Saturday, 29 April 2017

April Beauty Favourites

As much as I love makeup, all to often I'll get stuck in a rut until a change in season and I start to experiement and reach for old favourites a little more. I noticed this month I've been gravitating towards different products in my collection and I've rediscovered some old gems that are just perfect for spring/ summer... 

A foundation I've been wearing non stop is the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation. I got this for Christmas in a set from QVC and I've found it to be light weight and hydrating whilst still giving me a good medium coverage. It's water based so perfect for those days when my skin feels more on the dehydrated side. This doesn't last as long as my trusty Estee Lauder Double Wear bases, but set with powder it does give me a good 6-7 hours of wear with a lovely natural looking finish. Purchased from QVC it does come with a brush, to be honest I'm not a massive fan of that and I tend to reach for the So Eco Multi Tasking Brush* instead. This is by far my favourite foundation brush, it blends liquid foundations seamlessly with minimal effort, perfect for those mornings when I'm in a rush. Also I've never experienced any shedding with this brush which is always a plus.
It's only been the past few months that I've started getting into wearing blusher daily, recently I've been reaching for the Topshop Cream Blushers. These give a lovely dewy/ fresh looking finish on the skin, they don't move my foundation around underneath and surprisingly they last pretty well too. Another unusual favourite for me is a lipgloss, the only other lip gloss type products I have in my collection are the Clarins Instant Lip Perfectors, so liking this is a pretty big deal... Anyway, the product in question is the L'Oreal Infallible Lip Gloss in Resist Me. This is so pretty and works really well with the typical nude/ pink shades I wear on a day to day basis. I've been applying a small amount in the centre of my lips and blending it in for a more shimmery look. It isn't at all sticky or tacky and feels nourishing, it's also a pretty good dupe for Charlotte Tilbury's Ibiza Nights lipgloss! 

If you don't follow me on Instagram then you probably haven't seen that I recently had my hair done, it's now much darker and has more of a balayage effect rather than ombre. To keep it looking ashy I've been using silver shampoo and also the Davines Alchemic Conditioner in Silver Grey. If you have blonde hair/ light brown and want to keep it cool toned/ ashy you need to try this. It's nourishing and does an amazing job at keeping my colour the way I like it. Quite pricey but worth the investment if you're paying to get your hair done anyway!

What beauty products have you been loving throughout April?
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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

My Summer Goals

April has been my favourite month of the year so far - the days are getting longer, I got to catch up with friends and it feels like the wedding really is just around the corner now with less than a year to go.

Last month my main goal was to cut out chocolate, I lasted 10 days then caved after becoming welcomed home from a long day at work with a pack of mini eggs. I've been looking back over the goals that I keep setting myself each month and to be honest I'm not doing very well... I really don't believe in setting goals that aren't attainable, so with that in mind I've decided instead of setting goals for every single month I'm going to do it by season instead.

SUMMER GOALS

Take more outfit pictures 

I'm pretty proud that I've plunked up the courage to start sharing more outfit pictures. Over the past few months I've had a bit of a change in heart, I'm becoming less and less bothered about what people think of me which is really helping me step out of my comfort zone. I remember hearing the quote 'Lions never loose sleep over the opinions of sheep' and I try to remember that any time I have doubt about doing something, just because I think people might judge me for it. I'm heading to Barcelona in less than 2 weeks and I'm hoping to take a far few outfit shots while I'm there - all credit to my other half, he's a good'un! 

Film my first YouTube video/ vlog

This is something I've wanted to do for years! For the aforementioned reasons I finally feel like I'm at a place where I could possibly do it. I'm going to start by vlogging my trip to Barcelona and then just see where that takes me. I know when I'm older it will be one of those things that I kick myself for not doing.

Learn how to use photoshop more

I know the basics of photoshop, but I would love to know how to do more detailed and specific things. I have a book which has been collecting dust for nearly a year now so it's definitely about time I made a start.

Try Yoga

Yoga is something I used to enjoy, I did Yoga With Adriene's 30 day challenge and loved it but I haven't practised it in a while now, I just can't bring myself to start again! Luckily I've just discovered that my local gym has a class every Monday so fingers crossed I'll be able to get a space and it will help me get back into it.

SHOP THE OUTFIT/ SIMILAR OPTIONS

Bag - Dune
Dress - Dorothy Perkins
Trainers - Vans
Watch - Timex

How do you feel about monthly goals, do you set yourself goals each month?

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Monday, 24 April 2017

Spring/ Summer Beauty Wishlist

There isn't ever a time when I don't have an endless amount of things on my beauty wishlist! I mentioned a few beauty bits on my radar in this post but I wanted to go into more detail about the beauty items I plan on picking up this spring/ summer.

