Monday, 29 December 2014

2014 Round Up: Makeup

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I've loved sitting around doing nothing if I'm honest (plus the food and prezzies have been rather wonderful too!). I've got all of this week off work so I'm going to try and make the most of it and not slob around in my pjs too much!
I thought  that rather than do a monthly favourites, it would be more interesting to share with you my favourite discoveries of 2014. I actually missed out my November favourites as I'm getting a little bored with a monthly round up. Sometimes I don't have that many, and other times I want to share what I'm loving more frequently, so we'll see what happens with that one! 
Anyway, back to the topic in hand, this year I have discovered some cracking makeup products, the first being NARS Blush in Deep Throat (£22.50). This is my go-to pink blush, which is a quite similar to Orgasm albeit less shimmery. Its a super flattering pinky coral with a tiny bit of shimmer in it and I love pairing this with a red lip. A lot of NARS loving happened this year, as I also went a bit bonkers for the NARSsisst Eye Shadow Palette. I've spoken far too much about this palette this year, and that's cos its just so blimmin' wonderful. It seems to be sold out everywhere at the moment but hopefully it will become available again as its a must-have. This was my first foray into NARS eyeshadows and a full on obsession ensued before I managed to track down this little beaut!
Anyone who has been reading Lelore for a while now will know that I do love a good primer! After discovering the Stila One Step Correct Primer (£24.00) my other primers got pushed aside. This baby adds hydration, keeps my base in place all day and helps conceal blemishes and dullness. It's a great all rounder which has served me well (RIP). Now its all gone I'll be trying to use up the rest of my arsenal.

2014 or 'The Year of The Kylie Jenner Lip', sent everyone into a 90's nude over lip lining frenzy, and I used the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk (£16.00) to achieve my version of this look. I've always been a fan of lip liner, and this nude is just perfect. It lasts on the lips really well and helps plump them up without needing to draw them up to your nostrils. Also on the lip front I got rather obsessed with the Rodial Glamsticks* (£25.00). I've always got one of these on me as they are so hydrating and give a pretty subtle wash of colour. My lips get mega dry so I can't be without a balm. My favourite has to be Bang, a gorgeous pink.

I've gone on about the Soap & Glory Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush (£8.00) loads and loads this year as it was such a good find. It's a great dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz and at half the price you can't complain! I've got both shades in this depending on what sort of look I'm going for.

I'd only tried one or two things from Lord & Berry before this year, and after trying loads of different liquid liners, I can safely say the Lord & Berry Liquid Liner in Forever Black* (£15.00) is a firm favourite and I've not really reached for much else since I received this. It's super black and really easy to use. I'm not great at applying eyeliner, but its much easier with this. It doesn't smudge or flake off either. It's currently in the sale for £13.50 if you fancy grabbing yourself one :)

So that's my year in makeup! What have your standout makeup products been this year? Please let me know and stay tuned for my skincare loves of the year.


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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Day makeup: luxe eyes

christmas day make up luxury eye products

I can't believe that it's Christmas in the morning! It feels like this year has just evaporated and Christmas is all of a sudden upon us. Presents wrapped, pamper complete and new jim jams on, I'm now thinking what I'm going to wear tomorrow, and most importantly what makeup.

I'm not a makeup snob by any means and do buy a lot of things from the high street, but I am drawn to the more expensive side if I'm honest. There's something so appealing about beautifully packaged, perfectly formed luxury makeup that I just can't get enough of.

I'm trying to decide which of these little beauts will grace my eyes for tomorrow's festivities, and its a tough call. The most striking of all has got to be the Charlotte Tilbury Golden Goddess Palette (£38). Four beautiful shades which blend seamlessly and are of such a fine and buttery formula; this baby is a strong contender. I love the luxe golden detail on the packaging and how Charlotte has done away with the sponge applicator, which lets face it, no one uses. I love this for wearing in the day or building up and adding the gorgeous glittery shade in the bottom left corner for an evening smokey look. I'm feeling festive just looking at it!

The biggest all-rounder of the bunch has got to be the NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette. Packed with 15 permanent shades from the NARS range, this is perfect for either staying on the more subdued neutral side, or vamping things up a bit.

For staying power, the Tom Ford Cream Color For Eyes in Spice (£29) is a goody. A soft, mousse formula that glides on and once set ain't going nowhere. Spice is quite a warm, red toned bronze and it's really quite something. It appears to be sold out pretty much everywhere, along with the more cooler toned shade, Platinum, but if you can get your hands on it you won't be disappointed.

