29.12.16

How To Make Your Legs Look Great Instantly

How To Make Your Legs Look Great Instantly
Having spent the majority of December in bed (post-op), my legs are let's say, off-season and not quite ready to be seen in a dress come New Years Eve. And whilst I understand you need to feed your skin with the right products and shave at the end of your shower when your skin is soft, I need a quick fix to ensure my legs look their best. So if like me you're feeling a little self-conscious about your pins and want to get dress friendly legs in a flash read on...  
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27.12.16

5 Festive Fixers

5 Festive Fixers
Lots of booze, bad food, unrivalled stress and freezing temperatures, it's no surprise that good skin can go bad and start misbehaving during the festive season. And unfortunately beauty crisis are unavoidable. But this doesn't mean they can't be treated. So today I'm sharing a few common issues and how to deal with them so you shall go to the ball...
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25.12.16

GIVEAWAY | Moprhe 35F 'Fall Into Frost' Eyeshadow Palette

Yay! It's finally Christmas Day! I wish you all the very merriest Christmas! Hopefully Santa Claus popped by and gave you everything you wished for and you're healthy, happy and loved. And now that the presents are unwrapped and family time and the Christmas movie session has begun, I've decided no seasonal celebration is complete without one last little present of my own...
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22.12.16

Christmas Day Makeup

Christmas Day Makeup
With Christmas Day just 3 days away, like all beauty-lovers I'm just as excited for Christmas Day makeup as I am about gift giving. And although Christmas day for me is about scoffing the contents of a Quality Street tin and serious QT time with family and friends. I still like to get dolled up and look badass in my Christmas jumper. So here are of my favourite makeup picks to ensure I feel festive and look my best in any family photographs...
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20.12.16

How To Make Your Skin Glow With BECCA Cosmetics

How To Make Your Skin Glow With BECCA Cosmetics

Whenever I'm looking to branch out and truly treat myself, Cult Beauty is the place I turn to when I'm feeling spendy. And with BECCA products being adored by many and being conveniently stocked at Cult Beauty, I thought I'd make way in my beauty stash and introduce a few new glow-getters to help perfect my complexion. And in short, I'm impressed. So much so, that I'm already considering which BECCA highlighters and luminisers I should pop into my basket next... 

This primer from BECCA has instantly stepped up my winter makeup routine. The BECCA Backlight Priming Filter creates a natural luminous sheen, with no shimmer in sight. Its subtle opalescence and blendable lightweight texture is beautiful. It imparts a little moisture, blurs any pesky imperfections and diffuses light for that lit-from-within glow we all lust after, without being shiny, or greasy. It melts into clean skin and any foundation that follows glides on. Mixed with foundation they become more skin-like - even with full coverage foundations, a subtle sheen is still evident. It does also extend the wear of my foundation, but only for an extra couple of hours. But anything that ensures my complexion is photo ready, or enhances my favourite beauty bases is a winner - especially over the holiday season! 

BECCA's products are all about complexion perfection and the BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector isn't far off perfection. The salmon pink toned corrector, neutralises dark circles and brightens, leaving me wide-eyed and deceivingly well slept. Unlike other correctors I have tried including those from Bobbi Brown and Benefit, it's far thinner in texture, without compromising on coverage, making it appear more natural and easier to apply. Its formulation is smooth and using my fingertips and just the right amount, a sheer layer does the job pretty darn well, doing most of the hard work, leaving the concealer to more often than not to just neutralise the colour. It imparts that soft-focus effect that BECCA evidently does so well and has a satin finish. But apply too much and you'll be left with pink frosty under eyes, so practice to get the right amount! 

‘Champagne Pop’ is the highlighter of 2015 that broke the internet and Sephora’s record for the most purchased product on the day of release and is still highly sought-after. And believe the hype, ‘Champagne Pop’ is a unique light-medium gold, with a warm orange undertone - it's stunning. OTT on first impression, this highlight from BECCA is not for those who like a subtle highlight. Soft and smooth in consistency and a little bouncy in the compact ‘Champagne Pop’ can be blended out for a less intense finish opposed to a strong sheen. I prefer to use a fan brush for application, as it can empahise pores when applied with a heavy hand or a dense brush. 


