Thursday, 30 January 2014

Clinique Superdefense Moisturiser


I really am loving Clinique at the moment and this moisturiser is no exception. I picked the Clinique Superdefense Moisturiser the same time I made my order for the Cleansing Balm, I've previously had this moisturiser but after hearing it's been revamped I couldn't wait to try it out. I loved it the first time but now I love it even more. I picked up their limited edition 20ml size to test it out and see how I'd get on with it but I know now I'll be purchasing the bigger size. The wonderful thing about this item is it comes with three different skin type choices. I opted for very dry/dry as my skin is terribly dehydrated at the moment. I apply this each morning and it leaves my skin hydrated throughout the day. I tend to only use this as a daytime moisturiser and opt for an oil and overnight mask for super hydration. I'd say you need a 50p amount on your hands to cover the whole face and it sinks in like a dream, this sits so well under foundation and doesn't make skin look overly oily and shiny. This helps fight against the first signs of aging, protects against UVA and UVB rays (which I've been lacking in a daytime moisturiser) and packs a punch with hydration. Clinique, I love you.
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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Favourite Palettes


I'm not exceptionally advanced when it comes to palettes, I've still not got round to creating a custom MAC palette, I only have a small selection but they're my favourites and investments I've made which I definitely don't regret.

The Urban Decay Naked Palette was the first palette I ever got, this was a birthday present from my family around 2 years ago and it's still going strong. This has every perfect bronze colour imaginable and it's right up my street as a bronze eyeshadow wearer. When I first started blogging this was on everyones blog and after countless blog posts and swatches, it was love. My favourite shades from this palette have to be Half Baked sweeped all over the lid and Snog blended out into the corner and in the crease to create the most beautiful neutral smokey eye. I also like to wear the shade Sin all over the lid with Sidecar added for a bit more definition, they're both gorgeous pink toned colours with just the right tone.

Next up is the most sought after purchase I've made, I searched high and low for the Nars And God Created The Woman Palette when I first saw it on the NARSissit Instagram, so after it went on sale in Space NK but was out of stock, I had them locate one for me and when it popped through the post, it was love at first sight. Anyone else love a product more when it's limited edition? This is the palette I turn to mostly when I'm off on a night out, the colours are mostly dark and perfect to create that smokey eye. The pigmentation of the Nars shadows are absolutely amazing and teamed with their Pro-Prime Eyeshadow Primer, it's still there after you've fallen asleep drunk... Oops I've been there.

And then we have my favourite and most recent addition, the Nars Ride Up To The Moon Palette which is very similar to the Urban Decay palette minus the green. Admittedly the green isn't a colour I've chosen to wear yet but after watching Tanya Burr's Arab Make Up Tutorial I really want to give this shade a go. My most worn colours in this palette are Argentina - a champagne shimmer, Isolade - which is described as a frosted ginger/shimmering copper, and Fez - which is a beautiful brown with a hint of gold shimmer. Can you tell I love my neutral colours? The photo doesn't do this palette justice, it's just so pretty.

Well a girl can never have too many neutral palettes can she? Let me know what your favourite eyeshadow palettes are as I'm always after new recommendations. I'm currently eyeing up the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette and the NARSissit Palette... *swoon*
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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Clinique Cleansing Balm


As soon as a cleansing balm product comes out, I'm all over it and the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm - woah that was a mouthful - is no exception. This cleansing balm is so sought after that it's been coming and going out of stock ever since it's release. I've trailed every department store in Leeds and surrounding Yorkshire for this as well as online and to no avail did I manage to get my hands on it but when Clinique emailed me to tell me it was back in stock, I clicked "checkout" before I had chance to blink.

What I really love about this product is the simplicity of it, there's no colours, fragrance or other nasties and that's just what I'm after in a cleansing balm. I love the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm but it's too heavy, the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm is amazing but far too oily but the Clinique is a mixture of the two and it's my favourite of them all so far. The consistency of this balm looks a bit like lard, it has the same type of consistency but once I rub it in my hands it turns into a oil which then emulsifies when water is added. This really does remove every scrap of make up, the woman at Harvey Nichols put a bit on the back of my clean hands and I was amazed how much dirt was removed. The balm doesn't strip the skin, it thoroughly cleanses my face and leaves my skin ready for the next step in my routine. For a simple cleansing balm, this is amazing and I'm so pleased with it. This is so affordable, retailing at £21 this is an absolute bargain especially as there are others on the market retailing for over £30 which aren't as good.

