Tips for a Long Lasting Tan.

28 August 2014 · 11 Comments

Getting back from the summer with an glowing tan can feel amazing, but living in rainy England, our tans start to fade from the moment that we step back onto home soil. Whilst it may be impossible to keep longterm, there are definitely a few tips to increase the longevity of your tan, be it natural or fake so I thought I would compile the best of them to help keep you glowing for longer. 

From a scienc-y point of view, you tan because the sun activates colour pigments in the top layer of your skin, which unfortunately means that after about a week, when these cells die and are shed, your tan ends up going with them. However, there are a couple of ways that you can slow this process down, first of which would be to exfoliate. This should really be done prior to soaking up the rays, so that your skin is prepped for the tanning. Exfoliating will not only help to give a nice smooth surface to the skin, which will keep it looking pretty, but also to delay the next turnover of cells, thereby increasing the time that you keep your tan for. My favourite body exfoliator at the moment is the Karora MicroPeel*, a chemical exfoliant which makes the whole process really easy, more on which you can find in my recent post here. 

My next top tip would be to wear sunscreen when soaking up the rays. Not only can they be incredibly harmful, but being burned can lead to peeling, and therefore a quicker loss of tan from your skin. Make sure to go for a high SPF, particularly at the start, when your skin isn't used to the sun, and slather it on at regular intervals. Next, hydrating well and moisturising the heck out of your skin are both really important tools in helping your tan to last. Water helps to extend the life of cells, and moisture can also help prevent the peeling commonly associated with after sun time. My favourites would have to be the b:liv Soothe and Splash for face, and Soap and Glory Smoothie Star for body, as well as a really good, strong after sun. Finally, when all else fails, cheat. A good gradual moisturiser like the St Tropez one will help to top up the natural tan and transition the colour as it starts to fade away. Do wait until the last minute to start this step though, as a natural tan is always nicer than anything that you can find in a bottle. 

So, those are my top tips for keeping a tan as long as possible, what are yours? 

Forever Repurchase.

26 August 2014 · 25 Comments

With the constant hype surrounding beauty products, it's hard to know which ones are really worth your pennies, which is why I think it is really important to know about the beauty buys that people come back to time and time again, rather than one-time flings. Whilst cleaning out my stash recently I realised that I have a few products that I could never bear to part with, and will be repurchased time and time again until I can't find them any more. 

Starting with base products, whilst I still haven't found my perfect foundation (shoutout to Revlon Nearly Naked though which is practically there) a concealer that I will always come back to is the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, which has a gorgeous creamy consistency, blends like a dream and doesn't cake like so many others I have tried. Fair enough, the coverage isn't as high as it could be, but I don't ever really find myself needing much more, in fact I think it is nice to see the skin underneath anyway, and in any case I like to keep the makeup on my skin as light as possible. My blusher choice* is literally all I wear nowadays, a peachy pink shade shot through with shimmer, this really reminds me of Nars Orgasm (in much cheaper form!) and is the perfect duo replacement for blush and highlighter. The colour melts into the skin providing a nice natural flushed look, while the subtle sheen makes you seem as though glowing from within, I can't speak highly of it enough! 

Moving onto eyes, I don't think I could go without mentioning my Naked 2 Palette could I?! It literally has every colour that I need for eyeshadow, and I love the mix of cool tones as I find they work really well on my skin. The shadows are buttery and pigmented with minimum fall-out and well worth the price. Luckily for me, I don't think that this is going to have to be a repurchase though as even after using it loads you can barely even tell! For lashes, my one true love is the L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara in the Waterproof version. Insanely lengthening, this gives my lashes the fluttery look that I long for and even helps pump up the volume a little - although it is a little biatch to remove at night! 

