Why your winged liner doesn’t come out ‘right’

Have you ever tried to recreate a look from a picture/YouTube video that you really like that involves winged liner, but it just won’t go right?

I like to think of myself as pretty experienced with winged liner at this point. I’ve been doing it for about 14 years (I can’t count the amount of times I was asked to take my makeup off at school), but even I get frustrated when someone’s liner looks completely different to mine, even if it’s been applied in the same way.

The reason? Your eye shape.

You can perfect a technique 1000 times and it still won’t come out looking like it looks on them. That’s because one of the main things to take into consideration is eye shape. None of this ‘I’m never any good at applying liner’ or ‘it just doesn’t come out right’. You just need to find what looks best for your eye shape.

The best way to do this is by trial and error on methods and/or wings that are suited to your eyes. Of course the first thing you need to do is establish exactly what that shape is…

A couple of the things I found most affect how my eye makeup, and particularly my liner, looks is that my eyes are fairly hooded and deep-set. My liner can look perfect when it’s been applied with my lid in a certain position, but the moment I open my eye it looks strange.

Doing a bit of research comes in handy, as there’s so much information available on what makeup suits different types, and getting advice from a professional is probably the best option to really get the most out of your makeup overall, but definitely to determine your eye shape and how best to apply liner.

I’m not going to sit and pretend I can give any real advice on what another individual should do with their liner… because I can’t. I’m not qualified to do so, but I’ve picked things up along the way on what works for me specifically. If you get the right guidance and understanding then it should be the same for you too.

The main message here is to not knock yourself down for being ‘bad at eyeliner’. You likely just need to apply it in the right way and then you’ll be way better at it!

Caudalie Mousse Nettoyant Fleur de Vigne (Instant Foaming Cleanser)

We all know how important the double-cleanse is, especially for those of us that use a lot of products and are heavy makeup wearers.

I absolutely love my stash of cleansing balms, but I realised I didn’t have enough variety of non-balm products (or so I told myself…)

I was just looking at some foaming cleansers on Look Fantastic and this popped up as a duo: 2 x 150ml for £22! Of course it’s always easy to find a discount code somewhere as well so I decided this is the one for me to try.

What it is

A soap-free liquid to foam cleanser (the pump dispenses foam) that is designed to effectively remove makeup and make the skin feel clean without drying it out.

How I got on with it

I’ve been really enjoying this cleanser and it’s certainly going to be a re-purchase once I’ve got through what I have stashed.

There is a distinct, strong scent which is almost too much for me as it’s quite intense, but it’s a really lovely smell so it’s not much of an issue. It’s a really fresh scent, but I think it would be a bit too much for someone who doesn’t like fragrance in their products as it’s probably one of the most fragranced products I have. I’m personally not too fussed by fragrance in products, so for me it adds to the experience, but it could do with a little bit of toning down.

I’ve been using it as part of my double cleansing routine – sometimes first, sometimes second – and it does a great job regardless of whichever stage I use it. My skin feels really clean fresh, without feeling tight and dry as a lot of foaming products can do. I only use it once a day as I use a different cleanser in the mornings, however this is gentle enough to use twice a day while still being effective.

The texture of the foam

The bottle is a really good size and so far has lasted me a couple of months (I only use this one once a day, as I use a different morning cleanser) and is really easy to use. Is it a bit weird that it’s quite satisfying to pump?

One thing I would say, however, is that most of the time I don’t feel it would be enough just on its own. That may be down to my habit of double-cleansing that now means I don’t feel clean enough using just the one product. If I’ve had a lazy day (yes, I do occasionally get them with skincare and sometimes I’m naughty by putting next-to-no products on – but it’s rare!) then it definitely would be enough if I’ve just been lolling around the house with no products on my face. If I’m out and about and/or I’ve been good and used skincare and makeup, then I’ll feel like I need something a little more heavy duty.

But that doesn’t take away from this product. It’s a great cleanser and I’m really, really pleased that I’ve found it. I plan to try out more Caudalie products at some point (I definitely don’t need to go buying any more skincare at the minute!!) based on my experience with this cleanser.

The last thing I want to point out is that, while the majority of reviews I came across were raving about this cleansing foam, there are a few that experienced their skin getting drier over time. This is something to bear in mind if you have particularly dry skin and want to try the cleanser: it may be worth just getting a small size to make sure you get on with it properly. My skin is very temperamental and would be classed a combination, so sometimes it can lean towards the drier side if it feels like it, but I’ve definitely not had any issues off the back of this.

I’d be interested in hearing your experience with this if you’ve tried it too!

Learn skincare with me. Lesson 8: Ceramides

Ceramides are one of those words I’ve heard thrown around in skincare a lot, but never knew too much about what they were until I did a bit of digging. A lot of skincare products include ceramides (for good reason, of course) so back in the day when I was throwing products on my face without much skincare knowledge, I knew they contained Ceramides but I didn’t know why. I do now!

