Thursday, 15 August 2013

Beauty Despite Cancer

I was delighted to be asked to write for Rani’s excellent blog and grateful to be offered the opportunity to tell you all about BeautyDespiteCancer, the website dedicated to helping women maintain their appearance throughout treatment for cancer.

At the moment the site is mainly a shop for Defiant Beauty products, a skincare collection formulated for ‘chemo skin’.

In a few weeks the site will offer more products, a Defiant Beauty Hair Care range, cosmetics and self-tan, all created for cancer patients to use as they go through treatment. The changes are not just restricted to the products on offer – the site will become an online magazine with a team of about 30 writers, all experts in their fields and all providing information to help cancer patients maintain their appearance as they go through treatment. The magazine will also cover  other subjects of interest to the  cancer community such as insurance, finances, well-being and exercise.

Chemo and radiotherapy can damage skin as well as nail and hair growth. Prior to Defiant Beauty there were no UK skin care products developed specifically for chemo skin*.

Many ladies undergoing chemotherapy found themselves unable to tolerate brands that they had previously enjoyed as there skin was now so sore, sensitive and itchy. They want something to soothe and moisturise as well as moisturise their dry skin.

I became involved in skincare for cancer patients as I was asked by some of the women that had already been through treatment at my local hospital if I could develop something to help patients as they went through chemo. Women do not stop being women when they are diagnosed but, on the whole, beauty is denied them, and the team at my local cancer centre wanted to change that.

I met with patients, survivors and the lead nurses from chemotherapy and radiology and they told me of the ingredients they they advised patients against using. We decided upon some objectives for the range – something for body, face, nails and lips that was suitable for sensitive skin, natural, organic where possible and fragrance free.

I decided upon a few more restrictions after having done some research and so the skincare collection is now oil based (no lotions or creams), fragrance-free (with the exception of a couple of products where appropriate essential oils have been included for their therapeutic properties), anti-oxidants at a level that will benefit only the product and no plant oestrogens.

I spent a long time developing the products – all of those restrictions made it difficult for me to achieve those objectives and keep the price low.

Cancer patients have very little income as they go through treatment, finances are a big concern for them and we had to keep our prices as low as possible.  I was asked to provide organic and natural products that helped with some very specific conditions and keep them fragrance free – no wonder it took a long time.

The first version of the Defiant Beauty Collection went into the hospital for feedback and further development. Luckily, not much more work was needed and the Defiant Beauty Skincare Collection went on sale from a specialist salon on the Chemo ward of University Hospital North Staffs in September 2011 and have been helping cancer patients ever since.


*there is an American range but their ingredients do not meet the criteria set out by my local NHS lead team for skincare for cancer patients

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Brows that make you go WOW.

As one of the many unfortunate suffers of BAD brows, I have always suffered with my brows being over grown & out of shape. 
My dad naturally has really large thick brows, so luckily for me I inherited them & constantly am known for becoming slightly plucker happy with the t'ol tweezers. I was checking out my terrible brows on some of my recent photos, they had been drawn far too close in & far too thickly not giving a natural illusion. 
I took a trip down to the 'Brow Bar' at Debenmhams fancying getting my brows threaded which set me back a small fortune of £10.00 I really am surprised at how long lasting threading is, it lasts generally around 4-5 weeks. I do find threading quite painless, some people do think its unbearable, I just have a high pain threshold. However  there is one pet hate to threading I dislike the way you have to hold your eyelid, you cant lay back & relax, you have to co-operate with the plucker lady!

Even the brow lady said 
"Wow, your brows are in terrible condition, lets just reshape them & create a slight arch this time"

However, for my next brow pampering I am going to check out the hype of the 'Benefit Brow Bar
 I had been reading so many reviews on 'Benefits Browzing Kit' that I decided to pick this up & throw my eye pencil away! I picked up this kit for £23.00

The kit comes with a wax, powder, angled brush, flat brush & miniature tweezers, perfect brow DIY!

The wax is used first to create the shape of your brow, to darken the hairs of the brow, the powder is used to set the wax in place & to also fill in the brows where your hair is sparse!
By using the powder at the start of your brow its gives the natural light to dark illusion.

