Wednesday, 5 April 2017
Being a lover of beauty has it's fair share of downsides, the main negative being the cost of constantly stocking up on your favourite/essential items. Over the years I have tried and tested so many different beauty products from high to low end, and I have to say sometimes the price tag isn't reflective of the quality.
When it comes to putting on my face and generally getting ready each morning I seem to have resorted to a quick and easy, budget routine consisting of lots of impressive affordable buys that I honestly think beat some higher end products.
Here are some of the beauty bargains I am loving at the moment, and have found to have been fab switches from more luxury brands, either in an attempt to save a few penny's, or to simply save my nicer makeup for special occasions.
Ever since the widespread teen disaster that was Dream Matte Mousse, I seemed to stay well away from 'drugstore' foundations as I just felt that they were cheap and nasty. As I became more interested in looking for bargains (I got it from my mama) - I managed to fall in love with a few more affordable formulas. At the moment I have been using Rimmel London's Wake Me Up Foundation. As I have normal to dry skin, this suits me perfectly. It really does brighten your face and isn't too light or heavy, it offers a great amount of coverage making it my current choice for every day.
For a lighter coverage, if I'm having a chilled day on the weekend or for daytime on holiday I love No 7's BB cream. It's really light, easy to blend and gives a 'no makeup makeup' kind of glow. It also has SPF and is full of skin loving ingredients; bonus!
As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently discovered Maybelline's Fit Me Concealer and it has slowly but surely become a staple in my makeup kit. I have gradually waved goodbye to my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer as I find this to be so similar, at a fraction of the cost. It covers any imperfections, is creamy, full coverage and a dream to blend.
My absolute favourite affordable lip glosses/products have to be NYX - their range is unbeatable in terms of price, quality and colour range. I adore their butter glosses, and my go to shade is Tiramisu (coincidence it's also my fav dessert..) These glosses aren't sticky, and they come in so many colours that you are sure to be spoilt for choice! I have to say I'm not a huge fan of their matte lip creams, but I think I may have to give them a second chance sometime soon.
Everyone's been there, payday seems miles away and you're down to the last few drops of your signature scent. Perfume is pricey, and not always something that you can just pick up - especially if you're cursed with expensive taste (woops). I find if I'm low on perfumes, I either switch to using Victoria Secret's Body Mists, or another alternative I love is Zara perfumes. They are so cheap and if you choose wisely, they smell amazing. One of my top choices is 'Apple Juice' is smells so fresh and a lot like Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh - which is one of my favourites. I got so many compliments wearing this and will definitely be stocking up again shortly.
When it comes to hair care, I do think that choosing slightly higher price tags does pay off. You can definitely tell the difference between a cheap shampoo and a good quality one. Although they seem expensive, I like to try and get the salon sized Bed Head Duo bottles (750ml) and I always manage to find these on offer somewhere. The huuuge bottles means they last so much longer, so technically you are saving money (kinda). Feel Unique currently have half price on these including lots of other hair care products, I will definitely be treating myself!
What are your favourite budget beauty buys? Do you find your self switching to cheaper products when times are tough?
Sunday, 19 March 2017
When things become overwhelming, whether it be family issues, work related stress, or even small, daily struggles it is so easy to let them consume you. It's easier said than done to simply shrug it off, and I have to say that doing so does. not. work. Attempting to ignore your feelings can result in a backlash that is ten times as worse. I am definitely one of those people that tends to bottle up their feelings, and I find it very difficult to openly speak about how I'm feeling as I hate to be a burden to others.
For example, I have faced many obstacles over the past few years and have realised that when it is an issue that effects anyone else i.e another family member, I cannot bring myself to show emotion or be upset as I feel as though there is always someone that feels worse, and I can't help but consider their feelings first. However it is crucial to remember yourself.
In the words of good old Aibleen 'You is kind, you is smart, you is important'.
I had a bit of a meltdown the other week, due to the build up of various different thoughts and feelings that I had previously tried to contain (as well as feeling unwell). Something as small as feeling under the weather, and being completely overtired resulted in me experiencing a surge of emotions, that I didn't quite know how to handle. I also suffered from a panic attack (something I luckily don't regularly go through) and I just could not stop crying. This is really unlike me, but after a good, hard cry, a restful few hours sleep, and a huge hug off my Mum; I eventually felt relieved.