For a simple wash of colour, maybe paired with winged liner and lashings of mascara, is the well loved Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Pale Barley No.22 (£22.50). While it might not look much in it's absolutely gorgeous gunmetal packaging, its a super pigmented flattering shade which goes with literally everything. I need more Burberry makeup in my life!

Another well loved and hyped eye product is the ByTerry Ombre Blackstar in No.4 Bronze Moon (£28). Super easy to apply, this is great applied all over the eye and smudged into the lower lash line. It blends beautifully and has great staying power. I quite like this one applied to add definition over Pale Barley.

Whichever of the above I go for, I will most definitely be adding the Rodial Instaglam Magic Pen Eye Glow (£22) to the inner corners of my eyes. This pearlescent pencil brightens up the eyes and helps fake a good night's sleep. I love the gorgeous crystal look end as well, super chic.

Looks like I've got a hard choice to make, but a fun one! One choice I don't need to worry about is foundation, as NARS Sheer Glow wins hands down, always...

I hope you all have an awesome Christmas, and I'll be back in a couple of days when I can pull myself away from the box of Celebrations...maybe.

Laura xx

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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Help: Clear Skin Review

Help: Clear Skin Review

My quest for clear, spot free skin has led me to many topical treatments and the odd course of antibiotics, but recently I have been trialling Help: Clear Skin* (£22.94 for 14 sachets), a powder formula that you add to a drink/food once a day. I was understandably quite sceptic as I've never tried a supplement like this before, but I trialled it for a month.

I added it to my morning latte and I found that the only taste Help: Clear Skin has is that it's a bit sweet so you could always substitute this for sugar, which I'm sure will benefit your skin anyway! My skin hasn't been too bad since the horrendous pre-wedding breakout in October so maybe it wasn't the best time to try this. For two weeks my skin was perfect, no breakouts and wasn't too dry which I normally suffer with, particularly this time of year. Then I got a horrid cold and typically I did have a few spots appear. However, they healed super fast and haven't scarred at all, which considering I'm quite prone to scarring was a surprise. Within a couple of days everything had disappeared and my skin was completely clear for the rest of the trial.

The active ingredient is PravENAC, a biotic protein which contains lactoferrin, which reduces the development of bacteria. It also contains zinc gluconate and aloe zero which are also effective at improving the condition of the skin and keeping it nourished.

I finished the course a week and a half or so ago, and guess what, spots galore! I've got some nasty sore ones that I just can't ignore so am really concentrating on my skincare at the moment, and am thinking that I need another course of Help: Clear Skin as it clearly did help my skin.

From what I've read some people have had very dramatic results, which I haven't, but it certainly did help my skin. If you suffer with blemishes and maybe have sensitive skin so are nervous about tropical treatments you might want to give Help: Clear Skin a go.


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Sunday, 14 December 2014

The hand duo: Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm and Rinse Free Hand Wash

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique hand balm and rinse free hand wash

Sometimes when things work, they really work. Add two great products together and you're really onto a winner.

As I commute to work (and do my makeup on the train), I've always got a little bottle of hand sanitiser on me, as lets face it, trains and tubes are pretty gross and I don't want to walk around with foundation on the back of my hand! I'm sure we've all been there! I usually buy the cheap little bottles from Boots but recently I treated myself to the Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash (£7). This little bottle may not look like much, but it's seriously one to not overlook. It makes my hands feel clean straight away, but without any stripped or dry feeling which is all too common with hand sanitisers. It actually feels quite nourishing and keeps my hands nice and soft. The smell is also divine!

I love hand cream and always have one on me, in the car, on my desk etc, so while I don't need anymore I've heard such great things about the Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm (£19) so I had to try it out. It's the perfect partner for the hand wash, and I fell for this little hand cream, and boy did I fall hard.

It has quite an unusual smell (same as the Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash), but super addictive. The ingredients include mandarine rind, rosemary leaf and cedarwood atlas, so it has quite a herby, earthy smell which is also very luxurious and deep. I normally use L'Occitane hand creams which are either quite floral or have a citrus vibe, so its nice to try something a bit different. This is also one for the guys as it's so unisex (hide it away just in case, thank me later).

The cream itself is very moisturising, but sinks in super quick and nourishes straight away and has been protecting my hands from the horrendously cold weather in the UK. You need the smallest amount so in theory this should last ages, but I'm so keen to wear it that I've been piling it on so I'm sure this will be repurchased in the not too distant future.

