28 November 2015

If you're reading this, then it's my birthday! Eeeee!!! I'm typing this a week in advance so that there's still content going live on my blog whilst I'm off galavanting in NYC and thinking about my birthday has me excited like a 5-year-old at Christmas. Speaking of which, 27 sleeps until Christmas! Eeeee!!! Honestly, I'm sure I'm a child in a now 23-year-old's body. Anyway, that was a massive segway... November Favourites. I feel like every Favourites for the past 3 months I've said "the months are going so fast" but it's happened again, November has flown by and I haven't really tried many new products! But, I have gone through my makeup stash and dug out a few things I haven't used in ages...

1. Pixi - Glow Tonic

I purchased this back in September and I don't think I've mentioned it on the blog yet which is a crime considering I love it so much! I use it straight after I cleanse in the morning and it makes my skin feel great. Cleansing, as good as it is, seems to dry my skin out, but this Pixi product puts the moisture back in and does what it says on the bottle, makes my skin glow!

2. KIKO - Infinity Eye Shadows

I wore this super subtle, not glittery in the slightest, smoky eye out for a Friends birthday at the end of October and absolutely loved it! So much so that I've been re-creating it pretty much every day this month, with these two shadows alone! The KIKO shadows blend beautifully and have great colour pay off which is why I love them so much, I'm always talking about them on here so if that doesn't tell you they're something amazing, then I don't know what will!

3. MAC - Mineralize Blush

I got this blush for my birthday last year as a part of my MAC makeover. In all honesty, I haven't used it much at all and I'm sure you can tell from the picture. But this month, it's been the key to brightening my face. The weather has honestly been horrible this November. Gale force winds and torrential rain all month, got to do something to brighten things up a little.

4. Soap & Glory - Supercat Liner

If you read my blog often, you'll have heard me go on and on and on about this eyeliner. At the beginning of the month, my one ran out. I don't know what came over me but when I went to pick up a new one, I decided to try something else instead and regretted it immediately. It was runny and sloppy and didn't stay put. I haven't worn the Supercat liner all month but I've been dreaming about the day I get to pick up another one.

5. Eyelure - Single Lashed by Fleur de Force

I have been looking for an excuse to try out false lashes for the longest time, so when that birthday  I mentioned earlier came around I took the plunge! I picked up single lashes because I didn't want something too over the top, something natural and Fleur knows natural beauty so well. And I wasn't disappointed, I've only used the medium and small lashes because once mascara is applied they give the perfect amount of length and volume that I was after. I've even picked up a packet of full lashes to try with my birthday makeup too.

6. Duo - White Clear Lash Glue

I've heard a lot of people talking about how they never use the lash glue that comes with the packs, and being the inexperienced false lash fan that I was, I wasn't going to take any risks. I picked up the white to clear lash glue by Duo and I probably wouldn't bother trying anything else. I like the fact it goes on white because it's easier to see where you're placing the lashes, important when you're as cack-handed as me.

7. Rimmel London - Lasting Finish Lipstick 08

I have never really been a fan of nude lipsticks. In my Birthday Makeup Edit blog post, I mentioned that I don't tend to like shades that I can't tell I'm wearing, I just never saw the point. But I get it now. Is the 'your lips but better' saying to cliche because it fits quite nicely? Nude lipsticks are natural but pretty and so low maintenance. I've been wearing it to work every day this month!

I know my favourites lately have been pretty boring, but hopefully they'll pick up a little because of the amount of new stuff I'm hoping to bring back from New York with me. Here's to brighter and better favourites. See you soon.

Love always,

25 November 2015

I have been umming and ahhing about taking out a Glossybox subscription for the best part of a year now. I'm still pretty skint from University so financially it's not a good idea, but it seems like a great way to collect makeup but keeping your collection under control! If I could manage to only purchase the Glossybox itself every month and stay away from the beauty aisles in Boots and Superdrug that is. However, as soon as I heard NARS were taking over the November box, I put myself straight on the mailing list and was up bright and early on my day off to nab myself one. nd after the email link not working, my card declining and nearly crying myself back to sleep George managed to save the day! Was it worth it, my yes, oh yes.

The packaging beautiful, the usual pink box was matt black just like the NARS packing itself. It opened to a black tissue paper lined box wrapped in NARS ribbon and sealed with a Glossybox signature sticker. I don't think I've ever opened something that looked so special and expensive before, the packaging was a treat in itself. It took me a while to break the seal and rip open the tissue, it looked so pretty. But once I did it was even more of a magical sight. 5 boxes of NARS miniatures staring back at me, what more could I want.

Honestly, there were some really great products in that box. Some which are so sought after and blogger favourites, it was definitely put together with the beauty blog-o-sphere community in mind.