This brought me to thinking about the best ways to pick yourself back up when you have a rough patch like this, and what simple yet effective steps you can take to refresh yourself, in order to feel better.
Cry, as much as you need to and get it all out of your system, it honestly does help and it's human! Even if it is something that seems silly or small, when you're faced with stress crying is a natural reaction and it seriously isn't something to be embarrassed about.
Rest and listen to your body, don't feel guilty for having a nap, or simply slumping on the sofa with a hot drink when things seem a bit too much to handle, it is so important to look after yourself. Take a few minutes out to just breathe without worrying too much about what everyone around you is doing.
Exercise really isn't my best friend, and when I mention the dreaded E word, it doesn't instantly mean go to the gym or have an intensive work out but go for a long walk, or go for a swim, it will really help invigorate you and even better; it releases hormones that uplift you instantly. As much as I sometimes don't want to work out, once I do I never regret it.
Pamper yourself, enlist a few products, and maybe put together a box of go to beauty items for when you're feeling like you desperately need some TLC. A few of my favourite tips are to have a long soak in the bath with some candles on, do a hair mask, go makeup free for a day (honestly you will feel fab for it) and also - look after your skin. As I've mentioned before in previous posts, I'm all for skincare. Stick to the basics when it comes to looking after yourself, cleanse, moisturise, maybe do a face mask and don't forget to take care of your body too.
I have recently bought a new Clarins Body Balm, which smells incredible; it is exactly like the products used in a spa and has a slightly menthol effect, that cools and tingles on your skin once applied. I gently massaged this in after a bath, and it was so calming and made me feel super refreshed and soothed. You can't go wrong with a good old lip balm, the rose tinted Vaseline is one of my favourites as I find it to be simple and affordable yet so effective. I slathered some of this on after I had cleansed my face.
Treat yourself, whether it is something insignificant or something more pricey, you deserve it! My go to treat is more often than not makeup, however I find that even buying yourself flowers, or your favourite food/drink is such a small gesture, yet it goes a long way. I'm lucky I have a fab family that treated me to all these things post meltdown, however doing so yourself is just as rewarding.
The power of a good cup of tea is so underrated, they seriously do seem to solve many problems. For those extra anxious times, try a cup of Chamomile tea, it really helps to calm any worries and is perfect for sipping straight before bed as it clears your mind, and enables you to drift off easily. This was my go to drink when I was juggling my dissertation and driving test(s)!
Write things down. As I said, I find it very hard to express my feelings a lot of the time, but I have actually found writing this blog post in itself to be very therapeutic, if you struggle to voice your emotions, then get a notebook, and write it all down. Have a rant, or write a positive 'to do' list of things that will have you on your way to feeling yourself again. I love to positively plan my week and ensure I will make the most of it by putting myself and my needs/wants first.
Last but not least, start each day fresh. Forget the previous day, it doesn't matter how crap you felt, or how much of a mess you were, wake up in the morning with a clear mind, and think of the day ahead as another chance for a successful day. Nobody is perfect and things don't always run smoothly, just remember to take the bad with the good, and don't be too hard on yourself, too much self pressure will push you to breaking point. Allow yourself a day or two of being 'selfish' it really is essential sometimes, and if you have understanding people around you, then you will be sure to bounce right back!
Do you have any self care tips? What do you find yourself turning to when you're feeling down or overwhelmed?
Sunday, 12 March 2017
Whether it's a long weekend or a break in the sun I am not very good at packing light - yes I'm one of those girls that takes half her wardrobe and the kitchen sink in her suitcase (always a suitcase, bags are too small of course..) However, I do try my very best to narrow it down to the essentials and I thought I would share a few of my all time favourite items that I always take with me when travelling.
