Sunday, 29 March 2015

My lazy four step evening routine

a lazy four step evening routine

Sometimes I'm so tired in the evening that it's a miracle that I manage to take my makeup off, but I always, always do. No matter what. Yes, even after a night out. I find the best way to ensure the lazies don't get the best of me is to literally make it the first thing I do every night when I get home from work. After I've taken my coat and shoes off, obvs.

On those nights when I really can't be bothered, I keep my evening routine as simple and easy as possible so that even lazy old me can cope. Lately I've been loving the Nip+Fab Deep Cleansing Fix (£7.95) to remove my makeup. Super cheap and really great at getting my makeup off, this mahoosive tube is great value for money. I tend to double cleanse with it too, you know, as it's hard work reaching for something else on top... It's a super creamy cleanser that melts off makeup really quickly and leaves my skin really soft, nourished and keeps those spots at bay. It really is a wonder product and if it's good enough for Ms Jenner herself then I'm in too. Eye-wise I've been reaching for this little tub that I got with an Estee Lauder GWP a little while ago. The Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Eye Cream (£46) is quite light, but I find it really hydrates my eye area and doesn't irritate it at all. I don't think I've got much left of this left as I've been using it in the mornings too but I might have to pick up the full size version soon as its really nice and I find most eye creams a bit hit or miss.

Now, you didn't think we'd get through an evening routine without me mentioning an oil right? Not a chance. I've always got time for the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil (£22) as it's so awesome. It's saved my skin many a time but it's also really good for perking up your skin come morning. My skin loves this Pai oil so much as it helps heal up blemishes and the nasty scars they leave behind. Lastly, and usually just before I go to bed, if I need more moisture (i.e. if its been a particularly tiring day!), I put on a little layer of the Garnier Miracle Sleeping Cream (£12.99). This is quite similar to The Body Shop Bouncy Sleeping Mask, except it sinks into the skin completely and smells a bit like yoghurt - no joke, it makes me so hungry! I got this in the the March My Little Box and I'm really impressed with it. It adds enough but not too much moisture and is also really nice on its own too. It makes my skin look much healthier and radiant and almost like I've had eight hours sleep when really I haven't. If TBS version seems a bit pricey then give this Garnier alternative a look-see.

Do you have a quick lazy routine that works for you or will you be trying any of my picks?

Laura

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Thursday, 26 March 2015

More than a makeover: Jane Iredale makeup with No6 Clinic Tunbridge Wells

Jane Iredale makeup with No6 Clinic Tunbridge Wells
 
Jane Iredale makeup with No6 Clinic Tunbridge Wells

A few weeks ago (which feels like a life time ago now), I was invited over to No6 Clinic in Tunbridge Wells for their Jane Iredale makeup event. The brand is one of the most well known mineral makeup brands but yet one I was still to try. No6 Clinic have both their cosmetic clinic where you can have a full on pamper, as well as a shop that's just around the corner where you can have a little bit of a spend up on skincare and makeup goodies.

Despite my makeup obssession, I've probably had my face done professionally only a couple of times so I didn't really know what to expect. What really pleasantly surprised me was that it was so much more than just getting your makeup done! My appointment included a proper consultation where we discussed my current skincare routine, my concerns and so on. I was then recommended a few supplements and Environ products which No6 Clinic stock that would help address them. Supplements are not something I've really considered before so the skincare junkie in me was rather intrigued. I'm also definitely going to look into Environ a bit more as I think it would really benefit my skin. No6 Clinic run Environ events too, where you can have your skin scanned in this odd looking machine and analysed so I might have to investigate that as well, sounds pretty high tech huh?

Jane Iredale makeup with No6 Clinic Tunbridge Wells

Jane Iredale makeup with No6 Clinic Tunbridge Wells

Anyways, back to the makeup. As I said, it's not often I get the chance to have my makeup done properly so rather than go for my usual safe neutral look we went for a dark blue smokey eye. The eyeshadows blended so gorgeously and it's definitely a look that I think I could do myself. As I'm all about lighter bases right now we used the Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream, which even though its called full coverage, it covers well but isn't heavy at all. I might have to pick this one up as I was really impressed with it. I did, however, end up buying the Jane Iredale Lip Fixation Gloss in Mania as well as the Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Blush in Sheer Honey. Both compliment my skin tone really well and the blush is super flattering. The lip gloss has one end that's a stain and a clear gloss. It lasts ages on my lips too which is always a good thing.

