Friday, 15 June 2018

A beginners guide to semi-successful tanning


I've never been a big tanner. When I was at uni I didn't fake tan for a night out and tinted Garnier moisturiser was as adventurous as I got. But last year I decided to give the bronze glow a go and fell head over heels in love with the new tanned me. I've not got to the point where I crack out the tan for a random Wednesday at work but if I'm going out (not very often) or heading somewhere fancy (also not very often) then I get my tan on. I thought I'd take this opportunity to share my love for the products that make my glow possible, and trust me when I say they are beginner friendly - because I am very much a tanning beginner.

I mentioned in a post last week about the St Tropez Express Tan kit which I think is pretty amazing for the price and is perfect for someone like me who doesn't tan very often and wouldn't go through an entire bottle over the summer. It comes with an exfoliator, a moisturiser, a mini bottle of the Express Tan and a mitt. I exfoliate 24 hours before I tan (because that's what the instructions say and as I'm always terrified it's going to go wrong, I stick to the steps) and I like the exfoliator because it's gritty but it's a fine grit and doesn't feel like I'm ripping half of my skin off. On D-Day I usually have a quick shower to make sure I'm clean and moisturise my arms, elbows, knees and heels (as I said I go a bit OTT with the instructions). Now, when I apply this tan I literally go over the same areas about five times with my mitt to rub it in to make sure I have no lines and I don't miss anything. It's pretty easy to see where you've been already with this tan which is why it's quite a full proof option for beginners. I also like this tan because you don't have to sleep in it, I just wait three hours for it to get to its darkest and then wash it off, pop a bit of the moisturiser from the kit on and I'm done! By the next morning you look like you've spent a few days soaking up some sun and not sitting in a dark bedroom catching up on Love Island...not that I'm speaking from experience.

When I began my tanning journey last year I didn't tan my face but after there was the whole hype surrounding Isle of Paradise I really wanted to give the Self Tanning Drops a go. I really love this product. Don't get me wrong, I do find it terrifying to use because I imagine if it went wrong it would go terrible but it's like magic. I've used it a few times and three drops gets me the same colour as my freshly tanned body which is going from pasty white to slightly sun kissed. I just drop it into my moisturiser, really rub it in to my face, including up to my hairline and down my neck, and then wash my hands. Wake up (after sleeping on my back in a desperate attempt to not make it patchy) and my face now matches my body. Hooray!

Are you a serial tanner or a fake bake beginner?

Friday, 8 June 2018

The products that have 'saved' my skin


I've been getting more and more into skincare recently, any post that pops up on my Bloglovin feed that is about moisturisers, toners and summer skincare I've been there! Since the start of the year I've been trying to get my skin into a better place. It's never been totally horrendous but there have been times where every time I woke up there was a new spot that took FOREVER to leave. So after researching various products and giving my skincare a bit of a shakeup I'm finally in a place where I'm happy with things! So I thought I'd share the products which I feel have helped my skin get to where it is in a big way.

Let's start off with the product that got the ball rolling, a serious serum. I've been using The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane for the past three months and it's been doing wonders for my dehydrated skin.  I think that having a product that gets right down into the skin and hydrate the heck out of it. I use this every night after I've taken my makeup off and put some eye cream on. I leave it in to sink in for a couple of hours (it's quite thick and oily so needs a long time to sink in) and then go in with some moisturiser for an extra moisture boost.

Mask wise there are two that I think are essential for me to keep my skin in check. The first is the Epoch Glacial Mud Mask, something that works wonders when I'm having a bit of a moment and can feel a load of spots coming. It does a great job at pulling all the badness out but not sucking my skin of all life and moisture. I try to use this once a week, especially when I feel a bit meh. It can be a bit messy but it definitely gets the job done and is the best detoxifying type mask I've tried. On the other end of the mask scale is the Glossier Moisturising Moon Mask. This thick cream is so intensely moisturising that you can feel it working for the 20 minutes it's on. If my skin is textured then this is my go-to. Together these are the dream team and can combat pretty much any issue I'm having.

