Friday, 30 December 2016

2016 Skincare Favourites

2016- The year I became skincare obsessed. Since my early teenage years I've had issues with my skin, not quite acne but I was at the point where leaving the house without makeup just didn't happen.


Before telling you my favourites it's probably useful for you to know exactly what my skin is like, for around 2 years it's been a combination of oily and dehydrated, why is nothing ever simple? Finding products that strike a balance between hydrating yet not too over powering is a mission and a half, but this year I have found some real gems that have really helped calm down breakouts and oil production whilst keeping my skin plump and full of moisture.


I only started using it in September but the Kielh's Calendula Deep Foaming Facial Wash £22 is now my go to cleanser! I debated buying this as soon as I heard the dreaded "foaming facial wash" but the product description fit my needs to a tee, so I took the plunge anyway. My skin feels incredibly clean after using this, and most importantly it doesn't feel stripped of moisture. Since using this my skin isn't anywhere near as oily throughout the day and my skin is looking clear. This is also lasting me well, I think I'll need to repurchase in January so it's pretty good going.

In my Autumn skincare routine post I raved about the Magnitone BareFaced Cleansing Brush* £70, I've wanted one of these for years and luckily it lived up to my high expectations. Combined with the Kiehl's facial wash this leaves my skin feeling soft and looking clear, the perfect duo for anyone with oily/ blemish prone skin.

In terms of moisturising there have been two stand out products. The first is a facial oil that I couldn't go without mentioning, the Trilogy Rosehip oil £19.50 is a godsend for anyone with dehydrated skin. The morning after using this my skin feels nourished and it has also helped with some fine lines I have on my forehead. I'm currently trailing the Kielhs Midnight Recovery Concentrate which is another gorgeous oil that I'll definitely be purchasing!

As a daily moisturiser of-course it's the Kielhs Ultra Facial Cream £24, raved about by pretty much everyone but with good reason. This is lightweight and comfortable yet manages to keep my skin hydrated throughout the day, makeup sits so well over the top and it's just a simple moisturiser that really does the trick.

Lastly for any pesky breakouts and blackheads the Avene Cleanance Expert serum * £15 has been fabulous! This serum manages to control breakouts without drying out my skin, it's the blemish treatment that I always go back to (admittedly alongside Sudocrem for sorry to be graphic any under the skin spots that are sore).

That's it, some of my absolute, must repurchase skincare favourites from this year! What skincare products have you loved throughout 2016?

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

What I Got For Christmas 2016

Anyone else a little nosey and love to know what people got for Christmas? As with every year my loved ones spoilt me and I received some gorgeous, thoughtful gifts.

This Christmas I had a lot of lovely beauty gifts under the tree which spurred me on to write this post. I think us beauty bloggers are pretty easy to buy for considering how much we ramble on about the things we love most.

When I saw that QVC stocked Tarte I knew I really wanted to try some bits from the brand. I received a set containing 5 full sized products and a makeup bag (full review will be coming soon). Another absolutely amazing gift set comes from Nars, they seem to nail it every year with their Christmas collection with this year being no different. The Digital World Lip Pencil set is perfect for a beauty junkie like myself, I love the formulation of both the matte and satin pencils - a welcomed addition to my over flowing lipstick collection for sure!

MAC's pigments are a go to product for me when it comes to evening makeup and I've been eager to expand my collection. After hearing so much about Vanilla pigment I'm so happy to finally have it, spoiler alert - It's gorgeous! Anyone who knows me well understands my love for Kiehls, on Christmas Eve I ran out of my trusty Ultra Facial Cream so to have my stock replenished just the day after was pretty amazing, I'm excited to try more from the Ultra Facial range too!

Vans seem to have made a come back and I've been eager to have a pair of trainers in my collection, so they just seemed the obvious choice! I'm still unsure on how to wear them best, but I do like the style and they're seriously comfy! Lastly I received a gorgeous, handmade organic pillow mist from Bloom Remedies, similar to the This Works Deep Sleep pillow spray this stuff sends me right off to sleep containing ingredients such as Lavender and Ylang Ylang.

