My Collection of Makeup Brushes feat. Real Techniques, Nanshy & Sigma | August Blogs

Hey Sweeties,

I’m not yet in the position where my content is highly requested, but a post on my makeup brushes has been asked for by a couple of friends and it also completes my series of posts that has looked at areas of my makeup collection (foundations, lips, eyes, blushers, highlighters) in detail.

I do agree that I have a lot of makeup brushes, but much like makeup (which some could say that I also have too much of), they seem to just accumulate almost by accident. If you’re someone that alternates between several eye looks, then I do think it helps to have several brushes that you can assign to each of those looks to prevent the constant demand to keep washing them. But each to their own, eh?

Makeup brushes

Real Techniques –

Without any kind of doubt, Real Techniques are the best brand available for makeup brushes on the high street and I would highly recommend them, particularly if you are new to makeup and/or looking to purchase a couple of starter set makeup brushes. I own three of the sets –the core collection, the starter collection and the limited edition Sculpting set. I also own the blusher brush which I purchased separately and use every single day. All the brushes pick up and distribute product really well and wash nicely.

The only two brushes I have had problems with however are the Expert Face Brush and the Buffing Brush. The Expert Face Brush after a while, no matter how many times I wash it, has lost its softness and now just feels a bit clogged; and the buffing brush while being fantastic to use to apply foundation, started malting which is such a shame. However, for the price, the Real Techniques makeup brushes are great quality and value.

If you’re looking for good dupes, TK MAXX always usually have stock and you’ll recognise them instantly.

makeup brushes - real techniques

Nanshy –

I was lucky enough to win the Masterful collection that contained all of the makeup brushes and it’s a fantastic set that I would again highly recommend. These brushes are also cruelty free. For a full review, I need to take you back to the original post I wrote in December, here.

Nanshy Masterful Collection makeup brushes

Sigma Sigmax Kabuki Kit

These were the first makeup brushes that I properly invested in and I haven’t looked back, although I would still class them as perfectly affordable. I am not a makeup artist and therefore arguably I don’t need a professional set of tools, but if makeup and good application is important to you, then I think Sigma are your brand. Again I have done a separate review of these which you can find here.

Sigma Sigmax Kabuki kit

Best of the rest

Wet ‘N Wild –This fabulous little eye brush I purchased in America last autumn, and in my American Haul post (here), I said that I regretted not picking up more from the range.

Look Good Feel Better – I first discovered this brand within one of my Look Fantastic beauty boxes (here) and while the eye brush is perfectly okay, I later purchased the contour brush in TK MAXX which I use every day to blend out my bronzer and it’s brilliant. Definitely worth checking out if you come across them anywhere. All proceeds go towards a great cause too!

Lottie –I know people everywhere go wild over this brand for the pretty rainbow colours their makeup brushes come in, and while I do like this eye makeup brush that I again got in a recent beauty box, I need to try more of the range before I can confidently recommend them to you myself. But it is a very pretty looking brush.

Makeup brushes

What are your favourite makeup brushes?

Until next time x

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So you have your A-Level Results, what next? | August Blogs

Hey Sweeties,

If you’re reading this and your A-Level results are sat on the table next to you, first of all, congratulations! Regardless of all this bollocks that gets released every year about how A-level exams are getting easier, they are still hard for any student completing them as it requires a lot of effort and discipline to study and achieve good results. So well done you! But what now? Maybe you’re already set on your next move and you either have a job, an apprenticeship or a University place waiting, or maybe you have your around-the-world plane ticket in hand and are off travelling for a bit, but what if you don’t? What if everything has actually suddenly become a bit overwhelming and you’re not sure what to do? That’s okay, you’re not alone. Breathe!

I am desperately hoping that the attitude of sixth form colleges and teachers has changed since completing my own A-Level exams back in 2005, because back then I had zero intention to go to University and as soon as I had made that clear, I was plonked in a little reject group that fundamentally got left out of everything. I mean, we’re going to be doing sod all for the school’s league table of students that went off to University so best to just pretend we didn’t exist, right? Pathetic.

As it happened I did go to University four years later but that decision was 100% my own and it was the correct path for me at the time. If I had gone to University when I was 18, I would 100% have not been ready, nor been totally sure on what I wanted to do there and I don’t think I would have graduated in the same way as I did later in life. Going when I was 22 gave me a far more wholesome experience, I knew what I wanted to get out of the experience and it will go down as one of the best decisions I ever made for myself. Period. Rather than repeat my story all over again however, a couple of years ago I wrote all about my University experience, more specifically about life after graduation, which you can read for yourself, here.


But please let me make it clear that University is not the only route into a successful career if that is something important to you. Now the University fees have risen significantly (I graduated the [academic] year before the higher fees came in) which quite honestly I think are ridiculous, it’s okay to not want to go. In fact, it’s always been okay to not want to go to University but unfortunately some employers have been and still are blinded by the criticality for applicants to have a degree. A degree in its simplest terms, demonstrates you can apply yourself to something for a period of time and (hopefully) get a good result out of it. All exams essentially prove this, but with the right employer, you can achieve this straight out of school as well. (I have also written previously about if there is such a thing as the perfect degree, here).

