Monday, 28 April 2014

Summer With Clarins

Have I told you how much I love this brand at the moment? Whether it's a gorgeous eye palette or their new summer lip crayons, everything they release I instantly swoon and these picks are no exception.

First up, let me state that the Truly Waterproof Mascara* is THE BEST mascara I've ever used, as well as cementing itself to my lids without all the hard clumpy lashes and being super waterproof - trust me, I've done the crying to prove it - this stuff gives so much length to my lashes without the need for extra applications of mascara or false eyelashes for nights out. I've been favouring this during the daytime instead of my Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara and in comparison, it's just so much better. With this, I don't get the panda eye effect during the daytime where my mascara smudges around my eye area, it stays put all day. As well as being super waterproof, it means it's super hard to remove, even my Bioderma or Clinique Cleansing Balm couldn't shift this stuff, I struggled and struggled with it so after a quick chat to very friendly Clarins staff, she gave me a sample of the Instant Eye Make Up Remover, I'm yet to try it out but I currently have lashings of this mascara on so tonight I'll find out!

Then it's onto my favourite to-be summer lip product. I've told you all how much I hate lip gloss and I'm far too lazy to keep reapplying lipstick every couple of hours so when I tried the Lip Balm Crayons*, I was sold immediately. I received 02 Creamy Pink, 04 Sweet Cherry and 06 Soft Coffee. My favourite out of the bunch has to be Soft Coffee, in the bullet it looks a very dark brown but applied on the lips it gives a sheer wash of colour giving an almost 90's Jennifer Aniston lip. The formula of these are moisturising, sheer with not much colour pay off, they add a slight tint to the lips especially the darker shades but for shades such as Creamy Pink, it's more of a "my lips but better" finish. Sweet Cherry gives a subtle 'just bitten' effect on the lips which is a finish I prefer, not being much of dark lip wearer I can see these being a lippy best friend for girls like me. The packaging is sleek, small and handbag friendly meaning you can quickly swipe these on the bus/tube and be good to go. Every lazy girls dream!

Another glowing review because lets just face it, Clarins are really bringing it at the moment. Keep your eyes peeled for some reviews from their skincare range in the next week or so!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Summer Base Edit

I love Winter, I think I'll always be a girl whos more opposed to snow and christmas than Summer and sweat - Not that I don't love Summer, I do, especially the late nights, summer music and the excitement of a Summer holiday but when the weather gets hotter my skin becomes so temperamental and spotty and usually this means changing up my bases. Lets go lighter coverage.

The lightest coverage foundation I own in my collection is the Rimmel Lasting Perfection Foundation, this is a light-medium buildable foundation which looks very natural on the skin with a dewy finish. I don't use this in huge quantities, I find it's a great foundation to build on but too much can make you look like a disco ball. This is a great high street foundation, it seems to last throughout a warm 8 hour day at work and doesn't oxidise on the skin and that's always a winner.

My first ever tinted moisturiser and it's still going strong is the No.7 Tinted Moisturiser in Fair which I purchased back in the day, obviously this isn't the same bottle but it's been a product I've repurchased. The coverage of this isn't fantastic but this is what it says on the tube, a tinted moisturiser. This is a product I use for great skin days (when I have them) and also a product that's a travel essential. A quick swipe of this, lashings of mascara and a light application of the Revlon lip stain, I'm good to go.

After my love for tinted moisturisers started, I couldn't get away from the Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser, I saw this on every blog last year, had it applied on me in Space NK and handed over £58 and this little tube of beauty goodness was mine. I find this is more of a tinted moisturiser/very light coverage foundation and the finish is quite sheer but teamed with good skin and concealer, you're summer face lasts all day. Lets put it this way, it's a lot of money but I couldn't bare to part with it now.

