How I Edit My Instagram Photos

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well and your Tuesday wasn't too bad. I always think Tuesday is way worse than Monday as you've lost all hope of the weekend and you've still got another four days left until you can chill out again - but we made it! One question I get asked a lot is how I edit my instagram photos to make them bright and airy, so today I thought I'd spill all of my insta-secrets and hopefully some of it may be useful!

Most of my Instagram photos are taken on my Canon 700D or my trusty iPhone 5s (there really is so much you can do with an iPhone now) and then edited in around 2-3 different apps before they eventually make it to Instagram. The first app I like to use is Afterlight - one of my all time favourite photography apps. I use Afterlight for a number of purposes - firstly I'll use the brighten tool to lighten my photos, and then turn the contrast down a little to balance out the new brightness of my image. After that I'll adjust the saturation, as some of the colours often get lost in the brightening process, and then finally sharpen my image slightly so that the areas I want to stand out. 

You'd think I was probably done at this point, but now it's time for filters. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I love a good filter. I like to theme my Instagram, and one easy way to do that is to use the same filter combination on your photos. I also use Afterlight to add some filters on, as the app comes with a whole load of insta-ready filters. My favourite one is Captain in the 'Original' filter folder, as this adds a bright pink-toned tint to the image, and then add Magnolia from the 'Seasons' folder to brighten up my image a little more. Once this is done, I save the new image to my photo library and go on to add in the finishing touches. 

You've probably noticed that some of my photos have sparkles or bokeh over the top, which is what I get the most questions about. To add the sparkles, I use a free app called LensLight. LensLight has loads of lens flares, bokeh and sparkles which you can position on your photos to give them that extra something special. You can also use LensLight to add Bokeh, however I much prefer PixFX for this, as it comes with some extra bokeh options and allows you to rotate the bokeh to get it just right for your image. 

Then my image is ready to be saved and uploaded to Instagram! I don't currently use any of the Instagram filters, as I think I've added enough to my photo by this point, but if I was going to, Valencia is definitely my favourite.

Hopefully this post has been helpful and inspired you somewhat to get out there and get snapping! If you have any more questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll try my best to get back to you pronto!

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

My Favourite Lip Glosses

Monday, 22 February 2016

Hello Beauties, and happy Sunday! If you hadn't already guessed by the name of this blog, I'm a big lover of lip gloss. I don't always find it easy to discover lip glosses that suit me though. Somehow the texture is always wrong or the shades aren't pigmented enough, sometimes they're too's a delicate balance, but one I've managed to find in a few hero products - and it just wouldn't be fair to keep them to myself.

One lipgloss range I looove has to be the Benefit Cosmetics glosses, designed to match up to their famous boxed blushes. I currently only own two of the shades (Dandelion and Hervana) but I doubt it will be long before I add a couple more to my collection. Benefit have really nailed the formula here, it's tacky enough to be long lasting on your lips, but it's not quite sticky, meaning they're ultra-comfortable and the shine they give is something else. These glosses look lovely when layered over one of the Benefit tints, but they're also perfect on their own, as they're fairly pigmented.

When it comes to tube glosses, the Victora's Secret Beauty Crush range is definitely up there. I first tried these glosses back when I was just starting out with makeup after getting a little over-excited to see a Victorias Secret counter in Birmingham Airport on my way to Dubai, and since then I've slowly added to my collection. These glosses vary in pigmentation, as some are meant to be a light wash of shine and others are more creamy in colour, but I love each and every one of them. They're long lasting, slippy not sticky and they smell delicious. Each one is themed around a different 'flavour' meaning they all smell different and each one is a little treat. If you're stuck on shade choice, I'd definitely recommend Love Berry and Taffy Go Lucky.

Another favourite of mine also happens to be one of Kim Kardashians favourites (trust me, that's where our similarities end). NARS lipgloss in Turkish Delight is the perfect milky pink colour, which looks stunning when layered over Creme Cup or Angel by MAC. This gloss is slightly on the stickier side, but it's not so sticky that it's unwearable, and the colour is just to die for. If light, milky pinks are your thing, you definitely need this in your collection. 

