Wednesday 30 January 2013

The perfect base shadow: Benefit 'Birthday Suit'

Hello Lovelies!

Some of you may already know that I used a new favourite product of mine in the 'everyday make up routine' video I uploaded yesterday. A product which is in fact so good I thought it needed to make it's début on the Budget Boutique today in a post of its own. So allow me to introduce you to my new holy grail product, the Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in 'Birthday Suit'. 

I've been a huge fan of cream eyeshadows ever since getting my mitts on pretty much the whole Maybelline Colour Tattoo collection back in the summer and so was very excited to be given this high end cream shadow as a gift for doing my friends wedding make up back in January. 'Birthday Suit' is not only brilliantly long lasting and creaseless as promised, but is also just the most perfect nudey goldy taupey (lovely clear description there) base shade. This means it works amazingly worn all on its own to give you a pretty and natural doe eyed look or as a base for any powder shadows as it keeps them in place all day and can be made to disappear under other colours or left on show with a nice bit of contour. An example of the latter can be found in this post where I layered it with a couple of darker shades from the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, but above you can see it worn alone with a bit of winged liner which is how I wore it in my everyday make up video. It's also so quick and easy to apply either with your fingers or a brush like the Real Techniques base shadow brush and blends like a creamy dream before settling down for the long haul until Bioderma comes to visit it later. So yes this has been an incredibly rave review but I can't rate this shadow highly enough, it also comes in at a pretty reasonable £14 for a high end product that will last for ages and I know it will be a make up bag staple of mine all year round for many years to come.

What's your make up bag staple of the moment?

I've just come in from a long day of rehearsals and I'm rather excited now as I'm getting ready to go out for a night of pizza and cocktails with the cast at a bar in town and you know what, I'll probably be wearing this eyeshadow...and some other more clothing like things of course. Have a lovely night girls!

Love Meg
Tuesday 29 January 2013

Video: My Everyday Makeup Routine #2

Hello Lovelies!

I've just uploaded my second everyday makeup routine video, which this time features a flawless glowy base, retro winged liner and a bright lip, so if you like that sort of thing why not give it a watch below! You can also have a giggle at the first time I filmed an everyday make up routine back in June here, I can't believe how much my hair has grown and make up tastes have developed since then...

Please subscribe to my youtube channel if you enjoy it and let me know what sort of everyday make up look you're loving at the moment. I've had a pretty boring house hold chores sort of time today, but it does feel good to be sitting in a much tidier, cleaner room so it needed to be done. I'm actually still in my pj's right now though so I need to go and get ready as I've got a rehearsal tonight and I'm not sure anyone would appreciate my current appearance! Have a lovely night whatever you're up to :)

Love Meg
Monday 28 January 2013

The desk days are over: Night out outfit

Hey Girls!

It's time for the second part of my 'desk days are over' post today, to show you what I wore on my celebratory 'essays are over for a while' night out last week. In part one I showed you the make up and hair I went for, but here you can see how I styled my new blouse, beloved shorts and suspender tights for a night of ridiculous dancing...

Blouse: Ark
Shorts: Levi Vintage 
Suspender Tights: New Look
Heels: New Look

As we were going to quite a casual club instead of going for my usual dress and heels combo I took my new sheer berry Ark blouse which has a lovely black lace trimmed collar and suspender tights (it was snowing at the time so bare legs were a big no no, even for me!) and dressed them down with my trusty vintage Levi shorts. I'd recommend adding a pair of these to your wardrobe if you haven't already as I wear mine so much for loads of different occasions and they're usually only about £15 from vintage shops. I did wear my dressy shoe boot heels too as I don't really like dancing in flats, but took sturdy boots with me so I didn't fall on my face or bum in the snow, not a good look for anyone...

This night out and my essays seem like a long time ago now as I've just come back from such a lovely weekend at home with my boyfriend and am now getting ready to start the last set of rehearsals for the show I'm in next week. A very exciting pair of wedged trainers arrived for me today too but more on those later...have a wonderful night girlies!

