Wednesday, 29 January 2014

January Favourites

It was a challenge, but I really had to narrow down this months beauty favourties. I've been loving so many products lately that I was finding it difficult to choose just a handful for this post! These are the final five that made the cut.

Topping my list of favourites this month has to be the REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask (£18). I mentioned in a previous post that I received this mask as a Christmas present after it being on my wish list for so so long. This detoxifying clay mask works to purify the skin and unclog pores of grime and debris, leaving it looking healthier and more clear. I have been using this a lot to help my congested, oily skin and my complexion has been looking more balanced and healthy because of it. I love REN skincare, their products just work so well and are so effective. 

For me, one of the worst things about winter is that I rarely ever moisturise anywhere but my face because it's just too cold. Saying that, I have been making more of an effort lately by using The Body Shop Vitamin E Body Lotion (£8). This velvety, light lotion moisturises my skin leaving it feeling beautifully soft, smooth and hydrated. It absorbs into my skin like a dream and the scent is so subtle and heavenly too. It's an all round winner. 

I have rediscovered some old favourites this month in the form of the Lush Tea Tree Toner Water (£3.95) and the Charles Worthington Mirror Dazzle Shine Spray(£5.49). I have started using the toner most days and nights to ensure my skin is free of any remaining traces of dirt and oil. Tea tree oil has so many benefits for oily skin and I love how clean and refreshed my skin feels after I use it. I often pop this in my bag when I'm out and about to instantly freshen up my skin to. 

The Mirror Dazzle Spray has to be one of my favourite hair care products. My hair is pretty shiny already, but this just creates the most incredible metallic shine and leaves my hair glistening. It also smoothes away split ends and flyways, adding that finishing touch to my hair. I highly recommend this product, it's truly amazing and so affordable!

Lastly, my skin has been adoring the Clarins Lotus Facial Oil (£30). I have been using this without fail every night, it's light and absorbs beautifully into my skin giving my complexion a sheer and radiant glow. I see so many good results from using this facial oil, my skin always looks so much more hydrated and healthy. It truly is such a lovely product to use and smells divine too.

Have you tried any of these products? What have been your favourites this month?

Monday, 27 January 2014

MAC Impassioned Lipstick

I've been a little bit in love with this MAC lipstick ever since purchasing it a few weeks ago, which isn't surprising as I'm a pink lip loving kinda girl. I own quite a few MAC lipsticks and I'm amazed that it's taken me this long to discover this lovely shade. I'm always searching for the next pink lipstick to add to my ever growing collection and it's fair to say that this one could be my new favourite.

MAC Lipstick in Impassioned (£15) is a creamy, intense lip colour described on MAC's website as 'amped-up fuchsia'. I adore everything about this lipstick, the shade is so cheerful and pretty and really stands out against my fair skin. I love the way the formula applies beautifully to the lips, it glides on so smoothly leaving the most amazing colour and making my lips oh so soft. 

This is a very bright shade, but it's so me and I always seem to be drawn to these stunning colours. I have always felt uncomfortable and too done up wearing heavy eye make up, so I have always opted for a bold lip instead. I feel it suits me more and wearing bright lip colours always work wonders to perk up my complexion. 

I personally believe that the MAC lipsticks are some of the best, they definitely top my list as they do a wonderful range of so many lip colours, plus the formulas are fantastic too. 

What do you think of this lip colour?

Monday, 20 January 2014

Morning Skin Care Routine

My morning skin care routine has had a slight make over lately. It's so unlike me to use the same products every morning as I love trying and discovering new products, but lately I seem to have settled for this little routine. My skin has never looked better and I know it's down to these amazing products.

