Try It Out Tuesday – Square Braid!

So today is something a bit different. Today’s Try It Out Tuesday is a little hairstyle that I’ve been itching to do for a while. It is the Square Braid!

Essentially, it’s a fishtail braid but by feeding the hair both under and over at the same time you get this really cool cube of fishtail braids. I actually expected this to be a lot harder than it was because it looked quite fiddly when I watched the tutorial (which I have posted below), but actually it’s really easy to get the hang of it. The only downside is that if you have really long hair like I do, it takes a really long time to get to the bottom.

Because I was doing it on myself rather than on someone else, I decided to braid the top of my hair in a dino braid (or dutch braid, or boxer braid, whichever floats your boat), put bobbles in the end once I’d reach the bottom of my ears and then began the square braid and I actually really love the look it gave, it’s quite quirky. By doing this, you can jazz up the centre of your braid with bows or those really cute pom pom bobbles.

The original video is by THE BOOK CHANNEL and is below.

Sparkle on! – Ellie .xx

Acrylic Nails vs Gel Nails – Which is best?

The debate between which is better, gel or acrylic is an ongoing one. Anyone who does acrylic nails is going to argue that acrylic is better and doesn’t damage your nails like a lot of people claim, and obviously anyone who does gel nails is going to argue in favour of gels.

So which one is actually better?

As someone who has had both acrylic and gel nails, the answer is simple: Gel nails are 1000 times better.

I used to be obsessed with acrylic nails. I thought they were gorgeous and elegant and there’s an endless amount of styles you can have. And of course it’s true, they do look gorgeous and they can be elegant. But in all honesty, they’re not worth the damage you put your nails through, because as much as acrylic nail artists claim that if you take care of them, acrylics won’t damage your nails, they do damage them. A lot.

For starters, just having them put on does a lot damage. In a lot of places, artists remove up to 70% of your nail when they file them down before putting the nail tips on. That’s really unhealthy for your nails. Especially when they use electric nail files. If you feel a burning sensation when they do it, that’s also unhealthy. That’s a build up of friction from working in one place for too long. You should never feel that which is why it’s a lot better to use an emery board rather than an electric nail file. It may be more time consuming, but at least there’s less damage.

Once they are on, yes they look pretty but they’re weakening your nails. And personally, I don’t think they look very natural at all. They’re a lot thicker than natural nails, even with nail varnish on. And when you knock them against something, it hurts as much as standing on a piece of lego. I’ve known people who’ve had their nail snapped off to painful degrees because of acrylics and people who’ve had infections because of them. And when they eventually get taken off, have you ever noticed how paper thin and fragile your nails are?  They’re supposed to be a means of helping your natural nails grow to a length where you don’t have to wear tips anymore. But how can that happen if they’re getting weaker instead of stronger?

Hence why I converted.

Gel nails have done wonders for my nails. I started out with getting tips, and after two treatments with the tips on, they were ready to be soaked off and the nails underneath were strong enough and long enough that I could just get gel straight onto my natural nail.

When I first went in, I’d just had my acrylics taken off and I cringed at the sight of my nails. They looked awful and they constantly peeled and snapped. After just one round with the gels, they were so much healthier and they grew so much faster. Yes, that can be a downside because you need infills more often, but for me it’s great. I change my mind so much about colour and style that two or three weeks between treatments is the perfect amount of time.

In my opinion, they also look much better. They look just like you’re wearing nail varnish because really, you’re not adding anything extra to the nail. While you can’t do any of the wacky things like aquarium nails or bubble nails with gels, the colour range and manicure options are the same as with acrylics. In fact, the manicure I’ve just had done is colour changing so one minute they’re blue and then they get this really cool gradient into purple when the temperature changes and sometimes they’re completely purple!

In terms of price, it obviously depends on where you go. In the salon I go to, I can get my gels soaked off and reapplied for £21. The start off manicure is a meagre £12.50. That is a price I can never argue with. I’ve yet to find an acrylic manicure for less than £20. I’m sure if I could, people would tell me it was of lesser quality.

