Monday, 31 December 2012

New Years Eve Beauty Picks.

Getting ready is half the fun of going out, right? And at New Year you can up the glitz and glamour and not get those "bit much" stares. This year I'll be cracking out my most sparkly of products for eyes, the brightest matte lips and leaving everything else pretty minimal.

To start off any good night out, I always go for the Elemental Herbology Weekend Facial Kit, it's a three step mask routine that detoxes, purifies and hydrates skin so you're completely set for the night. It's best used the night before; I use the Facial Glow Radiance Peel first to exfoliate the skin and make sure it's set for the next step, the Facial Detox Purifying Mask - a clay mask perfect for blitzing any clogged pores and blemishes. Finally, I leave on the Facial Souffle Intensive Hydration Mask overnight to plump skin and make sure it's hydrated and smooth.

While I'm carrying out my facial, I slather on the NUXE 24 Hr Body Lotion for soft, smooth skin. I always use this post-shower for really moisturised skin. I rarely reach for everything else and it smells just heavenly.

Next up, my base consists of the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base, a smoothing and priming moisturiser which leaves my skin prepped for foundation. I swear by this to keep my skin in check and the multi-use element sits well with me. Whilst it's absorbing in, I pat on a small amount of Clarins Instant Light Complexion Perfector in Rose Shimmer on my cheek bones and down my nose. I find that liquid highlighters like this warm the skin and create a sort of soft-focus so pores look minimised and skin looks flawless. 
Using a Stippling brush or my fingers, I add the smallest amount of MAC Cremeblend Blush in Something Special to the tops of my cheekbones for a bit of warmth and colour. The subtle coral shade is so flattering against my skin tone.

My main focus of the evening is eyes, I tried out this combination last night and loved the look of it. For a base product to set the shadow and ensure it doesn't crease, these Estée Lauder Stay-On Shadow Paints are perfect. I'm using Chained, a dark bronzed gold before lightly pressing on a small amount of Gilded Gold, a rich bronzed brown with flecks of gold glitter, from the Stila In The Light palette. It's easy to overdo it so layer up small amounts rather than diving in.
Eyelashes must be defined and volumised if you're skipped out eyeliner like me, I always use my favourite lash combo; two squeezes on each eye with the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers before applying a few coats of Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume mascara, there's really nothing else needed!

Lastly for all the glam, I dab on this bright neon pink lip colour, Topshop Lip Crayon in Clueless. It's a daring shade so I don't apply it with the stick, I just tap a bit of colour on my lips with my fingers to keep it noticeable but still quite subtle. It's the perfect going out shade and there's compliments all round whenever I wear it.
For nails, I chose Bobbi Brown Polish in Black Pearl - if you like dark shades with a hint of shimmer, then look no further. I've been wearing this an awful lot recently and I love how amazing it looks on my nails, it's one of those shades that seems to look a different colour in every light.

I love NYE for getting ready, lots of glam and last-minute plans. We're still deliberating over what to do but at least I've got my party essentials sorted.
What will you be wearing this New Years? 

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Sunday, 30 December 2012

This Week I've Been Wearing... #15.

For a while there I wasn't venturing too far from my usual makeup and skincare routines but after a few shopping trips I've found some really beautiful products that I just had to share with you.

Ever since I can remember I've been a terrible sleeper, all my good ideas come at night and my brain goes in to action. As a kid I'd always have lavender scented pillow spray and so when I saw that This Works had a Deep Sleep range I had to give this Deep Sleep Pillow Spray a whirl. It's a really comforting smell to me and I always feel really relaxed and calm after dousing my bedding with this. Whereas some scented products can smell quite synthetic, this has a beautiful scent and it never fails to help me unwind.

I've mixed up my skincare routine lately and added a few new gems. This Estée Lauder Pore Minimising Skin Refresher has made my skin feel so soft and smoothed over. It works instantly to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores for a refined finish. I cannot tell you enough how amazing this is!
Oh how I do love a mask! This Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, a new launch from Clinique which should be on counters from January, absorbs into my face really quickly without feeling heavy. I'm not a massive fan of overnight masks, I usually find them rich and tacky and the scent too overpowering but after one use of this mask, it made such a difference to my skin that I've changed my mind! I don't have dry skin but I notice my skin is more supple and smooth after a night with this slathered on.

Yes, you're seeing correctly; two cheek products I've been wearing lately - I won't ever curb my blusher habit so we may as well embrace it. First up is the Hourglass Illume Cream to Powder Bronzer duo in Sunset. I love Hourglass products and fancied getting a cream bronzer to sculpt me some cheekbones as bronzer isn't something I have a lot of. I've been using the two shades together, blending the blush in to the top of my cheeks and contouring with the bronzer. The two work well together and it's pretty hassle free.
Lastly, this Laura Mercier set was in the Space NK sale for just £10, it would have been rude not to buy it as I almost purchased it at full price. The palette is lovely, it contains Topaz, Kir Royal, Morning Dew and Primrose eye shades which are all beautiful. The shades can be popped out so I swapped  Vintage Pink blusher for one of my old favourites, Lush Nectarine as I know I'll get more use out of it. I took this away with me last night and its so compact and perfect.

As you can see, quite a few new products have taken my fancy lately. What are your thoughts on this weeks most loved?

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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow Blush in Liquifuschia.

It wasn't until this year that I really discovered cream blushes, I'd always been a blusher girl - my blush drawer is seriously overflowing - but I'd always preferred and felt familiar with powder blushes. I'm not sure what changed my mind, but I've barely picked up a powder blush since.

