Friday, 24 November 2017

An Autumn Skincare Treat Routine - Kiehls, Beauty Pie, Emma Hardie, Sunday Riley

Alessandra Steinherr is the one I have to thank for the Sunday Night Facial becoming a verb, and a big part of my life. That girl's got good skin, and whatever she's doing, I want in on it. My current treat routine is definitely increasing my good skin days, and with a few swappable components, pretty much stays the same in its essence week to week.

First up - cleanse. You simply cannot go wrong with a healthy dose of Emma Hardie's Moringa Cleansing Balm in your life. This is a cult classic for a very good reason - it cleanses without stripping the skin, feels gorgeous, is super luxurious and does the job. Use a flannel and do a decent double cleanse - this is your weekend treat, after all - I tend to follow this up with Beauty Pie's Double Phase cleanser which I am still utterly in love with.

Next - treat - and you could do much worse than Beauty Pie's Fruitizyme Five Minute Facial. I'm not sure what sorcery is in this little bottle, but it really does work like magic for me. The more I use it, the more I love it - it's a fantastic exfoliant and brightens the complexion. Glorious.

Generally I'll follow up with a favourite mask at this point - something clay-ey if I have time, or if my skin has really taken a battering then Kiehl's gorgeous Calendula and Aloe mask is like a hug in a tub. To finish, moisturiser - again, Kiehl's are my current go-to with their Ultra Facial Oil-Free Moisturiser. It's a great oily skin option, not overwhelming in the slightest, and is very soothing and cooling to apply.

For a super-brighten, Sunday Riley's Luna goes on just before bed. There are plenty of cheaper, equally excellent, if not better, retinols in the world, but this super luxurious version is my current Sunday night treat au choix.

Do you have a favourite skincare routine? What are your top products?

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned bought with my own money.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Bold lipsticks for Autumn/Fall

Bold lips? For Autumn? Groundbreaking. 

I know. Painfully clichéd. But there you have it. I love me some juicy dark lips when the weather turns. I've got five gorgeous tones pretty much on rotation at the moment, to the point that the lip staining left behind makes it look like I'm still wearing one of these bad boys at 8am the next day.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips in Show Girl has been a grower for me. I really wasn't sold on the moussey texture at first, and it applies much darker than initially expected; but now the nights are a-drawing in I find myself reaching for it more often. It's on the less challenging end of dark berry lips, so it may be a good option if the next few firecrackers are a bit out of your comfort zone.

MAC Chili is a glorious brown-orange-red that just screams millennial autumnal perfection. It's a classic MAC creamy matte formula, so it's very comfortable and pretty long wearing. I'm on my second tube of Chili, and that basically never happens. With some decent mascara and a good base, you can't go wrong. If you like your brown-reds a bit, well, more red, then Colourpop's Ultra Satin lips (my absolute favourite liquid lipstick formula) in the shade Lost is a real winner. It's juicy, satin, matte, lasts for ages and is easy to apply.

Top-Bottom CT Show Girl, MAC Chili, Colourpop, JS Unicorn Blood, Dior Poison Metal 
Then we have the vamp-tastic end of the spectrum. As much as I am not a Jeffree Star fan, there's no denying that Unicorn Blood is the most gorgeous, deep, wine-red tone. I like the formula - I find it minimally drying and pretty long-wearing - but mainly I just love this colour! Dior's gorgeous Liquid Lip Stain in Poison Metal takes all the prizes for ultra-deep tones, however. The link here posts to a lip swatch - its metallic, vampy, easy to apply and super comfortable. I'm sold.

What are your A/W '17 favourites?

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned bought with my own money.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Body Moisturisers for Winter - The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter and Palmer's Cocoa Butter

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter and Palmer's Cocoa Butter Moisturiser

I have to admit, I am a creature of intense habit when it comes to Winter bodycare. I'm also a creature of not-a-zillion-pounds. I'd much rather, in all honesty, go all out on the facial skincare/makeup with my hard-earned dolla, so my poor body gets a little neglected. I have incredibly dry skin on my body (I think I just divert all oils to my poor face) so I really should be better at looking after it! My high-street faves are long term staples without a totally crippling price tag - oh, and they smell glorious to boot.

The Body Shop are all over the body butter market. The coconut version is my absolute favourite and has been for years. The scent is gorgeous (well, if you like coconuts) without being overpowering, and it is richly, deeply moisturising. This works as a brilliant aftersun moisturiser too, from experience; and at about £15 for a massive tub? It's a steal. The Body Shop regularly have amazing sales and offers on, so get on that email list and stock up!

