New To My Skincare Stash: The Ordinary

New To My Skincare Stash: The Ordinary
My skincare stash up until recently was spilling out of a large drawer under my bed. It had become home to the skincare products that I’d tried and tested that hadn’t quite met the criteria to take place on my skincare shelf. But I’d store them in there ‘just in case’. But I've had a clear out and up until now, no new purchases had been made. But the New Year and cold weather have given me the ideal opportunity (or excuse...) to add a new crop of products to help freshen up my skincare routine. 

Let me introduce you to The Ordinary: one of nine skincare product ranges from Deciem (which includes NIOD, Hylamide and The Chemistry Brand). The Ordinary is kinda like a no BS skincare range (no marketing frills, unnecessary scents and luxurious packaging) that consists of 24 oils and serums. The formulations are simple with each product containing just 1-2 active ingredients, such as vitamin C, retinol, hyaluronic acid and zinc, but cost a mere £3.90 - £14.90. Which is madness, as I’ve spent over £35 on facial oil before and I've been very tempted to part with £85 for a bottle of Sunday Riley Luna Oil. I purchased The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (£5.90) and The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% (£8.00) in the hope they would address my skin concerns, which were dehydration and dullness at the time. And as I’ve been using these products consistently for the past two weeks, I thought I’d share my initial thoughts.

AM (post-cleanse) I've been applying The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. I get a little pipette-happy with this one; it's hard not to over-apply! But as a rule of thumb I press 4-5 drops onto my skin and increase the amount depending on how much my skin needs and follow up with a moisturiser. It doesn't have as much slip as the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Serum, as it's a little thicker in texture and is a tad sticky. But nevertheless it doesn't interfere with my makeup and plumps and smooth's flaky patches without leaving a greasy residue on my skin. However, whilst this serum plumps my face leaving it soft and supple, I'm unsure as to whether it helps retain moisture and keep those pesky flaky patches at bay as well as my Vichy serum, only time will tell...

PM, The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% has given my skincare regime the anti-ageing upgrade it required. Retinoid is a skincare ingredient known for improving fine lines, acne, skin texture and tone and helps improve pore quality, so they're less prominent and clogged. Retinoid is usually associated with irritation, flakiness and redness, but I find The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% doesn't aggravate my sensitive skin instantaneously, unlike La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] Anti-Ageing Concentrate. And unlike The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 it has a slicker, lighter and tack-free consistency which I much prefer. Once pressed into the skin my complexion glows and is smooth to the touch. With continued use, I've noticed it's quickly helping tackle textural issues. But whilst it's a hard working product, be warned, apply too much too frequently your skin will have a mass freak out, resulting in blemishes and dry patches (as overuse strips away the skin's protective layer of natural oils). I learnt the hard way, so be patient! 

I thought this range was a little too good to be true, but these products from The Ordinary are beauty bargains - under £10? I'm not going to argue with that! Having used both products for two weeks, I can confirm they appear to work just as effectively as more expensive products I've tried. I'm interested to see how they fare over the next few weeks and see if they take place under the bed, or take pride and place my skincare shelf! Caroline Hirons has given the brand her nod of approval. You can check out her interview with Brandon Truaxe The Ordinary founder on her blog here. I'll be sure to check back in with a full skincare update soon. But in the meantime there's no doubt I'll be continuing to slather these on...

Will you be adding a few of these power-packed goodies to your beauty regime? 
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You Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone: Laura Mercier Highlight 01

You Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone: Laura Mercier Highlight 01

As I have an upcoming high-end highlighter edit on its way, I wasn't going to share this post. But this post is entirely warranted. During 2016 my makeup stash saw an onslaught of highlighters, but the one highlighter I could always rely on to deliver pigment, longevity and a downright gorgeous glow on the daily, was the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01 (£28.50). And it wasn't until I polished it off that I discovered no matter what back-up highlighter I wore in it's place, nothing compared and as a result a repurchase HAD to be made. 

A single sweep of this stuff using my Morphe M501 Pointed Blender Brush (£8.00) imparts the most beautiful lit-from-within glow without running the risk of looking sparkly and that's half the battle right? It's everything I need in an everyday highlight and one that I can admire all day long. The shade isn't too gold, white or bronze, which is perfect for my neutral/borderline cool undertone. TBH the best highlighters I've tried and tested have that beautiful opalescent finish. Its featherweight formula is faultless. The texture is incredibly silky, soft and smooth and blends beautifully on the skin and never emphasise my pores, no matter how much I apply. It's simply perfection and one underrated beauty product to add to your arsenal of Holy Grail's. Trust me, it's a good'un.
  
