Monday, 30 September 2013

OOTD: Leaves in the Fall

Kimono: Topshop (given to me by my lovely sister)
Vest: New Look
Jeans: Cheap Monday
Boots: H&M
Bag: Primark

Autumn Nail Colours

I have officially resigned my pink nail polishes until next Spring and so out come the autumnal colours. I love everything about Autumn and I tend to find my wardrobe and nails go a little darker. Here are my favourite Autumn nail colours.

Rimmel 60 Seconds in Grey Matter
I adore this nail varnish and actually wear it all year round. It's a beautiful blue-based grey which can look really subtle and so acceptable for work. It has quite a fat brush which makes application a doddle and really does dry in 60 seconds. You need two coats to create a lovely even finish.

Revlon Top Speed in Stormy
Another fast-drying nail varnish, this is a beautiful taupe colour. I always really like the consistency of Revlon nail polishes. Again, you need two coats for an even finish.

Nails Inc in Belgravia
This is quite similar to the Revlon polish but has more of a metallic finish. I do love brown nail varnishes in Autumn and they go with every outfit. Two coats are required for an even finish.

Rimmel Pro in Desire
This is such a beautiful, vampy deep red and it is perfect for Autumn and Winter. I find that these nail varnishes do tend to last pretty well. Two coats are needed for an even finish.

Nails Inc in Hoxton Square
I tend to shy away from more 'unnatural' nail colours such as purples and blues, but this deep, rich purple is do die for. The consistency is fab and you only really need one coat, though I chose to use two on my nail wheel.

Essie in Bobbing for Baubles
Without a doubt my favourite Essie colour. Bobbing for Baubles is a beautiful almost-black navy grey, but the shade changes slightly with the light. The best thing is that you only need one coat for a thick, even finish.

What are your favourite nail colours for A/W?

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Going Brunette to Blonde

For ages I'd wanted to go back to my natural hair colour which is a dark, mousy blonde but I just haven't had the time or the money to go to the hairdressers. Whilst visiting a friend a few days ago we decided that we'd go ahead and do it ourselves.

My hair before was a warm-based brunette, dyed back in July. It was quite a dark brown to start with but the holiday sun lightened it. The below picture is from one week ago.

First up we used the Garnier Belle Colour Pre-Lightener which costs a mere £3.50 per pack. I used two as my hair is quite long and thick. This took my hair to a yellowy-orange colour with platinum blonde roots. I was really quite impressed with how much it lightened my hair as I was expecting it to be a lot more orange.

We then immediately applied an ash blonde colour and a purple toner to calm down the orange and yellow in my hair. I used the Garnier Belle Colour Natural Dark Blonde. This didn't actually take my hair any darker but it did even out the colour from root to tip. My hair was still very yellowy-orange.

The next day I picked up two packs of the Clairol Nice & Easy Medium Ash Blonde. I chose an ash colour to counteract the very warm tones in my hair. I've used Nice & Easy hair colours plenty of times before and they've always done just the job, so I trusted these to get to the correct shade for me. I applied to dry hair and left for 40 minutes, 10 minutes longer than the recommended time as my hair was so light. I rinsed away and applied the conditioner supplied with the dye (does anyone else think that conditioners from hair dye kits are so much better than bottle conditioners?)

To cut a long story short, my hair came out the exact shade I wanted. This is really close to my natural hair colour so I'm absolutely in love with it. I was really impressed with the Belle Colour pre-lightener and Nice & Easy colourant. My hair doesn't feel particularly dry although I'm going to use some super nourishing hair masks for the next few weeks. It was really easy to get an even coverage with the Nice & Easy colourant, as I was pretty paranoid about leaving any yellow patches. So that's me back to my natural colour. I give it 3 months before I dye it again...

