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Christmas Party Makeup Essentials

Who's with me that one of the best parts of a night out is getting ready? I love spending ages doing my makeup and on the average day I'll only have chance to spend 15 minutes, so I take full advantage (excessive but I have been known to spend an hour and a half on my makeup...) I've picked out some of my essentials for a winter evening makeup look, honestly I go all out for most nights out I go on, but there is something about feeling all festive that just makes me put on even more!


My perfect base starts with a mattifying primer, I love having a luminous finish but because of my oily skin I have to work on that after my foundation. The Body Shop Instablur really helps to keep my makeup in place so it will last all night without budging or needing touch ups (it is also fab dupe for the Benefit Porefessional). Once I have a base I know will last I'm adding highlighter, probably too much but I love it! For something more intense I layer liquid and powder highlighters. I always reach for the TempleSpa Instant Radiance Booster as my liquid option, it doesn't move around the makeup underneath and provides a gorgeous luminous glow to my skin, then to follow would be something more intense depending on my eye makeup and if I'm wearing fake tan.


I'm always torn between golden, warm toned shadows and silver cool toned shades for the winter. However this year it was easy for me to pick these, I think the stand out product for me is MAC's Tan Pigment, all MAC pigments in general are gorgeous and add dimension to any eyeshadow look or work amazingly on their own. Tan is a golden bronze shade with pink under tones, an easy way to wear pinks if you are pale like me. I love applying this wet to make it even more intense.

I'm yet to see one bad review about the Maybelline Colour Tattoos, and with good reason. They act as the perfect base for eyeshadows or look nice blended out on their own. My favourite for the festive season is Eternal Gold, if I'm wearing a bold smoky eye I'll put this in the inner corners to brighten everything up and it works a treat. These are really long lasting and are similar to the MAC paint pots but thankfully a fraction of the price!

I couldn't write this without including the Sephora shadow in Hollywood's calling. It is like a pressed pigment, amazing pigmentation but blends easily and the colour is one of my absolute favourites and looks amazing with blue eyes, it is a bronze shade with gold flexes running through it... It is going to be so hard to choose what to go with when I come to doing my makeup! If I'm wearing a lot of eye makeup I feel bare without lashes, my favourites are by Eylure, especially the "Fleur Loves," lashes from the Fleur De Force range. I think lashes are a personal thing, I can't wear any with a thick band or that look too obvious.


I'm not one of those girls to have clothes everywhere because I can't decide what to wear, for me it is lipstick where I struggle! It seems like a simple choice but I never know what to go for, especially during winter. A bolder option I'm loving at the minute is the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu, it is bloody scary looking but there is something really flattering about it. The deep purple/ berry shade works well with my pale skin and with some pale gold eyeshadows it looks stunning. It is a high maintenance option though so I've also included MACs Lip Pencil in Dervish, this colour matches my lip colour perfectly it works really well at making my lips appear fuller and more even, my go to lip option for when I'm going for a bold smoky eye.

I'm so excited for Christmas and starting to feel so festive already... What are your Christmas party makeup essentials?


Skincare Discovery - Avene Cleanance Expert

Thankfully I've managed to get rid of the majority of blemishes that are sore and obvious, but my skin still isn't clear from those really annoying small under the skin bumps (please tell me I'm not the only one who gets them?) and blackheads which I obviously want to get rid of! I remember the first night I used the Avene Cleanance Expert* not expecting much one night, but when I woke up the next morning I noticed straight away how soft my skin felt and also how much clearer it looked after just one use. 

After using this for two weeks I have seen a massive difference, not so much with blackheads but with under the skin pimples, they are slowly going which no product has ever been able to do for me before! Finally! I cleanse my skin, use a toner and then go onto this treatment if I'm not using a mask or anything else. I use this as an evening moisturiser, I just feel like the benefits are better as I wear makeup most days, I want my skin to soak it all up in the night. It is a light weight cream, it absorbs into my skin instantly, for me there is nothing worse than feeling a heavy and sticky product on my face as a I go sleep so this ticks another box for that. Another plus about this product is that it doesn't leave my skin feeling dehydrated, I love the La Roche Posay Effaclar K, but I can't use it every day otherwise my skin becomes dehydrated and makes applying makeup over the top impossible without it looking awful and patchy. 

