PIXIWOO HAVE DONE IT AGAIN // miracle complexion sponge

I've always been one to favour make-up brushes over sponges. I never really got make-up sponges. They just always made me think of face-paint applicators, applying it watery and streaky, and even when the huge hype around the Beauty Blender was about, I had no desire to try one (plus they weren't available in the UK) so just never tried them, loyal to my e.l.f. and Real Techniques brushes.

Yet, I recently picked up the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge after arriving incredibly late to the party. After owning almost all of the Real Technique brush sets and loving them, I thought I'd pick one up from a brand I trust.

I've been using this for around a month to apply my foundation with the flatter side, and concealer with the point and I love it more than I expected to. The finish and coverage of make-up is a lot more seamless and smooth, and application is so fast and easy.

So yes, I wouldn't say I'm converted, but I am impressed with the humble make-up sponge, and really recommend this one!

NEW YORK WISHLIST #2 // drugstore

The second instalment of my New York beauty wishlist is here, containing drugstore items. I have a feeling I'll receive some strange looks from US residents as I run around CVS and Duane Reade in excitement. To them, its a pharmacy, to me its a world of well-priced makeup I've never been able to try before...us British love a good drugstore and the same old Boots and Superdrug only have so much to offer. Here's a list of what I'm planning on picking up the US drugstores...
WET'N'WILD EYESHADOWS// probably the thing I see cropping up in a 'US Beauty Haul' the most...wet'n'wild palettes are so popular, with gorgeous shades and apparently brilliant quality, not to mention the insanely cheap price tags.
COVERGIRL LASHBLAST// covergirl is another brand unavailable to us here in the UK, and I've heard good things about their mascaras, and being a mascara whore lover, I'll definitely be picking one up to try!
NYX SOFT MATTE LIP CREAM// I believe some Next stores stock NYX, but unfortunately none around where I live do, so I plan on picking some products up, one (or two) being the Soft Matte Lip Creams which I've heard are great.
NYX JUMBO EYE PENCILS// The other NYX product I've heard loads about are the Jumbo Eye Pencils. I plan on picking up the famous Milk, a white base, and probably a bronzey shade, because who doesn't love a bronzey smokey eye?
MILANI BAKED BLUSH// Despite not really being a blush fan/wearer, I'm wanting to pick up some from Milani after hearing good reviews. If not them, then something from Milani as a brand as it isn't available in the UK!
MAYBELLINE COLOUR WHISPER// Maybelline's answer to the Revlon Lip Butters (which I love anyway), but not available in the UK yet, I'll be looking out for these!
MAYBELLINE COLOUR TATTOO// finally, something that is available in Boots and Superdrug, but if I'm not mistaken, the US have a wider range of shades, including a lot more neutral/wearable shades. Already owning and loving two (Permanent Taupe and On and On Bronze) I'll be seeking out some other shades!

No doubt my two lists will grow and grow closer to the time I go to the US (r.i.p. bank account) but those are the bits I'm planning on picking up! If you haven't read my first wishlist, featuring products from Sephora/high-end items, you can read it here!

Any recommendations for things to pick up are very welcome!


I have a new-found-love for dresses. Never previously liking them for day-wear, afraid of looking too formal, I've been converted. The best place for casual dresses I've found is H&M, where I've purchased 3 and I love them. This striped basic t-shirt dress is the newest edition and I am in love with how effortless it looks. They are SO easy and comfortable to wear, and I have a feeling this dress will get so much wear all year round. It's the first t-shirt dress I've ever owned and I love how it looks with black tights and an oversized blazer, keeping it neutral. My style has definitely changed from more patterned, colourful pieces, to more simple, plain pieces -  which are probably more boring, but are so easy to wear.Yet wearing neutrals, I can't be without a bold lip, and I've opted for Mac's matte lipstick in All Fired Up, which probably isn't the most autumnal shade, but love how it looks with this outfit anyway.

What are you wearing this autumn?

