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

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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?

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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's amazing.

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

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Saturday, 19 May 2018

My morning skincare routine

I love reading out people's skincare routines and finding out what they're using because I've really got into pampering my skin over the past few months. By stopping touching my face on the daily and caking on the makeup as thick as I used to do my face has definitely cleared up a bit but I thought I'd share what I've been using as I think these products have been really working for me. For reference my skin is dehydrated but it also gets quite oily so I try to give it plenty of moisture without greasing it up.

After I've splashed my face with a little bit of water a give my face a bit of a spritz with the Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist. Just a few sprays does the trick. Eye cream is next up because I think I have quite dehydrated under eyes so putting something on morning and night perks them up a little bit. I've used the Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream for a while now (I think this might be my second tube) and I do really like it. It doesn't do anything sensational but it does the job! A bit of lip balm on the lips (at the minute I'm using the Glossier Mint Balm Dotcom) and then I go back to my face after letting my eye cream sink in. I've wanted to try the Glossier Priming Moisturiser for a while and a have to say it hasn't disappointed. I apply a medium dollop all over my face and a little bit down my neck, really rubbing and patting it in to make sure it sinks in. If I apply it an hour or so before I do my makeup I go back in with a little bit to refresh my skin and make sure it's nice and hydrated before putting anything else on top of it. The finishing touch to my routine now we have reached summertime is SPF. A new addition to my collection I've been enjoying using it because it feels like I'm putting on a super primer. The Glossier Invisible Shield has been doing a great job, I obviously can't see if it's doing my skin any good, but it's not greasy and leaves my skin feeling great.

What's your favourite skincare product?

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

If I could only wear three lipsticks

Maven | Tout-Paris | Pink Cocoa
I love all makeup products, from foundation to eyebrow gel I'm literally obsessed. The same is said for lip products but unlike all of the others where I chop and change what I use on the daily, I tend to stick to the same sort of thing. I think it's out of habit and because I know that my favourites feel comfortable and have my go-to shade. Although I do test out new ones and new friends come into rotation, over the last few months these have been what I had on my lips.

Dior Addict Lipstick in Tout-Paris
To say I'm obsessed with this lipstick is an understatement because I am OBSESSED with it. I bought it in an airport when I was on my way home from Lanzarote last year because 1. I love the packaging and 2. I wanted to finally have a seriously posh lipstick in my collection. Picking a shade was hard because I wanted something a bit different to what I already have but one that I would wear on an everyday basis. Tout-Paris is a sheer bright pink that I've been wearing non-stop, like seriously. I usually layer it over the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk and it is my lips but pinker and glossier. Feels comfortable and easy to through in my bag if I'm out and about to just whack on if needed. Next on my list of things to buy is one of the Dior Lip Glows because if I love this as much as I do I'm sure I'll be just as obsessed with that one!

Powerlips in Maven
One that's relatively new to my collection but my mind still boggles with how amazing this formula is. Picture this, a matte liquid lipstick which is pretty easy to apply, stays on through thick and thin BUT doesn't make your lips feel as dry as a desert. I mean it sounds like a fantasy but trust me, this is what it's like. The shade is a dark nude on my skin which I love but it can be a bit much for everyday but I'm going to get another one which is a bit more nude-y (see, obsessed) and I can see that never leaving my lips.

Tanya Burr Lipstick in Pink Cocoa
This is my no nonsense, shove it on nude that is a fail safe for me. Like all of the lipsticks in the range it's moisturising and comfortable to wear which is what I'm all about, especially when it's a nude. If I have a warm toned eyeshadow on, like something from the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette, this is the lip option I do for and it always works. What I also really like about this is the packaging is so reflective that it can be used as a mirror, win, win, win!

What's your go-to lipstick?

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Friday, 11 May 2018

A cleansing routine for dehydrated skin

This is first of a three part series (get me, a planned out series) which is all about skincare! In this post I’m going to be going over how I cleanse my skin after a normal day, then I’ll chat about my morning and evening skincare routine. 

Over the last few weeks I have fallen in love with cleansing. Like a deep love. I look forward to nothing more than getting home for the day, putting my pyjamas on and cleaning my skin. Over the years my routine has stayed pretty similar and so have the type of products I use and it really works for my skin. 

To start off with I go in with a cream type cleanser. In the past I’ve used the soap and glory peach cleanser but at the minute I have the Formula Daily Advanced Cleansing Milk. What I like about creamy cleansers is that it takes off the first layer but doesn’t dry my skin out or make it feel oily. It’s a great in between which is perfect for my dehydrated but oily skin. I just massage it onto my dry face, including mascara, and then wipe  it off with a cloth. It does a good job at getting off that first layer of makeup, which makes it easier when I move on to the next step, micellar water. At the minute I’m using the Garnier one and I think that is probably my favourite out of all the ones I’ve tried, cheap and cheerful but does the job. A couple of cotton pads does the trick on a normal day, one for eye makeup and the rest for my base. 

