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.

When I apply makeup I see foundation, concealer, mascara and a cheek product as the absolute essentials (actually probably just foundation and mascara) but if I had to pick wether to apply a lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner or something else then liner will always win.

That said I feel like I am still on the quest for the perfect liner, that doesn’t fade, is intensely black but the most difficult is that I need one that won’t transfer. I have tried so many different liners but unless powder my eyelids I find they always transfer.

One I have been using for a while now is the Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Liner, it’s a great felt tip pen which stays black for a good amount of time. I quite like that the tip is a sturdy one as I think it gives great control but after using if for about a year I decided to move onto a thinner more precise tip although I still come back to it every now and then. It’s a great liner for any beginners and I always have one in my collection.

I then moved on to the Charlotte Tilbury The Feline Flick and Burberry Effortless Liquid Eyeliner, both of which are excellent but also very similar. Packaging wise they are almost identical apart from the colouring and they both have really fine, flexible tips which are great for a really fine liner look. I do find that as the Burberry Effortless Liquid Liner is slightly finer I don’t get quite as much control but it is also a little blacker than the Charlotte Tilbury so it’s hard to pick a favourite from the two. They are my go-to for a really fine line that lasts all day.

I’ve recently come back to Illamasqua Precision Ink which is the darkest one I have ever tried. Unlike the others mentioned this isn’t a pen which means you pick up quite a lot of product which isn’t great if you want a particularly thin liner look, however I find it to be the most waterproof and last all day without moving.

I now need to venture into affordable eyeliners but I am yet to find any that I really love or that stay black for long enough, when I do I’ll be sure to report back.

I’m not claiming you need a whole new makeup wardrobe and of course you don’t have to chose to make any changes but just incase you are struggling a little this summer I thought I would share a few tips.

It’s essential to start by clearing out your makeup bag (I have a whole post on it here). Remove any products you don’t use, may have broken or have gone off, it’s just clutter and you don’t need it. Now onto the good stuff…

The first thing to think about is the base, obviously you’re going to want to add an SPF if you haven’t already (whole post of face SPF’s). In terms of foundation a lot of people like to go a little lighter with coverage try a tinted moisturiser, BB or CC cream. I personally quite like The Body Shop BB Cream, Rodial BB Cream or the Clarins HydraQuench Tinted Moisturiser. Also don’t forget you will probably get a little darker so go for one that reflects that as these products are quite sheer and can be blended in.

Personally I usually still stick with a medium coverage foundation which I often sheer out with a moisturiser, I also like to buy one that’s significantly darker and then mix it in with my usual foundation colour to make a shade tailored to me which I can make darker as the summer goes on. My go to summer foundation is either Bourjois Healthy Mix in shade 52 and 57 or Chanel Vita Lumiere. If you are finding that your foundation doesn’t last long enough then use a primer such as Benefit Porefessional especially as powder can often look a little too much in the summer.

Since we’re on the subject of looking a little too much, go easy on the brows. I personally tend to swap my eyebrow powders and pencils for a eyebrow gel as I find it’s a little softer, I love the Eyeko Brow Gel which lasts really long too. I’d say the same goes for eyeliner although I personally still wear lots, I think you can get away with just a few coats of mascara but you may want to change over to something a little more waterproof such as Clarins Truely Waterproof.

Now for the fun part- adding colour!

Bright lips are summer essentials; corals, pinks and even reds all look beautiful in the summer. You can go for a matte statement lip, a glossy fun one or a sheer more subtle colour. Personal favourites if you are looking for fun colours are Revlon Just Bitten, Clinique Long Last Soft Lipsticks and YSL Sheer Candy Lipstick.

On the cheek I love to add bronzer to either contour or actually make my face appear a little more tanned but peach/coral blushers wether cream or powder look particularly beautifully and can really give the face a beautiful glow. I have a whole post on bronzers coming up soon but Benefit Hoola or Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder are both great depending on your budget.

To finish it all off I love a good facial spray, not only are they refreshing but really helps reduce the appearance of heavy makeup. My favourite to use both over and under makeup throughout the day are Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist, Neal’s Yard White Tea Facial Mist or Caudalie Beauty Elixir.