Have you tried any of these products from BECCA? 
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18.12.16

Makeup Geek Duochrome Highlighter in Lit | Review & Swatches

Makeup Geek Duochrome Highlighter in Lit | Review & Swatches
Last week Makeup Geek dropped a selection of brand new highlighters and I had to resist the temptation to buy them all! The new collection features 7 signature highlighters and 6 duochrome highlighters. Personally I'm fascinated with colour-shifting products and as I'm besotted by Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in 'Insomnia', I had to buy one. So after a little deliberation, I popped the shade 'Lit' into my bag. Now don't be deceived by its bland appearance in the pan - 'Lit' leaves me looking like an ethereal Christmas fairy...

The Makeup Geek Duochrome Highlighter is housed in pretty mirrored compact, with a gunmetal lid and soft touch bottom and the product itself has the same pressed pattern as the Makeup Geek Kathleen Lights Palette. Now, not only is the packaging gorgeous, the formulation is near enough faultless. 'Lit' is super soft, smooth, blendable, has no fallout, doesn't emphasize uneven skin tone and isn't chalky, patchy or sparkly. The shade is icy-looking in the pan - a far stride away from the champagne highlighters I love! But 'Lit' is actually translucent when applied to the skin and has a subtle pink shift that is surprisingly forgiving on the skin (no white frosting in sight!). I was left in ore on first application, tilting my head left to right to catch the shift in the light. The shade lifts, brightens, and doesn't leave you beaming like a lighthouse, it just imparts a luminous multi-tonal sheen. Unlike other duochrome highlights I've tried, Makeup Geek's Duochrome Highlighter in 'Lit' is the most wearable, as it's not a strong duochrome, which frankly I'm thankful for as I wouldn't want it to look unnatural against my skin tone. The pigmentation is good, but it's not opaque. You can use a light hand for a natural glow, or pack it on for an intense, high shine. 

Makeup Geek Duochrome Highlighter in Lit | Review & SwatchesMakeup Geek Duochrome Highlighter in Lit Swatch

I would have expected these to sell out, but they're surprisingly still in stock! But having said that, the price point is a little steep (£19.25) considering Makeup Geek currently retails, however, I'd happily pay the price again to add another to my collection. And I must admit, the swatch doesn't do this highlight justice! It's bloomin' lovely - trust me.

Have you tried any of the Makeup Geek Duochrome Highlighters?
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16.12.16

MAC x Mariah Carey MCizzle Lipstick & New Ombré Lip Pencil | Review & Swatches

MAC x Mariah Carey MCizzle Lipstick MAC x Mariah Carey MCizzle Lipstick & New Ombré Lip Pencil | Review & Swatches

It's been some time since I purchased anything from a limited edition MAC collection. But MAC x Mariah Carey Collection for Holiday 2016 has arrived and I squealed with excitement when Debenhams announced a preview before the range was set to hit stores (16th December). The 23-product collection is a sweet fantasy (sorry, not sorry!) and includes five lipsticks, five lip glosses and two lip liners amongst others and the packaging for every single product luxurious and completely covered in glitter. And although I didn't get my mitts on the glint-y gold, all-over body sparkle (aptly named 'Touch My Body), I did buy 'MCizzle' lipstick and 'New Ombre' lip pencil. If you're a Mariah fan, or love sexy nude hues, this collection will be all you want for Christmas. But be quick, it's going to sell out fast! 

MAC x Mariah Carey MCizzle Lipstick Swatch

MAC x Mariah Carey Lipstick in 'MCizzle' £17.00
Glitter has been having a grown up moment (case in point Jouer's infamous Lip Toppers and L'Oreal's Color Riche Gold Obsession Lipsticks) and whilst Mariah's collection featured a handful of frosty formulations, it will come as no surprise that I gravitated towards one of the three Cremesheen shades available; 'MCizzle'. The shade, which is comparable to MAC Hue, is a light-medium peachy pink with warm undertones. Applied to my lips it's pinker than peach and has a natural finish (with no shimmer in sight!). The texture is lightweight, comfortable and buildable and lasts around 2-3 hours before a top-up is required. Nevertheless, the shade is low maintenance and totally dreamy. Speaking of which, the packaging alone was enough for me to part with my pennies, from the silver glitter, the champagne gold accents, Mariah's signature and the pretty imprinted butterfly, I would be lying if I didn't say I've spent hours ogling it! Worn alone, or on top of 'New Ombre', me and 'MCizzle', we belong together... 