Love Meg
Friday 25 January 2013

Products Worth the Hype: Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

Hey Girls!

In my opinion I have rather problematic hair, it's naturally very curly and frizzy (I used to look a lot like Hermione Granger film one) and has never had the silk or shine of the Jennifer Aniston glossy girls I get hair envy over. I also dye it blonde and use a serious amount of heat on it after every wash so I'm hardly helping the situation. This is why I get so excited when a product genuinely makes a difference to my hair. Enter my new hair saviour: The Philip Kingsley Elasticizer*...

As blogging hype goes this product has had it's fair share and is also a favourite of Lily Melrose, which naturally means I had high expectations when I found this mini bottle in my goody bag after the Cosmo blog awards. At over £20 for a full size tub this product is on the very expensive side of hair care, which actually makes it rather annoying that it's so worth the hype as I know I'll want to repurchase this when it runs out! Onto the actual product then, this is an intensive pre-shampoo treatment that is supposed to revive your scalp and hair giving it elasticity, manageability, bounce and shine after just one use. Before applying this I tend to dampen my hair using a spray bottle filled with water (the wetter your hair the less effective treatments are so try to just dampen it or really squeeze out the water), then I apply about a 50 pence piece sized amount of this concentrating on my ends and stopping just before my roots. I then cover my hair with a plastic bag (nice mental image for you there) as I don't own a plastic cap and wrap my head in a towel to keep it all in place and warm too as heat can intensify the results hair treatments give. As my hair needs lots of loving I leave this on for about 20 minutes probably once a week and I've really noticed the difference. It leaves my troublesome and mistreated hair feeling soft, volumised, manageable and moistorised, as well as helping to keep my bottle blonde bright. I made sure to use this before going to the hair dressers last week (I went to Hair Kandi in Sheffield centre, which is somewhere I'd really recommend) and my hair dresser did comment on the fact that my hair didn't feel damaged and was a lovely shade. Below is a photo of how it looked after using the elasticizer, as well as having my roots refreshed and a nice cut. It feels so much better now and is the nice light ashy shade I love, I also had it shaped around my face a lot more with some bangs and shorter layers without having too much off the length, Mollie King eat your heart out...

Today I've been having a lovely warm chill out at home as I travelled back yesterday to have a weekend with my boyfriend, going to pick him up from the station soon so I best be off to make myself look presentable (it's definitely been a duvet day). Please let me know of any hair treatments you think really work, preferably on the more budget side and have a wonderful weekend!

Love Meg
Wednesday 23 January 2013

Video: My 12 Favourite Beauty Products of 2012

Hello Lovelies!

It's a bit belated, but here is my 12 favourite beauty products of 2012 video! There are some cracking budget and high end finds in there, including real 24 hour lip products, a spot zapping combination that actually works and a product that creates curls which last all day using no heat, so I hope you enjoy watching it and find some new things to try yourself...

Please do subscribe to my youtube channel if you enjoy it and let me know what your 2012 favourites are as I love being nosey. I had my much over due haircut and colour this morning which went so well (apparently I am now channelling the Holly Willoughby look!) so I might pop some photos of that up soon, but now it's off to a night of rehearsal and Les Mis for me. Have a wonderful night girlies!

Love Meg
Tuesday 22 January 2013

The desk days are over: Night out hair & makeup

Hey Girls!

I'm writing this post today with a bit of a sore head and dishevelled appearance as I went on a big night out yesterday to celebrate the fact my desk days are over! Well, they are over for a few months anyway as I just completed my last deadline until my final assessments in the summer. It was a really stressful few weeks and also meant I sat at my desk not wearing a scrap of make up and sporting a pineapple on my head for too many days than I'd like to admit. So last night I thought I'd do something nice with the old face and barnet, I also wore a new outfit combination but I'll show you that in my next post...

