With 2015 slowly coming to an end, I have started to look back over the past year at all the makeup and skincare that I have been using. Today I have rounded up all of my favourite products from the last 12 months in one post.
M A K E U P | 2015 was the year I really fell in love with Nars. From their eyeshadow palettes to their lip pencils, it was just something about their formulas and finishes that really stole my heart. Although the whole Steven Klein collection looked amazing, the Dead Of Summer Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette really stood out for me due to the vivid colours and their ability to be worn wet for a high impact look. This year I really ventured into lipsticks, trying my hand at nude, red and berry hues.
The Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella spurred on my obsession with lip products due to its easy to wear formula and comfortable finish, something that doesn't usually go hand in hand with a red lipstick.
2015 has definitely been the year of new releases and discovery of old favourites. The Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Palette was a latecomer, but one that I couldn't leave out of this roundup. This fifteen-panned palette contains a variety of matte browns and shimmery pinks to fullfil all of your eyeshadow needs.
As a huge fan of blushers, it was hard to narrow down my collection, but the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in True Love made the cut. With a matte finish, this warm pink hue lightly adds a pop of colour to the cheeks and has carried me through from Summer to Winter.
S K I N C A R E | In terms of skincare finds, this year I focused on finding products that would give my lacklustre skin the hydration boost it needs. In the Summer, the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment really made a noticeable difference to hay fever ridden eyes. It helped to soothe, heal and care for my dehydrated eyes without appearing too heavy on the skin.
You're probably sick and tired of me talking about the Aesop Fabulous Facial Oil. With a nourishing, lightweight formula that sinks into the skin quickly it's no wonder that this is now part of my skincare ritual. I have been loving using it at night to provide my skin with an extra boost of hydration or I have been using underneath my makeup as it provides me with supple, glowing skin.
H A I R C A R E | This year I ditched the hair extensions and started taking more care of my hair. I wanted to invest in a routine that worked for my fine, damaged hair and by the end of 2015 I think I achieved that. Sachajuan was a brand that I discovered on my quest for long, thicker hair and their Hair Repair treatment has really helped to improve my hair. It has helped to restore shine, add intense hydration and banish dry, split ends.
Whilst I have been loving Sachajuan and O&M to name only a few, it was actually the Bumble and Bumble Full Potential Range* that transformed my hair the most. The boost spray really helped to lock in moisture and add volume from root to tip.
E T C | I have owned my fair share of fragrances this year, but the one that stood out for me this year was the Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream EDT. The soft floral fragrance is unlike anything I would usually wear, but it has made me long for more subtle, invigorating scents. If Daisy Dream doesn't tickle my fancy, then I know one that will. Jo Malone never fails to impress me, from their candles to colognes, their weird concoctions of fragrances are unmistakably distinctive, making them one of my favourite brands of 2015. Peony and Blush Suede has been my top choice whether it be in cologne or candle form. This luxe floral scent really had me at the first sniff and ever since I haven't been able to leave it alone.
Me and my boyfriend moved into our flat back in June and even since I have been obsessed with candles. The Diptyque Roses candle has scented our rooms for a good few months now and I can't get enough of it. No matter what time of year it is it's nice to have a fresh, floral scent to come home to.
I have to admit I went a little OTT with the luxe bath products this year, treating myself to yet another bath bomb or shower gel on a regular basis. For bath time treat I reach for the Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée Honey Bath to create delicious French bean vanilla and white musk bubbles. To follow I have been opting for the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil. This rich oil lathers up when it comes in contact with water, creating a soft cleansing foam that heals parched skin and makes your skin smell heavenly.
Although the festive season is nearly over, I'm not ready to give up my red lipsticks and glitter just yet, so New Years Eve is the perfect excuse to play around with my make-up. This year I am opting for a brown lip, smokey eye and glittery nails to get me through the night, so I have rounded up a few of my go-to party products.
F A C E | If there's one thing I need to do on New Years Eve it's cover up my dark circles and lacklustre skin from the lack of sleep and too many sausage rolls I've had over the Christmas period. The Clarins Instant Concealer diminishes the appearance of redness, blemishes and puffy eyes. For foundation I follow with the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation as the lightweight formula and dewy finish does wonders for my skin, concealing any imperfections and uneven skin tone.
Adding glow and faking myself some cheekbones is a top priority when it comes to party makeup. The Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder is a miracle worker if you're looking to create cheekbones in a quick swipe of a brush, whilst the Nars Copacabana Illuminator leaves a subtle sheen and helps to accentuate the contour. Next up is blusher and one that continues to brighten my complexion is the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blusher - Ecstasy, a finely milled powder that effortlessly applies a soft hue to my cheeks.
