Three Vegan Skincare Discoveries

Three Vegan Skincare Discoveries
Up until recently I didn’t really give much thought about where my beauty ingredients come from - it takes time and a whole lot of googling to decode a product label. It’s a bit of a minefield. But unknowingly to me, three skincare products that I’m currently besotted with, are actually vegan. Meaning these lotions and potions do not contain any animal extracts, or animal by-products. I’m not particularly snobby with my skincare ingredients, if I see results I’m sweet. But it seems upping my ethics and being more conscious of what goes into my skincare products is worth my time and money as these products have been a god send. 

Herbivore Moon Fruit Superfruit Night Treatment £48.00

Similar to PIXI Peel and Polish, Herbivore Moon Fruit Superfruit Night Treatment is packed with fruit enzymes to gently resurface the skin and unclog pores. The overnight mask also contains hydrating butters and hyaluronic acid, which gets a thumbs-up from me as it helps to keep my skin plump. And despite its purple appearance, you can wear the mask overnight without creating a mess on your pillowcase as the colour disappears as you massage it in. I’m yet to be completely won over by its lavender-scented formula, but slapped onto the skin in the evening, topped off with a facial oil to boost hydration (as Herbivore suggests), I wake up in the morning looking like I’ve drunk my two litres of water. If you’re dehydrated, sensitive or wanting to ditch dull skin, it’s worth the splurge.

Dr Roebuck's No Worries Hydrating Face Moisturizer £30.00

I’m fussy when it comes to moisturisers, as I have dehydrated skin, but I hate anything thick or tacky on my face, especially when the weather turns sweat-tastic. But Dr Roebuck's No Worries Hydrating Face Moisturizer has been ticking all the right boxes and has slipped seamlessly into my skincare routine, bumping all other moisturisers to the back of the cabinet. Its lightweight formulation includes a simple blend of effective ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and macadamia nut oil two moisture-magnets and vitamin E for added anti-aging benefits. Gently massaged into my skin it’s easily absorbed and non-greasy, leaving it feeling soft, supple and plump. And it’s inclusion of glycerine (commonly found in primer) helps create the perfect canvas for makeup. The only criticism is it doesn’t contain SPF. But as I’ve been pretty dedicated to my new skincare find I’ve invested in an additional facial SPF. 

PIXI Peel and Polish £24.00

Meet my current skincare favourite; PIXI Peel and Polish. This 2-in-1 mask and polish is a miracle worker. Because with most skincare products you don’t expect to see actual results until you’ve used them consistently for several weeks, but I kid you not, in just 5 minutes this product transforms my skin. The PIXI Peel and Polish contains lactic acid and papaya enzyme, which acts similarly to an AHA (but is far gentler), to remove all the dead skin cells from your face. Twice a week I apply the mask for 5 minutes post-cleansing, then with my fingertips I gently massage it in, then remove with warm water. As its acid based it does cause some tingling, but it’s fleeting and comfortable. The result? Instantly softer, brighter skin, with no tight feeling or drying. In fact, the results aren’t too dissimilar to Peter Thomas Roth's Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, but it’s far cheaper and your skin won’t look red immediately after use.

What are your thoughts on vegan beauty products?
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My Minimalist Makeup Routine

This summer I’ve been embracing a minimal makeup routine and it seems wearing less product is worthy of a compliment or two, as a few of my eagle eyed colleagues have noted and praised my laid back barely there makeup. For the first time I gracefully accepted the compliments with confidence, as this routine doesn’t make me feel naked, unattractive or self-conscious. Who’d thought eh? The girl who once spent all her paper round money of a tube of what was effectively coloured paste at Milton Keynes outdoor market and wouldn’t leave the house without smothering her face in the stuff, would love to dabble in little to no makeup at all. 

We all know minimal makeup is tricky to master and besides MAKE UP FOR EVER Water Blend Foundation (£33.00), I’m yet to find another base that perfects your complexion without looking as though you’re wearing any makeup at all. But on occasion I’ve been skipping foundation all together and opting for Glossier Stretch Concealer (£15.00)* instead. The potted concealer offers sheer to light coverage and melts into the skin leaving it fresh, dewy and diffused while allowing my real skin to shine through. If your complexion is on the oiler side and you’re worried about looking a hot mess, either layer a primer underneath, or apply a translucent setting powder to help with any unwelcome shine.  

For a minimal makeup look I like to switch up my powder bronzer and contour in favour of something with a creamy texture, as I find the finish is more natural. Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base (£40.00) is a cream-based bronzer and although it isn’t exactly handbag friendly, it’s my go-to for faking an impressive summer glow. I apply the bronzer where the sun would hit my face naturally - forehead, nose, cheeks and chin – using a stippling brush and it blends with ease. The finish is a soft matte with zero shimmer and is almost undetectable. However, this is not a product I can wear when I’m a little pasty, as it has an orangey undertone - so something to bear in mind if you have a pale complexion, as unfortunately it’s only available in the one shade. 

