August Beauty Favourites!

It’s been a LOOONG time since I posted a monthly favourites, mainly due to the fact that I haven’t really been trying out any new products. But this month I thought I’d get back to it since I’ve been using a few products that have really impressed me!

The first 3 are all from The Body Shop:

Body Shop Oils Of Life Sleeping Cream

This Oils of Life sleeping cream isn’t actually new to me, in fact it probably featured in a past favourites post. I bought it last winter, but since my skin has been so temperamental of late, I thought I’d give it a go during the summer too, and I LOVE it again. I have an oily t-zone which obviously gets oiler during the summer months when it’s warmer. I never liked the idea of adding more oil to my face, but I know that when you have oily skin it’s because you’re hydrated and it’s trying to compensate SOOO I tried it. I popped a thin layer of this on my face before bed, and in the morning my skin felt balanced and soft. AND it smells great too! I don’t use this every night because I’m still figuring out how to balance my t-zone, but so far so good!

Body Shop Skin Defence

Next is The Body Shop’s Skin Defence cream. I asked for this for my birthday and was very happy to receive it. This cream has spf 50++++ and is a lightweight cream to water finish protector for your face. You can apply it alone or under makeup and I’m definitely taking this to Florida next month, because I hate the greasy feeling of sunscreen on my face.

Body Shop Instamatte

Lastly for The Body Shop items, is this Instamatte. I managed to buy this for £2 as I had two £5 gifts on their loyalty card. This is a little lipgloss sized tube of primer type gel. It’s designed to be mixed into foundation or on top of lipsticks to transform into matte finish. I haven’t yet used it for the latter, but I have kept it in my bag at work and when my t-zone starts to look gross I tap a little of the gel onto the areas I need it, and I’m instantly matte. I only wear tinted moisturiser and it taps on top fine, but I don’t know how well it would work tapped on top of higher coverage foundation. I have a feeling it might break it up a little, but for the way I use it and for me, it’s a little lifesaver!

Lipsticks

Speaking of lipsticks, I’ve been loving these two again. I don’t usually like to wear a lot of lipstick in the summer, instead I reach for products with a more sheer finish, but since we were having a rather rubbish and autumnal feeling summer spell, I picked these two out.

The one on the left, in the picture above, is Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ and on the right is Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Stoned Rose’.

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Both are cream finish, and look nice and autumnal. Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t last too long on its own, but lasts much longer if you use the matching lipliner underneath, which I do. I love this Charlotte Tilbury lipstick too and think I’m going to find myself in the market for another one this autumn!

Skin Laundry Face wash

And lastly, I’ve been adoring this foaming facial wash by Skin Laundry. I got a sample size of this in my Liberty London advent calendar last Christmas, and I was totally shocked by how clean this made my skin feel and look. So when I eventually ran out I went and bought the full-size. It’s not the cheapest but you get a massive bottle and it lasts ages. I’m so glad I found it!

And that’s it for my August beauty favourites. Have you tried any of these? I’d love to know what you thought!

Primers for Combination Skin in the Summer: E.L.F Vs Too Faced review

What with the weather picking up the way it has been, I’ve been on the lookout for a makeup primer that will keep my base looking fresh all day.

My base of choice is more often than not a tinted moisturiser. As someone with combination skin this might be an odd choice, but I prefer light, natural coverage with a dewy finish. I hate the look of a matte, dry foundation. I wear Balm Shelter by The Balm which is a lovely light and medium coverage tinted moisturiser that also contains spf. I’ve been wearing it every day for a couple of years now, and it lasts all day and I’ve only had to repurchase once.

That being said, I also need to maintain my t-zone because as soon as the summer starts, I get more oily than usual. I’ve also noticed my skin changing as I get older, and I’ll be honest, I’ve also somewhat temporarily ruined my skin by using a face wash that’s dried it out so much (Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel wash for sensitive skin – don’t buy it) I am having to totally overhaul my skincare routine until its back to normal.

I’d found a fantastic primer that appeared to really control my t-zone but I’d got it online from America, so when it ran out and I didn’t have anything else to buy from this brand, I decided to do some research and invest in a primer which was easier to get hold of. So here’s what I’m talking about:

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I actually received the e.l.f. Tone Adjusting Face Primer as part of a free gift with purchase when I made an order about a year ago (their website being the only place you used to be able to buy e.l.f.) If you’ve never bought on their site, I’d recommend it because they are always doing awesome free gifts with purchase, usually have a free delivery offer on, THEY cover customs charges AND it’s usually here from the US within a week or so. Anyway, I decided to try this primer when the one I’d been using ran out.