First up I'll go through some skincare. I've heard so many people rave about the Pixi and Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse collaboration, I love the idea of using an oil then going onto a cream cleanser and with it being Caroline that's released it, it's a no brainer that I need it really. When it comes to moisturiser L'Occtaine seem to get it right! I've had my eye on their Pivoine Sublime Perfecting Cream after trying a sample, it's beautifully rich and hydrating without feeling oily or too heavy which will be perfect for the warmer months, I definitely need to purchase a full sized version.

I'm thinking of picking up a few things whilst I'm in duty free before my holiday, one of those being the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I've wanted to try it for ages but the price tag always put me off, so it seems like a bargain to pick it up when I can get 20% off. There's also an Urban Decay stand at duty free, I must have repurchased the Urban Decay All Nighter Spray 6/7 times now, I always notice a different in how long my makeup lasts so it's become an essential part of my routine. However, since hearing about the Quick Fix Hydra Charged Complexion Prep Spray I've decided to pick that up instead as it can be used as a primer and a setting spray, plus I noticed Emmy from EmmysBeautyCave rave about it and that sealed the deal for me.

If you're a regular reader you'll know I've recently become highlighter obsessed, and although I already have a pretty big collection I feel like I need to add the Jouer Highlighter in Rose Quartz into the mix after seeing Gemma mention it the other week, it just looks too beautiful to miss! I can't go through summer without picking up a new scent, my holy grail is without a doubt Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede and to go with that I want to purchase the Wood Sage and Sea Salt cologne, the two mix perfectly and smell amazing worn alone too.

What's on your radar this Summer?

*This post is in collaboration with L'Occitane* 
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Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Wedding Update #2

Only a year to go... Roll on April 2018. If you missed my previous wedding update you can catch that here, quite a lot has happened since and thankfully my other half has been on the ball and we've managed to get some of the big things booked.

First of all, we have a photographer! Photography was something we really weren't prepared to scrimp and save on and luckily it was pretty easy to find the person for us. We met Tom Calton at the National Wedding Show in Birmingham last year, as soon as we got chatting to him and saw his work we knew we really liked him. His style is very relaxed and the un-staged, documentary style images he takes are just perfect. We're both so pleased to have him booked! I would really recommend going to a National Wedding Show, there are hundreds of suppliers there often with discounts and it's a great way to meet people face to face.

Another exciting update is that I now have bridesmaids! I think dress shopping won't be for another few months, but there is definitely a lot to look forward to, and I'm so glad that the girls finally know. Unfortunatly we've had our first set back. One of my top tips when looking for suppliers is to ask whether their prices include VAT, otherwise you could be stung! From the catering company we thought we were going with we were told a quote without VAT which added on a considerable amount to the overall price which we just weren't willing to pay. Now the hunt begins for a more reasonable catering company - in all honesty, I'm happy to leave the food to Jay to sort!

I'm starting to get super excited about all the little things that need to be planned. I already know who I want to design our invitations and I have some ideas about the flowers, the next big thing is finding me a dress to wear...

If you want to see the kind of style we are going for then I have a pretty big Pinterest board here which sums it up quite nicely.

Over the next year I'm hoping to do even more wedding related content, so if you have anything you are interested in then please feel free to let me know! I feel like from now the countdown really does begin

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Affordable Concealer Round Up

I've done a round up of the high end concealers in my collection before, so I thought it was about time I went through the more affordable options in my collection too... If you fancy a concealer bargain then stick around, I would say some of these are just as good as my high end faves!

I apply all concealer under/ around my eyes with a damp beauty blender and I tend to set them all in place with the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (my holy grail powder), when mentioning how long any of these concealers last on the skin it will be after they have been set with this. I would really recommend using a loose powder to set any concealer, it definitely reduces creasing and improves longevity on the skin.

Everyone knows just how brilliant the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is, so I won't spend too long on it. The hype seems to have died down over the last year or so but this is definitely a concealer I will continue to repurchase. It's pigmented, creamy and lightweight managing to cover both blemishes and around my eyes really well lasting atleast 7/8 hours. I feel lucky that shade 1 works well for brightening around the eyes and shade 2 is a good match for any blemishes I have, otherwise the shade range is pretty pants! A recent concealer rediscovery has been the Seventeen Phwoarr Paint, possibly the most underrated concealer I own. This is so soft and pigmented and does the best job at covering the darkness in the corners of my eyes and keeping them covered all day/ night long. I tend to warm this up with my finger then gently pat it over the problem area and it covers so well, I don't put this directly under my eyes as I prefer something a little more creamy for that. Again, I have issues with the shade range but fair does seem to work well for me as it has a yellow undertone counteracting the dark blue bags.

A complete dupe for the beloved Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. This matches the Nars offering if not beating it for me, it's pigmented, heavy duty yet not quite as drying as the Nars Radiant Creamy making it even better for the under eyes. Annoyingly, I have to say it again, the colour range is shocking and the lightest shade is just about light enough for my under eyes, such a shame because the formulation is perfect. Also this does have a habit of getting stupidly messy around the top of the tube. The packaging and shade range are the only factors that make this obviously a more affordable product. A concealer from Maybelline I don't like quite as much is the Age Rewind Concealer. I think for anyone with dry under eyes needing something a little less heavy duty this will be lovely, however I just don't find it conceals enough for my liking and I don't really understand the sponge applicator. I keep this for the good skin/ had an amazing nights sleep days.