The left pallet holds the wax & the right pallet holds the powder. I have used this kit everyday since I purchased it back at the end of June & it's still holding out very strong
I know what you're thinking...
Why fill your brows in when you have blunt bangs covering them all day?
Well a gust of wind could expose my forehead & I wish for my brows to still look knockout!
(But at the moment my bangs are quite short & show my brows, so they cannot be over grown or untidy!)
This product will definitely last me the year, £23.00 a year sounds like a reasonable investment to me,
what do you reckon?

I adore this product, I honestly do not know how I have managed without Browzings before now! To me this product offers you all the illusion of HD brows without the 'high definition' price

Here it is.. 

As you can see there's nothing great about my natural brow, I always fill them in more to darken them than anything as I think they're a "funny brown" colour
(It's probably all in my head!)


The kit comes complete with 3 amazing tools.
Teeny Tweezers, perfect for plucking those stray hairs
(So there's NO excuse ladies!)

 'Hard angled brush' perfect for creating shape & definition with the wax!

Flat 'blending brush' perfect for applying the powder to the key areas!

Im going to show you how I use the Browzing Kit, so you can see the difference & hopefully have you itching to pop to your local counter & pick one of these amazing kits up!

Firstly I take the wax & apply a stroke at the thicker beginning of my brow at the bottom & top to define the shape & angle, I then begin to fill the rest of the brow from the defined sections out towards my hair line. I also elongate the ends of my brow ever so slightly just for a longer more arched brow!

As you can see the tip of my brow closest to my nose is still not filled in, this is the more sparse area of my brow. I have struggled for years trying to get these areas more fuller but for some reason they just wont grow! This is why the powder is my life saver!
Firstly I apply the powder to the half of my brow that has been defined by wax, to really set the wax in place & add slightly more colouring.
After that I take the powder and lightly fill in the sparse area, giving the natural light to dark illusion & setting the shape of my brow.

Brow shape can make an amazing difference to peoples face, after all our brows hold the key to all our mysterious expressions!
Lately I have been choosing to have quite a square shaped brow.
I feel confident with this brow, I like the look it gives me & I think it suits my face shape..
(I could be very wrong!)

The brushes make it SO easy to get even brows, they're rarely mismatch which is perfect for when you're in the morning rush! I simply feel naked without brows on, I think its become such a high demand trend that 90% of us would feel naked without our wowing brows!

I picked up this kit in Dark I know it comes in a Lighter tone for you fair haired princesses!
There is some brilliant drug store dupes as well!
Sleek brought to you by Boots do a brow kit with wax & powder for around £8.00
I would have picked that up, but it was out of stock, who knows when this runs out,  I may give it a whirl!

Id love to know if any of you have given Sleek a go?


Brows parted fringe

Brows with full bangs!

What's your must have eyebrow tool?

Threading, plucking or waxing, which one makes the cut?

Is browzings worth it?

Want to keep up with all things Make-upxcity?
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Sunday, 21 July 2013

Feline Liner

Lets go.. Lil'KittyKat.
(Sharing some very relevant Beyonce with you ladies)
I have been giving my eye make up a revamp, Ive done the lipsticks so I'm giving my favorite feature some TLC. 
I love eye make up & Id say they're my favorite thing to dress everyday. I always support dark liquid liner on the top of my eye lid. HERE I talk about how Mac's FluidLine is a MUST HAVE!
But some days I fancy going for the really sexy entire blacked out eye, so I team up my 'Blacktrack' gel liner with Mac's 'Feline' khol pencil.
I struggle to find eye pencils that are long wearing because it's placed on your waterline I find it it often runs under your eyes & makes you look to have dark circles
(no-one likes a tired eye look!)
or it wears off within 5 minutes of applying.
is purrrrfect!
this product is definitely durable & sticks around for a good 4-5 hours, which for pencil liner is AMAZING!

The pencil is a really soft khol & literally applies so easily with not much pressure needed to get a fabulously thick black show stopping water line!
This product lasts forever, I use the pencil every other day 
(just to spice things up a little!)
& I barely have to sharpen it. 
I need to reapply after 5 hours & it rarely runs under my eyes. 
unless you suffer with watery eyes, which I do it's so annoying, I just apply with more care. I apply the pencil to both of my waterlines, top lid & bottom lid, just to give my eyes that POW!
I can definitely see why Mac name this their "POWER" eye pencil, as the liner is very bold & defined when applied this product comes in at £14.00
Yes, it's a little pricey, but for a pencil thats gonna stay in place, it's worth the splurge!