MAC x Mariah Carey MCizzle New Ombré Lip Pencil Swatch

MAC x Mariah Carey Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in 'New Ombré' £17.00
Lip liner is more often than not an afterthought when I apply my makeup. But, I do appreciate that lip liner is to lipstick what primer is to foundation. So I thought it would be wise to buy a lip liner to accompany my new lipstick (mum, if you're reading this; it was a necessary purchase!). The shade 'New Ombré' is a medium peach with warm undertones and has a matte finish. I recommend prepping before application, as although it applies smoothly and with ease, once dry the pigment tends to cling to dry patches. The longwear lip pencil can be used along the outer edge of the lips, but I prefer to fill in my lips with it entirely. After a few hours wear it does become a tad drying, but that's nothing a little balm can't fix. It's versatile and looks pretty layered with gloss, or a metallic topper. But paired with 'MCizzle' it enhances its underlining peachy tones and keeps the colour from migrating (top snap). It reminds me a little of peachy take on a classic nude Rachel Leary lip and whilst this isn't something I'd usually wear, I kinda like it (and its got my sisters seal of approval too!).

Have you bought anything the MAC x Mariah Carey Collection?
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14.12.16

A Mini Beauty Bay Haul

A Mini Beauty Bay Haul

Beauty Bay is a delightfully dangerous place. I very rarely browse without hitting "add to bag". So when Black Friday came around last month and Beauty Bay had some crazy discounts, I simply couldn't resist - I mean, I had done all my Christmas shopping, so it only seemed fair. And I apologise for my photo editing skills. On this day in particular, I just couldn't get it quite right. Anyway, here's the low down on what I bought... 

Z Palette Extra Large Palette £15.75 RRP £22.50
Customising your own makeup palette, is a little like being at a buffet and picking just your favourite courses. And Z Palettes are the Queen of makeup customisation, the blank, magnetic, slim and sleek palettes allow you to fill them up with your favourite shades and products from multiple brands, without a throwaway shade in sight. And having recently placed a Makeup Geek order my previous Z Palette is no longer large enough and the Z Palette Extra Large is big enough to fit up to 35 standard round sized pans, meaning I can go ahead and place yet another Makeup Geek order... 

Morphe Brushes 700 8 Piece Candy Apple Red Brush Set £13.50
I've never been a top-your-makeup-up-midday kinda girl. Having worked in a Zoo for 2 years previous to my new job in London, it didn't matter if my complexion wasn't selfie ready. But as unexpected meetings, post work drinks and lunches are now a common occurrence, midday makeup application is now a necessary evil. So naturally a selection of basic brushes for my handbag is essential. And the Morphe Brushes Candy Apple Brush Set is a collection of 8 brushes with natural and synthetic fibres (they're super soft), housed in a bright red roll and cost a mere £13.50. The cute kit includes; Tapered Powder Brush, Tapered Blush Brush, Flat Foundation Brush, Oval Fluff Brush, Chisel Fluff Brush, Pointed Crease Brush, Angle Liner Brush - all the tools I need for a quick fix! 

Gerard Cosmetics Slay All Day Setting Spray in Peach £10.15 RRP £14.50
I reach for setting sprays over primers daily as they're convenient and by far my favourite way to ensure my makeup will last for as long as possible. And it was about time I put the Insta famous setting spray from Gerard Cosmetics through its paces. Available in 5 different colours/scents the GC Slay All Day Setting Spray promises to keep your makeup from sliding down your face and reduce any oil buildup after a long day spent outdoors. And whilst I'm yet to truly put it to the test, on first spritz the setting spray is sweet and heavily scented (reminds me a little of Topps Mega Mouth Candy Sprays) and has a serious cooling effect.  

Louise Young Concealer Trio in Light £14.00 RRP £20.00
Whilst my beauty base and concealer collection is bursting at the seams (see here for reference). I lack a concealer for disguising blemishes. Spot concealer hasn't always been an essential in my makeup regime, but as mentioned previously, rather than starting from scratch and reapplying my makeup midday, spot concealing is a handy and quick. And the Louise Young Concealer Trio features three shades of concealer, a light formulation specially designed for the under eye area and to deeper shades to blur the appearance of any complexion imperfections. The palette itself is slim and fits perfectly in my everyday makeup bag. 