Lastly is the L'Oreal True Match Concealer, for me this is similar to the Maybelline Age Rewind and I don't tend to reach for it as much as it doesn't conceal enough, although layered over the top of the Seventeen Phwoarr Paint it adds radiance to my under eyes and feels lovely and hydrating, a good pick for anyone with a dry skin type and little to cover under the eyes.

SHOP THE POST

Do you have an affordable concealer favourite?

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Monday, 17 April 2017

A Guide To Perfect Looking Fake Tan

Since Christmas I don't think there has been a time that I haven't worn fake tan. I always feel 10x better when I wear it so I've decided to make it a regular part of my beauty routine. I've made quite a few mistakes when it comes to all things tanning, so I thought I would share my experiences and my top tips for the perfect looking fake tan...

THE ESSENTIALS

1) Disposable/ latex gloves
2) A fake tan mit/ old sock (I will explain later)
3) Your fake tan of choice
4) Exfoliating gloves/ exfoliating body brush
5) Body butter / body moisturiser
6) Body scrub


THE STEP BY STEP GUIDE
Skin Prep
Before fake tan goes anywhere near my body I always make sure to prep. I start off by using exfoliating gloves and a good body scrub, at the moment I have been loving the Hempz Pomegranate Body Scrub*, this is enriched with hemp seed oil so it removes any dead skin whilst leaving my skin feeling soft and hydrated - love love love this stuff! Another favourite is the Soap and Glory Breakfast Smoothie Scrub, it smells amazing and really does get rid of any flaky/ dry skin.

After exfoliating I move on to moisturising, if I'm fake tanning straight after moisturising I'll take something a little thinner in texture, if not I'll use a body butter and I'm currently using the NSPA Fruit Extracts Rich Body Butter*. I adore this as it doesn't feel greasy or tacky and absorbs into the skin fairly quickly for such a thick body butter, it reminds me of The Body Shop options except a fraction of the price which I'm all for!

I will usually exfoliate three times a week to keep on top of removing old fake tan and then moisturise every day, doing this stops the fake tan coming off awkwardly after around 5-6 days and it stays looking fresh.

Tanning favourites and application
Onto actually fake tanning, there are so many different types of fake tan you can buy and I've tried pretty much all of them. I love using gradual tanner when it comes to the summer months, my favourite is Dove Summer Glow in the medium/ dark shade. The only issue I find with gradual tanner is not being able to see where you put the product, there's always that risk of waking up to find that one white streak you missed! I still follow the same exfoliating and moisturising process mentioned above when using gradual tanner.

At the moment I've been using the St Moritz Mousse tan for a more intense look. I have tried St Tropez but found this to be just as good, if not better! This is an instant tan that develops on the skin in around 5-10 hours and it also has a guide tan so perfect for beginners as you can see exactly where you have applied the product. I usually apply this in the evening and then shower it off the next morning, admittedly this doesn't smell great when it has just been applied, but once showered the typical tan smell has pretty much gone. I always go for medium and that leaves me with a really natural looking tan, not at all orange or overly tanned.

I always think someones hands are the biggest giveaway as to whether they're wearing fake tan or not. I've been that person with brown arms and white hands before - it ain't a good look. I've found the best way to do my hands is to wear a disposable glove, you can pick up a pack of 100 for around £1 and then the tan never sinks through the applicator onto my hands. After applying the tan to my whole body I can then go back to the hands and apply a small amount so it blends more naturally.

When applying a mousse tan I used to use a tanning mit but found they never fit well and not only make it difficult to actually blend the tan in but it would just absorb all the product and make a mess. Now, I just use a sock! Not only does it mean I can blend the tan in seamlessly but it's cheaper and far easier and I can just throw it in the wash afterwards. When it comes to applying a gradual tanner I just wash my hands after applying it and then apply a drop on the back of my hand and rub the backs of my hands together and blend down my arms.

I apply fake tan usually 3 times a week just after I have exfoliated and I've found this to work well for me. I don't actually tan my face at the moment and just use makeup so my skin matches the same colour as my neck.

For a quick fix
When I need to be tanned and don't have the time to wait for gradual tanner or the St Mortiz tan to develop there are a few products I turn to. The Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Express Tan is my go to for when I'm in a rush, this is double the price of the St Mortiz tan however it smells amazing and it does give an even more intense tan, it also has a guide colour but develops in just 1 hour! Another favourite is the Soap and Glory The Righteous Body Butter Sun Kissed Tint, if you're going on holiday and want to add a glow to your complexsion aswel as a tan then this is perfect. It has more of a red undertone so looks incredibly natural, also perfect if your have dry skin as it's moisturising too. Although this does wash off straight away, so if you know you're going to be near water I would give this a miss as it will start coming off.