Unless I’ve had an overzealous plucking session, I’ll simply brush a couple of coats of Glossier Boy Brow (£14.00) through my eyebrows to help tame them and add a little texture. Available in four shades Boy Brow delivers on its claims that it fluffs, thickens, and shapes without getting flaky or crunchy. But when my brows have those occasional sparse areas, I’ll opt for Benefit’s Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil (£20.50), which provides a more soft look than a powder, or pomade. And if I want my brows to look uber-natural (and I can be asked with the additional effort) I’ll opt for not one, but two shades of Goof Proof, taking the lighter shade through the front of the brows and the darker through the arch and tail to lengthen and define. 

Before applying mascara I like to conceal my veiny eyelids with a neutral matte eyeshadow that’s a tad deeper than my natural skin colour to help disguise any discolouration. Generally I tend to wear one of the following three; Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Creme Brulee (£4.95), the eighth shade in Huda Beauty’s Warm Brown Obsessions Palette (£25.00), or Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow in Burnt Orange (from £12.00), all of which are great picks for day-to-day. And then I’ll apply mascara which is non-negotiable careless of what look I’m trying to achieve. Glossier Lash Slick (£14.00) is a great everyday mascara that goes on without clumping and it lifts, lengthens and separates every single lash. It doesn’t add much volume, but its buildable and it feels as though I’m wearing no mascara at all. In short it does for your lashes what boy brow does for your brows.

Among the rotation of lip products I’ve been hoarding in the bottom of my handbag is Dior Addict Lip Glow Colour Awakening Lipbalm in 001 Pink (£23.40). The cult balm from Dior doesn’t just lend my lips a boost of hydration; the pH adaptable lip colour glides on almost transparent before developing into a flattering rosy tint. What I particularly like also, is it’s super soft texture and that it’s never, ever glossy or sticky no matter how much you apply. And when my cheeks are looking a little dull I’ve found that it doubles nicely as a cream blush. I rub the bullet onto the tips of my fingers and gently pat the product onto my cheeks and it leaves my skin looking brighter, rosier and dewy. 

If I apply Dior Addict Lip Glow to my cheeks, I find the need for highlighter is less. But when I do want a little suminsumin, it will come as no surprise that I reach for something creamy that has little to no shimmer. For a glow without the glitter Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (£30.00)* does the trick and imparts a beautiful luminous finish, that’s so lovely and natural looking that it’s hard to resist apply all over. And to top it all off I lightly mist MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ (£19.00) my favourite glow-giving mist over my skin. 

What products do you use to create a minimalist makeup look?
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The Beauty Products To Pack For Your Holiday

My suitcase weighed in at 20kg as it hit the scales at Gatwick airport when we checked in for our flight to Porto Santo last month. I would usually regard myself a light packer and I did up until this point. But I should have considered this a possibility the moment my sister asked me why I needed to fly half the contains of the bathroom cabinet with me to Portugal as I shoved my wash bag into my case. And in hindsight she had a point, as it’s safe to say not every single product got put to good use during my holibobs. But a handful of products did and I thought I’d share those with you today.

Wilko After Sun Aloe Vera Gel £2.50

It might be the most unappealing product in this round-up, but it’s easily one of the most important. If like me despite your best efforts your skin burns within minutes of being exposed to the sun, aloe vera gel is a must. I repeat, it’s a must pack beauty product for a hot summer holiday. Typically brand-to-brand the formulation of aloe vera gel doesn’t differ, so I tend to pick up a tube from wherever is convenient. But trust me when I say this green goo will help soothe, hydrate and calm the worst sunburn of your life.

HERBIVORE After Sun Soothing Aloe Mist (60ml) £10.00*

Although aloe vera gel doesn’t make you oily, it can leave a sticky film on the skin. So to ensure you can wear your favourite (and most comfortable) dress to the all-inclusive evening buffet without the garment sticking to your thighs (or backside in my case) after sun sprays such as HERBIVORE After Sun Soothing Aloe Mist are a great alternative. The blend of aloe vera, lavender and peppermint essential oils means the mist is cooling, soothing, hydrating and anti-inflammatory. It’s worth noting however that HERBIVORE uses glass bottles to house their beautiful products, which is great for the environment, but not our luggage. But it’s nothing a Glossier pink pouch couldn’t help a gal out with. 

