When I was first venturing out into makeup ( I was around 12), I vividly remember reading an article on Poppy King in Blush or Sugar magazine. An Australian entrepreneur who started her very line of opaque lipsticks when she was just eighteen years old. My memory is quite sketchy but I recall her creating a lipstick with either Boots No7 or Seventeen and it was Poppy Red. It was the best lipstick I’d ever owned; creamy, vibrant and opaque and it gave the most perfect red lip. I think I managed to hold on to it until I was around 17 or so. Out of nowhere, Poppy King disappeared off the scene until 2006 when her new line Lipstick Queen launched into Space NK.
Over the last few years of Lipstick Queen, we have seen the introduction of the colour changing lipsticks such as cult classic Hello Sailor and more recently Frog Princess. The latest innovation in colour changing is the Lipstick Queen Morning Sunshine, a yellow based lipstick that has got everybody talking on my Instagram. I think that most people have been shocked to see a yellow lipstick and haven’t been sure who would wear yellow, without realising that it has a magical formula where it reacts with the heat of your skin to turn into a semi sheer coral glossy stain.
The first time I tried Lipstick Queen Morning Sunshine I was obsessed. I was in Space NK and we were having a play around with the new makeup, as you do, and we decided to give it a try. As soon as the colour hit my lips, I could see the change almost instantly. It fully develops to the most perfect coral shade around five minutes and it stays put for ages. It does stain on the lips and the gloss does disappear after a few hours, but I do prefer the less glossy and more intensified colour that it develops into. The coral is not like any lipstick that I have or can put my finger on and I think because it develops with your skin, it’s quite a unique shade and would look different on everyone.
For my own personal chemistry, I find that Morning Sunshine is a medium to dark pink coral with warm tones and a glossy sheer finish, but I would definitely look at trying it to see just what shade it turns out on yourself. It’s fun, and different and it looks super cute in its sleek blue packaging, and although you would find me usually wearing a mate liquid lipstick, I think I have shocked myself by reaching for Lipstick Queen Morning Sunshine as much as I have. I may need to purchase a back up soon.
Apparently, we could be on track to see some nice weather in the next few weeks. I will believe it when I see it of course, as the UK is known for it’s promise of clear blue skies when in fact it’s a torrential downpour and a grey sky. Having to take matters into my own hands to keep my natural skin from turning translucent, I’ve been grabbing as many opportunities as I can to sit outside on my balcony, in the sunshine with some of my fail safe sun products. To give the UK it’s dues, it has been quite nice on the days between the rain. The temperatures have reached to about 25 degrees on some days, and I took full advantage. Setting up camp, I took a good book, a chilled beverage and my Zhuzh! Tanning products to have a day of relaxation and acceleration.
I’ve managed to get through many a bottle of the Zhuzh! Tan Accelerator since I discovered it. Unlike any other product that I have used before, the Zhuzh! Tan Accelerator isn’t actually fake tan. It’s a light spritzing spray that sinks into your skin to work with your natural melanin to boost the tanning process. As it doesn’t contain any SPF, it’s worthwhile using your personal preference of SPF with it. I find it to be perfect for the UK weather, so when I’m wandering around with the dog or hanging washing out, or whilst spending time on my balcony. It’s quite funny because whilst I’ve used it in the last few weeks, I have noticed that over the course of the next few days after being in the sun, my skin looks noticeably darker. I am rather lucky that I tan really easily and rarely burn so I would much rather use Zhuzh! Tan Accelerator whenever I can in the UK.
For a more gradual tan, I’ve been using the Zhuzh! The Best of Both Tans Gradual Self Tan and Tan Accelerator. It’s an incredibly moisturising gradual tan, that I actually quite like using as just as moisturiser because it leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth and then as if by magic, a few days later I have a hint of bronze that it even and without streaks. As the Tan Accelerator within the Shea butter laden cream works with the melanin, you can develop your own tan with a hint of gradual tan to help start you off. Great if you’re taking it on holiday so you can kick start your holiday colour.
Once my tan has got to that perfect level of bronzed goddess, I want it to stay as long as possible. There are two options to help this; staying in the sun or using the Zhuzh! Tan Lock and Saver spray. Staying in the sun isn’t always an option so having an easy fine oil spray to hand is the best thing for my skin. The oil is delightful to use; it’s fine, sinks into the skin easily and makes dull and dry skin a thing of the past. Even without a tan, it’s a perfect post shower and bath treat to keep moisture locked in. The best thing of all, is that when used with a tanning product is that it helps not only prolong the tan, but helps it fade out easily with no unsightly patches.
I have a new found love for quenching my skin at the moment. In fact, when I look at my dressing table I have at least five different sprays that I can see. As it has been slightly warmer than normal, I have found that my skin needs all the help it can get throughout the day to feel refreshed and for a boost of hydration. The Zhuzh! Cool Zhuzh! Spritz is designed to be used over your face and body when your skin is feeling hot. The Aloe Vera and Menthol blend instantly soothes and calms down skin without any tingling, giving an instant and much needed refreshment.
It’s no wonder that the Zhuzh! range is one of the best selling ranges on Ideal World. If you do buy any product from Zhuzh! I totally recommend the Tan Accelerator as it really is one of the best tanning products that I have ever used. Also on Ideal World, there are some great multi save offers with double and triple packs, as well as multi-packs of the various products.
One of my favourite trends of all time is coloured mascara. Now, hear me out here because I know that some people think that its quite a scary or very dated look but I feel that a hint of colour can change a look so dramatically. I always wear black mascara, and maybe every now and again I’ll wear the Perricone MD Brown mascara but generally it’s a carbon black, heavy lash for me. Sometimes a look just needs a flash of vibrancy that is quite subtle but makes a statement and I feel that a coloured mascara does just the job. As the trend has rolled back in this summer, there are plenty of mascaras to choose from at the moment, from high street to high end. I’ve chosen some great colours, which I think you will love, and maybe help you step out of your comfort zone.
