Sunday, 20 September 2015

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner - Worth the Hype?

There are few things in life that please me more than a bloody good liquid eyeliner pen. I had heard brilliant things about the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, and the interesting brush applicator (as opposed to your regular felt tip) really intrigued me.

On a scale of 1-10, I think I'd put this liner at about a 7. It's good, yeah, but it's not everything I thought it would be. The formula isn't as inky black as I would have expected, one swipe produces a dark grey colour, but you need to layer the liner up to get a proper black payoff.

In regards to longevity, I can't find anything to criticise. The eyeliner sticks around all day.

The applicator really is something unlike anything else (in hindsight I should have photographed it - oops). It has the tapered tip you'd expect from a pen liner, but instead of a felt material the Tattoo Liner's applicator is much like a small, thin paintbrush. I both love and hate this. I feel like the fibres on the applicator create a smooth line very easily, but with the tapered tip being super thin I find that the very end of my eyeliner flick can sometimes look wobbly.

Would I repurchase this eyeliner? I don't think so. Although I've dabbled with my fair share of liquid pens, Stila's Stay All Day remains my all time favourite.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Best Budget Brow Gels

Benefit's Gimme Brow was a total game changer for my makeup routine, but after a year spent with it the high street had started to dish out their own versions of tinted brow gel and I got itchy feet.

The first high street tinted gel that I tried was L'Oreal Brow Artist and to this day I still love the stuff. The gel is warmed toned but not orangey, and has small fibres that cling to your own brow hair and bulk them out a bit. At only £5.99, Brow Artist is an absolute steal and as the product is the same size as your regular mascara, one tube is going to last you a lifetime.

Essence is a brand that I've always been familiar with, but before my friend gifted me Make Me Brow I'd never tried any of their stuff. With the name, packaging and applicator, it doesn't take a genius to realise that this brow gel was created to be a dupe for the original Gimme Brow. This product retails at £2.50, which is a SEVENTH of the price of Gimme Brow. One seventh. It's insane. Luckily, I do actually prefer Make Me Brow, the ashy tones look natural on the brows and the formula is clumpy in a good way, my brows look a lot plumper after I've used this. The formula dries down in a 'hold all day but doesn't feel like hairspray' way. Basically, Make Me Brow gets a huge thumbs up from me.

With brows being at the forefront of the makeup world at the moment, I'm sure these aren't the only budget gems out there but they're definitely the best I've found. Brow gel, what did I ever do without you?

Thursday, 10 September 2015

My Capsule Nail Polish Wardrobe

Rewind to 2012, a time where my beauty obsession was in full force. I owned pretty much every Models Own nail polish out there. My attitude towards makeup was reflected perfectly by the lyrics of The Little Mermaid's Part of Your World - "wouldn't you think my collection's complete...but who cares, no big deal, I want more". You get it. I wanted every nail polish in every colour. Here in 2015, my tastes are more refined, my collections are smaller, I finally understand the term 'capsule wardrobe'. This isn't me coming out and declaring that I now only own three nail polishes (when in fact I still own enough to build a 6ft high nail polish fort that would surround my home), but these are the three that I love the most. I love them so much that I'm pretty sure I've been wearing them on rotation from at least the beginning of April, and for someone whose taste changes like the wind, that's a pretty big deal.

1. The Neutral

Nails Inc Porchester Square, I know you've always got my back. If the colours grey and beige had a baby, this would be the result. I find the gel formula keeps things looking lovely for longer, and although I'm not too sure about the claimed 'plumping formula', if I have a particularly steady hand whilst applying the shade, my nails sometimes look professionally done. This is definitely my most worn nail polish.

2. The Bold

If I'm not sporting Porchester, I'm going all out with Barry M Greenberry. Without a doubt, this is my favourite nail polish from the high street. We all know the formula of the Barry M Gelly polishes are amazing, and this insanely bright blue/green is the definition of 'in your face' (but it still manages to go with every outfit). I absolutely adore this stuff.

3. The Topcoat

Let's be honest, I never used to bother with a topcoat. I'm a quick fix kind of girl, and topcoats just seemed to be an unnecessary step. The Nails Inc Caviar Topcoat, however, has totally earned its place in my nail polish stash. You know when you've just painted your nails and they look uneven and bleugh? This top coat fixes that. Had your nails painted for approximately 1 minute and already smudged them? Yep, it fixes that too. I think of this as nail Photoshop in a bottle.

I can certainly foresee myself cracking out a darker shade once the colder seasons begin to roll around, but right now I'm very happy with this little set up. Who needs acrylics anyway? -insert sassy nail painting emoji here-

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Current Makeup Bag Staples

Summer isn't officially over just yet, but I've already entered that autumn/winter mentality. I'm wearing scarves, I'm stomping around in ankle boots, and I'm cracking out those berry tones of makeup.

Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in Birthday Suit has quickly become one of my favourite eyeshadow bases. It adds a hint of taupe shimmer and shadow in a sheer way, which makes it a good option to wear both alone and as a primer for powder product.

I tend to forget that I own my MAC palette. I have a 15 pan in the old opaque packaging, and it lives in storage separately to the rest of my makeup collection. Recently I've been getting more into eyeshadow after a summer of neglecting the stuff, and I decided to delve back into my MAC palette and wipe the dust away from two shades in particular - Antiqued and Sable. The rusty reddish tones of the former make blue/green/grey eyes look amazing, whereas the latter is perfect if you fancy rocking that smudgy, Olsen twin makeup thing. Combine the two shades, and you've got yourself a perfect autumnal eye look.