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream (75ml) £18.00

My love for Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream hasn’t wavered since it first made an appearance on my top shelf last June, as smothering my limbs in this stuff is always a pleasure. Not only is the sugary, summery scent addictive, it’s hydrating, creamy and leaves my skin noticeably soft and suppler, without that typical greasiness associated with most body creams. But does it make my butt plump? Honestly, this isn’t a Brazilian bum lift in a jar per se, but the dimples in my skin, scars and stretch marks have been visibly reduced. 

Moroccanoil Treatment Light (25ml) £13.45

Typically I don’t tend to style my hair on holiday, it goes up during the day, gets washed post pool/sunbathe session and is let to air-dry before I head out to consume several piña coladas. But one of my all-time favourite styling products and after sun hair saviours is Moroccanoil Treatment Light. To apply I gently squeeze out the moisture from my hair (after washing), rub a very small amount of the oil into the tips of my fingers and work the product through the mid-section and into the ends of my hair. The lightweight oil feeds my hair back to its best after being exposed to heat and humidity, reducing frizz and unruliness, leaving it seriously soft and shiny. 

Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ (50ml) £29.00

Call it a quarter life crisis but I’m suddenly seeing fine lines developing on my face and I’m freaking out. I blame the one too many years of using sunbeds and not wearing a sunscreen with a high SPF rating. But rather than dwelling on the should haves, I now wear and strongly suggest investing in a moisturiser with a SPF rating of 30+ (and not using sunbeds blah, blah, blah…) to help slow down the ageing process. My current favourite is Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ that has a SPF of 50 as well as a high UVA protection. It can be worn alone, or under makeup and is comfortable, lightweight and doesn’t look white on the skin – it just feels like a regular moisturiser. And of course you can still get a tan while wearing sunscreen. So don’t disregard the importance of facial SPF, or rely solely on your foundation with SPF.

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask £42.00*

While it’s not a necessity it’s always nice to pack a beauty product that helps you to indulge in a little pamper whilst you’re away. And as I was planning to lounge in the sun for hours on end, which can leave my complexion feeling zapped of moisture, I opted for Summer Friday’s Jet Lag Mask, which has a seriously hydrating formulation - more so than Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. It also contains vitamin C, Niacinamide, Green Tea and Chestunut Extract to boost hydration, brighten, soothe and reduce uneven skin. The balm is thick and smells a little minty and I found is best applied overnight, especially if you’re after uber-dewy plump skin. 

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Finish 24HR Wear (Latte Light) £27.00*

Admittedly this was the first time I’d taken a false tan product abroad and to do so sounds a little ironic doesn’t it? But I wasn’t blessed with skin that tans seamlessly the same shade from head to toe and I found that Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Finish 24HR Wear actually came in handy during my stay. In fact, it worked a treat at helping to even up my skin tone, I simply applied a thin layer of the wash off self-tan every evening to any exposed limbs and rinsed off before I getting into bed. But it’s worth mentioning if you apply too much, the product can ball up and I recommend applying with a tanning mitt to avoid a streaky finish. I’m not one to book a pre-holiday spray tan, but I wouldn’t hesitate at packing this again. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eye Shadow Palette £43.00

I love to experiment with new eyeshadows whilst I’m away as I have the time (and energy) to do so. And before my trip I hadn’t even opened the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eye Shadow Palette despite the fact I’d purchased it back in March(!) so it was the ideal candidate for the job. The latest palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills features a selection of neutral eyeshadows including a handful of warm peaches, which are undoubtedly my most worn eyeshadow shade of the past two years. During my stay I wore all 16 shades and found they complimented my blue eyes and golden glow perfectly. 

By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Serum (Sunny Flash) £61.00

Rather than second-guessing and buying a foundation that is darker than my usual shade, I like to mix my foundation (MAKE UP FOR EVER Water Blend Face & Body Foundation) with a pump of By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Serum in Sunny Flash. The CC serum isn’t something I reach for during colder months, but when my base needs a hint of warmth the bronze serum is my top pick. The CC serum isn’t a coverage product, but it blends well with my go-to bases, brightening, smoothing and blurring my complexion. It is however rather pricey and perfumed, so two things to consider if you're strapped for cash and sensitive to perfumed products. 

What beauty products do you take away with you?
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5 Summer Makeup Staples

5 Summer Makeup Staples
If you’re wondering where the hell I’ve been, in short, I’ve been shopping for summer (almost irresponsibly so). And in that time I’ve pushed my heavy creams, foundations and fragrances to one side and made way for a new crop of beauty products. So I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourite beauty launches and makeup staples I’ve been sticking to this summer – crack open a cold one! 

