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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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!

Dear Santa, For Christmas I would really like…

142324So my favourite time of year is almost upon us and after compiling my picks for both the boys and girls in your life, I thought I would share the top items I’m hoping for Santa to put in my stockings this year.

I am a massive fan of mugs, to the extent that I could probably have every single person I know round for tea and have the perfect mug for each of them, but that doesn’t mean I need to stop now, does it? This is to cute and as a suck for a fairy tale love story I can’t help but fall for this adorable H&M mug and who knows it might bring me my own Prince Charming in 2015!

Having maintained this blog for 6 months now (where has the time gone?), I have realised just how much I have been enjoying it and now really want to get my hands on some proper hardware to take it to the next level. I have everything crossed that I’m super lucky and find this awesome Sony under my tree, especially just in time to take some great photos in New York!

Now every year in my family we have a tradition that on Christmas Eve we get a new pair of pyjamas and these Christmas pudding ones are the best I’ve seen to make sure I wake up on Christmas morning in the most festive mood ever! Not to mention I will definitely be dropping hints that they’re now on sale!

Ever since I saw these on a Zoella video a few months ago I have been completely in love. I think they are the classiest, prettiest, girliest most beautiful headphones I’ve ever seen, and if it wasn’t for the (ahem) slightly steep price tag I would’ve been the proud owner of these for a very long time. But hopefully I’ve been a good enough girl to receive these this year, especially as they would make that 8 hour to New York so much nicer and stylish!

As you can probably tell travel and comfort presents are a bit of a recurring theme in my list this year and this gorgeous Mango jumper fills both of them. I am an absolute jumper obsessive during the winter months and although I put myself on a jumper ban this year, this totally doesn’t count as a) it’s cream and I don’t have a cream one and b) definitely doesn’t count if you don’t buy it, yes?  Pretty awful excuses but if you can’t be ridiculous at Christmas when can you, plus it’s also on sale (cough).

As a reknowned foodie but also beauty junkie this book seems like the perfect mix not to mention it will hopefully make 2015 a healthy one. Everyone I know who has this absolutely raves about it plus there’s always something nice about chilling out with something to read on Christmas day after you’ve eaten your weight in food.

After I have literally just admitted to my beauty junkie ways it’s probably no surprise this has surfaced on my list. One of the must have makeup kits of the year and adored by beauty bloggers everywhere this has had a firm place on my list since I first heard about it. As a massive fan of the Naked palettes, this to me is the perfect combination of everything you need on a night out in one cute little package and considering how much you get in it I think is incredibly good value as well!

Stereotypical girl present right here but who doesn’t love a candle and even better an adorable initial candle! From Kate Spade’s Saturday brand (which is somewhere I’m definitely heading when I’m in New York) it’s super cute and the perfect addition to add to my new house when I move next year!

Another one in the way of planning ahead to moving is this adorable tea towel, which at £2.99 is by far the cheapest item on my list, and although is incredibly boring, is hands down the cutest one I’ve ever seen. I hope you all get everything you want and more for Christmas and if you’ll excuse me, I’ll now resign myself  to my tea towel spinsterhood 2015. 🙂

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.

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!

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!

Winter Haul

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So am I the only one that thinks that as soon as the calenders turned to October it suddenly became winter? I decided that with a change in weather comes a change in wardrobe, so with my student card in tow I hit up my top 5 stores and prepped myself for the onslaught of rain and cold in the best way possible.

So first things first, jumpers. Topshop is my ultimate one stop shop for these as they always have a massive variety of colours, sizes and patterns so I went for these two adorable ones; one that gives a pop of colour and whimsy that Winter most definitely need, and this because it was SO SOFT!

Next to stock up on was the winter warmer accessories so I went with a black beanie, wide brim hat to take care of those bad hair days and these boots to provide protection against puddles.

Zara is another great place for Winter staples and I picked up this adorable top which combines my three loves; collars, stripes and statement jewellery. It’s the perfect mix for casual cute daytime looks or an evening date, which definitely helped justify this purchase.

Also am I the only one who’s found that the yearly long hard slog for a new winter coat has been made extra hard this season, considering everything seems to be a parka or a super long? Well fear no more as when I came across this miracle of black wool gorgeousness it was a match made in heaven. It sits just above the knee, and is the perfect mix of fitted while loose enough to fit a jumper underneath, so yep, perfect.

Miss Selfridge is not a usual haunt but recently has been winning me over especially with this cute 90’s crop top, which may not be the most sensible winter option but it was just too damn cute to say no. And by wearing it with these high waisted black jeans makes it the most uber flattering, day to night outfit for even the most low key of girls.

To finish up my wardrobe reformation I picked up from ASOS this adorable heart necklace, which will add a perfect glam update to any winter jumper, and this statement necklace from Zara for a fancier look. Finished with this perfect winter nail from Essie and my ultimate berry lip from Nars, and come rain or shine you’re ready to look your best no matter what!

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?!