30.10.14

My Spot Fighting Skin Prescription

My Spot Fighting Skin Prescription
No one likes spots and I don’t believe that anyone has perfect skin and I for one certainly seem to welcome a few visitors every month, especially around my jawline and mouth. In the past I haven’t really known how to deal with breakouts and I was often tempted to squeeze them and although I shouldn’t of done (and was told not too), I did, which is a  massive beauty no, no. And unfortunately I have a few scars as a result. But over the last year or so, I have found a few products that I have found really work for me, in addition to my regular skincare routine. So here are my five top products that help me to battle a breakout.

LUSH TEA TREE WATER £7.95
Whether my skin is breaking out or not, this is a current staple in my skincare routine. I like to spray it onto a cotton pad and swipe it all over my face after I have cleansed in the evening and morning. It is really refreshing, tones my skin and helps to reduce redness, whilst helping  to calm and reduce the size of blemishes, with its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. This product also includes juniperberry water, a popular acne treatment ingredient and grapefruit water another great antiseptic. 

KIEHL'S MIDNIGHT RECOVERY CONCENTRATE £36.00
This glass bottle is full of a light silky oil, thats packed with goodness and is my nighttime skincare secret. This oil really helps to heal my skin after a breakout, it also softens, plumps and diffuses, whilst leaving my skin looking radiant by morning. It’s the one product that I can say truly gives immediate results and my makeup and skincare applies wonderfully after using this product and when I skip this step, or add it back into my routine I can tell.

ORIGINS CLEAR IMPROVEMENT CHARCOAL FACE MASK £23.00
This mask may be a pretty messy, but it is really good at drawing out those nasty under the skin pore cloggers! I like to use this mask after I have cleansed and opened my pores using my at home steam facial. What I love about this mask is that not only does it actually work, but it doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight or dry. This is my second tube, but if you are on a budget I also love Una Brennans Clay Mask. You can read a full review of the Origins mask here

BODY SHOP TEA TREE OIL £7.00
This product is natures best kept secret. If you dont own a bottle of tea tree oil, your missing a beauty trick or two! Tea tree oil, is antibacterial, antiseptic, soothing and your spots worst nightmare! I like to apply the oil onto a cotton bud and straight onto those pesky blemishes and overnight they will have significantly reduced in size and become less angry! It is super effective and it also helps repair the skin and prevent scaring, so perfect for you spot squeezers! For £7 it may seem a little expensive, but it will last forever and tea tree oil is a great multipurpose product! I wouldn’t be without it. 

LA ROCHE POSAY EFFACLAR DUO+ £15.50
This light gel serum has been specifically developed to target oily, blemish-prone skin. I loved the original Effaclar Duo, but this new formula also helps fight against marks. I normally reach for this at times of crisis instead of my regular daily moisturiser, as I find it really helps to unclog blocked pores and it works nicely as a makeup base. However I do find this product a little drying when used daily, so if you suffer from dry skin pair with a moisturiser. I recommend this product to anyone with blemish-prone skin, you won’t see results over night, but when used regularly it really helps make a difference. 

What products do you reach for during a breakout? 
Emily
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27.10.14

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer // Review

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer // Review

I have been having a bit of a makeup base revelation this year, I have found a couple of bases which are hard to beat; bareMinerals Original Foundation and Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation and it’s fair to say that Laura Merciers Tinted Moisturiser has very quickly become another firm, face base favourite. After just one use I was instantly impressed and I knew I was onto a winner when both my Mum and my Sister commented on how good my makeup looked.                                                  

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer // ReviewLaura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer // Review

In terms of application I find this product works best when it is applied with my fingers, as my brushes soak it up. On the back of my hand the tinted moisturiser appears quite thick and creamy, but it applies beautifully, smoothing over my skin effortlessly.  

