Wednesday, 23 December 2015

(EXTREMELY) LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS: FOR HER


If you're like me, and still haven't brought any Christmas presents for anyone, then it's most likely, you need some ideas. Whenever Christmas rolls around, I get really confused as to what to buy others, so I have decided to share a few items that I normally opt for..

Palettes. I feel like this is pretty much my go to. Which brands releasing new Christmas palettes out every year, it is pretty simple to pick one up. The new Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani palette was the stand out for me this year. Packed with a ton of neutrals and a few pops of colour, this is a fail safe palette. Plus, the fact that it is limited edition, would mean that the person who you are gifting it to, would most likely not have it! Charlotte Tilbury is another brand that I know any girl would be over the moon to receive for Christmas! Her Filmstar Bronze and Glow palette, is absolutely stunning and her Christmas gift sets are a great way to try out a handful of her products.

Perfumes. Whilst this may be a tricky area to get right, because perfumes are so personal. I tend to buy a perfume bottle that I know that person already loves. For example, for my mum, she loves Nina Ricci - Nina perfume, so every year I buy a bottle for her because she goes through them like crazy! My stand out favourites this year have been both by Marc Jacobs. The Daisy Dream and Decadence perfumes are very different to each other, and they lasts for ages on the skin!

Candles. Spending money on candles is not something I would prefer to do. So receiving them as gifts is probably the best thing ever. You can never go wrong with Diptyque candles, they have a wide range of scents and they are so potent that sometimes you do not even need to burn it! Other candle favourites are from The White Company and Jo Malone.

Accessories. If you have no idea what scent she would like, then picking up an accessory is a great option too! I tend to pick a few scarves, jewellery pieces and bags, every year for my friends and family, and you can never really go wrong with it! If you're stuck for ideas, then ASOS have a huge selection!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

GINGERBREAD BISCUITS

In the run up to Christmas, things get a little bit more hectic, and the one thing that I like to do is bake. What better way to spend the holidays, than baking little treats for everyone to enjoy during the month. So I have decided to share my favourite Gingerbread recipe.

This is a very easy recipe to follow and is a great way to get everyone involved!
Ingredients:
  • 350g/12oz plain flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g/6oz dark soft brown sugar
  • 125g/4½oz butter (room temperature) 
  • 1 medium sized egg
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • Decorations i.e. icing sugar, nuts, sweets (optional)

Method:
  1. Mix and sift all of the dry ingredients (plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon) into a food processor. Then add the soften butter and blend until it starts to look like breadcrumbs. Stir in the dark soft brown sugar.
  2. In a bowl, beat the egg and golden syrup together. Add this to the mixture and then pulse until the mixture starts to clump together. 
  3. Tip the dough out onto a surface and knead until it is smooth. Then wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  5. After 15 minutes, roll out the dough and start to cut out your shapes. I went for circles because it was easier/I couldn't find my cutters. 
  6. Place on the baking tray and make sure you leave a gap between each piece.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until it is lightly golden brown. Then leave on a wire rack to cool before you start to decorate.
This mixture would make around 25 gingerbread men, or if you are just going to use simple shapes like myself then it would make around 35 (I actually had 42!). Be sure to keep an eye on your biscuits when they are in the oven as the mixture is dark so it can be easy to over bake. As for decoration, I left a few plain, lightly dusted some icing sugar on a few and for the rest, I piped some icing on it. The great thing about these biscuits is that they can last for a pretty long time - just over a week if kept in an air tight container.

As this is definitely different to anything I have posted on my blog, I was a little nervous so let me know if you make these (and how they came out!).

Thursday, 17 December 2015

5 THINGS: EVERYDAY BEAUTY STAPLES



As much as I like to try and buy new things, I have a handful of products that I always reach for every single day. Some are new products which I have only discovered in the past couple of weeks but there are some which I have been using for years now.
First up is the GHD Heat Protect spray, I've gone through a few bottles of this over the last couple of years, ever since it come with my first pair of GHDs. It is incredibly lightweight on the skin, which is great because it does not weigh my hair down at all. It does not feel sticky when it dries, in fact you cannot even feel it in your hair.  The other OG product is the Soap and Glory Archery brow pencil. This matches my brows perfectly, and whilst my brows are not exactly sparse, I like to add a little something to them.

