Wednesday, 25 September 2013

REVIEW | Barry M Matte Nail Paint with Swatches*

I have really enjoyed wearing lots of lovely brights and pastel shades this summer from bright pink to mellow yellow.  I don't know about you but I am seriously ready for a change and there is something very refreshing about the neautral colours in this Coffee Shop collection from Barry M.

There are 5 shades Mocha, Caramel, Vanilla, expresso and crush. Each shade is very autumnal and reminds me of all the leaves we will start to see on the ground very soon... bring on the warm cosy jumpers and wooly boots.

So what is the quality of these polishes? Very good, which I have come to expect from barry M and these exceeded my expectations. They are definitely matte, give good coverage and dry quickly.. hoora!

A lovely neautral chocolately Laté shade. Good coverage, apply 3 coats for optimal colour.

The lightest of the collection. Slightly yellow toned. Perfect for work. Apply 3 coats for optimal colour.
A beautiful warm pink toned grey.  Very good coverage, only 2 coats needed.
Fabulously matte black, black. Great coverage, 2 coats will definitely do the job. Halloween nails anyone?
A beautiful deep burgundy toned red. 3 coats for optimal colour.

Overall, I love every single one of these polishes. The best thing about them for me is how quickly they dry. Usually I have to abide by the impatient girls nail painting guide but with these I don't have a problem. The only thing is with matte nail polish that you can't use a normal shiny top coat (unless you want to turn them glossy). Perhaps an idea is to pick up a matte top coat like this one from OPI or follow this video tutorial to make your own. Without a top coat I found these lasted 2 days on my uneven nails.

I predict these will definitely be on a lot of must have lists this autumn winter so get them while they are hot!!

Available from today in Superdrug £3.99

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Monday, 23 September 2013

5 BEAUTY Pet Peeves!

Who doesn't enjoy a good rant every now and again? My chosen subject today is beauty and the beauty industry. There are so many things I love about this industry but here are somethings which get on my wick...

1. The nail polish on your toes lasting soooo much longer than it does on your finger nails! How annoying is it when you go for a mani/pedi and by day 3 your finger nails are looking less than perfect but your toes are still fandabadozy for the next 4 weeks. What are you suppose to do? Paint your finger nails the same matching colour for all that time?

2. Products that don't do what they say on the tin. Why say a product doubles the length of your eyelashes when it is nothing more than a wand in some black goop and does absolutely nothing of the sort. Surely it is obvious that people who buy it will be peeved when they find out it doesn't do what it is suppose to! Needless to say they will not repurchase or recommend it to a friend. On another note... do not advertise your product as a gentle makeup remover if it is going to sting my eyes like high heaven when I put it on!

3. Products that smell so strong you can taste the fragrance. Who wants to put anything on their lips that smells like it has just come out of a Tommy Girl perfume spray? Seriously? I sure don't.

4. Overpricing. You see that a brand is advertising their latest glitter nail polish and think oooh that is beautiful but can I justify the £18 price tag? No, let me tell you that you can't because the chances are that you can pop in to your local boots or superdrug and pick up the exact same formula or something very similar in a different bottle for £2.50.

5. Ridiculous advertising. There you are sitting watching the x factor when on comes an advert for the latest anti aging cream, not only are the people in the advert super models but they are about 22. Come on... do you really expect us to believe that a) these girls have used this product for said time before filming the advert giving them such beautiful complexions and b) that these girls actually had any wrinkles to begin with!

what are your pet peeves beauties? I would love to hear about them.

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Friday, 20 September 2013

BARRY M Nail Paint Berry Cosmo with swatches* | Chanel Rouge Noir Dupe

Hello beauties, introducing a beautiful shade from the Barry M Autumn/Winter 2013 collection.  A lovely deep wine, burgandy colour called Berry Cosmo.  It is perfect to go with the lovely Autumnal shades filtering in to the shops of late and the make up look I did here.

A brilliant dupe for Chanel Rouge Noir (£18), and with the great performance of Barry M nail polishes I really don't think that Chanel Rouge Noir would perform much better than this Barry M Berry Cosmo, certainly not £15 better.

Retails for £2.99

Available in Superdrug 25th September 2013
What do you think of the colour lovelies?

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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Vampire Diaries inspired Autumn Makeup

I was given the Rimmel Apocalips in Eclipse by the beautiful Laura from Liparazzi and I just adore it. Autumnal and vampy so I have created this makeup look to go with it. Inspired by Nina Dobrev from the Vampire Diaries, it is perfect for a dinner date or for a night out with friends. I love the way makeup can change how you feel and this definitely makes me feel mysterious, sultry and powerful!

