Winter-Proof Beauty

We winter-proof our cars, gardens & wardrobes, so why not our faces? Every beauty-loving lady knows the struggle: you put a perfectly flawless face on in the morning, and by the time you get to work, your foundation is spotty, your mascara is running & your liner is smudged. No matter what part of the country you live in, rain & snow take a serious toll on your winter-time beauty. So how do you keep your makeup from looking like a hot mess when the weather gets cold?

It all starts, as always, with the foundation. As soon as our foundation starts to run, there’s no way to REALLY fix it without washing it off completely and starting from scratch. Thankfully, we’ve found that water-resistant stay flawless! primer makes our foundation—liquid or powder—hold, even when the weather outside is frightful.


The cheek solution is easy. We’ve always known that Benefit tints hold on for dear life, so it’s a no-brainer that they’re the best flush when the weather is damp. We’re foggy-city girls, so we’re well-used to the moisture trying to destroy our makeup all day long—and the tints keep our flush sexy & smooth all day. An added bonus with the tints: they also provide the perfect, subtle, all-day lip color.


Perhaps the most important stay-still beauty essentials are mascara & liner, ’cause nothing ruins your look like a big black smudge. When we know that the moisture will be plentiful, we stick with BADgal waterproof liner. And when combined with they’re real! mascara, your eye glam will be unstoppable. Trust us—when we checked our compact after 30 minutes stuck at the bus stop in a downpour yesterday, there wasn’t a stray smudge to be seen! Our hair may have been totally ruined, but our eye game was STRONG.


We’ve definitely pinned down our winter-time makeup essentials. What products do you rely on to get you through the storm?

Continue reading

Why Contouring Is Still Your Secret Weapon (The ‘Trend’ May Be Over, But It’s Quick & Handy Whatever Your Age)


2016 was undoubtedly the year we reached ‘peak contour’ with every blogger, celebrity, makeup brand and instagrammer embracing this simple way to add light and shade to the face. We all rushed out to stock up on anything and everything that offered a way to buff pounds off our cheeks, but according to the queen of contouring Kim Kardashian, in late 2016 the trend was officially over. However, six months later she’s launched her own range of products and has proved that contouring is still very much here to stay – even if in a slightly different form to what we’ve previously been used to. If you’ve been living under a rock (or just decided that contouring isn’t for you,) then this technique is simply a way of using light and dark to create depth and shape to your face; Kim herself has used it to essentially change her face shape, slim her nose and chisel those iconic cheekbones, while there are over 800,000 video results on YouTube that help you perfect the technique. It’s big news and even bigger business.

Although it can be scary (not helped by the fact Instagram is awash with 20-somethings piling it on like its going out of fashion,) if used effectively and subtly, contouring can be a secret weapon for anyone – whether you’re 18 or 80. It can help enhance your features, slim down ones you don’t want to focus on, add definition or even take years off your complexion. The modern and fresh way to embrace contouring is with less precision, a lighter tone and the focus being on adding a sunkissed flush to skin rather than depth that makes you look like Skeletor. “The basic principal of this technique involves highlighting and creating shade. Therefore, everything you highlight ‘comes forward’ and everything you contour ‘stays in the background’. So in short, you want to highlight your good features and contour the ones you want to hide,” says pro makeup artist Daniel Sandler.

You can even use contouring to add fullness to cheeks (which can often be lost as we age,) or conceal a slightly saggy jawline that’s not as defined as it once was. Personally I use contouring most days to help my complexion look fresh, to add definition to my jawline and add fullness to my cheeks; using an angled brush helps to aid application along the cheekbones and circular motions ensure there are never any harsh lines. To help even beginners among you, Daniel has created Sculpt & Slim (£26.50), an easy-to-use pressed powder dual-purpose contour kit that helps create the illusion of defined cheekbones and a slimmer face. With two universal shades and a super soft blendable texture, it’s super easy to use and doesn’t leave you feeling uneasy about creating so much contrast.


1. Look for matte products that are slightly darker than your skin tone – but not too dark or it will look obvious and theatrical!

2. Choose the correct professional formula that suits your way of applying. Cream textures work well for those who like using fingers, whereas those who prefer brushes should use a pressed powder formula. Remember that using a synthetic brush to apply liquids or creams will create a more sculpted, contoured finish – whereas using your fingers will provide a softer, healthier glow.

3. Sweeping sculpting powder along the jaw line creates the illusion of a slimmer face; blend the powder softly down onto the neck to avoid a tide-line. Using a small eyeshadow brush, apply the same contour powder through the eye sockets to set back over-hanging lids. Gently shade around the sides of the nose to help it look slimmer, while applying contour under cheekbones adds youthful definition and reduces the look of puffiness.

4. Contrast against the sculpting by applying a light dusting of highlighting powder above it. This adds a ‘lift’ to your features.

5. Practice makes perfect and always apply contour in even light so you can really see what you’re doing.

6. If you over-apply when using powder, simply blend away any excess by sweeping some translucent powder over the mistake. If you over-apply when using a cream formula, use your foundation brush to blend and tone down the error.

The huge trend of contouring like your life depends on it may be over, but that doesn’t mean we all can’t benefit from a little subtle light and shade to bring out our best features. The key is to create an effortless look that’s blended beautifully, rather than creating strong contrast that can easily look dated… And finding products along the way that help us do that without breaking a sweat.

