Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Real Techniques Core Collection brushes

Hey guys! Today I'll be reviewing the Real Techniques core collection brushes by Sam and Nic Chapman. This year, I've really started collecting make-up brushes and one brand that seemed to stand out from the rest, was the Real Technique brushes. I heard truly amazing reviews on them, they've been ranted and raved about by top bloggers, and were thee most recommended brushes on the scene. I really wanted to try them out, and I wanted to have core brushes that I would use everyday and would last me years, and still be in great shape. So, given all the fabulous reviews, I decided I would try the Real Techniques core brush collection!

The core collection comes with four brushes: A detailer brush, a buffing brush, a pointed foundation brush and a contour brush. The kit also came with a sturdy brush stand/travel case. The detailer brush is supposed to conceal problem areas and to apply lipstick for added definition and shape, however, I much prefer to use my fingers with concealer and I don't much like to use a brush for lipstick, so I have much use for the brush, except for eyeliner. If anyone has any ideas on how to use this little brush more, let me know! The pointed foundation brush is meant for liquid foundation and can be used to build custom coverage. That's how I use it. I use it for liquid foundation and on days where I feel I need more coverage, especially for the Summer, when even more horrible freckles grouped together on my face! The buffing brush is used for mineral foundation and powder. I use it for applying liquid foundation for the days when I want minimal coverage and for buffing out any lines creating by spreading around liquid foundation. The contour brush is supposed to be for highlighter. I use it to apply highlighter and blusher aswell. 

The stand it came with the brushes is so handy! I don't use it to hold my brushes, but it is so handy to carry my brushes around going somewhere overnight, it minds my brushes well, without becoming out of shape. Also, there are extra holders for any other brushes you want to carry with you, which I love! The brushes themselves are gorgeous. They are a really nice amber colour with the brush name on them, with a black end grip if you have serious butterfingers like myself. My favourite thing about these brushes are how unbelievably soft and plush they are! And they stayed soft, plush, firm and in shape after they were washed around 6 times, like I just bought them! They are pretty dense, which means they pick up alot of product. However, that also means that they aren't the easiest brushes to clean!

My favourite brush out of the four is the buffing brush. It's so soft and works amazingly well. It spreads foundation so nicely and gives an airbrush finish. The foundation brush is quite small, but that doesn't bother me, that pointed end is great for getting in the little spaces. Since using a contour brush over a kabuki brush for blush and highlighter, I've noticed a great difference on how the product looks on my face, it looks so much more noticeable, yet subtle, and lovely. I haven't made my mind up on the detailer brush because I haven't used it so much.

All in all, I love these brushes! They are firm, dense, plush, nicely designed and reliable. Plus, they haven't shed a hair yet! I know they'll last me a long while. However -Don't shoot me hardcore Real Techniques fans- they didn't completely blow me away and I'm not too sure they are worth all the hyped up reviews. I do love the brushes though. Perhaps my expectations were too high?
I give the Real Techniques a 9/10! They cost me €28.99.
Do you use Real Techniques brushes? What do you think of them? Let me know below!
Thank you for reading,
Stay fab xo
Kim. :) 

Friday, 22 August 2014

Planning Paris!

Hi guys! I hope you are all well. This week, I have been super busy getting things in order and getting last minute things for my first ever solo trip abroad- to Paris! I have wanted to travel the world since I was seven and started collecting Rugrats Around The World. I have always had an insatiable wanderlust and now I get to travel at long last! It's only one holiday for 6 days (3rd-9th September), but I want to see what it's like to travel by myself in one place, instead of place to place, to get used to it. Yesterday, it would have been my first full day in the City of Light, and I'll be visiting the place I have wanted to go since I was eight- Notre Dame! Despite never actually watching Hunchback of Notre Dame, I have admired it so much. It has such a beautiful magic about it. I want to see the city of Paris from the level where the gargoyles sit, beautiful!

