I had a lot of plans in place on the run up to Valentines Day to do some gorgeous, romantic makeup looks and hair looks ready for the big day. As with all best laid plans, I got the flu and was bed bound for the best part of a week. One good thing to come from having the flu is having a more intensive skincare routine, which has given my skin a new lease of life and it is looking spot on and spot free. One of the projects that I had in planning was to do a Valentines Day inspired make up look using just one brand. Not one to let my plans go awry, I have put together a very simple makeup look that focuses on using Sleek Makeup. One of my all time favourite drugstore brands, Sleek Makeup have brought out so many incredible products over the years. The highlighting palettes are a firm favourite, as well as the Lip VIP lipsticks which Alice Spake swears that they are better than MAC lipsticks. Some of my favourite lines from the Sleek range include the powder blushes and of course, the gorgeous eye shadow palettes.

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

For this full face of Sleek, I have started off by prepping my skin with a light gel cream cleanser and water based moisturiser which I am going to talk more about later this week, before applying a liberal layer of the Hydrating Primer. I have used this little beauty in the past before and I love how it makes my skin feel. Although I will always use a moisturiser prior to makeup application, you really don’t need to with the hydration primer. It hydrates the skin enough to be worn alone, whilst smoothing out the base. The Sleek LifeProof Foundation was the base of choice, and whilst I have tried other Sleek foundations, this one is new to me. Using shade LP03, it does look a little orange in the bottle however it blended out into a really lovely, natural and even finish. What I do love about Sleek is the inclusivity when it comes to the shade range. From my knowledge, Sleek was originally brought out for WOC, so the shades are expansive whilst the pigmentation of the products is high. It’s an incredible achievement for a drugstore brand when many high any brands are unable to reach such heights. The foundation is oil free, blurs out my skin tone and leaves me looking shine free but without a matte finish. I’m very impressed so far.

Playing with the Sleek Face Contour Kit in Light brought back some memories for me. One of my very first products I bough from Sleek was the Sleek Face Form Contour Kit which I wore to the death. When contouring first came into fashion, there were only a few products that I remember using from drugstore brands before I spent a small fortune on Anastasia Beverly Hills. Sleek was one of those, and I also remember a three pan palette with some beaut blushers in there. Ah the memories. The Face Contour Kit is a handbag sized palette that holds a really good sized contour powder and a highlighting powder. Matte, silky and easy to blend, it doubles up as a great bronzer to warm up the skin. The highlighter is a warm champagne that gives a subtle glow to the skin. I added a touch of the Sleek Cream to Powder blush in Amaryllis to give a light flush of colour. I must say that I do tend to avoid cream blushers as I am slightly scared of them, but this one applies like a dream. A synthetic stippling brush helps with application and although it looks quite intense in the pan and on the arm swatch, it’s actually very natural however it can be built for a more vibrant finish.

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

A Full Face Sleek Makeup

For my eyes, I have used an old favourite from Sleek, the i-Divine A New Day palette. I absolutely love this palette of warm peaches, subtle golds and soft nudes. It’s the perfect day time palette with a never ending amount of combinations to create eye looks. For my eye look, I have gone with my classic day time eye, which focuses on the warmer transition shades, with a slight smoked out outer corner and just enough sparkle on the lid to make it fun and flirty. A slick of liner, and some lower lash line shading makes this eye look so wearable. Lashings of black mascara, and my Monroe Battington lashes create a flirty look.

One of the most raved about products from Sleek has to be the Cleopatra’s Kiss Highlighter Palette. A perfect quad of two baked powders and two cream powders in delicious metallic shades, I can see why it has reached such cult status. I went straight into the pinky gold baked powder to add sparkle to my eyelids, under the brow bone and of course to add highlight to my cheekbones. You can see from the swatches just how gorgeous these shades are. I think this is going to be my new day to day palette for the glow!

Finally, and to bring the whole look together, I used the Sleek Matte Me in Rioja Red. It’s more of a pink red rather than a true red shade, which on this occasion is absolutely perfect for the look. It just slightly tones it down and it’s not as garish as a red can sometimes look. It dries down so quickly, it’s smudgeproof and kiss-proof and my god, it does not move. I had to use an oil based remover as a wipe would not cut through. At the moment, my lips are still in the incredibly dry and cracked stage, and whilst a matte formula could be seen as being detrimental due to the lip underneath, I was surprised at just how well it performed on an uneven base.

I have really enjoyed revisiting some old favourites and trying some new items from a brand that I love. If you do like this post, and would like to see more in the future, let me know in the comments below.

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When you have a huge amount of fragrances within your collection, you sometimes need a helping hand when it comes to selecting something new. Often, I find that I choose fragrance simply because of it’s popularity or hype, other times it’s due to a chance liaison where I have fallen in love with the notes that dance across my skin. Being a lover of a fruity floral or floral oriental fragrance, I feel like I have captured most on the market that would appeal to me, with the exception of some pretty high end expensive brands. Tom Ford, I’m looking at you because you know that I need ‘F*cking fabulous’ but I cannot justify £250 on a perfume. My signature scent comes from Tom Ford, and it’s the beautiful Velvet Orchid. Deep, seductive yet fresh with jasmine which happens to be my favourite floral scent. I want to try more fragrances that fall within the same floriental category but I am in need of an expert.

My Signature Scent with John Lewis

My Signature Scent with John Lewis

Luckily, there are experts at John Lewis who have helped me find my new fragrance by taking inspiration from my current signature scent. Using Tom Ford Velvet Orchid, John Lewis’s perfume expert Madeleine Harries has taken my favourite and have made a suggestion for what I think will be my new signature. Here’s what she had to say.

Your favourite fragrance, Velvet Orchid by Tom Ford, is a seductive floriental fragrance, a blend of notes sumptuous like Jasmine and sandalwood. From this my recommendation would be the latest feminine fragrance from Hermes, Twilly d’Hermes. The sandalwood note carries through as one of the three key notes in the fragrance, along with striking ginger and sensual tuberose. It was one of my favourite launches of last year and is great as a day or evening scent. The bottle is also very cute, adorned with a little bowler hat and hand-tied silk ribbon which you can use to accessorise an outfit.

Now, I’m not going to lie but I was really surprised to see an Hermes fragrance because they don’t seem to be spoken about very often. I couldn’t not have been more shocked and surprised when I first sprayed this on my skin. It’s simply to die for. A hint of warming ginger, sandalwood and tuberose, it is incredible. I have been wearing this daily and it’s that scent where people are asking what I am wearing. It’s unusual, yet modern. Sophisticated, vibrant, creamy and oh so beautiful. I think John Lewis have found my new signature.

If you need some inspiration to shake up your perfume wardrobe, John Lewis has a huge selection of ladies fragrance, where you can narrow your choices down to your favourite blend in order to find your new signature. With Mothers Day coming up, this may be a perfect opportunity to treat your Number One to a new signature. Check out the Signature Scents page and see what fragrances other bloggers have been loving. You can also search #JLSignatureScents across social media for inspiration.

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I have been dying for my hair to get to a certain length so I can start wearing hair extensions again. It makes such a change to have a different hair style for different occasions rather than having the ever so boring style all of the time. My hair grows fast, so it hasn’t been too much of an issue for me to grow it out over the last few months, but it is still at that stage where I am really limited with what I can do with it. It’s also been every colour under the sun over the last 8 months and I am still no closer to being satisfied with a ‘safe’ hair colour. At the moment my natural colour is blended with some ashy blonde highlights using the balayage technique to keep it looking as natural but as bright as possible. I have noticed that my roots are now showing some greys so it’s quite cool to be able to keep these as discreet as possible. That being said, matching my hair to block colour hair extensions has been somewhat of a trauma, but I have finally managed to achieve a perfect blend with some patience and a lot of purple shampoo and Milk + Blush.

