Saturday, 29 October 2011

And the Liebster Award goes to....



This weeks Beautiful Blogs post comes with a little difference as I was lucky enough to be given the Liebster Blog Award from the lovely Discovering Beauty. This was such a nice suprise to be given this. As a new blogger it is difficult to get noticed in the vast sea of amazing and more established blogs out there.

The idea of this award is for bloggers to pass it onto their  five favourite new bloggers with less than 200 followers. The blogs that I have decided to pass it on to are as follows:

1.Beauty Geek




5.The Budget Beauty Book

Some of these blogs are already featured on my Beautiful Blogs page and I'll add the rest on with a little write up about why I think they are beautiful!

Congratulations on having wonderful blogs!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Vampires With Bite

Mr Cullen and co have a lot to answer for!
Its nearly Halloween and I’ve seen loads of brilliant posts about Halloween makeup but as I will be living the high life in Rome I won’t be dressing up, so I thought I’d post something a little different. People enjoy Halloween for many reasons; an excuse for fancy dress, trick or treating, eating lots of sweets or perhaps the adrenaline rush of being a little scared?. One of the enduring figures of horror is the vampire. Now I don’t want to offend any of the Twihards out there but as the popularity of vampires across the media has soared their representation has become a little bit diluted….and I’m sorry but the Cullens have played a large part in this!

The Twilight Saga is one of the most successful vampire franchises of all time but whether you’re Team Edward or Team Jacob, the vampires are a little bit tame. Vegetarian vampires who mate for life and have their virginity intact after 100 + years - pfft. They should be ashamed to call themselves vampires. Actually, I am quite looking forward to Breaking Dawn because the introduction of cannibalistic babies consuming humans through the womb is the gore this franchise is missing.

So why have vampires remained such a popular figure? Well it depends on which representations you look at but mostly their beauty is alluring often to the point of hypnotic, they have lived and experienced things us mere mortals can only dream of, they are well travelled and well read and they transgress boundaries and laws that humans don't.

So this Halloween if you want to experience vampires with a bite, ditch Twilight and try these!

Books you should read:

Interview With The Vampire

v     Interview With The Vampire
Anne Rice’s modern gothic masterpiece is a must read and one that I have read at least 5 times. A vampire tells his 200 year life story to a male reporter including his relationship with the often twisted and somewhat perverted creator Lestat and his child protégé Claudia. 

v     Lost Souls
I only recently read this book and wondered why it took me so long to discover it. Poppy Z Brite’s novel follows a group of vampires as they party and pillage their way through New Orleans in a drunken haze. Breaking Dawn’s most gruesome scenes are lifted straight from the pages of Lost Soul’s with vampire mothers  being killed by their babies during childbirth.

v     Carmilla
J Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella pre dates Dracula by 25 years and Carmilla remains just as influential as her male counterpart. This novella focuses on the child vampire Carmilla and her pursuit of her female victims.

My favourite vampire films:  

Let the Right One In


v     Let The Right One In
This Swedish film focuses on the relationship between a 12 year old boy and his female vampire friend who comes to his aid after she finds out he is being bullied. This film explores dark themes often prevalent in vampire fiction including gender, murder and paedophilia. The American adaptation is called Let Me In and in true Hollywood style is a little more watered down and doesn’t tackle all the themes explored in the original but is still a good watch.

v     Interview With The Vampire
Neil Jordan’s adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel is as lavish and luxurious as the prose in the novel. Brad Pitt is the conflicted 200 year old protagonist with Tom Cruise as the unhinged Lestat and Kirsten Dunst as Louis' child and companion.

The best vampires (and slayers) on TV:

Buffy The Vampire Slayer


v     True Blood
Arguably the best show on television and definitely the best show about vampires on television. Vampires have come out of the coffin and live amongst mortals. The vampires are sexual, seductive, violent, blood thirsty and ridiculously attractive. True Blood’s vampires are how vampires should be!

v     Buffy The Vampire Slayer
A feminist icon of the 90’s, Buffy is often perceived to be weak and little by the unsuspecting public but she is in fact a kick ass vampire slayer with a weakness for dating her enemies.

v     The Vampire Diaries
At first this had the potential to be a little bit too watered down and too much like Twilight, what with vampires that don’t eat people and are love with one person - yawn. However Stephan has rediscovered blood and Damon is his usual smouldering bad boy self meaning The Vampire Diaries has found some bite!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Barry M Wink Marker Pen Review

Barry M Wink Marker Pen

Here at Never too Broke For Beauty HQ, otherwise known as my front room, I love finding products that make my morning makeup routine that little bit quicker and easier. Barry M’s Wink Black Marker Pen For Eyes is one of these products.