Finally, there are times when I'm just pale and being branded with the nickname Caspar from my family, I'm desperate for a tan, summer is the time for the tan isn't it! I use two bronzing add ons from the Bourjois collection to give myself a quick fixhen I'm feeling a little too pale. The Bourjois BB Bronzing Cream 8 in 1 is a product I use to darken my bases, so when I fake tan or have a natural tan - that'll be the day - I mix this in with some of my paler tinted moisturisers or foundations to create a darker base and with pump bottle, it's great to get the right amount of colour without going overboard. The other bronzing hero is the Bourjois Bronzing Primer which I'd say is Chanel's high street alternative, I've been desperate for the Bronze Universal for as long as I've been beauty blogging but never bit the bullet and bought it so I use this the same way I'd use that, a small amount buffed into my cheeks with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush gives a natural flush of colour and the product is easy to work into the skin. I can't say I've ever used it as a primer so I can't give you the DL on that front but for a cream bronzer offering? It's a goodun!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

A Blushing Selection

Want to see all the blushers that I own? This is it. I love blusher but it's not something I reach for on a daily basis. I'm a bronze girl through and through and often daydream about me on a beach in Bali bronzed out a la Tash Oakley style on Instagram. But there are a few blushers that I love and yes, they're all more or less in the coral category.

The newest blusher in my stash and my favourite of them all is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion, I saw all the hype with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders and once I say they were offering a blush version, I knew immediately I'd have to have one. I signed up on Space NK, handed over my £28 and not long after this was making full statement on my cheeks, well, sort of... The finish of this is very subtle, combined with their ambient lighting powder this blusher also gives a blurring effect as well as a pop of colour and the shade is just got Beth written all over it. I've said many of times you can't ever really get full effect when you swatched these with your fingers, the powder is so finely milled and I don't know how it works but the brush picks up the colour and applied on the cheeks gives me the right amount of peachy, coral goodness I'll ever need.

And now we're onto Nars, their blushers are absolutely beautiful and I swoon every time I visit the counter. After purchasing Orgasm in my early blogging days and not really ever getting along with it, I sold it to a better home and that left me with Gina. Originally I wanted Lustre but after swatching both in store, my heart was set on Gina. A true orange blush that can look as stark as it does in the pan, but a light dusting of this over bronzed cheeks looks absolutely stunning and makes me feel summery. This is typically a summer blush in my eyes and one I find I can get away with most of the time when I've got a bit of a tan but still looks gorgeous in any other season nonetheless. Like any Nars powder, it's finely milled, heavily pigmented and a teeny bit goes a long way. I'm currently eyeing up Lustre now I'm sold Orgasm, that's totally acceptable right?

I wouldn't be a beauty blogger if I didn't have a MAC blusher or two, would I? My favourite of the two is Style which is a peach blush with a golden sheen running through it. Whenever I wear this I get so many compliments on how healthy my skin looks and it's all down to this. It acts a highlighter and blusher in one and the shade suits my skin all year round. It does take a lot of blush to build up a strong colour but one thing I love about this is how light the colour pay off is meaning those early mornings I'm never likely to walk out the door with a serious case of blush overload. On the other end of the scale is Peachykeen, this looks quite red in the pan but applied it's very similar to Benefit's Coralista. This is a very pigmented blush so in comparison to Style, it's easy to go overboard on this blusher. I find that sweeped in the pan and the excess brushed off on my hand, I get the right amount to apply on my cheeks. I find this looks best with a bronzed face as a darker coral colour can make me appear very pale. Still a beautiful blush but not one I get much use out of but it's once I've been trying to choose lately.

Not a mass blusher horder myself, cause I'm always into my bronzers but leave your blush recommendations below. Who knows, I might even find a pink I like! That'll be the day...

Friday, 18 April 2014

Clarins Do Spring

When this popped through the letterbox, I couldn't believe it. As a firm lover of Clarins and everything they had to offer, of course I couldn't wait to try their new Opalescence collection. Its taken over 10 attempts to try photograph this range but I really just couldn't do it justice but the luxurious packaging always makes me swoon when I see it in my make up collection, and the actual product is as high standard.