This summer has seen the launch of the new L’Oreal Miss Baby Roll range of mascaras which includes shades such as a classic black, as well as colours such as Indigo, Lilac and Teal. As part of the introductory offer at Boots, a L’Oreal Miss Baby Roll mascara was on three for two, and had a free eye mask as part of the deal. My Mum got the Indigo whilst I got the Teal. I’ve always found the L’Oreal mascaras to be of exceptional quality and value, and have spent the last decade wearing the L’Oreal Million Lashes. The Miss Baby Roll Mega Volume Lash has a very unique twisted comb applicator that grips onto each lash and coats from base to tip, whilst volumising and extending. It’s another great mascara from L’Oreal so I may have to pick up the black. And maybe the Lilac.
From MAC, the Work It Out collection brought to us 16 brand new shades of the In Extreme Dimension Mascaras with some amazing colours. In a limited edition packaging, the In Extreme Dimension formulation is still the same as before; extreme volume and a great curl. In fact, this formulation is one of my Mums favourite mascaras, and she has continuously repurchased the black waterproof version since it came out. Really pushing myself out of the comfort zone, the two colours that I have picked are Energized; a vibrant, bright yellow and Cool Down; a bright purple. With festival season fast approaching, I thought that Energized would be a great colour for some alternative looks whilst the bright purple is a more wearable shade for the daytime. They really are a great mascara, with the plastic comb applicator holding the right amount of products with no overloading of the product onto the lash. I really do like just how much volume I can get on my lashes just from one coat of mascara.
Marc Jacobs Beauty* is fast becoming my guilty pleasure. I’ve always loved the brand and although I don’t have loads of it, I’m starting to build up quite a collection. Enough for me to start thinking that I need to rearrange my Muji drawers to display it all. This Spring saw the launch of the Marc Beauty’s new face of the brand Kaia Gerber and two new products; the New Nudes Sheer Gel Lipstick and the O!Mega Lash Volumising Mascara Shade Extensions. With the love of coloured mascara, these have arrived at just the right time. The O!Mega Lash Volumising Mascara still retains the same formulation which is designed for volume and curl, with the same unique double brush applicator where one brush separates lashes whilst the other gives mega volume. The three shades All About Yves, Think Ink and Peacock are a lot more easy to wear if you don’t want to make such an impact. The colours are captivating but more subtle than the ones featured from other brands. Not only that but I’ve found them to be the best ones for lower lash wear as they are totally smudge proof.
It’s been quite refreshing as of late to change my eye makeup look. It’s not often where I get to wear a full face of makeup and most of the time, I actually don’t want to so it’s nice to add some mascara and give a subtle pop of colour. I can’t wait to start trying out some festival looks with festival season fast approaching us. I may have to do a full on face of festival glam for the blog! What do you think?
I have one man in my life. One man who is always there for me, the one I can rely on to make me laugh and dry my tears, the one who has played two roles in my life; that of a Grandad as well as being a Father figure. My Grandad Geoff is quite simply the best person in the entire world. In fact, I think everyone needs a Grandad or Dad like Geoff. A retired mechanic, he’s hands on and likes to fix things. He’s taught us well, from putting up wallpaper to changing the oil and water in a car. He’s the maker of the best Sunday dinners and he makes a cracking cup of tea. He has a collection of some of the best flat caps I’ve ever seen. He has big strong hands that give the best cuddles and the best thing of all… he’s my Pops. It’s only right that with Father’s Day coming up that he deserves a treat and I know how much he loves his aftershaves. In fact, when I gave him these he said ‘Oh, I’ve still not finished my Chanel Number 9!’ He’s such a joker.
Three new fragrances, one for day time, one for night time and one for special occasions all from the home of discounted scents Fragrance Direct. It’s still my go to website for fragrance and now beauty, and with great savings as well as free delivery over £20, it’s a no brainer. Starting with a classic daytime scent, and one which can also be worn by my Nanna, the CK One Unisex 200ml bottle is just £24.50. CK One is definitely a classic scent and I remember going wild for it myself when it first launched in the 90s. Top notes of citrusy lemon, mandarin orange, pineapple, papaya, bergamot and cardomom with middle notes of nutmeg, violet, orris root, jasmine, rose and Lily of the Valley, whilst base notes are heavier sandalwood, amber, musk and cedar. Its a true classic fragrance that is loved by everybody.
I fell in love with Hugo Boss The Scent For Her when it was released towards the latter end of 2016, so I had to choose the male version for Grandad. Hugo Boss The Scent For Him is absolutely gorgeous. A blend of Ginger, Bergamot and citrus with a heart of Maninka fruit and lavender that warms into base notes of wood, vetiver and leather. It’s very distinctive, very heady and a smooth and alluring finish.
Brand new for 2017, the Gucci Guilty Absolute is the newest edition of Gucci Guilty family. When I first smelt it, my first thought was just how incredibly masculine it was. It’s so masculine that it evokes memories of my childhood, and the warmth that comes from it is just charming. It’s a very strong scent that opens up with leather before the heart notes of patchouli and Cypress come out. The base notes of wood and vetiver give it the warm strength that I find really appealing. It’s a real mans scent if you would. Probably one of the nicest Gucci scents for men that I’ve smelt in a long time.
This Fathers Day is going to be a very special one and I’m looking forward to spending the whole day with my Pops. What are you doing for Father’s Day?
Oh, I am a sucker for pretty packaging and even more of a sucker when two of my favourite brands combine to create one of the cutest collaborations ever. The Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Collection is exclusive to Debenhams and is made up of Ultimate Eye Collection Set, the Cheek and Lip Makeup Bag set and the Better Together Mascara and Liner Kit, all in the kitschest packaging. A complete blend of Jerrod Blandino and Kat Von D, the Better Together collection is the perfect blend of stylish goth and pastel pink. Too cute for words, and very irresistible.
