Read My Lips : Lip care tips!

So since I’ve started doing the #100DaysOfMakeup challenge, I’ve pretty much been abusing my face and it has definitely been staging a protest no matter how much I take care of my skin afterwards. The good thing about eye looks is that we all have two eyes (duh) so when one starts getting sore, I can switch over to the other one. My lips however are a whole different story. Whilst some lipsticks are moisturising, putting them on and taking them off repeatedly has not done anything good for my lips. If you read my skincare post, you’ll know that I suffer with dry lips. But never fear! I have some tips and tricks to help!

My first tip fits in with your normal skincare routine. If you’re like me and moisturise before bed (which I highly recommend), just make sure you swipe some of that moisturiser over your lips. I’ve only started doing this recently and I have to say, I’ve noticed a massive difference. I wake up in the morning and my lips are nice and soft so that vicious circle of dryness-biting-scabbing-more bitting hasn’t been starting.

When it comes to getting the most out of your lipstick when you apply it, I’d suggest getting a lip scrub. It’ll remove any dead skin if you have dry or chapped lips (like me) and provide a smooth surface to allow you to get the most out of your colour, especially lighter colours. Of course, the same thing applies to your lips as it does your skin. After you exfoliate you should always moisturise, so make sure you have a trusty lip balm handy. If you’re looking for one to try, you could go for EOS Lip Balm Sphere (Summer Fruit) . Aside from it being super moisturising, it’ll also smell nice!

Of course, if you’re not a lipstick wearer and suffer from chapped or dry lips, you can still exfoliate and apply lip balm, it should help massively. Just remember to keep your lip balm handy to reapply throughout the day.

Hopefully this helps you in some way. This is solely from personal experience so I’d love to hear your tips if you do anything different.

Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Bare Faced Beauty : My Skincare Routine!

Everybody knows that wearing makeup day in and day out is not good for your skin. It can bring on breakouts, blackheads, it can dry out your skin et cetera, et cetera. Therefore it’s super important that you take care of your skin so we can continue looking radiant and provide ourselves with the perfect canvas to paint on. With that said, I thought I’d take you through my current skin care routine so you can see how I be kind to my skin and hopefully give you some tips on how to be kind to yours.

The trouble I have with my skin, is that it tends to be quite dry and it’s very sensitive to harsher weather like cold and wind. I’ve tried lots of moisturisers in the past, but I found that a lot of them either didn’t keep my skin feeling moisturised for long enough, or were far too oily.

However, the one that I swear by is Astral. My mum was actually the person that introduced me to it, and considering my mum looks a lot younger than her sixty years, I am inclined to believe what she says about it working. A little goes a long way with this moisturiser. A pea sized amount dotted over the face will cover it and leave it feeling replenished without leaving it feeling oily. I moisturise every morning, but I will moisturise again either after I’ve showered, or after I’ve taken off my makeup. It’s a particularly good idea to moisturise before bed because when you wake up in the morning your face feels soft and beautiful!

In terms of blackheads and dirt, I’ve recently started exfoliating. Since I exercise and wear makeup a lot, my face really does get dirty and my pores end up feeling tight and blocked. So, after I’ve done my daily workout and I’m getting a shower, I use Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub and give my face a good old scrub. On the tube it recommends exfoliating in the morning and at night time, but I find that it leaves my skin feeling a lot more sensitive, so I suggest either once a day, or whenever you feel like your face feels particularly grimy! Always apply a good moisturiser afterwards too.

For the times when I do get spots – because lets face it, everyone comes under attack every now and again – I have two solutions depending on what my week looks like or where in the development stage the spot is. If I have a special occasion coming up like a night out or a party, or if a spot is only just forming beneath my skin, I first zap the spot with a little TCP on a cotton ball (it’s a little smelly, but it will dry that zit out!) and then, with a Q-Tip, I apply Savlon, which is an antiseptic cream that creates a barrier to stop anymore bacteria going at the spot and treats the spot itself. Usually after just one application, the spot has dried up and is barely noticeable. Two treatments and the spot usually disappears.

If however, I manage to miss the window before the spot gets a head on it, or if I’ve got nothing special coming up and can afford to give my skin a rest from irritants that may worsen the spot, I chose to treat it with Witch Hazel which again, dries up the spot pretty quickly. To all you spot squeezing lovers, I beg you, don’t do it! You’re at much greater risk for scarring if you squeeze your spots, and you just end up transferring bacteria all over your skin from touching the offending thing and you could end up with more.

