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Finding The Perfect Base

Whether its a tinted moisturiser or full coverage foundation, finding a base that is exactly what you're looking for is pretty difficult, but there are a couple of things that can make the process a whole lot easier...

Honestly, I'm a nightmare when it comes to picking a base that I like, I'm about as fussy as they come. I know how difficult it is to find a base that ticks all the boxes, firstly I think it is so important to know your skin. Before I knew I had dehydrated skin all foundations were looking patchy and uneven, after just a couple of hours. Now I know that I have mainly oily skin with some areas of dehydration, I can tailor my skincare to help with the dehydration and then pick a foundation that suits my oily skin, making it a much easier process.

Know what finish you like, having oily skin means I stay clear from anything that will make me look dewy straight away (although I really I didn't have to, as I think a dewy finish looks gorgeous). Knowing what finish you are after really narrows down the options and makes it a lot easier to choose, all finishes have their pros and cons, having oily skin really influences my decision when it comes to the finish of a foundation.

Know what coverage you like to wear, I feel like a lot of people are against a full coverage foundation, but I'm all for them! There are so many ways you can make a full coverage look more natural, and if you want to wear full coverage, then you go girl! For me coverage usually goes hand in hand with how long it will last, so if I need it to last all day I'll opt for a full coverage foundation, but for a couple of hours a tinted moisturiser/ bb cream will do.

Keep your skin well moisturised, if my skin isn't moisturised then there is no chance that my foundation will last. Dehydrated skin will end up drawing all of the moisture out of your foundation, leaving it looking patchy and dry. So basically, invest in a good moisturiser.

Try other products to help make the perfect base e.g. primer and setting spray, sometimes my foundation needs a little help in hand, I love using both matifying and illuminating primers depending upon how my skin is that day. Also after I apply any sort of base I use a setting spray, my absolute favourite is the Urban Decay All Nighter, it makes my makeup look fresh and it lasts so much longer throughout the day (or night). Both of these steps are really worth the extra minute or so in the morning if you are struggling with the staying power of your makeup!

Find the perfect shade, when I first started wearing foundation I had no clue about shades! I went to a makeup counter where they were able to tell me what undertones I have, which has made it so much easier to find a colour that is perfect for me, Also if you have a foundation that is already the perfect shade for you, then take a little pot of it with you when you're on the hunt for another base, this way you can match yourself up.

Test it first! Obviously so much more difficult with affordable options, but always get a tester or have the foundation applied to your skin before you go ahead and splash out £30 on a base you end up hating. If I have my eye on a new base (currently the Nars velvet matte skin tint) I'll have a little look online first to see what sort of shade I think I could be, and then either have it applied in store or ask for a tester.

Read reviews, when I see an advert for a new foundation and I think I would love it, I get really temped there and then to just order it (anyone else get over excited and impulse buy)? Reading honest reviews from normal people is probably one of the best things I can do before buying a foundation. There are so many blogger/ vloggers that have a similar skin type to myself, and I know that I'll more than likely love it if they do, saving myself the money and the hassle.

Try different method of application, there have been so many times when I think I've found the perfect foundation, and then I'm disappointed, but a lot of the time it is how I've applied it. I try every new foundation I have with my beauty blender, buffing brush and my fingers and often one works a lot better than the others.

If you have any other tips on finding the perfect base then please let me know!

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The Charlotte Tilbury Lip Combo

After months of waiting I finally managed to get down to London and pop into the Charlotte Tilbury Flagship store in Covent Garden. Although I don't own many CT products (3rd year student problems) everything about the brand I love, it has become my favourite and go to for high end makeup. Now hear me out, my justification for spending £39 on a lipstick and lipliner 1) Charlotte Tilbury makeup as we all know, is unreal 2) This combo is perfect for spring/ summer.

I was after an everyday lipstick that was really easy to wear, as much as I love the rather large collection I have, so many of my lipsticks quite obvious, I was after something natural looking and really easy to just throw on. I went for the lipliner "Pillow Talk" and the lipstick "Bitch Perfect". The lipliner is perfect for making my lips look fuller, without them looking obviously overdrawn. The colour is a natural soft pink which works really well with my natural lip colour. The most impressive part about the liner to me is how long lasting it is, and it doesn't fade leaving just a line around the lips like a lot of my others.

In one word the lipstick is luxurious. I can imagine it being the perfect shade for a bride, it looks so natural yet still manages to bring a look together. Its from the K.I.S.S.I.N.G range which offers more of a dimensional and creamy looking finish on the lips, it is really moisturising and comfortable on the lips, it lasts really well too considering the finish it provides, I would say I have to top up every 5-6 hours. I've seen mixed thoughts on the shade to this, paired with Pillow Talk it is the perfect blue toned nude pink, it has small flexes of shimmer that make my lips look fuller, it is the perfect everyday shade. Plus it smells like vanilla cake, could it be any better?

What is your favourite Charlotte Tilbury product?

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The Clinique Chubby Contour Stick

Contouring definitely isn't my strong point. I've tried to master it and just failed, resulting with the finish being obvious and fake looking.
Having oily skin I always opted for a powder product, but I always knew a cream contour would blend a lot better, hopefully making it easier to look less like I was trying waaaaaay too hard. I was torn between a couple of options but decided to try the Clinique Chubby Contour Stick. I was slightly sceptical as to whether the one shade "Curvy Contour," would work for how flippin pale I am, so I tried it on in store. Finally, I feel like I've found a product that works for me, goodbye chipmunk cheeks, hello cheekbones! 