Starting off with the Better Together Cheek and Lip Makeup Bag set, this little set is a perfect way to try deluxe samples of both brands top selling products but in exclusive shades. The makeup bag is double sided and features a cartoon picture of Jerrod Blandino’s dog, Clover printed on a pink glittery heart. On the reverse, Kat’s cat, Piaf in a matte black, gothic style. Inside the makeup bag, for Too Faced is a deluxe sample of the Candlelight Highlighting Powder in Rosy Glow as well as an exclusive shade of the Love Flush Blush in So Happy Together. After using the Candlelight Highlighting powder, I can safely say that I need a full sized one as the sheer golden glow is just beautiful. The Love Flush blush in the peony pink shade with a slight iridescent sheen is also gorgeous and I hope that they do release this in a full size soon.
For the Kat Von D exclusives, she’s taken care of the lip products and I honestly do believe that this is what Kat Von D does best. Although I don’t actually own that many of her products (yet), and my Mum was the first out of us both to get a Studded Kiss Lipstick, I’m being converted to the liquid lipstick range and I am seriously impressed. The exclusive shades in the Better Together Makeup Bag come in the form of Studded Kiss Lipstick in Muse; a shimmering nude, and Everlasting Lipstick in XO; a matte oxblood. Personally I wouldn’t have said that XO was a matte oxblood, but more of a deep raspberry pink that is so beautiful, and a bugger to get hold of in full size. Muse has been living in my makeup bag for day time top ups and is quite versatile from day to night.
For a great way to try the best selling Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara and the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, the Better Together Duo Set is such a great idea. I’ve been wearing the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara for a long time now so it’s always handy to have a deluxe sample back up to keep in my handbag. What I was most excited about was the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. Everyone raves about it, and I was so looking forward to giving it a shot. It has such a good nib that is just stiff enough but also flexible enough that it practically draws a cat eye wing for you. I am definitely going to be getting a full size soon.
Have you tried any of these products? What do you think? Is there anything from Too Faced or Kat Von D that you think I can’t live without?
Back in February, I visited Barn//It where I endured five hours of hair colouring to get my golden highlight and warm dark blonde hair transformed into a creamy and icy ash blonde balayage. Since then, we have been experimenting with colour and used the L’Oreal Colorista pink, lilac and mint shades to create a mermaid/unicorn hairstyle. By the way, I still have a patch of green in my hair that will not come out and it’s been months, rather than weeks so please do take care when using the Colorista shades and you do only want a temporary colour. Whilst the rest of my colour has come out, I’ve needed to get the ashy blonde back to it’s original state before I can add further colours to it. I’ve pulled together everything I have been using as of late to keep my hair in good condition and to add some much needed vibrancy and a touch of colour to it.
If you haven’t heard of Pro:Voke Touch of Silver then where have you been? It’s the classic silver shampoo that has been around for so long that I remember using it when I was in my teens. The range consists of products to keep your blonde hair bright and toned, as well as looking after your colour. I’ve been using the Pro:Voke Touch of Silver Pre Toning Primer, which really seems to help in getting my hair evenly toned, before shampooing with the Pro:Voke Touch of Silver Brightening Shampoo. I do find this shampoo to be quite drying on my hair and my hair feels so squeaky clean when I’ve wash it but the all over toning that it gives is worth having to use extra conditioner. The ashy tones really come out when I use this shampoo without them looking too harsh. It’s very natural and it gives it the boost it needs. The Pro:Voke Touch of Silver Intensive Conditioner also leaves my hair very soft and smooths down the hair shaft. It’s a great three step regime that delivers great results.
I’ve recently been introduced to the Infuse My.Colour Platinum, which is a 100% Vegan formula shampoo that promises to neutralise yellow and makes hair bright and shiny. After using Pro:Voke for a few months prior to My.Colour, I can massively see the difference between them. Although the Pro:Voke is good, I find the My.Colour to be a far superior product. First of all, the shampoo is so creamy and moisturising that it isn’t drying at all. I can’t use the Pro:Voke more that twice a week, but with the My.Colour I have been using it a lot. As it’s a platinum enhancing colour, I have seen how my hair has been transforming from an ashy blonde to a more grey toned, platinum shade. It hasn’t given me the steely grey shade that is so in fashion right now, but I think that if I keep one at it, it’s going to head that way.
I have missed my coloured hair so much and whilst I’m waiting for my hair to grow a little bit more before it’s full colour change, I’ve been taking matters into my own hands and getting creative with pastel shades. From Schwarzkopf, the Pastel Sprays are temporary colours that last around 2-3 washes, and for their low price points, they’re actually really good. Apricot Sunrise and Cotton Candy have been my choices of shades, naturally and they are so easy to apply. I wash my hair and towel dry it before adding the sprays to damp hair and brushing through. I do random sections so the colour blends and mixes around the hair and there’s no worrying about getting it perfect. Once it’s been sprayed in, you blow dry the colour into the hair and it’s done. I do have to use a leave in conditioner because my hair needs conditioner and if not, my hair feels a little bit crispy. On my blonde hair, I get around 2 washes before it comes out, which to me is perfect because it means I can have a different colour each weekend.
I have found a product that to me, has absolutely changed my life when it comes to my hair. It’s an absolute bargain at £3.99 (now £1.99 at Boots), and it has literally changed my hair for the better. The Schwarzkopf Color Expert Colour Sealer Treatment with Omegaplex has brought a new lease of life to my hair and to my colour. With the popularity of salon brand Olaplex, a treatment which helps strengthen hair and maintain colour, it’s actually quite refreshing to be able to top up at home in between hair appointments. I spend a lot of time and money on my hair and I want it to look shiny and glossy, whilst feeling strong and supple and the Color Expert has done just that. Using it in place of conditioner and leaving it on for around a minute, my hair feels crazy good right now. I do only use it once a week and not each time I wash my hair but I think my hair is actually craving the treatment when it comes to wash time. For the special offer price at the moment, I am stocking up!
What kind of hair care do you use? Have you tried any of these? What colour shall I go for next?
I have been dying to share this with you but changing over my theme and getting everything prepped and prepared has been a bit harder than I thought. Luckily, I have found a way to take my photos and I think the flat lay maybe the new thing for Anoushka Loves, as the old style of low and upright shots has been taken away from me due to my mobility. I am absolutely in love with these photos and feel very proud of them, so I really do hope you like them. As this is quite a heavy guide to the collection, I will stop chattering on and get straight into it. The hotly anticipated Too Faced Sweet Peach collection was massive. After the sell out of the limited edition Sweet Peach Palette the year before last, Too Faced listened to our pleas and re-released the palette as well as some brand new items that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. The collection at the end of January and I only bought one item from the collection, the Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Palette. It really ignited something within me, so I gradually collected a few more pieces and now I’m five Lip Oil shades off the full collection.
