25 June 2016

This month has gone so, so fast and unlike previous favourites, I've got some new products to talk about that I've not mentioned before. I went on holiday in the first couple of weeks and thought I'd really treat myself this month, so lifted my spending ban and kind of went a little crazy. Oops... 

*Warning: It's a very lip heavy post... my favourite!*

MAC // Matte Lipstick - 'Velvet Teddy'

I picked this up in Duty-Free on my way to Thailand. It's a shade that's been coveted a lot online but I've never been too interested in. But you know how the MAC lipstick counter works, you don't know what shade you're swatching until you pick it up. I love the warm tone and lightness to it, it's similar to 'Verve' but much more wearable if you're not up for something so dramatic. The matte formula is one I said I'd never pick up again from MAC after disliking 'Ruby Woo', don't get me wrong the colour is beautiful I just don't like how difficult it is to put on! I guess that's the retro matte formula that makes all the difference because 'Velvet Teddy' goes on like a dream.

NYX // Soft Matte Lip Cream - 'Prague'

I love bold, purple toned lip shades. I just think they look co cool, quirky and eccentric. I swatched this one in store and well, it was kind of like love at first sight. There was no putting it back. The formula feels kind of dry but it's not drying on the lips. The colour is beautiful and is actually a pretty good dupe for MAC's Limited Edition (and possibly not on sale anymore) 'Evening Rendezvous'. I reviewed it in more detail here, if you want to learn a little more...

NYX // Liquid Suede - 'Sandstorm'

After going a little crazy on the NYX lip creams after the Boots store release, I decided to give the Suede glosses a go, seeing as they seem to be getting their fair share of media lately. I picked up 'Sandstorm', because after grabbing 'Velvet Teddy' I've been really into introducing more bold nudes into my collection. And, without meaning for this, it's actually a pretty good dupe for 'Velvet Teddy' maybe just a fraction darker and pinkier though. The formula for this is nicer to apply than the Soft Matte Lip Creams, much butterier and easier to apply an even coat. I'll be back it boots picking up a few more shades after pay day, I'm sure.

BECCA // Shimmering Skin Perfector - 'Opal'

This is the only item in my favourites that isn't new this month. I love my BECCA highighter in 'Champagne Pop' and wear it every day without fail. However, since getting back from Thailand, I've been reaching for 'Opal' much more. It has warmer, more golden undertones than 'Champagne Pop' and with my tan, it looks so beautiful. If you're holidaying it up this summer I'd really recommend picking up this highlighter, mine's looking a little worse for wear at the moment but it's still as beautiful as ever!

Daniel Sandler // Watercolour Blush - 'Spicy'

I have this blush in 'Cherub' already and love how easy it is to apply and end up with a natural blush. It's one of those fool-proof products that's really hard to get wrong. I love it but kind of felt like I need something less like Sping and more like Summer. And this shade is perfect. It's an orange toned pink, definitely more orange than pink but not orange at all, if that makes sense? It looks much brighter in the bottle than what it swatches and my example in the image below isn't the best so I guess you're going to just have to believe me on this one!

I have honestly had so much fun with makeup this week, I've tried new things and developed new ways of wearing products in different climates. As much as I want to continue saving my money to travel next year, it'll be hard to stop myself from spending in July. Are there any new products that you've recently tried and loved? I need an excuse to try something new and if someone recommends something then it'd be rude not to, right?!

Love always,

15 June 2016

I am so overly obsessed with NYX at the moment, I'm surprised it's taken me this long to tell you about how much I love them! Since their Boots store launch in May, I think I've been in and picked up new products every week. Everything so cheap so I justify buying more than I would if it were high end prices, it's quite the bank breaker. But these lip glosses are so worth the penniless purse. 

In all honesty, though, I've never been a fan of Lip Gloss. I find them sticky and kind of distracting to wear. However, I'm always reading posts about how much everyone seems to love the NYX Butter Gloss's. I went in store with the intention to pick some up but the glossiness of the swatches freaked me out, so I went for the matte version which is much creamier, hence the name; Lip Cream.

I picked up three shades; 'San Paulo', 'Amsterdam' and 'Prague'. San Paulo swatches much brighter than it looks in the tube. It's a beautiful, slightly blue tones pink which is actually deceivingly vibrant for something that looks rather subdued in the packaging! Not that I'm complaining.

'Amsterdam' is a bright red, which swatched more orange toned than the true red that it looks in the tube. It seems that NYX packaging is a little deceiving, but again, the shade is beautiful and not like anything I have in my collection.

'Prague', definitely the most truthful to the tube and my favourite of the three is a bright, purple toned pink. It's darker than 'San Paulo', similar to 'Evening Rendezvous' by MAC.

