25.1.18

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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21.1.18

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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19.1.18

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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8.1.18

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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4.1.18

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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