Skincare – Where To Begin!?

Skincare is so important yet something that so many of us overlook – even the basics such as taking off our makeup at night can be easily forgotten and can have disastrous consequences for our skin. There are so many products out there that promise us different things, it can be really confusing to know what is right for us!

Skincare products can cover a number of areas such as:

Normal Skin – so this is what it says on the tin, normal – your skin may have a few imperfections but on the whole you have a radiant complexion with barely visible pores! Go you!

Combination Skin – this is a little more confusing. Some areas of the face will be more oily and some will be more dry – so if you have combination skin the chances are you have a oily T-Zone but normal-dry everywhere else. Combination skin can produce blackheads, shiny skin & overly dilated pores.

Dry Skin – again very self-explanatory, dry skin is where you lack moisture and bounce. Signs of this skin type (asides from the obvious) are invisible pores, red patches & more visible lines (and no one wants that!) Weather, central heating and other external factors can make dry skin worse so you need to keep on top of it!

Oily Skin – this skin type can lead to blackheads, pimples and other blemishes so it’s best to try and keep it under control!

Dull Skin – skin without glow that can look tired and patchy – this usually comes with age but if you manage to tackle it, it can make you look years younger!

So the trick is to try and identify your skin’s area of weakness and combat it with the right products for you. 

We have an incredible range here at Xtras, here’s just a few of our favourite:


decleor Skincare   Where To Begin!?

luminze Skincare   Where To Begin!?

Even if your skin is relatively problem free you still need to maintain to make sure it is at it’s best! One of the best products out there at the minute for normal skin types is the L’Oreal Paris Luminize Code Illuminating Super Serum. Perfect for keeping your skin hydrated throughout the day with a luminous glow, this product is great for pepping up your skin when it’s getting a tad dull looking.

Decleor Aroma Cleanse Fresh Matifying Lotion is amazing for combination skin – especially if your on the oily side too! It gently cleans your skin whilst removing all traces of dirt or makeup leaving it visibly clear and smooth! The Ylang Ylang Essential Oil refreshes your skin and helps to control any shine whilst the Green Tea Essential Water removes impurities and tightens those pores!

dry Skincare   Where To Begin!?

L’Oreal Triple Active Multi-Protection Moisturiser for Dry and Sensitive skin is great for boosting a dry complexion. The hydrating cream also fights the effects of the weather and other external factors to protect the skin from premature aging.

Also if you suffer from dry hands – which many of us tend to do with it being winter and all – one of the best hand creams to blitz this problem is The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector. It relives super dry skin and helps to restore moisture and suppleness – for best results pop some on last thing at night to get super soft hands by morning.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream is a cult classic that should be in everybody’s bathroom cabinet! This all purpose moisturising skin protectant works wonders to keep skin look healthy and can also be used on anywhere you need it.


oily skin Skincare   Where To Begin!?

Clarins Cleansing Milk is perfect for oily skin – the Gentian, Hawthorn + Orris Root plant extract helps to enhance the skin’s natural balance and helps to preserve it. The hydraophillic oils cleanse the skin leaving it feeling soft, supple and perfectly refreshed – the perfect cleanser to help you wake up in the morning!

Another great product for combating oily skin is the L’Oreal Hydrafresh Foaming Gel. This product will leave your skin feeling fresh and hydrated, whilst also removing make-up & cleansing the skin of impurities.


dull skin Skincare   Where To Begin!?

Decleor Aroma White C+ Brightening Face Mask is a concentrated face mask which is designed to boost the skins clarity and radiance. With a gorgeous floral scent, this fabric face mask targets uneven skin tone and dull complexions to get intensely moisturised skin with a beautiful, translucent glow.

Although not strictly skincare, one of our top products to combat a dull complexion is a good primer – the W7 Prime Magic Camera Ready Anti-Dull Skin Balancing Primer is the one. An amazing dupe for Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, this is well worth a try for anybody struggling with dull skin!


What is your go to skincare product?