E Y E S | On the eyes, the Nars Dead Of Summer Eyeshadow Palette creates the perfect smokey, long lasting eye look that is needed on NYE. This quad is made up of four buildable hues that can be worn both dry and wet on the lid, making for a strong, vivid colour pay off. To finish I lightly line the lids using my L'Oreal Superliner and apply several lashing of my L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara.
L I P S | When you're going on a long night out, a long lasting lip colour is a must have. Although I would usually opt for something like Nars Cruella, this year I have chosen to sport a brown lip in the form of MAC's Spirit. This muted brown hue is the perfect neutral addition to a make up look as it subtly enhances and plumps the lips.
N A I L S | This year I am opting for a monochrome outfit, so any gold accents are appreciated. Essie's Tassel Shaker and Fifth Avenue are two nail varnish shades that work in sync together to create a gorgeous festive copper look.
What makeup are you going to wear on NYE?
With Christmas just around the corner, now is the perfect time to treat yourself. The festive season is notoriously stressful and I like nothing better than a long soak in a Lush bath after a busy day out. After scouring my local Lush shop, I came across The Experimenter Gift Set which contained a variety of old favourites and some bath bombs I haven't tried before. After picking up a few gift sets including the Snow Fairy's Castle and Rosie for family members, I decided to take the plunge and treat myself.
This gift set contains 10 of Lush's popular products and pretty much covers the whole bath bomb basics. It comes brightly packaged with a neon yellow top and big green bow; perfect for those who like to store their bath products away. Although it's an indulgent £43.95 in price, it's a great place to start if you're new to Lush or you want to add a few more to your collection.
One of my favourites from this set is Intergalactic; a bath bomb made up of peppermint, popping candy and neon colours. The refreshing and invigorating scent lifts the mood and although the scent can be a little too overpowering, I like to use it to wake me up in the mornings. Up next is Twilight, a bath bomb opposite to Intergalactic as it has calming and soothing properties that help me drift off at night. This lavender scented offering leaves the bath a dark purple and has shimmer running through it, but it still moisturises the skin - Perfect for this time of year.
Fun fact of the day: Sex Bomb was the first Lush product I ever owned. With a purple and pink outer with a sensual blend of jasmine, ylang ylang and clary sage on the inside, it's no wonder that this is one I continue to go back to. Another oldie, but a goodie is Yoga Bomb. A slow burner that lasts for a good 10 minutes in the water and creates whirls of purple, orange and blue hues.
Cyanide Pill and Guardian of The Forest are two bath bombs I haven't tried before, but two that I have stolen my heart with the way they feel and smell on the skin. Cynanide Pill is made up of a concoction of lemon, cedarwood and almond oil, whilst the latter has more of an earthy fragrance, made up of rosewood, lime and cypress oil.
Lush's simpler looking bath bombs can often be overshadowed, but they make for some of the ultimate soaks. Avobath; a bath bomb that helps hydrate, cleanse and nourish the skin and Dragon's Egg; a bath bomb reminiscent of lemon sherbet which helps to uplift, are two that continue to transform my bath water. Frozen, another bath bomb that some wouldn't look twice at is one of my favourites due to it's uplifting grapefruit and rose scent that leaves my bath a silky blue hue and covers my skin is a soft shimmer.
If you like vibrant colours and popping candy then you're in for the treat as the vanilla scented The Experimenter is a game changer. Although this bath bomb isn't hydrating or moisturising on the skin, it is perfect for when you want a relaxing bath, especially during the Autumn and Winter season.
What are your favourite Lush gift sets?
With Christmas fast approaching I have made it my mission to bake more and gingerbread men were on the top of my list to accomplish. After scouring the internet for many different recipes, I decided to play around and make my own. This simple gingerbread man recipes is easy to make and can be whipped up in under an hour.
I N G R E D I E N T S (Makes 20)
175g Brown Sugar
1 Large Free Range Egg
4 Tbsp Golden Syrup
1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 Tsp Cinnamon or to taste
3 - 4 Tsp Ground Ginger or to taste
M E T H O D
1. Start by preheating the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. Mix together the flour, ginger, cinammon and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. Add the butter in and rub until it resembles bread crumbs.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and golden syrup together then add this to the mixture. Mix until it clumps together and then knead until it is smooth. Afterwards, wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This helps the gingerbread men keep their shape whilst cooking so they don't spread as much.
4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness you want, however I would recommend somewhere between 0.3-0.5cm thick. Using any cutter you want, cut them out and place on the baking tray. You must leave a gap between each gingerbread man.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooked, transfer them over to a wire rack ready for cooling. After they've cooled, decorate with writing icing and any decorations you want!
