Sunday, 29 November 2015

Best Beauty Videos of Youtube

I don't know about you, but I hate people trying to make plans with me on a Sunday. They are strictly reserved for laziness, Netflix (mulled wine if it's near Christmas) and typically a dose of Michalak blogs.

I'm not a big fan of watching Youtube, I don't personally see the attraction. I know that seems relatively shocking but most just don't cut it for me, of course we have Lisa Eldridge who is simply a goddess, but I rarely find myself branching out. Even Charlotte Tilbury's channel is now something which seems filled with overzealous claims about products and totally heavy makeup application. BUT What if a girl just wants subtle makeup?!

Well, I'm not claiming these are natural, but they are super pretty, are filled with tons of amazing tips, and are my go-to for inspiration (or just my absolute favourites for when boredom strikes) let's get to it...

Monika Blunder and Phoebe Tonkin go ALL BRONZE EVERYTHAN' - We all know how much I love Phoebe Tonkin. And with Monika's soothing voice and expert knowledge, this is ideal for me. Looks so healthy in the skin then completely sultry on the eyes - perfection!

Lisa Eldridge does boyish - so far from the traditional makeup you see on YouTube, yet so beautiful. This is minimalism at its finest, and ideal if you, like me, need the perfect combination of masculine and feminine on a daily basis.

Monika Blunder and Karima McKimmie recreate Emilia Clarke look (think Mother of Dragons meets Mother(s) of Makeup) - More beautiful makeup courtesy of Monika. Can anything honestly beat those stunning brows and striking eyes?

Shameless Fripperies werks a Super-Speedy Bronze Look *sassy hair flip emoji* - Another bronze look, but ideal for inspiration when you're more pressed for time. 

Glam and Gore transforms into Lana Del Rey (and a zombie?) - Not at all a daily look, but techniques always translate, right? And if you have a weirdo inside you wanting to get out her channel is everything you'll ever need. Seriously this girl is freaking awesome. Can we be best friends, already?! 

Totally enjoyed compiling this post with some of my favourite Youtube videos. It'd be really interesting to see who else everyone else watches regularly, or standout videos from specific people. Leave them below so we can share in the Sunday Youtube entertainment...

Thursday, 26 November 2015


Blogging has started to feel so much like a distant memory. Blogger has plopped off my most-visited sites, been somewhat replaced with "Citethisforme" and "Womens Health" (yes, really). So I guess if I make what can only be described as a come back, I may be somewhat inclined to kick myself up the bottom and blog more? Let's try... 

For the sake of catching up before we hopefully start producing some real, lipstick-filled content, I thought I could do a bit of an update incase you don't follow my ridiculousness on Twitter...

Where have I been? I don't know, honestly. I've been starting my second year of uni, but bar that and therapy, I've been lacking all motivation. I totally hope to get an exercise regime started soon that'll boost productivity because I need out of this slump!

What have I been up to? I kinda mentioned this, but let's essentially cover my cultural updates, shall we? So, Netflix has had me binging Narcos (so addictive) while American Horror Story has had me getting excited about television again (this could develop into a highly passionate rant). I've been feeling mostly mortified that I've been enjoying Justin Bieber's music... and even more mortified I admitted it online. I watched the last Hunger Games film a week ago and despite how ridiculously amazing it is, I'm still feeling a little in mourning. I'm not excited for Christmas yet, but if anyone would be opening to installing a mulled wine dispenser in my bedroom I would absolutely be up for the festivities.

Anything else? I don't think so... telling you my favourite beauty products when I could do a full post would be a little boring, wouldn't it?

I did, however, head down to Banyan in Manchester Corn Exchange a few weeks ago, to sample some of their menu and partake in a cocktail masterclass. The evening was spent with other lovely bloggers, press and had me feeling very, very full climbing up the Victoria station stairs for my train... 

We were given a much-needed gin and tonic on arrival, before being shown to our room for the evening... 

We were shown how they make three of their bestselling cocktails before being given the chance to make one of our choice... I went for the fruity, tasty Geisha Girl as pictured above. Mine didn't look as glamorous...

After a cocktail or two, they brought out samples from their menu. We indulged in a LOT. The salmon skewers were divine...

And the mini cheeseburgers and chicken burgers meanwhile stole my heart... 

Can I live on Banyan's food in the future please? 

- See you soon! 


Thursday, 10 September 2015


You might have noticed i'm currently in the middle of a little bit of a hiatus. Not just from my blog, but also from Instagram and Twitter. I feel so uninspired by the whole thing. And with the recent, death in the family, I've never felt more like I, frankly, don't give a shxt care about the whole, seemingly selfish community. While I'm still pinning like a crazy person, I feel like all my other platforms (blog included) are me trying my best to produce content, spending a lot of time and effort to create something people would enjoy to read only to feel underwhelmed with the result. Don't get me wrong, I'm not making this a thing about numbers, but I feel like no one is reading my blog, like no one is even interacting anymore. I don't think I'm the only person to feel this way recently, but everything just seems so boring and dried up.

I don't think this is me signing out for good. I've achieved and accessed so many opportunities from my littler qualm I currently have, however, is my lack of endless lipstick supply. I can afford new lipstick, sure. I can afford two new lipsticks if I wanted them. The thing is... I don't NEED them. I have lipsticks I love, I have a mascara I love, and wouldn't dream of replacing it with anything else. So what happens when the material dries up because you're using the products you know work for you? I'm not going shopping for drugstore makeup because I'd be talking about things I don't care about it, and I've more moral integrity than that. And I'm also not going to buy products I don't like because it's trendy. (Contour palette? You have one face, do you need so many different shades? Not really.)  

