Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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Best face forward

Would you go out of the house without make-up on? Are you brave enough to meet up with your friends without a puff of powder? How about heading out on a date without a coat of mascara? I wouldn’t. I’m not. And no way! I’ve met many women of all different ages over the years who happily waltz out of the front door and into the world without a scrap of make-up on their faces. And I don’t know how they do it. I admire them for it, and I even envy the amount of time they save every day by not putting on a layer of foundation. But no matter how much time I’d gain or how lovely my skin would feel out in the fresh air, I still couldn’t go out for a day without make-up. Could you?

I wouldn’t say that I’m overly vain – I can go for years without a haircut (two years until last summer!) and months without highlights (7 months and counting), but a whole day without makeup? I’m sorry, it can’t be done. I’m not saying that my makeup is perfect or that I have mastered the art the perfect eyeliner or glossy pout (in fact these techniques are completely beyond my abilities, especially early in the morning!). I’ll usually give anything fiddly a miss, so really I’m only taking about a covering of foundation and a little mascara – it doesn’t need to be a lot but it does need to be there.

beauty fashion trend adele cara delevingne dark eyes and brows spring summer 2013

Looking good Adele! Perfect eyeliner Cara!

So in what circumstances would I not wear makeup? Well, I’m perfectly comfortable sitting here at my computer, typing this for all the world to see whilst wearing my slouchy jumper, big specs and foundation-free face (there might even be a mucky smudge of last nights mascara around my eyes, gross I know) because you can’t see me. Hurrah for the internet, three cheers for working from home and a massive whoop for all the miles between us. Because I’m sure that if you popped by to see me right now, I’d be running in the opposite direction covering my face with hands and yelping ‘don’t look at me’. I worry too much what other’s think – although not enough to get my hair done, yikes it’s a mess! – but more importantly, I worry what I think about me.

Okay, I might be going a little over the top here. I will put the bins out and hang the washing on the line without any prior grooming and I’ll happily let my husband wake up next to my make-up-free face. I’ll even accept a parcel from the postman before the make-up goes on, but that’s about it. If I’m going out anywhere my eyelashes will be mascaraed and my dark circles concealed. I’m not a full-face-of-trowelled-on-make-up kinda girl but I’m definitely a BB Cream, concealer and mascara woman. So it’s not a thick coverage I’m after and I’m not wearing a mask (although it does protect my skin as all my products have SPF!), but I am trying to look my best – and what’s wrong with that? It’s getting more and more difficult to look my best as the years roll by and I’d like to carry on creating a good impression before my skin lets me down completely!

beauty fashion trend beyonce taylor swift red lips spring summer 2013

That smile looks great on you Beyoncé! Fabulous blue eyes Taylor!

I already know I naturally look a bit rough and unwell without make-up. ‘She’s so pale, is she anemic?’ was a favourite with teachers back at school, I’m often asked ‘are you tired?’ and due to my blonde eyelashes ‘you look ill’ is a regular phrase. I used to be able to get out of lessons by rocking up without makeup and feigning a sore tummy – no one would think that this pale, tired girl was making it up because she looks so unwell. I still embrace my paleness and never use fake-tan or bronzer, but a little swish of blusher is the difference between ‘you’re looking well’ and ‘do you need to go to the doctors?’.

And this is exactly the point of make-up in my opinion. I’m sure that no-one would even notice when I am wearing make-up because I don’t pile it on, I just subtly enhance what I’ve got and cover up the bits that I know aren’t so great. Make up can actually highlight your naturally good features – eye colour can look more vivid with the correct shade of shadow and a smile can look whiter and brighter with the right lipstick – just use it to bring out the good bits if you must! I’m such a perfectionist and ever since I discovered mascara in my teens and found out that I could improve the bits I didn’t like, I’ve been covering my face in anything within my price-range. And I think make-up is one of the better inventions of humankind. Okay, that was a bit tongue-in-blushered-cheek but it’s great that I can look the best I possibly can with only a few cheap products. Why would I not want to look my best? A smile goes a long way too but it can’t hide my pimples so that is why I’m getting my face on everytime I leave the house and I bet I’m not the only one..!


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My use-up challenge ~ making mineral make-up

Earlier this month I challenged myself to use-up all the odds and ends of cosmetics and skincare products that I have on my dressing table rather than spending more money that I don’t have on the current ‘essential’ products. When I buy moisturiser, I know full well that I already have pots and tubes of the same kinda thing at home, but I just can’t stop myself from thinking that ‘this will be the one product to change my life’ and reaching for my purse. I wrote all about it in my use-up challenge blog post and here’s a little update on how I’m getting on.