I'd been circling the Kevyn Aucoin counter for some time before taking the plunge and picking up Liquifuschia, a bright Fuschia not for the faint of heart. I wanted something a bit more daring for winter, a contrasting shade against my fair skin. My friends and Instagram followers were a little shocked when they saw this fearless shade and its not a colour I have in my collection (nor anything near it!).
All that aside, this has to be my most worn blush at the moment, the pop of colour it adds to my cheeks is so flattering and easy to wear.  I usually team this shade with simple nude eyes for day or smokey eyes if I'm going out. The creamy formula blends in really beautifully and I'm already wondering which shade to go for next.

My advice? Don't be scared to pick up a slightly daunting blush, blend it in well using a Stippling brush or my favourite brush the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. A pop of bright colour looks perfect on cheeks, just don't be too heavy-handed.

Can you recommend any daring shades of blusher? 

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Friday, 28 December 2012

Double Action Cleansers.

It may be fairly obvious to you by now that I love a multi-use product, my beauty routines are often quite swift and effortless but I make sure to use products that have great results. Over the last few weeks I've found a few cleansers that have made my makeup removal routine just that little bit more efficient by leaving my skin looking freshly cleansed, purified and clear. These aren't just your average cleansing products, they do all that and a whole lot more... 

One of my most used evening cleaners is the Elemental Herbology Bio-Cellular Facial Cleanser (£22). I think it sits between a cream and a gel, perfect for all skin types. My favourite thing about this? It removes makeup in one easy step as well as using AHAs to gently exfoliate the skin. Not only is skin clean and ready for my evening skincare routine, dead skin cells are also buffed away, my skin looks brighter and the lavender oil calms and smooths and injects a little evening relaxation. This is a multi tasking pro and it wins my respects with every use. 

A more recent addition to my multi-use league is the Zelens Radiance Luminous Cleanser (£40), answering all my prayers when it comes to adding moisture to my skin (rather than stripping it) with the nightly routine. Unlike the aforementioned cleanser which is quite thick, this is a milky wash that lathers up to remove makeup and impurities and retain moisture. Infused with pearl extracts and vitamin A, skin is protected and looking brighter. 

Emma Hardie products are a favourite of mine, they always leave my skin feeling and looking healthier than ever. This Emma Hardie Moringa Foaming Cleanser (£25.50) makes removing makeup so easy, I just lather up a pump or two and spend a few minutes massaging it in. This lets the ingredients gently exfoliate the skin whilst removing impurities. I've never had a cleanser leave my skin feeling so soft like this, it feels fresh and cleansed and my overall complexion a lot brighter too. Containing an array of natural ingredients and essential oils, you can't go wrong with a cleanser that makes makeup removal sort of fun and also leaves skin looking smooth and energised. 

In my experience, cleansers that do a little more than just removing the face paint are worth the money. Don't settle for the average cleanser and get more from your cleansing routine. 

What's your favourite cleanser? 

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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Chantecaille Iridescent Eye Shade in Sel.

Chantecaille Iridescent Eye Shade in Sel - £23

Although my eyeshadow palettes are stacking up, I sometimes find exactly what I need in a single eyeshadow. Whilst stalking the various beauty counters in Space NK recently, I found this perfect cool-toned taupe amongst the Chantecaille stand and since then, there's not been any other shade that has grabbed my attention. 

The first eyeshadow I've tried from Chantecaille, Sel is a shimmery neutral grey/brown that caught my eye pretty quickly (despite not really looking for eyeshadows). It contained just the right amount of wearable shimmer that made it suitable for day and night and the colour didn't look too pink on my warm skin tone. 
So far I've only worn this on its own, it's pretty fuss-free in that the colour works well alone. The pulling factor? These eyeshadows are not at all crumbly, they don't have any fall out and they glide on to eyes, blending so easily. I'm already planning the next shade on my wish list. 
If you find many shades in palettes or on counters to be quite warm and, like me, you opt for cooler, less pink shades, you'll find Sel is the answer. 

A grown-up shimmer that's easy and hassle-free to apply is something I've been on the look out for a while and I recommend you check out these pigmented, perfectly wearable wonders from Chantecaille.

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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Post-Christmas Beauty Sales.

I've never left the comfort of my home on Boxing Day (a day of eating and drinking if you ask me) to indulge in the post-Christmas sales but this year they've been calling me, pyjama-clad with a cocktail in one hand, via the sale emails that are racking up in my inbox today.

I have to admit, I made a sly sale purchase yesterday in-between eating and a Christmas film marathon - the Space NK sale lured me in with the offer of Laura Mercier candles, of which I'm a huge fan. While it doesn't seem that there's any left, there are some great Laura Mercier makeup sets still available for just £10.

Moving on to the Beauty Bay sale, my shopping basket is already brimming with Emma Hardie treats such as the foaming cleanser I love with almost £10 off. I also spotted the Urban Decay Naked palettes with slashed prices (including the Naked Basics palette that will most likely be mine by the end of the day). Other must haves are the NUDE Miracle Mask and the Stila makeup - In The Moment palette for £20 anyone?

I've also been checking out the sale for Caudalie goodies such as my favourite Radiance Day Fluid. While you're there, Clarins products have also seen a discount and the Lotus Face Oil is now £23.20.

Over at FeelUnique, the New Zealand brand Antipodes is amongst many brands with 10% off, including the Honey Manuka Mask.

I'm going to rack up some serious pounds in virtual shopping bags this afternoon - are there any sales you've been lusting over today?
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