I don't think this is me signing out for good. I've achieved and accessed so many opportunities from my little creative space of the internet which I call Lyon Notes.

I think this is me mostly saying I think I'm mostly over beauty blogging. I want to make the move over to fashion, because it is, and always has been where my one true passion lies. (My inability to leave Pinterest proves this.) But it isn't as easy as a white background for beauty photos, and I'm not sure if anyone would even be interested?!

At the moment I feel like this break might have been the best thing for me, and i'll still probably be absent for another couple of weeks. Hopefully logging my thoughts publicly gives me the kick up the backside I needed to go and shoot some outfits outside? We'll see...

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Multi-Purpose Balms - What are they & What do they do?

I must, subconsciously, have a real obsession with these weird waxy multi-tasking balms that claim to  solve all of the skin ailments you can possibly think of. I didn't realise that I had bought so many, but here we are... with a ton of different kinds, each with different benefits and uses. So I figured I'd do a bit of a multi-purpose balm breakdown... Let's do this... *insert muscle emoji*

A full breakdown of numerous world famous multi-purpose balms, with all their uses and gimmicks
These four I own full-size of, and use regularly; Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (fragrance-free), Glossier Balm Dotcom, Homeoplasmine. None are excessively impressive in the packaging department sure, but its the performance that counts, right? I figured to make things simple I'll look at the texture, price, availability and the most functional uses of each product...

A full breakdown of numerous world famous multi-purpose balms, with all their uses and gimmicks

The ever famous Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream needs no introduction; everyone and their mums, grandmas and goldfish have at some point used this gooey orange balm. The texture is very sticky, but thins out once it comes into contact with skin. Despite its long list of uses, I use it most as a lip balm, a highlighter on my cheekbones, and even using the teeniest amount to groom brows. (Yes, really.) Typically priced around £26 it isn't the cheapest lip balm, but is easy to get hold of, being stocked on numerous online sites and is available at all Elizabeth Arden counters. Despite being fragrance-free, it still has a weird lingering smell that puts me off using this on my lips during the day while eating or drinking.  

Yu-Be is a Japanese product, which has just recently made its way overseas after gaining cult status. It appears as thick as 8hr cream, but when you start to apply, it thins out completely and feels almost like nothing on the skin, meaning you need a very small amount of product. Its strong camphor smell and thin texture means it doesn't work too well as a lip balm, but is as I've found, an INCREDIBLE foot cream. The glycerin base in the cream seems to create a barrier, which allows hydration to go much deeper, hydrating feet quickly, and leaving them soft for days. Needless to say using it as a foot cream uses up a lot of product, so the £13.50 price tag, and Space NK availability makes it a bit of a pain when it comes to repurchasing.

A full breakdown of numerous world famous multi-purpose balms, with all their uses and gimmicks

Another foreign import is the French Homeoplasmine (which according to my family looks like nappy cream. Glam.) which is available in this currently through Escentual at £9.95 for a huge tube. It's texture is slightly waxier and thicker than Vaseline, clear in colour, and has a natural matte finish when applied. While it's best used as a lip balm, I've found this to work really well at aiding the healing of spots, and preventing any later scarring. The added bonuses for me, are the pleasant texture, absence of fragrance and cheap price.  

And yet another foreigner, Glossier's Balm Dotcom is something all of those in the beauty loop got highly excited about. It's the cheapest (in theory) at only $12 a pop, but its US only availability makes it nearly impossible to get your hands on without an unlimited stream of money. Like Homeoplasmine, its a clear waxy balm, with a natural matte finish which works best as a heavy duty lip balm. The super thick texture means you need the smallest amount of product, and thanks to the small tube, its significantly more handbag friendly than the others. 

A full breakdown of numerous world famous multi-purpose balms, with all their uses and gimmicks

Overall, I'd say that the endless lists of uses for each product that seems to be promoted with multi-purpose balms are really unrealistic. Making the term "multi-purpose" pretty ironic when it comes to  I cannot imagine for a second using any of these as moisturisers, either for my face or my hands (really, Elizabeth Arden? THE STICKINESS.) But, they are without a doubt amazing products to have in your arsenal, depending on exactly what you're looking for. If I'm going to suggest one right now, it's going to be Homeoplasmine. It is easy to get hold of, and much unlike 8-Hr cream, won't leave behind any smells, stickiness or an empty purse.

What do you all think of multi-purpose balms? Have you ever tried any of these, or do you use another multi-purpose balm in a similar way? Next on my list? Paw-paw ointment. 

Monday, 20 July 2015

Growing Out Hair - NEW Redken Extreme Length Products

I feel like I may possibly revisit the gross comment I made about wanted and unwanted hair a couple weeks back, but I'll censor myself (this time) and instead get into my intended purpose... raving about the wonders of Redkens latest additions to their ever-popular Extreme range.

New products to the Redken Extreme Length Range reviewed. For growing out hair and management of split ends.
New products to the Redken Extreme Length Range reviewed. For growing out hair and management of split ends.

While I've not had these for anything close to long enough to actually establish whether or not these do help your hair to grow, I can establish to a certain extent that I do think these will encourage hair growth. Bearing in mind that neither are applied at the root, they aren't going to stimulate the scalp and encourage growth there, but instead (like the rest of the Extreme range) will work on the ends, which at a certain length will become dry and parched, eventually snapping off. Thus preventing split ends, will in turn help hair grow to a longer length instead of breaking.

Now my hair has reached a length I truly thought it would never see, the need to keep the ends thoroughly hydrated is becoming more and more prominent. Which is why the Extreme Length End Sealer is an absolute winner for me. It comes with a little brush which applies the product directly to the ends of your hair. With an quick amount of massaging it in, and about ten minutes to let it settle and stop looking like product, ends are left looking much more hydrated, and as if your hair has been freshly cut. I get the feeling this will eventually become something I cannot live without. I'm just hoping that Redken makes a smaller, travel size one I can keep in my handbag. (hint, hint.)