Saturday, 28 September 2013

OOTD: Leather & Paisley

Tunic top: F&F @ Tesco
Leather jacket: Republic
Leggings: Primark
Boots: H&M

Friday, 27 September 2013

I Wear My Heart On My Sleeve

Today has mostly involved dying my hair back to a dark blonde colour and playing on GTA... productive! I have finally ventured into the world of OOTD posts but I really do need to find a better background other than our dressing gowns and my boyfriends messy bedside table!

Shirt: George @ Asda
Leggings: Primark
Boots: H&M

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

I Heart Supermarket Fashion

It's no secret that I love a bargain and in particular I'm a pretty big fan of supermarket fashion. The likes of TU at Sainsbury's, F&F at Tesco and George at Asda have really upped their game in the fashion stakes and are pretty big contenders due to their value and accessibility. They really are keeping up with the latest fashions and I am absolutely in love with them. Here are my favourite picks:

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Starting Off: Blusher

This week we're talking about my BFF - blusher! Without it I feel so washed out and lifeless. It really does add some colour to my face and I refuse to go a single day without it.

I use two types of blusher - powder and cream. A powder blusher is great for all skin types, but especially those with oily skin, where as cream blushers are usually preferred by those with normal-dry skin. Personally I like to use powder blush in the summer months and cream blush in the winter months.

As always I stick to affordable, high street makeup and so my current favourites are the MUA Blusher, which costs a measly £1 but the colour pay-off is pretty fantastic for the price, and the VIVO Cheeky Cream Blush, which you can pick up in Tesco for £3.99.

As aforementioned I like to use the powder blush in the summer months which is why my MUA blusher is in a bright, bubblegum pink. With a tan I can get away with a brighter colour and I prefer to use powder blush when I'm feeling a little sweaty. You should try a colour that is not too dissimilar from the colour your cheeks go when you naturally blush. If you're unsure what colour this is then stand in the mirror and slap your cheeks. You make want to do this in the privacy of your own home though...

To apply powder blush I use this Front Cover Blush Brush. Don't use a blusher brush that is too large - it is much easier to add more blush than it is to take it away! Dab the brush into the blusher, tap off the excess, smile and apply in small sweeping motions from the apples of your cheeks to your ears. I then like to take a clean powder brush and sweep over the blusher I've just applied to give a more natural finish.

When it comes to cream blush I love to use this Real Techniques Stippling Brush. I much prefer cream blush in the winter months as it can give an extra glow to my dull, dry skin. I gently dip the brush into the cream blusher and stipple (tap) the blusher onto my cheeks in the same place as you would a powder blush. Then using the stippling brush, blend into the skin so there are no visible lines. You can also apply cream blusher with your finger.

That's pretty much all there is to say about blusher, I really do think it's pretty easy to do but I hope this post gives you a few tips. What are your favourite blushers? Do you prefer cream or powder blusher? Let me know in the comments below.

Topshop Tuesday

For some reason I've not done a Topshop Tuesday in a few weeks. Anyway, as the winter months approach I find my wardrobe coming darker and darker. I love to add texture and patterns at this time of year, so expect to see everything from autumnal florals to gothic lace and grungy oversized pieces.

Monday, 23 September 2013

New Look Day Dresses and Boots

With Autumn comes one of my favourite fashion looks - printed day dresses, tights and boots. I am absolutely in love with this selection of gorgeous day dresses and cute ankle boots from New Look. Of course, I can't afford to own them all but whichever I choose to purchase I can't wait to pair them with a leather jacket and chunky knitted scarf.

All items available at

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Mink Meet Up

I've just returned home from a fabulous meet up that happened at Mink in Middlesbrough. Living in Middlesbrough I was super excited for a meet up to be taking part here and jumped at the chance of attending. The meet up was organised by the incredibly beautiful Megan of Thumbelina Lillie and she did such an amazing job. As it was my first meet up I was really, really nervous but there were lots of lovely ladies there to get along with and I got chatting to quite a few people. There were still lots of people I didn't get the chance to talk to.

