Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Dealing With Transitional Skin

If you've been around here for some time, then you'll know that my skin tends to go into meltdown during the transitional period between seasons; Winter to Spring and Summer to Autumn being the worst. Whether it's a sudden spate of blemishes or a dehydrated complexion, for a couple of weeks without fail my skin doesn't react well to my usual skincare or makeup routine, so I thought I would try and anticipate it this year and share with you how I'm dealing with it. 

Moisturise | I moisturise everyday anyway, but when I know my skin's hydration has gone AWOL, I like to make sure I have a few holy grails to hand. I'll use the Clinique Moisture Surge* in the morning and a thicker, yet non-oily offering at night to ensure that my skin isn't going to react to anything new. 

Keep Skincare Simple | Continuing from my last point, keeping your skincare simple and familiar definitely helps if you're skin isn't feeling it's best. I think it can be tempting to pile on the acids if you know they help to keep your skin smooth and clear, but it's important not to overdo it. I'm making sure I only use one form of acid (in the form of Drunk Elephant) and then keeping my cleansers pretty simple, non-fancy and sticking to ones I know my skin enjoys - The Pixi Double Cleanse* is going to be top of the list as it's a no-frills cleanser that gets rid of makeup and doesn't irritate my skin ever. 

Cream Products | Whether it's a cream blusher, highlighter or bronzer, I think they can cover a multitude of sins when it comes to dryness or irritation. They blend into your foundation like a dream and can always be sheered out with a Beauty Blender. I like to opt for the Bobbi Brown Powder Pink Pot Rouge as it's a perky pink colour that adds a slight hue to my cheeks; great when my complexion is looking lacklustre from lack of Winter sun. 

A Natural Base | Although my go-to flawless base is the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation and I will lean on that if my skin decides it doesn't want to work with any other bases, but for the time being I think that the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation is a great pick for everyday wear. It conceals blemishes, evens out skin tone and lasts a considerable amount of time. For added coverage, I reach for the Glossier Stretch Concealer as this cannot be faulted if you're trying to cover dry blemishes or if you don't want your base to look "too flat". I set this with the Glossier Wowder which is just the best loose powder if you want to set everything down without compromising on a natural glow. 

How do you deal with transitional skin problems? 

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links. 

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Glossier Lidstars

Despite my recent disappointment with a Glossier skincare product, when the Lidstars were released I couldn't help but pick up a couple to try (especially as they have a deal on the duo!). I went for Cub, a coppery warm toned shade and Moon, a more classic champagne hue. These liquid eyeshadows claim to be easy to apply and long lasting too, so I started to put them to the test and here are my thoughts. 

I was immediately smitten with Cub from the colour to the formula; it stayed put without budging, wore as a great base underneath powder eyeshadows, as well as looking flawless when worn on it's own. I noticed that if you want a more sheer application then you apply the product with the doe foot applicator and blend out with your fingers, but if you want something a little bit more intense then I apply it with the doe foot, but then go in with a fluffy blending brush to blend out the corners. It can be built up too which is definitely a bonus as you can really make the colour pop! 

Now, of course I've only tried two shades so this can't be a representation of all of them, but Moon, the other hue I picked up I have not-so great thoughts on. When swatched it looked like it was going to be super pretty, maybe even working as a face highlighter for a dewy finish, but unfortunately when applied it sheered out so much that all you got was the chunks of glitter and a very unflattering finish. I've tried working this in different ways, but to no success, so I think it's time to put this away or give it to a better home. I think that the darker shades would be the best place to start as Cub was such a success and I've seen some amazing pictures of people wearing the likes of Herb and Fawn too. 

Have you tried the Glossier Lidstars?

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links. 

Saturday, 17 March 2018

New Season Style Haul

I've been meaning to do a huge ASOS order for some time now and I finally got around to doing one the other day. With Spring fast approaching I noticed that I hadn't bought any new items for some time now and I was in dire need of a few extra tops. Whenever I do make an ASOS order, I always allow for several orders as I usually have to swap size or return items, so a few of these will no doubt be swapped around, but today I thought I'd share with you what I picked. 

The item that stole the show for me was the ASOS Denim High Waist Skirt as it is so versatile, can be worn with tights whilst it's still chill or can be worn with a variety of tops to dress up or down an outfit. To go with this denim skirt, I bought this Striped Embroidered Top and it's perfect except for the fact it's ever so slightly too oversized, so I'm sending it back for the size down, but it's slouchy enough to contrast well with the slightly more fitted skirt whilst still remaining flattering. 

Two tops that weren't such great picks were the ASOS Ruffle Wrap Top, which -despite going a size up- barely closed. I put that down to my larger chest, so girls with big boobs may need to steer clear. Then the Miss Selfridge Lovers Drifters Tee looked like it was going to be a great "throw on" piece, but it was a little bit too causal for my liking as I have quite a lot of similar tees in my wardrobe. 