Fundamentally my message to all young people, or anyone really, is that success and being sure of yourself takes time, and that really is what your twenties are for, for exploring yourself and the world around you. I think another thing to remember, which might not be what you want to hear now but is something I believe very strongly in, is that everything happens for a reason. If something hasn’t gone to plan (particularly applicable to anyone currently sat in pieces about their A-level grades), it might seem disastrous, but when you look back on it in a few months or even years’ time, having taken a different route as a result, you might be in a far better place because you had to go down route B, C or even D, and be so much happier than you would be if route A had gone to plan.

I liken this to when I spent a couple of years training with my school to complete the Ten Tors (a walking challenge based on Dartmoor). On the final training expedition that determined the teams for the May event, I had a total mental breakdown which caused me to quit. For the next few days I literally didn’t know what to do with myself as I think the whole coming to the end of school and the pressures surrounding my GCSEs amongst other things just broke me. As a result, I didn’t make the teams but I was still taken to the event as first reserve. The day before the challenge was to begin, another competing school who my trainers knew, approached them and asked if they had a spare walker. Once my trainers were confident I wasn’t needed, I was put forward and thus was not only able, but I completed the challenge with a totally new team of people which for me, made the whole experience ten times better. Of course I was a bit anxious walking and camping with people I didn’t know, but I was so grateful for the opportunity that it overrode everything else. I appreciate that not everyone gets a second chance at doing something, but it just goes to show that what you think you want, isn’t always going to give you the best experience. If you’re driven to succeed, you’ll get there.

What are your results day experiences?

Until next time x


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Sleek Matte Me Liquid Lipstick in Velvet Slipper Beauty Review | August Blogs

Hey Sweeties,

A couple of months ago, I made a few new beauty purchases (here) and as promised, I said I would review a few of the products individually for you. Last week I posted about the Sleek Cream Contour Palette (here), and today I am sharing my thoughts about the Sleek Matte Me liquid lipstick in shade, Velvet Slipper which I believe is one of the shades released as part of the new collection. As mentioned several times before, I am a big fan of Sleek makeup and they are arguably one of the best high street brands on the market right now, for both the quality of their products, and affordability.

Sleek Matte Me Velvet Slipper

Beauty Haul -Sleek Matte Me Lipstick

Described as an ‘ultra smooth matte lip cream‘ the formula is very creamy and beautifully pigmented, and upon application it mattes down almost instantly so you do need to be quick (and accurate) when applying the product. To really make your lips pop, I would recommend outlining your lips in concealer, just to really achieve a sharp line of definition but you do only need one layer of the product.

I love a good berry lip and you can’t go wrong with Velvet Slipper; a red-toned plum shade and I definitely think it’s your year-round berry lipstick if you’re someone like me, who often likes a bolder lip, even during summer. As said a minute ago, the Matte Me formula mattes down instantly and providing your lips are free from rough, flaky skin, the product leaves a lovely smooth finish which lasts extremely well. I don’t feel as yet I can quite trust the product as much as I can the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipsticks (review here), but I think when you’re wearing such a bold colour this is normal as when you eat or drink, you will naturally be constantly checking your lipstick hasn’t smudged and/or partly worn off.

Sleek Matte Me Velvet Slipper

Overall, I would thoroughly recommend this product, on both formula and shade and I would be keen to explore some of the other shades from the (complete) range; Birthday Suit I have heard is particularly popular among makeup lovers.

Have any of you tried the Sleek Matte Me liquid lipsticks? What are your thoughts?

Until next time x

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How to Win at Mondays: A Few Tips to Feel Positive about the Everyday | August Blogs

Hey Sweeties,

Let’s be honest, we all hate Mondays, particularly the moment our alarms go off but hey, that’s life and to be honest, we need to just learn to deal with it. In this post I am passing on some advice about how to win at Mondays but really these things can apply to any day of the week. Where possible, I always try to be a glass half full kinda’ gal and of course sometimes that’s hard, but with some simple training of the mind, it’s totally do able. A lot of my more mindful posts on this blog are about encouraging positivity and I think it’s totally okay if you’re someone that needs to read or watch something to get ideas. I hope you can find at least one thing in this list that can help improve the outlook of your week.

Win at Mondays

Finding the Positives: At Christmas (I think) I set up a Happiness Jar following writer, Elizabeth Gilbert’s superb recommendation which many millions of us around the world have taken up to keeping. I’ll admit I am not always that great at remembering to physically write something down to put into the jar at the end of every day, but the act really is to train your mind into finding the positives. This can be anything from being something you have achieved, to something small like the sky being blue; anything fundamentally that makes you feel a bit better inside. I always love days where I drive past wild bunnies grazing; it really is the little things.

Set yourself a Goal: Depending on your job and the type of person you are, you might be able to set yourself something to achieve every single day, but this isn’t always the case for everyone and that’s okay. Regardless, on your arrival into the office on a Monday morning (or even before you go to bed on Sunday night to prepare yourself for the week ahead), find something you want to achieve before 5pm Friday. Again, this can be something big or small depending on your situation. If you have your appraisal that week, go all out for that promotion; or maybe you’re someone like me who struggles a bit with being social with unfamiliar colleagues, so set yourself a goal to having at least one new conversation with a someone you work with. Whatever you do though, make it achievable without stressing yourself out.