Well done Clinique, you've done it again.
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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Glow Givers


Long gone are the days where I opt for a matte finish. I'm all about the glow these days whether it's highlighter or a dewy foundation. It's quite amazing how much my make up menu has changed within the years. I was once a salve to the Estée Lauder Double Wear with cakings of Rimmel Stay Matte Powder but over the years as my skin and make up has changed, I've become a glowing woman for the better.

I love a good glowing base, the dewy the better but mind you, I don't mean shiny and looking like my skin is insanely oily, I just mean a glow good enough to give Kim K a run for her money. A high street favourite of mine has to be the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer, I love it for injecting some glow into my base and this is what I always mix with the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Base to create a illuminating tinted moisturiser. This stuff also works wonders as a cream highlighter and you know how much I love those.

Like I said, I was a slave to Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, it's a product I would never be without until now. When the Hourglass Ambient Light Palette and Powders made their way onto the market, I knew these were the products for me. They set make up, give skin a natural, radiant glow and look fantastic on those dreaded flashback nightclub photos (we've all been collared by the I am VIP man, right?). Long gone are those Stay Matte days and it's a continuous ode to Hourglass from me.

By now, I'm hoping I haven't gone overboard on the glow - trust me, it's possible - I always need a highlighter. This is an essential in my make up routine, whether it's a dusting down the cheekbones or a browbone highlight, this really defines the face and the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candlelight is my absolute favorite. For those girls who've searched high and low for the best highlighter, pick this up and you'll be thanking Mr Aucoin just as much as I am.

What products do you use to give you a glow?
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Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Everyday Face


When my alarm goes at 6.30 and I finally get out of bed, I don't have time to be messing around with liquid liner or eyeshadow and a perfected base but I've found a selection of products that give me a done make up look without much effort.

The Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation is the latest addition to my foundation stash and it's a base I really love for bad skin days. This is medium coverage which can be built up for a heavier finish but I use two pumps blended out on my face with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. I'd say for drier skin types like myself, it's best to use a primer under this or moisturise well as it can oxidize and cling to the dry patches. I've been testing the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer which I got with my Ambient Lighting Palette and it makes this foundation last all day without trying to cling. In terms of the foundation, it doesn't cause any skin irritation or break me out and it smells just like the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask. When I do get any nasty blemishes or I've had a late night, I always need a good concealer and the 17 Hide Away Concealer is a great full coverage concealer which covers blemishes, hides dark circles and sees me through to the 5.30 finish. What more could a girl want?

And for the finishing touches, I dust the MAC Blush in Style over my cheeks for a healthy peachy glow. This is very similar to the Nars Blush in Gina but not as stark in colour. The MAC blush is very subtle and the colour can be built up but I find enough on my Real Techniques Blush Brush is enough to give me a glow. Speaking of glow, you all know how much I love a highlighter and the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candlelight is my go to highlighter for giving me a natural, healthy glow. What I love about this is it's not shimmery or glittery, it's so natural and shows up beautifully in those selfies... Yeah we're all guilty girls.

What are your everyday make up products?
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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Latest Additions


Uh oh. I'm in trouble. I've been spending again, I told you lot I had a problem! And in the words of Rebecca Bloomwood, when I do shop, the world does get better. Technically one of these is a giveaway prize so it can justify the others... Right? Assure me that I'm right.

My newest addition is the Clinique Take Off The Day Cleansing Balm. I have trailed over every internet site, every department store and Clinique counter in Leeds (and surrounding Yorkshire) to get hold of this but it just seemed impossible so when it came back in stock on the Clinique website, I purchased it immediately. You know how much you want a product more when it's out of stock (example: Nars And God Created The Woman palette) and the rave reviews didn't help my burning need for this. I've not used this yet but tonight will be my first cleanse with it so I'll report back. It's texture is more balmy than oily and it melts off the toughest of make up. I had a woman at the Clinique counter use this on the back of my clean hands and I was amazed how much dirt was removed. Can this beat the Emma Hardie and Elemis balm cleansers? I'll let you know.

After using the last of my Origins GinZing moisturiser, I thought it was about time I purchased a new one. I'd seen in store and on blogs that Clinique have revamped the formula of their Superdefense Moisturiser and having previously used it, I couldn't help but pick up another. So far I love it, the cream is certainly more moisturising than the Origins one. I feel the Origins moisturiser would be more suitable for oily skins or skin during summer but my skin is tight and dehydrated. I apply this first thing on a morning and the hydration lasts all day. I'll report back with a more in depth review but for now, it's a thumbs up from me. Clinique also sent me some little mini samples of their 7 Day Scrub and Mild Liquid Soap which will come in handy for some of the trips I have planned.