Unfortunatly we lost a close family member this Christmas which really put a lot of things into perspective for me. I feel so grateful to have been able to spend Christmas with my family and friends -  and of-course to receive these gifts! I'm sure I don't need to disclaim that this is in no way bragging, but almost a preview of products that are likely to feature in reviews/ up and coming posts in the new year!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas day... If you have wrote a similar post sharing some of your gifts this year then please feel free to leave a link in the comments so I can go and be nosey!

Monday, 26 December 2016

2016 Highlights

I really wanted to start this post with something witty and original - it's proving difficult. This time last year I felt ready for the new year, I had a rough idea of how 2016 would go. This year I feel unprepared, who knows what will happen next year! I wanted to reflect on some of the highlights of 2016 before I start thinking about my goals and how I would like next year to pan out...

March 2016 
We have a home - well kinda...

Earlier this year my other half became a home owner, he works away so we've have decided to rent it out so I'm still living at home for now. I'm so proud of him for managing to save and become a landlord so young.
May 2016
I bought my first car

I passed my driving test just before I went to uni but decided I just didn't need a car whilst I was there, to finally have my own little car sat on the drive is so much more rewarding than I ever thought it could be. It's my own little hub to sing as loud as I want to all the 90's music I want.

June 6th 2016
Finished University - forever!

Noticed there wasn't any highlights between January to March? That's because I had a pretty shit time! Finishing all of the studying and moving back home felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Looking back now it doesn't even feel like I've been to uni, a very strange feeling! I have wrote more about my thoughts on uni and my experience if you fancy a read.

June 19th 2016
We got Engaged!

Having been together for exactly 5 years my now Fiance proposed in Paris. It was such a surprise and he did so well to keep it a secret, how I had no idea I don't know. We're hoping to get married in 2018 but so far finding a venue has been a struggle, hopefully within the next few months we can get the venue boxed off and start organising the fun bits.

June 22nd 2016
Started a job in Social Media/ PR 

Anyone sometimes feel like the outsider in social situations and become a little awkward? I thought that starting my full time job I would feel like this, but I couldn't be in a better place than I am now. I feel so lucky to be in a job straight out of uni that I love!

As you can see the middle of year was pretty eventful, between then and now I have just been working mostly and trying to save for the wedding! 

Are there any stand out moments for you in 2016?


Friday, 23 December 2016

The Ideal Christmas According to Instagram

Over the past few days I've been thinking about exactly what I share on social media. Christmas is the time of year when everyone seems to be happy, full of joy and having a good time with family and friends - but for some this isn't always the case.

Not a day goes by when I don't scroll through Instagram or tweet about something, and usually if not always my posts are positive, sharing only the good things. Throughout December there's so much talk of gifts and the ideal festive activities to do, but is this realistic and a true representation of what actually happens? Or instead leaving content consumers, like myself, underwhelmed with the Christmas that they have in comparison?

Everyone's Christmas is different, but the "ideal" Christmas represented on social media seems to be the same, with the best Christmas containing expensive gifts, a beautifully decorated home and everything running smoothly. Of-course it's lovely to have all of those things, they definitely add to the experience and I'm not saying that I go without them, but what about everything else? I'll most probably be that person sharing those things on my Instagram/ twitter, but what I won't be sharing on social media come Christmas Day is the most important and special thing about Christmas - time with family.

Whether it's just having a catch up with my brother or helping my mum set the table, it's those times that make Christmas special. Over the past few days I've learnt how precious life can be, the materialistic side of Christmas really isn't important and this year I'm going to make the most of having my loved ones in one place. I'm sure I'll be on my social media platforms on Christmas Day, but whilst scrolling I'm going to be remembering that one picture, or one tweet really doesn't speak a thousand words. Just because someone has Chanel under the tree or a gorgeous selection of Christmas food doesn't necessarily mean that it's the most important thing, or that they are happy!

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year! If you're feeling overwhelmed when you flick through your social media profiles on Christmas day, don't compare! I hope I have managed to put my point across well, everyone's Christmas is different and remember that the most important thing really is family, not the bits that are often shared on Instagram.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

My Top 5 Nude Lipsticks

Some hoard highlighters or have an endless supply of mascara's, but for me it's lipsticks. I'm forever on the hunt for the perfect nude shade that's easy to throw on and will look good with any makeup look, and these are my favourites from my ever growing collection.


