Thursday, 1 December 2011

... moist and sexy lips!

I'm a sucker for a bright lipstick but I have REALLY dry lips so I often find that I avoid lipstick so that I don't end the day on a flaky note!

I stumbled across the new Max Factor Colour Elixir lipsticks when purchasing my Max Factor mascara and I thought I'd give them a go and take advantage of Boots' 3 for 2 offer. (This offer is no longer available!)

These lipsticks are FANTASTIC. The only thing that disappoints me is the colour range available (the two that I purchased were the only colours I really liked) but as it is a new range, hopefully it will be extended to include more shades soon!

I have had these for a while now and have refrained from reviewing them so I can really test them out! They really are moisturising and they last all day although they do stain the lips. I have taken some pictures to show you instead of rambling on as usual!!!

Lovely packaging for a high-street brand!

Bewitching Coral (827) top & Ruby Tuesday (715) bottom!

Ruby Tuesday (L) & Bewitching Coral (R). As you can see, Ruby Tuesday is a true, classic red and Bewitching Coral is a gorgeous pinky-coral. They are really creamy and smooth to apply!

Me wearing Ruby Tuesday!

As these lipsticks are moisturising, they do transfer onto glasses easily when drinking but they last well on the lips so touch-ups are hardly required!

Definitely a fan of these!
A xo

... Mascara!

I have been dreading this for a while... My Chanel mascara has given up the ghost! SOB.

As I spent rather a lot of money already this month, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a cheaper, drug-store mascara for the first time in about 5 years. In my local Boots store, there was a large promotion with the latest offering from Max Factor. The sales assistant assured me that this is 'THE BEST, DARLING', and I was sent on my way to the till with great trepidation.

The result of my bravery? I am hanging my head in shame. I was ready to dismiss this mascara and throw it across the room in a strop; yet I was pleasantly surprised. REALLY pleasantly surprised.

The results are better than the £20-odd Chanel mascara I have been using recently, so allow me to introduce Max Factor's False Lash Effect Fusion!

False Lash Effect Fusion provides everything that I look for in a mascara:
-Blacker than black pigmentation? Check!
-Lashes long enough to make a cow envious? Check!
-More volume than Beyonce's barnet? Check!

All in all, I'm a rather happy lady!

I only have two negative points to make:
- I don't like the wand. I prefer a traditional fibrous wand but if this little plastic thing makes my lashes that fabulous then I shouldn't really complain!
- The smell isn't great. Then again, I don't think I've ever encountered a 'nice smelling' mascara...

At £11.99, this mascara is a BARGAIN. Not the cheapest product on the market but I'm more than happy to pay £11.99 for these results! If the bargain price isn't enough to entice you; Max Factor cosmetics are currently 3 for 2 in both Boots AND Superdrug!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

... The perfect winter uniform!

This is my idea of a staple winter outfit for me. The jumper is H&M and I already have it in three different colours (I have seen three more I want...) and the boots are the Zara ones I mentioned in my last blog post.
The jewellery is a little fanciful, but the bag WILL be mine come my 21st birthday in February:)

This outfit is my idea of heaven. The jumper is thin so a t-shirt can be worn underneath and another layer can be added underneath a jacket for extra warmth if necessary.


Saturday, 29 October 2011

...being a bad blogger!

Aghhh, let me just start off with a quick apology! I have been MIA recently due to several inconveniences including internet issues, heading back to university and some personal health problems. I am however, keen to get back into this and get my blog off the ground!!!

I have also been rather naughty and bought quite a few products that I am keen to review very, very soon! (My bank account is NOT a happy bunny at the moment!)

To ease me back into this blogging lark, I thought I'd just write a quick post detailing my 'loves' and 'loathes' of October as the month is nearly over and Winter is well and truly here!!!

