The best of recent beauty

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The New Year is my favourite time of year for beauty as with thanks to the combination of beauty advent calendars and Christmas gift sets, it’s the perfect time to try all the recent beauty releases without it costing an arm and a leg. Not to mention a new year for many of us means resolutions to take better care of ourselves in one way or another, so I thought I’d share my current beauty favourites with you guys. So whether you’re looking for a pick me up treat to get you through the January blues, or something that’ll have you feeling good on the inside and outside, this is the list for you.

Charlotte Tillbury Matte Revolution Lipstick: Amazing Grace

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Charlotte Tilbury is a name that is worshipped in beauty right now for her beautiful packaging and her incredible quality products. As is often the way it also comes with a pretty hefty price tag, but after treating myself as an early Christmas present I can promise you that it is utterly worth it. The lipstick itself is beautifully creamy and hydrating, so perfect for those of us prone to dry lips who still crave a perfect matte finish, not to mention they’re incredibly pigmented and can be used either as a stain or as a buildable colour. It’s this idea of luxe glamour with a multi-functional element that forms the foundation of Charlotte Tilbury’s brand, and epitomises her ideal of the modern elegant woman. With icons such as Grace Kelly providing the inspiration for the colours it brings a little bit of Hollywood glamour to your everyday life, and who wouldn’t want that.DSC06041

Phillip Kingsley Hair Elasticizer

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I first gave this a go as it was one of the samplers I got in my advent calendar and after one use it has become my ultimate holy grail product. It’s intended as a pre-treatment to be applied before you wash your hair normally and I can honestly say I’ve never seen such dramatic results from a hair product after only using it once. My hair is softer and more managable and felt as if I’d just come back from the salon which is a massive win in my book. It’s the perfect solution for those of us that want the effect without putting too much time and effort in, which lets be honest isn’t that what we all want?!

Mio Liquid Yoga Bath Soak

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Due to years of hunching over tables working and unfortunately naturally bad posture from time to time like most of us I suffer from a bad back. But the good news is that this stuff is as close to a miracle cure as I think you’re likely to find. It’s a mix of essential oils, Epsom salts and minerals which are perfect for relaxing tight, fatigued muscles and reviving dry skin. Not to mention the scent is perfectly calming and will help you achieve that yoga state of zen but with a lot less work.

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Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm

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This is probably the most hyped about cleanser out there with everyone from Zoella to Lily Pebbles raving about it, so of course I had to try it out to see whether it really was THAT good. Boy it didn’t let me down. As a lazy beauty girl the idea of slapping something on my face that will remove all my makeup with minimal effort sounds like a dream, plus the fact that it’s an oil based cleanser means it’s much less harsh and drying on my already dry skin. Plus it smells so gorgeous it’s a perfect way to unwind at the end of the day and feels so gorgeously luxurious it’s definitely something I’ll be repurchasing.

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Garnier Ultimate Blends- The Sleek Restorer Shampoo

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As a member of the thick unruly hair club it’s very rare for me to find a products that actually lives up to its claims to ‘tame’ my hair, but this Garnier range actually comes pretty close to living up to it. The coconut oil and cocoa butter formula means it smells gorgeous, and since using it my hair has become noticeably more managable and softer. In combination with the Phillip Kingsley pre-treatment my hair is looking shinier and healthier than ever, and this is a much more budget friendly option with the shampoo and conditioner only costing £2.79 each!

Pixi Glow Tonic

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Another cult favourite which duly deserves its praise thanks to its beautiful scent and the way it truly seems to nourish the skin from the minute you apply it. It feels both luxurious and fresh at the same time, not to mention its perfect for those of us that suffer with sensitive skin. It’ll have you glowing from the inside and out after just one use!

Ciate Olivia Palermo Nail Polish: Hutch

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Olivia Palermo is arguably the American equivalent of Alexa Chung in terms of her impeccable style and everything she wears becoming an instant must-have. So of course when she teamed up with Ciate it was everything you’d have expected it to be; gorgeous, classic and luxurious. I will admit that other than being another prime example of an excellent Ciate polish it’s nothing overly special but I just fell so completely in love with this packaging that I had to include it.

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So that’s just a little insight into what I’ve been loving at the minute and I hope it’s giving you some ideas of things to try in the new year whether you’re on a budget, or you’ve got a little more cash to splash. As always I’d love to know what you guys have been loving this month and over Christmas, and whether you’ve tried anything on my list and what you thought of them!

