Monday, 22 December 2014

#4 Makeup Crush Monday | Charlotte Tilbury lip cheat 'Pillow Talk'

The Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in 'Pillow Talk' has become a slightly iconic product since it launched along with the brand just over a year ago. I heard makeup artists and beauty bloggers talking about this 'must-have' item but I wasn't overly interested as I NEVER, ever line my lips unless I am wearing a bold bright lip colour so a natural lipliner for me is a bit MEH. I then saw Zoe wearing it in one of her 'about-to-go-out' makeup photos and her lips looked so I thought I would infiltrate this 'perfect nude lip' gang.

The next time I was in town, I popped along to Selfridges to pick one up. They do other shades of 'lip cheat' (5, if you want to be precise) but this is, for me, the most natural lip-coloured. If you are buying for yourself then check the other shades against you as you may have paler/darker lip so this may not necessarily work for you...Iconic Nude is also a great shade and very popular.

I am obsessed with the texture of this lip pencil, and have not got anything quite like it: they are very soft and waxy, almost velevety in finish. This makes is easy to 'cheat' and overdraw your natural lipline and it sits on the skin really well and stays on without's transfer proof and waterproof! I already have quite plump lips so I don't go too overdrawn, it's more to slightly enhance my cupid's bow and to also even up my lip shape. Not everyone has a strong lip line so it just gives you a really good starting place when wearing colour or even if you just want to use this lip line and nothing else, that works perfectly.

I tend to use this first all over to line my lips then smudge it in and over my lip to give a stain-like effect. I will then use a really natural no-lip colour colour such as my L'Oreal lipgloss 'Juicy Rose'.

Pillow Talk is £16 and available online and also in-store @ Selfridges London & Birmingham....Manchester too now I think??!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Winter Skin Treats | Tinted lip balms.

Winter skin = Dry/chapped lips. It just comes hand in hand so get on top of it before the flakiness really creeps in. A tinted lip balm is a great alternative to a pigment-rich lipstick in the colder months which can accentuate your dry lips or simply make it worse. With a tinted lip balm, you get that burst of hyrdation and hit of one. 

MAKEUP ARTIST TIP: Often you will get on-set to find a model has really dry lips and you need to sort them out PRONTO! To smooth and exfoliate chapped lips quick and effectively, I use a lip scrub all over the lips, then take it off with some cotton wool with water, and add a really nourishing balm, such as Dr Lipp. If the lips are still a bit scaley then I simply exfoliate again straight over the Dr Lipp which adds another step of hydration.

There are so many to choose from so here is a handful of my favourites, from budget to high end....super sheer to a bit brighter:
Maybelline Baby Lips (£2.99)
A great budget tinted balm, with 8-hour hydration and SPF20. This is one of my favourite shades and packs quite a punch of colour (no pun intended) of a pastel blue-pink.
Benefit Cha Cha Tint* (£14.99)
One of the more expensive choices of lip balm but worth the extra cash splash. This leaves a beautiful coral hue and contains mango butter & sodium hyaluronate to nourish and hydrate. I want to collect the other shades from Benefit!
Burts Bees (£4.99)
Great for natural skincare lovers and this is probably the BEST value for money. High street prices for a really great quality balm that leaves lips really nice and hydrated. Pink Blossom is a really natural 'lip colour' shade that just looks like you have really natural, nice-coloured lips!
Lanolips Lemonaid (£9.18)
This is a super rich hydrating lip balm with a tint of pale shimmer. Contains organic lemon oil to  naturally exfoliate the lips to leave them super soft & medical grade lanolin to keep lips really hydrated and drenched with sheen. Has slight tingley sensation because of the lemon oil.
Origins Drink Up (£16)
This is probably the most 'lipgloss-like' formula that I use that has a really light tint of colour. Contains avocado oils and apricot kernels to deliver hydration. I see that Origins do a bunch of shades in this, but can't seem to see which colour this is?! Think it was a limited edition breast cancer one.
PIXI Shea butter lip balm (£8)
As the name suggests this hydrates with Shea butter and also contains Vitamin E. I think I got this one in a Birchbox recently...and have been using loads - the colour is quite punchy and it feels like I am wearing a lipstick as opposed to a gloss. Check out the other shades that PIXI do, as I think they have a great selection!
Barry M Core Blimey (£3.49)
I thought this would be a lot softer in colour than it comes out - don't you think from the photo of the lipbalm / lips almost look like they aren't the same colour. A pleasent suprise though as I love this pastel pink barbie shade and it leaves a nice trace of sheen on my lips. Also contains SPF15.
Rimmel Keep calm and  Lip balm (£2.99)
Not THE most hydrating out of all of the ones that I use, but I just really like the nude finish of it. It just slightly tones down your natural lip colour.

