Get To Know Me - The Beauty Blogger Tag

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight? Mainly straight with a few unruly kinks!
2. What is your natural hair colour? Blonde 
3. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon? Touch up my roots myself every 5-6 weeks at home using a Nice N Easy kit in number 87 Ultra Light Blonde. 
4. Do you wear the same style everyday or do you change it? I am definitely one of those girls who rocks the same hair do most days - only on a rare occasion will I wear my hair down. 
5. Do you do your own mani/pedi or do you go to a salon? I do my own - the only time I ever got my nails done professionally was for my Graduation.
6. How often do you change your nail polish? Whenever it starts to chip!
7. Do you polish your toes in winter or just in summer? Both - my toes are never without polish.
8. How long does it take for you to put on your makeup? I dedicate 15 minutes minimum each morning. 
9. What do you do first; face or eyes? Face. 
10. Do you collect makeup or just buy it when you need it? I wouldn't say I collect makeup, but I do buy products that I often don't really need. 
11. How often do you wear false eyelashes? Usually every time I go on a night out.
12. Do you do a full face of makeup everyday? Most days.
13. Do you wear makeup when your home alone or with family? No.
14. Will you leave the house without makeup? Depending on where I am heading - probably. 
15. How many high end products do you have? Only a couple.
16. Do you plan your OOTD every day or decide while you’re getting dressed? For daytime wear I usually just pick out something randomly depending on my mood as I'm getting dressed, but I definitely plan my outfit for nights out.
17. How often do you change your handbag? Not very often - I'm not a handbag girl!
18. What time do you get up and go to bed everyday? I usually get into bed at about 10.30pm and wake up at about 6.30am.
19. Do you work out? How often? I used to do a Kettlebells class twice a week, but I'm ashamed to say I haven't been for quite a few months!
20. Left or right handed? Right handed.
21. How tall are you? Approximatly 5ft 4
22. Do you speak a foreign language? No - I was hopeless at French & German in school. 
23. How often are you on your blog? Recently quite a lot - I'm really enjoying it!
24. How many pets do you have? None. 
25. Do you keep a list of products to try? Yes - I am always jotting wish lists of products down in my diary. 
26. How did you come up with your blog name? I was inspired by Louisa from The Apprentice who created a baking company called Bakers Toolkit. 
27. What kind of camera do you use? Sony Cybershot DSC-W320.
28.  How often do you clean your room? Everyday - I'm a bit of a clean freak. 
29. Whats your favourite colour? Pink. 
30.  Do you swear? No.

Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer

Hello, I’m Justine and I have become a primerholic.

Primers are often Holy Grail products associated with oily skins as they give a little helping hand in the prep for a long-lasting foundation base. However, as someone who suffers from a slightly dry complexion it has surprisingly become a permanent step in my day-to-day routine. After a generous helping of moisturiser I lightly massage the slightly pink tinted Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer all over my face to create a smooth even canvas ready for makeup.

I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but boy oh boy have I noticed a significant improvement in the appearance and texture of my makeup base. This primer not only passed the first impressions test with flying colours but continues to amaze me each time I mix & match my makeup products. Seal with a dusting of powder and your face is set for the rest of the day - no touch-ups necessary.
Oil free, talc free, fragrance free, paraben free - what’s not to like?

Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer is £11.99 at Boots and can be bought online here:

Cliniques Bottom Lash Mascara

When I first heard about Clinique’s Bottom Lash Mascara, my initial thoughts were not another gimmick to hit the shelvesHowever, curiosity and hype got the better of me and after a handful of uses I stood corrected.

This miniature mascara has been specifically designed in terms of shape and size to coat the lower lashes effortlessly and mess-free - no smudging, clumping or fighting to remove it, just longer length and increased definition. As a self-confessed lover of the full-on lash effect, it is no surprise that this mascara is now a permanent feature in my daily make up bag.
After dark, I like to pair it with my favourite Eyelure falsies to add even more oomph to an intense darksmoky eye and ensure I coat those pesky lashes in the inner corner without making them look like spiders legs (pet hate).

