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The Makeup Diaries: November

November 08, 2017

It can be so easy to fall into a comfortable routine when it comes to beauty; always keeping the same products in rotation and sticking to what you know. The Makeup Diaries is my new monthly feature to give myself the kick to branch out and try new products.

Today's makeup diaries shows the more minimal side of my beauty endeavours. I have found myself favouring an easier, and quicker, approach to my makeup - mainly encouraged by the fact I spend far too many mornings running late for work. Also being inspired by the skin first makeup second approach preached by Glossier after my recent order, I have taken minimalism well and truly under my wing. Even though for most, I am sure, this isn't the most stripped back routine out there.

Stick foundations are nothing new, but the Revlon Insta-Fix foundation is so great that I feel the need to shout about them all over again. I love how easy the application is; just a few lines around your face that then seamlessly blends into the skin. It works very well at controlling oil throughout the day and doesn't leave me looking shiny at all, my highlighter gives me enough glow I don't want anymore. To just conceal my under eye circles I am absolutely loving the Glossier Stretch Concealer, it is so creamy and light but covers everything so well - hands down one of the best concealers I have come across, plus we don't even need to discuss the packaging at this point.

To finish off the base I add some life to my face with NARS Laguna Bronzer and Orgasm Blush, complete with the Glossier Haloscope Highlighter on the tops of my cheekbones and down my nose. The holy trinity of cheek products that never let me down!

The brows have become really minimal recently since actually bothering to groom and shape my eyebrows more regularly and get them into a shape I'm happy with, I have found that just a coat of the Glossier Boy Brow is enough to have them looking great.

For the finishing touches I have been using the L'Oreal Paradise Mascara which I'm actually not crazy about as I find it an absolute pain to get off, but then love how it makes my eyelashes look so it's an inner conflict I am currently trying to deal with. Then complete everything with a quick wash of MAC Velvet Teddy lipstick et voila!

What makeup have you been wearing this month?

So, You're Ready to Make Your First Glossier Order

October 27, 2017

By this point, I’m sure that, if you’re even remotely interested in the world of beauty, you’ve placed an order with the newest cult beauty brand on the block – Glossier. Their sleek packaging, no fuss formulas with functionality, and their brand rep that goes above and beyond when it comes to consumer experience – there really isn’t much reason to not eagerly await that millennial pink box to be delivered to your door. 

Like most of us I jumped on the Glossier website as fast as I could on that Monday afternoon after getting home from work, putting a few products straight into my basket. I could have very (very) easily ordered every single thing off that website, but showed a little restraint and narrowed it down to just the 5 products that were at the very top of my list. They have all quickly made their way into my daily essentials list so despite only using them for a short time I feel qualified to give them a fair review.

I’ve always been more excited by Glossier’s makeup as opposed to their skincare which is definitely reflected in this first order. One of the products that I was most interested in was the Stretch Concealer. A creamy and lightweight concealer that is super blendable, sinking into the skin like a dream. This is not the most heavy duty concealer out there, but it does a great job at covering up just the right amount so that your complexion is perfected while still looking like skin.

The duo of Haloscope and Boy Brow is a great way to save a few pennies and get two great products, luckily I wanted both of the products anyway so it was the perfect duo. I got Haloscope in the shade Quartz and Bow Brow in Brown. Haloscope is a great highlighter for people that want a really dewy, almost wet appearance rather than straight up shimmer. Boy Brow has earnt its cult status, it makes my eyebrows look so much bushier than they even were before, perfect for the days when I want to go more minimal with my makeup.

I also picked up the Milky Jelly Cleanser; the perfect double cleanse product to make your skin squeaky clean. It’s nice and gentle but tough on any traces of makeup remaining from your first cleanse. Then I just had to pick up a tube of the infamous Balm Dot Com, a multi-tasking balm that does wonders for my chapped lips. 

The Skincare Shelf 0.2

October 01, 2017

A new room means a new skincare shelf, and since I've been living in my new house for a few months the time has come to share my current skincare situation. I have to say I am not liking it as much as my previous setup, here. But this is probably down to the fact that I no longer have an ensuite and have to set everything up in my room.

