Feeling flowery

Good morning friends, today’s blog is a little different to the usual makeup related posts, and instead has a distinctly summery, floral theme. I’m very lucky to live in a part of Cambridge that seems to be filled to the brim with gorgeous flowers in gardens, window sills and even random poppies sprouting from the roadside. Here’s my collection of little pics taken on my daily travels to work. Enjoy xx

           Ps. All of these photos were taken on my iPhone, and no filters have been used 🙂

Getting carried away at the Kiko sale

Good morning lovelies. It’s a been a bit of a grey weekend here in Cambridge, which is partly why I persuaded my partner to go for a walk along the river and into town so I could sneakily check out the Kiko sale. As usual, I only planned on browsing, but there were a few things that I had been lusting after for a while, and due to financial restrictions hadn’t been able to buy, but the sale just pushed me over the edge. I ended up in there for about half an hour and spent £19. Payday isn’t until next week so I really should have waited, but I’m pleased with the things I purchased and they were all things I needed (ok, *think* I needed) and if I had gone to Bobbi Brown or Mac I probably would have ony come home with one item rather than the four below. I really like the quality of Kiko products and to be honest I think they are on a par with their much more expensive counterparts. Here’s my swag:

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Ultra Long Post Stress Treatment Base Coat

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That’s a long title for a base coat! I’ve been trying to save money and just do my nails at home rather than spend £25+ on gels at the salon (which I used to love! I miss you shellac!) and I needed a new base coat to protect my nails and hopefully improve the condition as they are quite thin and tend to peel. This was £3.50 and so far I like it as much if not more than my old favourite, OPI Nail Envy, which was nice but expensive and tended to peel off after a few days. Buy the Kiko polish here

Super Colour Eyeliner in 102

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Lately I have been really into browns and bronzes on my eyes, and I think this looks much more subtle and classy for work rather than lining my eyes with black liner, which can look a little harsh in daylight. I needed a new brown long lasting liner (thanks to my super oily skin other liners tend to slide off which is obviously very attractive)  and this one was in the sale so I snapped it up. It isn’t the darkest of browns, more of a medium bronzey colour. I’m looking forward to wearing it tomorrow and seeing how it holds up with my oily lids (ew). Buy it here

Radiant Touch Creamy Stick Highlighter in 100

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This is a dupe for the Benefit Watt’s Up highlighter, which I love but is rather expensive to repurchase (goodbye £24.50) and the Kiko one is just £5.90 in the sale (I promise I am not a Kiko representative :-)) so I had to try it! So far I am very impressed, it is a beautiful champagne/pearl colour, smooth consistency, and not at all glittery. It’s perfect for highighting brow and cheekbones. Buy it here

Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 39

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This really reminds me of the By Terry Ombre Blackstar shadows, which are meant to be amazing but are uber pricey at £29 a pop, in contrast this one was £6.90, and I don’t even think it was in the sale now that I am looking at it online, so I really did get carried away in there as I had thought that everything I’d bought was in the sale…Shade 39 is a dark brown colour with only a little hint of a shimmer, perfect for creating a smoky eye, or just smudginng along the lash line for a more subtle daytime look. It claims to last for 8 hours, so I will be putting this to the test tomorrow at work.

I am already regretting not picking up a few more things in the sale, especially this bronzer here which is meant to be amazing, and this brush here. I think my wallet made a lucky escape leaving when it did!

2 spray can gems

 
Ok, so I admit that these two products are only very loosely connected by the fact that they both ‘spray’ out product but the real reason that I wanted to do a post about them is that I’ve been using each one for a little while now and I’m very impressed with both. 

The Pro Hygiene Collection Makeup Brush Cleaner  

This is a wonderfully quick and very hygienic way of cleaning your brushes when you don’t have the time or energy to wash all your used brushes with soap and hot water and then wait a million years for them to dry just so you can use them again. You simply spray this brush cleaner a few times directly on the brush hairs and then rub off on a tissue. Repeat if desired (I usually do repeat for foundation brushes as it takes a couple of goes for the brush to get really clean) then the brush will dry in ten minutes or so and you’re good to go. I’ve used this on brushes caked with long-wear foundation, a multitude of different eyeshadows, and black gel liner brushes, and all looked as good as new after using this. Can be bought here 

