Saturday, 30 June 2012

A Photo A Day For A Year - June.

Half way through the year already, eesh! Doesn't time fly?

The list for June:


Source.
My photos:


I got really behind this month for numerous reasons. I got ill so was stuck in bed for a week or so which really put me back. I managed to catch up in the end as always.

The list for July:


Source.

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @bicky_ ! :)

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Friday, 29 June 2012

Vanilla Cupcakes.


Today my Mumma decided to make a batch of vanilla cupcakes, along with some lemon ones too.

I'm no good at baking and I don't confess to be a master at decorating either. But I was allowed to do the icing and the toppings and had fun whilst doing so.

Plus they tasted uhmazing! Team work can be a wonderful thing.

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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Weekend Wishlist #3.


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

The New iPad - Silly name, though it'll be even sillier when they bring out a newer one. But I've been lemming one since forever. I will get one someday soon as I can get discount off it through work. Winner!

Danika Cut Away Wedges - Absolute dead ringers for JC Night Walks and I have lemmed those ever since they came out. These are about £100 less then JC's offering and possibly the best ones to get the look of the shoe just right. I've seen some of the knock offs and they look stupidly clumpy.

Crest Whitening Strips - I had braces when I was in my teens that left me with perfectly aligned teeth. But being the child that I was before that, I hated brushing my teeth. So it's left me with perfect teeth in a less than desirable shade. I've seen so many people rave about Crest strips and I really need to get my hands on some, maybe that will sort my teeth anxieties out.

Revlon Candy Apple Lip Butter - I recently purchase a couple of these though I have yet to try them but I can see me wanting more. I especially keep eyeing up Candy Apple every time I'm browsing in town. Do I really need another red lippie?

Real Techniques Brushes - I've been after some new brushes for ages but didn't feel like splashing out on M.A.C. I've been truly sceptical about the Real Techniques brushes but on a whim decided to pick up the stippling brush in my local Boots. Can we say fabulous? Post on that coming soon but it's made me want them all if they all live up to the same standard.

Anything you've been wishing for lately?

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Saturday, 23 June 2012

M.A.C Parfait Amour Eyeshadow.

Been a bit lacking in posts this month but I've found it difficult to sit down and think of what to say. I've been losing myself in books instead, it helps me not think about all the rubbish going on right now.

Anyway, thought I'd pop up a post of one of my absolute must have products.


I purchased this myself a couple of years ago when I first went to a M.A.C counter, then my best friend bought it for me for one of my birthdays. What good taste he has!

It's long been a favourite of mine.

Parfait Amour (which translates as Perfect Love - how fitting!) is a very blue based violet with a smattering of pink duochrome, which unfortunately my pictures fail to show. But it's the same sort of shade as Pink Opal pigment. It's also a frost finish.

I absolutely love this shade and whilst I know it's not for everyone, I couldn't be without it. The finish means you can either have it as a sheer colour or really build it up and have something bolder. One of my favourite ways to wear it is with a whole load of purples, see here.

It lasts perfectly when popped on top of a primer and blends easily with other shadows. I really do recommend checking out this shadow if you love purples on the eyes. I think it's a bit of a hidden gem as I haven't heard to many people rave on about it.

What's your staple coloured eyeshadow?

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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Glossybox - June.

This months Glossybox arrived whilst I was away but it was popped in the green bin for me. I know a lot of people have had problems with the courier service they're now using but I've never had any problems with my Hermes delivery lady.

When reviews started popping up for the Summer box*, I was truly hoping and praying this was the box I got. I, no word of a lie, was jumping up and down with excitement when I opened it in the kitchen and pulled out the card that contained the tweezers! All for a pair of tweezers ...


HD Brows - Precision Tweezers
£19.95
I've only had one HD Brows product in the past, the brow palette. That was in the first box I received. I've been a user of a neon pink pair of Tweezerman tweezers so it'll be interesting to see how these fair up. Though at present I'm not allowed to touch my brows as I'm growing them back for a HD Brow treatment!