Super Quick Make-Up Routine!

We’ve all done it. That alarm goes off and we struggle to get up – so you instead press that miracle which is a snooze button and hope that your hair is not a complete mess and your skin is looking relatively clear.

Unfortunately this rarely happens – and for these days we need that extra bit of help to looking bright and fresh without sacrificing those few extra precious minutes in bed!

I call this my lazy “make-up in a hurry” routine – for those days when it’s too warm and cosy in bed to be bothered to get up or for the times where I’m having a pajama day and realize I’m out of milk and need to trek to the shops – no one is ready to see my face without any make-up just yet!

My first go to product is Maybelline Pure Mineral 8 In 1 Protecting BB Cream 30ml  (aka miracle cream) – This little bottle of radiance is perfect for those days where your skin is irritatingly dull and you need a little pick me up. The moisturising formula glides onto the skin and leaves it looking dewy and refreshed!

lazy day blog bb cream Super Quick Make Up Routine!


The next little life saver is W7’s Light Diffusing Concealer Pen – the perfect dupe for the YSL Touche Eclat (which you can also purchase from us here). Ideal for those days where those bags under your eyes are unbearably noticeable, a little bit of this concealer will work wonders for your complexion and make you look far more awake then you actually are (bonus for work and school!) Just dot it along the edge of the bags and blend – you can also pop this on any area which you are wanting to highlight if you fancy channeling your inner Kim Kardashian.

Concealer and brows Super Quick Make Up Routine!

To keep my brows in check I use the Becca Brow Shaping Gel, the secret to getting your eyebrows looking perfectly groomed with minimal effort! The clear gel will tame even the wildest of hairs and will stay put throughout the day! If you do fancy making that little bit of extra effort you can always pop a bit of Becca Brow Powder through with a small angled brush to get a more defined shape.

To make your eyes look bigger and brighter you need the right eyeshadow & Wet n Wild fits the bill perfectly – a gorgeous, subtle pale sand shade which will instantly make your eyes look wider and more awake. Sweep across the lid to hide those veins and give your eyes a beautiful boost!

eyeshadow and mascara Super Quick Make Up Routine!


Maybelline The Falsies is possibly the Holy Grail in mascaras – raved about by beauty blogger/vlogger extraordinaire Tanya Burr, this mascara is a must have product in your makeup collection. This promises to give you long, voluminous lashes with just a few swipes of the wand – and it does not disappoint! Easy to apply with fab results – this is the perfect addition to my quick make up look.

Now to add a bit of colour – and Famous First Date Blusher in the colour Keira does the job beautifully! Highly pigmented with a pretty shimmer, this compact is perfect for adding a gorgeous glow to your cheeks – giving you a healthy flush of colour!

lip balm cheek Super Quick Make Up Routine!

Finally – the last touch to any make up look is lips! Rather than faffing about with lipliner and lipstick, I choose to go pretty simple with a lip balm – not just any ordinary lip balm but W7’s amazing dupe for the EOS range. Not only are they super good for your lips (particularly in these cold months!) but they are really fun to apply and smell amazing!

And that is my go to make-up in a hurry routine! Super easy to apply and makes you look like you’ve put in maximum effort in minimal time!


Winter Nails

I’m just going to put it out there – dark nail polishes are my absolute favourite! Whether it’s a glittery, matte or pearlescent polish it can hide those dry cuticles and other ailments brought on from the winter weather and give your nails a glam edge.

Here is a few of my favourite colours to wear this winter –


winter nail blog 21 Winter Nailswinter nail blog 11 Winter Nails


nail swatches1 Winter Nails

*OPI The Grape Debate

A gorgeous plum purple polish which is ideal for those berry tone lovers out there! You can build up extra coats to achieve a darker shade of purple.

*Jesscia OFFBEAT

A vibrant berry red for those who love to make a statement. Perfect for day or night, this polish is a must have in your collection!