The item I was most looking forward to trying was the Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base in Rose*, at first I was put off by the shade Rose thinking it would look far too pink for my cool skin tone but it is actually the perfect match. This comes in a handy tube with a pump lid meaning it's great for on the go! I take around two to three pumps into my hands, massage over my face and I'm left with a brighter, radiant complexion and a base set for foundation. I don't know how this works because it doesn't contain any glitter or obvious shimmer but it leaves the skin looking well and truly radiant and I've even used this as a cream highlighter on those super lazy days. Teamed with the complexion base, the Cream Blush in Grenadine* adds a creamy pink glow but subtle enough to stop you looking like a clown. The consistency of these is fantastic, super creamy and light in colour. Although this shade looks like a vivid pink, swatched it is a true coral colour with a hint of shimmer running through it which looks very flattering buffed into the cheeks. I take a teeny bit on my Real Techniques Stippling Brush and blend into the cheeks and that sees me through the day without reapplication needed. This is my first real venture into cream brush and although I'm very much a powder girl, there may be a place for cream blushers in my heart.

I've eyed up the Clarins eyeshadow quads for as long as I can remember, I still melt when I see pictures of the Odyssey Palette from Christmas so when I saw I'd received the Eyeshadow Quad in Vibrant Light*, I was desperate to see how they fared to my beloved Nars eyeshadows. Overall I can say their colour selection is fantastic, included in the quad is four shades which you can wear separately or team up with the others. I would say the formula isn't always fantastic as they can be dry but applied wet you get a strong colour pay off especially with their glitter shade they include. Personally I found the glitter very messy to use and the fall down was terrible but for the other three shades, I can use and create a purple and grey smokey eye. I've really enjoyed using this and it's great for branching out into new colours, I wear bronzes far too much.

And finally we have their lip offerings, it's always exciting to try a new shade and these gems are no exception. The Joli Rouge Brilliant Perfect Shine Sheer Lipstick in Coral Tulip* is a red/pink colour in a super creamy, sheer finish. I'm not one for bold lipsticks but this can be worn as a full colour, applied lightly from the bullet or buffed into the lips with your fingers depending on the finish you're after. The formula isn't drying and moisturises the lips, and depending on the type of finish you've gone for, it'll last you throughout the day. And if I'm after a super glossy finish, I apply a layer of the Gloss Prodige in Crystal*, which is just a clear lipgloss. Although I'll never be a lip gloss lover - I've had too many hair in mouth incidents in the wind - this with the lipstick gives a glossy spring lip. I'm not overly keen on this because like I said, I'm not a lip gloss lover but it's just a tad too sticky for my liking. Give me a good lippy anyday!

All these spring collections and the sun is shining, could we well be on our way to summer? I seriously hope so because I'm hating the cold. Let me know what spring make up you've been wearing and any products you recommend for warmer weather, my daily make up is gonna need an overhaul now it's getting hotter!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Top 5 Make Up Brushes

Before I got into make up properly, I never used a make up brush and my fingers were the only applicator I'd use (even for eyeshadow... I know, cringe) but now, if I ever forget my make up brushes, I really struggle to apply make up. I wouldn't dream putting my fingers on my face (personal preference) and find that make up brushes really are the tools that create a flawless make up look.

Real Techniques is a fantastic brush brand created by Samantha Chapman of Youtube Pixiwoo and most of my brushes are from them. For my base I am currently switching up between the Buffing Brush from the core collection, I use this to apply foundation and buff it into my skin, I find this works particularly well with tinted moisturisers and lighter coverage foundations but when I do use heavier foundations, I first apply them using this and blend thoroughly into the skin with the Expert Face Brush, at first I hated this brush and I couldn't understand the hype but after I was parted with my Buffing Brush during a drunken night out and was forced to use this, I can safely say I now understand the hype. For any concealer touch ups and under eye application, I use the Contour Brush, again from the Core Collection, and although it says contour, this is the perfect size to fit under the eyes to blend out and works well to buff concealer on blemishes and on any other areas I need it.