And of course is the final addition but a giveaway prize (this is where you need to reassure me the other purchases are ok). I won the Zelens Transformer Instant Renewal Mask on a Twitter giveaway which I was so excited about. This stuff retails at £95 and although it's pricey, it really does work. I apply this mask after cleansing the skin, leave for 15 minutes then remove with a muslin cloth. Immediately after, my skin was exfoliated, glowing and so soft and smooth. As the title says, it really does transform your skin. My only gripe with it is that it caused my forehead to break out but that's because it's super sensitive anyway so I don't think it's the masks fault but it did work on my forehead just as well as the rest of my face. I think of this as the sister to the REN Glycolactic Renewal Radiance Mask, it's very much in the same league with the results it gives. I can't wait to use it more and see the long term affects - I'll let you know how I get on.

Newest additions aside, someone needs to take my bank card off me...
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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Unloved Lippies


Swatches L-R: Topshop Brighton Rock, Rimmel Kate Moss 101, Maxfactor Bewitching Coral, Elizabeth Arden Black Cherry, Elizabeth Arden Simply Red

Can you sense a theme? I am not a red/dark lip wearer. I try and fail most of the time, it's actually one of my resolutions to become more daring in the lip department and so far, I can't say I'm doing overly well so I've dug out my most neglected lippies, put them to the top of my stash and everytime I fancy a lipstick, I'm going to choose one of these... Maybe leave the purple for an evening though.

My most worn (if that's even correct to say?) shade is Topshop's Brighton Rock. It's a gorgeous bright pink on the lips but can be blended out with the fingers to create a pinky stain. This lipstick has the strongest staying power and didn't even budge when using my Dr Bronners Magic Soap, that's tough. The second shade I'd pick out of the bunch is Rimmel's Kate Moss 101, a beautiful coral red that is that perfect shade of red with a hint of orange for us girls who can't part with our oranges just yet. This works gorgeous lined with Topshop's Lip Pencil in Deception, it stays put for the majority of the day with minimal top ups. Perfect for me but I always worry I've smeared red all over my face when I wear this. And then we have the totally neglected lippies, Maxfactor Bewitching Coral, Elizabeth Arden Black Cherry and Elizabeth Arden Simply Red are shades that have just been swatched and put into my make up collection. Black Cherry appears to be similar in colour to MAC's Rebel and the Simply Red lipstick is a classic pillarbox red. As for Maxfactor's Bewitching Coral, I can see this being my summer shade if I keep this resolution up... She says whilst currently wearing MAC Hue.

Let me know you're favourite lippies below (especially nudes)!
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Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Empties Post 005


It's that time again. I like doing these posts so it shows (me more than anyone) that I'm using things in my stash. I'm on a real mission at the moment to use up any items I've neglected before buying anymore. I have Beauty Blogger Syndrome which means collecting more and more products without using my old ones up. But here's the products I've most recently finished.

Elie Saab EDP - This has lasted me a good while, there's that annoying tiny bit you can't get out but it's time to admit defeat and accept it's run out. Whenever I wore this I had so many comments about how beautiful this was. I'd love to repurchase this but I've got my heart set on Tom Ford Violet Blonde which I think, is ever nicer.

Kérastase Reflection Bain Chroma Captive Colour Radiance Protecting Shampoo - Did I like this? Yeah, I liked how much it lathered up and really cleansed the hair but in terms of prolonging the colour? I'm not so sure. It's a lovely shampoo and I really liked how it worked but for the price tag, I wouldn't recommend it for someone with recently dyed hair wanting to protect the colour.

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Mascara - I'm on my third tube of this, it's perfect for long fluttery eyelashes with minimal effort. The cone shaped brush allows you to create volume as the base of the lashes and the narrow tip gets into the corner of the eyes creating that doll eyed look. This lasts all day, doesn't flake or crumble and when it comes to cleansing, this melts easily using either Bioderma or a cleansing balm.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer - I loved this but I was glad to see it end, it felt like it was going on forever and ever and I was desperate to try my new MAC concealer. If anyone is wanting a brightening concealer on a budget, I would highly recommend this one. It's so versatile, works under the eyes without looking cakey but strong enough to cover even the most red of blemishes. Everyone knows I'm a big fan of the Wake Me Up Foundation and paired together, they make a great base combo.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Time Complex Eye Cream - Considering this is marketed as an anti-aging eye cream for mature women, I wouldn't recommend this for anyone at all. It really holds no comparison to the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream, this was a basic, moisturising (at best) eye cream which really did nothing for my eyes. I bought this on a whim at work ages ago after running out of my previous eye cream and I couldn't wait to see it end. I wouldn't repurchase this or recommend it. Everyone go buy the Bobbi Brown one... Now!