* My gooooooooorgeous new collarless coat from Zara:
During term-time I live in Canterbury which is notoriously windy and cold in the winter. My time at university has taught me the art of dressing warmly whilst being able to feel fabulous and chic. I have a gorgeous navy blue 'princess-style' coat that I brought from River Island last year which is lovely, yet my style has changed a lot over the past 12 months as I have grown older and I am *FINALLY* beginning to realise that I should dress for my body shape and what I like, NOT what is bang on trend!
When I ventured into Zara with my housemate earlier this month, I instantly fell in love with this coat...
It looks SO much nicer in real life, and I don't wear it buttoned up as it is rather unflattering to do so. (Maybe I shall pester the boyf into taking a picture of me wearing it when he visits next week!). It is a very flattering cut and the fact that it is collarless works perfectly with another current obsession of mine- shirts. I can tell I will be wearing this until it falls apart, I have worn it every day since I purchased it, contrary to my usual fickle nature! Very classic and chic, and suits the lady I want to be!!!

*Zip-up suede boots
On the same fateful Zara trip, I spied some zip-up suede wedged boots which I have been lusting over online ever since... Unfortunately I had to choose between the boots or the coat (damn the student budget!), but it's payday next week so maybe you shall be seeing a picture of these bootiful (sorry, had to be done) shoes sooner rather than later!

At the end of September I was prescribed some medication on which I should avoid drinking alcohol. Boo :(
I'm not a big alcohol drinker, however I am partial to some Vanilla Absolut vodka in a glass of Diet Coke, or a nice glass of chilled rosé at the end of a particularly long, taxing day. As I am now deprived of my little indulgence, I have been in search of something to replace it. I have decided that coffee is the new alcohol. I am spoiled by having three Starbucks coffee shops in Canterbury and coffee before seminars is now a regular thing!
My Starbucks order of choice is a skinny vanilla latte (yummy!) and I stumbled across these in Sainsbury's for those days when I can't make it into town.
Not as good as my beloved Starbucks but SO easy to just boil the kettle and mix it all up in a Thermos cup before hopping on the bus up to campus. It's nice to have a coffee on the desk when you're in a 4pm seminar and the teacher is going ooooon and ooooon....

*Patrick Stump's solo album 'Soul Punk':
I've been in love with his voice since my angsty young teen years. Finally, he has released a solo album which really showcases his musical talent. Very soul-inspired and simply beautiful. This has me dancing round my room when I'm getting ready!

x Angora sweaters:
Well, I don't hate angora sweaters, I just hate that they malt EVERYWHERE. I made the mistake of purchasing a luxurious Fenn Wright Manson waterfall cardigan over the summer. Bargain. Of. The. Century. I paid less than £20 for £150 worth of designer snuggliness. TKMaxx IS worth wading through sometimes! And, no one has to know how cheap it was...
Unfortunately, the sweater is 50% angora. Beautifully soft and most importantly, warm but it sheds at the slightest touch. If I wear it with black then I look like I've been rolling in cotton wool. Not a good look, I'm sure you'll agree. I am just resigned to wearing my gorgeous light grey cardi with jeans and white tops. Must remember to avoid contact with others.

x Wisdom teeth:
Ouch. 'Nuff said.

x Over-priced scenester fodder:
I am currently back at home for a quick visit and yesterday I went to the brand-new shopping centre in my hometown. Got rather excited at the prospect of having a Topshop so close to home, then was enormously disappointed when I went in to discover that the shop was full of incredibly average clothes. They seem to be marketing themselves at the kind of girl who wears 'vintage' Levi's shorts and baggy t-shirts with wolves on. Not cute. Disillusioned, I headed over to Superdry with my boyfriend. Cue the gasp of horror when I picked up a very average knitted jumper and discovered it was priced at £99.00.
I would be prepared to spend a good chunk of money on a jumper if it was of REALLY good quality and was a little bit 'different'. I didn't fancy spending a fortune to look like the the poseurs in those over-hyped shops. I'll stick to my beloved Zara and H&M for realistically-priced Euro-chic that enables me to style my outfit in a way which suits me, thanks!

x Nail polish which takes forever to remove:
Chanel 'Graphite', I do adore you. However, if you wish to chip so easily then I suggest you make yourself easier to remove!