So having an interest in beauty and makeup I was pretty anxious about getting my hair and makeup spot on. I opted for my usual makeup routine of The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals Loose Powder Foundation, Collection concealer, VIVO bronzer and MUA blusher. For my eyes I used my trusty MUA Undressed and Undress Me Too palettes to create a subtle bronzed eye with a thick line of Rimmel Scandaleyes eye liner.

Another big pressure was getting my outfit right. I opted for a printed Primark blouse with a Matalan leather skater skirt, black opaque tights and Peacocks studded pumps. I accessorised with River Island earrings and a selection of rings. It was unusually warm today and so I was absolutely sweltering in long sleeves and leather!

I took my camera with me, but as I was so busy chatting away about everything from TV shows to university to Disney I literally only took one photograph of a few lovely ladies I got chatting to.

From left to right: Emmie, Saffron, Shannon, Brigitte and Amy-Lauren

Some of the girls won fantastic prizes such as MUA palettes, Pretty Twisted gift vouchers and Benefit palettes. Once again a massive thanks to Megan on organising such a wonderful event. It was so lovely to meet like-minded people who don't roll their eyes at you when you start talking about makeup again.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Starting Off: Bronzer

Hey guys and welcome to this weeks installment of the Starting Off project. In this post we're talking all about bronzer. I do much prefer using bronzer in the summer months to enhance my natural tan, but there are other uses for it that I shall delve in to. This isn't going to be a long post because I don't really feel there's an awful amount to say on the topic, but I'll let you know which product I use and how to apply it.

So I use a mega cheap bronzer and it is this little delight from VIVO which is available at Tesco. This bronzer costs a mere £5 and I really do love it. The shade I have is Healthy Glow. This bronzer has the absolute tiniest amount of shimmer in it so it really does give you a healthy glow.

I apply this bronzer using the Real Techniques Contour Brush, which can be found in the Core Collection set. This brush is the perfect size for applying bronzer in the hollows of your cheeks to contour your face.

But what is contouring? Basically, it is using makeup to sculpt your face in order to enhance your bone structure - it can even make your face look slimmer. Sounds scary, right? Well, done wrong it can look pretty scary. In order to fully contour your face you will need highlighter, blusher and of course, bronzer. Now take a look at my scary clown face below. The brown areas are where you should apply bronzer, the pink areas for blusher and the white areas for highlighter. 

If this all looks a little overwhelming for you I would stick to applying bronzer to the temples of your forehead and the hollows of your cheeks. The reason we apply bronzer to the hollows of our cheeks is to make our cheekbones look more prominent. Simply suck in your cheeks and pout like a fish, then sweep bronzer where the hollows appear. Make sure you blend very well so there are no obvious makeup lines. You really only want to use a bronzer a couple of shades darker than your skin colour to keep it natural looking. If you would like to move on to more advanced contouring then read on...

Right, so you can also make your nose look slimmer with the clever use of bronzer. Take a small, slim brush such as a small eyeshadow brush and draw two lines down each side of your nose, where the cartlidge ridges. Join these two lines at the septum as shown in the diagram. Then take a larger brush and blend, blend, blend! You can also apply a cream or powder highlighter down the centre of your nose to enhance this look. Applying highlighter to the very tops of your cheekbones can also enhance the killer cheekbones you have created with your bronzer.

Really that's all there is to say. Just follow the diagram and blend like your life depended on it. I tend to stay away from bronzer in the winter months when my skin is paler, but if you're lucky enough to have olive-toned skin then you can use bronzer all year round.

Monday, 16 September 2013

eBay items for sale

So I'm skint again and am deciding to sell my life on eBay once again. I have a lovely selection of clothes, shoes, uni books and hair accessories with most items starting at only 99p. Take a look at my items for sale here.

Here's a teeny sneak preview at a couple of the clothing items I have for sale.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Miss out on the Primark Floral Skater Dress?

Like many, I tried and failed to get my hands on the Primark Floral Skater Dress that was available at ASOS. Unfortunately, after the likes of Lily Melrose and Corrie from Dizzy Brunette posted pictures with them looking stunning in said dress, it flew off the shelves quicker than you can say Quidditch! If you're still pining after it then I have found a very similar looking dress in the most bargainous of all places  - F&F at Tesco! The Tesco version does cost a fraction more at £18.00.

