Cracking the Contour

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If you'd have asked me last year how to contour, I would of run a mile and hid in a corner. Never having much of a face shape as a child, having chipmunk cheeks (my brother calls me Theodore for Alvin and the Chipmunks) and lacking the skills, contour was an area I avoided until I developed some cheekbones.

Moving on a year or so later with a slimmer face and some cheekbone definition, I first tried the Bourjois Bronzing Primer, which is a cream bronzer very similar to the Chanel Soleil Tan De and used the Real Techniques Sculpting Brush to apply it. With a cream it's easier to contour as there's precision in your application but the colour was just far too orange. It's great if you're tanned, come back off holiday and want to accentuate your tan, but if you're Casper like myself, I wouldn't recommend it.

The cream bronzer was a good start into the world of contour and before purchasing the mother of all contours, I thought I'd try my hand at a high street alternative, enter the Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit. For anyone new to contour or simply wanting to try before forking out a fortune, this is a great lower end alternative. It contains a cream coloured powder which is more of a highlight although it doesn't have much highlighting properties, two brown shades, one darker than the other but both slightly red toned. I personally have only got use out of the lighter shade and the highlighting powder as the deep bronze colour is too dark for me but it's definitely a product I'd recommend to those wanting to try their hand at chiseled cheeks.

Now, the mother of all contour, the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow. A champagne highlighter and a bronze powder together in the most swoon worthy packaging, CT you did good! This product is so versatile, the bronze can be used simply as a contour to emphasise the cheekbones or jaw, used as a bronzer to create a healthy glow and also added to the eyelids to create some definition. The highlighter can be used subtly to create a soft shimmer on tops of the cheeks or built up to a higher intensity for a really striking highlight. Together they create the most perfect contour to my face and teamed with the tapered Powder & Sculpt Brush, I can use it to both apply the contour and highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones with ease in minimal time. Who knew a chipmunk like me could have cheekbones...

Do you contour your face? What products do you use?
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A Late April Favourites

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A monthly favourites, shock horror it's late. I've been terrible on the blogging front recently, I've joined the gym and I go around 3 times a week so by the time I've been to work all week and then the gym, I'm just exhausted. The gym has to be my lifestyle favourite at the moment, being someones who's "bigger" the gym can seem so daunting and I was literally sick with nerves the first day I went but now I'm in a routine, I know a few people who go there and I'm comfortable with the equipment and what I'm doing. I'm eating well, allowing myself some treats on a weekend and back to the gym during the week. I've almost lost a dress size and after seeing a shirt that was too tight, look big on me, I'm more determined than ever to keep going. Anyway, onto the beauty stuff...

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush
I'm usually a bronzer girl but recently with a contour, I've opted for some blusher on my cheeks to give me some colour. This one from Max Factor is very similar to the Hourglass blushers, it has the same finely milled powder and gives off a hint of colour with a bit of sheen to it. It's a lightweight texture and build-able so I can opt for a flush of colour or a deeper intensity.

Burberry Kisses Lipstick Sample
When the Burberry Kisses were doing the rounds on Twitter, I had no idea what was going on, but an invitation was sent to me and I clicked on, and with that I'm so glad I did. This was a brilliant idea from Burberry, giving users a chance to gift a lipstick to their friends over social media and then being able to spread the love yourself. It's a cute little sample which in my opinion is probably one of the best ways to try a product before you part with £25. I picked the shade Nude Pink and every since this luxury miniature popped through my door, it's been on my lips. The lipstick is creamy, pigmented and totally luxurious, just what I look for in a lippy.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light All Day Glow
Lighter than the original Double Wear, slightly lighter than Double Wear Light and with a hint of glow. It's fast become my go to base. This has a light to medium coverage which can be built up depending on what coverage you prefer and the BB properties in it mean it's not as hard to remove as the higher coverage offerings. Hands up who else has struggled to remove the original Double Wear?

Clarins Aquatic Treasures Summer Bronzing Compact*
Every year Clarins release a summer bronzer and every year it's even more beautiful than the last. Never having the chance to try one I was delighted when it popped through the letterbox. The 4 shades of bronze can be used separately or swirled together to create a single deep bronze shade. It's a super pigmented, fine powder and a little goes a long way. This is more orange in tone than other bronzers I've tried so I have to be light handed but dusted over bronzed skin, it's gives a beautiful sun kissed glow. Perfect for those upcoming holidays.

