Friday, 28 February 2014

The nude and natural lipstick favourites

Nude and natural lips, an essential to throw on with a smokey eye or to make you feel a little more 'put together' on minimal makeup days. I have an abundance in my collection, but there a few i reach for more than others.

The sheerer options: Soap and glory sexy mother pucker gloss stick in nudist wins the top spot for best everyday 'throw on without even looking' option and rudest name of the bunch. It's a sheer, glossy formula that falls perfectly into the your lips but better and peachier category and it's one i often keep in my bag as its so darn handy. Mac 'freckletone' lipstick is another great sheer option if you want more of an actual 'lipstick'. It's sheer and glossy, but still has enough pigmentation to alter your natural lip colour. It's a gorgeous nude with strong peach undertones which satisfies the peach lover in me greatly. It's the one i wear with smokey eyes, always.

The proper lippies: Next up, the proper lipsticks. These all pack a punch in the pigmentation department. Starting off with my all time favourite Nars 'toledé' lipstick. This a a great natural looking lipstick for slightly warmer skintones like mine, or more of a browny pink on lighter skintones. On me this is my perfect 'your lips but better shade' which i throw on if i have no idea what lipstick to wear. It's a matte formula but still buttery and hydrating, and a slight sheen so it doesn't look to out of place on minimal makeup days. Love. If your feeling fancy, the YSL rouge volupté in 03 is one of my favourite evening nudes. It's highly pigmented and glossy, making it much less natural but beautiful all the same, especially with smokey eyes. It's a browny pink toned nude, far from the dreaded concealer look you normally get with pigmented nudes. And finally, a drugstore option. The Rimmel moisture renew lipstick in notting hill nude is very similar to the YSL option, but slightly lighter and more peachy. It has the same glossy finish and really packs a punch in the pigmentation department, which is surprising for such an affordable lipstick. The only problem is it doesn't last very long on the lips and does tend to transfer easily, but for the price i cant quibble. 

The lone gloss: Finally, a single gloss. I'm not a huge lipgloss wearer, i much prefer glossy lipsticks if i want a sheen to the lips, but this one has become a staple in my muji drawers. The Clarins instant light natural lip perfector in 06 is a gorgeously pigmented and glossy gloss, without the stickiness of most. Don't get me wrong, i do still find my hair getting stuck in it on really windy days, but it feels nice and buttery on the lips, and isn't a huge problem in normal weather situations. The colour is a brown nude colour, but its sheer enough that the natural pink in my lips makes it more pinky-nude in tone. Definitely recommend.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The budget buy: Revlon grow luscious mascara

Mascara is something i don't ever worry too much about, i was hooked on the L'oreal volume million lashes for over a year and didn't see that changing, til one day i decided to try something new instead of repurchasing. Revlon grow luscious was added to the basket, and i'm rather glad i made this descision!

Now i must say, my eyelashes are pretty dark and thick anyway, but they arent the longest and theres always room for fuller lashes! What's great about grow luscious is that it's so easy to get the look i desire. One coat and i get the look in the picture above: Long, full lashes without being too much for a simple everyday look. Two coats, and you've got yourself even fuller lashes, a smidgen more length without being spidery, all without any clumps and the perfect look to complete a smokey eye. It stays black all day, and although it's not waterproof, provided theres no heavy crying it never smudges - perfect! At £10 it's not the cheapest drugstore mascara, but i don't see myself trying out a higher end mascara now i have this, so it's very very affordable in comparison!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

'Barely there' blushers

'Barely there' blushers, something i deem an essential in anyone's makeup collection. Such a blush is able to give you a sheer wash of colour to perk up the face, whilst subtly sculpting at the same time. I have a few of these in my collection, they are the perfect option for minimal makeup days, and a great partner to a smokey eye. In this post I've detailed my favourite 'barely there' blushes, here we go...

First up, the pinky browns. Probably the most 'barely there' of them all. Tarte amazonian clay blush in exposed and Nars blush in douceur both do a great job of imparting a subtle pink flush to the cheeks, whilst majorly sculpting at the same time, in a natural way. They're actually almost identical, post in the works. Above i'm wearing Exposed, look how gorgeous it is! This kind of shade would work great on the very pale up to my skin tone, although it may look a little ashy on darker skin tones. Another way to go would be to wear a straight up brown - Mac harmony blush is my favourite. It's the colour i use to contour when i want something subtle and warm, and i often find myself bringing it up onto the cheeks a little for a bit of colour, as it's such a pretty shade. 