Milk + Blush Hair Extensions

Milk + Blush Hair Extensions

Milk + Blush Hair Extensions

Milk + Blush Hair Extensions

Milk + Blush Hair Extensions

Milk + Blush Hair Extensions

Milk + Blush Hair Extensions

The Milk + Blush hair extension range is not only large in the options of hair available but in the shade range. Using the finest Remy human hair, I’ve chosen the Full Head Classic Set. As tempting as it was to get the triple and quadruple wefts, my hair wouldn’t have been able to hold them without being visible. Although it looks like I have thick hair, I really don’t and I create the illusion by blow drying in sections and adding plenty of volumising products. Out of the entire pack which is made up of 10 pieces of hair in various sizes, I need just four or 5 pieces maximum before the wefts start looking visible in my hair.

Before I come to the fit and wear of the extensions, I must draw attention to the colour. Having multi-tonal hair creates problems as hair generally comes in block colours. I did at first try the ombré wefts however as my hair isn’t ombré, but balayage, the were not only noticeably different in style but the colour was way out. I sent them back with ease as I hadn’t opened the packet and they were happy to send me a different pair, using one of my images for the hair technician to match me to the shade that suited me best. I personally felt that the shade Oh My Gwen Stefani would have been the best shade for me so I could add the ashy tones in order to match them closer to my hair. The hair technician chose Paparazzi, one of the best selling shades, which unfortunately, as you can see are very warm toned and not at all in keeping with my cool toned hair.

Never one to see a problem but a solution, I realised that working with what I had would be better to create a more custom blend. Again, it’s difficult when multi tonal, and being cool toned. At the current moment, my hair is a very blonde silvery ash shade, that does warm up slightly but takes just one silver/purple shampoo to pull the brassiness from the colour. Using my hair care routine on the extensions, I made a purple shampoo bath using two dollops of purple shampoo and quite a lot of lukewarm water. Dunking the extensions in the purple water for around 30 seconds before rinsing under a warm water tap brought a lot of the brassiness from the wefts. I have washed the larger pieces twice, and the warmer blonde pieces that you can see in the image aren’t as warm in real life but will need to be done again. The only area where the purple shampoo didn’t affect was the seamless weft, however it’s surprisingly unnoticeable when I’m wearing the hair. I left the extensions to air dry before using a cool hair dryer and paddle brush to straighten.

Milk + Blush Hair Extensions

Milk + Blush Hair Extensions

Milk + Blush Hair Extensions

Milk + Blush Hair Extensions

Milk + Blush Hair Extensions

As the extensions are made from real hair, they are very malleable and mimic your own hair. I’ve been able to curl these, straighten them, blow dry them and use product such as heat defence and hairspray on them. They are also incredibly comfortable to wear. The first time that I put them in, I forgot to take a single piece out. I slept in it, tied my hair up for work the next day and brushed it and couldn’t feel it in my head. Unheard of for me!

The fact that they look so natural in my hair, and as my hair isn’t overloaded with extra hair makes for a great experience. I don’t feel that my head is being pulled back with the weight nor do I feel that they are drawing attention for the wrong reasons. I am wearing the 12-14 inch pieces which sit just an inch or two longer than my natural hair length, except the lowest piece with gives the extra length at the back.

When putting in my extensions, I watched the Milk + Blush YouTube channel for some top tips, which have really helped with the wear and comfort as well as making the hair look natural. I do think that once my hair has grown just that little bit longer that it will be time for extra long hair that I won’t have to shape or blend in. I think I can just about get away without having to razor shape these extensions in with my hair whilst straight and it’s practically unnoticeable whilst m hair is curled.

Overall, I am incredibly impressed with the Milk + Blush hair. I will say that trusting your instinct when it comes to shades is definitely a huge factor, but you can work with them to custom blend them to your hair colour. For wearability and fitting, they are a breeze. The clips grip hair easily and don’t slip, and cannot feel them in your head at all. I loved messing with them when wearing them as it was such a novelty to have this pretty longer hair that I hadn’t had for such a long time.

From past purchases of extensions where I have spent small fortunes on hair, the Milk + Blush set are just £80 which I think is an absolute steal for this great set. What can I say except that I’m a Milk + Blush girl now!

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Isn’t it nice to have a break every now and again. I think I’ve been stuck in a little blogging rut since Christmas and although each post I wrote on the run up to Christmas was honest and thoughtful, I felt that I was still churning posts out just to meet deadlines and please others who were expecting them. Taking just a week to myself to take stock of the situation has made my outlook so much different. Combined with my new for 2018 goals of self care and not putting too much pressure on myself, I feel like the love has come back with a vengeance. The love for make up, of course, has not disappeared and I have been taking twice weekly trips to the Superdrug near my office where I’m falling back in love with Makeup Revolution and their new launches.

Makeup Revolution Reloaded Newtrals 2 Palette

Makeup Revolution Reloaded Newtrals 2 Palette

Makeup Revolution Reloaded Newtrals 2 Palette

I was a bit of a hardcore MUR fan at one point and for some reason, I stopped being as into it as I once was. The brand that brings the dupes to the mass market at affordable prices with superb quality, Makeup Revolution have caused quite a stir in the beauty world. A cruelty free formulation, prices cheaper than chips and some of the most highly pigmented shades have brought MUR to the forefront of budget beauty.

When I spotted the Reloaded Palettes by Makeup Revolution, two things jumped straight to mind. One, the palettes were £4. £4! That’s how much I pay for a coffee in Starbucks sometimes! Second of all, the colours in the Newtrals 2 palette were everything I dream of when it comes to picking my favourite shades. Although there is no palette as such that this a direct dupe of, it does remind me of the Huda Beauty Obsessions palettes. I did notice that two of the Reloaded palettes do look just like Modern Renaissance and Subculture from Anastasia Beverly Hills so I may need to compare and contrast in the not too distant future.

Makeup Revolution Reloaded Newtrals 2 Palette

Makeup Revolution Reloaded Newtrals 2 Palette

Makeup Revolution Reloaded Newtrals 2 Palette

15 shades of warm oranges and burgundy’s, a mixture of foiled, matte and shimmer shadows that feel buttery soft and blend like a dream. The pigmentation rivals some of my higher end palettes, and my arm was quite the stained mess after I had finished my swatching. Now, I did have some difficulty with some of the looser shadows; the foiled shades are more like pressed pigments so they perform slightly differently which is fine unless you’re trying to keep things neat for swatching purposes. Unusually, the lighter shades were warm enough and had enough kick to show up on my skin which is something that I struggle with with my skin tone and I have totally fallen in love with the pale rose gold shade.

I don’t have a bad thing to say about the Makeup Revolution Reloaded Newtrals 2 palette. It will come as no surprise to hear that it’s out of stock both on TAM Beauty and Superdrug so heading into a store will be the best bet to grab this palette. I will definitely be looking to get the other palettes from the range, and I have decided that I have to have the Makeup Revolution x Soph palettes. I see a new addiction coming on, and I am fine with that.

If anyone has Subculture and has tried the Makeup Revolution Iconic Division palette, I would love to know how they compare. Leave a comment and let me know.

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I have massive hoarding issues and I can’t help it. For some reason, I seem to have developed a highlighter addiction and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. I thought that it would be nice to show off the two new highlighters that I had got, then I realised that I actually had 4 new highlighters to show you. That soon became five, which then became 7. Yes, 7 brand new highlighters that I have been hoarding – two from summer and five from the last three months. Lord, help me. 2018 goals – no new highlighters. Well, unless the Too Faced Bar of Gold is something that I cannot live without. YOLO and all that. So, without further adieu, I welcome you to my ‘best of’ highlighters of 2017.