Caudalie - Eaux Fraices - Thé Des Vignes
£26 / 50ml
Eaux Fraices Thé Des Vignes, Google tells me translates to 'tea of the vines fresh water'. A little bit of this goes a long way, I'm currently sitting with just a single spritz of my wrist and it's really fragrant. Sorry for the want of a better word but it really is a fresh smelling Summery scent, like nothing I own at all. It contains white musk, neroli, ginger, orange blossom and jasmine. It's wonderfully sweet but not overpowering. I'm really lemming the full size which isn't a bad price at all.

Glossybox - Series Exclusiv Pro Beauty Brush
£15
This a natural goat hair blush brush that is said to give soft makeup application. Honestly I'm not a fan, this isn't the softest of brushes I own and it sheds like a good'un. I thought my MAC 109 was bad but this is something else. This isn't available to buy separately but it will do for a quick sweep of blush but not something I'd use on a permanent basis.

Vichy - Dermablend Ultra Corrective Foundation Cream Stick.
£19 / 12g
I bought the Dermablend liquid foundation last week and Nic from Pixiwoo used this in a recent video and said it made a brilliant concealer. I was tempted to pick this up too but I'm glad I didn't now. Especially as I was dithering on which shade to pick. I've not used or opened it yet but when I do, I will be sure to let you know. If it's anything like the liquid, it will be brilliant. 

BM Beauty - Summer Warmth Bronzer
£8.00 / 4g
I own one bronzer and I've used it once, they honestly scare me. Whilst I'd prefer this with a sifter top lid, with the tiniest amount this is such a nice glowy bronzer that really brings a lot of warmth to the face. Perfect for the sunny days. I can see this lasting me quite some time because of the lack of good weather and because you really do only need the smallest amount.

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Overall a really good box and I will be using every single product for a change.

What did you get?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

They Will See We're In Love Tonight.

Today I decided to go for the look I had planned on doing on Friday.

Tried out Dermablend for the first time. I also went without concealer and powder for the first time in as long as I can remember. I was embracing the demi matte finish.


Face:
Illamasqua Matte Primer.
Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation - Opal.
Illamasqua Powder Blush - Morale*.
HD Brows - Dark Brown (Vamp palette)*.

Eyes:
Urban Decay Primer Potion.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow - Vanilla (all over lid, brow/inner corner highlight), Flow (crease), Chase (outer V), Half Baked (lower lashline).
Smashbox Jet Set Eyeliner - Midnight Black.
Barbara Daly High Impact Mascara*.

Lips:
OCC Lip Tar - Femme and Queen.
I mixed them together and this was my first 'mixing'. I used mostly Femme, with a few drops of Queen to brighten and bring down the milky paleness of Femme.
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I love how this turned out. It was a very light, 'glowy' sort of look.

I still can't get rid of the black liner though. I hate how my eyes look without it. I opted for a gel liner and immediately regretted it after I started. I find them hard to work with but sometimes a harsh liquid line just isn't what I want.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Devon Delights.

Yesterday whilst being taken to town I noticed a new cake shop had popped up. Makes a change since pretty much everything is closing or already shut.

I decided to nip in and get a couple as it was pay day and my Mum made me.

Devon Delights mainly specialise in celebration cakes but they have some in store cupcakes.

For £1.10 each they're a really good price and they're honestly the best cupcakes I've ever had.


Raspberry and white chocolate - best thing that's ever been in my mouth, seriously. I can't even.

Carrot cake.

Rocky road.

Vanilla - I much prefer the raspberry but it's still good.

Definitely worth visiting if you're in the area.

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Friday, 15 June 2012

J'Adore Bleu.

Ever start out with a look in your head and totally veer off into something else?

Today I'd planned to wear an OCC Lip Tar teamed with a barely there eye. But it seems like that's all I've been doing lately.

I was sitting there applying Virgin all over my lid thinking that it'd look good teamed with a royal blue in the crease. I had intended to just do a subtle wash of colour but I opted for a cut crease as it's been a while, and I love me some cut crease!

Here's the look:


Face:
M.A.C Matchmaster Fgundation - 1.
Benefit Boi-ing - Light.
Illamasqua Cream Blush - Zygomatic*.
HD Brows - Dark Brown (Vamp palette)*.
M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - Light.