Products used
Benefit the Porefessional primer
Maybelline fit me foundation 120
Bourjois Bronzing Primer to contour
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Bronze
Benefit Erase paste as highlighter
Mac powder Blusher in style

Bobbi Brown Corrector Bisque
Double Wear Concealer light/medium
Elf eyeshadow Primer
Maybelline color tattoo 35 as eyeshadow base
Urban Decay eyeshadow in gunmetal for crease
Barry M Dazzle dust 39 over base
Maybelline gel liner to line top and bottom
Mac Satin Taupe under bottom lashes
Maybelline color tattoo 55 smudged under lashes over satin taupe
Mac False lashes 20
Mac Zoom lash mascara

HD brows medium blonde powder

Lined in Mac pencil blonde
Rimmel Apocalips in Eclipse

What do you think beauties will you be autumning up your makeup soon?

Go to my instagram "AshlyLondon' to see the perfect nail polish to go with this look!!


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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Share the Love BLOG HOP!!!

Hi all 
I am very excited to be co-hosting my first blog hop. It is a great way to find new blogs and for new readers to find you. So sit down with a lovely treat, make yourself comfy and get involved by following the instructions below.  Make sure to say hi in the comments section below too :-)

Welcome to Northern Beauty Blogs Blog Hop #14
Blog Hops are a great & fun way to be discovered, meet and gain new followers, and to be inspired by other bloggers. 
This hop will be Open from Tuesday 17th September 2013 for 1 week.

Your Host 
Jane from Northern Beauty Blogs

The Lovely Co-Hosts 
Ashly from Ashly London
Louise from Confessions of a Secret Shopper

To Join the Hop.
**There are a few very simple rules to make the Hop really work for everyone...**

1. Please FOLLOW The Host & Co-Hosts on GFC .
(You can also follow on BlogLovin if you wish)
leave a comment to say 'Hello'.
2.Hop around 'Share the Love' and be inspired - Go say Hi to at least 2 new bloggers, if you like what you see follow them too and don't 
               forget to let them know that you found them through our blog hop.

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3.If you would like to help Promote this Blog Hop, Please Copy & Paste the Blog Hop code  for 
the grab Button (Cupcake) above & Display it on your Blog in the side bar.

If you would be interested in Co-Hosting my Blog Hop with me, please email me on


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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

How to Pose for Photos like a Pro

Every wondered how do I pose like a model or how do I pose for photos? After a recent #fbloggers (fashion bloggers) chat on twitter I realised how many people are unsure of how to pose on camera when taking pictures for their blog or just in general. It comes naturally to some but not to everyone (me included). I have spent years working at it and will share all my tips with you to get you pose perfect!

The first thing to do is practice, mirrors are great for this. Take as long as you like trying out different facial expressions and angles to see when you look best. Experiment with your body poses too. Another great way to practice is with the camera on your phone, you get the results straight away and can really experiment with your angles and expressions.

Here are a few things to think about

Less is more
Huge expressions with wide open mouths or face hurting grins can be good for comedy value but if you want to pose like a pro think small. The camera will pick up the slightest glint in your eye or pout of the lip so you don't need any grand gestures, everything is magnified behind the lens.

It's all in the eyes
This is mostly true for close up shots and beauty, but if you are focusing on fashion photographs for your blog don't worry too much about this at first. However, if you are doing close ups, the eyes do matter. The best way to express through your eyes is to feel the emotion on the inside and like magic it will be portrayed in your eyes. For example if you want a sultry look imagine you are looking at Harry Styles (if you are in to one direction) and that you are trying to 'woo' him! If you are portraying a powerful woman think of something which makes you feel strong and invincible. Playing music with the right mood can really help with this.

Angles are really important in photography and modelling. They can be the difference between making a 6ft tall amazonian beauty look like a toadstool! So if you are doing body shots have the camera a little lower and angle it upwards towards you, this will make you look taller and slimmer.  Do the 'knee bend', try standing sideways with the leg furthest from the camera slightly bent, this should make your legs look fab!

Arms can be awkward things. Where do I put my arms when I am posing? The easiest thing to do is have somewhere to put them, in a pocket or hanging of a belt loop. Use your arms and hands to express emotion. If you are wearing a lovely summery dress throw them in the air 'yay for summer', if your wrapped up warm for winter cross your arms over your body to keep warm.  I know it can sometimes feel like these limbs are spare parts when modelling so use props too, either in your surroundings like a fence or flowers or within your outfit like a bag or umbrella.

The best way to get tips is to look at pictures in fashion magazines or online, how are the models posing? Asos is great for this, especially if you are a fashion blogger. You will find an abundance of different stances you can try out. A great trick is to but your hands on your waist, this will actually make your waist look smaller. And if you are doing close up pictures of your face, use your hands to frame your face and bring in something extra. Your hair is great for this.

Where do I look?
To get the full beauty of your eyes keep your eyeline straight ahead. For example, if you are facing the camera look straight down the lens or just above it. Or if your head is turned to the side look in to the direction and level that you are facing.