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

A limited edition and one that you may not be able to get hold of is from the MAC Snowball Holiday Collection. Here Comes Joy is an impalpable glare powder. Although officially a highlighter, the powder can give a very subtle glow to the whole face without looking in any way metallic, but when applied to the cheekbones, the opalescent powder has the right amount of pearl to pop. Here Comes Joy is a warm copper with a pearl finish, and is very much my shade. I also love how beautiful the crushed champagne metallic packaging is this year. The Snowball collection has been the first collection in a long time that I have been excited about from MAC and I think that this year, they absolutely nailed it. Fun fact – Mum ordered me this on the day it came out as she knew I would have wanted it. Extra Mum points for Debs!

I couldn’t resist this beautiful limited edition By Terry Preciosity Flashlight Dual Compact. I’ve had my eye on the Compact Expert Dual Powders since their launch this summer, but when I saw the limited edition with the gold packaging and red jewel like design, it was a no brainer that I had to purchase it. The finely milled powders are just so incredible and leave a soft focus hue on the skin. In the centre of the compact, a peach shade for setting the face and on the outer, a rose gold toned bronze to add warmth to the skin. At £48 for the compact, I was so scared of ruining the design on the top but then again – I don’t want to waste my money do I!

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

Whilst on my annual trip to the airport with World Duty Free, I picked up two highlighters. I don’t know what possessed me to buy two, but my goodness, I couldn’t leave without them both. Mum has recently been raving about the beauty of MAC Oh, Darling! and I had it in my mind to pick that up however when I saw the full set of the MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish and cast my eyes on Show Gold, I knew this one was the one for me. Peach, of course, but with the most incredible iridescent pink cast to it when on the skin. It’s insanely beautiful and so very me. I think the MAC Skinfinishes are such good quality and at such a good price point of £24.50 or £20.40 at World Duty Free.

I also grabbed the limited edition NARS x Man Ray Overexposed Glow Highlighter in Double Take because why not! Have you seen it? It’s stunning. The embossed lips on the gold highlighter just makes it. I have the Charlotte Tilbury Bar of Gold highlighter and I thought that they may be similar but they’re not even on the same shade spectrum. Double Take is a warm true gold with warm orange undertones that looks more caramel coloured on my skin. It makes not only a perfect highlighter but looks gorgeous as an eye shadow. I am so happy that I managed to get one before the collection ends. It’s £28 or £25 in World Duty Free.

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

Another limited edition, but one that is still in stock on the Lancome website is the Lancome Olympia le Tan Cushion Highlighter. The first time that I have ever tried a highlighter in a cushion form, the formulation gives the sheers champagne glow to the skin. It’s like a liquid highlight but with a lot more control. The velvet sponge makes light work of applying to the skin, or you can just use your fingers in order to achieve a more precise application. The limited edition packaging has to be the cutest thing that I have seen from Lancome and it has certainly made an impression on me.

I did get the Too Faced Love Light Highlight in the summer, and I’m not entirely sure if it is a limited edition but this is one of the nicest formulas of highlight I’ve used. It feels like a cream to powder so it is so silky and easy to work with. Ray of Light is a rose gold hued highlight with a pearl finish and looks so natural and subtle. It isn’t showing as being in stock on Debenhams or on the Too Faced website, but the other shades are available.

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst

MAC Here Comes Joy NARS man ray By Terry Flash Light compact Too Faced Ray of Light Becca Prismatic Amethyst
Top to Bottom – MAC Snowball Here Comes Joy, By Terry Preciosity Flash Light, MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Show Gold, NARS x Man Ray Overexposed in Double Take, Lancome Olympia de Tan Cushion Highlighter, Too Faced Love Light in Ray of Light, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Prismatic Amethyst.

Finally, the highlighter that has helped me through my ‘I want to be a Unicorn’ phase and has come out of the other side with me appreciating the beauty of the holographic formulation. With multi toned pigments and pearls, the colour of this highlighter changes in different lights. Of course, I am talking about the Becca Prismatic Amethyst and I am quite simply obsessed with the beauty that this can create. I not only use it as highlighter to give my skin a rosy, golden or lavender hued glow, but I add it on the top of a drying liquid lip for an added pop and it makes the best inner corner highlight. I also love that there is absolutely no sparkle to the Shimmering Skin Perfector and it literally lets the light do the talking.

Are there any highlighter here that you couldn’t live without? Let me know!

*Contains PR Samples and/or Affiliate Links

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It’s not often that I complain about my skin, hair and nails (sssh, I’m totally lying), but at the moment I am in pure agony with my lips. I blame it on a combination between the weather and the medication that I am on, but my poor lips are so dry, chapped and splitting so it’s causing bleeding. It’s not nice, and when I want to spend my spare time making pretty lip swatches for you all, it upsets me deeply when I can’t because there’s only so much lipstick I can wear before I’m in pain. My blog post on the Bare Minerals Gen Nude collection is one of my fave posts this month, and after I spent time applying all the liquid lipsticks, I have reaped the consequences and now I don’t think I will be wearing a matte lip for a while. Luckily, I have some products that I have been relying on to help in my quest for smooth and luscious lips.

Glamglow Poutmud Jo Malone Vitamin E Pixi Lip Polish Sarah Chapman Skinesis

Glamglow Poutmud Jo Malone Vitamin E Pixi Lip Polish Sarah Chapman Skinesis

Glamglow Poutmud Jo Malone Vitamin E Pixi Lip Polish Sarah Chapman Skinesis

Glamglow Poutmud Jo Malone Vitamin E Pixi Lip Polish Sarah Chapman Skinesis

Glamglow Poutmud Jo Malone Vitamin E Pixi Lip Polish Sarah Chapman Skinesis

A twice weekly treat that has really been helping slough away the dry skin is the GLAMGLOW Poutmud Fizzy Lip Exfoliating Treatment. The first time I used this I was so surprised to see the treatment foam up when water was added. It energises and exfoliates, but it is bloody painful on broken skin – FYI! It has a lovely minty scent to it, and the addition of Sweet Almond Oil, Hawaiian Sea Salt and Caribbean Cane Sugar are a perfect combination for leaving lips soft and smooth.

On the days that I don’t use the GLAMGLOW, I still need to keep on top of the exfoliating treatment. To do this, I am using the PIXI Nourishing Lip Polish. Designed for dry and sensitive lips like mine, the rubber exfoliating tip gently helps buff away dead skin and helps improve circulation, whilst the formulation that includes Sweet Almond, apricot and Evening Primrose can be left on the lips to nourish and further protect.

I always get told to use a lip balm to help with the dry, cracked skin but its not going to help until the dead skin has been buffed away so a daily exfoliate is so beneficial to help get my lips back up to standard. The healing process of the body is at its highest when the body is asleep, so for maximum results I’ve been using my Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Lip Concentrate to aid my recovery. This stuff is brilliant. It’s pricey, but I’m on my 2nd tube and I love it. I keep it by my bed and the last thing I do before I switch my light off is to apply a thick layer of the concentrate and let it work it’s magic. For helping to deal with the dryness, I am seeing a difference now the the exfoliating is underway so I’m hoping it shouldn’t be too much longer before we are back to normal. When my lips aren’t as bad as they are, the concentrate makes my lips look so plump and full you would think I’d been having fillers.

I always have to be that little bit extra, so a normal lip balm wouldn’t cut the mustard. Instead, I’ve been using this gorgeous Jo Malone Vitamin E Lip Conditioner to keep the dryness at bay and to keep my lips feeling nourished when I’m outside. Vitamin E is amazing and is well know for its restorative powers as well as its defence against the outdoors and the environment. The Lip Conditioner also contains honey to make it taste delicious and keep me happy. It’s £23 from Jo Malone, or if you’re passing through the airport, it’s just £19.60 at World Duty Free.

So, those little gems are my key ingredients to soft and supple lips this winter. If you have any other suggestions for me to help with my lips, please do drop me a little comment!