CHANEL Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base £40.00

Besides Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze and Glow compact, I’m pretty fickle when it comes to bronzers. But since the UK has been blessed with some decent spells of sunshine, Chanel’s Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base has been my top pick. The solid cream bronzer which is housed in a rather large plastic tub (but that didn’t stop me from taking it away with me on holiday) can be worn alone, or on top of makeup. To apply I use my Zoeva 122 Petit Stippling Brush, which picks up just the right amount of product (as things can get a little orange-y with a buffing brush) and blend the cream across my cheeks, the bridge of my nose and forehead to mimic where the sun would natural hit. The finish is a believable bronzed glow and I like to top it off with a light dusting of contour powder into the hollows of my cheekbones and a touch of highlighter. 

Glossier Lash Slick Mascara £14.00

Glossier is ever-expanding their line-up of easy, everyday makeup staples and I’m all for it. And their Lash Slick Mascara, which launched in May has pleasantly surprised me with its ability to lengthen, separate and fan-out my lashes. The £14 mascara with Japanese fiber technology, delivers more on length than volume (unlike Lancôme Monsieur Big) and sure, you need few coats to get the full effect (as I find with most mascaras), but it lives up to its claims that it doesn’t smudge or clump. I have however on the rare occasion spotted a couple of tiny fibres on the tops of my cheeks, but they easily brush off. And yes, the formulation really does wash away with warm water, which is a plus for me, as when I roll through the front door from my commute it makes removing my makeup pretty quick and painless. I’m on my second pink tube already.

Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil £20.50

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow has been my ride or die brow product for a good few years now. But when my angled brow brush got a little dirty and I quite frankly couldn’t be asked to give it a good clean, I found myself reaching for a miniature Benefit Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil I had stashed away and I’ve been using it ever since. Shade 2 (light brown) is a great match for my hair colour and the finish is far softer than a pomade which compliments my lighter, more natural summer makeup. It’s by far the best brow pencil I’ve used for some time as it’s a little waxier than most and has an angled nib making it the perfect product for the extremely lazy and makeup novices.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette £45.00

I’m a sucker for an eyeshadow palette (my IKEA Alex drawers are testament to this). So when a new palette launches, it’s usually in my basket within minutes of its release. Yet, I didn’t feel the need to snap this one up in a hot minute as I have neutral eyeshadows a plenty. But I did fail to resist soon after (standard), handed over my money and fell head over heels for its assortment of warm browns and peachy shades. And despite not housing anything revolutionary, it’s easily my all-time favourite ABH eyeshadow palette. It’s wearable, blendable, long lasting and transitions beautifully from day to night. It was also the only palette I packed for my recent trip to Porto Santo. 

NARS Fort De France Highlighter £28.00

I tend to sway towards pearl-hued highlighters for an everyday glow as I find they’re more flattering on my fair to medium skin tone. But Fort De France from NARS, a soft, light champagne, not only looks beautiful in the pan, it looks beautiful on my cheekbones too. The sought-after highlighter enhances my skins natural warmth without being too stark, or bright (I’d say it’s somewhere in the middle) and blends seamlessly. It lasts well, but isn’t as long lasting as other highlighters I own and two swift sweeps across the tops of my cheekbones, down my nose, and on top of my brow bone usually does the trick, anymore and it has the tendency to exaggerate the texture of my pores.  
What are your summer makeup staples?
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Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter | Review & Swatches

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter | Review & Swatches

Within the last couple of years every beauty brand has released a highlighter (or two). And for a minute, I thought I'd seen and tried 'em all - from powder, cream, jelly, liquid, with or without shimmer and even black highlighter. But then Charlotte Tilbury releases Hollywood Flawless Filter (£30.00)*. And despite it's foundation like appearance, this isn't a foundation, or coverage product. It is in fact a cross between a primer and highlighter of the sparkle-free variety and I can't get enough.

Available in seven shades (I wear the shade 1 Fair) the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter is a complexion booster that Charlotte describes as a 'the ultimate high gloss, high glow celebrity-skin-filter-in-a-bottle’ and once I'd seen Charlotte dousing varies celebs in the new beauty product on her Insta account I had major skin envy - this stuff has no chunky sparkles, or shimmer, it's just pure dew. And when I say dew, what I mean is glossy and natural.

The application and finish is completely customisable; you can either use the doe-foot applicator to dot it on underneath your foundation (as you would a primer) for a subtle glow, mix it with your foundation, or apply it to the high points of your face (the top of cheekbones, brow bone, cupid's bow etc) for a more intense finish. My preferred method is the latter. I transfer a little product onto the back of my hand and use my fingertips to tap it along the tops of my cheekbones and right above the lips at the cupid's bow.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter | Review & Swatches
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter | Review & Swatches
L-R Swatched, Blended | Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
The finish is impressive. It's diffused and almost wet-faced without being sticky or too shiny - just how has she done it? Personally I don’t think my skin has ever reached this level of glowy dewiness. And as much as I enjoy wearing Glossier Haloscope and Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Glow Shot they've been trumped in that respect. The formulation is creamy, near enough clear, blendable (it practically melts into your skin) and considering it's texture its relatively long lasting. But what I would say is the glass bottle whilst undeniably pretty, will certainty cause a little aggro, as I can imagine scraping the last out of the bottle will be pretty tricky. 