The Missguided Petite Floral Side Top is one I'm still undecided about as it does flash a lot of cleavage, but I can imagine that being very nice when the weather starts to get hotter, or for a holiday tucked into a mini skirt - I'm going to ponder over it for a little while. One item I'm gutted about is the Motel Relaxed Dalmatian Print Shirt because it hangs lovely off the body and is a really quirky piece to have in my wardrobe, but I ordered the wrong size and now they're all out of stock - I will have to keep my eyes peeled! 
I've still got the itch to buy more clothing, so I have been scouring the shops for more picks and I've come across some more gems that I thought I'd share with you too. I love shopping for clothes around Spring and Summer as I feel like there's so much variety to choose from, but I do struggle with the fits and styling of outfits.

Are you looking forward to Spring and Summer fashion?

This post contains affiliate links. 

Friday, 16 March 2018

Makeup Mess: Transitional Spring

We're quickly approaching Spring and I can't wait to see the back of Winter if I'm honest; the cold weather and a recent allergic reaction has really got to my skin, making it look like it needs some TLC. Luckily, this hasn't stopped me putting some new makeup through it's paces and experimenting with a variety of eye looks. I love putting together makeup mess posts and I thought I was overdue a new instalment. 

My base products have barely changed recently, I've been using the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation when I want an everyday, natural finish and the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation when I want flawless, long lasting coverage. I've recently dug out the Nars Adoration Dual Intensity Blush as I feel like I haven't used it in a while and it has two very fitting shades for the Spring. For highlighter, I've got a dreamy new addition, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter*, which is simply gorgeous and I can't believe how many compliments I've got when wearing it (just look at that wave pattern too!). 

I'm sure you would have all seen that I got the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette* last week and I've loved playing around with the array of different shades in the palette, creating different combinations every day. When I haven't been wearing powder eyeshadows, I have been reaching for the new Glossier Cub Lidstar and Cover FX Amethyst Shimmer Veil* as these work amazingly together I have found. They're both fairly new additions to my makeup routine so I'm still in the midst of giving them a thorough try, but so far so good. Cub is a gorgeous coppery colour, whilst Amethyst is a pearly pink, which despite sounding like they wouldn't work together, creates a glittery, statement eye. I've got a review of the Lidstars coming up soon (hint: moon isn't for me), so keeps your eyes peeled.   

For lips, I've been wearing the two new Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments* shades in Dream and Punch pretty much non-stop in the day and I think their moisturising formula has helped save my lips from feeling as parched and dehydrated as they usually do. Three other lipsticks I've been trialling are the Charlotte Tilbury Your Lip Service Trio* which contains The Queen, The Duchess and The Legendary Queen, the first two being the ones I've tried so far. At the moment, I really like having the new hues to play around with and will report back once I've tried them thoroughly. 

What makeup have you been wearing recently? 

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links. 

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Two From Soap and Glory

Soap and Glory have been a go-to budget brand of mine for some time now, in fact one of my first ever reviews on this blog was about the Scrubatomic face polish. They recently kindly sent over a parcel full of their products and I've been loving trying out all of their nostalgic products again. I wanted to share with you two of my favourite finds...

The Soap and Glory Smoothie Star Buttercream* was one that I hadn't previously smelt before, but upon my first whiff it reminded me of the cosiness of Autumn and made me want to slather it all over. It's super nourishing, without being too thick and sinks in super quickly despite the array of almond, pistachio and coconut oil it's got in it. If you like sweet, almondy scents then this will be for you, as the vanilla shines through just a little bit and lingers on my skin for a little while before finally sinking in. 

After using the Smoothie Star, I go onto the Spritz Me Quick Mist* which has their signature scent as the two fragrances paired together is the absolute dream team. On it's own, I feel like it'll be great in the Summer when I want my limbs looking preened to perfection with minimal effort as it quickly hydrating them in a few spritzes and gives a soft sheen to the skin. However, when oared with the Smoothie Star offering they create the perfect scent and make my limbs have a healthy sheen to them. 

Have you tried either of these two?

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

A Perfect Essie Pink

If there's one brand I always go back to when it comes to nail vanish, it's Essie. Over Christmas, I discovered their Gel Couture range and fell even more head over heels in love with the brand. When I got engaged (you wouldn't know I was engaged would you? I haven't mentioned it!), I rushed to Boots to get a nail vanish to mark the occasion and to remind myself of the day, and that's when I stumbled upon Princess Charming. This neutral pink hue that is part of their wedding collection- which was very fitting- has been on my nails ever since, so I thought it deserved a whole post dedicated to it. 

