Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Taking a trip down makeup memory lane

I was sat looking at my makeup the other day (you know, like normal people do) and I suddenly thought that a lot of it relates to a special time or has a significant moment attached to it. Even the most random and 'boring' of products reminds me of something that has happened. So, I thought it would be nice to look back at the makeup that give me my favourite memories and it might encourage me to get the products out of the drawer and use them a bit more!

Back in my early days of blog reading and Youtube watching the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes were big news. But being in the UK and no plans of visiting America on the horizon I just had to sit back and watch everyone rave about how amazing they were. So when we hopped on a plane to Florida in 2015, this was top of my Sephora shopping list. Obviously I bought the shade Tipsy (it was either that or Exposed - the go-to shades) and I still crack this out every Summer. Whenever I wear it I think of wandering around the Sephora in Florida (my first time in an American Sephora), filling my basket with vlogger recommendations. This product will always hold a special place in my heart.

The first non-stationary highlighter I bought was a great day. It was around this time two years ago after I'd been for an interview at the job I currently have, hooray! It was in Leeds and my mum went with me so afterwards we went out for lunch and popped along to Debenhams for a cheeky purchase to celebrate a job well done. The Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter had just come out and it had received good reviews all round so I thought it would be a good one to give a go (up until this point I'd been using glittery champagne eyeshadows as highlight - it was very questionable behaviour!) The were three shades and I went for Aura, a pink/purple shade which I'd heard was good for people with pale skin. It's a good product but this colour is just not me. It's preety much purple and isn't the vibe I usually go for but this product gives me such fond memories of that day that I don't think I'll be able to part with it anytime soon.

Kinda Sexy - to this day one of my favourite birthday presents. It was the first Mac (and only) Mac lipstick I'd been gifted and I was given it in La Tasca in Nottingham on my 20th birthday from my friends. Up until then I'd spent so long searching for the perfect nude and then this magically turned up in my lap. It's a warm toned nude with a matte finish that looks cracking over the top of any nude-y lip liner. This was my go-to for ages and  reminds me so much of my second year at uni. It's still probably my most worn lipstick.

The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector. If ever there was maybe too much hype around a product this was it. I'd waited for so long before I took the plunge and bought one. It was with money I'd got from my 21st birthday and I had some time to kill before I was meeting my friends for a birthday surprise (afternoon tea at Browns, yes, yes, yes!) and I bobbed into town to splash the cash. I'd heard so many good things about this product; it's the perfect gloss, the most moisturising thing you'll ever have on your lips, etc. But I have to say I was pretty disappointed - I just found it too thick and sticky. Even though I wasn't a fan of this product, I had the best time that day so I like to keep it as a littl reminder.

A couple of years ago for my 21st birthday, my mum, dad and me went to London. We had the best time there seeing the sights and having a wander round. One disaster that happened when we were there was that we only just made our slot to go up the Shard by minutes (you're allowed 30 minutes over your booked time, we were 25). The reason we were running late and had to run from St Paul's Cathedral to the Shard (it feels like miles) was that I was desperate to get my hands on the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation. I'd been to every department store and shop possible to get my hands on this but they were sold out of my shade everywhere, it was a joke, But finally a very helpful House of Fraser answered all of my prayers! That was such a memorable day and there was so much hunting for a foundation which, I'm sad to say, I can't get on with. I just find it too thick and hard to blend but it gave us a great story to tell!

When Fleur de Force released her makeup collection on Feel Unique I was there with the items in my basket and checked out before you could even say'good god get a grip girl'. I went for her Cosmic Bronze palette and one of her glosses. I ended up getting so much wear out of the palette and it reminds me of my third year at uni because it's pretty much all I wore with some winged liner and a questionably strong brow. The thing that I remember most about this product is that I ordered it on a Thursday, it didn't come until the Thursday after at which point I'd gone back to uni (on that day - how annoying!) and had to wait for it to be posted from home to Nottingham which took nearly another week so by the time it reached me I was desperate for it. No wonder I ended up loving it so much!
What's your favourite makeup memory?

Friday, 13 April 2018

Is this the best matte lipstick ever?

This time last month if you's have told me I would fall in love with a matte lipstick to a point of obsession then I'd have probably laughed in your face. I was all about the glossy lip, slathering on the lip gloss, cracking out my sheeny lipsticks and generally having a great time moisturising in general. That was until this landed on my doorstep - The Powerlips Fluid. Big shout out to my mate Amy for hooking me up with this cracking beauty!

