Friday, 28 June 2013
It's been a while since I've been so excited by a lip colour that I didn't wait to photograph it before trying it out. I'd wanted a Clinique Chubby Stick in my collection since they launched, but I always found the colours slightly too light and watery.
On a recent visit to Bicester Village I was swatching some lip colours when I came across the Clinique Chubby Stick Intense range. After trying out the heftiest Hibiscus shade on my hand, I knew I had to have it. At £11.25 I found it reasonable for a product of this type, more so than I have with a few frivolous purchases recently.
On application, the formula is intensely moisturising, rich and creamy as well as being highly pigmented. This stick is packed full of mango and shea butters, so the smoothing qualities will do wondrous things to your lips. For something touted as a 'lip balm', the colour pay off is huge which came as a pleasant surprise and the bold cherry colour transfers so easily while lasting longer than any lip balm I've ever tried. I'm not entirely sure if this is down to the red staining the lips or some other magical Clinique secret, but I'm converted!
Have you got a Clinique Chubby Stick in your makeup drawer?
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
You'd never know it, but I used to hate blush. I refused to wear it, and would look rather pale with my foundation and occasional use of bronzer and that's only if I was feeling it that day. Looking back, I cringe and weep a little for the rather uninformed girl I used to be. A few years later, a lot of makeup videos and lusting after some rather expensive products and I have myself a fairly respectable collection of blushes.
Cream blush is something I've latched onto with both hands and revolutionised the way I apply makeup. I thought I'd share a selection of my favourites that leave me with a peachy flushed smile every time.
First up, a product that I don't think I've stopped gushing about since I purchased it last month is Bourjois' Cream Blush in Healthy Glow, £7.99. It's slightly more orange than it's sister Nude Velvet, but leaves the cheeks with a real pearly finish that I just can't beat for everyday wear. If you're interested in what I have to say about the entire range I've written up an entire post about the Cream Blush launch.
Another product that makes my heart beat that little bit faster is Stila's Convertible Colour in Gerbera, £16.00. I find myself reaching for this time and time again as it's ideal for carrying around due to it's multipurpose use and large mirror. The colour reminds me of Illamasqua's Androgen Pigment but in a handier compact.
Last, but by no means least, is a little gem that was recommended to me by my mother. Seeing this beautiful colour on her cheeks prompted me to invest in Accessorise Cream Blush in Rose, £4.00. Not only is this a hugely affordable item, but has opened up my eyes to the makeup range by Accessorise in general. Highly pigmented and with massive staying power, I can't praise it enough. At the price, it's definitely worth the investment.
Do you have any peach blushes that you can't live without?
Monday, 24 June 2013
Painted nails and sunshine go together like cookies and milk, it's all a part of the summer experience. Not that we're getting much of it lately, but that's all the more reason to coax the sun out with some shockingly bright colours!
Recently I received Models Own Nail Polish in Bubblegum as part of Selfridge's Summer Beauty Box, which I haven't been able to keep off my nails. It's such a striking neon pink that seems to brighten with each passing hour after application. As with most polishes of this nature, it requires at least 2 coats but I gave this a third just to be sure I'd covered the nails entirely. This colour looks even better with a tan and has fantastic longevity when paired with a decent top coat.
Orange is fast becoming my favourite colour on my nails, as it lends itself quite nicely to bringing out the best in peach toned makeup, which I love. When I saw this Essie Nail Lacquer in Action I knew I had to add it to my collection, I didn't have anything like it. Once dried it looks a wonderful tangerine colour, but the consistency itself isn't ideal. It's quite watery and takes a fair few coats to cover the entire nail. I went up to four and could still see the whites of my nails underneath.
If you're looking for something to spice up your summer days, I would recommend both as long as you're determined enough to get the full colour pay off. Models Own Bubblegum is £5.00, available from Boots and Essie Action is £8.50 which you can get at beautybay.com.
What are your summer nail colours?
Friday, 21 June 2013
This is my first Face of the Day post, it probably won't be a regular thing unless anyone out there likes these kinds of posts? I made this purely for the lipstick, it's all about the lips! And possibly to just display my general process.