As the name implies this eyeliner is basically a felt tipped pen for lining eyes. When you look at the nib it does look like a felt tipped pen and it is as easy to use as one! I’ve always loved the effect of liquid eyeliner but never perfected it to the point where I could apply it well enough in limited time to wear it everyday. However the Barry M Wink Black Marker Pen is so easy to use you can literally apply it in seconds.

Barry M Wink Marker Pen
The wink Black Marker Pen isn’t quite permanent, as the marker pen name would imply however it is very long lasting and easy provides a full days wear. Unlike some liquid eyeliners it is very fast drying and so you don’t get that annoying transfer of eyeliner to other parts of the eye if you happen to be in a hurry or sneeze when you are waiting for it to dry. Does anyone else have the annoying habit of sneezing when waiting for eye makeup to dry or is that just me?!

When I first purchased the Barry M Wink Marker Pen I was worried that the nib was a little on the thick side making it difficult to create a thin line. However my concerns were unfounded as yes it is indeed easy to create a flick that Amy Winehouse would have been proud of but it is equally easy to create a thin, delicate line by not applying as much pressure while lining the eye.

I have to admit that I really love the trend for makeup that looks and applies like felt tips. As with Maxfactor Lip Tint this type of application is super quick, easy and convenient. I have no idea how I managed my morning routine without the Barry M Wink Marker Pen.

Barry M Wink Black Marker Pen

Product: Black eyeliner that applies like a felt tipped pen from Barry M.

Longevity: Very long lasting.

Affordable: £4.59 from Superdrug or online at the Barry M website

Easy to use: Very easy to apply. A great alternative to liquid eyeliner.

Availability: Available at Superdrug and online.

The Verdict:  9/10 A super convenient, affordable and easy to apply eyeliner from Barry M!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

He's Just Not That Into You? So What?!



 On Saturday night I decided I fancied watching a feel good film. The kind where you don’t have to give much thought, provides a few hours of escapism and has a happy ending. I decided to watch He’s Just Not That Into You but instead of curling up on the sofa relaxing in front of a feel good chick flick I found the representation of women in the film massively offensive.

Ginnifer Goodwin plays the character of Gigi, the audience aren’t told her specific job title but we are informed that she is a successful single woman. However despite this she completely obsessed with finding a partner and falling in love. She goes on a single date and completely obsesses over this man, checking for messages and emails to the point where here behaviour borders on obsessive compulsive. She continuously does this throughout the film. Not only is her character massively irritating because of this but it also sends out the message that she cannot be happy unless she has a man in her life and she will basically settle for anyone who happens to call her back.

Gigi and Janine look up wedding venues after one successful date

 Gigi works in the same office as Jennifer Aniston’s character Beth and Jennifer Connelly’s character Janine. Both of these are in long- term relationships and have successful jobs but will drop everything to have a gossip about their love lives. Beth is so obsessed with the idea of marriage that she tries to trick her partner of seven years into marrying her. Her boyfriend is represented as a stand up, faithful partner who is committed to their relationship and explains this to her. He also explains that he doesn’t believe in marriage but does believe in their relationship. However Beth is so obsessed with marriage that after her attempts at manipulation she breaks up with him in the hope she will find another partner more inclined to marry her.

Beth leaves her partner because he won't marry her

Janine is married to her college sweetheart who happens to be having an affair with Anna played by Scarlett Johanson. Upon him admitting his affair she takes the blame and guilt upon herself and openly states that their marriage failed because of her lack of sexual contact with him. The opposite of Janine is Anna who is the woman having the affair with her husband. She is blonde, Janine is dark, Anna is a free spirit and Janine is more conservative. Anna is set up as the seductress who oozes sexuality, which she uses to get Janine’s husband in bed. However both characters end up alone because of their sexuality. Janine because she can’t keep her husband satisfied and Anna because she is aware of her sexuality and uses it to seduce a married man.
Anna seduces a married man

What becomes of GiGi? Well, she finally finds happiness in a relationship because she is cute and passive enough not to offend her partner, not sexualised enough that she needs to be punished for it and she will basically settle for anyone who is interested. 

The lessons learned from He’s Just Not That Into You:

1)      Women are only happy when in a relationship with a man
2)      Beware of your sexuality, If you are aware of it you will end up alone, if you aren’t aware of it you will also end up alone
3)      Your life and the majority of the conversations in it should revolve around men
4)      Women are neurotic and manipulative and will try their best to trick a man into marriage
      5)  Women will settle for any bloke who happens to be ‘into them.’