Starting off with the main part of the collection, the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette* has had rave reviews from here to Kingdom come with its selection of wearable and heavily pigmented shades that are scented of peaches. I always find that Too Faced have a real mixture when it comes to pigmentation in their palettes. They’re either really strong, or some have a weaker level. I have found that it is the same in this palette and some shades are far superior in quality than others but overall it doesn’t make the palette a poor palette. Far from it. The colours are beautiful, with shades ranging from peachy corals to deep purples and browns, with some pale nude shades that don’t tend to show up on my skin. A real mix of wearable shades that can be mixed completely to create some beautiful looks. The eighteen shades makes this the largest palette of this size, in comparison to the 16 pan palettes of the Chocolate, Semi Sweet Chocolate and Bon Bon. Each swatch below was applied on an unprimed arm, using just my finger, and I’ve used three swipes at most. You can see for yourselves which shades don’t quite make the grade as they have gaps in the consistency of the swipe. I love how each shade is named after something peachy, and combined with it’s scent, it makes it such a delectable palette. I have noticed that I have been using this more than my Too Faced Natural Matte at the moment and that is my Holy Grail of eyeshadows.
The day the collection came out, I headed straight out to buy the Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Palette. Out of the whole collection, I though this would be the one product that I could get a lot of use out of and keep in my bag for touch ups. I was doing an Instagram Live where I was applying them all and I was actually quite disappointed with the Glow palette bronzer in terms of colour payoff. I have always said that I have struggled with bronzers and have to get ones that are darker for them to show on my skin, but this was practically non existent. Not one to be defeated, I took the palette away with me for a weekend to use as both a face and eye palette. Funnily enough, once I’d started to take the top layer of the powder off, the pigmentation started to come through some more. Since then, it has been used a lot. The blusher reminds me of a more muted Nars Orgasm, whilst the highlighter is sheer and finely milled without any chunks of glitter. The bronzer, as it happens, is now my favourite of the three shades and I find that it makes a beautiful eye contour shade for a summery coral eye look. Plus, it smells like peaches and looks beautiful so it’s a win win.
After getting the Sweet Peach Glow palette, I was quite firm on that I didn’t need the standalone Too Faced Papa Don’t Peach Blush. That was until my lovely Adrienne from The Sunday Girl said she would buy it if I would. I didn’t want her to feel like she couldn’t buy it so I supported her and bought my own! This blusher is a different shade to the one in the Sweet Peach Glow palette. It’s more of a warm copper coral compared to the orange coral with gold shimmer in the Sweet Peach Glow palette. It has been released before back in around 2013, with the Everything Nice Holiday collection. It has a good colour payoff, and it does last a good few hours on the skin. I much prefer this shade to the one in the palette, just for its deeper tones.
Although I do love my lip products, I tend to head to matte liquid lipsticks before I use anything else. As I haven’t been going out anywhere, it has been lovely to just slick on a swipe of the Too Faced Sweet Peach Lip Oils*, for their beautifully hydrating and semi opaque shades. The formulation contains coconut oil, essence of peach and moisturising vitamins that make them really creamy and a joy to wear. They’re also not very sticky, which is one of the things that I look for in a gloss. The scent of these on the lips is divine and the longer doe foot applicator enables a precise application and you could be forgiven for mistaking some of the darker colours as a glossy lipstick. There are eight in the range, from pale nudes, peachy pinks and pinky corals. I have Peach Fuzz; a warm pinky nude, Peach Tease; a warm creamy coral and Papa Don’t Peach; a warm creamy brown. I have noticed that they do last quite a lot longer than traditional lip glosses as well, which is always a positive.
I am absolutely obsessed with Too Faced, as you all know and I think this collection has just topped all my expectations. With its well thought out design and consistency throughout the Peach theme, it’s just a beautiful collection to own. I’ve also just spotted that a USA exclusive; the Funfetti palette, has just hit Selfridges as well. Time to go shopping!
Being a beauty blogger does have it’s advantages. For example, a delivery of the brand new products from Deciem brand, The Ordinary. These landed around 12 months ago, and were very quiet up until recently. It’s only been until now where I’ve remembered to get get them on the blog and although I’ve had them for a year, it’s not to say that the products sat untouched for 12 months, oh no. They were used, and used so much that I’ve repurchased them. A sign of a good brand? Indeed, and especially when I get through so much skincare that repurchases are quite rare. I’m happy to say that The Ordinary have hit the levels of superior-ness. I only wish that I’d been able to bring these to you sooner because they are mid hype right now, and getting hold of the full range is pretty tricky.
A bit of background into Deciem, if you weren’t already aware, but they create brands that are about the functional science. Many brands offer ‘groundbreaking’ ingredients with a hefty price tag, whilst the Deciem brand brings these to people with integrity, an honesty and treatments that actually work. The treatments include vitamins, retinoids, acids, molecules, oils and hydrators. It’s a great way to be able to build your own personal skincare routine, however care must be taken as some products shouldn’t be used together. All this, and the most expensive product is £13. This is a wondrous thing if you are into your skin care. My concerns are hydration, slight blemishes and keeping an eye on my skin for ageing. I have put together three of The Ordinary skincare products for a personal plan to help my skin to stay at it’s best, and I do use these along side other products.
First of all, my routine wouldn’t be complete intense hydration in the form of Hyaluronic Acid. As we know, Hyaluronic Acid can attract up to 1000 times its weight in water. Good news for dehydrated skin, as the formulation of low, medium and high molecules of Hyaluronic Acid and a concentration of 2% Hyaluronic Acid means that it goes deep into the skin. The Vitamin B5 also helps with surface hydration and getting the different weights of molecules at multi levels into the skin. The overall effect is plumped skin with great surface hydration and after time goes on, the difference in the skin is quite apparent. Under eyes and tops of the cheeks, and across my jaw line have been my bad areas for dehydration and I don’t really have to worry about them anymore because of how selective I am with the products I use. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 30ml is just £5.90, and it’s also suitable for vegans.