One of my go to foundations is L'Oreal's Lumi Magique Light Infusing Foundation in Rose Porcelain, it's so light and creamy and glides onto my face with minimal effort. The next product I apply is a concealer, and recently I've been reaching for Maybelline's Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer in Ivory. It really hides my dark circles and brightens my otherwise dull and lacklustre skin. A little dab of Benefit Blush in Sugarbomb mixed with their High Beam Highlighter and my cheeks look full, healthy and decidedly more human. I generally do my brows before I start on what I like to call the 'fininshing' touches, and that includes mascara. This way I get the whole effect and don't need to apply too much! I'm still using my Urban Decay Brow Box in Brown Sugar to pretty up my untameable eyebrows, and you can see how I do that in my tutorial post. Now for the eyes; swirling my ring finger in the Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr in Eternal Gold and sliding across the eyes makes for a sparkly yet subtle base which I then accentuate with a flick of Rimmel Glam Eyes Professional Liquid Liner in Black Glamour. A couple of coats of Clinique's High Impact Mascara in Black and the same for their Bottom Lash Mascara, also in Black, and I'm ready for the lip colour. A daring pop of Maybelline's Super Stay 24Hr Bold Matte in Fire Coral, which sets in the most gorgeous of orangey-coral tones and I'm good to go!
What do you wear on your face on a daily basis?
Wednesday, 19 June 2013
It's not very often you come across a product that can match up to a classic. I was given the heads up that Dainty Doll Powder Blush in 004 You Are My Sunshine was a pretty good NARS Orgasm Blush dupe. Dainty Doll is a range by Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud fame and, although not my cup of tea, she's made a mean blush!
I was lucky enough to have already picked up my own Orgasm blush in Sephora last July while visiting Megan (Little Miss Average) and fallen head over heels in love. It's a little too flashy for day time use unless you're light handed with the brush, but a solid staple in my makeup bag. If you can't afford to shell out £21.50 for a blush then giving the Dainty Doll version, a meagre £13.50, a whirl might be a wise investment. After having swatched them both a multitude of times and worn both throughout the day I still find it very hard to distinguish the two. Perhaps You Are My Sunshine leans slightly more to the golden end of the spectrum yet it's fascinating just how close they are in tone. The formulation is smoother and much easier to blend than the classic NARS offering, which took me by surprise. I was lucky enough to snap this up for £1.99 in the fragrancedirect.co.uk sale, but I think they only have Happy Shake left.
I will be using this one a lot over the summer for a slightly bronzed look without breaking the bank. Do you have any duplicates that you adore?
Monday, 17 June 2013
So, just how important is getting a good nights sleep? Aside from the health benefits, it's also vitally important for your skin! If you've ever experienced puffy eyes and sallow skin it's probably through lack of sleep. Severe lack of it can leave you with those horrible dark circles that are a tell tale sign of sleep deprivation, not to mention fine lines and leaving you a little lacklustre. Cortisol, a chemical released when stressed is ample when you don't get enough sleep, and it's this little blighter that really screws with the collagen in your skin. That's the stuff that keeps you looking young, smooth and stops your jowls from going south! Crazy, right?!
You don't have to worry if you're not getting your 8 hours of sleep a night though. Most of us can't even afford the luxury of 3 or 4, but as long as the ones you are getting satisfy your body enough to wake up feeling refreshed, you're getting enough. Your age plays a big factor in how much you should be getting a night, anywhere from 16 hours for babies and averaging 6 hours for the over 65s. I currently haven't found my 'sweet spot', I'm still experimenting with what works for me. And don't feel bad and beat yourself up if you can't get the same amount each time; as long as you settle back into your routine and stick to it, a little deterring it not going to cause too many problems.
You may have heard 'good sleep hygiene' being kicked about a lot, either by your doctor or even on the internet and television. There's a reason for that, and you'd be surprised at how many people ignore it and chose to do things differently every day. A good sleep hygiene routine can dramatically alter the way you get to sleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling energised. The only downside is, you have to alter the way you settle down for the evening and even cut out some big hitters in the daytime. Let's have a look at my top 5 ways you can get into a structured routine that'll leave you wondering why you never bothered before!
1. Cut out caffeine - "I'm Adrienne, and I'm a coffee addict." I'm sorry Starbucks fiends, you're going to have to come down from that buzz. When this was one of the first things my doctor told me to cut back on I nearly cried, that's not even a joke. I still have the odd cup from time to time, and I honestly wish I could cut it out entirely, I just need to find that perfect alternative. Same goes for alcohol here people, it's great for knocking you out almost instantly but as soon as the levels drop in your blood you're looking at a fully fledged stimulant.
