Boomtown Festival – Faves & Fails

beauty, essentials, festival, hair, makeup

Time for the usual excuses, life got busy and the blog took a backseat for a while, but I’m back in the real world and ready to tell you all about my trip to Boomtown.

Last week I went to Boomtown festival in Winchester with my friends from uni, its a 4 day festival and it’s insaneeee. I’ve been before so thought my packing game would be on point…it wasn’t!

The Fails

  • There were two nights when I would have sold my soul for a warm jumper, I was colder than Queen Elsa herself!!
  • Lipbalm, something that I carry in every bag and pocket in my daily life. This was by far my biggest fail, lipstick did me no favours, in the end my lips were so dry and sore I had to leave them alone completely. Big mistake, will NEVER happen again!!!
  • I think I packed a little too minimally when it came to makeup, I could have really done with a dark brown eyeshadow or crease colour just to add a little dimension. I ended up keeping it pretty boring and that wasn’t the intention.
  • A festival essential is glitter, I had bought a couple of pots from eBay with this in mind but couldn’t find them anywhere when it came time to pack. As a result I had to rely on others, luckily the girls didn’t let me down and there was plenty to choose from but it’s always nice to have your own.

The Favourites

  • I absolutely loved using my Maybelline Master Drama Khol Liner in Purple Light, it’s a beautiful vibrant, slightly metallic bright purple colour that applies evenly and gently on the waterline. I loved this buttery eyeliner and can’t wait to get more use out of it!
  • I took a travel size Batiste Clean and Classic Dry Shampoo with me and it was a total life saver! After a couple of rainy days my hair was looking less than fresh and ended up in a ponytail but this was perfect for refreshing the roots and fringe. A must have at any festival!
  • Travel size packs of wipes are everything when the toilet roll is gone. Festival toilets are notoriously vile so the quicker you can get in and out the better. Having a small pack of wipes in your bag is a real comfort.
  • Hand sanitizer needs no explanation. I took the Soap & Glory Hand Maid Antibacterial Hand Cleansing Gel which has a lovely strong scent and leaves your hands feeling clean without the sting you can get from other brands.

What are your festival fails and must haves? What do I need to make sure I have with me next time? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @sophieaiken

Sophie xoxo

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Eastend Snob

beauty, dupe, lipliner, makeup

P7290307For me, the true test of a product comes when it’s gone. If you really love something you’ll use it up and immediately want to repurchase it. However as I’m constantly finding new things this isn’t something that happens very often. And then came the Rimmel Exaggerate lip liner in Eastend Snob

I discovered this lipliner through AmeliaLiana on YouTube who recommended it as a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury liner in Pillow Talk. At £3.99 it was a total steal compared to its high-end counterpart making the choice very easy. I tend to apply lipliner all over for a long lasting, matte look so this was a perfect addition to my collection.

This soft pink shade applies really easily but does run out faster than your classic lip pencil. It comes as a roll-up stick meaning there’s no need for sharpening which is always a bonus! When my first Eastend Snob ran out I went on the hunt for a replacement straight away but it would appear everyone has caught on to the brilliance of this dupe and Boots and Superdrug were emptied out. Eventually I got it from the Boots website and life can now return to normal!

Sophie xoxo

The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

beauty, face, makeup, skin

I didn’t get a long with the Real Techniques miracle complexion sponge for a while, it sat unused in my collection for a good 6 months. Recently I watched a makeup tutorial (can’t for the life of me remember which one) in which the YouTuber sprayed her sponge with a setting spray as oppose to soaking it in water. I gave it a go and have to say I’m a convert! That isn’t to say I’ll be ditching my buffing brush any time soon but for packing on concealer  it’s a definite winner. So what do I do?

I start by spraying a couple of pumps of Makeup Revolution Oil Fixing Spray (read my review here) onto the flat side of my miracle complexion sponge.

Next I apply MAC Prep+Prime highlighter generously under the eyes, on the bridge of the nose, centre of forehead and chin. I then use a patting motion with the sponge to blend this in. This is a little more time consuming than using a brush but the finish is a lot smoother.

I then apply Makeup Forever HD foundation over my entire face and use the same patting motion. Personally I like to build this in two layers in order to gain a medium/full coverage.

Finally, I spray the sponge again and apply the infamous Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in the same places I put the MAC highlighter in order to lighten these areas even further. I repeat the process of patting this in and then move onto the rest of my routine as usual.

I think what I love most about this sponge is that my makeup doesn’t feel like it’s sitting on top of my skin. Often when using brushes I find base products can crease and move but this tool eliminates those problems. Whilst it does require a little more time and effort the result is a flawless face and who can argue with that?!

I haven’t tried the beauty blender as it seems pricey compared to this one but let me know your thoughts, is it even better than Real Techniques?