Left: Primarks much loved floral skater dress. Right: F&F at Tesco's version

Friday, 13 September 2013

eos Strawberry Sorbet Lip Balm

I have a confession... I purchased this eos lip balm after seeing it in a Miley Cyrus music video. How very shameful. I know they've been around for quite a long time now but they're quite hard to get hold of in the UK. I ordered mine from Amazon and it was shipped from the US.

I got the Strawberry Sorbet flavour and my god, this stuff smells good! 

The eos lip balms claim to be 95% organic and 100% natural which is a bonus, and also Paraben and Petrolatum free. It contains Shea butter, well known for it's skin-softening properties, and vitamin E. All sounds pretty good.

The packaging is the main attraction of this product to be honest. It's just quite a novelty but actually makes the application pretty easy. The top clicks back into place so no coming off in the bottom of your handbag.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I purchased this lip balm for £3.55, plus £1.99 postage so £5.54 altogether. Whilst this product does make my lips pretty soft and smells amazing, I don't think it does a particularly amazing job. The lack of chemical ingredients is pretty appealing in this product, but I own a fairtrade lip balm containing all natural ingredients which I feel does a far better job (and I actually received it free as a favour at a wedding!)

Personally, I don't think I'll bother purchasing this again once it's run out. For the high price, for a lip balm, and difficulty to get hold of it I would expect it to be a much more impressive lip balm. It really only comes down the novelty factor and the 'cool' status that it holds over in the US.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Homemade Lasagne

If you've been reading my recipe posts then by now you may have realised that I adore Italian food! I also really, really enjoy cooking it all from scratch - no jars to be found in my kitchen. So here's my recipe for a gorgeous homemade lasagne. Unfortunately I got excited again and ate it before remembering to take a picture of the finished dish. This recipe served 4-6 people.

For the ragu:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onions, chopped
175g smoked bacon, chopped into small squares
2 garlic cloves, chopped
800g minced lean beef
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp flour
1 can chopped tomatoes
¼ pint red wine
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper

For the lasagne:
250g lasagne sheets (I prefer using fresh lasagne sheets)
60g parmesan
Salt and pepper

For the béchamel sauce:
½ pint milk
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion
60g butter
45g flour
300 ml single cream
Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Begin by cooking the ragu. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and bacon pieces and fry them together for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Stir in the minced beef and cook, stirring, until the mince is browned. Lower the heat and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Increase the heat to medium, stir in the tomato puree and the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and wine, and bring to the boil, stirring. Season the sauce and stir in the oregano and nutmeg. Simmer for 55 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To make the béchamel sauce: pour the milk into a small pan. Press the cloves into the onion, add to the pan and bring the milk to the boil. Remove from the heat and set it aside to cool.

Strain the milk into a jug and rinse the pan. Melt the butter in the pan and stir in the flour. Stir for 1 minute, then gradually pour on the milk, stirring constantly. Cook the sauce for 3 minutes, then pour on the cream and bring it to the boil. Remove from the heat and season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper. The sauce should be of a thick consistency.

To assemble the dish, spoon a little of the meat sauce into a prepared dish, cover with a layer of lasagne, then spoon over a little over the béchamel sauce and sprinkle some of the cheese. Continue making layers in this way, covering the final layer of lasagne with the remaining béchamel sauce. Using a large glass dish you should be able to fit in 3 layers.

Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and bake in the preheated oven, 190 C, for 40 minutes, until the sauce is golden and bubbling. Gorgeous served with garlic bread and a glass of red wine.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Starting Off: Foundation

I'm so sorry that I'm a day late with this post - life got in the way!