My morning routine always starts with my cleanser of choice, the Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash (£18). I have so much love for this cleanser, it gently cleanses both dry and oily places without cancelling each other out - perfect for my combination skin. It's packed with lovely skin friendly ingredients such as Broadleaf Kelp Extract, which works to break down dirt and discourage excess oil production, while Wheat Protein balances and protects dry zones. My skin adores this as it always feels so refreshed and awake after use. My skin was very dull and congested with clogged pores on my nose and chin before I started using this cleanser, but it has worked wonders unclogging my pores of debris and grime and making my complexion look brighter and healthier. I've just recently purchased my third tube of this face wash and I really can't recommend it enough, it's one of my favourite skin care products.

I follow this with Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil Free Toner (£15) to remove any remaining traces of dirt and oil. This is formulated to reduce excess oil without stripping the skin of vital moisture, leaving my skin feeling instantly fresh and healthy looking.

Next, I moisturise my skin with the Korres Wild Rose 24-H Moisturising Brightening cream (£20). This is one of my favourite moisturisers, not only does it feel wonderfully hydrating on the skin, it gives my complexion the boost it needs resulting in a lovely radiant glow.  It absorbs into the skin like a dream and smells heavenly to. It's an all round winner. 

I also like to use the REN T-Zone Balancing Day Fluid (£26), a mattifying fluid that leaves my skin looking more balanced and clear. This product is lovely and light on application and works to purify the skin while helping to control excess oil production. This really helps to keep my complexion looking shine free and is one of the best mattifying skin products I've tried. 

Then it's a job for the Clarins Eye Revive Beauty Flash (£29), an eye cream that has been my saviour in the mornings lately. This little wonder releases toxins to minimise dark circles and reduce puffiness, while illuminating my whole eye area making me look more bright eyed and awake. This is one of the only eye creams I've tried but I adore it and I love the results.

Lastly, I have been trialing the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat (£13.50). This is the most recent addition to my morning skin care routine, and it aims to minimise the appearance of pores and shine by reducing excess sebum. I apply a small amount of this to my nose and chin as those are the areas of my face that suffer from enlarged pores. My skin feels so much smoother after applying this, I've still to notice a change in the appearance of my pores but I am happy with the results so far.

What products are in your morning skin care routine?

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Davines NOUNOU Nourishing Repairing Mask

I'm not bragging at all when I say this, but I was blessed with a good head of hair (thanks mum). I've always been pretty good when it comes to caring for my long locks, mainly because I have been colouring and straightening my hair for years now and I want to maintain it's condition and keep it healthy and strong.  Of course, no ones hair is perfect and my hair can become very dry at the ends and break easily.

Hair masks are probably my most purchased product when it comes to hair care as I feel they do the most good and can completely transform your hair over time. I spotted the Davines NOUNOU Nourishing Repair Mask (£16.94) on Cult Beauty, I'll be honest and admit that it was the weird name that really grabbed my attention at first (ha), but after reading about the brand and their range of products, I decided to treat myself to the hair mask.

Packed with natural anti-oxidants and protective properties, plus olive butter and cherry oil to soften and intensely moisturise, this tub of goodness is designed to restore dry and brittle hair, leaving it soft and nourished. I apply this mask evenly through my hair after towel drying and leave it to work it's magic for fifteen minutes. It's not too thick, making it so easy to dispense through the hair. This does everything I hope for in a hair mask, leaving my locks soft, healthy and manageable. My hair wasn't in bad condition before, but it does feel so much stronger and I've noticed less breakage at the ends. While I do like this product, I'm not so keen on the smell. Saying that, I'm prepared to look past it's odd scent as I'm so pleased with the results.

What's your hair mask of choice at the moment?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The New Additions: Clinique, REN and Korres

As a skin care and make up obsessive, there's nothing I love more than discovering new products. I had been lusting after all of these for a while now, they were at the top of my ever growing wish list and I was lucky to receive them as Christmas presents this year. I've been obsessed with all four of these lovely products for the past few weeks now and I don't think there's a day that's gone by where I've not reached for more than one of them.

It has just come to my attention recently that I am slowly building quite the collection of REN skin care products. Every product I have used from the brand has yet to disappoint and they are forever helping with my skin troubles. 

The REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask (£18) is a detoxifying clay mask aimed at combination/oily skin types.My skin can become very congested and oily, and this mask has worked wonders by purifying my skin and unclogging pores. In the past few weeks since I've introduced this mask into my skin care routine, my complexion has been looking clearer, smoother and more toned. It has quickly become one of my favourite face masks to use when my skin is in need of a bit of rescuing.

I've really been feeling Clinique make up lately, so I was pretty pleased when I received the Airbrush Concealer (£18)  and a Chubby Stick Intense Moisturising Lip Colour Balm (£17)It's safe to say that this concealer lives up to it's name, I absolutely adore it and I am amazed at how well it hides my dark circles and other imperfections.  I am forever searching for the perfect concealer that will hide my shadows and I have never found one that I would consider repurchasing until now. The liquid formula of this little wonder is so easy to work with and blends beautifully into the skin, concealing and illuminating my whole eye area. You can really build coverage effortlessly with this one also without it looking too heavy or cakey. This has been my saviour lately, I can't recommend it enough!

I received the Chubby Stick in the shade Roomiest Rose; a super lovely and wearable bright pink shade. This is the kind of colour I would have picked for myself as I find that bold pinks really stand out against my fair skin and dark hair.  I love how moisturised these Chubby Sticks leave my lips, making them look soft, kissable and glossy.

Lastly, the Korres Wild Rose 24-H Moisturising Brightening Cream (£20) is a lovely, light moisturiser that is both hydrating and oil absorbing. This absorbs into my skin like a dream whilst completely transforming my complexion, making it look radiant and glowing. 

Have you tried any of these products?

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Illamasqua Powder Blush in Tremble

I received some really lovely make up pieces this Christmas, including this beautiful Illamasqua blusher (£18) in the shade Tremble. This is the first product I have used from the brand and in the past few weeks since i got it, I don't think I've reached for anything else.

I adore absolutely everything about this blush, the packaging is sophisticated and elegant, and the colour is just oh so pretty. This is the sort of blush shade I always go for as these bright pinks just look so beautiful and flattering against my fair skin and dark hair. They almost make me look a bit doll like too which I love. I use the Real Techniques blush brush to lightly sweep across my cheeks to create a lovely understated, soft finish. You can really build on the colour with this one, so I can create something a bit more daring depending on the look I'm gong for. 

I can't rave about this blusher enough, it's the perfect everyday blush in my opinion. Illamasqua do a wonderful range of shades, a few that I have now added to my ever growing wish list.

Have you tried Illamasqua blushers?


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Simple Everyday Make Up

I really love experimenting with makeup and trying different looks, even though I always opt for a minimal, low maintenance one. Wearing the same make up day after day is very unlike me as I'm always changing blushers and lip colours to create something a little different. Lately though, I seem to have settled for using a handful of the same products in my make up routine that I'm pretty pleased with and I'm loving the results.

I always prep my skin first with the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (£25). Smashbox are well known for their primers and  have an impressive range to suit every skin type. I use the light version, which is suited to oily skin types. I'm on my third tube of this stuff and it is truly amazing; it leaves my skin with a silky and smooth matte finish that lasts all day and keeps my make up looking fresh. I follow this with the Benefit Porefessional (£24.50), my favourite primer for minimising the appearance of pores.It works wonders, and feels so velvety smooth on application.