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara is £12 in Boots and can be bought online here:

My Go To Make Up Brushes

I’m definitely a person who gets easily drawn in by tempting trends and I tend to follow the crowd when it comes to trying out newly hyped up beauty products - make up brushes are no exception.
As you will be able to gather from the photo above, I am a huge fan of the Real Technique Brushes by Samantha Chapman. They are not only pretty affordable but made of fabulous quality and extremely easy to use for those of us who aren’t make up geniuses. When the brushes emerged and created a well-deserved buzz in the blogosphere I quickly hopped on to the bandwagon.
‘Real Techniques brushes combine high-tech materials with innovative design to make creating a pixel-perfect look easier than ever.’
Like many of us out there, I tend to use make up brushes differently to their intended purpose!Keep reading if you are interested in me rambling about my Go to Make up Brushes.

Real Techniques Buffing Brush
 After using the Real Techniques Stippling Brush religiously for many years, I picked up the Buffing Brush on a bit of a whim whilst browsing my local Boots store and since then have never looked back. Not only does it blend my liquid foundations such as Mac Face and Body and Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation beautifully, but it is also great for mineral foundations such as the Bare Minerals Original Foundation. I will confidently say that this brush is hands down the best for creating a flawless finish however minimal or extensive your priming routine is.
No 7 Foundation Brush
 This is the first make up brush I ever purchased back in 2008. Before moving away to University, I had always applied my foundations with any random makeup sponge that I could get my mitts on. When I caught a glimpse of my housemate applying her foundation with a brush, I was intrigued. Her foundation was always flawless and I immediately popped out to boots to scour the shelves. It took a little getting used to as I found it left brush strokes if application was rushed. Nowadays, I either use this for blending concealer on larger areas of my face that need specific coverage, or on a night out for highlighting when I am tanned.

Real Techniques Blush Brush 
This brush is intended for blush but I find it too large for the apples of my cheeks, therefore I use it to sweep compact powder across my t-zone. It is extremely soft yet doesn’t hold too much product which is a bonus at stopping your face from looking cakey. I must say that it is a little on the large size for travel in a small compact make-up bag, but it is perfect for storing/standing on a dressing table.
Real Techniques Setting Brush
I use the setting brush to apply powdered or cream blush as it is perfect for smaller specific areas whilst still being able blending easily and efficiently. Occasionally I will use it for highlighter when I am going for a more bronzed look without blusher.
 Real Techniques Eyeshadow Brush 
Yet again this is a specific brush which I do not use for its intended purpose. I use the eyeshadow brush to blend my concealer on smaller specific areas of my face; such as under the eyes and around my nose. I find the small soft bristles perfect for blending whilst catching minimal product.
Jemma Kid Eyeliner Brush
This particular brush was an impulse by after hearing Tanya Burr rave about it on her YouTube Channel. At the time I was really struggling with mastering the technique of gel eyeliner and this was a brush that she highly recommended. Drawn in by the hot pink packaging I quickly popped it into my online basket and went straight to check out. She was absolutely right; this brush is fantastic for creating a smooth winged look. The bristles are made of durable fine material and very easy to clean.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo REVIEW