Anyway, this weeks starting off post is all about what one of the essential makeup products - foundation. A good base can make the world of difference to your face, but so can a bad one... My number one rule for foundation is to use the coverage that you need. If you have perfectly clear skin then please don't go and use a high coverage foundation. It's completely unnecessary and not only will it clog up your skin, but it may make you look worse than without any makeup. Another important thing to mention is to have your foundation colour matched to your skin. Wearing foundation either too dark or too light will look pretty terrible. Please don't use a darker foundation colour in order to make yourself look more tanned - it will only make you look like you're wearing bad makeup.

So for this post I'm going to break foundations up into categories: low coverage, medium coverage and high coverage. Let's start off with low coverage.

Low Coverage 
If you're lucky, like me you will have perfectly clear skin and not have any need for high coverage foundation. What I mean by 'coverage' is how well your makeup covers up any imperfections on your face. My absolute favourite low coverage foundation is a mineral powder foundation. Not only are they the purest form of foundation around but the finish is so beautifully natural, just your face but better. I currently use The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals Loose Powder Foundation, which I've reviewed here.

I use the No7 Kabuki Brush to apply this mineral foundation, simply dip into the pot and sweep over your face. I really find that this foundation gives my skin a beautiful finish but it won't ever clog up my pores. 

Next up in the low coverage category is the BB cream, loved by many. These are similar to a tinted moisturiser and offers all the benefits of a serum, moisturiser, primer, foundation and sunscreen all in one handly little tube. The BB cream I have loved to complete emptiness is the No7 Beautiful Skin BB cream. I purchased the one specially formulated for normal/dry skin and this works a treat on me. It gives a beautiful sheer glow to my skin and again looks very natural.

I always find it best to apply BB creams simply using your fingers. Apply a small amount to your fingers and gently smooth onto your skin. BB creams do tend to be available in a limited shade range, but many claim to have skin-matching properties.

Medium Coverage
For those who require a little more coverage there is the liquid foundation. Personally I recommend the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation which I've reviewed here. This foundation gives a really decent amount of coverage whilst awakening the skin. For some liquid foundation you may like to use a primer, which is applied before the foundation. There are primers for all types of skin and they all do a different job - wrinkle-reducing, skin brightening, colour correcting... all sorts. The Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation has very slight glittery particles in them, but don't worry, you won't look like one of the Cullen clan! 

You can use your fingers to apply a liquid foundation, but I much prefer to use a brush such as this Real Techniques Buffing Brush, which gives your foundation an airbrushed finish. Apply the foundation either onto your face or your brush and simply buff (tap the brush) onto your skin. Make sure you apply foundation down your neck to ensure there are no pesky tide marks.

High Coverage
Okay, here comes the bad boy - high coverage foundation. Please only use this if you really need it. I have absolutely no idea why I ever bought a high coverage foundation because I have really clear skin and as a matter of fact, when I wear a high coverage foundation it breaks me out! I think I must have just been drawn in by the pretty packaging and high-end name. The mother of all high coverage foundation has to be the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. Now, with high coverage foundations it is especially important that you get the exact shade for your skin but it'll really show if not. High coverage foundation is perfect if you have a lot of imperfections that you really want to hide.

Again I would recommend using a buffing brush for this foundation as using your fingers could get messy. To show you the type of coverage you get with this I've applied it over a freckle I have on my hand. The left picture is my freckle with no makeup and the picture on the right is with one layer of the Estee Lauder Double Wear.

So there you have it, a very basic what's-what of foundation. Remember, the most important rules are:
  1. Only use the coverage that you need.
  2. Ensure the foundation matches your skin colour.
Next week: Bronzer

Sunday, 8 September 2013

If All My Makeup Disappeared: TAG

I've seen a few beauty bloggers do the If all My Makeup Disappeared Tag and thought I'd jump on that fabulous bandwagon. Of course, this would be every girls worst nightmare but the idea is to imagine that your makeup bag was lost on a flight or for some other reason and that you had enough money to buy 10 new makeup products. What would you buy? Well here's my list...