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Lush Treats From Oxford Street

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The other week I was lucky enough to not only see my best friend from university, but to spend the weekend with her in London. We are both compulsive beauty addicts so of course one of our first ports of call was the flagship Lush store, and boy it didn’t disappoint! With three stores of pure Lush goodness and that heavenly smell that no matter where you are tells you there’s a Lush nearby, it was pretty much every beauty fan’s dream. Not to mention that there are new and special versions of Lush products that are available only in that store! Although I could’ve happily spent hours (and hundreds of pounds) there, I managed to limit myself to just the four of the newest and prettiest products that they had to offer so I thought I’d tell you guys what I thought in case you need some inspiration next time you’re over.
DSC05277On the shopping list: Melting Marshmallow Moment Bath Oil,

                                 Shark Infested Custard Bath Oil,

                                 Intergalactic Bath Bomb (yes that one),

                                 Milky Bath Bubble Bar.

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First up the Milky Bath Bubble Bar which is literally the bath version of a milk bottle sweet. It’s actually got milk in it, which mixed with a little orange oil and cocoa butter makes it perfect for a calming, relaxing and moisturising bath. Not to mention it makes loads of bubbles and the silky moisturising layer it gives to the bath makes it the perfect cure for dry Winter skin.22

When talking to the lovely lady in the store she noticed I’d already picked up the Milky Bar and suggested pairing it with this Shark Infested Custard Bath Oil (which fyi is one of the twenty of these oils exclusive to Oxford Street). The smell of the two of them combined is like some magical dessert of my childhood  with the milk bottle and custard smells combining to create a deliciously creamy, sweet scent. Not to mention the bath oils melt beautifully into the bath while the custard smell is so completely and brilliantly English, and the vanilla strip representing a shark fin is perfectly whimsical.

DSC05294Although I initially picked the Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment because of its remarkable likeness to a real life sweet, as soon as I realised it was the Snow Fairy scent (which is my all-time favourite) it went straight into my basket.  Although I’ve had pretty much every Lush product ever with this scent this is by far my favourite as the bath oil formula creates a really strongly scented bath, while the cocoa butter and shea butter means it’s a lot more moisturising as well.
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And finally it’s the big one, possibly the most famous Lush product to be released in recent years, the explosion of colour that is the Intergalactic bath bomb. With peppermint, cedarwood and vetivert oil it’s hard to pinpoint the scent amongst the heady scents of the shop, but once you get it home the freshness of the scent really hits you. Its invigorating scent is reflected in the multitude of colours that spread across the water leaving you with a bath that truly looks like a snapshot of a galaxy. Not to mention the popping candy and glitter enveloped in the bath bomb made it one of the prettiest and most enjoyable baths I’ve ever taken.DSC052832

I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you an idea of some of the amazing products available from the new store and I highly recommend you give it a visit and try something new. Or if you’ve already been please let me know your recomendations!

September Favourites

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Finally I’ve got round to doing another favourites post! I think this is one of the best times of the year for favourites posts as the transition from Summer to Autumn is perfect for trying new things, so I thought I’d do a round up of some of the things that have been changing my life for the past month.

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Thisworks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

Although I’m lucky that I’ve never suffered deeply from sleep problems, I’ve recently found it harder to wind down in the evenings since starting work full-time and this has been a life saver. A natural combination of Camomile, Lavender and Vetivert it smells incredibly comforting, and I’ve found that by spraying it on my pillow before I get ready for bed creates a really relaxing routine. Not to mention that by inhaling the scent as I go to sleep has left me having better quality of sleep and feeling a million times more refreshed in the morning.

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Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream

Not the most glamorous entry on the list this month but with my move to full-time work I’ve been enjoying any little pamper time I have. In true Burt’s Bees form it’s amazingly moisturising and unlike other foot creams I’ve used. It’s not sticky like others plus the coconut scent smells amazing and makes application feel incredibly indulgent.

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Cinnamon, Fig and Oak Candle

This is one I picked up in New York last year but it the flavours meant it just didn’t feel right burning it in Summer. It’s the perfect mix of Autumnal scents that combined provide a perfect warming, Wintery smell to any room, and it is one I’ve been burning regularly to get me into the seasonal mood.

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Paris Street Style

I received this as a thank you gift from the lovely girls at The Blogger’s Market but up till now I haven’t been able to put it to the use it deserves. In my attempt to create something resembling a capsule wardrobe for Winter this has been invaluable for providing inspiration and advice for classic pieces to buy that will work all season long. Plus did I mention the pictures are really preeeetty.