I picked up this gloss from theBalm whilst I was on placement. I'd just moved to London and I was so excited to see that theBalm was available in & Other Stories (this was way before it was readily available in the UK). As I was on a budget and couldn't afford to splurge on any of the eyeshadows, I decided to pick up a gloss in 'Girl Next Door', and since then it's become my all time favourite lip gloss. The formula is to die for, it's not sticky at all and is the most comfortable gloss I've ever had the pleasure of wearing, plus the colour is lovely too...very similar to Speed Dial from MAC!

Lastly, I couldn't round up my favourite glosses without giving a shout out to the Essence XXXL Nude gloss in Shy Beauty. This little wonder was under £4 and is extremely similar to Turkish Delight from MAC, so if you're on a budget I'd go for this one first! The formula is non-sticky and spreads so evenly over your lips without sinking into any fine lines, giving your lips an almost plumped look.

What are your favourite lip glosses?

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Coming Soon: Benefit Cosmetics Dandelion Highlighters

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Hello Beauties! If you've been following my social media channels for a while, you'll know that I have a lot of love for Benefit Cosmetics. I know they're a bit of a love-hate brand due to their girly, kitsch packaging, but that's what I love about them - that, and the fact that I've never had one of their products let me down. 

Benefit have a whole host of new product launches coming up, from liquid Hoola, to all-new kits, but two that really caught my eye were the new range of Dandelion highlights, set to launch 03/12. Dandelion is one of my all time favourite blushers, it's the perfect shade of pink for my cool, pale skin and compliments my complexion perfectly, so I was over the moon to see that Benefit were planning on launching more Dandelion themed products. 

The first of this dynamic duo is 'Shy Beam', a nice pink matte-radiance highlighter, perfect for gals who want to highlight areas of their face but aren't a fan of the shimmery look. Being an oily skinned girl myself, I definitely think that this one will be the star of the show for me, and will hopefully give me the perfect everyday highlight. 

The next new launch from the Dandelion line will be the 'Dandelion Dew'. Described as a wink of baby pink, this sheer, baby-pink blusher is designed to give your cheeks a dewy, delicate pink glow. The lighter-than-air texture sounds perfect for those who don't like heavy duty makeup, and the brightening aspect will be perfect for spring. 

What do you think of Benefit's new launches?

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Bourjois Haul - February 2016

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well and enjoying your weekend. I'm having a relaxed one blogging and Netflix binging this week after a couple of weeks of heavy spending! Anyway, a couple of weeks ago when I was browsing the isles of Boots (again with the heavy spending..) I spotted that Bourjois were running an offer where you received a free Colourboost Lip Crayon when you spend £15. I only needed a new concealer and mascara but when I spotted that they had some new releases, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to stock up. 

As I said, I needed to pick up a new mascara after my trusty Tarte 'Lights, Camera, Flashes' ran out, and after liking a couple of Bourjois mascaras I'd tried previously, I decided to pick up the Volume Glamour Push-Up Ultra Black Edition. The packaging was pretty swanky and the brush looked nice and fat, so I was sold. However, after using this a couple of times I realised it wasn't really for me. The mascara is super wet, making it really hard to work with and it clumps quite easily. I prefer to apply my mascara in a few thin coats to avoid that thick, clumpy look and this mascara just doesn't allow for this. If you're wanting a new mascara I recommend you pick up the Volume Glamour Curl by Bourjois instead. 

Whilst I was browsing the stand I also noticed that the new City Radiance collection had been released, so I just couldn't leave without it. The City Radiance collection claims to be skin protecting with brightening effects, so sounded perfect for my dull winter skin. I love Bourjois foundations so I picked up the City Radiance foundation in shade 01 Rose Ivory, which happens to be a perfect match for my pale, pink-toned skin. The foundation has a light to medium coverage, in that I still need to use a concealer to hide any blemishes, and applies flawlessly. It seems to smooth out my large pores a little and has a really healthy looking finish. It's not as radiant as you'd first expect so if your skin leans a little more towards the oily side, you'll be fine with a little primer and a dusting of setting powder. 

As I needed a new concealer, I also picked up the City Radiance concealer which claims to correct, illuminate and provide 24hr hydration - perfect for your under eye area. I do like this concealer as it provides good coverage and is pretty long lasting, but it's not the best I've tried from the high street. It does have a tendency to crease and I found that sometimes when it's applied over foundation, it rubs the foundation off when blended in (so strange), so if I want to use this I have to remember to apply it before foundation which is a bit of a pain. I'd say if you're looking for a brightening concealer, then you're better off with the Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer - sorry Bourjois! 