Have you tried the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01?
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MAC Honeylove Lipstick | Review & Swatches

MAC Honeylove Lipstick | Review & Swatches
MAC Honeylove lipstick is the latest nude lipstick from MAC to find its way into my ever growing lipstick collection. Purchased in duty free on my way to Dublin last month, it was one of two shades on my duty-free shopping list. I had been eyeing up MAC Whirl, but having swatched the shade on my wrist I hesitated and realised I'm not quite ready to rock a full blown brown lip (all in good time...). And as my friend is a fan of the shade Honeylove, as is my latest favourite YouTuber Lydia Elise Millen, I would have been a fool not to pop it into my basket. 

Fast forward a few weeks MAC Honeylove £15.50 has become a happy resident in my handbag. The shade isn't quite matte, it's semi-matte and at first I thought the shade would be too light for my skintone and leave me looking as though I'd applied concealer to my lips, but I was wrong. The shade is a warm beige, with a subtle peach undertone that's comfortable to wear and easy to apply and has that sweet vanilla scent us beauty addicts know oh so well. In comparison to MAC Velvet Teddy, Honeylove isn't as brown and is far lighter in tone. Yet it has the same satin finish, that after a few hours wear, wears down to a more matte finish. 
MAC Honeylove Lipstick | Review & Swatches

Honeylove doesn't necessarily require a lip liner, but as MAC has just dropped their own lip kits and paired Honeylove with Subculture Lip Liner, I'm already contemplating popping back in store to pick it up. And admittedly Honeylove isn't the only nude lipstick I've purchased in the last month or so (I've got more to share!). I've become a woman obsessed with nude lip products. Send help... and more Muiji storage! 

Have you tried MAC Honeylove lipstick?
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Mococo Jewellery: Thomas Sabo Silver Pave Heart Necklace | GIVEAWAY

Mococo Jewellery: Thomas Sabo Silver Pave Heart Necklace | GIVEAWAY
With Valentines Day fast approaching I've been inundated with the advertisement of red roses, corny cards, boxes of chocolates and giant love heart bearing teddy bears. Now it may come across that I'm not a fan of Valentines Day, but I am. I just have a disdain for only expressing how you feel one day of the year. But having said that I actually quite like the corny cards and cliche valentines gifts and in all honesty no girl is disappointed with classic jewellery doused in diamonds...

Speaking of jewellery this Valentines I've teamed up with Mococo my favourite online retailers for shopping affordable designer jewellery and they've kindly gifted me a beautiful Thomas Sabo Silver Pave Heart Necklace RRP £70.00 and I'm going to give it away to one lucky BBA reader (as heart shaped jewellery isn't something a girl buys herself!). Personally I'm very selective when it comes to jewellery, but what I particularly like about this Thomas Sabo necklace is that not only is it simplistic, the heart pendant is delicate and dainty without looking or feeling cheap. 

To enter and be in the chance of winning, all you need to do is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below. There are two compulsory entries; you must be following British Beauty Addict via Bloglovin' and Mococo Jewellery via Twitter. But I've also added a few additional entries, if you fancy increasing your chances of winning. The giveaway is open internationally and ends on 19/02/2017. One winner will be chosen at random and all entries will be checked.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!
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Anastasia Beverly Hills Ultimate Glow Kit | Review & Swatches

Anastasia Beverly Hills Ultimate Glow Kit | Review & Swatches

When it comes to highlighters, Anastasia Beverly Hills has it nailed. From their Illuminators and four-pan palettes which are forever sold out, it will come as no surprise that everyone went into a tizzy when the Ultimate Glow Kit was released. And with such admiration for the brand and my weakness for highlighters, I swallowed the price tag, took the plunge and purchased the limited edition palette. But before I ramble on, I must admit I have mixed feelings about this palette. In short; it's a sparkly one! 

Each ABH palette has previously catered to different tastes and skin tones and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in 'Ultimate Glow' £44.00 is no exception and features 6 limited edition gold-hued highlights, bar the shade 'Snow' a true pearly white. It's the first Glow Kit with a mirror and has the same sleek cardboard packaging and outer sleeve as the previous Glow Kits. And like ABH's Glow Kit in 'Moonchild' the pans cannot be removed (which is a real bummer!). However, ABH doesn't skimp when it comes to their highlighters and each shade is 0.16 oz, meaning they'll easily work with your biggest powder brush and will last forever.

The ABH Ultimate Glow Kit doesn't match the quality and pigmentation of other ABH Glow Kits. Sadly, the formulation of this Glow Kit is a tad too glittery to make my love list and is better suited for someone who likes to sparkle. If you like a natural, lit-from-within kinda highlight this palette isn't the one for you. I also find a few of the shades are a little problematic, as they can accentuate my skin texture, especially the shades 'Golden Dawn' and 'Hot Sand' which has a copper sparkle. But the shade 'Snow' a beautiful pearly white, is the only shade in the palette that I find has a truly smooth creamy consistency that doesn't emphasise my pores or my skin's natural texture and looks flawless on the tops of my cheekbones. To be honest, it's unfortunate this shade isn't sold alone! Overall, I find the highlighters are a little dense and as a result I find the base colour doesn't translate onto my skin without a little extra work and the help of a flat synthetic brush. 