I won't be letting this product run out without a backup in my skincare collection, I feel like this is a fab skincare discovery that is gentle but effective at the same time.

What is your favourite skincare items for those under the skin pimples and blackheads too!?


A Mini Sephora Haul

Granted this is a lot smaller than the typical Sephora hauls I've seen in the past, but having never tried anything from the brand I wanted to pick up a few bits that would give me an idea if I actually like them! I went to Prague recently and when I saw the Sephora sign the well known brands like ABH, Kat Von D and Tarte sprung to mind, I was seriously worried for my bank account! A little disappointed a lot of the products were similar or from brands I had never heard before, but ofcourse I still bought some bits.

Sephora Cream Lip Stain

I went for the shade Marvelous Mauve, it reminds me of Brave but slightly more pink, very similar to the Rimmel Kate Moss matte lipstick range in 101. I have come to the conclusion from this that I'm not actually that keen on lip stains! I tried the Rimmel Apocalips when they first came out and I had the same problem with them, firstly because of how difficult they are to apply, and secondly they just don't last on me and end up showing any signs of dry lips that I have. I'm going to persist with this and try it a few more times, but for now I just can't seem to make it work.

Sephora Eyeshadow

This alongside MACs Amber Lights is becoming my most reached for single eyeshadow. "Hollywood's calling" is basically what I expect from every eyeshadow, really pigmented, long lasting (although I do use an eye primer every time I use eyeshadow) and blends well. I have been loving wearing this for nights out all over the lid and blended into the crease with a warm dark brown shade and then a lighter gold in the inner corner. This colour also looks amazing over the top of the Maybelline colour tattoo in On and On Bronze, if you like a lot of glitter and shimmer you'll probably have a mini heart attack over it, I nearly did.

Sephora Blusher

If you a regular reader then you'll know for some reason I don't  didn't like wearing blusher. I'm still well within in my comfort zone and always gravitate towards the first colour in any range, usually it's a dirty rose shade that is pretty basic. I picked up the shade "Shame on you!" which you guessed it is a "rose" shade, it is matte which I love because if I want any shimmer I'll just add a highlighter over the top. When I first used it I hate to be dramatic but it was a revelation, I couldn't believe how much brighter my complexion looked and I went from ghostly to healthy. Yes it does look boring in the pan, but it works really well with my pale skin. The pigmentation is good but not to the point where it is difficult to work with, the colour is buildable which I think is best with a blush. I'm only wishing I had picked up more of these!

I think next year will be the next time I'm able to pop into a Sephora, what are your favourite products from there?


Luminous Skin with Collection

Left: layered with the Mary-Lou Manizer on top, Right: on its own

Shade 1: Porcelain.... 

I feel like everyone knows and loves Collection for their lasting perfection concealer (plus that amazing new blusher and bronzer quad they have just released), but the brand actually has some other products that need some lovin too! With the majority of their products being under £5 my student back account is also kept happy...

I've wrote a post on achieving a luminous/ dewy finish before with mainly high end products mentioned so this is like the "on a budget" second part. Whenever anyone asks me on foundation recommendations if they don't have oily skin I always recommend a dewy and illuminating finish, I think it looks stunning and natural. Annoyingly when you've got skin like me that is constantly oily it makes wearing those foundations a pretty impossible task (I know I ain't got time to be blotting my face every 30 mins!). I tried the Collection Illuminating Touch Foundation* and for me it didn't work, it is a light weight liquid foundation that did at first look really nice on my skin, it provided a luminous yet natural finish covering most of my redness well, but after an hour it started to separate and my oily skin wasn't having none of it. I would suggest swatching this and trying it if you need an inexpensive foundation, definitely one for normal/ dry skin (not sure how well it would sit on dry patches, but it seemed to smooth over my skin pretty well) if you are on a budget and looking for a dewy light/ medium coverage foundation. I did also find this quite hard to colour match, I don't know what "Porcelain" they have been looking at as the lightest shade is too dark!

Now on to the products that do work for me, the Collection Luminous Concealer* is a budget liquid highlighter/ concealer I've had in my collection for years. It does a fab job at adding a subtle reflection of light onto my skin, nothing shimmery and awkwardly obvious so perfect for more natural makeup days or layering with other products. I like to wear this over the top of a concealer under my eyes, it means I can have the full coverage from the concealer but in a more natural looking way with the highlighting element on top.