Whilst being sat at home day in, day out, I find that I keep reaching for the junk food instead of being good. Of course, too much junk food is bad for the skin and the occasional blemish does happen. To keep on top of this, I like to use The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, 30ml £5. Niacinamide is a totally new name for me, and I was a bit unsure of what I was supposed to use it for. The high concentration of Niacinamide helps to balance sebum production, so whilst I have been using it, I’ve found that my t-zone areas where I have usually been a lot oilier in the past, have settled into a more controlled and balanced state. I do usually find that each morning after the night before I have used Niacinamide, that my pores seem less congested and the gunk has moved its way to the surface of my skin, leaving clearer skin. It’s a bit gross, but also very very satisfying to see that my pores are emptying without having to do anything more strenuous than smooth some serum across the face. Niacinamide does have contraindictions with Vitamin C so please check the website to see how to balance your products.
The final product from The Ordinary that I absolutely love is ‘Buffet’. Named after how some brands used the collection of expensive formulas and likened it to a buffet table, The Ordinary have taken the best formulas in anti ageing and combined then to make 25.1% concentrate. The Ordinary ‘Buffet’ 30ml is £13, and although it’s wayyyy to complicated to explain what is in it, what I can tell you is that is makes your skin look fresher, and younger. I find that it does bobble on the skin, especially when you rub your face and it feels like a really fine layer of face mask when I apply it. It’s slightly heavier than a serum but not as thick as a gel. It’s a weird consistency but it feels so good on the skin and I love to see the natural glow that I have when I wake up in the morning. It does contain Hyaluronic Acid so I don’t tend to use them both together, but it still gives a good hydration to my skin.
I’m really getting quite set in my ways when it comes to skincare now. I think I really must start to try new things, as I don’t want to start becoming immune to all these formulations. I am really tempted to get The Ordinary AHA 30% Peeling Solution as I’m really intrigued by it. In fact, at the prices they come in at, I may as well pick up a few!
When I first started hitting the pubs and clubs (pre 18 years old), makeup wasn’t the beautifully groomed and perfectly flawless looks like you see on young girls these days. When we were going out, it meant glitter and borrowing your mums shoes to wear with jeans and a nice top from Kookai or Morgan. Am I showing my age? I’m quite liking the reminiscing. It was only when I was around 18 or 19 when there was a shift in the makeup application. The eyes were getting smokier, the lips glossier and the nights out longer. It was the ‘in’ thing back then to save your face by liberally spraying your face with hairspray. You couldn’t beat a bit of Elnett Gold Strong Hold covering your face. It was lovely. Thankfully, times have changed and the world has been introduced to setting sprays and since they have hit the market, brand after brand are bringing out their own version. The Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray has become somewhat of a stalwart in the beauty world, and it’s even overtaken my love for MAC Fix +. It must be good!
Back in 2013, Urban Decay released the All Nighter Setting Spray, in the classic white and purple packaging. Little did we know that this would be one of the best products that Urban Decay would ever bring out, with its breakthrough formula developed in partnership with Skindinavia. A mist so fine that it doesn’t clog your skin up, yet holds make up in place for an age. I can’t tell you just how long my make up stays in place for. If I told you that I fell asleep in makeup, you’d all think I was disgusting but it was just research. My makeup was still that good that I could have gone straight back out the following day. But I didn’t, because I’m not that gross!
With the launch of the All Nighter Foundation, the All Nighter Setting Spray has had a makeover and the old packaging has been replaced with a sleeker and in my opinion, cleaner black and purple packaging. The range also just doesn’t stop at the All Nighter with Chill Setting Spray and De-Slick Setting Spray also being added; a cooling spray and an oil control spray. It’s literally like our makeup prayers have been answered. Not only that but a travel sized and full sized spray are available, meaning one can be kept in your handbag. Ahh heaven.
There are many a product that I have bought that has been inspired by other beauty bloggers. From lipsticks, to foundations, makeup tools and even candles, we seem to have an influence on others with the hype that things gain. I tend not to stick with hype because I find it does gain momentum and opinions do start to get skewed, especially when it’s a new launch. I like to revisit products after hype has died down and really see if they’re actually as good as what people say. One brand that has the beauty blogger stamp of approval is Laura Mercier, and although I have mainly stuck with the bath and body products, I have started to expand into the beauty side. I still don’t own the cult favourite primers and tinted moisturisers, or even one of the beautiful highlighter compacts, but I do now have my Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder from Space NK.
I was always the kind of girl who didn’t really tend to bother with loose powder but I’ve noticed some changes in my skin and that I need to set things in place a little more often than not. I was recommended the Secret Brightening Powder to set my concealer, as that was my main concern, as opposed to getting the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. In all honesty, now that I have tried the Secret Brightening Powder, it won’t be long before I will pick up the rest.
The Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder has been designed to set the Secret Brightener, Secret Camouflage and Secret Concealer. Perfect for under eyes, it’s a very fine, white translucent powder that doesn’t accentuate or settle into the lines and creases around the eye area. The first time I used it, I was absolutely stunned with how different my skin looked. Aside from looking brighter, it looked awake and fresh – fresher than I’d seen it in a long time. Dark circles that had been covered with a corrector and concealer even looked like they’d been removed completely. I wouldn’t use it alone if I had dark circles, as I would be a bit concerned if it cast a grey tone under my eyes, but over the top of other product turns it into a super hero powder.
Although the white powder doesn’t have any shimmer within it, the overall brightening effect that it has has turned this from a setting powder into a multi use powder for travelling. Buffing the setting powder across the tops of my cheeks not only brightens them, but it could almost be mistaken for a highlighter under the right light. It’s that natural glow that we all strive for looks easy and without having to wear too much makeup.
With loose powders, I do have some favourites, and I’m thinking I might put them in a post together as to what I use them for. Let me know if this is something you’d like to see.