My actual skincare lineup hasn't changed much, I definitely stick to the products I know and love with a couple of newbies thrown into the mix, most notably the Pai Rosehip Oil, Origins GinZing Eye Cream, Origins Original Skin Essence Lotion and the Avene Triacneal Expert Emulsion.

I think that my goal for the future is to create a much more curated skincare shelf, there are so many products that I don't use and so many underloved products that don't get given the time of day due to the constant flow of new products coming along. We will see how that works out in the future, but the shelf could definitely do with a clear out.

What are your favourite skincare products?

A Minimalist Brow Approach

September 27, 2017

My whole makeup routine has started to take more a minimalist approach, my once signature cat eye has been abandoned and heavy contour is a thing of the past in my daily makeup menu. But one thing that never got the whole minimalist treatment was the brows. As someone who has perpetually unruly brows, I have relied heavily on different waxes and gels to keep my brows in place.

Having now accepted the unruly nature of my brows and learnt to just let them be I’ve managed to narrow down my brow routine to just two key products that both shape them and keep them in place for at least a little bit.

I’ve never been one to use brow pencils by the Sephora Brow Pencil completely changed my mind on them, not too creamy but not too firm that it becomes hard to create a smooth and precise line. And the price, along with all the Sephora own-brand products, are super affordable. They also do a great range of colours, my problem has always been that I can’t get a brow pencil cool enough to blend in with my natural brows, but Sephora has done a great job in creating colours that really cater for more people, thumbs up for sure!

Then to really keep everything in place I use the Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Gel. Not only does it make sure my brows stay put, but also makes them look super fluffy – something I am totally on board with as it gives them more bushy vibes and we all know that big brows are in and not going anywhere soon.

Top 3: Bourjois

September 18, 2017
best bourjois products

We can all be found guilty of going crazy for high-end makeup, the packaging and the quality is undeniably amazing (most of the time) but we forget we have the literal gold mines that are the drugstore beauty brands. In this series, I'll be running through the top products from some of my favourite budget beauty brands - first up, Bourjois.

Bourjois has been a top brand for me for a while, we all know and love the Healthy Mix Serum - which is why I didn't include it in this post. But I'm going to go out there and say that the City Radiance foundation might just be better than the cult healthy mix. No matter how hard I try I just can't find a flaw with this foundation, it's not too thick or too thin, the glow is the perfect, coverage - tick. It's all that I could want in a foundation, it just makes my skin look good.

In short, Bourjois base products are just the bomb and I would recommend them over all other drugstore brands. But a top base product for me is the Java Powder - think the Ambient Lighting Powders in loose form. This makes your skin look so glowy without looking like straight up shimmer. I especially love it for under the eyes as it really brightens them up, making me look far more awake.

Final favourite is the Rouge Edition Velvet Liquid Lipsticks, particularly in the shade 10. The formula of this is one of the most comfortable of the liquid lipsticks I have tried, it is definitely more of a cream, almost mousse-like. It doesn't move around too much on the lips and doesn't horrifically dry your lips out - always a plus.

What are your favourite Bourjois products?

The Skincare Menu: September

September 13, 2017
favourite skincare products nuxe embryolisse
It's not often I stick to the same skincare products for very long. My collection is ever-expanding and I always get fixated on the newest products, leaving anything old behind to be forgotten about. But recently I have picked up some new products that seem to have stood the test of time far longer than any before them. So this monthly skincare menu consists of some unusually old(ish) products that I am still loving.
The Nuxe Comforting Cleansing Milk is a favourite cleanser of mine, being super soft yet still effective. It's more of a second cleanse to really clean your skin and leave it super fresh. Also good for all you sensitive skin girls as the main ingredient is rose. Then in place of a harsher toner I spritz some of the Mario Badescu Facial Spray for some added hydration and to calm any redness.
If you have problems with acne scars and discolouration than the Pai Rosehip Oil is the product for you. Not only is it excellent at fading away any marks that you may have on your skin, but being an oil, it nourishes and hydrates your skin. I have loved using it to help fade some marks that have been left behind by some spots, and I've noticed a huge improvement in the overall clarity of my skin since using this.
When it comes to moisturiser I don't think I'm going to be straying from the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentrate for a long time. This stuff is seriously the best thing I've ever used, it makes my skin baby soft and really improves the longevity of my makeup upon application. Then finishing everything off with the Origins Ginzing Eye Cream to highlight and awaken my tired eyes.
What is you current skincare menu?