The pinkier options, next. Not everyone is too keen on a brown tinged blush (not sure why), hence a few pinkier choices being thrown in there for you to choose from, arent i nice! My favourite subtle pink blush to throw on is Natural collection blush in peach melba. Don't let the name fool you, peach melba is actually more of a light dusty pink colour, quite subtle but still gives you a lovely flush, and it can definitely be built up for more colour without looking powdery. It's cheap as chips, so there no reason not to have one in your stash! If you fancy something a little more shimmery, then Becca mineral blush in flowerchild is the way to go. Its similar to a subdued version of Nars deep throat - it still has the same peachy pink properties and a gorgeous shimmer running through, but its more on the pink side of things and a little lighter. I have to say i didn't think i'd love it, but i'm smitten! 

So, are you a fan of the barely there blush look? 

Monday, 24 February 2014

Ren max moisture concentrate

Ah, REN, you've done it again. I've come searching for something to help my skin in a time of need, and you've delivered. Back at the beginning of winter my skin was feeling particularly dry and parched, and not knowing how long i had had my bottle of hydraluron lying around, i went off to space NK in search of a replacement. Enter: Ren max moisture concentrate.

Ren max moisture concentrate is suitable for all skin types, but aimed at those with particularly dry or dehydrated skin. It aims to dramatically hydrate and replenish the skin, in turn leaving it looking plump, and feeling baby soft. It includes hyaluronic acid, an ingredient we all know and love for its skin plumping properties, along with soyabean lipids, rice germ oil and a couple other bio extracts. Now, this all sounds great, but unfortunately it does contain alcohol - not an ingredient you'd want to see in a hydrating product. None the less, i still find it does a great job at giving my skin that little extra boost of moisture. The consistency is also something to note, its a thin milk kind of texture, and it does take a while to work in, but once it is it feels light and refreshing on the skin. Something i found a little odd about hydraluron was its sticky texture which i wasn't a huge fan of, so this is much better for me. All in all, this is a wonderful little product for giving my skin an extra boost when its feeling dehydrated, but it hasn't 100% blown me away. I do however think its a great simple product to use if like me you just need a little extra hydration than your moisturiser alone. Me being me i think i'll be on the lookout for another hydrating serum once its all used up, simply due to the alcohol content and being a bit of a product floozy!


Sunday, 23 February 2014

A outdoorsy sunday outfit of the day

Polo neck: H&M // Jeans: Topshop joni jeans // Faux leather jacket: Topshop // Faux fur gilet: Topshop // Tartan scarf: Ebay // Boots: Asos

So, not your typical 'outdoorsy' outfit, but i'm not talking a hike here. Today i went out into my local woodland area and took some snaps for my photography project, and whilst i was there i thought i'd take the opportunity to have a more interesting background for once, so with the help of my good ol' dad, i bring you an outfit of the day. Comfy and casual, but still suitable for my trek to town afterwards. I'm loving paring my denim jacket with this fur gilet, not sure why i've never worn them together before! Three fashion posts in a row, wow! I will be back to beauty blogging tomorrow, i've just been distracted from writing reviews apparently!

Whats your sunday been like?

Friday, 21 February 2014

The style post | Pull & Bear printed sweaters

Since seeing the coveted Whistles printed sweaters, i've been on the hunt for cheaper yet still great quality alternatives. On my weekly asos perouse, i saw some printed sweatshirts from a brand called 'Pull&Bear' and, intrigued, i went onto their website to see if they had more. They did, hurrah! I added far too many to my basket, and after whittling it down i came away with these two beauties. You can find the white one here on asos but unfortunately i cannot find the black one!

The quality of these isn't spectacularly amazing, but they are soft and really comfortable, and they wash really well which is a huge plus. Ranging from £15.99-£19.99 they're also incredibly affordable, and i may already have my eye on a few others...

The rest of their items are beautiful too, they have a large range of on-trend pieces which are very appealing to me and my simplistic tastes. I'd definitely recommend taking half an hour out and having a browse of the site, i can guarantee at least one thing will work its way onto your wishlist!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

A monochrome outfit

Textured top: Topshop // White coat: Topshop // Skirt: H&M // Necklace: H&M // Lipstick: MAC morange

Ah, a monochrome outfit - surprise surprise. I've come to realise that black, white and grey are basically the only colours i ever wear and feel comfortable in, but this summer i'm determined to bring out some prints! Today i ventured out on a shopping trip with my mum to pick up some beauty bits i'I've been lusting over - I have loads of features planned and needed a few more products to prep and i am so chuffed with what i got! I spent a little over what i planned but hey, who can ever stick to a budget?