All in all I'm really impressed with Jane Iredale makeup and the No6 Clinic. If you're based in Kent I'd definitely suggest checking it out and I'll definitely be going back there at some point soon.

Laura

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Monday, 23 March 2015

Four to try: Face masks

Face masks to try out

If there's one thing you should definitely take time to add into your routine it's sure as hell a face mask or two. I find them so effective on my skin, and it's also a good excuse to have some me time and just kick back for 10-15 minutes or so. My skin teeters between dry, dull and blemish ridden (pretty I know, what a catch!), so I've got a handful of fail-safes that are always on hand to sort things up.

First up and new in is the Nip+Fab Glycolic Instant Fix Mask (£12.95). It doesn't break the bank and my skin adores AHAs so I think I'm onto a winner here. This is great when my skin is feeling a bit blah and bumpy. The glycolic acid clears pores and exfoliates the skin, leaving it super smooth and much brighter. It's also really good for healing and preventing acne and disguising my ever increasing fine lines. I find this gives quite similar results to the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, except its much cheaper, doesn't resemble jam and I can just about pronounce it.

Do you ever get those grey, dull skin days when you literally look like the walking dead? Well I certainly do and it's normally because I haven't had enough sleep and always have a very busy day ahead of me (typical). I've spoken about this a lot recently but the REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial (£32) is the lazy girl's morning fixer-upper (i.e. me). It's really gentle but is so good for faking sleep. I wrote about disguising late nights recently but would highly recommend trying this one out if you need a bit more life injected into your skin but don't have much time to spare.

I'm onto my third tube of the NUDE Miracle Mask Exfoliating Mask (£38) now and it's one that I have to have in my bathroom at all times. Again it contains glycolic acid (I'm obsessed I tell thee!), as well as hyaluronic acid to moisturise the skin. I tend to use this instead of a manual exfoliator when my skin is playing up and is angry and bumpy as its so gentle and doesn't aggravate things. Left on for five minutes it gets to work and leaves my skin so smooth and soft and ready to follow with something a little more nourishing.

This bring me nicely onto the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask (£21.99). This has to be my most gushed about, most repurchased skincare product of all time and for a damn good reason. It's essentially a cleansing/hydrating mask that's perfect for my skin. It helps heal blemishes without breaking you out further and calms the skin with the anti-bacterial qualities of manuka honey. It's super dreamy to apply and adds loads of moisture to my skin. Seriously, if you haven't tried this yet you really must. I'm about half way through this tube and will be stocking up (again) very shortly as I cannot run out of this. I use it twice a week without fail. It's love and I ain't ashamed!

Have you used any of these face masks or do you have some others that I should try out?

Laura

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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

How to fake a good night's sleep

how to fake a good night's sleep

I am so guilty of not getting enough sleep. I have the best of intentions, but decide to read or watch too many YouTube videos in bed and come morning I'm not looking too great. However, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that somehow manage to help me fake a good nights sleep, so if you're guilty of burning the midnight oil too, keep reading.

A new discovery and one that has become a firm favourite is the REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial (£32). Applied to dry skin this is perfect for whacking on first thing in the morning as it's super easy and doesn't take up much time at all. Afterwards my skin looks and feels more radiant and alive. To calm down the eye bags and help wake me up I always turn to the Origins No Puffery cooling roll-on for puffy eyes (£24). Mine lives in the fridge so the cold gel and metal applicator really help reduce my eye bags to something more manageable. I could just stand there rolling this on all day!

how to fake a good night's sleep

how to fake a good night's sleep

When my skin is feeling a bit dull and grey the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Morning Facial (£46) is a lovely addition to my routine. It's a fine oil which sinks in super quickly and just really perks up my face. I'm not sure quite how it does it, but it makes such a difference. It really does give a post-facial glow and makes my skin feel so soft and moisturised. If you team it with the Overnight Facial before you go to bed you're laughing. Seriously.

