Specky Four-Eyes: Tips for Wearing Glasses

You may or may not have noticed that I wear glasses. Unlike a lot of people, I don’t wear contacts because they don’t get on with my eyes. I tried every kind of lens available, but my eyes just weren’t happy and I resigned myself to wearing glasses 24/7. For a long time, I hated wearing them- I just didn’t feel like me. This wasn’t helped by the fact that I didn’t make the best choices when it came to frames.

Top left: 2012. These were actually ok, until the arm fell of and my Dad “fixed” it with superglue and duct tape.

Top right: 2013. I hate these glasses. They cut right across my eyes and the wide arm obscured my eyes from the side.

Bottom: 2012. The worst pair I ever owned. These were from Brazil. I went to Rio to stay with my best friend and her family for 3 weeks. On the first day of the trip, the duct-taped arm fell off and I had to get some emergency frames. Unfortunately, the only frames that my lenses would fit into were thick and white with bright orange sides. Thankfully, I could see but the entire trip was slightly tainted by the fact that I looked like a racing driver. They also reflected horribly in camera flashes. There are several pictures which are entirely dark, with the exception of my white glasses glowing eerily midair.

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I only accepted wearing glasses when I went for something different. I had always gone for rectangular ones which didn’t suit me or my style. A couple of years ago, with the help of an adviser in Boots Opticians, I chose some slightly retro frames from Jigsaw which were a lot bigger but with finer frames. I cannot tell you what a difference it made, I finally felt like my glasses were part of me and my look as I no longer felt hidden behind them.

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A couple of weeks ago, I got this lovely pair by Prada. I went to three opticians and tried on hundreds of glasses before making a decision. I still enjoy wearing glasses, and although it would be nice to wear lenses for special occasions, I feel just as confident with glasses as I did without.

TIPS FOR CHOOSING GLASSES

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  • Get some honest advice. It’s hard to tell what looks good and what doesn’t when trying on new glasses because every pair looks strange as you’re not used to them, so take a friend or relative who will tell you straight if you look daft.
  • Think about what they look like from the side as well as the front. Is the arm too wide and covering your eyes? Does the design/logo look tacky? This is just as important as the front view.
  • Remember, you should wear your glasses, they should not wear you! For instance, thick frames are very fashionable at the moment, but they’re not for everyone. When I wear them I look like Eric Morecambe.
  • Colour is another consideration. Black is classic but can look harsh, whereas brown is a softer option. Think about your skin tone, eye colour and what colours do/don’t suit you. Obviously brighter colours and patterns will make a bolder statement, but make sure you would be happy wearing them everyday.
  • Likewise, be sensible. Pink leopard print winged glasses with diamonds might be “great fun” but will they be appropriate for work? Consider buying 2 pairs in Specssavers 2-for-1 offer if you must have them.
  •  Don’t dismiss extras such as thinner lenses and anti-glare. I have one lens which has to be a lot thicker than the other and this would be really obvious, especially with my current frames, if I didn’t have thinner lenses. Paying a bit extra for thinner lenses means that I don’t look like a goon with one thick lens and one massive bug-eye. Another benefit of Boots Opticians is that anti-glare is included in all standard lenses. This stops light reflecting off them in pictures and real life. In so many of my old pics, I look like the guy who eats people in Sin City.
  • Glasses are important, you will be wearing them on your face every day so take your time choosing and avoid going for really cheap frames- consider them an investment.

TIPS FOR WEARING GLASSES: DOS AND DON’TS

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  • DON’T let every Tom, Dick and Twathead try them on. Not unless you want them to stretch them with their big head. “Eurrr ayyy can I try yer glasses on?” “Well I just don’t know, John, can I have a crack with your hearing aid? No? Fuck off then.”
  • DO carry a cloth or wipes because they always get dirty and you end up smearing grease around the whole lens.
  • DON’T forget where you left them. I have spent far too much time blearily groping about for my glasses because I forgot where I left them. Or crying because I got drunk and forgot that I’d put them in my clutch bag. Or retching because the two kittens a house I was staying at shit under the bed and my glasses fell in it.
  • DO get used to people asking daft questions, e.g. “why do you wear glasses?” (cos I can’t fucking see…), “why don’t you wear lenses?” and “are they real?” (no, I drew them on).
  • DON’T listen to anyone who takes the piss out of them- more fool them. The best insult I ever received was “specky motherfucker”, courtesy of a random loony.
  • DO get prescription sunglasses if you can, and DON’T wear regular sunglasses over your glasses- it looks daft, just squint.

