Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 Beauty Discoveries

For me, 2014 has been a year of beauty. I was never really into it so much prior to this year. I wore BB creams and concealers regularly, but never really knew what I was doing with them, or really cared to branch out into anything further.

For some reason it changed early this year. I don't know what clicked, but something made me want to try using a blush and it all grew from there. I suddenly found myself watching beauty videos on Youtube and avidly reading blogs.

This has meant I had a lot of beauty discoveries this year, and below are some of my favourites. For this post I am going to concentrate on make-up discoveries as that is where my love has mostly lay this year. I could have put much, much more, but I decided to keep it short.

My biggest and best discovery of this year, was definitely the Bobbi Brown corrector, which very, very quickly became my holy grail. It was also the first ever high end product I bought. It is the one product I can use without using anything else. Just getting rid of dark under eye circles really changes the look and helps me look fresh instantly.

Eyebrows are one of those things I never considered concentrating on before. I would hear a lot that they were key to framing your face, but I always thought mine were a decent shape and looked okay, so I didn't really need anything on them. It wasn't until the Benefit counter lady used the Gimme Brow on me, that that I realised what a difference grooming them could make. Just brushing the gel through really made them looking more striking, but kept them looking natural at the same time. I like the shape of my eyebrows, so it mostly helps in filling in gaps and it stays on for such a long time.

Another Benefit product I fell in love with this year was the Porefessional. I think this has become quite the staple in the beauty world. I have tried other pore primers but this is by far my favourite. I love the consistency, as it is so light and creamy, and it makes a difference as soon as I put it on. It is also mattifying which is a huge plus in my book, as I have such oily skin.

Having oily skin also means that keeping my make-up in place all day can be a bit of a struggle. I work full time so the longer my make-up can stay without slipping off, the better. To combat this I use Urban Day's de-slick which is a setting spray, and really does help my make-up stay on longer throughout the day. All it takes is a spritz in the morning and I'm good to go. It doesn't last the entire day (but what does, ey?), but it means I can spend a lot less time fixing and worrying about my make-up at work.

One of my favourite discoveries during summer was the Garnier BB Cream. In the hot weather, when my skin gets particularly oily and is much more prone to slipping away, I find it is good to wear a lighter foundation, and this BB cream was my go to the entire summer. It's very light and offers a decent coverage for a BB cream. It evened out my skin without looking cakey, and meant I was able to build on top of it.

For autumn and winter, I switched up my BB cream for the L'Oreal True Match foundation which I absolutely adore. A little goes a long way with this, and really helps my skin look flawless. Ever since the weather started getting cooler, this has been in my routine. I let my skin breath at the weekends or when I'm off, but I use this regularly in my work routine. One of the biggest benefits of this for me, is how much it lasts throughout the day. 

As far as concealers go I have not found anything to beat Maybelline's The Eye Eraser. I use this for under the eyes and to brighten up areas of my face, but it is perfect for that and really makes a difference. If I am just nipping to the shops I will use this to help even out my skin tone as I like how it brightens up and keeps me looking fresh.

Finally one of the newest additions to my collection is the Illamasqua Matte Veil. It has quickly become a favourite, as it does exactly what it says on the tin. It really helps towards keeping my skin looking great all day. Although my skin is so oily it is impossible to keep it looking matte the entire day, it helps with keeping it stay matte for a little longer and crucially with keeping my make-up on. I really love it.

And there we have it; my favourite make-up products of 2014. As you can see, I've really concentrated on getting the base right this year. For the year ahead I want to get better with eyeshadows, and get the confidence to wear them as well as bold lipsticks more often. I also want to concentrate on developing a good skincare routine and look after my hair much more.

What are your beauty discoveries of 2014?

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Nottingham Christmas Market

I love Christmas time.

It's not just about the day itself, the time leading up for it can be so magical. It's true what the song says, it is the most wonderful time of the year.

For me I love the atmosphere of Christmas. I spent a wonderful day this year decorating a Christmas tree with Christmas songs playing in the background, followed by baking Christmas themed treats. It really put me in a very festive mood.

One of the other ways to put me in a festive mood. is by visiting Christmas markets. Luckily Nottingham has a good one, right in the middle of the city centre. There are a lot of food, gifts, games and  rides. They even have an ice rink, which I am yet to try. One of my favourite parts is the delicious Dutch pancakes they sell. They come with strawberries.