Do gingerbread men get you into the festive spirit?
To get use out of all the products that I own, I like to switch up and rotate my Muji storage. Although there are a few items that I will continue to reach for on a regular basis, I find that this helps me to take advantage of all my collection. Today I have put together a handful of products that I have been reaching for lately and those that have been in my top draw of my storage.
When it comes to skincare, I usually opt for products that will add hydration and transform my lacklustre skin. The Aesop Fabulous Face Oil uses a concoction of juniper berries, jasmine and ylang ylang to prevent blemishes and promote glowing, supple skin. After purchasing this many months ago I haven't put it down and it has taken pride of place in my collection ever since. Although this helps to inject some well needed moisture back into my skin, I still needed an eye cream to help heal my dry, irritated eyes. The Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment was a product I discovered many moons ago, but I recently dug it back out after no other eye cream lived up to it's standards. This lightweight, yet thick, nourishing cream is fast absorbing and doesn't migrate into the eyes - Everything you need.
As for makeup I have been loving lately, the Nars Copacabana Illuminator; a pearlescent highlighter that adds a subtle sheen, making my skin glow on even the dullest of days. To finish I like to add a dusting of the Balm's Mary Lou Manizer over the cream highlighter in order to emphasis on my contour and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush to add a wash of colours to my cheeks.
I seem to go through eyeshadow and mascara like there's no tomorrow at the moment, so there's been a few that I have rediscovered. In the Summer, the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerise in Bette was my go-to shade, but due to it's cream formula I retired it come September. The bronzed, copper shade is easy to blend and looks divine under a mixture of eyeshadows including my Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette, a quad that has been at the top of my Muji drawers for the last couple of months.
As a lipstick hoarder, I tend to rotate my lipsticks seasonally; switching up the corals and pinks for the reds and nudes come Winter. The Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella; a vivid blue toned red and Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Berry Couture; a subtle plum, have been the two lip products I haven't put down as they're both suitable for the festive season.
What makeup have you been reaching lately?
A festive makeup look wouldn't be complete with a bold berry or red lip. As soon as the first of December hits I start to switch my usual nude everyday lipsticks for my favourite berry and red offerings. Today, I have put together a few of the lipsticks that I have floating around my makeup bag ready to be applied in the run up to Christmas.
T H E R E D S | Without a doubt I know that I will be rocking a red lip on the big day, probably in the form of the the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. This vivid matte blue-red glides on the lips and sits comfortably for hours without budging; perfect for those long Christmas parties. Another matte favourite of mine is MAC's Ruby Woo, another blue toned red that is easily worn, compliments a variety of skintones and makes your teeth appear whiter - bonus! Liquid lipsticks are really having their moment right now and so many brands have jumped on the bandwagon.
H&M recently bought out their Velvet Matte Lip Creams and since then I have been smitten. Le Beau Monde- an intense red often compared to that of Sephora's Always Red- makes the lips appear fuller and stays put for several hours. Although it flakes and isn't the best formula on the market, if you're looking for an affordable offering then this will be your best bet.
Now I know ultra matte lips aren't for everyone, but lipsticks that have a moisturising formula and still gives off a strong wash of colour are hard to come by. The Clinique Pop Lip Colours offer an array of shades, but the hue that I cannot get enough of is Passion Pop. Unlike other red lipsticks, I find this one to be hydrating, long wearing and comfortable to wear. Even though it has a great colour pay off, I never feel like it's too OTT to wear.
If you're a red lip newbie and you're after something a little more subtle for the Christmas party, then the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Coral has your back. It gives of a slight wash of colour, moisturising the lips as it goes.
T H E B E R R I E S | Although my makeup collection is full to the brim of purple and berry hued lipsticks, there are only a handful that are vivid enough to wear on a night out. After the usual Clinique Pop Lip Colour in Plum Pop and MAC's Diva, there are two shades that I cannot get enough of during the festive season.
The Maybelline Colour Drama Lipstick in Berry Much is one of, if not my favourite, lipsticks for the Autumn and Winter months. With a creamy formula, I can easily line and fill the lips; perfect if you're after a quick fix. It can be applied straight from the pencil to create a bold and defined lip or it can be lightly blended to create a more subtle look.
Lastly the H&M Velvet Lip Cream in Dare Me is a new addition to my collection and one that I wouldn't usually opt for. The liquid lipstick formula has a matte finish that means that it lasts a lifetime on the lips, but you do have to compromise on any moisturising attributes.
What are your favourite red and berry lipsticks for the festive season?