SHOP THE ESSENTIALS/ MY TANNING FAVOURITES


Top tips
1) Don't forget to go around your ankles and feet with the tan
2) Try and apply tan in natural day light or good lighting if possible
3) Keep your skin hydrated
4) If you shave your legs don't apply fake tan straight after doing this as it will settle into where the hairs were
5) Whatever you do, don't tan the palms of your hands...

If you are a fake tan wearer I would love to know your favourite products and tips for the perfect tan...

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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Spring Beauty Essentials

The transition from winter to spring is where my wardrobe and beauty routine sees the biggest changes. I ditch the full coverage base and berry toned lip for something lighter and fresh, and my whole makeup bag ends up being switched up.

At the moment there have been two foundations on rotation for day to day, either the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light or the La Roche Posay Effaclar BB Blur. The Effaclar BB Blur is the perfect spring/ summer base for me, at first I didn't think I would get along with the mousse like texture, but it actually feels nice and lightweight on the skin and smoothes over the visible pores on my cheeks. It has a matte yet natural looking finish and lasts a good 7-8 hours on my skin! It also has an SPF of 20 which never goes a miss for the occasional sunny day in the UK.

Another alternative for the no makeup (still wearing some makeup) days is just using concealer. I love the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer for this (the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is a dupe, and just as good - except the lightest shade is still quite dark so something I gravitate towards when I'm tanned/ wearing fake tan). I make sure to moisturise my skin or use a facial oil and then just take a damp beauty blender and conceal around my eyes, nose and any blemishes - finish off by adding some bronzer and I'm good to go.


Switching up my lip colour is one of the things I get most excited about, I have a fair few different lipsticks but a more recent addition to my collection is the No7 Lovely Lips Lip Balm in Parisian Pink. This is beautiful for spring/ summer, its a moisturising comfortable lip balm yet it provides a really pretty wash of wearable pink to the lips. It's really easy to throw on and I'm now tempted to buy the other 3 shades in the range.
If you follow me on Twitter you'll probably be sick to death of hearing me harp on about Becca Opal, I'm actually obsessed! This is the most wearable and stunning highlighter I own making it perfect for a fresh spring makeup look. It's a finely milled, lightweight powder with a peach/ golden finish, perfect if you have pale skin like me. Another product I've found myself reaching for pretty much every time I wear eyeshadow is MAC Vanilla Pigment. I love using this with matte eyeshadows to bring them to life or in the inner corner of my eyes to keep a smokey eye looking bright. Admittedly using a pigment is a bit of a faff, but the finish makes it worth while.
Lastly my fragrance and nail polish picks are completely switched up. I think my love for perfumes comes from my mum because she always seems to have around 10 on rotation at once, and now I'm obsessed! A few fragrances I can't be without for spring are Paul Smith Floral, Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede and Chloe Love Story. All three of these scents are floral based with fruity or musky/ woody twist making them perfect for this time of year. In between Bio Sculpture Gel treatments the nail polish I have been reaching for the most is the Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Rose Hip which is a stunning pale blush pink shade. The Gelly formulation from Barry M provides a glossy, pigmented colour that lasts a good few days without chipping - for £3.99 they're a bargain.

How do you switch up your makeup for spring?

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Monday, 10 April 2017

Managing Combination Skin

Over the past year I've been figuring out just what products/ routine suits my combination skin. It was when I realised that my skin didn't just fall into one category but several that I understood which products both skincare and makeup wise my skin needed to look its best.

SKINCARE

My skin is both oily and dehydrated which does make finding products that provide a balance for the both quite difficult. Not only have I found that certain types of products seem to work best for me, but also how I use them.

TECHNIQUES...

Layering

Layering my skincare has been a game changer for me. After cleansing in the evening I tend to layer different types of products but I've found layering toners to be most effective for combination skin. Kelsey from beautywithkelsey did a post on the 7-Skin Method which inspired me to give it a try, that night I layered a toner aimed at dehydrated skin and then a toner for oily/ blemish prone skin 7 times and hoped for the best. The results were pretty darn impressive! This method provided my skin with moisture and hydration and it just felt soft and healthy. I couldn't quite believe how quickly my skin was drinking up the toners, now I tend to do this 4 times a week to keep my skin at it's best.

Multi-masking

So many brands are jumping onto the bandwagon with this and I can see why. Although it does mean having to spend more money on different products using face masks that suit different problem area's of the skin makes sense. I used to use charcoal, pore refining masks on my forehead which would only result in my skin feeling parched. Now I stick to using that on my nose and chin and opt for a creamy hydrating mask for the forehead which works much better.

Products...