Not only is this a MAC Velvet Teddy dupe, but finally a true nude lipstick that suits my pale complexsion. The formulation is one of the best I've tried from a more affordable brand, it's matte without being drying on the lips. This is definitely the palest nude I'll go for with a beige undertone, I have tried MAC's Honeylove but it just washes me out. This is already on my repurchase list one I've used it up.


Talking of Velvet Teddy, I had to include it. Although I have a dupe, Velvet Teddy is ever so slightly darker, teamed with Spice lipliner it creates the perfect 90's lip look for a night out. Like Trendsetter, VT has a matte finish, although the Rimmel lipstick formulation is really good, the MAC matte lipsticks really do glide across the lips without any dragging, so maybe a better option if you have very dry lips. This is the first MAC lipstick I have ever finished too, so that's saying something.


This is probably the most reached for out of all the lipsticks mentioned. Ideally I need to find a dupe for this considering it's £23 a pop, but for now I'm more than happy to pay a little extra because this shade is stunning. It's a peachy pink nude with some shimmer running through it. This shade is so flattering and the shimmers manage to make my lips look fuller - always a good thing. The formulation is moisturising and feels comfortable, lasting around 5-6 hours when teamed with my favourite Charlotte Tilbury Lip Liner pillow talk, two fab picks as an everyday lip option if you don't mind the splurge!


I have so many of the Soft Matte Lip Creams and when I saw Vivianna Does Makeup  The Anna Edit mention Stockholm I knew I needed it! Stockholm is quite light but it has a hint of peachy pink in it, I can just about get away with it at the moment, but it is my go to summer nude when I have a bit more of a tan, lasting a good 5-6 hours during the day. The soft matte lip creams in general are a really good way to get the liquid lipstick/ matte lipstick look without something that is going to leave your lips too dry, some of my other favourite shades are Cannes and Antwerp.


Finally we have the most recent addition to my collection. This is by far the most comfortable and non-drying liquid lipstick I have ever tried. Admittedly after a days wear I am eager to remove it, but for a liquid lipstick it's still pretty good going. The shade Lolita is darker than I expected but still a lovely nude, especially for the colder months.

  1) Stockholm 2) Velvet Teddy 3) Trendsetter 4) Bitch Perfect 5) Lolita 

What's your all time favourite nude lipstick?


Saturday, 17 December 2016

New Years Eve/ Party Makeup Menu

Whether it's a party for New Years Eve or any special occasion, these are the products I have been using throughout the year that I seem to gravitate towards when I want to look my best...


Nailing my base is the most important thing for me, I have oily skin so I tend to choose products that will be long lasting and offer a medium/ full coverage. There are two stand out base products essential to my New Years Eve makeup look, first up is the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer £22.50. This is seriously good stuff offering a full coverage, working well for any blemish/ redness concealing and for under my eyes as it doesn't crease. I love using this in conjunction with a light/ medium coverage base and concealing the areas that need a little extra help. Another absolute must is the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder £29. My makeup will stay put all night by setting it with this, it does mattify the skin but nothing that a little highlighter can't fix! Using this powder I've never found that I need to touch up throughout the night, it's a Godsend! 


Eyes are always a tricky one for me, I have so many palettes and individual shadows that I love which makes narrowing it down tough! I always seem to go back to the Urban Decay Naked Palette £38.50 - the original and by far my favourite. All of the shadows are beautifully pigmented, easy to blend and I know I will be able to create a look I love from those shadows alone. 

Two new products that I have loved this year for evening makeup are the Makeup Geek Eyeshadows £6, particularly the shade Cocoa Bear and the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow in Bette £22. Makeup Geek shadows are affordable and a fab alternative to the Urban Decay palette or single MAC shadows, the quality matches that of high end products. The CT cream eyeshadow in Bette is a beautiful bronzed shade which works well as a base to other eyeshadows or on it's own. 