What products have you been using up lately?
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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream


I've not found "the one" in an eye cream yet and I've tried a lot, I think I'm after some miracle but it's not a quick fix process. A lady at the Clarins counter once told me that when you're sat round with friends when you're 40 and looking through photos when you were 20, you're friends say "you still look that good" and that's how an eye cream should work. It's a prevention not a cure and I really like to prevent! The latest addition to my eye cream collection is the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream, now this stuff doesn't promise you miracles but if you're after a thick cream that will hydrated the eyes all day and night then this is for you. I take a pea sized amount, rub it together on my ring finger and dab over my orbital bone and brow bone. This sinks in like a dream and the skin around my eyes stays super soft until the next application. The dehydration lines around my eyes have been reduced dramatically, I'm so impressed with the amount of hydration this gives. I'd recommend this for anyone who's after a good hydrating eye cream or for anyone in their 20's. It doesn't promise any immediate anti-aging effects or miracles but it's a great place to start for us young'uns wanting to fight the first signs.
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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

An Ode to Bases


I love a good foundation, it's what I spend the most money on out of other make up items. There's nothing nicer than finding a base that's just the right amount of coverage, sits well and makes your skin look flawless. I have quite the stash when it comes to my bases from light coverage to high coverage and here are my favourites.

In my heart I will always be a full coverage girl, I like the flawless finish and a consistent skin tone so 9 times out of 10 I will opt for a foundation on the higher coverage end. My top pick at the moment is the Nars Sheer Glow. I wear the shade Fiji which is a perfect match for me. I use a tiny amount buffed into the skin with my beloved Real Techniques Buffing Brush and I have the flawless skin I strive for. This foundation can be a bit temperamental on my skin and cause the odd breakout so I pair it with the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and that stops the foundation penetrating my skin and causing any pesky breakouts!

Day to day I use the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation, this is great because it's inexpensive meaning I'm not forking out a tonne of money to wear it while I'm at work. This foundation gives the right amount of coverage, I'd say it's medium but buildable and gives a gorgeous dewy finish without looking like you've gone a bit OTT with the highlighter (trust me, I've been there and have photos to prove it).

The newest addition to my stash is the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation, this foundation is medium buildable coverage with a matte finish. The finish does go dewy as the day goes on but the only thing I dislike is it can oxidize on the skin and cling to dry patches. I find that a light layer buffed into the skin means it stays flawless all day but if I'm wanting a heavier coverage, I make sure to moisturise properly first.

Finally is my favourite base I try to use whenever I motivate myself to try the 'no make up, make up' look. I bought the Chantecialle Just Skin last year and it's been a love affair I can't let go of. At a whopping £57 for a tube, it's not cheap but if you're after a base heavier than tinted moisturiser but lighter than foundation then this is for you. It ticks all the boxes with just the right amount of coverage, colour range and dewy finish and it's a permanent fixture in my make up collection. Thankfully I'm still in my first tube.

List your favourite foundations below because I'm always after more... A girl can never have too many, right?
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Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Body Pamper


I'm a bit of a slacker when it comes to the old bodycare, I can exfoliate and moisturise but I never do it consistently but I've found some products that really help create soft supple skin and leave me smelling good enough to eat.

I tend to favour a bath over a shower, I love lighting the candles, setting down with a good book and relaxing but when I want to give myself a good scrub, I take a shower and scrub my body from top to bottom with the Caudalie Divine Scrub. This scrub has the right amount of grit, it leaves skin thoroughly buffed without scratching the skin and my skin feels so smooth after. I have Keratosis Pilaris which means my forearms can be quite rough and it feels like I have permanent goosebumps but since using the Caudalie Divine Scrub, my forearms are in better condition.

Next up is the body oil, I like to sandwich this in with a thick moisturiser after application. My favourite choice of body oil is the L'Occitane Supple Skin Oil, I'm a big fan of their almond range, I've currently run out of their Almond Shower Oil but it's on my list to repurchase. If you're after soft smooth skin, check out the L'Occitane Almond range. Like all their range, the smell is absolutely incredible, it sinks into the skin so easily, leaves skin supple (like it claims) and baby smooth. I've tried many body oils but nothing compares to this one. I've had this months and as you can see, I've only used around half.