A good sized makeup bag
This is obviously one of the most important on the list, making sure you have a practical, travel friendly makeup bag that has plenty of room in makes life a whole lot easier. Having all your toiletries and makeup in one place helps you to feel organised and also takes up less room in your case. I have a Victoria Secret's one that has lasted me years, it has lots of room in it and was definitely a good investment as I get so much use out of it.
A toothbrush might seem like a strange thing to include on here, but after switching from a standard brush to an electric brush, I feel as though my whole routine has improved. I have had the Phillips Sonicare toothbrush for nearly a year now and I can't imagine not using it. It honestly gives a dentist clean feel and has a range of different settings such as 'white' and 'sensitive' which all give amazing results. It is easy to use, the charge lasts around 3 weeks and it even comes with a travel charging case making it perfect for taking on the go. Of course I got it in pink.
An eye mask
Everyone seems to laugh when I tell them about my little obsession over eye masks, but I genuinely find I have a much better sleep when using one. They block out every bit of light, are great for if you fancy a nap when on a plane, train or coach and are just as good when it comes to bed time. I have a bit of a collection of these, my favourite for travelling is this satiny pink padded eye mask, and my favourite for night time is an 'eye cushion' I bought from TK Maxx which has two padded cushions that rest on top of each eye made from a super soft, fleecey material. It also has a lavender scent that helps you relax and aids a good nights sleep.
Portable phone charger
How many times have you been out and about with low phone battery, or needed back up for a long journey? Portable phone chargers are a life saver, they're compact and lightweight making them the ideal travel item to throw in your handbag.
Garnier Micellar Water
When travelling, it's not always sensible to take your entire skincare collection so having a fuss free alternative is key. I love the Garnier Micellar Water especially in this handy, on-the-go size it is fab for easily removing all your makeup with minimal mess and effort. I also love to take a sleeping mask with me, which is a super simple way of adding hydration to your face and is great for using on flights to prevent dehydration. The Body Shop Vitamin E range does a gorgeous sink in moisture mask that I can't be without.
A good read
I love nothing more than a good book when going on holiday, I don't find enough time in my day to day life to just sit and fully immerse myself into something, but I always make sure to take a book away with me. I tend to go for something easy to read, like a soppy romance novel, or something typically girly that I can easily get into when I'm relaxing.
The perfect pair of lashes
I don't tend to opt for false lashes every day, but when I'm away I love to take a versatile, high quality pair that I can wear at night time to instantly change my look. At the moment I am in love with Lilly Lashes they are so soft, fluffy and look incredibly natural. They do a huge variety of styles but I like something that adds length without being too bold. Luxe are definitely a favourite.
Travel sized toiletries
Trying to narrow down your toiletries can be such a pain, which is where travel sized goodies are a godsend. I love that you can find near enough anything in a cute, miniature sized version meaning you can easily take them away with you without having to carry round huge bottles.
I absolutely adore all Soap and Glory products, so their minis are so useful to me. I always try and take the few bottles I know I'll use such as a body wash, body butter and hand cream for the flight or journey. I am also loving the small sized perfume I received from my February Glossy Box it is the perfect size for popping in your bag and smells amazing.
What are your travel essentials? Do you have one or two items you cannot go away without?
Thursday, 2 March 2017
Spring is fast approaching, which means we can drop the winter wardrobe, as well as heavy, full coverage makeup. Light, fresher looks are more favourable, and subtle skin is definitely my favourite switch that comes with the change of seasons!
I thought I would mention a few of my go to products for achieving a simple, stripped back look.
For a base, I like to have as light a coverage as possible in spring and summer (as my skin will allow). I recently discovered Charlotte Tilbury's Light Wonder foundation and absolutely fell in love with its creamy formula. It glides on like a dream, and provides just enough coverage to even out your skin tone and softly hide imperfections. It has a dewy, sheer finish and is gorgeous for every day.
If I feel I need slightly more coverage, or want to set my under eyes I love the Ben Nye Translucent powder in 'Pretty Pink'. It has a lovely, brightening effect thanks to its pale pink colouring and is a great finishing touch, without being too heavy or 'cakey'.