Last but not least is the Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen. Despite hearing "wearing an SPF daily is super important" I've never really paid attention to that (slaps wrist). BUT I do think that this has made a massive difference to my skin because since I've been using it my face has been pretty good. It's so lightweight and now I'm in the routine of putting it on everyday, it doesn't feel like a chore. As I said, I think this has made a big difference to the way my skin is acting nowadays and I will now continue to wear SPF everyday, promise!

What are you go-to skincare products?

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

I didn't need to spend this money | Beauty Bay haul


I can't stop buying beauty products. It's becoming a problem and I need serious help for it. There's no way I'd spend £50 on an item of clothing but I have zero issues with spending that on Beauty Bay - and that's exactly what I've done! I've shopped from Beauty Bay before and they have a great way to get you to spend more money! Great service (ordered it at 10pm on Friday and it arrived at 12pm on Saturday) and tonnes of brands to choose from.

Here's a run down of everything I got:

St Tropez Self Tan Express Starter Kit: This is such a good buy! I got this last year when I first dipped my toes in the tanning pool. It was £8 (on special offer from £12 I think) and you get a mini of the Express Tan, a moisturiser, a scrub and a tanning mitt. The little bottle was great for me, I think I had about ten applications of this over the course of the summer for various outings and special occasions which I think is great for the price. I was expecting to only have a couple of gos at it but it's just the gift that keeps on giving. The scrub is pretty good and does the job and same with the moisturiser. If you don't go ham with your tan and just need something to get you through the summer I would definitely recommend this.

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops: Such a hyped brand and, in my mind, a bit of a pricy product for what it is. These little tanning drops are to mix with your moisturiser to tan up anything that needs a bit of glow and I got these to use on my face. I've just used this the once so I'll report back when I've given it more of a test and it seemed to work okay. I only used two drops because I was terrified that it was going to turn my face bright orange and be streaky. It didn't give my face much colour (probably because I didn't use enough) but it was just giving me more of a glow.

The Ordinary Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil: I've used an Ordinary oil for the past three months and it's been doing wonderful things for my skin. I fancied trying the rose one this time around because the reviews said it was good for redness and scarring - something I'm in need of. So affordable and hopefully it works for me.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA: I hadn't planned on getting this moisturiser but my Body Shop Drops of Youth one was coming to an end and I thought I might as well pick one up whilst I was shopping. This was such good value for money - just over £6 for 100 ml, margin! I haven't had chance to give it much of a road test but so far, so good. Thick and hydrating but not greasy, ticks all the boxes.

If I spent over £50 I got free next day delivery so I picked up the Jordana Contour Stick. I haven't really heard of this brand before but I've wanted to try a contour stick for a while and I was only £4. We'll see how it works! I also got the Yes to Cucumbers Super Eye Mask. Again, I haven't tried it yet but if I end up loving it I'm sure I'll mention it at some point.

What beauty products have you picked up recently?

Friday, 1 June 2018

Bumper month for TV | May Favourites


I was sitting down, thinking about what I've been loving this month, and it turns out I've been watching a lot of TV this month and most of it has been really good! There are also a couple of products thrown in which I can see being long time favourites, so all in all it's been a great month for favourites!

Glossier. Boy. Brow. Now, will someone please explain to me what magic that is bottled inside this tiny tube? I've seriously never used anything like this. I have it in the shade medium and after just a few swipes my brows are full, plumped up and with no need to any powder or pencil. It works perfectly with my brows when they're tinted and even when the colour has slightly faded, totally natural looking but without making them 'barely there' because believe me they still pack a punch! Literally THE most perfect brow product ever - totally a holy grail.

My Instagram has been full of pictures of the new Body Shop Body Yogurts, and because I am an advertisers dream, I went out and got myself a couple - mango and strawberry. Woah are these things good. Usually I'm all about a thick moisturiser if it's not the consistency of a well whipped meringue then I'm not interested. But during this spell of seriously hot weather, these have been all I've used. I use a lot all at once, so the 15 seconds to sink in tagline that this product has doesn't really apply to me, and I can feel it doing my skin some serious good. Both of the scents stick around for ages afterwards as well, spreading strawberry and mango wherever I go in the house - yummy!