NEW YORK WISHLIST #1 // high end/sephora

guess whos going to new york next may and is overexcited for the beauty offerings over there? *raises hand*. Sadly, I won't be able to purchase all of these products due to the amount of spending money and shopping time I'll have, yet those in bold are ones I definitely want to get my hands on! As my shopping list is rather long, I'm splitting it into two posts, and today is the higher end/Sephora offering...

ANASTASIA BEVERLEY HILLS BROW WIZ // eyebrow shaping/filling in is one of my favourite makeup steps, and I've heard so much about the Brow Wiz, I really want to pick it up in NY!
NARS LAGUNA BRONZER // available in the UK, but abit cheaper in the US, so I will finally be picking up the famous Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna.
BITE LIPSTICK DUO// I've only recently heard of Bite, but this lipstick duo looks like any lip-product-addicts best friend, at only $12, its a steal!
TARTE GIFTED MASCARA// tarte is another brand so difficult to get in the UK, and I've heard good things about their mascaras!
SEPHORA FORMULA X // the ever-so-raved about Formula X Nail Polishes are on my list, as they're pretty cheap and the colour selection is insane.
LORAC PRO PALETTE // //the biggie. The one everyone is recommending me and as a palette lover I neeed to get my hands on the Lorac Pro Palette! (another product EssieButton has me lusting after!)
MAKE UP FOR EVER HD FOUNDATION// I'm not entirely sure that I want this product specifically, but I definitely want to try something from Make Up For Ever!
SEPHORA PRO AIRBRUSH #55// I've heard good reviews about the Sephora Brushes and from Amelia Liana's recommendation, I'm hoping to get my hand of the Pro Airbrush #55 for foundation!
SEPHORA CREAM LIP STAIN// Another Amelia Liana recommendation...apparently the best liquid lipstick out there...need.
TARTE AMAZONIAN CLAY BLUSH// I'm not much of a blush wearer, but the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes are supposed to be gorgeous.
FRESH SUGAR LIP TREATMENT// Fresh isn't a brand I've really heard much about since recently, but a lot of people have been talking about these tinted balms!
KAT VON D TATTOO LINER// Rave reviews of the Kat Von D makeup line are everywhere, and the tattoo liner is something I'd love to get my hands on!
NARS RADIANT CREAMY CONCEALER// Finally, a possible purchase of the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is on the cards. I love trying new concealers and this, I'm told, is both for both under-eye and blemishes.

If there are any high end recommendations from the states please let me know!

THE RESTOCK // the underrated, purse-friendly nude lipstick

The first beauty post on this blog was one titled 'the restock | essentials' and today, after nearly 5 months I finally bring a second edition.

MUA is one of the brands that started my interest in makeup, because of the insanely cheap prices and huge variety. I decided to pick up two lipsticks, each at £1: shade 5 (not too keen, almost a glittery pink...it has since been removed from my collection) and shade 11 (my fave - a pink-brown nude). I can't remember swatching them when choosing the shades, so kind of brought them on a whim. 

Only when I got home and tried out shade 11 I realised how much of a perfect nude colour it is, for mine, and probably lots of other skin tones. I find myself wearing this all the time for a bit of colour without anything too bright or fussy. The formula is so creamy, and admittedly not the most long-lasting, but for a pound, and a more subtle colour, that doesn't really matter. 

As you can see, I've restocked. First ever used up and repurchased lipstick.*round of applause*
BUT notice how the shade is actually slightly different than the original. Slightly more pink and less peach. Regardless, still a lovely shade which I'll happily wear over and over again on lazy make-up days when I can't be faffed with retouching. And for a pound, the repurchase didn't break the bank which makes it even better.

What MUA lipsticks are you a fan of? 
Restocked your must-have beauty product recently?

THE MOM JEANS // autumn ootd

the floor was obviously extremely interesting...
I cannot remember how long it's been since I posted an outfit of the day, but today I bring an autumn one, featuring some new additions to my wardrobe.