 I’m sure most of you will have heard about the latest wonder product somewhere in the blogosphere, but does it really live up to its skin saviour label?- La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo.
Now, I haven’t got acne or particularly bad skin, but I am prone to the odd blemish. Drawn in by the hype, I totted down to my local Boots to test out but ended up eagerly rummaging through the shelves of 3 different stores before I managed to get my hands on a tube. At £13.00 for 40ml, you don’t get a huge amount for your dollar, but a little really does go a long way.
Effaclar duo is described as a solution, suitable for all skin types, which aims to reduce the appearance of imperfections and purifies pores using its 4 active ingredients.“Niacinamide and Piroone Olamine help reduce severe local imperfections by purifying the skin and protecting against breakouts developing. The LHA/Linoleic Acid combination helps unclog pores by eliminating dead cells responsible for their obstruction. These active ingredients are combined with soothing and anti-irritating La Roche-Posay thermal spring water.” (La Roche Posay Website) - Wow, that was a mouthful.
I popped a tiny pea sized amount of the light textured gel formula all over my face and neck before bed that same evening and left it to work its magic overnight. On application it did give a little tingly sensation, but wasn’t irritating at all.
I experienced immediate results the next morning; not only had my skins texture improved, but its overall appearance - it felt baby soft, and the slight redness around my nose had completely disappeared! My love for the product quickly grew as I continued using it religiously morning AND night for the next couple of months until it then became a staple in my skincare routine. I use the Effaclar Duo as a serum underneath my morning moisturiser and find my make-up applies flawlessly, whilst keeping any pesky blemishes at bay.
However, as a girl with “Normal” skin, I do find that the formula can be a little drying at times and therefore will often switch it up with a richer moisturiser or just pop the gel on specific areas where I feel I need it the most.
Have you tried the Effaclar Duo solution yet?

Justine x

Lip Balms SOS

As we venture into the cooler months of Autumn, lip creams and balms are essential in keeping lips moisturised and in tip top kissable condition. These are my SOS products that I quickly reach for when my lips are in need of a little TLC.

Blistex Relief Cream
My lips are extremely sensitive to the seasonal changes, both cool and warmer temperatures, and occasionally I will suffer from a coldsore. Blistex relief cream helps bring medicated relief to sore, cracked, chapped lips - the typical oncoming symptoms of a coldsore. It contains Camphor to soothe discomfort, Lanolin to protect and Peppermint Oil to add a taste of freshness. It can be easily applied as it is packaged in a small squeezy tube - no greasy hands!
Carmex Original
This little yellow pot is a hero product in rescuing and hydrating dry lips. Once smothered on, lips feel a little tingling sensation, from the menthol ingredient, followed by an instant soothing cool feeling. This iconic pot is a beauty must have and is loved by celebs worldwide - it can be used alone or under lipsticks as a moisturising base. Carmex is also available in a squeezy tube for easy, mess free application and in cherry flavour for those who are put off by the medicated scent!
Nivea Pearly Shine
The Nivea tinted lip balms are perfect for the kinda’ days when lips are in need of moisture, yet you are unwilling to part with your colourful lipsticks. This particular shade ‘pearly shine’ leaves lips silky smooth with a beautiful light pink shimmer whilst protecting against UVA and UVB Rays with its SPF 10! At £1.99 these are a bargain!
Lip Scrubs
Lip scrubs are something I’ve never really had much interest in - occasionally on a Sunday night I’ll whip out an old toothbrush and give them a little attention. The Popcorn Lip Scrub by Lush is a popular product talked about in the blogging world - a tasty, sugary lip scrub that you can lick clean! Sold! I may have to make a cheeky purchase to see for myself what all the hype is about.

Do you have any staple lip SOS balms & scrubs?

Justine x

The Challenges of University

September marks the start of Academic Term and for many the ‘leaving for University’ countdown begins. It is an anticipating yet exhilarating time for most as they await the freedom to be able to choose to do what they want whenever they want. However, the excitement can be quickly dampened with anxiety and fear as many will be living independently away from family and friends for the very first time.

Leave Your Past Behind & Live Your Future 
Packing for University can be a long winded and difficult task if not effectively planned in advance. Attempting to condense 18 years of belongings into a couple of suitcases and then away into a small room the size of a cardboard box is a challenge - often filled with distractions as you prefer to opt for a trip down memory lane. Jotting down a well thought out list prior to packing is important to ensure only the essentials are included. 
TIP - items such as kitchen utensils can be bought in your future University town, as shared kitchens all too often end up with five kettles and no toaster, or dozens of knives and forks but no plates! I would highly recommend taking decorative pieces such as personal photo frames, cushions and bed throws which create a homely atmosphere and are much more valuable than hefty amount of clothes which will undoubtedly be purchased during a much needed friendship bonding retail therapy shopping trip.