Can you resist the temptations of Beauty Bay?
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12.12.16

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in 'Moonlight' | Review & Swatches

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in 'Moonlight' | Review & Swatches

When I swatched the Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in 'Moonlight' in my local Space NK I lost my shit. No really, if unicorns had tears, this is what I'd imagine they'd look like. So when I was told the concentrated liquid metal highlighter drops were out of stock, I could have thrown myself on the floor there and then in true Veruca Salt style. I walked out empty handed with a heavy heart and subsequently added myself to the wait-list. But fast forward a month or so, I tracked down the sold-out shade 'Moonlight' online at Fabled by Marie Claire. And let me tell you, this highlighter is so freaking good, I just gave it holy-grail status.  

The Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops are ‘formulated with a high concentration of pearls that produce a lit-from-within glow without appearing too glittery or overdone'. Available in two bronzing and four illuminating shades ranging from pink to gold, copper and a deep, almost russet brown they're ideal for highlighting, strobing and bronzing. The shade 'Moonlight' is a beautiful pale rose champagne with a high metallic sheen and a very fine shimmer. Housed in a glass vial with a dropper dispenser, the drop formula is weightless, fragrance free and highly concentrated (a little goes a long way). It can be worn alone, or added to your primer, foundation, lipgloss and even body cream - it mixes with everything! Whilst the formula is incredibly pigmented, the liquid consistency makes the product easy to sheer out and blend. I apply the product to my cheekbones with the tips of my fingers and blend out with my Real Techniques Complexion Sponge. The coverage is buildable, so you can use as many, or as few drops for your desired effect, and the dropper is easy to use, dispensing just the right amount. However, the product sets within a few seconds, so I recommend working fast. Because once it's set, it's set! The result? A beautifully lit, pearly, glowing effect that shines from morning until night without fading, smudging or transferring. 

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in 'Moonlight' | Review & Swatches

Frankly I've never used a better liquid highlighter. The Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in 'Moonlight' are innovative and utterly beautiful. And whilst I hate to recommend a product with such a high price point, if you're a sucker for a good glow I recommend you follow the crowd on this one, it's worth the hype! Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in 'Moonlight' are available online at Fabled for £34 (I even got £15 off my first order, free delivery and got to pick the hour slot it arrived - not bad eh?!).
Have you tried the Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops?
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25.10.16

NARS Velvet Lip Glide in 'Stripped' | Review & Swatches

NARS Velvet Lip Glide in 'Stripped' | Review & Swatches
Cult beauty brand NARS have just released a new wave of lip products that are a simple solution for those who haven’t fallen in love with liquid lipsticks. The NARS Velvet Lip Glides are not quite a traditional lipstick and not quite an opaque gloss. And being a fan of NARS’s Velvet Matte Lip Pencils and their Audacious Lipstick collection, it didn’t take me long to part with my cash and snap up ‘Stripped’ a beautiful people pleasing nude, which has quickly become a resident in my handbag.
 
Packaged in a sleek minimal tube with a pinched doe-foot applicator, the shade ‘Stripped’ is a light-medium beige pink. The NARS Velvet Lip glide has a semi-opaque pigmentation, a lightweight non-sticky consistency and a vanilla scented formulation. It’s comfortable to wear and applies like butter, leaving a glossy sheen on my lips helping them to appear plump and fuller. After an hour or so, it develops a velvet-like (less shiny) finish, that’s still a tad creamy, but certainly not matte (basically it never fully dries down!). And the best part? It doesn’t dry out my lips. But it’s not surprising, as its formulation is infused with NARS Oil Infusion Complex, an innovative concentration of oils, for an extra shot of hydration - making it one of my most comfortable lip products to date. I did notice however, that occasionally the colour clung to dry patches and settled into fine lines, especially when my lips are in need of a little TLC. But when paired with a lip liner, it's faultless. And as expected it does transfer, as it doesn’t have a matte finish. 
NARS Velvet Lip Glide in 'Stripped' | Review & Swatches
The bottom line: you’ve got to try the NARS Velvet Lip Glides. Available in 13 shades inlcuding a punchy red and mahogany brown, the NARS Velvet Lip Glides are easy, comfortable, lightweight, with a decent amount of colour and coverage.
 
The NARS Velvet Lip Glides are available to buy at Fabled (by Marie Claire) for £21.00.

