Wednesday, 29 June 2016

A Summer Scent

Light, fresh and fruity scents are all I wear during the Summer, so it was inevitable that the Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom and Honey Cologne would end up in my collection sometime soon. 

This Summer in a bottle scent is made up of cassis, acacia honey and peach to create an overall delicate, sweet smelling fragrance which isn't too overpowering and is easy to wear on a daily basis. It sports the perfect balance of both floral and fruity scents whereby there are several layers to this perfume that you can continue to detect throughout wear. 

This is now my third bottle of a Jo Malone cologne and although they are a luxe purchase, one thing that makes them a cut above the rest is their longevity on the skin. A few spritzes is all you need to make sure you're smelling of Summer all day long. 

I'm currently already eyeing up another Summer scent purchase; the Jo Malone White Jasmine and Mint offering. 

Which Jo Malone cologne is your favourite?
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Monday, 27 June 2016

Summer Skin Pick Me Ups

Monday is once again upon us, which often means my skin is looking lacklustre and is suffering from all of the bad food that I've consumed over the weekend. In the Summer I like to keep my skin in tip-top condition, switching up my skincare and makeup routine to suit my lust for glowy, dewy skin. 

The Origins GinZing Moisturiser is the perfect treat for my skin and it injects some much needed hydration into my complexion. I always reach for this whenever I need to fake looking awake, and the brightening gel-like formula helps to soothe, cool and nourish the skin. 

Facial sprays refresh the skin and are great all rounders when it comes to skincare. The La Roche Posay Serozinc* has been a favourite of mine for some time now; the zinc sulphate solution acts as the toner in my skincare routine as it reduces redness, irritation and those little bumps that you get under the skin. This offering helps me to feel more comfortable wearing a lighter foundation on warmer days, whilst the Avene Thermal Water* can be used multiple times throughout the day to help keep my makeup looking fresh and rid the skin of any powder product build up. 

Applying highlighter to the tops of cheekbones, brow bone and cupids bow is an instant way to perk up the skin and add an overall glow. Although I reach for a power highlighter regularly, I have been really enjoying using cream and liquid products as they appear more natural when blended into your base. The Nars Copacabana Illuminator adds a subtle sheen to the skin and is a perfect addition to your makeup routine if you're complexion is looking rather lacklustre on an early Monday morning. 

In the Summer I always opt for a dewy base, but like anyone, I can get rather shiny after a day in the sun. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders treats all my dull skin woes, whilst keeping shine at bay; something that doesn't usually go hand in hand with mattifying face powders. All three powders can be tailored to different areas of you face and are instant pick-me-ups to the skin. 

What are your Summer skin pick me ups?
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Friday, 24 June 2016

The Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette

 As a Charlotte Tilbury enthusiast, I have spoken about the brand and the Dolce Vita Palette many times before, but surprisingly I've never dedicated a whole post to it. This luxe quad takes pride of place in my muji drawers, and for good reason too. Whenever I am in doubt over what palette to use, I always reach for these four shades to take me from day to night.  

With an array of versatile champagne, burgundy and soft brown shades, this palette compliments my dark blue eyes and creates the perfect smokey eye every time. All four hues are highly pigmented and have a finely milled, easy to blend formula that makes it easy for even a beginner to create a flawless eye look. They are long wearing, lasting around 6 hours without budging and can be sheered out or built up depending on the intensity you want. 

The shade Prime is a champagne shimmer that can be worn all over the lids or can be used to highlight the brow bone and brighten the inner corner of the eyes. Although this hue isn't as highly pigmented as the rest, I can't help but reach for it every time. Enhance is the next shade in the quad and is unlike anything I currently have in my stash. I work this all over the lid, concentrating on the outer edge to define my eye shape, but to compliment Enhance further, I like to apply Pop to the inner corner of the lid. Pop is an intense gold glitter that can appear chunky on the first application, but to minimise fall out and increase the intensity of the shade, I always apply it using a damp eyeshadow brush straight to the lid. Last in the quad is Smoke; a soft brown with a subtle shimmer that once applied in the socket and outer edge of the eye creates an instant, effortless smokey eye. 

All four eyeshadows are encased in a brown compact with rose gold detailing, which definitely gets a thumbs up from me. If you're looking for a simple quad that is easy to use and is convenient to travel with then this is your best bet. After being smitten with this palette for many months now, I am now eyeing up the Golden Goddess Palette too.  

Have you tried the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita palette?
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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Melt Proof Makeup

Now that it's officially Summer, keeping my makeup melt proof is number one priority. Especially as I always like to opt for glowy, radiant skin, which normally comes hand in hand with lack of longevity. Today I have a run down of my go-to products for when I need my makeup to last all day. 