One thing I never skip when I've not had much sleep is curling my eyelashes with the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers (£20). Totally unrivalled, they really curl my lashes and open up the eyes, making them look much more rested. I also love using the Rodial Instaglam Magic Pen Eye Glow (£22) in the corner of my eyes as the shimmery champagne colour really perks things up a notch. It's so easy to apply but makes all the difference. It's also rather lovely blended onto your brow bone.

To conceal any remaining eye luggage or blue tones I reach for the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer (£21.50). It covers pretty much anything and hardly creases at all. It's a really good all-rounder and great on blemishes as it doesn't cake. If all else fails and I really can't hide how bad I'm feeling in my eyes I always turn to a bright lipstick like the Bourgois Rouge Edition Velvet in Hot Pepper (£8.99). Wearing a bright lip somehow makes you feel a bit more perkier and special, and it will take all attention away from your eyes, so no one will be staring at those bags. The Rouge Edition Velvets are also pretty hydrating for a matte formula and they really do stick around so you can be pretty low maintenance too, which is definitely what I go for when I'm feeling a bit tired.

Do you have any tips and tricks for faking a good night's sleep?

Laura

The post How to fake a good night's sleep appeared first on Lelore.

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Worth the Hype? La Roche-Posay Serzonic

La Roche Posay Serozinc Review

Either you're in the toner camp or not, and I most certainly am. I tend to double tone most days, first with an exfoliating toner and then with something more moisturising. So when I won a can of La Roche-Posay Serozinc (£8.50) to try out from Escentual it was quite a happy moment.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc has been raved about for quite a while, but up until recently was only accessible to our European sisters unless you fancied paying the Ebay mark up. Luckily Escentual answered our prayers and are now stocking this highly hyped up blue bottle. But is it worth the hype?

Firstly, there's not many toners that come in the form of a can. The spray itself is really fine and super refreshing so it's easy to use a little too much. Come Summer this is going to be a godsend for cooling me down. La Roche-Posey Serozinc only has three ingredients, thermal spring water for which the brand is known for, zinc sulphate and astringent sodium chloride, so its specially formulated for us blemish prone people and aims to calm the skin and heal breakouts. It's also meant to mattify the skin and reduce the appearance of pores, although I don't have an issue with these so I can't comment of its effectiveness here.

The first few times I used it, not gonna lie, I was a bit skeptical and on the fence as while it felt lovely to spray over my face, it didn't appear to do much. A week later and a hormonal breakout struck with nasty under the skin cystic lovelies that literally felt like I'd been punched in the face - you know the ones. Within about two days they massively calmed down, the redness subsided and they packed their bags and off they went. Usually when I get spots like this they lurk and lurk until I can't leave them alone (gross I know), and I usually end up with a lovely scar instead.

My routine has been really simple recently and I haven't used anything else aimed at blemishes so I'm pretty sure I can put it down to La Roche-Posay Serozinc. I think this is definitely worth the hype and if you suffer from blemishes it's most certainly worth trying out. I'm going to be stocking up while there's a third off French pharmacy products over at Escentual, so I'll be ready for the Summer and the next cystic visitors. If only this came in a mini version for my bag, now that would be good...

Have you tried this and did you think it was worth the hype?

Laura

The post Worth the hype? La Roche-Posay Serozinc appeared first on Lelore.

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

A little pamper treat: The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Range

The body shop smoky poppy range

Two posts on The Body Shop in once week might be a bit much but I really have to express my love for The Body Shop Smoky Poppy range. I've discovered so many great things from The Body Shop in the last few months, they've really upped their game and are now way more than just body butters and soaps. They're easily one of my favourite brands at the moment.

I always buy body scrubs from The Body Shop as they last quite a while and they really nourish the skin as well as making it silky smooth. I picked up the Smoky Poppy Body Scrub (£13) on a whim a few weeks back and it was love at first scrub. It's really moisturising and leaves my skin so soft and smooth. It's quite a grown up, dusky scent that I really like. It's quite Molton Brown-eque I think and very luxurious. Needless to say it was a matter of days before I stocked up on more of the range. I do love a soak in the bath so I've been having quite a few spa type little pamper sessions with these little loves.