Anastasia Dip Brow has seriously changed my eyebrow game. I could never perfectly achieve a natural, full brow look with pencil or powder, but the pomade/gel/whatever the hell it is consistency of Dip Brow just works so well to make my lacklustre brows look like a pair to be proud of.

One of my favourite beauty discoveries of 2015 is Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara. I didn't think anything could hold a curl or make my stumpy lashes look as good as my long lost, discontinued L'Oreal Telescopic love, but Maybelline have seriously brought their A game with this one. It's also regularly on offer in Superdrug and Boots for £5.99 - talk about a bargain.

I've got a post coming tomorrow about my nail polish wardrobe, but Nails Inc Porchester Square just seems to be the shade that keeps on giving. I swear, I've been wearing this stuff religiously for years. No brand does a greige-y neutral nail better.

It's been ages since I last had a beauty buying spree and I'm in need of some recommendations, hit me up with your current makeup bag staples in the comments or on Twitter, you can find me @meganfife.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

N.E Eats - Manny's Pizza Deli, Newcastle

I was so excited when I found out that a New York style pizza deli was opening in Newcastle, and I'm very pleased to say that Manny's exceeded all the expectations that I had for the place.

Manny's is perfect for grabbing a quick bite when you're in the Northumberland Street area, with a slice of pizza costing just £3. The slices are huge and are freshly made throughout the day.

I'm boring and therefore opted for the 'Manhattan' slice - basically your usual cheese and tomato get up. The pizza base tasted doughy in just the right way, you could tell it had been freshly made less than an hour ago. The tomato sauce was tangy whilst also being a bit herby, and the mozzarella didn't let the side down either, being that perfect stringy, chewy, amazingness that you'd expect.

The slice of pizza itself was (seriously) bigger than my head, so you get an absolute bargain for your buck. The menu is extensive and I'm eager to try out some of the more unusual offerings, the M&M brownies that they offer as a dessert look awesome too. They also offer a range of starters including dough balls and meatballs, and they do salads and milkshakes as well.

I'm a sucker for aesthetics, and I really liked the interior vibe of Manny's. It's cool and casual and very 'city', if that makes sense. The main floor has some general seating, and I believe they're currently constructing a chesterfield lounge kinda thing downstairs, which I imagine will be the perfect place to sit with friends and devour one of the massive full pizza pies that you can buy.

Overall, I think Manny's is an awesome addition to Newcastle's food scene. It manages to be cheap and cheerful whilst maintaining a kind of grungy/sophisticated/minimalist-y edge. I'll definitely be back, anywhere you can get a giant slice of pizza for the price of your average Starbucks beverage gets a thumbs up from me.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Sunday Summary #48

I'm so glad to finally be on my summer break from university. Second year was hard, to say the very least. Towards the end of the academic year I felt as though I was drowning in a sea of exams and assignments and I've got no idea what my results are going to look like, but I'll face that when the time comes. I'm looking forward to a summer of blogging, working, reading and exploring.

To say that I've totally recovered from the post holiday blues would be a lie. If you follow me on Instagram (@megan_fife), you'll have seen that I'm sharing one Disney photo every day. I do apologise if that's not your kind of thing but it allows me to continue to revel in all of my memories from those incredible two weeks, so you're stuck with my Disney overshare, sorry! Soon we're going to be starting to plan our trip for next year, and I seriously cannot wait. Get me back to WDW asap.

On Wednesday I am travelling down to Manchester to see the love of my life Taylor Swift perform her 1989 tour. I last saw Taylor during her Red tour in 2014, and she was amazing. 1989 is one of my all time favourite albums for many reasons, and I'm attending the gig with one of my best friends, so I'm preparing to happy cry throughout the entire set. We're also going to see her in (kind of) costume, as we're going to be channeling our favourite 1989 song through our outfits (yep, we're just that sad), so I'm sure I'll pop a picture of that up on Twitter or Instagram. Let's just say that Mike has been buying a white t-shirt, and I'm going to be sporting a red lip...

Thursday, 18 June 2015

An Ode to the Lorac Pro Palettes

I'm going to start this post off by saying that I'm sorry for raving about something that isn't available in the UK. I'm the worst. I know. I'm sorry.

Think of the best eyeshadow you've ever used. If your answer to this question is an Urban Decay product, then re-imagine that product with higher pigmentation and a texture that is even more buttery and blendable. Lorac eyeshadow is the bomb.

Both Pro Palettes ($42) come with eight matte shades and eight shimmer shades. Pro 2 houses a few more cooler toned eyeshadows than the original palette but I think both Pros are really quite balanced in tone, there's something to suit everyone.

I love how both palettes include some non neutral shades - it's nice to change things up sometimes! I'm dying to give Plum and Navy a go, and I frequently sport Garnet on my lids during the AW months.

Owning both of the Pros has kind of made me think that I never need to buy another eyeshadow palette again - I know, that's a big statement. It's as though every time I see a swatch of an eyeshadow that I like, my initial thought of 'ooooh' is replaced with 'I have a shade just like that in my Pro/Pro 2 palette!'.

So, if Make Up For Ever can make the leap across the pond, I see absolutely no reason why Lorac can't do the same. Who's with me?