Saturday, 25 June 2016

Review: NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil

If you caught my May Favourites post you may or may not remember this NYX bad boy I've recently added to my collection.  This was my first time trying NYX, as their counters are a new addition to my local Boots store, but I love the amazing range of shades and colours they have from lipsticks to mascaras to liners to shadows.  I couldn't resist this lovely lilac toned eye crayon, which also comes in a stunning 32 shades.  

The pencil itself is far more soft and glossy than a traditional kohl pencil and applies easily to give a smooth and shiny finish.  I find the colour is not particularly pigmented, and requires a few applications to deepen, but it is quite buildable - and for £5.50 a piece, quite affordable, in my opinion.

The thing I like in particular about this product is that it is so versatile - it can be used as a creamy eyeshadow base for all over the lid, or just as an eyeliner along the water line.  Below are a couple of quick and easy looks I've recently been loving wearing that require only a few products, including the liner: 

1) - All Over Lavender 

Literally just a good coating of colour all over the lid, as well as underneath the eye, and then lashings of mascara.  Easy-peasy, but certainly eye catching!

2) Lilac Cat Eye

For this look I first applied my liquid eyeliner in a neat cat flick, before going over lightly with the NYX crayon around the outer edge of my eye and water line.  The liquid eyeliner I use is by Stila and it's fabulous - you can read my review of it here.

Have you guys tried any of the NYX products? 


Ruby x


Sunday, 19 June 2016

Mini Manchester Photo Diary

I recently spent a long weekend in Manchester with one of my childhood friends who is at uni there, and although I didn't take that many photos, I thought there was just enough to put together a mini photo diary to give you all a taste of what Manchester is like. 

The first thing I can safely say is that Manchester is a little bit of a vintage haven - not unlike Brighton, but for generally around a third of the price (if you shop in the right places).  I love Brighton but shopping vintage there can get expensive very quickly.  The Northern Quarter in Manchester is full of reasonably priced, eclectic and awe-inspiring vintage shops and boutiques.  


The next thing which I couldn't not mention is Manchester's nightlife, which is pretty bloody great (can you tell from my face in these pictures?).  There's more clubs than you can shake a stick at and music of all genres for every taste.  I can highly recommend the couple we went to which were Factory and Sankey's - both weren't too expensive and made for a really fun night!

We also did plenty of walking around and general exploring.  I find the North incredibly different to the South in a way I can't quite put my finger on, and so it's really nice to just wander around and take it all in.

We were really lucky with the weather too and even managed to squeeze in a BBQ and some tanning time with Em's housemates in a local park.

All topped off with a Mr Whippy - perfect!

Ruby x


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Artis Brush Dupe: Is it worth it?

So, I don't know if anyone else has been seeing the Artis brushes pop up left right and centre in the blogosphere, but I, for one, was so sick of the sight of these I thought I just had to try one.  Until I came to look at the price of those little things and choked on my tea.  Needless to say, for a student, £48 for the 'Oval 7' face brush was a little out of my budget.  

You can imagine my glee when I was browsing YouTube one morning and saw that blogger Lily Melrose had uploaded a video reviewing an Artis style brush dupe that she found on Amazon for under ten smackaroos.  Within a couple of minutes I had ordered my own dupe Artis brush for £4.89.

Presenting...  the so entitled 'VALUE MAKERS Toothbrush Curve Liquid Foundation Blending Brush-Pro Cosmetic Makeup Face Powder Blusher Brushes-Contour Cream Concealer Blusher Make Up Kit-Beauty Cosmetics Tools-Makeup Kit (style 8)' (lol)...

The brush itself is pretty small, and the handle is fairly naff quality - it feels quite flimsy (but what can you expect for such a cheap brush).  The bristles aren't too bad; they're quite soft and very densely packed.  

My first approach was to cleanse moisturise, etc.  I then mixed together my primer and foundation on the back of my hand and used the brush to gently pick up the mixture and apply it to my face.  This was a complete failure - it was instantly absorbed into the bristly abyss, with only around 10% of what I had on the back of my hand ending up on my face.

A little bewildered, I tried a second method...

Applying the foundation directly to my face, and then smoothing out with the brush in small, gentle sweeping motions. 

Half blended...

And the finished product....

For me, it felt very strange to go back to using a brush after having been a beauty blender convert for so long. I find using a brush to give a more matte and heavier coverage look overall, compared to the dewy, airbrush effect that using a damp beauty blender has.  Although this brush blended my base in well on the majority of my face, I found that it exacerbated dryness in certain areas prone to lack of moisture, giving me a slightly uneven and flaky finish in places.  I also found the bristles to be far too absorbent for my liking, resulting in a lot of product waste.  For all-over foundation application then, this brush gets a thumbs down from me.  I'll be sticking to my beauty blender, thanks.
However it's not all bad news.  I did then try using it for blending my contour out, with considerably better results.  I use a powder contour by Smashbox, and so the brush dispersed the product out nicely instead of absorbing it.  Ultimately though, I wouldn't be using this again for foundation.  It's quite good for blending out powder products, but for me, not worth the excitement.

Has anyone tried one of the real Artis brushes?  What did you think?  

Ruby x


Friday, 10 June 2016

Long Hair and Lace Ups

Last week I spent a long weekend in Manchester visiting one of my nearest and dearest childhood friends, Emily.  Compared to the last time I visited in November (I wrote two blog posts on my first visit which you can find here and here), the weather was glorious.  On the Sunday evening we decided to take advantage of this and have a stroll down the canal... which is just as urban as you would expect from Manchester.  

 I'm a T-shirt lover, but often struggle to find ones that don't make me look too - for want of a better word - lumpy.  So I've actually recently been converted to the idea of knitted tees since getting this one off ASOS.  You just can't go wrong with block colour tops, and white is a staple item for me. 

These sunglasses are a recent purchase from TK Maxx and they are probably my favourite pair to date.  I love a big frame as much as anyone else, and there's something incredibly spy-like about having reflective lenses that I'm also very into.  I find TK Maxx to be very hit and miss but actually all the sunglasses in that department looked pretty good, and I got these for £19.99 and they're by Calvin Klein Jeans - I can't find this specific pair but you can browse the range here.

Sunglasses - TK Maxx (browse range here) / Top - ASOS / Skirt - Urban Outfitters / Shoes - TK Maxx / Bag - TK Maxx

 I'm quickly falling back in love with this skirt, too.  I got it in Autumn last year from Urban Outfitters but haven't had much of a chance to wear it as the colour is difficult to pull off with tights and the weather has been too cold to go without!  Skirts like this are so versatile though, and really comfy too - a worthy investment.  

And finally these cute little shoes which you may remember from this post.  I'm obsessed with lace-ups recently; they make me feel like a fairy, and what's not to love about that?!  These ones are surprisingly comfy, too, although they did take a few days of plaster-wearing to break them in.  You know the struggles!

Ruby x