Personally I find these highlighters are easier to use on the eyes and work well mixed in with my blusher. But I'm not convinced it's worth purchasing the £44.00 kit alone for eyeshadow. If you have a medium to dark skin tone, I can imagine these highlights would look beautiful and are ideal for a night out. But it's not a palette I'd recommend for fair faces and I wouldn't class this product, as a definite makeup must have for all ABH obsessives. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Ultimate Glow Kit | Review & Swatches
Anastasia Beverly Hills Ultimate Glow Kit | Review & Swatches

Snow: a truly pearly white with a metallic sheen. 
White Sand: champagne gold with warm undertones and metallic finish. 
Golden Dawn: warm gold with a sparkly metallic finish. 
Sunray: peachy-bronze with a copper sparkle. 
Amber Gold: rosy gold with a yellow and gold sparkle and shimmer.
Hot Sand: medium-dark copper with orange undertones and copper sparkle. 

Have you tried the Anastasia Beverly Hills Ultimate Glow Kit? 
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What's In My Makeup Bag: January

What's In My Makeup Bag: January

Its been yonks since I delved inside my makeup bag and shared its contents with you. And having spent the last few months welcoming new beauty products and disguising my pasty complexion, I thought I'd chat you through the makeup routine that has seen me through the first month of 2017...

L'Oreal foundations have always been some of my favourite drugstore foundations and for a light-medium coverage and finish that looks natural and feels bare, I've been opting for L'Oreal True Match Foundation in (N1) (£9.99). It's an old favourite and one of the few foundations that matches my current skin tone. 

Everyone needs a good concealer and one that's got the blogosphere talking is the Tarte Tape Shape Concealer (£19.00). If everyone's buying it, it's got to be good right? And it's true when they say, you always want what you can't have. So as soon as I saw Tarte offering free international shipping I'd checked out before you could utter the words Tape Shape (speaking of which, what does that even mean?!). It's on the thicker side, yet has a natural finish and works best with a beauty blender, doing a great job at concealing dark circles and discolouration without creasing or fading throughout the day. 

As I've been rotating a few newbies, I've been fickle when it comes to setting powder. But one powder I've been wearing daily is the shade 'Fawn' from the Anasatasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit (£39.00). I like to apply it using the Morphe M143 Deluxe Soft Fan Brush (£9.50). It's shaped perfectly, fitting right in the hollows of my cheeks, creating a flawless and clean contour quickly and effectively. It honestly makes applying contour an absolute breeze. And whatever is left on the brush, I sweep over my forehead, across my jawbone and down my neck. If I want to add a little warmth, I've been using Models Own Sculpt & Glow Contouring Bronzing Powder in Deep Tan (02) (£8.99)

I've been hooked on Makeup Geek's Duochrome Highlighter in 'Lit' (£19.25). The latest highlighter drop from Makeup Geek has gone completely under the radar?! Yet 'Lit' has become one of my favourite highlighters. It might not look particularly special in the pan, but a quick dusting imparts the most beautiful multi-tonal sheen, that's fit for everyday wear. If you're in the market for a new highlight, then you know what to do... 

Makeup Geek's Creme Brulee Eyeshadow (£6.00) is a one sweep wonder. There's no need to apply another shade into the crease. The light-medium brown has warm peachy undertones, which make my blue eyes pop. It has undeniably good colour payoff and is not at all powdery. It just looks so darn good on its own, so much so it's received a hella lot of public appreciation (thanks work colleagues!)
I love BIG lashes and I also love Maybelline's Lash Sensational Mascara, but for now it has taken a back seat whilst I put Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (£19.00)* through it's paces. Mascara for me can be a tricky one, as I already have pretty lengthy lashes that work well with most mascaras. But this mascara definitely performs well and gives outstanding volume. Better than sex? I'll let you decide! 

My lip product stash has grown considerably in recent months. So what happened? I was introduced to NYX Liquid Suede in 'Soft-Spoken'* a matte liquid lipstick that's comparable to both Kat Von D Lolita and MAC Velvet Teddy. 'Soft-Spoken' has reignited my love for brown, tawny mauves. The shade instantly transforms my look with ease and I don't find the formulation drying or hydrating. And did I mention it has the seal of approval from the Kardashian/Jenner clan? Not bad for £6.50 eh? 

What makeup products have you been reaching for recently? 
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