Where have I been?

Hi Guys! I hope you’re all well!

This is a short post, but I just wanted to apologise for my long time away from blogging. I actually had surgery a couple of weeks ago and was hoping to be recovered by now, but there has been some complications which have set me back slightly that has stopped me from actually getting up and doing anything!

I’m still a bit sore, but am hoping to be up and running sometime next week. I’ve got a few ideas (stemmed from sitting around doing nothing!) which I may explore, so please watch this space!

I look forward to sharing ideas with you all soon!

Maria xo

Smokey Eye & Neutral Lips!

Hi lovelies! I hope you’re all having the best Saturday!

Today I wanted to do a guide-through tutorial with pictures on how to do a quick and easy smoky eye and neutral lips. I hope you enjoy!

So… you need to start out with a good base. At this point, I have cleansed my skin with my Garnier Micellar Water, moisturised with Boots Cucumber Moisturising Lotion and primed my skin with Benefit’s Porefessional. These steps will ensure that your skin is clear, fresh and moisturised and your makeup will stay in place all day!

1 - Blank

Next, move onto foundation. I’ve used Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation. I’ve nearly ran out of this stuff and need to buy some more – it’s a great every day, full coverage matte foundation. I stippled this all over my face with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush.

2 - Foundation

After foundation, I like to apply concealer. I’m using MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer in NC20 to highlight under my eyes, my forehead, the bridge of my nose and my chin. I then blend this in with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush that I used for my foundation.

3 -Concealer

4 - Concealer Blended

To start off the smoky eye, I’m using a great inexpensive palette that I have from The MakeUp Academy; it’s called Ever After and is a matte palette – great for 90’s inspired looks, which I love! Firstly I take the shade Bare on a fluffy MAC 224 and blend this over the whole lid to ensure I’ve got a smooth, even base. Then on a Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush I take the colour Fade which is a very light brown and sweep this over the eyelid up to the crease.

5 - Eyeshadow base

After that, I take the colour Truffle on the same Base Shadow Brush and make a V shape on the corner of my eye and blend it in with my MAC 24 to ensure there are no harsh lines.

6 - Eyeshadow darker

Once the eyeshadow is done, I’m moving onto eyeliner. Now, sadly my black liquid eyeliner has just run out – such first world problems, so I’ve used my MAC Superslick Liquid Eyeliner in Defiantly Feline which is a chocolatey brown colour with a bit of shimmer in it… I’m actually glad I used this, because it added a slightly more day-time feel to the look and makes a nice change from always wearing black!

7 - Eyeliner

I then took my Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eyeliner pencil in Sable Brown and put this on my water line. I then smudged it out with my MAC Pencil Brush 210 to add a smoky effect.

8 - Under eyeliner

9 - Under eyeliner blended

Right, allow me, because I done these next steps in a really odd way because I then moved onto eyebrows and then went back to Mascara? Anyways… I next filled in my eyebrows as usual with my Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrown Pomade in Taupe with my Anastasia Beverly Hills 12 Brush and then used Kiko Unforgettable Mascara on my top and bottom lashes.

10 - Eyebrows

11 - Mascara

I then moved back onto my face and applied The MakeUp Academy’s Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highligher to my cheekbones using my Real Techniques Contour Brush and finished my face with my MakeUp Academy Mosaic Bronzer in Natural Glow of which, sadly, the lid has fallen off of 😦

12 - Highlight and Contour

Last but not least, the final step is the lips. There is a pretty heavy eye going on and I didn’t want to kill it, so I’m just using neutral colours for the lips. I started off lining my lips with a Blonde coloured eyebrow pencil because… whatever init, I’m a rebel. Then I filled in the rest of my lips with MAC Honey Love lipstick and… voila! All done!

13 - Lips

14 - Finished Look

Let me know what you think in the comments below! Also, please check out my Instagram! I’ve done some new eye looks on there and I’d love to know what you think! 🙂

Beauty Blogger Award & Liebster Award!

This is a super long post because, unbelievably I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award and the Beauty Blogger Award!  I feel so lucky and happy!  Thank you to the lovely girls who nominated me… you can find links to their blogs if you keep reading!