Base: Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer, Monu Under Eye Cream, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation '52', Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer 'Light 2', Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer 'Ivory', Rimmel Stay Matte Powder 'Sandstorm'
Base Detailing: Bourjois Delice De Poudre Bronzing Powder '51', Topshop 'Head Over Heels' Cream Blush, Benefit Sunbeam Highlighter, BareMinerals 'Dark Blonde/Brown' Brow Powder

Eyes: Maybelline 24HR  'On and On Bronze' Colour Tattoo, Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Liner, Rimmel Soft Black Kohl, Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Nude Kohl, Benefit 'They're Real' Mascara
Lips: Revlon Kissable Just Bitten Balm Stain in 'Crush' 
Hair: Enrapture Encode Totem Styler 3-3-3

It might not look like it but I've toned down my night out make up a lot since starting my blog as I've learned it's not always about having the blackest eyes and reddest lips (Yes I was a major serial statement eyes AND lips offender!). Now days I'm far more about going for a certain look with my make up and last night it was a kind of preppy/sexy (major cringe but you get what I mean) to match my outfit. I did this by adding some retro winged liner and a dark statement lip to my fail safe night out base face. I also applied some of my new favourite cream eye shadow, Benefit 'Birthday Suit', as a pretty but subtle base for the liner and decided not to contour as I wanted the focus to be on the lining and lashes. My hair was also rather preppy as I curled it into ringlets, then teased them out a bit and pinned the front sections together at the back with a middle parting. This is one of my go to styles at the moment and I don't know how I ever lived without my totem styler now!

Today I've just been lounging around hungoverly with Rosie and filming videos so you can look out for those soon along with the full outfit to go with this post. I'm getting pretty excited about the next few days now as I'm having my hair cut for the first time in so long (I plan on leaving the salon looking exactly like Molly King, not that I have high expectations or anything), going to see Les Mis and then having a weekend at home with the boy so life is looking lovely again... I hope you're having a lovely week too!

Love Meg
Friday 18 January 2013

Ten Pound Primark Haul!

Hey Girls!

Last week I popped into town with my housemate Rosie just to get a few bits from Boots as we were feeling too poor to tempt ourselves anywhere else. However, we then thought there was no harm in having a browse round Primark. I didn't actually plan on buying anything (I swear!) until I realised that Primark also have a January sale despite there already ridiculously low prices and so begins the story of how I entered Primark with a ten pound note and left with four new lovely things and fifty pence change... 

Owl Shirt £2
Dipped hem tee £2
Berry Snood £2
Super Cosy Tights £3.50

My best buy has to be the navy owl shirt as I'd eyed it up a good few times on previous Primark trips and saw it sitting all alone on the sale rail for just £2. For this reason I decided it would be worse for me not to buy it (Does anyone else justify purchases with this logic?). I love the owl pattern and studded collar so much and I know it will become a staple shirt for staying in and going out as the sheer fabric lets you style it in lots of different ways. I then found this nice grey dipped hem tee hiding behind the shirt. I have a few dipped hem skirts and dresses which I love but so far no t-shirts of the same family, so just had to pop this in my basket as I'm always in need of casual tops to lounge in and pair with statement items. The snood was another £2 bargain I was very happy to find as I'd always wanted a snood for those chilly winter trips to uni and berry is also my favourite autumnal colour, so I'm pretty sure me and this snood were meant to be. It's already proved to be very snuggly and stylish on my wearing of it around our freezing student house, so I can foresee it becoming a winter staple of mine. Last but not least I got some super cosy tights as I knew the weather was going to get colder and if I wanted to wear shorts in the snow (seriously, nothing stops me from short wearing) I was going to need some warmer tights. These are amazing as instead of being thick woolly granny tights they look normal from the outside but contain a super cosy lining to keep your pins warm, go Primarni! So there you have it, the tale of my amazing Primark haul that still left me with change from a tenner, what an amazing place for buyers on a budget...

I hope you are all enjoying the snow today, we haven't had as much as I thought in Sheffield but it doesn't make much difference to me as I'm still in essay mode which is also why I haven't posted so far this week. I've handed in two essays now though and I've only got one to go so it's almost over and then I have loads of fun life and blogging plans to keep me busy! In the mean time though, have a wonderful snowy weekend everyone :)

Love Meg
Saturday 12 January 2013

Lipstick luxury: YSL Rouge Volupte in 'Sensual Silk'

Hey Girls!