Like I previously mentioned, when you spend over £12 on Bourjois product you were able to take home one of the Colour Boost Lip Crayons for free. I decided to go with 04 Peach on the Beach as the only other shades available at my local Boots were bright pinks and reds which aren't really my colours. Peach on the Beach is a gorgeous peachy pink colour with a hint of orange, making this perfect for the summer. If you like Flamingo lipstick by MAC, then you'll love this as it's basically the same colour, just a little more pigmented! 

Lastly, I repurchased my trusty Healthy Mix Foundtion, but this time I went for the gel formula. I've spoken about my love for this foundation before, but it really is the diamond in the rough of high street foundations. If you're looking for a radiance boosting foundation, that evens skin tone and revives the look of your skin, then look no further. The gel formula is slightly lighter and more cooling on the skin, and definitely my favourite of the two, as it seems to hide my tiredness slightly better and makes the perfect hangover foundation. 

What are your favourite Bourjois products?

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer - Carrie & Big

Monday, 15 February 2016

Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well and had a lovely Valentine's weekend. I'm currently single so it wasn't a romantic one for me, instead I spent my weekend getting my hair done, and doing a little bit of baking with my flatmates. But of course I also managed to fit a little bit of shopping in - nothing like a bit of retail therapy to cure a broken heart! One of the items I picked up this weekend was the Too Faced Soul Mates blusher/bronzer combo in Carrie & Big, being such a big Sex and the City fan it seemed appropriate! I've had my eye on the Soul Mates blusher/bronzers for a little while now, so when I saw this sitting on the shelves of TK Maxx for an amazing £10, I couldn't leave it on the shelf.

Like all Too Faced products, the Soul Mates come beautifully packaged and there isn't one detail left unthought of when it comes to the presentation of the product. The product comes in a slick black heart-shaped compact which unlike many other Too Faced products, is actually incredibly slim and light-weight, making this perfect for popping in your bag for touch-ups on the go. The compact also contains a sizeable mirror so if you find yourself in a mirror-less situation (the horror!) then you'll be perfectly okay to beautify yourself.

The product itself contains a large bronzer, and a small blusher which can be worn on its own or swirled together to create a golden flushed look. Carrie & Big comprises a light to medium bronzer which a slight shimmer (it's honestly more of a sheen than a shimmer) and a peachy coral blush. Although the two shades can be swirled together, I find that the shade is a little too bronze to be worn as a blusher on my fair skin, so I like to lightly sweep one of the bronzers on my cheeks around the edge of my face (like I would with any bronzer) with a big fluffy brush, then take a smaller blush brush and buff the coral shade into the apples of my cheeks - creating the perfect bronzed flush.

As the bronzer does have a slight sheen and leans more towards an orange rather than a taupe, I much prefer this product for adding warmth rather than contouring, but that isn't such a terrible thing. I now own way too many contouring products, and it's nice to own something for purely warming up my skin, something I intend on doing a lot of in the spring/summer months.

Overall, I'm really happy with the latest addition to may makeup collection. Not only are the Soul Mates Blushing Bronzers completely adorable, they're also really practical - you all know how much I love a dual purpose product! The Soul Mates also come in the shade 'Ross & Rachel' which contains a pink blusher (next on my Too Faced list!) and are available from Debenhams for £28.00 here.

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation | In-depth Review

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

If there's one makeup item I can't stop buying, it's foundation. I'm on a constant search for the perfect base, and now have a fairly hefty collection of foundation disappointments. One foundation which is forever hyped within the blogging world is the Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation due to it's unbeaten lasting power, however I always put off purchasing this as I was worried that it would be too heavy for my skin and the lack of pump really put me off. Skip forward a couple of years and it's now happily sitting on my dressing table and has been my 'go-to foundation of late. 

I've been matched to Double Wear a few times now and I've never really been happy with the shade, as they've either been too dark, too pink or just 'off', until a lovely counter assistant sat down with me and really listened to what I wanted. She understood that although I have naturally pink skin, I don't want to emphasise this but I also didn't want to go too yellow in my shade as I knew it wouldn't look quite right, and she really worked to ensure that the shade she chose matched my neck - something I always struggle with. I came away with the shade N1 which has neutral undertones and is one of their lightest shades, and low and behold, it's a great match for my skin. The Double Wear foundation comes in an incredible 30 shades, ranging from cool tones, through to neutral and warm toned shades so there's sure to be a match for you somewhere in there.