*Rimmel Lycra Pro Little Brown Dress

If you fancy going dark without the black, this polish is for you – a warm brown with red undertones will give the perfect edge to your look!

*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Frazzle Dazzle

A beautiful gold glitter – made for nights out. Can be worn but itself for full on glamour or over the top of another colour for a more subtle look.

*OPI Carrie Underwood Collection Goodbye Shoes

A pretty blue toned grey – different from the usual berry tones but just as fabulous! Pair with a nude accent nail for the perfect contrast!

What is your favourite winter shade to wear?

Halloween at Xtras

Halloween is our favourite time of year here at Xtras –and one of the busiest! With our large range of Halloween outfits, make-up, paints and kits we are the go to place for any of your fancy dress & make up needs!

All of our stores were crazy busy last week with you guys stocking up on your Halloween essentials. Check out these pictures from our Newcastle shop where the queues went right out of the door!


halloween 1 Halloween at Xtras

halloween 2 Halloween at Xtras

Now we’re gearing up for Christmas – and with our large range of discounted perfumes, aftershaves, giftsets, cosmetics and the odd Santa outfit or two- we’re the perfect place to go for all your Christmas Shopping!

Halloween Make-Up Pop Art Tutorial

Whenever I think of Halloween make-up I automatically imagine the obvious – Zombie, Witch, Vampire etc… Although these staples are super effective and definitely do the trick, I fancied giving something different a go.

I decided to give pop art make up a try, a brave decision considering I am no make-up artist, but a look which I thought would be really different – especially for a Halloween night out or party.

picture 1 Halloween Make Up Pop Art Tutorial

And this is my result – far from perfect but not too shabby for a first attempt.

For this look it is so important to use a good black eyeliner. I used the W7 Liquid Eyeliner and it worked really well and comes off nicely when you need to repair a mistake.

Step 1: Start off by using foundation and powder to give your Halloween look a smooth base.

Step 2: With liquid eyeliner fill in your eyebrows to make them thick and strong. Try and make the line as smooth as possible so as to keep the cartoon-ish effect.

Step 3: Draw smooth black lines with eyeliner down the bridge of your nose, hollow of your cheeks and on the edge of your forehead and jaw line – basically everywhere in which you would usually contour. Also draw a line in the hollow of your chin.

pop art outline Halloween Make Up Pop Art Tutorial


Step 4: Grab a bold eyeshadow – it can be whatever colour but needs to be bold and a block colour. I used the colour Top Hat from W7’s In The Night Palette – a super pretty purple with a hint of glitter. Pop this all over the lid and into the crease and underneath the brow bone. Then line your eyes with your trusty liquid eyeliner to create a winged line – then outline the eye shadow to join the eyeliner up. Line your bottom lashes with your liquid eyeliner and draw on some exaggerated bottom lashes – you could also use eyelash extensions for this. Line your waterline with white eyeliner to make your eyes look bigger and brighter. Line your lips with the black eyeliner, creating a thicker line on your bottom lip.

pop art eyes 1 Halloween Make Up Pop Art Tutorial

Step 5: Add false eyelashes to your eyelashes – the bigger the better! UBU Secret Agents False Eyelashes were perfect for this look and were super easy to apply. Whilst these are drying fill your lips in with a red lipstick- Laval Flame Lipstick worked best for me-leaving a small rectangle on side. Fill in the rectangle with a white eyeliner.

pop art lips 1 Halloween Make Up Pop Art Tutorial

Step 6: Add your dots! This can be a lengthy process but does really add to that pop art effect. If you feel that red looks a bit diseased then try a light pink or white paint instead. Also I did my dots quite big but I think the smaller and more regimented you can get them the more effective the look becomes!

picutre 2 Halloween Make Up Pop Art Tutorial

And voila… you get your finished Pop Art look. If you want go full on then grab some yellow hairspray and spray it onto your hair. Then with your well used liquid eyeliner run some lines through the hair. This look is even more effective in person and is very different from the usual Halloween looks you will see!