Saturday, 31 May 2014

Clarins Colours of Brazil Summer Bronzing Compact


The pale girl in me has always longed for a tan but I don't like the sun much and fake tan just looks odd on me. Doomed huh? Luckily not, as I have been reaching for a bit of bronzer of late.
Clarins have been releasing some amazing limited edition products the last couple years and one to note is their bronzers. I missed last year's offering and pined after it well into autumn, but this year I got my little hands on the Clarins Colours of Brazil Summer Bronzing Compact (£30) and I couldn't be happier.
Firstly, lets just take a minute to appreciate its beauty. It has a 'South-American inspired motif' embossed in the product itself, and the packaging is just gorgeous. It's also almost the size of my face so is definitely going to last a while!
You can either pick out individual shades or just swirl your blush around them all and dust over your cheeks, forehead nose and chin for a beautiful hint of colour (the latter being my preference). It adds a lovely contour to the face as well which is something my moon-like face is in dire need of.
The colours are perfect for my complexion; not at all orange but warming enough to add a glow.
I also like that you can use it on your eyes as a contour too if you like. The formula is really nice, not chalky and buildable so you can't really put too much on in one application - ideal for bronzer newbs like me.
I've been wearing this on its own (as above) or paired with NARS Day Dream lightly dusted on my cheeks.
The bronzer is part of a wider summer collection which is all pretty beautiful, truth be told. I'm sure it'll be around for a little while yet but if you like the look of it don't miss out like I did last time.
Are you a fan of bronzer and have you tried this one?

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

FOTD Featuring Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Foundation

Products used: Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Foundation (Porcelain 1), Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (Fair 1), Stila One Step Correct, Bobbi Brown Corrector (Light Bisque), MAC Paint Pot (Painterly), NARSissist Eye Palette (All About Eve, Nepal), Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon (Dark Pearl), Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara, Clarins Double Fix Mascara, Kevyn Aucoin Eyebrow Pencil (Brunette), Benefit Gimme Brow (Medium/Deep), MAC Crème Cup.
Last week I waxed lyrical about the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (which you can read here), and the following day I promptly ran out and bought the foundation from the same range.
I have to admit it, I might scour the drugstore for some items, but I do normally veer towards high end brands for foundation. The reason being that I've broken out with cheaper foundations in the past, but also because the shade ranges are normally very poor.
I picked up the palest shade (Porcelain 1) in the Lasting Perfection foundation and was surprised that its actually a good colour match for me. I've literally been wearing this foundation every day since I bought it. It's a medium to high coverage oil-free foundation which to me actually feels quite light on the skin. It's supposed to stick around for 16 hours, and although I haven't worn it for that long, it does hang around for 8 hours plus on my skin. It also is SPF20 which is never a bad thing.
I'm pretty impressed with this so far. I've paired it with a primer as I always do and applied it with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush and lightly patted all over with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge for a really seamless finish. It dries to almost a powder finish so I didn't need to powder over the top. You could build this up more but I could see things getting a little cakey if you're not too careful. I have to say, the finish of it isn't too dissimilar to that of my beloved NARS Sheer Glow, although not packing quite as much of a dewy punch. But, for £5.99 you can't really go wrong with this. Unless you don't wear foundation that is!
I'm really rating Collection now, are there any more of their products that I should be trying? Do you think you'll give this foundation a go?