I haven't tried too many oils, but the Trilogy Rosehip Oil is a staple in my routine all year round. This gives my skin the hydration it needs without feeling too heavy or making it produce more oil throughout the day. I've recently been teaming this with the Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Gel Cream. Although this does contain AHA's and hyaluronate (said to be hydrating for the skin as it holds onto water) I don't use this as a moisturiser as it's not quite hydrating enough for me. Instead I use it as an additional step in my routine just on my t-zone and I find it really helps to leave my skin clear and hydrated.

When I first started getting into skincare a holy grail product for me was the Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream. It's still something I reach for a fair bit - I've gone through 5 pots of it! I love this moisturiser because although basic, it really does manage to keep my skin moisturised and hydrated and restore it back to being manageable. Investing in products that were hydrating was probably one of the best skincare choices I made to help clear my skin and control both the oil and dehydration levels.



MAKEUP

With any skin type I'm a firm believer in concentrating on skincare and making that a focus, in return this has made my makeup look 10x better. In terms of makeup I feel like I've found some absolute gems that really work well together to create a long lasting, fresh looking base.

Like my skincare, applying thin layers of product gives a much better finish for me and tends to work well managing oil and levels of hydration. A primer I've just not stopped banging on about is the Too Faced Hangover Primer, this is hydrating without feeling greasy creating the perfect base for foundation. I tend to use this on my forehead and then go on to use either the Benefit Porefessional Primer or the No7 Airbrush Away Primer one my nose and cheeks to minimise pores and prevent any oils appearing throughout the day. I can't skip this step if I want my makeup to last more than 7-8 hours still looking good.

I've also found using different types of concealers to work better for me than just sticking to one. I have been loving the SEVENTEEN Phwoarrr Paint for really precise concealing, the formulation is perfect as it isn't too creamy that it will slide around and transfer, but it isn't too dry either making it easy to blend and stay crease free for hours - a real affordable makeup gem!

Regardless of whether you have dry/ normal skin or oily and dehydrated like me, a setting spray is always a good idea. I have loved the Urban Decay All Nighter for years and I haven't found anything that competes with it. My makeup lasts ALL DAY when I use this and maintains looking fresh and non-cakey. Seems pricey for something that essentially seems like water, but they really do make a difference.

If you have combination skin how do you manage it?

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Thursday, 6 April 2017

My Most Worn, Everyday Lip Liners


Lip liner was a step I used to skip without even batting an eyelid - now I have 9 that I consider my most worn... How times change eh! They're all quite similar falling under either the nude or pink category, but honestly these are the ones I reach for on a weekly basis.

I raved about the GOSH Lip Liner in Nougat Crisp  £4.99 in my recent 'Four to Try' post because it's so similar to the popular Charlotte Tilbury 'Pillowtalk' lip cheat. This is softer compared to regular lip pencils which makes it easy to slightly over line the lips for a fuller look. The shade Nougat Crisp is a lovely rose pink which I find perfect for everyday. I'll definitely be repurchasing this when I run out! On to the real deal, the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk. This is the perfect, wearable muted pink shade and although similar to the GOSH lipliner it's slightly lighter. It's the formulation of the Lip Cheats that makes them worth the money for me, I love how easy it is to make my lips look slightly fuller without having to over line too much.

Another dupe for Pillowtalk except slightly more on the pink side is the Rimmel Exaggerate Lipliner in Eastend Snob £3.99. This has more of a creamy formulation but is still incredibly long lasting and doesn't leave my lips feeling dry at all. I always repurchase this in the spring/ summer months as it's more of a true pink than Pillowtalk.

When I'm going for a brown/ peach toned nude lip I tend to reach for MAC Spice £13. This is the perfect nude/ brown shade that works so well with my beloved Velvet Teddy lipstick. I think MAC lipliners are definitely worth the hype as the staying power is unreal and they do last longer on the lips compared to more affordable options. A close dupe to this (so much so they even have the same name!) is Rimmel's Spice £2.99. This is such a close dupe that it almost seems a little wasteful to opt for the £13 MAC option. Out of all the more affordable lipliners I've tried Rimmel seem to have the best range, both the exaggerate and normal lipliners are brilliant, I wish they did more shades. In the swatches and on the lips this does come out slightly more red toned, but still a fab option for nude/ brown lipsticks.

A staple for the days when I want a really natural lip look is MAC Dervish £13. This is so underrated, I love using this with lip balm as it matches the colour of my lips almost perfectly. Another favourite from MAC is Whirl £13, I picked this up when everyone was raving about it, I'm sure it was one of Kylie Jenner's faves!? Anyway, I tend to wear this with mauve toned lipsticks and it matches them perfectly, I'm yet to find a MAC lipliner I don't love and use constantly.