Monday, 17 October 2011

Jean Seberg: Style Inspiration

Screen shots of Jean Seberg in Breathless
Jean Seberg is my ultimate style crush, from the cropped hair to her delicate elfin features I consider her to be a true timeless beauty. I am a bit of a film geek and a huge fan of the film Breathless. This new wave masterpiece is still chic, sleek and modern and to me Patricia Franchini is the epitome of cool. When I first visited Paris I had visions of strolling down the Champs-Elysees recreating Patricia selling the New York Herald Tribune. Both the film and the fashion featured in it are timeless and it is easy to recreate Patricia’s look with some budget items on today’s high street.

The main styles sported by Jean Seberg in Breathless are:

v     Vertical stripes often with a slight nautical feel, especially on basic long sleeved tops and dresses.
v     Slim- fitted trousers teamed with ballet pumps.
v     Peter Pan collars on dresses, which are very fashionable at the moment.
v     Block colours, no patterned prints.
v     A mac, trilby and oversized sunglasses are essentials.

Here are a few items I’ve found online that I feel are reminiscent of Patricia in Breathless.

Top left: Striped tunic from New Look, Bottom Left: Skater Dress from Bohoo.com, Top Middle: Trench Coat from Bohoo.com, Bottom Middle: Loafers from New Look, Top Right: Basic jumper from ASOS.com, Bottom Right: Cropped trouers from ASOS.com

v     The mustard dress is adorable. The knee skimming length and block colour is a perfect homage to Jean Seberg. This belted midi skater dress is bargain at £15.00 from Bohoo.com.
v     I am absolutely in love with this trench coat, so much so I think I’m going to ask for it for a birthday present. This trench coat is perfect for Autumn/Winter and will add a chic touch to any outfit. Bohoo.com is my current favourite website for gorgeous and affordable clothes. This trench coat is £40.00 on Bohoo.com.
v     One of my favourite ways to channel Jean Seberg is to wear horizontal stripes. This striped satin tunic is from New Look and costs £24.99.
v     Slim fit trousers are a must have and these ASOS cropped trousers are the perfect pair to add Parisian chic to your wardrobe. These tailored slim- fit trousers are from ASOS.com and are £30.00.
v     Team these trousers with a basic jumper or an oversized white shirt. I like this ¾ length sleeve jumper from ASOS for £20.00. In Breathless Patricia teams slim- fit trousers with ballet pumps. A great alternative to pumps are these loafers that are currently on sale at New Look for £15.00. 

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Bourjois Volumizer Mascara on Trial

A review of The Bourjois Volumizer mascara
Bourjois Volumizer Mascara
Left: Step 1   Right: Step 2

Well, well, well what do we have here? Another mascara making big claims about its performance? Lets have a look at the claims:

Bourjois Volumizer Mascara claims:

v     To build up to 11 x volume
v     Has a clump free guarantee
v     Suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers

The Evidence
Top: No mascara
Middle: Step 1 Bourjois Volumizer Mascara
Bottom: Step 1 and 2:Bourjois Volumizer Mascara

According to Bourjois the secret to building volume is the double brush that the Volumizer mascara has. The first step gives 2 x more volume and when followed by the second step you get maximum volume with no clumps.

The difference between this and other volumising mascaras is the double brush. The first brush is small and allows you to reach all your lashes. It provides a good lengthening action but with little volume. Bourjois market this mascara on its versatility for both day and evening wear, however I wouldn’t just use step one on its own as I feel I need the extra volume. The second brush is chunkier and does build volume really well. As the wand is quite thick and the mascara on the wetter side it can be a little messy, however the volume building is impressive. As a contact lens wearer I can also say that it is suitable for lens wearers and doesn’t cause any irritation.

My main criticism of this mascara is that it is not clump free. When building volume with the second step it is very easy to over apply and the mascara becomes thick and clumpy. This is because the formula is quite wet meaning that the mascara can get a little sticky. This however is where the first brush comes in handy as it can be used to separate lashes and remove excess mascara. Perhaps this is because I over-applied the mascara but when you want high impact lashes this is easy to do. You can only apply the second step once otherwise the clumps appear so you have to make the decision to sacrifice some volume to keep lashes clump free.

The Verdict

Product: A good, volume building, two- step mascara from Bourjois.

Longevity: Long lasting and doesn’t flake. I have been using this bottle for a month and is still going strong.

Affordable: £10.49 not the cheapest on the market.

Easy to use: Yes however is easy to apply too much and build clumps.

Availability: Widely available from Boots, Superdug and on the high street.

The Verdict:  7.5 /10
 I have been using this mascara for around three or four weeks and I actually really like it. However I do think it is a little on the expensive side and doesn’t quite live up to its no clumps claims. 

