My Most Loved Make-Up Brushes

The other day I was cleaning some of my make-up brushes and thought maybe it would be interesting to some of you if I shared a few of my absolute favourites. Okay so I've got quite a few make-up brushes as I did train to be a make-up artist and worked for a little while freelance, so what I've done is just picked out a few of the brushes that I think are the best or that I really couldn't be without in my make-up routine. My collection pretty much consists of a combination of Zoeva, Real Techniques, MAC, and a little Primark with some paint brushes thrown in, there are obviously so many other brands that sell amazing brushes but these are just the ones I like the best that I've actually tried out!

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush 
Real Techniques is an amazing brand that offers some great quality brushes at an affordable price, they also have loads of different collections, some of which are more luxurious and have a higher price tag, so there's something for everyone. I'm pretty sure all their brushes are synthetic so can be used with both liquid, cream and powder products which is great. The Expert Face Brush is a nice medium sized, dome shape with densely packed bristles so it's great for applying foundation. The reason I like this brush is that it can be used for so much, generally, I only use it for cream/liquid products but the size and shape of the brush mean it's great for applying cream bronzers, blush, fake tan and even moisturiser.

Zoeva 102 Silk Finish 
Zoeva does some great quality brushes also at a very reasonable price, the Silk Finish Brush is a round dome shape that feels so soft and like the Expert Face Brush is great for applying a range of different products, it's a decent size so it makes applying foundation very easy and gives smooth even results.

Zoeva 110 Face Shape Brush 
This is like a mini version of the Silk Finish brush and is perfect for getting around the eyes, nose and lips. I actually like using this brush to apply my foundation when I want light natural coverage as I can take small amounts of foundation and really buff it out into the skin. I also love it for applying cream bronzer and contour, it's another really versatile and handy little brush to have.

Primark 116 Tapered Blush Brush 
This brush is a large fluffy tapered brush that is perfect for applying powder. I actually don't use this for applying blush, I like it for applying my setting powder, it's a good size and the tapered point makes it easier to apply powder around the nose and eyes. I can't remember exactly how much this brush cost, I think it was around £3 so it's very affordable and I use it almost every day. I've also washed it a good few times since purchasing and I haven't noticed any issues with shedding etc.

Real Techniques Contour Brush
I really like this brush for exactly what is says, applying contour or bronzer, it works great with both powder and cream products. There's something about the shape of this brush, it's small/medium and slightly pointed with just the right amount of density to buff out products and stop you from getting harsh lines, it also fits into all those areas or the face you want to add shape perfectly.

Zoeva 142 Concealer Buffer
Okay so we had the Face Shape Brush that was like a mini of the Silk Finish brush and now we have the mini of the Face Shape Brush. This brush initially looks a little big for concealer but it's great at working on larger areas like the eyes and around the nose and if you apply concealer carefully you can still cover smaller blemishes easily.

Paint Brushes
Okay I think I got two of these brushes from the range, they are actually painting brushes for watercolours etc. but I use both of them for more detailed concealing. This tiny fine brush is great for applying just the right amount of concealer to small blemishes to make them totally disappear and the slightly larger flat, rounded brush is great for softening edges where concealer has been applied and applying concealer differently to slightly larger blemishes.

Zoeva 231 Luxe Petit Crease
This is a small fluffy tapered brush that allows you to create more detailed eye looks and really build the colour and intensity in the crease and outer corner, it's also really nice for blending out the colour on the lower lashline if you want a super blown out effect.

Zoeva 228 Luxe Crease Brush
This is pretty self-explanatory, you need a selection of fluffy blending brushes to create different eye looks and this brush is so big and fluffy that it's perfect for creating very soft diffused looks and blending out the very edges of your eye make-up.

MAC 217
I think this is a pretty iconic blending brush, this is slightly smaller and less fluffy than the Luxe Crease brush making it absolutely perfect for applying colour right in the crease and blending out, I would say every girl should have a brush like this in her collection it's an absolute must and most brands will do something very similar so you can pick up something like this at any price point.

