Wednesday, 17 June 2015

eyeshadow pencils

I won't lie to you dear readers, starting a full time job has resulted in not only my blogging time being cut short, by my make up application time too. I've always enjoyed making up my face, I find it therapeutic and satisfying, but in the mornings when I've over slept a little and my hair is doing something wild and requiring extra taming time, my make up is the thing to suffer. Recently I've been enjoying the simplicity of using eyeshadow pencils for creating a soft yet polished look and it only take's a jiffy to apply. Above is a look that I've been recreating time and time again recently and the two products I've been using to achieve it are fast becoming staple products in my make up bag. 

The first is the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Dark Pearl £19. This eyeshadow stick comes in a whole range of flattering shades, which CT have divided up and assigned to different eye colours - & whilst I'm sure you can mix and match a bit to suit your tastes, I really enjoy the extra thought that's gone into the products and the end user. This pencil glides on like an absolute dream, is blendable for a few moments before setting and becoming unsmudgable for a good few hours. I've used this pencil on the outer corner and crease for definition. I find when applied with no lid primer underneath this pencil doesn't last the full work day, and has started to crease by the time I'm leaving the office, but it's still there and the look is still pretty! The packaging of this pencil is a beautiful maroon and gold number, with the usual Charlotte Tilbury branding. Lovely. My one bug bear is that this is a pencil which requires sharpening. 

The second pencil is the No.7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Cool Mink £8. At half the price of the Charlotte Tilbury pencil, this is a total bargain. The packaging isn't as expensive looking, but it's still pretty, and most importantly it's a mechanical pencil - no need to worry about sharpening. This shade is lighter, with a lilac hint to it, really gorgeous worn alone, but something extra special when paired with the Charlotte Tilbury one in the crease. I wear this all over the lid, it's a little harder to apply and doesn't glide like the CT one does but it has the added benefit of lasting all through the day without budging even a millimetre, totally worth the extra effort to apply. 

Both of these pencils are a dream to use and vital parts of my everyday make up now. I've got more shades of both on my wish list, and recommend both to those looking for an easy answer to eyeshadow. Let me know if you've tried any that you love! 

Thank you so much for reading, much love Kitty xx

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Instagram favourites

Guys, I have a confession. Just in case you weren't aware already, I'm obsessed with instagram. And in light of this casual revelation, I thought I'd share some of my favourite accounts...

The first feature, goes to the beautiful Annabel. A fellow pageanter and blogger, her instagram is full of devine shots of make up, flowers and beautiful streets in West London. I mean, can you get more lush? Her feed is clean, artistic and effortlessly pretty. If you want to have a read of Annabels blog (I highly recommend...) click here.

The inventor of #doorappreciation and a hoarder of Chanel, I find inspiration in Arabella's instagram. Fabulous fashion, London living and the occasional pug puppy can be found on her feed. Also, look how monochrome, her fashion sense is just perfect.

This feed belongs to my wonderful mum, who's every bit as Instagram obsessed as me. All the photo's are taken on her iPhone and they're all beautiful. She's giving me a run for my money in followers, so I think the proof is in the pudding!!

These are just a selection of some of my favourite instagram feeds, but there are dozens that I love, and if you like this post, I'll make this into a regular feature for my favourite instagrammers. If you're not already following me on instagram, make sure you go follow me right now! @kittwills

Thank you so much for reading, much love Kitty xx

Sunday, 26 April 2015

make up (en)counters

I've never really enjoyed purchasing make up from a counter, with a make up artist on hand to assist. I like to get stuck in with my browsing, pick products up and feel the packaging, is it easy to open, how weighty is it,  does it have a satisfying 'click' shut. All the minor details. I can't help but be put off by the make up counter assistants hovering around. A large number of them are fantastic, helpful, cheery and really know their products and want them to work the best for you. But there are a significant number who are certainly not helpful, and can make the purchasing of make up stressful and unpleasant for many of us. I have two products here, and two very different 'counter' experiences.

I like to be well prepared and researched before purchasing any make up product, but especially one that's going to cost £20+. So before purchasing either of these products, I did my research and decided I'd like to try them, and tried to figure out roughly what colour I'd need.