As excited as I am just to wander the beautiful streets of Paris, there are ten places specifically that I want to see. The Eiffel Tower (to be honest, I can take it or leave it), Arc De Triomphe, Champs Elysses, Sacre Coeur, La Geode, Notre Dame, Concorde, Musee De L'Armee, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, and The Louvre. Planning out an itinerary to see all these places in six days has proved much more difficult than I first thought. It seems like such a mammoth task, in a way, but I do love to organise. Especially when it's such a fun trip! So I thought I would ask the blogging community for some help and tips (the point of this blog). I have organised where I've wanted to see on a day by day basis, and I have organised the places by which sight is in the same or nearby Androissements. For example, I would be seeing Champs Elysses, Arc De Triomphe and Place De La Concorde on the same day because they are in the same Androissement, it seems to make the most sense. I wanted to ask those of you that have been to Paris, is this the best way to see what Paris has to offer?
When it comes to public transport, I have the worst anxiety. I get so worked up on getting the time, platform, place, everything, on point. I get so worried about ending up somewhere I am not familiar. This will be my first time going through the airport alone, and I am really nervous of getting the right plane and not
getting anything taken off me at security. (despite reading the details to death) Also, I am so nervous about using Paris's subway system, Metro. I've looked up plenty of videos and subway maps, and it all looks so complicated. I know basic French, I don't think it'll be enough for understanding the intercoms etc. So if anyone reading this has any tips whatsoever regarding the Metro, please, let me know below!
I am really happy about where I am staying, I managed to get a room in a low budget hostel, sharing with four other girls, in the Latin Quarter, which is known for it's little cafes, bistros and lively atmosphere. Does anyone have any experience staying in a hostel with other people?

The Latin Quarter!
Because Paris can run so expensive, I plan to stay on a modest budget, with some money for treats every now and then, souvenirs for my friends and family, and a little money in case of an emergency/ I need that bit of make-up. ;)
So, I guess the point of this post was to share my excitement about my upcoming trip, and to ask you lovely people some tips and help on some things I'm unsure of. I won't be blogging the week I'll be in Paris, and maybe not untill the following weekend. I plan to fill you all in on my adventure and I am so excited to write it up! I hope you'll enjoy it!
So, what is the best way to see all Paris has to offer? Have you ever used the Metro? Is it as complicated as I think? Have you any experience in staying in a hostel with strangers? I'll appreciate anything you can tell me! :)
Thank you for reading,
Stay fab xo
Kim. :) 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

End of Summer wishlist!

Hey guys! I hope you are all well! I don't know about my fellow bloggers, but I love to put together wishlists. It's like making out a Christmas wishlist for Santa. ;) Hopefully someday, I could have all of these gorgeous things in my life. This is a list of things I would love to buy if I had the money. These aren't all beauty related, in fact, there's only one. It might give you a better idea of the things I really love! 

Gym membership
Where I live, there is such a gorgeous gym, with up to date equipment, a pool, fitness classes, sauna, steam room and an outdoor hydrotherapy pool. Over the past two weeks, I have been using my sister's card and I have to say I love the place! I always feel fantastic after a workout there and I get a proper workout. An off peak membership costs €350, which I simply can't afford. It'd be brilliant to have my own membership!

A new laptop
I seem to be cursed with technology, it just doesn't like me. When I first started this blog, that's when my laptop started to crack up, when I needed it the most. I can't do much on it without it turning off and generally being a giant pain in the ass. Also, Sims 4 is coming out, as a Sims addict I need a decent laptop to play it on! It would make blogging and uploading photos so much easier aswell.

MAC Lightscapade
I'll say it. I, am a MAC virgin. Nothing in the brand catches my given its hefty price tag. So, to have a MAC product on my list is a big thing. I read a review this on Makeup Monster's blog and I was amazed! A beautiful highlighter for the palest of girls. I got try this out in MAC in BT2. I got so many compliments on it, and I adored how it looked on me. I hope to pick this up in the duty free when I head to Paris in a few weeks!

Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy figurines
I am the biggest Tim Burton fan, ever. I am an absolute fanatic. I need to own everything he has ever put out, and I can honestly say that I am halfway there. When I have my own place, my place will be decked out in Tim Burton stuff! I can find parallels and similarities in his different pieces of work at the blink of an eye. I am a woman obsessed. His poetry book, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy depicts hybrid and different children, who usually are rejected by society, and parents. With each poem, a character is created with an illustration. I came across these absolute beautys on Amazon a while ago. They come in sets of three and cost €16.28 with delivery.

(Left to right: Pin Cushion Queen, Brie Boy, Staring Girl)

An Abundance of Katherines
Since the massive success of The Fault In Our Stars, which was amazing in both book and movie form. John Green books have been popping up everywhere. An Abundance of Katherines is next on the reading list! It is about seventeen year old anagram loving Colin Singleton who wants to become a genius by having a ''Eureka!'' moment. In his life, he has dated 19 girls, all named Katherine, in which the Katherine has always dumped him. The book follows him and his best friend, Hassan going on a roadtrip, so he can take his mind off the latest break-up. I can't wait to read this, hopefully soon!

An original Chet Zar piece of art
Something on my wishlist that I'll probably never own, as an original art piece will cost €150 and up. Chet Zar is an artist I came across in Skin Deep (a tattoo magazine) and I quickly fell in love with his work and he has become my favourite artist. His work is definitely an acquired taste, but I just adore his art! The closest I'll ever come to having his art on my wall is when I cut out his art from the magazine, haha!

Gryffindor house scarf
Gotta represent your house, yo. I love the look of these scarves so much! They look so comfy and cosy. I love the little embroided crest on it.  As a dedicated Potterhead, I need this scarf in my life. With the Winter coming up, I know I would never take it off! I'm an unfortunate muggle, so this scarf will be the closest I will get to the Wizarding World. A girl can dream!

Amber Aztec sun ear plug
I have had my eye on this for three years now. It is the most beautiful, mesmerizing ear plug I have seen in my life. However I at €40.28, I can't justify the price for one. It's just so beautiful! I'm not sure if they sell it in my size (20mm) anymore. :( The design is an Aztec design sun. It's titanium, but the face of it is made from amber, which is just so gorgeous. I love the peaceful expression of the sun's face. Every time I look up ear plugs, I always end up looking at this one.

Well, that's my end of Summer wishlist! Spot anything you like? What's on your wishlist?
Thank you for reading,
Stay fab xo
Kim. :)