The lip liner that tends to live in my handbag is the L'Oreal Color Riche Lip Liner  in Beige a Nu £3.99. I find this shade to be super flattering, not too pink and not too brown but the perfect in between. If you have the Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk lipstick and don't fancy splashing out £16 on the lipliner I've found this to work beautifully with it. I don't find this to be too drying either and do sometimes wear it on it's own for a matte lip look, it's a bargain for £3.99! Lastly is my first lipliner purchase around 3 years ago, the NYX Lip Liner Pencil in Mauve £3. I picked this up way before NYX was in the UK, although on it's last legs now I can't bring myself to throw it! It's a lovely mauve/ rose pink shade which is the colour I tend to reach for most days (if you hadn't already noticed)!
L-R - NYX Mauve, GOSH Nougat Crisp, MAC Whirl, L'Oreal Beige a Nu, Rimmel Spice, MAC Dervish, MAC Spice, CT Pillowtalk, Rimmel Eastend Snob
I think from this it's quite clear I have a type when it comes to lipliners... What's your most worn lip liner?

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Friday, 31 March 2017

April Goals

Anyone else extremely happy that it's spring and warmer weather is finally on the horizon? I am! I'll be honest, I failed at pretty much every single goal I posted last month. I didn't book a holiday or practise any yoga/ pilates, so I'm hoping this month with the longer days I'll find the time to do both. I'm thinking Barcelona at the start of May for a few days! Anyway, onwards and upwards - here are my goals for April

1) Upload a fitness related post

I'm by no means an expert and I'm scared of coming across as that preachy, annoying person raving about exercise when in fact I'm still a long way off my end goal. However since October last year I have been going to the gym 3-4 times a week most weeks and I have so much to say about it. I'm thinking it would be nice to either share my gym routine, how I stay motivated to go in the first place or my 'gym story' in general, because I've not always liked exercise at all.

2) Go Chocolate FREE

If you follow me on twitter you'll know I'm raving about some sort of chocolate on a weekly basis (my current obsession is Cadbury's mini eggs, they're my all time favourite treat). Every time I eat more than a cube of chocolate my skin goes into melt down mode, well that's my theory anyway. This month I want to quit chocolate (I'm already scared) and actually see whether it's that which turns my skin into a disaster zone. Also, I love a challenge, and as sad as it sounds I really do think it will be hard to cut it out!

 3) Do something spontaneous 

If something isn't planned usually I just won't do it, but it's the spontaneous things I do that I seem to enjoy most! I want to become more laid back and just say yes to every opportunity I get rather than worrying about things that don't even matter. Today (it's currently Wednesday 29th) I said yes to going for afternoon tea with Boohoo with only 5 days notice, and I'm pretty proud of myself for just doing it - fingers crossed it will be worth it!

What are your goals for April?

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Perfect Highlighters for Pale Skin

Over the past year highlighting has become a solid part of my routine to the point where my makeup just doesn't feel complete without it. Although I have a reletively small collection compared to some, here are my top picks when it comes to highlighting a paler complexion...


This is the first highlighter I ever owned and I think I did pretty well picking out something as beautiful as this. When swatched it looks quite garish, but used with a fan brush it offers a light peachy highlight with pink shimmer running through it. I love using this in the spring/ summer months to complete a pink makeup look. Admittedly this isn't as finely milled as the rest of these picks and doesn't last as long on the skin, but I still reach for it and love the fact the pink iridescent undertones make it a little different to the other highlighters I own.


Whenever I use this I fall back in love with it, it really is the ultimate spring/ summer must have for me. The shimmering gold liquid gives me the perfect glowing finish when mixed in with my foundations, aswel as working nicely worn to simply highlight the cheek bones. For special occasions I love blending a little bit of this on my collar bone too for some added glow. This is a really fab multiuse product and an easy way to wear a highlighter.


theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer  £20

This was the highlighter that really started the addiction off. This is so worth the hype, and if you have pale skin you need it! It's a beautiful, intense shimmering powder that isn't too pink or golden but the perfect inbetween shade. Used with a light hand this offers that lit from within look, but you can also achieve a really intense highlight from this that looks equally as beautiful. The formulation is also perfect, no chunky bits of glitter insight! I can apply this at 6.30am and i'll still be glowing 12 hours later. ps. this is currently on offer for £13.50 on Feelunique!

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle £24

Like the Mary-lou Manizer this is another staple for me. I seem to gravitate towards this for nights out/ evening makeup as the shimmering champagne finish is a little more intense. This also has a touch of pink/ peach which compliments pretty much any makeup look. The formulation and lasting power is also impressive, although I would expect that considering the price tag! If you've had this on your wishlist for a while, it's definitely worth the investment.

BECCA Opal Glow on the Go Collection £20

I thought no other highlighter would compare to the Mary-lou manizer for me, but this blows my whole collection out of the water when it comes to the perfect everyday highlight. The Opal powder has such a buttery formulation it almost melts into the skin, offering a stunning natural looking glow. Combining both the liquid and powder highlight gives a more intense golden/ peach glow that works so well with a paler complexsion. I also love the liquid highlighter as it doesn't interfere with my foundation/ base makeup and sits well over the top. Forget highlighting the high points, I wanna cover my whole face in this!

swatches from left to right: Soft and Gentle, Mary-lou Manizer, Crescent Moon, Opal powder, Temple Spa, Opal liquid

What's your favourite highlighter?