Earlier this month I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and what better way to spend it than binge watching a load of shows! After Stranger Things was ticked off my list (although I still have a few episodes of season two to get through) I gave QueerEye a go on Netflix. WHY HAVE I NOT WATCHED THIS BEFORE! People transforming other people's lives with some sassy comments thrown in, yes please. I think part of the reason I hadn't watched this before is because I'd heard it was emotional and, to be honest, I didn't want to be a sobbing mess. In the end I really didn't care less and I managed to hold it together most of the time, I did find myself ugly crying at one point but I blame the bottle of prosecco I'd enjoyed at home by myself - wow, I really know how to live. Next up on my Netflix spree was The Good Place. I'd heard about this before, can't remember who from, but thought it would be a good 'easy watching' kind of show. Safe to say I got totally sucked in and cannot wait for the third series to come out! If you don't know what it is, it's about  group of people who have died and are in 'The Good Place' - basically heaven - and what they get up to. I don't want to say too much because it'll spoil it, but episodes are only 23 minutes long and it doesn't take much concentration to get what's going on. You'll end up speeding through it.

One I'm currently loving at the minute is Love in the Countryside on BBC. It's basically a dating show for farmers and trust me when I say it will melt your heart. Each 'farmer' has a few prospective candidates to choose from and invites them back to their farm to get to know them a bit better. Not only is it really cute to see people search for their soul mate but there are also some really cute animals! Also, I've been loving the latest season of RuPaul's Drag Race. I'm a massive fan and this year's queens have been ticking all the boxes for me - excited to see who wins!

Mini shoutout to pink lip products - I seriously cannot get enough, it's all I've been wearing over the past month!

What have you been loving this month?

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

One week with Urban Decay Naked Heat



One of my favourite blog posts that I've written over the past however many years I've been writing on this thing is the 'A week with the Naked Smoky Palette'. I spent a week where the only thing I used was that one palette to see if I could make it work for a variety of different looks. So, I thought, two years on' that I'd do the same with the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette. I bought this last year and although I used it a heck of a lot when I bought it, over the past few months it's been a bit neglected. So I used this palette everyday for a week, different looks for different occasions, and gave it a proper test.

So, how did the week go?

I started off with a makeup look that I used to wear all the time. Back in the day when I was at university I used to do a smoky eye situation everyday. I mean why I didn't want those extra precious minutes in bed I don't know! I do love the way it looks though especially with the warm tones of this palette. Basically, Ounce all over the lid (shimmery cream), Chaser through the crease (light matte brown) followed by Low Blow (matte brown) and Lumbre (shimmery peach) all over the lid. Finishing touches are Cayenne (dark warm toned matte brown) on the outer corner and Ashes smudged into my lash line. Loved this look and it wasn't too hard to do - the eyeshadows are so easy to blend that they're not hard to work with in the slightest.

Recently I've been all about the one stop eyeshadow. Basically a one swipe wonder that I can put on in the morning and not have to think about for the rest of the day. This palette has got a lot that can work for this. I love Sauced for everyday, a warm toned brown that is way on the reddy side but I'm totally in love with it. A couple of swipes blended out into the crease and I'm all set. The same with Lumbre and Scorched except they're a bit more jazzy as they have plenty of shimmer in them.

I went out on a big hurrah with another old favourite - a bit of shadow with some winged liner. I realised when I wore it how much a love it but boy does it take a lot of maintaining. The basic shadows I used were Ounce (the shimmery cream) all over the lid with a mixture of Low Blow and Chaser in the crease (matte browns) and then on the outer corner. Easy and simple because, let's face it, doing winged liner is traumatising enough without having it mess up a load of shadows underneath!


By forcing myself to use this for a week I've totally fallen back in love with the palette. I never didn't like it anymore but I got out of the habit of using it and every time I went back to it - the warm tones scared me a bit. But after getting back into the swing it's a yes, yes, yes from me. This will be my go to for a smoky eye situation and my one swipe wonders, in fact pretty much anything!

Go to guys: Sauced, Lumbre, Low Blow, Scorched, En Fuego, Ashes

Take them or leave them: Ounce, Chaser, He Devil, Dirty Talk, Cayenne

No thanks: Ember



Friday, 25 May 2018

My evening skincare routine


Welcome to part two of my skincare routine - the evening edition. I love nothing more than getting home from work, taking off my makeup and spending time doing my skincare routine. I have a little box that I keep it in so that in the evening I can easily get it and take it downstairs and chill out, watching tele whilst I spread creams and serums all over my face. For reference, my skin is oily but also dehydrated so my aim is to moisturise but not create grease.