*Contains PR Samples and/or Affiliate Links

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Oh, the nude lip. A lip colour that once upon a time I would have turned my nose up to in favour for a bright shade. How times have changed. The nude lip has become one of daily staples. It makes me feel finished when wearing the simplest of makeup. It makes me feel empowered when I want my eyes to do the talking. It gives me the confidence to play with my lip shape to even out and create a plump pout. I cannot deny it, but I love a nude lip. Finding a nude lip shade, however, is a slightly different story. I have naturally red lips, and an olive undertone to my skin so picking the right nude is sometimes quite a task, and I cannot get away with the paler nudes that I wish I could – it looks like I’ve forgot to wipe the foundation of my lips when getting ready! Luckily, Bare Minerals have brought to us the Gen Nude collection which covers all bases when it comes to finding the right nude for your skin tone. Lip liners, lipstick, matte liquid lipstick and lip gloss – there are around 40 products altogether which is just incredible.

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Nudes for Days

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Nudes for Days

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Nudes for Days

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Nudes for Days

The Christmas sets from Bare Minerals this year are simply adorable, and what better gift for a lipstick lover than the Gen Nude ‘Nudes for Days’ set. A collection of 6 mini Gen Nudes; 3 Buttercream Lip Glosses and 3 Matte Liquid Lipcolours. Perfect to pop in your handbag for nights out, or for your really small work handbag, the shades in the set are all wearable, even for my medium skin tone.

In the Buttercream Lip Gloss, the creamy formulation is hydrating, non sticky and super glossy. The shades Cosmic – muted coral with pearl, Sugar – soft blushing mauve and Flirt -a deep mauve, they can all be layered with the Radiant lipsticks and the Matte Lipcolours to create beautiful lips.

The Matte Liquid Lipcolours have a gorgeous mousse texture which is really unusual for a matte lipcolour, and I can’t think of another brand who have a similar formulation. This means that when they dry down, they are really comfortable without drying. They feel aerated on the lip, and I am over the moon with the formula. The shades Weekend, Icon and JuJu are so pretty. Weekend is a peachy coral, Icon is a muted dirty pink beige and Juju is a deep mauve. I have totally fallen for Icon, and I need to get it in the full size.

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Nudes for Days

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Nudes for Days

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Nudes for Days

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Nudes for Days

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Nudes for Days

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Nudes for Days

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Under Over Lipliner

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Buttercream Lipgloss Matte liquid lipcolour

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Buttercream Lipgloss Matte liquid lipcolour

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Radiant lipstick

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Buttercream Lipgloss Matte liquid lipcolour

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Radiant lipstick

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Radiant lipstick

One of my go to combos from Bare Minerals is the Under Over Liner in Freestyle, topped with the Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Wink, with a touch of Far Away Lip Gloss in the centre for added oomph. I adore this combo as it makes my lips look so full and pouty yet when combined with a heavy evening eye, it doesn’t look too over the top.

If you wanted a more traditional lipstick, Bare Minerals have you covered with the Gen Nude Radiant Lipsticks. I have the shades Crave; a neutral pink mauve and Mantra, a dirty rose mauve. They glide onto the lips like butter, which does make them slightly difficult to get a precise application so a brush would come in handy. They feel like a balm but they do cling to dry patches so a good exfoliate before wear is necessary. I do love the super high shine finish, where they look like a gloss rather than a lipstick. There are also 14 shades to chose from, all falling into the natural nude lip bracket. Very impressive.

Have you tried any of the Bare Minerals Gen Nude collection. Why don’t I own Icon already!

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It was a quite a tough decision to break my ‘best of’ brand theme but I had to include some current skincare loves. Each product that I have chosen has been helping my skin to look fresher, and brighter which is a huge must in this current weather. I’ve also been trying to protect my skin against the weather and pollutants and surprise, surprise, I’ve found another winning product from the guys at The Ordinary. So, in the spirit of Christmas and the winter months, these are the best skincare products that I have been using through November and into December.

The Best of Skincare Caudalie Odacite The Ordinary Teoxane

The Best of Skincare Caudalie Odacite The Ordinary Teoxane

The Best of Skincare Caudalie Odacite The Ordinary Teoxane

The love affair with Caudalie is still going strong and I’ve noticed that there are a few extra products creeping into my routine. I only spoke about Caudalie and the incredible offer on the Christmas gift set last week, but I couldn’t not introduce you to the two products that have been helping my skin look so fresh and healthy. Both products are acid based and use Glycolic acid to help lift the dead skin cells from skin to show the fresh skin underneath. I use a lot of products with glycolic acid within the formula, as I find that it very gentle on my skin yet does what I need it to do without being harsh and making my face look like it’s had a chemical burn. I do alternate frequently so I don’t overdo the acid, so I only use the Caudalie Glycolic Peel Mask once a week. It’s a cross between a scrub, a peel and a mask and when rinsed off, it gives skin the instant radiance that I have been crying out for. My skin feels so smooth and soft, like it’s had a real good exfoliate which makes the following creams and serums sink into my skin much easier.

The second product from Caudalie is the Concentrated Brightening Essence. After running out of the Estee Lauder Micro Essence I needed something similar that I could use before my serums of an evening. I heard a lot of good things about the Caudalie Essence as it has been inspired by Korean skincare to revitalise skin, to hydrate and plump. The essence does contain glycolic acid so again, the dead cells are lifted, leaving fresh skin to be penetrated by a good serum. I’m still using my VineActiv Overnight Detox Oil at bedtime, and it feels like it is heading really deep into my skin to replenish my face.

For the last few weeks, I have switched from my night cream to the Teoxane Perfect Skin Refiner, and what a good decision that has been. The first few times that I did use this, my skin dead feel like there was something a bit alien on it. It had a tingling, almost warming sensation which disappeared during use maybe a few sessions in. A cream designed for night time that is made with a blend of resurfacing ingredients such as glycolic acid to help the skin look it’s best. It’s funny because although my skin has become really clear, and almost like new, I have noticed that the slight discoloration and pigmentation that I have around my cheeks looks a bit lighter. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been upping the ante with all the acid but there are definitely changes to what I am seeing. I’m quite impressed considering that it’s only been a few weeks and already I’m noticing a change.

The Best of Skincare Caudalie Odacite The Ordinary Teoxane

The Best of Skincare Caudalie Odacite The Ordinary Teoxane

The Best of Skincare Caudalie Odacite The Ordinary Teoxane

New in from The Ordinary is the EUK 134 0.1% which is the only product on the market to have such a high concentration of EUK. This product isn’t to be used with high concentrations of acids, so I avoid this at all times that I have used anything with an exfoliating acid such as glycolic acid. I have been using this mainly in the morning as it layer beautifully with The Ordinary Serum Foundation for a healthy, lightweight base. As with all the products from The Ordinary, the science behind it is really clever and in a nutshell EUK is an antioxidant. This means that skin from free radicals and forms regenerating molecules. EUK on the skin is a warming serum, that may surprise you at first with its brown colour. I love putting this on in a morning as it makes my skin feel lovely and I know that I will be protected from the nasties in the atmosphere, including pollution – handy as I work in an overpopulated, busy city centre.

Did you know that Sarsaparilla is known in aromatherapy for being reassuring and cheering? Maybe that’s why it reminds me of the olden days when the Pop Man used to come round and we used to get the big bottles of the much loved drink. A great addition to the Odacité Ba + S Eye Contour Serum formulation, as well as the Neroli and lavender to relieve the eye puffiness that I have become so accustomed to recently. I am useless at using eye cream so to have actually used an eye cream for the last few weeks has been somewhat of a personal achievement. I haven’t really noticed any particular changes in those fine lines that have taken root around my eyes, but the puffiness is definitely reducing.

What skincare products have you been using lately?