But enough of me, I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Festive Lush Haul

Lush is one of those places where you can easily spend far too much time in, smelling all the delicious products and trying them all out. Case in point; I went into Lush, limiting myself to one product from the Christmas range, I came out with three. But Lush have some really great festive products this year that it was really hard to choose only one.

First thing I picked up was the Magic Wand Bubble Bar, which I just couldn't resist. It is pink and strawberry scented, and what makes it particularly great, is that it is on a stick just like a wand, and even has a bell. I am really looking forward to pampering myself with this one.

Next I saw the Butterbear Bath Bomb, which as the name suggests, is a very cute vanilla scented bear with cocoa butter to help soften the skin. 

Finally, I passed a bowl full of The Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar and they made me giggle so much that I could not pass up getting one. I purposely picked up the most deformed looking one because they made me laugh so much. But the bubble bar itself sounds really great. This is orange flower and mandarin oil infused which will make it very relaxing. 

Have you tried any of the festive Lush products?

Monday, 15 December 2014

Clothes Show Live - The Show

Last week I was lucky enough to go to the Clothes Show Live, the highlight of which is the 45 minute show, full of beautiful clothes, dancing and topless male models. It was hosted by designer Henry Holland with help from Joey Essex.

The show took a fun look through New York. We started with the vibrancy of Times Square, to the slickness of Wall Street, and then onto the ethereal and calm of Central Park - which clearly took inspiration from Swan Lake and was incredibly beautiful. Then it was on to the fun and bright colours of Coney Island, before checking in at New York fashion week. We visited the Hamptons where we saw a beautiful love story take place, and danced the night away at Studio 54, where the men wore cut-off shirts. Finally we ended up in Gotham, which was a little bit sinister. Each scene was a lot of fun, and told a story. The choreography in particular was really beautiful and slick.

The fashion itself was gorgeous. I loved the tailored suits of Wall Street which looked very wearable, and the bold and bright designs of Coney island. There was a lot of bold pieces and lots of metallic. See below for some of the fashion and show highlights.

All the photos were taken by my sister, the editor of independent magazine, Vanity Hype. She kindly let me use some for this post. They look much better than the ones taken on my phone!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

December Birch Box

It's party season! Well, sadly not for me - I am missing out on my work's Christmas party this year, so I still need to find an excuse to glam up. But Birch Box are helping out for anyone who is partying it up in the cold months.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil - Rosehip oil is very good for this time of year. The cold weather can be very drying, and this is a very natural way to add the nourishment back into your skin. Generally my skin is the very opposite to dry, but it is still very handy to have.

Models Own Nail Polish - The last time I received a Models Own nail polish in the box, I wasn't impressed. It was just glitter and offered no coverage to my nails. So, I didn't have high expectations when I saw another one. However, this one has been so much superior to the previous. I received mine in Amethyst which is a gorgeous glittery, purple shade. It's so beautiful and sparkly for this time of year. The packaging is also lovely as it has a velvet top. I love it so much. It is incredibly hard to get off though!

Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream - This is a really decent sample size for the cream, and I'm sure it will last for some time. It helps give the skin a plumping boost and hydrates. I tried this on my hand and it made my skin feel very soft and not sticky at all. I'm looking forward to trying out this one properly.

Electric Hair Electric Hydrate Shampoo - This shampoo is perfect for winter as it is designed to repair damage and improve shine, that the  dry weather can cause. It also has a really lovely and fruity scent which is a plus for me. I'm looking forward to using this one on my next overnight trip.

Eyeko Fat Eye Stick - This jumbo eye pencil in 'smoke', is perfect more creating a quick, but effective smoky eye. It gives an intense colour, but it is really easy to blend out for the desired look. What makes this even better is that it is a full size sample.

Benefit Chiristmas Cracker - High Beam - It was a lovely surprise, to have a cracker included in the box. Inside was a sample of High Beam. I already own a sample of this highlighter, and I love it, so I was really happy to see it again. It is one of my favourite highlighters, as it gives a soft shimmer and is really easy to apply.

Sophia Webster Purse - December's box was in collaboration with designer Sophia Webster, so the lifestyle extra was this purse, which has leopard print on the front and stripes on the back. It will be a great little edition to my bag.