The Extreme Length Primer, is something I'm much more on the fence about. I don't understand why they created it, given the range already has a protein based treatment (which I stupidly forgot I already own) but it's still pretty good as far as hydration goes. It's applied after shampoo, but doesn't establish whether it is prior to, or in the place of conditioner. So I've been using alone with shampoo, and my hair hasn't seen any amazing results, but I have only given it four attempts as of right now. Hopefully the proteins and biotin in both of these products are something which you will see long-term results from.

While it feels relevant; I'd been considering for a while creating a post on a much more realistic routine to help grow out your hair? If this is something anyone would be interested in, do let me know and I'll get to work on it!

Friday, 17 July 2015

Why is "High-Maintenance" A Dirty Word?

Sure, for the eagle eyed, the grammar police, and for well, myself... "high-maintenance" isn't a word, but rather a combination of two. So ignoring this completely, shall we get onto the latest topic that's been getting on my nerves (just one of them, at least. We'd be hear days talking about all of  the things that irritate me.)

Like everything else, phases come and go. (Big butts will be over soon, just you watch.) At the moment, the premise of being someone that is high-maintenance is frowned upon. Looking after your hair, skin, nails and body is seen as something which would make you prissy, and more and more products are being designed to make everything quick and easy. BUT, WHAT IF YOU ENJOY SOME BEAUTY DOWN-TIME?

I can seriously appreciate products that make everything much less of a faff, and those that are designed to look natural, and like, well... nothing. But despite the fact that I try to look as low-maintenance as possible, it doesn't mean I didn't spend ten minutes that morning getting my hair to look "natural" and a good half hour applying fake tan to stop me looking like a corpse.

Needless to say, I'm not going to be supporting those with orange tans, 5 sets of false lashes and even more hair extensions any time soon. (scouse brows, anybody?!) But what if, that fake tan we apply, the expensive perfume, the luxurious lipsticks just make us all feel damn confident? Is that really such a crime?

Of course I'm not the first person to bring up the fact that the internet now seems to prefer shaming those that wear makeup to those that don't. (No, fellas we ain't lying to you by wearing makeup. Did you honestly think we had gold eyelids? Cause in that case, I also shit gold, à la Tywin Lannister.) But why is it really such an issue if someone enjoys an extensive beauty regime? As long as we aren't taking out loans for laser hair removal and Tom Ford lipsticks - shall we just leave everyone to it?

Anyone else feel the same? Why does the world seems to think high-maintenance is a bad thing?

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Fake Tanning Tips? I Got Your Back.

While the suggestion of "fake tan" unfortunately is unpleasant biscuity smells, orange palms and streaky legs, there's still the good few of us that, while addicted to the stuff, have no tango syndrome; just the need to look tanned and healthy. Of course tanning isn't a necessity to some, and we all know that one girl who can rock porcelain skin like no other (don't Google Emma Stone... just don't put yourself through it...) But for those that do rely on tan regularly, there's one tip that you probably haven't heard before, is RIDICULOUSLY simple, but will save so much time and difficulty:

To tan the hard to reach areas of your back, turn around your mitt so the applicator side is on the top of your hands. 

TA-DA! That is literally it. So insanely simple you'll be able to do it without any fancy applicators, but the simple 180° turn of the mitt allows you to put your hands behind your back (under your shoulders) and quickly apply to the places you usually roped your family into uncomfortably doing. 

More tanning tips- 
- Always use tan with a guide colour. You'll see where you've missed.
- If you're unsure, go paler. It can always be built up afterwards.
- Give yourself plenty time to exfoliate all over, and only moisturise if you have a few hours to let it sink in.
- Moisturise elbows, knees, hands and toes prior to tanning. If you've none handy use whatever is left on the mitt afterwards.
- DON'T exercise. If it washes off after 8 hours, you're just begging for sweaty streaks.
- Don't forget your face. People don't look like glasses of Guinness. Facial tanners are incredible now, won't break you out and will help you glow. Clarins make my personal favourites.
- Always, always, always use a mitt or glove. ALWAYS.
- The best time to tan is just before bed. (The 8 hour guide time can be extended a little if you prefer 10 hours, don't worry!)

I hope this tip will help some of you - because I know its such a pain, quite literally, to reach the top of your back when fake-tanning. Do any of you have these weird quirks that help in your routine? Share them in the comments!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Ideal Summer Home Prep with Debenhams Flowers

I'm probably one of the first women to say that I mostly dislike flowers. I don't have any local florists, so if I'm buying fresh flowers they have to come from a supermarket. Which, face it... are overpriced and mediocre looking things that die within a couple of days. (Oh, the glamour.) So when Debenhams Flowers contacted me and offered to send a summer bouquet I only needed a quick glance at their images to realise that these are stunning, and I jumped straight on board. 

I picked the peony, rose and lily bouquet which was overflowing with beautiful, elegant flowers and seriously livened up my otherwise simplistic bedroom decor. The flowers themselves lasted a significant amount of time longer than those of the previously mentioned supermarket flowers and smelled so fresh and lovely, I couldn't help but (against my better judgement) stick my hay fever riddled nose straight in there.

The actual flower delivery was easy-peasy, and Debenhams allow you to choose a day which you want them to arrive. I chose a week later, but they do offer next-day flowers incase you're as clumsy as me and often forget birthdays. On that Monday, the door rang with a delivery guy holding one of the biggest, bright purple, parcel boxes to have ever graced my doorstep. Inside the flowers were placed so to not be disturbed, and secured well, wrapped in a bright green tissue paper. These guys know how to make an entrance...

