Sunday, 28 June 2015

For when you're not feeling your best

how to feel better

We've all been there with days when no matter what you do, you just feel a little bit pants and coaxing yourself out from under the duvet is the most impossible task. Owing to a cold that wouldn't budge recently, I've got a few little things up my sleeve which help give me the push I need to swap those pjs for day clothes and hopefully hide all the evidence.

My skin shows everything so when I'm feeling under the weather my face often looks parched and lacklustre. The Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum helps give it an extra yet light layer of moisture and smoothes over the bumps and cracks. I added this to my routine a few weeks ago and my skin feels much happier and a lot more radiant. Talking of moisture, cracked lips are not the one so if you do suffer in that department when you're feeling a bit under the weather, a thick and nourishing lip balm such as the Rodial Stemcell Superfood Glam Balm Lip* adds a welcome layer of goodness and a little bit of glow to put some life back into your face. I stopped using mine for a little while as it was running out (silly), and boy did i miss it. It also helps stimulate collagen production so is quite the little worker.

To put some colour back in and disguise my paleness somewhat, blush is a welcome addition. To keep things dewy and fresh I go for creams and liquids when I need to fake it. The MeMeMe Cupid's Kiss Cheek & Lip Tint* is perfect for this job. It adds a subtle yet perky wash of colour to my skin and looks so natural. Suitable for the more paler girls out there as it is very natural, it's also lovely on the lips too. I find this lasts really well and it's perfect for hot days as it stains the skin and stays put. There's only so much Lemsip I can take when I feel ill and I try to only have one coffee in the morning for fear of never sleeping and getting a headache. So getting a kick of energy to help me can get on with the day is vital. I've been adding the Rodial Super Fit Turbo Shots* to my water and as well as tasting good they're full of guarana, taurine, omegas, vitamins and green tea which help give me more energy and goodness throughout the day. I also like  to add a sachet into juice and smoothies for an extra load of the good stuff.

How do you make yourself feel better?

Laura

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Friday, 26 June 2015

Summer in a can: So?...Couture Body Fragrance


Summer has finally hit the UK and I for one am very happy about this! The only problem I have is commuting to London every day (2 hours each way no less), so if I have an event to go to after work or a sticky tube journey to contend with I like to freshen up where possible. I've been testing out the new So...? Couture Body Fragrances* and they've been a bit of a savour already!

It's been years since I used body sprays and I'd forgotten just how fun and really handy they are. The So...? Couture range reminds me of teenage years past, but they're much more sophisticated than what was available when I was (much) younger. The range features four scents, designed to encapsulate the vibe of four major cities. As far as fragrances go they are all on the sweet side, but at the same time they're are quite sophisticated and refreshing.

So?...London is quite sweet with top notes of grapefruit, apricot and mandarin, which are complemented with jasmine, violet and rose at the heart to give it a floral layer. The base notes of vanilla and musk make this a much more grown-up scent which gently lingers.

So?...NYC is most definitely my favourite, and not just because red is my favourite colour! A little bit more out there and bold, it has lovely top notes of lychee, peach and violet. The heart notes consist of gorgeous orange flower which is one of my favourite florals, along with jasmine and rose. The base notes consist of cedarwood which I absolutely adore, as well as patchouli and praline which make such a dreamy concoction.

So?...Paris, which is based on such an iconic and stylish city, has top notes of mandarin which is just gorgeous, as well as plum and violet for a deeper scent. The heart notes are hawthorn and helotrope, neither of which I think I've seen in fragrance before, along with rose for good measure. There's also vetyvr, vanilla and patchouli which give it a bit of musky spice.

Last up is So?...Rio, which is basically summer in a can. It's super citrusy thanks to a blend of pineapple, mango and melon in the top notes. The heart notes comprise of jasmine (which reminds me of summer anyway), along with orchid and hibiscus. The base notes give it a deeper warm summer feeling thanks to amber, vanilla and musk.

I've been popping one of these body sprays in my bag so that whatever the day (and weather) throws at me I can have a little spritz and feel much fresher at the same time. I find that all of the So...? Couture body sprays last quite a while, so even though they won't stop you from perspiring they provide the perfect 5pm pick me up before you head to the bar. Mine's a large Pimms please...with an umbrella!

Are you a fan of body sprays?

Laura

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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

A summer moisturising duo

summer moisturisers

Summer is finally here, well sort of as its been grey, raining and then sunny today (thanks England), so I've been switching up my moisturisers to something more summer appropriate ready to get my glow on. Somewhat cursed with skin that's both dry, dehydrated and being on the wrong side of 30, I can either sit here and have a pity party or find some awesome products to sort things out. Of course I chose awesome so I picked up a great little duo in Space NK to do the job.