Here's the liner applied on the eye, with 'blacktrack' gel liner!


What's your favorite pencil liner?

Pencil or Gel which ones your favorite?

Do you know another long wearing pencil?

Want to keep up with all things Make-upxcity?
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Supporting a hint of Aztec print

As you know money burns a hole in my pocket...
with the summer sales in full swing I literally could not resist popping into one of my favorite shops.. 

Under normal circumstances, I genuinely find New Look a very hit & miss kind of shop, sometimes I go in & want the entire shop (this is usually when I've no pennies!) & others I go in & theres nothing at all... 
BUT ... this time it was a successful trip & I bagged a BARGAIN too.
which definitely put a spring in my step! 
With my festival wardrobe soon to be making an appearance at Leeds Festival this year, Iv been searching for a few new bits to take along with me. As festival fashion & style is becoming more & more popular, Im gonna try my best to keep glamourous as much as I can at Leeds 2013!

I was just browsing along the sale section & stumbled across this beautiful Aztec crop top for a small fortune of... 

I adore the colours this print has, it's so girly & beautiful, I decided it would be perfect to pull out the pink in the top & wear it with my favorite MAC limited edition pink lipstick "Embrace Me" -£15! Which is brought to you in Mac's fashionista set which was released earlier this year

(Heres a close up of me wearing the lipstick, with my best pout for you ladies!)

I think iv mentioned this lipstick before click here ... FASHIONISTA SET REVIEW
to find out how this set has got to be my all time favorite limited edition set!
Mac NEED to bring this back!

I love how this top could be worn casual with a cute pair of denim shorts or under a quirky dungaree, which is definitely how ill be supporting it at the festival.. rain or shine!
(more than likely rain!)

But for the time being, I am loving this heatwave & taking advantage of showcasing my tan & indeed my bronzed mid riff, I decided to rock this beauty up town this weekend. I teamed it up with a classic Topshop black cotton "Skater Skirt" these are around £18, A cheeky little gold & black belt from Primark £2 & some black wedges with gold buckles from New Look £25
(I love New Look for shoes!)


I was surprised how glamorous this actually turned out, I love pieces that can be worn for casual & going out, such a diverse bargain piece! I loved wearing this, I felt it was both girly, glamorous & cheeky all at once, it just did the trick for a spur of the moment night out!
Will you be raiding New Look's Sale?

Are you slowly planning a festival wardrobe?

Want to keep up with all things MAKE-UPXCITY?
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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

'Blacktrack' Fluidline Liner

With the sun not being out yet. Im using this morning to actively blog a little post about a MAC product that iv recently picked up, if I'm honest I've actually no idea how I have managed years without this product!
Its well got me hooked, I shall be repurchasing this product time & time again, However it's set to last a good year atleast.

Just for a little blogging info, currently sat in the garden supporting my Chicago Bulls away kit jersey. Listening to #HolidayAnthems! This is a totally fabulous summer holiday sountrack, it's a new release CHECK IT OUT!!!!



I have been set using Collection 2000's "Fast Stroke" black eyeliner for years, for me this product is perfect for a first liquid liner, its got such an easy applicator, the brush is a sponge making it so easy to apply. You get an even thick black stroke when following the shape of your eyelid. Its brought to you by Boots Collection 2000

& you can pick up this product for a BARGAIN £2.99

This product is really long lasting, I found myself having to buy one of these every 4-5 months & I used the product everyday. 
(Cannot go a day without my cat eye black stroke liner look!)
The liner would last all day. I found it could sometimes need a second coat when its first applied to really get the deep bold black effect!
At this perfect price it's a great starting liner to see if you can really get the hang of applying & wearing liquid liner. I stuck to this liner for 4 years before splashing out on counter brand.

It was time to go wild & experiment with a counter brand liner, Id seen so many of these new "Gel" liners that come in a pot, which must be applied with a brush!
After numours chats with my fellow Beauty Guru from work Hannah Norton! 
(Big love to Han! an M&S beauty counter worker!)
She swayed me into popping down to my favorite counter ever... MAC
with the promise their 'FLUIDLINE' is amazing.