If it's evening makeup, I'm wearing lashes! My go to lashes are the Ardell Demi Wispies, these are perfect for my hooded eye shape as they're not too big and bold but definetly make a difference. They are light weight and comfortable - and a bargain when purchased in the multipack


With Christmas done and dusted and the maintenance of a red lip being far too much to handle for New Years Eve, I'm sticking with a trusty mauve pink! I think I'm going for a recent purchase that I'm already smitten with, the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita £16. This is the most comfortable, long lasting liquid lipstick I have tried - now I want the whole shade range. I'm going to team this with MAC Soar lipliner £13 and fingers crossed there won't be any need for touch ups. If you're not keen on liquid lipsticks, I recommend the TOM FORD Lip Colour Matte in Pussycat £39, pricey but a comfortable, long lasting matte lipstick that is a gorgeous mauve shade like Lolita. 


I know it isn't makeup but I really wanted to mention a fragrance, Gucci Bamboo has been my go to scent at the minute. It's floral without being too girly and has woody undertones making it perfect for winter aswel as the warmer months - seriously underrated! Another finishing touch that I forgot to picture is of-course the Urban Decay All Nighter makeup setting spray £22, I always bang on about it so I won't bore you, but it really does keep my makeup put throughout the night, so I'll definetly be using it on New Year Eve! 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Three to Try

With me spending most of my money on Christmas presents this month I have resorted to shopping my stash and switching up my everyday makeup routine that way, which I've actually quite enjoyed...

When it comes to lipsticks and choosing a high end brand to splurge on I always think of MAC, Chanel or TOM FORD - Never Laura Mercier. The lipstick pictured is a mini size of the Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour in Milkyway - £22. This is a true brown nude with a cool undertone, I have been pairing this with MAC's Spice lipliner - still not over the whole 90's nude lip look. It has a satin finish making it more everyday friendly and much easier to wear than highly pigmented/ matte lipsticks. It feels hydrating and creamy on the lips and used with the liner it lasts a good 4-5 hours. I love the packaging and I'm so impressed with the formulation, I'm eager to try more lipsticks from the brand!

I've raved about the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner - £14.50 before, so when I decided to try a brown liner I knew Stila was the brand to go for.  Since switching to brown I've barely been using the black, it completes a look without being over powering and compliments my eye colour much better than the black - If you haven't already tried a brown liquid eyeliner then you need to, it's perfect for everyday wear or with a brown smokey eye.

Lastly is a more affordable product from one of my favourite brands this year... NYX! Everyone raves about their lip options, which I love, but alongside that the blushers are so good, especially considering they are only £5.50. I have the shades Taupe, Nude' Tude and Soft Spoken. Soft Spoken is a peachy pink shade with a hint of gold shimmer, it really lifts my pale skin and works well with pretty much any makeup look. 


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

ASOS Winter Wishlist

Anyone else find themselves scrolling through ASOS on a near enough daily basis? Upgrading to next day delivery wasn't a wise move for my bank account, but when I'm feeling a little spendy or in need of something new, ASOS is now my go to retailer!

Over the past few months I've been smitten with some items from New look, which I love to shop via ASOS. They've really stepped up their game this season with the knitwear and footwear options being my favourites. The items pictured above are all from New Look, if I could I would wear this combo everyday - blush pink jumper, yes please!

Below are a few things that have made there way into my saved basket recently... As you can probably tell, if it's blush pink I'm all over it. A couple of metallic pieces have caught my eye too, I like to keep my outfits quite minimal so any fancy accessories to jazz things up are always welcomed. I rarely buy clothing full price and I always try to wait for some sort of discount, these bits are currently sitting in my saved items section with the hope that they will enter the annual Christmas/ boxing day 50% off sale.
Have you got your eye on anything that you hope to pick up in the sales?

Sunday, 11 December 2016

5 Inspiring Instagram Accounts to Follow

Despite the constant changes and introducing the algorithm, Instagram is still at the top when it comes to my favourite social media platforms. 

I follow just shy of 650 accounts - so quite a few, but here are some of my favourites that have inspired me over the past few months...

Sallyokelly - Sally

One thing I love about Sally's photography is how recognisable it is, she goes against the norm of crisp white backgrounds and injects colour into her product shots/ flatlays - and it really works. Sally's profile combines her stunning flatlays (usually focused on makeup and beauty) with lifestyle shots such as the sweetest pictures of her puppy - who also has her own Instagram account! Sally inspires me to follow a style of photography I love and to stick with it - being unique is definitely a good thing.