This primer is green in colour, so it’s supposed to correct redness and blotches on the skin, and I’ll be honest, I don’t find it does that.

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Don’t be alarmed by the colour, as you can see from the swatch the green blends away, which is probably why it doesn’t really cover much redness. But what I LOVE about this primer is that is silicone-y but not too silicone-y if you know what I mean. It makes my skin feel smooth but still like my skin. I always set my face with loose powder on my t-zone, and have done this with both the primers I’m talking about today. By the middle of my working day I can see this primer really works. If I tap my nose with my finger, a little oil comes off but my skin doesn’t look oily at all. My makeup hasn’t disappeared or started to break down, even on the hottest of days. I was really impressed! Thankfully I can now pick this up in Superdrug, as they have started to stock e.l.f Cosmetics. For £7.50 this is a total bargain and well worth the money.

As I said before, when this ran out and I didn’t have anything else to order from e.l.f, I didn’t want to make an order for just one thing, so I did some research. I wanted to see if there were any more primers, mid-range cost, that I could buy in the UK and were specifically designed for preventing oil. I’d bought the NYX Shine Killer primer before and was so disappointed that it actually made me shinier.

There were two primers that kept coming up as holy grail for oily skin, and one of which I knew I could pick up locally, so I went for that one!

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Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer was being reviewed as one of the ultimate primers for oil control throughout the day. At £24 it’s not cheap, but it also claimed to smooth skin, hide pores and as it’s slightly tinted suggested that you could wear it on its own for a naturally flawless look.

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So, this is what it looks like when you pump it out. It’s SO smooth on the skin but doesn’t feel like silicone at all. It’s more like feeling silk! The tone of the product isn’t strong enough to allow me to wear just that if I want a flawless finish. And it would need setting if I was going to do that anyhow because it does leave you feeling like you have something on your face. I didn’t notice any change to the appearance of my pores. I will say it did hold up to the oil-control part on warm days, but as soon as the heatwave hit it failed. My nose was oily early on in the day, even with powder and for £24 I’d expect it to perform for longer. I was rather disappointed. You also don’t get a lot of product for the amount you need to put on so I noticed I was going through it rather fast.

In the end, and as soon as my Superdrug started to stock e.l.f. I went back and picked up my old faithful green primer.

If you’re looking for a primer to control your combination skin, I’d say give the green one  from e.l.f a try. Obviously everyone’s skin is different and it might not work for you, but for £7.50 it’s worth a try!

Do you suffer with combination skin that gets more oily in the Summer? I’d love to hear what products you use to keep it in check!

How Waking Up Earlier Helped Me Feel Less Tired!

I’ve always needed LOTS of sleep. Since I was a kid my bed time was always way earlier than anyone else I knew (or know now) but now I’m an adult I’ll happily go to bed at half 8 without complaint.

They used to say you need at least 8 hours sleep in order to fully recharge, but I think that’s been changed to 6 hours now. I feel like a good 6.5 hours is all I really need, and a few years back I realised that I will actually feel worse if I have too much sleep.

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There’s a lot of research about different types of sleep, you can get apps and trackers that will tell you how much ‘useful’ sleep you’ve had and such.

But a while back I decided that I’d just wake up a little bit earlier in the normal working week and see how that affected my tiredness. After a little trial and error I found that waking up around 45 minutes earlier than I had been (and I usually go to sleep around the same sort of time every night) lead me to feeling more awake and refreshed than I had when I’d slept a little longer.

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I was sold! I’ve also tried a few other things to help with getting a good night’s sleep. I’ll put my phone down as soon as I go to bed, and watch tv for a bit before falling asleep. I don’t like to use my phone after around 9:30 if I’m honest, just because it’ll give my brain a little rest. iPhone recently added a feature that takes the blue out of the screen backlight after a time set by you, which is supposed to help your brain switch off and be less active ahead of sleepy time.

I was also sent a few sample products by the brand Kiss the Moon to try out. A couple of balms and face oils.

 

One was a temple balm and one was a face scrub and since my skin is so picky and changeable I didn’t really want to try the scrub. But I do love a nice face oil. I’ve given them all a go and though I didn’t find them to aid my sleep at all, they did have lovely calming scents. There’s three types and each one is aimed towards a different skin type. I decided to take one on holiday to Rome with me.

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The calm oil is my favourite scent of the bunch, but I’ll be honest they’re very ‘herbal’ scented and not really my cup of tea. I did find them to be calming, as I mentioned before, but they didn’t do anything for my skin. I have face oils which when I wake up I can feel they’ve made a difference to the softness of my skin, and with these oils they didn’t seem to make a difference, so I can’t say I’d reach for them. That being said, that’s not the primary point of these. They’re designed to relax you in an essential oil kind of way, and in that this succeeded.