The lightweight formula is pretty magical. Unlike other tinted moisturisers I have tried, this tinted moisturiser is true to its word and is really hydrating. It is the perfect blend between skincare and makeup. It gives my dehydrated skin that much need boost, whilst giving my skin a soft hint of colour that evens out my skin tone. It has an SPF of 20, is non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores) and has been allergy tested, so is perfect for those of us with sensitive, spot prone skin. 

Being a tinted moisturiser, this product doesn’t mask my complexion, my freckles are still visible, but surprisingly it does cover minor imperfections and the coverage is buildable. The longevity is quite good and I have noticed it wears evenly and doesn't cling to dry patches - which gets a big thumbs up from me! Although this product is oil-free it leaves a gorgeous glow. However, I do find I can get a little shiny after a couple of hours, so on greasy days I skip moisturiser and apply the product onto bare skin and finish with a translucent powder. 

Now, the price might make you wince, but you get 40ml of product, but thats 10mls more than your average foundation, plus you only need a pea sized amount, so I can see this lasting a while. This tinted moisturiser is available in three formulas - oil-free, original and illuminating. It also comes in an amazing 10 shades, so there is something for everyone! I love a low maintenance product that delivers  and Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturiser hasn’t disappointed.

What’s your favourite product from Laura Mercier?
Emily
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24.10.14

HOW TO: Fuller & Longer Lashes

HOW TO: Fuller & Longer Lashes

For me one coat of mascara doesn’t cut it. I’ve always been big on lashes, applying coat after coat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of clumpy tarantula lashes, but who doesn’t want giraffe like lashes?! Getting past the animal references, I will start by saying that there are a lot of products and tips and tricks out there when it comes to lashes. But, in all honesty I don’t have the time, or patience, to dip a cotton bud into baby powder and apply it to my eyelashes after each coat (saying that, I wouldn’t even say that really works?!), or apply false lashes on a daily basis! Do you? Understandably our eyelashes are genetically programmed and we aren’t all blessed with killer lashes  (blame Mum & Dad), but there are a few basic things you can do in order to create the illusion of having fuller & longer lashes, without baby powder, or falsies. 

1. CURL YOUR LASHES:  
Skipping this part is the biggest mistake you can make. Curling your lashes can really help open up your eyes and make them appear bigger, by flipping your lashes upwards. If you have flat lashes, they may not even be short, so investing in a good pair of eyelash curlers is vital. I really like the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers, they have a well deserved reputation of being one the best on the market, they don’t pinch, hold a curl and are quick and easy to use. 

HOW: Please do this carefully and gently, we are trying to create fuller and longer lashes, not pull them out. So, hold the curlers at the base of your upper lashes and tilt the curler upwards. Next create small pulses, by pumping the curler. Repeat this a few more times, working your way up lashes. This will create more of a curl rather than that ‘I blatantly just curled my lashes crimp.’ And please avoid curling your lashes after applying mascara. I state the obvious here for many, but I made this mistake when I was younger and I pulled half my lashes out.

2. APPLY EYELINER:
Tightlining as it is formally known in the beauty world, is the technique of applying eyeliner to your upper waterline. This step can really make your lashes appear much fuller and darker and is one, which I have only recently come to realise really does work! Now, this technique is super simple, but it can take a little practice especially if you don’t have the steadiest of hands. You can use gel, cream or pencil, I wouldn’t advise using a liquid liner as it would be too wet. Remember you are trying to create the illusion of a fuller lash line, so if you use brown mascara, opt for a brown liner etc. I personally like to opt for a waterproof black eyeliner, like my Benefit BADgal Waterproof Eyeliner, but a cheaper alternative would be Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Khol Kajal Eye LinerBut I wouldn’t mind trying a flat liner brush and gel liner if anyone has any suggestions? Finally, I really like to wear eyeliner on my upper lash line too, but keep in mind that wearing bold liquid liner on the upper lash line can cut your lashes in half and make them appear shorter.