This is the shade Maven which I'd say is a nude which is slightly darker than what I usually go for. I have to say when I first saw the shade I was a bit concerned at how dark it was. I expected it to be more of a easy to wear nude but leans more to the vampy side. I have to say though now I've had a chance to wear it I'm completely in love. The shade also is bang in the middle of warm and cool which for me is bang on! The picture above is pretty true to life and it really pops and stands out against my little pale face.

With matte lipsticks I always feel like you need to compromise - something won't be quite right but you put up with it because that's just the way it goes. Like they're not matte enough so end up all over your face or they're so dry your mouth feels like the desert or it gathers on the inside of your mouth. You get it, nothing is ever quite right. But I've had zero problems with this one. It dries down totally matte in quick time but never gets to the point where it sucks the life out of your lips. One thing which is a big plus for me as well is that you don't need to be careful when applying to not go over the same spot - you can over the same space loads of times and it doesn't get clumpy and thick. This also gives it big plus points when reapplying as it just glides on top of what was there with no issues.

Overall I would love to get more of these because the other shades look incredible! If you're starting to lose your faith in matte lip products and think you'll never find the perfect one, think again!

What's your favourite matte lip product? 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Products that smell out of this world

I love good smelling products and scent can have a big impact on whether I like a product or love it. Something may be the best thing since sliced bread and do a great job but if it has a smell I'm not that into it's not going to be one of my go-tos. I just want to pre-warn that I am hopeless at describing smells, seriously bad at it, but my favourite scents are fruity or quite sickly sweet so that's what I tend to steer towards.

As far as dry shampoos go, Colab is my ultimate favourite. Not only are the names and bottles the cutest thing you may have ever seen, the product inside is actually pretty good too! At the minute I'm using the Unicorn one (obviously, unicorns are literally my life) and it has such a nostalgic smell to me! I don't know what it is but it leans more florally but with a bit more of something that isn't too perfume-y. I was also a fan of the Tropical one and I can't wait to try out more of the other scents!

Soap and Glory have some amazing scents across their different products. The Smoothie Star range gives me life, especially in the winter, but one that will always have a special place in my heart is the Sugar Crush scent. Like fruit and sugar, this is a great 'pick me up' scent. If you're ever feeling down, give this a whiff and it will transport you off to a summer's day on a beach with a good book in one hand and a glass of prosecco in the other. At the minute I'm loving the Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Hand Cream. I find myself sniffing my hands all the time and looking like someone to avoid in the streets, I don't care, it smells too good not to.

Please can someone tell me - why do new Mac lipsticks smell the best? There's just something about them that makes them irresistible to sniff! It's a strict procedure whenever anyone shows you a new Mac lipstick, take the lid off, look at the colour, smell it. I don't know why! It's sort of a vanilla situation that also reminds me a bit of a tic tac but it's definitely the best thing about a new lipstick. (Sad news is the one in this picture - Kinda Sexy which is my all time favourite - now smells like a crayon. Breaks my little heart).

Pretty much any scent The Body Shop do I'm into. Everyone is just spot on but recently there's one that I've been slightly obsessed with, the argan oil scent. I've never been that interested in it and to be honest when I've smelt it in the shop I've just thought it was like their shea range but not as nutty. I was totally wrong. I got the argan oil body butter for my birthday and on my little dry legs this smells amazing. Kind of a cross between summer and winter it makes you want the sun to shine but isn't like a fruity scent because it makes you kind of feel cosy and warm as well. If you haven't tried anything from the range I would definitely recommend it!

I'd like to give a final mention to the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. Obviously the whole point of it is to smell like chocolate and the long and short of it is that it doesn't. BUT it does still smell great! Think The Body Shop Cocoa Butter in powder form I can't help but give it a little sniff before putting it on my face.

What's your favourite scented product?

Friday, 6 April 2018

What's in my travel skincare bag?

As you read this I'll be living it up in Brighton on a little weekend trip for my friends birthday and to say I'm excited is an understatement - I'm literally bursting! I wanted to see if I could streamline my packing for this trip, especially makeup and skincare-wise, not for any particular reason just because I tend to overpack. A Glossier much seemed like the perfect size, big enough but also quite thin. The bag is pretty much filled with my usual skincare routine but with some cute minis thrown in, so here is what I'm taking skincare-wise on my mini break to Brighton.