Try to remember there can be hundreds of shots taken before you get that one perfect picture so just keep trying and I promise you will be a pro in no time!!

I will be doing a youtube video with a more in depth tutorial soon so let me know if you have any questions needing answered :-)

Ashly xx

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Monday, 16 September 2013

HOW TO | Natural Glowing Makeup Look with Subtle Contouring

There is nothing I love more than a very natural makeup look.  Perfect for days when your skin is looking great, or with some good concealer even when it is not. It makes a change from false lashes and shimmery eyeshadow. I will show you how to do  a natural and glowy makeup look with subtle contouring.

First thing is first, the products used

Start with a good primer like Urban Decay Naked Skin, this is important as it smoothes everything out giving you a flawless complexion to work on. Next move on to applying the foundation, I use the Real Techniques expert face brush because I find it gives you a totally flawless finish, and apply the YSL Touche Éclat foundation sparingly, you really don't need much. Making sure to blend it in well and leave no harsh lines at the neck or hairline (this would negate the 'natural' look).

Now moving on to eyebrows, I love a good eyebrow and find that using powder and a slanted brush gives the most natural look. Using the shade medium blonde in the HD Brows bombshell eyebrow palette, apply with light strokes in the direction of the hairs. Note that when you get to the inner part of your brow, the hairs often change direction.

concealer, concealer, concealer, it can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. It is really important that you use concealer sparingly, this reduces caking and keeps your skin looking natural. Nobody is perfect and a little colour under the eye isn't always such a bad thing. Start by covering any blemishes using a concealer with NO light reflecting particles, Laura Mercier secret camouflage is a god send when it comes to covering up any redness or nasty breakouts. Next we want to conceal under the eyes. Because my skin is fair there is often quite a darkness under my eyes, mainly due to the contrast between the eye bag and my skin tone. So I use a corrector before concealing, Bobbi Brown in bisque is the perfect shade for me, but make sure you go to a counter and get yourself matched up as different skin tones require very different coloured correctors. Apply the corrector sparingly under your eyes, the Real Techniques pointed foundation brush is perfect for this. On top of this dab on 3 small dots of  concealer under your eye. 1 close to inside your eye, one in the middle and one farthest out towards the outside of your eye, I find Estée Lauder Double Wear is a great option for under eyes as stays put all day. Blend the dots in gently covering your under eye area.

Subtle illuminator is amazing at giving a lovely natural glow. I am using YSL Touche Éclat in No 1. There are a number of places to illuminate, see the diagram above for full details. But mainly at the top of your cheek bones, under the eyebrow and the inner corners of your eyes.

Time for some subtle bronzing. Use something with slight frosting to enhance that glow. Bobbi Brown shimmer bricks are perfect for this, I am using Bronze and a Sigma F84 brush. Place the brush on its side and apply product under the cheek bones. If you suck in your cheeks you will see the line where to apply. Start at the top of the cheek closest to the ear where you want the most product then swipe downwards.

Next, curl your lashes and apply a light coating of mascara. For a natural look, often I do not use any blusher at all, however today I want to add a slight flush to my cheeks. So, use a colour close to your natural lip shade, I am using Mac Blushcreme in LadyBlush. Dab it on very lightly on to the apples of your cheeks making sure it is well blended. You can use a stippling brush if you like, dab it on to the back of your hand first to get rid of any excess product. If using a powder blush brush it on very lightly, something with a slight frosting will work well.

Last but not least, lips. Use a fairly opaque lipstick which is also a similar colour to your natural lip shade, and blusher. I am actually using the Mac Blushcreme in LadyBlush and dabbing it on to my lips, finishing with a coat of lip balm.

The finished look...

I would love to hear what products you use for a natural makeup look or have used any of the products mentioned?

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Saturday, 14 September 2013

Catch up & Haul Video!

Hi Dolls, It has been about 3 weeks since I uploaded a youtube video. I wanted to take a little bit of time to decide what I really want to do with my channel. But, I am really happy now that I am back making beauty and Haul videos... it is what I love to watch!!

Click below to watch my catch up and beauty haul video

Do you have any suggestions for my next video?

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Thursday, 12 September 2013

REVIEW | Barry M Shadow & Blush Palettes with Swatches*

When the pr photographs of these palettes popped in to my inbox I was very excited. I was just about to post a sneak peak of them when a box arrived at my door containing the actual products!! I have been using them for a few days now and was going to burst if I didn't get this post up today so I could share them with you, so here they are for your viewing pleasure.

There are 3 palettes in the collection at £6.49 each, Natural Glow, Smokin' Hot and Glamour Puss, which is limited edition.  All the palettes contain 6 eyeshadows and a blush. The colour diversity is great across each palette. meaning that there are roughly 3 lighter more natural shades and 3 darker more vibrant eyeshadow options.  I think this is a great ratio and works very well to move you from a day look to an evening eye with just 1 palette.