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Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Cherry

I’ve been really loving Burt’s Bees this month, can you tell? This lip shimmer is something that I was given as a gift, and considering I’ve never tried any of their coloured lip products before I was blown away! The pigment is amazing for a lip balm and its lasting power is really impressive, plus it does the Burt’s Bees name proud in providing a huge amount of moisture. It’s great Winter prep for those like me who need some moisture on their lips but also can’t live without a pop of colour. Now to collect the rest…

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Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation

I rediscovered this recently in my makeup stash and I’d forgotten just how much I loved it. Now Make Up For Ever is available in Debenhams I thought I’d make a repurchase as the range of colours available is brilliant, and it’s the perfect consistency for me in that it’s a medium to full coverage formula, which is buildable yet feels light on the skin. I’d definitely recommend a primer beforehand, but it’s got fantastic staying power so that I find myself needing minimal touch ups during the day. Basically it’s a win win!

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Travelling

Recently with day trips to places like Brighton and Lincoln I’ve been realising how much of the UK I haven’t seen, so I’ve been making plans to change that! I’ve never really been a fan of day trips before but I’ve realised that with a little planning they’re perfect for a kind of ‘best bits’ style holiday, so I’ve made the resolution to travel more in the next few months starting with Manchester for Halloween! So wish me luck and I’ll be sure to keep you updated with how it goes.

I hope you liked this collection of my favourites this month and it gave you some ideas of a few new things to try, and please share with me what you’ve been loving this month too!.

Summer-Proof Makeup

When it comes to Summer you seem to only have two choices makeup wise, either go completely bare-faced or strip it down as best you can so as to avoid the dreaded smudge when you inevitably wipe your face. I … Continue reading

American Beauty Recommendations and Haul

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As soon as I found out I was heading to New York I started compiling a lust list for Sephora, Duane Readed and CVS aka the holy trinity of US beauty stores. From the general views of beauty vloggers, bloggers I sought out the best of the best of the goodies that are impossible to get in the UK.

Starting with Sephora I made a beeline for the Kat Von D stand and picked up the cult Tattoo Liner and having had a good week to test it out I can confirm that it is completely worth the buzz. It’s a felt tip style liner but the slim tip and varying width means its perfect for both wide flicks and delicate looks while the slight flexibility to the brush makes it all the easier to apply. Not to mention it provides the perfect deep black that so many other liners seem to lack.

My next stop was Tarte which although is available through QVC in the UK is at a pretty substantial mark up compared to the US prices. Although I was initially tempted by the Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara I finally settled on the Lights, Camera, Lashes version as I prefered the fuller look of the brush not to mention the gorgeous fake snakeskin looking packaging. The fuller brush provides a great base coat separating lashes and with further applications it builds really nicely, all in all one I will definitely be repurchasing.

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Next I hit the fragrance and the heavily lusted after Elizabeth and James Nirvana white and black perfumes, which are very hard to come by in the UK as Sephora won’t ship it. I completely fell in love with the white fragrance which wasn’t a surprise as I’d heard it is more popular of the two, but the real mind blowing moment comes when you combine them. Holy cow it smells so good I ended up coming back with the black rollerball as well as the large version of the white just so I could recreate it at home.

Then I decided to swing by the Formula X stand after seeing a haul video by essiebutton who raved about ‘The System’ set, which combines a cleanse, base coat and top coat as well as a colour of your choice. I have often moaned about my want of salon quality nails but unwillingness to dole out for the high price tag, so I thought I would finally bite the bullet and give it a whirl, and at a price like this I couldn’t resist. And I have to say my eyes have been opened and I’m never going back. My nails look healthier than ever, they are less prone to chipping, and look so professional I would really recommend them if you want a salon looking manicure for a fraction of the price.

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Of course I couldn’t leave without picking up some bits and pieces from the minatures aisle which I’m just saying is something we really need in the UK. It’s basically a double sided little wall that marks out the queue which is filled with loads of minatures of some of their best loved products. The combination of travelling and the harsh American coldness was wreaking havoc with my skin so on the hunt for a cure I picked up this First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask which I’ve heard many bloggers like Amelia Liana rave about, as well as their Anti-Redness Serum to try and calm my skin down. I also couldn’t help but pick up a Sephora Instant Depuffing Eye Mask as well which really helped providing coolness, and drastically lessened the dark puffy circles under my eyes from the jetlag. First Aid Beauty is definitely something I’ll be checking out again as someone who suffers from sensitive skin I often have reactions to most skincare products, but the cleanser provided a great deep clean while acting gently on my skin. The serum took a lot of my natural redness out of my face, as well as making it look a lot less like I’d been slapped in the face everytime I went into the cold so a definite win in my book.

Unfortunately I missed the memo in which it was announced that Make Up For Ever is coming to the UK later this year, but I definitely don’t regret purchasing their HD Invisible Cover Foundation ahead of time. Another product I’ve heard very good things about I was on the hunt for a new foundation and was blown away by the range of colours, in particular the pale shades. As being both a complete paley but with a rose toned skin colour I find it really hard to find a foundation as I find most of them are yellow toned, but these are perfect. It comes in colours suitable for olive, beige and yellow tones, and it’s definitely one of the more universal foundations I’ve come across, as well as it being oil free yet great for dry skin. Even the coverage which boasts medium-full is brilliant for both those like me who are less keen on a heavy makeup look, but is incredibly easy to build on as well, not to mention it’ll last all day. I can’t wait for this to come to the UK and I highly recommend you guys check it out too!

