Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Post-Christmas Haulin'

You know that film, Confessions Of A Shopaholic? Well that's about me. I am the real life Rebecca Bloomwood, now I don't have the maxed out credit cards or insistent debt collectors (thankfully, woo go me) I just love to shop. With my christmas money in toe and a trip to Leeds, I came back with some very naughty purchases.

First stop is always Space NK. I'm technically banned from there in my mother's opinion but I can't resist the call of their beauty stocks. I searched around and asked for loads of items, which weren't in stock (boo Space NK Leeds, boo) but I came out with these Sarah Chapman Skinesis Professional Cleansing Mitts, I was originally after some more Liz Earle Muslin Cloths but decided to give these a go because they intrigued me. I love them, only downside is you have to remove mascara separately. They're lovely to use and everytime I cleanse, I'm taken back to my beauty therapy facial days.

I've been longing for a body butter for a long time, and I mean long time, I love oils but sometimes I just want something I can pop on that doesn't leave my skin tacky. I've used every moisturiser going out there but after spotting VDM using the Kiehls Creme De Corps, I had to grab it. Anything that gets the VDM seal of approval is good enough for me. So far I am loving this, it sinks into the skin almost instantly and the scent is beaut.

The search for the perfect eye cream has been a mission of mine, after using my previous Elizabeth Arden eye cream up, I've been on the hunt for a new one. The Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream has been recommended to me by various bloggers such as Jem and Sophia and so far, so good. I've been without an eye cream for around a week before buying this but after applying it, my eye area was thoroughly hydrated and my eye area looks brighter. I will post in the near future about this when I've used it more.

Finally, my most exciting purchase of the day goes to the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation. I took myself off to the Chanel counter after having my eyebrows threaded and the lovely saleswoman sat me down, took one look at my face and matched my skin colour up perfectly (very impressed, that's a talent). I had a mini Chanel makeover and came out £36 down but a foundation up. I love the finish of this, it dries matte but as the day goes on it becomes slightly dewy. The only downside to this is it can oxidize on the face which means it can cake in dry areas, I've noticed it's around my mouth it dries out so I try moisturise like crazy before application. Overall though, it's gorgeous and smells just like the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask.

Considering January payday is 5 weeks away, I'll be having beans on toast for the rest of the month but I know I'll really enjoy playing with my new purchases. Stay tuned in 2014 for some more in depth reviews of these purchases, they might even make it into my favourites.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Favourite Bloggers & Youtubers of 2013

There's nothing I enjoy more than sitting down after a long day at work, with some choccy (prefered choice pictured above) and watch my favourite vloggers and read all the latest beauty goings on from my favourites. Here are the bloggers & youtubers I've been loving in 2013...

Vivianna Does Make Up
Anna is the creme de la creme of beauty blogging in my eyes. Anything she writes about and recommends goes straight to the top of my wishlist. I particularly like her weekend post and there's often a pamper routine in there which makes me get out the face masks and relax.

Beauty and The Chic
Claudia is the loveliest person I've ever had the pleasure of speaking to. She's my blogging BFF and her blog is one of my faves. If I'm ever after a new nail polish, I go straight to her blog where she always has a drool-worthy shade on offer. A meet up in 2014 is one of my top priorities!

Bonjour Luce
Luce's blog is at the top of my list if I'm ever after a new skincare product. Her reviews are thorough and her pictures are always beautifully clear.

Hello October
I love Suzie's style, her hair makes me go green with envy and her blog is written so well. I thoroughly look forward to her blog posts and she's also one of my favourite Youtubers.

Milk Bubble Tea
Beautiful photos. Beautiful posts. Beautiful blog especially when she posts about chocolate baked goods.

I've thoroughly enjoyed watching Zoe's videos over the past year. Her Dubai vlogs and Vlogmas have been my favourite so far so much I had square eyes after. Her romance with Alfie also makes my heart melt, it's so cute!

I Covet Thee
For beauty tutorials I love watching Alix's videos. Her cheekbones are incredible and all her make up is beautifully chosen. In spirit of Vlogmas, Alix put together a four part vlogmas which was a really lovely way to watch it.

Vivianna Does Make Up
Anna always puts together a super professional and chic video and I look forward to 9am on a Sunday morning when her latest video has gone live.

Tanya Burr
You can't forget Tanya when it comes to beauty videos and blogs. Her tutorials always leave me wanting to play with my make up. Her vlogs are some of my favourites and it's quite obvious what a genuinely lovely person she is.

Leave you're favourite bloggers and Youtubers down below and I'll be sure to give them a read, I'm always in need of a beauty video or post to watch to stop me getting out of bed.

Friday, 27 December 2013

My Picks of 2013

I can't believe it's the 27th December and this year is almost over. It literally feels like two minutes ago since I celebrated last New Years and now, I'll soon be celebrating another. I've tried and tested many beauty products over the year and here's what's made it into my top picks for 2013.