If you're interested in any of their products, I have a discount code for my blog readers, which will entitle you to 25% off whichever bouquet you choose, either for yourselves or as a gift! Which gives you more money to spend on chocolates and wine, right? 

Use code DFBLOG25 for the 25% discount 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Free With Instyle UK - St Tropez

Like the rest of the self tan addicts, I was completely enthralled by the premise of an in-shower tanner - talk about the convenience! However when the reviews started rolling, it seemed mostly like St Tropez In Shower Tanning Lotion might be a bit of a gimmick. So I was quite curious, but not willing to part with too much cash. Curiosity got the best of me though, and given that Instyle magazine are giving away a free 50ml bottle on the front, I've no excuse but to finally give it a go. The August issue is in newsagents now... 


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Getting Long Lashes and Brows - LiLash and LiBrow Review

The thing about most women is, we want full hair on our heads, lashes and brows... chance is, we weren't blessed with it and instead probably have it adorned on our legs instead. (How many people did I just scare away in one sentence? My bad. But you know it's true.)

get long eyelashes no mascara lilash librow brow growth review

get long eyelashes no mascara lilash librow brow growth review
LiLash and LiBrow* are hair growth serums designed to encourage hair growth on (you guessed it) lashes and eyebrows. They aren't my first venture into said products, and because of my negative experiences in the past, I was sceptical. Let's get down to business...

The LiLash serum comes with an applicator like that of a liquid eyeliner, allowing precision application to the lash line and brows (if you didn't want to buy both). And so is easy to apply either in the morning or at night. The results which came after about a month were a darker, more voluminous healthy lash, and after 12 weeks, were a much more feathered, lengthened lash with lots of volume. (N.B. I applied the product wrong for a while by applying far too much and had a reaction so my experience was out of the ordinary, but if you were to learn from my mistakes - chill out with the product!)

LiBrow was probably the one I was most excited about. My eyebrows, while pretty full are very fine hairs which can make my eyebrows look more like a shadow than hair (and let's not mention the occasional bald patch). So I was holding up hope for this to thicken and lengthen the hairs to make them look fuller without being uncontrollable. It 100% met my expectations, and as I like such a strong, dark brow the serum worked really well at maintaining the appearance of any dye I put on them to make them *even more* darker!

Both products would be ideal for anyone that's suffered with a bad beautician experience (we've all had bad lash extensions and brow waxes!) to promote regrowth and rectify any mistakes left behind.

I wish I had a before and after to share with you guys but unfortunately my phone broke on me and I lost the before pictures - sob! Although I will say that I've been asked an insane amount of times if I was wearing lash extensions. I love both of these products, and will quite happily rush to repurchase them.

Will you be picking up either of these beauties? They're the best brow/lash growth serums on the market - you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Upping Hydration Levels the Luxury Way - Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum

Now coined one of Chanel's "Essentially Chanel" products (which is the 5 most sought after products from their range) their Hydra Beauty Micro Serum is a hydration product which packs an extra elegant punch. Bearing in mind it's still quite a new product, to go down with the infamous Rouge Coco Lipstick, and Tan de Chanel Bronzer is a pretty huge feat. I'd been lusting after it since it originally came on the scene, thanks to the lovely Dave Lackie (you all know that lovely fellow on Twitter by now, right?) I managed to get my mitts on one *swoons*  

Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum Skincare for Hydration and plump skin
So the main question is... how did I get on with such an expensive serum, right? Taking money out of the question for a second, here's the pros of the micro serum;

- It's texture is so lightweight, it sinks in immediately, and a little goes a long way.
- It's watery texture hydrates like no other. Think, the effects of a day of drinking 8 glasses of water and nothing but green tea (yup, that hydrated)
- The hydration benefits go beyond giving skin an even, non-flaky appearance, and seem to plump any fine lines (cough, frowning) 
- The serum makes a perfect base for makeup. Skin is left smooth, plumped and well hydrated for whatever other products will be bombarding your face.
- On a superficial note, have you seen the bottle? It's incredible. And the water droplets suspended in the formula just scream luxury.

And down to the dirty stuff, the price... it's steep at £66 for 30ml. (Debenhams) But we're all willing to pay slightly more for something that works I'm sure? It does work, it's amazing for extra hydration, pure luxury and looking more than beautiful on your vanity. I've been using it just over a month now and don't seem to have used up even a third of the bottle, so chance is this will see me through summer. And when winter comes Winter is Coming I'll quite happily run out to repurchase.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

*CLOSED* Lyon Notes Bundle Giveaway! *CLOSED*

I'm not sure why it took me so long to make this post go live, especially given how long I've been stocking up on products to giveaway. I felt like a relaunch of my blog design, etc. warranted a treat for loyal readers! I planned it out with a theme, it was going to be a "get ready for summer" type deal, but that soon when out the window when I went a little crazy in Boots... so I'll let shush and let the pictures do the talking...