Hmm, not quite the quick post I imagined. This is rather more wordy than I intended!
Perhaps this is a sign that I need to rant more often...

Until the next time, ladies!
A xo

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

It's come over all Autumnal...

And I'm very ready for it! Umming and ahhing over purchasing this little number:
I feel as though my wardrobe is in desperate need of a grungy jacket and I keep finding myself looking at it whilst at work (oops). Maybe...

In other news; I have hauled a LOT of beauty goodies recently and I have plenty of reviews in mind. I want to give myself as much time as possible to play with them before I offer my opinion. I also need to figure out how to go about taking some good pictures with my rather terrible camera.

I'm heading back to University in a few weeks so there will be plenty of procrastination opportunities to come! Beauty products are much more appealing than the idea of a dissertation...

Stay with me, I'm slowly getting there!!!

Image courtesy of River Island

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Chanel Autumn 2011 Nail Polish

Throughout the course of this blog, you will come to learn that I am a bit of a nail polish nut, especially when it comes to Chanel polishes.

When I first became interested in Chanel polishes, I awaited the new collections with anticipation but the 'must-have' polishes always sold out so quickly. This meant that I had to wait for a considerable amount of time for the hype to die down and for them to come back in stock. (I had to wait MONTHS for both Paradoxal and Black Pearl- my current favourites).

I tend to wear darker polishes and so I prefer the Autumn/Winter collections. When I was informed by my local Chanel advisor that the new polishes were coming out on August 19th (Gabrielle Chanel's birthday, no less) I decided to be 'that girl' and put my name on the waiting list for all three.

The advisor showed me the colours and I knew instantly that I would buy Peridot and Graphite but I wanted to wait and see Quartz in person before I made a decision as I was unsure about the colour.

So, last Friday I patiently waited for a phone call from the Chanel counter and I popped in on my lunch break when they informed me that my polishes were waiting for me!

My suspicions about Quartz were correct; a soft brown metallic that I wouldn't choose to wear. It is still a very pretty colour and I would recommend it for those who prefer less of an 'in-your-face' look.

It seems as though Peridot is set to be the 'must-have' of this collection (much like Black Pearl and Paradoxal before it) and it really is beautiful. It is a very unusual green/gold metallic with the occasional hint of blue. Different angles and types of light emphasise the different colours in the polish so it can go from a pure gold to a light green as you move the nail around. I would recommend buffing your nails before using this as the metallic/holographic quality of the polish means that it highlights every imperfection on the nail bed.

I feel that Graphite will not be as popular as Peridot but for me, I love it just as much. It is a glittery polish as opposed to the metallic Peridot and it has a graphite/pewter finish to it. Again, when it moves in the light it can look more grey/blue or silver depending on the brightness. You will also notice an occasional gold shimmer when under artificial light which adds to the dimension of the polish.

Graphite applies very thinly, as with most glitter polishes. This means that it is a very easy polish to work with as you can apply multiple coats (I prefer three for complete coverage) within quick succession. Peridot also applies quite thinly and I find that two coats are more than enough, although it is important to be precise with your brush strokes for the polish to look flawless. It certainly seems that Chanel have worked on their formulations as these polishes are very quick and easy to apply.

All in all, these are beautiful polishes, although £17.50 for a bottle is expensive. I have seen several cheaper dupes of previous collections (one of which I will review at some point) and I'm sure that several lower price cosmetic companies will want to get on the action some time soon should you want to spend less!

A xo

Please excuse my pathetic photography attempt- Graphite (L) and Peridot (R). Photographs of these polishes do not show how truly amazing they are! Pop to your local Chanel counter to check them out for yourself.