9 times out of 10, on a day to day basis I will opt for the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Ivory. This does everything I want it to, the coverage is good, this creates a flawless finish with a hint of radiance and this really does last all day (tried and tested on an 9 hour shift). At around £8 it's a bargain and I'm on my third bottle of this. I've found that I've been able to wear this foundation through all seasons on my dry skin and it really has kept my skin in balance and hasn't interfered with it at all.

My newest and most favourite addition to my collection is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. This really works wonders on my skin, the finishing powder Diffused Light really sets my make up and blurs any imperfections. I use Incandesent Light as a cheekbone highlighter which gives a subtle sheen and then Radiant Light to emphasis the bronze on my cheeks.

For lips, I'll always go back to my trusty peachy nudes and the best one I've tried this year is the Topshop Lipstick in Macaroon. This lippy gives the right amount of nude and peachy hint and it looks great teamed with any make up look. I find that this looks especially nice with a bronze smokey eye I like to wear far too often.

In terms of skincare, I've found nothing has really wowed me. I've searched high and low for a decent night time moisturiser that can hydrate my skin. The Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask really has changed my night time routine and every morning I wake up with plump, hydrated and nourished skin. If you're suffering from dehydrated skin, I definitely recommend this to anyone.

Body care is not my forte. I neglected my body care routine and I'm always left with dehydrated, rough skin. When I do eventually motivate myself to look after my skin, I exfoliate like crazy with the Caudalie Divine Scrub and I am left with beautifully smelling, soft skin. This really does live up to its name because it certainly is divine. The smell is a favourite of mine and knowing the have a candle in the scent, it's gone straight to the top of my wishlist.

What are your favourites for 2013?

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

A BBB Christmas

Christmas make up | No Christmas jumper... A Christmas top counts right? | Festive stairway | Christmas tree | Truly spoilt this year, so grateful to my wonderful family | Eating the last of my advent calendar | Christmas food prep with the help of a hungry furry one | Our family loves pigs in blankets... Best part about Christmas! | The Turkey | Sitting down for dinner | My favourite Christmas film on TV | The neighbours festive lights.

Merry Christmas to all you lovely bloggers. I hope you've had a lovely day with family, friends or whoever you're spending it with and been well and truly spoilt, like myself. I've had a great day relaxing with family, chit chatting with friends and eating too many pigs in blankets. This post is coming to you from a very deep food coma which I'm sure you're all experiencing too. I've enjoyed relaxing and spending the time with my family, and even managed to squeeze in some sale shopping whilst everyone was sleeping off their dinner. Enjoy the rest of your Christmas time off and have a fabulous Boxing Day. I see the Galaxy is giving me the eye, one bit couldn't hurt?

Monday, 23 December 2013

My Favourite Nudes

When it comes to lipstick, I 99.9% of the time stay in my comfort zone and opt for nudes. I've tried pinks (some wash me out), oranges (some are too stark for my skintone) and reds (I don't have the steadiest hand) so nude wins. Here I have two of my favourites picks, one high street and one high end so no matter what budget you're on, there's a nude for you. When I opt for a dark smokey eye, I like to use a peachy toned nude and my pick is the Topshop lipstick in Saint, this lipstick is nude without giving the glorified 'concealer lips' but just a teeny hit of peach without washing me out. For an everyday nude, the Mac lipstick in Hue is great for wearing day-to-day and teaming with natural make up. This to me is a classical nude shade, a pink undertone and with a Glaze finish, it doesn't last all day but it's easy enough to reapply.

What's your favourite nude lippy?

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

I may be a bit late on this bandwagon, but a special thanks to Space NK customer services and this beauty is now mine. Look how pretty it is! Although this is hard to get hold of, if you can, I highly recommend it. This palette contains three easy to wear shades giving a subtle highlight and glow without looking like you're a vampire stepped of the set of Twilight. My most worn shade has to be Dim Light, this is the powder I turn to to set my foundation and add a subtle glow to my face. I try team this with a foundation with a matte finish so I don't look too shiny. The new exclusive to the palette shade is Incandescent Light which is a true highlighter. I use this on the tops of my cheekbones and down the nose, think Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder without the shimmer. And finally, Radiant Light which is bronze toned and will be my go-to powder in Summer. A glow and a bronze complexion, thumbs up from me! I'm still on the hunt for the perfect brush to use this with but at the moment my Real Techniques brush will suffice. Maybe the Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush... Please Santa?

