30 April 2016

I think I mentioned this last month, but every month when favourites comes around it's so hard to pick a selection of products that I've been loving that I didn't already mention just 30 days before. It seems that after issuing a spending ban back in January, even shopping my stash and finding old favourites is a hard task. I've done all the round already! I'm kind of into a routine of using the same products every day for the same look.

But I've managed to pick 5 products that I've really been loving, for much more than just April but, I've never really discussed them here before. Well, four of the products come in pairs, so really there are just three but we won't dwell on that fact for too long...

Aussie // Miracle Moist Shampoo and Conditioner

I love Aussie hair care, in fact, I don't think I've used any other shampoo and conditioner combo on my hair in over 2 years. I love the smell, and so does George, that's the most important thing. I'm kidding, but it's close up there. It just feels like a high street product that actually doing something good to my hair rather than worsening the damage.

I usually go for the Heat Defence one, because I straighten my hair fairly often but I picked up the Miracle Moist version in March to see if it made a difference to my dull, dry hair. And, I've really noticed a difference, it's so much shinier and has more movement too. I have upped the amount of heat protection I put on afterwards though to match what I'm lacking from this one. 

Taylor Swift // Incredible Things Perfume

I have the entire collection of Taylor's perfume's, not because I like them, but because Taylor created them. Luckily though, I do like them all very much and tend to rotate between the four of them throughout the month. However, Incredible Things has been my go to fragrance for April.

It's much more mature than the fruity fragrance of the other three. It's a little muskier, with strong hints of vanilla, which is probably why I like it so much. I love vanilla. I love the packaging too. Watercolour art is one of my favourite things at the moment, I can't paint with it to save my life, but it looks beautiful. In fact, there's some cool things happening on the blog in the future to do with watercolour! 

MAC // Evening Rendesvous & Rimmel London // 08

I guess it's kind of cheating talking about two lipsticks in one but I have been loving these two shades together recently. Evening Rendezvous is this beautiful, blue toned purple shade, which on it's own doesn't look that great on me (not that I care too much because the colour itself is incredible.) It's quite bold, a more daytime purple shade I would say. Most shades similar to this that I own are going out colours which I don't pick up too often!

Rimmels 08 is a really pretty "your lips but better" nude, it's a great shove on if you're running out of the door. However, this month I've been pairing it over the top of Evening Rendezvous to give this really beautiful, musky nude. It brings down the blue tone in the MAC lipstick just enough to suit my skin tone better but not so much that the purple disappears altogether.

So that's that for my April favourites, a pretty short one I'm afraid. I think in May, I might have to splash a little and invest in some new pieces for my collection, purely for research and blogging purposes, of course. We'll see...

Love always,

23 April 2016

I've mentioned the Chanel 'Vitalumiere Foundation' in a couple of monthly favourites but I've never talked about it properly on here before. Which is surprising, because I'm normally quick to blog about something I love so much.

But, I'm going to be honest with you, when I first tried this I really wasn't sure. It was super dewy, far from the matte finish of the NARS 'Sheer Glow' foundation that I was using before. But I persevered because I wasn't spending £36 for it to just sit in my makeup drawer. I did some experimentation and it turns out this is one of those foundations that gives different outcomes depending on the way you apply. The Real Techniques 'Buffing Brush' is what gave such a dewy look, however, the 'Expert face brush' works the product in that bit more to give less dew and more glow. Which I love.

The foundation is super light weight and unless I put too much on, you can't feel it on the face. I'm one for the 'no makeup' makeup look so a weightless finish is perfect. It's got a little less coverage that 'Sheer Glow' but it's only noticeable around the eyes where I definitely need that extra coverage. It's really great at masking redness and blemishes, though.

The stay-power is pretty good too, on level par with my NARS favourite. It's a great feeling to be sat at work enjoying my lunch break while the other girls are topping up their bases.

I've been using 'Vitalumiere' for close to 4 months now and I'm about half way through my bottle, which makes me feel better about spending £36 on it. It has the potential of last two-thirds of the year which works out at about £4.50 a month. Pretty good bargain really.

Going to have to start thinking about what foundation I'll pick up next, these past 4 months have flown by and I don't want to be left unprepared when I do need a new bottle. I will definitely be purchasing this again though if I don't find anything by then!

Love always,

20 April 2016

Over the weekend, George and I celebrated a pretty big milestone in our relationship. 5 years. It doesn't feel like that long but at the same time it's as if I've known him my whole life! Anyway, this posts not about that, to celebrate we rented a room at a hotel in Gloucestershire and I wanted to tell you about it because it was the best damn hotel I've ever stayed in!

George has been talking about going to Puzzle Wood since the new Star Wars movie came out last year, so we made the two and a half our trip to the Forest of Dean for two nights on the weekend. We stayed in a small, boutique-like hotel; Tudor Farmhouse. Now, I'm pretty picky when it comes to picking a places to stay. A full English breakfast included in the package is a must and this hotels organic, locally produced menu had me pretty settled from the get-go.