Lastly, I move on to something that has caused a horrible habit of mine; dry lips. Once my lips get dry, I can’t help but to bite them, but that leaves them sore and swollen and starts a vicious cycle of when it heals, the skin is a little dryer so I bite it again. However, a recent browse on may have provided the solution for me. Evolution of Smooth, or as they’re more well known, EOS, have lips balms that even celebs can get behind, and if it’s good enough for Demi Lovato, it’s definitely good enough for me.

What’re your skincare top tips? Have you already tried EOS lip balm? Tell me in the comments!

I hope you can take something away from this. If you want to read a bit more about EOS you can click here. I’ll leave a link to some of the products I use at the bottom of this post too.

Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Astral Moisturiser
Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub
Witch Hazel

Beauty School Dropout : My Masterclass Experience!

If you follow my Instagram, you will have seen that yesterday, I had the privilege of going to a makeup masterclass with Lou Teasdale and Nic Schuller as part of the NYX Cosmetics Pro Tour. I was unbelievably excited and I had the most amazing time taking part so I thought I’d write a post about what went on and share with you some advice that really hit home and will stick with me, and hopefully will encourage some of you too.

Firstly, I have to say it was pretty surreal. Walking into a room to come face to face with someone who pretty much inspired you to be more confident in playing with makeup is very weird. At first I still felt like I was watching through a computer screen until I sat down in the chair and I was like, hang on, Lou Teasdale is actually sitting there. It was actually a little intimidating – I’m an amateur at best, so to be sitting down in front of two pros was a little nerve-wracking. That said, they immediately made us all feel comfortable and my nerves slowly dissipated.

We were then showed two demos; one by Nic and one by Lou, which both demonstrated cool ways to use really easy techniques. It was pretty amazing getting to watch them work, and all the while they gave tips and tricks on the best way to handle models and clients. Then it was a case of us having a bit of a play around ourselves. NYX were kind and wonderful enough to supply us with all the makeup we could need and I have to admit, I could have passed out with happiness. There was every glitter I could ever need, a gorgeous bright eyeshadow palette, the Vivid Brights liquid eyeliner, glitter liners, lipsticks – I could go on for days. It was heaven. So we all got to create our own little looks on each other whilst Lou and Nic came round to give advice. Here’s the look I came up with which I decided to name the Peacock Glitter Eye!


It was super relaxed and so, so inspiring. Every single person in the room had their own individual style and no one was afraid to express it, to give things a go. There was so much passion for what we were doing in the room. I felt so motivated and encouraged and just so eager to be creative. If ever I had been hesitant about wanting to pursue makeup, all those fears flew out the window. It just reinforced that this kind of creativity is what I love. In fact, it’s inspired me to stop fearing what others may think of looks I create myself, and so, I’m going to be working on a section for this blog called Freestyle Friday’s where I’ll be showing you a look I’ve created and telling you how to recreate it. There’s a lot of meticulous planning to be done, but I’m super excited to share my creativity with you.

So what did I learn? The simple answer: a whole lot.

But I think there are two main things to take away from the class that I think will benefit everyone and anyone who wants to pursue makeup in any way, shape or form.

Number one:


You represent yourself and your work so don’t be afraid to throw a little bit of your individuality into your work because there’s no wrong or right when it comes to being creative. Colour outside of the lines a little bit, just do you! You can make your channel/blog/instagram – whatever means you choose – however you want, because its yours, to showcase who you are and your talent. It’s your online portfolio.

And number two:


We hear it all the time when we’re younger, but it’s so true, practice really does make perfect, and its the only way to refine your techniques and figure out what you’re really comfortable with and what might need work. It’s also the only way you’re going to get better. Practice on everyone; yourself, your friends, your family, it doesn’t really matter. If you put the work in, you’ll get the results that you want.

I hope you can take something away from this. I know I took a lot away from my experience yesterday and I’m so thankful I was given the opportunity. So, a massive thank you to Lou Teasdale and Nic Schuller for being so lovely and sharing your tips and tricks with us and being so encouraging, and thank you to NYX Cosmetics for making it possible.

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