For eyes, I am a bit of an eyeshadow amaetur, I don't really know the tips and tricks and I only ever really stick to a basic bronzed smokey eye but I have two eyeshadow brushes that do all the work so they make me look like a pro. For eyeshadow application I use a Jemma Kidd Eyeshadow Brush from a collection I got years ago, this was actually my first make up brush set I got and it's still going strong. I use this brush to apply eyeshadow all over the lid and into the crease, this is the perfect size brush to apply eyeshadow all over the lid without looking like a clown, then I use the MAC 217 to blend out any darker shades and create a seamless smokey eye. If you're like me and not great with eyeshadow, invest in one of these because when they say it does all the work for you, they weren't lying. I'm currently considering a second purchase of this!

I love my collection of make up brushes, but I'm always looking for more. I've not tried any other brands apart from MAC or Real Techniques so leave your recommendations below! I can see the Louise Young LY34 Foundation Brush making it's way into my collection very soon though...

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Clutch Bag Essentials

During the week, I carry around a massive tote bag full of pens, receipts and other junk which really doesn't need to be in there, I'm a hoarder and literally carry my whole life in my bag but when I go out, it's a different story. I really cut down on all the junk and stick to the bare essentials which sees me throughout the night.

I carry minimal with me on a night out, I do my make up before I leave the house and try make sure it'll last as long as it can but sometimes when you're in hot sweaty club or had one too many Jagerbombs, your make up just isn't looking it's finest. To top up my base, I usually use the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, my make up tends to slip under my eyes and around my mouth so a teeny bit blended with my fingers corrects my base. Then it's a quick brush of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette with my Real Techniques Blush Brush, I use the shade Dim Light to set the concealer and the shade Radiant Light to add some bronze back into my skin, and my base is as good as new.

Every girl has to have a lip offering, I apply it before I leave but I always need a top up. I find whenever I go out, my make up is usually a neutral base with a smokey eye, so to compliment that I always have MAC's Hue Lipstick with me. This bullet of creamy nude goodness usually lasts on my lips for around an hour before reapplication is needed, I don't mind so much about the lasting power because the formula moisturises my lips. And finally it's onto perfume, I'm currently wearing a scent sold at my work called Miss Tutu which is an incredible Chanel Coco Mademoiselle dupe, it lasts all night and next morning I can still smell it on my skin. Retailing for £3.50 opposed to £68, I'm sold!

Enjoy your weekend ladies, whether you're out on the town or in front of the tv with a takeaway, have a good one!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Busy Bee

Life lately has been a bit hectic, first I was struck down with a horrendous cold which had me off work for a couple of days and now I'm still battling a chesty cough and having asthma, it makes it so much worse but I'm 100% better and back to work now. I did start off trying to keep up with my blogging, then I when I got ill, it just made me exhausted and blogging took a backseat. I've also been putting a lot of pressure on myself and beating myself up about not blogging and feeling like I'm not achieving anything but I have to remember to blog when I feel most inspired and motivated and not make blogging out to be a chore. If I lose followers for having a life, so be it. Blogging is a place on the internet and my whole life doesn't revolve around it, no matter how much I enjoy it.

Spring is here and the sun is finally shining in England and the weather is a warmer which means I'm donning the fake tan and wanting to slim down for the summer. I'm really motivated to lose some weight and get more active, so far so good. I've been making myself salads and healthy snack options and I'm just putting all my effort into keeping active, eating well and seeing good results. It's early days yet but I'm so optimistic about it!

Today I received my certificate for completing my Dispensary Assistants Course which means I'm now a qualified pharmacy dispenser and can choose to progress to Level 3 which is a decision I'm contemplating. I'm not really enjoying my place of work recently and weighing up my options there but I'm still deciding if pharmacy is a path I want to continue in. I'd love to do some travelling but in the meantime, working is essential for saving any money to put towards my future. I'm proud of my achievement because pharmacy is a hard job and it took a lot of work and knowledge to complete the course, but whether it's a path for me is still something I need to figure out.