Well, what a lovely surprise, I was nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely Gianna at Glamorouslyhappythank you Gianna! 🙂

The questions from Glamorouslyhappy:

What is your biggest pet peeve?

I honestly have loads but I couldn’t name them all unless they’re happening right in front of my face. But I guess my overall biggest pet peeve is people being negative about everything. You know, those people who wake up in the morning and say “oh, I hate my life, I hate my job, oh look it’s raining outside what a disaster, why does the universe hate me so much” etc. etc. These people are in charge of their own happiness and if you keep being negative and not changing the things you hate in your life, then it’s never going to change. Plus, negative people just absolutely suck the life out of the positive people.

What is your favorite thing to eat?

I love Japanese food. From Sushi to Ramen, it’s all good!

Who is your celebrity crush?

I used to have the craziest crush on Paolo Nutini for years… bordered on obsession! These days, Gerard Butler/Channing Tatum/Tom Hardy!

Would you rather be rich and unhappy or poor and happy?

Cliché, but definitely poor and happy. No matter how rich you are, if you are unhappy you are the poorest of them all.

What do you like to do in your free time?

It depends what kind of mood I’m in! I love sitting indoors watching TV but I also love going for coffee or drinks with my friends and having a really good catch up! And, of course, blogging!

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t worry about what everyone else thinks of you. In time, the people who really matter will still be in your life and the people that make you unhappy will not.

What is the first thing you would buy or do if you won the lottery?

Give up work! Ha! After doing a few laps of the house, I would probably book a massive 6 month holiday and travel the world. Then I would come back and buy a beautiful apartment in the Docklands of London!

Who is your hero and why?

Can I have three? 😀

My Mum. She is such a big inspiration for me; she’s such a strong woman and having been through so much, she’s still smiling. She has a fantastic career, is always there when I need her, without hesitation, and I could never, ever wish for a better Mother.

My Dad. Funniest man I will ever know. Never fails to make me laugh and he doesn’t worry about the little things in life. He is always coming up with amazing bright ideas about his hopes and dreams and what he wants to do and I find it amazing that he has so much spark!

My sister, Louisa. We argue like nothing else, even as grown adults (!) but she is always there for me and I know she would give me her last penny if I needed it. Even if it doesn’t always seem like I do, I always look up to her.

What is your dream job?

To be a make-up artist. Always.

What made you start a blog?

Sometimes I have so many ideas bursting out of my head that I just need to get them out! After watching makeup tutorials and reading beauty blogs since I was a teenager, I thought it was about time I started one. Plus, I absolutely love to write!

I nominate:


Roses beauty blog

The Makeup Journal

Here are the rules:

Thank the person that nominated you and link to their blog.

Answer the 10 questions given by the nominator.

Nominate and link blogs (with less than 200 followers).

Notify the bloggers you have nominated.

Write 10 new questions for your nominees to answer in their blog.

10 Questions for my Nominees:

  1. What was the last picture you took with your phone?
  2. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?
  3. If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else, who would you pick and what would you do?
  4. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  5. What is the longest you have gone without sleep?
  6. Name your worst habit!
  7. What is your worst fear?
  8. Tell us something about you that we don’t know!
  9. Where is your dream destination for a holiday?
  10. If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which show would you choose?

I can’t wait to read your responses!


Unbelievably, I was nominated for another award – the Beauty Blogger Award – this time by the amazing Tamira at beautybytami! Thank you lovely! 🙂


  1. Tag the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions you were given.
  3. Nominate 10 people who’s blog is about beauty or fashion.
  4. Make 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Inform the people you chose that they have been nominated!

The Questions from beautybytami:

Tell me something we don’t know about you!

I went to University for a whole year to study Politics but decided to leave to go to work instead.

Favorite current high end product?

I wouldn’t say it’s majorly high end, but MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation will always be a favourite.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I’ve never done anything majorly crazy, but there are a few minor crazy things. I’ve driven to Blackpool from London at 1am before on a whim (about a 5 hour drive) in the absolute torrential rain. I’ve also gone to a club and sneaked into the back staff break room, sat on their sofa and pretended like I was supposed to be there to all the staff… got away with it as well.