As an avid user of Bumble and Bumble, as soon as I set eyes on the Full Potential Range* I knew I had to have it. The whole range promises to reduce breakage and promotes fuller, thicker looking hair, something my hair was pining after. This trio containing a shampoo, conditioner and booster spray all work together to invigorate, strengthen and transform fine hair.
First up is the Full Potential Shampoo, a concoction similar to that of the Sunday Shampoo. It cleanses the scalp and gets rid of any unwanted build up, making the hair feel lightweight and easy to style. Clarifying shampoos can often make my hair a little on the dry side meaning I have to double up on the Argan oil after washing, but this offering gives my hair just the right amount of moisture without making it feel or look greasy.
The Full Potential Conditioner has the same concept as the shampoo, but I find that it just helps to add more fullness to the hair rather than focusing on getting rid of any build up. Infused with a hair preserve blend, the conditioner aims to reduce hair loss and damage. It's not often that a conditioner blows me away as I usually opt for a hair mask to nourish and treat my hair, but this is by far one of the best conditioners I've used.
Although the shampoo and conditioner are both amazing, as a hair care addict I know I will always switch them up and give others a try, but the one product I can't seem to put down at the moment is the Full Potential Booster Spray. It boosts my locks, making them more manageable and easy to style. I've always had problems with my hair as it often looks lacklustre and lifeless, but this adds volume from the roots to the ends.
Have you tried anything from the Bumble and Bumble Full Potential Range?
- This post is in collaboration with The 7th chamber -
As someone who usually opts for a neutral eye and lip combo, Christmas is the time of year that I really start experimenting with my makeup. Red lips and glittery eyeshadow really come into play, so today I have put together my festive makeup routine to share with you.
B A S E | Whether I'm going out for a Christmas party or hosting a dinner, I have to make sure my skin looks flawless. A long lasting, dewy foundation is a must and the only foundation that really cuts it at the moment is the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation. It blends seamlessly into the skin leaving a natural yet perfected finish. To follow, I apply a loose setting powder to make sure that my base is set.
During the Christmas period I like to bathe in highlighter and fake myself some cheekbones. The Nars Copacabana Illuminator leaves a subtle sheen to the skin, so I like to apply theBalm's Mary Lou Manizer over the look to create a strong highlight. Aside from the extra glow I like to add, I also make more of an effort with my contour. The Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder is a miracle worker if you're looking to create cheekbones in an instant. The grey hued powder creates a natural looking shadow and can be easily blended out. Throughout the year I normally only use a handful of blushers, but during December I always feel the need to whip out the ones that have been collecting dust. Saying that, the festive blusher of my choice this year is the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush - True Love, a warm pink hue that adds just the right amount of colour to the cheeks.
E Y E S | As for eyeshadow I have been taking inspiration from this House Of Fraser video whereby they incorporate two of my favourite things; smoky eyes and glitter. To recreate this look the eyeshadows I have opted for are the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette; a luxe quad made up of champagne, brown and burgundy shades perfect for creating a strong smoky eye. To follow, I apply my MAC Pigment in Tan all over the lid to achieve a strong copper wash of colour and apply a soft, champagne shimmer to the inner corners to brighten the whole eye look. After several lashings of mascara, I apply my Eylure Fleur De Force Fleur Loves Lashes. These 3/4 lashes add fullness to the outer edge and they stay in place all night long, perfect for those Christmas parties.
L I P S | A Christmas makeup look wouldn't be complete without a red lip. My go-to this season has been MAC Ruby Woo; a vivid matte red that is surprisingly really wearable and stays put for hours. If you're after a more natural look or you've gone a bit heavy on the eyes then the Tom Ford Addison -a pink nude- is your best bet. Yes it's luxe, but I like to treat myself during the festive season.
N A I L S | Last up is nails and once again it's all about the glitter. Essie is a brand I haven't been able to get enough of this year, so I knew they'd have to get a mention. Summit Of Style and Tassle Shaker are the two glitter top coats that I will be wearing over my favourite plum or red shade normally in the form of Bahama Mama or Fifth Avenue.
What festive makeup will you be wearing over Christmas?
Although I like to sport a bold red or berry lip during the Winter and on special occasions, I still like to opt for a subtle hue on a daily basis. I have a handful of lipsticks I have used over the years in order to train me into wearing bolder lipsticks. From muted nudes to sheer plums, this post has the run down of lipsticks you need to own if you're afraid of wearing colour.