Unless I am going out at night, I tend to keep things simple with my brows, as I get them regularly threaded and tinted I like a pencil type product for easy application and a natural finish. At the minute I am obsessed with the Benefit Goof Proof eyebrow pencil, the nib is the perfect size for thickening the appearance of my brows, without being too heavy. I love how quick and simple it is to use, and it has become one of my essential makeup products.
I personally feel as though my makeup isn't complete without blusher. I think it gives such a healthy glow, and everyone looks better with a flush of colour on their cheeks! The current colour blusher I'm using is Mac Mineralize Blush in 'Warm Soul'. This is a stunning shade described as a 'mid tone beige with gold pearl', but I would definitely say there is a soft, hint of pink. I find myself turning to this product a lot as it's just such a versatile shade that goes well with any other makeup look.
As I have mentioned before, my all time favourite lipstick is Charlotte Tilbury's Penelope Pink, and I finally repurchased it the other day. I just love how moisturising the K.I.S.S.I.N.G formula is, making it ideal for day to day wear. For me this is the perfect nude shade, with just the right amount of pink. It is subtle but really compliments my fair skin and I think I will struggle to find a lipstick that will beat this.
What are your favourite makeup products for a simple look? Do you make any switches to your routine for spring?
Monday, 13 February 2017
One thing I've learnt when it comes to beauty products, is the price tag doesn't always necessarily
reflect the quality. Over the years I have grown to love cheaper 'drugstore' products and there are a
fair few I actually prefer to pricier items. I recently had a mini L'Oréal splurge and I ended up
bagging myself some really good bargains which I was super pleased with!
L'Oréal True Match foundation is often raved about and used by makeup artists and professionals, and after trying it a couple of years ago I could see why so many people loved it. It offers a fab, full coverage and lovely formula that lasts all for under ten pounds a bottle; you can't go wrong! While I think it suits those with oilier skin more, when my skin isn't too dry I love this foundation for all occasions. I made the mistake of getting one too dark for my skin last time, so I opted for the Rose Vanilla shade this time round and it's a lovely match.
As you may have seen in my recent post about my favourite lip shades, I am running low on my number one go to choice (Charlotte Tilbury's Penelope Pink), so I thought why not try and find a lower end 'dupe'/alternative for every day? I have been wanting to try the L'Oréal JLO nude for aggges but after reading some reviews and swatching it in store, it looks a gorgeous shade but has barely any pigmentation once applied. I decided to try Eva's nude instead, and I'm so glad I picked this up! It's a lovely subtle, nude with a hint of pink that is perfect for my pale complexion. I also thought I'd get a similar shade lipgloss to apply on top for more special occasions, I went for the 'Cream' lipgloss in shade '110' (I got the power). This gloss has an amazing, rich formula and the shade matches the lipstick really well, it's not too sticky and has an incredible shine; I love this combination!
I am planning an upcoming post all about my favourite mascara (which also happens to be under ten pounds) but I thought whilst I was taking advantage of the three for two offer, I might as well give a Loreal one a try. I've heard good things about L'Oréal mascaras, and decided to try bestseller Volume Million Lashes. So far I am really impressed, I love the plastic bristles for separating my lashes and adding length as well as volume, without clumping. I can definitely understand why these are so well loved!
I use a bronzer every day to add a bit of a healthy looking glow to my skin (it's needed, I am soo pale!) and I have currently been using Chanel's Universal Bronzer - which is my holy grain bronzing product, but I feel as though it's too nice for every day when I'm just going to work. I bought the L'Oréal Glam Bronze Bronzer in shade '10' which also has a highlighter in it, a mini applicator brush and a mirror; all in one compact. This works so well with a big, soft, fluffy face brush and adds a really natural looking colour to your skin, without looking orange or too dark. As far as bronzers go, this seems to do the job without breaking the bank.
I have wanted to try a liquid highlighter for a while, with me having dry skin I feel like it would suit me so much more. I loved the look of the pink L'Oréal True Match highlighter in shade 'Icy Glow/Rose Glace Glow'. After applying it with a beauty blender, it gives such a gorgeous rosy, pink glow that looks great either on it's own or on top of blusher, and you can also mix it with your foundation or use as an illuminating primer, which I'll definitely be trying!