Before blending

After blending

I apply this just under my cheek bones (yes I do have some), along my jawline and by the temples. What makes this different to other contour products I've tried is how easy it is to blend. It leaves a seamless finish that creates a subtle shadow, making a good difference that isn't obvious. The shade doesn't resemble the typical cool toned/ grey contouring shades, it is a more natural and neutral brown that looks more like a bronzer, but blended it is just perfect. I use my fingers first, but often i'll go in with a buffing brush, to make it even less obvious. Staying power depends on the base I am using, applied over a tinted moisturiser it doesn't last aslong, on top of one of my more long lasted bases and it lasts the majority of the day!

I'm so happy that I picked this up, I'm seriously late to the party with contouring but happy that I finally have something that works for me. What are you favourite contouring products?

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Live Love London; Affordable Makeup Review

I would say 75% of my makeup collection is now highend products, with the other 25% being things I love just as much, but they're a fraction of the price. Today I wanted to focus on affordable beauty, so I'm swapping my highend products and trying out a full face of Live Love London*

I applied my usual base and then went straight in with the Matte Bronzer. There are no orange or really warm undertones, yet it isn't too cool that it looks like a contour, a really good middle of the road shade. It lasts pretty well on my skin, by the end of the day there wasn't much left, but being an oily skin gal that's quite standard for any product. Anyone else now in a routine where they just can't do their makeup without adding highlighter? I wanted to love this as it's so affordable, but the colour transfers as a really warm and golden highlight, which just isn't for me. The blusher in this range is the winner out of the lot, this is the shade "love blush joy," it is a pale pink/ peach that is going to be lovely for spring. It lasted well throughout the day and feels like a really high quality powder, even though I think it retails for a couple pound.

My lips get quite dry so I'm pretty fussy with lip products if I'm honest. The formulation of these is quite different to what I've tried before, they're almost slippery in texture, but they don't cling to any dry patches and are buildable in colour, so for the small price tag attached to them I think they're pretty good! The pale nude pink is named "Intense Nude Lip," it is pretty much what the name suggests when the colour is built up. A light layer of this and I'm good to go, it isn't the most long lasting lipstick I've tried, but it doesn't fade obviously or go patchy. One thing that doesn't quite impress me is the scent, they smell pretty awful. The lipgloss showed up basically clear, but the consistency is actually rather nice. It's not sticky, not runny, and not uncomfortable or drying on my lips.

Honestly, a full on contour just isn't my thing, but I wanted to put the palette to the test anyway. I prefer to contour in a more subtle way, so I applied the lightest shade in the palette in the usual places to highlight, and it actually did a really good job at making everything look a little more sculpted (which I need). I feel like the middle row would be perfect for anyone that's paler and looking for an affordable contouring product. The colours in the eyeshadow palette are actually really gorgeous, it houses 18 different shades so it is brilliant for travelling, or just adding more colour into your collection. The quality is ok, some of the eyeshadows are better than others. I was really impressed by the paler shades, a lot of the time they can be chalky and barely pigmented, the 3 in this palette blended well with good pigmentation.

Have you tried Live Love London?  Plus let me know your favourite affordable makeup in the comments!

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Combating Blemish Prone Skin

There is a little combo that has seriously been helping to combat and clear my blemishes. 

My all time favourite brand for anything spot related has to be La Roche-Posay, their treatments are raved about all with good reason. The Effaclar K made its way into my routine last month after I had a ridiculous spot on my chin - you know those ones where even concealer can't sort you out... Nothing seemed to be working to reduce the redness, except the Effaclar K. Applied over night the swelling had halved and the area around the blemish wasn't too dry either. If you ever get spots then you need the Effaclar K. This is actually supposed to be used as a daily moisturiser, which in the summer as my skin goes back to it's oily self, I'll be trying!

To speed up the process of getting my skin back to normal and scar free, I have been loving the Trilogy Rosehip Oil. By now we all know regardless of whether you have oily, dry or combination skin that facial oils are the bomb. This oil not only keeps my skin feeling really hydrated, but I'm seeing fab results when it comes to the scaring on my face from previous blemishes. My skin hasn't looked this clear in a long time, and these two products are definitely helping with the progress!

What are your favourite blemish treatments?

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La Roche Posay BB Blur

Since January I have been religious with my skincare routine, even after really late nights where the last thing I have wanted to do is a 15 minute facial, I've stuck with it. Luckily I've seen a lot of changes in my skin. For as long as I can remember I've been that girl with bad skin, it is oily/ dehydrated with quite visible pores and blackheads, which if I'm honest, does make it difficult to leave the house bare faced. Luckily really noticeable blemishes are pretty much a thing of the past (apart from this week, there is a monster on my chin), so I'm needing a little less coverage than the usual medium coverage base I would reach for day to day.

After seeing all the hype I decided to try the La Roche Posay BB Blur (on sale at the minute on Escentual!). This is a mousse foundation that has a really light texture, I find it to blend really well with both a buffing brush or my fingers. Lots of people don't like this, but it is a silicone based formula, so on the days where my skin is really dehydrated I stay well away. However when my skin is more oily, this is perfect. It does a really good job at blurring the pores on my cheeks and nose, it is so refreshing being able to wear a foundation that isn't like a mask but just targets the one area I need the most help with. My T-Zone has a lot more excess oil than the rest of my face, so this foundation doesn't keep the shine away for as long here, but that is after around 6 hours of wear which I'm happy with considering how lightweight it feels.

So if you have dry skin I would say it's a no go, but for anyone with oily skin, add this to your makeup bag and thank me later (especially the holiday makeup bag!)

What are your favourite lightweight bases?

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