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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Four to Try

I never seem to accumulate enough products to do a traditional monthly favourites, but there are a few things I'm using as a part of my daily makeup routine that are too good not to share! 

Too Faced Hangover Primer - £27

I can't believe that I never used to use a primer before this - believe the hype, it's a game changer! I have combination skin that can become quite dehydrated, this manages to hydrate my skin without clogging my pores or making it any more oily, leaving me a soft and makeup ready base without feeling at all greasy. I'm now on the hunt for a more affordable option that I can use daily though, £27 is a little steep when most days I'm just going to work.

GOSH Velvet Touch Lip Liner in Nougat Crisp - £4.99

Earlier this month I had a little makeup clear out and discovered an amazing dupe for my trusty Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk lip cheat.. In terms of both formulation and colour 'Nougat Crisp' is actually pretty similar. The formulation isn't at all drying and the soft, velvety texture makes cheating a fuller lip easy, exactly like the CT lip cheats! One thing I would say is that when swatched the colour does look slightly darker, but on the lips it really does create the same perfect base for a natural lip look.


Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette - £18

It's rare that I will wear eyeshadow on a day to day basis, but when I do I will more often than not reach for this beauty. I love warm toned shadows and this palette is jam packed with glistening golden browns, the perfect matte crease shades and colours that look stunning teamed together or worn alone. The formulation of both the shimmers and mattes is exactly what I look for, pigmented, blendable and soft to the touch. I really need to invest in more Zoeva palettes as I'm so impressed with this, my favourite shades are Pure Ganache and Freshly Toasted (Warm Notes is also stunning for a bolder look)

Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows - £18.50

This is a more recent addition to my brow routine, and a brow gel is definitely not something I usually splurge on after finding more affordable alternatives - but, I do like to make exceptions for Charlotte Tilbury. Unlike a lot of my other brow taming gels, this really does manage to add volume and give me a naturally thicker looking brow. I have the shade Cara and it's the perfect medium cool toned brown, it doesn't leave my brows looking stiff yet they stay groomed and in place throughout the whole day. As the wand is so small it does take a little longer to go through all the brow hairs with this, but the extra time is well worth it for the results.

Have you tried any of these products?

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Hydrating Overnight Face Masks

Sleep and skincare, two of my favourite things in the whole world! Having combination skin, I find it best to use moisturising products overnight that leave my skin feeling hydrated and makeup ready by the next morning. There are 4 products that I gravitate towards for overnight use, all

KIELH'S ULTRA FACIAL OVERNIGHT HYDRATING MASQUE £29.50

After discovering how much of a game changer the Ultra Facial Cream was, I knew I needed to try some other products from the ultra facial range. This is a thick, gel consistency (reminds me of old school hair gel) which I apply, leave for 10 minutes and then tissue off any access before calling it a night. In the morning my skin feels incredibly hydrated, nourished and visibly my skin looks almost clearer overnight! This also helps my daily moisturiser do its magic keeping my skin hydrated throughout the day. This one does leave an almost sticky feel to the skin, something to bare in mind if you're not a fan of that.

DR BOTANICALS ADVANCED PURIFYING OVERNIGHT MASQUE* £67 (£19.99 with discount code JODIEBLOG)

A more recent addition to my overnight skincare stash. This masque is made up of 100% natural ingredients - papaya, jojoba oil and sweet almond, all of which are well known for their ability to actually make a difference to skins radiance, suppleness and levels of moisture. I have been using this the most recently and I've found it does an amazing job at reducing the appearance of fine lines in my skin caused by dehydration! It's a lightweight, thin cream that doesn't clog my pores or cause me to be any more oily either. I think this is the perfect overnight masque for anyone with combination skin.



ORIGINS DRINK UP INTENSIVE OVERNIGHT MASK £24

If you have dehydrated skin and haven't tried this, where the hell have you been?! Unlike the Dr Botanicals masque this has more of a thick and creamy texture which feels like it's working from the get go. The morning after using this my skin looks much more radiant, plump and definitely feels hydrated not only in the morning but throughout the day. One thing to bare in mind, this does have quite a heavy peach scent which personally I love and actually reach for this sometimes just because I love the scent so much! As the packaging says, this one really does quench skin's thirst!

AVENE SOOTHING MOISTURE MASK* £11.50

I rediscovered this mask when I started thinking about writing this post. This is my favourite to use during the warmer months, it provides my skin with the additional moisture it needs whilst still being lightweight and not overly rich. In the past if I've ever suffered with any dry patches I've also found that this works a treat at clearing things up. I think this is another mask that will work well for anyone with combination skin.

While sleeping our skin looses moisture rapidly, so whether you have oily, dry or normal skin I would really recommend investing in a good overnight facial mask!

Do you have a favourite overnight face mask?