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and conditions:
- Open to UK only - sorry, it's pretty weighty!
- If you're under age of 18 ask a parent/guardian's permission to supply me your details.
- Any false entries on Rafflecopter form will warrant your name being removed fully from the draw. (All entries WILL be checked)
- Winner will be emailed after closing date, and if said person doesn't respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and contacted.
- All items were supplied by myself.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
- Items included are as follows; Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Lengthening Mascara, Loreal Casting Sunkiss Jelly, Loreal Sublime Bronze Summer Glow Lotion, Lee Stafford Straightening Blow Dry Spray, Soap and Glory Off Your Face wipes, Soap and Glory travel size Clean on Me and Righteous Butter, Buddy Scrub Cacao (Sample size)

-Good luck!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Currently Loving

While I'm lacking a lot in the new makeup department at the moment, (did I mention my HUGE makeup cull? I'm proud.) I've still got a generous amount of rediscoveries and amazing products to share.

favourite products; chanel orage, glossier skin tint in uk, mac woodwinked, jo malone wood sage and sea salt
Contrary to popular belief, spring/summer does not mean dark colours need to go out of the window. There's something exceptionally beautiful about dark nails in the spring months, especially when you live in such a gloomy country. Chanel Orage Le Vernis is an ideal almost black shade that leans both blue and grey depending on the lighting, and has pretty damn good longevity - I can't take this off my fingers!

Also in the makeup stakes, I've rediscovered the amazing warm gold eyeshadow that is MAC Woodwinked. Ideal to be worn alone and buffed out for a warm, Olsen-esque eye look, this is frequently paired with my new favourite; Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint. This very lightweight coverage tint brightens the complexion without covering up any natural colouring in the face, and it's lightweight texture makes the skin feel as bare as it looks. Naked skin is in.

And cue a beauty blogger cliche; I'm currently enamoured with Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt cologne. It sparks suggestions of holidays and whimsy, which is much appreciated at the moment. *sprays everywhere

Monday, 1 June 2015

Why I've Given up on Blush...

While this is going to be one of those chatty posts, where no one probably gives any remote interest to what I've got to say, it feels like something I have to get out there. 

I've recently realised that I haven't, in about a year, picked up a normal blush and put it on my cheeks. It's not that I don't feel like a flushed cheek isn't one of the most beautiful things, especially given it's strong British associations, but I simply still cannot get on board... 

Makeup without blush
I've never quite been able to get a blush I loved, mostly due to the large amount on the market adorned with shimmer, I've always leaned towards something more brown toned (see: the 17 Rosewood blush I used for 3 years around college) so they were already difficult to buy. However courtesy of my super heavy coverage foundations, any natural colouring in my cheeks was covered up and needed to be replicated by whatever blush I could get my mitts on.

As my makeup has changed (phew) through the years; my foundation has gotten significantly lighter, and my natural flush has increased after not covering every inch of my skin with makeup that cost less than a fiver.

In British climates winter causes red cheeks, from the constant battering from winds, rain, snow and whatever else it can throw at us. In summer, we have more of a tan and a natural bit of colouring from the heat. So WHY do I feel so inclined to wear blush?

As someone that runs hot, like ridiculously hot, my face is inclined to lean on the red side of things anyway, but I still feel like blush is a must for avoiding any sallowness in the face. But whenever I put it on, I feel much more like a clown than I do a British country girl...

I much prefer a glowing healthy look, using bronzers and contour creams which will make my skin dewy, without compromising on any flat colouring. On days where I feel like my skin looks flat and needs extra colouring, Chanel Cream Blush in Destiny is an ideal shade for looking like I've spent a day out in the sun. As opposed to the other option, which would be looking like a woman that's overheating...

Does anyone else completely forgo blush? It'd be interesting to hear your opinions.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Searching for Olsen makeup - Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise Review

Hands up if you're a member of shopaholics anonymous?! (No, me neither... shopping is good for you.) I was asking myself last week if I actually needed to pick up the new Charlotte Tilbury cream eyeshadows, and given that I've usually found her products quite overrated, I thought these would be different. I'm still on the fence...

charlotte tilbury eyes to mesmerise cream eyeshadow in mona lisa and marie antoinette

charlotte tilbury eyes to mesmerise cream eyeshadow in mona lisa and marie antoinette

The eyes to mesmerise cream eyeshadows are a "cream to sheen formula," designed to create a maximum impact with a minimal amount of effort. Each is inspired by an iconic woman of the past, which Charlotte deems to have mesmerising (duh) eyes...  

I got the shades Mona Lisa and Marie Antoinette, which are a rich chocolate brown and a shimmering gold oyster hue, respectively. Mona Lisa was the biggest disappointment for me, with it packing very little punch in the pigmentation department, and even when layered to have a deeper colour didn't offer much of an increase in the lacking longevity department either. The colour was also very flat, and had none of the warm/red tones as shown on the model on her website. Marie Antoinette, however, while still having the pigmentation and longevity issues looks beautiful as a sheer wash over the lid for a light-catching sheen. These shadows almost have the effect of a glossy lid, but with increased wearability from the lack of stickiness.

While I am loving Marie Antoinette applied with my finger tip with very little other makeup I really feel that these were rushed when they were created. I'll be sticking to Chanel Illusion D'Ombre's in the future, these aren't a win for me.

Not to leave on a sour note, her Classic Powder Pencil in Audrey is an amazing eyeliner for those that don't like regular eyeliner (confusing, no?) well this is much more like an eyeshadow, with the benefits of being in a liner, that can of course be applied at the lash line, and quickly like a liner, but also has the softness and subtlety of an eyeshadow. WIN.

So if you pick up anything from Charlotte Tilbury, make it some of the eye pencils, or her lip liner in Pillow Talk, those won't leave you disappointed...

Monday, 25 May 2015

A Reading List Worth Binging...

I pretty much suck at doing book posts. My reasons? I dunno, I just read whatever takes my fancy when I finish a book, and it usually gets passed on to a family member or a charity shop, so I rarely have them for long enough to take a photo. I'm probably making excuses, so I'll keep it to a minimum; I recently joined Goodreads, so if you wanna know more about what I'm reading in more detail find me there! 