What are you tips for summer makeup?

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I haven’t blogged about a beauty box in a little while although I will say I have been reasonably impressed with them recently. This month I got sent the February Birchbox which is the ‘We love your style edition’ as London Fashion Week starts Friday. I haven’t received a Birchbox in a little while so it was quite nice to see what they are offering especially as I was a little worried it was going to be very lifestyle based.

The box hasn’t changed too much and I actually really like it; quite small but they have the perfect balance of thickness as although it is very sturdy I don’t feel like I have to keep it and find something to store it in. Inside I found five beauty products and a mini Green & Blacks for all you dark chocolate lovers which is an improvement on tea bags.

Opening the drawstring bag I naturally gravitated to the Leighton Denny nail polish as it is a full size, reasonably expensive brand and a great colour which I am sure I will wear lots. I also spotted the Eyeko Skinny liner which although is a smaller size is a perfect eyeliner to keep in your bag and I have been using the full size for a while. There is also a Gilchrist & Soames Shower Gel which I don’t know too much about but I will be saving for the next time I travel as it is a good generous amount. There is also a sample size of the Beauty Protector Protect & oil which I am also sure I will use at some point. Lastly another brand I haven’t heard of Urban Veda but it’s a generous size of facial scrub.

It also came with this cute little cards with great quotes, beauty tips and a sneaky hint about next months collaboration, which is super exciting!

Overall I think it’s a good box although I am yet to work out how it is LFW related other than being called ‘We Love your Style’ and the cute cards. I think they’re are some great products in this months box that could easily be added to any beauty addicts daily routine.

What do you think of this months box?
For more info checkout the Birchbox website
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I’m already struggling with winter lighting so prepare yourselves for badly lit, slightly out of focus lighting. Trust me, I am not happy about it but it was this or no post at all. I should have gone with the latter but here we are…

With Halloween days away I thought I would share a quick slightly more vampy makeup look, don’t get me wrong it’s still pretty wearable but just slightly inspired by Taylor Momsen.

As I was going for dark eyes and red lips I felt that the skin still required quite a lot of attention. Heavy foundation would easily turn this look into a drag queen one but not very flawless one would leave everything looking pretty messy. I turned to my Nars Radiance Enhancing Pro-prime teamed with my trust YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation which I applied with a damp Real Technique Miracle Complexion sponge. I love this sponge, it’s perfect if you want a great base that isn’t cakey at all (and surely that’s the dream!) I even used the more pointed corner to apply the Bourjois Happy Light Concealer under my eyes.

On the eyes I started with the obligatory primer, I chose Urban Decay Primer Potion because it’s a good’un and I am trying to finally finish it! Using the Sleek Au Naturel Palette I built up a dark brown/purple smokey eye. I’d completely forgotten about this palette but I have a feeling I may reach for it a lot now that I have rediscovered it, it’s the perfect autumn shades (I feel I say this a lot.) I love Sleek Makeup for Halloween looks as it’s so affordable and I don’t want to be splurging on items I am going to use once a year but the quality is still quite good and the pigment is very impressive!

I lined my eyes with Urban Decay 24/7 Liner and piled on my favourite YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils mascara before giving a Sleek Eau la la in Nutcracker liner a go. I wasn’t sure it was going to be the right colour but it’s perfect for adding a little colour under the eye and being a pencil it is so much easier than an eyeshadow. This has actually been upgraded to handbag status as it’s just a quick and easy way to update a makeup look. Through my brows I used the Eyeko Brow Gel as I wanted to keep them in place without making them any darker.

Cheeks I went for a mixture of the two colours on the left from the Sleek Blush palette in Lace as I really didn’t want anything too pink and then finished it of with a Mixture of two Sleek Lipglosses (Matte me in Rioja Red and Gloss me in So Berry Sweet)

It’s not an overly vampy look however I wouldn’t usually go for both smokey eye and red lips but I feel that around Halloween it’s acceptable. I do actually love this makeup and will recreating the same eye, with a little more cheek contour and a nude lip next time I go out.

What have you got planned for halloween? What do you think of a smokey eye and red lips?
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