One of the things I love about this foundation is the coverage. The foundation easily offers you a full coverage look with minimal product, one thin layer and pretty much everything is covered, from my acne to my dark circles. However, it does dry incredibly quickly so you do need to work quickly when applying and blending the foundation to avoid a caked on look, as it's definitely not a natural looking foundation at the best of times. I've been testing the foundation out for a couple of weeks now and whilst the foundation applies well with a buffing brush, my preferred way of applying double wear has to be with a damp beauty blender, as I find this gives the foundation a lovely even application and sheers it out ever so slightly to achieve a more wearable daytime look.

With a foundation like Double Wear, it's easy to assume that it will give you an extremely matte, almost powdery finish however it's actually got more of a satin finish which provides a slight hint of 'glow'. This is my preferred finish in a foundation as it ensures that whilst my skin doesn't look shiny, it also doesn't look completely flat and still manages to highlight my natural features. However, it will cling to dry patches and show up any bumpy areas you have on your skin if you don't properly prep your skin for application. I have combination skin so I have to make sure that I really do exfoliate regularly and use an intense moisturiser on my dry areas before application to ensure this doesn't happen.

The real winner for me with this product though is the longevity of it's wear. The foundation claims to last up to 15 hours, and whilst I haven't been wearing my foundation for that long at any one time, I can vouch for it's incredible staying power. I have the kind of skin which foundation loves to hate, usually by the end of the day my skin is looking all kinds of horrific with large shiny areas and a patchy finish at best. However, with Double Wear I manage to leave work looking reasonable and the foundation is still well and truly in place. In fact, there isn't one claim which the foundation has made which I've found to be untrue. It doesn't change colour or oxidise on my skin, it doesn't smudge or transfer onto my clothes throughout the day and although it's a heavy looking foundation and you won't be convincing anyone that you're going for the 'no makeup' look, it's actually pretty lightweight feeling.

Overall, I really do love this foundation as the longevity is unbeatable - seriously, nothing looks this good on my skin after a full day at work, but as the weeks have gone on I'm not 100% sure about the finish as it does highlight all of the little bumps in my skin. I'm starting to think that this miracle product doesn't exist though, so for the time being I'm probably likely to repurchase this, even just for work purposes.

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Valentines Flowers with Bloom & Wild

Monday, 8 February 2016

Although spring doesn't technically start until mid-March, I'm completely ready for it, and nothing screams spring like fresh flowers. There's something about fresh flowers that instantly brighten up my day. I love not only how they look in my house, but how they somehow bring happiness along with them - you can't help but smile when you look at them. 

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, what better time than now to adorn your house with beautiful bouquets, and surprise those closest to you with their favourite blooms. Bloom & Wild are an innovative flower delivery company who deliver flowers not only straight to your door, but also through your letterbox. 

At first I thought the concept sounded odd, but leading a busy lifestyle often means that I'm not in to receive parcels, so Bloom & Wild offer the perfect service for those like me who don't feel comfortable having flowers delivered to work. 

At the end of January, Bloom & Wild relaunched their popular Lizzie bouquet, inspired by the 2016 Pantone colour of the year. The Lizzie bouquet comprises blush pink roses, cream lisianthus, pale pink alstreomerias and fragrant eucalyptus, making it the perfect alternative to the traditional Valentine's red roses. 

Are you looking forward to Valentine's Day?

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

January Beauty Favourites

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Hello Beauties! It's not often I post a monthly favourites post, but this January I've been trying out so many new products that have really become favourites, I thought it might be nice to share them with you all.

Benefit Porefessional Matte Rescue Primer | £21.50

I won't ramble on about this one, as you've probably heard me sing its praises in this post. However, this primer definitely deserves a spot in this month's favourites, it's the perfect primer for smoothing your skin and keeping your face shine free throughout the day, without clogging your pores or drying out your skin like the original Porefessional often did. I use this everyday now and really couldn't be without it. 

Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 in Mango | £9.50

The cold snap we've been experiencing throughout January has really taken it's toll on my lips, they all of a sudden became very dry, cracked and painful just in time for me to run out of my favourite Nuxe Reve du Miel lip balm. I picked this little balm up from Kiehl's whilst in World Duty Free back in November as I was getting desperate and I'm so glad I did. My lips instantly feel better when I apply this and it has also helped to minimise dryness in my lips long term, as well as having a juicy mango scent. 

Again, I've already posted a full review of this blush so I won't go on about it too much. The NARS New Attitude blush was a blog sale find for me (as it was limited edition) and has quickly become my go-to everyday blush. The peachy pink colour and sheer pigment give my face the boost it's desperate for in the mornings and lasts all day, making me look more awake and ready to take on the world. 

The Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation is something I've been after for yonks now, and I'm so glad I finally picked it up. This is one of the only foundations that last all day on me, without sliding off my face or going patchy. It covers absolutely everything I need it to, matches my skin perfectly and doesn't cling to any spots or dry patches - it's perfection in a bottle. 

This has been one of my favourite lipsticks since I purchased it late last year and thoughout January I've really been getting my moneys worth. The creamy formula has been perfect for those colder days when you don't want anything too drying on your lips, and the pinky nude colour compliments my skin tone perfectly. 

What products have you been using this January?

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Valentines Day Gift Guide for Her

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

Hello Beauties! I can't believe how quickly time is flying by, it seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating Christmas and now it's time for the next holiday! Although I'm regularly single on Valentines Day, it's one of my favourite days - I just love all of the pink, red and sparkles that the holiday brings and I'm pretty sure everything looks cuter when it comes in heart print! 

I thought I'd share a couple of my top Valentines picks for 2016, whether your treating a loved one or just treating yourself (I know I will be!). 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

How To: Achieve a Flawless Base

Monday, 1 February 2016

When it comes to doing my makeup, achieving a flawless base is my top priority. For years I suffered with acne, redness and pigmentation (and still do to some extent) so I'm sure you can see why making my skin look perfect is so important to me. Over the years, I've picked up some tips for making sure your base applies perfectly and lasts all day, so I thought I'd share the knowledge as you know, sharing is caring and all that!

First things first, moisturising is key. If you skin is dry or dehydrated it will often absorb the moisture in your foundation, causing your foundation to appear blotchy, dry and cakey. Find the right moisturiser for you, and you're already half way there. It's also really important to let your moisturiser sink in properly before applying your foundation, so that the skin is properly prepped for makeup and to ensure that your makeup sits evenly on your skin. I find that the Clinique Moisture Surge is perfect for daytime wear, as the lightweight gel formula sits well under makeup and the hydrating formula keeps my skin feeling fresh all day. 

Before you jump straight into foundation, don't forget to apply primer. Primer helps to create a barrier between your skin and your foundation, making it last longer and helping to create a smoother base, especially if you use a 'pore filling' formula. For years I didn't really believe in all of this, but after finding my perfect primer in the Benefit Cosmetics new Porefessional Matte Rescue primer, I can completely believe the hype surrounding primers. 

One thing I always do to ensure I have a flawless base is to use concealer first. Using concealer first to pinpoint those areas that really need camouflaging (spots, dark circles, pigmentation) will help you identify whether you really need a high coverage foundation and will stop you from using too much product. I often find that after doing this, the only areas I really need to cover are my forehead and sometimes my cheeks, which really helps to make my base a lot more natural looking (and feeling) and it limits the amount of times I need to repurchase my favourite foundation!

When you do get on to applying your foundation, I really recommend that you use a beauty blender instead of a regular foundation brush. Using a beauty blender allows for a more even application and leaves zero brush strokes behind, making me a complete beauty blender convert. 

It's also important to let your foundation set before powdering. Powdering immediately will mean that the powder soaks up the oils in your foundation instead of the excess oil on your skin like you'd like it to, and can make the foundation wear funny throughout the day. Letting your foundation set first is also key in determining whether you actually need powder or not. If you're wearing a matte foundation, the chances are that you won't even need setting powder straight away. 

If you do feel like you need to powder throughout the day, blot before powdering. I often find that I don't need to powder at all, I just need to blot away the excess oil. You don't even need blotting papers to do this, you can either use your beauty blender, or even a thin layer of tissue (that's what I do to save money) and it works a treat. 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo
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