HOW: With one hand lift top lid and apply eyeliner onto your waterline. I find going over it a few times works best and stop before you get to the inner and outer corners to prevent your eyes from looking beady. 

3. APPLY MASCARA:  
I could talk all day about mascara, yep I really could. But for the time being I will keep this simple. The type of mascara you use will obvious have an impact (or not) on the outcome of your lashes. If your lashes refuse to hold a curl, opt for a waterproof mascara - youll be surprised! If you haven’t quite found the mascara that works for you, don’t be scared to double up on mascara. Use one for lengthening and one for volume. And if you find your mascara is clumping, you may have too much product on the brush, or maybe it has expired? Read more about this here.

There are hundreds of mascaras to choose from, including fibre mascaras that you brush on prior to your regular mascara application (they are like mini hair extensions but for your lashes). Now, these may work for some, but Im not the biggest fan, as I find they fall of and drop onto my nose throughout the day. I have tried and tested so many mascaras and my favourites are - SEVENTEEN Dolld Up Mascara (review), SEVENTEEN Falsify HD Mascara, Max Factor False Lash Effect (review) and Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara that already has fibres incorporated into the formula.

HOW: Remember slow and steady wins the race ladies, so take your time! Firstly make sure you’re looking down into a mirror (to really get to the base) and place the wand underneath your top lashes, next gently wiggle the wand in a zig-zag motion as you begin to drag it upwards towards to the tips of your lashes. I personally like to wait a few seconds between each coat, but this is dependent on what mascara you are using (you may find it works better when applied this way). Make sure you apply mascara to the top of your lashes not just the underside as this insures even distribution and full coverage. And don’t neglect your bottom lashes, they love a coat of mascara too! And lastly pick up any mascara thats on your skin with cotton bud, if need be comb through lashes with lash comb and pinch the tips of the hair to get rid of any clumps.

What are your top tips for fuller lashes? 
Emily
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19.10.14

Face Time #1

Face Time #1
Face Time #1
Here’s my very first Face Time post. After many requests to share what I wear on my face, I plucked up the courage to do just that. I love these types of posts, so I hope you enjoy mine! Please excuse the hair, it’s still a little wet in this photo. If you must know why, I very rarely use a hairdryer.

Let’s start with the base. I used my new Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser in bisque. For a tinted moisturiser it gives the most incredible coverage, without being caky, or heavy on the skin. It also really helps to minimise my pores and it leaves my skin looking super healthy. A full review is on it’s way! I also used the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow to give my face a little more shape and definition. I then popped a little bit of the highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones. This kit may be a little pricey, but it is so worth it and by far my favourite contour duo. I then swept a little Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso onto my cheeks. And for under my eyes, I went to my go to concealer Benefits Erase Paste, you can read a full review here

On the brows I used my Benefit Brow Zings in light. Its a duo eyebrow set, with a tinted wax and powder. But recently I have just been using the powder alone with an angled brush, as I find the wax can make brows appear a little red.

On my eyes I used my LORAC Pro Palette. I absolutely love this palette, it has converted me and made me a lover of matte eyeshadows, they are super smooth, blend seamlessly and are really pigmented. I used 'light pink' all over the lid and put a little ‘taupe' into the crease. This is an eyeshadow combo I have been gravitating towards a lot recently. I then took Soap and Glory Supercat eyeliner along my upper lash line and created a small flick (I cant go without!). I find this eyeliner is really easy to work with and remains super black whether applied straight to the lid, or on top of eyeshadow.  I then applied lashings of bareMinerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara. 

To finish the look, I opted for Mac Peach Blossom lipstick. I have worn this lipstick to death over the last 3 months! I cant get enough of it. It's very close to my natural lip colour but with a hint of peach. It instantly makes my lips appear much fuller than they really are. 

So what do you think of this Face Time post? 
Emily
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16.10.14

Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece

Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
The Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel in Karadmena, Kos, Greece is like something out of a brochure (or, on triangleswimwear's Instagram account!) it was breathtakingly beautiful... 