For lips, there was one product that instantly stood out to me, and how could it not with packaging like it has?! Obviously, I'm talking about the YSL Rouge Volupte Shines, the most beautiful lipsticks ever and although they are so expensive that I can't have that many at the same time, if I ever need a treat, or when this one runs out, I will definitely be treating myself to a new one. With gorgeous colours, a silky smooth and moisturising formula that sticks around for a surprisingly long time, this is definitely a holy grail product for me. And finally, my Mojito lip balm, because nothing smells better and nourishes my lips at the same time. A gorgeous formula that is hydrating and handmade organic, but dries matte so is easy to layer lipsticks on top of, this is a firm favourite in my collection and one that I will keep on repurchasing forever more.

Have you tried any of these? What are the products that you will always repurchase? 


24 August 2014 · 18 Comments

If there's one makeup look that's difficult to master, it's the contour. We all want sharp cheekbones and a defined jaw line, but learning how to fake them so they look natural is a skill that seems to be possessed only by the pros. Luckily, there are a few products around to try and make up jobs easy, and I've been testing a couple out that have allowed me to almost get the look down. 

The Anastasia Contour Palette has been calling out to me since it was first released, but with a price tag of nearly £50, added to the fact that wherever I looked it seemed to be out of stock, it's safe to say that it was a pretty unattainable dream. Luckily, I found a replacement, this contour palette from BornPrettyStore, which has the perfect mix of grey toned browns - which make it really easy to fake a natural shadow - and two light highlight shades - perfect for dusting on the tops of your cheekbones. I tend to apply with the RT Contour Brush for precision, sweeping one of the dark shades (the darker of the two at the moment as I am tanned, but I'm sure I will switch to the lighter one in the winter) into the hollows of my cheeks and then blending out with small buffing motions. The result - supermodel cheekbones in a matter of seconds, magic! 

Unfortunately, where the palette then lets itself down is the highlights. The two matte shades, in my opinion are far too light, almost true white, so once applied to the skin they look unnatural and a little chalky too. I also tend to like a little shimmer in my highlight shades, so it was a shame not to see it here, but hopefully over time I can find a way of making them work for me. The longevity, pigmentation and design of the palette in general is all top-notch, and for the super reasonable price I would definitely recommend it for anyone who wants to dabble and experiment with contour. It's not 100%, so the search for the perfect contour will definitely continue, but I'm getting closer. 

Do you have any recommendations, do you like contouring your skin? 

Introducing Project Rattlebag.

21 August 2014 · 9 Comments

Tell us about yourself Hattie? 

I am 16 years old, from London but I've lived all over the world and will be moving to New Zealand in October. 

What got you into the world of blogging? 

I had always read blogs from a young age but I never had the courage to start one myself so when my english teacher set my class an interpretive project I knew exactly what I wanted to do and Project Rattlebag was born. At the end of the project I realised blogging was something I would miss so I carried it on and here I am three years and a huge amount of opportunities later. 

Tell us about Project Rattle Bag? 

My blog encompasses a mix of things, mainly fashion and beauty but I also do have an interest in cooking and music which sometimes also feature. 

What keeps you inspired? 

I always have a list of blog post ideas so that if I'm stuck one day I have a lot of back up options to write about. If that does not do the trick, pinterest is a great place for inspiration as there are so many lovely posts on there. 

What is your favourite thing about blogging? 

Not only is blogging for me a great thing to put on my CV (I did actually get my current internship because of it) but it also gives me a great amount of pleasure to know that somewhere in the world someone I've never met is enjoying what I have to say. That is something I would never had believed a few years ago! 

What are your current favourite items? 

That's a tough question but I would have to say my monochrome New Look sandals as they go with everything and my slouchy black coat from H&M which is super sophisticated and a bargain at £30. I would also have to say my charm bracelet which I have had for a few years and holds so many special memories. 

A massive thanks to Hattie for answering these questions, you can find out more about her here and find her blog here - hope you enjoyed! 

Looking after Summer Hair.