Of all the things I’ve tried out, to help me wake up feeling more refreshed, I’d say setting my alarm to an earlier time was the most successful. It took a couple of attempts to know when was best, but now I’ve done it I’m so pleased I did. My brain has enough time to wake up, I’m not rushing to leave the house, and I’m calm and relaxed. I’m so pleased I did it!

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Kiss The Moon sent me a few samples of their products free of charge to give a go. You’ll be able to tell my opinions are my own and I have recieved no financial benefits for posting this article.

Requested: My Every Day Makeup Application

I was recently asked to write a post on what order I apply my every day makeup. I really liked the idea because I quite often think to myself that I put my makeup on a little bit backwards! But there’s a reason behind it, and I’d like to share that with you today!

Since I’m a really cack-handed, accident-prone person I always start makeup with my eyes. I’m the kind of person who likes to try things out with my eyes, since I’m new at this makeup thing. I have a tendency to sneeze, blink or just poke myself in the eye with mascara and because of that I’d much rather be able to remove my eye makeup without messing up my base and having to start all over again – and wasting product. I can also wipe away any fallout from eyeshadows without worrying about mucking things up! So whatever look I’m doing I will always start with my eyes.

Firstly I tightline. I don’t always do this but I like the fuller look it gives my lashes. I use the NYX Tres Jolie gel eyeliner pencils because they rarely transfer and they stay put. A lot of people think tightlining is lining the waterline, but it’s actually not. It’s pushing eyeliner between the lashes on the lashline to give a fuller appearance at the base of the lashes. I will use this eyeliner to push product between the lashes and then use a cotton bud to neaten up and remove any product from my waterline. It takes some practice at the start but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. I’ll sometimes use a tiny angled nail art brush with a Bobbi Brown gel pot instead. I have very watery eyes, and they’re sensitive too so I make sure there’s no product likely to drop into my eyes.

If I’m using eyeshadow, I’ll do this next, starting with a primer (I use NYX at the moment) and then go ahead with the shadow colours. Eyeliner comes next, if I’m using it and then I’ll curl my lashes and use mascara. I use the CoverGirl Clump Crusher, which is my current favourite. It actually keeps my lashes separated, coated and somewhat curled for the whole day and doesn’t leave me looking spidery. It doesn’t flake either!

Once my eyes are done, I prime. I use the Pür HydraGel lift under eye primer and whatever face primer I’m using at the time. Let those settle a little and then go in with my foundation. Then I use concealer on my face and lastly on my under eyes. I like the Benefit BOI-ING potted concealers.

Currently I set my under eyes with the ELF brightening under eye powder, and my face (only where I’ve put concealer) with the Bare Minerals Perfecting Veil pressed powder. But I’m actually considering picking up the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder because I need some help with oil on my nose before the summer hits.

Next I’ll go onto blush and bronzer (if I’m wearing it) I’ll apply the bronzer first because it gives me and idea of what blush shade I should go for.

Then I’ll use clear brow gel (NYX Control Freak) to tame my eyebrows – I don’t use any coloured products on my eye brows because they’re heavy as they are. They just need setting so they don’t move during the day!

If I’m going to use a setting spray I’ll spritz that next because it will sometimes dull the brightening effects of the under eye products I use. If this happens I’ll tap a tiny amount of Touche Eclat under my eyes and on my nose to highlight, once the setting spray has dried.

Lastly I’ll go to my lips with whatever product I’ve decided will work – balm, gloss, lipstick.

Then I’ll probably spend 10 minutes trying to find suitable light to take a selfie and then I’m done!

I hope you’ve found this useful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to pop those below!

 

March Favourites

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This month I have a little bit of beauty, a little bit of music and a quite a bit of entertainment to share with you all.

As usual, we’ll start with beauty!

So to start let’s talk about the Pixi Glow Mist – I bought this on a recent trip to London and have since received another bottle in a goodie bag, and I’m so pleased I have a back up. This little spray works as a hydrator, primer, setting spray and general all over glow creator. It can also be sprayed on the ends of your hair to soften dry split ends. I have used it in almost all of these ways. As someone with an oily t-zone I didn’t find this made me greasy at all. There’s a layer of oil you shake into the rest of the solution and then spray evenly over your face. My face was left feeling soft and hydrated, and as a setting spray this left my makeup looking soft, even and natural. I also sprayed it onto my beauty blender ahead of applying my Urban Decay Naked foundation and it took away the matte powdery look I dislike from the finish of that makeup. I’m in love!