COMING SOON… MAKEUP TIPS FOR GLASSES WEARERS

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Tried & Tested: MUA Brow Kit Review

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Any beauty addict worth their salt knows that good brows are one of life’s essentials, second only to oxygen, food and water. Sparse, wonky or unruly brows are the stuff of nightmares. To ward off any such brow-related mishaps, brow pencils, powders and pomades are more popular than ever before, and the market is flooded with them. But, the king of brow products is the all-in-one palette. The original favourite is Benefit Brow Zings (£24.50). Also popular is my favourite, the much more affordable Sleek Brow Kit (£8.49). But, today I am reviewing MUA’s super-cheap, super-affordable Pro Brow Ultimate Eyebrow Kit which retails at an enticing £3.50.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The kit contains 2 pans of powder (1 black, 1 dark brown), 1 pan of highlighter and one of colourless wax. There is also a mini pair of tweezers and an applicator. I opted for Dark instead of Fair-Mid as I knew the latter would be too light. I already know that the black will be far too dark for me but the brown looks just right. I am also pleased by the colourless wax as my issue with Sleek’s Brow Kit was that the wax was far too dark so I never used it.

APPLICATION AND WEAR

POWDER: The applicator it comes with isn’t great for applying the powder, so I use my own brush instead. I can’t remember what brand it is, I got it from a random makeup shop in Bury and it cost me about £3. The powder itself applies well, it goes on smoothly and cleanly, and is very pigmented.

WAX: The wax goes on nicely too, and for this I use the applicator included. It smoothes any unruly hairs and sets the powder.

HIGHLIGHTER: This is basically identical to my skin tone and therefore redundant as a highlighter for me. However, I mix it the brown powder to lighten and soften the look as the brown is actually slightly too dark for me.

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I found that the powder only applies well on top of foundation, when I tried it on naked skin it was difficult to build up and looked patchy and uneven. I don’t imagine too many people will be applying this without foundation, but it may have this effect on very dry skin. Just a thought.

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It wears quite well, but I noticed that if I do not use setting spray (and sometimes even if I do), they can rub off in places but most of the time they stay put all day and all night. I always carry an eyebrow pencil for emergency touch ups just in case.

VERDICT

PROS

  • Ludicrously cheap
  • Highly pigmented
  • Applies well
  • Creates a clean, polished look
  • Lasts for a reasonable amount of time
  • Handy for when you’re on the go thanks to a large mirror and included applicators and tweezers.

CONS

  • Can sometimes rub off but stays put most of the time. Overall, this is excellent value for money all round.

 

Beauty Haul

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A couple of weeks ago, I ambled into my local TK Maxx, intending to help my boyfriend find some new T-Shirts. This plan was quickly and unintentionally (I swear…) abandoned when I realised that they were holding a beauty event. Naturally I dived right in and gathered up some cut-price goodies.

TONYMOLY I’M REAL MAKGEOLLI MASK

I was most excited to see that there was a whole section dedicated to Korean beauty products. With their innovative formulas, intriguing ingredients and super-cute packaging,  Korea’s beauty brands have a loyal international following, but some brands are difficult or expensive to get in the UK. If I possessed more money or less self control, I would have bought the lot but I had to restrain myself and settled for a sheet mask by cult favourite, Tony Moly. There has been a lot of hype around sheet masks of late, and I wanted to see if they would work for me.

WHAT DID I THINK?

I opted for the I’m Real Makgeolli Mask (£1.99 at TK Maxx) which was supposedly “Skin Purifying”.  Applying it is quite weird, its like placing a really, really wet baby wipe over your face. Thankfully it smells nicer than a baby wipe and felt very refreshing, but you look terrifying. If you have never seen a sheet mask before, they are a sheet soaked in serum with cut outs for your eyes, nose and mouth. I won’t treat you to a picture of me in one but imagine a wet-balaclava.

After spending 30 minutes relaxing as instructed, I removed it and rubbed in the excess product. I think that’s what you’re supposed to do anyways. I can’t say it did anything for my skin, but it was fun to try, and you can’t go far wrong for £1.99.

Tony Moly is available online in both the UK and US. Try Yesstyleco.uk or Cultbeauty.co.uk

REAL TECHNIQUES RETRACTABLE KABUKI BRUSH

I have been after a decent retractable powder brush for ages and have mostly been moving towards this one by Real Techniques. I am already a big fan of their Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99), and of the brand in general as they provide high quality brushes to the mass market for a reasonable price. When I saw their Retractable Kabuki Brush (RRP £11.99) for the reduced price of £9.99, I decided to stop agonising and treat myself.

WHAT DID I THINK?