The original Essie formulas remain one of my favourites; not just because of the extensive shade range, but because they offer an opaque colour with one to two layers, they don't chip very easily and are long lasting. When I tried the Gel Couture nail polishes, I started off with a dark shade, Bubbles Only and was skeptical about how long they'd actually be able to last, but to my surprise it stayed put for nearly a week intact despite being a dark shade. I had high hopes for Princess Charming and it certainly didn't disappoint. If you're a fan of Ladylike, but would like something a little bit more long lasting and lighter in colour that's perfect for spring, then I'd definitely recommend you try this out. 

The top coat I use, Platinum Finish is a gem too as it can be applied over any nail vanish and improves both the overall finish of the nail vanish, but makes it last so much longer too. They're worth spending the extra few pounds on if you find a staple colour you like! 

Have you tried any of the Gel Couture nail vanishes out? 

Monday, 12 March 2018

Engagement and Wedding Q&A

Wedding Engagement Q&A
Since getting engaged, I can't tell you how many times I've been asked "when's the wedding?", but as quite a few people wanted me to do a engagement Q&A, I thought I'd answer some of the other questions I've been asked. 

Did You Expect Him To Propose/Were You Suspicious? 

I didn't have a clue! We already had a week off the week he proposed, so it made sense to do a mini break away, but it didn't occur to me that's what he was up to at all. Even on the way down he questioned why I hadn't painted my nails and made a big fuss (he knew that I would prefer to have them painted when getting proposed to), yet the penny still didn't drop. 

Have You Got Any Idea Of The Dress you Want? 

I do, however I haven't found one that has made me swoon enough yet. I think I'm going to opt for a lace long sleeved, midi dress. I think it'd be complimented nicely with gold accents in the hair and maybe a pair of classic white or nude heels too. I've got to admit my tastes change quite a lot, so we'd have to see nearer the time. 

How Are You Finding Planning Your Wedding Or Have You Not Started? 

We haven't really started planning much yet, just the brief idea of what we want to happen. I have always been adamant about being engaged for a little while and staying in a happy bubble for a period of time before throwing myself into planning. At the moment, we both just want to enjoy our engagement and will probably start planning at the end of the year. 

Favourite Flowers For The Wedding?

This will obviously change depending on the season we get married, but of course it'd have to be peonies. In fact, I'd love anything pink, white and big! 

Are You Going To Have A Traditional Wedding? 

This is quite a big one and I've been asked whether I'm having a church wedding time and time again, but big shocker here; I want to elope. Since I was little I was never someone who dreamt of their big day, in fact the thought of having everyone's eyes on me is enough to make my stomach flip now, so we both decided many moons ago that we'd like to do something intimate and personal to us. This definitely has it perks as the money we'd spend on a 'traditional wedding' can go on eloping and having our honeymoon straight afterwards. The dream would be to do it in America and then do a road trip, however we're happy if we decide to do it as a Europe tour instead. 

What's My Favourite Colour Scheme For Weddings At The Moment? 

We won't obviously be having a colour scheme, but if I was to have a traditional wedding it'd probably be outside with lots of greenery, earthy colours and of course, white. 

Is Your Dream Wedding The Same As When You Were A Kid?

As I previously mentioned, I never really dreamt of getting married, but I think that in itself has stayed pretty true. I always knew that I wouldn't want the spotlight on me and that I'd like to keep it low key. 

Are Their Any Traditions You're Going To Ditch?

Obviously, one huge part is that we won't be having any guests, bridesmaids or a best man as we're eloping, but aside from that, I could see myself not wearing a veil (this may change if I find one I like!) and opt for a midi dress rather than a full length one. 

Let's Talk Wedding Makeup and Hair 

See, this is the element of the wedding I want to get right way before the day to stop me from panicking. Although I like the idea of someone else doing my makeup, I think it'd make me too anxious putting it into someone else's hands, so I think I'll be doing it myself. I am going to start testing out long lasting foundations and new combinations pretty early on, so I can get them exactly right. 

As for hair, I feel like it'd like a new hair colour, but to be able to get used to it before the big day I'd get it done once or twice before hand. I'll probably have half my hair tied back with a gold accent hair clip and maybe even flowers. Hair is something I'm rather picky on, so it's one I need to have a good ol' think about. 

What Order Are You Planning On Organising in? 

First things first, we have to save and plan for that, realistically setting a budget. As we'll be going abroad, we definitely need to research where we'd like to go, costs of flights/hotels and how we go about actually getting married there. Once I get a rough idea of all of that, we can start assigning the budgets to other elements like photographers, outfits and rings. We're planning on taking a couple of years to plan and organise it anyway to make it as stress-free and as enjoyable as possible. 