My jacket is a blazer from H&M and I love the simple, smart style of it. Great for autumn weather, as it isn't too warm, and goes with everything.  I bought this a few sizes up as I love the oversized look in coats.

I made the decision to purchase my first ever pair of Topshop jeans, and initially had my eye on some Jamie ones. Though, looking around the denim section (so much choice) I came across these Mom Jeans, which I'd never have thought of trying on, but was curious to see what they'd look like...and I fell in love. They're super comfy, and a high-waisted style which I find really flattering.

I feel like this is the start of a beautiful, yet expensive relationship with Topshop denim.

Any Topshop jean fans?

MAC REBEL DUPE // topshop the damned

- This was posted as a guest post on Bethan's blog A Messy Little Raindrop but I thought I'd share it on my blog too! -

I'm a huge lover of dark lipstick, and I love the Autumn/Winter months as dark lips are a key trend every year. I picked up Mac's satin lipstick in Rebel quite a few months ago for £15 and I love it! It's a dark plum/pink with a semi-matte finish and insane staying power.
After wanting to try Topshop Lipsticks for the longest time, I featuring 'The Damned' in my recent haul and later discovered the shade is so similar to Rebel, just slightly lighter. I actually prefer the formula of the Topshop one, as it's alot smoother and so moisturising it feels like a lip-balm! Although, Rebel has a longer staying-power, which fades evenly.

Side-by-side both shades look practically identical, and even when putting the above photo together, I had difficulty telling them apart! Topshop lipsticks are available for £8, so just over half the price of the Mac ones. If you're after Mac's Rebel, definitely go for Topshop's offering first if you're not wanting to invest in the £15 price tag!

Found any Mac dupes? 


I dug out my Revlon Colourburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple last week, put it on, and forgot how much I love it. Here's my makeup look which I wore with it with some everyday favourites...

Benefit The Porefessional - beautiful to smooth over pores and keep makeup in place.
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation - an old favourite which gives a beautiful velvet finish to the skin with a medium coverage.
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - a classic which covers dark circles and blemishes in a flash.
E.l.f. High Definition Powder - a life-saver if you're like me where any concealer creases under the eyes.

Benefit Hoola - I've had this sample size since last christmas and haven't even hit pan yet. I love the pigmentation and the warmth and shape it brings to my face.
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer - I rarely go without highlighter and this is the newest edition to my collection. Put on the top of the cheeks gives a gorgeous natural glow, read my full review here

E.l.f. Eyebrow Kit - this is the first brow kit I've owned with a waxy texture and I find it works well, is a good match and stays in place all day,
Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze - another classic which I use regularly. It gives you a perfect subtle bronze eye with minimum effort.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Micro Precision Liner - not my favourite for application or opaqueness, but the waterproof aspect is what I like about it. I simply layer it abit to create a black line with flick.
Estee Lauder Dual Kajal - The blackened-black end is an absolute must-have for me everyday to tightline my eyes and thicken my lashline.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kajal in Bronze - I used this on my outer bottom lash-line to tie in the Colour Tattoo and love the slight smokey effect it gives.
Benefit They're Real! Mascara - The waterproof formula which holds a curl and gives insane length and volume. A fave.

Revlon Colourburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple - I bought this ages ago and after shopping my stash have fallen in love with it again. Super moisturising, and a complimenting subtle red.

Current favourite makeup products?

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer

I'd never heard of theBalm as a brand before last year, and since being introduced to the range of products and amazing packaging by essiebutton, I'd always wanted to get my hands on some products. It's taken me a while to say the least, but as feelunique were having one of their sales on, I decided to order the product on the top of my list: Mary-Lou Manizer.

The highlighter is a shimmery champagne colour with great pigmentation. The shimmer is almost glittery, which I love for a cheekbone/inner corner highlight. This can be slightly more subtle if you have a very light hand, but if you're not a shimmer lover, you won't like this. Luckily, I am and I've worn it most days since purchasing it for an everyday glow.