The Morning Eye Rescue

September 02, 2017
Picture me. Early morning, after saying I would go to sleep early the night before, instead, staying up far too late reading Game of Thrones fan theories, my under-eyes are looking tired af. To say the least. It’s just not a good situation, it’s going to take a whole lot of concealer to make me into somewhat of a human from a tired panda-eyed thing.

But since my newest under eye related discovery I have been able to cut down on the concealer while still looking awake and refreshed. Enter, Origins GinZing Eye Cream. The one thing every tired human needs to put on their eyes in the morning.

It’s super moisturizing and hydrating but is also extremely refreshing and makes my eyes feel a whole lot more comfortable. As well as that it’s kind of peach tinted to help color correct your purple bags, and tiny bits of shimmer to highlight and brighten your eyes which help to make you look super awake and radiant. Is this not everything anyone could want in an eye cream?

Even on the days when I’m wearing no makeup and my under eyes aren’t looking so bad, I will always pop a little bit of this on to make me look fresher and awake, almost like strobing for your eyes – just swiping on a little of this really does change your whole face. Going from dull to ta-dah in a matter of seconds.

This eye cream is truly a must-have for anyone wanting to look more awake in the morning. Isn’t that all of us?

Why do We Use Facial Sprays?

August 30, 2017
facial sprays french pharmacy

I have been a firm advocate for the facial spray movement for the longest time, I pretty much tell everyone that they just need to hurry to a French pharmacy and pick up the first thermal water they lay their eyes on and keep it on them at all times if they want to do anything to help their skin. But really, when you really think about it, they really are nothing more than glorified water in a can – talking about the thermal water sprays in particular. So why do we use them so religiously? Do we really need to be spraying water on our faces numerous times a day to lock in the moisture? This led to some avid googling which left me, a self-proclaimed water spray expert, feeling a little dumbed-down.

So, thermal water sprays like the ones you see in the French pharmacies are not just meant to be sprayed onto your face and left to work its magic, and if you do just leave it you run the risk of actually drying out your skin. You’re recommended to either pat down the spray with a towel to get rid of any moisture or put something like a moisturizer on over top to seal the water in. So despite using these to moisturize and hydrate your skin, you may actually be doing the complete opposite.

This is talking about the thermal water sprays alone, there are so many other facial sprays which amazing ingredients that are meant to be just sprayed and then left alone. My favorite being the Mario Badescu Facial Spray as it calms my skin down when it’s starting to flare up and keeps everything cool and refreshed.

So this opens the question, why do you use facial sprays? Are you looking for the little pick-me-up throughout the day, for a makeup refresher, or simply to add a little more hydration to your dry skin? For me, I love how refreshing it feels, and the added bit of moisture it gives.

Discovering the Endless Uses of Coconut Oil

August 23, 2017
Because who doesn't love a good multi-purpose beauty product?

I feel like pretty much everyone constantly raves about the wondrous product that is coconut oil, and in attempts to become a little more au naturale with my approach to beauty, this multitasking gem was one to add to the kit. 
There are so many different uses for coconut oil, but really I just love using it for all over moisture. I use it on my hair to keep the ends soft and smooth, on my hands when they are feeling dry, cuticles etc. you name it, I moisturise it with coconut oil. As well as that I love using it to remove my makeup, I have always been into oil-based cleansers so it seemed only natural that I would love to use this as well, it removes makeup just as well as the pricey products I seem to spend all of my money on.
Whether you want straight coconut oil or have it infused with other ingredients, I've compiled a list of coconut oil product no matter your taste.