 Zoeva Petit Eye Blender 
This little brush is perfect for detailed work around the eyes, it's quite densely packed so you can go in and really deepen the colour at the outer edge easily without fluffing the colour everywhere, it's also perfect for adding eyeshadow to the lower lashline and buffing it out to create a beautiful smokey eye.

Zoeva 317 Wing Eyeliner Brush
This is intended as an eyeliner brush but I much prefer a tiny fine pointed brush for eyeliner but I do really like this for my brows. This brush is very fine so it's great if you want to create super sharp strong brows but at the same time if you use a lighter hand and soft colour you can create natural-looking brows that are still defined.

Finally, I forgot to take pictures of this brush but I also love a flat eye brush to pack on colour to the lid and one of my favourites is the MAC 242.

I have lot's of other brushes that I really enjoy using but I just wanted to share some of my absolute favourites and tell you a little bit about why I love them so much, I also want to recommend Real Techniques and Zoeva as brands for anyone that is on the lookout for some brushes at an affordable price, you can get the most value for your money if you buy them in a set and both brands offer a bunch of different options!

Let me know any of your favourite make-up brush brands!

Did you know I have an Etsy store selling digital downloads, including art prints, planners and clipart - check it out here!

6 Ways To Grow Your Instagram Account

Pinterest Image - 6 Ways To Grow Your Instagram Account

Today I'm going to be sharing some advice for anyone trying to grow their Instagram account, the advice will apply to most people/accounts but I'm going to be focusing it more on those who are trying to grow an Instagram account for business purposes, that could be anything from blogging to owning your own shop. 

Create a 'brand'
The first thing to do is think about your 'brand' if you want to create an Instagram account and really take it seriously then everything you post should align with the brand you are trying to create. If your account is for a business, for example, you may want to consider making a separate personal account to post selfies and pictures of your breakfast, if you are a lifestyle blogger however these kinds of pictures might be perfect for your account. Not only do you need to pick the right kind of content but you may want to consider editing your pictures in a similar way or use a specific colour palette so your followers can instantly identify your content.
I also highly recommend using an app to plan out your feed, I use UNUM, it's easy to use and lets you see if each new image works with what you already have posted.

Work on your profile
You want to make a good first impression and encourage people to follow your account so you need to think carefully about your name, bio and profile picture.
First, think about your name, if you are a blogger, for example, your most likely going to have that as your name on your account but if you also include keywords like blogger or beauty blogger you'll have a better chance of people finding your profile (Example - Beauty and Bentley | Blogger ). Next you want to add a profile picture that will get you noticed, people prefer profile pictures with people but if you have a business account and need to use something else like a logo that's fine but try to use eye-catching colours or designs that will be memorable, if you can have a profile picture of your self you could use a brightly coloured background which I've noticed is becoming more popular to help people stand out. Then finally you want to work on your bio, keep it short, sweet and to the point, you want to tell people who you are and what they can gain from following your account. You can also add hashtags into your bio, again to better your chances of people finding your account, emojis are also good to add in to show some personality and make your bio visually appealing. To finish, add a call to action and link to your website/shop/blog.

Choose a good caption
If you are new to Instagram and want to take it seriously then throwing up an emoji or some song lyrics with your images isn't going to cut it. You want to encourage people to comment and engage with your post so get creative with your captions, if you really tell a story in your caption and do it in an interesting and genuine way then people will feel more compelled to interact with you. It's also a really good idea to ask questions or encourage people to tag a friend in the comments as I've done a little research and apparently the comments you get in the first hour after posting a picture are the most important, so the more engagement you get in that first hour the more Instagram will show your post to others and push it up the explore page.

Engage with others
Okay so you want people to like and comment on your content, right? Well, you need to put in the work and return the favour! It's so important to engage with others on Instagram, it is, after all, a SOCIAL media platform, so be social. The one thing you don't want to do is leave spammy comments like 'nice' or emojis with no comment at all. This won't help anyone, you want to comment on content you really like and say something worthwhile, I've heard that Instagram won't register any comment as legit engagement that is less than four words, so if we all want to work together as a community and help each other to grow then be genuine, start conversations and skip spammy comments.