In a nutshell, if you like glossy cheekbones, or you're after a more natural sort of sheen, you've got a winner right here. 

Have you tried Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter?
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Glossier Lidstar Eyeshadow | Review & Swatches

Glossier Lidstar Eyeshadow | Review & Swatches

Favourite minimalist makeup and skin care brand Glossier nailed the launch of Lidstar their first take on liquid eyeshadows. Not only did Queen Bey tease the Lidstars back in January, two months later they received a major endorsement from several Hollywood stars on the 2018 Oscar red carpet. And the makeup community freaked out - if it's good enough for Beyoncé it's good enough for us right? 

Available in six shades and housed in a doe-foot ended applicator, Lidstar (£15.00)* are described as 'less shadow, more glow' and they've certainly been created with makeup minimalists in mind. Minimum effort is required and no additional beauty tools are needed. With absolutely zero fuss, you swipe the product onto the lids and blend out with a finger - it's as idiot-proof as make-up gets. The Lidstars apply wet, but they then dry down after a minute or so and blend out to a wash of lightweight, shimmery colour. So don't let the swatches deceive you, if you're after a full on opaque glitter you'll find these disappointing (if so, I suggest you try Stila Magnificent Metals instead). And although I've heard the trick is to layer the product for a more intense colour pay off, the saying ‘less is more’ most definitely comes into play here, as I find the colour creases and looks uneven when layered. 

Glossier Lidstar Eyeshadow | Review & Swatches

The shades are fun and refreshing and despite the fact I've tried dozens of cream and liquid eyeshadows I have few shades that are similarly-colored. Glossier say the soft glistening colour comes from a 'delicate proportion of ultrafine multicolor pearls' (whatever that means), but either way the shades are unique, delicate, pearlescent and adhere well to bare skin before fading after 4-5 hours.

While I love the easygoing factor of Glossier's Lidstars and will reach for them when I fancy turning my everyday makeup up a notch, I'm not quite ready to push my matte powder eyeshadows to one side. 

Will you be giving Glossier Lidstar eyeshadows a try?
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NUDESTIX Lip + Cheek Pencil Belle and Pulse | Review & Swatches

NUDESTIX Lip + Cheek Pencil Belle and Pulse | Review & Swatches
When it comes to lip products I'm pretty predictable. Truthfully I have three, or four nude lipsticks I actually wear on the regular and a couple of bold hues I'm not afraid of rocking when the occasion seems fit - a.k.a Christmas. I'm simply a lazy lip product lover. I'm down for anything nude, that's easy to apply and promises speedy makeup application. And NUDESTIX has managed to appeal to just that, with their crayon-like, multitasking lip and cheek product line-up.

NUDESTIX Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm and Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil* (£24.00) are lip pencils that double up as cream blush, packaged in chubby (but not too chubby) black, travel-friendly pencil format. Both products come in a tin, paired with a sharpener. And NUDESTIX as the name would suggest, offer simple, wearable shades which please me and my lips greatly.

NUDESTIX Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm in Pulse
NUDESTIX Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm in Pulse
The moment I swiped on NUDESTIX Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm in Pulse, I was an immediate fan. Pulse is a rosy nude with a plummy undertone, that feels more like a luxurious tinted balm than a full-on lipstick, thanks to its formulation of 30% super-hydrating lip-protecting plant oils and vitamin E. It is more pigmented than your standard tinted lip balms, but what I love the most is the finish. The coverage is smooth and it's not overly glossy, the finish is kinda like the glazing on a doughnut without stickiness. It doesn’t last as long as some on the lips, but touch-ups have never been easier. All in all, it's been nice having something a little different rolling around in my handbag.

NUDESTIX Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in Belle
NUDESTIX Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in Belle
NUDESTIX Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in Belle, is a cool toned rose with very subtle micro shimmer and a matte finish. I must admit this shade has been overshadowed by my liking for Pulse, so it hasn't had half as much wear. But the shade which draws similarities to Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk, is a flattering everyday muted nude. The lip pencil delivers a velvety, even, soft natural lip colour without feathering, or bleeding. Unlike Pulse it does wear for a good few hours. But long wearing formulas do get a bad rap for being drying and while this shade doesn't suck the life out of my lips, it does accentuate chapped lips, so a bit of lip balm is required to prevent this. Overall, I like that this pencil looks softer and undone around the edges opposed to other matte nude lipsticks I own.