Anything easy to use I want in my life, so a highlighter in stick form is perfect! A swipe of the Collection Speedy Highlighter* at the tops of my cheek bones helps my skin look luminous, this is lovely and subtle for the day time. I feel like wearing highlighter in the right way is actually quite hard without making it look really obvious, but this is pretty fail safe and perfect for beginners as it blends easily and isn't too much of an intense colour. I have the shade 01 Pearl Sheen, so as the name suggests it is a pale pink pearlescent shade, this looks especially lovely with theBalm's Mary-lou manizer layered on top! I think this is definitely more for paler skin tones as it is quite fair on my skin.

Overall I am pretty impressed, I think the highlighter is gorgeous for a paler skin tone which I think is actually quite hard to find on a good one from the highstreet and the concealer is an old classic in my collection.

What are your favourite products for luminous skin? Are you a fan of Collection?


Nars Train Bleu

A few weeks back I had one of the best emails, a random £5 off Space NK voucher, how could I just let that collect dust and expire? I decided to get something that I wouldn't usually reach for and step out of my comfort zone, after seeing Vivanna mention Train Bleu I thought yeah, I'm gunna try that! 

The formulation is up there with one of my favourites for a matte lipstick, the Velvet Matte pencils are creamy and feel nice and soft on the lips, it doesn't feel to me like a typical matte lipstick. When I wear a bold lip my one concern usually is that fact it is going to smudge or bleed throughout the day, but this has been fine. The shade itself looks darker in the pencil than on the lips, It is a deep purple shade, which is pretty similar to an aubergine! 

I think because it is so dark it works well with some eye liner and lots of mascara and not much more. I'm looking to buy MAC's Vino lipliner (I did have it but annoyingly lost it!) I think it would compliment this colour perfectly. This definitely isn't my everyday lip colour option but a nice addition to my collection for when I'm feeling brave!

What are your favourite bold shades for A/W? 


Prague in Pictures

(taken from my instagram; jodiemelissamoores)

Prague has to be one of the most beautiful cities I have visited, I feel so lucky! I have been prettttty stressed lately so taking this break was much needed. I feel like if you want a luxury experience but on a budget it is the perfect place to visit. 


The view from the metronome... By far my favourite photo from the whole holiday! The Vltava River is stunning, we took a boat trip along the river and I was speechless for the majority of it. One thing I really love about Prague is the history, all of the different districts offer something different. The old cathedrals and cute cafes make it such a beautiful romantic city. Either side of the river has something different to offer.


An example of one of the gorgeous buildings dotted around Prague. I took this photo from the boat cruise, where (get ready for this) I also saw a husband and wife have their wedding photos took on the river bank! There was about 100 swans surrounding them, she was wearing a gorgeous white dress and I wanted to cry.


My boyfriend was confused as to why I was taking this photo, but something about this scene felt so Parisian and sassy I couldn't resist. I wish I knew that man so I could give him this photo. This was on Charles bridge which is the most famous bridge in Prague, worth going in the morning when it is nice and quite.


Again that same river, I like this photo because it looks peaceful! It made me think a lot about how busy I have been lately and to just take a step back and make time for myself, random but it shows how a picture can speak a thousand words (I'll stop now as I'm aware how cringy this is).


An example of some of the quirky places to dine in Prague, The Hanger is tucked away down a little side street. There are so many lovely places to visit that are quite hidden from central areas, I think researching for places to eat and drink is one of the best things to do before a visit, clearly summing up my priorities.


I'm sorry but who doesn't love horses and Cartier jewellery? Although I did approach a horse and nearly got my hand nibbled off. This was taken in the old town square where is also a must see if you visit Prague.


We stayed at The Kings Court Hotel and decided to have breakfast included to cut the costs down and as this picture shows it definitely doesn't disappoint. Anything and everything was served, I was going to bed excited to wake up to the breakfast buffet! The room itself was spacious and comfy, the bathroom was a bloggers dream filled with marble tiles and big mirrors. We decided to treat ourselves and use the Spa too, which I think is a must given it is in the hotel. It was also in the perfect location, literally next door to the palladium where inside they have Sephora... All in all a lovely hotel with really lovely staff too.

I think the pictures speak for themselves, the perfect European city break I think! I''m also going to be uploading a "what I wore in Prague" post which I'm a little nervous about, but I get to write about my holiday again so...