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Liz Earle Sheer Lip Gloss Duo

When this popped through the door, I couldn't wait to try it out. I've never used Liz Earle make up before so the Liz Earle Sheer Lip Gloss Duo* is a great way to dip my foot into her range of make up. The set contains two very easy to wear colours, Cherry which is a pink red which gives a very sheer wash of colour to the lips, and Petal, a shimmery pink gloss which comes off clear and adds a glossy finish to the lips. I've been using Petal over Mac's Hue for a glossy nude lip. The staying power of these are fantastic, I've drank coffee with this on and it doesn't budge. Another bonus of these are that they're not sticky like many lipglosses, nothing worse than when it's windy and your hair gets caught in your lipgloss (don't deny it, we've all been there girls). If you're looking to try Liz Earle make up, I'd definitely recommend this or even if you're after a christmas treat for yourself.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Spotty Fixes

Things are serious at BBB and I'm not happy! I don't know if it's the weather, my age (to me, 21 is NOT the age to be experiencing spots since I've been spot free all my childhood) or my diet but I am experiencing breakouts left, right and all over my forehead! I'm going to be drastically changing my diet, ditching the chocolate, cutting out the dairy and guzzling all the water I can get my hands on.

Of course, what beauty blogger would I be if I hadn't found some gems that are now a permanent part of my stash and these are the items I now reach for in bid to recover my post-breakout skin.

Let's start with the cleansers. I've ditched the oils and balms on a morning and chosen a lightweight alternative such as the REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel. This removes any post sleep grime and leaves skin cleansed and more refreshed. If only the rest of me felt like that at 6.30am!

Next up is exfoliators and this is my favourite step, there's nothing nicer than buffing away dead skin cells to leave baby smooth skin. My exfoliator of choice is the Origins Brighter By Nature Exfoliating Pads, these pads are soaked in fruit acids which remove dead skin and promote a brighter complexion. The pad itself is also a little rough so this makes exfoliating the skin even more effortless. These are my savior at break out times although if you have sensitive skin, I would give them a miss as they can sting.

I always like to add a mask into my routine if I'm feeling extra spotty and the Una Brennan Pore Purifying Clay Mask (as I like to call Aesops cheaper sister, a heads up for those who can't afford the Parsley Seed Mask) is fantastic for detoxing the skin and giving my face a thorough cleanse and really helps unclog pores. I avoid using this if I've used the Origins pads already, there is such a thing as treating your skin too much.

And finally, the creme da la creme of the routine, it's the cream. When I'm wanting a fast acting breakout treatment, I reach for the Quinoderm Cream. This is readily available in the UK in any pharmacy and everytime I have a spot that needs shrinking, I apply this. Breakouts are dramatically reduced over night and this takes any redness out. With any cream high in acid and designed for breakouts, this can cause sensitivity and dry skin (vicious circle, I know) but for a targeted spot treatment, it's a small price to pay!

What are your breakout saviors?

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Monthly Favourites: November

We're now into December, can you believe it? I'm pretty sure it's only been five minutes since I wrote my beauty resolutions. If I'm honest, I can't wait for the new year. On reflection, this one has been pretty crummy but oh well, that's just how things go. I've got lots of exciting things planned for 2014 and I can't wait. Anyway, this year isn't quite over yet so I'll crack on with my November favourites.

The Nars Ride Up To The Moon Palette is my favourite recent purchase, if I ever want to venture into the eyeshadow department, this is the only thing I'll grab at the moment. The colours are gorgeous, my favourites being Isolde and Fez. Blended together these create a beautiful bronze smokey eye. For base, I've been opting for a more lightweight coverage foundation and something dewy. My skin is definitely lacklustre this time of year and my skin is very dehydrated so I've dug the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation out of my stash and this sees me through the long days at work. In the month of November, I've really been loving my brows, the Hourglass Brow Arch Pencil was a birthday purchase and everyday I've used it. I comb through my brows using the spoolie end and then fill in my brows using the pencil. The colour is a perfect match and they don't budge all day but I also think that's down to the Maybelline Brow Drama Mascara which I use after to set my brows.

What are your November favourites?

Sunday, 1 December 2013

On The Dressing Table

I love these posts cause I'm super nosey and love seeing what people keep on their dressing table. Here are all my essentials (yes, including deodrant) that I reach for on a daily basis. All my make-up and skincare is stashed in the drawers, albeit in disarray but semi-organised. My favourites from my dressing table have to be the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray for big volumised hair, Elie Saab Perfume for my go-to daily scent and the newest addition to my dressing table, the Diptyque Mini Candle in Mimosa. Now we've reached December, I'll have to add a christmas decoration or two and get myself into the festive spirit. Only 24 days to go!

What are your dressing table essentials?

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Winter SOS

It's now winter, it's official. It's now cold on an evening and far too dark for my 6.30 wake up call. Ever since the cold has appeared my skin has gone into melt down but with some trusty beauty items, I can see it through this winter. I've mentioned in previous posts that my skin has become lack lustre, dry and irritated so I've been stepping up the hydration and on an evening, applying copious amounts of Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask and each morning I wake up and my skin is nourished. On a mornings and after my cleansing routine, I swipe the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic over my face as a tone/treatment to inject as much moisturiser as I can into the skin, this is soothing, smells gorgeous and leaves the skin feeling cleansed without feeling tight or dehydrated. Lets not forget hair, my scalp is so tempermental at the moment, dry and flakey due to my overuse of bleach but I've recently gone back to my brunette roots and been using the Macadamia Oil Healing Oil Treatment to put the moisture back into my locks.