Feelings Change, Memories Don’t
 Moving away to University and starting a new life in a different environment can be exciting but also extremely overwhelming. Having to leave behind close friends and built relationships to become a single anonymous individual in a crowd of hundreds can have a high impact on emotions.
 TIP- Firstly, always remember that you are not alone in feeling this way. Feel free to take frequent trips home at weekends or around your timetable -even invite family/friends to your new gaff. If you feel that the regular contact is only prolonging your homesickness, try to keep yourself busy by getting out of the house as much as possible and surrounding yourself with others - a Student Unions Bar always has its door wide open and Clubs/Societies are eager to recruit new members.
After a jam packed Fresher’s week of deprived sleep, endless amounts of alcohol and takeaway meals, you may have only had time for a glimpse of where you will be living over the next three years. Beyond the campus and SU Bar sits shops, restaurants, bars and local history waiting to be explored. Don’t limit yourself to the confines of a University Campus - use local transport to discover what the area really has to offer.

True Friends are Hard to Find,
Harder to Have & Impossible to Forget 
Sharing accommodation with randomly picked individuals who have not chosen to live together can bring lots of tension- housemate’s end up feeling obligated to make friends with each other even if they have completely different interests. House sharing tends to bring out people's irritating little habits such as the inability to wash up or operate a vacuum cleaner, hogging the bathroom or fighting over whose turn it is to buy the toilet paper. Your cosy house of four suddenly becomes a cramped house of five or six, as various lovers start moving in unexpectedly. The smallest niggles in the world can become the most important and can cause major tension. 
TIP: If rifts occur, use your common sense - let the situation calm down and when ready, speak to the person, explain your views and listen to theirs. If talking doesn’t solve the situation and living in the same house becomes unbearable, seek help with University advisors who may offer an accommodation referral. Always remember - never rush into signing a contract for your house for the following year. You may think that they are your best friends in the beginning, but friendships quickly change. Broaden your friendship groups outside of your living space with other course or social activity groups with your own similar interests. 

Marc Jacobs - Sunshine EDT 50ml (Limited Edition) REVIEW

Most of you will be familiar with Marc Jacob’s fragrance portfolio; their eye-catching, feminine and edgy fragrance designs, particularly their bestsellers The Daisy and Lola series’. Their latest release, ‘Honey’, has rapidly captured the attention of the blogging world.
Today I am going to be reviewing their Limited Edition ‘Sunshine’ release whilst it is still available in shops and online to buy. I know we our saying our final goodbyes to the sunshine, and trying to cling on to our sunnies, sleeveless tops and skirts for as long as possible before we hibernate beneath our multitude of layers, but this fragrance could be used throughout the year by all you fruity scent lovers.
This particular bottle was a cheeky Airport Duty Free Purchase- does anyone else always feel obliged to buy a new ‘holiday fragrance’ each year? I do!

I was casually browsing through the vast array of branded bottles, whilst a huffing and puffing boyfriend was tugging my arm trying to drag me to the nearest bar, when I stumbled across the new Honey release. My nose wasn’t too impressed with the new scent but my eyes were drawn to another bottle topped with a multi-coloured daisy bouquet - Sunshine.
This everyday fragrance is a mixture of fresh, fruity and floral infusions which include Guava and Red Currant juicy fruits mixed with blushing Musk’s and wood based notes.
Top Notes: Red Currant, Guava, Juicy Mandarin
Middle Notes: Lily of the Valley, Violet, Lychee
Base NotesApricot Skin, Blonde Woods, and Musk’s

This 50ml bottle sits and sparkles on my dressing table waiting to express its mood-brightening infusions. The staying power is excellent with minimal application - 2/3 pumps are sufficient to prolong the scent throughout the day without the need for reapplication. If you are the type of person who likes to carry summer scents through to the autumn season then this is fragrance is definitely for you.
Purchase a bottle here