DIOR Lip Glow (£23.50)
This is my third tube of this and I have used it for years - love it! It has a lovely glossy finish and this balm, looks pale pink in colour in the bullet but then will add a depth of colour to any lip tone with some clever colour-adapting technology. I tried it on the back of my hand and it turns a completely different colour!
Soap & Glory Mighty Mouth (£8)
This feels more glossy than balmy but leaves a beautiful naked pink finish on my lips and contains over 70% moisturisers to leave lips drenched in hydration. I also like the squeezy tube application which I find quick and easy to slick on when I'm on the go.
 Just basically realised I've shown you 50 shades of pink pretty much - but I love each and every one for different reasons! I think if I had to choose my top three it would be the Dior LipGlow, Burts Bees and the Maybelline Baby Lips. What is your favourite colour and do you have a favourite tinted balm for when your lips feel dry?

Monday, 15 December 2014

#4 Makeup Crush Monday : Eyeko Brow gel.

 This Eyeko brow gel is this week's MakeupCrushMonday...why? I use it EVERY single day to perfect my brows, and have done pretty much since I discovered this maybe a year or so a go. It has a teeny mascara-wand/ spoolie type brush that is great for grooming through and capturing the tiniest of brow hairs. It has a translucent brown tint so will pretty much work on all brow colours, and on very pale blondes, will  add a touch of depth and deepen the colour. For my dark brown brows, I use it as a final step to brush up my brows so they look slightly messy as opposed to having no texture in the brow. It neatens up unruly hairs and then dries so they hairs will not budge for the rest of the day. 

On top of this , the paraben-free formula is protein enriched to fortify and maintain healthy brows ; Eyeko Brow Gel is formulated with Botanical blend of Keratin and Gingko Bilabo to condition and thicken the eyebrows. This little tube isn't just a pretty face!

It's the best and my personal favourite brow gel I have ever used, and am on my third tube already. Eyeko costs £18 and is available in Space Nk's, Selfridges, a few other selected retailers and also loads of places online such as Beauty Bay, ASOS and Birchbox.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Handpicked Christmas | £100 and under.

 This is the fourth Christmas gift guide I have collated and now it amps the shopping up to the more luxe and pricier items, for those special people in your life. If you budget is around the £100 mark, then take a look at the items below including some beauty must-haves and some other random giftey things. If this is a bit above budget, then please check out my £10 and under, £25 and under, £60 and under guides for inspiration and ideas.

[1] This Works 'I have a Dream' set (£75) The ultimate unwind collection for anyone who needs to de-stress, relax and take some indulgent 'me time'. This is on my personal wishlist, I have used their candles for years and they are gorgeous. [2] UGG Alena slippers (£100) These waterproof suede moccasins are not only super snuggly but they are pretty darn cute to look at. [3] Magnitone Lucid cleansing brush ( £69.99) The cheaper alternative to a Clarisonic and just as good. This handheld waterproof cleansing brush can be used in the shower, with any cleanser to brighten, deep cleanse and lightly exfoliate the skin. Comes in an array of colours to choose from. [4] Chanel Coco Noir Eau de Parfum 50ml (£75) ....Just because every girl needs a touch of Chanel for Christmas and this is not only a beautiful oriental fragrance, but it will spruce up any dressing table [5] Charlotte Tilbury Mesmerising eye kit 'The Dolce Vita' (£75) Dolce Vita is my ultimate quad from this brand and with a few other handy tools, the sensual smoky eye is only a few swishes away. [6] Illamasqua 'The Ultimate Skin Trinity' (£70) The holy grail for a perfect base and I can personally vouch that the Skin Base foundation is incredible! Here, you can choose your hydra veil OR matte (primer), a skinbase foundation and a skinbase lift concealer all for just £70 which is a saving of £9.50. [7] Diptyque Feu De Bois & Photophore set (£100) For the candle obsessed. Any fanatic (yes you can be a candle fanatic, I am one) , will love this cult Diptyque fragrance of burning logfires along with a elegant glass jar to burn your favourites in. [8] Nike X Liberty trainers : Internationalist mid's (£95) These limited edition trainers are always hot property and the latest collection is no exception. I love the style of Nike 'Internationalist' as they are a bit different from the more common blazers and air max styles. [9] Mulberry Heart Rivet keyring  (£70) Mulberry is one of my preferred handbag makes and I also love their wallets and keyrings. A cheaper way of buying into Mulberry than spending £200 on a wallet and a really beautiful token. I gave one to all of my bridesamids. [10] Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate (£56) The ultimate in luxury makeup and an easy-to-use cream contour duo. [11] Trish McEvoy Deluxe portable beauty collection 'Azure' (£90) I have a similar makeup portfolio to this and it's great for those who travel alot, like their makeup to be minimal and streamlined, or just like it to be organised. [12] Hunter Wellies (£95) A practical gift but for most people, a welcomed one! I love my hunters and have had mine many years. They only may come about a few times a year, but everyone needs a good pair of comfy wellies. Come in a huge choice of colours and finishes, and why not throw in a pair of big socks to go with them. [13] Laura Mercier Travel Brush collection (£78) The Laura Mercier brush set strikes again. They change these every year with a limited edition range of brushes within a handy portable bag. All your necessary brushes are within! [14] Chantecaille Flower Harmonising cream (£88) A winter skin saviour that works for ALL skintypes.  Anti-inflammatory, deeply nourishing and very soothing. [15] Aesop Resurrection Duet hand wash and balm (£85) Discreet luxury at it's best. This bestselling range has a strong aromatic scent that is both great for men and women. [16] By Terry Give me 5 Smoky Eyes kit (£96) 5 essential items to achieve a quick, easy smoky eye which come in a cute little purse. [17] KIKO custom 9-eyeshadow palette (£63) Buy an empty palette and fill it up with any shades you want. Purchase the empty palette (£9.90) and the refill shadows (£5.90) individually. [18] Aurelia complete collection (£95) One of my favourite new skincare brands I have discovered this year. Natural, clean, gorgeous and active, Aurelia has a pretty comprehensive range of products : try out all of the range with this set of travel sizes. It will have you at least coming back for more of that miracle cleanser!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Gold Collagen | 1-month review.