My handbag essentials have to be the Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm and the L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. The hand cream comes out every winter, it's the only hand cream I turn to and it leaves my dry, sore hands soothed and soft. The lip balm is a recent addition that has been in my stash, bought in Cyprus from a pharmacy, I snapped this up but never really used it. This has been serving me well in the colder months and means my lips are chap free and kissable. Find me under the mistletoe.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Essie After School Boy Blazer

Essie After School Boy Blazer has become my nail staple this winter. This beautiful shade is new to Essie's line and is part of their seasonal collection. It's often hard to find that perfect navy blue but this one is definitely it! Two coats painted on the nail gives a glossy opaque finish and looks almost black but in the light, the navy really shines through. Two coats with a base coat and some Seche Vite, this lasts all week chip free. Although I've become a Shellac convert, it's good to give your nails a rest and this has been gracing my nails during the inbetween stages. I've been wearing this on my nails all through November and it's going to be my new Christmas Nail... Who said it was only reds that were Christmassy?

Monday, 18 November 2013

Nars Ride Up To The Moon Palette

L-R: Night Porter, Isolde, Argentina

L-R: Cordura, Fez, Biarritz

Excuse the grubby packaging but I couldn't just leave this alone before I wrote this post. Say hello to my favourite eyeshadow palette. The Nars Ride Up To The Moon Palette has fast become my go-to palette for a golden smokey eye and a staple in my winter make-up wardrobe. For an everyday look, I use Argentina sweeped all over the lid with a touch of Isolde blended out into the crease giving a subtle golden smokey eye. On an evening and for a more darker smokey eye, I will add Fez blended out into the middle of the eye with Biarritz along the crease and blended out, not forgetting along the lower lash line for added smokeyness. I love these palettes by Nars and the shadows are so pigmented, I'd definitely recommend these to anyone wanting to try out Nars eyeshadows or those like me who have a love for anything bronzey!

Have you tried this Nars palette?

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Christmas Wishlist

001. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's range for M&S is absolutely beautiful and ever since the cold has struck, I've been desperate for something cashmere. This poncho is from her nightwear range but I'd have no problem wearing this out and about too.. Shame about the £99 price tag.

002. Who doesn't want the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette? As soon as I get to payday I'm going to snap this up or ask for it for christmas. Glowy, radiant skin be mine!

003. Another wonder from Hourglass, I swatched their Opague Rouge Liquid Lipstick when I was last in Space NK but they didn't have the shade Muse which I wanted and I've never managed to get it. Another beauty essential for the winter season and a perfect stocking filler.

004. After trying the Enrapture Totem Styler and using a friends Heated Rollers, I knew I'd have to get them. They're currently in offer at Argos. The rollers are so easy to use and great effortless big hair, perfect for the lazy girl.

005. Neom candles smell absolutely divine and I've been dying to try their Real Luxury candle ever since I smelt it in Fenwicks. I love scented candles in my bedroom and I'm hoping this one will be able to make me unwind after a long day at work.

What's on your Christmas wishlist?

Monday, 11 November 2013

The Add Ons

My skin at the moment is horrible. Hor. Ri. Ble! Breakout Central and generally lacklustre, you can tell winter is here! So I've been trying to add some treatments into my routine so help shift this skin funk I seem to be in.

First off, let's talk about the clarifying ones. My favourite of the bunch has to be the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask. This is a favourite among bloggers and I can see why, my skin feels thoroughly cleansed and detoxed after applying this but doesn't dry the skin out. For a cheaper alternative, there is the Una Brennan Pore Purifying Clay Mask, this is the only product from her I actually like but it seems to do the same job as the Aesop, although this high street alternative can dry out the skin if left on too long. Now even though I need to sort out this skin problem, I still want a bit of life and glow to my skin so I've been using the REN Radiance Perfection Serum* on a morning under my moisturiser and the REN Radiance AHA Concentrate* on a evening as an exfoliating treatment. The combination of these two products leave my skin looking fresh and bright. Let's not forget the most important part which is moisture. As soon as winter hits my skin becomes dehydrated and tight so on an evening to plump some life back into my skin, I've been using the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate and Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask. Both products sink into the skin and leave my skin feeling plump and thoroughly hydrated. Winter skin? What winter skin!

What are your winter skincare essentials?

Friday, 8 November 2013

The Empties Post 004

I've been trying to be really good and use up some of my beauty products that I've neglected cause whenever I buy something new, I feel bad because I've got tonnes of stuff at home so before I can buy myself anything new *Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette... Sigh*.