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Pursuit of Beauty

Beauty; A combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. This is a post I have had floating around in my mind for a long time, but it seemed so hard to put together, but I've managed to string a coherent plan for it on paper (I hope!) on the pursuit and lengths we go to to achieve beauty. I do get into my own experience with the pursuit of beauty, to show that I do understand and I do know what I am talking about. So let's get into it! 
I come from a background where, especially in secondary school, I was slagged and teased for my appearance and my thick, straight black hair. I had the lovely nickname of The Grudge and whenever I went into my classes, I was laughed at, insulted and made the noises of The Grudge (admittedly, it's still a sore spot). I have a gorgeous mother and sister, as well as countless gorgeous relatives and friends. I felt alot of pressure to live up to them. From a very young age, I was thought that appearance and beauty was everything, and that being beautiful was one of the most important things that I could be. I can honestly say that my appearance from when I was younger, has changed for the best. As a child, I was pale, covered in freckles, small with unruly thick black hair, I wasn't the prettiest, child, but I didn't care. I was too busy being a child, being feral, digging in the mud for worms and chasing other girls with them and climbing trees. When I was 18, I was in college, I had the worst ever ginger, shoulder length hair and college life had me two stone heavier, I had never felt so bad about myself. I made the choice at 19 to look after  myself better and lose weight. So today, at 21, I stand at 4 11'', average build, two stone lighter, paler than ever and I have grown out my thick black/brown long (it got lighter over time). I can say, this is the best I have ever felt about myself, which, in its own way, is pretty sad. 
Though I feel that my looks have changed for the best, I still feel like I am my 18 year old unhappy self. After all the effort put in to change, it is so completely frustrating to feel this way. Since falling madly in love with fashion, make-up, beauty and blogging, I have spent so much time and money on trying to look the way I wanted to look in my mind, to be left not feeling much better. Working hardest to achieve the impossible picture perfect skin. I can put the effort in to actually looking nice on a night out and feel good, but I am the complete opposite of photogenic. That just adds to feeling crappy about my appearance. That the effort has been for nothing, and I actually looked liked that all night. I have to remind myself, that that is just me through a lens. I think that if I were to invest in XYZ product, it will alter my appearance and I will feel heaps better. I hope to join a gym soon, money providing, I admittedly obsess on my stomach, and spend more time than I care to admit, worrying and fixating over it. Even if the gym helps in giving me a nice stomach, who's to say I will be any happier, given how I have been let down before? I know I am not alone on this, so many other women feel the same way. The pursuit of beauty can be a crippling road.
But what of when we see each other through each other's eyes? Do we see other's imperfections that they focus so much on? I don't think so. We would see what we like in that person, be it their hair, clothes, smile, the qualities and traits that person has. I don't know anyone who would fixate on other's imperfections like we fixate on our own. At the end of the day, we are our own worst enemy and harshest critic. However, it is absurd to believe that we try to look good for other people, it's for ourselves. 
Airbrushing, photoshopping and advertising which is purely just designed to push and sell products with beautifully altered models, seems to show an impossible look that simply cannot be achieved. Not even the models look like the models. It's not a new thing now to see and hear about children as young as seven worry and obsess over their looks. And who could blame them? Beautiful people are plastered all over the media. Does self love and self acceptance simply come with time and age? The time and effort put into looking ''perfect'' doesn't stop at perfection, the time and effort spent on creating an ''effortless, au natural'' look can be ridiculous. If feeling good and happy in our own skin comes from within and with time and age, why bother? And if these efforts fail to make us happy anyway, why do we continue putting in the time and money? 
It's good to remember that there is no one idea of the perfect body and looks. This varies by a number of different factors, these are: Race: Black and Hispanic women prefer a curvier, more voluptuous figure with a full bottom. Asian women prefer a slimmer figure. And European and American women would prefer a low waist-to-hip ratio, in other words, an hourglass shape. Time periods: In the 18th Century, it was considered desirable for women to be overweight as it showed affluence and wealth. The 1920's, the ideal body shape was boyish and slimmed down, which can be seen in the flapper girls of the '20's. The '50's, a curvier, hourglass figure was preferred, take Marilyn Monroe as the prefect example. The '70's loved long legs and a slim build. Finally, Preferences: This is the simplest. It's plain down to the individual and what they prefer themselves. Simple as. 
Not only can the pursuit of beauty be costly, lengthy and expensive. In some cases, it can be incredibly painful. Take Chinese feet binding to make the feet smaller. Thankfully, the practice is dying out. Whalebone corseting to achieve a smaller waist, which can obstruct and damage vital organs, and it can lead to removal of a rib or two. Plastic surgery, though I am in no way against it, it can be a very painful recovery, and there's no guarantee that you'll get the results you want. Very easily, the pursuit of beauty can lead to pain, unhappiness, wasted money, misery, insecurity, and eating disorders in extreme cases. In a way, the search for perfection, which doesn't exist, the pursuit of beauty, can be a very pointless journey. It's easy to believe that everything will fall into place, happiness and perfection will follow, if you looked the perfect part.