After taking my makeup off with my cleansers and micellar water (read all about my cleansing routine here) I sit down and spray my face with the Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist to the point where my face is soaking wet. I love the stuff, I feel like it revitalises my skin and gets it ready for the rest of my products. Five minutes later, after leaving the spray to sink it, I give my under eyes a bit of TLC. I've been using the Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream which does a good job at moisturising under my eyes - I just press it in, do a few taps and wipe the excess on my brow bone. A quick bit of the Glossier Mint Balm Dotcom on my lips and we're onto what I'd class as the main event!

At the end of last year, I didn't use a serum and I didn't really have any interest in getting one, but honestly it's transformed my skin. It gets down deep in my skin and pumps it full of moisture that it definitely needs, something that the moisturisers I was previously using on their own just couldn't do. My serum of choice at the minute is The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane and it's very much an oil. Although it takes a while to sink in (about an hour to sink in enough to put a moisturiser on top) I love giving it time to work its magic. On days when I need a bit moreof a moisture boost (which is most days) I go in with the Body Shop Drop of Youth Moisturiser. It does a good job, and although I'm not totally attached to it, this is my third tub so I must quite like it!

And last but not least, hand cream. I'm not attached to any specific hand cream but I have been enjoying the Soap and Glory Hand Food in the Sugar Crush scent. The PERFECT summer scent and rounds off an evening pamper quite nicely.

Do you enjoy spending time on your skincare routine?

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Spring makeup shake up


Although winter is my favourite season, I love it when Spring rolls around and I can switch up my makeup stash and bring a bit more life to my face. From pink on the lips to a fresh and sunny scent I'm all over making myself feel bright to fit the brighter weather. When it comes to other months, I don't seem to have much of a drastic change when it comes to what makeup I use. For example, in autumn the cold starts sneaking in and my lips start to gradually get darker and my foundation becomes more high coverage. But in spring I feel like it's a fresh start and I need to clear out my winter weather products and make way for the fresh bases and lighter tones. So, here are a few of the products I've brought into my everyday rotation that scream SPRING!


I've fallen back in love with the Nina Ricci Nina perfume. I bought it last year in Lanzarote and it's the perfect spring/summer scent. Sweet and a little bit floral it's really been hitting the spot in this hot weather we've been having recently. The Revolution Stick Foundation is the best everyday base for when you're in a hurry - and is just the right amount of coverage for the warmer weather. I put a few stripes on my face after letting my skincare routine sink in for a few minutes and then I go in with my big blending brush (I think it's from Look Fantastic) and blend it in. It literally takes less than a minute to do which is amazing for me in the morning because anything that gives me longer in bed is a winner. The coverage is literally whatever you want it to be. I can make it really light with just a few swipes or layer it up for when I need a little more coverage. I lasts a descent amount of time - most of the working day - before sliding off my face and in this hot weather it's been a dream because I have been a sweaty mess lately!

Every year when spring rolls around my trust Mac Blush in Immortal Flower comes out to play. A peachy pink that is impossible to over do it's been an annual staple in my collection since I was given it by my friend Fiona in our first year of uni. It goes with pretty much any look and although it looks like a nothing colour, I love the warmth it brings to my face. A pinky lipstick is always a spring/summer staple for me. I have a new liquid lipstick coming very soon (seriously excited) which will fill this slot for me but for now the Tanya Burr Lipstick in Sunday Walk wild nicely. If there's anything that gives my face a bit more life it's a pinky nude and this one is great to just slap on in a hurry, safe in the knowledge that it's not going to end up all over your face at the end of the day. Other pinky lip products I love are the Tanya Burr Liquid Lipstick in Rhubarb and Custard (slightly brighter but I lived in this last year) and my favourite lip product of all time at the moment, the Dior Addict Lipstick in Tout-Paris, a sheer pink that is so comfortable...I've already expressed my love for this enough so I'll spare you it again...it's amazing.

What's your favourite product to bring out for spring?
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