February Favourites (and a little bit of January)

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That time of the month again, where we round up our most loved and most used products and give them a little airtime and the attention they need. This month i'm paying attention to products that I undoubtedly love but frequently overlook, they are a huge part of my make up collection often getting used daily but somehow it's always the familiar ones that are forgotten, or is it just me?

Sleek MakeUP Brow Kit in Light, £8.49 - Superdrug
A lot like Benefit's Brow Zing's palette, this brow kit is super easy to use and lasts well on the brows. Unrivalled by any other I've tried, this palette offers a tinted wax to shape the brows and a powder to fill them.

Benefit's POREfessional, £23.50 - Debenhams
Seems as though everyone and their dog owns this product but boy is it a good one! Benefit's POREfessional is a one of it's kind pore fighting primer that keeps you make up on all day (even on oil slicks like me) and hides pores perfectly. 

Estee Lauder Doublewear Foundation in 1N2 Ecru, £28 - Debenehams
No amount of praise will do this beauty justice. The classic, sleek and sophisticated packaging really drew me in but the foundation itself has just completely won me over. What's that saying? It's what's on the inside that counts. *cringe*

L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara in Black, £8.99 - Boots
First impressions didn't really wow me, I was annoyed that it didn't really do much for me but paired with Benefit's They're Real! or any other lengthening mascara this works wonders adding heaps of volume to the lashes and making them look so long and full.

Maybelline Eye Studio 24hr Colour Tattoo, £4.99 - Boots
I've pictured the Pink Gold colour tattoo but in fact I had two other favourite colours this month as well which were the oh so popular, on and On Bronze and Eternal Gold. They're so long wearing and give such a nice shimmer underneath any eyeshadows. They're definitely worth the money and I will be buying more.

Maybelline New York Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner 24h‎, £7.99 - Boots
This is the blackest black liner I've ever experienced and it's seriously long wearing and smudge proof. It's easy to apply and the little tub lasts so long.

Sleek MakeUP FaceForm Palette in Fair, £9.49 - Boots
This little palette is very popular in the blogging world and I can definitely see why. I've hit pan on mine but it's lasted me a good 6 months of near on daily use. I haven't hit pan on the highlighter and blush yet as I mainly use it for the contour but the palette as a whole is brilliant.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz mechanical brow pencil, £15.50 - Cult Beauty
I found it hard to believe how a pencil could be better than any other but this really takes the cake for best brow pencil. The mechanism means you constantly have a handle to hold and balance on, as there's no need for sharpening. There's a spoolie on one side for distributing excess product and combing brows to prefer shape and also the pencil itself is really fine to mimic brow hairs. It really is incredible and the colours are great too!

That about does it for my February favourites! I missed last month because I didn't really have anything new, due to it being January and me being poor, so I didn't see the point in doing a whole post on two products so here we have a mixture of months, hope you enjoyed!


Alicia x
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The Primer Affair.

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Ah, the age old question amongst beauty fanatics, do primers actually work? What do they actually do? For me it's a bit hit and miss with primers, some work for me and some have an adverse effect. My first primer was the L'Oreal Lumi primer and since then I've been in love.

Depending on your skin type different primers will work and some won't work for you. For example i'm of the oily skinned variety and have large pores around my nose/cheeks - hence POREfessional. It's oil free and fills/reduces the appearance of pores under make up. Sounds almost too good to be true.

The reason primers and me get on so well is that primers create a barrier like cover between the skin and the make up, so, using myself as an example, the oil from my skin doesn't come through and cause my make up to slip and slide during the day. They're also used to perfect  imperfections such as pigmentation such as on my cheeks where I usually get red and blotchy or my pores, which I don't mind but I do like a flawless base for my foundation.

In this post I've compiled a total of four primers of which two are loves, one I like and one, unfortunately, I loathe and I will guide you through them.

Benefit's POREfessional 22ml - £24.50
My favourite primer has to be none other than the famous POREfessional. It's oil free POREhiding (nudge nudge) formula gives it an edge against other primers keeping it at the number 1 spot in the beauty world. A definite keeper in my make up routine.

Rimmel's Fix & Perfect Pro 30ml - £6.99
This little gem is a steal at £6.99. It's not silicone free but it's very gentle on the skin and keeps make up in place all day. It has a 5 in 1 formula which corrects all sorts of skin mishaps. Definitely worth a try if you're in the market for a drug store primer. Next on my list is the new Stay Matte range.