2. No electronic gadgets or TV at least an hour before bed - It's a no-brainer, these kind of activities force our brains to get over stimulated, resulting in plenty of tossing, turning and general grumpiness. My advice? Read a book, meditate, you could even go for a walk if you felt that way inclined. Just do something that doesn't involve a little flickering screen for as long as possible before you start to feel tired. You'd be surprised how quickly it works too. That hour reading would have turned into several hours worth of late night television hopping, so you can thank yourself tomorrow.
3. If you can't get to sleep, get up! I can not believe the amount of people that stay in bed when they're having trouble drifting off. You need to go into another room and read or have a snack (anything high in amino acid tryptophan is a bonus) until you feel sleepy. The problem here is you're trying too hard to sleep, and with this comes frustration which forces your brain back into overtime. Relaxation is the key here. If you're not sleeping because you're worried or anxious, write down anything that's bothering you, don't take them to bed. The same goes for waking up during the night, if within 15 minutes you're still not snoring away, get out of bed.
4. Use your bed for sleep and the naughty stuff only - I might be preaching to the converted, but do you realise how much time you spend in/on the bed when you're not actually asleep? Once you associate your bed with sleep, it almost tricks your body into starting the motions for the evening.
5. Keep to a schedule - Just like babies, we need a good routine. As much as it seems awful to put yourself to bed each night at a reasonable time and then having to get up at the crack of dawn, as long as it's consistent then you'll feel as amazing as if you'd slept for 10+ hours. You don't have to go to bed early, as long as it's the same time each night and the same time to rise each morning. That means weekends too, otherwise you aren't doing your body any favours by having that Sunday lie in!
There are, of course, the obvious things to watch out for after you've sorted the above. You need to make sure you're at a comfortable temperature (not too hot or too cold), that the room you're sleeping in is relatively quiet and block as much light out as you can with some heavy duty curtains.
So there you have it, some good tips to stick to for a better nights sleep. But don't worry if you go off the rails, just pick back up where you left off. Sometimes good intentions aren't enough, and you might be out at a party or working through the night with a boatload of coffee (trust me, this happens on a regular basis), so don't fret too hard.
What is your top tip for getting the sleep you deserve?
Friday, 14 June 2013
Eyebrow shape is pretty important when it comes to your makeup routine. They frame your face, brighten your eyes and can even make your face appear thinner. I have fairly thick, bushy ones myself, that used to take an age to tame. In fact, I until a few years ago, I didn't do anything with them!
Filling in your brows, if you’ve never done it before, can be a fairly daunting task and with the summer having crept up on us all keeping them in top top condition is pretty high on my list. Here are some simple tips you can follow to fill you with the confidence you need for perfect brows.
1. When prepping your eyebrows, it’s always best to start with either a clean mascara wand or a brow comb and brush them upwards to identify any stray hairs. If you have neither to hand, you can always use a fine tooth comb.
2. Use a pair of cuticle scissors to trim those hairs so they follow your natural brow shape. If you want Cara Delevingne wonder-brows but only have thin and slender brows ala Kristen Stewart, bear this in mind when trimming and give them a chance!
3. Take your tweezers and pluck only the stray hairs above and below the brow line. At this stage great care needs to be taken not to over pluck. The last thing you want is to have overly thin and over plucked brows only to have to wait for them to grow back to start again. I recommend using a good quality pair of tweezers such as Tweezermans, £12.50.
4. At this point it’s handy to do some measuring. You don’t have to be precise, but a rule of thumb is to start your brow from the inner corner of your eye and to end at an angle from the outer corner. To help you can use the handle of a makeup brush.
5. Use a powder that either matches the colour of your eyebrows or is slightly darker, this will guarantee a natural look. Using an angled brow brush, start filling in any sparse patches with small precise strokes. Then continue to define the eyebrow line, extending all the way down to the end. I like to use Urban Decay's Brow Box in Brown Sugar, £17 two earthy browns for day and night.
6. Brush your brows once more with your mascara wand or brow comb and apply a clear eyebrow gel or eyebrow wax to set them in place.
Monday, 10 June 2013
Ever since Soap & Glory came onto the scene I've been a little obsessed fan girl. Christmas and Birthdays would usually turn up one product or another in the range and at one point I had about 5 tubs of the Body Butter, which still smells as incredible to me now as it did all those years ago. Fast forward to the current day and I still indulge in the odd bath or body product and have recently branched out into their stunning makeup offerings, such as Glow It All Out. A recent trip to Boots saw me exiting with a few bath time treats to try out. I spend at least an hour in the bath using up all my lotions and potions and it's any wonder how there's an inch of me left to apply any more product to.