First up, is cleansers. I have a mass of them building up and I need to get them used. Of course Bioderma is an essential for me, everyone and their mum has heard of this and raves about it and there's no wonder why. Make up is gone with one swipe, perfect for the lazy girl aka me. Next up is the cleansing balm, and although I am sad to see my Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm go, I can't wait to snap up the Emma Hardie one again. I loved the Elemis balm but personally for my skin the Emma Hardie works best.
My stash of cleansers may be extensive but moisturisers is a different story. I lack any decent ones and try to use up whatever I can before getting a new one. I've recently used up the REN Ultra Moisture Day Cream. This is good for day to day but in winter with seriously dehydrated skin? It's not the most moisturising formula out there and I would prefer an SPF in with my moisturiser. Can't forget the La Roche Posey Effaclar Duo, it may be good for spots and good as a long term treatment, but since discovering my Quinoderm (blog post here), I won't be repurchasing.
And lastly, we have make up. I'm a Lancôme mascara convert now and Hypnose Doll Eyes is my go to mascara. After finding this, I neglected my other mascaras and they eventually dried out but would I recommend Maybelline The Falsies? Definitely not, it dries, flakes and I end up looking like a panda! No no no. Lancôme all the way.

What products have you used up lately?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Monthly Favourites: October

I could kick myself sometimes, I'm such a bad blogger. Life got a bit hectic and all of a sudden, the blogging mojo was gone. Anyway I am back and I will not be straying. You lovely readers have my undivided attention so lets kick it off with my October favourites.

Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil That's a mouthful. When I first bought some of the Una Brennan skincare products I was disappointed, I knew many bloggers loved them so automatically thought I would but to no avail, I didn't so I chucked this cleansing oil to one side and totally neglected it. Having run out of my Elemis Cleansing Balm, I knew before I could buy a new cleanser I'd have to use up my stash. A tiny bit of this cleansing oil rubbed together in my hands and massaged all over my skin melts make up off instantly and leaves my skin thoroughly cleansed and super soft. The scent is oranges is divine and very freshing for that 7am cleanse.

CND Shellac Polish in Pink Bikini A beautiful bright pink albeit totally unseasonal but gorgeous nevertheless. I've recently bought myself all the gear to do Shellac and I've not yet gone back to ordinary polish. Long gone are the hours of waiting for polish to dry. A full set of polished nails takes about 30-40 minutes and lasts 2 weeks chip free. I am a fully fledged Shellac convert.

Quinoderm 5% Cream My skin has been so temperamental last month, I've been spotty, dry, flakey, dehydrated so my skin has never looked so bad but my main concern was spots. I have some hormonal blemishes and pesky under the skin spots on my forehead that I was desperate to get rid of. I picked up this cream at work after hearing some recommendations from the pharmacist and I'm so glad I did. A little goes a long way and this can be very drying on the skin, but used in the appropriate places, blemishes are dramatically reduced and healing time is cut much shorter.

Make Believe Enhance Sunbeam Bronzer I won this in a giveaway ages ago and it was sat in my stash. My beloved Nars Laguna has nearly come to an end and to prolong its life, I've dug this out and been using it as my daily bronzer. This bronzer is very similar to Nars Laguna, more of brown undertone than orange and a finely milled powder so a little dusting gives me a sunkissed golden glow without looking too OTT. Now it's not as good as the Nars Laguna but it fills the bronze shaped holes in my life... For now at least.

What are you October favourites?

Monday, 14 October 2013

Nars Sheer Glow

I bought the Nars Sheer Glow as a post birthday treat for myself and although I've only had it a few days, I wanted to share my first impressions. I recently visited my local Space NK store to purchase this, the sales assistant matched me to the shade Fiji, which at first was too dark but blended in, this matches my skin tone perfectly. Although they didn't have it in stock, I went home and ordered it ASAP. At first I didn't think I would like this, the finish is very radiant which I love but this contains silicones which my skin normally hates but this blends into the skin effortlessly creating a flawless finish. The coverage is medium to full and buildable so a little really goes a long way. I use my Real Techniques Buffing Brush to apply this and once applied, the foundation dries to an almost powder finish with a hint of radiance. I've been using this every morning for the past few days and it's been lasting me all day throughout work without the need for any touch ups. I've really come to love this so far, the only downside is the price and it also doesn't come with a pump so it means a lot of product can be wasted, but I pour a little bit onto my foundation brush and use it like that. It's definitely a favorite so far, I'll let you know how I get on with it!

Have you tried this before?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Current Picks 001

Now it's getting a bit colder and the nights are drawing in. My skin has noticed the change in temperature immediately and it's really acting up so I've been reaching for light weight, creamy products to combat any dryness in sight. For my base, it's been very light weight with a lot of radiance, I've been mixing the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in with some of my daily moisturiser and adding a pump of the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer for a radiance boost, which has created the perfect tinted moisturiser/light coverage foundation. This combo lasts all day and means my skin isn't getting super dehydrated with cakey foundations.