The hotel has just 20 rooms and even on a sold-out Saturday night, never did it feel crowded. I hardly saw anyone other than the lovely ladies on the Reception (and George obviously) the entire time I was there. I like that about a hotel. Whilst George was there to fan-girl over Star Wars production sets, I was there to relax and get some quality couple time, which is exactly what I got, with little to no sightings from other guests. But if you like pure seclusion, I recommend Sunday nights, we practically had the place to ourselves!

The rooms are all individually decorated but are all based around the renovated barn style, they're the epitome of the Barn conversion you dream of doing one day! Distressed wooden floors in the main building and exposed beams and brickwork in the bedrooms. Pinterest lovers would have a field day photographing and uploading some of the cute quirky features around the place.

Whilst this place is a little more on the expensive side, the saying "you get what you pay for" is totally true here. It's luxury in the most peaceful, charismatic way.

It's clear that this place is looked after well and loved even more. I'm kinda hoping I win the lottery sometime soon as I'd love to give one of their larger rooms a go. Look at this one, it looks incredible. Imagine that bath with a couple Lush bath bombs, it'd be divine.

I didn't eat off of the main menu at the hotel, I'm one of those picky eaters but 'The Butchers Inn' just next door does some cracking food and the best Garlic Bread I've ever had. Bold statement, but true!

If you have a bit of cash to splash and fancy getting away for some 'me-time', I would recommend this place ten-fold. Puzzle wood was amazing; tree's and rock faces piled high and completely covered in moss. Honestly, the most beautiful natural made thing I've seen in the UK. We visited Symonds Yak as suggested by the receptionist which was a beautiful view across Gloucester and over the prettiest little village.

I'm desperate to travel the UK a little more now, see what more my home has to offer, so if you have any suggestions and good hotels to stay in let me know... Might just have to break the bank and pop out somewhere in May, it's going to be George's birthday so what better excuse?

Love always,

10 April 2016

I've seen people write letters to their future selves in movies and always thought about how awkward it would be to read it back in 10 years time. Which is exactly why I never had a diary when I was younger, that and I never had anything to write about. However, now I feel like it could possibly be really interesting and nostalgic. I've been noticing a lot recently how quickly life moves and changes without you paying too much attention. I guess it's just called growing up, but it's been scaring me a lot lately. So I thought I'd put this out there, more for me to read when I'm 33 and hopefully married with kids but also for you to take a nose and maybe write one for yourself.

Dear future self,

As I type this I'm 23, which means you're 33, I've only recently become bothered by my age and how fast it's inclining, I really hope you've found peace with age. I've just started my new job as a Visual Merchandiser and by just started, I mean it's literally my first week. I've worked on the shop floor for over 5 years so it's weird to go from being customer satisfaction focused to more creatively minded. I prefer the latter, but you know that. It's pretty overwhelming too because on the shop floor I was the most qualified one there, I knew exactly what I was doing. Here, is the complete opposite. I know very, very little. I guess that's what starting a new job is all about, learning something new and stepping out of your comfort zone. But I wouldn't know because I don't remember feeling like this when I started working for this company when I was 17.

Speaking of not remembering, are you still forgetful? It's been really bothering me lately how ridiculously forgetful I am. I shouldn't beat myself up about it so much but I never used to be like this. I can lose my phone when it's in my hand or forget something somebody told me just 2 minutes previous, like I wasn't even listening. I know I was though, that's the worst, being aware.

George and I are celebrating our 5 years together next weekend, we're hopefully going to stay in some swanky hotel and pretend like we're rich and famous for a couple days. That's the life. Are you married yet? George always jokes about me proposing to him on a leap year but I really hope it doesn't come to that!

It's pretty scary that I'm a graduate with a full-time job, I still feel like a troubled 18-year-old heading in no direction in particular. I wrote my bucket list last week because I feel like life is moving too fast and I don't want to miss out on anything. I've already ticked off a few but I hope you've made a good dent in the list by now. Knowing me, though, you'll have doubled the size of it too so we won't be any closer to finishing. Now, that is the life. Living for love and adventure.

See you in 10 years,
Love Always,

6 April 2016

In early March, Bourjois released a new range to their Brand; the 'Radiance Reveal' collection. I am always on the hunt for affordable concealers to tackle my blue toned under eyes. No matter how much sleep and water I get/consumer, I have awful dark circles. And if that wasn't enough, I don't have the best surface either because of my generally dry skin. Finding a concealer that can smooth over the rough surface, conceal the dark circles but doesn't completely soak up any moisture that is there and sink into my wrinkles (yes wrinkles) is a tough fight. It's a lot to ask for from one product. I know that.