Eyes:
Urban Decay Primer Potion.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow - Virgin (all over lid), Adore (crease), Deep End (on top of Adore), Vanilla (brow highlight).
Illamasqua Precision Ink - Abyss. 
Dior Blackout Mascara.

Lips:
M.A.C Lipstick - Viva Glam Gaga.
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Adore is a Deluxe shadow from Urban Decay which has actually been discontinued. I believe this was due to the formula, though it might just be the one I have. Deluxe shadows (as with all UD shadows) are super soft and buttery. This tends to be quite dry and goes on a little patchy, especially if you blend it out too much. That's why I added just a touch of Deep End over the top to even it all out.

Overall I love this look. Simple to do yet really quite striking.

Life Via Instagram #3.

I had a pretty busy day yesterday, before it even got to half 10.

Work was hectic, lots of changes and other boring stuff.

Thought I'd do a little update with a few photos from my morning.

PS templates from WonderfulLifee.

001 - I visited my Auntie's beautiful new house. Whilst taking photos of the flowers in the garden, I came across this little dragonfly. I was quite surprised that the photo came out so well as s/he was getting blown about by the wind a fair bit and I couldn't keep my phone still.

002 - The gorgeous view from the top of her garden, not a building in sight.

003 - The view from the kitchen and conservatory windows. It's like a secret garden, full of wonderful, colourful flowers.

004 - Church window.

005 - I finally mustered up the courage to visit my first ever best friend. In the 7 years since it happened, I believe I've only been 3 times. I'm a terrible friend but everything about it scares me.

I got paid today so I plan on having a lush weekend and doing a little bit of retail therapy. :)

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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Names4Ever Custom Jewellery.

I have something a little different for you today.

A custom made to order necklace* from Names4Ever.


Before I was contacted for this review I'd not heard of this website, though I'd seen many that made this sort of thing.

With such a vast array of necklaces, pendants, charms and rings in all different kinds of designs, all customisable with a whole load of fonts and layouts to choose from. It took me a few days to finally pick what I wanted as I just couldn't decide.

I opted for the 'Charlotte' font. This type of necklace happens to come on a figaro chain.

I placed my order very late in the evening of May 31st and received it on June 8th. That's not bad going considering firstly that piece is custom made to your specifications and it happened to come all the way from the Netherlands. 

Altogether the necklace retails at £33, with £4 of that going towards a longer chain. Delivery is also free.

For the price it feels well made yet lightweight enough to not notice it there too much, which is something I like in a necklace.

It's the perfect gift for yourself or someone that's perhaps particularly hard to buy for.

It's really good quality, for a fraction of the price of some places. With super fast delivery and really good communication. Definitely recommend.

Have you ever tried a customising service?
How was it for you?

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Monday, 11 June 2012

Life Via Instagram #2.

I've really been feeling under the weather the last couple of days so though I'd just an Instagram update, it's been a little while since I've done one.


001 - I invested in a cute pink harness/extender lead for little Peps as she's been itching to go outside, I've just been cautious of the main road behind our house. This way I can keep an eye on her but she gets the run of the garden. She's loved it on the nice she's been out, climbing trees, catching bugs. Getting up to general mischief. It's calmed her down inside quite a lot too.

002 - Missing BBQ weather, not the heat but generally warmer weather and sunshine, yummy food and good company.

003 - Went to a family 40th anniversary party last weekend. It was cute and gave me hope that some marriages are made to last.

004 - Red, white and blue clothes for work for the jubilee. Feels weird going back to wearing uniform now, do not like.

005 - A couple nights ago I had late night motivation to go for a walk. Motivation always strikes me at the weirdest times so I decided to embrace it, even though it was almost 11 at night and take the dog out. I walked most of the way and decided on running half way back. Felt so much better for it afterwards and looking forward to feeling better so I can try and beat my time.

006 - Reassurance/advice/just general loveliness from one of my favourite people. Bad things about the internet = finding awesome people on other continents. Tina has been an absolute gem to me these past few weeks though.

That's all for now. I'll get some proper posts up when I'm not so lethargic. Do feel free to tell me what you've been up to of late. :)

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Friday, 8 June 2012

Bittersweet Endings.