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Being unique is what makes us beautiful

The real life Britney on the right.
The digitally altered Britney on the left.
Some time ago Britney Spears released these images of herself to show how the images are digitally altered to create a Britney.2 who has been upgraded through the magic of digital manipulation.

These photographs are now being used as part of a government backed lesson plan to teach school children about body image and self-esteem. I am aware of the problems young people face in terms of body image and I’m really pleased new resources are available to help teachers address these problems. Let's face it, it isn't just young people who have issues with aspiring to false images of perfection.

What these images also draw attention to is how it has somehow become taboo to have imperfections. As someone who spends a lot of time writing about makeup I sometimes worry that I am sending out the wrong message; the message that women need makeup or that appearance is the most important thing. This is not the case and I hope that it comes across in my blog that I write about makeup because I like makeup and I like to write and that I wear makeup for myself and nobody else.

I do wear makeup to help feel more confident and good about myself but it is only a small factor in feeling good. I also like to think that I am somebody who is happy and comfortable in my skin, not because it is perfect but because I accept my imperfections. In my opinion one of the easiest ways of feeling happy about yourself is to stop comparing yourself to other people or images of other people because you will never look like them. You only have one body so you need to accept it, embrace it and learn to love anything that may be deemed an imperfection. Imperfections are what make us unique and being unique is what makes us beautiful.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Five Things I Really Want....

Five things I really want but have no idea if they exist, please help!

1)      A spot cream that actually works! I’m constantly trying out products that claim to shrink spots overnight or in one application but I still always end up waking up to an angry red mountain range of spots erupting on my chin. Help!!

2)      I really need a new moisturiser. I’m looking for one that is good on very dry skin but isn’t greasy so not to encourage anymore angry, volcanic looking spots on my chin. I’d also like it to have an SPF and preferably be under the £7.00 mark. Am I asking for too much?

3)      Some nail polish remover that doesn’t strip away a layer of my nails along with the polish. Honestly my nails are in such a poor state so I need a product that is nourishing and gentle and is preferably  under a fiver?

4)      Suggestions for a medium coverage liquid foundation that is long lasting, under £10.00 and suitable for super pale skin. 

5)      A cure for the common cold. Seriously, I’ve had enough and however much attention you draw to your eyes you can never really disguise a red, running nose!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Thoughts on the George Face Primer

George Face Primer
Originally I was going to post a review of the George Primer, however it really does not agree with my skin. Therefore I’m just going to outline my thoughts about it as I don’t want to give a negative review when I’m not sure how it performs on skin that is less problematic than mine.

When I opened this primer and squeezed some onto my hand all I got was a hand full of a clear, oily looking substance. After a good shake and a few applications this improved but this primer is very oily. The primer appears tinted but when applied to the skin it does not provide any extra coverage.
George Face Primer.
You can see how oily it is.

On application the product is super moisturising but again it feels quite oily and takes a little time to settle. I have very dry skin and so love a strong moisturising product and after a days wear my skin did feel very soft. However the heaviness of the primer made my skin breakout. I am prone to spots and usually have one or two in the chin area most of the time but after using this for three days my skin broke out worse than it has in years with very painful and big spots. After this I decided to give the primer a break and my skin has gone back down again.

In terms of the product I’m not convinced the George Primer extended my wearing time by much and the appearance of my makeup did not improve. I am not a fan of this primer, however I do think my skin type is a contributing factor to this and I suspect that this is not a bad product on skin that can handle such a product. I’d love to know if anyone else has tried the George Primer? What did you think?

This primer is available from Asda for £5.00.


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Sunday Reading....

This Sunday I'll be reading:

1) Lucy Writes


As somebody who is still relatively new to blogging I’m envious of blogs that are well established with a clear voice and great design. I’m even more envious of blogs that are only a few months old and have this already, Lucy Writes is one of these blogs!


This blog is adorable, it has posts about fashion, cosmetics and day to day life and I love reading it.I predict big things for Lucy, her writing and her blog! 


2)Lucy Locket

There seems to be a theme establishing here, apparently being called Lucy is a shoe in to have an amazing blog! This blog is like on online diary of things fashion and Lucy has some seriously good taste. I’m going to check out this blog before I buy because I love every item featured on it. Lucy can style me any day!

3)Beauty Geek


I’m not sure I can put into words just how much I love this blog. I think that is partly because it caters for my problematic skin but mainly I love this blog because it is so well written, comprehensive and has articles about all things to do with makeup and skincare. I’m just annoyed I’ve only recently stumbled across this blog.
http://www.beautygeekuk.com/


Enjoy!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

I love Autumn

I love Autumn. I know lots of people have been loving the heat that we have had over the past few days but frankly it just left me craving autumn. This Sunday my boyfriend and I decided to go to the park, pretend we were still kids and collect conkers! I had such a lovely day that I thought I’d share a few pictures.


