Sunday, 18 January 2015

The 2014 Beauty Favourites

Hello 2015. 

I'm not sure how i've managed to get so far behind in blogging this year already, but at least i've managed to make an appearance whilst it's still January (right?!). I took a bit of an unplanned break from all things internet in December, but to say i've missed it is an understatement!

Many of my favourites from 2014 probably don't come as a surprise. When it comes to something I like, I tend to stick with it. Luckily for me that made choosing the products to feature in my 2014 favourites a rather easy and speedy process.

Please note that all products have been linked in the titles (notice the large amount of Space NK links!) and where possible, I have also linked blog posts where the product has been mentioned. Grab  yourself a drink, get comfy and prepare yourself for a rather long post with a heck of a lot of repetition when it comes to the words 'perfect' and 'amazing'...

So lets start with the most obvious as this stuff has featured on my blog more times that I can count. This has been my favourite foundation now for over a year and nothing has even come close. One blob of this blended into skin delivers a natural veil of long lasting coverage that perfects rather than conceals your skin. Full review here

I've had this since last Christmas and probably used it at least once every week since. The colours are beautiful and the quality of the eyeshadow is amazing. Full review here.

If you're in need of an eye primer that's seriously heavy duty, then this is your guy. My eyeshadow has a tendency to disappear, but a few dabs of this keep it in place pretty much all day. 

Charlotte Tilbury makeup was a new discovery for me in 2014, and boy do I love it. Everything from the packaging to the texture of these shadows is swoon worthy. Full review here.

Just like the eyeshadows, this eyeliner is also something pretty spectacular. It's the creamiest and most pigmented kohl i've ever tried. And in terms of longevity, this seriously has it mastered - I promise you that once dry, this will not budge. Full review here

This one is a relatively new discovery as I picked it up in Beauty Mart during a short trip to London in November. For the majority of 2014 I'd been using and loving L'Oreal's Miss Manga Mascara. As amazing as the L'Oreal offering is, the Fairydrops mascara is without a doubt the best mascara I have ever used, EVER. Long, dark and voluptuous lashes with absolutely no smudging or flaking in sight. 

I've been using this pretty much everyday since March. The shade dark brunette is the perfect match for my brows and the slightly waxy texture ensures things are kept in place. The spoolie also rocks. 

You can just see this going into the picture at the bottom right and you might be able to tell that it's pretty much all gone. I keep this in my bag for quick touch ups during the day. It eliminates shine but also adds a natural glow that leaves skin looking healthy. Full review here

From the moment these blushes were released at the beginning of the year, I fell in love. Not only are they visibly stunning but the blush itself looks flawlessly natural on the skin. The combination of three of the shades together is almost too dreamy. If you can't get your hands on the palette then I would recommend giving the individual blushes a go instead. Full review here

Another beautifully packaged blush that also delivers on formula, though what I love most about this is how well the peachy hue instantly brightens up my ghostly complexion. Full review here

The perfect, 'my lips but better shade. It's so good I can just about get away with applying this without a mirror. 

It was a tough choice between this and By Terry's Balme de Rose, but after taking into account the price differences, this was a clear winner. Nuxe's lip balm soothes and nourishes dry and chapped lips like no other. This is my second tub and I'm already a good way through. Full Review here

This makes blush application easy peasy. The quality of Bobbi Brown Brushes is also amazing - hopefully i'll be adding a few more to my collection this year. Full review here

I'm not sure how this brush has escaped being mentioned on the blog so far. It's the perfect brush for flawlessly blending foundation into the skin. It also makes the whole ordeal rather speedy too. 

After discovering this cleanser, no other cleanser has even come close. It's safe to say that after using this morning and night for several months, my skin has never looked better. Full review here

When it comes to nail polish, i'm a huge fan of pale and pastel hues. As unexciting as this muted sheer pink is, it's definitely been my most worn shade in 2014. 

After purchasing a small can at the beginning of the year, i've now become addicted to this stuff and am now quickly spritzing my way through the (rather pricey) full sized bottle. Full review here

I bought this in the sale last year and have worn it almost every day since. It's definitely worth a sniff if your into fresh and fig scented fragrances.  Full review here

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Pai Skincare

Pai skincare has been one of those brands that i've been wanting to try for such a long time but never quite got round to. Well, when my eye cream finally ran out, I decided to replace it with the Pai Echium and Argan Gentle Eye Cream and also threw in their Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, because why not?! 

Pai Skincare is particularly good for those with sensitive and allergy prone skin as they use a lot of natural ingredients and avoid irritating chemicals and alcohol. Being part of the sensitive skin club, the brand has always seemed that little bit more appealing to me (anything that claims not to make my skin turn into Belisha Beacon is a winner in my eyes).

The Echium and Argan Gentle Eye Cream pretty much does what it says on the tin. It hydrates and soothes the delicate skin around my eyes with absolutely no irritation whatsoever. As it is quite soothing it's great to use to calm any puffiness in the morning and acts as a great base for makeup. After using it for the past two months, it's safe to say i'm a fan.