The formula is much drier than a regular lip gloss, which I really like as there's absolutely no stickiness to them at all. But, they're not at all drying on the lips, which is great. The colour payoff isn't comparable to a standard lipstick, two layers are required for an even coverage but once your have they're so vibrant.

The stay power is kind of what I was most interested about. They're of the lip gloss genre, which aren't best know for they're durability. However, matte formulations are usually pretty damn good at staying put. You can see my intrigue, right! Well, they're pretty impressive. They're not quite to lip stain standards but I'd give them a good 5-hour lifeline if you're just out for drinks for friends or at work. Once you factor in a hearty meal, then they're definitely fairly faded afterwards, but would you really expect much else?

I honestly love these lip glosses/creams and for £5.50 you're saving a good £10 on the MAC dupes that are definitely hiding in the collection! Have you tried these yet? They're definitely very underestimated here in the blogosphere that's for sure! If you have, I'd love to know what you think and what shades you have! 'Monte Carlo' and 'Copenhagen' are on my wishlist to pick up next... and maybe 'Ibiza' too!

Love always,

11 June 2016

Last week I talked about the must have beauty items to survive summer (you can read it here if you haven’t). So I thought this week I’d walk you through the perfect natural makeup look that won’t melt off your face...

NYX // Anti-Fatigue Primer

I’ve never been too impressed with primers until I came Thailand and saw how much they affected the longevity of my makeup. Whilst the anti-fatigue is pretty unnecessary when you have a glowing, sun-kissed skin, the hold power of this primer is pretty life changing in humid conditions. I'd be interested to try the HD Studio Primer also by NYX and see how that one holds out.

The Body Shop // BB Cream

I always pick a BB cream over a foundation in the summer because I don’t like packing too much product on my face. The less you put on, the less that can melt off. This one is great because it is slightly tinted and will adapt to the colour of your skin tone. So no need to worry about picking up multiple shades to substitute for your beautiful glowing tan. It's got a light to medium coverage so it combats any pigmentation problems but doesn't completely mask your face.

Becca // Shimmering Skin Perfector (Liquid)

There's nothing better than really going for the glowy look in the summer, and the Shimmering Skin Perfecting Highlight by Becca is a go-to product for me. The liquid version is strong and durable and clings to the skin better than the powder version. I like to use a little on the tops of my cheeks and then the inner corners of my eyes to brighten up my face.

Maybelline // Lash Sensational

When you’re hot and sweaty, mascara and eyeliner tend to slide around on the eyes and whilst I love Panda’s, the panda eye isn’t a look I want to covet this summer. Or any summer really. This mascara is the best waterproof alternative of a good mascara I’ve tried. It's really buildable so you can get beautiful, full lashes and even be protected from it running down your face.

NYX // Matte Finishing Spray

Like the Primer, this product is a make or break for my makeup on humid days. I don’t like powder when it’s hot because it’s too cakey. But a refreshing mist of this and my makeup is with me all day.

What’s great about this look is you can put in as much or as little as you like. On holiday, I love the ‘my face but better’ look and unsurprisingly, this works best where sweat proofing is concerned. Are there any products you think I've missed that would be great for making your makeup last longer in humid conditions?

Love always,

4 June 2016

I wish, way back when I was 17 and jetting off on holiday for the first time without my parents, there had been someone to help me get through without the horrendous beauty catastrophes. Why I thought body glitter and kohl eyeliner by the pool were a good idea, I’m not quite sure. So I thought I'd put together a beauty survival kit to help you get through summer drama free...

Pick up a lightweight sun cream specifically for your face

I’m putting this first because I honestly think the importance of sun protection gets a little lost when you’re so excited to get a tan. I've totally been there, burnt nose and freckles everywhere! Whether you’re on holiday, in the garden or even just walking to work, you should be wearing suncream. It's not just getting burnt you need to look out for, premature ageing at 21 because you've not been looking after your skin, isn't pretty.

I like to use the Vichy Mattifying Face Cream with SPF 30. It’s really light weight and as the name suggests, isn’t going to leave you with a shiny forehead. I apply a pea sized amount (a lot goes a long way, trust me) just before my foundation and then continue my day as usual.

Setting Sprays will save any makeup malfunctions

I try to wear less makeup in the Summer but sometimes you absolutely must. And in those situations, extra precautions have to be made to keep your makeup in place. You have three choices in my opinion; primer (but that’s a given), powder and setting spray. I’ve found powders can be quite heavy, especially on holiday in humid climates. My personal favourite is the NYX Matte Setting Spray. There’s one for a dewy finish but I wasn’t keen on looking shinier than necessary. There’s also nothing more refreshing than a mist of setting spray throughout the day when it's hot!