I went for the powder blush in 'Orgasm' first. I've wanted to get this product for ages but have been worried it would be too blue toned for my warm-ish skin tone. It's actually pinkier than it looks in the packaging and slightly shimmery which I don't tend to like in a blush. On swatching it, it goes on fairly sheer so it's great for someone, like myself, who's not great at know how much to go in with first. It's sheer but totally buildable. The 'Multiple' version of it, however, is much more shimmery, sort of like a blush and highlight it one! I reckon this will be useful for those days you have to rush out of the door in the morning and need to skip a couple steps in the makeup application.

The Kohl Pencil in... This is the product I'll more than likely get the least amount of use out of, I'm more of a liquid liner person. I don't think I've used a pencil liner since I was in College actually. I wasn't any least excited about this product, though. It is jet black, which for a pencil is - in my experience - super tough to find. I haven't tried blending it out yet, but it's a great no budge pencil. I swatched it about 10minuted ago and just tried to rub it off with my finger and it's going nowhere!

The Satin Lip pencil is the one I reckon I'll use the most, the colour is a super pretty, pink nude. I've been really getting into nude shades this month because time has been of the essence and they're just so super quick and low-maintenance. When I swatched this on my arm, it went on so smooth. I guess it's just super true to its name, satin. I love the Satin Lipsticks by MAC so I can't wait to see how this holds up.

Finally, the Audacious Mascara. I haven't tried this one yet because I've just got in from work and I'd like to see how it bodes on fresh lashes rather than over the top of my 'Better Than Sex' mascara by Two Faced. However, I have seen some stellar reviews of this mascara so I'm excited to give it a go!

I honestly was so excited when this popped through my letterbox this morning and it's come in perfect timing because all of the mini's will be great to travel with! I'll get a really good week of testing them too before I check back in and let you know more about what I think! See you soon.

Love always,

21 November 2015

This time next week, I will be on American time, with sore feet and a very full belly somewhere in the deep depths of New York city. But before I get to happily endure that, I must sit through an 8 hour flight, which granted isn't the longest flight but when your excited to be somewhere time does seem to slow down! So I've packed an extra special carry on bag to get me through, here's how it goes!

Inflight Pampering

I have normal to dry skin which isn't great combination when you're heading on a long flight, the air on board just seems to dry it out even more. Not what I want when I'm keen to land in the beauty capital of the world fresh faced and beautiful! So I have packed a few in flight pampering essentials to keep my skin hydrated and happy. Including Kiehls - 'Creamy Eye Treatment' because when do your under eyes never need extra hydrating? And a deep facial moisturiser, I'm hoping to pick up a new pot in the airport as my favorite Clarins one has just run out, great timing!  

Apple iPad Mini

Both our outgoing and incoming flights have personal entertainment systems, I made sure of that when booking. But, I get bored easy! Hopefully when I have exausted the movie and boxset collection, my iPad will make for a clever alternative. I have access to a whole new range of 'ways to keep Melissa from being bored'. There's games, more movies, music, I could even write a couple of blog posts too! On the plane home from Thailand in February, I got all philosophical and meaningful whilst writing at 30,000 feet!

Makeup Necessities

Travelling to America is stressful even for the seasoned fliers. Purely because security is heightened and customs is long and tiresome. To try and make things as easy as possible, my in flight bag is just a small satchel which I can't fit an awful lot in. Meaning the extent to my flight makeup had to be gutted dramatically. I'm going to be taking my Nars - 'Creamy Concealer' because after a 4am wake-up call followed by an 8 hour flight, I would be stupid not to. My Soap & Glory - 'Supercat' Liner is also coming with me because I can't function without a cat eye flick. And finally my Two Faced - 'Better than Sex' mascara will make an appearance. The idea is to focus on brightening and opening up my eyes to make me look awake and fresh with as little product as possible. I'll let you know how well that goes...


Like I said, the flight has back of seat entertainment so headphones are greatly needed for all of the movies I am planning on watching. Plus, I can't listen to the entire Taylor Swift discography on my iPad without them. Well, I could but I don't reckon the rest of the plane will be as enthusiastic about that as me.

Sleep Mask

To try and catch up on some much-needed beauty sleep, blocking out the world - or the rest of the plane - is much easier where sleep masks are involved!


Obviously. Need I really say more?

And that is it. I don't think I've packed that light on a short haul flight before, let alone a long one! I may pick up a magazine before I board, but that is everything I'll be taking on the plane with me. I'm sure I'll regret it half way through when I'm hungry and lunch won't be served for a couple more hours or my feet are cold because I vetoed the thick fluffy socks. We'll see. Hope you're all well, speak soon.