Will you be picking up the new Lip Glides from NARS? 
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22.10.16

4 Under-Eye Concealers That Actually Work

4 Under-Eye Concealers That Actually Work
What's the most powerful product in your makeup bag? Personally I'd award my concealers as my true beauty heroes. Designed to banish, lift and brighten those shadows lurking under your eyes, they're the difference between looking like you had a night out and looking like you snuck in a few extra hours sleep. But concealer can be really hit or miss, so I've compiled 4 Emily-approved concealers at every price point, that conceal and minimise dark shadows.

The brightener: Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer £7.99
Packed with hydralonic acid and Mont Blanc glacier water the Bourjois Radiance Reveal concealer is perfect for those with dry under eyes, that need to conceal with something a little more moisturising. The coverage is sheer so it won’t completely cloak your skin. Its light-reflecting finish adds a subtle luminosity to the skin making it an ideal candidate for brightening. The doe-foot applicator makes application precise and easy. And once applied it visibly smooth's away fine lines and hydrates the under-eye area. It’s just a bummer that it only available in 3 shades!

The full coverage concealer: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer £23.64
If you’re after coverage the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer provides full coverage for the darkest racoon eyes. It’s highly pigmented and has thicker coverage in comparison to other products available, and whilst it’s a little on the pricey side it's well worth it. Taking just a teeny-tiny amount on the back of my hand (a little goes a long way), using a synthetic brush and I blend the product under my eyes. It can be tricky to get the product out of the tube - it requires a good squeeze! But the concealer drastically diminishes any unwanted darkness without being cake-y, sitting in creases around the eyes and slip-and-sliding all over your face. It blends immaculately and the shade is spot on. I also use the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer to help conceal any redness around my nose. And with a bit of translucent powder it stays where you put it for the whole day. If heavy bags really both you, it’s worth the investment - it has it all covered! 

The corrector: Bobbi Brown Corrector £19.50
The Bobbi Brown Corrector is a pink or peach based corrector created to neutralise under-eye darkness before the use of concealer. I quickly tap into place with my fingers and it effectively corrects the blueness beneath my lashes. Its formulation is creamy, lightweight, waterproof and is available in 16 skin-tone correcting shades. The colour-correcting formula contains skin conditioners to help protect the delicate under-eye area and layers well under concealer or foundation (which also helps to balance the colour if necessary). If you over apply it does have the tendency to crease, but tap on just the right amount, apply concealer and set with powder, it will be smudge-proof masking tied eyes all day long. 

The Anti-age concealer: Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer £7.99
The Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer is a gem. Whilst the sponge applicator isn’t particularly hygienic, it makes application effortless. Its formulation includes goji berry and Haloxyl help to reduce the look of puffiness, fine lines and the appearance under-eye circles and is a great option for those with mature skin. Applied in a triangular shape under my eyes and blended, it instantly brightens and masks dark circles. It has a natural finish with no shimmer or dewiness and doesn’t require a setting powder. However, on occasion it has been too dry for my liking. It has light to medium, layerable coverage. I picked one shade lighter than my natural skin-tone and it has a soft yellow undertone that works wonderfully on my cheekbones, under my brows, and eyes for a general contouring effect. And it’s available in fair, light, medium, honey, neutralizer and brightener shades. 

What's your favourite under-eye concealer?
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20.10.16

The Unique Stacker Ring From Clogau

The Unique Stacker Ring From ClogauOver the last few years, Pinterest has fuelled my desire to wear a dainty, delicate rings on every finger, so as a result I have quite a ringdrobe. But funnily enough I've never been a jewellery junkie growing up, mainly due to the fact I'm quite selective and have a particular taste, which makes selecting jewellery a difficult task. And whilst my collection primarily consists of Pandora's best selling stacker rings, I have recently acquired a new, rather unique ring from Clogau, which has taken nicely to my index finger and hasn't been removed ever since! 

Handcrafted and beautifully designed the Clogau Gold Life Affinity Stacking Ring £99.00* is timeless and elegant. The Celtic inspired ring features sterling silver ivy leaves that look a little like interlocking hearts and a ribbon of rare 9 carat Welsh gold. The stacker ring looks minimal worn alone, but also looks great layered with other pieces (layering isn't just for your autumn wardrobe!). I particularly like the combination of metals as my ring collection is primarily silver. But I'm also intrigued by Clogau's heritage. Clogau is a second generation family business based in Wales who for 25 years have used rare Welsh gold taken from the Clogau St.David's Gold Mine in Snowdonia in their range of jewellery. And I was surprised to find that Welsh gold has been used to provide wedding rings for the Royal family as far back as 1923 - if it's good enough for the Royals its good enough for me! The Celtic heritage resonates in their designs and also on the inside of the ring bands where the Welsh dragon and Clogau hallmark are proudly displayed. 