A new product that I discovered is the MAC Complete Comfort Cream. If you suffer from dry skin and are not irritated by MAC skincare products, then I suggest you try this. It makes my dry patches disappear and my skin feels so much softer and smoother when I do use it. Another dry skin product is the Kiehl's Creme de Corps, again if you suffer from dry skin and/or suffer from eczema (like myself) then this is a life saver. It changes the texture of your skin and it just works! The last new product which I discovered is a make up product. I have heard a lot about the Bobbi Brown corrector and after suffering from dark circles for years, I decided to just buy it. As it has an orange tinge to it, it does look a little weird at first, but when I apply my normal concealer on top. It brightens my under eye area and makes me look a lot more awake. 

What are your everyday beauty staples??

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

MONTHLY BUYS #3

This past month I have been trying not to spend so much. With Boxing Day soon approaching, there are some things that I want to get my hands on but I know they will be on sale, so why not save a few pennies?! That being said, I only purchase a few beauty items, and whilst some are not very interesting I still thought I would share them with you all.
First up is a repurchased of the MAC Complete Comfort Cream. This has soon become my ultimate favourite moisturiser. If you have dry skin then I highly recommend trying this out. I have posted a separate and more detailed post here if you want to read about it, in more detail. When I brought this, I also picked up the TooFaced Long-lasting Nude lipstick set. It contains two deluxe samples of the Melted lipstick in melted nude and the Love Flush blush in love hangover. Whilst the blush reminds me of the NARS Orgasm blush, the melted lipstick was the one that I was looking forward to trying. It is peachy nude shade and unlike other liquid lipsticks I've tried, this did not dry out my lips. I'm definitely going to check out other shades in the range because it wore so well.
I mentioned in my Round Up for November, that I picked up the new Anastasia Bev. Hills Self Made palette. When I first saw this, I was not completely sold but all that changed when it sold out on CultBeauty and I HAD to have it. I managed to get my hands on it and I'm so glad I picked it up. It contains 14 shades, whereas the previous ABH palettes have 12, and they are all very much different to anything I already have. The shades Blush, Isla and Sherbert are stunning and I cannot wait to wear them.

A cult favourite in the beauty community is the PIXI Glow Tonic, I decided to pick it up when ASOS had 20% off for students and I can see what people are talking about now. It really does cleanse your skin and any 'under the skin bumps' I had, are now gone. I noticed that when I did try it, I did break out (a lot) so because of that, I've stopped using it for the last week. I don't know if that's because it is working or I reacted pretty badly to it. I'm going to try it again soon and I will have a full review soon.

What have you brought this past month? And what is on your wishlist for Christmas?? I have no idea what I want and I need ideas - haha!

TooFaced Long-lasting Nude lipstick set // £12
PIXI Glow Tonic // £18

Saturday, 5 December 2015

THE ROUND UP | NOVEMBER 2015

With it being colder than usual, I have changed up my routine a little. By doing so, I discovered a few old favourites and a couple of new favourites too. I have been trying to rotate my products every few weeks now, just so I can actually use my products, instead of them just sitting in a drawer, gathering dust.
Whilst I love perfume, I have a lot and even though I really like every single of them, I only reach for a few. So for the past month, I have been trying to use up my perfumes (I finally finished my bottle of the Taylor Swift Wonderstruck perfume and I've nearly finished my bottle of the Vera Wang Lovestruck perfume too!). The one bottle that I have been loving, and not necessarily trying to use up (because I just brought it!) is the new Stella by Stella McCartney EDT. I brought this way back in April, and even though I have used it here and there. It was not until this month when I was reaching for it every time I went out. It is similar to the original, but definitely a lot fresher and more citrus based. If you're looking for a new perfume, then check this out! Plus the bottle is adorable!
As I have rotated my make up, I discovered a new mascara love. The Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye mascara is one that I did not think much of when I received it in the post as a GWP. I have been putting it off from trying it and I don't know why!? It makes my lashes look fuller and thicker, but without making it look clumpy. It's very easy to remove and I have found that it does not transfer on my under eye area throughout the day. 
The Anastasia Bev. Hills Shadow Couture World Traveller palette has been my go-to, whenever I go out. I have been obsessed with the shades 'Morocco' and 'Fudge', both of which are very warm and are perfect to apply in the crease. These are very different to any other eyeshadows I have in my collection, so I'm glad I picked it up when I did. They are incredibly pigmented and they blend like a dream. Unfortunately, it is not available anymore but there is a new palette out at the moment (which I also picked up and will be featured in a post soon) but I think you can buy it individually