Love always,

18 November 2015

This time next week, I'll be in New York city. I'll be roaming around central park, being a stereotypical tourist, selfie stick in tow. But most importantly, I'll be shopping! But like all holidays, there always needs to be a pre-shop. I don't know whether it's just me, but even for the smallest of vacations, I need to feel like I'm the epitome of a high street fashionista. Which means new stuff, because the clothes I already own will not suffice. And New York next week has been no exception to this, even more so seeing as it's one of the fashion capitals of the world!

I think with this in mind, it's so easy to go overboard either buying things I a) don't need, or b) already own in every colour. So I tend to try and stick to a few rules, in order to keep my head screwed in the right place! So I thought I would run through a few of my online shopping tips to buying only what is necessary and share a couple of the items I've picked up with New York sight-seeing in mind.

Leave items in your cart

When logged into your account, add items to your bag and then leave it for a few days. Most retailers don't want to miss out on a sale so will email you a discount code to entice you into purchasing a few days after your basket is left untouched. New Look, Urban Outfitters and even Macy's are suckers to this marketing trick! It's also a great way to make sure that you really want and need the items you've picked out. I'll add a bunch of stuff to my cart and if I can't stop thinking about them and how they would improve my wardrobe I'll head back a couple days later to buy! If I forget about them, then clearly they weren't as necessary as I first thought.

Voucher Surfing

I do this a lot, I'm a university graduate after all and money is slim to none at the moment. Before proceeding to payment, I'll always have a quick Google for any active voucher codes that I may have missed on retailer sites, or that they aren't actively advertising. Voucher Codes and Hot UK Deals are the two I get the most luck from! If you're a student I'd recommend signing up to My Uni Days because they offer student discount codes for hundreds of online fashion retailers, sadly my account has expired but there is hope for the rest of you!

Try Multiple Channels

Retailer photo's online can be misleading, they'll tactically photograph an item to make it the most attractive, naturally! But an item could look completely different on your laptop compared to your friends desktop. If there is something you've had your eye on, search for it on your phone to see if it looks any different, you might notice a the lower hemline on your iPad which you didn't seen on your laptop which changes your opinion on the item!

Look at the catwalk

Most retailers now offer a video catwalk of an item to exhibit what it looks like in live scenario's, this is a great opportunity for you to see how it moves or reacts with movement. I tend to use this feature if I'm looking for something specific. For instance when I was looking for a graduation outfit, those photo's are going to be with me for the rest of my life so I really wanted to be positive I was purchasing the right outfit and the catwalk video's were key for this!

Know what you need

This is where I always go wrong, I will scroll through every page on the BooHoo website and add everything that catches my eye to my basket. Then when I go to pay and have a £300 cart total, I realise I've picked a bunch of items that I either already own or really don't need. For instance, why do I need those strappy stiletto's? They look beautiful but I only wear heel's on special occasions, none of which I have in the foreseeable future.

Now onto the fun bit, haul time. Here is what I've purchased sticking to my own tips and tricks...

I picked up the Frances Lock Croc Bag from the Kurt Geiger Outlet store in Gunwharf Quays, £39, bargain! I'd seen this bag online, but it had been sold out everywhere and I was desperate for something small and easy to carry but would hold a lot of stuff for when I got to NYC and this one is perfect! It has two sections, the front with a gold clasp and the back with just a simple popper. Great for an organisational freak like myself!

Annoyingly, just two weeks ago my Black Airbound ASOS Chelsea boots (the only pair of shoes I planned to take away with me) broke. So new ones were certainly on the list of must have pre-purchases. I picked up the ASOS Right About Now Pointed Chelsea Boots and have fallen in love! I adore pointed shoes, I feel like they smarten up any outfit and I'm not a hugely casual person so that's a huge pro for me. The heel isn't too high so they're super comfortable too, big must have for the amount of walking I'm planning on doing!

Granted, I probably didn't need a new scarf, I already have a two winter scarves and a bunch of fashion scarves but I'd seen this in store a few times and couldn't help but touch it to my cheek because it's honestly the softest thing ever. However, all of the scarves I do own are patterned and not easy to match to every outfit, this light grey one from H&M goes with everything and is super warm! See how I made it sound like it was necessary!

Jumpers. Jumpers. Jumpers. Probably the most important items in this haul. I don't own a lot of warm clothes generally. When I have to go into the cold I tend to do it as quickly as possible and not prolong the bitter, cold pain so thick jumpers aren't hugely necessary. However since pretty much everything I am planning to do in New York is outside, warm clothes and layers are a must. I've picked up a couple from various shops but my favourite is this BooHoo Striped Turtle Neck. I am a sucker for stripes and I've been on the search for a turtle neck because I know they'll keep me warm. This one was only £15!!!

Ok, so sorry for the super long post, if you read through the whole thing, kudo's to you! I know I can't stop talking about New York and I'm pretty sure it's not going to hold off anytime soon. I hope that's ok with you. Speak soon...