Are you a fan of contouring? Will you be embracing this effective and easy way to enhance your features?

Daniel Sandler’s Sculpt & Slim is priced £26.50 and available online.

If you want to get to grips with some of the iconic and best selling products from the range, then you’re in luck – because we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to WIN a goodie bag busting with all my fave Daniel Sandler makeup treats, including: Intense Volume Pro Mascara (£18.50), Instant Tan Bronzer (£22.50), Radiant Glow Highlighter (£29.50), Sculpt and Slim Palette (£25.50) and a 4 Piece Watercolour Customisable Kit (£49.50). In total the bundle is worth £145.50! If you want to be in with a chance of winning, just enter via the widget below. You’re welcome!

SPECIAL OFFER FOR LBQ READERS: Get 15% off Daniel Sandler Cosmetics when bought from the website. Just use code LBQ15. (Once per customer; code valid until 31st December 2017

Check out the full range of Daniel Sandler cosmetics on the website:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is a sponsored feature in partnership with Daniel Sandler Cosmetics; all opinions are my own.


Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.

Continue reading

Skin Serenity with Vedani Botanicals + Giveaway!

I can’t even begin to say how much I love this brand and the products I’m going to review today. Safe to say, it’s a lot. I’ve been smothering my skin in Vedani oils since before Christmas now and I’m still just as smitten as day one, even more so because my skin has improved so, so much. These are special, exquisitely crafted oils that I need you to know about. Settle in because I have a review, interview and giveaway for you, so it’s a long ‘un!

Focusing on a more simplistic approach to skincare, the Vedani Botanicals range is small, with only three cleansers and three moisturisers currently available. As you would imagine these are split into sub-categories for oily skin, normal to combination skin and dry skin. I’ve been using the cleanser for oily skin and both the moisturisers for oily and combination skins.

With so many brands to choose from when it comes to skincare, it can be overwhelming to say the least, especially when there are shiny new launches almost every day asking for your money. It only takes a few Instagram images in your feed to be convinced by the hype… I know from experience. I started trialling Vedani Skincare without any opinions on the brand at all, it was unknown to me before Sadie, the creator reached out. I very rarely try something without reading another bloggers’ review first so this was a new experience for me, but talking with Sadie via email told me all I needed to know. This woman knows her stuff, she has true passion for skin and skincare, and this shines through in her products.

The No21 Light Cleanser is a silky feeling cleansing oil that focuses on balancing skin, not purifying or drying it out. The description reads: “A luxurious oil blend for skin that prefers a cleanser with a very light texture.
Combats excess oil, blocked pores, spots and shine.
Leaves skin feeling balanced, healthy, hydrated and comfortable.” Continue reading

Issues with my Pony Shoes

river island leopard print shoes

Well I think that these “pony effect” leather court shoes from River Island are just marvellous. I ordered them for a shoot and when they arrived I was actually quite taken aback at how great the quality was; lovely leather, a sturdily attached heel and neat finishing at the seams. I also loved the black lining and the contrast leather on the toe and the heel height was ideal – sexy enough, but not “break your neck” high.

river island leopard print shoes

Can you sense that there’s a “but” here? Because there is! I ordered a UK6, my usual size, and when the pony shoes came they were absolutely tiny! I couldn’t actually get my feet into them. They were so small that when I re-ordered, I went for a UK8. The UK8 arrived and they were just a smidgen too big, but I love these shoes so much that I have ordered them again in a size 7! (Trial and error, friends, trial and error.)

These faux pony shoes look loads more expensive than they actually are and will look brilliant with anything from a sexy LBD to jeans and a t-shirt, so they were well worth the extra effort in terms of sizing. If you want to find them online, they have all the sizes at ASOS (£55) or sizes 3-6 at River Island  – reduced to the sale price of £30.

(The shoe in the background is from Dune; wasn’t so keen on that style, and again it seemed to come up quite small. Sudden panicked thought: I hope my feet aren’t just randomly growing! I don’t think so, though, because all of my own shoes fit…)

Continue reading

Barry M Make Up Brushes

Barry M Brushes

Barry M Brushes

There are SO many new brush launches at the moment that it’s hard to keep up. But Barry M Make Up Brushes are an amazing price point and the quality is great. It’s very hard to say when you’ve only just started using something what the longevity is like – time will tell whether they last as long as higher priced brushes. Barry M Make Up Brushes start at £2.99 for shadow and liner brushes (above) and the kabuki, which is very fluffy and soft is the most expensive at £7.99. Everyone should have a kabuki – it changes everything!

Barry M Mini Brushes

Barry M Mini Brushes

There’s also a mini kit containing three brushes and a brow/lash grooming brush for £9.99 which is pretty good value. If I have one criticism, it’s that the bigger brush fibres are a little loose and wayward so if you like a snug brush they might not be quite tight enough. Otherwise, at the price, I can’t really find anything wrong! Barry M Make Up Brushes will launch into Superdrug (and on the BM website) – they’re not quite there yet but do keep an eye out – it’s soon!

We’re doing really well at the moment on budget beauty that’s equal to pricey rivals… maybe cheap is the new luxury?

The post Barry M Make Up Brushes appeared first on British Beauty Blogger.

Continue reading