So recently, instead of my usual cleanser, I opted for Soap & Glory's Fab Pore Facial Peel. I was drawn to this during a spate of temperamental miniature breakouts and feeling like my pores could be seen from space so, getting to the end of my tether feeling like nothing was working I decided to mix it up a bit! I tend to use this when I'm really having a bad skin day, as it's quite potent and feel it would be fairly damaging to use more than twice a week. You only need a small amount, enough to cover your face and then just work it in as much as you can with your fingers, making sure all the little green beads have disappeared. Those leaning toward the sensitive side might find this a touch harsh as I certainly start to feel a tingling sensation while it works to tighten and refine my skin.
While the mask is doing it's thing, I have time to test Soap & Glory's Breakfast Scrub. I wouldn't say there's anything entirely special about it, I just can't help but fall for an oatty, maple fragrance that leaves my skin silky smooth. I'm terrible for buying scrubs and never using them, which is probably why my arms need a little extra TLC than I would like. A good dollop of this between my palms and a few minutes later I look like a new woman. Well… I feel like a new woman at least. The encouraging scent lingers the entire evening, so I'm looking forward to testing this out in the shower before a day at work.
Have you tried any of the bath and body products by Soap & Glory?
Sunday, 9 June 2013
I confess, I've had the Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturising Lip Balm and Hard Candy's Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer for about a year now. Now I finally have an outlet to gush about these beautiful products from across the pond!
My first purchase was Hard Candy's Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer after my friend Megan, of Little Miss Average, lent me a touch before going out to a gig. I was so surprised when, not only did it not budge, but I only had to use the smallest amount. The appeal of this particular concealer is that it's so highly pigmented that it can cover tattoos, so you can imagine what wonders it can do for the bags under your eyes! I got this in the lightest shade I could get my hands on as there were only three at the time, which has now expanded to five and the middle shade was slightly too dark. When I eventually go back stateside, I'll be picking up another shade to mix and create the perfect colour. As far as concealers go it's slightly more difficult to blend than a basic drugstore version, but the results are worth the extra effort. You can pick this up in Walmart for around £3.94/$6.
Now on to the infamous Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturising Lip Balm. I had no idea this was going to be such a cult product when I picked it up for a few dollars in a drugstore around the corner from where Megan lives. I had money burning in my pocket and a need for something to protect my lips from the 30+ degree weather. July in the South is definitely not kind to my skin! I was drawn to the packaging, those big brushed letters on a clashing coloured case would look perfect in my makeup bag. The flavour I originally wanted was Peach Kiss, but ended up purchasing Grape Vine, a fantastically rich and creamy formula that genuinely smells of grapes. I'm glad I went for this as I can't get enough of the scent and the slight purple tint it gives off adds a pop to otherwise colourless lips. The moisturising effect is almost instant, helping any and all dry skin disappear, which is a nice change to having to exfoliate which can be more of a hinderance. The claims are that this lasts a full 8 hours, but I've yet to truly test it because I'm constantly reapplying for love of the smell and the colour. After a few weeks of using this nonstop I noticed a massive improvement in the texture of my lips, which is no easy feat for anyone that knows me. I suffer from hugely dried out lips and am on the constant look out for something to combat it so Maybelline's Baby Lips is somewhat of a holy grail for me. I usually use this after moisturising and before applying any other lip products, but on lazier days I'll use this alone for an effortless summer look.
Currently there is no official release date for Maybelline's Baby Lips in UK stores, but an estimate of July seems to be floating round. I, for one, will be nabbing a few more of these for the upcoming summer months to keep my lips in the best condition possible. If you can't wait and can get to a Target they are around £1.96/$2.99 per tube.
Tuesday, 4 June 2013
The Stila Convertible Colour in Gerbera, £16 is something I've had on my wish list for a good while. It's constantly popping up on various beauty bloggers makeup hauls and tutorials, but I could never quite justify buying it until I went on a mad spending spree at Selfridges.
Now, I LOVE a multitasking product, as most people know, it's not like I ever shut up about them! I find anything that can save me time and space can only be a good thing, and paying a premium for the privilege doesn't seem half as bad when you're given an multitude of applications. Stila are proving to be onto a winner here with their lipstick and blush combination. It's no wonder they've won a mountain of awards, more specifically Best Cream Blush by In Style Best Beauty Buys eight years running. Now that's an incredible accolade.