As for the packaging (probably one of the main reasons why I bought this), I love it. So different and fun and looks fab in the ol' Muji drawers.

I'm so impressed with this, and desperately want to try more from theBalm. Next on my list is the Bahama Mama Bronzing Powder.

What are your thoughts on Mary-Lou? Any theBalm products I should try?

guest post // favourite lip balms

Hello! Today I will be guest-posting on Laura's blog and I will be writing a post on 2 lip balms. I love lip balm and I have previously tried a number of different lip balms. There are so many different lip balms available in stores it can be hard to choose the best ones.

Carmex is my absolute favourite lip balm to use. This is such a great product as it really does make a change. It can help with dry lips, cold sores, rough skin and protection against the sun. When you use this lip balm, it gives you a tingling feeling whilst it hydrates your lips. This lip balm is available in different ways. In a tube, which you apply directly onto your lips and also in a container, where you yse your finger to apply. 
I would recommend this is anyone!!

More recently, I have ordered a lip balm called EOS which is mainly known over in America. I wanted to try this lip balm because they use natural conditioning oils and antioxidant vitamins. I have the pomegranate raspberry flavour and it tastes SO nice. Ok, so it's not about the taste but that is a bonus. 

Both lip balms are really good and I would recommend them both. EOS is now available to buy in the UK so you do not have to wait for the shipping time, but it does mean it costs a bit more than other lip balms available. Carmex on the other hand is available in most shops like Superdrug and Boots for about £2. 

I love trying new lip balms so if anyone has any recommendations, leave a comment or email me: williams.bethan2@gmail.com I would love to hear from you! 

Thank you for reading and thank you to Laura for collaborating with me, it's been great!

You can visit my blog here.

Thankyou to Bethan for guest posting! Read my guest post over on her blog here, where I'm talking Mac Lipstick Dupes!

college bag contents

I've recently started my A Level courses at a sixth-form college and thought I'd share what I carry around with me. A slightly overdue What's In My School Bag?...

Bag // My bag (top left) is a black and white backpack from Topshop, which I bought last year from ASOS Marketplace and I love it. It can fit so much in and goes with everything.

Stationary // I have some stuff from my recent stationary haul in my bag, including the 5 Subject Notebook from Tiger, which I use everyday to write notes, as well as my smaller, geometric pattern notebook from Homesense. A pencil case is obviously a must, filled with pens, pencils and highlighters - mine is from H&M.

Beauty // I take a small makeup bag to school for touch-ups once or twice throughout the day, I tend to take a mattifying powder (Maybelline Matte Maker) and face brush (e.l.f. Complexion Brush) , a concealer (Collection Lasting Perfection), eyeliner (Rimmel Scanaleyes Master Precise), compact mirror, and the lip colour I'm wearing that day, I also take a small purse with essentials like hand sanitiser, paracetamol for the occasional headache, plasters, and hand-cream. I also bring some scrunchies and hair-clips incase I'm feeling a mid-day hairstyle change...rare but potential. Lastly for beauty, a deodorant (for obvious reasons), and a small Benefit perfume.

Other bits // I wear glasses for long-distance reading, and mine are THE SMA from Cheap Monday. I also carry my purse which contains money and my student ID, and lastly, my earphones. I also forgot to include my phone - which is a white iPhone 5c - and my house keys in the photo.

So there's a snoop into my college bag. 
Are you back at school/college/uni? What do you carry around?

bronzers // haves & wants

bronzers are probably my second favourite type of product (no prizes for guessing that lipstick is my first favourite) and so I thought I'd share my small collection and thoughts on them, as well as the ones on my wishlist to try!
maybelline dream sun | i was given this by a friend who didn't use it much, and after wanting to try it for quite a while anyway, i was chuffed. unfortunately it has broken, but it originally has two or three shades in it. I find it a really nice pigmentation and colour, and it has a tiny bit of shimmer in which I don't mind,

sleek face form in light | this is one of the oldest of the bunch, and clearly, most used. Even though my skin tone probably wouldn't be described as 'light', I find this a really nice contour and bronze shade. Its really nice to blend and is a matte finish.