But of course, each to their own. If you’re obsessed with acrylics and all you ever want to wear is acrylics, then go for it. But if you eventually want to show your natural nails off to the world and you want something a little less harsh, I would advise that you go for gels. Gels for me have so many more pros than cons, but you can make up your own mind.

Sparkle on! -Ellie .xx

Review – Urban Decay Naked Skin

I hate spending tons of money on makeup. Especially foundations and concealers. Ever since I started using makeup at the age of 15 I’d never been able to find a foundation that didn’t look caked on or that didn’t bring me out in spots after a few uses. I’ve tried loads of different brands; MAC, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Rimmel London etc, but none of them ever did my skin any good. The best thing I found that left my skin feeling great wasn’t even a foundation. It was a toning moisturiser by Miss Sporty and I swore by it.

But alas, it ran out, and could I find it again? Nope. So I was back to square one.

This Christmas however, I fell into a bit of money and decided that for once, I was going to splash out on some makeup. Of course my first stop was MAC. Enough people rave about it that I thought I should probably go in for a proper consultation. But the day I went in, everyone had evidently had the same idea and I couldn’t even get near the foundations to have a look. Which then lead me to Urban Decay. I’d never even considered their other makeup, only their eyeshadow palettes ever registering in my mind. So I sat down and I let the assistant work her magic and match me a foundation.

It was perfect. Usually I have to mix foundations to get my skin tone, but their range is so well made they have perfect colours to match a whole range of skin tones.

Then there’s the coverage. I watched her put one pump of the foundation onto the lid and it covered my entire face with brilliant results. All of my redness was cancelled out but at the same time it looked like I was barely wearing anything. It felt light on my skin, like I’d just put on a layer of moisturiser and even once it had oxidised, it didn’t leave me looking orange.

The more I use it, the more I fall in love with it. It stays put all day when I’m wearing it and doesn’t dry out and crumble or sweat off and melt. I’ve used it during dance performances and it’s been the perfect base and hasn’t required a single touch up. And there’s no separation of the formula in the bottle when you leave it to settle between usages. Urban Decay have put tiny balls in the bottom so you can shake the bottle before every use and get everything mixed back in together.

The concealer that pairs with it is a brilliant addition. It has the same light feeling and the same amazing coverage. And though it’s something strange to notice, both the foundation and concealer smell lovely.

The price is quite decent too. The foundation comes in at £27 and the concealer at £17.50. For what they do and how long they’d last, that is a price you can’t argue with. It’s a price I was more than happy to pay and it’s one of the main reasons I’ve been recommending it to everyone who asks me about it. They have an entire Naked Skin range, which if I had the money to splash out on, I definitely would.

I’ve left links down below for anyone who wants to take a look on their website. Hopefully this has been helpful if you’re looking to switch foundations or trying foundation for the first time!

Sparkle on! – Ellie .xx

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup
Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer

#MOTD & #OOTD- Out For Lunch!

Hi there!

So today I went out to lunch with my mum and one of our long time family friends and since the weather was so dull, I decided to brighten things up a bit with a pop of colour and a sprinkle of glitter.

After doing the festival look on Tuesday and falling in love with the ombre lip, I decided to try it out and wear it about today. So I went for a bright, candy pink lipstick and used white cream makeup to form the ombre. The colour went great with my outfit which was made up of pastel colours and whites!

The sprinkle of glitter came in on my eyeliner. I went through my makeup bag and found some black glitter eyeliner that I think I got in a set for Christmas or a birthday. It’s not a named brand but the quality is brilliant.

For my outfit, I kept it relatively simple. I wore a lemon blouse from Primark and some white dungarees from H&M. To finish off my colourful look, I wore pastel coloured Kickers that you can see pictured above. They’re brand new and so cute! I’ll leave a link down below if you want to check them out.