For my base, I am loving Benefits Hello Oxygen Wow Brightening Make Up (£25.50). This foundation is very light and gives good coverage that leaves my complexion looking fresh and natural. I don't need too much coverage as my skin is generally clear, so the light coverage that this foundation offers is perfect for my skin.
I then used a little bit of the Laura Mercier Secret Concealer (£18.50), it's great for covering dark circles and any other imperfections, and has great staying power. 
I finish my base with a sweep of the Chanel Natural Finish Pressed Powder (£33). I have purchased this powder  over and over for years now and tried others, but none have ever compared to it, it's my all time favourite. There's just something so luxurious about using a Chanel product and this finishes off my base perfectly, leaving my skin looking matte and luminous. 
I kept my eyes simple by applying a few coats of the Eyeko Black Drama Mascara (£18). I can't recommend this mascara enough, it's truly amazing and I've had so many compliments on my eyes since I started using it! It volumises, lengthens and defines my lashes like no other mascara I've used. I then curled them with the iconic Shu Uemura eyelash curlers which give my lashes that added 'wow' factor, and keeps them curled all day. 
After this, I perfected my brows with the incredible Anastasia Brow Powder Duo (£17). I love using this on my brows and I honestly can't imagine using anything else. It works wonders at creating really full brows that look natural, while also defining and giving them a wonderful shape.

Lastly, for colour I went for the Bobbi Brown Blusher in Pale Pink (£19). I absolutely adore this blush, the colour is just so lovely and makes me look a bit doll-like.I admit it looks very striking, but it blends in beautifully to create a pretty flush of colour. It's the perfect everyday blush in my opinion and looks so flattering against my fair skin. I teamed this with the L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick (£7.99) in the shade Dating Coral, which is super lovely and moisturising. I am so in love with this colour as it's just so wearable and understated.

What do you think of this look? Do you prefer a minimal make up look?


Saturday, 4 January 2014

Hopes and Dreams for 2014

I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and write one of these posts myself as I have loved reading others and I find them so inspiring. I'm not one for making new year resolutions, but I think it's good to start the year on a positive note and focus on things you want to work towards or change.

Get my blog off the ground

I have been following blogs for years now and starting my own is something I have wanted to do for some time now.  I finally got around to it two months ago, it's far from perfect and there's still so much to learn about the blogging world, but I'm enjoying it and it feels good to have a creative outlet. I feel really motivated to push myself and work really hard on it, and I'm looking forward to this time next year to see how far I've come and reflect on everything I've learned.

Visit new places

I have always been so fascinated by other cultures and exploring new places. In the past few years I've been to Thailand and Japan, and last summer me and my boyfriend Marshall travelled to Orange County in California to visit his family. We spent a month there and it was one of the best holidays I have ever had, I am so desperate to go back, the California lifestyle suits me! We won't be able to make it over this summer sadly as we moved in together a few months ago, so all our money is going towards decorating our little flat. We are planning on taking a trip to Paris or Berlin at some point this year though which is exciting.

Make the most of my time

I hate it when I'm sitting around on a Sunday night and I look back on my week and it feels like all I've done is go to work. Saying that, I am guilty of just wanting to come home after a long day and cuddle up on the couch with the cat and cup of tea (ha), so I have no one but myself to blame here, but I do need to make more of an effort to do fun things, make plans and see friends and family more. I'm such a homebody!

Work harder

I honestly can't remember where I read this, but one of my favourite quotes is 'If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll only get more of what you've already got.' I don't mean to sound cheesey, but this quote really changed my life. It's one you can apply to any aspect of your life (and I have done) that you're not happy with and want to change. I am fairly happy with everything in my life at the moment, but of course there are things that I would like to change that require a fair amount of effort, time and hard work. I can be pretty lazy and lose motivation easily when I feel like I'm getting no where with something, whether it be working on a blog post or applying for jobs. But I find that this quote really motivates me to keep working hard.

Stop stressing and worrying so much!

One of the things that annoys me the most about myself is how stressed out and worried I can get, even over the smallest of things. If I had a pound for every time my boyfriend told me to calm down and stop stressing out I would probably be a millionaire by now. Generally I'm a pretty happy and easy going girl, but I can get easily annoyed and over think things, which makes me stressed. It's the way I have always been and it really does me no favours, so I need to find a more constructive way of dealing with stressful situations. More often than not, the things I stress and worry about work out fine anyway and I've wasted my time worrying over absolutely nothing!

What do you hope to achieve this year?

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