Top three best setting sprays for a flawless face of makeup all day

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For about ten years I’ve been spraying my face with hairspray in the vain attempt to set my makeup so it doesn’t slide or melt off after an hour. It was only when I was planning my wedding makeup when I decided to try a real setting spray because I wasn’t too keen on being near candles with a face full of Elnett – a highly flammable bride is not the one.

Since then I’ve tried a number of different setting sprays, and in my humble opinion, these are the top three.

NOTE: all three of the companies listed do NOT test on animals – something I believe is very important for a cruelty-free beauty industry. I’ve decided to stop using any products that test on animals, contain parabens or other potentially damaging ingredients for the environment, and buy from companies that actively support sustainability. 

I’m still learning but plan to write more about sustainability in the beauty industry and will endeavour to only recommend cruelty-free products.

1. NYX Professional Makeup Matte Finish Setting Spray (£7 from Boots)

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This one first came to my attention after a review by US teen went viral, because even after a car accident, an ambulance ride, hours in the hospital and the journey home, this girl’s makeup was still FLAWLESS thanks to the NYX setting spray. You can’t really get better hold than that.

There are two options, Matte finish and Dewy finish; both long lasting. The Matte is better if you have oily skin, but I chose Dewy because I have pretty dry skin especially in the winter.

Pros: This product is definitely long-lasting. My makeup will stay on all day at work, in wind and bad weather and at the gym.

Cons: It smudges makeup if you don’t let it dry first – especially eyeliner and mascara. It feels a bit sticky when you first put it on, a little gluey perhaps. But once you’ve used it once or twice you get used to it.

Overall rating: 4/5 – great for a night out or if you want to go to the gym with a full face of makeup! At £7 it’s a bit of a steal because it lasts a long time even when you use it every day.

2. Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray (£23.50 from Urban Decay)

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At a slightly higher price than the NYX setting spray, Urban Decay All Nighter is a refreshing and light setting spray that helps makeup last all day. It also gives you a healthy glow that stays set for up to 16 hours according to the website. I used this setting spray on my wedding day and my makeup still looked good at the reception, over 12 hours after using it.

Pros: Light, refreshing, doesn’t smell weird or sit heavily on the skin.

Cons: Quite expensive but worth the investment. Probably wouldn’t leave you flawless even after a road traffic accident. Not quite as hardy as the NYX setting spray.

Overall rating: 5/5 – I can’t see a real problem with this one; it’s light and ideal for all skin types.

3. PIXI Makeup Fixing Mist (£16 from Look Fantastic)

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I’m a sucker for packaging and so I love PIXI makeup – the light greens, coppers and pinks make your beauty haul look super pretty. This fixing spray is lightly scented with rose water and green tea, which smells great and makes your skin feel light and refreshed.

Pros: Smells great, looks great and keeps makeup fresh throughout the day.

Cons: The spray nozzle itself is a little bit harsh so you have to brace yourself a little bit before you spritz. If you’ve got sensitive skin then try this in the shop first to make sure the perfume doesn’t irritate it.

Overall rating: 4/5 – a middling price for a fixing spray and it feels luxurious.

 

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Wonder products for a wonderful wedding

On 16th November 2015, Nick proposed to me on a beach in Miami (ooooooh!) where we were visiting prior to another wedding in America we were invited to.

After months of planning, excitement, stress and spreadsheets, we got married on 10th June 2017 and it was just a wonderful day.

We had a good budget and so we got a lot of suppliers like a florist and a hairdresser and the venue acted as wedding organisers for the day, but I always knew I wanted to do my own makeup.

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 10.44.18.png I’ve always loved doing makeup ever since I can remember, and so there was no question that i’d do my own wedding makeup. It can be quite stressful thinking about someone else doing your makeup because they don’t necessarily know what suits your face – I have to look at my face every day so I’ve got pretty used to what needs the most attention!

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I wanted a natural look, and I’ve always loved Nars’s world famous blusher colour; Orgasm (£23). So I decided to base my makeup around that colour for the wedding. And what a name to base the wedding on. The best kind I’ll be getting now I’m married (GUFFAW GUFFAW only joking).

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I needed some pretty heavy duty setting spray if the makeup was going to last all day, and I normally use hairspray, but it’s a big day so I decided to invest in some proper stuff. I bought Urban Decay All Nighter (£23.50) and I swear by it now, it keeps my makeup on throughout the day and prevents smudging.

On my skin I wore the same foundation that I’ve sworn by for 10 years, the Bourgeois Healthy Mix Serum (£10.99). It is light on the skin and perfect for combination skin. It’s anti-fatigue so it instantly brightens the skin, and then I put a little Benefit Erase Paste (£16) under the eyes to cover up dem bags.