I constantly need Micellar Water in my life and these little Garnier ones are the best for when you're out and about. You don't even really need to get this for the product inside (although this is my favourite Micellar Water) but the bottle is great, relatively flat and there's no fear of a massive explosion all over your bag. Also, cotton pads, because I'm sorry but toilet paper and kitchen roll are not the same. For when I need to really cleanse my face during this weekend (say on Sunday morning when I feel like absolute death) then I have this sample size of the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser to use. It's my favourite product for a second cleanse and although it isn't very good at removing makeup, once I've gone over my face with the micellar water it really gets in and cleans out any gunk left on my face and leaves it feeling a little bit happier. It seems like quite a decent sample and I might even get two uses out of it (woo I know how to live life!).

At the minute my skincare routine is very much 'get in all the moisture to stop the skin shriveling up like a little raisin' but this isn't very travel friendly. Enter the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar I had last year. Possibly the best purchase I've ever made it's provided me with new favourites and, most importantly, minis. After using up the serum that you got in the run up to Christmas (which I loved but was SO EXPENSIVE) I can now use the bottle for my serum of choice when I'm out on my travels. The one I'm using at the minute is The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane (see my early thoughts on it here). I'm so glad that I can still keep up my current skincare routine without it taking up half the room in my bag.

This mini of the Body Shop Vitamin E moisturiser is something I've trying to use up. Again an advent calendar present it's quite similar to my current moisturiser (the Body Shop Drops of Youth) and I've used it before so I know my skin likes it. It just saves me taking a massive pot or trying to scrape the product I'm using into a tiny tub, everyone's a winner! 

Three things that I already use that are the perfect travel sizes are my Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream, the Coconut Glossier Balm Dotcom and my Body Shop Coconut Hand Cream. Three great products that I'm glad can come with me without taking up much space. Also my toothbrush and toothpaste will be coming with me - nothing special but very essential (get me, such a poet).

What's your cutest mini?

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

What's on my product wishlist

I could easily spend so much money on all things beauty it's actually now beyond a joke. So in an attempt to stop my spending I thought I'd list all of the products that are on my wishlist which is mainly made up of things which are a little on the pricy side which I'd buy for/on a special occasion.

One thing that I've always wanted to try (and I should really get myself down to a counter) is the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. It's one of those products that everyone and their dog raves about but it's so darn expensive that I don't want to get my purse out and take the plunge in case it's not quite right for me. One day I'll go to a counter and get myself a tester but until then I'll admire from afar!

Over the last couple of years there have been a few Nars eyeshadow palettes that I eyed up and very nearly bought but for one reason or another it wasn't meant to be. The Nars Unwanted Palette literally looks like a thing of dreams, mattes, shimmers and glitters in warm shades, I mean can we not. That's my idea of heaven. But it came out after I bought the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette and I couldn't justify the purchase of another warm toned palette. But everyone raves about Nars eyeshadows and I feel like one day I will take the plunge and add one of their palettes to my collection. (Side note: They all look like quite a petite size which would be good to travel around with - I might be wrong but that's the vibe I'm getting).

Last year I achieved one of my goals (small goals) and bought a Dior lipstick (which I cannot get enough of) and another thing I'd love is a Chanel Lipstick. Not only do the bullets look amazing but the product inside is pretty good too. I think one day when something exciting happens I'll buy one for myself as a little treat but for now I'll just look at swatches and dream.

Glossier You. Oh what a dream it would be to have this perfume in my stash. I got a mini sample with a Glossier order I made months ago and to be honest I haven't stopped thinking about how nice it smells. It's what I'd call a natural smell, kind of florally but it could be mistaken for your usual smell (side note: the bottle is really pretty). I usually wait until I've finished one perfume before buying another and only have two on the go at once so when I'm in the market for another perfume to fill the gap I think that this would be the one!

What's on your product wishlist?

Just going to give a mini shoutout to my instagram @abzisfabz - why not give it a follow! 

Friday, 30 March 2018

The best brush and on the gin craze | March Favourites

Get ready for a bit of a bumper favourites this month as this is a loves of February and top picks of March rolled into one post. We have a mixture of everything - makeup, an instagram account and the best drink you'll probably ever taste!