Still sticking with make up, an old favourite I rediscovered this month is the Urban Decay Afterglow 8 Hour blush in Fetish. It is a medium pinky nude, with a matte finish. As it is a neutral blush, it is not overpowering and it goes with any make up look. The formula is amazing, it is very fine and it blends like a dream too. As it is fine, it does not look cakey on the skin and can be built up. I highly recommend these blushes and whilst I only have this shade, I will be sure to buy some more in the future. Another powder product, but one that is a new discovery is the Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing powder. Normally, powder can look very cakey on the skin if you apply throughout the day, but this does the complete opposite. It makes your skin look smoother and softer. It helps to reduce the appearance of pores, along with taking away any shine. As this is a small sample size, I've been using it on the go, for touch ups throughout the day.

As you can see, I have been trying out a ton of new products and I definitely going to rotate my 'everyday' make up a lot more often. In fact, I'm thinking of starting another new series on my blog based around this, let me know if you're interested! What have you been loving this past month??

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

MAC | COMPLETE COMFORT CREAM

You know a product is a great product when you run out to buy it the next day. This happened with me when I finished the MAC Complete Comfort Cream. When I first tried it, it was because my sister had actually brought it but it irritated her skin (she has VERY sensitive skin and is allergic to MAC foundations, so it was a no brainer that she would have a reaction with their skincare too *insert sad face*) so she gave it to me *insert happy face!*. 
If you suffer from dry skin (like myself) then you will really like this moisturiser. It has a thick formula, which is easily absorbed into the skin and it does not make your skin feel greasy, nor does it look it. In fact, I would say that it makes your skin look a lot healthier and it feels a lot softer/supple. It is said to provide relief to red and irritated skin, which I can say it does (for my skin) but if you have very sensitive skin, then I would suggest to get a sample before you buy it.

As it is a plant and marine based, it soothes my irritated skin and as I suffer from eczema, any dry patches that I may have, practically goes the next day. The only disadvantage I can say is the fact that it does not contain SPF, which is a little annoying as I have to use a separate SPF (when I remember!), nor does it contain any anti-aging properties. It is also a little pricey, but I brought it when Debenhams had 10% off all beauty, so it was a little cheaper ;)

All in all, this is a basic moisturiser but it is a basic moisturiser that I will contain to buy, as it works for my skin and I suggest if you have dry/dull/irritated skin, then be sure to try this out the next you're in MAC! Have you tried any other skincare products from MAC?


Sunday, 29 November 2015

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE | HAIRDRESSER'S INVISIBLE OIL SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER

Honestly, I do not spend a lot on shampoo and conditioner. I know what I like and I know what my hair needs/likes too. However, when I first saw the Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil range in SpaceNK, I must admit, I was intrigued. Whilst my hair is relatively healthy, it is dry and it often can be a little knotty. 

The Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil shampoo and conditioner, is infused with six different feather-light oils which helps to transform your hair. With a whipped like consistency, it is said to make your hair softer, smoother, silkier and helps to detangle your hair, whilst also taming frizz along with protecting against breakage (from heat and UV radiation). I have been using this all week, and I can officially say that my hair feels so much more softer and silkier (without it feeling greasy). I can manage my hair a lot easier now too, as it is less tangled. As it does contain six different oils, my hair is also less frizzy but it does not feel weighed down, which is a huge plus!

Another huge plus, is that is smells amazing! It smells fruity/tropical and sweet, but not too sweet that your hair smells like a sweet shop. A downside is the price, for a full size bottle (250ml) it is £23! Although, if you are interested then you can pick up a smaller bottle (60ml) for £7.50.That being said, I use this probably once a week, although I may have to invest in the conditioner but it has worked wonders on the ends of my hair. 

