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Weekend Away Makeup Bag

When you are only allowed one plastic bag with all your liquids in for the weekend, it really makes you think about the things that you actually need (and all the space saving tips and tricks possible to cram absolutely everything!). I recently had to strip back my makeup bag and select a couple of key things I currently couldn't do my makeup without, so I thought I would share them with you.

First things first lets talk base, I took two that are both very different from each other. The Avene Skin Tone Perfector* is the lighter of the two, offering nothing more than a tint of colour with only a small amount of coverage, although this is perfect for parts of my skin that are behaving and just need a little bit of a lift, I also find this keeps my skin feeling nice and hydrated throughout the day. To team up with that off course there is something with a little more coverage, I took a sample of the Estee Lauder Double Wear, this foundation is perfect for a weekend away as it doesn't budge, meaning I can wander around not having to worry what my makeup looks like. I like to apply just a small amount of this in areas where I need more coverage. To set everything I took my trusty travel size Makeup Forever HD Powder, (massive thanks to Claire, as I won this in her giveaway at the start of the year!) I love this stuff, by using this I know everything is set in place without looking cakey. This powder is particularly good for setting the makeup under my eyes, I don't find my concealer to crease at all.

I have wrote a full review of the Clinique Chubby Contour Stick, it is perfect for subtle definition, it is contouring without a faff! To help everything blend together I took my (yes pretty dirty) beauty blender, dampened this works a treat for both my base and blending out the contour stick, making it really good for travelling, although I do need some tips on how to clean it! For my brows I took the Soap and Glory Archery Pencil, I had this lurking at the bottom of my makeup draw and it was a fab little re discovery, perfect for travel as I can make my brows look both natural or more defined. I had eyelash extensions before going away so I took MAC's Teddy Eyeliner to just add some definition to the lash line during the evenings, honestly I don't really like wearing black kohl liner, having oily skin I find they just smudge and are too much maintenance. Teddy is a gorgeous chocolate brown with shimmers running through it, applied liberally along the lash line and smudged this can also double up as an eyeshadow.

Lastly the finishing touches to getting ready, lipstick and perfume. The Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in Bitch Perfect is a lovely every day shade, it is comfortable and goes with a magnitude of makeup looks, a staple in my handbag! I recently blogged about the Jo Malone fragrance in Peony and Blush Suede, I pinched some room in my fiance's little plastic bag and just about managed to squeeze this in. This is the perfect fragrance for everyday, long lasting yet not too over powering, I love it and can't wait to pick up another one, I'm thinking Wood Sage and Sea Salt!

Hope you enjoyed this slightly long winded post! What are your weekend away makeup essentials?

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The Underrated MAC Lipstick

I've had this lipstick in my MAC collection too long to admit, it is the one that falls to the bottom of the pile and is forgotten about all the time. The lipstick in question is "Plink," a lustre finish which is by no means my favourite finish from MAC, but I feel like this is a good go to, everyday shade for summer. It is a warm baby pink/ peach with shimmers running through it which leaves a lovely glossy looking finish, *a plus* it really helps make your lips look bigger (which I definitely need).

I find the lustre formulation really comfortable to wear and easy to just throw on when you're in a hurry, admittedly with it being a lustre it does mean that it doesn't last as long as other lipsticks, but that's just the way it is with lighter formulations. I find this suits me when I'm at my palest or bronzed up with the help of fake tan, so hopefully an option for a range of different skin tones. Why more people don't rave about Plink I don't know, I know I won't be forgetting about it again! One to have a peak at if you are after a subtle pink everyday shade!

Have you got any MAC lipsticks that you think are underrated?
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I'm Engaged!

You wouldn't believe how many times I have had to re visit and redraft this post because I can't get my thoughts together, completely lost for words. I have been with my boyfriend  fiance for 5 years, on the 19th of June we were celebrating how brilliant those times have been with a picnic (which was also a surprise) in the Louvre Gardens. A pigeon nearly stole the show as it tried to steal my pan au chocolat (I'm a little scared of birds, and having my food stolen), a moment later the man I met when I was 15 asked me to marry him, apparently I acted as if I was dying (lots of tears and hyperventilating)... It was so special and just perfect, a moment I will treasure for years to come.