Now that my skin is finally behaving, it’s been absolute heaven to be able to add some more intense products back into the mix. I have quite a few things to show, but I will be spread it out over the next few weeks so you’re not bombarded with information as I do think that skincare can start to get a bit tricky. My goal for my summer skincare is to create a clear complexion with no blemishes, to combat dehydration and have a smooth surface. I’m not that fussed about dealing with large pores, as at 34, I have come to terms with facts that no matter what I do, they will not change. I’m also still not that bothered about tackling anti ageing because I don’t really need to. Aside from a few laughter lines, I have zero wrinkles. To my hydration is the most important, alongside keeping a smooth tone. The five products I’ve put together today, only four of them have been used religiously myself, whilst the fifth has been reviewed by my sister.
Whilst having some issues with my skin, I was so upset when I had to strip it all back as it meant that I had to stop using my beloved Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic. I must have at least 5 unopened bottles where I’ve stockpiled them in case of emergency. Back in 2013, I first started to use this gentle exfoliating toner after it became so hyped up that I couldn’t resist. Whilst using my first bottle, I noticed how my skin was changing slowly, and I started to get some unsightly raised bumps under the skin. No cause for concern as it was just my skin changing to embrace the fruit based acids in the formulation and once the bump phase had passed, my skin turned into the most healthiest looking skin. Four years of use and many repurchases later, I know and trust that Pixi Glow Tonic does it’s job. It’s formulated without alcohol so I don’t find that it dries my skin out, whilst it tones and almost pulls up my skin to look tighter and firmer. The surface texture of my skin is clear, and has no congestion due to the 5% Glycolic AHA ingredient and it can be used as little or as frequent as you like. It’s always a winner for me.
For a great exfoliating mask, I totally recommend the Pixi Peel and Polish. Not only can it be used in conjunction with Glow Tonic for a super facial, but the Peel and Polish has been the only exfoliator that I have been reaching for lately. I prefer to apply a layer to cleansed and dry skin before stepping in the shower. By the time I’m all washed, the Lactic Acid based formulation has had ample time to dissolve dead skin cells before rinsing off to reveal the brightest and clearest skin. I’ve been telling everyone that it makes my skin feel like a babies bottom, and it’s true – it’s exactly how it feels. It’s also that gentle on the skin, that I’ve not suffered any bits of grain getting caught up in my nose piercing and I’ve not had any post mask redness. It’s the one!
One of my latest beauty brand discoveries is Evolve Beauty. Found on Not On The High Street as well as their own website, this new British brand has a full range of products that are made from natural and organic ingredients. The Radiant Glow Face Mask is almost good enough to eat, with its Raw Cacao and Clay base with Organic Vanilla Oil and coconut granules. A small amount goes a long way and it’s very tempting once it’s on to want to stick your tongue out of your mouth and try and lick some. True story. Fresh skin is unveiled and it feels not only soft to the touch, but the natural areas that get oily have settled down to give an even complexion.
Although the Transformulas Hydration Gold is targeted for anti-ageing, I love to use it because of its hydrating properties. The focus of Transformulas is to bring beauty without the pain and the products are cosmeceuticals, rather than just beauty products where intense ingredient and a more scientific approach to anti- ageing. I am slightly biased when it comes to Transformulas, as I have met the founder, Rosi Chapman, several times and the brand has been created and developed in my home town of Manchester, but the products really stand out for themselves. The Hydration Gold is packed full of Hyaluronic Acid as well as 23 carat Gold powder to give skin a beautiful and fresh look. I prefer to wear this on no make up days to give that ‘my skin but better’ look whilst wearing it underneath make up turns it into a glowing and hydrating primer.
Christian Breton is a new brand to me, and I’ve been able to try the SOS Eye Balm, as has my sister. Although I’ve been using it intermittently between my Dr Barbara Sturm, my sister Paula has had a reason to be slapping it on. Due to a heave amount of stress, Paula has developed Bells Palsy, which paralyses the muscles on one side of the face. Due to this, she was having difficulty in blinking and often had to massage the muscles around her eyes to keep her eyes from drying out and to help her blink. I gave her the Christian Breton SOS Eye Balm to give her some relief. She said that during it’s use, she loved the spatula that it came with to help reduce contamination, whilst giving the right amount of product for each use. It’s a beautiful and light, almost mousse like balm that goes on like silk and helped reduce her extremely dry eyelids and eye contour area. She used it during the day, but found that the blue colour looked funny especially whilst wearing it in work. For night time a thick layer was applied before sleep, and although it did cake overnight, it helped ease the dry skin and she woke to beautiful skin each morning. Paula left the SOS Eye Balm in the fridge for further relief as the cold balm was heavenly when applied.
Now that the weather is warming up, I’m adding a few more products into the mix, which I will bring to you next week. Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them?
My love for Tarte Cosmetics is growing stronger by the day, and I seem to have started quite a collection. Starting off with the Rainforest of The Sea set from QVC, it led to me grabbing the Rainforest of The Sea Skin Twinkle Palette Volume II, which I absolutely love. Whilst splurging on QVCUK, I managed to get my hands on the ultra hyped and often sold out Tarte Shape Tape, and I have been reaching for it each time I do my makeup. Why Tarte, you ask? Well, it’s cruelty free and I’m trying to be as conscious as I can when it comes to buying new makeup and whilst using up old stocks, I’m trying to find replacements that are cruelty free. Not only that, but it is only available in the UK if you buy from QVCUK so products are just that little harder to get hold off. Tarte Cosmetics do ship worldwide but there’s the customs and shipping costs and it makes a £20 concealer become very pricey indeed. That’s if you can resist and only order one thing! The good thing about Tarte Cosmetics is that they do offer free International Shipping every now and again so it’s worth keeping an eye out.