I'm yet to scribble either shade onto my cheeks as I'm currently sporting cold weather cheeks. So I can't comment on their application, or wearability in that sense. But if you're in the market for a new signature lip (or just love hoarding lipsticks), I recommend you give NUDESTIX a go. Especially their Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm's which require next-to-no effort, glide onto the lips like butter and give them some extra dimension. 

Have you tried any products from NUDESTIX?
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A Quick & Easy Everyday Makeup Routine

A Quick & Easy Everyday Makeup Routine
Day-to-day I tend to stick to a handful of basic makeup products that are easy to apply, dependable and allow me to get out of the door fast. I've had my fair share of practice applying makeup quick since working in the city. And believe it or not, but I can apply my everyday makeup in under 15 minutes. Yes, really. Here's my current tried-and-true makeup routine. 

Pre-foundation I prep the skin by massaging a rich moisturser followed by Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm so my skin is glowy and has a lil' extra slip to help my foundation apply smoothly and evenly. After moisturizing I always apply a lip balm to let it sink into the lips while I apply my makeup. I've been using Dr Lipp's Original Nipple Balm - I'm currently making my through my 3rd tube. And sometimes I’ll throw on Clinique Pep-Start™Pout Perfecting Balm.

My current foundation favouite is Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation, which I've recently repurchased as it totally delivers. It covers, conceals and gives an even, yet comfortable finish that's seriously long-lasting. It doesn't transfer or make my skin look patchy and it also does a pretty good job at keeping any midday t-zone shine under wraps. It's well worthy of a spot in your makeup bag.

The BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector has become a mainstain in my makeup routine and is yet to be rivaled. It's uh-mazing. I like apply a tad to the inner corners of my eyes blending the creamy colour corrector using my fingers out under my lash line to neutralise the blue hue of dark circles. Then I swipe Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Light Neutral over the top and blend using my Real Techniques Sculpting Brush.

Next I sweep Charlotte Tilbury's Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder in Fair (a new beauty buy that I'm currently diggin') under my eyes, over my forehead, nose and chin. Up until now I had been reaching for Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, but Charlotte's finishing powder is cashmere-smooth and helps me achieve a flawless finish unlike any other powder I've tried. And I'm a little in love with the packaging too.

Huda Beauty Warm Brown Obsessions Palette
Huda Beauty Warm Brown Obsessions Palette
To bronze and lightly contour, I take the sculpt shade from Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow on a Morphe M495 Duo Deluxe Fan Brush, suck in my cheeks and apply into the hollows, onto my temples, jaw line and the sides of my nose. The powders formulation is ultra-blendable and pretty fool-proof, so perfect for when I want a sculpted look fast.

I don't wear blusher often, but when I do, I've been reaching for Tanya Burr Illuminating Powder in Peonies Please. This blusher is ideal for when I my complexion needs some serious brightening. But it has to be applied with a light hand - unless you fancy making the same error as Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones. And to highlight, I apply Too Faced Love Light Prismatic Highlighter in Blinded By The Light to the tops of my cheekbones.

For brows an oldie-but-a-goodie - Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Medium Brown. This brow pomade with gives me the perfect brow colour and shape. It can be a bit of faff at first. But I believe its one of the best brow products the beauty sphere has to offer. And to keep my arches looking groomed I use a Glossier Boy Brow in Brown.

No makeup look would be complete without a wash of colour over the lids. If you take a close look at the bottom left of the top image you'll spy a very well-loved makeup product - Huda Beauty Warm Brown Obsessions Palette. I'm mad for a matte warm brown look for everyday makeup and the bottom middle shade in this palette ticks all the boxes. 

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Pillow Talk
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Pillow Talk
I love a good feline flick and gone are the days I use sticky tape to guide the way. Over time the classic technique has become relatively easy, especially with the help of eyeliners that are easy as pie to apply. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is an inky black felt tip liner that with a steady hand creates super crisps lines. And to complete my eye makeup I apply lashings of Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara - one of the best drugstore mascaras.

I'm fickle when it comes to lip products, but for everyday I switch it up between lip balm and a rotation of nude lipsticks including Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Pillow Talk and MAC's Velvet Teddy.  
What products do you reach for, for quick and easy makeup?
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Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk | Review & Swatches

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Pillow Talk | Review & Swatches
You can never have enough nude lipsticks. They’re sophisticated, fresh and an effortless way to, well, look like you made some effort. I’ve touched upon nudes here and there, but there’s a new nude on the block; Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk. It’s not a new beauty release, but the shade which was originally one of Charlotte Tilbury’s award-winning Lip Cheat lip liners has sold out several times, but it’s finally back in stock.

I purchased it a few months back now, after myself and my Mum were invited to Charlotte Tilbury at Westfield London for a makeover, which turned into me making multiple purchases (my bad) and ever since I’ve been hooked. 

