Rat and Boa ‘Confessions of a Wildflower’ S/S17 Collection. 

Rat and Boa are due to launch their latest S/S Collection next week – ‘Confessions of a Wildflower’. No doubt it’ll be another sell-out collection, with fashionista fans setting their alarms to get their hands on everything they can fit in their basket. 

“The collection features luxurious fabrics, feminine details, and a hint of decadence” 

I love how Rat and Boa have gone more feminine with this collection, the florals and grills and delicate fabrics are beautiful and perfect for summer evenings. 

We’ve had a sneak peak on Instagram and I LOVE it. The styling and backdrops of the images makes it all the more amazing for me. 


The last 4 images are my favourites from the collection, but I really love all of the pieces. 

Will you be setting your alarm to get your hands on any of these garments? Which is your favourite? 

Hels

@heliemac1 

NYX goodies 

I am absolutely obsessed with trying new cosmetic products. I do tend to go on recommendations from friends/bloggers/reviewers before I splurge the cash however. I hadn’t experienced NYX products until I attended the Pout Patrol Makeup Masterclass before Christmas and received two amazing lipsticks in my goodie bag. Although the shades of lipstick aren’t really that useable for me (dark brown and bright purple) the pigment and feel are impressive and you never know when you’ll need them in your kit. 

I had my eye on a few goodies but couldn’t find them all online in one place (plus, who likes paying for delivery!?) so I searched boots online to see where I can get the products and found them in Festival Park Boots, about half an hour away from where I live. There’s tones of shops around here so I didn’t mind the journey! I’m so happy NYX is available in Selfidges at the Trafford centre as I go quite frequently! I love each and every one of the products I picked up from NYX this time so will DEFINITELY stock up on a few more products every time I’m in the area! 

First up is Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator in shade Pure Gold. My bestie Amy turned up to meet me the other day and looked radiant! I instantly said WHAT HAVE YOU GOT ON YOUR SKIN and she told me about this product she picked up in Selfridges. It can be used a few different ways – mixed with Foundation, applied prior to foundation or used on the high points of the face as highlighter. I personally like to mix with Foundation. It gives a really glowy, dewy look. I don’t think it’s quite pigmented enough to get a good highlight on the cheekbones alone. 

Next up,  the Slide On Eye Pencil in black and in white. My two classic favourites for the water line to complete any look! These are really pigmented and long lasting. I find with black and white they can be quite wishy washy but I really like these! 

The Above and Beyond Full Coverage Concealer in porcelain is probably my favourite of my purchases! It’s perfect for carving out brows with a flat edged brush and also for priming the eyelids prior to eyeshadow application for a more intense colour. I’ve bought one for myself and one for my kit (same with the highlighter fluid!) and day to day I use it on my lids, set with Kiko Smart Eyeshadow in no.10 with a little bronzer in the crease. It really brightens up the eyes! It’s super creamy as well so it doesn’t cause a dry or creasy look underneath the eyes. I really recommend this one! 

Finally, the Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cairo. I saw this on insta babe @elle.sutton and it looked beaut so I had to purchase! I use it alone with MAC spice Liner, or add a gloss over the top for a perfect nude lip. There’s tones of lovely shades which I’m going to stock up on for my kit and for personal use! 

Do you use NYX products? Or have any staple beauty products you recommend? Let me know in the comments or over on Instagram @heliemac1 
Hels xxx

Soft Nude Eye Makeup

We’re just a few weeks away from the annual Galaxy UK beauty pageants where mini’s, teens, Miss, Mrs and Ms ladies from across the UK will be crowned and flown out to a beautiful Florida resort to compete for the international crowns in their respective age groups. Years ago, I was involved in the pageant industry as a contestant and was lucky enough to be one of the winners as Miss Teen Galaxy England. I then placed in the top 5 at the international in Florida. 

These days I’m at the other side of the industry. I’m looking forward to glamming up the contestants before their interviews and for the main stage event in the evenings. I’ll be there Thursday, Friday and Sunday (with Saturday being my sisters hen-do!) doing makeup on the girls. It’s so important to them to feel a million dollars so I’m making sure I pull out all the stops in terms of giving them the best products and practicing my skills until it’s second nature. 