So you know with a blog name like 'budget boutique' I'll always be a drugstore girl at heart (after all I can't thank it enough for making me look better on a budget, collection concealer anyone?), but when gorgeous high end things come into my life I can't help but go all gooey eyed over them, especially when they are as pretty as my newest lipstick. Meet the YSL Rouge Volupte in 'Sensual Silk'...

I got given this little beauty as a gift for doing my friend's wedding make up on New Years Eve which I was so grateful for as my student loan certainly doesn't cover £24 lipsticks, no matter how pretty they are!  You've most probably heard  quite a lot about these before as they've gained quite the cult status amongst the blogging world and I'm guessing the main thought from people who haven't tried them is 'are you paying nearly thirty pound for the packaging?' Well undeniably the luxurious gold packaging is one of the major attractions (Just imagine getting this out to reapply, preferably in front of lots of people), but you'll be pleased to know the actual product is just as amazing. The creamy bullet gildes onto the lips so smoothly you do feel like you're wearing silk, no lip balm needed and it's also surprisingly pigmented for a nude shade, very much like a MAC cremesheen formula. I've got to say 'Sensual silk', or number '2' as it's also known, is pretty much the perfect nude shade too as it's dusky pink undertones ensures concealer lips are avoided and instead you are left with a peachy pink sheen that lasts for a good couple of hours before you need to reapply (although as I said before this hasn't stopped me from reapplying it at every public opportunity so far. Can you blame me?)  So whilst this may not be an essential purchase you need to instantly rush out and make, there's no harm in popping it on your wish list for the next present occasion or general splurge now is there...

I haven't done much today apart from work, but I did go to town with Rosie yesterday and found some absolute steals of Primarni bargains that I will share with you shortly! For now though it's back to essays until I cave in and watch some rubbishy Saturday night tele, Splash anyone? Have a wonderful weekend!

Love Meg
Thursday 10 January 2013

Drop hem and Discos: Outfit Post

Hello Lovelies!

What with it being my birthday and christmas last month I didn't actually get round to showing you any normal outfits and seeing as I picked up some nice new things from Topshop last weekend (shown here in my House of Fraser haul) I thought it might be nice to show you how I wore a couple of them to uni yesterday, along with my new favourite hair style...

 Sweater Topshop
Disco Pants | American Apparel 
Socks | Topshop
Necklace | Dorothy Perkins
Bracelets | Links of London/ Pandora
Lips | Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in 'Lovesick'
Nails | Max Factor Nailfinity in 'Disco Pink'
Huge top knot | My own creation with the help of hairspray

 This Topshop drop hem boucle sweater that I bought on Saturday has already become one of my favourite items of clothing as the cut of it is so unique and flattering (that's right ladies, you don't have to get your bum out in those see through leggings any longer!), it's a gorgeous wintry colour and also goes with so many different bottoms. I teamed it with my disco pants yesterday as I wanted bottoms that were a little more dressy and fitting to contrast the casual bagginess of the top. I also added my trusty spiked Dorothy Perkins necklace to jazz it up a bit, as well as bright pink lips and nails courtesy of my new favourite Revlon Kissable Balm Stain and a Max Factor neon pink nail polish. I did wear this outfit with my Next boots when I left the house but kept them off in the photos to show you my cute new frilly topped socks. I only picked up one pair of these from Topshop at the weekend but am planning to go back for more colours tomorrow and make use of the 3 for £8 offer they have on as I can see these becoming my staple socks. I know, pretty big exciting stuff... As for the hair, I've recently discovered the amazing fact that my locks are long enough to create a nice big top knot without the aid of a hair donut. Now that is exciting stuff! I think just using a band and curby grips instead of a donut gives the bun a bigger but more wearable, less structured look that I love and still lasts all day. I might do a tutorial on it if you're interested?

