Thursday, 15 February 2018

January Favourites

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Targeted Acne Spot Treatment
LED light therapy is one of the most innovative skin treatments around. It's based on the idea that coloured wavelengths of light have the ability to induce a change within the skin. Red light therapy is mainly used to stimulate collagen & elastin production whereas blue light therapy is an excellent acne solution. These treatments used to be exclusively available as part of professional facials but then Neutrogena brought out a full light therapy mask for use at home. I read loads of good reviews about the skin benefits that this mask provides but the downside was that it only works for 30 ten minute sessions. After that you have to keep buying £15 'activators' to make it work again. Considering that the mask costs £60 to begin with I decided that investing in this device would be far too expensive. A little while ago Neutrogena came out with a much smaller pen version designed for treating individual blemishes. The pen is a much more affordable device & only requires AAA batteries to work. It's very simple to use, you just have to hold the light pen up to one of your spots for two minutes & it will kill any acne causing bacteria. It also helps to reduce inflammation & speed up the skin healing process. I'm really pleased with this light therapy pen. It has definitely helped to banish unruly blemishes & prevent them from scarring my skin.

Charlotte Tilbury Brightening Youth Glow
As much as I try to resist buying new Charlotte Tilbury products, she just keeps drawing me back in! One of her latest launches is this Brightening Youth Glow primer. It's very similar to her original primer Wonderglow but it imparts more of a pearlescent sheen than a golden glow. The pearlescent pigments immediately make your skin look healthier & more luminous. It does a great job of keeping your makeup on for longer & blurring imperfections. This product also has some skincare benefits as it contains anti-aging & anti-redness ingredients to even out & brighten your complexion without makeup. I really like that it has an immediate effect on your skin as well as long term benefits. I find the texture of this primer to be a bit thicker than Wonderglow & I don't have to use as much product as a result. It makes my skin feel silky smooth & perfectly prepped for foundation. I love that I can still see the glow through my makeup which is the whole point of illuminating primers. I've been using this every day, regardless of whether I'm wearing makeup or not & I've already noticed an improvement in my skin tone. It's helped my complexion to look more even & gives me the fresh, dewy looking skin of my dreams.

Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer
Tarte Shape Tape is one of my favourite concealers of all time but I was dreading having to repurchase it. I order mine from QVC where you can only buy it alongside a makeup sponge & QVC always charge extra for delivery. It can get quite expensive & although I do think it's worth the money, I can't always afford to spend £32 on concealer! Makeup Revolution recently brought out their Conceal & Define Concealer which is basically a £4 dupe for Shape Tape & I'm a huge fan of this product. It took me quite a while to get my hands on it because my local Superdrug still haven't restocked it & they kept selling out of my colour online. Eventually I managed to buy the shade C1 which is the lightest colour available & a good colour match for Shape Tape in Fair. The shade range is truly inclusive & better than that offered by any other drugstore brand. Actually it's a lot better than the shade range offered by many high end brands too! The coverage that this concealer provides is incredible & the consistency feels a lot creamier than Shape Tape. It blends out beautifully without reducing the coverage & feels really lightweight on the skin. The concealer doesn't settle into fine lines or pores, you're just left with a really smooth perfected base. It's such a brilliant product & if you see your colour in stock, do not hesitate to buy one!

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask*
Winter weather really takes it's toll on my skin & my lips end up suffering most of all. Sleeping masks are a fantastic way to give your skin an intense hit of hydration so I was really excited to try out this Lip Sleeping Mask from Laneige. This thick & creamy lip balm is packed full of ingredients that literally wrap your lips with moisture. It's enriched with hyaluronic acid & a special berry complex to gently remove dead skin cells overnight, leaving behind a softer, smoother & fuller looking pout. I can still feel the mask on my lips when I wake up in the morning & it has helped to keep my lips feeling soft in the long run. It comes with a cute little applicator which is both hygienic & fun to use. You can also wear this mask during the day as an intensive lip treatment. It's a great base for lipstick & stops my lips from getting dry when I'm walking out in the cold. The Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask has single-handedly saved my sore, chapped lips & I can't recommend this product enough if the cold weather is ruining your lips too.