Sophie xoxo

Metallic Lips

beauty, lipstick, makeup

It’s been a bit lipstick heavy on the blog recently, I promise this will be the last post for a while but this one really deserved a mention!

Topshop makeup is great, but sometimes I think it’s slightly overpriced in comparison to drugstore brands. I found this metallic lipstick on sale for £4 and had to have it! The lipstick is called Mescaline and it’s essentially just bronzey-gold wonderfulness in a tube! With the perfect amount of shimmer and a warm undertone this is the ideal lipstick for a summer tan. I also like the idea of applying this in the centre of the lips over a matte nude lipstick to add a subtle shimmer that will give a slight plumping effect. The bad news is that I couldn’t find this on the website but you never know there may still be some around in stores.

And that’s it really I just had to share this little treasure with you!

Sophie xoxo

You Get What You Pay For…

beauty, lipstick, makeup

A recent trip to Superdrug to stock up on ‘essentials’ turned into a makeup spree. I just can’t resist!! I recently raved about a couple of MUA and Makeup Revolution highlighters (you can read that post here) and with prices starting at £1 I found myself scouring the lipstick sections of both. On this occasion I picked up two shades. From Makeup Revolution – an autumn berry colour called Rebel with Cause and from MUA – a light nude/pink shade.

I’m not normally a dark lip kind of girl but I was drawn to Rebel with Cause, because why not? I really like it, moisturising and buildable – the perfect combination. I think I like this so much because it falls into the pink spectrum of berry shades, something I personally prefer.
And then there’s the other one… What can I say? The beautiful pale rose pink colour in the bullet fits right into my ideal shade range. That’s as far as it goes unfortunately, the formulation is awful! It’s dry, it’s too pale and it’s completely unflattering. This lipstick is going straight to the back of the draw until I can figure out a way to use it, at the moment I can only think that it will work as a good base for a zombie complexion at Halloween. I have to say both lipsticks smell utterly lovely, berries and vanilla accordingly. I would just say spend some time swatching in the shop if you can before buying. Obviously I still love Makeup Academy, I mean they blessed the world with this incredible powder!

Let me know your thoughts on these lipsticks. Would you rather invest in a more expensive brand?

Sophie xoxo

Kate Goes Nude

beauty, lipstick, makeup

I think at this point it’s just a certified fact that Rimmel and Kate Moss are a match made in heaven! At £5.49 the lipsticks are reasonably priced and the packaging is pretty nice for a drugstore brand. When I saw they were releasing a nude collection I couldn’t resist!

After a bit of swatching I settled on shade 43. It’s a sort of soft tan colour that can definitely be built up or worn lightly. My number one concern was that it would look like the dreaded foundation lips circa 2002. You know what I’m talking about right? When you were in school and it was vital that you blanked out any hint of colour on your face with a thick layer of dream matte mousse. Ahh the good ole days…

These fears were quickly alleviated as the lipstick applied with a sheer to medium coverage and enough colour to define the lips. It works perfectly as a more subtle take on the nineties makeup that Kylie Jenner has been wearing in recent months.  The collection features a range of other shades so there is a perfect ‘nude’ for everyone, what more could you ask for?!’

Have any of you got your hands on the nail polish collection? I’m so intrigued to know if they’re worth a cheeky purchase!

Sophie xoxo

The Highlights

beauty, highlighter, makeup, skin

Day or night, I’m all about a highlight! These days I tend to skip blusher in favour of a contour/highlight combination. Previously I was using the infamous Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer from theBalm but at £17.50 it isn’t cheap and if I’m being honest I find it a bit much. I feel like it works a lot better on a pale complexion as it can look a little ashy with a tan. Having said that, it is amazing for brightening the eye area on the brow bone and inner corner! So what have I replaced it with?

Makeup Revolution Highlighter Pink Lights– I spoke about this highlighter in a post about Makeup Revolution products which you can read here. Basically it’s great for adding a bit of colour without using blush, is suitable for a wide variety of skintones and is incredibly easy to apply. I love this with a full coverage foundation as it helps put a bit of colour back into the skin without being overpowering. It photographs nicely which is a bonus if you want to wear it on a night out but most importantly it costs a grand total of just £3.00. Makeup Revolution does it again!!

MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder – A while back I wrote a blog post on my favourite face powder from Makeup Academy which you can read here. Since that discovery I’ve been intrigued to try more from the brand and with prices starting at a mere £1.00 it’s become impossible to ever leave a Superdrug store empty handed! This highlighter is the perfect ‘glowy skin’ product. The golden hues compliment tanned skin perfectly but can also work well on a pale complexion if applied lightly. The quality of the packaging far exceeds the £3.00 price tag as it is incredibly robust (I should know, I’ve dropped it on more than one occasion) and the product itself is beautifully designed to stop you going overboard with your brush.