Next up is cheeks, I know now it's getting colder I should be putting my bronzer away but I can't help it, I'm a bronze girl at heart, always have been, so I've been reaching for the Bourjois Bronzing Primer, this teamed with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush gives my cheekbones that instant lift and a bit of a contour for a rookie like myself. If you've got any cream blush recommendations, preferably in a peachy colour, leave them below.

And finally, we have eyes. When I do actually decide to venture into the world of eyeshadow (which really isn't that often) I've been using the Max Factor Smokey Eye Effect in Bronze Haze, it's great for those lazy girls like myself who just want that little bit extra on the eyes. The pencil blended out with a MAC 217 Brush means easy smokey eyes are achievable!

My face is prepared for winter, now to sort out my tresses... Stay tuned for that coming soon!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Project Use Up

Don't get me wrong, I love buying skincare products but my stash has got a bit excessive and those products that I absolutely love have taken pride of place in my bathroom, leaving a multitude of cleansers, moisturisers and samples that just never get used. So lets commence Project Use Up. Some of these products I've featured in blog posts, and although they are products I have enjoyed, they're just not that well loved, so stayed tuned for the empties post to go with this where I'll fill you in on whether to part with your cash for these or not.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Disappointing Products

Sometimes in the world of beauty, products just don't make the cut. I love writing about what beauty products I can't stop using but sometimes something slips through that just isn't that good.

First off, let's start with skin care, I love spending my money on a new cleanser or moisturiser and love trying new brands so when I delved into Una Brennan products after hearing all the hype, I couldn't wait to try them. Along with some other bits I got the Rose Intense Moisture Mask, first off, this feels awful on the skin, it doesn't hydrate and seems to form some sort of layer over the skin without penetrating the surface then we move onto the smell, I don't mind rose scented products but this smelt vile and it made me wash it off!

If you read my blog you'll know I love anything that promises radiance so I picked up the Vitamin C+ Dark Circles Eye Cream, Overnight Repair Radiance Capsules and Vitamin C+ Glow Boost Skin Serum. Do they give any slight bit of radiance and improvement to skins luminosity? Do they buggery! The eye cream really doesn't do anything, it works well as a base for concealer but it doesn't have any immediate effects and I've been using it for a few months, there's no long term effects either. Same with the serum. The capsules are packed with silicones (something my skin hates) so the product doesn't improve the skin, it just coates it until you cleanse the next morning. Overall I was so disappointed with her products after hearing so many bloggers rave about how good they are.

Now onto a moisturiser, I purchased thisEucerin Q10 Active Day Cream For Dry Skin on a whim in the Boots reduced section because money was low and my skin was parched. Any good? It's good as a moisturiser on its own but underneath makeup, it causes my base to crumble and flake during application. The moisturiser is said to be anti aging but I wouldn't know now, maybe in 20 years. But it's highly unlikely I'll be using this again, into the bin it goes!

And finally we have hair care, I've been contacted by John Freida to review two of their ranges now but if I'm totally honest, I find John Freida products to be expensive considering they don't actually work. Their Frizz Ease range is said to reduce frizz and keep hair smooth and straight, so I've been using their Frizz Ease Hair Serum* after washing my hair and the Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme* after straightening. With how humid it's been and having dyed blonde thick hair, let's put it this way, I look more like Monica in that episode of Friends than the woman on their adverts. I've found the range to be really disappointing and yes, frizzy hair is still in sight. If you have any recommendations, please leave them below and help a girl out.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

The Mulberry Purse

Say hello to my new pride and joy. If you know me, or follow me on twitter (@bethblogsbeauty) you'll know I absolutely love Mulberry and I've been harping on about getting a purse and bag for as long as I can remember. As you know I turned 21, so with the money I received, I went to the Mulberry outlet in York to see what they had to offer. Generally if you're after a purse then it's not likely you're gonna be struck with loads of choice, I think there was only one design I liked but not enough to part me from my cash until I saw the Harriet Clutch. Originally designed as a small clutch this can change from clutch to purse in minutes. First off, let's just admire the rose gold, aaaaah-mazing. Mulberry and rose gold, my two big loves. But the beautiful coated navy leather teamed with the simple rose gold design makes this purse a chic and versatile piece. The clutch comes with a detachable rose gold chain strap meaning if I wanted to wear it out, I would, but personally I use this a purse. It smells absolutely divine (I love the smell of leather, yes weird I know) and comes with plenty of room to store cash, cards and even my phone and the odd MAC lippy.

I'm half way there to owning my dream combo, next up... The Bayswater bag in Black *day dreams*

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Birthday Haulin'

It's been a long time since I've blogged but the bug has bitten and I'm back with a vengance. In the process of taking a break, I turned 21, I had a lovely birthday (aside from a bout of illness towards the end) and I was very spoilt. I mainly got money so being the typical shopoholic that I am, I took myself into town and treated myself to some well deserved retail therapy.