The Smoky Poppy Shower Gel (£4) is actually black which was a bit bizarre at first - I wasn't expecting that! The scent is consistent throughout the range and the gel itself is again quite hydrating and doesn't strip the skin like I find some body washes do. This is my go-to at the moment, I really can't get enough of it so it's not going to last me that long. If only it came in litre bottles. Seriously, that would be awesome. Can we have please? And a bucket of the scrub to go with it?

I am the laziest when it comes to moisturising my body, which is quite bad really considering how much I look after my face but can't be the best at everything I guess. I love thick body butters but in the winter I just want to get out of the bath and into my pjs if I'm honest, so a lotion is much easier and more likely to get used. The Smoky Poppy Body Lotion (£8) is perfect for the job and even has a pump so no mess at all. I've been slathering this on and it sinks in really quickly so no hanging around freezing in the bathroom!

My only gripe is that The Body Shop Smoky Poppy range is limited edition, and I now need to buy the rest of the range. By the truckload. And smother myself in it. Every day.

Have you tried anything from the range yet and what's your favourite range from The Body Shop?

Laura

The post A little paper treat: The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Range appeared first on Lelore.
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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

For when you want your skin to glow



products for dewy glowing skin

There's no denying it; winter really does suck the life out of our skin. A combination of the cold temperatures outside, gusty winds and drying central heating often leaves our skin parched and begging for some much needed moisture and sun. After a weekend of glorious Spring-like weather, I'm really looking forward to the warmer months and I'm on the case with faking some seriously dewy and healthy skin. Here's a few products that get me over the line and into Summer mode before you can say "Margarita".

Happy radiant skin most surely starts with good skincare. Perfect for popping on while you brush your teeth in the morning is the REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial (£32 but currently £27.50). This is best applied to dry skin before massaging in with damp fingers to activate the Vitamin C inside. It's such a nifty little exfoliating mask. Small but mighty, this really perks things up in just one minute.

I've gushed about the Revlon Photoready Skin Lights Facial Illuminator in Bare Light (£11.99) many a time, and that's because it really is that great. A definite dupe for the Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer, this budget find is great as a primer, highlighter or even on it's own and it really wakes up my face without turning things into a disco. 

If you're after some serious glow and I do mean serious, then the Seventeen Skin Wow Highlighter (£5.99) is your guy. This is so similar to the Dior Glow Maximiser it's untrue, but way cheaper. Again you can apply this in many different ways but I love to mix it with my NARS Sheer Glow Foundation or with my body moisturiser before going to town on my pasty limbs. It's a gorgeous dreamy shade which looks so flattering on pale skin.

For more targeted application, or if you prefer creams, the newly launched Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight in Hefty Highlight (£19) is about as easy and lazy as it gets. This is such a dreamy little stick, it's really flattering without being too over the top and it's so easy to apply. I'm using this most days at the moment and it's fab for popping in your bag.

If powder highlighters are more your thing then I have a few up my sleeve...Starting with the Rodial Instagram Compact Deluxe Illuminating Powder* (£52), which is a super luxurious champagne hue that instantly brightens the skin. It's really finely milled so blends in gorgeously to the skin. If you fancy more of a colour, then the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle (£23) is a must. Well loved by pretty much everyone, this adds a beautifully radiant peachy sun-kissed glow to the skin. Lastly, for setting everything in place without dulling your skin down is the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish (£23) in Lightscapade. It's so pretty in the pan, with veins of shimmer and iridescence running all through it, but lightly dusted all over you face it really works its magic without being glittery or too much for daytime.

Do you have any glowy skin tricks?

Laura

The post For when you want your skin to glow appeared first on Lelore.


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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Some thoughts on conditioner

Some thoughts on conditioner

Shampoo and conditioner go together like cleanse tone moisturise or maybe macaroni and cheese, but lately I've not been so sure. As my hair is super fine and coloured, the struggle to keep it from going greasy in hours, yet giving it oomph and nourishing the ends is one that is real. I've washed my hair every other day for years and even on day two dry conditioner is needed to get me through the day.