Where do you work?

I work in London as a Recruitment Consultant – far from the makeup world!

Do you have any little furry friends? What are their names and what kind of pet?

Yes, I have a dog, she is a black Cocker Spaniel called Lola J

Your absolute DREAM car?

I’m not massively into cars, but I wouldn’t mind an Audi R8.

Would you give up putting on makeup for a full month if you were offered a $100 gift card to your favorite cosmetics brand for doing so? (You could use it after the month is over)

Absolutely, categorically, no. Haha, 30 days of torment would not be worth $100. Sorry.

What is your background? Ethnicity, family etc…

I am White British. I have an Irish surname so I asked my Dad once where we are from originally and he just repeatedly said “Stepney” until I got the picture. (Stepney is an area in East London – popular for it’s Cockneys!) So as far as I know, I’m just a Londoner.

One food you HATE?

Celery. End of.

What is on the top of your bucket list?

To go to Kyoto, Japan and see the Geisha. And I actually finally get to go next year in April! Excited is an understatement.

My Questions:

  1. What is your favourite lip colour?
  2. What is your favourite clothes shop?
  3. How often do you wear makeup?
  4. Long nails or short nails? Why?
  5. What is your favourite time of day?
  6. What has been the best day of your life so far?
  7. Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
  8. Do you drive? If yes, what do you drive?
  9. Explain your blog in 3 words.
  10. What is your best piece of advice to aspiring bloggers?

I nominate:

Cogitation Project

Living Vogue

Ladyaah Beauty

I’m so excited to read your answers!

How to make your lips look BIGGER!

Lips bigger poster

This is every girl’s dream, right? To make their lips look full and plump! Well I’ve found a way to make my lips look fuller and plumper without using any lip injections, plumping lipgloss or funky devices that stretch your lips out. I use… makeup!

Yes, it’s true. You can get full, plump lips by just using 3 lip products (2, at a push). Now, I know a lot of girls don’t like the ‘overdrawing’ method, and to be quite honest with you, I don’t either, but this technique overdraws just one tiny little part of your lips and, trust me, I have had no-one say anything to me about how my lips look horrible and overdrawn (maybe they’re chatting behind my back, but who cares?)

Step one:

no lips

You have a plain old lip.

Step two:

blank lips

Blank out your lips using some concealer or foundation – this will ensure that the colour you put on your lips is a ‘true’ colour and not the colour of your lipstick mixed with the redness of your lips.

Step three:

half lips

Start lining your lips. This is the key part. Line your lips EXACTLY matching your natural lip line. Then, when you get to your cupid’s bow, overdraw your lip by about 1mm, literally no more than that. Do not extend that overdraw to any other part of your top lip other than the cupids bow otherwise you will start to resemble The Joker.

lined lips

Similarly, you want to overdrawn your bottom lip ONLY at the very bottom centre, again, by about 1mm. Do not extend this overdraw anywhere other than the bottom of your bottom lip.

This will ensure you get the ‘rosebud’ lip effect rather than the ‘Jocelyn Wildenstein’ lip effect.

Step four:

filled lips

Fill in your lips with a lipstick that is 1-2 shades lighter than your lip liner. I have gone with a matte lipstick, but this is purely personal preference.

Step five:

blended lips

Pick up your liner again and shade/blend your liner with your lipstick s you don’t have a harsh line… you want it to look more like a gradient effect.

Step 6:

finished lips

This is optional but, I find, effective. Take a really light lip colour, e.g. a foundation colour (or a foundation/concealer will do fine) and put that only in the middle of your top and bottom lips. Don’t put it anywhere else. Then, gently blend the colour in so there is no harsh lines.

And there you have it! Bigger lips in 2 minutes! Feel free to add a lip gloss or whatever you want afterwards, but I prefer a matte look, and it stays for hours!

Let me know your tips and tricks for fuller looking lips!

Products used:

Barbara Daly Lipliner Pencil in Sugar & Spice

MAC Matte Lipstick in Honey Love

MAC Viva Glam GaGa 2 Amplified (I think this was Limited Edition, sorry!)

