion Sponge to press the product into the skin and set it with loose powder. The colour ‘light’ suits my pale skin perfectly, but also works well with a (fake) tan to highlight and lift dark areas. Throughout the course of the holiday, I continued to use it under my eyes, and on several pesky ‘sun cream blemishes’- simply apply product to the back of your hand and cover blemishes using clean hands to avoid spreading bacteria. Its micro-corrector applicator allows for smooth, even coverage and its active formula of Haloxyl reduces the look of puffiness and fades the appearance of dark circles. 
I have continued to use this concealer daily since returning to the UK, and have just repurchased another two in the shades Light and Nude. I am in love with their colour (great for pale skins), formula, coverage and overall natural look. I apply following my Origins GinZing Moisturiser and haven’t found it to leave my skin feeling dry or cakey. In addition, after doing a little research online, I have read that they do a similar formula (and packaging) in foundation-form, and I am eager to try it out as we approach the cooler months!
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