So here’s my message for the day; don’t let the weather dictate what colours you can wear! If it’s dreary, don’t stick to dark colours, brighten your day and maybe someone else’s with a pop of colour either on your eyes or lips.

Sparkle on! – Ellie .xx

All my makeup products are listed below:

Barry M Flawless Original Primer
Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation in Shade 03
Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Light-Warm
Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit
The Colour Experts Blush Palette in Pink Moods
Primark Take a Brow Kit
Matalan G Eyeshadow in 3008
Technic Electric Beauty Eyeshadow Palette
Maybelline master precise Liquid Eyeliner
Matalan G Black Glitter Liquid Eyeliner
MUA Intense Colour Eyeliner in Snow White
Lacura Beauty Doll Eyes Mascara
Maybelline Lipstick in 902
Barry M Shimmering Body Creme

Pastel Bow Brogue Kickers

Try It Out Tuesday – Festival Look

Hi there!

So my first Try It Out Tuesday is a Festival Look that was done by Mykie, a.k.a Glam&Gore on YouTube. She is one of my biggest makeup and style inspirations and with Coachella just around the corner it seemed only fitting to go for this look first.

At first I thought the purple base was going to be a bit heavy for me, but actually, it really makes my eyes pop. It’s subtle enough that it doesn’t make me look like I have a black eye, but it’s there enough that it really opens the eye up.

I really love this layered eyeliner. I think it adds such a unique dimension to the look and it gives you a chance to really experiment with colour. This is especially good for me! You could substitute in any of the colours for your favourites, since you can use eyeshadow over white gel as I did for the blue, and you can add some sparkle like I decided to on the black eyeliner, because of course, for me, there is never enough glitter.

Which brings me onto the sprinkle of glitter in the tear ducts. I LOVE this! I usually put white in the corners just to open the eyes up, but glitter is an even better idea. I’ll be using this idea from now on!

The ombre lip is another must. I’d never really considered it before, but it looks pretty and adds a cutesy dynamic to the look.

Of course, like anything, you don’t have to keep to these colours. On my left eye, I tried a softer look with pastel pink on the lid and white eyeliner on the lower waterline and I think it works just as well if you don’t want something as dark as the purple.

Mykie’s original tutorial will be below for you to have a go yourself, and check out her channel whilst you’re there. She’s brilliant!

All the products (except my eyelashes), I used for this are drugstore:

Eyeshadows : Dazzle Dusts by Barry M
Eyeliner: Maybelline master precise felt tip, Barry M White Gel
Eyebrows: Primark Take A Brow kit
Eyelashes: House of Lashes Smokey Muse

Sparkle on! – Ellie .xx

Hello and welcome!

So here we are at my first post and first thing’s first, let me introduce myself;

I’m Ellie and I’m a little bit addicted to glitter. Hence the name of this blog.

I guess I should probably go into what this blog is going to be about. For starters, it’s going to be very opinion based. I want to share my personal experiences and opinion when it comes to the world of hair and makeup. My approach is very different. I’ve always been super creative and wanting to do things that make me different, so I’ve taken in-fashion makeup and hairstyles and I’ve made them into my own. And that’s what I want to show you. I want to show you that it’s cool to stand out from the crowd in whatever way you want. And you never have to justify why you’ve done something to anyone. If you like it and that’s your style, then live it.

There’s going to be a mixture of pictures and videos depending on what I’m focusing on in each post and I’m also going to do my best to make it accessible to everyone. Most of this self-discovery I’ve done whilst I’ve been a student and we don’t exactly have the means to get ahold of the best products out there. But that’s the thing, you don’t need the best!

Every Tuesday I’m going to make a post featuring me trying out a new look, whether that be inspired by a recent celebrity pap shot or a tutorial I’ve come across on YouTube. I’m going to actually put things into practice and tell you all what I think, and so Try It Out Tuesday will be born.

So if you like the sound of this hopefully you’ll be looking out for my very first official post!

Sparkle on! – Ellie .xx