Monday, 26 May 2014

New treats

I don't know what's up with me lately but I've been a bit spendy to say the least. I'm going to blame it on the change in weather and the need for a more summery wardrobe etc. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it anyway!
I've wanted to try some new Stila bits for a while now but my local boots doesn't stock it. Whilst I don't need any more palettes I've wanted the Stila In the Light Palette (£25) for an age, sot on a recent shopping trip with the lovely Charlotte it finally became mine. I've used this so much since, its such a perfect palette with a great selection of wearable shades. I also picked up the Stila One Step Correct Primer (£24) which is another well overdue purchase. It looks so pretty in the packaging but its also a great primer and really does what it says on the tin.
I'm quite Breton crazy at the moment and picked up this lil beauty from Urban Outfitters (£25).
Its loose and long sleeved which I love. I actually bought two in different sizes so I can wear one even more slouchy.
You can never have too many pouches to put stuff in so this leather pouch from Whistles (£35) was a must-have. Its super soft and is great for putting all your essentials in so they don't get lost in your hand bag. Whistles actually market this as a clutch bag so even better that its a multi-tasker! Lastly, I also picked up the Whistles Rivington Chain Clutch (£80) that I've been lusting over since before Christmas. I love the croc texture to it and even though its flat you can fit a fair bit in it.
What do you think of my little haul and what have you been treating yourself to lately?

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Budget buys can be better - Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

There's this misconception in the beauty world that expensive = better. Whilst I do believe you get what you pay for with skincare to a certain extent,  I couldn't disagree more with makeup. Its easy to get sucked into the luxe packaging of more expensive brands, but there's a whole host of goodness sitting on drugstore shelves.
Whilst NARS is one of my favourite high end brands (if not total favourite), I've found a pretty damn good competitor for their Radiant Creamy Concealer. I was one of the many unlucky Vanilla shade people that hunted this down for weeks when it first came out. I originally got the lightest shade in the range which is good for under the eye but too pale for covering blemishes. Once Vanilla ran out I was looking for a more affordable replacement.
I've seen so much about the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer that I had to try it. It's so similar to the NARS concealer I'm sure that I wouldn't pass a blind test between the two! It has a very creamy hydrating consistency and hides everything. I also find that it isn't too prone to settling in the fine lines around my eyes which is a bonus.
The one thing that is very different though is the price - Collection is £4.19 and NARS is £22.
I'm the lightest shade in the range and as usual with drugstore products the lack of shades is the thing that lets them down. I'm tempted to try the foundation in this range as well to see how it stacks up too.
Do you rate drugstore base products and are there any you would recommend I try?

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

NARS Biscayne Park Satin Lip Pencil


There's a new favourite lip pencil in town and I can't hide my love for it any longer. I've had the NARS Biscayne Park Satin Lip Pencil (£18) on my wishlist for a while but it proved to be tricky to track down. I'm so glad I soldiered on though! I have quite a lot of the Revlon and Bourjois lip crayons so didn't feel there was need to splash out on a more high end version until I bought Floralies a while back. This one is more of a coral which will be lovely to wear in the summer but I wanted more of a nude colour for every day.
Biscayne Park is a perfect peachy pink nude and it works with pretty much any makeup look too.
I really love the consistency of these pencils as well; not too glossy and definitely not drying. Its so easy to apply as well. The satin pencils do last a while but obviously not as long as their matte sisters - these are also worth a look at I might add. In fact, I have a couple already and I think my collection will be growing shortly..
Have you tried the NARS lip pencils and if so what's your favourite shade?


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Life and sun on Sunday

Today I thought I'd share a bit of my weekend with you. Although I love writing about beauty I do want to share more of myself with you all too. This weekend the boy and I took advantage of it being the hottest day of the year so far and went to Mount Ephraim Gardens in Kent.
Caution: things get a bit image heavy from here!
An Edwardian garden and estate, Mount Ephraim has been owned by the same family for over 300 years and its stunning. I actually came here on my own yesterday as the boy was ill and we had a viewing booked to look at the house as a potential wedding venue. So I met with the wedding co-ordinator yesterday to have a look around and it was so beautiful I had to bring Leon back today. Luckily the weather was in our favour and we had a good stroll around the gardens. Sadly the house was closed so we couldn't explore it.

