My Most Used Makeup Brushes | Zoeva & Real Techniques

Makeup brushes are the tools of the face and you’re makeup is only as good as your brushes. That doesn’t mean you have to use the most expensive brushes in the world however some are definitely better than others. Personally, I like to use synthetic brushes. Not only because they’re cruelty free but they soak up less product, stay in shape better and decent ones are just as soft as natural hair brushes. Great brushes at an affordable price can be found from brands such as Sigma, Zoeva, Real Techniques and Crown. More expensive great brushes can be found from nearly every brand on the market but some notable ones being MAC, Charlotte Tilbury and Bobbi Brown. The most important thing though is to keep your brushes clean. Not only does this prevent bacteria building up but also the less product is on the brush already the more seamless your makeup application will be. Below is a few of my most used brushes.

Real Techniques Blush | My favourite brush for powder. Perfectly sized to get underneath the eyes but not so small it takes ages to powder the rest of your face.

Zoeva Luxe Sheer Cheek | The best face brush I’ve found for applying blusher or diffused contour and bronzer. For this reason, I have two of them.

Real Techniques Contour | To add some concentrated contour, particularly under the jawline or on the nose, this brush is the perfect size. It’s also great for blending under-eye concealer. This brush can only be found in the Core Collection however the other brushes in the Core Collection are also really great and make the purchase worth it.

Zoeva Luxe Soft Definer | I love this brush so much I have two. Perfect for blending but also adding diffused colour into the crease for subtle, everyday definition.

Zoeva Luxe Petite Crease | My favourite brush for adding that inner corner highlight that I can't go without. It’s  also the perfect size for adding controlled colour into the crease.

Zoeva Wing Liner | Perfect for emphasising a 60s cut crease, adding shadow onto the lower lash line or creating winged liner with gel or eyeshadow, see the full post here.

What’re your favourite brushes?

~ Jade xx

The Contouring Edit #2 | NYX Wonder Stick & Matte Bronzer

Contouring is a big step in my daily makeup routine. Although it definitely isn’t a necessary step, it’s my favourite part of doing my makeup as it transforms my face from a blob to chiseled within seconds. The trick is to use the right products. A powder or cream that isn’t too warm as you just end up with a muddy line on your cheek - been there, done that - but also not too ashy or you end up looking gaunt and slightly… dead, which is great for halloween but not generally for everyday. 

Recently, NYX landed in Boots and although NYX has been available in the UK for a while it hasn’t been that easy to get hold of so predictably I made a reasonable order online and have been testing out a few products. The products I’m enjoying the most at the moment are the Wonder Stick in the shade light and also the Matte Bronzer in the shade deep.

The Wonder Stick is beautifully creamy so is easy to blend but is also richly pigmented. Applied on it’s own it creates a soft and natural contour but it can be layered for more intensity.  It comes in four shades but from what I’ve seen the shade light is the only one that has a more taupe contour colour, the other look quite warm so would be good for bronzing but not so much contour. The highlight is also really great as it’s the same creamy texture. It doesn’t have any shimmer to it but perfectly attacks light to wherever you apply it.

The Matte Bronzer in the shade deep is the most richly pigmented bronzer I have ever used so when applying it less is definitely more. Although it’s a bronzer, the shade isn’t overly warm so it can be doubled as a contour shade. Personally, I don’t contour right in the hollow of my cheeks but rather just above so using the NYX bronzer is more of a contour/bronzer hybrid. 

What are your favourite contour products of the moment?

~ Jade xx

* View our first contouring edit here.

Gingerbread Biscuits | Sunday Bakes

’Tis the season to be jolly and as mentioned in my Autumn favourites post I love gingerbread anything but the best form, is of course, gingerbread biscuits. This recipe is pretty straightforward and quick but does require time to cool the dough before baking. 

I N G R E D I E N T S :

75g light brown soft sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp black treacle
1 tbsp water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 rounded tsp ground ginger
95g butter
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
225g plain flour sifted + extra if needed

1 tube of white writing icing to decorate (or any decorations of your choice)

M E T H O D :

1. Add the sugar, golden syrup, treacle, water, cinnamon and ginger to a saucepan on a low heat and leave to combine. 

2. Add the butter to the syrup mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is mixed together and all of the butter has melted - make sure the mixture doesn’t burn or bubble.

3. Bring the saucepan off the heat heat and mix in the bicarbonate os soda and the plain sifted flour to the mixture until a dough forms - you may need to add some extra flour to the mixture if your dough is quite runny.

4. Leave the mixture to cool in the fridge for thirty minutes. 

5. Pre heat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4 and roll out the dough - make sure your surface and rolling pin are dusted with flour to prevent any sticking. Cut out your gingerbread and place onto a greaseproof baking tray. Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until brown - they will be soft when they first come out of the oven but will set as they cool so be careful not to overtake them!

6. Once your gingerbread have cooled decorate in any manner you wish. Voila, perfect gingerbread for the festive season. 

What’s your favourite festive treat?

- Jade xx

A 70s Autumn | Outfit of the Day

Autumn is my favourite time of year, especially when it comes to fashion. I love autumn days when the sun is shining but there's still a chill in the air. This year I have found a love for coats and earthy tones, A-line skirts and 70s prints when it comes to putting together outfits. As I'm sure you can tell, Topshop and New Look have been my favourite places to find some great pieces this year.

What are your autumn fashion favourites?
- Lucy xx

What I'm wearing:
Trench coat ~ New Look
Scarf ~ New Look
Top ~ Topshop
Skirt ~ Topshop
Boots ~ New Look (similar here)
Bag ~ Rebecca Minkoff - Avery Crossbody (exact colour no longer available)

Soap & Glory | One Heck of a Blot Primer

“Instantly diminish the appearance of pores and all-day-shine control, 
helps hide imperfections, even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of redness. It also helps makes your make
 up last longer and, with vitamin E, leaves you good to glow.”

On a recent peruse in Boot I came across the Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot Instant Perfecting Power Primer. I’m always looking for new primers as having oily skin I need all the help I can get to keep my makeup on my face. 

When I first tried this I expected it to be a silicone-like primer - which I’m not the greatest fan of, see Maybelline Baby Skin Review - but it isn’t. It’s light pink in colour and is a beautiful texture - not quite gel-like nor cream, something in-between. I like to pat it into my skin and it leaves the skin slightly tacky. 

Personally I don’t suffer with redness, however I have noticed that the pores around my nose appear smaller under my foundation with this primer, I am less oily and my makeup lasts longer. I haven’t noticed it helping to hide any imperfections but I’m not too sure how an almost clear primer can hide imperfections? 

My favourite thing about this primer though is that it doesn’t make my skin super matte. It still lets your skin have a natural, semi-matte look rather than making everything look flat and dry but still stems any further oil. Usually in a day I’d need to top up my powder two or three times but when using this primer once is enough in a eight to ten hour day.

Do you have any primer recommendations?

~ Jade x

Photography information

Canon 600D with 18-55mm lens, Canon 24mm lens or Sigma 70-300mm lens. Canon EOS M with 18-55mm lens or Canon 24mm lens. Any edited photos are edited using Photoshop CS6. Picture source is given for any photo used that is not directly ours.