Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer - Restoring my Faith in Concealer

I without a doubt have a strained relationship with concealer. I love it. I need it. But I hate shopping for it, I hate the limited shade selection. I hate how much I need under my eyes. And the list goes on...

But step in Urban Decay's Naked Skin Concealer, and we have a wonderfully large tube restoring my faith in ye olde imperfection erasers.



To get the negative out of the way, the shades are odd. "Fair Neutral" is WHITE, like reverse panda eyes face white... So I picked up "Light Neutral" (I'm pale, but neutral skin-toned) and it was SO dark. Like normal panda eyes dark. Oddly, "Light Warm" is lighter in colour. Don't ask me why, but shopping outside your usual skin tone may help with the colour match due to the variant in shade.

Now, the positive...

Immediately, you see it's size. Its HUGE for a concealer, significantly larger than the ever so popular Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer that comes in a little more expensive. With it's intense pigmentation, a little goes a long way, meaning if you don't use concealer heavily, this should last quite a while.

The doe foot applicator works a charm to any double-dipping, and if you're applying to spots, contamination can be easily avoided by applying to your hand, and pressing over the area with a clean finger. Otherwise the applicator is ideal for applying with precision to small areas around the eyes and nose. While it can be blended out with whatever technique you prefer, I've used both fingers and a blending sponge (and Mac Fix+ setting spray) and found them to disperse the product perfectly, meshing it with the skin and making it almost undetectable.

It's major selling point for me is the creamy consistency, which unlike Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage (my previous go-to) is easier to disguise on the skin, and much more forgiving to textured or dry skin. Unlike the dry, hard formula of LM Secret Camouflage, you will need a small amount of setting powder to stop any budging or creasing, especially if you're applying over a dewy, or water-based foundation.

This has undoubtedly made my routine easier, abolished all my worries about caking and coverage on my dark under-eye circles, and made me a happy bunny at £17.50 for 5ml. (You can buy on Feelunique, here.)

And with my faith restoring, how do people feel about Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer? Y'know, for experimentation...
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Sunday, 22 May 2016

Fragrance Layering - Creativity in Scent

Jo Malone Fragrance Layering
If you don't follow me on Instagram you're doing Instagram wrong you won't know how deep my obsession with perfume goes. It feels like only every other week I'm posting a picture proclaiming my love for my latest perfume purchase.

There's something about fragrance that manages to convey an array emotions, evoke memories, and just look damn cute on your dresser. So that one bottle that reminds you of summer, makes you feel feminine, sexy and powerful... who's to say you can't stretch it further? Tailoring your scent with fragrance layering (or fragrance combining) is a surefire way to make a bespoke fragrance that conveys everything you aim to achieve usually from the one bottle.

While I'm not going to suggest you stop buying one bottle at a time, fragrance layering is an ideal way to repurpose (or experiment with- if you're that way inclined) you're favourite scents.

The first thing to remember about fight club fragrance layering, is that there are no indefinite rules, rather a set of guidelines that will assist in a little scent creativity:

An ideal starting point is to create a little understanding on which notes work well with each other. Typically, perfumes with a common note (both with notes of rose, for example) are likely to combine well, already with scent families created that compliment in their individual bottles.

Heady, intense scents when combined with light can switch perfumes perfectly from night to day but the combination of two intense scents (think Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir/Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme) can descend into nauseating "I bathed in this sh*t" territory.

A fresh, airy floral fragrance can be made significantly more unique through the inclusion of a masculine cologne.

Before you begin layering, a little oil or moisturiser on your pulse points (where you're perfume should be directed for optimum scent distribution FYI) will help longevity of your scent - creating a minor moisture barrier to stop fragrance permeating immediately into skin.

While some combine fragrance by applying different scents to different pulse points, I much prefer to lay down the heavier scent with a spritz of the lighter over the top - ensuring the light doesn't become masked... And that I don't have a feminine smelling wrist, with a masculine smelling neck.

My favourite combination at the moment is Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede and their Wood Sage and Sea Salt - a fragrance completely reminiscent of summer. The beachy, salty vibes of the latter cutting through the distinctive floral of Peony Blush Suede creates something significantly more unique and ambiguous than a traditional floral summer scent.

What do you think of fragrance layering? Have you tried it before, and would you be open to? I think it's a fun way of experimenting with scent - and especially to innovate one which may be getting a little tired.