And then it's onto the moisturiser and my newest addition to my stash. The Kiehls Creme De Corps was picked up after reading countless rave reviews and in my search for the perfect skin, I had to snap it up. The thick yellow butter smooths over the skin well, it's not too thick in consistency but thick enough to thoroughly moisturise the skin, it sinks into the skin quickly and using this after the L'Occitane Supple Skin Oil it locks in the oil so my skin is moisturised all through the night. All these products are beautiful in scent and even on a morning, I can still smell them. Hurrah for finally finding a body care routine that has banished the rough dry skin.
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Friday, 3 January 2014

Monthly Favourites: December


Monthly favourites time and we're taking a step back into 2013 for my December monthly favourites. December was a month where I shopped my stash, dug out what I've neglected and rediscovered some old gems.

First on the list is make up, and I've really been loving this Nars combo. The Nars Sheer Glow is a new foundation which I absolutely love. My skin looks radiant and flawless when I apply this, the coverage is buildable and this blends into the skin so effortlessly. Admittedly I can't wear this much as it brings me out like crazy but I do love it for a special occasion and with December being the Christmas party season, this was the only base on my make up menu. The second gem of my make up combo is the Nars Blush in Gina, I think I bought this back at the beginning of the year, used it once then totally neglected it and shoved it to the back of my drawers. I really must learn to step away from the bronzer during the winter months but my inner bronze goddess just won't let the obsession lie. Gina gives such a healthy flush of colour and the peach colour really compliments my skin tone with its satin finish. As with all Nars blushers, the powder is very pigmented and a light dusting over the cheeks gives just the right amount of peachy glow.

Next up is skincare, I'm always chopping and changing my products which I really shouldn't do, during December my skin has been awful, I've had some terrible breakouts that I've not been able to clear and persistent spots that just won't budge so I've dug out some oldies in favour to get my skin back to normal. I've been applying the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic every morning and night after cleansing my skin to remove any remaining make up and to tone the skin. This is so soothing, my skin feels toned without the tight feeling afterwards and the smell of this is heavenly. There's nothing nicer than the scent of lavender at bedtime. Then there's the treatments, I've really stripped down my routine (in a fashion) and I've been using the REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate once a week on cleansed skin underneath a moisturiser. The REN Concentrate contains acids such as Glycolic, Lactic and Citric Acids which exfoliate the skin and on a morning, my skin looks glowing and you know how much I love a glow.

What were your December Favourites?
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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The Lessons of 2013

For me, 2013 has been a very weird year, it's been up and down but in all honesty, I have spent the majority of the year feeling more down than I have happy. Towards the beginning of the year, I was diagnosed with depression. I won't really go into detail about that as it's personal and something I may choose to share at a later date, but it's been a very long and hard journey. I'd say 2013 has been a year about lessons and learning, there are many things I've learnt and how I feel which will help me grow as a person in the future.

My main lesson of the year is realising that life doesn't run away from you as quick as you think. I'm constantly terrified life is going to be over before I've got anything done and I feel like I'm constantly rushing but I need to learn to sit back, relax and take things as they come. I am going to go into 2014 with a "take one day at a time" attitude. There are lots of goals I've set myself and things I want to achieve but I also need to realise that just because they aren't done straight away doesn't mean I've failed, it just means it's in the process of happening and that's ok. I need to remember to enjoy life and take it for what it is.

Another big lesson for me is realising that some people just aren't good for you. I was previously friends with some nasty people that made me out to be a horrible person when in reality, it was them. Since leaving those people in the past, I've found out that there are some really supportive and kind people out there that except you for who you are and like you regardless of all the other stuff. That's the type of people I will continue to surround myself with and those who I know will help me in the future.

Recently in 2013, my blog has played a big part of my life. I've found that I am really enjoying blogging and it's a great hobby. It still amazes me how much bloggers have a voice in the industry and I want to continue to work hard on my blog. Of course, like every other blogger I would absolutely love to work full time through blogging but I am still enjoying writing new posts and testing out new products as a hobby. The beauty blogger community is so supportive and I'm so grateful to have met some fantastic, supportive and the most friendliest people through blogging. I just hope during 2014 I get the chance to meet some of the lovely ladies I've spoken to.

I am nowhere near happy with my body and I'm going into 2014 with a positive mental attitude to slim down and exercise but I must learn not to be so hard on myself. If I want to eat some chocolate during that time of the month then ok, but I need to realise that it's ok and not punish myself like crazy and get upset about it. My goal is to start exercising properly and regularly so I can have the body I can be proud of. I intend to go onto a complete nutritional overhaul and change the way I eat to change my lifestyle, not for a dress size but for my present and future health.

Finally, my main lesson is to learn to be happy. I've had a very dark year and this time next year, I want to be feeling a lot brighter and more positive about my life. I have lots of plans for 2014 and I can't wait to see what's round the corner. Happy New Year!
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