 Now I'm not a steady handed girl, in-fact I am extremely clumsy & didn't think I could manage a bristle brush, I thought id create a right dogs dinner out of it, BUT I was very surprised at how easy this applies! A little goes a long way with the product, use it sparingly, as long as I keep this sealed tight this baby should last AGES!
I am a sucker for black eyes, I love a good smokey eye or a completed blacked out eye, it gives a real sexy vibe & creates a mysterious look. So of course I picked this up in 'Black track' a deeply pigmented black. This beauty is £17.50
(MAC do offer this product in a range of colours see the website for more details!)
I am using a bog standard brush nothing too special, you can pick them up everywhere Superdrug, Boots, M&S beauty, topshop beauty & counter brands, prices ranging from £3.50-£20.00

I am using an a thin liner brush to follow the shape of my eyelid. I will just follow the natural shape of my eye, enhancing my eyes & eyelashes. I will then take the angled brush & created the perfectly fierce cat eye flick to give my liner a bit of flare!

Here is the product before applying mascara, the product doesn't run & it comes on easily and thickly. It glides smoothly across areas of the eyelid.
Is a swatch of the liner on my hand from the brush, so you can see how easy it is to get an even thick killer stroke from your brush!

I am head over heels in LOVE with this product, the brushes allow you to get both eyes perfectly even with such great ease, you don't need overly expensive brushes either. I grabbed mine for £4.00 each from boots! BARGAIN!
they give the same effect and finish as the high end MAC brush I was nearly talked into purchasing.


(PLEASE Excuse the cheeky bit of fringe covering my mascara there)


What's your must have liner?

Are you a liquid or pencil girl?

Is liquid liner eyes part of your everyday look?


Thursday, 11 July 2013

1 Month Blog Anniversary!

Make-upxcity is sharing its first month of blogging. 
Lets take a look back at June...
I bit the bullet & decided to send this beauty live on 11th June 2013.
With my very first post being about my homegrown on the move 'Chap Lip Remedy' including products from LUSH & BURTS BEES.
I then begin to showcase my love for MAC lipsticks & how I truly am a lipstick fanatic. 
I continuously post about lipsticks that have me hot under the collar this summer.
with the ALL ABOUT ORANGE collection storming way ahead this season. 
Speaking of lipsticks, I shared my secret to creating the RiriWoo look with Rubywoo. As we all know they are an almost dupe double of eachother.
Along with my purchase of RiriBoy, I still prefer Up The Amp
(Maybe, I am set in my ways!)
However.. Myself & MAC are having some relationship issues, due to them charging me for Heaux lipstick & never sending me it.... BUT never the less I did grab the entire FASHIONISTA SET!
deciding to share my endless purchases of BARGAIN pieces, like my Boots Cosmetic MUST HAVES.
& my gorgeous 'Mango' white studded bag, perfecto' for summer!
Falling for the entire Barry M Gelly collection, My loves still going strong!!.
Sharing my gorgeous 60's style dress, due to heat wave I have had chance to wear this beauty, it's quite a thick one. Will look amazing in winter dressed casual with thick black tights & converse.
(Swear by my converse shoes 365 days a year!)
We have covered ombre & how easy it is to use the Loreal 'Wild Ombre' kit step by step photos & instructions of how to apply in the easy way for an even effect 
(PLEASE see my post!)
Dying my hair this colour was a great experiment & created the perfect look.
After about 4 months of wanting a 'Full Fringe' aka.. 'BANGS!'
I decided to bite the bullet the more I saw them on celebrities or on members of the public, I couldn't be without one any longer... I had gave into temptation!
& NOW 
Iv gone back to black....
well ALMOST. having felt like I had far too much going on with the ombre bangs combo. One had to go, the ombre just didn't make the cut. 
With endless jokes at work with how much I now resemble 'Rachel Berry' aka.. 'Lea Michelle' having supported the fringe look.. it was here to stay.. for a month or so at least...

