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!

July Favourites

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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!

Only Time Will Tell With Hourglass’ Blush Palette

WP_20141107_11_21_38_Pro WP_20141107_11_22_18_Pro WP_20141107_11_22_42_Pro WP_20141107_11_24_08_ProFor my birthday the other week I was lucky enough to receive from my extremely generous friends the BRAND NEW Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette! Up till about three months ago I hadn’t even heard of the brand but after a chance encounter at the Space NK counter and a casual swatch or two, I fell in love. I can honestly say I have never in my life felt any pressed powder that is that creamy and soft on the skin.

While I saved my pennies to reach the £56.00 price tag, Hourglass brought out their blush version of their famous Ambient Lighting Palette and some sneaky friends of mine realised that they could kill two birds with one stone, and give me not one of the blushes, I had lusted after but three!

One of my favourite parts of Hourglass’ blushes is that due to the swirled nature of it, every single blush is unique. Not to mention the pigment, oh the pigment. I decided to use the darkest shade of the palette as a bronzer, picked up the amount I would usually use, and ended up with tiger stripes across my face! Seriously less is definitely more in this case, but use with caution and it will create the most beautiful glow. Incandescent Electra is the coolest toned of the three providing a perfect light pale pink highlight, with Luminous Flush providing the warmer typical pink toned blush. Mood Exposure (aka the tiger stripes culprit) being the warmest of the bunch would be a great holiday beauty blush, but for me it is being solely reserved as a bronzer alternative.

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Not to mention the packaging is incredibly preeeeetty? I’m a sucker for anything rose gold and this palette is flawless, definitely deserving it’s expensive price tag but it is worth every single penny. And with it being the run up to Christmas, you never know, if you’re good you might be able to persuade Santa to pop one under the tree.

Smoky Stories Just In Time For Halloween

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Halloween is one of my favourite times for makeup shopping as it is the one of the only times of the year where you can go as out with makeup so outrageous, it’s usually only reserved for magazine covers or sci-fi films. Over the years the smoky eye has become the crux of my scary makeup look, but as even the most seasoned makeup pro will know, sometimes experimenting with colours and perfecting that smokey eye can be a challenge and a half.

That’s where Bourjois comes in to save the day with their brand new smoky stories palette. From blue to purple to green, as well as the traditional grey and black I was completely spoilt for choice. The palette is split into four colours with each performing a crucial function for the perfect smoky eye, to highlight, define, prime and shadow. Not to mention the base shade has a built in primer with it just to ensure it maintains it’s 12 hour hold. With instructions on the back it makes the whole thing pretty much fullproof and although I’m to addicted to my mac brushes, it comes with a two-pronged eyeshadow brush which does a pretty good job by itself.

But the biggest upside of it all is that it’s only £7.99 which is way more cost effective than buying eye shadows seperately. With the eight shades to choose from there is quite literally one for every single Halloween costume going, the hardest thing is to decide which one!

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!

The Bronzer That Will Keep You Glowing All Autumn Long

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I’ll admit until I started properly getting into makeup in the past two years I thought bronzer was the devil. I had seen too many bronzer gone wrong scenarios when the dirty streak look had appeared and was convinced that I, as a pale ginger, was the epitome of who bronzer was not made for. Not to mention the fact that I’d never been able to find one to fit my skin tone. But oh how wrong I was. With my Birchbox a few months ago I received this bronzer from Collection 2000 and I’ll admit although I am usually dubious of the cheaper makeup brands in terms of quality, but after experiencing the greatness of their lasting concealer, I had high hopes for the brand.
From the outlook, the mix of darker browns with peachy pinks, as well as the stereotypical warm tan colours of typical bronzers makes it look a lot less daunting to a bronzer virgin like myself. So I armed myself with my favourite MAC 168 brush I set about applying it to my cheekbones as well as around the corners of my face, chin and neck. And it was great. I mean really, really great. The mix of colours in the palette means that instead of one block colour swatch, it mixes together to create a more natural looking contour on the skin, not to mention the pigmentation is perfect to make it easy to build depending on how strong a sculpted look you want.                                                                                                                                         But the best part of the whole thing, is the fact that when I went back to buy another after having finished my first one, I headed to Boots to find it was £2.99. So whether you want to keep your tan looking fresh or whether you just want a little bit of a holiday glow, with a price tag like that what are you waiting for?!

Lets Do The Time Warp Again- Rocky Horror Picture Show MAC Collection

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I remember the first time I ever watched Rocky Horror Picture show, I was shocked, confused but most importantly obsessed. Full of time travel, sweet ingenues, murder, science and tranvestites it was like nothing I’d ever seen before. If you haven’t seen the film I highly recommend it, just because it’s one of those films so unlike anything else that even if you hate it, you’ll be glad you saw it.

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Considering it’s firm placement in pop culture history, not to mention the dramatic makeup looks featured in the films, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for a makeup collaboration. But to celebrate its 40th anniversary MAC Cosmetics have teamed up to release the collection just in time for Halloween on October 2nd, to ensure your crazy scientist transsexual, colourful, crazed time warper or ghoulish Riff Raff looks will be perfected come party time.

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With prices ranging from $17.50 for lipsticks and lip pencils, to $44.00 for the eye shadow palette, as well as the range featuring everything from pigments to powders and blushes, there’s something for everyone. No news yet as to whether it’ll be available in the UK stores but fear not it’s available online so until then you’ll just have to “shiver with antici…..pation”.