So for a while now I've been switching things up. I started by reverse washing, so using conditioner then shampoo but it didn't really make a difference. So clearly feeling a bit rebellious I then wondered...do I even need conditioner? For the last two months or so I haven't used conditioner much at all. Once a week I will add it onto the ends to help them out a bit, but other than that, nada. The result? My hair has much more volume to it and even though it does still need dry shampoo on day two, it's not as lank as usual. It's worth pointing out that I use Moroccan oil religiously, otherwise my hair would most likely be a matted up mess!

My hair is still in really good condition, even though my various bottles of conditioner have been sat in the bathroom feeling quite unloved. A couple of weeks ago I went for an obligatory trim and my hairdresser actually said that you don't always need to condition (I feel less guilty now!).

Then I kinda did a complete 360 and lightened my hair as it's been looking a bit dull and afterwards I gave it a good conditioning, root to tip just to try and help it from drying out. I think I'd forgotten how soft conditioning makes my hair, but strangely even after conditioning all over my hair was still clean on day two and day three...crazy! So yeah, I'm now quite confused about this entire conditioner thing but I think I'm going to welcome it back and enjoy silky tresses for a while and try and go an extra day in between washes if I can and train my hair not to go lank so quickly.

Bit of a rambly post, sorry if that's not your thing! I'd love to know your thoughts on conditioner and do you have any tricks or tips for keeping your hair fresh that little bit longer? Or have you managed to go four or more days between washes?

Laura

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Monday, 9 March 2015

The oddest face mask I've ever used: The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask

The Body Shop Bouncy Sleeping Mask Review

I love a good face mask, let's just get this out there. I always have a few on rotation that swoop in when things get tough and work their little magic. I certainly didn't need another but as my skin is forever dry and I do love a bit of The Body Shop I ended up picking up The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncing Sleeping Mask (£22) recently.

First things first, this is such an odd mask! It's a bit like a bouncy jelly and really hard to actually get out of the tub at first, even with the little spatula that I'm bound to lose. Once you've (finally) managed to scoop a bit out it settles back down completely flat, just like magic. Very similar to Illamasqua Hydra Veil Primer if you've tried that. The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncing Sleeping Mask is definitely a marmite product I'd say. Not everyone gets on with overnight face masks so if you've never liked them in the past then I doubt you'll like this one sadly.

Once you've got past getting it out of the tub and onto your face, it's a dream to massage in and even has it's own little massage technique which is pretty neat. You can apply it either after cleansing on it's own or after your full evening routine and then you're good to go. It does feel a little tacky on the skin so give it a while before you go to bed as it will transfer onto your pillow case and hair if you're not careful! Come morning my skin was definitely more nourished and happy, and after using this once a week for the last three weeks I haven't broken out at all which is always a positive! It definitely provides an intense level of hydration that exceeds your average night cream and my skin is super soft and brighter in the morning. The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncing Sleeping Mask is extremely similar to the Origins Drink Up Intensive mask so if you're a fan of that like I am then you'll get on with this just fine.

It's not the cheapest product from TBS at £22, but it definitely delivers and the tub is mahoosive so I think it would last absolutely months which is pretty good value for money.

Have you tried this yet or are you tempted? Also I was thinking of doing a series of posts on my different pamper evening routines (there are many!), would this be of interest to you guys? Let me know in the comments.

Laura

The post The oddest face mask I've ever used: The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask appeared first on Lelore.

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Rajeunir Moisture Serum & Lip Serum Review

Rajeunir Moisture Serum & Lip Serum Review

Given that I'm on the wrong side of 30 now (and now aware of how ancient that must make me sound!), I'm more conscious than ever of having a good solid skincare routine built around products that really deliver in the anti-ageing arena. I know that short of a miracle there's no sure-fire way of turning back the clock, but there's certainly ways to slow it down somewhat!