*Contains PR Samples and/or Affiliate Links

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I’m not sure if you have ever noticed but I like cats. I am that crazy cat lady who will coo over pictures of kittens and look forward to getting home from work so I can snuggle with my Thomas. Could you imagine if cats and beauty combined – it would be an absolute dream, wouldn’t it? That’s where Paul & Joe come in. The designer brand who’s whole aesthetic features cats. I’m sold. The beauty collection is so visually pleasing; rich colours, cute designs, whimsical patterns and cats. All of the cats. It’s grown up glam, sophistication and a dreamworld of quirkiness encapsulated in the most stunning packaging.

Paul & Joe Beauty

Paul & Joe Beauty

Paul & Joe Beauty

Paul & Joe Beauty

Paul & Joe Beauty

The Paul & Joe Christmas Makeup Collection for this year is definitely one of the cutest sets I’ve seen. Within the cat designed makeup bag, the exclusive set holds the Lipstick Limited – Paul & Joes signature Cat shaped bullet, a golden champagne Eye Gloss and a Shimmering Rose blush in a compact featuring the cat design from the makeup bag. It’s absolutely adorable.

The lipstick is definitely the high point of the collection. The Cat shaped head in the centre of the bullet, in a Christmas red is surrounded by a glittery clear outer. When you apply this, it gives a pop of colour with a moisturising balm that leaves the slightest hint of shimmer, and lots of hydration. I am really enjoying using the Eye Gloss, rather than a traditional shadow. Like a cream shadow, it doesn’t quite dry down to a matte finish but leave a glossy finish on the eyes. Definitely takes some getting used to but for the festive season, it’s really quite pretty. The Shimmering Blush is such a pretty shade. It does remind me of a darker NARS Orgasm blusher, however the gold reflects within the blush are a lot stronger. I’m very impressed with everything in the set.

Aside from the Christmas collection, I have been trying out other products from the Paul & Joe Beauty collection, and I have found a few hidden gems. I really like that you can purchase the lipsticks separately, and buy the holder on its own. They do some really gorgeous lipstick holder designs, in card or fabric and it just makes such a lovely touch to have a different style of lipstick case in your handbag. The floral case is £7 and is limited edition, so you can change them over seasonally, should you wish!

Paul & Joe Beauty

Paul & Joe Beauty

Paul & Joe Beauty

Paul & Joe Beauty

Paul & Joe Beauty

The lipsticks that I have been using are the Lipstick N Sheer Finish in Bon Bon Cerise and Saveur Melon. They are very sheer, and feel like a very hydrating balm on my lips. I think with how cold it is and how dry my lips are, the sheerer the lipstick, the better for me at the moment. It’s taking away the need to keep checking on my dry and flaky lips and I can a wash of colour as frequently as I desire during the day.

I’ve also found that I have been using less foundation and more glowy primers and BB creams for my daily face. Paul & Joe have two primers that I have been trying out including the limited edition Sparkling Foundation Primer. At first, I thought that this was way too sparkly for the face without it looking silly, but once it’s applied to the skin it gives such a beautiful radiance without the intense sparkling. It reminds me of Guerlain L’Or Radiance Primer but at half the price, and it so good for dry skin.

The second primer that I have been using has been brilliant for no make up days. In the shade 02 Miel, the orange toned Perfecting Primer conceals all imperfections on my face, and evens out my skintone. For lazy days, my skin looks flawless and ready to face the day with just a few pumps of primer. It also have a very light glow to it, which makes skin look healthy and radiant. I think I’m becoming a convert to no makeup makeup.

Paul & Joe Beauty is available from Selfridges and Beauty Bay.

*Contains PR Samples and/or Affiliate Links

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If you thought I had a lot of nail varnishes, then you haven’t met my Nanna. The true definition of a nailoholic and a hoarder, I can always rely on my Nanna to have the latest set from Leighton Denny and Nails Inc at QVC. The woman who introduced me to the Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File and the classic shade Supermodel, as well as the Nails Inc Nail Caviar, I can always rely on Nanna to have the finger on the pulse when it comes to new in and lustworthy sets. A quick nosy through her cupboard for a new colour brought me to one of the cutest sets of polishes that I have seen in a long time; the Nails Inc. I Believe in Unicorns Set, exclusively at QVC.

Nails Inc. I Believe in Unicorns Set

Nails Inc. I Believe in Unicorns Set

Nails Inc. I Believe in Unicorns Set

Nails Inc. I Believe in Unicorns Set

The set comprises of 6 pieces; five shades and the brand new Lacquer Lock top coat for just £29.50 plus postage. Considering a Nails Inc. polish is £15 individually, this is one heck of value set. Now, don’t believe that I get sucked into anything that contains Unicorns in the title, but I think you know me better than that by now. I knew that my Nanna had ordered this set and I really wanted to try the rose gold foil shade as well as the iridescent mermaidy shade, so I did. And I love them. The rose gold especially.

My nails are a terrible, dreadful, flaky and peeling mess so I am thankful for nail colour wheels right now to show you how pretty these shades are. I don’t think there is a single shade that I wouldn’t wear, and I am loving the cornflower blue for Spring. Of course, Mermaid Playsuit is one of my favourites, with Carriage Gotta Wait being the shade that I need to wear constantly.

1 x Lacquer Lock top coat (14ml) – a clever formulation that allows the top coat to bond to your colour and deliver a gel manicure-type finish at home without the need to soak off. The overall manicure effect is harder and more resistant to chipping
1 x Mermaid Playsuit nail polish (14ml) – iridescent blue
1 x Believe or Leave nail polish (14ml) – cornflower blue
1 x Woke up in Wonderland nail polish (14ml) – pretty pink
1 x Enchanted Heels nail polish (14ml) – iridescent pink
1 x Carriage Gotta Wait nail polish (14ml) – rose gold foil

I do have my reservations however against the Lacquer Lock. My nails don’t hold a manicure for a long time anyway, but the Lacquer Lock made them dreadfully frail. It was less than an hour when I got my first chip, and even with a foil finish polish, which would usually last for days, by the end of the day I was able to peel the polish off in one go. It reminds me of Seche Vite, which some people rave about, yet I only love for the mirror shine finish. I do think that I will be sticking to the Kensington Caviar top coat in future.

Although the shades are only delivered in a plain brown box, they can be made up into a cute little gift for one of your mermaid or unicorn loving friends, and it is such an amazing price for the 6 pieces. I really don’t think you can beat QVC for the offers and Nails Inc. definitely has some of the best offers on the site.

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Hi my name is Anoushka and I am fed up of being so pale. I suppose I have taken it for granted that for the last ten years, I have been rocking a deep shade of mahogany tan and now that my exotic trips are no longer, I need to start becoming more frequent with the faux glow. The only problem I have is the lack of motivation to do so, but that all changes now as it’s festive party time and I am a social butterfly. You will always consistently see one tanning brand gracing the pages of Anoushka Loves, and my love for this brand has never waned. Vita Liberata has been present every year of my Christmas content, and this year is no exception.

Festive Tanning with Vita Liberata

Festive Tanning with Vita Liberata

Festive Tanning with Vita Liberata

There are several stand out products from Vita Liberata that I use frequently, and that will always come up in my recommendations list when others ask about tanning products. One of these products is the Vita Liberata Body Blur which, if you do not yet own, you need to get one. It’s the product that I use in all of my fashion photos on any exposed skin to give a flawless, blurred out finish. It’s like a a pair of tights in a tube, a glow of colour in an instant, and it simply washes off when you’ve you’ve finished.

Inside the first ever gift sets from Vita Liberata, the Fabulously Flawless Three Piece Tanning Set contains a 50ml tube of the bestselling Body Blur, a 100ml bottle of Self Tanning Tinted Mousse and a luxe gold tanning mitt. All wrapped up in a branded gift box, and priced at £25, it’s quite the bargain. Singularly, a 100ml bottle of the Self Tanning Tinted Mousse is £19.50, a 100ml Body Blur is £29.00, and a tanning mitt is £3, so it’s a really good saving. The 50ml bottle of Body Blur is only available within the gift set, and I must say that I’m really pleased to have a smaller size for weekends away.