First up is choosing the right primer that works for your complexion and base. For me, the Too Faced Hangover Primer is the one I reach for on a daily basis as it injects my skin with moisture, whilst making my foundation go on smoother. To make sure that my base is prepped fully, I like to spritz on the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray on top of my primer, to ensure that my foundation stays put. 

Although it is commonly persevered that a heavy, matte foundation will result in increased longevity, I have actually found a handful of dewy, radiant bases that do so too. The L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion Foundation offering is my go-to base this season and is one that continues to delivers perfected, glowy skin without lacking in coverage nor longevity. If I need to conceal any extra spots, then the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer is the best one to do so as it doesn't dry out my skin, but makes sure that your blemish cannot be seen all day. A budget option would be the NYX HD Concealer, one that lasts a few hours less, but still covers and conceals any unwanted imperfections. 

Although loose powders often give the impression that they're hard to work, I find that when I need to make my makeup last longer they actually work in my favour. The Nars Soft Velvet Matte Powder blurs, mattifies subtly and remains undetectable on the skin. As for blusher, matte offerings are my go-to when I want to create a long lasting hue. The Tarte Amazonian Clay True Love Blush offers just the right amount of colour to the cheeks, whilst living up to it's 12 hour wear claim. 

Although there isn't a bronzer that I reach for with exceptional longevity properties, I do double up on both a cream and powder bronzer when I want it to last all day. The same goes for highlighters, whereby I apply a thin layer of the Nars Copacabana Illuminator before layering on the theBalm Mary Lou Manizer to achieve a refined glow on my cheekbones. 

As I have oily lids I tend to steer clear of any eyeshadows, but recently I have been using a wet brush to intensify and prolong wear. The MAC Tan Pigment and MAC Handwritten is the perfect combination to create contrasting matte and shimmer eye. For eyeliner, I have gone back to my trusty L'Oreal Superliner Black Lacqueran intense black liner that helps to define my eyes without smudging or budging throughout the day. My eyebrows have lately been transformed with help from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomadea product that can create fuller, more defined brows in a matter of a few strokes.                    

If you want a long lasting lip, going for a liquid lipstick or matte red lip is your best bet. The NYX Lip Lingeries are my go-to nudes as they dry quickly and stay put, whilst being able to be topped up regularly without crumbling. 

What are your melt proof makeup staples?
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Monday, 20 June 2016

The Micellar Water Edit

Micellar waters are one of my favourite ways to remove the bulk of my makeup and although I don't use them singularly to thoroughly cleanse my face, they are a staple in my skincare routine. Over the past year, more micellar waters have been cropping up in the aisles of Boots, so I thought it was about time I gave you the rundown of my favourite picks. 

Bioderma was the micellar water that started the craze and is one I have stayed loyal to ever since. I've tried most of the formulas of offer, but it's the Bioderma Sensibo H20 that I reach for when my skin is in need of a drink and the Bioderma Sebium H20 when my skin is feeling problematic.

The Good Things Acai Berry Multi-Tasking Water* smells like a smoothie in a bottle, but still has one of the best clarifying and moisturising formulas; a perfect addition to your morning skincare routine. Although I try to stay clear of fragranced skincare, this offering doesn't irritate my skin; in fact it gently soothes, refreshes and packs my complexion full of vitamin-rich ingredients. 

The Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is the most effective micellar water I use at removing the bulk of my makeup. It's the first step in my routine and I like using several cotton pads to get the job done before going in with a cleansing oil or balm. 

Last up is the B. Pure Micellar Water*a new addition to my collection, but one that I have been using a lot more than I thought I would. Although this doesn't make my skin feel luxe or remove all makeup like I would want it to, it's a really handy, cheap, yet cheerful product that I keep on my table for any makeup mishaps. 

Have you tried any of these micellar waters?
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Saturday, 18 June 2016

Zoella Sweet Inspirations

Zoella Sweet Inspirations
Up until the sweet inspiration release, I had never been that interested in Zoella beauty. However, the macaron scented and pastel packaged products caught my eye so I knew that I had to get my hands on a few products. Unlike her other ranges, I feel like this appeals to all ages and for me, is one that has me smitten. 

One of the products I knew I had to try was the Body Fondant Shimmer Balm, a product in the collection that people seem to overlook. I was sceptical at first that it would turn me into a disco ball and although without fake tan it doesn't suit me as much, when I'm tanned it makes me look healthy, glowing and extremely radiant. The texture of the balm is soft and easy to blend without being sticky on the skin, whilst the shimmer and scent is subtle and finely milled. If there's one product that stands out from the rest of the collection, it is this offering.  

