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3 Blushers For Healthy Looking Skin

Sunday, 26 February 2017


As a pale girl, blushers are some of my favourite makeup products to buy. They instantly perk up my complexion, adding a healthy pop of colour to my otherwise ghostly skin, and I've noticed that they seem to be some of the most beautifully packaged products, which makes them very difficult to resist. I have quite a collection building up now, but these are the three that have stolen my heart over the past couple of months. 

Too Faced - Papa Don't Peach 

When Too Faced's Papa Don't Peach Blush landed on my doorstep I tore off the bubble wrap and morphed into a living embodiment of the heart eye emoji. It is such a beautiful product to look at, with the soft coral packaging and cute little smiling peach face, plus the fresh peachy scent is just so lovely. The colour is a little warmer than my usual pink picks, but I've found that of all of the blushers I own this one gives the most radiant glow to my skin (it has a very subtle shimmer which really boosts the glowy, healthy looking finish). The formula is quite sheer on application, but is also build-able, so it would be really difficult to over apply this one.  I just love everything about it! 


Autograph by Rosie - English Rose Flush 

Before purchasing English Rose Flush from the Autograph by Rosie range I had never owned a cream blush, but I fell in love with the shade when I swatched it in M&S, so I decided to give it a try. The first time I tried it I was really scared that I would over-apply and end up looking like a ventriloquist's dummy, however when it came to it I needn't have worried because it was really easy to apply! This beautiful dusky pink blush is highly pigmented, so you do need to use a light hand, but it blends really well and settles down into a matte formula, which then stays in place for the entire day. 


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush 

I've owned the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette for a couple of years now (I managed to pick it up in a sample sale for only £5), so it took a long time and many Google image searches to convince the sensible part of my brain that I needed to own an individual blush too. Luminous flush combines swirls of champagne with a beautiful rosy pink shade, which adds the prettiest natural looking pop of colour to my skin. The formula lies somewhere between the two mentioned above, less sheer than Papa Don't Peach, but not as pigmented as English Rose, meaning it's incredibly easy to apply and blend. The packaging looks and feels very luxe, and would be difficult to break (which is important considering the price tag of £32). For me this is a gorgeous every day blush, guaranteed to immediately perk up even the most grey of complexions. 



Those are my top blush picks right now, let me know what you've been loving in the comments! 


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Photography Tips for Better Flatlays

Wednesday, 22 February 2017


Let me start by saying that I'm obsessed with beauty flatlay's. Every time I see one I like I save it, either using Instagram's save feature, to my Pinterest board or to an actual flatlay inspiration folder that I have saved on my desktop. Because I've spent so much time looking at them, and then even more time shooting them, I've picked up a few tips and tricks that I thought I would share with you here. As everyone has a different eye for what they like to see in a photo, this is definitely not a checklist for things that you should or shouldn't do! This is just the way that I like to shoot mine. 

Lighting 

We all know that good lighting is the key to good photography, but sometimes finding the light can be tricky, especially when it's 4.30pm on a dreary, rainy day and the sun has already started to set. My best advice for taking well lit images is to use a portable background. I use an Ikea table top (you can buy them separately and they're really affordable) which I position directly under my bedroom window. If the sun has started to set then I pick it up and carry it to my office, because it has the best evening sunlight. If you prefer to use marble or floorboards as your backdrop then you can still use this technique, just pick up a small square of laminate flooring or some marble adhesive film from a DIY shop. Much as though it can be tempting, try not to resort to using your camera/iPhone flash, or artificial lighting in the form of a lamp or ceiling light, as your images will probably come out looking gloomy and low quality. 

Another tip for maximising light is to bulk shoot your flatlays on sunny days. It requires serious motivation to give up time spent in the sunshine for taking photos, but for me it's a sacrifice I'm happy to make. I try to shoot between 5 and 8 images at the weekend so that I have enough for at least one Instagram post a day, as I work full time so I'm not seeing any sunlight at all on weekdays right now. 

Composition 

I usually take between 10-30 images of one flatlay, making small tweaks to the positioning of the items in the photo between shots, it takes a lot of trial and error as often the image you have in your mind doesn't actually translate on camera. 

I've found that adding different textures and levels helps to make a flatlay more interesting. For example, I'll often lay scarves in the corners of my images to break up the white space a little, as I don't want it to look bare. Positioning products on top of books or magazines helps to draw the viewers eye to the part of the image that you want them to look at, as they will be physically higher than the other elements in shot. If you use scrunched fabric it can give a comforting feel to the photo, as naturally you think of snuggly blankets when you see it. 