First image courtesy of Chanel

Monday, 22 August 2011

... Foundation!

Foundation has been a constant issue for me ever since I started wearing makeup. I have tried cheap ones, pricey ones, liquids, cremes, mousses, and powders to name a few...

My problem lies in my skin type; I have dry/combination skin that has the tendancy to get oily on the T-zone every now and again. I also have rather uneven skin tone and some scarring from spots when I was younger. Thankfully, my skin has got over it's 'funny teenage moment' and now I get spots very rarely. My parents kindly bestowed upon me a face full of freckles which while lovely, become a pain when applying a base, especially in the summer when they are more prominent.

As a result of all of these factors, I find that I need coverage to even out my skin, but too much and my masked freckles make my skin appear as though I have conducted my morning routine using a cement mixer and trowel.

A consultant on a makeup counter suggested that I try a mineral powder foundation, and I was sceptical to say the least.

Powder with my dry skin? I don't want to look cakey, thanks. Powder when I need coverage? Yeah, right.

Well, I hold up my hands... I was wrong.

Laura Mercier's Mineral Powder Foundation is my saviour. Although it is a powder, it is a moisturising formula which ensures you do not look too cakey. The coverage is buildable so you can apply more where necessary and it enables you to choose how heavy your makeup is, depending on the occasion. There is also a light (and subtle) shimmer in the powder which gives you a healthy and pretty glow.

Having tried SO many foundations over the years, I am happy to have found a foundation that works with my skin. It makes me look really healthy and it is a good base for the rest of my makeup. I am applying my makeup at 6.30 in the morning at the moment and it is staying in place well into the evening which is perfect as I do not like to touch up during the day.

Application: I am currently using a MAC 150 powder brush to apply the powder, I know that this is not the preferred method of application for mineral foundation, but it seems to be working for me. I may consider trying a Kabuki brush to see whether it changes the finished look of the product on my skin.

- A lot of product in the pot considering you don't need much for a full face application
- Nice, subtle glow
- Buildable coverage so you can tailor it to your requirements
- Staying power
- Natural looking

- Expensive- At £31.00 it is an expensive gamble if you have never tried anything like this before but I believe you get what you pay for. 
- Bulky packaging- not ideal for traveling/handbags although Laura Mercier do sell a pressed compact version
- Messy- not for use when in a rush. Trust me, I speak from experience...
- Glow- not a con for me but I know that many girls like a matte look to their foundation

All in all, I am so happy I took a chance and bought this! It has become an everyday staple for me and my half-finished bottles of foundation are now sat on my shelf gathering dust.

Although this product works for me, it may not work for everyone. I know many people that swear by iconic liquid foundations that look fabulous on them but look rather lacklustre on my skin. Foundation shopping is sadly about trial and error, but you will eventually find the right one for you!

Good luck in your quest, Beauty Girls!

A xo

Image courtesy of Laura Mercier

Autumn 2011 Wishlist

I am a big fashion lover, yet I don't tend to follow many trends. I prefer to (attempt to) dress for my body type which, if you're interested, is pear shaped and I'm rather short! I have found myself dreaming of Autumn clothes over the last few days and if money was not a constraining factor, I would rock this look every day. I am a firm believer that rules are made to be broken and I love the idea of different animal skins and coloured leathers mixed together in one outfit.

I like to keep my outfits quite muted but I love the idea of the pop of colour on those GORGEOUS Zara shoes (which I am currently lusting over in a big way).

I am determined to re-invent myself this school year... maybe this outfit is what I need!!

A xo

Image created using Polyvore


For my first official Beauty Girl's Guide post, I thought it would be apt to start at the very beginning with the most important aspect of beauty: skincare.