Even before being engaged I loved everything wedding related, I remember watching Fleur De Force prepare for her big day and thinking how wonderful and exciting it all looked! I'm hoping to provide some wedding related content as for the next year or so it is going to be a pretty big part of my life.! If any of you said congratulations on twitter or instagram then thank you so much too, all of the lovely messages have been so over whelming, you are all flippin brill! Please let me know what you think to wedding related content in the comments, or if you have any magazine, blog or video recommendations then I'm all ears eyes.
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Lee Stafford Hair Care

Recently I have been trying to treat my hair in the same way I do my skin, so that has meant seriously upping my hair care game. Last week I bleached my hair again, meaning a little damage has been done, plus I use heat on my hair at least 3 times a week, so I do need a little help keeping everything looking slick as split end free as possible. I have used Lee Stafford products for years, so I wanted to share my favourites that help to keep my hair soft and a vibrant blonde.

The first product I tried was the Lee Stafford Fix It Treatment (£11.49), this is a treatment that is used in between shampoo and conditioner, and is left on the hair for around 5 minutes. Honestly, nothing makes my hair softer than this does, I really feel like my hair is being fixed and using this every time I was my hair makes a huge difference. This is such a fab deep conditioner for anyone with damaged hair, worth that awkward 5 minute wait in the shower where there is nothing left to do...

The Ubuntu Repair Hair Oil (£9.99) isn't something I use all of the time, but the humid weather makes my hair so frizzy that it ends up looking damaged without this. I use a pea sized amount on the ends of my hair to leave them looking smooth and freshly cut. I have a blunt cut and my hair is all one length, and I've found this oil to be a perfect quick fix to making my ends look healthy.

As I mentioned before I have gone and added more bleach to my locks, I'm trying to achieve a cool toned, ashy blonde colour which does require a lot of maintenance, but silver/ purple shampoo really helps. The Bleach Blondes Purple Shampoo (£6.99) is my all time favourite purple shampoo, it smells like parma violet sweets (win) and more importantly doesn't leave my hair feeling stripped of moisture like so many other purple shampoo's I've tried do. This really does help mute any brassy tones and helps keep my hair an ash blonde a lot longer in between having it coloured.

Have you tried any Lee Stafford products?
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How I Fill In My Brows + NYX Cosmetics Micro Brow Pencil Review

Step by step guide 

I thought I would start of by showing you generally how I fill in my brows. I start by combing them through so all of the hairs are tamed and less wild (anyone else wake up with brows all over the place?). As my brows are quite fair I aim to add my colour, so I start at the bottom and use light strokes with what ever product I'm using to try and create hair like strokes, rather than just colouring in. I tend to leave the start of my brow clear of product and just use a spoolie to drag a little colour to the front, that way it looks more natural. I usually use a brow gel, here I'm using the Eylure brow gel which is really fab as it doesn't leave my brows feeling crispy or too sticky like some brow gels can. If I have the time I apply a little concealer around the brows, just to make them look even more defined. 

                                    This is the before and after using the NYX Cosmetics Micro Brow Pencil

I have been using powder and the Benefit gimme brow to fill in my brows for a pretty long time now, and I just wanted to try something that would give me more of a natural and precise looking finish. I picked up the NYX Cosmetics Micro Brow pencil thinking it would be a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wix. Firstly I love the small nib, it makes it so easy to achieve thin strokes that are hair like, which is perfect when looking to achieve a natural brow. The texture of the product is perfect, it is pigmented but not overly so it makes it really easy to use, it isn't scratchy on the skin and I found my brows stayed looking pretty good until I took my makeup off that night. The only issue I have is the colour, I went for Taupe which I thought would be more of a cool toned light/ medium brown, but it is much more warm, which as you can see my eyebrows definitely aren't. Obviously the shots are taken up close which does make it much more obvious, but I think I would still benefit from a more cool toned shade.

Overall I am impressed and I will continue to use this, I need to get myself down to a NYX counter instead of ordering online so I can see all of the shades and decide in person. I am definitely becoming converted to this type of brow product, it is easy to use and perfect for a more natural look.
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Bryt Skincare Review

Why I haven't written a skincare post in a while I don't know, I have been pretty smitten with my routine and almost forgot to share it with you all. A couple of months back I was kindly sent some skincare from Bryt (Bright Young Things)*. Honestly, when it comes to skincare brands I haven't heard of before I do try them with caution, luckily my skin has been on its best behaviour the past two months, and my guess is these products have made a real difference. 

I decided to try the 3 step process that the brand offers. To cut to the chase, the foam cleanser isn't for me, simply because I much prefer a cream based cleanser and I always have. I decided to integrate the serum and moisturiser into my morning skincare routine, as it really needed some amping up. I have been using the  Essential Serum religiously each morning, I pat this onto my face and neck and it sinks in almost instantly, my skin is left feeling nourished and almost refined. This serum contains antioxidants and essential oils, since using this my skin appears to be much more balanced and less oily, so I am super impressed so far. 