Now to find a candle that smells as divine as this lovely little duo. Anyone?



Friday, 12 December 2014

Rodial makeup launch and exclusive interview with founder Maria Hatzistefanis

Rodial makeup range review
Rodial makeup range review

Rodial makeup range review

Rodial is a brand that I was only introduced to this year, but without a shadow of a doubt it's one of my favourite discoveries of 2014. The skincare range is loved by celebs (if it's good enough for Ange I'm in), and what I have tried so far has blown me away. I recently spilled my love for the Stemcell range which you can read here.

So imagine my excitement when they launched a makeup range. Off the scale. The Rodial makeup range is a very carefully and thoughtfully designed capsule range, centred around sculpting. In the range you'll find gorgeously luxurious compacts, skin enhancing bases, eye pencils and a fabulous brush collection just to name a few. I've recently got into contouring so this is right up my street.

My good friend Charlotte from The Goodowl and I headed down to the official launch of the Rodial Sculpting Bar at Harvey Nichols recently and had a fantastic evening where we got to meet brand ambassador and all round mega babe Daisy Lowe, and we were also treated to a Paparazzi Day Sculpt makeover.

As a contour newbie it was great to be shown exactly how and where to apply it (boy was I doing it wrong!). There's a few different makeup looks to choose from, and the majority of them are free of charge at the Rodial Sculpting Bar which is exclusive to Harvey Nichols in London.

Rodial makeup range review

Rodial makeup range review

Rodial makeup range review
Rodial makeup range review

I also had the chance to chat to Rodial founder, Maria Hatzistefanis (pictured above with Daisy), who is such an inspiring and lovely lady, so that was quite an honour. Maria set up Rodial 15 years ago now, and also founded Rodial's little sister brand Nip+Fab, which I'm also a big fan of. Here's what she had to say:

What was it about Daisy that stood out and helped you choose her as the face of Rodial makeup?
Maria: I met Daisy last April when we did the Rodial Awards and I just got to spend some time with her. I love how she has this effortless nonchalant look. I also wanted to bring someone on board that's very British and make this connection with Daisy and her makeup and give it that quintessential edge of a great British brand. We're based in London and I've been running my business here for 15 years, so I wanted to personify this British edge and I think she's perfect for it. She's really gorgeous and she's sweet, and the sculpting makeup looks great on her.

Do you think you will keep the makeup range as the capsule wardrobe it currently is?
Maria: I think we're going to have to add some products as we go. I already have ideas coming up with makeup that has more coverage; concealers that are a bit more heavy duty. So I think even within the sculpting and contouring area we can add a few new products to complete the range. There's always something new we can add but still keeping with the same concept. You're not going to have 20 eyeshadows, but I mean the Eye Sculpt is amazing. It's the only eye product, so we might add another shade that's a bit more beige. So it's keeping with the same concept but expanding and completing the range.

As it's off the back of the skincare range, the natural way to cheat surgery and then the makeup range enhances that a little more, it's on the foundation of great skincare but stepping it up a bit.
Maria: Yes, that's a good point you make. A lot of people ask me is your differentiating point that your makeup has skincare ingredients? I almost feel that you take it for granted as a consumer right now, you do expect any makeup product that you get has some skincare benefits. For me it's more about the texture, it's more about the sheer-ness, it's more about the combination of colours that I put a lot of work into, more than the actual has it got aloe vera and vitamin E, but I think a lot of people do that.

I've accumulated a few products from the Rodial makeup range which I absolutely love, so I think I'll talk about these separately and maybe do a couple of makeup looks/tutorials, so look out for that to come soon.

If you're a fan of sculpting and contouring make sure you check out the range as I'm really impressed (borderline obsessed), and am really enjoying using the products so far.


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Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Origins mini-facial

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the new Origins interactive counter in Boots, Tunbridge Wells for a look-see and mini-facial. The counter opened in October and has been designed to be more engaging for customers, where they can explore the range and find out more about the ingredients behind the products. Everything at the counter is very accessible and inviting, so you can have a good ol' play. There's also a dedicated mini-facial area and I was very excited to get to experience one for myself.

The lovely Mel warmly welcomed me to the counter and we sat and chatted about my skin type, skin concerns and routine for a while. Mel then gathered some products that she felt would be most suited to my skin and treated me to a mini-facial.