In order for your make-up to look it's best, you must provide it with the best possible starting base. The best way to do this is to find a skincare regimen that suits your skin type and budget and stick to it religiously. Now, when I say religiously, I mean religiously. Regardless of how much vino you had at dinner or how busy you are; it is vital that you cleanse your skin at the beginning and end of each day. If you cleanse at the end of each day, it is still important to repeat this in the morning as the natural oils on your skin's surface will build up overnight.

Moisturising is also as important as cleansing. When you cleanse, you are stripping the skin of oils, and it is necessary to moisturise in order to re-balance your skin. If you have oily skin, there are oil-free moisturisers available which will not make your skin overly greasy.

The skincare regimen that I am currently using is Clinique's 3-Step Skincare which can be found at most department stores across the U.K.

3-Step is exactly as it sounds; a three step system that promises to cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin. I find that a regimen with 3 steps like this works best for my skin. (I previously used Olay products which are also good and much cheaper).

Clinique have designed 3-Step so that you can customise it to your skin's requirements. The first step, cleansing soap, is available in a liquid or bar form and there are four different clarifying lotions for each skin type and two types of moisturiser; a liquid for dry skins and a gel for oilier skins. My skin type is dry/combination and so I use clarifying lotion number two and the moisturising lotion. If you are unsure of your skin type, the assistants at the Clinique counter will be able to provide you with a skin consultation in order to select the correct products for you.

The mild facial soap is lovely to use. It does not lather much but it does not leave my skin feeling tight. I remove my eye make up with Simple's Kind to Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover prior to this as the soap is too mild to effectively remove waterproof make-up. Following the soap, the clarifying lotion acts as a toner which gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells and encourage cell rejuvenation. The lotion tingles and feels cool as you apply it (I prefer a cotton wool pad) which is refreshing both first thing in the morning and after a long day. The moisturising lotion is a perfect end to the system. I find that it is very soothing on my sometimes sensitive skin and it also provides a nice base to start applying make-up.

I noticed results upon the first use of 3-Step. My skin was a lot smoother and brighter, and make-up application was easier. I feel that it thoroughly cleanses my skin whilst simultaneously providing it with the nourishment it requires. I have now been using these products for about three weeks and I LOVE them. I am always trying new products, yet I feel that this regimen may just be good enough to re-purchase!

The best thing about Clinique is that they often have free gift offers when you purchase the full 3-Step system which enables you to try other products from within their range. Who doesn't love a freebie?! The staff are always very friendly and knowledgeable and they are keen to make you feel as comfortable as possible! I recently took my mother to a counter for a full skincare and make-up consultation as she had a big birthday coming up and she deserved a treat! The assistant was so helpful and made my mother feel so special and valued as she spent over an hour and a half talking her through everything and making her over. At the end of her consultation, she felt no pressure to purchase anything (even though she did) and the assistant kindly noted down every product discussed for future reference.

Another thing worth noting is that all products within the 3-Step are available to purchase in different sizes to suit your needs. There is also a starter kit available with all 3 products if you wish to try it on a smaller scale before you invest. The starter kit versions are also a great size for travelling so you don't have to mess around with decanting your products into smaller bottles!

All in all, I cannot praise Clinique enough for both their service and skincare system!

What are your thoughts? Have you tried Clinique before and have you found something even better? Let me know!

A xo

Image courtesy of Clinique

Monday, 25 July 2011

Welcome to The Beauty Girl's Guide!

My name is Alexandra, a 20 year old student and beauty junkie from the South of England. I have started The Beauty Girl's Guide to share all I know to provide fellow Beauty Girls with a one-stop-shop for all of the information required to live a beautiful life.

I aim to spill all of my hints as well as review both high and low-end products and offer you the opportunity to share your own opinions and sneaky tips! I will also offer you an insight into my current loves, lusts and dislikes!

Obviously, this is a new blog and it will take a while for it to get running as I intend it to. If you have any requests which you wish me to cover on this blog, please comment on any post or email me at

Enjoy, and remember that before you can be beautiful; you must love yourself!
Alexandra xo