benefit hoola | i have a sample size of this which I received at christmas and still have quite a lot left. I really love this for contouring as it blends so effortlessly to give a really natural finish. Once I finish the sample size I'll definitely be investing in the full size!

mua bronzer | I had a bit of a phase with MUA once I discovered the high quality for an amazingly cheap price. I bought this bronzer for £1 and it's really nice pigmentation and quality, yet has quite a lot of shimmer so I never use a highlighter with it.

e.l.f. contouring blush and bronzer  in st. lucia | this is the newest edition to my collection and really love the tone and shade of the bronzer. It has a small bit of shimmer which I find really subtle and flattering. If you haven't read my full review of this product you can read it here!

bobbi brown bronzing powder // I've never tried anything from Bobbi Brown and the bronzing powder looks like a good placve to start, as it's raved about alot..looks gorgeous.

l'oreal glam bronze // a drugstore favourite which I'd like to try, as it's rare to find a fully-matte bronzer on the high-street,

estee lauder bronze goddess // a classic which everyone seems to love...i neeeed it.

the body shop honey bronzer // one which is very popular in the blogging/vlogging world, but I've heard this is better for fairer skinned gals.

nars laguna // the classic, the famous nars laguna, which about everyone and their dog loves...the price tag hurts to think about mind you...

chanel soleil tan de chanel // the only cream bronzer on my wishlist, as quite frankly, they scare me. I've never used one but this one from chanel is hyped up alot and i'd love to give it a try!

What bronzers are in your collection, and what ones are on your wishlist?

essence cosmetics

I don't have a Wilkinson store near me, so a few weeks back when I was in Norfolk, I came across one and immediately went to the Essence counter. As far as I know, they've only just came over to the UK and are sold exclusively in Wilkinson's stores so I was excited to try some products. I hadn't previously read much about them, so just picked up what I liked the look of, and being on a 3for2 offer, these three products cost me less than £6 all together.

Essence XXXL Longlasting Lipgloss in 06 Soft Nude // I don't own many glosses as I'm much of of a lipstick addict, but seeing the 'matte effect' sticker on a few shades, I really wanted to pick one up. I went for NAME, a dark pinky nude which I really like. The formula is quite nice, and the colour pay-off is good, with a matt finish as it promises. The only thing I'm not too keen on it the applicator's odd, long shape, and the staying power isn't great. But for less than £3, I like it as a subtle, moisturising lip colour.

Essence Kajal Pencil Liner in 15 Behind The Scenes // I've been on the hunt for a grey/taupe pencil for quite a while so decided to try an Essence one, which I believe was only about £1.I really like this on the outer-lower lash-line and the pigmentation is really nice.

Essence 3D Eyeshadow in 09 Irresistible Chocolate  // finally, I really liked the look of the dual eyeshadows they had on offer, so I picked one up in Irresistible Chocolat. The pigmentation is really nice and the two shades give a really nice smokey look to the eyes when used together. Yet, I think it'd be better if one of the shades was matte, as both are quite shimmery and they can look quite full-on.

Overall I'm impressed with what I've tried from Essence Cosmetics!
What have you tried from the brand? Any recommendations?

august favourites

The month of August has come to an end, and as it pains me to say, summer is officially over in the UK, I'm really looking forward to September. I begin my A Level courses at my sixth form of choice, and autumn is my favourite season for makeup. Here's the small selection of things I've been loving this past month:

1. Elemis Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser // Remember the best day of the month year? National Lipstick Day brought online offers any beauty addict couldn't resist. Debenhams had £5 all lipsticks, so I ordered a Mac one, perfect for autumn (Party-Line...google it it's a beauty). With it I received a makeup bag-full of Elemis samples which I was sooo excited to try out! From all of the samples, this cream cleanser has been my favourite and I've used it everyday. It removes makeup really easily and deeply, and leaves my skin smooth and refreshed.

