If you follow me on social (twitter, instagram and snapchat) you may have seen that I recently attended a fabulous event with my fave online shop for all things beauty, Beauty Bay. Having been a huge fan of Beauty Bay for years and continuously buying products from their site, I was so excited to be invited along to the launch of their new campaign, Queen BB. The new campaign is all about pushing your boundaries, being experimental with makeup looks and to basically unleash your inner Queen. I think this is such a great message for them to be spreading - I'm all about girl power, expressing yourself and lifting others up so for a brand to be spreading the message that we shouldn't be afraid to be ourselves, is amazing!  

The event was hosted at a cute venue in Manchester city centre and the night included lots of prossecco and gin's (my current fave - definitely a gin queen!), a makeup pick and mix stand which felt like all my christmasses had come at once and the opportunity to get our makeup done with some amazingly talented makeup artists. I went straight from work so already had makeup on when I arrived but they touched it up and it looked so flawless - I honestly don't know how they do it. I also watched a few other girls getting their makeup done and the word SLAY was very relevant, let me tell you. Everyone looked incredible! I managed to pick up some new beauty goodies form the pick n mix stand too including brands such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, Jeffrey Star, Makeup Geek, Ofra, and LA Pro. That's one of the reasons I love Beauty Bay so much - they stock a huge variety of brands and whenever I'm in need of a specific item, it's the first place I turn as chances are, they'll have it. 


 There was lots of Beauty Bay's brands and products on display around the event as well as five huge images of different makeup looks up on the wall -  all of which are looks from the new Queen BB campaign that the makeup artists were recreating. Each look has a different name - Queen B, Frankie, Riley, Alyx and Drew. Each of the looks has a different tag line such as 'embrace your wild side' or 'go bold and bright' which is a really fun idea as there's different styles to suit different personalities.

We were also shown the brand new Beauty Bay TV advert at the event which is something the brand are super excited about - if you haven't already seen it on your TV, make sure you keep an eye out for it as it's a cool ad that showcases lots of queens with sassy hair and makeup strutting their stuff and throwing makeup around - basically its pretty bad ass. It's definitely an ad that leaves you feel empowered after you've watched it. If you haven't been lucky enough to catch it on your screens yet, you can watch it here on the Beauty Bay website and also see how to recreate each of the looks from the advert.  


After lots of delicious food and drinks (check out that drinks menu - each named after the makeup looks in the campaign) the end of the evening we were handed a goodie bag which is always very exciting and this one was particularly amazing as I spotted some of  my favourite brands in there. As you can see from the photos, I was well and truly spoilt as there's sooo many brands I love in there. The Morphe eyeshadow palette (get it here) as the neutral tones are right up my street and they're insanely pigmented too. It's basically just the perfect palette for both day and night as there's a good mix of shimmer and matte shades in there. I got some of the Morphe eyelashes too which I'm intrigued to try as i've heard good things. I'm obsessing over these Cover FX custom enhancing drops - absolutely amazing for mixing with foundation to make the skin blowy! Another Cover FX item I received and am already in love with is this brush - honestly guys, it's the softest thing ever and is going to be a dream for applying liquid foundation and the cover drops I mentioned above.

I picked up a Milani blush at the pick n mix stall and so I'm so excited I finally have one in the most perfect peachy bronze shade - I just know it's going to look divine with tanned glowy skin! The goodie bag had lots of other amazing items too like the Laura Geller Lash Boss mascara and a lovely golden bronze Makeup Geek eyeshadow - another of my fave eyeshadow brands! I also picked up a Jeffrey Star liquid lipstick, Ofra liquid lipstick, LA Splash eyeliner, Doll Light highlighter and Makeup Geek pigment from the pick n mix stand. Yep, safe to say, I took the opportunity to stock up! I'm so excited to try all of these products, they're all from brands I haven't really tried before so it's very exciting to get the chance to discover some new faves! All of the products are of course available to buy here from Beauty Bay.


I hope you guys enjoyed this post and hearing about Beauty Bay's new campaign as well as having a look at some of their fab products! It's now time for me to go and paint my face with them all - I'm sure you'll see them in a Monthly Favourites post soon. 

Make sure you check out the ad and if you recreate any of the looks, be sure to tag @beautybaycom with the hashtag #QueenBB on social.


By Erickka Sy Savané

We were set up by a friend the summer before high school. In those days of living in different neighborhoods and going to different schools, pre-cellphone and internet, it was common to develop a relationship over the phone, without meeting first. It was great because it meant spending hours talking, and getting to know each other. He loved basketball, his friends, and Sade, and once sang her entire album to me one night in an attempt to put me to sleep. Actually, I wasn’t really asleep, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I didn’t like Sade. He was just the sweetest guy ever.

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Finally, the day came when we were to meet. It was our first official date to the movies, and his mom was to be our chaperone. My stomach was in knots all day because what if I didn’t like him, when I already liked him? We’d invested so much time.