Have you got any other engagement/wedding questions? 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

ABH Soft Glam First Impressions

 ABH Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette First Impressions

Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette Swatches
When Cult Beauty sent over two new ABH products, I knew I wanted to get my hands on the Amrezy Highlighter*, but due to the drama of the last release,the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette*  kind of slipped my mind. When I opened it up however, I was overwhelmed to see so many shades that appealed to me and I could already picture myself wearing a variety of makeup looks. Although it's far too soon to review this, because of the amazing response to my photograph the other day, I thought I should give you my first impressions. 

There's fourteen shades in the, palette ranging from a champagne glitter, to a rose gold shimmering pink, to a variety of mattes including a burgundy, to a warm toned brown. On the first day of wearing this, I created an intense pink look with the shades Dusky Rose, Sultry, Rose Gold and Mulberry (already a favourite!) which blended effortlessly into the eye without any eyeshadow primer and lasted a considerable amount of time, despite putting it under extreme testing conditions. On the second day, I went in at the deep end and decided to work a look around the shade Orange Soda; the eyeshadow in the whole palette I was most scared of. As someone with red locks, the thought of putting a matte orange shade straight onto my lid makes my toes curl, but I did it and with the help of Burnt Orange, Rustic and Cyprus Umber, I created a look which I really liked, even though I'm still not 100% certain it fits in with the palettes colour scheme. On the third day, I decided to incorporate both looks into one, opting for Sienna, Rustic and Mulberry being the main focuses of it. 

Cyprus Umber is a versatile shade; I have somehow worked this hue into many of my eye makeup looks and it's a dream to work with. If you want to add a sexy twist to your smokey eye then this is just perfect, as it can be worked underneath your eye without fallout (hurray!), or can be strategically placed along your lash line to make your eyes look defined. If Mulberry and Cyprus Umber were in a duo, I'd probably pay the amount this one palette costs just for those two dream shades. 

Now moving onto the other offerings in the palette; Fairy, Glistening, Rose Pink, Sultry and Bronze are the stand out glitters and shimmers in this round up and I've got to admit they made me nervous. I heard that they often have a lot of fallout and feel crumbly- which they do- but not to the extent that I was expecting and, in all fairness, it's only really the earlier gold shades that do. Rose Pink you can pack onto the lid to your hearts content, Sultry- a slightly darker in hue and chunkier version- gives a gorgeous sparkle and Bronze, the darkest gold is just the most perfect golden glitter. The gold duo towards the left of the palette is gorgeous, but be wary of Glistening as it can appear a little powdery if layered up too much and Fairy has a little bit of fallout. 

The matte shades really shine in this palette (pun intended!) and I'm very glad I own this palette now, as although I have enough neutral palettes to last me a lifetime, I feel like this is a lovely spin on the classic. If you've got oily lids like me, then I think you'll be pleased to hear that even though I haven't used a primer on them, the eyeshadows haven't creased or slipped. I feel like the pink and dark brown tones last slightly better than the pale ones and orange tones, but only time will tell if this is just my imagination. It's more geared towards the warm tones which is right up my street with my hair and complexion. With a fluffy brush I've created some gorgeous looks and I can't wait to continue to play around with this - I will report back and update you on any new finds ASAP. 

Have you tried the ABH Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette?

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links. 

Saturday, 10 March 2018

A Mini Glossier Haul

Mini Glossier Haul Lidstars
Mini Glossier Haul
Whenever Glossier release a new product, my ears always prick up and I have to have a look at what they've got on offer. Although their last skincare release didn't go down too well with me, I have to admit that I was so delighted to see that this release was makeup related and in the form of liquid eyeshadows too. 

I had a fair bit of credit to use, so I finally picked up a product I'd been meaning to get for a while; the Invisible Shield SPF. Although it still feels like we're in the midst of Winter, I can't help but feel like I need to start prepping my skin for the warmer weather and getting a good SPF was on the top of my to-do list this year. I've used this one a couple of times and so far so good, although I'll have to wait for a few months before I can give it a thorough test as to whether it actually protects my skin. It doesn't feel too tacky, doesn't feel like I've put a heavy cream on my skin, nor does it leave a white cast on my face - bonus!

Now onto the products you've probably all been waiting to hear about and they're the Lidstars. I knew I wanted to pick up Cub from the get-go as it was a warm toned shimmer that looked like it'd be great for when I want to look like I've made more of an effort than I actually have. I've really got to test these out before giving my final review, but my first impression is that if you blend it out with an eyeshadow brush it gives much more colour payoff than if you blend it with your finger. Moon, a champagne hue, is far more sheer than I imagined it would be, so I'm still trying to find a way to make it work. I'm hoping to apply it to the inner corner of my eyes and brow bone, but at the moment there's something about it I really don't like - It just feels like there's no colour, it's quite chalky looking and it's just all glitter, so this may have to be given away to someone. That being said, Cub lasted me quite a long time on the couple of occasions that I've worn it, so I'm looking into maybe going for a darker colour like Fawn next. 