I've just had yet another day of doing uni worked mixed with laughing at the ridiculousness of daytime tele with my house mate Rosie. She introduced me to 'most haunted' this lunchtime and needless to say work was postponed for a while hahaa but tonight we're off to have a well earned break and watch Life of Pi at the cinema. Have any of you seen it already? Have a wonderful night whatever your plans are!

Love Meg
Tuesday 8 January 2013

Video: What I got for Christmas!

Good evening girlies!

It's just a super quick post from me tonight to let you know that I finally got round to filming and uploading my 'what I got for Christmas' video so if you like watching this sort of thing then please give it a view and subscribe to my youtube channel if you enjoy it! If you'd rather just see some photos of my presents then I've also done a post on what santa brought me down the chimney here.

It feels like a long time since the joys of the festive season now as I sit at my desk amidst multiple cups of tea and poetry books (I'll stop banging on about my essays soon I swear), but the arrival of my housemate Rosie and gift of the Real Techniques Eye Starter Set certainly cheered me up today, but more on that to follow soon. For now though I'm off to make dinner which won't be dry crunchy nut as it was last night as I've actually been food shopping now thank goodness. Have a great night lovelies!

Love Meg
Monday 7 January 2013

House of Fraser Haul: Topshop, bareMinerals & Oasis

Hey Girlies,

I hope you all had a good weekend! I had such a nice last weekend at home as I went to Bluewater with my boyfriend to watch The Hobbit and spend all the House of Fraser vouchers I got for my birthday. Needless to say I had a lot of constant moaning in my ear as I deliberated over what to buy (There are far too many counters and brands to choose from in that shop!), but in the end I decided to get some new clothes and staple items as I have far too much make up for one face already...

I've been looking for a new handbag for a while now as even though I still adore my Zara shopper basket, it is pretty massive and not always appropriate for times when you only need to carry your purse and phone (oh and lots of lipsticks, I swear my lipstick collection now lives at the bottom of my handbag). So in comes this little (well a bit smaller) beauty from Oasis! I love the tan colour, way it fastens up so securely and  fact the handles can be worn on the arm or shoulder, plus it was down to £20 from £35 in the sale so it was a bit of a bargain too. The bareMinerals angled brow brush is actually a repurchase because I managed to somehow loose my other one, I know what a clever clogs, but as I loved it so much for applying my bareMinerals brow powder I decided I couldn't live without it any longer and for only £10 I recommend you don't live without it for much longer too. Now onto the Topshop goodies, House of Fraser did have quite a slim selection but I was very happy to pick up some staples in the form of the burgandy vest top and frilly black ankle socks and I also love the bright coral peter pan collar top and textured drop hem sweater as I think they are both quite different pieces, perfect for the transitional seasons. Yes I am already  preparing for the arrival of Spring!

What have you been buying lately? As I've already told you about my weekend, I'll just say that today I travelled back up to Sheffield to begin rehearsals for the next play I'm in and to finish my essays. My housemates aren't back yet so I'm a bit lonely and post holiday bluesy so can't wait for everyone to get back and proper fun uni to begin again!

Have a lovely night,
Love Meg
Friday 4 January 2013

How to: Easy Dip dye/Ombre Nails

hey girls!

After feeling a bit coldy and rubbish for the past couple of days, this morning I felt the need to have a bit of a pamper and thought I'd try something new on my nails. I didn't really have the time to faff about with nail art pens or gems so was very happy to discover this dip dye/ombre polish effect that's a super easy, quick, on trend and effective way of sprucing up your talons...

How to achieve this look in three simple steps...