This is by no means a comparison of the two products as they are very different. In my opinion they are equally as good in terms of the quality of makeup and value for money. I like Pink Lights for the cool pink undertones and I like Undress Your Skin for its golden shimmer. For me these two highlighters are the only options I really want on a daily basis in order to mix and match without needing thousands of products. Do you lean towards more expensive highlighters or are you more of a blush kind of person? Let me know!

Sophie xoxo

Don’t forget you can tweet me @sophieaiken2  🙂

The Single Stila Shadow

beauty, eyeshadow, makeup

Another day, another TK Maxx find! This time it’s a Stila product, which is a brand I haven’t really bought from before. I was drawn in by the pretty cardboard packaging and beautifully untouched shadow inside.

This particular eyeshadow is extremely similar to MAC Cranberry with deep pink/red tones and a gentle shimmer running through. It would be unfair to call it a dupe as at normal price it isn’t exactly drugstore value. However, with the fabulousness of TK Maxx discount if you are lucky enough to find it in a store near you, then you’re on to a winner. This eyeshadow has a lovely pigmentation and can be used a number of ways. Personally I would wear this all over the lid and bottom lash line with mascara and a black liner on the waterline to achieve a Olsen twin-esque, grungey eye. A safer option would be to blend it into the crease with a more neutral colour on the lid or you could even add it to a traditional smokey eye to give it a bit of an edge.

I feel like this is one of those products that I didn’t need but am glad I got. But I definitely wouldn’t have paid full price for it simply because I already own MAC Cranberry. But if you were on a quest for a burgundy shadow, this is so worth a search!

Sophie xoxo

All Aboard the He-Shi Express

beauty, skincare, tan

Fake tan, do you love it or hate it? I’m a big fan, proven by years of disastrous orange patchy skin. Honestly, there were times when I physically couldn’t get any more orange, I swear my skin must have been saturated and yet I still slathered another coat on top!!

These days I like to think it’s somewhat improved, I make the effort to exfoliate and moisturise and apply my tan with a little bit more care. I was a big fan of St Moritz medium mousse for a long time but I found it to be very drying and the colour tends to fade rather unevenly. I discovered He-Shi  Express Liquid Tan in Boots and I really can’t see myself looking back. Believe me when I say I’ve tried them all from the likes of Rimmel to the more costly tans such as Fake Bake and Laurens Way, they’ve all found a place on my shelf at one time or another. My Top 3 are definitely He-Shi, Xen Tan and St Moritz (which is identical to St Tropez and a quarter of the price!).

What I love most about this product is the liquid formulation, it is thin and watery but applies so easily and dries into the skin pretty quickly too. One coat is plenty with this as unlike some tans the guide colour actually develops into a darker colour. Personally I have always preferred to put fresh tan on before bed and then shower it off in the morning so that I know what I’m dealing with when applying makeup. He-Shi  Express Liquid Tan isn’t the cheapest option with a 150ml bottle setting you back £20 but it does last. One application will easily cover you for a week, it fades evenly and you don’t need very much product at all to achieve this. Overall, I’m obsessed!

Sophie xoxo

In The Night Eyes

beauty, eyeshadow, makeup

There’s something about a pretty new eyeshadow palette that I just cannot resist! From MAC to Lime Crime to the infamous Urban Decay Naked Palettes, my collection covers every eye look you could ever want but let’s be honest, us makeup lovers are always looking for something better.

A recent trip to my beloved TK Maxx provided a handful of bargains that simply had to leave the store with me *including a pair of Jeffrey Campbell shoes reduced from £120.00 to just £25.00*. Of course, my first stop in every TK Maxx is the beauty section, where I carefully scan each shelf for undamaged, untouched products. On this occasion I found the infamous W7 eyeshadow palettes that did the rounds on YouTube a few years ago. I picked up two of these – In the Night and Toasted. I won’t talk about Toasted in this blog post because it is essentially another dupe of the Naked Palette 2 and in my opinion the Makeup Revolution ones are slightly better.

p6100291The W7 In the Night palette comes with 12 shimmer shades ranging from a dusty white through to a selection of purple shades ending with your standard dark blue/grey. It is the perfect palette for anyone looking to create a traditional smokey eye, but at the same time gives you options to switch it up with purple and reddish undertones. I haven’t yet worn this on the eyes but after swatching it I have no complaints. For less than a fiver you get a variety of shades, strong pigmentation, a mirror and a durable tin case. Even more promising is the fact it comes with an actual brush! Albeit they’ve still stuck the traditional crappy sponge on the other end but A BRUSH, A DECENT BRUSH!! 

I feel like I will get a lot of use out of this in the winter months, so for now I’m sticking to my more neutral eyeshadow selection but if you’re into a dark eye or love to play around with colour this is definitely worth a closer look!

You can get your hands on it here.

Sophie xoxo