Have you tried either of these products yet?

- If you'd like to get 10% off your first order than you can use my link here (it gets me £10 credit) - 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Friday, 9 March 2018

New In Skincare

Skincare is what I tend to rotate the most due to changes in skincare concerns and the change in weather too. I'm very lucky to get sent some amazing products to try which means that I get to explore a variety of different brands, so today I thought I'd share with you some of the bits I'm currently using on my face as I start to overhaul my routine for Spring. This is very much a first impressions post and I will report back on the products once I've used them for a little longer. 

I've put myself on a bit of a cleanser ban for now, stating that I will only use the ones I've got open for the time being before I open up a new one (except for special circumstances!) therefore the Soap and Glory UltiMelt*, which I've tried before but can't wait to try again, will be put away in a safe space for the time being. 

After finishing my Bioderma Micellar Water, I decided to crack open my Cocunat offering* as it's from a brand I hadn't seen before and, if you know me, then you'll know that I love to find a gem no one else has revealed. I really like that it's gentle on the skin and removes makeup which is what a micellar water should do, but you'd be surprised how many can strip, irritate and do very little for the skin. 

Face masks are something of a regular occurrence for me as I've been loving the way they make my skin feel and look. The Saturday Skin Quench Intense Hydration Masks* surprised me I've got to admit, as I'm not usually overwhelmed when using a sheet mask, but these were amazing. I got a five pack and I've got a couple left, but every time I use them they made my skin appear glowing and super soft too. Of course, I still have to battle against the fact that they never fit right, but once the solution starts to settle into the skin and dry, they stay put rather well. 

Moisturiser is something I use up like there's no tomorrow, but I'm doing a similar thing with these as my cleansers and putting myself on a 'use up' mission. I'm currently at the end of the Fresh Rose Moisturiser* so I'm keeping that for special occasions, but I'm still using my SBC offering* at night and my Clinique Moisture Surge* underneath my makeup. The Saturday Skin Featherweight Moisturiser* has been used a handful of times because I just couldn't help myself - Damn you convenient and fun pump! 
I kindly got gifted lots of Drunk Elephant treats; so much so that I should probably do a round up of all my favourites once I've tried them all, but I wanted to give a quick overview of the bits I got sent as they got a lot of interested over on my Instagram. The Virgin Marula Facial Oil* was a stand out product for me to try first as it's an oil and we know how much I love an oil, so I can't wait to give this a whirl. 

I also got sent the Littles Set which had an array of their products- in fact pretty much all of their range- which is exciting as I can test out which products I should splurge on when they come to the UK soon. So far I've been using their B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel* and Shaba Complexion Eye Serum*  to try and save my dehydrated 'post-Winter, transitional funk' skin, so I will report back ASAP. 

I'm excited to try out the Umbra Sheer SPF* as the tinted version is one of the products I want to pick up and I've heard amazing things about both the Glycolic Night Serum* and Lala Retero Whipped Cream*, so I will definitely report back on these too! 

I've seen the brand Lixirskin featured on a variety of Instagram's over the past few months and have heard some amazing things about them, especially the cleanser. Although I'm on a cleanser and moisturiser opening ban for the time being, I have already used the Vitamin C Paste* a fair few times and although I'm not blown away, you can't fault how quickly it transforms your skin from drab to fab as it's a quick one minute mask that does perk up your skin, but unfortunately I don't find that the benefits stick around all that long. I'm interested in trying the Electrogel Cleanser* as I wasn't expecting it to be a cream cleanser, but I'm always looking for a new find that will remove my makeup as well as treat my skin. 

What skincare have you been trying recently? 

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

If there's one sweet treat I struggle to bake, it's biscuits and cookies. I could never get the consistency and taste quite right, but I've been loving this Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and decided to adjust the ingredients until I got it perfect. 


170g Butter (I use a diary free alternative)
90g White Sugar
200g Golden Caster Sugar 
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
260g Flour 
2 Tsp Baking Soda 
300g Dark Chocolate Chips 


I start off by measuring out my white sugar and golden caster sugar to set aside in a bowl. I then start melting the butter until smooth. Pour the butter into the sugar bowl and stir. Add your 1 egg and 1 egg yolk to the mixture and stir until smooth, adding the vanilla extract as you go. 

Measure out the flour and slowly add this to the mixture alongside the baking powder. After it's smooth and fully stirred. Stir in the chocolate chips carefully by hand. 

Dollop the mixture into a circle (around 1 1/2 inches round) and space them a few inches apart to allow for spread. Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until they start to brown around the edges. Place on a cooling rack to cool and enjoy! 