64 eyeshadows, 16 liners, 3 primers and a 'Good Karma' brush later and it's time to say farewell.





Back at the end of 2009 I was lured into buying Urban Decay by all the beautiful colours when I was having my first browse of their counter in House Of Fraser, Plymouth.

Their liners were the only ones I could wear that would last on me. The only liner I could use on my top lashline without any transfer. I touted their eyeshadows as the best I'd ever used. They even made the most perfect electric cyan blue shadow and liner combination, my absolute favourite colour!

What made me want to purchase from them most was their stance on animal testing. All their products are branded with the motto 'We don't do animal testing. How could anyone?'

They were one of the first brands to ever get the BUAV Leaping Bunny approval and now they've been stripped of that label, for what?

What I've seen from Urban Decay over the past few days has made me feel sick to my stomach. Of all the brands I buy from and put a lot of money into, I really did think UD would be the last to do this.

They've gone back on everything they created this company on. They're saying it's to make progress but you already went 16 years without animal testing and now you're moving backwards not forwards.

In my opinion Urban Decay sold out. There are plenty of countries they could have gone to, like Australia, where the brand is currently unavailable and would have been able to make a profit, whilst still standing by everything they believe in.

They are censoring their Facebook page by deleting comments they don't agree with. They deleted the press release so the only way you can read it is by the bloggers who copied it word for word. They're replying with the same old spiel about how it was a 'thoughtful' decision.

Right now I don't feel like I want to use my stash, though I know at some point I will. But I refuse to buy anything after that. Not only for the way they've gone back on everything they built the company around but the sad excuse on trying to justify it and the way they are not taking any of the customers into consideration (especially those that only buy from them, solely for their vegan products) with their awful, awful decisions.

It's was nice knowing you Urban Decay but I am done. You won't receive any more of my custom or money.

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The Great British Summer.

Just a couple of photos I took last night. The weather was ridiculous for June!


Glad to see it's a bit drier today.

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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Urban Decay Expanding Into China = Animal Testing.

I just got wind of this quite frankly ridiculous and contradicting statement from Urban Decay:

Urban Decay is going to sell our products in China. Because of China’s policies on animal testing, we know that this will not be a popular decision with some of our loyal customers. But the decision is a thoughtful one.

For 16 years, we have been committed to two key causes: women’s rights, and the fight against animal testing. Our dedication to those causes will not waver.

For those of you unfamiliar with China’s policies, the sticking point is this: the Chinese government reserves the right to conduct animal testing with cosmetic products before the products are approved for use by Chinese citizens. The government has not told us if they have exercised this right with our products. So, our brand does not test on animals, but the Chinese government might conduct a one-time test using our products. Do we like China’s policies? No…and that is really the point. Going into China was a huge decision for Urban Decay. But, we believe that change cannot and will not happen by outside pressure alone in a closed market. Change can only happen from within. When we enter the Chinese market, we will do our part to help make those changes.

When we were considering expanding into China, a group of marketing consultants told us to remove the section of our company history that describes our crusade against animal testing. “It doesn’t mean anything to the Chinese beauty customer,” they said. Of course, we refused. Our “no animal testing” policy is part of who we are, and has been since day one. The news that animal issues don’t even register with the average Chinese consumer was one of the biggest factors in our decision to go there. During Urban Decay’s infancy, we worked hard to inform consumers about animal rights in the United States and Europe. The battleground for animal rights is now in China, and we want to be there to encourage dialogue and provoke change.

We also hope to shed some light on women’s rights issues in China. As a company that caters to a female customer, this is extremely important to us. For one thing, going into China is a way for us to advance women into important professional positions. We will help grow the cosmetics industry, which primarily employs and creates career paths for women. Although workers’ employment rights are a relatively new concept there, progress has been made partially because of pressure from businesses, consumers, and advocacy groups from other countries. Based on this, our belief is that both an outside force and inside pressure for change can result in helping transform both the importance of women and animal testing policies in China. And more importantly, we hope to influence the perspective of the citizens on both of these issues.