In summer I still need a fair amount of hydration but at the same time I don't want anything thick that's going to make me feel sticky or make my makeup slide down to my knees. I've been looking for a new moisturiser for a while now so after loads of researching I picked up the Zelens Hydro-Shiso Balancing Moisturiser. I've used a couple of things from Zelens now so I thought this would be a winner. As far as moisturisers go it's fairly pricey but totally worth it for me. It's really light, almost like a gel texture but it leaves my skin nourished and looking radiant and plump. I'm really aware of my fine lines at the moment and while they're not that bad, keeping my skin moisturised makes a massive difference. I've been using this at night too after treatments and oils so it's a good all-rounder for me.

My under eye area is quite dry and sensitive and I've forever got a bit of luggage hanging around, so eye cream is an absolute must. I hardly ever repurchase the same one though, I find it quite hard to see if they're making a difference - is that just me, I'd love to know? I stick with it though and after reading Caroline's rave review I picked up the Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream. Again this isn't the most affordable product but I really think you get what you pay for with ingredients. Notably there's retinol (vitamin a) which a proven anti-ageing ingredient and ferulic acid, a powerful antioxidant which protects against environmental aggressors. Three weeks down the line and I'm actually really impressed. My eyes are definitely more awake looking, less crepey and puffy to boot. I totally forgot to put concealer on the other day, seriously, that's a first! This will most definitely be repurchased now, that you can count on!

Do you switch up your skincare in the summer too?

Laura

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Tarte Best Face Forward Collection

tarte best face forward collection review qvc

Hallelujah for QVC stocking Tarte! Seriously, it drives me crazy when I desperately want to get my paws on a brand and they're not available in the UK. QVC heard my calls though and they've got a good line up of goodies from Tarte now (I'm working through the list, guys).

I had a bit of a splurge a couple of weeks ago as QVC had a Today's Special Value offer on the Tarte 6 Piece Best Face Forward Collection. A TSV basically is a different product every day at a really good price, just for 24 hours. This collection usually retails at £46.50 but it was around £38. As I had to have this I stayed up way past my bedtime til midnight to get my order in, good job too as it sold out really fast.

First of all, gotta love a makeup bag and this QVC exclusive is pretty darn gorgeous, and quite huge. I love the summery print and that it's woven into the whole set. The canvas bag is perfect for popping everything you need in, along with some brushes too. That leads me onto this double-ended little number. Tarte brushes are really good and I love this particular one for applying foundation. There's a flat top kabuki end that's perfect for buffing in foundation and the tapered end is great for using around your nose and also for contouring.

Product-wise, the Tarte Best Face Forward Collection is a great introduction to Tarte. I was especially excited to try the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara which is now rather iconic and has been on my wishlist for a while. It doesn't disappoint either, it's buildable yet provides loads of length, separation and volume, exactly what I'm after. I don't find it gives much curl to my lashes but only an eyelash curler seems to do the trick for me. For base there's the nifty little stick Tarte Clay CC Primer which conceals and blurs imperfections while colour correcting at the same time thanks to the lavender and green hues. For me this is great on its own or to add a little bit more over the top of foundation. It's also oil-free so great for staying in place over the summer months. There's also five different shades to choose from so you can definitely get a great colour match with this one.

My favourite part of the whole collection is the gorgeous Tarte Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Quad. Not only does it have a ridiculously long name but the four neutral colours go together so well. The lightest shade is a bit meh, but it works well as a base I find. The other three shades are perfectly pigmented and buttery. The eyeshadows like most Tarte products include Amazonian Clay which helps them last for ages and combat against oil.

For lips there's the Tarte LipSurgence Lip Creme in Vintage which is a lovely pink that suits my pale skin. It has a minty taste so feels super refreshing and I find it stays put pretty well whilst being light and creamy. Lastly there's the gorgeous Tarte Colored Clay Bronzer Brush in Pink Bronze. This is seriously dreamy to look at, it has the most beautiful different colour leaves embossed on it. It's fairly subtle but helps define my features quite well, so better suited to lighter skin tones.

If you're intrigued by Tarte then the Tarte Best Face Forward Collection is the perfect starter kit to try out quite a few different products from the brand. It's now full price again but quite frankly I'd pay that for the brush and bag on its own, they're that lovely. The rest is just a wonderful bonus. Me love! I can't wait to go to Sephora when I'm in New York and pick up some more goodies from Tarte.

Have you tried anything from Tarte before?

Laura

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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Three Green Blemish Busters

topshop colour correct primer

swatches of topshop colour correct primer

I really struggled to find a decent title for this post, could you tell? I wanted it to sound thought out and whatnot but instead it sounds like one of Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes!