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Blogging on a Budget

I've always been pretty good at saving, but I'm even better at spending - which, when you're having to pay for a wedding just isn't possible! Blogging on a budget can be tough, generating exciting content when you can't afford to buy new things to blog about is hard is hard! Over the past few months I've found there are things that can be done to make blogging on a budget possible. I'm going to refer to beauty products throughout this post but it can be applied to any kind of blogging. 

1) Have regular clear outs and sell unwanted things

Doing this is one of the main ways I afford to buy new things. Two of my favourite ways to sell are through Depop or eBay. Yes it can be time consuming but the money soon adds up, and when you're on a budget the extra money comes in handy!

TIPS FOR SELLING ON DEPOP & EBAY

1) Be savvy with postage - If you're selling small items of clothing try and keep the packages flat and you will be able to send them as a large letter instead of a small parcel. This saves me over £2 per item! Also, if you are receiving PR packages then make sure you keep all of the packaging and reuse it to send out the items you have sold!

2) Take good pictures - Whether I'm selling on Depop or eBay, I've noticed the better the pictures the more that items seem to sell for. I try to make sure they are light and bright and do close ups of any important details that may add value to an item.

3) Schedule your listings - For eBay this is a big one! I always try and schedule my items so that the auction will end on a Sunday evening, more people are active at this time so actually able to bid and remember about the item you are selling!

2) Use savings cards

I think this is a pretty obvious one, but savings cards/ store cards really do make a difference! I think my absolute favourite is the Boots Advantage Card, they send through so many offers and deals and the points soon add up. Another good one to have is the Debenhams Beauty Card, they stock so many brands now and like the boots card the points soon add up meaning money off another purchase.

3) List the costs and benefits of purchasing items 

I remember when the amazing marble Hourglass palette came out. Honestly, I was absolutely gutted that I didn't have it in my collection. It's not that I couldn't afford that palette, in reality I could. However, it would have meant sacrificing something else for it and in the end I just couldn't part with the £70 just because I wanted to review it and share it with you guys.

I have started to list the costs and benefits of buying something either in my head or on a piece of paper and pretty much every single time I do this I will often talk myself out of making a purchase - if I really want something and can 100% justify it, I will never get to this stage in the first place! 

4) Actually keep a wishlist, if it's been on there for more than 3 months, consider getting it.

My last post was my spring wishlist, in the beauty section a lot of the things listed I have been lusting after for months! I know that when I do come to buy them I'll be likely to get the use out of it. Rather than an impulse purchase that will sit in the bottom of my makeup draw collecting dust.

5) Wait for discount days

Every single month I receive email after email from different companies telling me about the offers/ discounts currently available. Honestly, for years I went without buying a MAC lipstick until Debenhams would have their 10% off beauty event or I was able to shop duty free as I knew I could save the extra money. Doing this not only gives me the time to actually think about the purchase and see if I still want it after the 3 months, BUT I save a little extra money at the same time.

6) Buy discounted products e.g. Cheshire Oaks, eBay, Depop

Buying discounted products is also a fab thing to do when you're on a budget! I'm lucky to live only 40 minutes away from Cheshire Oaks which is a designer outlet village, they have a shop which sells MAC, Estee Lauder and Bobbi Brown just to name a few all at discounted prices. I always pick up my Estee Lauder Double Wear from there and save around £8 every time. I've seen a lot of people sell unwanted Jo Malone candles on Depop for a fraction of the price, it's definitely a good way to afford luxury if you can't buy it full price.

7) Work out just how much you can afford to spend 

Like most people who are reading this, I absolutely love tying out new beauty products and building up my collection so of-course I like to dedicate some of my money to it! I have started to work out just how much after all bills/ monthly expenses I can actually afford to spend on beauty. Some months I'll have more than others, but actually planning out my spending has really helped me make more mindful purchases and stick to my wishlist. I'm currently waiting for Boots or Superdrug to have a 3 for 2 because there are some affordable makeup products I want to try.

8) Work with what you've got! 

This is another big one for me, I'll sometimes reach a point where I feel uninspired if I don't buy anything new one month - yet I have a whole draw full of makeup! I've started taking a close look at the beauty products I already have and think of ways that I can create engaging and useful content with that. An example of this is my contouring post, I really enjoyed creating that and it was a post featuring products that I already had in my collection, absolutely nothing new. This post has also cost me nothing to create, so as a beauty blogger there are definitely ways around it and ways to still talk beauty without having new products. There are also so many posts by other bloggers sharing their '50 Blog Post Ideas', so when you are stuck referring to this can be refreshing and help to park new ideas. Daisy from weardaisywent has wrote a good post for this!

I hope some of you have found it useful! Sometimes I feel like I'm the only beauty blogger that can't afford to continually buy new products, which I know isn't the case at all but I don't see many speak about the financial cost of being a beauty blogger and how it can get pricey if you let it!

Do you have any tips on beauty blogging on a budget?

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