I recently finished The Strain trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan after getting a little obsessed with the television programme (that everyone probably missed - but should watch ASAP for old-school scary vampires.) While the second book is mostly just padding out the narrative, the others are addictive, and really hard to put down. While vampires seem like a huge cliche now, The Strain builds up a number of narratives following the plethora of characters, from different backgrounds, including CDC officials attempting to fight the "disease" and a holocaust survivor who's been fighting the vampires for years. An amazing trilogy for anyone in the market for a new book(s)...

While I'd be the billionth person to bring up Game of Thrones on the internet, I have been truly hooked on the Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R Martin which inspired the series. I think everyone knows what it's about by now, but whether you're a fan of fantasy (for reference, I'm not!) or the television series, the books go into epic detail about the entire goings on in Westeros. And despite the huge size of the books, I guarantee you won't get bored.

Outside of a book series, I finished The Girl in 6E this weekend, written by Alessandra Torre, this book is awash with smut and blood. (This book list is making me seem like a huge weirdo, I know.) While some of the sexual content is mostly unwarranted, it can be forgiven given the underlying themes of love and isolation in this novel. I read this in less than a day, and sure it's got quite mature themes, but if you've seen/read the previously mentioned series' you've probably already seen worse.

And while I'm also late to this party, I spent the beginning of this year (nb. it was actually about 5 days, I was addicted) indulging in the entire Hunger Games series. As a young adult novel, these really are easy to read, and mostly true to the films. Being super cheap on Amazon, these are a trilogy of books you've no excuse to not pick up. I'm sure you'll become obsessed like me, and struggle to keep a secret what is going to happen in the final movie that comes out this winter...

I could go on for an age about books but these are some of my standouts from the past few months, let me know if you pick any of them up. And I'm always looking for new recommendations so do leave them for me, either here on on Goodreads!


Friday, 22 May 2015

The Latest Addiction - Caudalie Instant Detox Mask

I currently have a thing. It's a mask addiction. No, not like Mike Myers or Freddy Krueger... (although that would be cool weird, wouldn't it?) I'm addicted to beauty masks. Mostly for my face and hair, although if someone invents one for another area of the body - count me in! So I'm finding my skin in a weird place, given how temperamental British weather currently is, and I'm enjoying face masks more and more for a relaxing experience, and for an intensive skin treatment.

I've always been mix and match about my face masks, and avoid sticking it all over my face. I use a number of different types, each in different areas of my face to treat my skin, depending on what is needed most in each area. Hydrating patches under my eyes... Detox/cleansing masks for my nose and chin... acidic formulas for sloughing dead skin on my forehead...

Because who wants to be low maintenance anyway?

caudalie new instant detox face masks

caudalie new instant detox face masks

When I caught wind of the new reformulated (and beautifully packaged!) Caudalie face masks, I knew I had to get my mitts on a couple. I've started with the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask* which is a gel-cream, natural clay mask designed to remove impurities and toxins to have the effect of a detox on your skin within a 5 minute period. Cool, huh?! Soon as I saw that this was ideal for calming down stressed skin, I knew I needed it - because we all know I'm very rarely not stressed.

Because of it's thin texture, I find it absolutely perfect for my favourite method of application; a foundation brush. (Yup, a super cheap foundation brush is the best way to apply face masks minus getting gunk everywhere.) I wash off after about 7/8 minutes, during which the mask will feel tight on the skin as the clay drys. After removing with either my fingers or muslin cloth, my skin texture looks much more even, while pores look tighter and much less visible than previously. At the moment I get most benefits from using this once a week, but I'm sure increasing the frequency of application would work for someone with more blackheads/oilier skin types.

Without swaying my opinion for the super cute wooden cap, this Caudalie detox mask is what dreams are made of; quick to apply, smells like heaven and has visible results immediately. As they're range of four different masks are designed to be used in combinations which will make the best possible results depending on your skin issues, I can't wait to pick up some of the others. For now I'll be using this as part of my relaxation rituals, for myself and for my skin. Bonus points to Caudalie.


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Double Cleansing for City Girls - Vichy Purete Thermale Range

Bad beauty blogger confession? I'm a bad cleanser. I hate the stuff, mostly because I hate spending money on it, as it's barely the most exciting of skincare products, is it? Then when you can buy things like lipstick or nail polish instead? No, I'll stick to mostly disliking cleansers. 

Vichy's Pureté Thermale range is designed to have something in the range for everybody, and to remove all the pollutants left on your skin from day-to-day life, especially of those living in the city. Pollution can have a really damaging effect on the skin, and can cause premature ageing, excess oil, blackheads, and all the horrible skin conditions you don't want...

Vichy purete themale pollutant cleansing range escentual micellar oil - deep cleanse

Vichy purete themale pollutant cleansing range escentual micellar oil - deep cleanse
Vichy Pureté Thermale Beautifying Cleansing Micellar Oil* - Is a completely new concept, and one that is absolutely not a novelty. We all know of Bioderma, right? The quick and easy cleanser that is gentle on the skin and as perfect as they come? Well, I think Vichy have done one better...

The micellar oil is a very lightweight, non-greasy oil which will remove stubborn waterproof makeup, as easily as it will remove excess oil and sebum from the face. Being infused with camellia oil and vitamin E, it won't strip the skin too much, and will leave skin feeling plump and hydrated without leaving any greasiness or a film on the skin. Much unlike others I've tried this didn't irritate in the slightest, around the eye area, and once washed off left no traces on my eyelashes like i'd found with other heavier oil/butter formulas.

I can't sing this products praises enough. I'm definitely enjoying this cleanser to the extent of having my faith restored and cleansers, and my negative attitude to them has gone out the window - I now love cleansing!