I basically haven't taken this coat off in the past couple of months. When i first got it i was so scared to wear it for rear of ruining it, but so far there have been no disasters *touch wood*. It goes with literally everything and makes an all black outfit seem less dull. This skirt is another item i just seem to be wearing most days. I picked it up from h&m a week or two ago, and I've probably worn it about 6 times already! It's not something i usually go for, but its really flattering and pairs well with all the jumpers and long tops i own. So cute and it was only £12.99 - bargain! 

Just a quick little note, but i wanted to let you all know about some things I've been up to! I'm currently selling a few pairs of jeffrey campbell's and some other bits over on my ebay here, so i'd love it if you could check it out. I've also relaunched my website, cryptic cult clothing. There are a few new pieces which i'm really proud of and the website's brand spanking new, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

New Revlon Colorburst matte & lacquer balms

Now, i'm sure you've already heard a ton about revlon's new release, but i thought hey, why not put in my two cents. Revlon has recently extended their chubby stick balm range to include 10 new matte balms, and 10 new lacquer balms. After a long swatch session at my local boots, i came out with the shades tease, standout and sultry (pictured in that order). Here are my thoughts...

The new Revlon colorburst matte & lacquer balms are very different from their balm stains, in that these are much more pigmented, and non-staining. The matte balms are the most pigmented out of the types, with a buttery soft formula and subtle sheen, which stops them from being drying or overly flat. The lacquer balms are sheerer but still very pigmented, and leave your lips with a gorgeous glossy finish without any stickiness. They have the usual minty scent which i really do not like, but i guess it's good for freshening up! My favourite shade has to be sultry, as its a great everyday shade for me for when i don't fancy a nude. Saying that, i can see myself getting a lot of use out of tease come spring-time. Then of course everyone needs a red lippy - how could i not pick it up? 

The pencil style means that they are ridiculously easy to use on the go, and they apply like a dream. One swipe over the lips and you have opaque colour which will last a good few hours without fading. The matte balms last a lot longer on the lips than the lacquer's, but that's usual for these types of formulas. All in all i'd definitely recommend checking these out, there's a shade for everyone in the range and i'm currently having to stop myself from buying more...

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Nude ProGenius treatment oil

An oil is a step i make sure to include in my evening skincare routine at least 3-4 times a week, as they really do significantly improve the skin. For the past 6 months or so i have been hooked on the Nude ProGenius treatment oil, and here's why.

The ProGenius oil is rich in omega 3, 6, 7 & 9, all ingredients we know of but not much about. They work to regenerate and repair, boost collagen, protect against environmental damage, plump up the skin, add radiance and they also act as an anti-inflammatory. Amazing! The oil is slightly thicker than most oils I've tried, but it sinks in quickly and whilst you can still slightly feel it on the skin, it in no way feels oily or slippy so your skin definitely gets the most out of it.

In the morning i can instantly notice a difference in my skin. It's plumper, softer and more hydrated along with having an gorgeous natural lit from within glow. Over time I've also noticed that these effects are starting to stay with me long term, so even if i go a couple days using something else, my skin still feels more plump and glowing than before i started using this product. At 58 pounds its by no means cheap, but i'd definitely repurchase it in a heartbeat when it runs out as the effects are unbeatable by any other oil I've tried. Any skin type can benefit from an oil, so i'd even recommend it to those with the most oily skin, but those with dry or dehydrated skin will instantly see an improvement in the hydration levels of their skin after using it!

Monday, 17 February 2014

In the spotlight: Nars

Nars has quickly worked it's way up to being one of my favourite brands, and it's easy to see why. They have an amazing range of blushes, eyeshadows and lip products, all of which are of amazing quality and pigmentation, and their base products are some of the best i've found in terms of colour match, finish and longevity. They are a little expensive, but i'm happy to spend the money Here marks the start of a series, where i put one brand in the spotlight, and let you know my thoughts.

Most loved products: 
Pure radiant tinted moisturiser - A hydrating light base which still gives a great dose dose of coverage and disguises redness and discolouration amazingly.
Radiant creamy concealer - High coverage but feels lightweight, natural satin finish, works on blemishes, dark circles AND redness, doesn't cake, crease or fade.
Powder blushes(Gina, amour and douceur in particular) - Great colour selection, soft finely milled texture, amazing pigmentation and lasts a fairly long time on the skin.
Laguna bronzer - The best multi use bronzer, works well for contouring, bronzing and dusting all over due to warm brown but not orange colour, finely milled texture and being almost matte.
Eyeshadows (palettes in particular) - Some of the best eyeshadows i've tried. They have a brilliant colour selection, with the shadows all being highly pigmented, soft and easy to blend. The palettes always have an amazing colour selection with colours which allow you to create an endless amount of looks.
Toledé lipstick - Hands down my favourite everyday lipstick. It's a gorgeous nude-pink with enough brown tones that it suits my skintone well without being too light like most nude pinks. A creamy and highly pigmented texture with just the right amount of shine to make it non-drying. 