Next is the White Mud exfoliating scrub and mask from The Estee Edit. This came in my Glamour Beauty Festival goodie bag and I’ve used it twice so far. I really like this mask. Firstly you only have to leave it on for 5 minutes so already it’s a time-saving mask! It comes in a tube so it’s travel friendly and you barely need any to cover your whole face. You rub it onto your face in little circles to exfoliate, leave it 5 minutes and then when it comes off it’s super easy to remove. I found my skin and pores were clearer than it’s been using any other mask. It knocked GlamGlow and L’Oreal’s mud masks out of the park. I’m super impressed.

Next is a couple of blushes. The Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer is one of my all time favourites (not just because it smells AMAZING!) so when I heard they had released two shades in blush formula, I knew I wanted one. A friend who was visiting America kindly picked one up for me in the shade Plum Rose. I’m so impressed with the shade, texture, finish and longevity of this blush – plus it smells just as good as the bronzer!

As part of the goodie bag I mentioned earlier I received a mini Nars blush in the shade Orgasm. This is many people’s holy grail blusher, and I’ve bought an ELF blush which is said to be a dupe for it, but I can now say it’s not. This Nars blush is beautiful. It’s a gorgeous shade, easily buildable and not glittery at all. I don’t know whether I’ll re-buy this because I have a lot of similar shades, and the full size of this is pretty expensive BUT I’m really pleased to have this and I will continue to use it regularly until it’s gone!

Lastly for beauty is the Davines All in One Milk and a couple of lip products from ColourPop. This blowdry spray is a multi purpose leave in conditioner that detangles and makes my hair feel and smell wonderful. It doesn’t weigh down my hair and leaves it wonderfully soft but manageable. I got a small bottle of this in my Liberty Advent Calendar and have since purchased the full-sized bottle because I can’t live without it!

The ColourPop lip products I’ve been loving this month are the Blotted Lip in Lexi and the Gloss in Finders Keepers. They seem to have been my go-to products this month. The gloss add the right amount of colour and gloss and lasts a really long time, and the blotted lip looks fabulous until it wears down a little and then I pop some Rose Salve on top and it lasts a little longer. I’m impressed!

So from beauty to music! This month I have been obsessively listening to Bruno Mars and Childish Gambino. I just can’t get enough!

 

24k Magic just makes me want to dance and there’s so much soul in Childish Gambino’s music….. I’m a fan!

Now onto TV! This month we’ve completed quite a few tv shows and I’d like to share my favourites with you.

 

Freaks and Geeks is a show originally aired 1999 and set in 1980 about a bunch of high school kids – written by Judd Apatow and only one season long, this show featured actors like Seth Rogan, James Franco and Jason Segel. It’s a fantastic show and I really enjoyed watching it – it’s such a shame it was cancelled after just one season!

Also from Judd Apatow, Love season 2 was put up onto Netflix this month, and we breezed through it. This is such an awesome show and I’m really pleased that season 3 is in production. If you haven’t checked it out but you like Judd Apatow’s work, then definitely give the first season a watch.

And lastly, another Netflix show, Atlanta. Created by and starring Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) this is a funny, intelligent and sometimes a little excentric programme – but so worth a watch. It follows Earn and his life as he becomes his rapping cousin’s music manager but it’s one of those ‘real’ shows that showcases the weirdness of life and the hilarity of people.

So those are my favourite things of March! Have you watched any of these shows, heard any of this music or tried any of the beauty products I mentioned this month? I’d love to hear what you thought!

 

Why I….. Started Reverse Washing My Hair

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I have what I would consider to be unmanageable hair. It’s poker straight, really fine and very flyaway. I can put my hair up in a pony tail and it’s the thinnest pony tail you’ve ever seen.

So, for the longest time I have to work hard to make my hair more coarse, less sleek and try to get some body and volume to it. I use Bumble and Bumble surf spray to add texture, and dry my hair in a twist to add shape.

My hair is colour treated – when it’s not, it’s too fine. I’ve died my hair red for 18 years, and in amongst those years I’ve also bleached it, which is what I do currently. I have a red/brown dye which I then top with blonde highlights so they go different shades of ginger and blonde. I love doing this and it definitely dries my hair out enough to give it some texture.

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I’ve used Aussie shampoo and conditioner for years. I like the way it makes my hair feel, it doesn’t coat my hair with silicone and it allows me to wash my hair every other day with no problems. Aussie shampoos and conditioners contain sulphates, which some people say is bad for your hair and strips hair colour. But I actually like my bleached bits to fade pretty fast once they’re done, so I can get the different tones to develop as briskly as possible.