Tips & Tricks for a Super Speedy Morning Routine!

Running late

Mornings can be a stressful time.  It’s a never-ending guilt trip of deciding to snooze that alarm for 10 more minutes and then leave the house looking like the troll under the bridge.  I know this feeling, however, if you’re like me, I’ve trained myself to get ready in exactly 45 minutes and actually leave the house looking like a decent human being, and that includes having a tea or coffee AND breakfast!

I know what you’re thinking… what is this sorcery? But I’m going to tell you a few things which might just speed up your morning routine and have you feeling fresh, calm and polished.

Firstly, the key to a fast morning routine is preparation. And no, I don’t mean choosing an outfit the night before, lining up your make up in usage order and all that mind-numbing time-consuming stuff. I mean, in your general life, you can make a few changes which will shave vital minutes off your usual morning routine.

  1. Do washing and ironing regularly. I know what you’re thinking… that is seriously boring. But I tell what is worse – running around the house at 7 in the morning using the straighteners to get rid of creases from the dress that has been in the dirty washing for a week.
  2. Separate your “work/school” outfits from the rest of your wardrobe. I don’t mean buy a whole other wardrobe just for this stuff, but keep it to one side in your wardrobe and you will know exactly where all your ‘work appropriate’ stuff is and won’t have to go rooting through every other item of clothing to find something to wear.
  3. Leading on from point 2, ensure that you actually like all of your work/school outfits. It seems silly, but the amount of times in the past that I’ve put on an outfit and felt uncomfortable because it didn’t fit, or I didn’t like it or whatever other reason, is ridiculous. Make sure you have at least 5-10 outfits that fit well, are appropriate and make you feel good. That way, in the morning, when you’re pushed for time, you won’t be stressing about what to wear because ALL of your outfits will be fine!
  4. Keep your make up in the same place! I know it sounds simple but I am really guilty for this. I take out a lipstick or powder or whatever from my makeup case to use for a night out and end up leaving it in that bag. Come weekday morning, I’m hunting around for that product and I can’t find it anywhere. It adds to the stress levels, wastes your time and you will end up feeling a sweaty, late mess. Just put stuff back where it goes and you’ve just saved yourself 10 minutes of looking through every clutch bag you own.
  5. Train yourself to think that your work/school start time is at least 15-30 minutes earlier than it is. This seems stupid, right? But I ALWAYS aim to be at work for 8am, even though I don’t have to start until 8:30am. When I get there at 8am, it’s not an issue, I just make myself a coffee, relax, open my computer and check through the internet or something. When my other colleagues come racing through the door at 8:31am I am relaxed and ready to start my day and they are stressed and red-faced. If, by any chance, I am running really late, I will probably still get there on time or a bit earlier because I’ve given myself that half an hour window. Trust me, this does work.

Now, onto the hardcore stuff… you have failed to prepare and you’ve woken up really late. Every second counts and you need to get out of the front door as soon as possible.

  1. Brush your teeth in the shower. This may save you like 1 minute, but that minute counts!
  2. Don’t wash your hair! If you usually wash your hair in the morning, you may need to curb that this time, you haven’t got time for that! This will save you 10 minutes washing time and, if you’ve got hair like mine (think and frizzy!) 30 minutes blow drying and styling it! Spray some dry shampoo in it, and if you really have to, put it up in a sleek pony tail or bun!
  3. Minimise your make up. You haven’t got time to apply that perfect slick of liquid liner today. You will end up rushing it, it will look a mess and you will have to wipe it off and start your whole face again. My tip: run a black or brown pencil gently on the top of your lash line and smudge it out into a smoky line. It’s much more forgiving and takes a fraction of the time.
  4. Don’t ever NOT shower. I have done this when I’m in a rush and I felt awful all day! I would rather skip every other step than skip this one. Perspective: you’re already late, 2-3 additional minutes in the shower is not going to make a huge difference to how late you are and you will feel fresh all day. Skipping a shower means you’re already late and now you have to spend the whole day smelling like Stinky Pete.
  5. Relax! Ok, you’re late. You’ve jumped out of bed like a ninja and your mind is telling you to run around the house like a headless chicken and get ready as fast as humanly possible.  Don’t!  You’re still half asleep, your thoughts are all muddled and you will probably just extend your getting ready time if you jump straight up and start running around.  Instead, get out of bed, stand up and stretch.  Give yourself 30 seconds to compose your thoughts and think what you’re going to do first in a logical way and then start getting ready.  The more urgent you feel, the more mistakes you will make.  Everything always seems to go wrong when you’re in a rush, right?  Well pretend to yourself that you’re not and everything will go right, trust me!