Panda Eyes are not a desirable look

I think waterproof mascara in the Summer is a no brainer, but apparently 17-year-old Melissa wasn’t privy to this! Whilst it won’t stay put if you’re snorkelling, it’s great if you get a little sweaty or the air is more humid than usual. You’ll be able to go out looking like a fluttery princess and not come back with eyes like a panda. My favourite at the moment is the Maybelline Lash Sensational.

If you’re colouring those lips, choose something bright but durable

I bloody love a bright red lip in the Summer. Whether you’re on holiday or just out with friends, there’s nothing like a bright lip to jazz things up a little bit. Whilst it’s not paramount to summer survival, I wouldn’t go all summer without one. But it needs to be something super long wearing. I’m currently loving the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in 'Amsterdam'. It’s bright with a really subtle orange undertone but had more of a lip stain effect rather than the traditional lip gloss, meaning it stays all day!

Fix them brows

When I'm off on holiday, it’s often too hot (even in an air conditioned room) to sit down and apply a full face. So parts of my routine tend to get switched to speed them up or ditched altogether. Back in January 2015 when I last was in Thailand, the Benefit Gimme Brow was a great way to speed up the routine without sacrificing the brows. And what's great is it's super durable during those sweatier moments.

Your hair needs sun protection too

Up until last year, I never thought about sun protection for my hair and I’m going to wager none of you have either because every time I mention it to someone, they’re so confused by what I mean. Why do you wear sun cream? To protect your skin from sun damage right. Well, what about the damage the sun does to your hair? I picked up a travel size of the Tresemme Heat Protectant Spray last year as it protects from direct contact heat, like when styling your hair but it also has UVA & UVB Protection rating too!

Top Tip:

When you’re applying suncream, make sure not to mix multiple SPF’s. Whichever one you apply last cancels out the ones before. For example, if you apply a factor 30 suncream but then apply a foundation with built in factor 15, the factor 30 is ineffective.  (You can read more about sun protection here).

If you’re off on holiday this year, let me know where you're off to in the comments below. Will you be taking any of these tips on board? Or is there anything you think I’ve missed?

Love always,

1 June 2016

I've been pre-writing a lot of my posts lately, only by a week or so but it makes it so much easier to stay on top of things. It's exciting though because as you're reading this, I'll be in (a hopefully sunny) Thailand. This month has honestly been going so slowly because I've been so excited about going and I've tried my absolute best to stick to my spending ban more so than ever so I can be less frugal whilst I'm out there. Which has made this a very difficult favourites...

Maybelline // Falsies Mascara

I bought this on a whim in the first week of may after being completely out of what was once was a rather big stash of mascaras. It's been quite a while since trying a drugstore mascara and I've always been a little skeptical of them, especially because of the over the top adverts you see on TV. You know the "that model is definitely wearing fake lashes" type of advert. This one, although nothing like the promotional images, still gives you really full, fluttery lashes. It's also the most easily buildable mascara I've tried, no ugly clumps in this one.

NYX // Correcting Concealer

Another thing I'm skeptical of is colour correcting products! The tutorials on YouTube always seem to make them look so game changing but when I try for myself the results are never quite the same. However, this one is pretty good. I love that it's a 2-in-1 concealer and corrector, meaning I don't have to layer on several different products to get rid of those damn under eye circles. It's got great coverage and matches well to my skin tone without looking orange like you'd think a colour corrector might! I have a feeling this one might become a staple in my routine.

Soap & Glory // Sexy Mother Blusher

I pulled this product out from the back of my drawers - like in previous monthly favourites - to try and get excited about the products I already own and stay away from new releases in the shops. In all honesty, I forgot I even owned this blush and it was one of my all time favourites when I first picked it up. It's super creamy and super blendable which is great if like me, you apply too much by accident. I also love the stick form as you can really get in there and apply more precisely. I can be a pretty careless with powder blush!

MAC // Cremesheen Lipstick in 'Plumful'

I love this shade, it's a really pretty pink that isn't too bright so it still looks beautiful on the not so sunny days, those of which we've had a few of lately in England. Like most MAC lipsticks (bar the retro matte which can be a little stiff) it goes on so smoothly and has great staying power for a lipstick. I could probably do with a lip liner though because I'm not great at precise application. That's no fault of the lipstick though!

I hope May has been treating you well, I can't quite believe it's almost June! This year is going so quickly, it's going to be Christmas so soon! Let me know in the comments any favourites you've been loving this month and if you've got any crazy exciting plans that you're looking forward to in the second half of 2016.

Love always,