When I heard about reverse hair washing, I think it was around the time that Tresemme released their reverse washing system. I don’t really like Tresemme so I didn’t head out and pick up their kit, but I did hop onto Google to see what the fuss was.

Reverse hair washing is simply using conditioner before you shampoo, instead of the other way around. Apparently it doesn’t work effectively with all types of shampoo and conditioner, but I didn’t want to splurge on more when I had a practically full bottle at home. The reverse washing method is supposed to be great for fine hair because conditioner can weigh hair down, so if you don’t end with it, but still condition, it can leave your hair feeling lighter.

After a little light research I discovered a method I liked the sound of. You wet your hair completely, condition well from the mid-length to the ends, leaving the roots (I can get greasy hair if I condition the roots too much) and then massage the hair. Leave it about a minute, if you have time, and then grab the shampoo. You then wash the conditioner out using the shampoo. This way the shampoo doesn’t strip your hair completely, as the conditioner is acting as a kind of barrier.

I washed my hair this way a couple of times, and didn’t really see a difference to start with. During this first week I also dyed and bleached my hair, and I did find the bleach settled in faster using the reverse method. But since I wasn’t seen a difference I went back to washing my hair the traditional way. After leaving it two days I started to wish I’d continued.

It was a subtle difference, but my hair did feel more manageable, healthier and when I combed my wet hair through directly after washing using the reverse method there were much less knots. So I went back to it!

I’ve been washing my hair ‘backwards’ now for over a month, and I’m converted. I really like how my hair feels. Like I said, it’s a really subtle difference, but I enjoy the way my hair feels, the condition of it and it’s less knotty. I even think it’s shinier!

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So, I’m going to carry on washing my hair this way for the forseeable future!

Have you tried this method of hair washing? How did you find it? Are you converted?

 

January Favourites

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And so we move into the second month of the year, in the hope that we can bypass the cold weather and all of a sudden be honoured with Spring-time. I wish!

It’s been crazy cold, icy, some people have had snow; but we have had plenty of lovely winter sun, so it’s not all bad.

This month, as well as upping the frequency of my blog posts a little, I’ve been able to post up a couple of videos to my YouTube channel, which is really exciting.

As well as that there have been some fab things on the TV, great music and I’ve had the chance to try out some of the beauty things I got for Christmas AND splurge a little on the January sales…

Let’s start with some music.

Ed Sheeran announced his new album and released two tracks from it, which went straight to number 1 and 2.

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My favourite of the two is Shape of You which I’ve had on repeat ever since. I can’t get enough of it, and I’m excited to hear the rest!

I mentioned in a past post I wrote about my 2016 in blogging, a planner that I’d picked up from Dot Creates.

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The Ultimate Blog Planner is a spiral bound notebook with sectioned pages designed to allow you to plan out your blogs as and when inspiration hits.

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I’ve actually started to really fill up the pages! Because it’s not dated you can write in it as and when you want, and it means you’ll never forget that glimmer of an idea you have because you can run and write it down when you have it! They come in 3 designs and are really inexpensive, so if you blog – go get one!

On a recent January sale shopping excursion we headed into The White Company, a shop I didn’t really go into, and saw they had a sale on their towels. We really needed to replace our towels since they were a wedding present 10 years ago – they’re still going strong, but they’d been washed and washed and washed… you get the picture. Anyway, we found these amazingly soft and HUGE bath sheets, hand towel and face cloth all in their sale.

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I swear when I wash my face with the face cloth it’s like rubbing my face with a fluffy puppy…. and when I get out of the bath and use my towel – woah mumma!

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Next, I finally took the plunge and bought a Beauty Blender. I’d never actually used a beauty sponge, but thought I’d see if they had any discounts on the Beauty Blender website. I managed to get a gift set which contained a pink and black sponge, a black micro sponge, a black oil blotter sponge and black sponge cleansing soap for £32 which I think is pretty good! They also included a free mini white sponge cleansing soap and mini cleansing liquid bottle too! So I think I got a great deal.

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Anyhow, I used the micro sponge and the pink Beauty Blender this past weekend and I’m really impressed. I’m mostly impressed with the micro sponge, and how it’s improved the look and longevity of my undereye concealer. Win!

Next, I want to talk about cleansing. I’ll admit it, that before Christmas I ONLY used miscellar water makeup wipes. They did me no harm, and they did the job. But since receiving the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish cleanser at Christmas I have seen the error of my ways. It’s amazing.