What's your favourite sweet treat to bake? 

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The Perfect Second Cleanse

Kate Somerville was a highly anticipated UK release for me as it's been a brand I've been lusting after since before I even started this blog. I've only got the one product at the moment (the Goat Milk Moisturiser needs to hurry up!)- the ExfoliKate Daily Foaming Wash* -but it's been an absolute dream product to use recently, so I just had to share my thoughts. 

I'm a stickler for double cleansing because it makes my skin feel cleaner, makes sure I get all the last traces of makeup off and enables me to use my favourite picks to treat different skin issues. The ExfoliKate offering is perfect if you suffer with a dehydrated, lacklustre complexion and you want you skin to be a little softer and smoother. Although it does exfoliate, it works in a different way to any exfoliating cleanser I've tried before as it's a very fine, gritty 'barely there' formula that doesn't irritate my skin. Nor does it make it look red, plus it contains glycolic and lactic acid which means I've been able to use a hydrating toner post-cleanse instead of an acid toner. I simply apply a little bit to my skin, apply water and watch as it transforms into a foamy, yet non-drying formula that makes my complexion look smoother, more radiant and clear of any makeup too. 

Not only does it make my skin soft, but it has long lasting effects and since using this I've noticed a positive difference in my complexion. It really helps my blemishes whenever I'm having a breakout as it enables base product to glide on top of the skin and where I usually get bumps under the skin around my cheekbones, they're slowly, but surely disappearing. 

If you're looking for a new cleanser to be used as the second cleanse in your routine and you suffer with dehydrated skin, then definitely give this a whirl!

Have you tried the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser?

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links. 

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

A Too Faced Round Up

After seeing Gemma's and Hannah's post on their Too Faced top picks, I was inspired to do one of my own and although my collection isn't as big as others, I think I've got a fair few gems in there anyway. I remember the days when Too Faced was stocked in Boots and TK Maxx; I used to pick up the odd bit here and there when they were on sale and the Natural Eyes Palette was the must-have product to hunt down. Years later, I feel like they're more popular than ever, they've completely upped their product game and the packaging is just too dreamy to not mention. 

I have strategically placed the Hangover Primer in the corner of the image because mine is looking worse for wear as it's actually empty, but I kept it purely for this blog post. With an array of hydrating and brightening ingredients, my skin looks moisturised and genuinely healthy whenever I used this. It still remains one of my favourite primers as it's not got a trace of silicon in it which means your base doesn't feel slippy, yet it still prolongs the wear of my foundation and delivers a great boost of hydration too. 

I picked up the Born This Way Foundation whilst I was in Paris and honestly, on reflection, it may be my favourite purchase of 2017. The colour match is spot on which definitely makes all the difference as I feel super comfortable wearing this, but it's the formula and wear that continues to blow me away. It's lightweight to touch, doesn't cake, yet offers a medium amount of coverage that can be built up. Even without a primer, this wears beautifully and as the demi-matte finish settles into the skin after an hour or two, it continues to look better. It's great for dehydrated skin and if you suffer with pesky dry blemishes like I do, then this is a dream as it doesn't cling to them, but glides over the top - A go to of mine and will be a repurchase when I run out! 

The Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer* is a cult favourite amongst many, especially if you're a lover of matte, warm-toned bronzers that add a dose of colour to the skin. I love that they come in three different shades as this isn't something you often find with bronzers, but luckily despite me being fairly pale and this being the medium shade, I can get away with it using a light hand. This is one of my favourite bronzers I use when I know I'm going to be out all day and is the one I reach for whenever I know I'll be in direct sunlight all day as it never looks patchy. 

Although I was a huge fan of the Love Light Prismatic Highlighter initially and have featured it multiple times, in the recent few months I've barely picked it up. It looks beautiful on the skin, but I picked up the Blinded By The Light hue and I'm wondering if I've gone off it due to it being more silvery in tone and my taste recently has changed as I've been adoring golden, champagne shades instead. Although it's not the most long lasting offering in my highlighter collection, it's undeniably gorgeous! 

Last, but by no means least, is the Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette*, a palette which has stolen my heart as of late. It's definitely in my top three eyeshadow palettes of all time and honestly the formula cannot be faulted. Even on the times I've forgotten to wear eyeshadow primer, these have blended beautifully and stayed put all night long. I've done a full post reviewing this if you'd like to see it here, but it's honestly a dream to work with and I can't believe it took me so long to own it. 

What are your favourite Too Faced products?

If a product is marked with a * it is a PR sample. This post contains affiliate links. 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

What I've Been Reading, Watching and Doing Lately

February felt like it went by in a flash, especially in comparison to how slow January felt. Looking back on the month, I realised that I completed my 'not buying beauty products for the month' challenge, visited a few friends and finished another book too. I wanted to share with you what I've been reading, watching and doing lately as I love reading these sorts of posts, as well as writing them. 