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment | The Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments have quickly become a staple in my makeup routine at the moment and the hue Coral is the shade that I seem to be wearing a lot of recently. Although it packs some punch pigmentation-wise, I still find that it looks natural and feels comfortable to wear. With a super hydrating formula that moisturises, contains essential oils as well as SPF, these are perfect for those who are looking for a lip product that will give off a subtle wash of colour.
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil - Bahama | This is a long time favourite of mine and for a very good reason too. The brown nude hue flatters my complexion and looks perfect paired with any makeup look. When it comes to nude lips it can be hard to find a good balance between one that is too pale or too pink, but Bahama sits perfectly in the middle.
Revlon Super Luscious - Berry Couture | If you're looking for a budget berry lip, then this Revlon offering is your best best. With a rich, creamy formula that requires minimal effort, I tend to reach for this when I want a wearable, yet more subtle plum lipstick. This is the lipstick that got me into dark, vampy lips as it eased me in gently. I would definitely recommend this to someone looking for an easy to apply lipstick.
Rimmel Moisture Renew - Vintage Pink | During the Autumn and Winter season it can be difficult to keep up with the berry lip trend if you're afraid of wearing a bolder lip. Vintage Pink, a purple/pink hybrid similar to that of MAC's Plumful has a moisturising formula and glossy finish making it a very wearable, everyday lipstick.
Tom Ford Lips and Boys - Addison | I recently came to the conclusion that everyone needs at least one Tom Ford lipstick in their collection. Cue an excuse for me to buy more. If Addison, a subtle pink hue looks perfect when you're opting for a natural makeup look. If you are looking to expand or add to your nude lipstick collection, then the luxe formulas of the Lips and Boys lipsticks can be applied straight from the bullet making for a quick and easy application.
What lipsticks do you wear on a regular basis?
The thought of Autumn and Winter fashion always excites me. The chunky knits, cosy coats and scarves that can wrap around you three times always get me in the mood, but in reality, I am lucky to even put together one outfit. Over the past couple of months, I have downsized my wardrobe, keeping only the most basic, minimalistic pieces, and you know what? It's actually worked. I have more outfits than ever and now only buy items that I know I will actually wear. Today, I thought I'd share with you my A/W fashion staples.
A B L A C K C O A T | Now, I own various coats in a variety of colours, but the one I always tend to reach for is my classic black coat. Pimkie is a brand I have grown to love over this season, but this Belted Jacket is perfect if you love layering and you're after a lightweight jacket. If you're after a thicker coat to keep you warm on those frosty mornings then this ASOS 60's Midi Coat would be the perfect addition to your wardrobe.
J E A N S | Jeans are the most versatile piece in your wardrobe, they're easy to wear and can be worn both day and night. Topshop Joni Jeans are a must have as the high waisted element sucks everything in and flatters your figure, perfect if you're layering up with chunky knits and scarves.
S T R I P E S | Stripes are a must have all year around in my wardrobe, but during the Winter I give up trying to curb my craving to own all the striped t-shirts and instead just go with the flow. Stripes are the best way to incorporate a colour or patten into your outfits, especially if you're an excessive monochrome wearer like myself. There's been a few striped t-shirts that have stolen my heart this season, but here's a few: The Topshop Stripe Contrast Top, ASOS Easy T-Shirts and this Zara Starts T-Shirt.
K N I T W E A R | Whether you're after a chunky knit or lightweight pull over, it is handy to have a few options. This long sleeved shirt jumper hybrid looks perfect worn over a simple pair of ripped jeans as it flatters and makes any outfit look well put together. Whenever I am in need of something a little thicker, then I always opt for my camel roller neck offering similar to this one.
D E L I C A T E D E T A I L S | From this LVNDR Bumble Bee Necklace to this Zara Geometric Scarf, it is nice to have a few accessories to dress up an outfit. Zara, ASOS and Topshop are three of my go-to shops for clothes anyway, but I find that their accessories blow everyone else's out the water. Front and Back earrings have been huge this season and they are the perfect way to continue to make your outfit look chic and put together.
B O O T S | I swear I spend half the season searching for the perfect black boots, lusting after only the ones that cost over two hundred pounds. As someone who gets bored of clothes and shoes quite quickly, I try and keep my spending to a minimum. Other than a pair of black heeled boots I bought from Primark a couple of years back, I have been loving these River Island Black Chelsea Boots too.
What are your A/W fashion staples?
Up until a couple of months ago, Sachajuan was a brand I had tried nothing of, but instead lusted over every time I scoured the aisles of Space NK. After having an overhaul with my haircare routine, I decided to incorporate a few luxe products in order to pamper my hair and keep it in tip top condition. Along with Bumble & Bumble and 0&M, Sachajuan was at the top of my list. After giving these two products a try, I can now conclude they are a must-have in my routine and one that I cannot wait to share with you.