The peachy pink case stands out in my makeup bag, perfect for saving time digging around aimlessly for the odd touch up on the go. Stila have done a fantastic job at matching the colour of the cream to the case, which is a lovely touch. As for the product itself, it's definitely the creamiest formula in my blush stash. Really silky and not at all shimmery, which is something I don't really go for in a blush, my only exception being Bourjois Cream Blush in Rose Tender. Warm this up a little between the ring finger and thumb to make for a smoother application to the cheeks. I personally don't recommend using a brush with this, it blends like a dream with the fingers with no extra effort on your part. The effect is instant, gratifying and healthy which is more than I could have hoped for. As for the longevity scale, I found that the colour was going strong after a full day of work and going out in the evening to a gig!
I can't get enough of popping a touch of this onto my lips on a night out when I'm not sporting red or orange as it's a great colour for the summer months. I was initially worried that as it dried semi-matte, it might really strip my skin of all its moisture, but it turns out one of the key ingredients is lanolin oil, so no worries there. Although, it is known to irritate some people, so check you agree this this product before investing.
Do you own a Stila Convertible Colour?
Sunday, 2 June 2013
I love when I miss a package being delivered. Odd I know, but it means I get the satisfaction of picking it up from the post office and really savouring the moment. This is what happened yesterday and I knew exactly what it was going to be; the exclusive Selfridges Summer Beauty Box. The name alone was enough to send a jolt of excitement through my sun starved skin!
After peeling back the tissue paper, a whole host of miniature beauties were waiting to be enjoyed. There's something for everyone in the nine products Selfridges have put together, so whether you're a tanning junkie or like to keep it natural you won't be disappointed!
First up you get a Aqua Splash Tangle Teezer in a luminous pink. You know the drill with Tangle Teezer brushes, they do an excellent job of getting all those pesky knots out of even the heaviest of hair. This particular model works well with wet or damp hair, which is quite handy to keep in the shower to use when deep conditioning. Carrying on with the hair products, is a handy travel size Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, the perfect companion for tousled tresses without any extra effort on your part. I love salt sprays, my hair lacks any kind of texture and this is perfect for a touch of body without looking overdone. I like to use this on towel dried hair and less it definitely more when this spray is concerned. Work it into the roots and use your fingers to extend it all the way through to the tips. If you prefer to keep your hair up and out of your face, then using a couple of the beautiful Jane Tran Hair Clips will transform even the simplest of hair styles into a thing of beauty. I can't get enough of the ombré pattern, which would look fantastic paired up with the included Models Own Neon Nail Varnish in Bubblegum.
To rinse all the sun, sea and sand away, Selfridges offer up Molton Brown's Aqua Bath & Shower Gel. I love Molton Brown hand-washes but have never invested in their body wash, which surprises me as this particular offering is both fragrant and luxurious. A mixture of templetree flower, jasmine and patchouli conjures up images of island life while the algae extracts help to condition and replenish the natural moisture in the skin.
After the body and hair prep you can reach for the St Tropez Instant Glow Face Lotion, which does exactly what it claims. As it doesn't contain tanning agents there's no worries of having to wait around for it to set or getting streaky. I don't currently have a dedicated facial tanner, and am ridiculously excited to add a natural glow to my pasty skin. This should go some way to hiding those dark circles I'm constantly aware of! I'll probably go the gradual route by mixing this with my morning moisturiser for fear of overdoing it. And when I do get some sun, I can rely on Lancaster Tan Maximizer After Sun to sooth my skin after tanning. Handily, it can be used on both the face and body to accelerate the production of melanin, resulting in a longer lasting tan as well as hydrated skin. Massive thumbs up here!
If you haven't had the chance to try out the cult Caudalie Beauty Elixir, then you're in luck as it's one of the best items offered up in this box. I happen to own a bottle of this already and having a further one to pop in my handbag makes me gloriously happy. The basic idea of this misting wonder is that it smoothes skin, minimises pores and brightens any dullness. Personally, I can't see much of a difference when using it but do love the way my makeup stays put before using my setting powder. The smell can not be rivalled either; grapes, orange blossom, rose, balm mint and rosemary is a heady combination that I can't get enough of. After a generous spray before moisturising, you could then apply a little Erborian BB Cream. Straight out of Korea, this 5-in-1 foundation provides just enough coverage to stop you from feeling completely bare, but gives the confidence of an even complexion. As with all other BB creams, it both nourishes and conceals and even has solar protection so can be worn out when we finally see some sunshine for an effortless summer look.
The box is £25 but the products value is that of £70. Getting hold of one of these will make your summer memorable. Have you tried anything in the box?