The Sugar Dip Bath Salts intrigued me from the get-go as I don't think I've bathed in bath salts for many years. These dissolve quickly leaving a musky, almond scent to the water which later lingers on the skin. Despite it being really tempting to put in half the bag in one go, you only need a few pinches to get the scent to fill your bathroom. 

The most infamous product from all of the collections is the fizz bars, so when I heard she was releasing one in the new fragrance too, I knew I had to pop one in my basket. The Le Fizz Fragranced Bath Fizzer allows you to tailor your bath by snapping off as little or as much as you like. They leave your water feeling soft and scented like a macaron, almond filled bath - A must have if you're a fan of long, hot baths. 

The Fragranced Body Mist was the product I thought I wouldn't get along with as I imagined it would be too sickly on the skin, but this offering has surprised me as it's the perfect concoction of both a sweet and fresh scent. It has a rather grown up scent to it, giving off musky undertones that makes it perfect for the Summer. Once layered with the other products it can linger for the whole day, but with just a few spritzes it can keep you smelling sweet for hours. 

Have you tried the Zoella Sweet Inspirations range?
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Thursday, 16 June 2016

A Guide To False Lashes

False eyelashes tend to be a staple for me whenever I am going to an event or somewhere special, but it has taken me several years to master the technique of applying them. Today, I have rounded up a handful of my favourite false eyelash tips that I have gathered over time. 

How to apply | Even though you can use your fingers or a lash applicator to apply your lashes, I find the quickest way is to use tweezers. I apply my glue directly to the strip on my lashes, wait until the glue is tacky and then apply them straight to the eye starting at the inner corner first. Don't worry if you get glue on your lid as many glues come off with some help of a cotton bud and some micellar water. 

Picking the right lashes | To feel comfortable in false eyelashes, you have pick a pair that suit your eye shape and if you're a beginner, a pair that won't put you off them for life. For me, individual eyelashes are a no-go as I don't have the patience, but they're a great way to tailor your false lashes to your needs. I prefer using demi wispies or half lashes as they're easier to get on and feel nicer to wear, however fuller lashes can look equally as nice on a night out or for photographs. 

The Red Cherry Del lashes are perfect for everyday wear, whilst the Red Cherry DW lashes are great if you want extra volume to your lashes and definition to your eyes. Eylure are the brand that I continue to go back to, as they have a wide variety of lashes to suit every season or event and they always feel incredibly comfortable to wear. The Fleur De Force Fleur Loves Lashes, the Eylure Volume 101 and Eylure Enchanted Cherished lashes are three of my favourites. 

Mascara or no mascara | This is the question many people ask and personally I think it's down to personal preference. I like to apply mascara before my lashes so that I don't need to add any additional product to my lashes which could make them look bulkier, however many say that if you don't apply mascara then they are easier to get on as you'll have straighter eyelashes. 

Trimming | I trim every pair of false eyelashes I own and I think everyone should too. As someone with small eyes, I always start from the outside and work inwards as I find this makes the lashes appear more natural when applied and it means I won't chop too much off in one go. Every eye is different whether that be in shape or size, so bending your lashes back and forth gently can make them easier to work with and appear more natural too. 

Which false lashes are your favourites?
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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

A Faux Tan.

Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Tan Oil
Now that Summer is upon us, my preparation for bare limb season is well under way. With a lot of fake tans on the market it can be difficult to pick one, but today I am talking about the Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Tanner; a fake tan that has quickly become a top shelf product of mine. 

This dry oil dries almost instantly and is infused with hydrating Argan oil and a subtle coconut scent which lingers on the skin for an hour or two. I always start by prepping my skin with a coarse exfoliator and nourishing moisturiser a couple of hours before applying my fake tan in order to rid my body of lacklustre, dehydrated skin. To apply, I spritz the fake tan straight onto the skin before going in with a mitt. There is no colour guide, so you have to be careful not to apply too much in a certain places so a circular buffing motions is the key to getting an even tan. 

Although it claims to develop over 2-3 hours, I like to leave it overnight to deepen; but as always, the longer you leave it on, the darker it goes. What makes this dry oil stand out is that is doesn't stain your fresh, white bedding whilst sleeping, however I would still recommend wearing loose fitting clothing. Unlike many other fake tans, this offering has a brown undertone hue that doesn't turn orange at all - Say goodbye to looking like an oompa lumpa! 