Be consistent
Find a posting schedule that works for you and do your best to stick to it, if you can only post twice a week that's fine, if you can post once a day then great but avoid posting every day for a week then dropping off the face of the planet for two months. Being consistent with how often you post let's Instagram know that you are a genuine account and lets your followers know what to expect from you. Another great idea is to check your insights, if you have a business account, and see when is the best time of day to post, you want to be sharing content when you know most of your followers are already using the platform. Obviously, it's fine to skip posting every now and again if your having an off day or don't have a quality image then skip it and start back up again the next day/a few days later just don't let months go by without using the platform or your followers will forget about you and move on.

Quality not quantity 
This tip gets talked about all the time but it's important, pick good quality images to post and skip anything that's not up to your usual standard. If you want to make your Instagram account a success then you need to think about some of the big accounts you are 'competing' with, Instagram is a visual platform filled with perfectly put together feeds, so if you aren't sharing quality content then your account is unlikely to get very far. Don't get me wrong you don't need to have a perfect feed with a strict theme but you want to post images that are well lit, in focus and generally of good quality and in keeping with your brand, otherwise there is no point in posting it.

Okay, so I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful, I'm going to finish up by sharing both of my Instagram accounts and I would love it if you would go check them out and maybe even follow me if you enjoy my content!

Etsy Shop Account -
Blogging Account -

Did you know I have an Etsy store selling digital downloads, including art prints, planners and clipart - check it out here!

My Beauty Favourites - Spring/Summer 2019

I haven't written a favourites post for a while so I thought today I would talk a little bit about some of the beauty products I'm loving at the moment as we transition into Spring/Summer. The nights are getting lighter and the weather is getting warmer.....kinda so I've definitely changed up some of the products that I've been using and I'm favouring anything that gives me a more natural, tanned, glowy look.

I got this mini at Christmas in a set with a bunch of other Origins masks and the Retexturizing one is definitely my favourite. It's a baby pink colour with a slightly gritty texture and rose scent, it's a pretty standard clay mask in the sense that you apply it to clean skin, leave for 10-15 mins and gently wash off. You are left with soft, fresh skin that feels super clean and refreshed, I love to use it once a week to give my skin a pick-me-up. Summer is all about fresh glowy skin so this is the perfect mask for this time of year but just make sure you apply SPF daily to protect your skin when using any kind of exfoliating product or acne treatment as the skin can become more sensitive to the sun.

Olay Complete Everyday Sunshine

This is a product that I've used on and off for years and I actually need to pick up a new one as I'm running out. This moisturiser builds a light tan when used regularly, it gives very even and natural results which I really like. It also has SPF 15 which is great if you are using throughout the day but I prefer to apply this at night as I don't think it's the best moisturiser for using under make-up. I will admit that I want to try out some other tanning products for the face (I've got my eye on the UTAN and Tone spray) and maybe I will find something I like better but I think this is a great budget-friendly option that's easy to use and gives very natural results.

Nars Orgasm Blush and Chanel Universal Bronzer

I've talked about this product a few times on my blog and I always start using this when the summer weather kicks in. This is a cream bronzer that can be used/layered in different ways to give you the most beautiful bronzed skin. It's Chanel so yes it is expensive but a pot of this will last you a lifetime! You only need a little bit of this cream, it's not too pigmented so it can be blended easily and it works great with all my other make-up products.

Primark Skin Illuminator

Okay so I reviewed this product recently and I've really been enjoying it, obviously, it's from Primark so it's very affordable but it also gives really pretty results. A bit like the Chanel bronzer I just talked about, this cream can be used in different ways and layered to give you different results so this is perfect if you like to mix up your make-up and be subtle one day and dramatic the next, it's very versatile.

Nars Orgasm

This is a classic product that every beauty lover will have heard of, Nars Orgasm is a beautiful pinky blush with gold reflects and recently I've been really enjoying it. This was actually a little surprising to me because although it's a classic and most people love it, I was never really obsessed with it because of the glittery particles it has but I think it looks really pretty for summer as it puts some life back into the skin and makes you look very healthy. 

These were some of the beauty products I've been reaching for more than usual recently and will continue to use during the summer months, I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any suggestions for future posts you would like to see let me know!

Did you know I have an Etsy store selling digital downloads, including art prints, planners and clipart - check it out here!