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Daily Skin Therapy Lotion is another all-time favourite for me. It comes in a whacking great big pump dispenser for ease of use, and lasts for ages. At approximately a fiver for 400ml, you can't go wrong. The smell is lovely - comforting, vanilla-ey - and it is super moisturising on my extra-dry skin.

What are your favourite body moisturisers?

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned bought with my own money.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Armani Lip Magnet in Shade 508 Androgini Review - Christmas 2017 Collection

Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet in Shade 508

If you're a longer term reader of this here blog, you'll be well aware of my love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with liquid lipsticks. I love the whole matte lip look, but I cannot abide the cat's bum lip effect after a few hours, or that gross white ring of.. stuff (eugh). Lancôme have come close to perfect with their formula, in my opinion, but this new shade (and relatively new formula) from Armani Beauty has all of my attention for A/W '17.

Armani Lip Magnet in shade 508 Androgini is an absolutely gorgeous cool, blush pink-nude shade. I feel like this is the shade I've been looking for all of my makeup loving life. It is really soft and muted, and I'd wager that on the fairest skintones would look absolutely beautiful. On my medium-olive skintone, this is a really flattering, almost mauvey nude shade, which doesn't wash me out.

The applicator is a stroke of genius - application is a breeze. The texture is light, without being runny or moussey, and applies evenly over the lips (nothing short of a modern makeup miracle, in my experience of nude liquid lipsticks). The finish is more on the satin-matte side, but that is a sacrifice I am more than willing to make in the name of comfort.

Armani Lip Magnet in shade 508

What's really impressive is the lasting power. I completely forgot I was wearing any lipstick at all, and when I looked in the mirror 6 hours later (having eaten) there was no dryness, no white-ring-of-embarrassment and just the most even, virtually unnoticeable fade at the lipline. No complaints here. If you like pinks lipstick anything to do with makeup get yourself one of these. You'll love it. I promise.

I paired mine with two of my old faves - MAC Breath of Plum blush (my favourite Winter blush of all time) and Bobbi Brown's Shimmer Brick in Pink Quartz. Old school, right? Well, they're still in my stash because they are excellent. Not sorry at all.

Armani Lip Magnet shade 508

Overall - get one. I'm eyeing up two more shades from the Christmas collection as we speak.

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned bought with my own money.

Friday, 10 November 2017

The best foundations for light olive skintones

The Best Foundations for Light Olive Skintones

Karima McKimmie is my YouTube icon. There are many wide ranging reasons for this - she is beautiful, she does her own thing, she talks sense, she's hilarious... I could go on. However, the main thing that drew me to her channel in the first place is that she has the same issue as I do - she has light-light/medium, olive undertones to her skin. That means we are basically the same person  have the same foundation affliction: virtually no-one makes suitable shades.

In summer, this isn't a problem at all - I tan very quickly (yes, even with significant SPF) and can be a MAC NC40 in no time. Mid-toned yellow-olive? No problem. EX1 has me covered, and a combination of NARS Sheer Glow in Stromboli and Barcelona are spot on (though this is admittedly having to mix shades again). 

In winter/all year in the U.K., however, I am a chilly NC20-25 with a strong olive lean. This has resulted in many years of spending the winter looking bonkers. Generally, looking peach/orange/ghostly/dead for 6+ months of the year, and struggling to find foundation, or powder for that matter, that was actually flattering. How did I find foundations that work for me, I hear you cry? A poop-ton of research, my lovely friends. A poop-ton.
The best foundation for light olive skintones - swatches
L-R Armani LS 6, Makeup Store Coconut, Laura Mercier shade 2N2 Cashew, NARS Sheer Glow in Punjab, The Ordinary 2.0YG, Illamasqua Skinbase 8.5
So I'm saving you some hours trawling, and hopefully some funds, with this post. Here are my absolute olive faves. Some are darker or more olive leaning than others, but hopefully this goes a little way in helping in the neverending sea of foundations out there. Even those which are a hair too dark or light don't look absurd on me, because the undertone isn't wildly off.

1) Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in shade 6. This is, admittedly, far too dark for my midwinter complexion, but the formula is so absolutely divine and it plays so well with other foundations that it is a fantastic mixer for lighter/too peach foundations that you may already own.

2) Makeup Store Sculpt Excellence Foundation in Coconut. This is probably the most perfect light olive match I've found. It is gorgeous - and practically green. Just what I need. Yes, the applicator was invented by someone who has never used makeup before, but I'm willing to overlook that for the full coverage formula, undertone and long lasting-ness. That green tho.

3) Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation 2N1 Cashew. Hear me out here. This is for the palest of days, but it won't leave you looking pink/yellow. It's tricky in the swatch above as it's next to the greenest foundation known to man, but this is so slap-bang neutral that it'll cover any redness from the winter cold without leaving you looking peach. This one took me by surprise as to how lovely it is - full post to follow soon.

4) NARS Sheer Glow in Punjab -  this looks peachy here, but I find this colour is relatively sympathetic as the weather gets colder If you have just an olivey hint, this is worth a swatch. The formula is lovely. Combined with a dot of the Armani shade 6, the finish is glowy, not greasy, and the right colour family to boot.

5) The Ordinary Coverage Foundation in 2.0 YG - this is a fantastic shade, formula, and price. Literally nothing not to love if you're light olive. Full post to follow on this bad boy shortly, too.

6) Illamasqua Skinbase in 8.5. Last but absolutely not least. I freakin' LOVE this foundation over winter. Very perfecting, glowy satin finish, and plays beautifully with others. It is slightly less olive-toned than, say, Armani's offering, but that's perfect if you are lighter toned. It's a beautiful shade, and beautiful formula.

Others I know of but can't vouch for are Koh Gen Do Aqua in 213, Bourjois Healthy Mix in 52 (I don't like this formula, but the colour is good) and Urban Decay All Nighter in shade 4.0.

I hope this was helpful!

Some links above are affiliate links. All products bought with my own money.


Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Huda Beauty Mauve Obsessions Palette Review and Swatches

Huda Beauty Mauve Obsessions Mini Palette Review and Swatches

Huda Kattan has repeatedly broken the internet with every new release. The new Obsessions palettes were no exception - Cult Beauty had some pretty serious traffic on launch night! I've never been able to stomach the price point of her larger palettes, but the new Huda Beauty Obsessions palettes are available for a much more palatable wallet hit.

Now, her larger palettes have been the subject of a bit of internet controversy - high price, mixed quality, fallout ++ with the glitters; but others loving the blendability and shade selection. Not something I can comment on, but rest assured, I was willing to ignore all mixed-review chat and go in with a clear mind.

I have been seriously won over by this little powerhouse. As someone who very rarely hits pan on a shadow, I actually love the dinky size of this palette (about the size of the palm of my hand) as it's very portable, and there aren't too many colours - the shade selection is thoroughly cohesive throughout, well edited, and there are more mattes than shimmers. Hooray!

Huda Beauty Mauve Obsessions Palette Swatches
The matte shades are really smooth, soft and blendable. The darker shades do require a little building, but I am not averse to this - they blend so beautifully that a rich, professional looking smokey eye is actually achieveable for application dunces like myself. The shimmers are quite dense and firmly pressed - not dissimilar to Kat Von D's Metal Crush shadows - and I find they are best applied with a finger. I always use a really good primer for any eyeshadow, and find that every shade wears well, starting to fade at around the 7-8 hour mark. I've not experienced any fallout issues. the top-right mauvey-taupe shade is absolutely beautiful; sheered out with a brush over the lid by itself, it has a similar effect to my beloved Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock.

Overall - massively impressed. Considering another purchase. Smokey Obsessions, you're next. 

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned bought with my own money. 

Huda Beauty Mauve Obsessions Palette Review and Swatches


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Kat Von D is still relatively new to us in the U.K. Long were the years of watching beauty YouTubers bang on about how good this eyeliner is and not being able to try it out for myself. Thanks to Debenhams, I've finally been able to get my mitts on this bad boy - but it's not been straightforward love at first line.

Ok so first off, good things.  This is really black and pigmented. Winner. The brush style applicator is far preferable for me to the usual foamy squishy thing they put on these pen eyeliners, and it stays on really well all day. I have hooded eyes and really struggle to find a decent eyeliner that doesn't end up on my browbone after ten seconds, and the Kat Von D Tattoo liner stays put beautifully.

Oh, also, any sharper and you'd cut yourself on your wings using this liner. Supremely precise, if you have a steady hand.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

My gripe? Contact lens wearers, beware. If you're not a genius at applying winged liner (and let's face it, unless your name is Jamie Genevieve, who is) and get anywhere near your top waterline with this product - forget it. Game over. It's on your eye, down your inner waterline, and all over your contact lens. Gross and impractical. I have wondered in the past if there was some reason many beauty gurus use this to outline a fierce wing, and then fill in with another product (see Nikkie Tutorials' technique here).

Given my penchant for terrible liner application, this is going to stay for finalising and tidying up wings, but isn't going to be a repurchase for me.

Have you tried this liner? What did you think?

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned bought with my own money.
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