Hopefully I'm back and up to normal, sometimes life does get in the way of blogging and my life will always be more important than my blog but I love this and when I do blog, I realise how much I do love it. I'll try post more regularly and consistently, but please bare with me if I have a glitch, haha. Let me know what you've been up to in the comments below, anything good?

Sunday, 6 April 2014

No.7 Instant Radiance Highlighter

Let me introduce you to my highlighter best friend. The No.7 Instant Radiance Highlighter came into my life on a whim but now it's hard to part us. Highlighters are my favourite part of my make up routine, I don't have much of a natural glow so I often "Fake It Till I Make It" and inject as much of a glow as I can. I'm a big lover of the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candlelight for it's subtle highlighting properties, and that's been my day-to-day highlighter meaning I've often neglected the idea of a cream highlighter but this is like the Kevyn Aucoin in a cream form with a bit more va va voom (Cue Nicki Minaj singing). This is a creamy shimmer highlighter with a hint of gold in, and applied to the skin, this gives a beautiful highlight without being too obvious and in your face. Yes this is quite a bold highlighter when it's swatched heavily and applied too much you can go overboard but I apply this lightly down my nose and on my cheekbones then blend with a make up brush or my fingers and I'm left with a highlight that looks natural and gives my skin life when the light hits my face. The simple bullet style packaging means it takes up minimal room in my make up bag, it means I'll have no worries it'll smash in my bag because lets face it, I just am that clumsy. No.7 are a brand I tend to neglect out there but since I love this so much, I'm intrigued to try their Pop & Glow Cream Blush Stick offerings, the shade 'Mango Sorbet' has my name written all over it.

Have you tried this highlighter? What is your favourite highlighter?

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Monthly Favourites: March

It's monthly favourites time, can you believe we're in April already? March was a rather odd month for me, some up and down and during the last week I've come down with a flu like bug which I'm still recovering now, damn England and the publics need to share these things. My favourites are old loves that I've been reaching for on a day to day basis and as well as these, I've been loving Tempo tissues and Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream for that dry skin around my news but anyway, let's get onto the beauty goodness...
Can you tell my skin has been my main concern over the month of March? I dug out my Nars Sheer Glow Foundation after being sick of lack lustre skin, my skin seems spotty, dry and flaky and generally lacking radiance altogether. If you don't own this, then go buy it straight away, it's a fantastic day-to-night foundation and the coverage is faultless. I tend to build this up depending on how my skin is looking and the lasting power of this is all day. This packs on the artificial glow and during the days I've been struck with this bug, I've looked semi human.

And since being ill, my dark circles have come back with a vengeance and nothing really is cutting it except the MAC Mineralize Concealer. Admittedly this is the wrong shade and too warm for my skintone but blended out, this really does diminish the appearance of dark circles. The consistency of this concealer is creamy and it blends under the eyes smoothly leaving minimal creasing, I can't say it's completely creaseless because that's just my eyes, but applied and set with a powder, I'm good all day.

Next up is an old love, a neglected beauty product and since digging it out of my collection, I've rekindled my love. The Nars Laguna Bronzer is my bronze must have, I neglected this after I hit pan and only had a little bit remaining around the sides but I've managed to scrape and scrimp every bit with my Real Techniques Blush Brush nearly leaving me ready to repurchase another one. If you're after a bronzer, I can't recommend this enough. Even for a skin tone as fair as mine, this really does suit anyone and the intensity can be built up cause the powder is so finely milled. I can see why this stuff is Holy Grail.

The whole make up shabang does slip when I'm ill and the last thing I fancy doing is taking a pencil to my brows so I've been brushing them through with the Maybelline Brow Drama, this stuff is hassle free, sets brows and adds a hint of tint to my brows - not exactly my usual defined brow but it does the job.

What products have you been loving in March?
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