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil shampoo // £7.50 (60ml) / £23.00 (250ml)

Sunday, 22 November 2015

WORTH IT: LASH PRIMERS

If you were to tell me a year ago that I would be into using eyelash primers, I would have been really confused. Eyelash primers? What are those?? Eyelash primers are said to help thicken, lengthen and condition your lashes. Whilst there are a few on the market, I thought I would give you a run down on the three, which I currently have.

First up is the Urban Decay Subversion primer, which is a typical eyelash primer in the sense that it is white. However it has a whipped-like texture, which I have found helps to still keep my eyelashes soft before I apply my mascara. It adds volume to my lashes and as it contains pantheon and vitamin E, it moisturises and thickens your lashes. The wand is a little different to any other mascara wands I've seen, as it is flat on one side, which actually helps to grip the lashes.
The Estée Lauder Little Black Primer, is definitely different to any eyelash primer because it is in fact black, which is great because you can then use it on it's own. You can wear it in three different ways, the first is to simply tint you lashes. The curved wand provides colour and lift to your lashes, which is great for an everyday basis. Secondly, it can amplify your eyelashes. As it is a primer it provides volume, lift and length, which is perfect for a night out. Lastly, it sets your eyelashes because as it is water resistant, it helps to reduce smudging and flaking.
Lastly, the new mascara primer which has yet to come on the market (it will be released on 26th December) is the Benefit They're Real tinted primer. It is a mink-brown primer which gives a natural look to your lashes. It has the same wand as the original They're Real mascara, which has the ball tip to help grip those smaller lashes. As it is tinted, it provides some colour to your lashes whilst also defining your eyelashes for a feathery look. Again, you can wear this alone for a softer look or you can wear it under your mascara for an extra boost and separation. It is water resistant, which I expect no less as the original They're Real mascara can sometimes be a pain to remove.

I have used the Urban Decay Subversion primer, which is the cheapest from the bunch, for the last couple of months and I can see a difference in my eyelashes. I have noticed that my eyelashes do not fall out as often and I feel as if they have even grown a little! Also, as it is white, it does not make my eyelashes turn grey after applying mascara - I was really surprised with this! The Estée Lauder Little Black primer is definitely one for adding extra volume to your lashes. It makes them look so thick!

Using lash primers definitely does make a difference to your lashes. Whilst it adds length and volume, it does not make my lashes look clumpy and as if I have applied a ton of mascara. So, are they worth it? Yes, if you have sparse looking lashes (like I do!) and want an extra boost. I have yet to use the Benefit They're Real tinted primer, but I will write a whole dedicated post to this to see if it really 'worth it'.

Benefit They're Real Tinted Primer // £18.50

Thursday, 19 November 2015

CT | THE GIFT OF RED CARPET SKIN TRAVEL KIT

If you follow me on Twitter, then you will know that I have been waiting for the Charlotte Tilbury Christmas gift sets since July! Gift sets are a great way to try different products from the brand without paying an arm and a leg. So when I saw the Charlotte Tilbury The Gift of Red Carpet Skin Travel Kit, I knew that I instantly had to have it. 
The set contains all mini sizes (15ml), which like I said is a great way to try a handful of products from the entire brand. Especially as Charlotte Tilbury's skincare range is not exactly affordable. The one product that I was excited to try is the Magic Cream. When I picked up the Magic foundation, I tried the Magic Cream on the back of my hand and I instantly saw results. My skin was plumper and it felt soft for the whole day. As it is £70, I could not justify buying the full size, so this mini will have to do for now. It contains a secret fusion of anti-ageing ingredients to instantly turnaround dull, ageing and lack lustre skin.

Also in the set, contains Wonderglow, which adds radiance and luminosity to help transform sleep-deprived skin in seconds. The Supermodel Body tube, is very similar. It contains incredible 'slimmer-shimmer' which sculpts and highlights your contours. It is described as 'body confidence in a bottle'. Another product that I am excited to try is the Goddess Skin Clay Mask, which is packed with bio-nymph, mediterranean clay and sweet almond oil, helps to lift, smooth, brighten and tighten pores for 'baby skin'. Anything which helps to brighten my skin, I am all for!