Justine x

How Much is YOUR Face Worth? TAG

I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and not only take part in the popular ‘How Much is Your Face Worth’ TAG, but also give you all a little sneak peek into my everyday makeup routine.
Essentially, the purpose of the TAG is to put together a list of all the makeup items that are slapped on to your face on a day-to-day basis, do a little product research, make a note of the cost and then total it all up (and gasp!).
Some of you may think the volume of makeup I have listed below is a little OTT for an everyday face, but for me it’s a routine which I feel most comfortable with and have perfected to a speedy 30 minutes. I do occasionally have an odd make-up free day, but I generally prefer the all or nothing look.
Here goes …

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer (Fair) :£4.19
MAC Face & Body Foundation 50 ml(C1) :£21.50
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (Transparent) :£3.99
Nars Bronzing Powder (Laguna) :£26.00
ELF Studio Eyebrow Kit (Ash) :£3.75
NYX Eyeliner Collection Noir (Black) :£6.50
Bourjois Volume Glamour Max Mascara (Black - Waterproof):£9.99
Bobbi Brown Long -Wear Gel Eyeliner (Black) :£17.50
MAC Powder Blush (Pink Swoon) :£18.00
MAC Lipstick (Crème Cup) :£15.00

Total :£126.42

WOW, that’s an expensive face!
When I tossed all of my everyday products out of my obviously pink Harrods make-up bag ( It’s a good job I didn’t have to include the price of that too! )ready to list, I gulped at the sight of so many high end items! I’d usually label myself as drug store kinda girl with a handful of high end luxurious - but glancing at this list oh boy how I’m wrong! I think it’s about time I popped into Boots to experiment with some cheaper alternatives.

How much is YOUR face worth?

Justine x

August Favourites

I can’t believe today is the 1st September! Bye bye summer *sniff*.
Today I will be rambling about a handful of products I have particularly enjoyed using over the past month. I have to admit that they are mostly holiday related - enjoy!

V05 Miracle Concentrate
“argan oil miracle in a bottle”
This hair oil has been a staple of mine this past month as I am desperately trying to rescue my severely dry locks after 2 weeks of 30oc + Greek sunshine. I mostly use this on the ends of my damp hair after a bath/shower to lock in moisture before blow drying. I only purchased this as a cheaper alternative to my Moroccanoil® Treatment and it’s a steal at £5.19 I love the scent, it doesn’t leave my hair feeling greasy & it’s in a pink bottle!

Collection 200 Lasting Perfection Concealer
“Ultimate wear concealer” “full coverage for up to 16 hours”
This concealer probably doesn’t need much of an explanation as I imagine most of you will have it sitting comfortably in your make up bags. For those of you who don’t, this concealer can very easily rival the high end brands such as Mac & Bobbi Brown in terms of coverage and price -£4.19. This past month I have pushed my Foundation to one side and have popped only concealer on minor blemishes. I always repurchase the lightest shade as not only does it match my fair skin perfectly, but also doubles up as a highlighter on days when I’m slightly more bronzed.

NYX Liquid Black Liner (BEL06 - Collection Noir)
“A distinctive applicator that makes precise lining and defining of the eyes smooth and easy”
I must have been wearing a black winged eyeliner look every day since the age of 17. Over the years, I’ve experimented with many different brands of pencil, liquid and more recently gel eyeliners - low/high end.  I have only recently parted from my Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner to this little beauty. With gel and pencil liners, I always found that the colour transferred onto my eyelids as the day went on, and I’m not a makeup re- touch up kinda girl. This liquid eyeliner from NYX is super black, doesn’t fade throughout the day, it has the finest brush for really fine application and is a competitive price at £6.50 - a must for all linerholic.

Hello, Hallo, Hola, Bonjour !

I've been a blogaholic for quite a few years now & have a little obsession with fashion & beauty. I am a typical girly girl who loves all things pink and sparkly!

After enrolling on an Adult Beauty Therapy course last week I decided to take the plunge and design my own, documenting my experiences along the way - Beauty Toolkit.

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