I hope these tips helped you if you’re always running late, like me!  If you’ve got any tips for when you’re running late, leave them in a comment!

Real Neat Blog Award

Real Neat Blog Award

Hey beauties! I am so proud and honoured to be nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award.  Thank you so much to the amazing Elisabeth at everythingandnothin for nominating me! Her blog is amazing and gives me loads of inspiration – definitely check it out!

Rules for the award:

  • Put the award logo on your blog
  • Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you
  • Thank the person who nominated you, linking to their blog
  • Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blog
  • Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

Elisabeth’s Questions:

  1. What is your biggest fear?

Honestly, spiders. I literally cannot deal with them. If there was a monster in my house and my only means of escape was the back door, and there was a spider in the way of that, I guess I would be eaten by the monster.

  1. Name one beauty item you had high hopes for but it let you down.

Tough one. I always find some use out of a seemingly useless product, but the one that springs to mind is the MAC Pro Longwear SPF10 Foundation. I love MAC products but I really didn’t get on with this one; it didn’t blend in well – it felt like it just sat on top of my skin, irritated my face – especially my eyes, making them water and didn’t ever seem to ‘set’ which meant it rub off on everything. I’ve spoken to friends who have really good reviews for this foundation but I just really didn’t get on with it.

  1. What is your favorite season and why?

May be controversial, but I love Autumn/Winter. I absolutely hate being hot (except for when I’m on holiday). I just find myself getting really agitated and not being able to concentrate. I love the feeling of snuggling up nice and warm, the beautiful coats and scarves that you can buy and the fact that my makeup doesn’t sweat off throughout the day is an added bonus!

  1. Name one thing you have learned from blogging.

To be myself! When I decided to write a blog I was going to write it very factually and impersonally because I thought it would seem more professional and I wouldn’t have anyone judging my personality or little colloquialisms, but half way through my first post, I decided to change this and be myself. I decided that it would relate to anyone who decided to read my blog better and I wouldn’t enjoy it as much if I wrote it in that impersonal way all the time. It’s always best to be yourself!

  1. What is your favorite snack?

You realise I’m a sucker for snacks, right? Ha, this is gonna be tough. I love chocolate but for a snack, I definitely prefer savoury stuff… it’s a tie between two. I love pitta bread and houmous (I actually eat this for lunch all the time) and nachos and guacamole! As you can tell, I love a dip!

  1. Where do you see your blog in 5 years?

Well I would love to say with a million followers and really successful, but honestly, I am so happy right now! I never expected to get here, especially so quickly, so if I maintained what I have now, I would be super happy! I’m just here to write about what I love the most (makeup!) and share my ideas. If that takes me somewhere amazing in 5 years, it would be a massive bonus!

  1. How many days a week do you wear makeup on average?

On average, I would say 6-7 days per week (yes, every day!). I definitely wear it every week day for work and, of course, if I’m going out at the weekend, I will always wear makeup. If I’m having a day in, 80% of the time, I will generally put something on my face, just because I love actually applying makeup!

My Nominees

Too Much Mouth


Beauty Bunny

Blended & Beautiful

Confetti and Curves


My Questions

  1. Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?
  2. If you were stuck on a desert island, list 5 things you would NEED to have with you.
  3. What’s your best beauty secret?
  4. What’s your favourite time of day?
  5. What is your favourite social media platform and why?
  6. If you could go back in time to any age, what would it be and why?
  7. Why did you decide to start a blog?

Top Six Summer Favourites… because six is better than five!