A number 1 mention would have to be that I got engaged! On the 20th February, Tom decided to ask me to marry him and of course I said yes. I've done a full blog post on this, so if you'd like to read about it you can here

We went to Brighton for a short getaway on our week off and it was so good (and not just because I came back with a sparkler) because I got to really relax and unwind, plus we spent time seeing all of our old favourite spots too. Besides the seaside air, we haven't been able to get out much on our bikes, but as soon as the snow settled we made the crazy decision to venture outside anyway and it was freezing! 

We went to the cinema earlier this week to see I, Tonya and it was so good, even better than I expected and it's definitely one that I'd watch again. It was interesting, yet slightly funny and extremely dark at times. I also saw Black Panther earlier in the month which was super good too and there's nothing like a superhero film to cheer you up! I binge watched Girls Incarcerated on Netflix in 24 hours which probably tells you a lot about what I've been doing with my snow days, but it was so gripping and I would definitely recommend. 

At the start of the month, I met up with a friend I'd been speaking to for several weeks and gosh I'm so happy we did, as I can officially say I've found a real life friend who I really like and she doesn't find me annoying - Win! We went out for brunch and scoured the shops, fingers crossed a friendship blossoms (unless she finds this incredibly lame). 

I finally finished reading The Muse and I'm so glad I persisted with it as, although it was slow for the first half, after that it's truly gripping and made me stay up much later than I should have done. I'm not sure what to read next, I'm thinking something light and funny. 

What have you been reading, watching and doing lately?

This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, 2 March 2018

A Snowy Self-Care Routine

Although I'm slightly gutted that the first of March didn't bring more sunny weather to get me in the mood for Spring, the past snowy days have meant that I've made the most of my warm bath, steaming hot drinks and lots of 'snowed in' snacks. I wanted to share with you my self-care routine that I've been participating in whilst the weather has been snowy and chilly. 

I've ben getting back into reading a lot lately and although I'm yet to finish The Muse, I have been eyeing up my next read, Joe Lycett's Parsnips, Buttered. I'm not usually one to read anything non-fiction, but I was tempted in by Joe being one of my favourite comedians. 

I was recently sent a generous amount of Soap and Glory treats and in it I was exited to see the Puffy Eye Attack Patches* which I've already used. They cooled my eyes and made me look a little less puffy after a night of bad sleep which was great; I would say though that you need to make sure you have the spongy side against the skin, as the rougher side is a little irritating to the eye area. 

For a face mask, I've been loving the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask as it delivers a great deal of moisture to the skin, soothing and calming as it goes. It's great when you want to really give your skin a boost too, as you can leave it long for pretty much as long as you'd like or until your skin has drank it all up. 

I've been slathering on my Lush Sleepy Body Lotion because, as I previously mentioned, I haven't had the best nights sleep recently and the dreamy lavender scent helps me to doze off after reading. I have been trying out the Soap and Glory Smoothie Star Buttercream* for the last couple of days and although it's far too soon to say whether I like the formula or not, the smell is just everything! It's almondy-vanillary goodness sinks in to the skin and lingers on the body (and the room!) for a little while and it smells good enough to eat.

As for a bath, I've swayed away from my usual Lush baths again and have delved back into the abundance of other bubble inducing products I have on offer. Lighting a few candles and having a few minutes to yourself definitely helps me to unwind. When I feel a little stressed, I love to make lists as they help to clear my mind and when I'm stuck indoors on a snowy day, then even doing the tasks that you've been putting off for a while (like clearing out your laptop!) is satisfying in the end. 

After the bath, there's nothing quite like slipping into warmed up PJ's and fresh bedding; it's the little things that put a smile on my face at the end of the day. With a favourite box set and hot drink in hand, I'm set for the rest of the night! 

What's your self care routine at the moment? 

Thursday, 1 March 2018

5 Things I've Added To My March To-Do List

Although the beginning of March marks the beginning of Spring in my eyes, the weather is having other thoughts as we've suddenly got snow! I wouldn't usually complain, but it really isn't the Spring blossom I was dreaming of; but nevertheless I wanted to share with you what's on my March to-do list. 

Bake Some Easter Treats | I've made my way through a mini egg bag or two already, so I can't wait to make chocolate nests again, but this year I wanted to experiment even more by turning my hand to baking hot cross buns too - I've been really enjoying the M&S Salted Caramel ones and I thought I'd try to replicate them at home. 

Have A Spring Clean | I've got the itch to clean out all my cupboards, have a sort out of my wardrobe and clean from top to bottom, so over the next few weeks I'm going to devote some time to completing these tasks. 