Makeup Geek In The Nude Eyeshadow Palette
Even though they've been slightly overshadowed by cheaper brands such as Morphe & Colourpop, I still love Makeup Geek eyeshadows. Their mattes are intensely pigmented yet blend like a dream & their foiled shadows are just pure eye candy. As soon as I saw this palette I knew that I would get a lot of use out of it. In fact it's the only eyeshadow palette I've reached for all month. There's such a gorgeous collection of warm browns & neutral shades in this palette. My favourite combo is to use So Pale as a base, Buffed as a transition shade, Tan Lines to define the crease, Cabin Fever to add some more depth to the eye & finally In The Spotlight all over the lid. The makeup world is currently flooded with neutral eyeshadow palettes but this is one of the prettiest around with the ideal ratio of matte & shimmery shadows. I can honestly see myself hitting pan on every single colour!

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Monday, 12 February 2018

Cute & Cosy

Jumper - GANT* / Dress - Topshop / Boots - The Whitepepper (RIP) / Belt - River Island
Scarf - Topshop / Beret - eBay / Necklace - Rock N Rose

Well it's been almost two years since I last published an outfit post so I figured it was about time that I started doing them again. A few days ago it was my blog's 8th anniversary & blogging has changed in so many ways since I started this website. I think that fashion blogging in particular has become a lot more professional with many bloggers hiring photographers to take their outfit pictures. One of the reasons I stopped documenting my outfits was because I felt that my photos taken indoors against this same ugly yellow wall were no longer good enough.

Back in the OG blogger days everyone took their photos like this & it wasn't a problem at all. But when everyone else started taking more artistic shots outside, I didn't think that anyone would care about my posts anymore. I can't afford to hire a photographer & my attempts to teach Andy to use my DSLR have been fruitless so I just stopped. I've definitely missed doing it though & as always comparison is the thief of joy. I shouldn't have let what other people are doing affect me & stop me from doing something that I love. Fashion blogging is supposed to be about showcasing an outfit, not competing to see who can take their photos in front of the prettiest house in London. I still get quite a few emails & messages asking when I'm going to start doing fashion posts again so this one is for all of you!

Looking cute when it's absolutely freezing outside is harder than it seems. More often than not I end up throwing my burgundy parka & beanie on top of a hoodie & thermal leggings because it's too cold for anything else. In between the recent snow showers we've had, the weather has been a lot more agreeable & it's not long now until Spring arrives. One of my favourite ways to make my outfits more exciting whilst still dressing appropriately for the cold weather is to layer. It's much easier than you might think as you can play around with length, colour & texture to create an entirely new outfit from pieces that are already in your wardrobe.

The mini polka dot wrap dress I'm wearing here is rather revealing despite having long sleeves. I paired it with a thin cable knit jumper to cover my chest. The length of the jumper covers up too much of the dress so to keep things in proportion I rolled it up which makes it even cosier & doesn't hide my shape. I added a belt under the jumper to further emphasise my waist. I'm obsessed with these double ring belts from River Island. They give the same effect as those £300 Gucci belts but without the hefty cost! These gladiator style boots from the much missed The Whitepepper are another great Winter/Spring transitional piece. They feel much warmer than they look & are just a bit more interesting than your standard black boots. Winter is the best time to experiment with hats. I recently bought loads of cheap berets on eBay & they are my new favourite way to hide my roots! As I'm wearing a grey jumper & a grey hat, I decided to finish off the outfit with this super cosy nude pink scarf. It adds a bit of colour to an otherwise monochrome outfit & the texture contrasts nicely with the cable knit jumper. If you keep your top half warm, you can get away with wearing less on your bottom half & I always like to show off my legs haha!

One thing that has definitely cheered me up during all this cold weather we've been having was the arrival of this package from GANT. I love the timeless preppy style of their clothing. There's no better brand if you're looking for a classic button down shirt or premium casual knitwear. I'm wearing their Mini Cable Jumper & it's the perfect piece for transitional layering. This lightweight jumper is made from 100% Merino wool so it feels super soft & keeps me really warm even though it isn't a chunky knit. I adore the look of the mini-cable pattern & the elegantly draped sleeves. Layering this jumper with a short skirt & boots is my favourite way to stay looking cute & feeling cosy this Winter.