Seventeen Stay Time Primer 30ml - £6.99
This primer I am not a fan of, I included it in this post to add variety and to share with you that even though I mostly go right with my purchases, due to researching reviews and reading ingredients, that sometimes i go horribly wrong and this was one of those times. First impressions review: here.

Maybelline Dream Smooth Primer 7ml -£8.99
This is a funny story. I won this from a blog giveaway and never expected anything from it, but boy was I surprised. The smooth gel like formula glides over the skin with such ease, correcting and blurring imperfections as it goes whilst filling covering pores and creating the perfect barrier between skin and base. It is a gel type but it isn't heavy or cakey. The only downside is the price, £8.99 for 7ml is ridiculous and that alone has skewed me towards other more affordable options.

Primers are and will continue to be my make up saint for the foreseeable future. If you're looking to dash to Boots for your primer fix, I hope this helped! 

Alicia x
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The Monday Matter #1: Red Velvet and Kurt Geiger

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Hey!

The Monday Matter is a new section on Alicia Jade that will be aiming to give you the lowdown on my weeks, things I've loved and things I've done. There will be no negativity as the Monday Blue's is something this little section is aiming to beat for me and all my lovely readers!

So I know it's not Monday, but this is a new section to Alicia Jade that will be going up on Mondays where I'll just share my weekly news etc. The reason it didn't go up this Monday was because I had work Saturday-Monday and internet problems. They've all be sorted out so now my blog will resume the usual Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting! Moving swiftly on...

This week has been all about organising my life into reachable, realistic goals to get me into a better and more professional - grown up, if you will - lifestyle. I've been note writing and blog post planning and scheduling like crazy trying to get my personal life as well as my blog into a bigger and more fast moving, yet manageable place. I've also been trying to relax a little more as recently I've been so on edge with money etc so as well as sorting myself out a monthly beauty, lifestyle and fashion budget, so I can have a bit of security yet a little fun, I feel I am on top of it all now and it's never felt better. What better time than the "start" of the year. Better 2 months late than never right?

Shoe Love You can see the little gems that I have purchased above. My new KG by Kurt Geiger shoes *LOVELOVELOVELOVE.* I also bought some Illamasqua products in the form of Tweak powder blush and Immodest matte lipstick - the site I bought them from was awaiting stock on the lipstick hence it being absent from the photograph.

Red Velvet Now you can relate to the name of the post, right? I discovered Red Velvet cake this week and I love it! I always thought red cake = strawberry, how wrong was I? Being a vanilla fanatic (literally vanilla everything, body mists, candles, food, you name it I love it) this cake was more than up my street and I had a nice little (ish) Caramel Latte to go with it along with good company and a nice view of my neighbouring/historic town of Llandudno.

Blogging My blog is going to move in a slightly different direction, no revamp or anything it's still same old familiarity, just more personal and more professional with slight post title changes but that's it. I want Alicia Jade to become a brand of sorts for my make up work but also me, my life and my interests so beauty, skincare and all things that us guys and girls love!

That's pretty much it for all things monday! Have you had a good week last week? Share your best bits!

Alicia x
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UPDATED: How I Fill In My Brows

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Products used:
- Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ash Blonde - £15.50 cultbeauty.com
- Sleek Brow Kit in light - £8.49 Superdrug
- Maybelline BrowDrama Brow Sculpting Mascara in Medium Brown - £4.99 Boots

Hey!

So it's been a while since I've done one of these and quite frankly it was a trainwreck my last one! This is my updated brow routine, which I've become quite happy with (could be better, you know how it is with brows! but I'm content with showing everyone.)

So without further rambling i'll jump right into it!

Step by Step:
  1. Start with a clean brow that has been combed into the desired shape/remove any foundation resting in the brows.
  2. Draw a line using Brow Wiz from the underneath down to the end of the brow, to map the shape and the arch of the brow.
  3. Start from the top, middle of the brow and draw the shape of the arch. TIP: I always elongate my brow tail for a bit of a dramatic brow!
  4. Take your prefered brow powder and fill in the tail end of the brow to about half way in.
  5. Use a spoolie/brow comb to comb out excess product and use this to spread to the front of the brow to create a natural/ombre effect.
  6. Comb some brow gel through to set the brows & you're done! (This is optional, I have crazy brow hairs so it's necessary!)
  7. You can also run some concealer onto the brow to sharpen/neaten it up and create some extra drama!
That's all there is to it! I hope this tutorial helped/you found this update interesting. Let me know how you do your brows!




