26 November 2014

Beauty Battle: Younique Moodstruck 3D versus Magnifibres Brush-on False Lashes

Sorry that it's been a few days again, I spent the weekend without internet and the last couple of days uber busy!

There is a lot of hype at the moment around brush on false lashes or fibre lash mascaras. As someone who has always hated applying false lashes but loves the look of them, this is a concept that I am more than happy to jump on board with.

These fibre mascaras work by clinging to a base coat of mascara that you then top off with another coat. The fibres work to dramatically lengthen lashes as well as building up extra body which makes lashes look fuller and more intense. You apply the fibres, allow them to dry on for 30-60 seconds and then cover.

Now, before I get started, this is a photo of me totally mascara free...and looking a little squiffy to be totally honest (I was rather tired) this is just for comparison.

The first mascara that I looked at was the Magnifibres Brush-on False Lashes(*) which is designed to be used with any mascara. This is the first fibre mascara that I ever used, and was one of the originals in the UK.The fibres in this tube are actually white which seemed a little strange to me when I first took a look, but when applying, it became clear that this as so that you could see what you were doing as it is applied. It allows you to ensure an even coat and that when applying the top coat of mascara, that you are covering it properly and not leaving any pesky fibres poking out.
One thing I will say about the Magnifibres offering is that whilst it claims that you can use it with any mascara, you do need to make sure that you choose a fairly liquid one, otherwise it can go a little clumpy on the top coat and cling to the brush.
Magnifibres costs £21 from their website *here*.

The second mascara that I tried was the much talked about Younique Moodstruc 3D Lashes(*). Until recently, Younique was a brand name that was fairly unknown in the UK as it has only recently been launched. However, there has been huge hype built around this mascara so I wanted to try it out for myself.
The Moodstruck mascara comes as a little set containing the fibres and also a mascara like gel that is designed to be used with it. The process is slightly different in that with the Moodstruck you need to apply a thin coat of your normal mascara, then the transplanting gel, the fibres and then finally the transplanting gel again, thus essentially just adding one extra step.
Th fibres in this kit are black, which part of my really likes as there is no worry of having any white fibres peeping out, but part of me also dislikes because it makes it tricky to see when you have a nice even coating. What I did love though is just how easy it was to remove after a day of wear, without budging at all during use. After being worn for 10 hours it looked immaculate still but came off with a baby wipe protest free.

You can pick up the Younique Moodstruck 3D Lash mascara from any local Younique seller or from the UK website for £23.

Overall, I have to say that whilst I really like both, the Younique Moodstruck has to be my favourite. There is a lot more lift from the product and the results are also longer lasting. It is a bit of a faff having that extra step during application but I think that the result is worth the little extra time that it takes. In the photos above, I used the same normal mascara (Bourjois 1 seconde volume) and the Younique product, as you can see, showed a more dramatic difference so, to me, it is the product of choice.

What do you think? Have you tried either of these products? Which did you personally prefer?

Annie xx

18 November 2014

DIY Dried Orange Christmas Decorations

First of all, I apologise for the varying photo quality in this post, winter does not offer good lighting when I'm only home in the evening!
Christmas is all about warmth and cosiness in my mind and nothing gives that extra special feeling in the same way as home made decorations, whether they be using dried fruit, pine cones, re-purposed toys, or any other item.
This year I have made several different types of home made decorations, including these which use oven dried orange slices.

The first step is to dry your fruit. You can use apples, pears, lemons or limes instead, but to me, Christmas is all about the orange! To dry the fruit you need to carefully slice it into 1cm thick slices. it is best to cut citrus fruit crossways so that you get the pretty cross section of the segments. Place the slices on a non-stick tray (or on baking parchment) and bake on the lowest heat setting for 8 hours, turning occasionally for an even bake. They may need a little longer depending on the oven so use your own judgement. After baking, leave overnight to dry out any last moisture. If this step is too daunting or time consuming then ebay have lots available for not too much money!
When dried, the orange slices will smell similar to marmalade which is pretty festive in itself! If you want to make the slices more hardy then coat with a thin layer of clear drying glue. I like to make sure that our house is filled with festive smells so I used a little paintbrush to dab a small amount of the Poppyfields Essence of Christmas (which is the best scent in the world by the way!). You can grab a bottle *here* for £5 should you wish and a small bottle lasts literally years :) After scenting the slices seal them in a freezer bag for a few hours to absorb the oil and let the scent mingle.
Once scented, simply make a small hole using a knitting needle or pencil tip and thread using some pretty twine or ribbon. Some slices may already have a hole in the centre from when drying, if so, make use of that :) Then just enjoy watching them glow like stained glass when light shines through them. If you use them on your Christmas tree, place them near lights so see them glow and also warm them slightly allowing the scent to release itself and fill the room.