Pick Up Some New Plants | Whilst we were in Brighton, we picked up our dream cactus and I grabbed a few bunches of flowers too. Spring is all about scattering blooms around the house, but I want to incorporate some greenery back into my homeware too. I saw a few perfect plant hangers recently that I can't wait to pick up and spruce up my home with. 

Plan Our Summer Holiday | We're still not sure if we want to go on a few small city escapes or to plan to go for a little longer to somewhere beachy and sunny. I'm really hoping to get to Amsterdam or Barcelona sometime soon, although Bruges and even a stay over in London are on the cards. 

Start Spring Shopping | Although I love wrapping up warm under several layers of jumpers, scarves and coats, I'm really looking forward to shopping for Spring clothes. Florals (groundbreaking), less layers and no more boots are all on the agenda and here are a few of my favourite picks: 

What's on your March to-do list? 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

A Glossier Solution Review

Glossier Solution Review
I feel like recently, glycolic acids are having their moment and everyone seems to be releasing them, but I know it can be difficult to choose which one to go with and to understand what the hell they actually do. Now I'm going to be transparent and say that I don't know the ins and outs of ingredients, but I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the Glossier Solution nevertheless. 

There's been quite a lot of discussion around the latest Glossier product and if you read my blog regularly or follow my Twitter, then you'll know that I haven't been too sure on it from the beginning. I'm going to be honest and say that after the first few applications my skin did feel super soft, but it did sting upon application which made me wary. I had quite a few blemishes when I first used this and as other glyoclic acids tend to help my problematic skin, I thought this offering would help too, however it didn't do anything. After using it every other day due to the stinging affect, my skin just kept getting redder and redder after each use and after a few weeks of use, I noticed that I was slowly not using this one at all. It made skin feel tight and uncomfortable, didn't do much for my blemishes and rather than making my skin feel smooth like it once had done, it was now making it feel dehydrated. 

The formula isn't great and I wouldn't recommend it, but the packaging is top notch and I feel like more brands need to take note as I love the pump application and sleek feeling! I'm definitely staying put with my beloved Pixi Glow Tonic*, in fact since Glossier-gate, I've noticed just how well Glow Tonic works for my skin type. 

There are many other Glossier products that are very much worth the hype (I've done a whole post on my thoughts here), so I would definitely say that this product shouldn't put you off and definitely look into the Milky Jelly Cleanser, Cloud Paints and Wowder Powder

Have you tried the Glossier Solution? What did you think of it? 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Simple Flatlay Tips I Follow Every Time

One blog post that is frequently requested of me is blog photography, especially flatlays. Over the years, I slowly feel like I've developed and improved my own style, continuing to hone my photography and editing skills as I go. Even looking back a year, I can see how much I've improved and how I feel far more settled in my style now, so I thought it was fitting that I shared with you a handful of my flatlay tips that I always follow. 

Lower Your Saturation and Colour Correct | I get asked about my editing process a lot and I've actually done a whole post on it previously here. Although the process is pretty much the same, I've got a lot more heavy-handed when it comes to saturation, the reason being that I like the way it looks when counteracting blueness or overexposure. If you're using photoshop, I colour correct on there using a -10 towards yellow, +5 towards red, so colour saturation is now near the -28 in order to get my photographs the way I would like them. 

Balance Your Products | If I had to name the most important element of a flatlay, I would have to say it's composition. Now, when I'm talking about balancing your products, I'm not suggesting stacking them all up and hoping for the best, I'm talking about finding a way for them to compliment each other in a flatlay. I always start with the longest/largest products at the top, scattering a few medium products as I go down and then placing the littlest one in the spare spaces. 

If like the photograph above, you want to feature several large items, then I like to keep them a few inches apart, maybe even featuring half of it or keeping it at a different angle. Removing lids of products and placing them around and putting various props in spots that are looking a little bare can all make a flatlay look more aesthetically pleasing. 

Fill The Corners | If in doubt, fill them out. Honestly, I'm envious of those bloggers who can pile a bunch of products in a middle of a white background and make it look A*, but I'm not one of them. I use tissue paper, flowers, props found in stationery shops or even homeware pieces like trinket dishes, candles and books to help fill out a photograph. If you have a nearly-transparent product to photograph or one that doesn't contrast well with your background, then I would definitely say that putting a blanket behind it can be a godsend. 

Products That Are Level Are Easier To Photograph | Now I worried I'd struggle to word this top tip correctly, but here goes and try to bear with me. When I have tubes of products (a hand cream or the Glossier cloud paints for example) I often struggle to photograph these, as the writing on them can go out of focus when the tube gets slimmer. To counteract this I simply open up a paperclip to form a V and rest the lower end of the tube on it - Viola! A level product to photograph. 

What flatlay photography tips do you follow? 
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