This was a total new experience for me, as I haven't really ventured into the mineral/powder foundation realm before, but I've heard endless great things about bareMinerals and decided it was time to bite the bullet. So after extensive online research into which one would best suit my skin, I ventured down to my local bareMinerals counter and set about the task of purchasing it. This was more trying that I had anticipated. The girl at the counter was busy helping another customer when I arrived, so I relished the opportunity to have a look at what else was available. When she was free, I asked for her help in trying out the Matte foundation and selecting a colour, but was swiftly informed it was time for her break, so she wouldn't be able to assist, and under no circumstances did she have time for a make over. A little taken aback, I assured her I wouldn't be long and wasn't interested in a make over, just buying a new foundation. She did try a few shades on me, matching to my jaw-line/chin, over the top of the foundation I was already wearing. Now, in steps my own stupidity. As this was the moment I should have asked if I could try them on my neck instead, and if I could actually look in a mirror to see the results, but it was a Sunday afternoon, and I'd made the effort to venture all the way to the shops specifically to buy this product, so silly me, I took the recommendation of the counter assistant and purchased the shade she chose. Obviously as soon as I got home and tried the product out for myself, I realised it was far too dark for my skin tone. Kicking myself, I decided to just mix the foundation with lighter concealers/foundations/highlighters to avoid taking it back for a refund. I have now decided to re-home it with one of my friends who's got the right skin tone for it. As a pale girl, I should have known to be careful with selecting anything but the lightest shade, and silly me for trusting the 'expert' at the counter. Not an ideal experience, and it's just one of many in my collection of unpleasant experiences.

It's not all doom and gloom here, I have got a positive experience to share. A few weeks after my frustrating experience at bareMinerals, I decided I wanted to try the MAC Prep + Prime BB Cream, so I popped over to my local MAC store. I was greeted immediately by a friendly girl who asked if she could be of assistance, so I told her what I was looking for, and let her know that I was concerned about getting the right colour. She had a long hard look at my skin, and selected a few different shades, which she then applied to the back of my hand, and asked for my opinion. I asked if she would mind if I looked in natural lighting, to which she said 'good idea'. So I nipped onto the street and had a look, knowing my hand is a touch darker than my face/neck/chest I went for the lightest shade, which was a teeny bit lighter than my hand. She was really helpful and talked me through the product, letting me know what it's good for, and what it's not, making sure it was really going to do what I expected of it. The complete opposite to many other experiences I've had, and oh how I wish they were all that easy. 

I think the key with make up counters is to be both well researched and confident. But even with these things, if you've got a bad counter assistant, it isn't going to be easy, and you run the risk of walking away with the wrong product. I would love to hear your experiences, and especially your tips for make up counters! Thanks for reading xx

Thank you so much for reading, much love Kitty xx

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


There's nothing like adding an investment piece to your makeup collection. The rush of adrenalin from buying something heavenly that you know is worth the hard earned cash just for how pretty it is, let alone how well it will serve its purposes. For me, tools are one of the top things that are worth investing in. Good quality tools that are well looked after should last you years without needing replacements. And yet, it has taken me this long to get my hands on MAC brushes! 

I was a rather lucky lady this Christmas... my boyfriends lovely parents bought me the MAC Keepsakes Studio Brush Kit that comes with five beautiful white/silver brushes. Two face and three eye brushes, for blending to perfection. I've had real techniques brushes for a long while now and am a big fan (cannot wait to get my hands on their Bold Metals collection!), and even have a few Sephora brushes in my stash from a trip to NYC many moons ago... but this is my first delve into the Holy Grail that is MAC brushes. I've been wanting to start a collection of them for years, but they are quite an investment and I just never knew where to start, so this little kit is just perfect. These are limited edition brushes and are slightly shorter than their original twins, so below I've listed the equivalents from the permanent collection...

129 Powder/Blush Brush
I love this for blush, it's dainty enough to get controlled colour application yet soft and full enough to give even coverage and blend well. Can also be used as a powder brush but I like to set my whole face with loose powder so a larger brush does a quicker job. Available here.

190 Foundation Brush
The MAC website states this brush can be used to 'apply, distribute and blend' your foundation, but personally I like to use this to apply and distribute, and blend with the beauty blender for a really flawless finish. Available here.

224 Tapered Blending Brush
As the name suggests, this brush is perfect for blending eye shadows across the lid. It's quite a medium sized blending brush and is perfect for everyday use, it's my go-to crease blender at the moment. Available here.

213 Fluff Brush
The perfect companion for the Tapered Blending Brush, this brush is for more dense application of shadows to the lid area, and is great for applying shadow all over the lid or in more precise areas. Available here. 

209 Eye Liner Brush
Another one with a name that fits, this is a great little brush for applying eye liner. Personally I like to use this with a gel liner, but it can also be used with powder eyeshadows to create a soft liner look (for more intensity, use the eyeshadow damp). Available here.