I think as people become more educated about ingredients, skin health and diet,  supplements/beauty drinks will become more and more popular. Up until recently, you could only really go to places like Space Nk, NUDE skincare, Dr.Perricone and other fancy wancy places to get these 'good' supplements ; I mean good because a lot of the cheap vitamins/collagen tablets etc that you can buy for like £3 don't tend to be of that good quality and a HUGE percentage of the vitamin will not be absorbed by the body. 

Splurging a bit more cash into your supplements can reap huge benefits, and thankfully, they are becoming more readily available in places like Boots and our high street stores. Every time I go into Boots, there seems to be a new elixir, health tablet or *thing* to ingest to help me on my yellow brick road to eternal youth.
I have been using the Gold Collagen* beauty elixir DAILY for a one month period now and I'm pretty impressed with the results thus far. I still have another 10 days to go as I bought one more box to extend the 'treatment'.  My skin has become clearer and it just looks really healthy and bright at the moment. Hydration is a bit of a problem for me in colder months and I haven't got the usual problems of patchiness and flakiness on my skin. Now I DO have moments of the year where my skin (in my mind perhaps?) looks really good, and maybe this is one of the times, but I think it is too much of a coincidence. I put up on my Facebook about starting the one-month trial and had a huge bunch of my friends saying how it has worked for them - one of my friend's dad even saying it clears up his Psoriasis!? No idea if it's supposed to do that, so don't hold me to that but it doesn't seem to just be me who has seen the positive effects of taking this supplement drink.

It is advised to drink one of the small (50ml) bottles per day for anything from 1-month plus. I think if you want to see real improvements on the tone and texture of your skin then maybe it's better to go for a bit longer, like I have done. A few people and bloggers I know have said that they think this tastes awful...I must have weird tastebuds because for me, it HONESTLY is pleasant. I keep it in the fridge and down it in the AM before breakfast or coffee and I actually find it really refreshing and a nice hit of sweetness. I am thinking maybe the people who say it's not very nice may not be used to some of the proper grim-tasting supplements that are around, I'm not sure, just a little baffled. If's it's doing something good for my body = it's going down. Gold Collagen is a walk in the park in comparison to some of the atrocities I've ingested.

Collagen: Natch.  This keeps skin firm and maintains elasticity in your skin. As you get older, you lose collagen, hence, why the skin becomes more slack, wrinkles appear etc. Collagen keeps the skin plump.
Copper: Helps maintain connective tissues in the skin.
Biotin: Helps both the skin and hair maintenance.
Vitamin C: Helps collagen formation, amongst many other things!
Vitamin E: Protects the skin cells from oxidative damage.
Vitamin B6: Contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism. Also reduces tiredness and fatigue.

These ingredients combined, and in the formula where they are readily absorbed into the body will promote younger looking skin, improve the hydration in the skin, support healthy-looking hair and nails and also reduce the appearance of fine lines if used for a longer period of time.