I love a soft nude eye look for the day time. The girls want to look ‘done’ and glamourus but still remain natural and neat looking, not ‘over-done’. Neutral tones look beautiful on everyone with a little tweaking for individual colourings. Here’s a look I did on Dionne – Miss Cheshire Galaxy. We’re going to do this for her day look. 

In the evening, we can glam it up with some darker tones and of course a bit of sparkle! The harsh stage lights mean that a heavier makeup application is necessary in order to not look washed out, and keep the features defined. Here, I intensified the shadow and used a kohl liner with a smudging technique to create more of a statement Eye. I used plenty of highlighter to really make her cheek bones pop. 

I’m available for makeup bookings in the Cheshire/Manchester areas. Email me at helenm94@btinternet.com or message me on Instagram @heliemac1 @heliemacmua 
Hels xxx

March Lust List 

Happy Friday everyone! I can’t believe how fast the weeks are flying by this year. I’ve really wanted to blog more (I know I say this on everrrrry post I do) but I’m going to let myself off because I’ve been busy working hard, training hard, and generally enjoying life. I’ve been up to all sorts – cuddles with my new baby niece Eliza, Spa pampering and massages, long walks, catching up with old friends, eating out A LOT, shopping, just having a good time. 

I’m sticking to my New Years resolution fitness wise. I’ve been using the app RUNTRAINER to help teach me run 5k. I’ve always been active with cardio but tend to do HIIT so my endurance isn’t where I want it to be. I’m going to carry on with it and challenge myself to some sort of sponsored run this year! After becoming an Advanced scuba diver from being a total novice, I want to continue challenging myself. Strength wise, I’m working hard on my booty and abs and also training my back and arms once or twice each week so I’m hoping to feel in great shape by summer. 

Anyway, I’ve put together a little list of things I’m lusting over this month. I’m going to purchase a lottery ticket for this weekend so if I win (keep your fingers crossed for me) I’m going to add a house and a few luxury holidays onto my list! A girl can dream. 

FitBit Charge 2 

I’ve wanted one of these for agesssss but always end up spending my money on other things. I love the Charge 2 because it tracks your heart rate, activity and sleep but also looks quite subtle. I love the blue but the black is classic and probably more durable in terms of staining and visible scratching. I’d love to track my heart rate because according to the gym machines it’s through the roof! So it would be good to track it and work on balancing it. Oh and it’s pretty cool you can get your calls and texts through on it! Check them out here.
Freddy Jeans 

If you haven’t seen these before – you’re going to love them! They’re special sculpting pants with cleverly placed seams to make your booty look AMAZING. I love skinny fit jeans and these two are my fav; regular waist denim jeans – classic and perfect for every day wear. Faux snake skin – I can’t stop wearing black at the moment and I’ve seen someone wear these ones and they look so nice! They can be dressed down in the day with boots or trainers or dressed up with heels for the evening so they’re really versatile. Definitely my favourites! You can have a browse at their many styles Here.
Bali Body Bronzing Lotion

I used Bali Body last year on my holidays and their products are just so luxurious in feel and smell. I have the watermelon oil and the sun lotion and LOVE them both for making my skin soft and smooth, and an all natural alternative to regular sun cream. It’s a little annoying how often you have to apply but I’d say it’s worth it! They’ve recently bought out this Luxe Bronzing Lotion which has a tint to give you a bronzed look whilst hydrating the skin with Vitamin E and natural oils. I LOVE a good tan and if I can get it whilst nourishing my skin, this can only be a good thing! Get your bronze glow Here.

Anastasia Beverley Hills Modern Renaissance Palette 

This is just the ultimate palette in terms of the shades I love to use on my self. I swear I’m the only girl in the world who doesn’t have this? I’ve heard only good things about this palette. The Venetian Red, Raw Sienna and Realgar look like my dream shades! I’m not being dramatic when I say I will die if I do not own this palette soon. 
Fearless shoes 

I’m really funny about flat shoes, I rarely wear them except trainers (pretty much only in the gym) I usually always have at least a small heel! I love these cream espadrille style shoes and they have a Valentino style strap around the ankle which I adore! These cute little PomPom shoes are equally as cute! Now the weather is (I guess?) trying to get a little warmer/sunnier I need to invest in some cute little shoes like these. You can find these and loads of others on Fearless.

NARS Velvet Lip Glide – Unlaced, Stripped and Playpen. 