First up Mel applied the Origins Pure Cream Cleanser, which is a really nourishing cream that you can either wash or tissue off. As we were at the counter in store it was best to tissue this off, and afterwards my skin felt clean, soft and importantly not stripped.

Next up was the Origins Modern Friction Face Scrub to exfoliate away dead skin cells and bring some radiance to my skin. This has been on my list to try for ages so I was really happy to experience this one. It's a fairly coarse yet gentle scrub if that makes sense, and afterwards my skin felt really soft. It also helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores. Mel explained that you can actually use this on dry skin for an even more effective exfoliation so I'll definitely have to try that trick. Obviously if your skin is really sensitive I would stick to applying to wet skin just in case.

I was just getting over a cold at the time, and as a result of having dry skin I had broken out. To help clear things up Mel applied the Origins Out of Trouble mask. Another cult favourite, this gorgeous mask draws out nasties and helps prevent further breakouts. It includes zinc-oxide and camphor which are well known blemish busters. It made my skin feel so much more comfortable. This is definitely one that I'll be buying to keep my blemish prone skin in check.

As my skin was rather unhappy, Mel used the Origins Spot Remover Pads to tone and to help clear up my blemishes. These contain salicylic acid which my skin absolutely loves. I'm a massive fan of exfoliating toners so highly recommend these. You get 60 pads for £24, so this will last a couple of months easily. Me love.

At this point my skin felt so smooth and happy. The bumps and dryness were gone and it was ready to take in some hydration. Mel applied the Origins Starting Over Eye Cream, an anti-ageing cream that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. At 31, this is probably my biggest concern so I'm always for trying products that help combat ageing around my eye area. The cream sunk straight in so would make a perfect base for makeup.

Mel then massaged the Origins A Perfect World Serum into my skin. Focused on anti-ageing, this serum smooths out and nourishes skin. I found this to feel truly lovely and light. To finish off, Mel applied my all time favourite, holy grail Origins product; the Origins Make A Difference Plus Treatment. This is a nourishing gel that adds loads of hydration and I find really helps clear up my skin. I've gone through about four tubs of this little beaut now and would highly recommend it. If you've never got on with Hydraluron this is one to definitely try.

After my facial my skin felt lovely and soft and much calmer than before. Thanks so much to Mel for a wonderful facial, if you're close to Tunbridge Wells do go for a visit. I was given a few samples to try out so I'll report back as soon as I've given them a test.

If you have an Origins counter near you I'd highly recommend popping down for a play and a complimentary mini-facial. It's a great way to try out new products and learn more about the brand.

Have you tried Origins before and if so what products would you recommend I try out?


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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

L'Oreal Color Riche Pure Reds - Eva's Red

A photo of L'Oreal Color Riche Pure Reds Eva's Red Lipstick

A photo of L'Oreal Color Riche Pure Reds Eva's Red Lipstick

A photo of L'Oreal Color Riche Pure Reds Eva's Red Lipstick

Following on from the success of the nude colour range, L'Oreal are back with the Pure Red's collection. These have been out a while now but they caught my eye when wandering around Boots and you know what happened next!
There are four shades in the range, consisting of Blake's Red; a warm ruby red, Julianne's Red; a cool berry red, Liya's Red; a cool scarlet red and lastly Eva's Red; a warm brick red. Given my pale, cool skin tone and red hair I naturally thought that Julianne's Red would be my favourite. Surprisingly I went for the L'Oreal Color Riche Pure Reds in Eva's Red (£6.99) which I absolutely adore. I don't think I've ever worn a brick red before, but I find it suits my skin tone pretty well and its really appropriate for this time of year, cosy jumpers optional!
It's pretty hydrating even though this is actually a matte lipstick. I wasn't even aware it was a matte lipstick at first if I'm honest. This is most likely down to the jojoba oil which moisturises your lips and make this lipstick so comfortable to wear. It applies easily and doesn't feather, but it's not the most long lasting formula. That really doesn't bother me though, it certainly doesn't slip around my face which some lipsticks can do and that's really the last thing you want with a bright red lip!

I think for a £6.99 lipstick the packaging is pretty chic, the case has a leather-like texture and has a satisfying click. It certainly looks and feels more expensive than it is. As I like the warmness of Eva's Red so much I might have to pick up Blake's Red as well. That's what Boots Advantage Card points are there for right?

Have you tried the L'Oreal Colour Riche Pure Reds and if so what one did you go for?


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