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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Tom Ford Fragrance - Velvet Orchid and Noir Pour Femme

I'm forever strolling into Debenhams to "kill some time," only leaving when I smell of approximately 60 different perfumes and I'm a little nauseous and dizzy from the fumes. After throwing on the entire Tom Ford range, I noticed these two standouts, Velvet Orchid and Noir. Only as much as I tell myself through teary eyes that I don't need over ten bottles of perfume, I find myself googling them for days doing sad puppy eyes. So I settled on purchasing one. Then a week later... I settled on the other. (Shopaholics anonymous, anyone?)

Tom Ford Velvet Orchid and Noir Pour Femme Fragrance Review
Every now and then, there comes along a product, one you just need to have. Regardless of how many packs of noodles you'll have to live off, you just need it. So, my latest positively ridiculous indulgence? Not one, but two Tom Ford perfumes.

Both are beautiful, unique scents. Velvet Orchid (£105 for 100ml) is described as an oriental floral, designed as the feminine little sister to Tom Ford's iconic Black Orchid. With notes of citrus, sensual petals, honey and rum, it is undoubtedly an incredible, timeless scent. To me, I could imagine myself as a flapper girl off to a jazz club wearing this scent. But a girl can dream, eh? It's longevity is unrivalled, with me occasionally waking up 24 hours later and still catching a whiff of this feminine, classic dream. 10/10 - Tom Ford. You know how to make a girl feel sexy.

Meanwhile, Noir Pour Femme (£105 for 100ml) could be overpowering for those unprepared. It is a strong, heady scent, increasing it's longevity - but requiring slight of hand when it comes to application. While Velvet Orchid is distinctively feminine, this arguably could be appropriate for men as much as women. This is where it's beauty comes in... It is very unique for this reason. Whereas other perfumes could be seen as similar to another scent on the market, I have never encountered anything like this oriental fragrance. With notes of citrus, spice and vanilla to name just a few, it encompasses the ethic of the Tom Ford woman - powerful assuredness, and vulnerable romanticism. A perfume that encapsulated femininity as power and romanticism? Count me in.
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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Chanel's Reformulated Longwear Le Vernis and Gel Top Coat

Chanel Reformulated Gel finish longwear nail polish
Christmas Day as a child is probably the only comparable degree of excitement that I felt for these arriving in the post. Sure, let's all mock the girl getting passionate about nail polish. But in the wise words of M&S, these aren't just any nail polishes... 

Chanel Reformulated Gel finish longwear nail polish


Despite the wonderfully chic bottle, and incredibly beautiful shades, Chanel nail polishes are a nightmare in one area - longevity. So upon hearing the news that Chanel were reformulating, releasing a capsule collection of pre-existing favourites with some new additions and a gel top coat to boot, I got understandably excited.

So managing to get my grubby mitts on new shades Organdi*, Mythique* and the Gel Top Coat* and give them a good road test. Organdi is an elegant dusty salmon shade, opaque in 2/3 coats with tendencies to last 3-4 days, with any minor chipping being mostly unnoticeable. (Side note: I find the original range differs largely in formula and longevity. Tapage is opaque in 1 coat on me, and lasts days. Secret can take up to 5 coats and lasts only one day) Mythique, opaque in 2 coats, doesn't offer the same longevity, but the soft burgundy shade is a pleasure to apply, going on smoothly without any streaking.

Both shades lasted an extra day with the Gel Top Coat, which is quite the far cry from the 7 days claimed by Chanel. In my honest opinion, the only way to achieve a gel finish is with gel. It does however make the polish look like an ultra-glossy professional gel nail, offering flexibility and strength to the colour. So if like me, your nails are very much prone to breaking, this extra step is helpful in reinforcing your otherwise weakling nails.

Apparently these shades are more nail-friendly in their ingredients than the previous range. I haven't worn either enough continually to comment on this, so we'll have to take Chanel's word on that one...

I would recommend these to any Chanel fans, and those looking for a slightly longer lasting version than the original formula. If you own some of the cult classics like Ballerina and Pirate but want an extra couple days, of wear fork out a little cash for the reformulated Longwear Le Vernis or Gel Top Coat and you will not be disappointed. For perspective, I'd place the original formulation at 7.5/10 - these being closer to 8.5. These are available in Debenhams now. Retailing at £18 for 13ml.
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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...
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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!
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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, √† 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?
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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!
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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... 

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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.
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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.
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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!
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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
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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.
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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...
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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.

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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?!
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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!
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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...

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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!
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