He knocked on my door and when I came to open it his back was turned. My first impression was that dude was a freakin’ giant! He was like 7 feet tall. When he turned around I saw the most beautiful brown eyes, thick black hair, and the best smile. What a cutie!

From then on he’d come see me once a week, pedaling his way across town on his bicycle. We’d spend hours talking on my front porch, joking around, and dodging the stalking eyes of my mom who was making sure he didn’t try to steal a kiss. I liked him, and he liked me.

One day, during one of his visits, my favorite Aunt stopped by. I was excited for her to meet him and happy when we all sat on the porch chatting away. Once he was pedaling his way back home, and was out of earshot, I asked her what she thought of him.

“He’s cute,” she said, “but he sure does have a big schnauzer!”

Schnauzer?

“His nose; it’s huge!”

I hadn’t noticed. But she was right. Now it’s all I could think about. And like an annoying pimple, it got bigger and bigger with each visit. I became shy about introducing him to my friends for fear of what they might think, and little things started bothering me. One day when he did something I didn’t like, instead of trying to work it out, I screamed, “We’re through!” And just like that I broke up with him. He was crushed, but the way I saw it, it just wasn’t meant to be.

That should be the end of the story, but it’s not.

Remember when I said he liked basketball? He was just joining the basketball team around the time we broke up, and turns out; he was a very good player. He became a staple on TV, breaking all kinds of high school records, and ended up getting a full scholarship to college where his popularity grew even more. From there he finished college early and signed a multi-million dollar contract (I believe it was 80 mil, but who's counting?) with the NBA. My head was spinning. It was like someone had played a cruel joke on me where the frog really did turn into a prince. At one point, even my Aunt circled back, asking, ‘what happened?!’ Let’s just say, I was glad there were no knives around.

Sometimes I would think about it and feel so dumb. It wasn’t just that he became so rich and successful; it was also that he was a really nice guy who treated me with nothing but respect. And it’s not like the relationship had to last forever, first ones rarely do, but I can only imagine what he could have taught me about discipline. Sadly, things ended so badly that it was hard to even be friends.

So what did I ultimately learn? Sometimes there’s a lot of beauty in that beast; and sometimes, other people’s opinions, even those who love you, can talk you right out of a good thing. Perhaps if there had been a star like Beyonce around, professing love for her man’s ‘Jackson 5 nostrils,’ things might have turned out different. I do know that with two young daughters I will be teaching them that how a man treats you is more important than simply how he looks.

How important are looks to you when dating?
Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com
Once upon a time I went to my local professional beauty school for a massage.  Since the services were pretty affordable, I inquired about also getting a facial.  Whenever I go in for a skin service, I like to ask the person which treatment they think would best benefit my skin based on their assessment.

As the student looked at my skin under a bright light, she pointed out some concerns that I was well aware of. There was some acne scarring on my cheeks and dry patches on my forehead.  As we neared the end of the consultation, one of the professors came in to observe.  The student repeated all of the concerns that she identified when suddenly, her teacher responded with "what about the discoloration to the lower half of her face?"

I was a bit stunned.  "What discoloration? What was she talking about? How come no one had ever mentioned this before?"
When I got home that day, I looked into the mirror and, for the first time ever, I noticed that the bottom half of my face was darker than the rest. It wasn't that drastic, but it was there. Most of it is concentrated around my mouth and chin.

Unlike the rest of my hyperpigmentation, the discoloration is much more subtle.  And because it's not caused by past trauma (like acne scars) it's harder to treat.  There's a way to deal quickly address this issue.

And that's through color correcting.

I didn't understand the wonders of color correcting until recently.  I purchased a color correcting palette at a make up show and had no idea what to do with it.  After watching a quick video, I realized that the orange/reddish colored concealer held the secret to neutralizing my discoloration.

Even my most amazing concealers are no match for some of my darkest areas.  This keeps me from creating a truly flawless appearance.  Concealers are great, but they can only do so much.  If we take a second to color correct prior to applying concealers, we can change everything. 

If you have a deeper skin tone, a reddish-hued concealer might make the difference between a mediocre or an amazing finish.

Currently, I have one color correcting product in my possession.  That's not enough.  Since color correcting is the key to creating the flawless skin of my dreams, I must have an arsenal of products in place to get the job done.  I need a slew of color correctors in various forms (pens, liquid, cream, etc).

Best of all, color correcting doesn't require much technical skill, just apply to the dark areas and blend. Color correcting won't produce a cakey result like when you keep applying layers of foundation those dark areas.  Foundation is good, but it could work so much better with the help of a product created for the purpose of neutralizing hyperpigmentation. 

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If you’ve not heard of the brand ‘dirty works’ before, they’re best known for their bath and body products due to their retro packaging, quirky product names and delightful scents! I’ve used their products for a couple of years now and have always been impressed with their quality and the fact they’re so affordable. With this being said, I was very excited to hear that they’re now dipping their toes into the beauty world and have released a whole makeup collection to sit alongside their skincare, bath and body products.