Not too keen on products:
None. They're all too good.

I'm already keen to expand my nars collection, so in the next haul expect to see a couple new additions from the brand...What are your favourites?

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The weekly roundup #4 & 5

It seems like my weekly roundup posts are becoming Fortnightly these days, so i may just turn this into a monthly rounup kinda thang! Who knows, maybe that'll start in march so you don't have to hear me babble every week? So, whats been up with me lately...

I FINALLY got myself an iMac after longing for one for the past couple of years. I finally found myself a bargain of a mac on ebay and snatched it up before it went, and i couldn't be happier. This laptop is on its last legs and a desktop is just what i need to make my life oh so much easier - now to learn how to use iMovie!

I got my hair cut after a couple months of forgetting to book an appointment. Nothing drastic, just an inch or so off the bottom and the layers blended in more. Hopefully after a couple more cuts my layers will be all grown out, wahoo! 

A lovely jubbly valentines meal with the boyfriend went down (as shown on instagram, just look at that gorgeous meal!) We cooked alfredo together which we always used to make and it was our best one yet. Need it again ASAP!

I got myself some more monochrome essentials in the form of some pull&bear printed sweaters and h&m bargains. Seriously, i bagged myself a skirt, a bag, some trousers AND a necklace for less than 40 squids?! Get yourself down to h&m, now. Adding them into my wardrobe has been a joy.

Me and the weather are NOT getting along. After gale force winds and having my umbrella snapped in half it's safe to say i'm fed up of winter. When is spring going to come along?! 

Hows your week been?

Friday, 14 February 2014

Wishing for...

Beauty wishlist feb

I'm trying to be good, i really am, but there are just so many amazing thinks which i want (read: need). A couple of months ago i made a whimventory account which allows me to save everything i'm lusting over onto clickable wishlists, so that i can check on them and see if i really want them, and also prioritise my purchases. It's so useful! Here's what i'm currently wanting a hell of a lot, and will be purchasing as soon as possible...

Tom Ford lipstick - Just because. They're beautiful. The packaging is so luxe, the colours as all so me, and i'm a lipstick addict craving a splurge.

Nars velvet matte lip pencil - Similar to before, i'm a lipstick addict. Nars velvet matte lip pencil's are some of the best around for long lasting colour, which is something i definitely need as i'm all about low maintenance. Nars is also my favourite brand and i'm eager to try more!

Nars light reflecting setting powder - This sounds great for setting my makeup in the mornings, as it mattes everything down whilst still leaving a bit of glow, and it's the perfect kind of product for setting concealer. I have a couple powders which are great for mid day touch ups, but not so great for setting so this is a must!

Clinique all about shadow palette - I'm crazy for palettes at the moment, they're just so easy to use as you don't have to faff about finding colours which will work together. They ALL work together. This palette is very different from the ones i own as it contains some warmer shadows which i love.

Aurelia miracle cleanser - I'm coming to the end of some of my balm/evening cleansers so i'm in desperate need of a new one, this one by aurelia sounds great so it'll definitely be the next i try out. This year i'm really going to make an effort to try more brands as there are so many great ones out there!

Hourglass ambient lighting blush - I'm still deciding on the shade, but i do know that i need one of these! I'm head over heels for the ambient lighting powders as they set makeup perfectly whilst blurring imperfections and giving you a beautiful glow, so a blush with the same theme sounds wonderful. 

Canon EOS M - I'm in dire need of a smaller yet still high quality camera! My canon 600d is great for filming and blogging, but when out and about i'd love this for taking outfit posts, filming lookbooks and general lifestyle posts. Who knows i might even vlog every now and again! Once i've saved up some money i'll be looking into buying this little beauty.

Jo malone candle - I love candles, they're just so relaxing and considering i spend a lot of time in my room, i like to have ones which will create a nice relaxing atmosphere. Jo malone candles are meant to be one of the best for throwing their scent, and the selection they have is truly great. A jo malone counter has now opened up relatively close to me, so i'll definitely be giving them all a wiff and giving one a go - maybe a perfume too as my birthday is soon!