Alicia x




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REVIEW: Garnier Moisture Match Shine Be Gone Mattifying Fresh Cream with Green Tea & Mannose

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Garnier Moisture Match Shine be Gone Mattifying Fresh Cream for Combination to Oily skin - £3, ASDA

Hey!

How've you been?

I've been searching and hunting for products aimed at combination to oily skin like nobodies business this past month. I've bought Benefit's POREfessional, topped up on my Estee Lauder Double Wear & Rimmel Stay Matte powder and now I've found a moisturiser aimed at people with my skin type - Hurray!

My skin is loving me this month as I've been listening to it's needs and trying to meet them as best I can with my budget so when I saw this little ditty for £3 I couldn't say no!

This range is aimed at all sorts of skin types and there are 4 other primers in the range such as: Start Afresh Light Softening Cream, Goodbye Dry Ultra-Hydrating Rich Cream, Wake Me Up Revitalising Hydrating Gel, Protect and Glow Illuminating Light Lotion. So there is definitely something for everyone!

I chose Shine Be Gone as i get a very very oily t-zone and sometimes even my cheeks are oily so I need a good dose of moisture to keep the oil at bay for as long as possible. This cream claims to give 24hr moisture whilst keeping your skin matte.

It definitely gives you the moisture but I would only say it keeps you matte for around 5 hours, which is quite sad as I was expecting 24hr matte-ness as well. Maybe I expect too much, however I don't really mind about the lack of matte as I have many other products that keep me matte, so the extra 5 hours this gives me is a bonus.

What I do love about this products are the skin benefits, my blemishes and spots have significantly reduced/stopped appearing (whichever you prefer) since I started using this 3 weeks ago and my skin is super soft. I wasn't expecting these benefits when I bought it so I am actually really really chuffed that I did take a risk and buy something new for my skin care routine. I use this day an night after washing my face and it's worked wonders or me so far so here's hoping it continues.

Have you tried this cream? Let me know!

Alicia x
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REVIEW: VO5 "Smoothly Does It" range

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VO5 "Smoothly Does It" range - £7* ASDA

Hey!

Recently I've been on a sort of quest, if you will, to find the ultimate hair care range to give me shiny soft and healthy looking hair for longer after cuts and dying sessions. I really try and find a range that matches my hair's needs so: dry, frizzy, damaged, over processed - anything in that sort of area, so when I saw this on offer in ASDA I thought why not give it a try? As I'd wanted to try the new VO5 range for age and never got around to it so since the whole range came together or £7 it'd seemed silly not to!

As you can probably tell if  you follow me on Instagram I often dye my hair, sometimes up to twice a month if I doing crazy colours, so I need to keep my hair moisturised and protected. This shampoo & conditioner range claims to tame and add shine to dry and frizzy hair which sounded great to me and with added head defence I was sold! I straighten my hair almost everyday and sometimes blow dry it. Healthy huh? Not.

I've been using this for around 3 weeks now and I have definitely noticed the difference, my hair is softer, shinier and a lot thicker than it previously was and I love it. I've always had thick hair but since dying it, the chemicals in the dye seem to have killed the life within my hair causing it to be flat and super dull so having this range in my life has cheered me up no end!

The aftercare treatment I usually just ruffle through my hair after a shower, I do this quite randomly but try to get all my hair - avoiding roots, concentrating on the ends of course!

I also really love the super girly packaging, as I say in near enough every post, I'm a sucker for packaging! This is so girly and cute and the conditioner bottle has a pinky/purple iridescence in it that's just gorgeous.

Basically what I came here to say is, if you have over processed, dry, frizzy and/or damaged hair, definitely give this range a whirl! You never know, you might love it too!

Have you ever tried this range? Let me know!


*Disclaimer - the offer was on 3 weeks ago and I do not think this range is £7 now - it is around £11.48 for the whole range.


Alicia x
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FOTD: Bronze Smokey eye & Nude lips

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Products Used (in order);
Face:
Garnier Moisture Match Shine Be Gone mattifying moisturiser
Benefit The POREfessional primer
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in 1N2 Ecru
Soap & Glory Kiss Ass concealer in Light
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC15
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in 001 Transparent
Sleek Contour Powder in Fair
Rimmel Lasting Finish Blush in 004 Pink Rose
Eyes/Brows:
MAC Pro Longwear as a base
Make Up Geek shadow in Creme Brulee
MAC Veluxe shadow in Woodwinked
MUA shadow in shade 5 (from the Undressed palette) 
Maybelline Gel liner in Black
L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara in Black
Benefit's They're Real Mascara
Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ash Blonde
Sleek Brow Kit in Light
Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara
Lips:
Revlon Pink Pout
Seventeen Beehive

Hey!