Moisturising my skin is only something I have been doing consistency for around 8 months, so I'm still enjoying trying different options. The BRYT Day Moisturiser has SPS 15, which is something I look for in a moisturiser especially during the warmer months. I haven't found this to be too heavy on my skin or clog my pores, it just hydrates and has a mattifying finish, so perfect both on it's own or under makeup. I apply the moisturiser a few minutes after using the serum, they work really well with each other, a fab little combination for anyone with oily/ combination skin.

I wanted to find out more about the products and the ingredients so I headed to the website, every single one of the products contains a formulation called (Advanced Phytoscience System) which is said to detoxify the skin whilst also being moisturising, which is something I look for in most of my skincare products. I am really impressed with this brand, I honestly think this is the perfect start up skincare brand. Lovely ingredients, not too much of a hefty price tag and my teenage like skin is definitely appreciative of the serum and moisturiser. 
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Barry M Gelly Nail Paint: Summer Shades

          (wearing Acai Smoothie)

I'm not usually very loyal when it comes to nail polish, I'll often buy from any brand if I like the colour and just hope for the best. Recently my nails have been really weak, and I didn't have the time to even think about painting them when I was finishing off my degree. I recently picked up two polishes from the Barry M Gelly Nails range, as soon as I applied the first coat I remembered how bloody brilliant they are, and how they are a range I should be loyal to.

I went for the shades Pink Lemonade and Acai Smoothie. Both pretty toned down and wearable shades which is a change from the corals I usually opt for in the warmer months. With a base coat and two coats of polish, a glossy, opaque looking finish is provided. I've found it lasts 4 days on my nails with no chipping, which is a miracle considering my nails have been known to chip HALF AN HOUR after application - no joke.

I am pretty late to the party mentioning these, but new shades are constantly introduced into the range. These are a real oldie but a goodie, and perfect for anyone who likes to have professional gel looking nails on a budget. What are your favourite long lasting nail polishes?

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UPDATE: Finishing University, New Job in Social Media Marketing & Living at Home!

I have been wanting to write an update for so long but had no clue where to start. I'm going to write a whole post dedicated to university and my experience, because I have a hell of a lot to say. In short I have finished my degree and I'm just waiting on the results, I have around a month to wait and I'm already a bag of nerves! So what is my plan now? Well, I have been incredibly lucky and landed myself a job as a content director for a business within the field of beauty, which was exactly what I wanted. Since sharing my blog on social media around a year ago now, my love for blogging has escalated, the promotion and photography side are something I love and could spend all day doing. I knew from around Christmas time that it was my plan to get into the industry some how.

So currently I'm back living at home, which is fine, the plan was potentially to move into a flat that my boyfriend has bought, but with the prospect of being on my own all through the week I didn't quite fancy it just yet, maybe in a year or so I'll have a rethink. I'm in the process of adding some finishing touches to my nearly complete bedroom at home to make it all blogger-esque and pinterest worthy, that's just what I like. I'm taking major inspiration from Kate La Vie, her interior style is perfection! I recently bought my first car too, I have had my license for 3 years and I have been saving for a nice car ever since, so far it has been amazing having the freedom to go where I like and when I like, although parking is still a bit  a massive issue...

In terms of my little blog, well finally I have a new camera, I went for the Canon 700d after deciding that I didn't really need the 750d, and the olympus pen wasn't really what I was after. I'll be using the camera for much more than just my blog, so I wanted something that had a lot of features (that I definitely still need to get my head around). I'm hoping to post atleast 3 times a week whilst working full time, as my job will involve lots of time sitting at a computer, I'm making sure I give myself a break from it all and only providing content I'm really happy with. 

This year has been a real learning curve for me, I have gained so much confidence and I'm really trying to have the mind set that I should just give everything a go, and try my absolute best!
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Light Weight Summer Foundations

                                                               (L-R: Avene, DW Light, BB Blue)

Some of my favourite posts to write are about foundations and different bases. There is nothing better than finding the perfect match, for me a good foundation is the ultimate confidence booster. I have an oily t-zone and I like a dewy looking finish from my base during the summer months. I have rounded up my favourite bases that are long lasting and light weight without being flat and too matte on the skin.