First of all, I have managed to stop myself spending on make-up and skincare, despite a couple of shopping trips to my favourite high street pharmacies. While my little sister & my friends bought a couple of bits here and there, I simply sampled the make up on the back of my hand and made of note of what I would like to add to my birthday list instead of making the purchase. I accidentally picked up a Revlon nail polish in the pound store, but that’s just one quid spent after maybe 15 pounds were saved, so I feel pretty smug about that and I think I deserved that treat. What am I saying? This is exactly how I manage to convince myself that I need to buy make-up all the time in the first place. I need to give myself a stern talking-to and not buy the polish next time.

cassiefairys beauty and hair product purchases during my use-up challenge nail polish and 3 minute miracle

One other purchase was the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, my absolute favourite hair-care product, that I have nearly run out of and it was on special offer. I know that if I hadn’t bought it this week, I would have finished my current bottle next week and it’d be back up to full price by then. Anyway, the challenge isn’t about going without, it’s about using up what I already have before I buy a new product. Another poor excuse, but technically I’m saving money…

Anyway, the positive thing that I’ve dont this week is sort out my mineral make-up. I was getting pretty low on my normal foundation and I knew that I had lots of odds-and-ends of mineral make-up powders in my ‘face’ make-up bag (yes, I have three – eyes, lips and face).  So I got them all out and set about mixing up my own mineral foundation.

cassiefairy use up make up challenge mix your own perfect match mineral foundation

I had two nearly-finished pots of my usual base colour, so I combined the two in a bigger pot and added the end of a pot of my ‘warm’ summer foundation. To make the colour a little lighter I mixed in some of the mineral concealer powder and some finishing powder. I also had a few sachets of mineral powder samples, so I added them too. A quick shake with the lid on was all that was needed to thoroughly mix all the shades of foundation together and I ended up with a colour that was perfect for me. A whole tub of it! Plus I cleared out all these pots from my make-up bag and now I’ve got a go-to foundation that I can use-up during this challenge. I would have usually just gone out and bought a new off-the-peg mineral foundation but now I’ve got a ‘custom-blended’ foundation without spending anything. This feels as good as shopping for it anyway!

I think I might carry on mixing my own mineral foundation in the future, because it’s difficult to find a shade that matches my pale skin perfectly. However, if anyone knows of a mineral make-up brand that does good ivory/porcelain/cream shades, let me know and I’ll give it a try once my use-up challenge is over! Tweet me @Cassiefairy and let me know what you’re using up!

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facefinity max factor beauty blog review


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Beauty review – Max Factor’s Facefinity 3-in-1 Foundation

The next big thing in the make-up world is foundations that are more than just a foundation – many are including primers, moisturisers, anti-aging properties, SPFs and more.

I’ve read a few beauty blogs reviewing the new products out there and I’ve chosen to buy the three-in-one foundation from Max Factor – Facefinity All Day Flawless. This product includes a primer, concealer and foundation, plus a SPF 20; one of the main things that I look for in my skincare and make up. I’ve been using mineral foundation for years, but I find that it wears off easily during the day and I wanted something with a bit more coverage plus a longer-lasting formula.

This foundation certainly lasts longer, due to its much more dense coverage than other foundations – I really feel like I’m getting my moneys-worth out of this product – more so than the usual watery formulas that slide off your face as soon as you leave the house in the morning. The coverage is so dense that it almost covers up my freckles! The colours run a little lighter than the usual Max Factor range; so where I’d usually choose the absolute lightest shade for my skintone, in this product range I need the next one up, which for me was Warm Almond 45.

The only thing is that with good coverage and long-lasting comes a mattifying, drying effect. In other blog reviews that led me to this product in the first place, the overall consensus seems to be that this foundation delivers a ‘radiant glow’ rather than the dryier matt texture that I experienced, so I’m guessing that my drier-than-adverage skin has something to do with it and I’m using a little extra moisturiser underneath the foundation to counteract the mattiness.

I will be coming back for more of this product, because it hasn’t caused any problems on my sensitive skin and I like the level of coverage I got from it – although I still needed a concealer in a couple of places, it was pretty much a one-stop product for me.


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Review – NYC mineral foundation

I’ve had my eye on the mineral foundation from the New York Colour range for a while now, especially after giving my little sister the mineral make-up kit for her birthday earlier this year. So when my normal foundation started running low, I ordered myself a pot of the NYC Naturals mineral foundation.

This is a loose powder foundation with SPF 10 and no talc, which is particularly important for my pale, sensitive skin. I’ve been using loose mineral foundations for years, but often struggled to find the correct colour and have had to mix my own in the past, but this NYC colour number i686 Natural Fair was ideal for my very light skin tone.

The foundation comes with a small kabuki brush, but it’s not a particularly soft brush and a few of the strands have already popped out and took up residence on my cheek when I was applying the foundation. I’d recommend using your usual blusher/bronzer brush to apply it but it goes on nicely and lasts well. I noticed that I needed to apply more of this product than I usually do with mineral foundations in order to get the coverage that I was after, so I may use it up faster than normal. When I applied the foundation around my nose I detected a faint medical smell, but that could be the new brush rather than the foundation and there’s much worse smells than the whiff of cleanliness! 

Overall its one of the nicer mineral foundations I’ve used in this price range. definitely a good buy for me with my very low-budget (I got this online for over a fiver!) and as much as I’d love to spend £40 on a Sheer Cover or BareMinerals kit, I’m not sure they’d be that much better to warrant the extra cash, so I’ll stick with NYC!