Well, I'm near the end of this, what turned out to be a lengthy post. So, if you made it to the end of this, kudos! I really hope this didn't come across like I was dragging myself through the dirt, but I had to be honest. I like a good bit about myself. My determination, ambition, I'm strong willed, lighthearted, passionate and competitive Also, I have been known to make a mean cuppa tea. It's so important to remind yourself of the good you see in yourself. I value the more important aspects over appearances anyday, like humour, intelligence, kindness, humanity and they way you treat others. but some part of me feels that I'd be happier beautiful. I know that it's not the be all and end all, by any means.
The pursuit of beauty. Is it all worth it? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Thank you all for reading,
Stay fab xo
Kim. :)

Friday, 8 August 2014

Favourite Summer Buy - Boohoo's Mabel Double Strap Satchel

Hi guys! I hope you are all well. This Summer, I have definitely picked up some exciting buys. But my favourite buy was from Boohoo (which I adore and buy tonnes from!)  It is a double strap satchel bag. I have never been a big bag person and I don't have that many to choose from. So I wanted to invest in a practical, but stylish, sturdy and decently made bag that would be perfect for running errands and especially for going to Paris. 

This satchel is definitely my style! It matches with most of my clothes (you'd be hard pressed to find bright clothes in my wardrobe, haha) and I really love black and gold together! The satchel is PU leather, it has a detachable strap, so it can be worn two different ways, over your shoulder or carried like a briefcase The material feels gorgeous. It opens by two magnetic buttons on the inside. There's a zip on the inside too, so it keeps your stuff safe. There are two extra pockets on the front and the back, which is handy to reach stuff faster. There is a handle on the top so you can carry it around if you wish. 
I love this satchel so much! I wear it so much and it will be so handy for Paris, with pockets perfect for minding my flight tickets, boarding pass and passport. 

If you want to buy or get a better look at the Mabel Double Strap Satchel, go here to check it out. I bought it for €28, but it's gone down in price for €22! 
What has been your favourite Summer buy?
Thank you for reading,
Stay fab xo
Kim :)

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Toni and Guy sea salt spray

Hi guys! I hope you are all well. Today I will be reviewing the Toni and Guy sea salt spray. I have bought sprays, serums, shampoos and conditioners from the Toni and Guy range before, and I love the range alot. So, when I made the choice to stop straightening my hair so much, I knew I would have to get my hands on a decent sea salt spray. As I trust Toni and Guy, I decided to pick up their own brand of sea salt spray. I usually straighten my hair, but as I am trying to grow it down to my thighs and have it in the healthiest condition possible, I needed to stop straightening it so much and let it be for a while. Naturally, my hair is very thick and wavy, and with this spray, I wanted to achieve relaxed, loose, beachy waves. So how I tried to achieve this was working with my hair when I just got out of the shower. I brushed through my hair, sprayed the sea salt spray through, took sections of my hair and plaited them all over my head, even the short layers on top. When that was done, I sprayed some more of the spray through and let it dry naturally. Then I finish it off in the morning with two drops of L'Oreal's Extraordinary Oil for control and shine. In the morning, I took out the plaits and this is what I was left with:

I had a nicer, more detailed photo that showed off the texture of this spray. However, my memory card corrupted and I can't get to it. So this selfie from Instagram may do.

This sea spray claims to ''Create texture and body with light hold. Suitable for creating a lived in, beach look'' It states to use it from root to tip on towel dried hair. However, I think it works best on wet hair and when it's completely dry, for extra hold, instead of hairspray, for more natural movement. I really liked this spray alot! It wasn't too sticky, it gave fantastic texture with light hold. It didn't make my hair feel lank or greasy either! However, I wouldn't use this spray alot, as the amount of salt in it will definitely dry it out! It smells gorgeous, like the sea, which I really love. It didn't weigh my hair down and it's a more preferable alternative to a heavier feeling curl mousse or cream.

I think the Toni and Guy sea salt spray may work best with those who already have wavy/curly hair that is thick as it'll be less likely to weigh down the hair and making it feel greasy. I would definitely repurchase this sea salt spray again! I bought the travel sized version of this spray for an unbelievably fantastic price of €1.92. The 200ml bottle costs €9.49. I know this spray will last me ages. I give this an 8/10!
Do you use sea salt spray? Which is your favourite?
Thank you for reading,
Stay fab xo
Kim. :)