COLAB Sheer Invisible Dry Shampoo

 This product is by Ruth Crilly from the wonderful A Model Recommends website which is fast becoming one of my go to beauty and skin care blogs. Ruth used to be/still is a pretty successful model, but she comes across as really down to earth and lovely, and she has excellent reviews and recommendations for products across the board. Anyhow, I actually only found all this out after buying the dry shampoo from her line. I used to be a slave to Batiste Dry Shampoo, which in my opinion is still a really good product, but it does have a tendency to leave a bit of an obvious powdery finish in your hair (especially if you spray too much, as I usually tend to do). The COLAB product really does spray on invisibly, and provides a very good amount of volume too, leaving my second day hair looking super clean and as if it’s been freshly washed. The smell is divine too! The product pictured is in the Rio fragrance, which is a lovely tropical holiday scent, but I’ve also tried the floral Paris version which I adored too. These dry shampoos are a bit of a bargain, you can buy them in superdrug where there is often a good offer on them, I think mine was a third off the RRP so it came to about £2. Highly recommend!

What are your beauty favourites? Let me know if you have tried either of these two! 

Things I’m Currently Loving <3

Happy Saturday! And what a beautiful, summery morning it is in Cambridge. I think it’s going to be one of the hottest days of the year so far, and I’m looking forward to going for a walk and taking some photos. Confession: I realise that I haven’t posted anything for a while now, maybe even a month (sorry!!!) and to be honest I have had so much going on with starting a new job and moving home that I have let my blogging slack a little bit…or a lot. But I have managed to find time to purchase a few new things over the last month, and wanted to share some favourites with you. I promise to be a better blogger from now on 🙂

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My Little Chloe! I am so in love with this cute teeny tiny bottle of one of my fav ever perfumes (and not just because we share the same name). It’s adorably small, perfect for popping in your handbag. I think it’s limited edition, so I’d recommend acting quickly if you fancy one of these little babies too 🙂 the link is here

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No.7 Precision Lips Pencil in Soft Blush. I bought this a couple of weeks ago when going on a mini spree with my sister in  Boots. When I say spree, I mean that my sister spent £36 on makeup, and I just bought this. Oh well. Anyhow, the No.assistant tried this lip pencil on me in the store, pencilling in my whole lips like a lipstick, and I was surprised by how much I loved both the colour and the staying power. Soft blush is a gorgeous, corally-red shade that is so summery, I just love it. Buy it here

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Rimmel Mono Blush in Live Pink – I bought this when I found out that the MAC blusher that I wanted had been discontinued (sad face) and to be honest, I was really surprised by how much I love this one, and it’s so much cheaper than MAC. It looks very bright in the pan, and slightly shimmery, but if you use a light hand, it’s just a beautiful girly pink and the shimmer seems to disappear. Bargain, buy it here

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theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer – there’s a bit of a mouthful. I bought this highlighter a while ago after reading so many rave reviews about it by beauty bloggers. I was toying between this one and MAC’s Soft and Gentle, and I think this one is a bit more wearable day to day, and there isn’t any fall out as there sometimes is with MAC. In fact, this goes on smoothy and easily, and is a really subtle golden/champagne colour, quite natural and pretty. I mainy use it on my cheekbones and to highlight the eye area, but you could also go quite heavy handed for a more glamourous night time look. A really lovely product, buy it here

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Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Air Kiss – I recently repurchased this gloss as I used to love it, and since travelling I kind of forgot about it. I only recently realised that it was missing from my life and bought it from John Lewis as they had 10%, and I am so glad I did. It’s such a sheer, high shine gloss that works nicely on it’s own (just ‘my lips but better and much shinier’!) but also protects them in the sun (it has SPF 15) and works so well on top of other lipsticks. It does last a long time too, at least a few hours unless I’m eating (which is actually quite often). Purchase here

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Plantscription Anti-Aging Concealer – lastly but not leastly, is my holy grail concealer for covering up any imperfections. I read about this concealer on I Covet Thee where Alix really raved about it, and I became slightly obsessed and decided I had to try it. My skin is far FAR from perfect and I do have to wear concealer pretty much every day, but I want it to be light, relatively moisturising, with a matt medium to full coverage, and this does the trick beautifully. The shade (I am the lightest one, meh) is a perfect match for my skin and it works really well at covering up redness or blemishes. The only area it’s not amazing for is undereyes, where it sometimes settles slightly into fine lines, but I use my Clarins concealer for that area anyway, so for me it’s not a problem. Link here

Hope you’ve enjoyed my long-awaited post, let me know if there is anything you want me to focus on for the next one 🙂