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Pillow Talk | Review & Swatches

I totally get the love for this lipstick. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk is a muted pink-meets-brown, classic your-lips-but-better shade, that enhances your lips without being too opaque, or too beige. Applied to the lips it gives a medium layer of semi-matte colour, that's neither hydrating or drying (which is a bonus as matte lipsticks can make my lips feel as dry as a cat's behind - sorry not sorry). It's simultaneously subtle and stunning, making my lips look a little more pouty. And for those days where I want to channel my inner Angelina Jolie, it can also be layered with the coordinating lip liner, or sheened-up with L'Oreal Infallible Mega Lip Gloss in Protest Queen £6.99 to make them look even fuller. 

When I fancy a bolder nude I'll reach for MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick, but for office-approved lips Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Pillow Talk is easy to apply, reapply and wear. Its my new nude lip fave - I have no complaints.
Have you tried Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk?
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Best Beauty Discoveries of 2017

Today I present to you 2017's best beauty discoveries. Last year was a great year for beauty, mainly due to the fact more brands and products that have been making serious waves across the pond have become readily available here in the UK - mainly thanks to the likes of sites such as Cult Beauty, Beauty Bay and not forgetting Glossier. So throughout the year I wasn't short of new enticing beauty products to try, but there are some skincare, makeup, tools and fragrances that are now firm favourites and really worth splashing out on.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24HR Foundation £31.50

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24HR Foundation is the base of 2017 that I relied on to last all day. Teint Idole Ultra 24HR provides a medium to full coverage finish and has a non greasy formula, that doesn't look cakey, transfer or leave you feeling like you're wearing a mask. My daily routine is pretty non-stop with an early start and late finish, so having a foundation in my arsenal that I don't have to worry about reapplying is a must. And this bottle of liquid goodness even makes it through to post-work drinks. [Full review]

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation £31.00 

For lazy Sundays and those days when I don't want to wear makeup (but also don't want to look like utter rubbish) the lesser known Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation is my top pick. The ultra-light, super hydrating formula, has the most beautiful glowy skin-like finish. And despite its sheer coverage, it evens tone, minimises the appearance of pores and smooths uneven texture. Plus you can cover your skin from top to bottom with the stuff, which has been ideal for disguising my eczema prone skin on the rare occasion I uncover limbs on a night out. [Full review]

BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector £24.00

I tried and tested many concealers last year, but the hero under eye product has to be the BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector. The tried-and-true corrector is creamy, lightweight and has magical light reflecting properties that help to eradicate dark circles while adding a subtle, flattering luminescence to my skin. I apply the pink toned corrector before concealer and together they get the job done. It's now a firm staple in my daily makeup routine - I couldn't imagine being without it.

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream £18.00 - £44.00 

Yes, this body cream is expensive and I'm aware there's really no compelling *need* to spend £44.00 on body lotion. But it's totally worth it. Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream is hands down one of the best smelling body lotions in the beauty business. It's infused with Guarana to stimulate circulation, lift and tighten and has an edible tropical scent due to its blend of pistachio, caramel and coconut that will leave you smelling heavenly all day long. [Full review]

Glossier You Eau de Parfum £45.00 

I'm seduced by fragrance, so naturally I have bottles of the stuff. But a handful of my all-time favorites such as Chanel Chance are much harder to style day-to-day. Enter Glossier You Perfume, the day-appropriate scent dubbed to 'smell like you'. Glossier You falls on the softer side and is the perfect addition to my perfume collection. It doesn't veer too far sweet, floral, or powdery and has the perfect amount of musk. Think warm, light, comforting, luxurious liquid detergent, yet it's still incredibly alluring. In the words of Goldilocks this porridge perfume is just right. 

Huda Beauty Warm Brown Obsessions Palette £25.00

Last year saw the release of several palettes but in my opinion Huda Beauty Warm Brown Obsessions Palette is the best eyeshadow palette of 2017. It has a top notch shade selection with eight warm-toned mattes and one pressed glitter. The mini-palette is bang on trend and I actually use every single shade, especially the warm brown on the bottom row which I like to sweep over my lids on the regular - the proof is in the pan (quite literally). It's an absolute gem. If you've been itching to add a new palette to your arsenal, this is a must-have. And best of all, it costs £25.00 - so you can save that mullah. [Full review & swatches]

It Cosmetics Heavenly Skin CC+ Skin-Perfecting Brush #702 £34.00

It Cosmetics Heavenly Skin CC+ Skin-Perfecting Brush #702 is the best foundation brush I've had the pleasure of using to date. I have literally gotten rid of all of my previous foundation brushes. It's soft, densely packed, and the balance of the handle and the brush head is perfect. But its ability to apply a variety of different products be it face cream, liquid or cream foundations and tinted moisturisers so smoothly and evenly is what sets it apart from the rest. 