So, the Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil is where things get a little tricky - you could say that so far i'm undecided! Rosehip is a great ingredient for the skin - it firms, nourishes and aids the skins natural repair process. I've been applying a small blob of this under my moisturiser before I go to bed and when I wake up my skin feels and looks smooth and plumped. The only problem is that recently i've been having a bit of a skin nightmare. I'm usually quite lucky and only suffer from the occasional spot, however, over the last month or so i've had clusters of breakouts and flakey skin around my mouth and jawline. I can't be sure of the culprit (or whether it's just stress) but it does appear to flare up when I use this oil. For now, i've put it to the side to see if my skin gets better, and perhaps when things are back to normal i'll give it another whirl. Think of this as a 'to be continued...'

Have you tried anything from Pai?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette (Aka. - The Palette of Dreams)

Left to Right : Luminous Flush | Incandescent Electra | Mood Exposure

When I first set eyes upon the newly released Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette, I'm pretty sure I started having small heart palpitations. The original Ambient Lighting blushes are pretty dreamy, but when three shades of the blushes are all housed in the same palette, things just get taken to a whole new level! 

I'm a huge fan of the individual blushes and the quality of these don't disappoint either. They apply a sheer and natural flush of colour with a subtle sheen for that 'healthy glow' finish. The palette contains two permanent shades, Luminous Flush (rose pink) and Mood Exposure (soft plum) as well as one limited edition shade, Incandescent Electra (pink toned peach). All three shades are easy to apply and wear and so far i've been unable to determine a favourite! On my pale skin the sheer finish stops them looking a bit too 'overdone' but if you have a darker skin tone it's also easy to build up a little more colour. 

If your looking for some gift ideas or simply want to treat yourself, I couldn't recommend this palette enough. 

Monday, 10 November 2014

The Repurchased

When it comes to make-up, I'm no stranger to trying new things. However, as fun as this can be, sometimes you discover products that you just fall head over heels for and simply can't live without. I name these the repurchased - the one's where upon squeezing out the last drop evokes a sense very akin to fear and results in a panicked dash to repurchase the empty product immediately. (Okay, perhaps slightly dramatic, and besides, I buy back ups!!)

If you've been hanging around these parts for a while, then it probably comes as no surprise that Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation is top of my repurchased list - In fact I think this is my fourth or fifth bottle. I have to admit, i'm in a bit of a foundation rut, but for good reason. A small blob of this buffed into skin leaves a natural and luminous (but not shiny) finish that lasts well throughout the day. It's also one of the few foundation's to offer a shade pale enough for my ghost-like complexion. Urban Decay's All Nighter Make-up Setting Spray is another one of those products that I've repurchased multiple times (so much so i've lost count!). A couple of spritzes sets everything in place and really helps to keep things looking 'just applied' for a lot longer. It comes in particularly useful if you've got a long day ahead or if its a bit hot and sticky outside.

I never wear eyeshadow without Nars' Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base underneath so this was another inevitable repurchase. I've tried multiple primers in the past, but for me, none work quite as well as this one. Essie's Fiji nail polish is perhaps my favourite shade, ever, so of course a repurchase was a must. This is my third bottle, though the first one I lost (and still haven't found, how does this happen?!) and I'm sure it won't be my last. It might be a spring/summer pastel hue, but that doesn't stop me wearing it all year round.

Finally, L'Oreal's Miss Manga Mascara is one of the newest additions to my repurchased list. I've always been a huge fan of L'Oreal's Volume Million's Mascara, but after trying this newer release, I think I might just prefer it. It's also £2 cheaper, win, win

Friday, 7 November 2014

An Introduction to Charlotte Tilbury

Since launching last year, the Charlotte Tilbury make-up line has been nothing but popular amongst the beauty community. Despite penning numerous wish lists for at least half the collection, it hasn't been until the recent launch of northern counters that I've finally managed to get my paws on some of the collection. After swatching my way through the majority of the offering, I eventually managed to drastically narrow down my shopping basket to just two items...

It goes without saying that my first choice was always going to be one of the beautiful eye shadow palettes. The Dolce Vita palette is more often the popular choice amongst bloggers, however, as gorgeous as it is, I decided I would get a lot more daily wear from The Golden Goddess palette. The neutral colours are perfect for both day and night, and the sparkly shade on the bottom left adds an extra dimension. It's somewhat akin to pressed pigment and adds a pop of glitter when pressed onto the lid with your finger. Everything from the buttery texture of the shadows to the unique packaging makes using this palette feel so exciting and luxurious - it's definitely one of my favourite makeup purchases ever

Unable to leave with just one thing, I also purchased the Rock N' Kohl Liquid Eye Pencil in Barbarella Brown. The consistency of this is unbelievable - creamy and smooth, it applies effortlessly   without a hint of tugging. It also delivers on pigmentation, making it easy to create either a precise line or smudging it out for more of a soft smokey look. The best bit of all though? This stuff seriously doesn't budge come rain or shine, so there's no fear of panda eyes, even if you've just watched John Lewis's Monty the Penguin Advert. I would advise keeping a heavy weight eye makeup remover handy for bedtime - The Clinique Instant eye make-up remover has had no problem removing every last trace so far, or for a more budget friendly offering, Rimmel's eye makeup remover gets the job done just as well. 

 I might have managed to leave without purchasing the entire counter this time but my Charlotte Tilbury wish list seems to have only increased since - the colour chameleon's, gorgeous blushes, beautifully packaged lipsticks and the swoon worthy's only a matter of time (oh, and pennies!).