Beauty Crowd recently sent me a couple of bits from Rajeunir to try out, and I'm really glad they did. This is a new brand to me which is mainly aimed at the over 40's. The range is currently quite small so hopefully they will expand it in the future.

First up is the Rajeunir Moisture Serum* £42, which is a bit of a miracle product it would seem. It aims to act as a 5 in 1 product, meaning that it can used instead of a serum, eye cream, day cream, night cream and primer. Now this is pretty unique, and is certainly interesting to someone like me who is seriously low-faff and doesn't want to wait for 358735 products to sink in every morning, but can it really take the place of your entire routine? My skin is pretty dry so I have found that I do need to apply my usual day cream on top of this, but that's only if I wear makeup. On makeup free days this gives me exactly enough moisture.

Ingredient wise, Rajeunir Moisture Serum uses a blend of 'Magnificent 7' active ingredients which helps to hydrate and rejuvenate the skin. The Magnificent 7 consists of:

Radiantle - gives similar results to Retinol by stimulating collagen production
Circutext - which comforts the skin and reduces discolouration
Regenerlite - a cell recovery agent that repairs the damage cased by free radicals and oxygenates the skin
Hydrescence - rich in anti-oxidants this shrub derived ingredient strengthens the skin and provides a major moisture hit
Nectarlite - locks in moisture and smooths the skin
Rajeuspheres - a wrinkle plumper and smoother
Constabright - brightens the skin and improves the texture and tone of the skin

After using this twice a day for a few weeks now my skin is really soft, comfortable and more radiant than it was. The winter and cold weather has really dulled my skin so this is really helping. As my skin is more hydrated, my line fines are less noticeable but I wouldn't say that miracles have happened just yet. I'd say that the Rajeunir Moisture Serum is very much like Hydraluron or Origins Make a Difference+ Rejuvenating Treatment, so if you're currently using one of these and want to up the anti-ageing stakes this might be one to check out.

The other product I've been trying out is the Rajeunir Lip Serum* £12. This is a pump dispensing serum which contains plant extracts and an SPF. I've never used an SPF lip product before (guess we all should in the summer!), so this certainly appeals to me. It's quite silicony which I personally really like and leaves your lips feeling nourished yet not greasy. It sinks in super quick and makes a great base for lipstick. Its firmly living in my makeup bag now!

Have you heard of Rajeunir before or are you now tempted to try out the range?

Laura

The post Rajeunir Moisture Serum & Lip Serum Review appeared first on Lelore.

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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Loving Lately #1

Beauty favourites

It's been quite a while since I did a favourites post, months actually. I was getting bored of the whole monthly favourites thing and I'd much rather rave about things I've been loving recently when I want to - rule breaker eh?

Therefore I bring you Loving Lately, where I will gush about products that I've really been enjoying, whenever I feel like it. No schedule, no pressure!

I've been on a bit of a highstreet/drugstore kick lately and picked up a few things that I've been really enjoying. You may have seen my Boots haul recently, needless to say there was a follow up visit and I came away with the Soap & Glory Solar Powder (£11). I love how you can either swirl your brush in both colours of the bronzer or pick out either of the two shades before sweeping over your face. I'm pretty pale which can make me look a bit washed out so a little buffing of bronzer makes all the difference. Both shades are really nice too, neither too warm or too ashy so will suit most.

I've been hunting for the Topshop Lipstick in Petal (£8) for the longest time. For ages it wasn't available and when it did come back it was always sold out. However, patience and counter stalking payed off as I finally found one hidden at the back of the stand. Score. It's a lovely blue toned pale pink, almost a milkshake hue and it reminds me of MAC St Germain, although not as pale. I love the formula of Topshop lipsticks, they're highly pigmented and creamy and have excellent lasting power. Annoyingly I couldn't find this on their website so maybe it's been discontinued again. Although Saint looks pretty identical so maybe it's been renamed? Mystery.

Also new in from Boots is Essie Maxmillian Strauss Her (£7.99). It might look like not much in the bottle but it's super gorgeous on. I love murky shades and this doesn't disappoint. Its a grey toned almost muted green shade that goes with everything. I've been wearing a lot of light grey and white tops recently and this is the perfect polish to accompany lighter neutral shades. I think Essie is my favourite nail brand, the colour selection is on point and they last for ages before chipping. Proper low effort which I can get behind!