2. Barry M Gelly Polish in Blueberry // This polish has featured in my Nails Of The Day post a few weeks back and it's all I've had on my nails this month. It's a gorgeous blue/purple shade and the formula is really nice and long-lasting.

3. Mac Cremesheen Lipstick in Shy Gir l// I bought this quite a few months ago and after not using it for ages, I rediscovered it this month and why I love it so much. It's a peachy nude and I find it looks best with one thin layer and patted in for a subtle nude shade.

4. Scrunchies // I am obsessed with the whole 'half-up-half-down-messy hairstyle' at the moment and have basically had my hair like it everyday. Scrunchies make the style a whole lot more volumnious and fun and they're alot more comfortable in the hair than a normal hairband.

5. e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit // My brows are currently in desperate need of a reshape, as I've been trying to grow them abit thicker this month. Luckily the e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit has come to my rescue in the transition to make my brows look less messy.

What have you been loving this month?

stationary shoppin' // back to school

In just over a week, I start at a sixth form college to begin my 2 year A Level courses *shudders with fear*. But of course, with the nerves, there's excitement to meet new people AND an excuse to buy pretty new stationary. I thought I'd share what I picked up.

Tiger // ah, the amazing store that is Tiger, filled with the most random things that you definitely don't need, but somehow want (like a tea-towell with a print of french fries or an alarm clock with a propeller which flies across your room as it goes off...had way too much fun playing with it when I was in there) From Tiger I picked up the brown A5 notebook with blue stripe for £1, and I use this as my blogging notebook as I find it so much easier to manage when everything is written down. I also picked up the A4 5 Subject Notebook which was £4, as it's perfect for college, as I'm taking four subjects, and I'll use the spare section for rough notes or drafts. Finally I picked up some post-it notes for a pound which will always come in handy, for both blogging and school-work.

Homesense // I never knew how much stationary was sold in Homesense until I had a snoop around there last week. I saw this orange and grey chevron-print magazine file and loved it. It cost me £3.99 and I think it's perfect for organizing my school work at home. I also picked up this geometric patterned A5 notebook for £3 in the clearance section which I love. It has different coloured sections and will again be perfect for jotting down notes for college.

H&M // finally, I picked this aztec pencil case up from H&M which I spotted at the till when paying for something else. It's the perfect size for various pens and high-lighters and was only £1.99.

Are you going back to school or starting college/university?
And are you as over-excited about pretty stationary as me...?

seaside attire (take two)

dress + sunglasses : h&m / bag: forever 21 / sandals: primark
If you've read my last post, you'll know I was wrapped up in leggings and a jacket for the seaside. Yet, the very next day I wore this...british weather confuses me. As there were pretty flowers and a flowery dress to go with it, I thought I'd share my outfit.

I am in love with this loose fitting smock-style dress from h&m. I already have a blue paisely-patterned which I wear all the time, so I decided another would be a good investment. I think it was around £12.99. I chose my trusty Forever 21 faux leather zippered bag to pair with the dress, as well as my favourite H&M sunnies and white Primark sandals.

whats your favourite thing to wear in the summer?

seaside attire (...not quite)

it was windy...

Hello! I recently visited the ever-so-sunny british coast and loved this back-drop, so decided to take a few outfit photos. Obviously, being England, it wasn't your usual seaside outfit as it was abit windy and chilly...

My jacket is my new favourite thing ever and it featured in my recent haul. It was from Topshop and in the sale for an amazeballs £15. My t-shirt was actually a hand-me-down from a friend who didn't want it, which I was super happy to receive as I love it, and it's from H&M. I chose leggings as they're so comfy compared to jeans, and wore my usual white converse. To add abit of colour I wore my new Topshop Lipstick (also featured in the haul) in The Damned, which is a gorgeous purply/plum shade.

...perhaps an autumnal outfit, but practical and one I absolutely love!

styling tips for surviving the rainy, windy british summer?