The next step is my favourite, and the newest to my routine. I use the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, a couple of pumps, and then go in with the Formula Daily Advanced Cleansing Brush all over my face for my second cleanse. It. Feels. Amazing. I thought I’d find it a bit boring having to do it everyday but I actually really enjoy taking the time to get every last scrap of makeup off my face. Usually two minutes on the lowest setting does the job, stopping every so often to wet the brush again. It leaves my skin feeling clean but not dried out and gives the perfect start for my skincare routine (a post which will be coming next week!) 

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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

First impressions and test driving Revolution

After having a cheeky purchase of a few Revolution products I thought I'd give them a little road test over one day and give my thoughts! I've started to slowly work my way down my friend Rachel's foundation recommendation list and the Revolution Fast Base Stick Foundation was the first one to give a go. I haven't tried any stick foundations before but the whole swipe, blend and go situation really appealed to me. Anything to make getting ready in the morning that little bit quicker. Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer - other than the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer has any high street concealer been as hyped up? I think not. But they've never had it in my shade! So when I saw there was one left I practically lunged at the stand in case anyone got in my way and took it (there was literally no one else there). Then I saw the Revolution Liquid Highlighter Drops. I've never tried this kind of highlight before but always admired the Cover FX drops from afar. Although the shade Unicorn Elixir was the most appealing sounding, it was purple and I don't think I'd have got much wear out of it. So instead I went for Liquid Starlight, a pink shimmer.

I can't tell you how fun it was to draw this foundation on my face. It was like colouring in! I did a few swipes and then blended it with a brush, it took no time at all and gave some pretty good coverage. There were a few areas that I just wanted a bit more but it was nothing a few more swipes and blending couldn't fix. The concealer has THE biggest applicator I've ever used, and that was perfect for under my eyes. Again a few swipes and I blended it in with a mini real techniques sponge which I also picked up recently. I loved this for concealer, it could really get to places I struggle to with my normal one such as around my nose and on the inner corners of my eyes. Back to the concealer, good coverage, not massively full but good enough, and C3 was a great shade match for me. Last but not least the highlighter. YOU DO NOT NEED A LOT OF THIS. I put a single tiny blob on the back of my hand and I used two taps of it. This spreads like wildfire, but looks stunning. So sheeny and metallic I don't own anything like this already. I blended it out with the same tiny sponge and it worked really well.

But how will it last throughout the day?

My first thoughts were 'oh my god what has happened to this highlighter?!'. My nose and cupids bow had both kind of set and were no longer glowy but pink blobs of glitter, it looked stupid. I rubbed it in and it was fine but I think I might avoid putting it on these places in the future. It wasn't too bad on my cheekbones but it had gone a bit chunky on one side - nothing that a little dabbing couldn't sort out! Foundation and concealer still look great. Nothing to report other than that my skin shows no signs of getting oily just yet - an amazing sign.

Starting to get a little bit oily but not so much I was in serious need of a blot. Other than that my base is still looking good. As for the highlighter it's shining bright on my cheekbones but after dispursing the mess earlier it's totally gone from my nose and cupids bow. But to be fair I don't think my usual powder highlight lasts long there anyway.

Not much more oily than I was earlier but I gave myself a bit of a blot to take off some of the shine. Everything still looks okay but I don't think I properly blended one side of my highlight because I've ended up with a really harsh line by my eye where it begins.

Exactly the same as 2.15pm

After going out for a meal I came back to take my makeup off and was very impressed with what I found! Everything looked exactly the same from when I last did a blot and check at 2.15pm. Foundation was still sticking around as was the concealer and although it was a little chunky, the highlighter was still shining bright. If I had one complaint it's that my skin was going a bit dry (which never happens!) but it didn't feel like all the moisture was sucked out of it, just not oily.

Overall, I really liked all three of the products. my least favourite was the highlighter just because it went a bit weird but that being said it might have been my application. The foundation was the star of the show I think 

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Friday, 4 May 2018

My recent hand cream obsession

Hello, I'm Abz, and I'm obsessed with hand cream.

Now that may be a bit over dramatic but I've gone from zero to 100 when it comes to hand cream. I used it in the evenings after doing my skincare but that was about it. If it was there to use in a restaurant toilet, I wouldn't use it, free mini hand creams in hotel rooms, wouldn't take them, I just wasn't interested. What changed was when I started to use them at work. In the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar I had last year (That's one of the best things I've ever bought, I go on about it all the time!) I got a deluxe mini of the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. Already having a hand cream on the go at home but desperate to use something from a brand I've wanted to try out for so long, I took it to work. I got into the habit of using it every time I left the room and now here I'm am, three hand creams down in five months and in need of a fourth.