The Tarte Shape Tape lives up to every bit of hype that it has gathered since it’s launch. The only concealer that I know of that was totally sold out and then is only available to buy with a limit restriction. The beauty world is going mad for it. I’m sure you’re wondering just why it is so hyped up. First of all, it’s got a totally Vegan formula, making it suitable for everyone. Secondly, it is indestructible. Dark circles? Blemishes? The Mother of all brightening? I’ve been using my Shape Tape specifically for brightening areas of my face, and the Light shade does this brilliantly. The tube is a lot larger than I expected which counteracts the £20 price tag, and the doe foot applicator is quite bit and distributes product sparingly and evenly. I’ve not yet to have found that I’ve over applied it to my face. When it’s blended in, the Light shade really lifts and brightens the under eye area and it’s a great product to use when contouring and highlighting the face. If I was to use this for blemishes, I think Light Medium Honey would be the most accurate shade for my skin tone and it also works alongside my Tarte Rainforest of The Sea Foundation.
As with all concealing that I do, I usually set it in place using a translucent powder. I have found that with the Tarte Shape Tape that even if I forget, this baby does not even shift. It literally sets onto the skin and holds in place for hours. It doesn’t dry with a cakey finish unlike other concealers and although it’s maximum coverage, it has a certain finish to it that doesn’t look like you are wearing a ton of product like some other high coverage concealers do. I also find that if I pat it into place underneath my eyes, the settling into fine lines is dramatically reduced as opposed to using a brush.
All in all, the Tarte Shape Tape has become a firm contender in my makeup wardrobe and the only thing stopping me from ordering more is the fact that QVC only sell them in bundles with the sponge blender, and I really do not need any more blenders. I have them coming out of my ears!
As a makeup magpie, I often browse Space NK website like it’s a copy of this months Vogue magazine. Imagine my utter horror when I realised that on the Brand New page, that I had the majority of the new in products. If that isn’t being a slave to my art then I don’t know what is. There were two things missing from the list, two things that I had to get and two things that were about to send me from living comfortably to surviving on beans on toast. Luckily, I like beans on toast. Brand new for Summer, the Kevyn Aucoin Molten Metals Collection has brought six shades of glossy goodness into my life, as well as a new addition to the Neo Powder collection; The Neo-Setting Powder. A little slice of luxury, a hell of a lot of love.
I’m a total newb when it comes Kevyn Aucoin and although I would certainly love to own it all, it’s in the same league as By Terry. Slightly out of budget but a key piece every now and again can keep me happy. I’ve been eyeing up the Neo Powders for quite some time. Designed to enhance your face using light diffusing particles, varied gradient tones and the finest of finely milled powder, there are three existing powders; The Neo Bronzer, The Neo Limelight and The Neo Highlight palettes. Expanding the range, The Neo Setting Powder is a matte to glow palette with a three step gradient for creating beautifully matte skin that blends into a subtle glow. From the swatches, you can see how subtle it is, without being cakey or too heavy on the face. Each time I’ve set my make up using The Neo Setting Powder, I’ve been in shock with just how good it makes my skin look. It’s like an ethereal glow that you’re not quite sure where it comes from. A total game changer for me, and worth every penny of it’s £47 price tag. I just need to decide which other one I want next.
The Kevyn Aucoin Molten Metals Collection focuses on the six new shades of gloss with two new lip toppers to create an extensive lip wardrobe. At £24, they’re on the higher price point for a gloss, but still comparable to Tom Ford. I had to get Rose Gold, as I can’t help myself when it comes to that shade. The other shades are all variants of metals, as you would expect with the name, whilst the lip toppers Cyber Opal and Cyber Sky will add a different dimension to your look. As with any gloss, they can be worn over a lip liner or lipstick, but I find them opaque enough to wear alone. Rose gold is a perfect blend of golden shimmer in a pink gloss, and although I did think it may be slightly too pale for me, it’s actually quite a good match. Warm, metallic and intense, it stays put on the lips and although sticky, it’s not that sticky that it grabs onto your hair.
Now that I’ve started on Kevyn Aucoin, I think it’s only fair that I start to cultivate those iconic products such as the contour powder, and foundation. Oh and the mascara. And maybe another palette. Ahh I’ve created a monster! Tell me which products you think I should get next!
As a magpie for all things shiny, I seem to have garnered a highlighter collection that is verging on the ridiculous. I’ve always said it but one day, the Tin Man look will be in fashion. I can sense it. Highlighter has only become insanely popular recently, and as I’ve been a make up aficionado for decades, I can honestly say that I never been so invested in my entire life. Powder, cream, liquid – it doesn’t matter as long as the high points of my face look intensely bright and lit. A first for me, but definitely not the last, the Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops have not only been introduced into my life as well as my Mums. Treating ourselves one Sunday afternoon, I bought the Cover FX Rose Gold Custom Enhancer Drops whilst Mum got the Blossom shade. Rose Gold metallic shiny cheeks? Hell yes.
The beauty of the Custom Enhancer Drops is that they can be mixed in with foundation, moisturiser or placed directly on the skin over make up for a more intense glow. The Rose Gold drops have even replaced my old favourite NARS Illuminator in Orgasm, and I’ve been adding a drop to my body moisturiser to make my skin look really healthy and glowy. The shade range is quite good with four illuminators, two bronzers and now the three new shades; Rose Gold, Blossom and Halo. Rose Gold is a medium warm, metallic bronze with subtle shimmer. What I love about the Custom Enhancer Drops is that they can even be used over the to of powder products without going cakey or making those weird bobbles that can sometimes lie on the top of existing product. They do dry quite quickly, and I like to blend my drops with a damp Beauty Blender for a subtle sheen.
They’re also incredibly hard wearing and hold in placed. Now I’ve started off with Rose Gold, I really want to add some more to my collection. Namely Halo to wear with my new Becca Prismatic Amethyst highlighter and Celestial as it’s one of the most stunning shades I’ve ever seen in my life. In terms of the swatch, I’ve made it as dense as it will go to show the full effect and luminosity. You can see just how intense it is especially the area where it hits the light full on. Rose Gold is incredibly pigmented and can sometimes be a bit too full on for day to day wear, but if added to foundation it lessens the effect. I also have used it in place of eyeshadow for a metallic eye look, which looks so good. As only a small amount is needed, the contents are going to go such a long way, which also takes away from the £34 price tag. It’s value for money, I think!