The most recent base in my collection is the Avene Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector*, now let me tell you, if you love a natural looking finish that makes you look like an angel lit from within, (who doesn't love that?) then you need this in your life. Whether worn alone or under foundation the peachy tones help to correct the skin and add a glow. It is targeted towards those with dry skin to add hydration throughout the day. I wear this on the days my skin is feeling dehydrated and at the end of the day everything is left looking plump and healthy, not drained of moisture which is what happens when I wear a heavier base. I know it looks really dark, I was scared too when I first applied it, but it blends quickly leaving everything looking au natural. Avene is a brand I really trust skincare wise so I'm glad I love this too.

Next up is one I bang on about all the time, the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light. It seems a lot of people are put off double wear but it is my absolute go to foundation (I'm going to dedicate a whole post to it soon). The lighter version is like the originals younger sister, it provides a really long lasting (I'm talking alllll day) light/medium coverage base with a natural looking finish, perfect for minimal makeup days to just perfect the skin, in a much more discrete way than the other double wear.

Lastly is the La Roche Posay Effaclar BB Blur, this provides much more coverage than a typical BB cream. This is the perfect light weight base for anyone with oily skin and visible pores, the mousse like texture manages to blur everything leaving again a natural looking base, but without any imperfections. The staying power is also fab as it lasts a good 6 hours on my skin before I need to powder or blot any excess oil. The one issue with this one is the colour range, making the double wear light the best option for anyone unable to fit into the categories of light/medium or medium/ dark..

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My First Jo Malone Fragrance

There have been many a time I've popped into Jo Malone and swooned over everything. For me this brand gets everything perfect, from the simplistic packaging and luxury bags, I just love it and feel like it adds even more luxury to the experience. There is something about a nice fragrance that makes me feel special, its the finishing touch to any beauty routine so it's pretty important. For years I have wanted the Peony and Blush Suede Cologne but never got round to purchasing it, my mum went on holiday and kindly picked this up for me as a "well done for surviving uni" present.

Honestly at first I was unsure whether to write this post as I'm pretty pants at giving descriptions of the notes, you can find them all on the website anyway here, but I just had to throw in my two cents with this. Like all my perfumes this is a floral with a twist, it isn't over powering or garish but its a floral with a hint of sweetness. I wouldn't say this is too girly or typical either, its just a really lovely fresh and wearable summer scent. The longevity is pretty good on me, I often struggle with how long perfumes last on my skin, so to increase their staying power I use a body oil on my neck before applying this and that really does the trick. I'm looking forward to purchasing some more scents from Jo Malone to layer this with this the winter months.

If you have had your eye on Jo Malone then I wouldn't hesitate, such a gorgeous brand with fabulous fragrances, I'm seriously impressed!


The "Little Known Box" Review

Why I haven't tried a subscription box before I don't really know. I love the idea of having new beauty items delivered straight to my door each month, who wouldn't? 

When the "Little Known Box"* arrived I was firstly so pleased by the gorgeous box everything is housed in (I'm keeping mine to store nail polish). This is the latest beauty box on the market offering beauty related products from more well known brands and those that are niche and unique, giving you the chance to try from brands you may never had heard of.

The first thing I noticed was the gorgeous gold eyelash curlers from The Vintage Cosmetics Company. Not only do these look amazing on my dressing table (and in the odd Instagram flatlay off course) but more importantly they work really well, giving my lashes a curl that lasts throughout the day. The nail wraps also caught my eye, the design is really bold and unique, which for everyday isn't really for me, but I do have a festival coming up where I think these will come in handy to add some colour to my outfit. Lastly on the makeup front is a lipgloss from a brand called Medusas Makeup, which is a natural, cruelty and paraben free makeup brand. The lip gloss is a cherry red shade which will work really well over the top of some of my matte reds, or on its own for a less intense look.

There are two skincare items in the box, which I'm so pleased about as it gives a really good mix of things to try. The Flint+Flint moisturiser is the real gem of the box, it is made in England and the brand set out to provide skincare that contains quality ingredients, is simple and actually works. It is in a tube which in my opinion is the best for moisturiser as it keeps everything more hygienic and travel friendly, this leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated, and doesn't interfere with any makeup I apply on top. Overall I'm so impressed, and this retails at £32 making it a bargain! Lastly is the Dirtea exfoliating charcoal scrub, I'm actually going to take this away on holiday with me as its the perfect travel size. After having a browse online this brand again uses natural and cruelty free ingredients and is suitable for sensitive skin aswel, I'm excited to give this one a try!

After experiencing this I now truely understand the hype around a good subscription beauty box. This is fab as a monthly treat to yourself or as a one off gift to others. It has opened my eyes to the world of natural beauty, and knowing that there is much more out there than the more well known brands.

Have you tried any subscription boxes?
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