I've mentioned my sudden love for gloss a fair few times recently but there's one that has been head and shoulders above all the rest - NYX Butter Gloss in Angel Food Cake. Not only is the shade totally up my street, a pinky nude that is a bit darker than my usual lip colour, but the formula is legit magic. Not sticky but so high shine it's blinding. I think I'm going to have to pick up a few more shades of these because I'm obsessed.

I think I may have mentioned a couple of months back but when I went to Edinburgh last year we went on a gin tasting and it totally opened my eyes to this gin-mania that's going on at the minute. Although I'm still a prosecco girl at heart I am partial to a bit of rhubarb and over the last couple of months I've found myself thinking about having a rhubarb gin with lemonade at least twice a day. My favourite (and to be honest one of the only ones I've tried) is the Edinburgh Gin Rhurbarb and Ginger Gin Liquor. It's less gin and more a sweet sort of syrup but that means that it really hits you in the face with rhubarb and I'm all about that! 

My dad would say I have too many brushes, I say you can never have too many. So you can imagine my excitement when for my birthday my friends bought me a set of eyeshadow brushes that were multicoloured and sparkly. DREAM. For the past month I've been giving each of them a little go but there's one that I love so much, I honestly don't know how I've ever lived without it. It's got long-ish hairs (hairs?) and they're flexible with a flat top and it makes the perfect highlight brush. It may be a tenth of the size of previous highlight brush but I prefer it ten times more. It means I can just brush it onto my cheekbones in a sort of swirling motion, take it up to my brow bone and onto my cupids bow with no problems and no worries that it's going to end up spreading onto the middle of my cheek, which has been known to happen.

I'd like to give a quick shout out to Kate La Vie's instagram. It is so stunning and looking at it makes me instantly happy. Also I have an instagram album full of home inspo and 99 per cent of it are posts of hers.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

How I relax and unwind

I'm a total lover of pamper sessions and any chance I get I'll hop in that bath with a cup of tea or a glass of prosecco, depending on what day it is, and just chill out. So after a day at work or on a lazy weekend what does a horizontal (ha!) person like me do to relax? Here are my favourite things to do when I just need to chill out:

Run. That. Bath. I put all of the bubbles in, if I have a bath bomb even better! Is there anything better than a bubbly bath, glass of prosecco and an episode of Endeavour? If I'm wanting to go all out with the relaxation I'll have what I like to call 'a hair wash bath' which is basically a bath where I wash my hair. It's like a full on treatment - head to toe pampering!

Putting a face mask on is like the ultimate pamper time for me. There's two I'm switching between at the minute and I feel like they're a match made in heaven. When my face is feeling a bit sad and dehydrated I use the Oskia Renaissance Mask. This costs a literal arm and a leg (luckily I got it in an advent calendar) so I've been using it sparingly but it does a great job of giving my skin a boost of hydration without making it feel oily or greasy. When my face is more on the spotty side of just feels gunked up I'm all about the epoch Glacial Mud Mask (thanks Amy for hooking me up!) . It draws all the nastiness from my skin without shrivelling it up like a prune. I have to say I'm really impressed with how non-drying it is for this kind of mask and although I've only been using it for a few weeks my skin seems to be enjoying it!

I'm addicted to tea, it's potentially my biggest obsession and I'm totally okay with that. There's nothing better than getting the biggest mug we have, popping in two sweeteners, bashing that teabag and going ham with the milk. Drinking a cup of tea is one of my ultimate happy places and I usually have about six cups a day so you know, treat yo' self.

Last week I was spending my mornings and evenings on a 40 minute train journey and although the teatime train was a bit like hell on earth, my morning trips were a total delight! I decided to take the time to get in some reading and I sped through The F Word by Lily Pebbles. I love Lily's videos and was really looking forward to reading her book but I was really surprised at how much I loved it. If you don't know, it's a book about female friendships with stories, advice and anecdotes. When I was reading it I saw all of my friends in the book, they all slotted into the different situations and I loved that. This little morning reading slot made me look forward to my daily commute and definitely chilled me out before a day at work.

An honourable mention goes to TV. I'm obsessed with it and have mentioned my love for it many times (see here) so I'll keep it brief. Cup of tea in hand, Ru Paul's Drag Race on the box, switch the brain off - is there anything better?

What's your favourite thing to do to relax?

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