Where is your favourite destination for a city break?


MAC Lip Haul

If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen I took a trip to Prague this week (it was amazing, I have some posts all about it coming up next week). For me the holiday starts at the airport, overly excited by duty free I headed straight to MAC in the hope of updating my lipstick collection. Being a massive fan of MAC's Brave (satin finish, dirty pink/mauve shade) I wanted something that was slightly darker and more autumnal. I had one of those moments where I had a good browse then started picking out at random, the first lipstick I picked out was Twig. Twig was exactly what I was looking for, described as a "soft muted brownish- pink" it is one of those perfect wearable colours that looks fab with any makeup. A satin finish is my favourite as the colour shows up exactly as it looks in the bullet but doesn't show up any dry patches on the lips like a matte finish does. 

After watching Jess (Sunbeamsjess) talk about her MAC lip liner collection it inspired me to start thinking more about lip liners and how they can be used as lipsticks or to change lipsticks I already have in my collection. I picked out two lip liners that I thought would work well under a lot of shades I already have. The most well known of the two is Spice and I can see why, it is described as a "pink cinnamon stick" shade on the website but I feel like it is much deeper than that and more on the nude/brown side rather than pink like the name suggests, this works so well under Twig bringing out the brown tones making it a more statement lip. I was looking for an everyday lipliner that will work with anything and I opted for Dervish, this liner pretty much matches my lip colour so works perfectly at just perfecting my lip shade and giving my lips an even finish. If I ever just want to wear a clear gloss or natural lip this is going to be perfect, definitely something that was missing from my current lip liner collection!

What are your favourite MAC lipsticks/ liners? I need to start making a Christmas list!


Travel Makeup Bag/ Everyday Makeup

(My eyebrows are due a serious threading sesh)

I feel like I have finally found a makeup look that I can't stop wearing, and probably won't stop wearing for a while. It consists of a gel liner, a good pair of eye lash curlers and my favourite lip combo discovery of the year. I'm currently in Prague and I've had to manage a 4 night stay with a 10kg bag, hence the use of samples and smaller products that help with space.

Base wise I've been wearing a combination of Estee Lauder Double Wear in Fresco (£30) with the L'oreal True Match Foundation in Rose Ivory (£9.99). The longevity of the double wear is still apparent but the true match foundation helps keep it a medium (less cakey) looking coverage, using the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (£9.99) to buff this in leaves my skin with a matte finish that is going to last through a day of lectures or work. Typically I don't actually like a fully matte finish, so this is where I introduce theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer (£17.50) to the tops of my (non-existent) cheek bones and just a little under my brow bone, this highlighter is perfect for everyday, it isn't overly pink or too pale so I feel like it will work well for most people.

To add some colour to my face I'm taking the Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit (£6.99), this is perfect for travelling because it has a bronzer and a contour shade in the one palette, which both actually work for me really well. The contour shade isn't too grey which is something I've struggled with when trying others, perfect budget option for anyone who is on the paler side like me!

I used to use the Maybelline Gel Liner (£7.99) years ago and when it dried up I just forgot about it and decided not to repurchase it again, but I'm so glad I picked it up. Gel liner is the most long lasting and gives me a really dark black line, it has made me realise how much of a shoddy job some of my other liners were doing. I think paired with the right brush it can be worn in so many different ways. Along my water line I use the Benefit Eye Bright (£15.50), such a simple concept but I feel strange without applying some of this now, it really brightens and makes my eye makeup look complete. Mascara has to be the Maybelline lash sensational, I've wrote a post with before and after pictures, they say it all really. For my holiday I'm taking away a sample of the Chanel Infinite Length and Curl, this gives me volume and length and without a doubt will be featuring on my Christmas list, due to the fact it is £25 full size!

Now onto that holy grail lip product discovery which will be no surprise if you follow me on my social media, MACs Brave (£15.50), the perfect muted pink/ mauve shade with blue undertones. Honestly I don't know why this colour works for me so well because it looks kind of boring right in the bullet.
Next on my list are Twig, Faux and Patisserie (which hopefully I'll have picked up from the airport!). The lipliner I wear with it is Whirl (£12.50) which I'll be taking away with me to hopefully pair with a new lipstick buy, it is the perfect mauve shade that is slightly darker than Brave making it more intense.

What are your travel makeup essentials?
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