Sunday, 31 January 2016

THE ROUND UP || THE BEST OF 2015 - PART TWO

If you read part one of The Round Up | The Best of 2015, then you will know that I mentioned I was going to post a part two. Well here it is and I feel like most of you will find new products..
Starting off with hair, I brought the SpaceNK beauty box in May(?) and inside was a (travel size) bottle of Oribe Gold Lust hair oil. It is around £30 (for the travel size) and so it is an expensive product BUT believe me when I say that it has changed my hair dramatically. Infused with Jasmine, Edelweiss flower, Lychee, Sandalwood, Cassis, Bergamot and Argan extracts, it really conditions my hair. My hair (like my skin!) is dry, especially the ends so when I find a product that makes my hair feel and look healthier then I'm all for it! Unlike most oils, my hair does not feel like it is just coated and it just feels nourished. I have noticed I have less split ends and breakage, because it is pricy, I use a few drops every other week or so and my hair still feels as soft as it did when I first applied it. Another haircare favourite was the Bumble and Bumble Invisible Hairdresser's conditioner, which I finished so it's not pictured but it was definitely a great product. My favourite perfume of 2015 is the Marc Jacobs Decadence EDP. It is definitely different to anything I have in my collection and it is a very strong, even masculine, perfume but for some odd reason, I really like it! It changes after a while and it lasts for ages on the skin. The GlamGlow Youthmud mask was my favourite mask for 2015, it is different as it contains tiny exfoliants which helps to get rid of any impurities which may be on the skin. I cannot say enough more about this mask other than I love it and you need to try it!
2015 was definitely the year of skincare for me, I did not really discover too many make up products because I feel like I know what I like and nothing really stood out to me. The MAC Complete Comfort creme has been my go to moisturiser for the past couple of months. I feel like I keep talking about this on my blog but honestly it has changed my dry skin dramatically. It feels softer, more supple and hydrated. If you suffer from dry skin, then definitely check this out. Sticking with MAC, the MAC Fix+ was the one product I kept coming back to. I've been using it after doing my make up to help everything look more natural and less cakey, and sometimes I've even been using it on days when I don't wear make up! It instantly hydrates the skin and it does not break me out.

In terms of removing my make up, I rediscovered the Liz Earle cleanse and polish. I have no idea why I stopped using this and when I skin freaked out earlier last year, I went straight to this. It calmed my skin and any patches of eczema I may have had, disappeared. Sticking with cleansers, I discovered oil cleansers and whilst I really enjoyed the Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool cleanser, you just cannot get your hands on it very easily, here in the UK so the BareMinerals Mineralixirs cleansing oil, was the next best thing. It breaks down my make up effortlessly, without leaving a greasy film on my skin. As it is an oil, I feel as if it helps to hydrate the skin too. A definite favourite and a little goes a long way, so I feel like it will last me months.

What were your favourite skincare products of 2015? Is there anything I need to try?

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

TO TRY: 3 THINGS

Whilst I do like to change things up now and then, there are only a handful of products I use on an everyday basis. I recently realised that I have been reaching for the same 3 products every single day for the past couple of weeks and I thought I would share them with you all.

First up is the MAC Complete Comfort Cream. I feel like I keep talking about this cream on my blog but it's just so good! If you suffer from dry skin then you should definitely try this out. I have dry skin all year round, but when winter rolls around I have random dry patches that just seem to keep popping up, no matter what I tried. I tried this product last year and I have used it every single day since. It makes my dry patches disappear and they do not come back. My skin does not feel tight or irritated throughout the day and that's when I know a product is working for me. The Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base in Nude Radiance was a random buy for me to be honest. I had been eyeing it up for the longest time and I decided to just pick it up, and I'm so glad I did! It seems intense in the bottle but believe it when you apply it to the skin, it does not look like you've just dipped your skin in a tub of glitter. It creates a glowy sheen to the skin and when mixed with your foundation or applied as a liquid highlight, it looks as if your skin is glowing from within. I definitely want to try some more products from Burberry because they all just look amazing!

Lastly, the Too Faced Hangover X primer was one I ordered from Sephora last year as soon as it was released. It was definitely worth it and I believe you can get your hands on it now here in the UK (but I might be wrong!) It hydrates your skin without making it look greasy and I've noticed that it feels a little tacky (no overly) which makes your base stick to it nicely. Infused with coconut water and probiotics, it makes you look healthier by boosting the skin's radiance. 

Although, I have been trying out another moisturiser which might be replacing my MAC moisturiser but I will report back if it has. Have you tried any of these? What are your top 3 go to products lately?