Enjoy today! x

In love with Kiko

So for those of you who do not already know, Kiko is not the name of my boyfriend, cat, small child, or my lady parts. Kiko is an Italian brand of cosmetics and skincare that has only been in the UK for a couple of years, but is SUPER popular in Europe, and I can see why. The formulas are very, very good, and the prices are relatively cheap, or at least cheap compared to the likes of MAC and Benefit, but in my opinion they are of a similar quality. I haven’t had the funds to purchase many products yet, but in store I was really impressed by the brush range, particularly Face 107 (here) and 108 (here), the highlighters (see here) and the lipsticks which look so similar to MAC but are waaaaay way cheaper (here).

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Fear not though, I didn’t leave empty handed. The nail varnishes are amazing, in terms of colours, price, and quality, and I managed to pick up three. Two of them are kind of similar, but very different (I know that makes zero sense) neutral greyish shades, 319 which is a lovely muted grey/taupe colour, and 508 which on my nails is a very classy dark nude colour. I’ve tried to show the subtle differences in another picture below:

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The third colour, luckily, is totally different, a deep, bold, grown up red, shade 240. It looks a little brighter in the pictures than in reality, but it is a gorgeous classy colour that goes on smoothly and lasts a surprisingly long time on my nails! I am really impressed with all three nail polishes and can’t ait to try a few more products from the range. Has anyone else tried any Kiko products lately?

Three new products for spring

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Not to sound like an idiot who doesn’t quite grasp the concept of time, but I can’t believe it’s nearly May! The first months of 2015 have really flown by for me. We are well and truly on our way to summer, which is rather exciting for me as I have pretty much gone from one winter to another (with a tiny bit of New Zealand springtime thrown in just to keep me sane). In the spirit of spring/summer/spending way too much time thinking about makeup, I wanted to post a little blog about three new products that I am trialling at the moment.

Boots No.7 Stay Perfect Primer

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My skin is quite (extremely!!) oily, and as a result I tend to find that my foundation becomes a bit of a greasy mess in the afternoon, which is obviously highly attractive. I am always on the lookout for products that will make my makeup last a bit longer, especially for days when I am in the office from 8.30-6pm. I’d read about this primer being a cheaper dupe for the Beneft POREfessional, and the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, and seeing as I had a voucher for £3 off No.7 makeup, I wanted to give it a whirl myself. It’s still relatively expensive compared to other high street brands (I think it was £12.50 before the voucher) and it is quite a small bottle with just 20ml of product. Boots say:

No7 Stay Perfect Shine Free Primer keeps shiny skin under control all day long, with its mattifying oil-free base. Light reflecting particles help disguise fine lines and flaws, while oil absorbing Biopol helps minimise blemishes and blot away shine without blocking pores. Contains watermelon and cucumber extracts to help soothe and cool your skin. Formulated to be non pore blocking and hypo-allergenic.

I have used this primer a few times now, and I have to say that I really like the finish it gives on the skin, it is very silky, quite mattifying and hides pores well. In terms of making my skin less oily, it is not a miracle product, but it definitely helps makeup stay on longer and protects against shine for a good few hours with my nose being the only place to get a bit shinier during the afternoon.  Would I repurchase? Maybe – the only issue I have had with it is that if I wear a thick serum underneath it, the primer seems to take a little bit of the serum off when I apply it! The product rubs off a little bit on my skin and I have white flecks on my face. I think it’s because the serum I am currently using (Olay) is quite silicone-y too, and other serums don’t seem to be affected by the primer. The jury’s out on this one for the time being!

L’Oreal Infallible 24H-Matte Foundation

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After reading countless positive reviews on this foundation, I thought I should give it a go, firstly because it’s aimed at people with oilier skin (ME!) and also because I heard it’s a dupe for Mac Studio Fix. I should also add that this foundation works well on people with normal or combination skin, and despite the fact that it’s called a matte foundation, it still gives you a bit of a glow – it’s not flat and 2 dimensional like some other matte foundations can be. I love the way this foundation goes on – it’s got a medium level of coverage that can be easily built up on areas that need it, but it still feels light on the skin and doesn’t look at all cakey. The colour match was great for me too – I am still rather pale (TWO WINTERS BACK TO BACK!!!! ARGH!) – but shade 11 Vanilla matches my skintone perfetcly, and gives me something of a glow. Again, this isn’t a miracle product, and I still needed to touch up with powder halfway through the day, but so far I really like it and for me it performs as well (if not better) than some of the high end foundations out there.