Gemellisx - Gemma

Not only will you find the cutest pictures of her little baby Reuben, Gemma also shares the best makeup looks, flatlays and crisp clear product shots. Her photography skills are unreal, and inspire me to know my own DSLR a little better! I just spotted on twitter that she has picked up a new camera lens and I'm actually excited to see all of the new images she will be sharing!

Hellohimawarii - Mika

If you love all things beauty then prepare yourself for Mika's amazing makeup/ skincare collection before you take a look at her profile. Mika's product photography is just spot on, and I love that she adds a bigger description than most with mini product reviews - it's so helpful! Mika's profile has inspired me to put more time and effort into my Instagram, why post just a picture of a lipstick when I can do a mini review of it at the same time!? Mika's photography is clear and light too, which is always my aim, not one picture looks out of sync!

Aimeysherwood - Aimey

Another gal with a makeup collection I envy! Aimey's instagram is actually beautiful - think gorgeous flowers, makeup shots and cupcakes/ sweet treats that look too good to eat. I love how Aimey's profile looks as a whole, she seems to stick to the same filter/ editing style and it looks fab! Aimey's consistently good content inspires me to always try and get the best shot I can!

Stylelobster - Emily

Firstly, Emily is just stunning and my complete fitness inspo, her profile is a mix of travel, beauty and fashion related content. I love how much personality she injected into her profile, and if you want a good laugh then check out her Instagram stories, they are hilarious! Emily has just gone full time with her blog, the quality of her content and the amount of effort she puts into everything is incredible, inspiring to say the least!

Let me know who is inspiring you on Instagram at the minute! There is also a similar post I published back in may with more Instagram accounts that I love (just incase you need even more inspo)...

Friday, 9 December 2016

Brand Focus: Kiehl's Skincare

This year I vowed to stop splashing out on highend lipsticks (which was ambitious, still splurging on expensive lippies) and switch to spending more on skincare. 

Kiehl’s is the first brand I looked into, it’s not affordable by any means but for the quality, I think the price is reflective. I started off with their Ultra Facial Cream – and now I have quite a collection.

I picked up the Calendula facial wash back in September - no other cleanser has had a look in since! This is a foaming cleanser, but don’t let that put you off, teamed with the Magnitone my skin feels like it’s had a good deep clean and is refreshed, not dry or stripped of moisture. After cleansing I sweep the Calendula toner* all over my face with a cotton pad, these two products combined are perfect for anyone with oily skin. Since using this duo my skin hasn't been producing as much oil throughout the day and has been relatively clear of breakouts!

Ahh, the trusty Ultra Facial Cream! This is the stuff that really got me into skincare – I’m on to my 3rd pot! Back in January my skin was oily but so dehydrated, in serious need of something that would be moisturising without being greasy or too heavy. The Ultra Facial Cream is just that – since using this my skin looks more plump and fine lines have been settled. Keeping my skin moisturised and hydrated has also made my makeup look 10x better and last 10x longer, I'm use this cream religiously now. 

One of my all time favourite face masks and hardly anyone knows about it... When my skin is looking dull and dehydrated this is my go to. At first this tingles on the skin and feelings really cool and refreshing, after 15 minutes I tissue the excess product off and that's it! In the morning my skin is less parched and looks more refined and glowy. I'll definitely be repurchasing this when I run out.

Only recently have I religiously been using an eye cream every morning and night. The Philosophy Take a Deep Breathe eye cream is my favourite for the morning as it absorbs into the skin a little quicker - perfect for the morning rush. For the evening the Creamy Avocado Eye Cream has become a firm favourite. I was intrigued when I saw Avocado, one of my favourite foods in my skincare? How? Honestly, when I first saw how small the pot was I was a little disappointed, then I realised that a little goes such a long way. This is so hydrating and like the Ultra Facial Cream - non greasy. Since using this my under eyes are much brighter and my concealer sits a lot better without creasing. If you don’t already use an eye cream I would seriously consider investing!