The Multi-Miracle Glow, is a 3-in-1 cleanser, mask and balm. It contains both Sea Buckthorn seed oil and Cranberry seed oil, which are anti-oxidants that help to moisturise the skin. Along with rose hip and camellia oil to help delay the signs of ageing, and vitamins A, C and E to brighten your complexion. I am actually really interested to see how this works as both a cleanser and a balm. The last product in the gift set is the Take It All Off dual phase make up remover. I really like dual phase make up removers as I find that they are the most effective when removing waterproof make up. After hearing a lot about this two-toned cleanser, I am interested to see what the hype is about.

Overall, I am glad I picked this gift set up and it is a great present to give someone for Christmas too! I think I might pick up a few other CT gift sets, as this year they are really just amazing! Have you picked up any Christmas gift sets yet?


Monday, 16 November 2015

AUTUMN/WINTER PERFUME PICKS | 2015

It's officially starting to feel like Autumn/Winter, and what better way to get in the mood for the colder season than changing your perfume. I am one who changes her perfume according to what I'm wearing, where I am going and what time of year it is. I know it may seem like a lot to consider/time consuming, but it honestly it isn't. I can remember what each of my perfumes smell like and I would class that as a skill, considering I have a lot!
My first pick is the new Marc Jacobs Decadence EDP, this is such a unique smelling perfume which is perfume for the evening. I have dedicated a whole separate post to this aesthetically pleasing perfume, if you wish to read it more in detail. Another perfume, which is perfect for the evening but is a lot cheaper in price is Zara Oriental perfume. Zara is definitely not a place where I go to buy a perfume but when I was standing in the queue, I came across a huge display of them and this is one which stood out to me. Again, I have dedicated a whole separate post for this perfume.
Another new perfume I brought this year was the new Stella by Stella McCartney EDT. This is a twist to the original Stella EDP, but it is a little bit more fresher. Perfect to wear during the day as it is a lot lighter than the original, plus the bottle just looks so pretty. I do have a separate post for this perfume if you want to read about it in a little more detail. A perfume which I was given for Christmas last year, is the Jimmy Choo FLASH perfume. With hints of tangerine, strawberry and even pink pepper, it is definitely a unique scent. I would say that this is very floral considering the heart notes are white flowers and tuberose, however as the base note is powdery woody, it is great for the colder months. I normally wear this when I am going out because it lasts on the skin for ages. 

In fact, all of these perfumes last on the skin for ages which is great because if I am going to buy a perfume, I want it to last as long as possible. What is your go to perfume for the colder months?

Zara Oriental // £7.99

Friday, 13 November 2015

THE BATTLE OF THE CLEANSING OILS..

If you caught my Monthly Buys #2 post, then you would know that I have been obsessed with cleansing oils. I have a handful in my collection and I thought it would be interesting to give a little review on each one.
First up is the Nude Perfect Cleanse nourishing cleansing oil. This is probably the most expensive from the bunch. It is an omega rich oil cleanser for both the face and the eyes. As it is packed with both Omega 3 and 6, it leaves the skin feeling cleaner, softer and supple. I tend to use this when I first wake up in the morning, as I find it is much more efficient that way, since I am not wasting product by getting rid of make up. The Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing oil, is probably the best at removing make up. By applying this on dry skin, it really works at getting rid of both face and eye make up. It has a cooling sensation, which is subtle, and it does not leave a greasy residue on the skin either! Unfortunately, Boscia is not available in the UK but if I was to ever go back to the US, then I will definitely pick this up again.
The Superfacialist Vitamin C+ cleansing oil, is a new product for me. I picked this up a few weeks ago and I really like it. It makes my skin feel a lot softer and it gets rid of both face and eye make up like no other. It is very gentle on the skin and it does not make my eyes sting either. As it contains Vitamin C, it does help to brighten the skin. Another newer cleansing oil is the BareMinerals Mineralixirs facial cleansing oil. I picked this up at the beginning of October and it works wonders at removing waterproof mascara. I have been wearing Benefit They're Real mascara and this helps to break it down without tugging on my eyes. It is infused with a blend of plant-derived oils and a skin-enhancing mineral complex, which helps to dissolve makeup, dirt and grime, whilst conditioning and nourishing the skin for a healthy-looking complexion.


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

MONTHLY BUYS #2

If you didn't catch my first Monthly Buys, then I have decided to start a new little series here on my blog where I show you all the items I have brought in the past month. It's a great way to give a little review of the product without dedicating a whole separate post. Plus, it is a great way (for me atleast) to keep an eye on what I am buying - AKA do I really need it?
I have recently have been obsessed with cleansing oils. As I have dry skin, cleansing oils are the best way to cleanse my skin without stripping/irritating it. I first picked up the BareMinerals Mineralixirs facial cleansing oil earlier this month, and I have been using it everyday since. I have barely made a dent in it as a little goes a long way. It removes waterproof mascara like a dream. The second cleansing oil I picked up is by the Super Facialist by Una Brennan cleansing oil. I have yet to try this but I have heard great things about it.
For make up this year, I finally brought the Bobbi Brown corrector in Peach. My dark circles are pretty prominent and sometimes when I apply concealer, it can look a little grey. So when I was near a Bobbi Brown counter, I asked if I could get tested. Instantly I could see a difference and after a few hours, it still looked the same so I brought it. I have used it and I can really see a difference with my under eye area. It looks a lot brighter and it makes you look more awake. It does not crease on me, which I know many have had a problem with.
Going back to skincare, I finally picked up Hydraluron this month. Again, I have yet to try this but after hearing a lot of great things from other people, I am excited to use it. It supposedly helps with the level of moisturise in your skin and as I have dry skin, I am interested to see how much of a difference it will make. Another moisturising product I picked up, is The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting moisturiser. As it has gone colder, my skin has taken a huge toll. It can look a little dull and when I saw that The Body Shop released a moisturiser especially for dull looking skin, I picked it up. I have used it and whilst I can see a difference, I think it broke me out - which sucks!

It does not feel heavy on the skin at all, in fact it is pretty light on the skin and it does have a strong citrus scent, but this dies down after a while. I haven't tried this since but I will definitely check back to see if it was this that broke me out. What have you picked up this month?

Saturday, 7 November 2015

THE ROUND UP | OCTOBER 2015

This month was a month of rediscoveries for me. I am making it a point of going through my entire stash and start to use up products. One which I have been using for the last couple of weeks is the Phyto 7 Hydrating Day Cream for dry hair. I did mention this earlier on in the year, in my Haircare 101 post. It is one of my favourite hair products. The only way I can describe this, is that it is like a leave in conditioner but without the sticky residue. It leaves the hair looking and feeling softer, plus I have noticed that my hair is a lot less brittle and frizzy. A definite must for the colder months. 
 Another must for the colder months is the Origins Drink Up Intensive overnight mask. This is seriously my favourite hydrating mask. It makes such a difference on the skin which you can visibly see. Any dry or flakey patches are practically gone overnight and my skin feels and looks a lot more hydrated. If you suffer from dry skin, then you need this!
I have been using the Tarte Amazonian clay blush in the shade Exposed all month. It is a perfect everyday blush which can go with any make up look, in fact I mentioned my favourite nude blushes here. It is incredibly pigmented and lasts for ages on the skin. There have been two lip products that I have been using this month, in conjunction with another. The first being the NARS lip pencil in the shade Rikugien, which is a soft muted rosey pink. The other being the Bite Beauty Lush Fruit lipgloss in the shade Currant, which is a sheer plum. Separately these both look great on the lips, but when applied together they are amazing. It feels very comfortable on the lips and it lasts for a pretty long time too. As they are both neutral, I find that I can reapply throughout the day without needing a mirror.

For nails, I have been wearing Essie Shearling Darling all month. It is the perfect true dark red shade, which is perfect for this time of year. I mentioned this and others in my A/W Nail Picks. A rediscovering for me this month is the Formula X top coat. This has now become my all time favourite top coat ever. It even beats Seche Vite! It makes my manicure last for days without chipping and it remains glossy for days too! The only disadvantage is that Formula X is not available in the UK, so I have no idea what I am going to do when I have finished the bottle!

What have you been loving this month? 

NARS lip pencil // £19
Essie nail polish // £7.99
Formula X top coat // $10.50

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

THE BATTLE OF THE SPOT TREATMENTS....

The one thing I have tried a lot of, are spot treatments. I have tried a few from the cheapest on the market, to the more expensive and even prescribed/over the counter like PanOxyl
I have started to get a few pesky breakouts over the last couple of weeks so I thought it would be interesting to show you all my current stash. First up is LUSH Grease Lightning, which is more natural compared to others. It is infused with rosemary, thyme and tree tree, which are antibacterial and antiseptic. It also contains witch hazel, which helps to soothe redness and reduces the inflammation. This is a clear gel and it does not dry my skin out at all, I normally use this when I first can feel the break out as I find it is much more effective then. 
One which I do not know how I feel about is the Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel. This is the most expensive from the bunch and it actually pretty small. It contains Salicylic Acid, which helps to fight against breakouts. I have not really given this a go because I normally reach for other treatments so I cannot give a decent review on it, but I do like it. On the other hand, the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is one of my favourites. It also contains Salicylic Acid and unlike any other spot treatment I have tried, this is has two separate layers. There is a pink sediment which is actually calamine, and you simply dip a cotton bud into the product and then dab it on your break out. I apply this at night, or if I know I am going to be at home all day, because it does look like you have a case of chicken pox - haha! 
On the cheaper side of the spectrum, I have two. The first being the Freederm Fast Track Spot Gel, which is specially formulated by skin experts. It claims it reduces the size and redness within 3 hours, and whilst I do like this. I prefer my OG Clean and Clear Advantage Spot Control Treatment Gel. I have been using this for over 10 years, and it is my go to. It also contains Salicylic Acid, which helps to quickly fight bacteria, rebalances the level of oil and purifies the skin without drying it out.

I have repurchased this a number of times and if I had to choose just one spot treatment, this would be it. What are your favourite spot treatments?



Sunday, 25 October 2015

WIMB - EVERYDAY MAKE UP EDITION #2

I think everyone secretly loves to have a snoop in someone else's bag. I know I do. It is a great way to see what someone is using at the moment and what they absolutely love. So I thought it would be interesting to show you my everyday make up bag, which I do pop in my bag if I know I will be out all day long.
Having neglected my Hourglass Ambient Lighting blush in Diffused Heat for a while, I decided to put it in my make up bag so I can start to use it again. I have no idea why I stopped using it, it creates such a lovely natural flush of colour and glow on the skin. The Tarte Amazonian clay blush in Exposed, is one of my favourite nude blushes. In fact, I mentioned my all time favourites here. For bronzer, I have been obsessed with the MAC Studio Defining Bronzing powder in Delicates. Now this is a limited edition product which was released this year in the MAC Summer collection, and I have been using it ever since I brought it. I'm surprised I haven't hit pan yet! For a face powder, I have been using the Sephora 8 Hour Mattifying powder in medium (30). I picked this up when I was in Nice this year and I really do like it. It does mattify whilst also adding some coverage.
For concealers, I have been using the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind in Nude again, this is one of my favourite 'drugstore' concealer. Another product, which is a new one for me is the Soap & Glory Kick Ass concealer in medium. I have been using the darker shade to colour correct my dark circles and then I apply my Maybelline concealer on top. It lasts all day and it does not look cakey at all!
For mascara, I've been using the Benefit They're Real mascara. I really do like this mascara, it adds length to my sparse lashes, along with some volume. It is a pain to remove but nothing like an oil based make up remover can't handle. For brows, it has to be the Soap and Glory Archery brow pencil in Hot Chocolate. This is the one product that I cannot be without in my collection, along with the Miss Sporty Clear Mascara. I have been using this for years (since I was 16?) and it is my favourite. For eyeliner, I have been trying to use up the Sephora Contour eye pencil in Black Lace, whilst it is a great eyeliner, I have so many that I need to use up. Another is the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On pencil in Demolition, which is a dark brown shade. For liquid eyeliner, I have been switching between the Sephora Fine Line liner, which dries matte and the Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes, which has a sheen when dried. I like both since they both last all day and are pretty opaque. I always keep my Shu Umera eyelash curlers with me too.
For lips, I keep two balms with me. First is the MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner in Petting Pink, which helps to protect my lips whilst also adding colour. I think this is actually discontinued. The Nivea SOS Lip Relief, which is my all time favourite. If you have chapped or sore lips, then you need this! On an everyday basis, I opt for a nude lip so I have a few options. The Sephora lip liner in Pale Beige (14), NARS Satin lip pencil in Rikugien, MAC lipstick in Kiss The King (limited edition) and my all time favourite Rimmel Nottinghill Nude

As for the make up bag, this was a part of a Marc Jacobs set from Sephora. It actually holds a lot whilst also being compact. It also has a mirror which can be stored on the side, which is great for touch ups on the go. I'd love to know what you keep in your make up bags?