Anyways, my skin has really been playing up lately and combined with a cold that wouldn't budge I've been feeling quite meh about the whole thing. I think my skin is down to stress and not being as kind to it with a poor diet and not enough sleep but I've been relying on this little trio of green tinted products which have thankfully made quite a difference!

I've had this little tube of Mary Kay Spot Solution for Acne-Prone Skin* for a some time, but as my skin was a-ok for quite a while I didn't have a proper opportunity to test it out. Now this is my little buddy. It's really light green in colour and so I find it perfect for using under makeup in the morning as it helps disguise angry red blemishes in an instant. It sinks straight in with no residue and doesn't dry out my skin. It uses salcylic acid to clear out pores from within so it's really effective too. I've been looking for something to use during the day for ages and this is definitely it!

I bought a few bits from Topshop's beauty line a few weeks ago as I don't think I've tried anything new from them for ages and there were so many nice things! What particularly took my fancy was this Topshop Colour Correct Primer. To say I love primers is a bit of an understatement as I always have a few on the go and I'm starting to hoard them a bit! It's such an essential step in my routine though, I really do rate them. When you have a long day ahead of you that little bit of reassurance that your face isn't going to slide down to your collarbone is really worth it. This green primer brilliantly takes down the redness from my breakouts and leaves my skin feeling very comfortable and dewy. It provides the perfect base for my foundation and leaves my skin radiant and hydrated.

For ages now I've been looking for a good green concealer but not many brands seem to make them. I really wanted to try the NYX one but it's always sold out, but when in Boots recently I picked up a super cheap Natural Collection Corrector Stick. I tend to use this to cancel out any big patches of redness as well as dotted on top of blemishes with a light BB cream underneath and it really does a good job of disguising everything. My skin has been so uncomfortable lately as my breakouts have been quite plentiful and sore and I really don't want a thick layer of foundation on top. No sir.

My skin is starting to get it's butt in gear and heal up (bout time!), so hopefully I can do some makeup looks on here soon as I'm itching to show you some of the other Topshop goodies I bought recently!

Hope you're all having a good week :)

Laura

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Thursday, 4 June 2015

Two to try from Essie

essie nail polishes

I'm getting back into painting my nails again as they're long at the moment, although I've probably totally jinxed them now! So in anticipation of summery weather I picked up a couple of new shades from Essie to keep me going. I always get the urge for painted nails in the summer for some reason (anyone else?) and Essie never disappoints.

I can't get the hang of neatly painted nails with a nice little gap around the cuticles but I find Essie polishes really easy to get to grips with and the outcome isn't too disastrous for me. I think the genius is in the brush as it makes the whole thing a doddle.

Anyway, onto the shades! I've wanted Fifth Avenue for ages so thought it was about time I finally bought it. Without a doubt this super bright orangey red is a summer hue all right and it seems to suit pretty much every skin tone. This would look especially nice on toes, along with some sandals so I can't wait for warmer weather to try that out.

Neutrals are totally my jam so I had to pick up Petal Pushers which is from Essie's new summer collection. It's a gorgeous lilac hued grey which goes particularly well with my wardrobe of mainly black clothes. I'm wearing it now and its so lovely. I don't often tend to go for purples but there was something about this misty shade that really called to me.

I could seriously buy the entire Essie range, and believe me I'm working on it! They have such a lovely glossy finish and I find I get a good week before any chips. For a high street brand you can't ask for much better than that really can you?

What are your favourite Essie colours?

Laura

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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Summer Scents From Jo Malone

jo malone orange blossom and osmanthus blossom colognes

Since using up Diptyque Eau Duelle, I've been looking for something summer appropriate to replace it and a recent trip to Jo Malone ended up with not one, but two scents to keep me going. Well, choice is always a good thing I think, nothing to do with me being eternally indecisive at all...

First up is the limited edition Osmanthus Blossom from the Blue Skies & Blossoms collection. I've tested this a few times in store before taking the plunge (and I still can't pronounce it!). It's starting to sell out in stores now which pushed me to go for it before its too late. The notes comprise of osmanthus blossom, cashmere wood and petitgrain which blend together to create something both understated, floral and fresh. I love combining it with Wood Sage & Sea Salt as well for an extra hint of freshness.

I also finally purchased Orange Blossom as I absolutely adore it. I always held off as everyone seems to buy this one, but that's for a darn good reason - its so dreamy! With notes of orriswood, white lilac and clementine flower, it has a warm and woody fragrance which is super addictive. It really reminds me of summer holidays so it's pretty much the perfect scent for the coming months, although I'm sure I'll wear this all year round.

jo malone orange blossom and osmanthus blossom colognes

The only problem now is that I have a few different gorgeous scents to choose from, and being so indecisive this creates a whole new level of faffing around in the morning! Good job Jo Malone colognes can be layered then eh?

What's your favourite fragrance from Jo Malone?

Laura

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