Sunday, 24 January 2016

FIGHTING BLEMISHES OVERNIGHT


This past month, my skin has broken out like crazy. I put it down to my diet AKA all the sweets I've been eating at work and of course, 'that time of the month'. Having said that, I have finally found a combination of products that I feel really work well for my skin.

The Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment is one I have been using for just over a year now, and whilst it is on it's last legs, it just works. It has a serum like consistency, leaning towards a gel texture. It is a strange product, but it does not irritate my sensitive skin and it actually helps to keep my skin from getting dry overnight. It sinks into your skin within minutes, so you do not feel oily nor greasy.  The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion has been my go to at fighting blemishes. It contains Salicylic Acid along with calamine and whilst it does look a little odd when you first apply it to your skin, it really works at getting down and calming those angry spots. It aims to dry out blemishes which helps to clear any whiteheads or any under the skin spots/bumps, and by using this every night, any pesky breakouts I may have had disappear within days if not straight away!

The combination of these two products practically makes any blemish disappear overnight and my skin feels a lot more softer and smoother. Having used both products for years, I can officially say that I cannot live without them! They are truly my 'holy grail' spot treatments to use at night.

What do you use to get rid of your breakouts?

Thursday, 21 January 2016

URBAN DECAY X GWEN STEFANI PALETTE

I briefly mentioned the limited edition Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani palette in my (Extremely) Last Minute Gift Ideas: For Her, and I thought I should actually dedicate a whole post to it!
Let's start with the packaging. It's definitely different to any eyeshadow palette I've ever seen and I love it! With it's white and black graphic detailing and golden bronze hardware, it's definitely up there with my favourite packaging. Inside, it contains 15 eyeshadows, 12 of which are limited edition and were designed by Gwen Stefani herself and 3 are repromotes but I can look past it, because this palette is just so wearable even though it has a few pops of colour in it! 
As you can see the shadows are incredible pigmented and they feel so buttery soft when applied to your lids, like all Urban Decay shadows I have ever tried. There are an assortment of neutrals inside the palette, which is the one thing I like about this palette because it means that I can create so many different looks with just one palette. Danger, which is a royal blue, will look amazing on the lower lash line and whist Harajuku looks a little scary as it is a pink eyeshadow, I'm excited to play with it. Blackout, which is a repromote, is probably the darkest black matte eyeshadow I have ever used and the fact that it is included in this palette is great because I can use it for so many different reasons! Pop, Steady and Baby look amazing on the lids and you can pretty much use any of the neutral shades in the crease. 
When you buy the palette, Urban Decay have also included a small selection of the soon to be release UD x Gwen Stefani lipstick shades too! Rocksteady is a deep burgundy with a glossy finish. This is extremely opaque and although I never really wear dark colours, I love this shade! 714 is true bright red matte lipstick. It's definitely not unique but it's a lovely shade nonetheless. Ex-Girlfriend has a sheer finish, which I was a little disappointed with because it did not really show up on my lips. It is a rosy peach which has fine golden shimmer running through it. Whilst I liked it, I do not know if I will buy it. Firebird is a deep fuchsia which has an iridescent like shimmer to it. It's definitely different to anything I have in my collection and whilst I do like the colour, I don't think I will wear it as it's just not me. 

The Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani palette is already out and as it is limited edition, I feel like it will sell out pretty soon. Urban Decay are also releasing a range of lipsticks, lip pencils, a blush palette along with a brow box (in the shade blonde) so definitely be on the look out for that in the next couple of weeks.