I managed to get all of these products as well as a free L'Oréal blending sponge for 23 pounds! (Mainly thanks to my friends 30 percent workers discount), but I also got two products free using the 3 for 2 deal, and the sponge was an extra offer as well, what a bargain! Even without the 30 percent discount I think it should have come to 33 pounds, which is still good considering I would spend that on a higher end foundation alone. I really rate L'Oréal products, they're probably my favourite in comparison to other 'drugstore' brands on offer.
What L'Oréal products do you own? What are your favourite drugstore bargain buys?
Thursday, 9 February 2017
I don't tend to be too exciting when it comes to experimenting with lipsticks, having very fair skin I find it difficult to get shades to suit me perfectly. However, I do have a few firm favourite choices that I always find myself turning to; particularly in Winter.
(Left to right)
1. Chanel Lipgloss in 206
2. Chanel Lipgloss in 608
3. Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink
4. Mac Lipstick and Lip Liner in Whirl
Chanel Lipgloss in 206
I bought one of these as a birthday gift for a friend, and ever since I was jealous I didn't get one for myself! I managed to pick it up a few months later for a lot cheaper whilst on holiday in Gibraltar and I am so glad I got it. It is almost like the lipgloss version of Penelope Pink, meaning that they go perfectly together, and it also looks gorgeous on it's own. I love Chanel Lipglosses, they last ages, aren't overly priced and have gorgeous colours available. This is definitely a staple in my collection.
Chanel Lipgloss in 608
I don't feel as though I really suit a red lip, and if I do wear one I am super fussy about the shade. I got this as a present for my 21st and when looking at the colour in the bottle it looked quite dark and not something I'd typically opt for. When I tried it on I was surprised a how much I loved it! It's not really an everyday shade, but is a lovely deep wine colour that is gorgeous for nights out and special occasions where you want to take your look from day to night.
Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink
This is definitely my go to lip shade, and is the perfect every day lipstick. I fell in love with everything about this product the minute I bought it last year, the formula is so creamy and moisturising and the colour is a lovely subtle nude that isn't too pale so that it washes me out. I wouldn't really say it was pink although it leans more towards a pinky undertone rather than a yellowy one like Nude Kate.
Mac Whirl Lipstick and Liner
I have had the Whirl lip liner for a while now, and use it alongside many nude/brown lipstick shades as it's just so versatile. I recently decided to purchase the lipstick (for a bargain £10!) to see what I thought. My initial reaction was wow, that's a tad dark, however it very quickly grew on me and I think it's a perfect Autumnal/Winter shade. It's a really rich, deep brown and is very pigmented. It of course pairs with the lipliner beautifully, and I think it's lovely if you fancy something a bit more bold and daring, but still fancy a brownish shade.
What are you favourite lip colours at the moment? Do you love one brand in particular? What is your signature shade?
Sunday, 5 February 2017
As I've mentioned before, I have a huge love for skincare products and have always looked after my skin as a teen. I think I do have slightly good skin genes (thanks to my Mum's side where they don't seem to have any wrinkles or blemishes) which I'm very thankful for. However, I have suffered from dry skin for years and it has taken me until now to know exactly what suits my skin and what products benefit me. I would say I have normal to dry skin, which flares up randomly, but at the moment it is behaving and is more on the 'normal' side. I have tried endless amounts of cleansers, moisturisers and all round skincare products, but there are a few I swear by and end up repurchasing again and again!
When it comes to cleansing, I am definitely one for a good old face wash. I just feel 10X fresher and cleaner, and feel its the most effective way of removing my makeup. I am always switching my cleansers up to try new products, but my two all time favourites have to be the Laura Mercier Purifying Cleansing Oil and the Philosophy Purity One Step Facial Cleanser. The oil is my go to for when my skin is feeling particularly dry, as it removes your makeup whilst locking in moisture and giving a lovely, glowy finish to your skin. Purity is just such a staple skincare product in my collection (although I am currently in need of a new bottle). It lasts forever and removes every single trace of makeup in a matter of minutes; even heavy eye makeup. It doesn't leave your skin feeling tight or dry, and is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin. These are definitely my top two cleansers.