I had never heard of Clogau up until now, but they sell beautiful pieces from stacking and engagement rings, gold pendants and intricate earrings and are a jewellery brand that should be on your radar too. 

Had you heard of Clogau? What's your favourite piece of jewellery?
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18.10.16

The Mac Repurchases

The Mac Repurchases
If you’re a MAC Cosmetics fanatic like me you can imagine my glee when Debenhams announced 10% off all MAC products last weekend. So naturally I popped a couple of essentials into my online basket (sorry bank balance) both of which are repurchases and two essential setting fixtures that had been missing from my makeup stash for some time. 

If you’re looking to upgrade your makeup game, I recommend a finishing spray. MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ is my go-to for when my makeup looks a bit 'meh'. Whilst the fine face mist doesn't particularly enhance the longevity of my makeup quite like Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray, when spritzed over my face after applying my makeup it instantly refreshes my complexion. Fix+ rids that cakey look when I get a little too powder happy and applied after a full days work I can hit up happy hour looking like I've just applied my makeup. It's magical, non-irritating, non-sticky, works well at intensifying pigments and eyeshadows, is weightless and simple to use. I've been through countless bottles of stuff. It's just that good. 

While I do prefer a translucent loose powder for setting my makeup, during colder months I'm often shuffling between cold temperatures, blowing winds and heated spaces which leave my skin a little pink. This is where MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish Natural comes in. The face powder from MAC adds an extra hint of coverage whilst diminishing fine lines and pores. I used to steer clear of powders, as they tend to be heavy and drying, not to mention they would run the risk of oxisiding and caking over my foundation. But MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural isn't chalky, drying, or cakey. Applied directly on-top of my foundation the powder enhances my foundations finish and still allows my skin to glow. It's not a mattifying miracle, but it's got staying power and can be applied throughout the day without looking like you've over done it. 

What products do you repurchase from MAC?
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16.10.16

New Season, New Scent: CLEAN Reserve Sueded Oud

Admittedly I’m not shy on perfume, but with so many new-season scents being released I thought it was prime time to update my perfume wardrobe. From a young age I’ve lusted after glass bottles filled to the brim with sweet scents, but my taste has become more sophisticated as of late. CLEAN Perfume create understated, uncomplicated fragrances for the home and body that are inspired by the beauty and pureness of nature. And CLEAN Reserve Sueded Oud* is the perfect sophisticated scent to kick off the new season.

Founded in 2003 CLEAN have established a loyal following with their eco-friendly, cruelty free, people pleasing scents including; Rain, Blossom, Skin, Cashmere and Warm Cotton. The scents don't sucker punch you in the face when you apply them, they're like 'non-perfume perfumes' - you wear it, it doesn't wear you. But the CLEAN Reserve collection is a little more complex and grown-up, the fragrances can be worn alone, or layered and have been created "to be dynamic and evoke, not memories of the past, but possibilities and experiences yet to be discovered". CLEAN Reserve Sueded Oud is a beautiful woody scent and unlike any other fragrance I own. I tend to steer clear of anything too heavy or heady, but Sueded Oud isn't overtly sexy or heady, it's sensual, fresh, surprisingly light and luxurious. It’s difficult to capture scents in a blog post (describing scents is not my forte), but Sueded Oud is a creamy traditional oud fragrance. Upon application smoky top accents transport me to Bonfire Night, but after a few hours wear, it mellows and the base notes burn slowly, lasting throughout the day to reveal a soft suede, light oud scent.  

I'm not as eco-conscious as I should be when buying beauty products. I'm easily swayed by pretty scents and packaging. But not only does CLEAN Reserve Sueded Oud smell gorgeous, I love the ethos of the brand. CLEAN are transparent about how their products are manufactured, from the ethically sourced oak cap, sustainable ingredients, to the 100% recyclable glass bottle. So picking up a new fragrance this autumn doesn't need to be a guilt-ridden pleasure! CLEAN Reserve is exclusive to SpaceNK and retails at £79 for 100ml.