19 August 2014 · 15 Comments

Around this time of the year, whether it be for going blonde for the summer, being lightened by the suns natural bleach, chlorine or any other reason, it is all too easy for ones hair to take a turn for the worse. If not looked after properly, it can become nasty very quickly, but there is no need to let it be in anything less than tip top condition if you take good enough care of it. From brassy and straw-like to golden, healthy and nourished, these are my tips for getting your hair back into the best condition possible. 

Toning: No-one likes a brassy blonde, but the tones are all too easy to creep in after significant lightening of the hair, so to keep them at bay it is imperative to tone your hair at least a couple of times a week. This sounds way more exciting than it really is, and actually just involves using a specially formulated shampoo and conditioner, which are usually purple or blue in tone (opposite to yellow on the colour wheel) to counteract any yellowness. Try it, you'll be amazed at the difference it makes! 

Washing: Every needs to wash their hair, but when you hair has been damaged, it's best to skip the everyday wash and opt for a more low maintenance routine instead. Shampoo can be really stripping on hair, so it is good when your hair is a bit more fragile to give it a bit of a rest and let it recover in between washes. You should also think about following up shampoo and conditioner with a heavy duty hair mask to really nourish the hair, and let the moisture penetrate. Leave them on for 10 minutes, wash them off and say hello to silky smooth hair! 

Aftercare: It goes without saying that heat is bad for your hair, but when it is in bad condition, you really need to make sure that you step away from the heat tools. It can lead to snapping, split ends and dry, frizzy hair from the dehydration, avoid at all costs. It's also worth noting that you should try and brush your hair as lightly as possible, and avoid dehydrating products like hairspray, unless specially formulated to cater to those who need more moisture. After washing, follow up with lots of oils to help lock in the moisture and keep hair nourished. Best applied when damp, these oils will soak into the shaft providing the moisture that your hair so desperately needs, keeping it nourished and looking its best. 

Recommendations: Morrocan Oil Original Treatment*, Organix Argan Oil, Morrocan Oil Hairspray

So those are my top tips for keeping hair in its best condition, what are yours? 

Everyday Makeup Look #2

17 August 2014 · 32 Comments

I'm not a massive fan of doing these too often, mainly because the makeup that I wear on an everyday basis doesn't really change too much (and I also hate photographing my face), but after trialling a couple of new products recently, I've come up with a new, very simple little routine that I thought I would share. 

Since it's summer, and the weather is really gorgeous and the moment, I have 1.) found that my skin has cleared up dramatically and doesn't really need anything on it and 2.) found that even if it did, I probably wouldn't be bothered to make the effort anyway, #lazy. So, moving straight onto the eyes! I've really been loving my TooFaced Natural Eyes palette recently, as the colours in it are all so gorgeous and with the predesigned trio of colours, super easy to put together a quick little look too. I usually opt for the day time trio, although if I'm feeling adventurous I mix it up a little and break the rules, and I think it just provides a really awakening, pretty look. To provide a little bit of definition, I've been using Benefit's They're Real Liner* to tight line my eyes, and add a small line on my top lid, smudged out a little to make it look softer and give a barely there impression. This stays put literally ALL DAY, which is amazing because with my terrible skills, once I have put it there I want it to last! To finish off the eyes, I've been sprucing up the lashes with a bit of the They're Real Mascara*, which provides equal doses of length and volume and keeps all my demanding lash criterias happy. 

To inject some colour and glow into the look, I love this peach toned blush* from BornPrettyStore. It has just the right amount of sheen in it to highlight the cheek bones and give a luminous, lit within look to the skin, and the peachy pink shade is great at brightening and lifting the face. And finally, for the lips, a swipe of my favourite lip pencil - Revlon Matte Balm in the shade Complex - which I find works even better on my skin tone now that I have a bit of a tan! Definitely number one in my stocks at the moment.

So that's it, 5 products and a super quick and simple way that I have been doing my makeup recently. What are your favourite products at the moment?