Now I’m not a massive fan of contouring, because I think if it’s overdone it can be a disaster. That said, a friend of mine treated me to the NYX Cosmetics Pro Palette (£18) for my birthday and so using a mix of the colours I did contour my cheek bones and put a dusting of highlighter over the cheek bones and eye brow and it made such a difference.

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I was then searching for an eyeshadow and lipstick that complimented my Nars blusher whilst looking natural. This was the hardest thing to do and I spent a few evenings after work traipsing around Oxford Circus looking for them.

I found the perfect matches, so if you want to do the same and go for the Nars look then I’d recommend the following: MAC eyeshadow in Expensive Pink (£13.50) and then Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Bitch Perfect (£24) and while I was buying the lipstick I discovered this Colour Chameleon Eye Pencil (£19) from Charlotte Tilbury, which you can buy based on your eye colour and it really makes your eye colour pop. You have to be careful because it can come out quite thick and become clumpy very quickly but if you go easy with it then it’s an absolute dream.

Finally, I used a Charlotte Tilbury brown eye pencil (£16) and the Benefit Roller Lash mascara (£17.43 from Look Fantastic – cheaper than elsewhere at the moment), but I also treated myself to individual lash extensions for the wedding and honeymoon, which were really itchy but pain is gain as they say.

Get The Look

 

 

Note: I’m working on some videos showing how I do my makeup but I’m still mastering how to edit them so watch this space.

 

Discovering dreamy Italian wines

I am well and truly ‘weddinged out’ at the moment. Having been to six wonderful weddings so far this year, I still having three more to go, all whilst planning my own wedding in June next year.

Oh who am I kidding? I secretly love weddings, especially when I get to go to the heart of Italy and drink wine from 9am until 5pm and eat practically an entire pig in the form of melt-in-the-mouth ham.

We were lucky enough to be invited to a small and completely stunning wedding in Umbria, an Instagrammable region of Italy north of Rome, where I smashed my way through countless plates of fresh pasta and glasses of sparkling wine (and the aforementioned pig, F-you clean eating brigade!)

As we were there anyway, we thought we’d make the most of the region’s amazing wineries, so we flew in early and went off on a classic Italian wine tour.

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Umbria boasts some of the world’s most delicious wines, but it’s largely been undiscovered because of its famous neighbour, Tuscany.  The region’s lesser-known wines include a deep red Sangrantino de Montefalco and white Grechetto (said with an unconvincing Italian twang).

I found them quite different to the usual New Zealand Sauvingon Blanc that I tend to drink in front of the television when it’s raining outside – they were delicious and unusual. What’s more, because they’re not so well known, they were a total bargain too.
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What did I actually learn while I was out there, I hear you ask? In my true style, I listened intently and then forgot everything almost immediately, hence why I’m writing this so I can remember some of the useful stuff I learnt while I was there.

1. You’ve got to get your shnozz right in there

You can’t get a proper shnifter unless you rest the rim of the glass above your upper lip and again on the bridge of your nose and…get your shnozz right in. Also, once you swirl the wine, the liquid releases more aromas, there’s a practical reason for the poncey swirling.

2. Wine tastes better when you eat delicious snacks 

Take a sip of the wine. Then eat this delicious cheese and then take another sip…it tastes subtler, smoother and altogether different to how it tasted before. Wine isn’t just for supping in front of Coronation Street on a Wednesday, it’s better to enjoy it with food.

3. It’s all subjective, it’s your experience

I’ve always nervously giggled my way through wine tastings, thinking I can just smell grapes and pretension while people are discussing the notes of peach melba and wood chippings they’re getting…but it turns out it’s all to do with your nose and your palate, and you can associate the wines with whatever you think it smells like. Yes! I can’t get it wrong.

4. Dessert wine isn’t completely rank

I have always hated dessert wine, thinking it’s far too sweet and pappy…but we tried eating some dark chocolate with high-cocoa percentage and then sipping on the dessert wine, and it was ludicrously tasty. At Christmas that stuff will be a hit with a chocolatey treat.

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5. Provenance isn’t everything

Some wines just have bloody good marketing campaigns behind them, and that is all that differentiates them from other seriously good wines from other regions. I think I’d open up to try different wines from regions I’ve never heard of before as a result of this trip, because you can discover some really delicious tipples that way.

IMG_6983You can buy these Umbrian wines in the UK, but I’m sceptical as to how they’d taste without the warm sun bouncing off a glittering swimming pool, the light sound of crickets in the background, and the added bonus of being served oaky pairing cheeses by a gracious Italian host.

We went tasting with Gusto Wine Tours who were excellent hosts, and were well informed about all things vino. Tours are a maximum of 160 Euro, with discounts for larger groups.