I haven't posted a FOTD in a while and thought since I was enjoying my make up a fair bit today *vain alert* that I would blog it/give you a little guide on how slapped it all on my face!

First of I applied the base, not rocket science I'm sure you don't need me to describe how I did that but I will say I applied the moisturiser and primer with my hands and then user my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (review here) to apply my foundation flawlessly.

I then went on with my concealer which was MAC Pro Longwear (review here) which is a shade lighter than my skintone, and I apply this with my Estee Lauder foundation brush. I apply it in an upside down triangle shape as I use it as a highlight as well, hence the shade lighter. I also apply it on my eyelids as a base to even out the skintone and give my shadows something to cling onto/stand out against.

I then move to eyeshadow, I like to do this before I blend my concealer so I don't get any fall out under and if I do then I can clean it up before I set my make up.

I go in with MUG Creme Brulee as a crease colour blending it into the crease, as a transition colour for my other shadows, using my 217. This is also a good contour colour for fair/medium skin tones on the eyes.

After that I go on with Woodwinked e/s all over the lid, I prefer to pat it on to get a deeper and more pigmented colour and after this I take MUA shade 5 and it pat it into the out and inner corners of the lid. Next step is the Maybelline eyeliner (review here), using my Barry M Angled brush, to create a dramatic flick and make the eye a bit more interesting.

Next is the blending of the concealer (finally!) I use my RT sponge again and add some S&G Kick Ass concealer (review here) to my blemishes/red patches. Again blending with the RT sponge.

Powder time! using my Real Techniques Powder brush I pat Rimmel Stay Matte powder onto the whole face and neck to fully set any liquid bases I've used to keep them in place as I have a very oily face! I use my RT blush brush to contour my cheeks, forehead and neckline, to make me look like I have a thinner face, oh make up how I love your illusions! I then use my Avon angled blush brush to apply my Rimmel brush just above my contour.

Next is brows! My 2nd favourite part (1st is eyes!) I use my Anastasia Brow wiz (review here) to get the shape of my brows and then fill them with my Sleek Brow kit powder and set them with my Maybelline brow gel (review here) as my brow hairs are crazy and fly about everywhere without the help of a setting gel!

Penultimately is mascara, I like to do this last so as I don't smudge it onto my face and it has time to set. First I use Benefit's They're Real! (review here) I use this to separate the lashes an give me some length and then I use L'Oreal's Miss Manga (review here) to give my lashes some real volume. I apply a fair few coats as I love big and full lashes I really think they just complete the look!

For lips I make sure I've exfoliated my lips with my lush lip scrub then I applied Revlon's pink pout and Seventeen's classic nude lip, Beehive, for that perfect pinky nude colour that really compliments the contour whilst not taking attention away from the eyes.

Then there we have it! The finished look, it's really simple to create and I always wear it when I want to look like I've made loads of effort, but haven't really!

What do you think of this look? Let me know!

Alicia x
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REVIEW: L'Oreal Studio Line Silk & Gloss Hot Straight Spray 200ml

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L'Oreal Studio Line Silk & Gloss Hot Straight Spray 200ml, £3.69 - Boots

Hey!

Recently, haircare has become very important to me and probably at the forefront of my mind where beauty is concerned. This is because I dye my hair a lot and I want to keep my hair as healthy as I can as I don't want to wake up one day and for all my hair to be on my pillow! I also want my hair to grow a bit longer, here's hoping!!

I realised a while back that a heat protectant spray was missing from my hair regime and since I dry and straighten my hair on average every other day, this is pretty bad as I'm basically just asking for dry hair. I went to boots and picked this L'Oreal one up, I chose it as I used to use to it knew it was relatively good back then and also it was 2 for £4.50 so that pretty much sold me!

I've been using this for about 2 months now and can definitely notice the difference in my hair, it's a lot thicker and tamer after using this because I'm not drying my hair out so much so it has more life and moisture in it. I wouldn't say this is solely to blame for that, as I've been using a new shampoo which is really helping also but I've definitely been able to tell the difference since using it.

This product protects the hair up to 230 degrees and luckily mine only go to 220 (although I'm sure it's more because they're really old so I think the temperature regulator has gone mental.) So it'll pretty much protect hair from a range of straighteners which is pretty cool. The smell of it is really nice and fresh as well and it lingers in your hair to get rid of the "i've just straightened my hair" smell.