Estée Lauder The Illuminator Radiant Perfecting Primer + Finisher £25.00

The Estée Lauder Estée Lauder The Illuminator Radiant Perfecting Primer + Finisher reignited my love for makeup primers in 2017. The nourishing gel-meets-lotion contains special hydrators and skin-smoothing Vitamin E, Rice Bran Extract and Shea Butter. It leaves my skin plumped, smoothed, baby-soft and brightened with just enough dew. It prolongs whatever is worn on top, but unlike other primers it keeps my base looking fresh. 

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% £5.00

2017 was a groundbreaking year for stripped back skincare formulas with The Ordinary leading the pack. And boy did I buy near enough every product from the Ordinary range. But there was one product in particular that's wowed me and my skin The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. I leave the product on overnight and come morning my skin is visibly brighter and far smoother thanks to its high concentration of vitamin C. Two words, game-changer. 

Too Faced Love Lights Prismatic Highlighter Blinded by the Light £25.00 

YSL Touche éclat Glow Shot Highlighter in Daylight and MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Double-Gleam are also deserving of a shout out for the best highlighter discovery of 2017, but when it comes to my most worn highlighter Too Faced Love Lights Prismatic Highlighter Blinded by the Light has no contenders. This highlighter despite its name is for a more subtle approach to glowly skin. It has a beautiful pearlescent finish, that isn't too strong, nor shimmery and lasts all day. The shade is an ideal middle-of-the-road hue that would look natural on just about everyone. It's pretty, pearly and one of the most Instagram-worthy highlighters ever. [Full review & swatches]
What were your best beauty discoveries of 2017?
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New to My Skincare Routine

New to My Skincare Routine
Ever since I got a job in London my skin and I have had a somewhat turbulent relationship. Congested pores, redness, blackheads, uneven texture and (yes) even minor signs of ageing have all graced my face at some point in the last two years. So during 2017 I cut back on buying, got to know my skin a bit better and adjusted my existing product routine. Unsurprisingly many of the products I’ve tried and tested in the last 12 months haven’t worked for me. But a handful have had their chance to shine and have seamlessly slipped into my daily skincare routine without a hiccup.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% £5.00

I love hunting for game changing skincare products and The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% has won me and my skin over. It's an antioxidant-rich vitamin C serum - one of the most powerful antioxidants available to treat the skin, which has been shown to minimise sun damage, help boost collagen production, even skin tone, reduce red and brown spots and fine lines. Plus, it can repair the damage that occurs throughout the day from UV and environmental stress. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% has a slightly gritty texture and it does itch when applied, but my skin has become more tolerable to the high dosage of vitamin C with continual use. Not only has it helped restore my skin to its glowy, angelic potential, it's made a huge difference in smoothing and softening the texture of my skin. 

Clinique Pep-Start™Pout Perfecting Balm £16.00

When my lips are feeling dry I've been reaching for Clinique Pep-Start™Pout Perfecting Balm. And it really works. It visibly softens and instantaneously hydrates my lips while leaving them a lil' glossy. It's surpassed my liking for Glossier's Original Balm Dotcom which separated and started to smell odd after just a months use. In comparison, Clinique Pep-Start™Pout Perfecting Balm is odourless, has zero colour and there's no need to use your finger, which is a major plus. 

Glossier Super Bounce Serum £24.00

This winter my skin has been thirsty AF. Enter Glossier Super Bounce the supercharged serum that's serving up nicely as an extra dose of moisture. Super Bounce is formulated with a high concentration of hyaluronic acid an incredibly hydrating ingredient, which holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It also has a pleasing texture so I thoroughly enjoy smothering it all over my skin in the evening post-cleanse. Versus The Ordinary's hyaluronic offerings? For me, Glossier Super Bounce pips the post with its silky-smooth formulation - the only drawback is the price that you pay for just 15ml. 

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm £37.00

After trialling a travel-sized Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm during my weekend break to Edinburgh I returned home and bought the full size. It's essentially a luxurious illuminating primer that can be worn alone, or paired with your moisturiser for optimum luminosity. It glides onto the skin, is moisturising without being too greasy and instantly brightens my complexion without being sparkly, glittery or shimmery. Which is exactly what my skin needs in this cold weather. 

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser £15.00

My first impression of Glossier's cult Milky Jelly Cleasner wasn’t all that. In short I felt it was too basic. I much prefer something a little more hardworking to cleanse in the evening, such as DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, which removes a full coverage makeup in a flash. But don't disregard Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser. It's a good choice for an AM cleanse as it removes dirt and light make-up without leaving your skin feeling dry or tight. And it's a great product for those with sensitive seeking a gentle cleanser.
What products have you recently introduced to your skincare routine?
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