The Body Shop Virgin Minerals Loose Powder Foundation
I am blessed with really clear skin and so I can get away with minimum coverage. I've really begun to dislike liquid foundations and much prefer a powder mineral foundation as they're so easy to apply, give a super natural finish and they're great for your skin. I've really been loving The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals Loose Powder Foundation so that would be my first purchase to replenish my lost makeup.

The Body Shop Radiance Highlighter
I would absolutely have to go out and buy a highlighter. My skin can look pretty dull so I actually like to use a highlighter as a primer and then apply a little more on the cheekbones to give a beautiful glow. I really like this one as it gives a lovely finish and has a really nice consistency.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
I'd be utterly mad not to go out and buy this concealer as it is of course the holy grail of all concealers. It covers everything from spots to red marks to dark circles. It gives a really high coverage so it's perfect to cover up my pesky dark circles.

Clinique Airbrush Concealer
Although the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is amazing at covering dark circles it can be a little drying and look somewhat dull, so I'd pick up this light reflective concealer to use over it to give my eyes a little wake me up.

Barbara Daly Eyebrow Pencil
I definitely would have to go out and repurchase my favourite eyebrow pencil. You certainly can't underestimate a good brow! This is my all-time fave as it's the perfect shade for me and looks really natural on me.

Estee Lauder Tease Illuminating Powder Blush
Yes I know it's limited edition, but I'd get my hands on it somehow damn it! I have to admit I've never actually owned this blusher but I've seen it reviewed and swatched and it looks blimin' beautiful. As I said before my skin can look a little dull so anything illuminating is a winner in my books.

Urban Decay Naked Palette
Do I need to say more? Okay, I will... This is the eye palette of all eye palettes with 12 beautiful, wearable shades and I couldn't be without it.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner
This is my favourites eyeliner. It has a deep, intense colour and lasts literally all day.

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara
I've been using this mascara for years and I love it. Every now and then I'll think 'Hmm, is the grass greener...' and I'll buy a different mascara but I always go back to this. It has quite a fat brush which adds length and volume to my lashes.

Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Airkiss
Of course I would have to buy something for my lips and so I would choose with gorgeous lip gloss from Clinique. It's such a beautiful, wearable shade that would look fab for every single occasion.

So there we have it, the 10 items I would purchase if all my makeup disappeared. It's great to see which items are our lifetime favourites as opposed to the monthly favourites that beauty bloggers tell you about. What would you purchase if all your makeup disappeared?

*not my images

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Nails of the Week: Essie Cascade Cool

New week, new nails. This week I'm wearing a favourite of mine - Essie Cascade Cool. This is a beautiful Barbie pink with the slightest hint of lilac. Of course, I had to pair it with my current obsession, Essie Matte About You.

Friday, 6 September 2013

My University Experience

I know there's lot of people going away to university very shortly so I'm made a little video all about my experiences, my advice and my hindsights. I do realise that it turned into talk therapy for myself but never mind... I do hope it's remotely useful.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

eBay Wishlist

I am loving so many fashion items on eBay right now it's crazy! I've never bought any clothes from eBay shops based in Hong Kong so I'd love to hear of your experiences before I purchase. Here are the items I'm loving:

This beautiful aztec print knitted kimono is right up my street for A/W. I'd pair with some ripped boyfriend jeans and a simple white vest.
I adore the vintage feel this brown handbag has to it. It would look amazing roughed up a bit to give it a weathered effected.
How cute are these floral shorts? I know summer is gone but these would look so cute with a simple vest and wedges.
I want these cute clutch bags in literally every single colour available, and as so cheap I could!
Polka dot dress in the style of one seen on Mollie King. If polka dots are good enough for her, they certainly are for me.
I'm loving the grungey feel of this Jack Daniels vest with drop armholes. Would look fab with these high-waisted denim shorts.
Lastly I think this edged waterfall cardigan is oh so chic-looking. This would be fabulous for work.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

August Favourites

I filmed a YouTube video all about my August favourites, featuring The Body Shop makeup, Dove conditioner, Nivea face cream, Essie polishes and my fave Real Techniques brush. Check it out below:

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Starting Off: Concealer

There are so many concealer out there to choose from. Which is best for covering under eye circles? What about pimples? What colour should I choose? Wow, it's pretty overwhelming! Let me list for you the different types of concealers available and what they are best used for. Hopefully this will give some clarification as to what type of concealer you need and help you choose which sort to buy.