Props 

I actually started with a tiny box of props, and now my office has essentially become a prop storage space. Props are amazing for breaking up white space and for helping to evoke a certain mood or theme in a photo. For example, if I use a pink scarf for the background and then add some candy hearts and a heart shaped cookie cutter, the flatlay will feel romantic (this works well for rose coloured/scented products). If I use a black and white magazine page and some little silver stars with white flowers, the flatlay will feel minimalist and chic (this works great for skincare products which are usually monochrome). Some of my favourite props to use are below (with links to where you can buy them). 

- Cookie Cutters 
- Stationary (especially if it's rose gold!) 
- Sequins and confetti (great for filling excess white space!) 
- Other beauty products (Nail polishes, eyelash curlers, lipsticks with nice packaging) 
- Trays and Small plates 



I hope this post was helpful! I'm in no way a flatlay or photography master, but I had a few requests to write a photography post so I thought I would share the things that I have learned so far. Let me know if you have any more tips/tricks in the comments, I'd love to hear them! 

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Budget Beauty Must Haves

Sunday, 19 February 2017


As you will have probably noticed by this point, I have a thing for high-end beauty products. I like the satisfying feeling of finally getting my hands on something that I've been lusting over for weeks (or months), and it's rare that I'm disappointed because I've read every review on the internet before I hit the "checkout" button. That being said, recently I've really fallen back in love with the drugstore, where my purchases tend to be a bit more spur of the moment, which means that I'm over the moon when I stumble upon a gem. These are some budget discoveries that I couldn't live without.



Sleek Solstice Palette 

If I had the talent I would write a love poem to Sleek for creating their gorgeous Solstice Palette. Firstly, the gold packaging is beautiful, in line with what you would expect from a much more expensive product. Then the highlighters themselves are amazing, and you get four of them! I get the most use out of the shade "Subsolar" as it's the most subtle of the bunch, giving a gorgeous dewy finish to my skin with not a speck of glitter in sight. However, if you're looking for a serious glow then you'll fall in love with the shade "Equinox" which is the most beautifully radiant highlighter, and my go-to for nights out.


L'oreal Lumi Magique Concealer
After discovering that the most well loved concealer on the planet, Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer, actually didn't work for me at all (we're talking flakey orange blotches all over my face), I turned my back on drugstore concealers for a while. Then, one day my train was delayed and I found myself wandering the aisles in Boots and this little jewel caught my eye. L'oreal's Lumi Magique Concealer is a cross between a highlighter and a traditional concealer, which makes it perfect for brightening under the eyes. The level of coverage isn't the best, so I don't use it on my blemishes, but for an under eye product I find that this works wonders on hiding my dark circles. 


Brushes 
I have been a big fan of Real Techniques brushes since I purchased the Core Collection a few years back. They never shed, they're really affordable and now with the addition of the Bold Metals collection they even look like luxury brushes. 
Another budget brush brand that I've been loving recently is Zoeva. I owned their silk finish and buffer brushes from the original collection, but they were looking a bit worse for wear, so I repurchased them in rose gold, along with the powder and shader brushes. I love Zoeva brushes because they are so incredibly soft, so they never feel rough against my face.

L'Oreal, Rimmel and NYX Lipsticks 

You will have seen me rave about these Rimmel Kate Moss lipsticks in a couple of posts now (Here and Here), so I'll try not to gush too much! I own the shades My Nude, a perfect "my lips but better" shade and Idol Red, a vibrant warm toned red. Both are long lasting and non-drying, and the rose gold packaging is also a bonus. I also have my eye on a few more shades from the range. 

I've just re-discovered this beautiful L'oreal Colour Riche lipstick in the shade VIP hidden deep within my stash. It's a gorgeous coral pink which I wore so much two summers ago that I re-purchased it (then forgot that I had!) I'm looking forward to adding it back into my lipstick wardrobe now that spring is fast approaching. 


I couldn't talk about drugstore lipsticks and not mention my new favourites, the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. These are the perfect liquid lipsticks, they don't dry out my lips but they stay in place all day, and they're so affordable that my buyers guilt is minimal. I've especially been loving the shade Stockholm, which is a pretty nude, just a little lighter than my natural lip colour. 



Nail polishes

I've never really been interested in trying high-end nail polishes, as the drugstore is really killing it in this category, and of course Essie is the queen of the drugstore polish. I have an entire rainbow of Essie shades stored in a box under my bed, but the ones I have been reaching for the most lately are my all time favourite nude/pink shade Eternal Optimist, the barely there baby pink Sugar Daddy, and the rosy pink glitter loaded A Cut Above (which is great for layering over Eternal Optimist!). 