The Self Tanning Tinted Mousse has such a great colour and I always find that a mousse based false tan is so easy to use. It’s quite nice to flit between my ultimate favourite Vita tanning product, the Self Tanning Tinted Lotion in Medium. The only difference between the two products is the consistency, and I think that I have always used the lotion as the mousse doesn’t travel very well at all but the end product is still the same – a deliciously natural, golden tan that doesn’t look in any way orange and one application lasts around a week, with an even fade.

Festive Tanning with Vita Liberata

Festive Tanning with Vita Liberata

Festive Tanning with Vita Liberata

The Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan is another to put on the list if you need a longer lasting tan with just 2 to 3 applications. The pHenomenal Tan works with the pHenO2 technology that helps it last and last. It doesn’t have the tell tale scent of fake tan, and it’s lightly tinted so it makes it very easy to apply. I still stand by what I have always said about pHenomenal, and that even as a medium tan, it doesn’t develop dark enough for my liking, however it is a very subtle glow as opposed to a serious tan colour. It doesn’t distract from the fact that this tan lasts for an age, whilst keeping skin feeling soft, supple and hydrated.

As part of my tanning routine, I always make sure that my face is going to match my sunkissed skin. To make sure that my glow is all over, I use my tan of choice for the body and use the Vita Liberata Moisture Mask overnight. During the day, I apply my Vita Liberata Trystals Loose Mineral Powder for a very light sunkissed glow but I was getting fed up with the loose powder getting all over my handbag. If it was a pressed powder, it would be so much different…

Would you look at that! Vita Liberata have listened to my dreams and have managed to compress the goodness of the tanned mineral pigments into a portable compact that has a mirror for extra topping up during the day. I am so pleased, as I find that a daily buffing of the loose Trsytals doesn’t sometimes cut it to keep up with the colour developing on my skin. I also find that the pressed Trystals doesn’t have as much as a scent as the loose powder. I use it exactly that same as the loose powder and buff it into the skin as I would a bronzer and pay particular attention to where the sun would naturally hit my face for a subtle glow.

After writing all of this up, I’m actually desperate to get my tan on. See you on the other side!

*Contains PR Samples and/or Affiliate Links

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It wouldn’t be Christmas without including Charlotte Tilbury and I would really struggle to be able to pick the ‘best of’ from one of my favourite brands that has ever been created in the beauty world. From my first product that I bought; a Cheek to Chic blusher to the pretty large collection that I now own, I can safely say that the Tilbury brand has stolen my heart. Having the chance to meet The Queen, Charlotte herself, not once but twice has been two of the biggest highlights of my entire life. Especially when she looked at me and stated that I was The Vintage Vamp, I felt like my life was made. The Christmas collection this year is focusing on Trinkets, Treats and Treasures, and just like last year, there are a selection of limited edition gifts that will make such perfect presents for those you love.

Christmas 2017 A Love for Charlotte Tilbury

Christmas 2017 A Love for Charlotte Tilbury

This year Charlotte Tilbury has released three brand new shades inspired by the magic of three cities that Charlotte has loved her whole life; American Sweetheart, English Beauty and Shanghai Nights. Available individually, or in the beautiful Lip Masterclass that features all three shades, their corresponding lip liners and complementary lip glosses. As I own so many nude lipsticks, I didn’t go for the full set but I couldn’t resist Shanghai Nights; a deep ruby red that is so me. In the Matte Revolution formula, it is creamy, easy to apply and doesn’t dry out on my lips, yet has a superior staying power. It’s very reminiscent to last years limited edition Opium Nights, but it does err more on the red side of the spectrum. When I picked it up in Selfridges, and Senior Artist Shane saw me with it, he knew that it was the colour for me.

When I saw that Charlotte Tilbury was releasing the Lip Archive, I knew that this was the set that I needed to get. Featuring three lipsticks that were a limited edition and that have been brought back for the festive season, I was so excited. Inside the archive, three nude pink shades; Confession, Miss Kensington and Between The Sheets. I have very fond memories with Confession lipstick. It was my very first Charlotte Tilbury lipstick that I bought with Pillow Talk lip liner and LSD gloss, another retired product. Confession is just so beautiful. It’s a dusky tawny nude with gold flecks that makes my lips so so healthy. Miss Kensington was from the Norman Parkinson collection, and it is a tad too light for me but with the Swinging 60’s look that it’s inspired by, it is perfect for this English Rose look. Finally, Between The Sheets is the colour that I didn’t manage to get hold of orginally. It was very limited edition, and only available online and it was always out of stock. I am so, so happy to have this vintage rose petal shade in my life.

Christmas 2017 A Love for Charlotte Tilbury

Christmas 2017 A Love for Charlotte Tilbury

Christmas 2017 A Love for Charlotte Tilbury

Christmas 2017 A Love for Charlotte Tilbury

Christmas 2017 A Love for Charlotte Tilbury

Christmas 2017 A Love for Charlotte Tilbury

Christmas 2017 A Love for Charlotte Tilbury

Christmas 2017 A Love for Charlotte Tilbury

Christmas 2017 A Love for Charlotte Tilbury

The Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Icons Gift Set is such a good idea for those who have maybe not tried a lot from the brand, for those who stick to the makeup side rather than the skincare side, or for someone like me who likes to have mini products to try before purchasing the full size. Inside the Beauty Icons Gift Set you will find a full sized Pillow Talk lip liner, a mini Full, Fat Lashes Mascara, mini Penelope Pink lipstick, a mini Magic Cream and a mini Wonder Glow. Aside from the Magic Cream, I have used these products frequently, so for me, having minis for my handbag is ideal. I absolutely adore the Wonder Glow and find that my skin thrives from its use. The only lip liner that I wear frequently is Pillow Talk, and it the perfect shade for overdrawing my lips. I know it’s not all about the packaging, but the box that it comes in is just gorgeous and would make someone very happy come Christmas day.

I don’t think any discerning lady would be unhappy with receiving the gorgeous Charlotte Tilbury Scent of A Dream perfume. It’s certainly a scent like no over, with it’s floral-chypre harmony of notes. These notes of attraction start off with the joyous top notes of lemon, peach and black pepper, saffron, mandarin and Bergamot for positivity and confidence boosting. The heart notes are fleurotic, to bring love and light. Tuberose, jasmine, frankinscense, hedione and violet blend with Muguet, Orange Flower, Rose oil, tea rose, green ivy and magnolia. The base notes are coined as the magic molecule notes which are activated by the bodies heat. Fire tree, ISO E Super, patchouli and AMBROXAN, with Precious Woods, Cistus, Amber, Castoreum and musk. It’s a scent that is packed with beautiful notes that it makes it quite difficult to pinpoint a specific note. To me this makes its incredibly beautiful as it can change with your own chemistry to make it wonderfully unique.

Today is the last day for guaranteed Christmas delivery at Charlotte Tilbury, so if you need the Lip Archive and Beauty Icons set like I did, then you need to get it now!

*Contains PR Samples and/or Affiliate Links

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Oh hey there Clarins! It’s not a Festive posting schedule without featuring my beloved Clarins, and this year I have so much to show you. My ‘best of’ Clarins isn’t going to be Festive palette, as although beautiful, I showcased it last year and this year’s isn’t that dissimilar. Instead, I bring to you the beauty that is the Graphik – The Autumn Collection from Clarins. A subtle, glowy look with elegant lines and smouldering eyes, I think this collection is even better than the summer collection.