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Not only does this variation smell amazing, but it’s so soft on my skin. It’s moisturising, gets all of my makeup and mascara off my face without needing to scrub and it leaves my skin feeling amazeballs!

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And last is this incredible body scrub from The Body Shop. I picked this up in their sale for about £6 I think.

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If you were reading my blog last year, you’ll know I’m pretty obsessed with any body products that are coconut and pineapple scented. So when I saw this, I HAD to get it.

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Not only does it smell amazing though, the product is incredible. It’s very soft and has just the right about of exfoliating grit in it. You rub it over your skin and afterwards you feel soft and moisturised for DAYS. I mean it – no need to moisturise afterwards but you’re not feeling greasy or anything. I’m obsessed!

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I’m hoping this is a whole range because I’ll definitely be picking up more scents if it is!

And that’s it for another month! Have you tried any of these? I’d love to hear what you think 🙂

2016 Favourites: What’s Made the Cut?

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My one and only 2016 resolution was to learn how to use makeup. And I can honestly say it’s the only resolution I’ve ever kept! I’ve really enjoyed learning about and using makeup and have found an awesome community of people through it.

I subscribed to GlossyBox for one year, and though I’ve now not renewed my sub with them for next year, I can honestly say it did give me the chance to try some things I wouldn’t have otherwise tried.

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So, I’ve compiled a list of all the things I’ve talked about over the year, that have earned a place in my favourites for the whole year. They’ve stood the test of time and I think these are worth the hype.

I’ll start with non-beauty favourites and then get into the makeup!

Music:

Ariana Grande’s album Dangerous Woman has been my album of the year. Since it came out, it’s pretty much been the only album I listen to. Fact.

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TV:

I’ve watched so much amazing tv over the year. Here are the ones I LOVED:

  • Love
  • Gilmore Girls
  • House of Cards
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • The Night Of
  • The Man in The High Castle
  • Making a Murderer
  • The Jinx
  • Billions
  • Stranger Things
  • The Affair

That’s not to mention things I’ve continued to watch, but these are the ones I discovered this year.

I also got heavily into YouTube this year, partly through watching makeup YouTubers (that’s a real word now btw) and partly through watching Disney Vloggers.

So now onto the beauty side of things!

I started the year with the Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk and Honey bath, which was given to me as a Valentine’s gift. I’m still working through this jar, though I can see myself needing a repurchase towards the start of next year. It’s an amazing bubble bath, which smells so relaxing and gives the best bubbles. It’s a real treat every time I use it!

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Gwen Stefani had an amazing year collaborating with Urban Decay. I picked up the shadow palette and a couple of her lipsticks, but the one that really stuck with me all year was this blush palette. I’ve used it so much and can find use from every single shade. The powders are pigmented, buildable and blend-able and last all day. Plus the packaging is awesome!

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TheBalm Balm Shelter is a tinted moisturiser I use practically every day that I wear makeup. It’s pigmented, light, comfortable and gives natural coverage. Enough said. Oh and I bought it a year ago and it’s still going…..

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2016 was the year NYX came to the UK and I’m so glad it did because I’ve found a few staples for my makeup collection. The Tres Jolie gel eyeliner pencils, for tight lining, their Dark Circle under-eye concealer and their Pro Mix foundation lightener. Amazing.

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PIXI Glow Tonic (I no longer need to exfoliate, like, ever!) and the PUR Hydra Gel under eye primer – just buy them. Seriously, you’ll thank me.

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Makeup Revolution’s Radiance Palette transformed my summer look. I adore this palette and for basically no cost. The powders are pigmented and buildable and give the perfect amount of bronzing, shimmer and highlight.

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Better Than Sex by Too Faced and Cover Girl’s Clump Crusher mascaras have changed my eyelashes from straight thin wisps to fabulous girly lashes.

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My go to and absolute favourite lipstick this year has been the Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in Stoned Rose. It’s a fantastic pinky, nude, brown. It’s long lasting, comfortable and smells amazing too!

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And lastly, I managed to pick up a full size of the Victoria’s Secret body mist in Coconut Passion, which I drench myself in daily.

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So, those are the things I’ve loved over 2016. Have you used any of these this year? I’d love to hear what you’ve been loving – comment with a link to your 2016 favourites! I’d love to have a read.

Keep an eye out for my 2016 overview!

December Favourites

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And here we are, all of a sudden, at the end of the year! So, it’s only fitting that I do my December favourites, right?