However, The NARS 'Creamy Radiant' Concealer is the closest thing to perfection I've found but for £22.50 it's too pricey for my smaller budget! Don't get me wrong, it does have it's cons. Being fairly thick is one of them. But that's something I'd suffer to not look like a zombie 24/7.

When I read the press release for the new Bourjois 'Radiance Reveal' Concealer I was pretty excited, to say the least. If it did what it said it did, at £7.99 it was pretty much a steal.

"light enhancing and smoothing with 24hour hydration, enriched with Mont Blanc Glacier water and Hyaluronic Acid."

Sounds amazing right. It's supposedly hydrating so won't intensify the dryness of my skin. And, the Hyaluronic Acid should help combat the Concealer induced wrinkled that appear. As long as it does it's main job, conceals, we're onto a winner.

Bourjois have released 3 shades initially into the collection; Ivory, Beige and Dark Beige. So, not a great choice but it's a start. I picked up the two lightest shades, Beige being the closest match to my natural skin ton and Ivory being great for that extra highlight and brightening under the eyes. Something I most certainly need!

But, I guess from the title of this post you know that this product didn't quite turn out as expected...

The formula is quite watery which to be honest, I quite liked. My NARS favourite is fairly thick and feels slightly (though not overly) cakey on the skin so the lightness of this was a nice surprise. The dauffer applicator makes for super easy and precise application and it blends really nicely. The coverage is ok, not great if you have blue undertones around the eye area like myself but I'm sure a colour correcting primer before hand might sort that out nicely.

In comparison to NARS' 'Creamy Radiant' Concealer, it gives a much smoother texture which I loved. It's slightly dewy too which aids to the hydrating look. The only problem I encountered, which changes my entire view on the product, is it creases like no other! I tried applying with my finger, with a brush and a beauty blender with no luck. Nor did switching between pressed and loose setting powders. It literally aged me 10 years, creating wrinkles that weren't there before! I'm not going to lie, I get a few wrinkles when I apply makeup under the eye, it's due to the think skin and heavy products. But this product isn't heavy.

It just definitely wasn't for me. But don't get me wrong, maybe for something with more hydrated skin and less darkness under their eyes, this might be lovely. Someone who doesn't need an awful lot of coverage just a touch of brightening. However I can't see the watery texture working well on someone with Oily skin either!

I'd love to hear if you've tried this product. What did you think? Did it work? Did you have more success than me? This product honestly has so, so much potential and everything I want in a concealer. If it wasn't for those damn creases!

Love always,

2 April 2016

I've been working hard these last few months and finding time to do my makeup in the morning is proving more and more difficult. Being well rested is more important, I guess. So I've been slimming down on the amount of products I use and being more creative with the ones I do reach for this month...

The Body Shop // All-in-One BB Cream 

This product is kind of like marmite, you either love it or you hate it and in my case, that's both. I'll love it for a couple weeks and then won't reach for it for a few months. However this month I've pretty much used it on my face every day. It's really sheer so works great as a 'your skin but better' product, if you're looking for something super lightweight and a fair coverage then this is for you. I can see myself falling in love with this over the summer...

NARS // Audacious Mascara

I think I may have talked about this in last month's favourites and how I've been reaching for it as an alternative to my Too Faced 'Better than Sex' mascara as it's been running dry. And alas it's finally all gone but I'm honestly not as gutted as I thought I'd be because 'Audacious' by NARS has just stolen the show! It's so great at adding volume and length in just a single coat. I've dropped the winged liner from my makeup look a lot this month (I know, shock horror, it just takes too long when you're in a hurry) and this mascara is great at opening up the eyes and making you look super awake which I find really difficult without my feminine flicks.

Becca // Shimmering Skin Perfector - Opal

I've talked about the powder version of this product a lot on my blog before but never this one. I got it as a freebie and - like a lot of things I own - it just got lost in my Mary Poppins-like makeup bag! But this month it has been an angel in disguise. I've used it in almost every possible place you could use a highlighter on your face; my cheekbones, brow bone, the cupids bow, the tip of my nose and even on my eyelids. I've tried to channel a dewy, well-rested goddess look this month (the complete opposite of how I've really felt). The dofer applicator is great too, makes it super easy just dab on and blend with your finger, no need to faff with a brush.

MAC // Retro Matte Lipstick - Ruby Woo

The weather has been all over the place this month, there's been torrential downpours and gale force winds, then on the other end of the spectrum there has been blue skies and beautiful sunny days. And that glimpse of sun this month has had me dreaming of summer with golden makeup looks and bold red lips! Which is where this favourite came into play. I love a bold red lip but there's nothing better than the stay power of a MAC retro matte when you've got a full day of work ahead of you!

And that's that, it's a small one this month. I feel like with the challenge to save money to travel my favourites are getting smaller and smaller because I'm running out of new-old products to fall in love with again. I might just have to be a little spendy this month, try something completely new, what d-ya say?!

Love always,