A long black coat (monki version pictured) - I have a fluffy black coat from topshop which is great for the really cold days we often incur in england, but it's not the best for styling. It's black so it should be relatively easy, but the fluffy texture means it doesnt look quite so right with patterns or other textures, or with more dressy items. For this reason i'm in dire need of a more simple, streamline black coat, and a longer one would be preferable as there's just something about them which looks so fancy! I'm currently lusting over this one from sheinside but its sold out, boo :(

There we have it, some things i'm lusting over. Maybe my boyfriends or parents will see this and feel extra generous...Heres hoping!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Shopping the stash #1

Shopping the stash. Something i should really do more often. 

Its easy to get stuck in a makeup rut or just get into a routine of using certain products - for me it's usually that i'm opting for a quick and minimal look so hate to bother looking through my entire collection. This year i've made a concious effort to 'shop the stash' more per say, and try and get use out of every single product i own. If not just to use things up, so that i can make monthly favourites a little less samey!

The bumble and bumble surf spray is one which i loved for volume and texture when i first got it, but when the oribe dry texturizing spray came onto the scene it got forgotten. When re-locating my haircare/bodycare i dug it up and gave it a go, and i must say it really is great! Not so much for root volume, but its great for giving hair a lightly textured, tousled, beachy look which is nice and subtle for everyday. Another one which i used to love was the becca shimmering skin perfector in moonstone. This product is the king of multi use glow givers. It can be used as a primer, mixed into foundation or used as a highlight, AND it has some skincare benefits and SPF in there too, wowzers! In the summer i loved using this under my foundation and as a cream highlight, but i then found the jouer highlighter for cheekbone duties and the laura mercier primer in radiance has taken over as glow giving primer of choice, so again, this one was long forgotten. It gives such a warm, natural glow which we all need in the winter time, meaning there's less need for highlight afterwards - but heck it has that covered too if needs be. Another summer base favourite was the Kevyn Aucoin sensual skin tinted balm - again, replaced (by the nars pure radiant tinted moisturser of course). This is a much thicker product than other tinted moisturisers i own, and it has the ability to give a much higher coverage without being cakey, but it can be sheered out too.  I used this the other day and it is a really beautiful, natural looking base, but i do think the shade is too dark for me in winter! Lastly are too which i've always loved, but have been neglected somewhat. Nars gina blush is my all time favourite blusher (its a true peach which really flatters my complexion and goes with ANY makeup look), but for some reason it's been replaced with pinks in my quest to wear pink more...Anywho, i've recently been using it a lot more and wondering why i ever needed to deviate! The Urban Decay naked 2 palette is a long term love of mine, but seeing as its just so well known i tend to stray away from it to trial other things. It's a really gorgeous palette with a ton of wearable shades for a simple daytime look or a full on smokey eye, and every time i use it i remember just how much i love it.

Do you have any products you just don't get enough use out of?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Wearing (and pulling off) pinks & reds

Bright and bold pink and red hues aren't for everyone, and the main thing i hear is that people don't think they can pull them off. Bright, bold colours are my favourite to wear but they aren't always that wearable or can just look a little out of place. Let this post be a tool, a little friendly helper if you will, in helping you find the best way to wear pinks and reds which suits you.

First up, i always think to pull of bold colours you want a flawless, glowing base. Of course if you're going for the more natural hues then something a little more sheer will work, but in general this is my rule. I tend to start with the laura mercier primer in radiance, follow up with the bobbi brown skin foundation, georgio armani luminous silk or something similar, then top it all off with a dusting of an hourglass ambient lighting powder. Add a bit of highlight on the cheekbones (the jouer one is my fave) and you're good to go. 

In the lip category, there are a ton of lip options you could go for, although i think opaque, true reds suit everyone. The new revlon matte balm in standout is a great choice for a punch of highly pigmented, matte colour, whilst still feeling hydrating on the lips. I feel like the colour is much more of a muted red so its great for daytime wear. They seem to last pretty well through light eating and drinking too which is a plus! If you want something glossier but still with a high amount of pigmentation, then the rimmel apocalips in big bang has you covered. Then there's the obvious choice of a mac lippy - russian red being my favourite out of their reds due to its not too cool or too warm tone and buttery texture. Then if you're feeling luxe - there's chanel. Pictured is rouge coco no.19 gabrielle, a pigmented yet sheeny red with a subtle shimmer running through which makes you're lips look pout perfect. To perfect a red lip, a lip brush or a liner is a must! I tend to go for the latter, as i find it much quicker and helps the lipstick to last longer, so i get lining with the mac pro longwear lip pencil in kiss me quick, a gorgeous true, slightly deeper red. An alternative to a red lip is a red blush - sounds strange but i love wearing nars liberté blush if i want to wear a red toned makeup look, as it imparts just the right amount of red whilst still having an element of peach and bronze in there. perfect for daytime or evening wear!