Depending on the results you are after you can either do a 3-week (hydration) , 6-week (skin smoothing) or 9-week (firmess/anti-wrinkle) course, each taking one bottle/ day. Basically the longer you take it to more optimum the results.

It's not cheap and it never will be if it's of a certain quality. It costs £35 for a box of ten and you need to really get three boxes to start with. HOWEVER, Boots pretty much always do a 3 for 2 on Gold Collagen so make sure you purchase it when on offer. It's currently £5 off a box AND 3 for 2 as far as I can see: £60 for a month = more doable.  

Do you take vitamins/ supplements? Is this something you would consider investing in alongside your skincare routine? I think it will become more and more common over the next few years.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

#3 Makeup Crush Monday : Urban Decay Naked BB Bronzing Balm.

I went to a skincare event in Debenhams, Oxford street at the start of the summer and turned up super early so ended up playing and swatching at the UD counter for like 15 mins. I hadn't really tried much from this range except lipsticks/liners previous to this, so was just really intrigued about the rest of the brand. I swatched this Naked skin bronzing BB balm, liked it, and then I picked it up verrrry soon after. This was my absolute go-to *summer skin* product. By summer skin, I mean my skin was a little clearer, a little more tanned and I didn't fancy wearing any heavy bases. (This BB balm was one of the maybe, 25/30 makeup items I had stolen in Ibiza, and was one of 5 items that I had to immediately replace = speaks volumes!)

When it's on, it gives a very light coverage, perfects the skin by smoothing it out and gives a lovely hint of warmth/tan to the skin. Currently, as I am back to wearing my normal bases/foundations, I am using this for 'no makeup days' and also I use it like a primer under my foundation. It refines my pores (with silicone) and gives a perfect smooth canvas and ALSO the light coverage ensures I only need minimal foundation/concealer over the top. It's oil-free hence why it's working perfectly as a primer for me, it also has an SPF20. If the bronze tint isn't for you then I think they do at least 2 other shades.

This costs £23 and you can pick it up from most Debenhams, and online here. I've also just seen they do an illuminating version which will be SUCH a good primer. *skulks off to buy that one too*

Monday, 1 December 2014

Winter Skin | Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser with Neroli.

This has been on the backburner until my skin started to become more 'wintery' : I generally get a little more sensitive, red and even drier (my skin is oily-combination-breakout) so I save my richer creams for colder weather use : IT'S TIME!! I have been using this for nearly a month now (just after my wedding eeek) and here are my thoughts.

The Liz Earle Superskin with Neroli* is a *powerhouse* face cream, launched just a couple of momths ago and it's a supercharged version of their original Superskin moisturiser if you are familiar with that. This nutrient-packed cream is luxurious and buttery in texture and is perfect for more mature, dry, sensitive and very dry skin. Hence why it's not my summer cream. For me, this won't probably my every morning cream either ; it's going to be my 'when-I-wake-up-feeling-dehydrated-dry-and-sore' cream (3 times a week?). Also a night cream where I usually will use oils or a richer cream. 

 I like that fact that even though quite a rich cream, it doesn't feel heavy or oily on the skin after application ; it absorbs in nicely and leaves my skin feeling plumped, loved and comfortable..dare I say it semi-matte. Perfect for under foundation.

The neroli fragrance is not overpowering and actually is one of my favourite smelling oils so I'm happy with it ; it's a pleasant and quite light 'herby' smell as quite typical with Liz Earle reminds me of a 'Balance Me' face cream I have just finished.If you really are not a fan of the smell, or super sensitive then go for the unfragranced Superskin cream.

Key Ingredients | The Jargon bit
To ensure this cream is active and it actually DOES something for your skin rather than just moisturise it contains a cocktail of ingredients:

Neroli Essential Oil : (also known as bitter orange oil)..and I love it! In skincare, neroli has uplifting and relaxing properties, so this keynote has more aromatherapy properties as opposed to anti-ageing.
Borage Oil: A rich source of the essential fatty acid, GLA, which locks moisture into the skin.
Pomegranate extract : This is used for it's strong antioxidant properties.
Shea Butter: A natural moisturiser that has remarkable smoothing properties.
Rosehip Oil : A good source of essential fatty acids.
Cranberry Seed Oil : Rich in omegas 3,6,9 which are important for healthy skin.

 I think for £31.50 this is kind of my average pricepoint for what I spend of my moisturiser - I am 33yrs so it's these anti-ageing / quality ingredient / active creams I am now going to, so unfortunately and realistically, I am not going to get this from a £10 cream.
What is your current 'winter skin' face cream?
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