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

AN ODE TO NUDE..

A few months ago, I post An Ode to Peach post and many of you seemed to like it. So today I thought I would write another post and mention my favourite nude blushers. I have a few nude blushers in my collection, some of which are limited edition so I have not mentioned them in this post because you can no longer get a hold of them. However, here are three of my all time favourites which I'm sure everyone owns or can still get a hold of.
First up is Dallas by Benefit, which I feel is completely underrated. It is said to be 'an outdoor glow for an indoor gal' and I can see where Benefit are coming from. For me, this doubles up as both a bronzer and a blusher. It adds a natural flush of colour to the cheeks without looking muddy or patchy. I would say that this is a neutral dusty rose, which does have some shimmer/a sheen to it, however when applied on the cheeks, this is barely visible.
The next blush is the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour blush in the shade Exposed. I have had this for a few months now and I can honestly say, that a little goes a long way. It is very pigmented and incredibly long lasting on the cheeks. It is described as a 'nude' however when swatched it is a lot pink than I imagined. Yet, when applied on the cheeks, it is such a neutral blush that it goes with any make up look. Last of all, is NARS Douceur. Now I think this has been discontinued, which is such a shame because it is a stunning soft pink brown shade, which would suit every skin tone. I have a few NARS blushers in my collections and this is one that I opt for every time. Like Exposed, a little goes a long way and I am so glad I rediscovered this in my collection.

From the three, I would say Dallas is an all time favourite. Plus, it is every lazy girl's product! Although, I know that these products are not exactly affordable, so if you have any cheaper alternatives then be sure to leave a comment.

Benefit Box Blushes // £23.50

Sunday, 18 October 2015

IS IT MAGIC? IS IT FOUNDATION?

 Since it was my birthday a few weeks ago, I decided to buy a few things that I have been wanting for sometime. I was browsing around in Selfridges - as you do! And I came across the new Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation. Now, if you have been reading my blog for a very long time, then you will know that I am not one to wear foundation on a daily basis. I normally cannot stand how it feels on the skin, so I opt for concealer on a regular basis. However, when I tested it on the back of my hand (and when I got colour matched) I fell in love. This is probably the one foundation that matches me perfectly, and that's saying something!
The new Charlotte Tilbury Magic foundation is said to be a 'miracle in a bottle', it supposedly transforms the skin no matter the age, the tone or the type. It has a 'hyper-intelligent' formula that gives full coverage but it feels completely weightless on the skin. Unlike most full coverage foundation, this does not look nor feel cakey on the skin. It just makes your skin look flawless. It is said to cover any acne or acne scarring, it tightens the pores, helps to reduce shine and the one thing which surprised me was the fact that it is said to minimise oil production after just 9 weeks! It also covers any redness, rosacea, discolouration and melasma, along with helping to reduce over production of melanocytes - which causes any pigmentation issues.

I have noticed that whilst wearing this foundation, my skin looks a lot plumper which actually lives up to the claims that it smoothes the appearance of fine line and wrinkles and gives a more rested, refreshed look to the skin. It also says to reduce age spots by 75%. So there is a whole lot of science behind this foundation as it contains a broad spectrum SPF 15, magical luridly, hyaluronic filling spheres and vitamin C which helps to fight ageing effects. So as I said, there is a lot of science behind this foundation and whilst some are bit extreme, I can definitely say that this is one of my favourites. Considering it has been 5 years in the making, I feel as if CT has really hit the nail on the head with this one. It covers my redness along with any scarring I may have from previous acne, and even my dark circles! It is said to have a matte finish, however I would say more of a semi-matte.

I was matched to the shade 7, which is a neutral caramel for both medium to tan skin tones, who have a warm golden or olive undertone, so if you are around an NC35-37 in MAC then this would be your best match. The one thing I have to mention is the price. I was fairly surprised on how 'affordable' it is, considering it is a high end brand. It is under £30, which is still pricey however when you look at other foundations on the high-end market, it is one of the cheapest.




Have you seen my blog sale yet?