When purchasing a few foundations (Nars Sheer Glow is unreal) for my makeup kit, the lady at the Nars counter popped in a sample of the velvet lip glide for me. It’s a really good size that’ll last me a while and I’m so glad because I LOVE it! It really does glide on beautifully and is the most comfortable liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried. It’s not totally matte, it has a velvet finish which I definitely prefer! It’s too easy to get a cracked look with a matte lippy. The three shades above are my favourite every day nudes but they’re all lovely! Pick yours up from your nearest counter or the NARS website.
Grey Feather Jacket

Top of my list fashion-wise is this grey feather jacket from Olive and Lile! I think it would go with soooo many looks and glam up any outfit! It’s ostrich feathers are ethically sourced which is important to me also! Must-have fashion purchase. Get yours in grey or a range of other colours from Olive and Lile.
So that’s a few of my fav things at the moment! Obviously, like many girly girls, it’s pretty much an endless list but these have made it to the top! Have you got any of these? Are they and things I should add? Let me know in the comments or on my Instagram @heliemac1 

Hels xxx


My Makeup Journey

Hey guys! 

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m starting training as a pro MUA – with today being my first proper lesson. I’ve decided not to take the route of a full time course, for a few different reasons. 

Firstly, I already have a lot of makeup skills and I don’t feel like I need an expensive/intensive 10-20 week course. I’m already trained in AirBase makeup and obviously have my makeup done on shoots all of the time so I’m not starting at scratch. Secondly, I would rather learn tips and techniques from a range of artists because I love how everyone has different ways of doing things. Thirdly, I learn better in this environment and can have attention focussed on me when on a 1-to-1 basis. 

Today I worked with Patrick Baston at Pout Patrol in Bury. Patrick’s work is UNREAL – so flawless and he has such a creative mind, demonstrates on his Instagram. I learned so much from Patrick today and now have a crazy long shopping list of all of the amazing products he recommended! 

I took my sister to model for me and we created a look using some warm tones from various palettes and then mixed it up with the most amazing mermaidy glitter from Topshop (of all places!). The skin was quite dewy with a very heavy coverage and some beautiful contouring and highlighting. We used Armani Luminous silk on the skin, followed by Nars Creamy Concealer. The bronzer of choice was from the Kat Von D palette and we used two highlighters – an amazing gold from the MAC Christmas collection and a dab of a Topshop one just to finish it off (this was also used on the brow bone). 

The brows were created using Anastasia Beverley Hills Dip Brow Pomade with a fine brush to create more of a fluffy brow look. MAC feline liner and gel liner was applied into the water line and blended into the lash line using the darker transition shade, and finally blended further out using the lightest transition shade. The look was completed with a nude glossy lip using various products from Rimmel and MAC. 

From today’s lesson, I learned that I can get away with taking the product further up and out on the eye. I’m quite shy with my lines and tend to keep them tight in around the crease when it really does look amazing to drag it up practically to the brow in some areas of the eye. This really helps disguise any hooding of the eye. Also, I picked up some techniques of applying and blending using different brush strokes and angles. 

My reasoning for logging my progress on my blog is so that I can not only show you guys how I’m coming along, but so I can look back and a) remember the tips I’ve learned b) see how my style changes and progresses as I continue my makeup journey. 

The completed look is below with a before and after. No editing or filters, just great light and flawless skin! 


Do you have any must-have makeup products? Or do you have your own little techniques? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram @Heliemac1 

Hels x

Ann Summers: Willa Bra

   
  Ann Summers ‘Willa’, MAC Lipstick in ‘Chilli’ (scroll for more images) 


I’m a sucker for buying cute underwear. I have drawers and drawers full of every variety and colour. 
One of my favourite stores at the moment is Ann Summers. I always used to think it was full of OTT numbers that don’t suit my style at all, but I’ve realised in the last few months that they actually have some really sweet designs that are girly and pretty. One of these is the Willa that I picked up in Red this week (it also comes in black). I really wish they did a white or cream version of this because I think it would be gorgeous! 

Sometimes, thick winter jumpers and coats can leave you feeling a little frumpy so I love wearing delicate bra’s underneath my huge chunky knitted jumpers. Even though it’s only you that knows it’s there, I kinda like that. 