This December I was lucky enough to receive a Liberty London advent calendar as a gift from my husband, which meant that every day leading up to, and including, Christmas Day I received a little gift from the Liberty beauty hall. It was an amazing gift and exciting every single day to open the huge drawer and see what was inside. I’m not even joking when I say the cost of the calendar was paid for in product a few times over. So needless to say, some of the items I’m talking about this month were a result of this calendar, however I’m only talking about things I have loved and been using regularly.

It was a fantastic experience because I’ve been able to try brands and products I would never have tried otherwise. A resounding success, I’d say!

Let’s start with these products:

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The Votary Facial Oil came to me pretty early on in the month so I’ve been able to give this quite a few tries. I have combination skin with an oily t-zone so the idea of putting oil on my face seems really backward. But that being said, I’ve been totally converted to oil in my hair despite having a greasy scalp, so I was willing to give this a try. I use this after doing a proper cleanse in the evening. You drip 4 drops onto your hand and then lightly move it over your clean, dry skin and finally tap what’s left on your hands onto the under-eye area. I have found that this isn’t greasy, sinks in fairly fast and doesn’t leave me oily. It also smells gorgeous which is lovely. I feel like I’m giving myself a real treat when I use this, and I look forward to using it more!

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The Aveda Hand Relief cream has found its place in my handbag as my go-to every day hand cream when I’m out and about. The rosemary mint scent was a little odd to start with but I actually really enjoy it now. It offers long lasting moisture and sinks in fast which is what I need when I’m not at home.

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As you know, I’m always looking for something to fix my ever-dry lip issues, especially in the winter. I got this C.O. Bigelow rose salve and I’ve been adoring it. It’s basically fixed all my problems (well maybe) – it smells amazing, is hydrating, and when I use this I can go ages before my lips feel dry again. It’s also perfect for tapping onto my lips if I’m wearing lipstick and I feel like I need a moisture boost. I’ll be re-buying this!

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And lastly from the advent calendar was this Skin Laundry face wash. Rubbing this over my face for 60 seconds and then washing it off leaves my skin feeling so clean but not stripped or dry. I even think it might be helping to clear a little of my redness and texture. We’ll see, but so far I love it, and I’ve used it quite a lot and barely made a dent in this little bottle! Yay!

Next, we’ll move onto a couple of items I purchased at the end of November and have loved using in December.

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I made an E.L.F order and have been really pleased with some of the items I got. I picked up a new blush in Twinkle Pink which has been said to be a dupe for the NARS Orgasm blush. I’ve not seen the NARS blush in person, but I wasn’t expecting the ELF blush to be so glittery. I’ve tried to capture some of the fallout in the photo but it just didn’t translate.

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Needless to say, I kept this for the Christmas season when it’s okay to be glitter drenched, but I’m not sure I’ll be wearing it outside of party season. Either way I really enjoyed how it looked, and it wasn’t too sparkly once I had it on (or at least I don’t think it was!!)

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Next from ELF was this under eye setting powder. A teeny tiny pot, which came with a little brush (though I’m not sure how you would use a teeny brush so I’ve been using a fluffy setting brush as normal) I really like this finely milled powder and as long as you use the tiniest amount, it sets my under-eye area without drying, looking cakey or settling into fine lines. It’s a win!

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Lastly for makeup is a product I’m so glad I found out about. It’s changed my makeup life completely and I can’t believe no one really talks about it. The NYX Pro Foundation Mixer in white is a must have for anyone who is a little pale, or likes to change up their foundations between seasons. You just need a teeny amount, mix it into your foundation and it’ll correct the shade. I have been able to buy foundation not worrying if it’s slightly off colour, or wear foundation I’d usually save for the summer. It doesn’t change the consistency or wear of your foundation and it makes it totally customisable. I think it was about £7.50 which is a steal – go buy it!

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I was lucky enough to receive a brand-new iPhone for Christmas from G Man, to replace my 2.5 year old iPhone 6. He knew I had fallen in love with the iPhone 7 Plus camera, and surprised me with one on Boxing Day, when we went into the Apple store to look for something else. I am over the moon with it, and have very quickly gotten used to the size of the handset. I can never go back!

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Last for December, I need to tell you about this fantastic back pack I treated myself to at the start of the month. Knowing that I had fallen in love with the idea of a backpack for a handbag, since coming back from Disney World, I had been looking for the perfect one. But none of them fit the bill, so I put out a request for help on twitter, and my good friend Bushra told me about Knomo London. I’d never heard of them but had a look, and within a couple of days I’d placed an order.