I love it. Everything about this brush is such good quality. It feels so plush and luxurious, the bristle are soft yet firm and tightly packed so you can really buff your products in for a flawless finish. It is super easy to clean and quick to dry, plus the case feels sturdy enough to stand being chucked in my handbag every day.

USA SITE: Real Techniques

SUPER FACIALIST BY UNA BRENNAN VITAMIN C+ SKIN RENEW CLEANSING OIL

I have used this Super Facialist by Una Brennan Cleansing Oil in the past but the £10.99 price tag is hard to justify when you’re on a budget, so when I saw it for £3.99, I snapped it up.

WHAT DID I THINK

This is a lovely product to use, it feels so luxurious and silky smooth on the skin, and I love the fresh lemon scent! I use it between removing my eye makeup and using my face wash for a deep daily cleanse which doesn’t strip the skin. The latter is particularly important to me as I have oily, spotty skin which needs gentle treatment to avoid aggravating and inflaming my acne. Despite being an oil, this isn’t messing or greasy in the slightest. You apply it to dry skin, massage in and then rinse. When it comes into contact with water, it transforms into a light, milky fluid which washes off easily.

Does not seem to be available in the US, but try Amazon.

 

Tried & Tested: Max Factor Foundation & Powder Review

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If you have read my posts before, you know I’m always banging on about my shitty skin and oily face, and how difficult it is to get products to actually stay in place. It probably gets a bit boring, but you know what else is boring? Checking yourself in the mirror at 11am and realising your spot moustache has decided to make an appearance.

The main problems I encounter when buying foundation are:

  • The “24 hour wear” formula dissolves as soon as it hits my chin
  • It won’t blend
  • The sales assistant talks to me
  • I pick the wrong colour.
  • None of the shades resemble human skin
  • The texture is either that of an oil slick or a Victoria sponge.
  • It has no coverage

MAX FACTOR LASTING PERFORMANCE FOUNDATION


Now, I don’t want to jinx it but, I seem to have found my winning formula- Max Factor’s Lasting Performance Foundation in Pastelle (£9.99).

max-factor-lasting-performance-foundation

WHY I LOVE IT:

  • It lasts for a few hours, even on my minging visage. After a while, the spots start to make an appearance but I don’t have to touch it up very often and it never goes cakey or starts separating.
  • The colour matches my skin perfectly
  • The texture is very lightweight, yet it has high coverage. I have quite a lot of redness on my face and it covers it with ease.
  • It doesn’t clog my pores or irritate my skin
  • The plastic tube allows for easy and hygienic dispensing, and the screw top means it won’t leak in your handbag! Plus, you can cut the tube in half when it starts running out.
  • The price reflects the quality but is still affordable.
  • I do get a greasy chin and nose after a while but this happens with all foundations and its nothing a little bit of powder can’t fix.
  • I can buy it on Amazon at a reduced price and I don’t have to talk to anyone.

WHAT DON’T I LOVE

The shade range is quite limited and a lot of the colours are bit too pink or orange. There is nothing at all for darker skin tones. Aaaaaand….that’s it!


MAX FACTOR CREME PUFF POWDER


I have also been using Max Factor Crème Puff Powder in Golden (£6.99) over the top of Lasting Performance foundation. Whilst it has many good points, I am quite conflicted about this product.

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WHY I LOVE IT

  • The coverage is very good. You can wear it as a foundation or on its own, but I prefer to wear it over a base for extra coverage.
  • Despite the good coverage, it looks natural
  • It never looks cakey or heavy
  • Easy to apply with a sponge or brush- and you don’t have to scrub at it to get a decent amount of product.

WHY I DON’T LOVE IT

  • It smells like your Nan. This is probably the most common complaint about Crème Puff, as it has this fragrance which is quite “old lady”. This powder has been around for something like 50 years, it is a favoured by the older generation which is probably why it reminds me of my Nana.
  • Before the “Golden” shade, I bought “Translucent”. Contrary to the colourless or very pale shade you’d expect, its quite a dark beige. I’m not sure how this is “Translucent”because it turned me a rather unattractive shade of Terracotta.
  • The main issue with this powder is that after a few hours, it can go a bit orangey and there’s nothing worse than an orange face and a white neck. I think this could be because it mingles with my face grease- gross. However, since I started using fixing spray every morning, it has remained a normal, human colour.

PRODUCTS ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE USA AND VARIOUS COUNTIRES AROUND THE WORLD.

Going Green: W7 Go Corrective Concealer

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Back in t’day, if you had a spot, dark circles, or even a cheeky hickey, you just caked on a bit of concealer stick and hoped for the best. Ah, it was a simpler time. Now its all about correcting rather than concealing with six different concealers in a spectrum of jazzy colours. Until recently, smearing green, orange and lavender concealer on your imperfections would have seemed like madness, but these pastel potions are everywhere, from high end to high street.