Over the last few months I've had chance to test out a few of the skin saviours and the ones I've loved have been:
Being by Sanctuary Spa - Chilli Mango and Tonka Bean: It has a really strong smell of mango (sometimes it is a bit too much) and for summer I feel like this will be the one. You just need a small amount otherwise it can get a bit greasy but an all round good egg.
Soap and Glory Hand Food - Sugar Crush: This scent is one of my favourites, like sherbet. it's really thick so it might be a bit much when the weather gets hotter, but for right now, it's cracking.
The Body Shop - Coconut: I love the Body Shop hand creams, all scents are amazing and they're the perfect size. I think the coconut one is my favourite though, it's the one I keep going back to.

I have one hand cream that's on my wishlist - the L'Occitane Almond Delicious Hand Cream. I've heard good things about it and I'd quite like to give it a go. (look at me getting excited about hand cream!)

What are you obsessed with at the minute?

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Wednesday, 2 May 2018

A Little Pay Day Treat | Glossier Haul

I placed my first Glossier order when it launched in the UK last year. It was a modest collection of products, the Milky Jelly Cleanser and two Balm Dotcoms, to see what the deal was and if I wanted to test anything else out. Six months later I needed to repurchase a new cleanser and took it as an opportunity to go wild (well wild for me) and pick up a few extra bits. Anyone wanting a bit of a discount then here is my link, go nuts!

I'm in love with the Balm Dotcoms, like it's a serious bond. I have the Birthday one which I keep on my desk at work and the Coconut one that's in my skincare stash. I fancied another one to either go in my bag or next to my bed and the Mint one seemed like a good shout. I love this flavour so much. Not only does it taste and smell amazing (like all the Balm Dotcoms I've tried) but it makes your lips feel cold and tingling, a bit like a plumping gloss. If anything gives my bit of extra juice then I'm all for it! I think this is my new favourite out of the three I've tried.

Glossier Boy Brow. Has there ever been a more hyped brow gel (except maybe Gimme Brow)? I nearly added it to my basket in my last order but I'd recently bought a new Eylure one and, to be honest, I thought that £14 seemed a bit pricy for the size. But I took the plunge this time and went for Medium Brown shade. So far I am quite impressed. The colour is spot on for what I usually go for, dark but not verging on black.

The whole reason for this order was to repurchase the Milky Jelly Cleanser, my go-to second cleanse that is a dream to apply and seems to be working for my skin. There’s no way this is going to take makeup off, at all but after taking my makeup off with another cleanser I go in with this to get the remaining bits that might have been left behind. I feel like it moisturises my skin but doesn’t leave it feeling greasy and after getting used to the slightly strange smell (kind of floral) I don’t think I could live without it. 

Because I was ordering the Milky Jelly Cleanser I thought I’d take the chance to try the Priming Moisturiser and buy the Phase One Set. I’d heard that if you had dry skin then it’s not that great but as I have oily dehydrated skin I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve only been using it for about a week but I have to say I’m really liking it. It reminds me a bit of the This Works Camera Close Up Primer which I really enjoyed using but was just a bit expensive when I went to buy the full size. It’s moisturising but leaves skin tacky as well and makeup has been going nicely over the top. I did a blog test a few days ago and it got to about 1pm before I had to dab down my oily face which for me is pretty impressive. I’m looking forward to giving this more of a test. 

I’ve been meaning to buy an SPF for a while now but I’ve just been too lazy. I’d heard Lily Pebbles rate the one from Glossier, the Invisible Shield, so (like most of these products) I just added it to the pile. First off, I think it smells like a chocolate orange, anyone else? I'm totally into it and could whiff it all day. The packaging is great, one pump gives the right amount of product for me. And the consistency is spot on, not tacky like the Priming Moisturiser but it's not matte like a mattifying primer. This has really made me interested in trying out other SPF's to see how they do but for now I'm really liking how this one is working.

As I've discovered that although my skin is oily, it's also very dehydrated, I've developed a need for a moisturising mask. As my tester of the Oskia Renaissance Mask has come to an end, and is a bit too pricy to replace, I thought I'd give the Moisturising Moon Mask a try. I've only used it once so I can't give my full thoughts on it but it's a thick gel like cream that felt really ice when I applied it and gave my skin the plumping up it needed.

Is there anything else from Glossier that I should give a try?

Instagram shoutout to myself: Why not give my insta @abzisfabz a follow? 

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