I was recently sent the new products to try and was totally amazed by how many items are in the range - there’s everything you can think of from palettes to brow kits, lipsticks and glosses. This is quite unheard of when a brand first launches a completely new type of product but I personally think it’s great that they’ve done such a variety as it means there’ll be something to suit most people’s needs and if you want a whole face of makeup for an affordable price, Dirty Works have got you covered!


I’m not going to review every single product individually as this post would never end if I did but I’ve popped the name of each product and the price below so you can get an idea of what’s available. I’ve also tried to show them as best as I can in the imagery - as you can see, they’re all really well packaged with a quirky retro theme just like Dirty Works other products.

So, here’s the products which are now available to buy at Sainsbury’s and online at www.dirtyworksbeauty.com.

Back to Basics Eyeshadow Palette (£8)
Smokey Eye Kit (£7)
Blush and Glow Palette (£7)
Luxe Lip Crayons (£6)
Wow Brows Eyebrow Kit (£7)
Pucker Up Nude and Coral Lip Glosses (£4 each)
Bye! Bye! Dark Circles Concealer (£5)
Hello Sunshine Bronzer (£5)
Off Duty Nail Polish Trio (£5)

As you can see, the most expensive item is only £8 and that’s for a whole eyeshadow palette with 11 shades. It also has shimmery finishes as well as mattes so it’s perfect for taking your makeup look from day to night. The same applies for the smokey eye kit and blush and glow palette - they’re all insane value for money considering you get multiple products in each of them. They’re also fab little kits to pop in your handbag as they’re so lightweight.





Some of my favourite items from the range would have to be the eyebrow kit, bronzing powder and the lipsticks and glosses. The eyebrow kit is perfect for natural looking brows as the shades are quite ashy rather than orange which helps to create a really natural looking brow. The powders are also really pigmented and the addition of the tweezers, brushes and brow gel makes it a great all in one brow kit. For £7, it’s hard to find fault! The bronzer is great too as it’s huge meaning it’s fab for swirling a big fluffy brush into and dusting all over the face to create a sun kissed glow. It’s slightly too orange toned to use as a contour powder but it’s great for adding some colour to the skin and the light reflecting particles in it add a nice glow to the skin. The lip pencils and glosses are also really pigmented, as you can see from my swatches. One light swipe is all you need for them to be fully opaque and the shades are perfect for Autumn!


Overall I’d say the Dirty Looks beauty range is amazing value for money. Not only will it look super pretty displayed on your dressing table thanks to the cute packaging but it also won’t break the bank. I’d say this is the perfect range for those of you who are maybe just getting into wearing makeup and want to experiment with different products. If you have a sister, niece or daughter who is just getting into makeup - then these would make the perfect start kit. Christmas gift, sorted.

Do you like the look of this new range? Will you be trying them out?! Be sure to visit www.dirtylooksbeauty.com for more information on all the products!!

By Winnie Gaturu

Let's face it, not all of us have time to put on a full face of makeup on a daily basis. However, this doesn't mean that you can't still look good. I'm certain you've seen many Instagram models looking awesome even with "no makeup" on. Well, the truth is, even though they don't have their usual makeup on, they still do something to give their face a glow. You can do it too. It only takes seven minutes or less and it doesn't require foundation. Let's get right to it!

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Cleanse
The first thing you need to do is clean your face. Just apply your favorite face wash and work it on your face and neck in a circular motion. Rinse it out with lukewarm water and pat your face dry. This will take one or two minutes.
MAC Strobe Cream
Moisturize
Now that your face is clean, the next step is to moisturize your face and neck area. If you want an extra glow, mix a pea sized amount of Mac strobe cream with the moisturizer and apply it together. This will brighten up your skin and brighten it. This will take one minute or less.

Do Your Brows (optional)
This is an optional step. It depends on how fast you are in doing your eyebrows. You can fill them in a little or just brush and set them using a brow gel or just leave them like that. It's up to you. This should take 3 minutes. If you choose to skip this step, then it's 0 minutes. 
10 highlighters for dark skin


Highlight
This is the fun part. Apply a highlighter that complements your skin tone. You can use a powder one but the cream and gel ones work best in this case. You can use your fingers to apply the highlighter on the areas that light hits your face. This includes the chin, bridge of the nose, temples, high points of your cheeks and any other place you normally apply your highlighter. This will take two minutes.

Lip Balm
Don't forget to take care of your lips. Apply a lip balm, a nude lipstick or even a little Vaseline. Do whatever works for you. This will take less than a minute.

Set Your Face
The last thing to do is use a setting spray to set your face. Although there isn't much makeup used, the setting spray will make your face look bright and glowy. This will take less than a minute too.
There you have it! A seven minute no foundation routine that will give you an amazing glow and make you look put together. It's worth a try and it might end up being your go-to routine when you're in a hurry.

What's your go-to makeup routine when you're in a hurry?

Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.