When it comes to pinks, i feel like there are a lot more options. Sheers, mattes and bolds are a plenty. For a sheer option, i love mac lustering - a pretty warm toned pink with a slightly glossy finish, giving you a hit of colour without it being too much. For a drugstore version, the bourjois colour boost in fuchsia libre is a gorgeous warm vibrant pink. A bold pink lip can be a real statement and a lot more fun and girly than a red, and the nars satin lip pencil in luxembourg is the perfect choice. Luxembourg is a highly pigmented deeper pink with a glossy yet not overly glossy finish which sticks around for yonks and leaves behind a stain. Then there's the well known mac offering of girl about town, a cooler, more vibrant pink which would work well on the most pale all the way up to the deeper skin tones. If you're more feeling blush then i have a few i reach for when i'm wanting a bright complexion - the kevyn aucion creamy glow blush in liquifuschia being the pop of colour, the max factor creamy blush in soft pink being the natural everyday, and the nars blush in amour being the powder offering to pair with smokey eyes. And last but not least, if you can get hold of it, i recommend trying the L'oreal infalliable pigment in amber rush for a golden pink tint to the lids.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The video | 100th video - Makeup collection and storage!

Yesterday's video marked my 100 video milestone, so to celebrate i uploaded my makeup collection & storage which has been highly requested lately! This may be helpful to any fellow bloggers as i've organised my collection to aid my blogging and make reviewing products so much simpler. 

Whats on my face #6 | Valentines day edition

Todays makeup turned out somewhat romanic and 'valentines day themed', but still stuck to my general 'minimial as possible whilst still looking put together' day time requirements. Therefore, this post shall be named 'Whats on my face, valentines edition'. Fresh, glowy skin with good coverage but still natural looking, lightly flushed cheeks, subtle purple tinted eyeshadow and a deep purple-pink lip. Cute. 

FACE: Becca shimmering skin perfector in moonstone, Kevyn aucoin sensual skin tinted balm, L'oreal lumi magique concealer, Nars radiant creamy concealer, Chanel les beiges n.30

CHEEKS: Tarte amazonian clay blush in exposed, Nars one night stand palette highlighter

Eyes: Nars smudge proof eyeshadow base, Nars ashes to ashes eyeshadow, Revlon grow luscious mascara, Hourglass brow sculpting pencil, Elf wet gloss lash and brow clear mascara

Lips: Yves saint laurent rouge pur couture no. 54 (looks sheer as i applied a lot of lip balm beforehand!)


Sunday, 9 February 2014

The winter nail polish edit

Now, I don't wear nail polish all the time. I mean to, but then i just forget. Or maybe i'm just lazy. Probably the latter. Anyway, i thought i'd compost an edit of my go to winter polishes which grace my tips when i do end up reaching for a bottle.

An obvious choice, but there's a blackened hue polish which has truly grabbed my attention. Essie Luxedo is a gorgeous deep true purple shade which appears almost black in the bottle and when built up more than a couple of coats. I love this as it's so chic and just goes with every outfit. Another love, but slightly less obvious is Chocolate cake by essie. I've already reviewed it here, but in short, it's a deep reddish brown shade which looks great with one coat as a sheer wash of woody colour, or built up to a deep blackened warm red.

Onto the paler tones, and theres something about nudes and muted pastels which makes them perfect for winter. Essie Parka perfect is one which i didn't really think i'd get along with, but boy was a wrong. It's a dull pastel blue shade with a tinge of grey and a subtle shimmer running through which just adds dimension and catches the light all pretty. It's an unusual shade, but i love it all the same. On a similar, muted polish vein is OPI Barefoot in barcelona. Barefoot is a Darker nude/pink shade with a hint of brown to it which makes it very effortless and chic. I love it as it makes the nails look very minimal, but is very different to the usual mannequin like nudes. Lastly is Essie Sand tropez, a pale beige nude which can look slightly mannequin-esque, but in a good way. There's a slight hint of grey to it which makes it a lot more wearable, and i just love how it blends in to my fingers and looks very minimal, meaning i don't have to worry about it clashing with my makeup or clothing choices. A winner all round. 

What are your favourite shades? I already have a few more on my wishlist...


Saturday, 8 February 2014

The lazy girl edit - Swipe and go eyeshadows

If you're a girl like me who's pretty lazy but loves makeup, then you probably have an abundance of products which aim to make you look polished with minimal effort. Swipe and go 'shadows are something i reach for almost daily, when i want a little suttin suttin on the eyes but don't want to spend an age blending and building and blending. 