One of the things about the Willa bra is that it’s almost a fashion piece rather than a bra, similar to the Ayra bra I picked up from A.S not long ago. I wore the Ayra with a black top so the lace neck-tie was visible and got so many compliments (you can find the images on my Instagram @heliemac1). I feel you could style the Willa as part of an outfit also, it would be amazing on holiday with a good tan. 

   Lace detail. 
  Styled with a white wrap-around skirt.   
    Perfect teamed with a chunky knit and a matching red lip. 
Hels x
 

HD Brows Review

I generally have 2 styles of eyebrows that I flick between. I either have overly-threaded brows by a lady in a little kiosk who nods at my ‘don’t do them thin’ yes goes on to thread to within an inch of life. Or there’s my ‘I’m growing them out’ phases which really means I’ve just not been in ages to get them done. 

Neither style is ideal but after a bit of pencilling them in, they’ll do just fine. I dream of growing big fashiony brows like Cara Delevigne, but you have to work with what you’ve got! 

One of my dear friends Ella is a HD Brow specialist with probably the best brows you’ll ever see (@EllaRavenscroft) and she persuaded me to let her loose on my own brows. At this point they’re in a mid-stage where they’ve not been threaded in a few weeks but they’re not wildly over-grown. 

  Ella’s beautiful brows. 
So, in the consultation phase, I discussed with Ella that I don’t want them dark, I like them as thick as possible and a good arch. She explained that whoever had been threading my brows had been absolutely butchering them and even trimmed them unevenly. I know brows are supposed to be ‘sisters, not twins’ but you want some sort of identification that they’re actually related. 

Ella tinted, waxed, threaded and plucked my brows, leaving me nervous that there would be nothing left and telling her I’ll kill her if they’re really thin. 

I couldn’t beleive my eyes when I looked in the mirror and my brows were somehow THICKER than before all the threading and waxing? Ella is a brow genius. They also look natural and not too dark but tidy and groomed. 

I am officially converted. 

To finish up, Ella told me I need to push up my right brow with Vaseline each day and in 12 weeks my rows will be more even, since my left one already grows upwards. I’ll track my progress on here! I’m looking forward to creating brows to rival Ella’s after a few more treatments! Contact her now if you want to transform your face too. @HDbrowsbyella

It’s been a glam few days for me, having my nails, brows and hair done so I’m feeling gooooood. What beauty treatments can you not go without? 

Hels xxx

Check out my Instagram @heliemac1 later today to see my new brows. 

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String: Christmas gift wrapping. 

I love this time of year, and I get such great pleasure from purchasing and wrapping up my Christmas gifts for loved ones. I’m always ordering extra little bits just to make the gifts that tiny bit more special. This year, I browsed Pinterest for ideas and blended a few together to create the perfect gift wrap for my presents. 

My 2015 gift wrap is brown paper with white ribbon and tied up with string. I’ve purchased little white and red tags that will have personalised gold stickers on! In addition, I’m tying little candy canes into the bows and finishing the gifts off with gold icicle sticks scattered around the paper. It might sound extravagant but it can be done so cheap when you hunt around. 

  
In my small town, there’s a shop which is full of cute little trinkets, shabby chic ornaments and furniture, and at this time of year – the sweetest Christmas items. I took my 6yr old niece after school yesterday and she said ‘this is the most beautiful shop I’ve ever seen!’. Here, I purchased the brown paper and string and the cute card tags. You’ll be able to find these basic items in tones of shops or online! 

Here’s a few pictures I’ve found of beautiful gift wrap that you could copy or take inspiration from! Most are simple and DIY and they’re all very festive and pretty! 

   
    
    
    
 
I’ve found the best place to get bits and bobs from is eBay! Many can be personalised and cost just a pound or two! Just be sure to order from your home country so they come in time! If you’re a bit stuck on how to get a neat wrap, head to YouTube for tutorials! 

When all of my things arrive and my gifts are wrapped, I’ll post pictures. Tag me in your Christmas wrapping pics on Instagram and Twitter @heliemac1 and help get me feeling really festive! 

Hels X 

OGX hair products. 

My hair has suffered so much over the years from over-processing on photoshoots, damage from scuba diving, years of bleaching…. 