If we don’t go to China, other companies without our beliefs will, and the culture will never change. We want to encourage a culture of consumers who care enough to buy cruelty-free products, and who view professional women as role models who influence their lives on a daily basis.

Yes, we are a for-profit company. And yes, we would eventually like to make money in China. But we don’t stand to turn a profit in China for quite a while, partially because the market isn’t quite ready to sustain an untraditional brand like ours. If it were only about the money, we would wait a few years. But our foray into this market is also about participating in an amazing time of change in China. We don’t like animal testing (and neither do the 13 dogs in our office), but we are trying to change the world… even if it is one eye shadow at a time! Sitting on the sidelines isn’t our style. We understand that you might not like our decision, but we hope you can respect it.
Source.
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I find this behind hypocritical of them to go round for 16 years, that's a long time in my book going on about how their products are cruelty free yet they decide to let it be done anyway.

I find their excuses pretty poor to be honest with you. You wouldn't see Lush going back on everything they said to sell in a country that conducts testing.

I truly believe that things in China will never change. I know most of followers don't care about this kind of thing but it really gets to me. But the way China treats animals disgusts me and I'm sure it would you if you'd seen videos! I mean who in their right minds skins dogs alive and then leaves them suffering without their coats, to die. That is not ok!

I honestly don't see how Urban Decay think they can change by going there. If that was me I'd just think, well you went back on what you said to sell here so you can't hate it that much.

Please can we have some awesome new brands that actually stick to their ethics?

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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Another Year Older.

3 years, 441 posts and 1042 followers later.

Want a cupcake? Albeit a belated Jubilee one at that.



I almost forgot today was the 3rd birthday of my little blog. It seems like a whole lot longer since I started this little space on the internet. A place where I can put my makeup ramblings and have them viewed by like minded people, instead of boring my friends who have no interest in the difference between skin undertones and lipstick finishes.

My blog has never been one of those that has 'taken off' if you will. And I'm not going to lie, it depresses me seeing people who started around the same time as me or after, who seem to get millions of followers without even trying. It makes me feel like I'm not good enough.

I feel my like my blogging has got better over the last few months, all thanks to my new camera. There's still gaps in my posting and I don't think that'll stop any time soon. Whilst you were enjoying your 4 day weekend, I was getting up at 4 everyday, no such thing as a bank holiday for me! Because of this m sleeping can end up being quite messed up so I don't always feel like blogging.

Anyway, going off on a tangent. I was going to have a giveaway but I had no idea what to have as a prize. I'll probably do something in the future for it.

I just want to thank all my readers old and new, that have stuck with me over the past 3 years and hopefully, many more to come.
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Some of my favourite posts over the last years -

Push The Edge Cut Crease
Parfait Gunmetal FOTD
China Glaze - Kalediscope Him Out
A Requested Eye Tutorial
Feeling Blue Take 2 FOTD
China Glaze - IDK
Wordless Wednesday #15
A Tribute To Ale
My First Photoshoot
Neon Shattered Nails
My First Gelicure
The Arrival Of My New Camera
Bath & Body Works UK
MAC PRO 3D Silver Glitter
The First BBQ Of The Year
My Newest Colour B4 Results

Do let me know of any posts you'd like to see featured!

I also decided to switch up the layout graphics a little bit, hope you like them just as much as I do.

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Friday, 1 June 2012

Colour B4 Extra Strength - 2012 Formula.

Almost 2 years ago now I reviewed Colour B4 (cringe, old review!), to date this post has over 20,000 hits making it my most popular blog post. Even today, it's still getting a lot of interest.

I have the new and hopefully improved version of the Colour B4 Extra Strength*.

Colour B4 works by shrinking hair dye molecules (black has the biggest hence why it doesn't budge, whereas red has the smallest giving it such high maintenance) without using bleach or ammonia. Also, unlike a regular colour strip at your local hair salon, this doesn't damage hair in the way stripping does.



This can be a lot to take in from me just typing out all the steps, so I decided to take photos so I could compile a picture tutorial on how I found it. Hopefully in turn, making it easier for you to follow as it can be quite overwhelming.

Please check this out after the cut as it's quite picture heavy.


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