The packaging is lovely, exciting and well made. A good sized mirror sits in the lid of each palette allowing for touch ups on the go. The magnet in the lid means a secure closure and no nasty spills in your bag.  This is definitely a great start.

Barry M Natural Glow Shadow and Blush Palette

This is the most natural of the 3 palettes, I would even say it is a slight dupe of the Urban Decay Naked palette. You could easily purchase this palette as your only eyeshadows and be able to create very natural day looks as well as dark and sultry evening eyes.  The colours are lovely and perfect for autumn, as well as summer. The metallics are particularly beautiful.

The blush in this palette is probably the most disappointing out of the 3 palettes, although nicely pigmented with a slight shimmer, it it just very pale pink.

Barry M Smokin' Hot Shadow and Blush Palette

This is probably my favourite palette. The blush is a great colour for me, I have no doubt I will use it a lot to add a lovely flush to the cheeks. It is very pigmented, you only need a small amount for a good colour and it is buildable.  The least pigmented of the eye shadows in this palette is the plain black which is farthest right in the swatches next to the blush, it is really the only one I can complain about. The rest are lovely and shimmery.  This is going to be a great palette to use over Christmas and the party season.

Barry M Glamour Puss Shadow and Blush Palette

This is the limited edition palette and the one with the most unique colours, meaning that they may not appear suitable for an everyday wear. However, I actually think there is enough diversity of colours in this palette to suit most. The blush is very bright but with a light stroke can look quite beautiful.

In conclusion I would say that these palettes are great for the price. Most of the eye shadows are well pigmented, have good staying power and feel lovely and silky. Although the very pale colours are every so slightly powdery.

The metallic shades are particularly lovely as are the darker shimmer colours. These palettes would make amazing gifts or great additions to your own makeup collection.

The only thing is that most of the eyeshadows are shimmery or metallic so if you are looking for matte shades I would think these probably wouldn't be right for you.

Available in Superdrug 25th September 2013 

What do you think lovelies? Will you be picking up any of these?

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Sunday, 8 September 2013

Real Techniques Core Collection Brush set | REVIEW

The Real Techniques make up brushes by Professional Makeup artist Samantha Chapman are talked about a lot in the blogging community and beyond. There are 4 sets of brushes available to choose from, as well as singular brushes, today I am reviewing the Core Collection Brush Set (£20.99).

The Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Set is full of brushes to help get your foundation flawless.

There are four brushes which come in the kit, all made with Taklon bristles. With ultra-plush soft fibres making them smoother than most synthetic brushes. Well that is the idea, I will talk a bit about them all. The kit also comes with a brush stand/holder which I feel is rather un useful and it would be better off without it at a slightly cheaper price.

Real Techniques Core Collection ReviewReal Techniques Core Collection reviewReal Techniques Core Collection

Real Techniques Buffing Brush
It feels sturdy and well made, the bristles really are soft and non shedding. It is easy to see when you have enough product on your brush as the bristles at the top are white. At the moment I have been using this brush to apply my finishing powder, which works well. There are many other jobs is does too like blending your contouring.  Out of the four brushes, I would say I use this brush the least but I do like it. and know that I will use it more in the future

Real Techniques Contour Brush
I love the size of both the aluminium handle and bristles of this brush. It allows for delicate and precise application. I mainly use this brush for applying powder blush.  In fact it has totally changed the way I apply my blusher, I find it a lot easier and more precise with this brush and I actually really enjoy using it.

Real Techniques Pointed Foundation Brush
This brush is fantastic for applying concealer under the eyes. It is very light and gives a natural airbrushed finished. Absolutely fantastic. Also great for concealing around the nose and for cream highlighting above your cheek bones during contouring, due to its flat sides. Real Techniques suggests that you can use this to apply liquid foundation but I find this brush slightly too small for this, making it rather fussy. I much prefer using it for other jobs.

Real Techniques Detailer Brush
A brush which is ideal for covering spots precisely with concealer. Small, very light and dainty with a slightly pointed tip. So you get your concealer coverage spot on!! Also great for applying highlighter to the inner corner of your eyes. Another brush which has changed the way I apply my makeup.

All of the brushes are easy to hold and direct product on to your skin very well, they are an ideal weight and look very professional. I haven't had any problems with shedding which I am very impressed with. If you are looking for amazing quality and finish brushes at a reasonable price definitely grab a set of these. There is a reason that they are so talked about... because they are fantastic!

For essentially £5 a brush I will definitely be buying more Real Techniques brushes in the future!

Look out for buy 1 get 1 half price deals in Superdrug and Boots.

Have you tried the Real Techniques brushes? Can you recommend any better?

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