For me, this fake tan is perfect. It creates a natural sun-kissed look that fades evenly and can be built up over time to achieve a longer lasting, deeper tan. For fake tan beginners, I would recommend going in with a light hand at first to get used to the product, but always remember to buff it in lots. 

Have you tried the Bondi Sands Liquid Gold fake tan?
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Sunday, 12 June 2016

Mid Year Makeup Favourites

This year, I have re-discovered many of my old favourite products, as well as falling in love with various new offerings too. Today, I have rounded up all of my mid-year makeup must-haves which I have been loving since the start of 2016.

Since January, I have become increasingly obsessed with dewy skin, so when the L'Oreal Nude Magique Foundation was released in the UK, I instantly snapped it up and was smitten. This L'Oreal offering delivers a fresh, glowing base without glitter or lack of longevity and after several hours of wear the foundation still remains intact. 

Full coverage concealers are currently having their moment in my makeup bag, but it's the NYX HD Concealer that I've been relying on the most. This creamy concealer can be used to illuminate my under-eyes or conceal any blemishes without going cakey or feeling too heavy.

I change up my makeup regularly, but one product I keep coming back to is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders; a trio of finely milled powders that are designed to treat all of your dull skin woes. Dim Light mattifies without sacrificing any glow, Incandescent Light illuminates the complexion and Radiant Light works as soft bronzer which adds warmth and a sun-kissed look to the skin. If I'm after chiselled cheekbones in a few swipes, then I have been reaching for the Charlotte Tilbury Bronze and Glow, an old favourite of mine that keeps making its way back into my makeup bag. 

As for bronzer, I have rediscovered my love for Benefit's Hoola*; a matte hue which compliments my complexion, defines my cheekbones and adds a natural wash of colour to the skin. Highlighters are currently my favourite product to buy, but there's actually two that have swept me away. The theBalm's Mary Lou Manizer and Becca Champagne Pop are a duo which helps to create illuminated, glowy skin when mixed together. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills is a brand I have only ventured into this year, the Dip Brow Pomade being my number one buy. It creates fuller, defined brows in a few strokes and helps me to create darker brows that compliment my hair colour.  

Liquid lipsticks have been everywhere lately, so it was hard to narrow it down to just one. Of course, the NYX Lip Lingeries made the cut, Bedtime Flirt being my hue of choice. With an opaque formula and weightless finish, this liquid lipstick is all I've been wearing recently on date nights and long days out. 

What have been your mid year makeup favourites?
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Thursday, 9 June 2016

At Home Pedicure

I've never been one for pampering my feet as I  tend to think if the nail vanish isn't chipped, why bother re painting them? As it is now Summer, I thought I would give my feet some extra TLC to get them in tip-top condition for bare feet and sandal weather.

Through years of wearing uncomfortable shoes I have given in to dry, cracked skin on my feet. It's not glamorous, but everyone suffers with hard, dehydrated and cut feet at some point, so I have devised a way to keep it at a minimum. The Scholl Velvet Smooth Express Pedi is a product I have wanted to invest in for some time, but as someone who is a little too heavy handed, I like to stick with a Pumice Stone for complete control and effectiveness. 

The best habit to get into when you'e pampering your feet is to apply a mask regularly and a generous amount of foot cream too. The The Body Shop Peppermint Foot Soak is one of my favourite products to use when my feet are really tired as it helps to refresh and cool - perfect for the Summer time. As for foot cream, I have actually been enjoying applying a dollop of Gallinee La Culture Hand Cream* to my feet before putting on a pair of socks and allowing it to absorb for several hours. 

Maintaining your nails doesn't have to be expensive as Manicure Sets are easy to get hold of without breaking the bank. Nail clippers, a nail file and a pair of mini scissors are all you need to preen and perfect your nails, but it's really the nail vanish that finishes it all off. Essie's Fifth Avenue is my go-to hue as I like to opt for a darker colours on my tootsies all year round. Although chipping isn't an issue when it comes to my toe nails as they tend to last a few good weeks, gel nail vanish can be a good alternative. I currently have my eye on the new Essie Gel Couture Nail Colour in On The List and Spool Me Over as although they're not dark, they do look perfect for Summer. 

What are your at home pedicure essentials? 
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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

A Guide To Face Oils

A Guide To Face Oils
I've been incorporating facial oils into my routine for several years now after my skin went through a sudden spell of dryness. Adding oil to your complexion can be scary, as many people have the misconception that they were cause breakouts and oiliness throughout the day, but it is all down to finding an oil that is right for your skin type. For me, someone who struggles with combination to dry skin, I tend to sway more towards to radiance boosting, hydrating formulas. Today I am sharing with you a handful of my favourite facial oils for all budgets. 