HOW IT WORKS

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Image: Haute tempered

This is hardly new information, correctors have been around for a while. In the past, I have used MUA Pro Base Prime & Conceal Palette (£4) which is cheap and cheerful with a great peach concealer/highlighter, but it doesn’t provide the best coverage. And the packaging breaks really easily. So, I decided to move onto something a bit more heavy duty. Again, I opted for something cheap and chose W7 Go Corrective Concealer Pot in Green (£4.95 0r £2.55 on Amazon).

I decided to trial this on my spaggy chin which is throwing a mega fit at the moment and is spot central.

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This concealer is quite thick and when applied, it looks quite scary. I have to say, isn’t the easiest to blend either.

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Following the first few applications, I found that it either left a weird white cast on my skin, or it kind of slipped off my worst spots during application. I found that by applying primer first and blending it with a damp sponge, it is a lot easier to blend. I use Revlon PhotoReady Prime + Anti-Shine Balm (£9.99) and  and Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99.

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Then, I carefully dabbed foundation over the top and finished with powder. My spots are perfectly covered but, as you can see, there is a slight green-whiteness around my chin but I think this is because I was a bit gung ho when applying it.

 

 FULL LIST OF PRODUCTS USED

FACE:

Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation in Pastelle (£9.99)

Max Factor Crème Puff Powder in Translucent (£6.99)

I Heart Makeup Blush Heart in Peachy Keen (£4.99)

Makeup Revolution Highlighter in Peach Lights (£3)

 EYES:

L’Oreal Super Liner Eyeliner Ultra Precision Black (£6.49)

Max Factor Kohl Eyeliner Pencil (£4.99)

No7 Dramatic Lift Mascara (£13.50)

Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown (£2.49)

LIPS:

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen (£5.50)

Most products available in the USA.

Neutral Territory

Neutral Lipstick

Image: Chickicouture.com

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a stylish woman in possession of a good makeup kit, must be in want of a nude lipstick. As a (hopefully) stylish woman, in possession of an alright makeup kit, I thought it was high time I sought out the perfect neutral lipstick. Anyone who has ever shopped for such an item, will be aware that “Nude” covers an infinite spectrum of colours, as opposed to a one size fits all beige. I settled on L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipstick 630 in “Beige au Nu” (£6.99), a medium brown pink colour, not dissimilar to my own lip colour. Choosing a shade close to your natural lip colour is a fairly fail safe was of obtaining a flattering colour.

Anyway, said lipstick became one of my makeup bag essentials. It went with everything, it was super moisturising and instantly made me look more polished. I used it so much, I wore it down to an unusable stump.

Lipstick

I had to quickly find a replacement, but I was a week from payday and my finances were looking depleted. I decided to try a cheaper alternative, and plumped for NYX Round Lipstick in Milan (£4). With a seemingly similar colour, and a £3 cheaper price tag, it seemed like a good bet, but would it live up to its predecessor?

 

L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in Beige au nuphotocat

Thankfully this ticks every box. The colour is an good match, although the NYX one is more of a pinky mauve shade, it works just as well. The texture is silky smooth and glides onto lips, and it is super moisturising. The only down side, is that in saving £3, I sacrificed the glamorous gold case of the L’Oreal lipstick. There’s something far sexier about whipping out a shiny gold tube to touch up your lips, rather than a black plastic cylinder, but that’s just me being picky.

 

 

A Touch of Pink

Favoured of 5 year old girls, The Plastics and Barbie herself, pink makeup gets a bad rep. As we all know, the easiest way to wear it is on your lips or nails, but what about on your eyes?Pink eye shadow in particular is shunned from most makeup bags as it tends to conjure up lurid visions of Cindy Lauper, lab rats or nasty cases of conjunctivas.

But it needn’t be clownish, saccharine or give the impression of a minor eye infection. Pink makeup is so versetile; it can be subtle, sophisticated, fresh, dramatic and edgy. The key is to pair it with black as this adds definition to the eye- thus avoiding the dreaded rodent look.  A light metallic pink is very wearable on its own, or when blended with brown or deep grey shades for a softer look.

Here I have paired a delicate rose gold shade from Sleek i-Divine Original Palette (£8.99) with a classic flick of slick black liner- L’Oreal Super Liner Eyeliner Ultra Precision Black (£6.49).