Monday, 8 December 2014

London Haul

Last month I went to down to London for the day. I went particularly for an Illamasqua make-up lesson. It was called 'Skin Realism', which involved learning what products we could use to keep our skin looking flawless. It was a really good evening, and I picked up some useful tips. However, it did mean that I spent a lot of money in the shop afterwards. I did some shopping earlier in the day too, but, thanks to some unexpected happenings, I ended up with only a hour or two to get some shopping done. I headed to Oxford Street to buy clothes and make-up. I ended up in Kiko, as I've been yearning for some of their Daring Game collection forever. I also bought a couple of pieces from Forever 21, but this post is all about the make-up.

Kiko Top Pairs Blush - It's fair to say that I was sold by the packaging on this. I absolutely love the look so much, it is so gorgeous. After spending probably more time than I should have trying to decide which one I wanted, I settled on '01' in the shades Desert Sand and Rose Coral. they're really beautiful shades. I haven't tried them out as yet, as I didn't want to ruin them for the pictures, but I'm really excited about using them.

Kiko Eyelash curler - I didn't go in particularly looking for the eyelash curler. Mine broke that morning, and so I needed a new one. I completely forgot about it until I saw them on the shelf, whilst I was in the queue. It was good value, and it's good quality so I'm glad I picked it up.

Illamasqua Matte Veil - I was sold on this as soon as I was told it would keep my skin looking matte. I do have oily skin, so I'm consistently trying to find things that can combat it. I think this is great as it keeps my skin matte a lot longer. It doesn't last all day but I can definitely see the difference,

Illamasqua Cream Pigment - This is the cream we used for contouring during the course, It is in the shade 'hollow', which is very matte and perfect for contouring. I never contoured my face before, but I think I am definitely going to start as it really looked great,

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation - I went to the course knowing that I would want to pick up their foundation, and I did. It has a decent coverage, but still looks natural. I love the way it looks. This came with a tube of white skin base mixer. It's mixd with the foundation to help brighten up the complexion.

Have you tried any of these products? Did you like them?

Saturday, 6 December 2014

November Favourites

The dark nights and a busy schedule have been working against me and my blogging. The window for taking pictures is very limited, especially with having a full time job, so as you can see it's all meant I've been quite quiet here.

But November has been a busy month in itself. One of the best moments was spending a day down in London, where I went shopping along Oxford Street and had my first make-up course at Illamasqua, which was a really great experience. It was also the month of my birthday, but only small celebrations were had. I did go out for tapas, which I always find delicious (calamari anyone?).

There was also a lot of other great things in November:

Favourite Beauty

In the October Birch Box I received this Pixi lip balm and I have not stopped using it since. It's made using shea butter, so it feels so soft and smooth on my lips. It also gives a little bit of colour to my lips. It's great for the cold days. I'm sure I shall be using it all winter.

I have also renewed my love for the L'Oreal True Match Foundation. Now it is colder, I can wear it without it slipping off my face during the day. I really love the foundation. The shade works well with my skin, and I love the look it creates.

Favourite Skincare

Molton Brown hand creams were another product I discovered through Birch Box. I just had to buy a full size. They're a bit pricey at £10, but they are so worth it. They're not sticky at all, and sink in easily to the skin. This one in rhubarb and rose, smells absolutely delicious.

I have also been using the No.7 eye make-up remover. What really caught my eye about this was how it is two-toned. You shake it up to mix the clear and blue liquids, and then use it from there. My eyes are quite sensitive, but this doesn't irritate them at all and gets rid of all my eye-make-up, including tough mascara!

Favourite Book

November is my birthday month, and my sister got me the Bobbi Brown Everything Eyes book as a gift. I generally don't use much on my eyes, so it's a nifty little book to help me with making my eyes look great. There's quite a lot about glasses, which I don't wear (I wish I did), but there is enough of other great stuff that it's a very useful book.

Favourite Television

This month I have been loving The Apprentice. It is one of my reality TV guilty pleasures, but it is a lot of fun to watch. There's been so many spats this year, and a number of happenings I've been annoyed at. Now we've got quite far through, I'm rooting for Solomon (possibly because he's good, looking but he is a good candidate too) and Katie (because she's brilliant).

Favourite Music

I'll admit it, I have been listening to lots of Tinie Tempah again.



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