I am absolutely loving watching my blog grow, its grown more than I could have ever imagined in this short period of time, Every time anyone views or stumbles across my blog, I am ever so grateful
I really have taken writing this blog in my stride & although at the moment I am crazy busy with work. I will still definitely find time to blog about my must haves, bargains, cosmetics, hairstyles & life. 
Thanks for reading & for the great feedback iv received means a-lot ..


Want to keep up with all things Make-upxcity?

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Liebster Award

I was lucky enough to be nominated by the lovely Hannah, over at 'hannahssecretwardrobe' Check the pretty little lady out, Shes got some fabulous posts!
Before being nominated I had never heard of the award, which is probably understandable being new to blogging, however I am loving watching my blog grow & writing witty posts about my little life bubble!So I figured why not get involved in this lovely challenge. After reading Hannah's post & a few other girls who have been nominated I decided to give this a whirl. After all I love trying things on for size!
This is also an AMAZING opportunity.
I would like to take this chance to thank Hannah for recognizing my blog 
 choosing to nominate me!

So you're probably thinking, Hang on sunshine, what is a Liebster Award?

This award is a fabulously fun way of showcasing your blog to the blogging community. 
(We're a huge bunch, who all share the same passion!)
This is a great way to help discover 'new' bloggers (like myself!) & help them along. The best thing about being a blogger, is you're never alone. We always stick together.


1. Answer 11 Questions by the individual thats kindly nominated you.
2. Choose a hefty 11 fellow bloggers with less than 200 followers & link them in your post.
3. Get your creative cap on & think of 11 questions you would like them to answer
4. Inform your 11 chosen beauties of their nomination.
5. NO back tagging!

GOT THAT? OK! Lets Begin! 

1. If I gave you £20, What fashion/beauty item(s) would you buy with it?
As a blogger, I am CONSTANTLY updating my Mac lipstick collection, Id purchase Mac's amazing 'Lady Danger' Red for £14.00 & Id pick up a KILLER red nail polish to match!
 2. Favorite accessories?
Gosh! So many to choose from, But if I HAD to narrow it down, It would be my chunky gold necklace of elephant heads from topshop! it's just so phunky! Along with my NYC Macy's Tote bag, I never leave the house without my Michael Korrs rose gold watch or my pandora birthstone ring
3. Which colour do you wear most in summer?
Urm, Im definitely a coral girl every summer, it only means one thing, it's time for the coral, flipflops,bikini's, nail polishes, lipsticks, bags, tops... anything I can get my hands on really.
Do you own a statement piece? If so what is it?
I believe everything I or any other fashion warrior owns is statement, dress anything up in the right manor, make it totally kick ass for any occasion, for me thats statement.
What's your favorite time to blog?
I  like to blog in the evening, with a cup of tea firmly by my side & often the odd bag of peanut M&M's!
Gold or Silver jewelry?
GOLD. always so glam, I love a good gold piece of jewelry with a bronzed summer tan especially. 
Floral or Polka Dot?
Polka Dot is the winner for me the season, I love navy & white polka dot, teaming that up with a red lippy, is always very chic
would you rather live without mascara or foundation?
Mascara easily, I have such a patchy undertone to my skin, plus I love the flawless finish!
Would you rather have long or short hair?
For someone who has had both the 'posh bob' & now the medium long locks, I would definitely say long, so much more diverse I love the different looks I can get with my hair.
Which is your current makeup brand favourite? Mac or Nars?
Do you even need to ask... Of course it's MAC. im a die hard Mac girl.



1. You're shipped off to a desert island, what 3 items would you take?
2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where you jet set off to at the click of your fingers?
3. Mac makeup Vs Max factor or Rimmel, is branded always better?
4. What is your daily skin care routine?
5. What colour popping lipstick are you currently typing away in?
6. Your all time favorite Artist, Role Model or Band?
7. Could you give up chocolate for the rest of your days?
8. Had life be a fairytale, Which disney princess would you be?
9. Your favorite quote to live by?
10. What wins for you, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
11. Your favorite wardrobe season, Summer or Winter?


After being so thrilled to be nominated myself, I am excited & keen to nominate you few ladies. For anyone else that fancies giving this ago, the details are above as followed. I really enjoyed writing this quirky post! 
Im so excited to see your answers to my questions & to see the post you create if you decide to get involved. 
Until next time.. CHOW.x