I still can't believe that this place is 5 minutes from our house and this is the first time we've ventured to it in the 5 years we've lived here! I can see this becoming a regular summer haunt as its lovely to explore the woods and maze or just sit by the lake and have a picnic. Once we'd finished walking around and visiting the various gardens and discovered what an arboretum was (trees if you really want to know!), we made our way to the tea room and had an obligatory ice cream whilst being pestered by a couple of bees. The latter was not my highlight!
As to whether this will be the venue, I can't yet say. We have a few more places to visit over the next couple of weeks but I'll keep you posted.
How have you been spending your weekend and would you like to see more posts like this?

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

April Favourites

Firstly, apologies for my absence over the last week. The last couple of weeks are the busiest in my working calendar and when I've not been at work I've been trying to recharge my batteries. Lame excuse for being a bad blogger, but thankfully that's all over and normal service can resume!
Another month down and I've been enjoying some new things as well as rediscovering an old product of mine.
I've been trying to use up my skincare before jumping to something new but lets be honest who really does that?! I picked up the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial and have really enjoyed using it. It really smooths out my skin and plumps it up. Also, you don't need to apply a moisturier so bonus lazy girl points!
I haven't mentioned it yet on my little blog, but a few weeks ago I had some micro-ring hair extensions put in. Instant mermaid hair! I'm trying to care for them as best as possible but as they are 24" long they can get a bit tangly. I've been using the Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Leave-in Conditioner to keep things silky and tangle free. It smells amazing and its a great budget buy. I spritz a bit on every morning before brushing through.
I bought the Bourjois Java Powder way back when it first came out and never used it much as I was using the Hourglass one. This hasn' left my makeup bag all month and I love the finish that it gives. It doesn't dry out my skin and is perfect for on the go touch ups thanks to the locking lid.
Another well hyped staple is the Charlotte Tilbury Golden Goddess eye palette. I'm obsessed with palettes and have to make myself rotate them but this is absolutely gorgeous. The formula is really nice and pigmented, and I love how you can go from an understated day look to a evening smoky eye. I doubt it will be long before I own more of these!
Finally, I have really fallen for the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation. It give the perfect light coverage and just about the right ratio of luminousity/velvet finish to my dry skin. So many people have said that this only suits more oilier skin types but I couldn't disagree more.
My skin is dry and dehydrated, and as long as you have a good skincare routine I don't see why it doesn't work for all skin types. I did a FOTD with this recently which you can see here.
What are you loving at the moment? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Powders for dry/dehydrated skin

Powder was something denied to my dry and dehydrated skin for so long. No matter how lightly I applied it, there was always a chalky cast that emphasised my dry skin. Now, not only has my skin improved through addressing its condition with a good skincare routine, but powders have really stepped up somewhat. Here's a few powders that have really impressed me of late.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light
Possibly the most eagerly anticipated and then hyped launch of 2013, these powders come in six finishes which all give a subtle yet beautiful effect to the skin. Dim Light is probably the most understated of the bunch, but it gives such a soft focused finish to the skin and also blurs imperfections. Expensive, but its pretty big as well and I don't see this running out any day soon.
MAC Mineralise Skinfinish in Lightscapade
Often heralded a dupe for the above Hourglass offering, this little beauty looks beautiful in the pan with veins of shimmer throughout and adds such a beautiful glow to the skin. Some might say its a bit shimmery to be applied all over the face but I think it makes the skin look so radiant when applied in this way.
Bourjois Java Powder
Brought back from Bourjois' archives, this is such a brilliant drugstore powder. It sets my makeup perfectly in place and gives me a subtle 'lit from within' finish. Its a loose powder but has a little twisty stopper thingy (technical term for you there,) which enables you to dispense just the right amount. I've really been loving this lately.
By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder
A considered purchase at £42, this is absolutely unrivalled in my opinion. You can either use it as a primer under your foundation, or over the top which is how I prefer to use it. This is a white powder so you only need a teeny tiny amount, but it completely smooths out any imperfections and makes my makeup last all day, whilst keeping my skin hydrated. I always turn to this for special occasions.
Do you have any powder recommendations for us dry skinned gals and have you tried any of these?
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