Hi! I hope you’ve all had a great Wednesday!

Today I want to introduce you all to my favourite 6 products of the summer so far. It was supposed to be 5 and if I had it my way it would have been, like, 24, so count yourselves lucky!

This is a real mixed bag of products in terms of what they do and the price tag. I love the high end brands (who doesn’t?) but if I can get a real bargain product and it does a great job, why shouldn’t I love that too?

So here it is, my top 6 products!

all products

The MakeUp Academy Mosaic Bronzer in Natural Glow


I think I’ve mentioned this product in near enough every blog post I’ve done to date and I know you’re probably thinking, “Change the record!” but this product is amazing! I bought it about 2 months ago and have used it every single day and, as you can see, I’ve just hit pan! It was an absolute bargain at around £2… yes, really, £2 and it creates this beautiful ‘Natural Glow’… for real, a product that actually does what it says on the tin. I was very dubious about this at first because the blend of colours that has been used for this mosaic seem slightly weird upon first glance. There is a mixture of brown, yellow, terracotta and purple? But once you swirl them all together on your brush and sweep it on, it makes your skin look radiant and healthy. And you can double it up as individual eyeshadows too! What’s not to love?

bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation in Medium Beige N20


OK, this was an impulse buy at the airport because I suddenly realised whilst browsing through the Duty Free that I have no bareMinerals products… what is that? So I thought I would give this little baby a go and it hasn’t failed to disappoint! It’s slightly darker than I would have liked it to be, but that is due to my own foolishness at the airport… just came off a week long holiday in the sun… ‘Let’s buy a face product that matches our skin tone now, shall we?’ Great move. This foundation is a mineral powder which blends out to look like actual foundation leaving the skin looking flawless and still, surprisingly dewy-looking which is so bizarre for a powder, but a welcome surprise! Sometimes I apply it on its own as a foundation and sometimes I use it as a powder to set my makeup for super flawlessness.

MAC Spiced Metal Mineralize Eye Shadow

mac eyeshadow

I actually got this product around Christmas time however, never really used it that often until recently, what with the latest strobing craze and what-not. I don’t really often use this as an eyeshadow at all as its very, very glittery and shimmery and doesn’t have a lot of pay off in terms of actual solid colour. But this is why it’s so great for highlighting/strobing! I usually dab my brush into this product really lightly and add it to my highlight areas. It looks so beautiful in the light. I learned with this product, however, that less is definitely more and to avoid the disco ball look, don’t go too crazy!

Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Taupe

anastasia bh

Where would my life be without this product? In a state of eyebrow crisis, that’s where. I honestly don’t know how I managed without this product my whole life – no wonder there’s so many reviews on it! The texture is amazing, the colour choice is fantastic and it seems to last forever! I’ve used this every single day for the last 7 months and I’ve still got about 2/3 of the stuff left. I highly recommend, if you haven’t got it already.

Kiko Unforgettable Mascara

kiko mascara

This is an odd choice and I’m unsure how it’s made it onto my top 6, but when I was looking through my makeup case, I kept coming back to this product time and again. When I first tried this mascara, I was uncertain how I felt about it. It felt almost dry when I first unscrewed it and it felt really stiff when I ran it through my eyelashes, however, it has slowly become one of my favourite mascaras. The reason? That stiffness and dry feeling (the product isn’t actually dry, just really thick) helps push up and curl your lashes because you need to really work it in. I’ve found that my eyelashes look longer, thicker and more curled than my eyelashes have ever looked before from using just one product. I think of it as the hairspray for my eyelashes! If you can get over the initial dry/thick feeling of this mascara, then you won’t be disappointed by the results it gives!

Seventeen Skin WOW! 3 Way Highligher


I love this stuff. It’s so versatile, you can use it, literally, however you want. Dependent on how I’m feeling on the day, I will use it as a primer for my skin, adding a glow before I apply my foundation. I will sometimes add it with my foundation and occasionally I add it on top of my foundation to my cheekbones and other highlight areas. Whichever way you decide to use it, it will give you a healthy, glowing complexion.

So there it is… my six summer favourites! Let me know what yours are!