First up is the Sachajuan Ocean Mist; a sea salt spray that delivers a tousled and textured finish to the hair. As I have thin, dull hair I just assumed that this wouldn't do a lot, but I couldn't have been more wrong as this mist helps to add volume and hold to my hair making it easier to style. Unlike other sea salt sprays that can leave the hair feeling dry and crispy, this has a mineral enriched formula that adds shine and wave to the hair, whilst making it smell divine in the process.
The second offering is the Sachajuan Hair Repair; a hair mask that transforms my dehydrated locks and makes them look smooth and healthy once again. With a concoction of proteins and minerals that penetrate the hair follicles, promote hair growth and lock in moisture, this hair mask is a real luxe treat. If your hair is looking lacklustre and is after some TLC, then this is guaranteed to restore shine and keep the hair really hydrated with every wash. Now I was never one to believe that one hair product can solve all your problems, but after using this I have seen a huge difference in the texture, look and manageability of my hair.
Have you tried Sachajuan? Are there any products you would recommend?
Makeup palettes are the perfect addition to your stash. They are easy to travel with and can create a makeup look with ease, in fact neutral eyeshadow palettes are an obsession of mine. Although I already own 15 palettes I always tell myself I need another one, so today I thought I would tell you what makeup palettes I have been loving lately.
Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette | Although I am a hoarder of highlighters, I actually don't own many highlighting palettes. When I first set eyes on this Sleek offering I knew that I had to have it. This versatile palette can be used to brighten up the inner colour of your eyes, to define the cheekbones or swept across the décolletage to add a sheen to the skin. Ecliptic, Hemisphere, Subsolar and Equinox are the four shades that make up this quad. Although this palettes contains an array of formulas, the cream offering, Ecliptic definitely has me hot under the collar as it can be used as to add a subtle lit-from-within glow to the skin or it can be built up to look more intense.
Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette | This palette was high up on my wishlist for many months, but I told myself that I didn't need another neutral palette. This luxe quad has quickly become one of my most used and loved palettes due to the quality, long lasting shades that can create a range of eye looks suitable for both day and night time wear. The champagne, burgundy and brown hues always look flawless and are perfect for the Winter months.
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette* | When it comes to eyeshadow palettes, Urban Decay can do no wrong. After much deliberation and rifling around in my collection, I decided the the Naked Smoky palette is the one palette you need to own. With an array of rich, neutral shades ranging from metallic greys to soft browns, all shades are easy to wear and effortless to blend. If you're looking for a palette that can create several diverse eye makeup looks then this will be your best option.
What is your favourite palette?
With December just around the corner and more importantly Christmas, I have started to prep for the big day by wrapping up presents and writing out my Christmas cards. Today, I thought I would tell you all the ways that I'm getting festive over the next 4 weeks. From hot chocolates to hot water bottles, this post has it covered.
Now, if you don't know already, wrapping Christmas presents is one of my favourite things to do over the festive period. I usually start planning my theme pretty early on, but I had a tough time deciding what to opt for. In the end, I scoured Pinterest for inspiration and finally settled for brown a and red theme. I like make each present individual, so I've collected pine cones, copper bells and cinnamon sticks to add a creative touch and interesting accents to the presents.
The temperature has suddenly dropped recently meaning that I have had to crack out my multiple blankets and have my hot water bottle topped up 24/7. After being ill this week I have been making a concious effort to wrap up warm. This Pimkie coat has been a staple in my wardrobe as I can wear it with a variety of outfits and it allows me to layer up using several items of clothing. There are a couple of jumpers that I have been lusting after, this ASOS Chunky Knit and blouson jumper from Topshop would be perfect as Winter additions and they would compliment the rest of my wardrobe.
Bublé baths aren't something that I usually start during November, but I've been popping in the Lush Cinders bath bomb to get me into the festive spirit. After the bath I have been slathering on the Laura Mericer Creme Brulee Souffle Body Creme to keep my skin feeling hydrated and supple, something I tend neglect to during the Winter months.
When it comes to food in the festive season, I often have to prise myself away from the Quality Street and instead enjoy the array of seasonal vegetables on offer. Although I try and stay relatively healthy throughout December, I can't help but treat myself to some hot chocolate here and there. The Costa Caramel Fudge and the more budget offering of the Options Outrageous Orange Hot Chocolate are two that I cannot get enough of and I treat myself
Over the next month I have a lot planned. My blog to-do list is a mile long and I have been loving sorting out December's festive posts. With a visit to a Christmas market and a zoo on the cards, I am hoping to spend most of my nights in watching Elf and Home Alone under the duvet with the candles lit.
What plans have you got for December?
During the Autumn and Winter months I tend to turn to burgundy and copper shades when it comes to eyeshadows. Although it's not December yet, I am starting to opt for more festive hues in time for the Christmas and the party season. Today I have selected a handful of eyeshadows that I use on a regular basis to share with you.
MAC Pigment - Tan | Over the past couple of weeks I have become increasingly smitten with MAC Pigments due to their wide range of shades and great colour pay off. I have been wearing Tan- a muted pink bronze- daily, as it compliments my eye colour and looks perfect when paired with a variety of eyeshadows. I tend to apply it using a damp brush to give the best finish and prolong its longevity.
Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette | I spoke about it in my last post and I'll probably still be banging on about it in a months time too, but the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette has lived up to the hype. With an array of champagne, burgundy and soft brown shades this palettes has you covered from day to night. I've loved pairing this with my MAC Pigments to create a long lasting, strong eye look that is perfect for transitioning into the festive season.
H&M High Impact Eyeshadow - Russet Rose | Being the budget product of the bunch I never expected for this eyeshadow to compare to it's more luxe competitors - but it does. The whole H&M High Impact line up is exceptional in both quality and formula, but the shade that I have been wearing on a regular basis is Russet Rose, a vivid copper that looks perfect lightly swept across the eye or as part of a smoky eye look.
By Terry Ombre Blackstar - Misty Rock| Every time I'm not sure what eyeshadow to wear, out comes the By Terry Misty rock. This purple taupe shade can be built up from an effortless wash of colour to a strong metallic finish in a matter of seconds. If I opt to layer on another eyeshadow I know that this creamy base with keep it from smudging or budging all day long.
What are your everyday eyeshadows?
As Autumn is slowly coming to an end (yes I do count the 1st of December as the start of Winter), I have been reflecting on all of the products I have been using over the past couple of months. Today I have put together a post full of my favourite seasonal picks to share with you, so grab a cup of hot chocolate and get comfortable; this post goes on for a little longer than I had anticipated.
M A K E U P | First up is makeup, and this is the area that's really had an overhaul since the Summer; swapping berry shades and a lot of highlighter into my routine. For foundation, I haven't put down the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation as the lightweight formula and dewy finish does wonders for my skin, concealing and perfecting as it goes. H&M have really had their moment this Autumn with the re-release of their beauty line. Their Pure Velvet Cream Blushers, High Impact Eyeshadows and Velvet Lip Creams have really stolen my heart and have made my purse a little happier in the process. All of their products are long lasting on the skin and extremely high quality for the price.
As for eyeshadow, the MAC Pigments and the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette have been my go-to colours this Autumn. With an array of golden and burgundy shades, these two formulas have you covered if you're looking to ease yourself into the Autumn/Winter eye trend. As a smokey eye convert, the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette* is everything I need in one palette. With matte chocolate brown shades to champagne shimmers this has definitely been the palette of the season for me.
The Nars Lip Pencils have been my sought after product over the past couple of months, collecting one or two every other week. From Cruella to Bahama, these have barely been off my list and are a firm favourite discovery of mine.
S K I N C A R E | Apart from making sure I double up on a face oil and moisturiser, my skincare routine hasn't changed that much since the Summer. I have rediscovered the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment; a rich, thick eye cream that is lightweight and extremely hydrating. The real star of the show has been the Aesop Fabulous Facial Oil; an oil packed full of skin loving ingredients that de-congests, replenishes and promotes a healthy glow to the skin.
H A I R & B O D Y | In the shower, I have been reaching for any of my Bumble and Bumble treatments. The Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo and Full Potential Conditioner* is a duo that my hair loves. It cleanses, adds volume and leaves the hair looking and feeling great. As it's getting colder, I can't help but take more baths. I recently treated myself to the Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée Duet; a set containing both the honey bath to create luxe vanilla scented bubbles, and the soufflé body crème; a product perfect for quenching lacklustre looking skin.
As for fragrance, I have been completely smitten with the Jo Malone Velvet Rose and Oud Cologne, an intense, rich combination of warm clove, damask rose and smoky oud to create a scent that will have you hooked from the first whiff.
F A S H I O N | This Autumn I have found myself gravitating towards delicate jewellery and simple pieces. After lusting after the Alex Monroe Bumblebee necklace for several months, I finally found a more affordable version; the LVNDR Honey Bee Necklace, and instantly fell in love. The Daniel Wellington Sheffield Rose Gold Watch* has practically been attached to my wrist for the past three months as the simple, minimalistic design goes with everything. To get 15% off a watch of your choice, don't forget to use my code Pintsizedbeauty.