I would love brush recommendations, so if you have any that you swear by let me know! 
Thank you so much for reading, much love Kitty xx

This post was not sponsored.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Sleek eye palette in Au Naturel

Sleek i-Divine Palette in Au Naturel 

Great make up shouldn't break the bank, and here's a perfect example of a brand that does all it can to fulfil that remit. I've been a big fan of sleek for a long time, and the obsession started with their perfect contouring palette, which has a gorgeous highlight and a dupe of Benefit Hoola for the contour...all for the grand total of £6.99. (More on this here).

Today however, I'm featuring one of the much loved eye palettes, the i-Divine palette in Au Naturel, which has 12 subtle shades ranging from Ivory to Black in mattes and shimmers. Gorgeous. I've always been a fan of more neutral colours for all make up, especially eyes, so I of course love the colour selection available in this palette. The 12 shades give you the opportunity to create any type of neutral eye look you fancy, whether thats a really natural look with the paler colours all over the lid and some soft taupe through the crease, or a dramatic smokey eye using the matte black, shimmery cranberry and gold tones. It's essentially the ideal starter palette for someone wanting to have one palette to cover all the neutral options. 

As a big lover of the Urban Decay Naked palettes, I feel this blogpost cannot exist without some comparison. 12 shades, mattes and shimmers, neutral colours. The concept is the same, and as I've already expressed my approval of Sleek's colour selection, the only thing left to discuss is quality. I'm talking pigmentation and staying power. Of course, a palette that costs £7.99 is going to have a massive battle to beat the likes of eyeshadow heavyweights Urban Decay, but this palette sure offers up a good fight. The consistency and pigmentation of this palette are like no other at this price point, they're soft powders that allow even application and strong pigmentation. The softness means they blend well, so they're super easy to work with which is great for beginners or busy ladies. The staying power isn't as great as some of my more high end eyeshadows (Charlotte Tilbury, Nars) but for this price point it's pretty darn good, and using a creme base or eyelid primer will help improve longevity. Ultimately, this is a really great palette and as an added bonus it's the perfect pick for somebody working on a tighter budget. The Sleek i-Divine Palette retails for £7.99 and is available online and at Boots & Superdrug. 

I actually won this palette from a fellow blogger's... The very lovely Laura from sent this to me after I won her 200 follower giveaway - thank you so much Laura! x

Thank you so much for reading, much love Kitty xx

This post was not sponsored.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

A Drugstore Trio

Bourjois Happy Light Foundation, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation and L'Oreal True Match Foundation

A little while ago now, I decided I wanted to change up my base. For a long time I've been all about the full-coverage and flawless finish but I feel as we get older, our skin and our outlook on make up changes. Sometimes we need a little adjustment. In step these three drug store beauts. I have tried (and enjoyed) using Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in the past, but found it a little too sheer/dewy for what I wanted at the time, but it did look good and so many friends swear by it so it was added to the basket! The other two were completely new to me, but I've seen them featured in posts and videos all too often for them to be ignored.

I tried all three of these foundations on their own and somehow none of them offered quite what I was looking for. Variations of too shiny, too thin, too drying. However, don't despair - this blogpost isn't all doom and gloom! I tried mixing the foundations, sometimes on their own and sometimes with others (most often the Rimmel Stay Matte Mousse Foundation - my full coverage partner in crime!) and the effects were mostly complimentary on my skin. Mixing a foundation that's too dewy with one that's too drying, or one that's too heavy with one that's too sheer can often result in the most perfect balance and an almost taylor made foundation that's perfect for you. It can even work really well if you struggle to find the right colour for your skin, you can either mix two different colours of the same foundation, or two different foundations in two different colours (the latter being the method I most frequently use). 

I've been mixing foundations for years, and most of the time it works really well, especially if you follow the golden rule for pairing base products. You just need to make sure that your primary ingredients match on your two (or more) foundations. (As far as I'm aware the two main primary ingredients are water or silicone.) Check the ingredients list, and if the first few words are Aqua/Water on your ingredients list for both, you can mix OR if they're some variation of a silicone (Easy to spot as the word will end in '-cone' as in silicone, dimethicone, etc... although some more complicated compounds end on '-xone', if unsure Google it!) then you can mix. If the primary ingredients match, your foundations will mix perfectly together, however if they don't match it could mean the foundations will separate on your skin after a few hours wear. 

If you aren't a foundation mixologist already, I highly recommend giving it a go - especially if you've got one or two less-than-loved foundations clogging up your makeup draws! 

Thank you so much for reading, much love Kitty xx

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