For eyes I've really been enjoying the Mary Kay Mineral Eye Quad in Sandstorm* (£10). This dinky little palette consists of four super dreamy neutral shimmers. They're really flattering and the colours work perfectly together. Quality-wise they are up there with Urban Decay - super buttery and pigmented and they blend so well. There's a few other palettes in the range that I might have to get my hands on (hello Chai Latte). They're designed to go into a Mary Kay compact but I like the little plastic case packaging they come in, it reminds me of a SD card box and it's perfect for carting around on trains with me.

If you haven't heard of My Little Box you need to get Googling stat. This newish subscription box is the one to sign up to. Each month you get a gorgeously thought out selection of beauty bits and little nic-nacs centred around a lovely theme, along with a little illustrated print and a really good magazine. They even have their own beauty line - My Little Beauty and all of the products I've had so far in boxes I've really liked. My favourite, aside from their Micellar water has to be the Embellisher Teint De Peche, which came in February's Energy Box. It's a peachy primer/tint that adds radiance to the skin and is the perfect makeup base or lovely just on its own. It's infused with edelweiss flower which is known for it's antioxidant powers, along with apricot oil which nourishes the skin. At the moment they don't ship to the UK (sob) but it looks like its on the cards. Darn right as I need a vat of this stuff...

My skin has been a-ok lately so while I thank the Gods of Good Skin and pray they continue to shine down upon me, I'm ditching foundation most days at the moment and instead getting to work with the Clarins Instant Concealer (£21.50). It's meant for under your eyes but I apply it all over, where I need it for light coverage with a dewy glow. It has excellent staying power and hardly creases at all which is a rare thing with concealers. It's also awesome when paired with the My Little Beauty Teint De Peche. Me love.

Lastly in this makeup heavy list comes the Melvita Youthful Skin Extraordinary Water (£22). This is a gel-water toner that includes naturally derived hyaluronic acid to smooth and plump the skin. I use it morning and night and it's super comforting on the skin. It makes the texture of my skin feel amazing and it's become such a staple in my routine now.

What do you think of these products, have you tried any of them?

The post Loving Lately #1 appeared first on Lelore.
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Monday, 2 March 2015

Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection 301 Flat Contour Brush

Real Techniques Bold Metals Flat Contour Brush Review

As someone who has quite a few makeup brushes - aka brush wash avoidance issues, I wasn't too fussed when the Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection launched a little while ago. The last gap in my arsenal was going to be filled by the NARS Ita Kabuki brush, but alas, its been sold out for ages so I eventually gave up and went in search of the Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection 301 Flat Contour Brush (£22) instead.

The Bold Metals brushes are a bit fancier than their more purse friendly sisters, and come in the most decadent metal coating which is rather drool-worthy. The Real Techniques Collection 301 Flat Contour Brush looks mighty fine and I love how it's weighted to help with application and the handle is shaped so that it doesn't roll off the side of your dressing table into cat hair...just me? Anyway, on first glance and feel this looked to be the answer to my dreams of chiselled cheekbones, but sadly it didn't end too well.

The Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection 301 Flat Contour Brush is super soft but incredibly densely packed. Normally this is a good thing, but when you want to gently apply a contour powder and buff it out into perfectly sculpted cheekbones the reality is you end up with patchy lumps of product over your face, well I did anyway. I've tried it with different powders, tried applying the tiniest amount to the brush and wiping some off on the back of my hand, but the result is always the same. The only way I've been able to successfully use it is with the Clinique Curvy Contour stick which you apply straight onto the face.

It could just be me that's not got on with this, but for £22 I'm pretty disappointed. However, the good news is that John Lewis have the NARS Ita Kabuki brush in stock, and it happily fell into my cart. Maybe I will get those chiselled cheekbones after all...

Have you tried this brush or any others from the Bold Metals range?

Laura

The post Real Techniques Bold Metals 301 Flat Contour Brush appeared first on Lelore.
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