Love always,

11 November 2015

This fall I have been loving the colour burgundy. I've bought nothing but burgundy clothes, burgundy nail polishes and I've been wearing this pretty burgundy-ish, pink-ish autumnal makeup for weeks. So I thought this week, I'd share how I've been doing it.

I prepare my face the same every day, a simple moisturiser (ideally with SPF) followed by the Nars - Sheer Glow Foundation for a glowy, hydrating base. I've even gone back to my cult favourite Bourjois Concealer for brighter eyes this autumn which is a necessity now that the days are getting drearier and my skin seems to be mirroring that! I haven't been wearing blush because my cheeks seem to flush in the cold wind but I have been using my Bourjois Chocolate bronzer to add light, subtle colour to my face. I also used Urban Decay shadow in 'Streak' for my eyebrows.

But, to the real exciting bit... You know how much I love the Maybelline Colour Tattoo's well I picked up the colour 'Pink Pomegranate' a while ago (I mentioned it in my August Favourites actually, you can read that here if you like). I applied that all over the lid using my fingers and along the lower lash line. You don't need to be too neat about this but seeing as I have hooded lids I use this time to try and create an eye shape that is flattering and opens up my eyes.

Then before blending, I used a MAC 217 with Kiko in 'Pearly Mahogany' over the outer corner and into the mid-lengths of the eyelid to bring out more of the burgundy shades in the Colour Tattoo pigment. Then using the same brush I apply KIKO 'Mat Chocolate' into the outer corner for dimension. I find using the same brush allows the colours to blend better and more fluidly but be sure to work from light to dark colours. It also makes for a much quicker brush cleaning session afterwards! To finish the shadow, with a small fluffy brush I lightly dusted Barry M Dazzle Dust in Tan to the inner corner for a highlight and sheer shimmer over the lid.

You could leave it like this, just finish it off with your usual mascara, or take Kiko 235 across the lash line for more drama, however, me being me has to put a cat eye into every look. This is optional but I love it! I used the Rimmel London 'Exaggerate liquid liner' to do this and  Two Faced 'Better than Sex' mascara to finish.

I honestly wear this makeup look all the time, I love the colours. It's a little more dramatic than the golden nude base I usually go for but it's so perfect for this season! I hope you love it, if you try it out at all let me know, I'd love to see pictures!

Love always,

4 November 2015

I'm sure by now that if you're a regular reader of my blog that you are sick of hearing about my trip to  New York. For that, I'm sorry. I'm just so, ridiculously, over excited. I've been planning every little detail for about six months now, even down to my shopping list which I want to share with you this week.

Kat Von D - Studded Lipsticks

My boyfriend's sister picked me up the Tattoo Liner from the Kat Von D range when she was in the states last February and I fell in love (honestly my favourite liquid liner ever, I talked about it here). Kat Von D also do a beautiful range of berry lip shades in Sephora which I'm just dying to try. From the website, I like the look of BAUHAU5, Cathedral and Prayer.

Becca - Shimmering Skin Perfector

As far as I'm aware, Becca isn't a brand that is easy to get hold of in the UK but I've heard so many amazing things about the highlighters that this is a must buy. I have my eye on either Opal or Champagne Pop but I won't be surprised if I come away with a different shade because all of the swatches I've studied are all so beautiful!

Anastasia - Dip Brow Pomade

Over the past 18 months, I've really fallen in love with enhancing my natural brow and I've wanted to try the Anastasia products for so, so long. They are available online in the UK but I've never had much luck purchasing products for my eyebrows online, I just never get the colour as nice as when I purchase in store. I'm pretty sure that I'll pick up the Brow Wiz and #12 Brow Brush too, going crazy for them brows!

Eyeshadow Palettes

I've left this one fairly open, I will come home with a palette but which one remains a mystery. I'd really like to grab the NARSissist palette or the Lorac Pro palette, but they're both so elusive and difficult to get hold of so I don't hold out much hope for those. I'd be tempted to pick up Isolde Duo by NARS too, or maybe the Sonia Kashuk Neutral Shimmer palette. I've also had my eye on the Bobbi Brown Nude on Nude Palette. AHH, there's just too many to choose from.

Sephora - Pro Stippling Brush

Probably my favourite bit about perusing the Sephora website at the moment is drooling over their makeup brushes. They have such a good reputation and I love the idea of them having a longer handle, I prefer that when painting a picture so can imagine it would be a great asset for a make-up brush too.

That's it for now, my actual shopping list is much longer but the rest is for another time. If you have any recommendations of what I should pick up whilst I'm out there, please let me know. Or if you have any idea's about places to eat or things to see, then I'm all open for suggestions.

Love always,