Vichy Pureté Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel* - Admittedly I didn't get on as well with this one as I did with the wonderful micellar oil. It's a gel to foam formula, which is also designed to remove impurities caused by pollution, and has a host of ingredients designed to not dry out the skin. I'm a sucker for oils, butters, milks and all formulas that feel like silk on my normal skin type, so for me a foaming formula was something out of the ordinary, and had me ever so slightly too much out of my comfort zone. And to not finish on a bad note, this would be amazing for anyone with oilier skins, especially if you wanted a quick cleanse in the morning.

What do you think? Will you be picking up any of these products to remove damage from air-pollutants? I can't recommend the oil enough, and I'll definitely be stockpiling when this runs out...

Thursday, 14 May 2015

New Era Beach Hair - Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion Spray

I am a strong supporter of beach and bed hair. I love it. I'd quite happily marry it if it was a person, (weird statement of the day) but it doesn't love me. It's a strong love/hate relationship, being that I want tousled, disheveled waves every day, but most "surf" or salt sprays leave my hair feeling dirty, and nothing short of crispy, and just plain gross. And while the best I have ever tried was the infamous Bumble and Bumble surf spray, it did get left behind more often than not in favour of having soft hair.

So you can imagine my excitement when on their Instagram they started rolling out pictures of a  Bumble Surf Infusion, to join the rest of the salty, beach family. This time it's formulated with oils designed for drier and courser hairs that can't deal with the drying which can come from it's sister products...

bumble and bumble surf infusion new hair spray for beach waves

The product inside is a "bi-phase" formula, and to activate, you shake the bottle to combine the salt and the oil. I'm not too sure if this is a gimmick, but much unlike the previous surf spray, this does look much less like you're wearing product on your hair (although I've not tried it anywhere near my roots). I wouldn't call it hydrating, but nor is it as drying as the original.

I tend to only use surf spray on hair thats already a little dirty, as I can't give up the few days of outrageously soft, freshly washed hair. If my hair doesn't already have a wave to it, I'll encourage one with my GHDs, then apply the spray or put on the surf infusion generously, tie it up in the messiest bun possible, do my makeup, et voilà - a perfectly tousled beachy, bed-head!

bumble and bumble surf infusion new hair spray for beach waves

I would definitely recommend this to those with natural curly hair (although I've not trialled it yet on my natural texture) that tends to run drier, but also love the look of the beachy waves that seem to be taking over Pinterest. While I'll be still using the original for the days when I can do nothing with my greasy hair but make my self look like a viking, the new infusion formula will be perfect for the summer months. Now we just need the sun... (or a beach, that would work too. Volunteers?)

Plus, if you head over to Bumble and Bumble UK to buy this, you'll receive the cute waves bag pictured, with an extra dose of shampoo/conditioner samples. Just use the code "BBSURF" - and you'll also receive their standard free delivery. Pretty cool, huh?!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Nude goes permanent - Tom Ford Nude Dip Eyeshadow Review

I was completely slow on the mark last time the Tom Ford Nude Dip eyeshadow quad came out. Mostly because I was scared that starting off buying TF products would be a downhill spiral into an expensive addiction oblivion, but after getting shade and illuminate at Christmas, and it being added to the permanent line... I couldn't resist.
Tom Ford Nude Dip Eyeshadow quad Permanent Line

Tom Ford Nude Dip Eyeshadow quad Permanent Line

Tom Ford Nude Dip Eyeshadow quad Permanent Line

The shadow itself is quite a stiff formula, definitely not what you'd be expecting, but in hindsight, removes possibility of fallout, both from the pan and on your eye. While like all other eyeshadow quads, the applicators that come with it are mostly pointless, and these in particular serve only to look pretty with the TF logo on them (me... superficial? No...) But the packaging is just as slick and beautiful as what you'd expect from such a premium brand. If I wasn't terrified of carrying this around and breaking it, I'd be taking it out every five minutes just to brag.

The colours of the shadows themselves are exactly what you'd expect from a neutral palette, but a million times more beautiful courtesy of it's multi-tonal satin shades. The top row holds a frosted, golden champagne colour, and a muted copper/rose (quite similar to the likes of Mac Naked Lunch). The bottom two shades are a medium taupe, and a dark brown both with subtle warm undertones, to link the shades altogether. All the shades are well pigmented, and easy to blend, while lasting a full day (with primer) without any creasing. I can quite easily make a day appropriate smoky eye, and layer a darker shade come evening to "amp up the drama..." don't judge me based on the cliches.

If you're a fan of in your face glittery eyeshadows, and deep intense shades like that of a Mac pigment, you probably wouldn't be the biggest fans of the latest permanent addition. If you're a strong supporter of the glowing, natural look (for both day and night) you will adore this Tom Ford Nude Dip eyeshadow quad - even if it is nearly too pretty to use!

Monday, 4 May 2015

The signature style tag

So the lovely Latasha tagged me to do this "signature style" tag, and while I usually ignore tags for being a little boring... this one really caught my eye. It's basically you're go-to look, and a breakdown of the products, and while the products used can change often, it usually is mostly inspired by looking sun kissed and healthy. Shall we...

For the sake of making things quicker, and far less messy, I use a lot of products which are multi-purpose. Well, they may not be multi-purpose but I sure make them that way...

Full Breakdown:

- This Works Tinted Skin Miracle - in the place of a foundation, this gives skin colour and a beautiful healthy glow.

- Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage - while I only tend to need concealer under my eyes, this covers everything that needs covering.

- Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder - the ideal natural looking powder for an extra, brightening step of the under-eye area.

- Chanel Soliel Tan de Chanel - you probably get the deal with this one, but I use this for a healthy colour on my face with a fluffy brush, and use an eyeshadow brush to sweep over my eyelids for a natural definition.