Have you tried CLEAN scents? 
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6.10.16

Affordable Matte Lipsticks From SEVENTEEN Cosmetics

SEVENTEEN Mega Matte Lipstick
If you're a sucker for a matte lip the SEVENTEEN Mega Matte Lipsticks won't disappoint your purse or your pout. Boots own budget beauty brand SEVENTEEN Cosmetics have released 12 flat topped bullets that claim to 'glide on smoothly to give you a bold and intense matte pout' with a 'non-drying creamy formula that's comfortable to wear and lasts for up to 13 hours' for a mere £4.49 each.

The lipsticks are encased in slimline matte black packaging and are described as 'mega matte', but I beg to differ and would describe the finish as simply matte - but if you're a matte die-hard blot with a little translucent powder for that mega matte finish. The formulation whilst not consistent across the three shades I've trialled, are creamy and non-drying, which is perfect with the winter months fast approaching. They apply smoothly straight from the bullet and whilst I found they transfer slightly, they have good lasting power without flaking and compromising on moisture. Unfortunately 'Looking Buff' (the lightest shade) falls victim to patchy application, dryness and an equally disappointing powdery texture. However, 'Nude News' a flattering nude and 'Roses Are Red' an adventurous bright red are a different kettle of fish: they pack pigment, are comfortable to wear, apply effortlessly, don't feather and have a creamy texture. 

If you have really dry and flaky lips, I recommend prepping your lips before application to avoid showcasing every imperfection. So brush your lips clean of any dry skin and pop on a base coat of balm. If you like precision apply with a lip brush to ensure you get a crisp edge and don't forget to carry a balm and the bullet during the day if you need to hydrate your lips and reapply your colour.

SEVENTEEN Mega Matte Lipstick

Have you tried the SEVENTEEN Mega Matte Lipsticks?
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4.10.16

The Magic Mitt That Erases Makeup WITHOUT cleanser?!

Jane Iredale Magic Mitt
When it comes to cleansing us ladies take it pretty seriously. I for one, have been cleansing for years and whilst I don't use the same face wash I bought from Boots back in the noughties, I've tried and tested a sea of cleansing products that claim to leave my skin looking flawless and feeling fresh. There are formulas for every skin type and an array of bars, pump soaps, creamy, gel and even foamy face washes. But I've found a cleansing alternative, which serves perfectly for the low-maintenance girl and for those of you who have super sensitive skin that erases makeup WITHOUT cleanser.

I've never been as skeptical about any beauty product that has landed on my doorstep quite like the Jane Iredale Magic Mitt* £17.00 - can cleansing really be this basic? But I can confirm the baby pink mitt is no glorified flannel, it really works. Softer and far silkier than your regular flannel all that is required is a little warm water - no separate cleanser! I pop the mitt onto my hand and gently massage the micro fibre mitt over my face and it removes foundation, eyeshadow and yes, even mascara without the use of a cleanser. But how?! According to Jane Iredale the combination of warm water and micro-fibres turn the makeup into an emulsion that is swept away by the mitt. And whilst it does take a little extra effort to remove lashings of mascara, I'm in awe at how effective this mitt really is. However, whilst Jane Iredale's Magic Mitt removes my makeup and daily grime leaving my skin feeling super soft, that fresh feeling just isn't delivered when using the mitt alone. But is that squeaky-clean feeling really any good for my skin? It's also worth noting the mitt does become a little grubby, but I've found a bar of Simple soap does the trick of removing any stains. 

Overall, the Jane Iredale Magic Mitt is a great alternative for anyone with dry, sensitive, or problematic skin that struggles to find a cleanser that isn't overly drying and irritating. Plus its a quick way to cleanse with no extra steps, or mess! 

Would you ditch your favourite face wash and try the Jane Iredale Magic Mitt?
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22.9.16

Love Me Beauty: The Best Bits

Love Me Beauty has introduced a few new brands into their beauty boutique in the last month or so. They now offer the chance for fellow product junkies to discover the likes of Makeup Forever and PIXI and last month they added Vita Liberata, Eco Tools, NUXE, Kat Von D and Omorovicza to their all-star line up. LMB have quickly stepped up their game, not only do they have a whole host of hot brands available to try at your fingers tips, unlike most beauty subscription boxes on the market Love Me Beauty allows you to pick your own products using your points. Who said beauty subscription boxes are boring eh?! 

Arguably I don't need a monthly beauty delivery, but test-driving new beauty products and discovering new brands is kinda my thing. LMB's mix of makeup and beauty products from high-end and emerging brands excites me - not to mention they come packaged in a pretty makeup bag! So today I wanted to share three of my favourite finds from the LMB boutique. 