Step One: Paint nails with a neutral base coat

Step Two: Dip a small piece of sponge in a nail polish darker than the base colour

Step Three: Lightly dab this polish on the ends of the nails and use the other end of the sponge to blend the colours together and voilà

 I chose to use two very girly and sparkly polishes (I just can't let go of festive glitter quite yet! Not sure what the silver polish is but the pink is No7 Stay Perfect 'Milan'), but this technique would work with lots of different colours, more than two polishes and could probably go from dark to light too. Oh and don't forget to prep your nails nicely and finish with a good shiny top coat as this will make them last longer. I'd love to know if you try this look out and what colours you use so make sure you comment below if you do :) As I said earlier I've pretty much just spent my day pampering as well as doing some uni work and seeing my grandparents, but now I'm off to pick the boy up from work for our last weekend together before I head back to uni and I've got to say I'm very excited for the chinese, sales shopping and cinema trip we have planned!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend too,
Love Meg
Thursday 3 January 2013

New Year, New Resolutions

Hello Lovelies!

I thought that this afternoon I'd finally get round to having a look at how well I did with last years resolutions and have a go at making some new ones, last years post is here if you want to have a look at the whole thing, but all of lasts years resolutions are below along with the tell tale ticks and crosses to show you how well I did...


My 2012 Resolutions:
1. Pass my second year of uni with a good grade 
2. Be better with money x
3. Find a healthy eating and exercise regime I can actually  keep up all year round x
4. Grow my hair super long 
5. Read more books x
6. Put more time and effort into my blog (and maybe start a youtube channel?) 
7. Become the owner of a Mac lipstick and Urban Decay eye shadow palette 
8. Visit my friends at their unis 
9. Be tidier and more organised
10. Cook different recipes from scratch more often 
11. Sort out what I'm going to do with my life once I graduate 

I'm actually pretty happy with achieving 8 out of 11 of these! Okayy so I'm aware my hair isn't quite super long yet and I could still be tidier but I've definitely improved so I'm ticking it hahaa But anyway now onto the top ten things I hope to achieve this year...

1. Graduate from uni with a 2:1 (okay so I'd love a first but lets get realistic here)
2. Get out of my overdraft and stay out
3. Get a job that I love in the magazine or PR industry or at least get some great work experience
4. Make more time to read books and magazines cover to cover
5. Change my eating and fitness habits so I can feel great all year round
6. Save up for and buy an Olympus Pen camera that I can blog and do videos with
7. Grow my blog and youtube channel, develop their design and hit more milestones
8. Make sure my nails look gorgeous at all times
9. Now my hair's longer get it cut and coloured the exact way I want
10. Have as many amazing times with my family, friends and boyfriend as possible

I'd also love to meet up with some of the amazing girls I've met through blogging this year so fingers crossed some sort of big meet up can happen soon. For now though it's back to trying to achieve that first goal of this year by writing my stupid horrible essays, honestly dead poets make rubbish company and my cat isn't helping much either...

Have a much more fun night than I am everyone and please let me know what your resolutions for 2013 are!

Love Meg
Wednesday 2 January 2013

Goodbye 2012: The Highlights

Happy New Year!

I know I'm a day late with that but yesterday I didn't have enough energy to do anything apart from chill out on the sofa, eat things I said I wouldn't go anywhere near in January and watch all the trashy tele I'd missed from the day needless to say I had a good night out on New Years Eve! I hope you all did too and had a good day off yesterday as well :) Today I thought I'd start my year of blogging with a post picking out my highlights of 2012 then tomorrow I'm going to do a review of my old resolutions and the making of some new ones (normal beauty posting will resume the next day I promise!) so without further ado and rambling here are a few of my favourite parts of last year...

Being in lots of amazing shows
Any time I've spent with these girls, but particularly this night out in Reading 
Also every day and night out I've had with my uni girls
Jubilee times with my Mummy
Performing at the Crucible with 'The Rolling Tones'
The Paralympics
Cosmo Blog Awards (Still can't believe I got to go!)
Moving in with the best housemates ever
21st Birthday Times
three amazing years with my boy
So yes it's been a pretty fantastic 2012 full of so many memories I'll never forget, I've got to say I'm pretty terrified about this year though as I'll be graduating in the summer and then who knows what I'll be doing. I'll only graduate if I get these flippin essays finished (or, erm, started...) though so I best go and get on with those again now! I hope you're all having a great start to your new year :)

Love Meg
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