- RMS Living Luminizer - same as with the Chanel bronzer, this super thick consistency "highlighter" helps to give my skin a healthy glow, and looks amazing on the lids (if you can handle the stickiness!)

- MAC Mystery eyeshadow - current go-to for my brows and eyeliner, especially after I broke my beloved grey brow colour (that was a limited edition - sob.)

- Dior Iconic Overcurl mascara - the one I've been raving about for YEARS. This mascara is truly a holy grail and does incredible things to your lashes. It cannot be beat, especially after using Shu Uemura lash curlers.

- By Terry Baume de Rose - technically skincare, yes... but this lip balm gives lips an incredible healthy sheen that will make even the most cracked and chapped lips look attractive.

So I've basically just proved how much I love emphasising healthy skin, and keeping the look as natural as possible. I do use a lot of other products too, depending on what mood I'm in, how good my skin is, etc. but these are some of my most reached for at the moment. Honorary mentions to MAC Face and Body that I usually rely on mixed with moisturiser when I'm at uni, and Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Emerveille for when my eyelids require more shimmer.

Thanks Latasha for tagging me to do the signature style tag! I now tag Estelle, and Kirstie to do the same. Meanwhile I'm off getting myself a huge slice of chocolate cake and watching The Vampire Diaries...


Thursday, 30 April 2015

The perfect face oil - African Botanics neroli-infused marula oil

I will hold my hands up high and say that I'm a snob when it comes to all kinds of products. I look with my eyes far before I come to a conclusion about the quality of the product itself. This is why I often rely on samples and trial sizes to introduce me to brands and products I wouldn't usually buy for myself. I ran out of my beloved Clarins Blue Orchid face oil much quicker than I expected as the bottle started nearing the end (*drama*) so I relied on a good few face oil samples to help me decide whether to repurchase or try something new. 

After one application of the face oil in question, I noticed the smell... the heavenly, natural scent that almost had me shaking my head around to get another whiff of the neroli. Of course, I'm talking about this incredible neroli infused marula oil by the brand African Botanics, stocked at Space NK...

african Botanics at Space NK natural neroli infused marula oil face oil treatment

The brand, while having previously slipped under my radar, has an incredible ethos of working with botanical essences to produce the best possible organic skincare solutions. This oil has a super light texture, thats filled with vitamins C, E and all the fatty acids we know are incredible for protecting the skin. I use two or three pumps depending on how much hydration I need; I find it tends to have fully soaked in after an hour, after which my face looks glowing, is well hydrated, and any redness around my jawline looks reduced and much calmer.

I've only been using this for a few weeks so far, but I'm thoroughly loving it - and I can't wait to see of the benefits to the skin from using it long-term. And knowing that there's no nasties in the product is just an added bonus!

Monday, 27 April 2015

The Anti-Discoball Highlighter - Laura Mercier Radiance Primer

I have, without a doubt, the largest love/hate relationship with highlighters. I used to have the biggest hate for them given they all reminded me of the severe Nars Albatross, Kim Kardashian look. Now I'm a touch more obsessed with them, more specifically, the glossy and dewy highlighters that make you look as if you've had 6 more hours sleep than what you've actually had. 

I've had the Laura Mercier Radiance Primer in my arsenal for years now, given its huge size, it's lasted me more than long enough as a primer to help boost the glow of my usual foundation. Now, I've found plenty more uses for this product. My favourite one?... A highlighter! Yup, radiance primers make the best, most natural-looking highlighters.   

laura mercier radiance primer multi-use as highlighter

After a full base application (foundation, concealer and setting powder) I put less than a pea-size amount on the back of my hand, warm it up a little, and (for the lack of a better word) slap it on my cheekbones, exactly where light would naturally hit. It has no visible shimmer, but the orange tones seem to perk up, and mesh with the complexion, rather than looking like the obvious glitter ball offered by most highlighters. When combined with a setting spray, it's lasting power is pretty impressive, and it will get you through the day without needing to worry about reapplication.

Another method for I sometimes use for a more subtle, all-over glow, is to mix it, half and half with your usual foundation...

laura mercier radiance primer multi-use as highlighter
I'm currently feeling a touch mean, as I can't find this in stock anywhere online! I've dropped in a link above, and for those hoping to achieve a supermodel glow, I'm sure a little waiting won't hurt - right?!  

Monday, 20 April 2015

Undeterred by Shipping Restrictions - How I got GLOSSIER in the UK (And the Rest of the World)

So when the beauty giants, Into The Gloss launched their own skincare brand, I think we all went a tad crazy, right? The teases of baby pink packaging were all over their Instagram, from them and models alike, so imagine the disappointment when you go on their site to be greeted with the; "We only ship to America" blah-blah message. GLOSSIER, YOU TEASES. DON'T DO THIS TO US! So I sulked, pouted and did all I could to not strop at them on social media (I'm kidding, I totally stropped.)

Amongst my impatience and diva stropping (if you know me, you know I'm good at that, like REALLY good. Combined with my chronic bitch-face, my diva strops are legendary) I managed to come across something I'd never heard of before... Borderlinx. They're a freight-forwarding company that gives you an American address to have your things shipped to, then they take it from there and cover customs charges to get your things shipped out within 4-6 days. While I suck at explaining things, they're really thorough, and super helpful via Twitter if you have any queries, but I cannot recommend them enough. The prices may seem a little steep, but if you're a beauty addict these things just have to be done.

How to get Glossier shipped to the UK and worldwide

While I still want them to work on their UK shipping, I guess this will satisfy in the mean time. I'm off to slap everything on my face simultaneously. So Glossier have managed out of my bad books a little, because just look at that packaging...

How to get Glossier shipped to the UK and worldwide

Expect reviews sometime soon...

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