What is it?

Ceramides are what are called ‘Lipids’ (fatty acids, but I think the word Lipid sounds nicer!) that occur naturally in the skin. They form around 50% of the skin barrier and play an important role in keeping that barrier happy and together, preventing the skin barrier from becoming too permeable, thus keeping in the moisture our skin craves. In simple terms: they bond the cells together at the surface level and create a plump and protective top layer that retains moisture.

Even though these are already present in our skin, their presence diminishes over time with aging, which is why they’re such a fundamental component in anti-aging skincare.

What are the benefits?

First and foremost, moisture is locked into the skin. Moisture isn’t lost via the skin barrier when Ceramides have anything to do with it.

As a result of moisture getting locked in, signs of aging are reduced. When the skin is dry and dehydrated, some unwelcome characteristics are more prominent. This is because skin is less plump when it’s dry and dehydrated, so hydration and moisture really are key to fighting and hiding signs of aging.

Ceramides also aid in fighting environmental aggressors and protecting the skin. They essentially help the skin barrier do just that: be a barrier for keeping the good stuff in, and the bad stuff out.

They’re not known as a ‘powerhouse ingredient’ for no reason!

Things to be aware of

This is one of those perfect ingredients that are compatible with everyone as we all produce them naturally – they’re what are known as ‘skin-identical’ ingredients. They can be used on all types of skin, including sensitive and delicate as they pose such a low risk of any damage.

It’s always nice to know you can use an ingredient freely and without needing to consider any risks!

So, a shorter post but Ceramides keep it short and sweet! A simple, but special ingredient that features in some of the most iconic skincare products for good reason.

I hope you enjoyed reading! I haven’t updated my blog in a while as life has been busy but I’ll be trying to post a bit more regularly. As usual, I’m not a skincare expert and this is based on my personal research and experience. For any concerns, please contact a professional to make sure you get the most well-suited advice for your needs and your skin type.

Why all the hype around Olaplex?

I’ll tell you why: it’s amazing.

I’m going to be completely honest here and admit that I very rarely cut my hair (I know, terrible!) so it’s almost always in need of some TLC. I’ll give it a trim myself occasionally (you can get away with it on long hair, I swear!), otherwise it’s just split ends galore. I just can’t bring myself to pay those salon prices…

So I can’t comment on the salon-quality Olaplex – obviously – even though I’ve heard amazing things, but I’ve tried the Olaplex you can use yourself, which I’m honestly so impressed with. I tried the ‘Holiday Hair Hair Fix’ set, which includes 4 100ml bottles :

  • No 3 Hair Perfector
  • No 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
  • No 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner
  • No 6 Bond Smoother

No 3 Hair Perfector

This is the first product I tried, of course. I used a reasonable amount, but I didn’t need too much of it as it’s easy to spread through your locks. My hair instantly felt softer and smoothed, but that’s always the case with any sort of conditioner for me so I waited to see the real results afterwards.

I cant say I have particularly wild hair but it does have a bit of a mind if its own at times, however this noticeably changed it. The more accurate word I can think of is “sleek”. Honestly, it made such a difference.

I then followed it up with the shampoo and conditioner…

No 3 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No 4 Bond Maintenance Conditioner

I’ll address the smell first: I really liked it! It’s not too intense at all, but it’s there enough to add to the experience and make it more pleasant. I don’t really know what I was expecting, perhaps something more ‘chemically’ but I was surprised at how nice it was.

The shampoo lathers really well, I used the ‘normal’ amount I would use of any shampoo, and it was waaaaay too much of this! My hair was super foamy (which actually felt amazing, to be honest) so I used less of it from then on. I love that you don’t need too much of it, because when you have long hair you really get through shampoo and conditioner!

I didn’t find that I needed too much of the conditioner either – obviously it doesn’t lather like the shampoo but I did find it very easy to work through and make sure my hair was covered enough.

The results were amazing. I’ve found that my hair lasts longer between washes, perhaps by a day or two – an unexpected bonus as I don’t like to overwash my hair but equally don’t want to go out looking like a greaseball!

My hair overall feels much easier to manage and is so much smoother than it was. It doesn’t tangle anywhere near as much, and I’m constantly brushing my hair with my fingers (weird habit, especially when I’m talking to people and it looks like I’m flirting!) so I can really feel how soft it feels.

My split ends are still definitely there. I mean, I expected good things from this but I have to be realistic at the same time: they’re not going to disappear completely! But I would say they’re better than they were. I’ll still be giving them a trim soon (either myself or actually go to a qualified hairdresser!) just to tidy them up a bit.

No 6 Bond Smoother

For me, this product is more if a nice-to-have than a necessity. I’m so used to having flyaways that I’m past the point of caring and have just generally accepted that they’re there and it’s ok.