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Finishing with Duane Reade I popped in to grab some Revlon bits, which is one of my favourite brands in the UK (probably something to do with the fact the Emma Stone is their poster girl). I got to get a look at some beauties that aren’t available in the UK, and after much deliberation picked up the Revlon Colourstay Overtime Lipcolour which is based on the same sort of concept as the Maxfactor Lipfinity, but boasts a 16 hour stay time and boy does it deliver. Even with my obsession of the Bourjois Rouge Edition lip stain this provides a much longer stay power, and well as an incredibly high pigment. It feels slightly strange when you first apply it, but once it’s absorbed it feels as natural as a lip tint. The pressed powder was a slightly less impulse buy and more of a need for some powder, but this last minute purchase actually turned out pretty well as it’s incredibly finely milled and provides a very slight glow, which is a great alternative to most powders which seem to wash me out.

I know this has been a bit of a wordy post but I hope this has helped some of you if you’ve been thinking of trying some of these products or brands as I would highly recommend them, and I only hoped I could have gotten more! I will probably cave and end up placing a Sephora order soon so I would love to hear your recommendations on new products or even new brands for me to try!

Makeup for “No Makeup Days”

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You know those days when you’re not feeling so fresh so no makeup isn’t an option, but you don’t want that full face heavy foundation look either? Well fear no more as this is the ultimate compilation of my top picks for those low key skin makeup looks.

Starting at the lowest of the price range we have the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream which is £7.99. This only comes in Light or Medium colour options but although this may seem incredibly limited it doesn’t actually matter as the formula is so light it blends in well to the skin and just leaves it with a general glow while hiding those mild blemishes. This isn’t perfect if you suffer from extreme spots or blemishes and I usually find myself adding some of my favourite Collection 2000 concealer under my eyes, but gives a brilliant subtle dewy glow.

A slight step up at £9.99 is the Bourjois 123 Perfect Colour Correcting cream which I mentioned in my June favourites a while ago, but it’s just so great it’s become a firm favourite in my makeup bag. Its main selling point is it’s 3 pigments which help target fatigue, redness and spots and it has to be said it gives the best concealing coverage of any BB or CC cream I’ve used. It still feels incredibly light on the skin whilst giving impressive long lasting coverage. I have never usually been a fan of Bourjois face makeup as it’s usually way to dark for my skin and like the Maybelline it only comes in four shades, but the lightweight formula again means it blends so well into the skin that it suits way more skin tone than initially appears.

At the high end of the price bracket we have the Dior DiorSkin Nude BB Crème which was my casual birthday present to myself as it’s £30 which is a lot for a BB cream. Although I would be more inclined to recommend the Bourjois one if you’re looking for a heavier coverage, this is absolutely the best cheat I’ve come across achieving that flawless skin look. Everytime I’ve worn this I’ve had people commenting on how great my skin looks without thinking I have foundation on, which for me makes it worth every penny. Although I have found that the Maybelline goes on best with fingers, the Bourjois with a sponge, this I feel is worth the extra effort of using a stippling brush to just go the extra mile in getting that flawless finish. So what are you waiting for, get out there and glow!

The Only Cleanser You’ll Ever Need

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I am notoriously picky when it comes to skincare as I have dry patches, oily patches as well as a severe sensitivity to the majority of products, even when they pride themselves on being for ‘sensitive skin’. So much so that I now find my self shiftily appraising products on the shelf with some sort of skeptical judgement that I reserve solely for skincare.

But after a revolution which began with the much famed Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser, it showed me there was a light at the end of the skincare tunnel. But is also unfortunately caused me to have to make peace with the fact that I was going to be relinquishing over £15 on skincare every time. This high price tag has meant that I have as a result become very stingy when buying products, so when I came across Vichy’s Normaderm Tri-Active Cleansing 3-in-1 it skyrocketed to my must have list.

With its ability to be used as a cleanser, mask and scrub it’s there for all your skin cleanser needs, not to mention it performs equally great in each form. With a price tag of £11 I think it’s ridiculously cheap considering how much you’d usually spend on 3 separate products, and most importantly IT GENUINELY WORKS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN. This is due to its soap-free, paraben-free and alcohol-free formula which means it works for both spot and acne prone skin as well, so seriously come on what are you waiting for, it’s the time for spot free skin!