First up, the creams. Cream shadows are extremley easy to work with, as you don't even need a brush, just dip, pat on and you're done. My favourites are the Clinique chubby stick for eyes in fuller fudge, a gorgeous golden bronze which instantly gives you some definition. Another product along withe same colour vein is the mac paint pot in eclair. Now this one was limited edition but there may still be some hanging around counters, and if you ever see one i highly recommend you pick it up as its the most gorgeous deep golden bronze shade with a lot of warm which makes the eyes look defined and sultry in one swipe. Last of all is one mainly suited to evening wear - the laura mercier caviar stick in plum. Plum is a gorgeous deep purple shade with a hint in bronze to it which you can only really see when you sheer it out. Its a lovely shade to wear as an alternative to bronze as it's not too in your face but still adds a bit of colour. 

Onto the powders and i have a couple that i love to sweep on my lids in a hurry. The first, amber rush, is probably my favourite but also the one which is a very new shade to me. I usually shy away from anything too pink, but this is a gorgeous champagne pink with a bit of warmth to it which really brightens the eyes and flatters my skintone. I think you can only get a hold of this in the US, so lucky you if you live stateside! The next one is my first foray into body shop make up, their colour crush eyeshadow in 'melt my heart'. Melt my heart is very similar to amber rush, but less pink and more bronze. It gives you the same wide awake look which i love and pairs amazingly with a plum lip. These eyeshadows are amazing quality for the price, smooth and easy to build up the colour. Mac also do amazing eyeshadows, i could spend hours swatching away and coming up with eyeshadow looks. For a one wash look i love to sweep on woodwinked, a gorgeous shimmery light bronze/gold shade which looks gorgeous on any skintone. It's subtle but can be built up and looks great as part of a smokey eye. The other i love, satin taupe, is as the name suggests a gorgeous taupe colour which can appear more brown in some lights. It's the perfect cool tone eyeshadow if you don't want something too grey. Finally, and current everyday favourite is Nars Kalahari eyeshadow. Mine is part of the 'And god created the woman' palette which was limited edition, but this shade is definitely the one which i use the most out of the palette as its an extremely wearable purple toned light bronze, kind of like a purple toned version of woodwinked. Swoon. 

There we have it, the lazy girl eyeshadow edit.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Oskia renaissance cleansing gel

Oskia is a brand that has always intrigued me, being stocked at Cult Beauty i just knew it was going to be a good'un of a brand. For christmas i received a couple of my most lusted bits from the brand, and one of them has already become a firm staple in my routine - enter, the Oskia renaissance cleansing gel.

The Oskia renaissance cleansing gel is exactly what i have been searching for as a morning alternative to a balm - It's a kind of gel-balm hybrid which melts into a light oil once massaged into the skin, making it perfect as a morning winter cleanser for anyone with slightly dry, dehydrated or lackluster skin (or even combination!). It includes a range of skin loving ingredients including Pumpkin Enzyme which purges pores and dissolves the bonds that bind dead cells to skin’s surface, in turn making the skin softer and brighter along with Vitamins C and E which are known for their amazing restorative properties and also work to fortify and protect against free radical and environmental attack. It also contains Oskia’s signature MSM which detoxifies, soothes and reduces inflammation. It all that doesn't sell it to you then i don't know what will. My winter skin is dull no longer since this has been added to my collection, and tight skin after cleansing is a thing of the past. Every morning post cleanse i'm left with deeply cleansed but hydrated, softer, brighter skin, on par to that of a long 10 hour sleep or facial. Which I obviously have not had. Heck - i even use this in the evening sometimes it's that darn good!

It's £32.50 from cult beauty which is quite a purse-weeping sum, but the bottle is big enough to last a good few months, and boy is it worth it.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The style post | Wax coated jeans

 Coat: topshop (old) // Jumper: zara (old) // Jeans: river island (sale) // Boots: topshop // Watch: Miss selfridge

Ah, jeans, the comfiest things on the planet. Jeans are a daily staple for me, and what i immediately run to if i know i need something comfortable and easy to wear. Wax coated jeans have become my new favourite, as they add an element of chic and make you look a little less casual. I also love playing with textures and this is a really simple way to do so. I got mine from river island in the sale for £25 which i thought was a bargain, but topshop do a very similar version which you can find here. I'd definitely recommend adding a pair to your wardrobe if you're a hardcore jean lover like me. This post is part of a new series i'm starting called 'The style post' where i focus on an individual style staple in my wardrobe, let me know if you like this idea! 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation, Oh you.