For as long as I can remember, I have been doing everything in my power to have the whitest, brightest teeth. Short of dropping a few thousand on a mouthful of veneers, I’ve been using home and salon treatments to intensify the shade of my pearly whites. From using Crest Vivid White Whitening Strips – seriously, the worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, to the salon UV light whitening treatments, they have all contributed to two things. The first is of course white teeth but the second is the most horrendous sensitivity known to man. I’ve been trying out the Whitewash Nano Tooth Sensitivity Kit, and I have wanted to give this a really thorough trial before sharing my thoughts and feelings. If a product is promising something that will have a massive effect on so many people, I really felt that I needed to try this out until I had finished every last bit of the serum.
I was kindly sent the Whitewash Nano Tooth Sensitivity Kit which can be found on their own website, as well as some deluxe samples of their Whitening Toothpaste, Floss and Mouthwash. Within the Tooth Sensitivity Kit, a serum and mouth guard are the two simple items that you need to start your teeth on the journey to being less sensitive. I’ve actually been using my own custom mouth guard that I had made when I was using the Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening products. I must add here, that although I was using a strong whitening gel with Smile Brilliant, and a Desensitising Gel was provided, it was very rare that I used the Desensitising gel as I didn’t feel like I needed to. What I have found in the future is that my teeth are a heck of a lot more sensitive now, which I can only put down to using whitening products especially those with the UV lamps to whiten as they are known to soften the enamel in order for the bleach to penetrate. In terms of sensitivity, I’d say that my discomfort levels were around an 8 out of 10 when eating frozen foods such as ice cream and around a 4 out of 10 with hot drinks.
The Whitewash Nano Sensitivity system has been designed to prevent sensitivity as well as reduce it whilst remineralising the enamel on the teeth with the patented hydroxyapatite ingredient. Hydroxyapatite is the main component of tooth enamel so it makes a lot of sense. Inside the kit, there are instructions to shape the mouth tray to fit, or like myself you can use a custom made tray. The serum is to be used after your brushing routine, and you quite simply squeeze some of the serum into your mouth tray, insert it into your mouth and leave for five minutes. As with wearing any mouth tray, you do get a bit of dribble but it’s perfectly normal. The only thing I found to be quite weird was the need to rinse my mouth after use but any excess needs to spat out and rinsing to be avoided for at least thirty minutes. It is better to do this before bed in this case. You can also rub the serum onto an individual tooth instead of wearing the mouth tray and again do not rinse for 30 minutes.
It’s been just short of four weeks that I have been using the serum for and I have literally just come to the end of the tube. As I have been using the sample of whitening toothpaste as well, it has been quite welcome to have the security of a sensitivity serum. For the first two weeks, I couldn’t tell any difference whatsoever which is why I wanted to use it for a decent length of time. Cold drinks and food still tingled on my back teeth, so I started to add an additional bit of serum to the teeth that I was having issues with. Hot drinks weren’t so much a problem as I don’t really drink them when they’re boiling hiot, but on the odd occasion I’ve had a too hot coffee, I started to notice that the tingle wasn’t there.
Fast forward another week and I decided to treat myself to a big tub of Ben and Jerry’s. A terrible idea when you have sensitive teeth but I didn’t even think about the fact my teeth were sensitive because I couldn’t feel anything. I’m quite amazed as I do think it’s down to the extra serum I’m using on the overly sensitive teeth. Now, I’m not going to say that my sensitivity has been cured completely as it hasn’t, but what Whitewash Nano has done has started a journey of protecting my teeth from the initial zap of sensitivity and calmed it down an awful lot. I’ve also noticed that the staining that I had on one of my teeth has lifted quite well whilst I’ve been using the toothpaste, and that the enamel seems to look a bit more healthy.
It’s going to be a long process to get those perfectly white, straight teeth that people crave but if you can help things along from the comfort of your own home, then I’m all for that. Plus, if it means that I can have ice cream without worry, then I’m one happy girl.
It’s funny isn’t it, how bad experiences with skincare can put you off a brand. Back in my late teens, the Clinique Three Step Skincare regime was in the in thing, and I used it to death. My knowledge of skincare wasn’t particularly great back then and going with what my friends were using rather than listening to skin ended up with me using totally the wrong products that stripped my skin of every bit of moisture it had in it. Maybe I should have taken a step back and looked at what was happening, but I was really pleased with myself for cleansing, toning and moisturising. To say that Clinique left a bad taste in my mouth was an understatement and it took me a long time to get back into the brand. Now that I’m more aware of my skins needs, I know that I shouldn’t be cleansing with a soap, using a toner for oily skin when its actually more on the dry side, and the need for a hydrating moisturiser. I’ve started afresh with Clinique, and I’m not afraid to admit that the bad taste that I once had is no longer there.
The cult favourite Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm has been a very hyped post and in my original post from 2014, I still really didn’t get the hype at all. Since I’ve been having huge issues with my skin and have totally overhauled my entire skin care regime, the Take The Day Off Balm has made an appearance with a brand new post, and two very cute embroidered muslin cloths with my initials on them.
Starting afresh with the balm, I dived right in to see if it indeed could remove stubborn makeup such as mascara in one go. Heading into the bathroom with a full face of make up, and totally ignoring my initial cleanse with a wipe to start to dissolve the makeup, I rubbed a small amount of the oily balm across my face. Within minutes, I resembled a panda as the oil turned to milk and started to break down every scrap of makeup on my skin. After rinsing, my skin felt so clean and smooth that I was a little bit in shock. I couldn’t remember the balm ever making my skin feel this good. In fact, I remember saying that it felt horribly cloying on my face. Maybe a second chance is all that it needed.
It’s been so good, that I’ve swapped from my trusty Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and have solely been using the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm each time I have cleansed. I hold my hand up, I was wrong before. Clinique, you have converted me, and for that I’m so grateful. As is my wonderfully cleansed skin!
If you want to try the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, head down to John Lewis on the 25th and 26th May and get your free travel sized 15ml pot. There’s no purchase necessary to try it, but I guarantee that you will be back to buy a full sized one in no time.