With all the weird weather it’s been difficult to know what to wear. I think its safe to say that as October progresses its time to think about our autumn/winter wardrobes. Here are a few items I would love to add to my wardrobe. 
Dress and bag from ASOS, shoes from Matalan and earrings from Peacocks

v     Vera Moda Cable Knit Dress. This super cute dress is available from ASOS at a reasonable £22.00. I think this knitted dress is adorable for wearing at the weekends. Teamed with a beige mac it would look chic or worn with knee high socks would look young and fun!

v     Tassle Front Loafers. For me crisp autumn days are perfect for long walks in the park. What could be more practical and stylish than these loafers from Matalan? Not only are these loafers gorgeous and versatile they cost a mere £10.00! I think these are a must have!

v     ASOS Saddle Satchel. Every September new freshers make their way to university for lots of fun, learning and new adventures and every September I am left pining for my uni days. With this satchel I could pretend that I’m still at university and still only 21. This is from ASOS and is £16.00.

v     Peacocks Ladies Pear Stud Earrings. I would finish this outfit with these earrings from Peacocks that are only £2.40! What a bargain!

Happy shopping everyone! Sigh….if only I could afford to treat myself!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Boots No 7 Amazing Eye Pencil


Boots No 7 amazing eyes pencil.
Pencil, shade and sponge.
Every so often Christmas comes early at Boots when they offer the £5.00 off voucher that can be used on their No7 range. Its like a little Christmas for yourself when you can treat yourself and buy something that perhaps you wouldn’t buy because it’s a little out of your price range. This was the case when I purchased the No 7 Amazing Eye Pencil. Priced at £7.75, in my opinion it is a little expensive for an eye pencil but when the Boots elves sprinkle their customers with £5.00 off vouchers they are a bargain at just £2.25!

Amazing eye pencil in Brown applied around eyes
 and to inside of the lash line.
However a bargain is only a bargain if the product is good and thankfully Boots No 7 Amazing Eye Pencils are  good .  This super handy item is an eye pencil complete with sponge perfect for smudging to create a softer look. The pencil is soft enough so that it doesn’t pull at the delicate eye area and the sponge means that you can achieve a smokey-eyed look easily and quickly. The eye pencil is long lasting when applied to the lash line but does require frequent touch ups when applied to the inside of the bottom lash line. Perhaps one of the downfalls of this product is that it can be a little too soft meaning that the smokey eye effect sometimes looks a little messier than sophisticated and chic. However this can soon be perfected after a few applications.

Perhaps a little pricey when purchased full price but a real bargain investment with a £5.00 off voucher!

Boots No 7 Amazing Eye Pencil Review

Product: Super handy eye pencil from No7

Longevity: Long lasting when worn on lash line, needs frequent touch ups when worn inside bottom lash line.

Affordable: £7.25 full price is a little pricey, £2.25 with the Boots £5.00 off voucher makes it a bargain.

Easy to use: Sponge is a nice touch for added convenience and easy application.

Availability: In store and online at Boots.

Would I repurchase: Yes but only with the £5.00 off voucher.

The Verdict: 7/10 – Great easy to use product but a little pricey without a Boots voucher.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Beautiful Blogs

They say the best things in life are free and Never Too Broke For Beauty defiantly subscribes to this line of thought. So here is a Sunday treat for you;  three blogs I love at the moment so you can indulge in some free Sunday reading!



Sailboat

 
A really lovely blog written by 22 year old Jennie May. Offers a sneak peak into her life with posts about fashion, makeup and life in general. The photography is absolutely gorgeous. This is definitely one of my favourite blogs and I reckon there are great things on the horizon for Sailor Jennie. 


Forever Miss Vanity 

What I really like in a blog is a glimpse into someone else’s life, mainly because my job means that I need to remain anonymous online and so can’t incorporate anything personal into my blog. Forever Miss Vanity is a little glimpse into the world of Jessica. There are posts about fabulous fashion, makeup and really honest accounts about life and finding your place in the world. 

A Little Obsessed 

This is a super informative beauty blog about all the latest products on the market. The photography is great and the articles are well written and well observed. This is a must read for those a little obsessed with all things makeup!


These three blogs are listed on my beautiful blogs page and I would love to expand it and find more fabulous blogs. Please leave me links to your blogs in the comments section so I can check them out and hopefully add some more to my favourites!

Happy reading!