I really enjoy this product and am glad I picked it up again after so many years. Have you ever tried this product? Let me know!

Alicia x
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REVIEW: Revlon ColorBurst Matte/Lacquer Balms

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Showy:
Provocateur:
Elusive:

Revlon ColorBurst Matte/Lacquer Balms, £7.99 each - Boots

Hey!

These lipsticks were greatly anticipated in the UK, for me anyways, after their release was a hit in the US. When I saw Nicole Guerrero swatching and reviewing them they looks so pigmented and easy to use that I just couldn't resist picking them up at the end of January especially since Boots was doing a 3 for 2 offer at the time! The colours I picked in were: Showy (matte), Elusive (matte) and Provocateur (Lacque.)

I've had these for about 2/3 weeks now so definitely think I've had enough time to trial them for a full review, so lets get started!

The balms are a whole are very pigmented and moisturising. They are in pencil form and come with mechanical casing so you can twist the product up to reveal more product. Since they're in pencil shape, you don't really need to use a lip liner with them as they work as a two in one which I thought was super handy! The product itself is really creamy and glides on the lips like butter. They also smell like peppermint! Yummmmm.

The matte balms leave a matte, velvet like finish on the lips and provide no shine for a sleek and classic lip colour. The lacquer balms however provide a bit of shine to you lips and act as a colour & gloss in one. Even though they are matte, the balms are not drying on the lips but you will need a good lip exfoliating session before you use them as with any matte lipstick, they tend to emphasise dry patches!


The staying time of the products is around 3/4 hours which isn't bad for what they are but I can't complain as that does include through eating and drinking. Without eating and drinking I'd say you'd get max 5 hours wear, with the odd reapplication to the inner lips.

Overall I really love this product so well done Revlon! You didn't let me down this time! 

What do you think of the Matte and Lacquer Balms from Revlon?? Let me know!

Alicia x
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REVIEW: Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel liner in Blackest Black

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Maybelline 24hr Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black - £7.99 Boots/Superdrug

Hey!

I've never been one for gel liner, but after seeing this on all the YouTube beauty guru's lids looking blacker than black and promising 24hr wear, I really needed it.

As a daily wearer or eyeliner on my top lids I'm always looking for a liner thats smudge free, true black, transfer free and sometimes waterproof (I'm very emotional.) I have tried my fair share of liners including liquid liners such as L'oreal Super Liner which is a brush applicator, Soap & Glory's Super Cat which is a felt tip and Now Maybelline's Gel offering. I have tried a few liners from each field but this gel liner seems to be the most long wearing and non budging.

I apply this liner with my Barry M Angled Brush, I outline my wing/cat eye shape on the lid and then I proceed to fill it in. I always apply my eyeliner after I've done my full face & eyeshadow but before mascara and eyebrows as I like to give it time to set so I can see the full dry results/reapply some eyeshadow. My eyeshadow sometimes drops a little when I go back and blend it so I always wait till literally last second to blend shadow and then reapply the gel liner to get it as dark, crisp and clean as possible.

The staying time is pretty impressive lasting up to 7/8 hours on my lids, over primer & shadows. I didn't try it - much - without shadows on the lids because I have ridiculously oily skin and I never wear liner without shadow anyways so it wouldn't be a fair test on my part. But when I tried it the one time, it started to slide after about 4 hours as like I said, my lids produce oil like nothing I've ever seen. Which is a shame but 4 hours is pretty good! Normal liners lasted around 1 hour.

Overall I really enjoy this liner and use it mainly on nights out when I don't know what will happen or whether or not I'll end up in hysterics over dropped chips. It has served me well so far!

What do you think of this liner? Let me know!

Alicia x
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First Impressions: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ash Blonde

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Anastasia Brow Wiz  in Ash Blonde £15.50 - CultBeauty.com

Hey!

Brows are a big part of my daily make up routine and like any beauty lover I'm always looking for ways to make them look more natural and less like I took a Sharpie to them!

I bought Brow Wiz after seeing many rave reviews and instagram pictures of how good it looks so I went to Cult Beauty and purchased it on payday and it arrived within 2 days!

The pencil comes in a plastic casing (as seen above) and is mechanical so you just twist it and the brow wax comes out and on the opposite end is a spoolie which is good for distributing product throughout the brow.My first impressions are really good and the pencil looks really natural when distributed throughout the brows.

The price of it is quite high for what it is, so I'm unsure of whether I will repurchase but I am really impressed with the colour and finish of it. So who knows, I probably will end up buying another!



Alicia x 

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