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Favourite Products Of 2017

CosRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser / The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 / The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% / The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution / Bravura London Azulene Moisturiser

I have never felt happier with my skincare routine than I do right now. I always start off with CosRX's Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser. This lightly foaming tea tree scented gel is the ideal way to prepare my skin for the rest of my routine. The low pH level is optimal for cleaning the skin & reducing acne causing bacteria. It feels really gentle yet refreshing & doesn't strip my skin of moisture. The Ordinary are easily my favourite brand of the year. I deeply appreciate their transparency when it comes to the formulation of their products. So few brands are willing to tell you vital facts about their products such as the pH level or the percentage of acid present. I've loved trying out so many of their products but there are three that really stood out to me. Their Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is one of the cheapest & best hydrating serums I've ever tried. It's every bit as good as the Sarah Chapman Intense Hydrating Booster that used to cost me £60 per bottle. The Ordinary are also brilliant when it comes to giving us higher concentrations of ingredients than other brands. Caudalie are well known for their use of resveratrol but The Ordinary's Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% is far more potent than any of their products. The anti-aging properties of this serum are phenomenal. It gives me such a healthy looking glow & has helped to diminish fine lines. The AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution has quite honestly changed my life. I've struggled with congested, acne-prone skin for years & it turns out that this high strength chemical peel was all that I really needed. It unclogs pores, fades acne scarring & makes your skin feel unbelievably soft. This might just be my favourite skincare product of all time. Before The Ordinary launched I used to buy most of my skincare from Bravura London & I would still recommend their acids if you're just getting started with chemical exfoliants. Their Azulene Moisturiser continues to be my favourite way to finish off my skincare routine. This lightweight blue cream is packed with calming botanical ingredients that help to soothe & heal the skin. It's the perfect match for my combination skin type as it hydrates without clogging pores.

Body Products
Chloé EDP / Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb EDP / Viktor & Rolf BONBON Spring Summer EDT
L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil / Soap & Glory Spritz Me Quick Hydrating Moisture Mist

Chloé & Flowerbomb have been my signature scents for years. They're the only perfumes that I continually repurchase because I feel like these two fragrances fit my personality & style so well. Another more recent favourite is Viktor & Rolf's BONBON. I have the Spring Summer version which is lighter & fruitier than the original perfume. This glorious blend of sparkling citrus, juicy peach & syrupy caramel is simply irresistible. The pink bow shaped bottle is a stunning addition to my dressing table too! My favourite product to shave with is L'Occitane's Almond Shower Oil. This luxurious shower oil gently lathers to thoroughly cleanse your skin without drying it out whatsoever. The consistency of this oil allows even the cheapest of razors to glide effortlessly across your limbs & it helps you to get a much closer shave as a result. After showering I like to use a lightweight moisturising spray like Spritz Me Quick from Soap & Glory. The nozzle dispenses a super fine mist of body lotion that absorbs in a flash. It has that classic Soap & Glory scent and leaves my skin feeling really soft, smooth & perfectly moisturised all day long.

Bleach London Smoky Shampoo / Maria Nila Colour Refresh / Kérastase Ciment Thermique
Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil / Bumble & Bumble Brilliantine

Bleach London's Smoky Shampoo is unlike any other silver shampoo I've tried before. This unique colour blend helps you to achieve a deeper, ashier tone with minimal effort. Sometimes I want an even stronger grey colour & one of the quickest ways to get that look at home is by mixing a bit of this Black Colour Refresh hair mask from Maria Nila with my regular conditioner. It makes my hair feel amazingly soft & instantly transforms brassy yellow hair into a gorgeous gunmetal colour. I've been using Ciment Thermique for years as it's one of the best treatments for damaged hair. This heat-protecting blowdry cream strengthens your hair from within, reducing breakage whilst adding shine. I use it every single time I wash my hair along with a few pumps of the Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil. This combo keeps my hair looking & feeling much healthier than it should do after all this bleach. Another Bumble & Bumble product that I love for styling my hair is their Brilliantine. It smooths down flyaways whilst adding just the right amount of hold & definition along with plenty of shine.

BECCA Backlight Priming Filter / NARS Sheer Glow Foundation / Tarte Shape Tape Concealer
NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer / Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder

Before I apply my foundation I like to get my skin glowing & the best way to do that is with an illuminating primer. The Backlight Priming Filter from BECCA gives you that flawless 'lit from within' look that we all desire. It immediately perks up the skin whilst creating an enviably smooth & dewy canvas for your makeup. Rimmel & Maybelline really impressed me with their latest foundation launches but I always end up going back to NARS Sheer Glow. The buildable coverage & radiant finish are everything I want in a foundation, not to mention that Siberia is the best colour match I've ever found. Tarte Shape Tape is such a fantastic full coverage concealer. It works wonders on dark circles, blemishes & pigmentation without looking cakey or creasing throughout the day. I also really enjoy using the Soft Matte Complete Concealer from NARS. It provides high coverage with a soft-focus blurring effect so it excels at hiding blemishes. It's also my go-to choice for carving out my eyebrows & creating a cut crease eye look. One of the crown jewels in Charlotte Tilbury's makeup range has to be her Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder. The powder is so silky & finely milled. It feels exceptionally lightweight yet manages to keep shine at bay without making my skin look dry. I'm completely in love with it's soft-focus finish that blurs texture & makes my pores disappear!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara / Kat Von D Tattoo Liner / Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow
Essence The Cushion Eyeliner / Laneige Eyebrow Cushion-Cara

Better Than Sex is one of the best selling mascaras in the world and with good reason! Look no further if you want a mascara that gives your lashes tons of length & volume whilst holding a curl all day long. The curvaceous wand fans out my lashes beautifully for a flirtatious wispy effect. Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner in Trooper is my weapon of choice for razor sharp eyeliner. The extremely fine nib allows the liner to glide on smoothly & creates a really precise wing. The liquid liner itself is highly pigmented, long lasting & doesn't transfer to my upper eyelid. Stila have stolen my heart with their utterly fantastic Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows. They're so much easier to use than regular glitter & are the ultimate way to add a bit of sparkle to your eye makeup. I love cushion cosmetics & I'm glad that so many brands are embracing this innovative Korean technology. Essence's Cushion Eyeliner is extremely pigmented & combines the ease of a gel formulation with the finish of liquid liner. Plus it only costs £3! Another cushion product that I've fallen in love with is this Eyebrow Cushion-Cara from Laneige. The liquid inside this two toned cushion is great for drawing on individual hair strokes as well as filling in your entire brow. This product makes it easier than ever to get that soft gradient fade at the front of your brows whilst making the tails super sharp & defined.

Cheek Products
Jeffree Star Cosmetics Skin Frost / Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops / Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder / Charlotte Tilbury Cheek To Chic Blusher in Love Glow

I'm only happy when my highlighter shines brighter than the sun. Jeffree Star's Skin Frosts are some of the most blinding, pigmented highlighters around & nothing makes my skin beam more than Ice Cold. This icy white shade works so well on pale skin. If I want my highlight to look even more metallic then I layer it over Cover FX's Custom Enhancer Drops in Celestial. These drops look like liquid metal on the skin & deliver a truly dazzling glow. There was a time when I never used bronzer but I just can't do my makeup without it now. Too Faced's Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer warms up my complexion & adds some soft definition to my face without being too orange or dark. Kevyn Aucoin's The Sculpting Powder in Light is my holy grail contour product. The colour is absolutely spot on for my skintone & the powder blends like a dream so it's ideal for nose contouring too. I'm a sucker for peachy pink blush shades & Charlotte Tilbury's Love Glow is one of the most beautiful blushers I've come across. There's a subtle golden shimmer running through it which provides a luminous finish & makes your cheeks glow in the most wonderful way.

Lip Products
Glossier Birthday Balm Dotcom / Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk
Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour in Pink Blink / Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipstick in Mannequin
Jouer Long-Wear Lip Topper in Skinny Dip

Glossier's Balm Dotcom rightly deserves the high praise it gets as a lip balm. I have the Birthday edition which has a delicious cake flavour & subtle shimmery particles. It keeps my lips well hydrated & acts as a lovely base for other lip products. Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk lip liner is such a fantastic everyday lip colour & I jumped at the chance to buy it in lipstick form. Matte Revolution is my all time favourite bullet lipstick formula & I wear this dreamy nude pink all the time. I'm still a huge fan of liquid lipsticks & Rimmel really surprised me with their brilliant Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colours. Pink Blink has a permanent home in my handbag because I love this colour so much! I honestly think that the quality is on par with Jeffree Star's Velour Liquid Lipsticks. I've had to try my hardest not to buy any more of his lipsticks because I already own 25 of them! My last Jeffree purchase included Mannequin which has fast become one of my most worn shades. It's darker than I'm Nude but lighter than Celebrity Skin & the colour suits me better than any other nude lipstick. I recently picked up one of Jouer's Long-Wear Lip Toppers & I can't recommend them enough! Skinny Dip is a stunning golden nude gloss with the feel of a lip balm. It can transform any matte lipstick by adding a hint of golden iridescence which makes your lips look fuller, plumper & extremely kissable.

Makeup Revolution Ultra Eye Contour Light & Shade Palette / Makeup Revolution Golden Sugar Blush Palette
Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette / Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette
Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette

2017 was the year that I finally got round to trying some products from Makeup Revolution. Their palettes are exceptionally good value for money & the quality is brilliant. Makeup Revolution's Kat Von D Shade & Light dupe is now one of my most used eyeshadow palettes & I'm obsessed with the gorgeous shimmery shades in the Golden Sugar Blush Palette. It's well worth buying for that white & gold highlighter pan alone! Charlotte Tilbury's eyeshadow quads are to die for so I was very excited to hear that she was coming out with a much larger eyeshadow palette. The Desk & Date sections of the Instant Eye Palette are insanely beautiful. I learned to love warm toned eyeshadows & the Modern Renaissance palette has played a huge part in that. Everything about this palette is simply wonderful. The Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette is hands down the best palette of 2017. The range of colours is incredible & these eyeshadows almost blend themselves. Everyone should own this palette. Jaclyn absolutely nailed it!

Nail Products
OPI Nail Envy / OPI Avoplex / NAF! Cherry Pie Cuticle Oil Pen / Essie Need A Vacation / Mavala Mavadry Top Coat

After making the mistake of picking off a gel manicure, my main objective was to get my nails back to optimum health. The combination of OPI Nail Envy & Avoplex is simply unbeatable. One helps to strengthen the nails & the other helps to condition them. They're a match made in heaven for healthy nails. Since discovering Avoplex I've become obsessed with applying cuticle oil all day every day. These handbag friendly cuticle oil pens from NAF! don't just help your nails to grow longer & stronger, they come in a fab range of scents too. Cherry Pie is my favourite but I love love love them all! These days I generally prefer getting gel manicures but when I do paint my nails at home I almost always use Essie polishes. Need A Vacation is the most perfect bubblegum pink colour. The main reason I prefer gels now is because you don't have to wait ages for them to dry. I'm considering getting my own LED lamp & a gel top coat but for now Mavala Mavadry is the next best thing. Your nails are touchable after a couple of seconds & fully dry within a matter of minutes. It doesn't make your polish peel or shrink & gives them a wet look finish.

FOREO Luna Mini 2 / Yu Ling Jade Facial Roller / The Vamp Stamp VaVaVoom Stamp
Lash Star Lash Applicator Tool / Morphe M510 Brush

Even though mine is currently broken, the FOREO Luna Mini 2 is one of the best beauty tools I've ever purchased. It allows your cleanser to work better which keeps congestion at bay and leaves my skin feeling really soft & smooth. The T-Sonic vibrations give your face a lovely mini massage every time you use it to boost circulation & make your complexion glow. When your face is feeling tired you can't beat a quick massage with a jade roller. It feels instantly cooling on the skin & helps to eliminate puffiness. I've been perfecting my eyeliner flicks for years but even I sometimes struggle to get my wings looking even. The VaVaVoom Stamp is a really useful tool if you need a little extra help to get your eyeliner on fleek. Don't bother buying their ink though, Essence's £3 Cushion Eyeliner is literally the exact same thing. Learning to apply false eyelashes can be another fairly difficult beauty task. I hate using regular tweezers to put them on because I'm forever paranoid about stabbing myself in the eyeball. This beautiful gold lash applicator from Lash Star makes the whole thing so much easier & helps to seamlessly blend your own eyelashes with the falsies. The Morphe M510 brush is my favourite way to apply highlighter. This brush really packs on the pigment for a truly blinding highlight. It's the perfect size & shape to get your whole face glowing to the gods!

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