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Knomo specialise in bags and purses for technology. The one I chose is a small backpack with a padded back pocket perfect for an iPad, as it offers the right size and protection. I don’t have an iPad but the sections, pockets and the size of the pockets is perfect. It even fits my iPhone 7 plus perfectly. The fabric is water resistant and wipeable and even with all my stuff inside, once it’s on my back it doesn’t feel like it has anything in it. It also doesn’t look like it has lots inside, which I appreciate AND it fits my vlogging camera inside. It’s all kinds of awesome. Go check Knomo out!

So, that’s it for another year of favourites. Stay tuned for my 2016 favourites round up!

October Favourites

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Happy November! As you know I decided not to complete an August or September favourites, due to time constraints and also being out of the country, so here’s my latest favourites post – all of things I’ve been enjoying in October!

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Some of the things I’m going to be talking about this month are items I picked up in America. I’ve done a whole YouTube video about these, so I’ll link that at the end and if you haven’t seen that video yet, then head over and have a look.

I’ll start with a couple of candles. I’ve been really enjoying burning candles now that the evenings have drawn in and it’s so cold already.

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I was given this WoodWick candle for Christmas a couple of years ago (might have been last year, I forget) and I love it. It has a special wick which crackles as it burns and the scent of this one is leather. It’s a lovely smell and the sound of the wick is really comforting – like an open fire. I’m going to have to buy another one soon as I’m really going through it this year!

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The next candle is a seasonal one, so I’ve been picking it up to burn through it. It’s from Bath and Body Works and is called Vampire Blood. This candle has notes of strawberry, jasmine and plum, so it’s quite a fruity scent but isn’t too sweet.

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Makeup next, and I picked up the Physician’s Formula Bronze Booster whilst I was away. This bronzer isn’t too dark, isn’t glittery and is easily built up without looking muddy. I’ve been really enjoying using this as it works well in the colder months when you want a little warmth to the skin, but don’t want to look tanned.

I also bought CoverGirl’s Clump Crusher mascara. On first use I wasn’t too impressed, but the more I’ve used it the more impressed I am. It’s not at all clumpy, it’s easily built and creates volume, definition and holds curl pretty well. I have stubborn eyelashes and one eye’s lashes are sparse, so it’s nice to have a mascara that doesn’t clump no matter how many layers you add and keeps definition. A great day-to-day mascara.

I’ve been using Benefit’s Boi-ing for a while but I thought I’d mention it this month because I’ve been really enjoying the coverage and non cakey under eye coverage it offers, as well as concealing other areas on my face. I actually bought the 01 shade after speaking to a Benefit consultant, but it’s way too light for me. The 02 (pictured) is slightly too dark, but works on top of the colour correctors I use, and doesn’t go grey after a few hours. It’s long-lasting and not too expensive (but could be cheaper!)

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I purchased Essie Mrs Always-Right when I was in the US but you can get it here. I really love the colour, and it’s a nice transition between Summer pinks and darker Winter colours. It’s a yummy dusky Autumnal pink. This bottle doesn’t have the gorgeous thick Essie brush, so I think I’ll be switching the cap over when I finish one of my other Essie shades.

I hadn’t bought anything from Charlotte Tilbury before, but when I saw this lipstick on someone I had to know what it was. Stoned Rose is one of their K.I.S.S.I.N.G range and it’s a gorgeous pink which pulls towards brown. It’s rich, creamy and the colour payoff is really nice.Here’s me wearing it!

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It’s easy to get either a sheer or deep coverage depending on how you apply it, and I’ve worn it tonnes since I picked it up a few weeks ago. The case of the lipstick is metal, and heavy in the hand, which is lovely. It feels good quality in your hand AND on your lips.

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Lastly I’ll talk about a couple of body care items I’ve been enjoying. This hand cream from Bath and Body Works is Sweet Cinnamon and Pumpkin. It smells exactly how you’d want it to. Pumpkin and sugar – not for you if you’re expecting pumpkin spice, but a lovely fresh, autumnal and comforting smell. The cream itself is light and not too thick, but it’s nourishing.

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I’ve mentioned this body mist before, but I finally was able to pick up the full size and I’ve been using it quite a lot! Coconut Passion from Victoria’s Secret is a light, musky coconut scent which is great to layer over other scents as well as misting it up all on its own. I’ve had lots of compliments when I’ve been wearing this. It’s great for all seasons and I can’t get enough of it!

So that’s this month’s favourites. If you want to see more of the items I picked up when I was in Florida recently, then take a look at my video, below.

 

Have you been enjoying any of these products this month? Or do you have any new candle recommendations for me? I’d love to pick up some great-smelling 3 wicks if you can recommend any? Let me know in the comments below 🙂