Oh Bobbi Brown, you've done it again. First you wowed me with your correctors and concealers, and now a new base product has stolen my heart. The Bobbi Brown skin foundation is what i'd call the perfect every day foundation - a lightweight foundation with light-medium but buildable coverage and a natural satin finish, which gives you a healthy 'lit from within' glow. When applied with my preferred method (hands) it blurs all imperfections and corrects redness whilst blending in perfectly to the skin. On top of that, i find this lasts a good 8 hours on me, long enough so that unless i'm going to be out for a considerably long time, i can skip primer. It's comfortable all day on my relatively dehydrated skin, which is something i always look for. As an added bonus it has SPF 15 which is great for days when theres no sign of the sun (although i always like to wear separate SPF if its sunny or i've used chemical exfoliants). I have the shade 4.5 warm natural which is a perfect match for my slightly yellow toned skin. The only downside is that it clings badly to my eczema on my top lip as i can't exfoliate away the dry skin there, but if you don't have this problem then it should be all fine and dandy. This foundation has made it's way to the top of the ranks and will definitely be staying there for a long time.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

A palette addiction.

You may be able to tell from the title of this post and from the above picture that i have been rather spendy lately when it comes to palettes. And apparently Nars. Since purchasing the re-released limited edition palette 'And god created the woman' i just haven't been able to stop myself. To cut the story short, this was going to be my sole palette purchase for a while, but then along came news of the 'NARSissist' palette which i obviously snapped up immediately after having a minor heart attack from realising it has been taken off the site for a day. (Note to all others who have had mini heart attacks - it's being re-released on the 1st.) After this rather expensive purchase, i was definitely DONE. But no, the 'One night stand' palette just had to catch my eye and after nearly purchasing it on ebay for ridiculous amounts, i knew i had to buy it there and then when i noticed it had been brought back out for spring. 

I would try and justify my purchases, but i don't think i really can. I guess they'll be great for travelling and mean that i won't have to bother with a ton of product lugging? Yeah. That's a good reason. Anyway, the purpose of this post was to let you all know that i LOVE all three of these palettes, and would definitely recommend them. The shade selections available in each palette and the quality of the powders is amazing, i can definitely see them being stand out products to me for the next few months at least. Almost all of the shades in each palette are permanent, so you can but the specific shades you love instead rather than buying the whole palette option. How handy. Due to my addiction realisation, i will be filming 'the perfect palette tag', so stay tuned for that, it should be up in the next week or so! Unfortunately the 'One night stand' and 'And god created the woman' palettes have sold out again, but you can find them on ebay here and here (if you want them that badly).

Let me know your palette favourites, i already have the naked 3 and new clinique palette on my wishlist. Someone stop me.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Three looks with the Nars NARSissist palette

A week ago i shared my thoughts on the beauty that is the Nars 'NARSissist' palette which you can read here, so the obvious follow up would be to show you some looks I've been creating with it so you can make a judgement on whether it's worth spending your pennies (it is). A neutral palette filled with 15 eyeshadows ranging from pinks to bronzes to purples to deeps, i set myself a task to create three different looks for different occasions.

The dark lip partner - Using Nepal all over the lid, Bali in the crease and Fez in the outer corner.
This look is a simple smokey eye to pair with a dark, bold lip. In person it really did not look all that dark, it just gave the eyes some definition and colour. I love this look and think it's very daytime appropriate and easy to wear, but would also look equally as great in the evening if you don't want to wear anything too heavy. Ps. please excuse the eczema on my top lip!

The everyday look - All about eve #1 all over lid, Ashes to ashes in the crease and Madrague #2  in the crease to blend.
This look is an extremely simple everyday look using pretty pinks and purple hues. I love this look and definitely think its something i'll be wearing more in the spring! I filmed a get ready with me for this look over on my youtube channel which you can watch here.

 The bronze smokey eye - Fez all over the lid and mekong in the crease
This final look is a smokey, dark, bronze look perfect for the evening (although i actually wore it in the day!) These two shadows were some of the most buttery and pigmented, so you need hardly any product to build up the intensity. Unfortunately i had no time to take these photos before going out, so this is after a few hours of wear!

Overall, i absolutely love this palette and i'm so glad i bought it. Nars eyeshadows are some of the best i've tried in terms of colour and texture, and although the texture of a few of these shadows is a little harder to work with, the outcome is still beautiful and they last well on the lids. These looks i've created are only a few of the ones you could create yourself, not to mention the fact that some of these shadows work well one as a wash of colour. This palette should now be available from most Nars stockists, so grad one before it's gone!
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