I've only just discovered L'Oreal's nail polishes, and so far I'm really impressed with how they wear; they don't chip easily and only need one coat, plus the brush is so wide that you can almost cover the whole nail in one sweep. I own the shades Cafe de Nuit, a peachy nude, and Jardin des Roses, a soft pink (how adorable are those names?!) and I'm looking forward to adding a few more shades to my collection. 


Let me know what drugstore products you've been loving recently in the comments! 


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My Bedside Beauty Routine

Thursday, 16 February 2017


I like to get into bed early each night so that I have some time to wind down before sleep, but in this little window of relaxation time I've really struggled to stay off of my phone and laptop (which is unfortunately essential for a good nights sleep). I've found that carrying out my bedside beauty routine whilst listening to some chilled out music really helps to send me into a peaceful slumber, and honestly I haven't missed my laptop time at all!

Sleepy Body Lotion 

I always start my routine by applying a body lotion, because I want to give it enough time to dry before I snuggle under the duvet. Recently I've been loving Lush's Sleepy Lotion, which is part of their "Twilight" scent range. It contains Lavender, proven to help to aid sleep, and is a lovely moisturising cream, perfect for my dry winter skin. Unfortunately this product was released as part of the Christmas collection so it's not available to buy right now, so when I finally scoop out my last drop I'm going to try Julique's Lavender Body Care lotion, which also has some lovely soothing ingredients. 

Handy Gurugu Hand Cream 
Before bed is a great time to apply hand cream because you don't have to do anything with your hands once you're sleeping. Right now it's about -305 degrees in London (roughly speaking of course), so I've been using my holy grail cream every day, Lush's Handy Gurugu. This little pot of wonder is just unbeatable in the hand cream game, especially if your hands are so dry that they crack and bleed as mine do. It's targeted for "hard worked hands" and I can see why, its very thick and incredibly moisturising. The smell is a little bit herby and not at all sweet, but now that I'm used to it I actually really like it!

Lanolips 101 Ointment

Applying lip balm is one of the steps that I would always forget before I added it into my bedside beauty routine, but as we know it's so important because the poor delicate skin on your lips goes through so much every day. I'm still to find my perfect lip balm, but right now I've been enjoying Lanolips 101 Ointment for a serious hit of hydration. This is a balm which can be used in lots of different ways, but I tend to only use it on my lips. It's incredibly moisturising, but it doesn't smell or taste like anything which is a bit disappointing. 


Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
I've recently moved my Kiehls eye treatment to my bedside table because I always seemed to forget this step when it was in the bathroom (maybe because the pot is so tiny!). I spoke about this product in more detail in my skincare on trial blogpost, so check that out if you want to hear more about it!

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray 

Before I climb into bed every night I like to spritz my pillows with This Work's Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. This is another lavender scented product which aims to help you to drift off quickly. I'm not sure if it's simply the placebo effect in action, but I do find that I sleep so much better if I use this spray; it just smells so lovely and soothing that I feel sleepy even sniffing the bottle!

Music
I have a whole playlist on Spotify dedicated to sleepy music which I play whilst I carry out my beauty routine, but I thought you might like to know some of the songs that are helping me to drift off ... 

Bel Air - Lana Del Rey 
Weights and Measures - Dry the River 
Atlas Hands - Benjamin Francis Leftwich 
All I See - Lydia 
Fireproof - The National 
Never Bloom Again - The Perishers

And I usually drift off before the end of 
Clair De Lune - Claude Debussy

Let me know your bedtime essentials in the comments!
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3 Candles You Need in Your Stash

Sunday, 12 February 2017


When I was younger I never really understood the appeal of candles, that was until a few years ago when I got into Yankee candles in a big way. Over the years I've refined my collection a lot, and I now like to take my time to pick out statement scents that I love rather than simply buying the same candle in all of the variations available. These are the three that I reach for most often, and that I think would make beautiful additions to anyones collection.  

New Look Prosecco Rose


I picked up this Prosecco Rose candle from New Look just before Christmas, and had intended for it to be a gift for my sister, but then I fell in love with the scent and decided to keep it for myself (sorry Stella!) It smells a little bit floral and a lot like fizzy sweets. It's not too overpoweringly sweet or sickly, but it does fill a room with the smell of Refreshers (remember these?), which I love. It comes in an adorable pink and white box and the actual glass is tinted blush pink, so it's a perfect fit for my bedroom. For £8 it's a really lovely affordable option.