Last but not least, (at a more premium price point) is the Line Reducing Concentrate. This is essentially an anti aging product. Seems daft for me to be mentioning it considering I'm in my early 20's, but I have really noticed some differences in my skin since using this. Used once a day for the past 3 and a half weeks, the fine lines on my forehead have pretty much gone! My skin is much softer and the overall appearance without makeup has become bearable. Obviously the products aforementioned have contributed to my new well behaved skin, but I can't imagine my evening skincare routine without this serum! 

If you haven’t tried Kiehl's before I would recommend the Ultra Facial Cream out of all of these products. It seems regardless of skin type this works for most people really helping to balance out the skin. I have the Midnight Recovery Concentrate on my wishlist - currently kicking myself for not picking it up during the 20% off they did during Black Friday!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Estee Lauder Double Wear vs Urban Decay All Nighter

With winter well and truly here the heavier bases are back in my everyday makeup bag. I’ve declared my love for Estee Lauder Double Wear previously, so I couldn’t wait to see how the "new kid on the block" compared.


There’s been so much talk around the Urban Decay All Nighter foundation with the main point being the issue that it oxidises. This really put me off ordering online and trying to guess my shade without trying it first. I finally managed to track down a counter willing to give me a sample of the shade 2.0 – A fairly pale shade with a yellow undertone. I thought this would suit me best when I’m wearing a little fake tan (which is becoming much more of a regular occurrence). I have the Estee Lauder Double Wear in the shade Desert Beige, in the bottle and on the skin this is slightly darker than the UD foundation, but taking into account the oxsidisation, they end up both looking very similar on the skin - shade wise atleast.

I did notice the All Nighter became darker but only slightly, I have oily skin and with all the talk of how bad it was I did expect it to go oxsidise more than it did. I found that testing a few shades on the back of my hand instore really helpful to decide which sample to go for, I waited around 10/ 15 minutes and had a browse around and then went back and picked a sample I thought would suit my skin best.


The first thing I noticed with the UD offering is how flawless it left my skin looking whilst still being lightweight. As I buffed this in I couldn’t believe how much it masked, especially with the thinner consistency compared to that of Double Wear. Both are liquid foundations but DW is much thicker and takes a little more work to buff and blend, the All Nighter has a thinner, almost creamy/ whipped consistency which doesn’t take quite as much work for a flawless finish. A little goes such a long way with both of these bases, offering a high coverage.


The finish of these foundations is slightly different. The All Nighter gives just as good a coverage as the Double Wear but looks more on the natural side – the matte/satin finish makes it look a little more skin like. That's not to say that the Double Wear looks really unnatural, it's just a completely matte finish that does make the skin look a little more flat at first. The initial finish of the foundations is never something I really worry about, it's more how it will last throughout the day and react with my skin type.


As I mentioned in my Double Wear review so many foundations don’t last even 4 hours on me, so longevity is one of the main things I look for when on the hunt for a new base. The first time I tried the All Nighter I was having a good skin day, and that's when I loved it. When I used it on a not so good skin day, it felt like a completely different base. If your skin is dry or dehydrated I would stay well clear of this, it became patchy after 20 minutes and my makeup just looked awful. 

When my skin is feeling hydrated and at it's best, the All Nighter actually lasts really well! Combined with my usual powder and setting spray this foundation will see my through the day like double wear! One thing I will say is that around my nose there was a little more transfer than what I would usually experience from double wear, but this was slight. 


There is a slight price difference but nothing major. The Urban Decay base is more affordable at £27, whereas Double Wear is £31. I tend to buy my foundations from Debenhams when they have 10% off to make them a little more affordable. Both of these are 30ml, but it's the packaging that does make the All Nighter much more appealing. I’m constantly wondering why Estee Lauder haven’t put a pump on Double Wear yet, who actually want’s a foundation without a pump!?


Double wear is still my fave. Whether it's a good day or bad day this foundation just works for me. I’m thinking of trying the All Nighter in the summer when my skin isn't feeling the winter chill as much, because at first I did like it! If you have oily skin without any dehydration/ dryness in sight then I would recommend picking up a sample atleast, but for now I'm sticking with my old favourite.

Whats your favourite foundation for a flawless finish?

© Jodie Melissa | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig