Tuesday, 24 February 2015

New Skincare Additions

Over the Christmas period and my birthday I was lucky enough to accumulate some new skincare products that have been on my wishlist for far too long and I also took the opportunity to shop my stash when certain items ran out.

In December I got an amazing facial at Matt's Mum's salon in Exeter and the beautician used all Tropic skincare which is natural, vegan and animal cruelty free. I adored the products and was so happy when she got me a big basket of the range for my birthday. At the moment I've incorporated the Eye Refresh roll on, the Face Smooth scrub and Smoothing Cleanser into my regime and I am thoroughly enjoying all of them. Look out for more in-depth reviews in the next month or so once I have tested them further. Spoiler: the scrub is so different to any others I've tried and the Eye Refresh is amazing!

I still love The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner but for days where I don't have any blemishes I like to use something soothing and gentle. This Fresh Face Water from L'Occitane does just the job. It smells like a spa and is so refreshing. It's strange because I much prefer it to the Liz Earle face tonic even though they are quite similar.

In terms of radiance boosting products I purchased my first product from Nip + Fab after finishing up my REN Radiance Renewal Mask (see my All Used Up video) I've heard good things about the Glycolic Fix Pads and have enjoyed using them so far. The pads are soaked in product and you get 60 in a pot so quite cost effective considering they are just over the £10 mark. 

A cult product I've been after for a while is the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. Matt got me the large pot which will probably last me a life time as it is huge and you only need a teeny tiny bit! I've been using this in the evening as it is much more rich and takes a while to sink in.

A day time serum I've been using is Hydraluron from Indeed Labs which is a moisture boosting and hydrating serum. This sinks in really quickly but I am holding back judgement for a few weeks to see if it really does what it claims too. Lastly the Clear Difference serum from Estee Lauder. I love an Estee Lauder serum and this now brings my total to 3, so I am hoping to do a comparison post in the near future of what I have tried. I've used it a few times and the formulation is lovely and light, but I will have to report back with how it aids blemishes.

Have you got any new beauty favourites? Let me know in the comments below! xxx

Sunday, 22 February 2015

All Used Up #11/#12

So I thought I had done 10 of these posts/videos... turned out I was one short and this should be number 12 in the series not 11, woops! It's been nearly 6 months since I last filmed a video so I hope you enjoy my mini reviews and the format of this post. 

Please subscribe if you like my channel and thank you for watching xxx

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Hangover Heroes

As seen from my previous post it was my 23rd birthday recently. I went out with a few friends to celebrate last weekend and I must say that heavy drinking is just not for me anymore. I don't seem to have a middle ground in between being slightly tipsy and full blown drunk and always end up feeling terrible the next morning, with a hangover that seems to last the whole day. An arsenal of super effective skincare on these occasions not only makes me feel better but also look a lot better too.

I am pretty good at taking off my make up before bed even when I'm totally sloshed and my skin always looks so much better in the morning if I remember to apply Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Serum (which I didn't this time doh!) It honestly makes you look like you've had a good nights sleep and helps battle the dullness, dehydration and blemishes that all arise from a late one.

The first thing I do in the morning is wash my face and apply a good clay mask, my favourite at the moment being Una Brennan's Pore Purifying Clay Mask, to mop up the oilyness in my skin due to dehydration and clear the pores from the extra layers of make up. It makes me feel a lot more awake and clean once I've properly cleansed with a good clay mask and makes my pores less obvious and my skin looking refreshed, balanced and more even.

I tend to not wear make up the next day so will put on a layer of Origins Drink Up Intensive mask which is so hydrating and soothing. If I do have to be somewhere and need to put on minimal makeup then I will normally reach for Una Brennan's Rose Radiance Day Cream which is deeply hydrating while giving a very nice glow and radiance to the skin. This stuff really works and looks lovely by itself or underneath make up. I've also been trialing Hydraluron from Indeed Labs which is a thin serum that sinks in very easily before your moisturiser and helps to lock in hydration as pure hyaluronic acid holds up to 1000 times it's own weight in water.

To soothe sore and achey eyes, I have been reliant on the Eye Refresher Roll On from Tropic Skincare. The roller ball is ridiculously cooling and soothing and also helps to depuff the eye area while nourishing with a thin formula.

Lastly I pile on the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm, an old firm favourite that is more of a lip mask than a balm. It's super thick so protects your lips as well as hydrating them deep down.

What are your hangover heroes? xxx

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

My 23rd Birthday | An Instagram Diary

The other week it was my 23rd birthday and I wasn't happy about it. I've always loved birthdays but since reaching 20 (bar my 21st) I've always felt a bit sad about them because I feel so old!! Which is probably ridiculously over dramatic but you can't help the way you feel.

Anyway, I had a lovely time celebrating and was very much cheered up by this. The Sunday before my birthday I went to my parents house where we had a big lunch with all my extended family which was really lovely as I hardly get to see them now we have moved to the SW of London. I opened a few presents early and got to blow out some candles on my monster of a chocolate and raspberry flavoured cake.

My birthday was on the Tuesday and I was surprised the night before by Matt when he presented me with something in bed...It was an envelope! It said my first present was a lie in - which I thought meant at the weekend as Reuben wakes us up super early to be fed so I was quite happy with that. He actually went one step further though and had contacted my boss earlier in January (before I had even started my new job!) and had asked for me to have the day off. Luckily for me he said yes! Then I got to open the itenary: Kew Gardens, afternoon tea at Bluebird Chelsea and then dinner at Petrus in the evening.

We didn't manage Kew Gardens as we ended up having that lay in and then was treated to breakfast in bed while watching the final episodes of The Killing (you need to watch it!) I put on my party dress after opening the rest of my presents and then we were off to Bluebird, which is one of my favourite restaurants and the food did not disappoint and neither did the unlimited pots of tea. We had a selection of sweet and savoury treats and I even got a little surprise birthday brownie.

In the evening we went to Petrus in Belgravia and I'm not exaggerating when I say it was the best meal of my life. I've been lucky enough to go to some beautiful restaurants but this was something else. The restaurant itself was quite small and low lit with no background music, which made the atmosphere very cosy and intimate. I really liked how you were seated next to each other rather than across the table so you could talk quietly and really enjoy the experience together.

The staff were incredible, so on the ball without being too fussy and made us feel at ease. They even had a velvet cushioned stool for my handbag to sit on!! I will for sure be judging every restaurant on whether they have a stool from now on haha.

We went for the tasting menu which had 9 courses, including canapes and petit fours, that enabled us to taste the best of what the restaurant had to offer. Everything was so different in texture and taste as to what you would expect but all of it was absolutely divine! For once I didn't take copious pictures of the food as it really wasn't the time of the place but meant I enjoyed the experience a lot more.

The next weekend I had a few friends round and we went out to our local club, which was so much fun but not so much fun the next morning! I loved putting on heavier make up than usual and playing around with my palettes - I went with a smokey eyes and Faux lipstick.

What has been your favourite birthday party? xxx

Monday, 16 February 2015

Take 3: Highstreet Concealers

When it comes to drugstore concealers, I find it so hard to find the right shade and texture for my skin type. This means I tend to have to use different concealers for different needs and parts of my face, but I think with this trio I might have cracked it! I know 3 concealers seems a bit excessive but luckily these last for ages and they're all under the £10 mark and all have different uses.

Let's start with under eyes. Maybelline's Instant Anti-Age Eye Eraser in 'Light' totally lives up to the hype for me. Yes I might not need anti-aging underneath my peepers but the consistency, applicator and effect it gives is fabulous. You twist the product up so you can get the exact amount you need out the sponge as well as being able to see how much you have left which is a massive plus for me. The sponge applicator aids to softly pat the concealer into a V shape under my eyes and the texture is creamy yet light so gives great coverage without looking cakey at all. Blended in with a damp beauty blender this stuff looks airbrushed and skin like, whilst still covering dark circles effectively. My only niggle with this product is that I would like the shade 'Light' to be a tad lighter to give a more highlighting effect but in terms of coverage this is great and you could even use it on other parts of your face as a 2 in 1.

For all over concealing I've been using Bourjois Healthy Mix Correcting Concealer in '52 Medium Radiance'. I didn't get on with the foundation as it oxidised badly on me, but I really wanted to give the concealer a go after reading good things. You get so much product in this tube and the dispenser makes it easy to get just the right amount you need in a hygienic way. I tend to squeeze a little out and apply with my Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush and buff it over blemishes and any redness around my nose. It is relatively thick and quite creamy making it easy to blend and cover well. This lasts all day and I do not have to reapply at any point. I wish I had got a shade lighter as it can be a little dark depending on my base but with proper blending it isn't an issue and it doesn't oxidise like the foundation did.

Lastly the concealer I use for highlighting is L'Oreal's Lumi Magique Correcting Pen in '1 Light', which I have repurchased numerous times. This is basically a dupe for the YSL Touche Eclat, although the texture is more pigmented and thicker. I use this in the inner corners under my eyes most days to brighten the area up and if I'm going for a more sculpted or radiant look I will pat some in down the bridge of my nose, my brow bone, cupids bow and middle of my forehead. It is easily blendable with a light texture and although it is definitley highlighting it isn't stark or unnatural looking for every day.

I still want to try high end concealers but I'm pretty impressed with these 3 from the drugstore. What is your favourite concealer? Have you tried any of these? xxx

Sunday, 1 February 2015

January Favourites | 2015

Everyone always says they hate January as the weather is crap, Christmas is gone etc... but I actually love January! Not only is it my birthday month but I love winter and the prospect of what a new year can bring. On that positive vibe, I have been loving so many products this month - some new which I got for Christmas and others that I rediscovered after shopping my stash.


001. Eco Tools Angled Eyeliner Brush: Last year I did a review on the set this brush came in but this was one of my least used in the collection. However, I've been favouring lining my eyes with black eyeshadow rather than liquid liner or pencil as it is less harsh and this brush makes it super easy to get a thin even line close to your lashes.

002. The Body Shop Clementine Lip Balm: Years ago back in school I was obsessed with the Body Shop lip balms and butters. I forgot about them but then received the lollipop gift set from my secret santa at work and fell in love with them again. The formula is so nourishing and glossy, the scents divine and they are great for popping in your hand bag. The Clementine scent brings back school memories and has glitter running through it to add a bit of your shimmer to your lips.

003. Benefit Hervana Blush: Again, Benefit blushes bring back memories of my youth and were one of the first make up products I bought. I love the packaging (although its not great for travel) and the recent addition of a tapered brush and mirror in the box is a great bonus. This blush is so pretty both in the pan and on the cheeks and I've been using it every day this month - you can see it in action here.

004. Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette: The original Naked will always have a special place in my heart but I have been itching to add to my UD collection and was delighted to get this for Christmas. It is the more cool toned sister of the original and I adore every single shade in there. The formulation is buttery, super pigmented and easy to blend - just what you would expect from the brand. It's perfect for all kinds of looks and again I've been using this practically every day this month.

005. Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Wiz in 'Taupe/Ash Brown': This product deserves every accolade it has as it is seriously the best brow product I have ever used! It is the perfect texture and colour -  I will be doing a full review of this but basically you need this in your life.

006. The Body Shop BB Cream in 01: Full review can be seen here so I don't want to go into too much detail! This is my favourite BB Cream it gives medium coverage without feeling heavy, covers pores and imperfections and lasts for a very long time.

007. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Foundation in 'Sand 2' : My favourite base for the latter half of January, this gives medium coverage without being cakey, lasts a long time and gives a 'my skin but better' appearance.

008. No 7 Instant Radiance Cream Highlighter: Cream products don't normally tend to be my thing but I adore this highlighter. It gives a beautiful natural sheen that is not glittery in the slightest and blends in wonderfully.


009. Paul Mitchell Full Circle Leave-In Treatment*: I got this ages ago (at my first event actually) but for some reason reached for other products in the range instead of this thinking it might be too heavy for my hair. This is actually very nourishing without weighing down my hair and I love to use it on occasions when I haven't used a hair mask or deep conditioner. It leaves hair soft and manageable and I've seen my natural waves/loose curls become more defined.

010. Schwarzkopf Hair Therapy Oil Miracle Spray: This product is a surprise gem. I received it in my stocking at Christmas which was good timing as I was looking for a new spray conditioner to help detangle my hair after washing. This is so light with a fine spray and makes it easy to brush out knots, leaves your hair silky soft and smelling beautiful.


011. The Body Shop Eye Camomile Waterproof Eye and Lip Makeup Remover: My favourites always seem to include multiple Body Shop products at the moment, so apologies for that but clearly I am a big fan! I enjoyed the cleansing butter from this range and have just used up the oil so naturally when looking for a make up remover I picked this up. It has two parts so you need to shake it properly and it is oil based so makes removal a breeze, although it doesn't leave the eye area feeling heavy or greasy which is a big plus for me.

012. Super Facialist by Una Brennan Anti Blemish Pore Purifying Clay Mask: Una Brennan are definitely a brand that don't get enough recognition. The quality of the products are so good for the price and this mask in particular is amazing. I loved the teaflower version which I think has been replaced with the salycic acid version. It draws out impurities really well, leaves your skin feeling soft, nourished and more even toned and the inclusion of acid helps to clear up any blemishes that have been hanging around.

0.13 Baby B Browne Tan in 'Medium'*: This featured in a favourites pretty recently at the end of last year but I picked this up again a few weeks ago and was so impressed all over again! It rubs in so easily, the smell is so nice for a fake tan (think vanilla) and the colour develops and lasts so well. It is by far the best tan I own.

What were your favourite items this month? xxx


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