Skincare is an area I like to invest in, but there are a few budget options on the market that I'd like to try out; the Good Things Argan Perfecting Oil being at the top of the list.

For a lightweight, fast absorbing oil that can be easily applied before makeup, I tend to reach for the Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate*. From the get-go my skin appears more glowing, feels nourished and my pores appear considerably reduced. With added Tamanu and Sunflower seed oil that helps to lock in moisture and promote healthy looking skin, and Ginger Root- the ingredient that gives the oil its scent- has anti-inflammatory properties.  

Whether I'm after an evening skin treat or I need to diminish the appearance of any blemishes, I always reach for the Aesop Fabulous Face Oil* as it's a good all-rounder. If I have extremely dehydrated skin, I like to double up and use this oil before applying my moisturiser. It leaves me skin looking radiant, feeling supple and helps to heal my de-congested complexion. 

Although the Zelens Power A High Potency Treatment Drops* might make your eyes water in terms of the price, if you're after a luxe purchase that is worth the money then this is your best bet. This oil free, retinol treatment has a thicker consistency than other facial oils I have tried, so I tend to use this on pamper nights or if my skin needs some extra TLC. It contains Vitamin A which evens out your skintone and clears your complexion, whilst the treatment improves the skins overall texture and appearance. 

What face oils do you reach for?
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Sunday, 5 June 2016

Affordable Lip Products To Try

I own my fair share of lip products, but surprisingly over half of them are from the high street. There are many gems hidden in the aisles of Boots, so today I thought I'd share with you a handful of my favourite picks. 

First up is the Lotil Lip Balm*; a cheap, yet cheerful lip balm that soothes and heals chapped lips. Unlike other SPF lip balms I have tried, this is lightweight and not tacky to feel at all. If there's one product you need this Summer, it's this. 

Slowly but surely, liquid lipsticks are becoming more readily available on the high street, but it's the NYX Lip Lingerie's that really steal the show. They have a weightless formula, yet they don't budge or crumble after wear. Push Up and Bedtime Flirt are two nude hues that I'm smitten with. If you're after a more moisturising option, then the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams are your best bet. They look gorgeous on their own, but they come in useful if you need a top up of moisture when wearing a liquid lipstick. 

The Sleek Matte Me Liquid Lipsticks* are another lip product that you need to snap up. Unlike other liquid lipsticks, these take more than a few minutes to dry, so it gives you enough time to sheer it out if you'd like a more natural finish. I would suggest applying a few layers of lip balm before application, but once they've dried there's no risk of them budging. 

If matte lipsticks are your thing but you'd rather not opt for a liquid lipstick, then the Revlon Colour Burst Matte Balm in Sultry is perfect. Sultry- a brown plum hue- was a shade I was smitten with from the get-go, but the smell of these is something I've had to get used to. Nevertheless, the Matte Balms are a great option for those new to matte lipsticks and Sultry is the one you need if you're already looking for a new Autumn shade. 

The Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick in Vintage Pink has been featured on my blog many times before due to it's hydrating properties and rich colour. If you're afraid of sporting a bolder lip, then this is the perfect option for you. With a comfortable formula and glossy finish, these make for a great wearable, everyday lipstick.

What budget lipsticks do you recommend?

*PR SAMPLE/GIFTED
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Thursday, 2 June 2016

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion


Whether it's to do with the season or the time of month, my skin flares up every now and again. Spot treatments have always lurked in my skincare routine, coming out whenever a blemish or two need to be eradicated. When I heard about the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion I knew I had to get my hands on it. If it's good enough for Kylie Jenner then it's good enough for me. 

The lotion is essentially made up of a blend of Calamine and Salicylic Acid which helps to soothe and exfoliate the skin, whilst Camphor, Sulfur and Zinc Oxide dry out and get rid of any unwanted blemishes. The duo phase formula cannot be mixed or shaken as the pink powder at the bottom of the bottle is where the good stuff is. I use a cotton bud per blemish to apply the solution and then leave it overnight, reducing the size of the spot over a few hours. Unlike other overnight night spot treatments, I feel like this one lingers on my skin until morning, doesn't sting and gently soothes without irritating. 

If you're a fan of the Origins Super Spot Remover then you're going to love this. It lifts impurities, making them less inflamed and sore overnight. The bottle is going to last me many months and although it's no miracle worker and it certainly won't remove a spot instantly, it is a must have if you're prone to acne or the odd blemish. 

Have you tried the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion?
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