Make a to-do list: Sometimes Mondays are a real struggle to settle into and get focused, so over your morning coffee, take the time to break your workload for the week down into bite-sized manageable chunks. Many people love the feeling of ticking things off so I say put even those quick-win tasks down such as emailing so and so, which will take you two minutes to do but will see you gain that satisfactory tick effortlessly.

Have something to look forward to: While this can go against productivity because you can get too distracted thinking about something, it’s still always a good idea I think to have something to look forward too, ideally for both after work as well as the weekend. Maybe this is an activity such as sport or hobby you participate in with others, a special treat, date night, seeing friends etc. or even just knowing it’s going to be a nice evening and you can get out and walk the dog. Seriously, it can be anything as long as it encourages you to get through your day in the office.

Reward Yourself: I couldn’t not have this as a point could I? Although it taps into elements of all the above points, and while I’m not sure I should advocate rewarding yourself after every day completed (or maybe I should?), there is still a very important message in being able to reward yourself having recognised achievement, no matter how small. Either this is something like a glass of wine at the end of the week, or some of those items you’ve had saved on your ASOS wish list; whatever it is, if you have learnt to find some positives/overcome a challenge/met a goal/smashed through your to-do list etc. then I think you owe yourself a pat on the back and well done you!

Recognise when you need to make a change: My final point and possibly the most vital. It’s okay to encourage positive thinking but fundamentally, if there is something really getting you down you need to address it head on. If the thought of Monday is more than just feeling a bit sad the weekend is over, then you need to ask yourself why you are feeling this way. It’s easier said than done, but life is too short to be miserable and if it’s time to (for example) find a new job, action it now rather than wait until things are really bad. But always remember it’s worth talking through your problems and/or worries first, either with a trusted colleague, or friends and family. Maybe they can shed some insight and a better perspective on things that you hadn’t thought of; don’t suffer in silence.

How do you get through Monday?

Until next time x

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Would You Rather (Beauty) Tag | August Blogs

Hey Sweeties,

It’s been a while since I last did any kind of tag post and so I thought it would be really fun to do the ‘Would you rather beauty’ tag for you guys today. There are various versions floating around the blogosphere so I have taken what I perceive to be the ten most common questions within this tag, and answered them for you. I would love to know what you think so either leave a comment below, or feel free to take part in this tag yourself, linking back to ClaireySweetie so I can see your responses. So without any further ado, here goes! 

Would you rather beauty tag

  1. Would you rather go out with messy hair and nice make-up, or nice hair and no makeup?

Messy hair and nice makeup; it can actually be a great look! 

  1. Would you rather shave your eyebrows or have your eyelashes fall out?

Harsh! Although arguably there are replacements for both, I think I would rather shave my eyebrows off and draw them on each day, than have my eyelashes fall out and have to deal with false lashes every day. 

  1. Would you rather be forced to shop at only MAC or Boots for the rest of your life?

The question initially asked about MAC and Sephora, but as we don’t have a Sephora in the UK, I amended it to our (drugstore) equivalent, Boots! I love exploring and trying out different brands so for me I would always choose to shop somewhere that offers a selection, over shopping just the one brand… so for me it’s Boots all the way (although I do love MAC –who doesn’t?!).   

  1. Would you rather apply lipstick as eyeliner, or eyeliner as lipstick?

With a lip brush, you could easily use lipstick as eyeliner, but then a creamy eyeliner would probably work really well as a matte lip too… yeah, I think the latter would be the easiest as lipstick can be quite sticky and I wonder if you would want that on your eye lids? 

  1. Would you rather leave the house with an obvious foundation line or overdone blush?

Tricky as both can look pretty terrible, but I think an obvious foundation line can be covered and handled better than overdone blush… 

  1. Would you rather wear MC Hammer pants or biker shorts in public?

Accessorised with a pair of flip flops and a flower crown, MC Hammer pants would be passed off well during the summer I reckon. 

  1. Would you rather have a bad orangey spray tan or really weird tan lines that can’t be covered?

Better to be one colour than a mixture so I think it might have to be a bad orangey spray tan… 

  1. Would you rather have a bad haircut or bad hair colour?

Bad hair colour as these days most things go but a bad haircut will haunt you forever.

 9. Would you rather have YouTube or Twitter taken away forever?

Why so cruel?!? I think I would have to say YouTube as I love the mixture of conversation and interaction on Twitter… but then I love my evenings where I binge watch beauty videos on YouTube… oh man!

 10. Would you rather give up using makeup brushes or mascara?

Man, these questions, huh? I feel very naked without mascara, but then without brushes, there wouldn’t be that level of blending that goes behind so many looks, but you can apply most products with your fingers (or a beauty sponge), but I do love my brushes. However, you could go and get your eyelashes tinted which in some cases could remove the need for mascara… yep, I think I would have to sacrifice mascara.

What would you guys choose?

Until tomorrow x


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