Benefit Majorette Blush

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This is a gorgeous cream blusher in adorable packaging, and I think it is just perfect for spring and summer makeup. I bought this blusher based on the reviews and was so caught up in the hype that I didn’t even try it before purchasing. At first I wasn’t as keen as I thought I would be; I found it slightly patchy when worn over my foundation, but I think that this was just because it doesn’t work so well (for me at least) on thicker, longer lasting foundations like my Estee Lauder Doublewear or Revlon Colorstay foundations. HOWEVER when I then tried it with my BB creams and generally lighter, more blendable and creamier foundations, (including the L’Oreal one above) Majorette looks really gorgeous and glowy. It’s a natural peachy coral colour and looks pretty yet natural. Now I use it on my ‘minimal’ makeup days and I love it. Having said all that, although I do really like this product, it’s maybe not one that I would repurchase – my advice to anyone thinking of buying this would be that if you can easily afford it, go for it, otherwise I am not sure if it is worth the price and you might be able to find a cheaper dupe on the high street. You do get a lot of product for the price though (£23.50) so I doubt I will be running out of it anytime soon 🙂

That’s all from me for today, I hope I didn’t ramble on too much. Do let me know your thoughts on products for spring! x

My favourite products for April!

Today the sun is shining and it feels like Spring has definitely sprung in Cambridge! It’s meant to be the hottest day of the year so far, and it certainly felt like it during my morning run (the first one for about a month may I add!). I decided that it is therefore a glorious time to write my first monthly favourites blog.

In no particular order:

Dr Jart+ Regenerating Beauty Balm

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This is a surprising little gem that I picked up from my local Boots a few weeks ago. Normally I quickly google reviews on Makeupalley before purchasing, but as it was on offer I decided to throw caution to the wind – and I’m glad I did! I love it because it seems to just melt into the skin, and although I was unsure about colour match (there is only one shade to pick from) it seems to magically bend in to match my skintone perfectly! It looks quite matt when it’s on and is definitely light to medium coverage, perfect for a ‘no makeup’ day or as a skin protector on a holiday or exercising outside  (I had this on my face when I went for my run today) as it’s SPF 30 it will help prevent sunburn and wrinkles! The only thing I would say is that as I have oily skin, I wouldn’t wear this for a full day at work as it tends to get shiny after a couple of hours.

Benefit Benebalm and Lollibalm

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My friend bought me a pack with these tinted lip balms in it as a late Christmas gift, and I have been using these two beauties ever since. They are counterparts to Benetint and Lollitint – which I am not overly keen on – so I wasn’t expecting to love these, but I really do! They are uber moisturising and so comfortable on your lips, and they give a very nice wash of colour to your lips, lighter and sheerer than lipstick, but I would say more colour than a normal tinted lip balm. I love both of these colours too, they are super wearable, and I think I will be repurchasing both when they run out (which will be pretty soon at this rate!).

Mac Brown Crayon in Spiked
I am definitely guilty of over plucking my eyebrows when I was younger, and despite trying to grow them back I am still left with overly skinny, overarched brows that need a bit of filling in. I have tried a few different products, Anastasia Dipbrow Pommade, Dior’s Powder Eyebrow Pencil, plus a few drugstore versions, but I struggle finding a shade dark enough to match my brows and one that doesn’t smudge and is easy and quick to use. Et voila, Mac comes to the rescue! This ‘crayon’ is super easy to use, the shade Spiked is a perfect match, and it lasts through a sweaty gym session. Love! My only gripe is that it’s quite expensive for something that runs out after a couple of months, so if anyone can recommend a dupe I’d be keen to hear from you!

Mac Half Lash Curler
Talking of Mac, when I visited my friend Sarah in Paris, as a treat we decided to pay for an hour’s makeup application at Mac on the Champs Elysees, with the money back to spend on products after  ❤ joy! I was really pleased with how the MUA did my look, and she made my eyelashes look super curly and amazing by using this half lash curler. I am lucky to have naturally long eyelashes but they do tend to be quite straight and uncurly, and when I have tried using full eyelash curlers in the past they catch on my lashes and I find it hard to get in at the right angle. These half curlers are so much easier to use! I actually didn’t even know these existed, but I am so happy to have been introduced to them at last!

Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm

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I have bought a few different skincare products from France after reading reviews, and to be honest most of them are a little overhyped. Apart from this one that is! This balm (which you can easily get in the UK, just for a little bit more money) is super duper hydrating, and your lips feel moisturised for AGES. If you have dry lips and put this on before you go to bed, they will still be silky smooth and soft when you wake up. The balm is also quite matt and thick, and I think it would make quite a nice primer under your lipstick.

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Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads
OMG I love these babies! I wasn’t too sure about them when I picked them up, as I had seen various ‘celebrities’ snapping them (Millie Mackintosh and Kylie Jenner, I’m looking at you) and that always makes me doubt the product as I’m sure they get paid lots of money to promote them, whether or not the product actually works. But these definitely do! I use mine after cleansing in the evening, I wipe one all over my face, allow the residue to dry, and then apply serum and moisturiser as normal. I swear they make my skin much clearer and glowier by the morning! I think they may help prevent acne too as I don’t tend to get as many spots or blackheads as I used to. Anyway, do give them a try, I personally think that they are well worth the money. Boots and Superdrug usually have good offers on this range too.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Sin)
Ok so this is not really an April favourite, it’s more of a last 3 years of my life favourite, but I thought I would include it anyway! This is a primer for your eyeshadow, but it’s a pretty champagne colour that works really well on its own too. I never wear eyeshadow or liner without this badboy on – it makes my eyeshadow stay on for hours (and for an oily skinned girl that’s quite a feat!) and it just gives an extra dimension to the eyeshadow on top. This is one that I will just keep repurchasing, but the tube seems to last for aaages and so far I have only had to repurchase once!

Olay Regenerist 3 Point Super Firming Serum
Since travelling in Australia and NZ, where the sun is a LOT stronger and harsher on your skin, I have noticed wrinkles on my forehead and round my eyes. I wouldn’t say that they are particularly deep or noticeable, but at the ripe old age of 30 it was a good wake up call to make me look after my skin a bit better. Despite trying other, more pricey serums aimed at wrinkles, I didn’t notice much of a difference and decided to do some research on Paula’sChoice website for something cheaper, yet effective, and I found this serum by Olay. I have used it for about a month, and I do think it has reduced the lines quite significantly. The serum goes on smoothly, sinks in quickly, and seems to moisturise quite well so I tend to just add extra moisturising cream when I put it on at night. Make up seems to wear well on top of it in the day, and I haven’t noticed any adverse effects. So far, so good! I’m very happy with this product, especially as it is miles cheaper than some of the other, higher end skincare serums out there.

Clarins Instant Concealer 01
Last but not least is another product that I discovered on a beauty blog – I think it was I Covet Thee. I was after a new undereye concealer as all the ones I have tried seem to cake under the eyes and sometimes highlight fine lines as opposed to covering them up! This little beauty works a charm – it is a great match for my (pale) skin, does a fab job of covering up my horrible dark circles, and does not crease or cake over time. Love this! It glides on and is super blendable too.

That’s all from me for now but I would love to know your thoughts on these products – have you tried them? – and let me know your April favs too! x

Good morning beauty blog!

For a long, long time I have been an avid reader of beauty and skincare blogs. Although it sounds superficial to some, beauty and skincare have been a passion of mine since I was about 13 years old and tried on foundation and lipstick for the first time. The result was awful! I was too young to need such heavy, mismatched products (if I recall, it was Rimmel, bright red lipstick and a dark orangey concealer smeared all over my face like a foundation) and I didn’t have a clue how to use anything correctly. Needless to say, I looked like the daughter of a family of clown-thugs. Nevertheless, I had found my first love, and from then on I would save up pretty much all my pocket money to buy a new set of lipglosses, fruity lipbalms, and even the Clinique Take the Day Off makeup remover when I was 15. Unfortunately for me, I had the curse of bad skin, which was perhaps another reason for my early foray into the world of cosmetics. I would try to cover up my moderate acne with makeup products that were too thick, probably too orange, and that would just clog my skin and make my acne even worse. I was also under the impression that in order to get rid of any spots or oily skin, I had to use super strong, harsh cleansers and toners full of drying alcohol, which again (you guessed it!) only made things worse. If I had known then what I know now! But that’s for another post that I will do on my current skincare routine. The purpose of this blog is to share with other people my thoughts on the best beauty and products out there, and to hopefully pick up some more hints, tips and recommendations along the way! More to follow very soon…x