Clarins Graphik - The Autumn Collection

Clarins Graphik - The Autumn Collection

Clarins Graphik - The Autumn Collection

Clarins Graphik - The Autumn Collection

Clarins Graphik - The Autumn Collection

I didn’t show the summer collection so I have included some of the bits in this post as they are still available. It’s a shame that the eye palette was so limited because it was absolute perfection for giving bright eyes and sunkissed lids. The Autumn collection has focused on the colours that are more season appropriate. Think greens and blues, with rosy cheeks and lips. That natural flush of colour from being outside in the cold before walking into a warm room.

Starting off with the Clarins 4 Colour Eye Palette in 06 Forest, the rich leafy green shades with a light ivory champagne are not usually the colours that I would go for in a palette. Having green eyes, I’ve always steered in the other direction away from my eye colour, but the olive green shade makes my eyes pop in a way that I would never have expected. As with all Clarins shadows, they are creamy and soft, easy to apply and blend and they can also be used wet for a deeper and richer intensity.

For an even more intense smouldering eye, the Clarins Ombre Matte has to be included. In 10 Midnight Blue, the cream to powder shadow applies like a dream. It is a bit delicate, and I wouldn’t be packing it for a weekend away after seeing easily it breaks up, so it’s one to keep firmly on your dresser. The formulation of the Ombre Matte is really quite a dream to work with. Creamy in consistency yet dries to a matte long wearing powder. It’s also very easy to blend out which is a neccesity when it comes to such a showstopping colour. I’ve been wearing the Ombre Matte on the lid as a solo shade and with the two limited edition Clarins Eye Liner pencils in Bronze and Gold, with the Ombre Matte as a pop of colour on the lower lash line.

Clarins Graphik - The Autumn Collection

Clarins Graphik - The Autumn Collection

Clarins Graphik - The Autumn Collection

Clarins Graphik - The Autumn Collection

To define and enhance the eyes, you simply cannot go wrong with a graphic black felt pen eye liner, and the Clarins Graphik Ink Eyeliner is a really good ultra black and easy to work with liner. I always use felt pen liners, and it’s been that long since I’ve used a proper liquid liner, that I don’t actually think that I would be able to get a precise line anymore! I might have to practice again. The Clarins liner is really all day wear as it’s one of the only ones that doesn’t smudge and the black is still as black at the end of the day. My only downside is that it does bleed slightly so I have to take utmost care across the lid.

Although I fell in love with the Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils in the Summer, I have had to bring them out for this horrible weather that we have been having. Not only is Honey Glam a perfect festive shade, but they have been helping to combat this horrible flakiness that I’ve been having to deal with lately. Conditioning, hydrating, non sticky and super glossy, the shades Tangerine and Honey Glam will be seeing me through the cold winter whilst making sure my lips make it through. It’s funny because they aren’t particularly long wearing, but over time I feel that my lips have really benefited from the oils and my lips feel so much more comfortable.

Can you believe that I have never tried any of the Clarins Joli Rouge Lipsticks up until this year? I do feel that I have missed out massively whilst I’ve been in my matte liquid lipstick phase. The Joli Rouge lipsticks are so hydrating, and feel like a balm on the lips rather than a lipstick but with superior colour payoff. Litchi; a dusky pink mauve and Guava, a juicy fresh pink are two shades that wouldn’t feel out of place in my lipstick collection, and I find these to be ideal for when I don’t want to wear nude, and when I need a pop of colour that will last for a good few hours.

In the New Year, I will be updating my Clarins skincare, as I have ran out of a few old favourites. What are your faves from Clarins?

*Contains PR Samples and/or Affiliate Links

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There is one very special event that I have had the honour of being invited to for the last four years. It’s the event that tells me that it is nearly Christmas, and it’s the chance to spend the evening with some of my closest blogging beauties. This year was no exception and after checking into my cosy room at the Radisson Blu Manchester Airport, I headed over to Terminal 2 to go Christmas shopping as well as take advantage of a Jo Malone hand massage. World Duty Free has been very close to me, and after working for over a decade at the airport, it was really strange to be back there and not being cabin crew. It was also really weird how detached I felt from my previous job and that I do not miss it in the slightest. It was obviously meant to be. What I do miss is the shopping and the tax free prices so the event was the ideal opportunity to get spending.

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Rouge Dior Baume

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Rouge Dior Baume

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Rouge Dior Baume

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Rouge Dior Baume

I already had the Christian Dior Rouge Dior Baume Lip Trio, kindly sent to me from the girls at World Duty Free and as I hadn’t had any Dior Beauty in a while, I couldn’t resist choosing the Dior Beauty Fashion Show Palette to go with my lipsticks. There’s something very special about Dior Beauty. I love the packaging and the luxury feel that it brings, alongside the classic and timeless embossing and limited edition cases. Fun fact – I used to collect all the Dior Limited Edition palettes and charms and I wish I still had them.

The Rouge Dior Baume aren’t a lipstick as such, but a lightweight lip treatment with a natural lip colour. It feels like a gel based formula when applied, but with a high shine, glossy finish and a superior staying power for such a light lipstick. They smooth the lip whilst making them look plumped and healthy, and they apply like a dream. They do remind me of the By Terry Hyaluronic Sheer Rouge in terms of formulation and longevity, however the Dior Baume Rouge can be purchased for £26.50 on the high street, and this gorgeous set with the red patent bag is around £45 at World Duty Free.

The lip colour tubes are a little smaller than the traditional Dior lipstick tubes which does help with keeping them on you to reapply. On the high street, there are a total of ten shades however in my travel exclusive there are three shades. Coquette is a deep rose pink , Lili is medium pink mauve and Diorette is a cool toned bright pink with purple undertones.

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Rouge Dior Baume

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Rouge Dior Baume

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Rouge Dior Baume

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Rouge Dior Baume

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Ultra Fashion Show Palette

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Ultra Fashion Show Palette

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Ultra Fashion Show Palette

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Ultra Fashion Show Palette

Dior Beauty at World Duty Free Ultra Fashion Show Palette

My lovely friend Becky was the one who initially showed me the beauty of the Fashion Show Palette, which was around £65. We were both so enamoured with the tweed fabric topped case. Inside the palette, two different make up looks; natural daytime and smoky evening, with shades that have been seen on Dior runway at Fashion Week. Now, I’m being very honest with you but I am not ready to stick my fingers in this palette to swatch it just yet. It’s too perfect and I cannot ruin the perfectly set glosses and lipsticks, or the incredibly beautiful embossed shadows.

Inside the Fashion Show palette set, you will find a foundation sponge and a multi use brush that you can open up for a wider brush for all over powder, or fold over to make an angled brush for more precise blush work. The palette is protected by the velvet case and inside, a clear plastic cover protects the makeup and details the shades inside.

In the centre of the palette, a DiorSkin Forever Compact in Light Beige. The shade is very light for me however I will still be able to get use out of it, as I will be able to top up my makeup with it, rather than do a full face with it. On the left hand side with the natural glow makeup look, there are three shadows in the shades in #811, #951 and #777, a DiorBlush Vibrant Colour in #876 Happy Cherry, a Dior Addict Gloss in Princess and a Rouge Dior Lip colour in Rose Baiser. On the right handside, shadows #622, #693 and #526, with DiorBlush Vibrant Colour in Rose Cherie. A Dior Addict Gloss in Spring Ball and the Rouge Dior Baume in Diorette make up the set.

Once I have my head round the fact that my palette needs to be used, I will update you with swatches but until then, it’s all just a stop and stare! Dior Beauty isn’t visible on the World Duty Free site as it isn’t able to reserve and collect, however there are many other brands on there to drool over and it will be a surprise to see what is in store when you go on your next trip.