Everyone needs a makeup brush set in their beauty arsenal and this six piece starter set from Eco Tools includes the basic; a concealer, eye shading, blush and angled liner brush and a lash and brow groomer. The iconic brushes have recycled aluminum ferrules, incredibly soft, cruelty-free bristles and are vegan friendly. With a little compact pouch to pack the six pieces away, the price is unbeatable for the quality. 

A classic brick red liquid lipstick perfect for the upcoming months. And a beautiful formulation to match, infused with vitamins A,C and E for added hydration. Long-lasting wear (boasting a full 8 hours) and high-pigment colour with a smooth matte finish. 

The MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder doesn't add colour or coverage, but will help your makeup stay in place all day long. The loose powder has an incredibly soft, fine texture and the one-shade-fits-all formulation of 100% mineral silica sets and slightly mattifies, whilst softening the appearance of imperfections, fine lines and pores. But don't be overzealous during application, otherwise you'll look as though someone's slapped you round the face with a chalkboard duster!

Full sized this stuff is pretty pricey, but rightly so. After slathering myself in the non-scented fake tan, I was left with a beautiful instant glow. It dried super fast more so than my favourite Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Instant Tan, didn't require a crazy amount of buffing and doesn't leave you looking like a zebra. And as of right now I can't vouch for the 2-3 week staying power. But I'll be sure to put it to the test! 

Whilst it won't take place of my richer night cream, Pixi Beauty Sleep Cream has been a nice addition during warmer weeks. The silky, fast-absorbing, lightweight, nutrient-rich cream feeds, calms, conditions and normalises my skin while I sleep. It's great for those of us with combination complexions, as it tends to dry patches yet isn't greasy. And come morning I wake up to wonderfully soft skin. 

Use 'em20' for 20% off your first LMB order.
What's the best product you've received in a subscription beauty box?
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20.9.16

3 Products That Will Prolong Your Summer Tan

This summer I worked hard on my tan (I basically sunned myself at every given opportunity) and the thought of my limbs becoming winterised once again makes me shudder. It's true when they say everything is better with a tan, right? But just because summer has come to an end, doesn't mean your tan has to. And whilst I enjoy the fair skin my momma gave me, nothing beats a real tan. So I've picked out my favourite fake tanning trio, perfect for fake tan first timers and experts, that besides wearing white, exfoliating and moisturising, will ensure your limbs remain golden brown all year long. 

Dove Derma Spa Summer Revived Fair to Medium Body Lotion £6.99
You really can't go wrong with Dove's Derma Spa Summer Revived gradual tan. If you're nervous about fake tanning, or want something a little more natural, Dove's gradual tan combines skincare benefits and a golden glow that builds within 2-3 days and develops without any unfortunate marks. Not nearly as scary as the real stuff, non-greasy, fast drying and easy to maintain, Dove Derma Spa Summer Revived has already been repurchased and has become my new go-to moisturiser. However, I recommend applying at night and showering in the morning, as it does develop the familiar biscuit smell. And whilst subtle, this is not a scent I like to wear! 

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning Lotion £17.60 (Special Price)
Especially formulated for your face and décolleté (a.k.a neckline, because we don't all speak French), Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning Lotion is ideal for sensitive skin types, as it's gentle and kind to the skin. Packed with nourishing vitamins, the lightweight milk-lotion tanner can be added to your moisturiser, worn alone, under makeup, or left to develop overnight. It doesn't deliver a full on bronze, but a natural even looking glow, a little like a well adjusted Instagram filter blurring redness and imperfections. The scent is light and inoffensive and once applied using a cotton pad my skin is left feeling super soft and nourished. 

Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter One Hour Tan Mousse £7.99
If you're after instant gratification Coca Brown 1 Hour Instant Tan's accelerating ingredients delivers a fake tan fast. The mousse tan has a guide colour to ensure a streak-free finish, is easy to blend, dries in just a few minutes, doesn't have that tell-tale scent and it's nearly impossible to overdo it. Leave it on for just one hour for a light sun-kissed glow, two for a medium tan and three for a deeper bronze. Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Instant Tan last a good 5-7 days and fades evenly. It doesn't have a big A-list following for any old reason! 

What are your go-to products for prolonging a summer tan?
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