With some of the slices, I threaded them, along with some pine cones that I also scented, onto some silver twine to make a pretty garland that looks really pretty along the mantelpiece or could also hang down the banisters

What do you think? Aren't they pretty? Do you ever make your own decorations?
Annie xx

13 November 2014

Office Beauty Essentials

 When it comes to work, I'm fairly laid back when in regards to beauty. I don't tend to wear any make-up, do anything special with my hair, or worry too much if my nails aren't painted. I do, however, keep a few little beauty essentials on my desk at all times to keep me fresh and happy.
Hand cream- Top of my list of must have items no matter where I am, but especially at work. I can't stand having even slightly dry hands, so when I am sat at a desk for 7 hours a day, I need one close by. At the moment I am using the Pink Pepperpod Replenishing Hand Cream from Molton Brown which may well be the best that I've ever used...but that's a post of its own.
Lip balm- I love the Soap & Glory Smooch Operator lip balm because of its rich and buttery yet non-sticky formula and gentle vanilla scent, so I always like to keep a tub of this on my desk. I'm halfway through my third pot at the moment.
Hand gel- I am a hand gel obsessive and panic if I don't have on stashed nearby. Using phones, keyboards, shared toilets and assisting with courses in various locations all mean potential for germ spreading so I like to keep my hands sanitised. My current bottle was only 59p from Lidl and the aloe vera leaf powder makes it that little bit softer on the skin.
Perfume- I do my fair share of dashing around to different locations to assist with courses, deliver things to tutors and attend meetings, so I think it is essential to keep a bottle of perfume on the desk so that I can freshen up during the day. At the moment I am working my way through Guess "Seductive" which isn't a favourite but it is a fresh and fruity scent that gives a nice midday lift.

What essentials can you not cope without at work? Do you keep beauty bits and pieces on your desk too?

Annie xx

11 November 2014

The Yankee Candle Christmas Style App

I spend way too much time on facebook...way too much.
Today I stumbled upon a cute little app that was added to the Yankee Candle Company page by the Yankee Candle elves to help you get to know their Christmas collection and suggest the fragrances that you might enjoy.

The app works by asking you simple multiple choice questions to determine what best fits in with your idea of a perfect Christmas (one question asks you to select your favourite Christmas film. It has to be Home Alone, right?!)

It then uses the answers you give to generate an answer as to whether you are more of a Christmas Past or Christmas Present type of style and tells you a little bit about some of the fragrances from the lovely new Festive Range that would be likely to appeal the most to you.

As a little extra incentive to give the app a play and spread the word, for fans of the Yankee Candle Company Facebook page who share the app with their friends either on Facebook or Twitter, there is also the chance to win one of 50 large jar sets of the new Spring 2015 range which I have heard tell smell beautiful.

You can find the Yankee Candle app *here* if you fancy giving it a go. I thought it was just a sweet and fun way to show people the winter collection and you guys already know how much I love Yankee Candles so I just had to share with you :)

Let me know whether you are Christmas Present or Christmas Past!

Annie xx

10 November 2014

Costumes, Candles, Cake and Cold

I love autumn. I think it's probably my favourite time of year, especially around November because there's so much excitement in the air, the evenings are dark and cold and warm hats, coats and scarves are brought out.
There's been lots going on here in Bath lately. I really feel at the moment like I am living a truly great life :)

For Halloween I visited a wonderful friend in his cabin in the woods for a cosy gathering with pumpkin pie, dress up, The Nightmare Before Christmas, drinking and dancing and it was magical. The fake blood took a while to remove but it was so worth it ;) I think this is possibly the only decent photo of me though as it was taken before the amaretto came into play hehe

Now the evenings are dark once again, there is nothing more relaxing to me than snuggling up under a blanket or duvet with my beloved Yankee candles burning away, Christmas Cookie has always been a favourite. Its warm vanilla and sugar scent fills the house with the smell of freshly baked biscuits and when burnt with Merry Marshmallow which has a gooey melted marshmallow scent, it smells like memories of childhood Christmases. Nothing makes me happier than that!

Another reason I've been feeling festive! On Friday I spent the day with my mum baking our Christmas Cake and Christmas Puddings. I love this day with my mum every year. We get sticky, over excited and put too much brandy in everything and yet everything always turns out perfectly. Next stop is cake decoration day :D

I took this photo at around 9.30 this morning on my way to assist one of our courses for work. It shows Pultney Wier which is right in the middle of Bath, yet on this cold Monday morning there was no one about. Bah is such a beautiful place and I will never get bored of living here, but it's times like this one when it feels extra special,

Finally, taking up a lot of my time at the moment (outside of working full time and working on my college course) are the rehearsals for Snow White, which are in full swing ready for the how to begin in December. We had the photo shoot recently and that apple was so red and shiny that it didn't make it to the end of the afternoon before me giving in and taking a bite...followed by a few more... ;)

So that pretty much sums up my life recently. I have so much going on t the moment that I don't get regular chances to post but I have got some bits and pieces lined up, including more candles, decor, beauty and a couple of DIY Christmas posts.

Catch you later,
Annie xx

PS: for lots more photos of candles, cats, makeup, picturesque places, cookery and pretty stuff, find me on instagram @threelittlebuhos