First off, it had to be a special trip to Space NK. Come on, what kind of trip is it into town unless Space NK is involved?! I originally picked up the Nars Sheer Glow but they didn't have my shade in stock but in my other hand was the Hourglass Brow Arch Pencil. I'm all about my brows lately and seeing the brow mistress VDM herself use this in one of her videos, I knew I had to get my paws on it. A spooley on one side and a waxed pencil on the other gives defined, filled in brows with minimal effort. Perfect for those 6.30am wake up calls.

Of course, the inner skincare junkie in me just had to pick up some new bits and I knew as soon as I saw the Origins counter I'd have to head there. The Drink Up Intensive mask has been on my wishlist for months, I always pick up teeny samples in their little pots when I visit but never handed over the cash but I'm so glad I did. A small layer of this on freshly cleansed skin leaves my face nourished and baby smooth. And of course, what kind of beauty blogger would I be if I didn't pick up their new release, their Gin-Zing Moisturiser formulated with coffee and Ginseng is an early morning booster that sinks into the skin like a dream and compliments make-up application perfectly.

Of course, there was an obligatory trip to MAC. Aside from the poor customer service and the absolutely rude women who served me, I got myself some little treats. I'm not one for lippy, I have a stash but find myself applying lip balm or applying lipstick once then leaving it at home, so on that note, I got myself two very wearable shades which should help kick this bad habit. First off is Hue, a pinky nude which is a your-lips-but-better shade, this is so wearable and looks great with any makeup. Snob is a brighter lipstick for me, although I am fond of my bright orange and peachy shades, I tend to steer clear of pinks but Snob is cool toned pink, a touch drier in consistency than Hue but gorgeous on nevertheless.
Finally, after having a nightmare finding a good undereye concealer, I decided to pick one up whilst in MAC. The assistant recommended the Mineralize Concealer for under the eyes. This concealer is light weight and light coverage and has a radiant finish which works wonders for under my eyes to banish those pesky dark circles.

Have you used any of these products before?

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Summer Nails

The talk of Summer may be very premature in England, I'm still donning the thick knit cardigan and an umbrella. It's safe to say, we could be waiting a while for the hotter weather, bright colours and BBQ's. While I'm still wearing the winter clothes, there is one thing that's making a change for the up-and-coming summer, and that's my nails. A quick swipe of Butter London's Polish in Fiver and Kerfuffle (how British!) adds a hint of summer to any outfit. Part of Butter London's sweetie shop collection and new for Spring, Fiver is a cool toned minty blue which is opaque in two coats and Kerfuffle is a creamy pastel coral shade which looks great with a tan - these will be coming to Cyprus with me. I've been wearing Kerfuffle on my finger nails and Fiver on my toes. The polish is long wearing, chip free and super glossy when teamed up with my Seche Vite. The only thing left is sun, sea and sand... When is the next flight to Ibiza?

Monday, 16 September 2013

Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder

I'm a glow girl, right from the word go. I'll use every highlighting and complexion boosting product available to lift and brighten my lacklustre skin, so naturally highlighters are this girls best friend. I jumped on the Kevyn Aucoin bandwagon a bit late but as they say, "better late than never". A bored Bank Holiday Monday saw me head to Cult Beauty - my favourite online destination for beauty - and before I knew it, the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candlelight was mine. This fine, creamy white powder is a new staple to my make up routine. Not too shimmery or glittery, just the right hint of glow. It's subtle when dusted over the cheekbones but can be built up for a more obvious highlight. This powder is so fine that a little really does go a long way, and the little brush is so handy for tops of cheekbones and the bridge of the nose. With this and my highlighting base and concealer combo, I could give Kim Kardashian a run for her money... Well, maybe.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Monthly Favourites: July

In terms of monthly favourites, it's been all about low coverage and high SPF. The weather in England is so temperamental but I wouldn't be caught out without some factor 50 on my face for when that 25 degree weather does come out.

No.7 Anti-Dark Spot Facial Sun Protection in SPF 50
This stuff is goooood, I searched high and low for a high facial SPF and to no avail did I find one, most of the brands out there add tints and shimmers and I just wanted your bog standard high coverage so when I saw this in Boots, I snapped it up. The consistency is perfect, it sinks into the skin beautifully and doesn't leave any unwanted shine, shimmer or tint.

Natural Collection Powder in Translucent
Working in a hot box (aka a pharmacy) means my make up just melts instantly so I've opted for a super light and neutral base and the main show stopper has to be this powder. Keeps shine at bay, sets make up and not an inch of cake in sight with this. Another rave worthy product? Of course and if that isn't enough to sway you, I'm sure the £1.99 price tag will.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
I can't deny the weather has sent my skin haywire. Blemish city at the money and I am hating it! A thorough cleanse and a layer of this Effaclar Duo sorts out those pesky spots leaving my skin clear. An oldie but a goodie.