Landon Tyler Chesil Beach*


When the lovely team at Landon Tyler got in touch to let me know that they were sending me something from their range I was so excited for it to arrive. I had seen their candles on the Instagram accounts of some of my favourite bloggers, so I had high hopes, and I'm pleased to say that I haven't been disappointed. Chesil Beach* is a fresh oceanic scent which I like to burn when the winter gloom set's in, because my mind wanders to happier days spent walking on the beach in the beautiful sunshine, and it makes me feel instantly more calm. They are now stocking the whole range in Boots so I recommend that you have a sniff next time you pop in!

Diptique Baies 


Diptique's Baies may be my favourite candle of all time, a bold claim I know. I had been wanting to try something from the brand for a very long time, so when I won a gift voucher for Net-a-Porter Beauty last year I knew it was time to take the plunge. I had done a lot of research into the scents by this point, and had heard that Baies was often seen as a "starter scent" because it is so mild and comforting, and seems to be the most well loved. I'm pretty bad at describing smells (see "refresher sweets" above) so I'll just say that it's light and fruity. For me it's a really addictive scent so I have to try not to burn the whole candle in one sitting! When I do eventually reach the bottom I'm going to recycle the jar into a makeup brush holder, and then repurchase of course. 

So those are the candles that I think would make a nice addition to anyones stash. Let me know what your favourites are in the comments! 

*PR sample, my review expresses my own honest opinions 
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Valentines Lips - Two Ways

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


Although I don't really celebrate Valentines Day, when February rolls around I can't help but get excited by all things romantic and cutesy, especially when it comes to makeup. With that in mind I've picked out two different options for the perfect lipstick (both of which meet the number one Valentines Day criteria - smudge proof) for if you want to go bold and bright, or pretty and simple.  
Lush "The Kiss" Lip Scrub


Before we get on to the shade choices it's important that we don't forget the crucial step - if you want kissable lips you've got to prep them properly. Usually I like to gently brush my lips with a toothbrush which buffs away any dry patches, but recently I discovered this little beauty from Lush and I haven't turned back. The Kiss is a sweet tasting lip scrub which contains adorable little edible hearts, it smells like strawberry and tastes like sugar, and sometimes I use it when I don't have to just because I really like the taste. 

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk 


So my will-power lasted for about 5 days before I finally screamed "take my money" at the Charlotte Tilbury website and hit the checkout button. I'm sure you've heard enough about Pillow Talk by now, so I'll keep it brief, I LOVE THIS LIPSTICK. For me it is the perfect nude, it's flattering to my skin tone, it's long lasting and it doesn't dry out my lips. If I was going to celebrate Valentines day this year then this would be my pick, it's low maintenance so no need to worry about it migrating elsewhere, leaving you free to enjoy the romantic activities (whatever they may be). 


Rimmel Kate Moss Idol Red 


You'll know all about my love of Rimmel's Kate Moss collection from my nudes post, but recently I decided to pick up a red shade from the same collection. I opted for Idol Red which is a vibrant warm-toned red guaranteed to turn heads. As with the nude shade it's very easy to wear, long lasting and non-drying. If you're going to wear a red lip on Valentines Day then you might as well go bold, and if you can pull this one off then you're pretty much guaranteed to look like Kate Moss (*don't hold me to that). Now on to the swatches:



Will you be opting for bold or neutral on the 14th this year? Let me know your top Valentines shades in the comments!
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Skincare on Trial

Sunday, 5 February 2017


When it comes to skincare I tend to favour a "stick to what you know' approach, especially as my skin is both acne-prone and super sensitive. For that reason my current skincare routine hasn't changed much for more than a year now, so I decided it might be time to add some new products into the mix. I'm going to be sticking with my holy grail's, the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel and Clinique's Moisture Surge moisturiser combo, whilst adding in a few new products gradually. Here are some of the new additions that I've been trying recently


Garnier Cleansing Micellar Water

A few years ago I tried Bioderma, back when there wasn't much competition in the micellar water arena, and unfortunately I found it to be too drying for my skin type. Recently I decided to give micellar waters another try, but this time as part of a double cleanse, so I picked up Garnier's Cleansing Water. Firstly, for something sold as "water" this product is incredible for removing makeup! It even makes a good attempt at my eye makeup, completely removing my eyeliner and leaving just a trace of mascara behind. Another benefit is that this can be applied with a cotton pad rather than having to use wash cloths (I know, I'm lazy). As part of a double cleanse I don't mind that it's not moisturising, although I do miss the soothing feeling that my Clinique Take the Day Off balm gives, so I might consider saving the rest of this bottle for spring/summer.


Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment 



Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado is the best eye cream I have ever tried... but it's still not perfect. It is incredibly moisturising, and if you have normal/moderately dry skin then this is going to be a wonder product for you. However, my under eyes are very dry, so much so that in really cold weather I can develop eczema, and though this does take the edge off of it it definitely hasn't solved the problem.  The pot is small but you only need to use the tiniest bit so I'm sure it will last for months. As I said, it's a lovely product but for me the quest for the dream eye cream continues. 


No7 Soft and Soothed Toner 

I actually only picked up the No7 Soft and Soothed Gentle Toner about a week ago, so this is more of a "first impressions" than a review. I've been swiping this over my face every night with a cotton pad and it does a nice job of picking up any left over makeup residue, it's very gentle so shouldn't irritate even the most sensitive of skin types, and it makes a nice base for my moisturiser. So far I haven't seen any additional benefits of this product, I've read reviews where people have claimed that it has helped to clear up breakouts for example, but that's certainly not what I was expecting, so I'm not disappointed in the slightest. So far it's just a nice toner, I'll give a more in depth review in a couple of months time!


Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Masque



I've had this mask in my stash for about a year now, but I only started to use it regularly at the end of last year. I had been concerned that it might cause me to break out, which is why I put off using it for such a long time, but thankfully it hasn't caused any irritation to my skin. I apply it all over my face and leave it for about 15-20 minutes, and in that time is hardens and really feels like it's sucking the grime out of my pores (ew). I love using this mask because it actually feels like it's making a difference, and once removed my skin feels so clean and refreshed. It's a clay mask so is slightly drying, but as long as I moisturize as usual I don't find it to be unmanageable. I recommend this to anyone whose skin is acting a bit rebellious to help to get it back under control.

Right now I'm loving adding new bits into my skincare routine, and I think my skin is thankful for it, so let me know your discoveries in the comments!


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Shower and Bathtime Essentials

Wednesday, 1 February 2017


It's been a whole month now since resolutions were set, and while some are going really well (Veganuary was successfully completed) others are still a work in progress (why is it so difficult to drink more water? We're made of the stuff!) One resolution that I've been focusing on in January is learning how to relax properly, especially when I'm really busy, as I have a tendency to fill quiet moments with cleaning, or blog post writing, or making lists that don't really need to be made. I've found that taking more baths and longer showers have really helped with this, so of course I have been buying a lot more products. Here are some that I have been loving recently.


Shower 

When it comes to shower products my requirements are minimal; they should smell nice and they shouldn't dry out or irritate my skin. For this reason I almost always opt for drugstore brands, which means that I can afford to try lots of different products and switch them up as I like. Right now I'm loving the Cherry and Almond Shower Milk by Original Source, I find that their products smell incredible and this is no exception. I actually gave the whole range a sniff (they had their own little section in my local Boots) and I can confirm that they all smell heavenly, however this one smells like cake so of course it would be my top choice.

In the past I've associated Radox with lavender scented bath salts, as my mum would run me a "Radox Bath" to help me to destress at exam time. It was only recently when I picked up the Nourish Shower Cream with Shea Butter and Ginger that I realised how great their shower products are too. I found this in the offer section of Boots for only £1, and again it smells wonderful, very fresh and less sweet than the Original Source offering, and it hasn't irritated my skin one bit.

During my most recent trip to Lush I spotted the Prince Charming Shower Cream in the valentines section and fell in love! I love the name, I really love the colour, and the smell is divine. When I saw that it was bright pink I was expecting the scent would be overly sweet to match, but I would say that the grapefruit adds a sharpness, so it's not at all sickly. I've always said that Lush create luxury products with drugstore price tags, so it's of no surprise that this is the most moisturising, creamiest pick of the bunch.


Bath 

I actually received a Laura Mercier Bath Set as a gift for Christmas 2015, but I just couldn't seem to make time to have long baths so it went unopened for almost a year. Now that I am making more effort to set aside relaxation time, I dug this set out and I'm loving it! The Ambre Vanille Honey Bath is my favourite product from the set, I just swirl it through the water and it leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft and moisturised. 

Bath Latte is actually the first Zoella product that I've tried, I had seen so much hype surrounding the range that I finally decided that I had to check it out for myself. Firstly I have to mention the packaging ... it's adorable. This is a real bonus considering the affordable price, and makes a change from the bright multi-coloured packaging usually associated with drugstore bath ranges. I use this when I want a long soak with a lot of bubbles. 

I have to admit that I am cheating slightly by mentioning Lush's Unicorn Horn, as I haven't actually used it in a bath yet. I'm including it as an "essential" because its so very adorable and for that reason I believe that everyone should have one of these in their stash, and it is from Lush so we can pretty much guarantee that the results will be magical!

That's my pick of my favourite bath and shower products right now, let me know what you've been loving in the comments!
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