Concealer Pen: Pen concealers have been made popular by the infamous YSL Touche Eclat, which retails at the whopping £25.00. However, there are dozens of great alternatives for this which still do an amazing job, such as the Clinique Airbrush Concealer (£18), Collection Illuminating Touch Concealer (£4.99) or the Maybelline Dream Touch Lumi Concealer (£6.99).

Pen concealers, especially those which claim to be illuminating are great for under the eye or anywhere that is shadowy. Illuminating concealers tend to have light reflective particles which instantly brighten the area. The formula of pen concealers tends to be much thinner and creamier than others, making it easy to work with and less likely to cake underneath the eye. Simply use the pen applicator to apply under the eye and pat into the skin lightly with either your finger or a small, fluffy makeup brush.

Now, I'll let you in one a little secret. Just to make the world of makeup more confusing, different colour concealers do different jobs. Take a look at this colour correcting wheel below. The colour opposite is the colour which will correct the unwanted colour. For the purpose of dark, under eye circles we want to get rid of the blue and purple tones in our skin, so we need to use either a yellow or orange-based concealer.

For under eye circles you should choose a concealer that is only one shade lighter than your skin colour.

Doe-foot Applicator: I have only recently learned the name of such makeup applicators and the doe-foot applicator will be found on most tubed concealers, such as the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (£4.19) or the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer (£5.49). Now, the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer is better for the under the eyes as it has the aforementioned light reflecting properties so, as it says on the tin, wakes up the eyes. The Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, on the other hand is perfect for blemishes.

The doe foot applicator makes application onto the skin an absolute doddle! Simply remove the applicator from the tube and apply onto blemishes. As a lot of product tends to be on the applicator, you can't blend the concealer into the skin using this. Instead simply use your finger or a small, fluffy brush. Make sure the outer edges are perfectly blended into your skin. To cover spots and blemishes make sure you use a concealer that matches your skin colour.

Stick Concealer: The last popular type of concealer is the stick concealer, which comes in a lipstick style applicator. This is a very thick concealer which is best for covering blemishes. I wouldn't recommend using this concealer under the eye because it is simply too thick and dry, and would cake up and look very unnatural. These types of concealer are great for high coverage on spots and blemishes. In order to best conceal spots and blemishes choose a colour which matched your skin tone. Apply a little concealer to your finger and dab onto the area you wish to cover. Alternatively you can use a brush to apply. Don't apply the stick concealer directly onto a spot as you really don't want to spread any bacteria.

Do you remember my colour wheel up above? Well, if you look back at it you can see that the colour opposite red (the colour angry spots tends to be) is green. Green makeup on your face? Hmm, sounds dodgy, right? However, if you have a really angry, red spot, or any other reddened area for some other reason and your regular concealer just won't hide it, you may want to consider using a green concealer. Take a look at the Natural Collection Corrector Stick (£1.99) or Seventeen Even Tone Corrector Stick (£3.89). Technically these aren't concealers but colour correctors. Apply them underneath your normal concealer to correct the colour of reddened skin.

I really, really hope that wasn't information overload for you! Makeup is such a complex thing and it really does come down to what works for you. I hope I've provided some clarification on what the different types of concealer available can do for you. The basics to remember are creamy, illuminating concealer under the eye and a thicker, high coverage concealer on spots and blemishes. When applying concealer under the eye try not to pull or drag the skin as it is very delicate. Simply using gentle patting motions using your ring finger.

Why don't you check out my YouTube video for more tips and advice on how to apply concealer:

I'll see you next week for my next installment of the Starting Off project!