spring nails 2016
I haven’t spoken about nail polish in a little while on ALO but since it’s Manicure Monday and the first day of Drugstore week I thought I would share my spring picks.

A quick note on Manicure Monday, I have stopped doing it as I have become a little bit of a shellac addict but do let me know if you miss them and I might be tempted to ditch the gel.

I get particularly excited about nails in spring and summer, I love pastels and slightly more daring colours, often teamed with more natural bronzy makeup. I think the nails is a really easy place to play with colour and I don’t believe there is any reason to pay lots of ££ for nail polish when drugstore ones are so good- in fact none of these are over £7!

Rimmel Super Gel in Bare Hug– it might be spring but you always need a nude in your nail polish wardrobe, this one is a really beautiful greige, which is surprisingly flattering and easy to wear.

Bourjois 1 Seconde in Jamais Saumon Vernis – I love how quick and easy the Bourjois 1 Seconde Polishes are to apply as they have beautiful fanned out brush with a great long lid which makes it really comfortable to hold. This colour is a fun but subtle peachy shade that would look particularly beautiful paired with a tan.

Avon Gel Shine in Mint to Be- I’ve been avoiding mint polishes all winter but I have heard great things about these Avon Gel Shine polishes and although I am yet to try it I couldn’t help but include it, so pretty!

Topshop Nails in Leigh- I am in love with the new denim inspired Topshop and Leigh is my favourite, I love pale blue polishes, they’re so fun and spring-y.

Barry M Speedy in Freestyle- These Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Polishes are my go-to when I’m in a rush as they really do dry quickly, I’m loving this pale pink which I would happily wear for months on end.

Barry M Coconut Infusion in Flamingo- The newest range from Barry M, this is the ultimate tan colour and I cant wait to pain my toes with this colour!

current beauty staplesThe posts have been lacking a little on ALO recently, especially the beauty ones and I feel it’s because I haven’t been trying anything new recently. After years of trying new products over and over again I’ve gotten a little bored of it. I’m quite enjoying using products I know and love on a daily basis, some do change daily but there are six which I have been sticking to religiously.

Sisley So Intense Eyeliner– This eyeliner is stupidly expensive but it’s the best and I really think I am going to be repurchasing it soon, it’s that good. I love the tip and find it really easy to use but what makes it stand out is just how black it has remained. I’ve been using it for a surprisingly long time and it’s still blacker than some liners are a week after buying them.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer– I’m not sure this is the best eyeshadow primer ever but I have been reaching for it over all my other ones. It keeps my eyeshadow in place and really helps with the vibrancy of the shadow, I’ve had it for a while and its lasted really well too.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow– Another stupidly expensive product which I have been using daily. The contour is a perfect natural shade which can be built up whereas the highlight adds a nice glow without going overboard.

Benefit Speed Brow- This is one of those products that people don’t really get why I love it do much. Most people love Benefit Gimme Brow as it does more than Speed Brow but since my brows are already quite dark and defined I just need something that will keep them in place but still look natural.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer– I wasn’t expecting there to be two Benefit products in this post but I have been using Benefit Hoola Bronzer for years and it has a special place in my everyday makeup drawer. It’s a really beautiful, natural looking bronzer which I sometime even use to add shape to my face or to add depth to my crease.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Powder- Not the best powder even but it’s always in my handbag, it’s affordable so I’m not too precious with it, it has a great mirror and get the job done.

What are your go-to makeup staples?

rome wimbLast week before heading to Rome I decided that I didn’t want a big handbag that I had to lug around with me all day whilst sight seeing and eating ice cream. I had a online for handbags which I could wear cross  body and which were also light-weight and pretty. I spotted this Dorothy Perkins one on the House of Fraser website and fell in love with it as it can also be worn as a clutch.

My boyfriend was a bit of a star in Rome and offered to carry my DSLR camera in his rucksack so I just had to pack a few more of my essentials.

In terms of beauty I kept it minimal, a Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder to obviously powder my face but which also has a great size mirror, to go with that I packed my Real Techniques Setting Brush- it’s my favourite! Just incase my eyeliner did decide to melt off (it was warmmm!) I packed my Sisley So Intense Liner and my Burberry Full Kisses lipstick in Rose Apricot for post pizza application.

With that there are a few essentials; a phone charger and european adapter, my vlogging camera for quick videos and my favourite La Moda Sunglasses. When trying to keep my bag light I also swap out my big chunky purse for a smaller coin purse, this one actually lives inside my larger purse so is really convenient. In my purse I kept the basics; ID, money and my bank card.