What products are you loving lately? What products featured in your April favourites?
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Shopping My Stash #3

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I love buying beauty products so naturally, I have quite a lot. There has been loads of times recently where I've bought new make up and not used up my old. So this weekend I made it my mission to raid my stash, find the things that are nearly half gone or neglected and make it a task to get them used up/show them some love.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation | This is one I've abandoned for a long time, since using the Match Perfection and Lasting Perfection foundations I reach for those instead. The Wake Me Up Foundation doesn't provide great coverage and it's very dewy, so I'll be using this most on weekends and good skin days.

Mac Pro Longwear Concealer | I can't tell you why I've neglected this because I absolutely love it, the coverage is great and it stays put all day. If I'm honest, I think it's the packaging that ruins this for me because it's difficult to get out product and as you near the end, it gets even harder.

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer | A primer, a highlighter... I just don't know. Ever since I got this I've been using it then neglecting it and I just can't seem to figure out if I like it. Yes it's good if you want a glowing base and it's great for adding into matte foundations for a hint of sheen but is it for me? I'm not sure so, what I do know is that it's been sat in my stash for far too long.

Nars Fairy Kiss & And God Created The Woman Eyeshadow Palettes | I love these so much but the truth is I own too many eyeshadow palettes, especially neutrals. The Fairy Kiss palette is my favourite out of the two especially with that beautfiul green shadow which I'm not sure how to wear in an eye look, I think so experimenting may have to be done...

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush | I have the palette version of this and that's also neglected. I'm a bronzer girl through and through but seeing as we're now into Spring, I'm trying to soften my make up look and I'll be reaching for this beautiful peachy blush.

Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base | Very much the same to the L'Oreal Lumi Magique, so I have two of these that do the same thing. I don't like the smell of this but the hint of glow is much more stuble than the L'Oreal offering. I know I've not got much left to use of this so I'll be adding it to my foundations or using it as a highlighter to finish it off.

Do you shop your stash? Any recommendations for new make up purchases? Because once you get rid of the old, you have to bring in some new ;)
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Emma Bridgewater Red Letter Day

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A while ago I received a Red Letter Day voucher and after going through all the spa days and London tours, I decided on the Emma Bridgewater pottery tour, afternoon tea and decorating class which I thought was right up my street. The Emma Bridgewater potteries are based in Stoke-on-Trent so it was around a 120 mile drive from where I live but it was well worth the trip. To start, we had a tour at 11.30am around the potteries, showing the making of Emma Bridgewater products from start to finish.
The clay is created in a slip and then poured into the moulds and then the excess is tipped out before leaving to dry for around 2 hours. Once the pot is set, it's becomes a lot lighter in colour. Before the items are fired, the pot is rubbed over with sponges and water and edged with a knife to create a seamless finish. Being a fan of the Emma Bridgewater pottery and especially her designs, I was really intrigued to find out that the pottery is actually stamped with sponges which have been cut out with each pattern. For certain patterns like the Rose and Bee, the workers have to follow instructions as to where to sponge the pattern on but for Emma's more iconic design like the Pink Hearts or Polka Dot, they can place the pattern where they like so none of her pottery is identical. Each worker writes their initial on the bottom of each item so they can identify their work. Once the pottery has been painted, it's goes to be glazed. The glaze has a colourant added to it so it's easy to identify that the whole item has been covered. The purple colouring burns off in the kiln. We finished our tour and headed to the quaint little cafe for a delicious afternoon tea all served in the Emma Bridgewater pottery, the scone with clotted cream and jam was my personal favourite.
Later on in the afternoon we had chance to decorate our own item of pottery, I chose a dinner plate and decorated it with a simple heart design (you may have seen this on my instagram @BethBlogsBeauty) to go with the Pink Hearts half pint mug I purchased from the gift shop. The plate will be glazed and fired and then sent to me in the post so I have a keepsake from the day out, which is a lovely touch. I took my mum along with my for this Red Letter Day and we both really enjoyed it, if you're into your homeware or are at all crafty/arty then I highly recommend this trip, it's a great day out.
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