My boyfriend Ben had booked the holiday with Thomas Cook and kept the location secret, I have never been so excited! I could talk about my holiday and the hotel for hours on end, so I will try and keep this short and sweet! The Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, sits on a backdrop of rocky Mountains and overlooks the sea and is situated just 20 minutes away from Kos airport, 30 minutes away from Kos  town and just 10 minutes away from Karadmena, a walled town full of bars and restaurants, with a boat filled marina. 

The hotel itself was pretty darn fabulous. Let me start by saying, I have never had the pleasure of staying in a hotel, that has functional swimming pools, that are just for show... that’s right, pools that sparkled in the sunshine undisturbed. The complex had many large outdoor swimming pools that although a little chilly, you can take a dip into (and we did!), surrounded by decking, pretty gardens, bridges and many sun beds. In fact, there was never a rush for a sun bed, no need to be a sun bed reserver and there were no mosquitoes, as the pools are salt-water pools. The beach was pebbled and very pretty, with a bar serving drinks, ice cream and snacks. Water sports and beach massages were also available. 

The complex was beautifully decorated and every little detail had been very well thought out. It’s a large hotel, but it was never crowded, or loud. I cant fault the staff, they were professional, friendly, and welcoming. The animation team wasn’t too in your face and although the lip-syncing was a little questionable, we stayed through a whole performance of Mamma Mia and actually quite enjoyed it! 

The hotel has 10 restaurants; the main restaurant is a buffet style and had the most beautiful outdoor seating area overlooking the sea. There are also 6 smaller restaurants around one of the larger pooler areas, that all serve different food such as, burgers, pancakes, ice cream, greek cuisine, german cuisine and fish. And not forgetting the 3 restaurants on the sea front which you had to book; Italian, Mexican and Greek. The food was really nice and Ben’s beer often came in a frozen glass in the main restaurant (the little things)! It's probably worth mentioning we went all inclusive and boy was it worth it. 

Every evening, bar one (no pun intended), we sat in the main bar (open every evening until 1am) where I drank a few piƱa coladas and Ben drank a few beers. There was always a bit of a queue for drinks, but nothing like my local Weatherspoons! However, a waitress would come over and take our order and we found that was much quicker than queuing. We met some lovely people whilst on holiday and spent most evenings in the bar with them laughing and chatting away. The Wi-Fi was only free in the bar and it was pretty poor. But myself and Ben left our phones back in our hotel room and all things considered it was a breath of fresh air not being connected to everything and everyone. It was just what I needed.

Unfortunately I have no pictures of our room (so you’ll just have to take my word for it!), but the room was spacious and beautifully decorated, with a wooden ceiling, marble flooring, a balcony overlooking the sea, a mini bar (that was refilled daily), two showers, a bath, large sink area and super comfy beds - probably the best I’ve ever slept in! My only negative comment would be that the hairdryer was pretty useless, but in all honesty I didn’t expect anything different! Have you ever been abroad and had a decent hairdryer? 

So much for keeping it short! But all in all, (minus the delays on both our inbound and outbound flights *cough* Thomas Cook *cough*), I have never really wanted to visit the same hotel twice, I have a list longer than my arm of places I want to visit and like going to new places. But I would make an exception with this hotel and Ben has said the same. 

Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, GreeceMitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece
Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece

Take me back...
Emily

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10.10.14

Duty Mind If I do...

Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece

Is it okay to be just as excited about the shopping potential in the duty free, as you are excited for the holiday? Well, once the holiday was booked, I started dreaming of Gatwick North Terminal and filling my basket! So once me and Ben had checked in, it didn’t take me long to do exactly that! In all honesty, I didn’t spend as much as I thought I would and although I went with a few things in mind, I didn’t pick any of them up, I was so overwhelmed by the beautifully lit counters that I didn’t know what to do with myself! So here is what I got my hands on instead.

Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece

RRP: £40.00 30ml | DUTY FREE: £32.00
There is just something about Jo Malone fragrances. They are hands down, like nothing else I own, or have ever tried before. This is my first Jo Malone fragrance and I’m certain it won’t be my last. The packaging alone makes me swoon! But the scent is divine it’s described as 'A burst of deep, tart blackberry juice, blending with the freshness of just-gathered bay and brambly woods. Vibrant and verdant.’ If I’m honest that description doesn’t sell it. I say, get to a Jo Malone counter and give it a sniff for yourself.

RRP: £72.00 50ml | DUTY FREE: £57.60 
Ah! Tom Ford where have you been all my life! This fragrance is quite simply wonderful. I will attempt to describe it to you, but yet again, I feel this may be one you will need to try out for yourself! It’s a dramatic, spicy, sensual scent with a ‘blend of Black Truffle and Ylang mingled with fresh Bergamot and delectable Black Currant.’ Its a very distinctive scent, unisex intact and when I wear it, I cant stop sniffing myself and thrusting my wrists into peoples faces. In fact, it changes on my skin, initially when I sprayed it in duty free I wasn’t all that impressed, walked away, spent some money, asked myself what that lovely smell was, realised it was Tom Ford black Orchid and consequently went back and bought it! It is a little on the pricey side and not something I will be spraying willy-nilly! I have worn it a couple of times since and cant get over how beautiful it smells. I would say this is an evening scent and not one for the faint hearted. I also must mention how gorgeous the bottle is, oh so sophisticated.

Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece

RRP: £17.00 | DUTY FREE:£14.15  
I have been meaning to buy a new bottle of MAC Fix+ for months. But it had been out of stock etc, etc. So, I headed into the MAC counter in duty free in the hope of buying a new bottle, but surprise, surprise, it was out of stock! So instead, I opted for the MAC Mineralize Charged Water. It is described as ‘a refreshing, hydrating mist that replenishes skin and enhances makeup application and wear. Spray before makeup to create a dewy canvas. Re-apply as needed to relish moisture or re-set makeup.’ This charged water is also infused with green tea and citrus scents, but it isn’t overpowering, it’s light and very refreshing. In terms of enhancing makeup application I haven’t quite tried it yet. So I will have to update you all.

RRP: £19.00 | DUTY FREE:£15.80  
The brush every eyeshadow lover needs, well so many beauty blogger and shadow lovers say! This brush is renowned to be the best of the best of the blending brushes and as an eyeshadow lover, I have forever wanted to put it to the test! The brush has fine, densely packed fibers, which are ever so soft to touch and all the MAC professional brushes are hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials (and so I should think for £19.00!). Someone pass me some eyeshadow.

Mitsis Blue Domes Hotel, Karadmena, Kos, Greece

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer - Oil Free
RRP: £34.00 | DUTY FREE: £27.50 
Laura Mercier bases crop up everywhere! I have read oodles of posts and over the last two years or so and read some rave reviews, so I opted for the Oil Free Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. It’s a sheer, lightweight foundation with SPF20. It’s meant to be really kind to sensitive or acne prone skin and I have moved on from my MAC Studio Fix and much prefer lighter bases for during the day. I have worn it a handful of times since returning home and I feel I may have a new favourite! So watch out for a full review soon.

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado
RRP: £20.00 | DUTY FREE: £16.65 
For me, eye cream is essential. I may only be 22 (I actually typed 20... clearly it’s been a long day!), but your eyes are the first part of your face to show signs of ageing and your under eye area is also extremely delicate, so it is important to take care of it! Although this eye cream isn’t particularly focused on fine lines, my under eye area gets very dehydrated. So this creamy eye cream is exactly what I’m after for the colder months. This is the second product I now own from Kiehl’s, I also own their Midnight Recovery Oil which I love, so fingers crossed I love this eye cream just as much! 

What would you pick up from Duty free?
Emily
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