I’m so glad I kept it light for Rome as we walked so much! I can’t wait to share more Rome posts over the coming month so keep an eye out!

january favourites

I’m not really too sure how we’re into the second month of 2016 but we sure are! I’m hoping February will be a fun month so I’m actually really looking forward  to it but more on that over the next few weeks…

January was a bit a fail in terms of working out but I did manage to try quite a lot of beauty items, many of which had been in my house for a while but I hadn’t got around to trying them. It was also drugstore week which forced me to try some inexpensive products and that was probably my favourite part of January. I’m fortunate enough to get send a fair amount of higher end products, meaning I often reach for the more luxurious over the more inexpensive but the drugstore is a truly great place! I discovered some great drugstore items and I also wrote a bit of a guide to the UK drugstore if you need a bit of guidance around Boots or Superdrugs.

drugstore

Today is a bit of a preview to my absolute favourite drugstore products which I will share with you tomorrow but I thought I would quickly go through the UK drugstore brands, what products I like and which I love. I’m hoping it might help anyone that is a little scared of drugstore, looking for great affordable products or someone coming to the UK and looking to get a few products which you might not be able to get in other countries.

B. (available here)
My top pick: Brush Cleanser
Available exclusively in Superdrugs B. is quite a new brand and I haven’t tried too much from them, their brushes are quite nice but their brush cleanser is my favourite!

Barry M (available here)
My top pick: Nail Paints
One of the best brands to pick up whilst in the UK as it still isn’t too widely available everywhere else, their Dazzle Dust are quite underrated if you love shimmery shadow but their nail paints are a must try and very affordable. They offer everything from nail care to glitter and gel effect polishes.

Bourjois (available here)
My top pick: Healthy Balance Powder
Available quite readily in Europe Bourjois has really high quality products at great prices. Although their foundations break me out I think they are a great drugstore option for anyone that doesn’t have sensitive skin. Their blushers are some of my absolute favourites but their concealers and lipsticks are also worth a look.

Collection (available here)
My top pick: Lasting Perfection Concealer
Very affordable drugstore brand, I personally find the Lasting Perfection Concealer a little drying but it’s very affordable and highly rated by so many people that it’s a must try.

Gosh (available here)
My top pick: Velvet Touch Liners
Surprisingly this was the hardest brand for me to pick a top product from, everything is nice but there isn’t really anything I can’t live without. Other than the Velvet liners, the lipsticks and blushers are also both really nice.

L’Oreal (available here)
My top pick: True Match Foundation
L’Oreal True Match foundation is an absolute must have with a nice colour selection but the liners, neutral eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks are also worth picking up.

Makeup Revolution (available here)
My top pick: Eyeshadow Palettes
Known for offering affordable alternative to cult beauty products, their palettes and lipsticks are great alternatives to highend brands.

MaxFactor (available here)
My top pick: Mascaras
Although I love the whole range, no other drugstore brand offers better volumising mascaras than MaxFactor, I don’t have a particular favourite but all the ones I have tried have been great.

Maybelline (available here)
My top pick: Instant Eye Eraser Concealer
Great all round brand but the Instant Eye Eraser is a great alternative to highend concealers and I would quite happily swap my usual cocnealer for it. I also really like Dream Flawless Nude Foundation, Brow Satin Eye Pencil and their Color Sensational Lipsticks.

Models Own (available here)
My top pick: Nail Polishes
Models Own started by offering nail polishes and I still think it’s what they do best. My favourite colours are Beach Bag and Utopia although their Hypergel and glitters are generally great ranges.

MUA (available here)
My top pick: Luxe Velvet Lipsticks
Anther super inexpensive UK beauty brand, their eyeshadow palettes are also great value for money!

Real Techniques (available here)
My top pick: Core Collection brushes
Probably my favourite brush brand, their original collection is still by far my favourite along with their sponge, I would personally skip the bold metals collection (although they look beautiful) as they’re pricier and not as soft.

Revlon (available here)
My top pick: Colorstay Foundation (particularly for oily skins)
Revlon is a great brand for almost everything and it has quite a makeup artist feel to it. If you like lip crayons then Revlon do the best affordable ones.

Rimmel (available here)
My top pick: Exaggerate Lipliner in Eastend Snob
Theres so many great items from Rimmel, the whole Exaggerate range is excellent, I love their lipsticks and I reach for their foundations and concealers regularly.

Sleek Makeup (available here)
My top pick: Contour Kit
Has a special place in my heart as I use to blog about Sleek endlessly when I first started blogging. Palettes, blushers and Matte Me in Birthday Suit are all well loved in my collection.

Soap & Glory (available here)
My top pick: Kick Ass Concealer
Slightly higher price point in comparison for drugstore products but I adore their body products. Other great product include Brow Archery, Supercat liner and Thick & Fast Mascara

Topshop (available here)
My top pick: Lipsticks
Not strictly drugstore as it’s available only in Topshop stores but a great price point. All the lip products, blushers, bronzers and nail polishes I have tried have been fab but the glow highlighter has to be the best cream affordable one I own.

Would love to hear your drugstore recommendation in the comments, are there any drugstore secrets I am missing?