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I love lashes and I love to wear lashes and I love nothing more than trying out new lashes. Can you see just how happy lashes make me? Way back when, I used to wear lashes every single day, but then I didn’t need to be so done up for work, and I have kind of fallen into a ‘lets wear my glasses and minimal makeup’ slump. To be honest, it’s not me, and I have become really lazy in terms of being ‘done up’ and will be changing in the New Year. I miss being glam all of the time, and I miss my Ardell Wispies and Nouveau Volume 2 lashes which I wore every day. Thankfully, I am a social butterfly and the amount of events that I have mean that I need to keep myself looking good, and the lashes are firmly in place. The trend of the moment is mink, so I have put together the lashes that you need for the party season, and the best lash adhesives to help keep your lashes secure from dusk until dawn.

Lashes for Days esqido mink lashes

Lashes for Days esqido mink lashes

Lashes for Days esqido mink lashes

Lashes for Days esqido mink lashes

First of all, I want to address the controversy with mink lashes. Now, unbeknownst to myself, I wasn’t aware of the procedure in place to collect the hairs to make genuine mink lashes. That being said, I have two pairs of lashes for this post that are genuine mink. These came into my possession before I understood how the hairs were collected, and I know that some people will not care for the back story or how the hair is gathered for the lashes. It’s an interesting debate, however this post is not the one for it but I did want to be totally transparent about it to all my readers, so therefore I have selected a few pairs of faux mink lashes as an alternative.

The lashes in question are from Esqido, and I have had lashes from this brand before. I have found them to be some of the most amazing lashes that I have tried; long lasting, natural, soft and fluttery. I was informed that they were cruelty free, and their website states that the professional grade hair is collected naturally however this can be disputed and argued against. First of all, the Esqido Companion Lash Glue is my utmost favourite glue. I use it on all of my lashes, and it’s the only glue that doesn’t feel like it’s melting when I have been wearing lashes for hours on end. I has a slight bounce to the glue when it dries, so I can manoeuvre the lashes into place and wiggle them around should I need to.

The Esqido lashes that I have are the Gina; a collaboration with Gina Shkeda – International Makeup Artist, and Celestial, a voluminous curled lash. I really do wish they were faux mink, as everything about this brand is exquisite. The packaging, the lashes, the workmanship and the vast range of styles available. Full, fluttery lashes with a great curl are seated on a natural cotton band making them super comfortable to wear for several hours. They’re so comfortable that you do not feel like you’re wearing lashes and overall effect of them on the eyes is just stunning. You can see my predicament can’t you. The last pair that I had, I averaged around 30 wears so for the price, they have exceptional longevity. I always peel the excess glue off the band to allow for even longer wear.

Lashes for Days kiss lashes lash couture

Lashes for Days kiss lashes lash couture

Lashes for Days kiss lashes lash couture

Lashes for Days kiss lashes lash couture

Lashes for Days kiss lashes lash couture

Lashes for Days Battingtion lashes space nk

Lashes for Days Battingtion lashes space nk

Lashes for Days Battingtion lashes space nk

Lashes for Days Battingtion lashes space nk

For a more budget friendly lash, I would totally recommend the Kiss Lashes Lash Couture Faux Mink lashes. They cost around £8 per pair and they are absolutely beautiful. I am obsessed with Little Black Dress lashes and you can often find me wearing these as a daytime friendly lash as they are so fluttery and full without being too over the top. For night time, Gala and Midnight certainly pack a punch. What I do love about the Kiss Lashes is the packet that they come in. As the box does take up a lot of space, the lashes are packaged in a plastic box that can be secured for safe keeping. Gone are the days where I am finding lashes stuck to the side of my dresser now I can have a home for them. Even though I love a big lash, I have to be mentally prepared for the volume and intensity of Gala, however Midnight are the ones that I am more comfortable in for evening wear. The Kiss Lash Couture Strip Lash Adhesive is a great adhesive and handy for those who are allergic to latex, as its latex free. It’s also a black glue so if you feel that you are a bit messy when applying the glue, this makes things a lot easier.

I had the pleasure of meeting the darling Sirine, the owner of Battington Lashes at an event with Space NK. She introduced me to her brand and the gorgeous lashes that she has created. After looking at my eyes, she decided that I was definitely a Monroe and that they were the best lashes for my eye shape and personal style. Made from silk they have ultimate durability, are lightweight and hold the curl whilst lasting for around 25 wears. Can you believe that I have been wearing these lashes for the last few months and they still look like new. They look really natural on and I love the fact that I cannot feel them when I wear them. I have had these trimmed to size which I will always recommend with any pair of lashes. Some people take the extra length from the outer, but I will always trim from the inner to keep the thickness and fullness on the outer lashes. With the Battington Lashes, I have been using my old faithful glue from Duo. I go through phases with Duo as I find it makes my eyes quite sticky but I think we have turned a corner with the stickiness.

I can’t believe I’ve written over 1000 words on lashes. It must be love.

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2017 has been the year that I truly discovered Caudalie, and just how much it benefits my skin. From the body to the face, Caudalie has changed my routine for the better. I have found that using Overnight Detox Oil mixed in with moisturiser makes a superb night cream that gives me the extra hydration that I need. The Deep Cleansing Exfoliator is the only facial exfoliator that doesn’t make my skin go red and I have somehow gone through 3 full bottles of Beauty Elixir because the aromatic scent makes me feel like a calm, serene and zen soul. I had to include Caudalie in my Christmas content, and I’ve picked a really good set from the Christmas collection as well as a much loved product.

Caudalie at Christmas Divine Scrib Divine OIl

Caudalie at Christmas Divine Scrub Divine OIl

I couldn’t not include the Caudalie Divine Body Collection in the ‘best of’ round up. Not only does it contain one of the best scrubs in the beauty world, the Divine Body Scrub, but it also holds a 50ml Divine Oil. I don’t know how many times I have shared my love for the Divine Scrub across social media, but my god, I love it. I love the subtlety of the woody yet floral, sun kissed scent, whilst the brown sugar mixed with grape, argan, sesame and hibiscus oils remove dead skin cells with ease. For a scrub, its undoubtedly softening, and doesn’t feel harsh. It takes the scaly skin and banishes it for good, which when you’re a tan addict, it helps a lot with having a smooth canvas to work on.

The Divine Oil is a multi use product for body, hair, nails, in the bath or even as a massage oil. There are unlimited possibilities of use due it to being a dry oil. I actually really like to use it on the ends of my hair when it’s feeling a tad dry, as well as all over the body to lock in moisture. With the same scent as the Divine Scrub, it’s a perfect pairing for beautifully soft and smooth, moisturised skin.

The set is great value at £29, considering the scrub is £21.50 and the oil £18 if purchased separately. There’s also some offers on at Feel Unique and the set is down to £21 at the moment. I’d definitely have a look if it’s something that you’re interested in.

Caudalie at Christmas Beauty Elixir

This year, Rosie Huntington Whitely has fronted the Caudalie campaign for the limited edition gold capped Beauty Elixir, which has only been available in a 100ml bottle. I have never owned a 100ml bottle of Beauty Elixir, so being able to get my hands on the limited edition has been somewhat of a treat. That being said, I have bottles of the 30ml Beauty Elixir scattered across my house and at work. It’s a true handbag essential, and I find that it comes in so handy for so many things. I use it after cleansing as a toner, or before bed to calm me down. I like to spray it in the air in my house and the scent is to die for. I use it to freshen up my skin if I’m feeling a bit down, or when I need a boost myself and feel more alert. I find that when its sprayed over freshly made up skin, it removes any powdery cakiness, just like a fixing spray and finally it gives my skin a radiance that cannot be created from makeup. No wonder it has been around for the last 20 years. The blend of grape, rose and rosemary have a calming and soothing effect, but yet it freshens and energises at the same time. It’s like a mid afternoon shot of caffeine to your system. Alert, vibrant, yet secure and ready to face the afternoon.

I really would keep an eye on Feel Unique at the moment with these bargains. I’ve also spotted the Aromatherapy Associates sets that I mentioned last week on offer!

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