Sure Crystal Deodorant in Cool Aqua
Of course no one wants to be caught out in this hot weather without a deodorant. The new sure repackaging is great and this little bottle has been great for throwing in my bag for freshening up during the working day. Not a white mark  to be seen and this provides the best anti perspirant protection.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Back To Basics

This weather is playing havoc on my skin and I don't like it. One minute it feels as dry as a bone, next it's shine city. I can't keep up. So I've stripped my evening skin care routine back and here's what's been on the cards.

Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm Now the weather has actually melted this slightly but it's still working wonders, after a hard and hot day at work, this massaged into my skin leaves it feeling plumped, hydrated and thoroughly cleansed.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Eye Cream This stuff doesn't work wonders but it is hydrating and my eye area is screaming for that at the moment. Applied day and night dehydration lines appear reduced and my eyes feel less puffy. I'll never be 100% satisfied with an eye cream until it works a miracle but so far this will do.

Origins High Potency Night-a-Mins Moisturiser Love it or hate it, I personally love it. This thick textured cream leaves an oily residue which my skin just soaks up. Every morning after using this my skin feels baby soft and looks better than ever. A brilliant hydrating night cream for us girls with dry skin. Give it a whirl, you won't regret it.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Philosophy 27 Wishes

I always read about Philosophy products and lusted after them ever since I saw my cousin with their gingerbread lipbalm, still haven't got my hands on that but it's been a brand I'd love to try so when their 27 Wishes* popped through my letterbox, I couldn't wait to take it to the test. To me this is a bit like the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, not a cream at all, if anything it's has a Vaseline texture. It's unscented which is a godsend, there's nothing worse than the EA scent. The 27 Wishes is a multi-use product that can be used for sunburn, dry skin, cuticles and cracked heels. I've been using this on my tootsies for pre holiday prep to get them prepared for sandal weather. This product drys matte, it doesn't leave any greasy residue behind and nourishes the skin to a T. I'll be popping this in my travel make-up bag to Cyprus and testing it on my sunburn, yes sunburn, it's inevitable.

*PR sample


Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Empties Post 003

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil The lovely ladies at L'Occitane sent me this after my first empties post to replenish my stocks. I'm sad to see it go. I absolutely love their almond range and a pump of this in the shower or a soak in the bath makes skin soft and supple, plus the scent is dreamy.

Oribe Dry Texturising Spray There is a huge hole in my hair care routine now I've run out of this, I use this as a dry shampoo on lazy days and spray my hair pre-night out to give it some volume. I'm currently making a Oribe savings stash so I can purchase the full size.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream Perfect for dehydrated skin, a little goes a long way but I'm not sure I was wowed by this. It had no scent and it's very gentle on the skin meaning it would be perfect for those with extremely sensitive skin but there's just something about this that doesn't win me over. It may be the lack of SPF.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation I'm onto my second bottle of this, it's perfect coverage, dewy finish and lasts all day. A perfect base if you're on a budget!

Bioderma Need I say more? Who doesn't love this stuff?! I've already purchased another two bottles!

L'oreal Lumi Magique Highlighting Concealer This is my favourite drugstore highlighting concealer, it's great for those pesky dark circles and gives great coverage. I couldn't love this more I do think it's a little overpriced for the amount you get but if it's as good as YSL, I can't argue!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Summer Make-Up Bag

There's been a heatwave in England, who'd have thought it? I can't believe how warm its been and this calls for minimal light weight make-up. These are the essentials I have been reaching for and things I'll be taking away with me to Cyprus.

Base It's been all about tinted moisturisers and my Chantecialle Just Skin in Bliss is my everyday shade and the colour that is best matched to my skin all year round, when I'm in the sun or on holiday I always tan the most on my face so to add some bronzey goodness to my tinted moisturiser, I add the Bourjois Bronzing BB Cream, this provides some extra colour to my tinted moisturiser and makes it the perfect shade for me to wear whatever shade of brown red I go.

Cheeks I can't be without bronzer on holiday or in Summer, it's a staple item for me and anything to give my Caspar skin a touch of golden sheen is an absolute must. I've recently picked up the Bourjois Bronzing Primer, I've not used this as a primer but I tend to opt for it as a cream bronzer. It works perfectly on those pale like me and gives the right amount of colour without being orange. I like to call this the cheaper sister to Chanel's Bronze Universal, a dab of this on the cheek blended in with my buffing brush is bronzed perfection. If I'm wanting a highlight, liquid highlighter is top of the list and a dab of the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer over cheekbones and down the bridge of the nose gives a subtle highlight.

Eyes I couldn't ever imagine my life without the Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara, it gives perfect volume, length and nourishes the lashes. This lasts all day, doesn't smudge and keeps my eyelashes in place. I will be stocking up on this and purchasing a waterproof version to see my through those hot days.

Lips There's only one thing I take away with me for my lips, I don't mess about with fancy lipsticks and they melt in the heat, I've seen my lip butters crumble in the warmth so the No.7 Anti-Aging Lip Balm is fantastic for adding a sheen to the lips and doesn't melt. With SPF 30 it's brilliant for day to day use and keeps lips hydrated and protected.
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