Monday, 18 January 2016

THE ROUND UP || THE BEST OF 2015 - PART ONE

Hello everyone! Long time no post! I hope you had a wonderful start to the new year, for me 2015 has really flown by and when I thought about the products that really stood out to me, it was difficult. I have not discovered that many products compared to my 2014 round up. Although, all the products which stood out are relatively new so I thought I should still mention it, even though it is mid-January! I will be splitting this post into two, so be sure to keep an eye out for my skincare etc favourites in the next couple of days.
My favourite foundation this year was the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation (shade: medium 7). This is one of the only foundations I have discovered which really suits my skin tone. It does not make my skin look pink after applying it (which most do!) and it covers my redness easily. The Urban Decay Afterglow blushes were probably my favourite release for blushes this year. I only have one shade (Fetish), which is a neutral everyday blush. It was the one blush I would reach and I knew it would go with any look I was wearing. My go-to blush for the summer was no other than the Clinique Cheek Pop in Peach Pop. This is a baked product and it glides on the skin so easily without looking like it is too much. I will definitely pick up a few more shades. For brows, it has to be the Soap and Glory Archery brow pencil in Hot Chocolate. You know a product is your HG when you run out to go and buy it again, the next day. This happened to me. It matches my brows perfectly and it is just so easy to use. It helps to define my brows and cover up any sparse areas I may have, I will definitely continue to repurchase it.
It is no surprise that my favourite bronzer this year was the MAC Studio Sculpt Defining Bronzing Powder in Delicates. Again, this just suits my skin perfectly. It is not too red, too orange or too green so it adds colour back into my skin, naturally. Unfortunately it was limited edition, but I feel like it would be re-promoted. Another no surprise, is the Bobbi Brown corrector in Peach. I picked this up in October and I have been using it every single day. It covers my dark circles, it does not crease on me nor does it fade throughout the day. It's an amazing product! For eyeshadows, it has to be the Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes. Again, these are limited edition BUT you can buy the shades individually. They are incredibly pigmented and are very easy to blend.
Lastly for lip products, it was a little difficult for me to choose my favourites. I brought quite a few of liquid lipsticks and whilst I really do enjoy them, none really stood out for me. I then had to think what did I keep wearing and that had to be Benefit Lollibalm. This is a lip balm which has a pink tint to it. It instantly moisturises my lips and as it is a balm, I do not need a mirror to apply it. It adds some colour and is perfect to chuck in your bag. I am nearly towards the end of this and I need to pick up another one soon!
My favourite lipstick which I wore throughout the summer was MAC Speeddial. Again, this is a wearable pink which looks amazing on everyone. I wore this throughout August and it was what I wore for every wedding I went to! My go to lip pencil was MAC Subculture, it is the perfect nude lipliner for myself and it does not dry out my lips. It goes with nearly every lip colour I wear. As the weather has gotten colder, my favourite lip products were from NARS. The first is NARS Sex Machine, which is a velvet matte finish but it is my fail safe lip option. It just goes with every make up look! The second is NARS Rikugien, which was a new addition to my NARS collection, is similar  but it just has a slight sheen to it and is a little bit more comfortable to wear on the lips.

I feel like last year I found the products which I really like and I know I will continue to use in years to come (unless I find something better!). Like I said before, make sure you're following me to keep up to date with new posts, especially my 2015 skincare/haircare/etc favourites! What were your standout products for 2015??

Friday, 15 January 2016

BENEFIT COSMETICS PORE-FESSIONAL MATTE RESCUE - #RISEANDPRIME

Last week I had a chance to have breakfast with Benefit along with checking out their latest releases for their Pore-fessional range, which is set to launch at the end of the month. Now I'm a huge fan of both the Pore-fessional primer and Benefit Cosmetics as an overall brand, so it was a no-brainer that I would be interested in what they had in store. Benefit have created two new products to their Pore-fessional range, the first being the Pore-fessional Matte Rescue Invisible Mattifying Gel* and the Pore-fessional Instant Wipeout masks*.
The Pore-fessional Matte Rescue Invisible Mattifying Gel* is definitely something different, in fact I have never tried anything like it, so I was definitely intrigued. It is a lightweight water-based gel primer, which is applied to clean skin before make up, or you can even wear this alone. It is said to 'instantly overpower shine and absorb excess surface oil' whilst giving the skin a 'natural-looking matte finish'. I prefer my skin to look dewy, rather than looking matte but my t-zone has always looked a little 'too dewy' for my liking so the idea that it absorbs excess surface oil, sounds great!

As I have dry skin, I tend to have a few dry patches especially as the weather has dropped, and I have found that as this is a water-based formula, it adds extra hydration to my skin, whilst also leaving my skin feeling smooth, softer and moisturised. It does not feel like it is being striped of it's essential oils nor does it feel tight/irritated. To make the Pore-fessional Matte Rescue Invisible Mattifying Gel* a little extra special, they added a special ingredient, which is diamond powder, and it is known for it's soft focused and refines your pores! Plus it smells amazing and a little goes a long way!
The Pore-fessional Instant Wipeout masks* is probably the one thing I am the most excited to use. I enjoy using traditional pore strips, and the great thing about these, is that there is nothing like it on the market! It comes with eight individually packaged strips, which you press the button to release the formula, which contains mushroom extract as it is said to help clarify pores, into the mask. Like I said before, I have never seen anything like this before and it just screams Benefit, as it is just so quirky and I love it! 

You simply apply the smooth side to either the nose, forehead or chin (or anywhere else you want!), and after applying it for the suggested 5 minutes, you can use the textured side to help exfoliate the skin and to remove any impurities in your pores, which is great if you have clogged pores or even enlarged pores. It is a little pricy for what it is, but I feel like it is not something I will use every other week or so and with eight strips, I feel like it will last a pretty long time.

The Pore-fessional Matte Rescue Invisible Mattifying Gel* and the Pore-fessional Instant Wipeout masks* will be available to buy exclusively from Benefit's website on the 15th January and then they will be available to buy in store on the 30th January.