I have to be honest, this is often a step I skip out of my routine, (out of pure laziness) and as I just feel as though it doesn't do anything overly significant. One toner I do like though is the Body Shop's Vitamin E Hydrating Toner. It smells lovely (as does this entire range - I looove it), and it also helps your skin feel slightly more refreshed whilst removing any excess makeup you may have missed when cleansing. It doesn't have a harsh formula, or seem to strip your skin like many strong toners do, it just leaves it feeling hydrated.
A lot of the time, despite what anyone says simplicity is best. I have tried a range of different moisturisers from Embryolisse, to Clinique and I can honestly say, Aveeno moisturising lotion works wonders. It is fragrance free, has no nasty ingredients in and does exactly what it says; hydrates and soothes. I tend to use this all over my body near enough every day when I get out of the shower, and it is the only body moisturiser that has got rid of my dry skin, leaving it super soft and supple. I go through bottles of this stuff! In the summer, I tried using some on my face and it worked just as well. It leaves a great base for makeup and doesn't irritate at all.
At the moment I have been using Nip and Fab's Kale Moisturiser which I received in my January Glossy Box. I hadn't used their products before so I didn't know what to expect, but I really have fallen for this! It has a strange slightly sticky texture that feels as if it is going to apply greasy, but it glides on beautifully and sinks in really fast leaving your skin looking and feeling fab. I feel it also reduces the appearance of my pores and smoothes my entire face.
This is a new addition to my skincare collection, and it's a step I really wish I'd incorporated sooner! I recently visited the Rituals shop in Cheshire Oaks, which was amazing, and the lady was so helpful I couldn't resist picking up something from there. I had been after an eye cream for a while, as I get quite dark, puffy circles under my eyes which make me look really tired and washed out. I explained what I was looking for to the lady, and she recommended the Eye Smoothing Lotion that targeted dark under eye areas, and worked to reduce puffiness. I have been applying this both before bed and first thing in the morning, and I don't know if it's psychological but I really feel it's making a difference. My eyes don't look as tired, and I definitely think they aren't as dark or puffy. This has made me want to stick to using an eye cream now, and also try more Ritual's products; the shop itself was so pretty!
Night face mask
Before bed I religiously remove my makeup using a wash off cleanser, and if my skin is drier than normal I will then tone, apply moisturiser and follow with an overnight mask. At the moment, with my skin being okayish I have been skipping the moisturiser and just using the overnight mask, otherwise I find my skin feels a little too greasy. My absolute favourite is The Body Shop's Sink In Moisture Sleeping Mask. This is seriously such a nice product! It says on the label to apply a generous amount and leave to sink in overnight, I have been doing this ever since I bought a tub in the summer (which still has plenty left) and it keeps my skin in such good condition. I put quite a lot all over my face and when I wake up the following morning, my skin is really hydrated and moisturised, and looks healthy and refreshed, like I've had a good nights sleep - even on the occasions I haven't. I have tried serums at night and heavier creams, but have to say I prefer the effect this gives hands down.
Next on my list..
Some skincare products I would like to try in the next few months are the Charlotte Tilbury Multi Miracle Glow, I had this applied to my skin on a recent visit to a Charlotte Tilbury store and it was absolutely gorgeous. It comes in a big glass tub that looks as though it would last a while, and can be used as a cleanser, a mask or simply to apply on patches of dry skin anywhere on the body. The visible effect it has on your skin looks incredible (watch the video on the Charlotte Tilbury website to see exactly what I mean - that glow!)
I have also been wanting to try Kiehls products for a while now, they seem to have such a good reputation and I have my eyes on either the Ultra Facial cream or the balm. They have great reviews and I know a lot of people love the brand.
I will definitely be investing in more sheet masks - I think they're my new obsession! I loved the Starskin Hydrating Mask, as well as the Manuka Honey mask I received in my Glossy Box. I have had a look on the Vita Masque website and think I want to try the pomegranate sheet masks next, they're so reasonably priced and look lush!
What are your skincare favourites? Do you stick to a strict routine, or are you constantly trying new products?