What products have you been loving this Autumn?
I have been straightening and styling my hair for many years now so I have inevitably got through my fair share of hair straighteners. Although I now use GHD's on a regular basis, I have still been on the hunt for a budget option. Cue the Toni & Guy Fluid Metal Styler*, a purse friendly offering that definitely gives you bang for your buck.
If you're looking for a versatile, multitasking hair tool then this one does everything that you could want. It can straighten, curl and add a wave to the hair without tugging or causing any unnecessary breakage. With a 3m length cord and a variable heat control up to 230C, it can create any style with ease and with the correct temperature for your hair it is perfect for those stray hairs. Unlike other hair straighteners that I have tried I actually find that this one enhances shine and promotes smooth looking hair, which means I actually use less product afterwards. When creating my typical hair style, I often start with curling my hair then I brush through using a paddle brush and finish with a spritz of the Sachajuan Ocean Mist to add hold and boost volume. Although I still prefer the straightening ability of my GHD's if I'm going for poker-straight style, I actually reach for these when I want to add curls to my hair as the floating titanium plates create fool proof ringlets in no time.
For £44.99 these iridescent, limited edition hair straighteners would be a great addition to anybody's collection. If you're looking for a tool that can create sleek straight hair, volume boosting curls or beach waves then this could be your solution.
What budget friendly hair straightener would you recommend?
I have collected my fair share of bath and body products over the years, but there's two products I've been talking myself out of buying for many months and that's the Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée Honey Bath and Soufflé Body Crème. Since Christmas is fast approaching, I thought it was about time that I treated myself to this duo and I am more than happy I did.
As someone with dry, sensitive skin I was sceptical about trying Soufflé Body Crème as I thought the rich texture would make it harder for the product to sink in, but after one application I knew that this wasn't the case. The creamy, lightweight formula has a strong scent that lingers on the skin for several hours after application and hydrates all over without leaving my skin tacky to touch. With added vitamin A, E and Shea Butter, this cream protects and deeply conditions, whilst lifting your mood with the sweet Crème Brûlée fragrance.
Next up is the Honey Bath and this really is the star of the show. This luxe bath treat fills your bath with delicious French vanilla bean and white musk bubbles. With added natural ingredients which firm, tone and lift the body, this really does it all.There is no denying that this product leaves the skin feelings nourished, supple and smelling good enough to eat.
Have you tried the Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée Duet?
Liquid lipsticks have been hard to come by in the UK up until recently, but this year many brands have been coming out with their own versions and I have fully jumped on the bandwagon. After trying several different formulations and finishes of liquid lipsticks, I have put together a list of a handful of brands that I would recommend trying out.
N Y X | I thought I would start off with my favourite formula and finish of liquid lipstick - The NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. They're comfortable to wear and with an array of colours to choose from, you really are spoiled for choice. At £5.50 each they're affordable meaning you can stock up without feeling too guilty. Their matte, fool proof formula dries opaque and is easy to apply on the go. Milan, a mid tone pink hue that compliments and flatters my skin tone is the shade I would recommend the most, but Cannes and Copenhagen are next on the list too.
S T I L A | I have started to hoard a lot of the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks lately after I found out they were available in M&S. Amore, a plum shade that has golden shimmer running through was the first shade that I bought from the range and I was smitten. Although I wouldn't necessarily opt for a lip product with glitter in, I find that this makes my lips appear fuller and makes the dark hue easier to wear. However, if there's one shade that I need to own then it's Patina. I know I don't need any more pink nude lip products in my collection, but I had to make an exception with this one as the creamy, moisturising formula feels so weightless on the lips.
H & M | The H&M Velvet Lip Creams are the reason why my liquid lipstick obsession has got a bit out of hand. They are available in a range of vivid, dramatic colours that have a high coverage formula which lasts several hours on the lips. Dare Me, a deep plum similar to that of Stila's Amore and Le Beau Monde, an intense red which has been compared to Sephora's Always Red are two shades that I have in my collection. Although they do start to flake if worn for too long, they're an amazing affordable liquid lipstick that I'm sure I will collect more of.
T H E B A L M | If you're looking for a long lasting liquid lipstick that has a creamy texture and non-drying formula then theBalm is your best bet. Before NYX was readily available in the UK, the Meet Matt(e) Hughes offerings were my port of call. Commited, a pink nude hue works well for daily wear, creates an wash of colour that doesn't budge and it feels more comfortable to wear than traditional lipsticks.
What liquid lipsticks do you recommend?