However, it doesn’t always have to be sweet and subtle, pink eye makeup can be bold, glamorous, sexy and strong. Pink looks beautiful as a highlight for a classic smoky eye or blended with rich shades like gold, orange, purple or green. The latter doesn’t have to be garish either; think deep raspberry and aubergine, coral and tangerine, rose and mint.

Here I blended raspberry with deep violet and black current shades from Sleek I-Divine Palette in Vintage Romance (£8.99), using the rose gold shade as a highlight.

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Black eyeliner defines the eye and bold berry lips (NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen, £5.50).

FULL LIST  OF PRODUCTS USED

FACE:

Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation in Pastelle (£9.99)

Max Factor Crème Puff Powder in Translucent (£6.99)

Barry M Illuminating Strobe Cream in Iced Bronze (£4.49)

I Heart Makeup Blush Heart in Peachy Keen (£4.99)

EYES:

Sleek i-Divine Original Palette (£8.99)

Sleek I-Divine Palette in Vintage Romance (£8.99)

L’Oreal Super Liner Eyeliner Ultra Precision Black (£6.49)

Max Factor Kohl Eyeliner Pencil (£4.99)

No7 Dramatic Lift Mascara (£13.50)

Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown (£2.49)

LIPS

Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in Violine Strass 18 (£7.99)

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen (£5.50)

ALTERATIVE PRODUCTS

As many of my readers are from the USA, I am aware that alot of the products I use are not available over there. The Max Factor and NYX products are available, but there are some great alternatives for the ones which aren’t. Brands such as Tarte and Glossier have a great selection of products. The latter has a beautiful range of essentials for everyday.

FACE:

Glossier Haloscope Face Highlighter in Topaz ($22)

NYX Baked Blush in Solstice ($7)

EYES:

e.l.f Cosmetics Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette ($10.00)

Kiko Cosmetics High Pigment Wet and Dry Eye Shadow in Satin Fuchsia and Pearly Cherry Blossom  ($9)

Lineaur Intense Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner ($8.48)

Kiko Cosmetics Unmeasurable Length Fibers Extension Effect Mascara ($14)

NYX Auto Brow Pencil ($4.75)

LIPS:

Glossier Generation G Matte Lipstick in Jam ($18)

e.l.f Cosmetics Velvet Matte Lipstick in Bold Berry ($3)

 

Return of The Blog

Oh hi there!

Long time, no see! 6 months ago I took a break from blogging as things were getting hectic and I needed some down time. After months of dithering about, I have finally started writing again and I am very excited. I have bought many, many products over the past 6 months which I can’t wait to review and have lots of great ideas which I look forward to sharing with you!

Look out for my posts coming soon!

Kirsty

xxx

NYX Lip Creams

Cult US makeup brand NYX finally came to UK stores late last year and I couldn’t have been more excited. This beauty bloggers’ favourite gained popularity on social media for its professional, yet affordable products. The most iconic of which is their range of Soft Matte Lip Creams (£5.50). A velvety liquid lipstick promising long lasting yet moisturising colour in a vast range of highly pigmented shades. A couple of weeks ago I managed to get my hands on a couple from the new concession at Boots. The shades I opted for were Abu Dhabi– a “deep rose-beige”, and Copenhagen– a “matte rich plum”

NYX Lip Creams

The wand application allows you to apply them much more precisly than a regular lipstick. The formula goes on smoothly and feels velvety on your lips. As it is a neautral shade, Abu Dhabi is far easier to apply and touch up, as mistakes do not show up as easily.

However, when you apply Copenhagen, any mistake is glaringly obvious even with lipliner. It can bleed into the corners and it takes a while to get it to look uniform on your lips. This is partly down to the fact that it is such a dark colour but may also be the formula.

Once on, Abu Dhabi fades quickly but can easily be reapplied, Copenhagen on the other hand is so high maintenance. I have to constantly check it as it fades in the middle so you end up with mental looking lipliner. It also has a tendancy to cling to dry patches you didn’t even know you had.

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Speaking of dry, these are not at all moisturising. After a few minutes, they dry with an unpleasantly tacky finish which isn’t especially comfortable. Abu Dhabi copes fine with a bit of gloss or balm on top so that isn’t an issue, but try it with Copenhagen and enjoy wearing it all on your top lip.

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Dark lipsticks are challenging at the best of times, but this one is really hard work. Putting powder underneath helps, but it’s soon up to its old tricks, sliding about and doing what it wants.

So yes, I was a bit disappointed with these Lip Creams. I loved the colours, the price and the applicator but their famous moisturing properties and staying power were sadly lacking. My advice for liquid lipstick? Spend an extra £3.50 and get Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet (£8.99). Its a far superior product which feels soft and velvety for ages without fading, bleeding or moving.