I will admit that this certainly did smooth them, and it was nice to have hair that felt pretty much completely under control.

I didn’t use too much of this one as I hate the feeling of having ‘stuff’ on my hair, especially when it gets on my hands after I tie my hair up, but I can’t say I noticed much residue at all.

Overall I’m so pleased with this purchase and I must admit I’ve already invested in another set because of the amazing value…

I’ll also make the shampoo and conditioner my staples because of the results they’ve had on my hair!

Picture below of my hair looking smooth i(my opinion). It had been tied up for a while before this picture, so this is after a quick brush. That’s another thing I found: almost always my hair will be tatty and misshapen after being tied up, but since using Olaplex I’ve found it much easier to manager and stays sleek and just generally nice. Note, the picture is just using numbers 3,4 and 5 – not the bond smoother.

Galaxy Nail Art – Nail Stamping

My first time stamping! Ok, I know it’s not perfect but my back started aching….

I’m a bit of perfectionist, so I had the image of how I wanted these to turn out and I was going to get as close to it as possible. I actually attempted this to try it out and then had to take it all off the next day to re-do because I found out the challenges of stamping pretty fast the first time round.

I started off with the Holo Taco Royal-Tea Blue and One-Coat Black polishes. The black really is only one-coat necessary, it’s amazing! I started by doing a gradient on my middle and ring fingers using a generic sponge off Amazon and Mehron Liquid Latex to protect the skin around the nail from being covered in nail polish , and left the others black. I then topped my nails with the Scattered Holo Taco, finishing with just the Thumb, little and forefinger with Scattered Holo Taco as I didn’t want to clutter the ‘nail art nails’ too much.

Left to right: Glossy Taco, Royal-Tea Blue, One-Coat Black, Scattered Holo Taco, Flakie Holo Taco and Long-Lasting Base

Then onto the stamping. For some reason my stamper just wouldn’t pick up the pattern I wanted to transfer. I thought my stamper must be faulty (I’m using the Mo You London Crystal Clear Stamper and Scraper – £9), so I tested it on a different stamping plate and it worked. Judging by the extensive knowledge I acquired (cough) from a couple of YouTube videos I watched, I concluded that the stamping plate I was using was just a shallower one and needed a different technique to pull it off – YouTube videos linked further down. I got the general idea of what to do differently, and while it’s not perfect it definitely helped! I used Whats Up Nails – Silver Ag-ent Stamping Polish with the Dixie Mini Celestial Sky Plate, both from Nail Stamping Queen UK to create the planet and celestial effects.

MoYou London Stamper and Scraper, WhatsUp Nails in Silver Ag-End, Mehron Liquid Latex, Generic Beauty Sponge and Dixie Plate – Celestial Sky
The stamper and scraper are housed in this cute little ‘pot’

It took quite a while what with all the attempts to pick up the pattern from the plate, but for my first go at stamping I was pretty pleased with the results. I have some other plates too which I’ll use for some more designs and upload on here.

Thanks for reading and keep on creating!

Lip Balms that ACTUALLY work

I’ve been having such trouble with my lips for weeks. The relentless dryness, burning and stinging really started to take its toll on my mood. After countless Google searches for ‘the best lip balms for dry/sore lips’ and whatever other variations I could think of out of desperation, I’d started to despair as nothing seemed to do the trick. I was on the brink of going to the doctor as I’d convinced myself that there must be a deeper issue after finding no relief in any lip balm or product I tried.

Then came what I call the ‘breakthrough’ (thanks mum!). I’d complained to my mum about how sore my lips were and that nothing was helping, when she suggested I try her favourite lip balm; Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Lip Rescue. As this was coming from someone who will literally turn around and go back home for this lip balm if she’s forgotten it, I decided to give it a try.

I started to get irritated when found that the lip balm wasn’t in stock in the Holland and Barrett I travelled to, so I had to settle for a different balm from the brand. Fortunately there was a buy 1 get 1 half price offer on at the time, which softened the blow a bit. I opted for the Manuka Oil and Vitamin E balms…

And boy, what an investment that was. For £6 I had just bought (what I didn’t know at the time were) lip rescue products that will (hopefully!) see me through the winter without enduring any more irritation. For weeks (even months) I’ve been having to layer on different lip balms just to keep the symptoms at bay – which worked at the time – only for them to reappear with a vengeance when I wasn’t wearing any. Dr Organic has helped me to actually function without constantly reaching for a lip balm, and only using it as and when I feel I need to (this isn’t sponsored, I swear!)

Now I’m at an age where ‘listen to your mother’ is not compulsory, but the moral of this story is to LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER. Mums know best, as proven. And if you’re not going to listen to your mother, listen to me: this stuff works. If you’re suffering too then give it a try and I really hope you get the same results!