I’ve recently had my roots slightly darker, fading down into the blonde really really subtly so that I can grow my roots down and avoid the damage of bleaching! Now my mission is to treat my hair the best I can to make it grow luscious and thick again. This includes avoiding brushing as much as possible and washing only every 2-3 days so my hair can rest and create natural oils! I found this picture which is my ultimate hair goals at the moment!  

 A while ago, my mum bought back some shampoo and conditioner that had been recommended to her. After looking at it, I realised it was the same brand as the coconut milk oil I had been using for years! I just remember being out shopping once and my hair felt dry so I randomly bought some pretty cheap oil (partly because I love coconut!) to stick on whilst I was out. And I actually fell in love. I do swear by it now and use it after every wash and between washes on dry hair if I need it, despite that not being on the instructions. 

  
OGX coconut milk anti-breakage serum  contains coconut milk (obvs) and we all know that coconut is hailed as a massive beauty saviour. Also, egg white proteins – if they’re good enough for my diet, they’re good enough for my hair. 

Ive now tried three of the different shampoos/conditioners they have on offer and my FAV are the  anti-breakage Keratin Oil ones. The keratin proteins and Argan oil leave my hair feeling luscious – not to mention the amazzzzze smell.  

  
I do like the Argan Oil and Brazilian Keratin Smooth versions also but the pink is my ultimate. 

There’s a whole massive range and you can find them in your local supermarkets, Boots or Superdrug and I’m sure many other retailers. All products are around £6-£7. 

What hair products do you love? Swear by? Can’t live without? Let me know in the comments or tweet/Instagram me @heliemac1 

Hels X 

 

Miss Scuba UK

As I’ve previously mentioned, I am currently a finalist for Miss Scuba UK. The concept of MSUK is one that fascinates me, it brings together two disciplines – beauty pageants and scuba diving to celebrate modern day women and raise awareness of marine conservation. This is what drew me into entering and I’m so glad I did. 

  
I’ve always had a love for the ocean. I have fond memories of jumping from boats into the cool water, and being mystified by dolphins and turtles swimming around us. Every year, my boyfriend and I swim out as far as we can when we’re on holiday. Last year, we took a mini cruise out into the Red Sea and were taken to the finest spots for snorkelling. It was amazing to discover a whole new world under the sea! 

  
 I’ve entered pageants since I was about 14 years old, but MSUK is completely different to anything I’ve done before. It’s educational and inspiring and I’ve already learnt so much about marine conservation that I didn’t previously know. I admit that I knew very little about marine conservation before getting involved in this, which is what inspires me to bring it to other people attention and teach my new found knowledge. It really is interesting whether you have previous knowledge of scuba diving and marine life or not. 
The oceans are the world largest ecosystems – therefore a large life support system. They affect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat… Not to mention their beauty and inspiration. A fellow finalist (Emily Kishere) posted an image which really took me interest. It demonstrates how long certain pieces of rubbish take to break down – 80-100years for a can!? It’s not uncommon to see an array of these items on beaches. It takes just a few seconds to throw your rubbish into a safe place and protect marine life. The images below show the devastation caused by pieces of rubbish that are dropped without a second thought. 

  

      
The chosen charity for MSUK is Deptherapy which provides specially adapted scuba diving programmed for seriously injured armed service people. This to me, shows the power of the water as rehabilitation can be achieved through the medium of scuba diving. 

I’ve been doing all sorts in preparation for the final. As well as cluing myself up on all things scuba and marine life – I’ve been training in the pool to get my swimming on point, as well as working out in the gym and eating well for the pageant side of the competition. I took a visit into a local nursery to create displays for the walls and fun activities to teach the children from a young age. I’m looking forward to a try-dive with another finalist (Laura Handy) and hopefully some other bits with the other girls. I currently have a raffle going with amazing prizes such as a selection of Nudey Tea goodies, Forever Aloe Vera products, vouchers and more. All proceeds go to Deptherapy! If you’d like to get involved please comment or tweet me @heliemac1

Check-in is on Thursday 27th, with the finals on Friday 28th. FIVE lucky girls will be chosen to head over to Cyprus and Eygpt for a fun holiday and scuba diving! The ultimate winner will be chosen from here, to travel to Malaysia for the coveted Miss Scuba International pageant. 

Wish me luck! I hope you learnt something new reading this and maybe you’d consider entering Miss Scuba UK next year? 

Hels xxx