Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Spectrum Collections Makeup Brushes Review

I am so excited to review some of the Spectrum Collections brushes today! I think we've all seen their pretty mermaid-esque makeup brushes on our Instagram feed - they're absolutely gorgeous. As a company, their style reminds me a lot of Too Faced. I've swooned after them for a while and now finally own some of my very own. 

I ordered the four piece contour kit (£29.99) and when a matte black padded mail bag dropped on my doormat, I instantly knew it was my brushes! The aesthetic of this company is just so pretty, when I opened the bag my brushes were packaged in a transparent pink case which closes with a popper. Perfect for popping bits in when travelling.

Before discussing each individual brush, I would just like to note that these brushes are beautifully soft and the handles feel substantial without being heavy. I have used these brushes to create my base and they work amazingly. So they really are more than just a pretty face! Additionally, they are completely vegan and cruelty free.. Yay!

B01 - Flat Top Buffer - £8.99 single

The first brush is a flat top brush which I normally refer to as a stippling brush. It's perfect for blending liquid foundation or for applying cream contour or blush. I love this shape brush and use it all the time so I'm so glad that this was included in the set. I used this to apply my usual foundation and as well as being a joy to use, I got a lovely finish from it.

B02 - Domed Buffer - £8.99 single

I use this as a general powder brush. It can be used to apply pressed powder, bronzer or blusher and it does this beautifully.

C03 - Tulip Powder - £8.99 single

This brush is the star of the show for me. I've never actually had a brush this shape, it's fluffy and dense and tapers at the end which makes it perfect for applying highlight and contouring around the hairline. It's extremely effective as it allows a high degree of precision which results in a more professional looking face. I love love love this brush and don't know how I ever did my makeup without it!

C04 - Angled Powder - £8.99 single

This brush is perfect for contouring. I enjoy using angled brushes and this one is a dream to use.

I would definitely go for one of the sets if you're going to buy from Spectrum Collections. By purchasing a set you save just under £6 which is almost the price of a whole brush so the sets are amazing value. If you're in the market for some beautiful, soft and dense makeup brushes then I urge you to check out Spectrum. Their website can be accessed here, and here is their Instagram.

Monday, 1 August 2016

DIY: Painted Staircase with Wallpapered Risers

Yes, you read the title of this blog post correctly - I properly attempted some hardcore DIY business. I didn't take a proper 'before' picture but here's a photo of my cat on the staircase as it was when we originally moved in. I am a total novice with regards to decorating and it turned out pretty awesome.

As you can see they are fully carpeted in a sort-of wine red colour. However, there was so many nails in the carpet.. like a crazy amount and they jutted out and cut your toes which was a sad affair. And there was bits torn off and then nailed back in with a rusty nail. I just didn't like them and wanted a quick fix which was cost-effective, quick and looked cute. This is when the pretty Pinterest photos popped into my head that I had seen with lovely floral wallpapered risers. I spent an evening looking online about how easy this was to do and how durable it would be and decided to give it a go.

I didn't use a tutorial for this, I just followed the instructions on the paint, wallpaper paste and wallpaper and used my intuition really.. and it worked!

I decided on Cath Kidston Rainbow Rose for the risers and this motivated me to start getting to work as it's a lovely pattern. On Pinterest I've seen some where they have used a different pattern on each step or alternated two patterns and that looks really cute but I wanted to stick with one this time.

1. Step one is to rip your carpet up. I was dreading this as I didn't want to see what was underneath. I used a claw hammer to remove the nails and then tugged at the carpet to lift it and the insulation underneath. I was left with plain wooden stairs and a lot of bugs (ugh). 

After I did this, I removed lots of remaining nails and knocked the broken ones into the wood.

2. Step two is sort of optional but I scrubbed the staircase with a bit of warm soapy water and a microfibre cloth as it was absolutely disgusting and bug-ridden. If you have any holes (I had lots) then use decorator's caulk to fill them up during this stage.

3. Sand! Use some sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block to create a smooth surface. This part takes a while and I got bored and just went with what I had after a while. I live in an old house and the stairs are very nobbly so it would have taken sooo long to get them perfect.

5. Painting time. Use a primer if you like but I'm lazy so just did multiple coats of white floor paint (Ronseal brand) using a regular 2 inch paint brush and an eyeshadow brush (lol) for the fine detail and to get in nooks and crannies. I also painted the upstairs landing. Either paint alternate stairs which will allow you to use the stairs during the day or do it before work/sleeping and allow 8 hours for them to dry. If you're doing it before bed them remember to do it going up the stairs and vice versa for if you need to be downstairs.

6. Measure the width and length of each riser with a tape measure and note it down on a piece of paper, clearly numbering each one. Then cut out the corresponding lengths of wallpaper and label the backs with the correct numbers with a soft pencil. Unless you have narrow stairs, you will need 2 pieces of wallpaper per riser so ensure that the pattern matches up or you can make it look like it does! Overestimate the measurements a little as I found that my stairs weren't exactly the same height all the way along so it gave me a bit of leeway.

7. Once all your pieces are cut then mix your wallpaper paste according to the instructions and get ready to stick. Start from the top riser and check that your pieces fit the space perfectly. You may need to trim them a bit which is fine - it's better that they're too big than too small. Once they fit then paste the back of the wallpaper, paying particular attention to the edges and stick in place, smoothing with your fingers. 

Complete this process on all the risers and you're done! Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, a sit down and a nice cup of tea.

Here are my finished stairs - I still need to paint the hand rails on both sides but I love how the stairs look, so pretty and it was such a cheap fix.. just required a bit of hard work!