Over the last month I have been road testing the Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm, £8.99 (currently £5.99 on special promotion). I have been hearing jitters about this cleansing balm on the beauty grapevines with many saying it easily matched up to big wig cleansing balms such as the Eve Lom and Emma Hardie’s offerings and so always being one to hop on the old bandwagon as soon as my Emma Hardie balm ran out I rushed to pick one up from Boots and was pretty impressed to have left with change from a tenner, something which is previously unheard of in my skincare department. I was of course apprehensive, it is not that I am snooty but I play it painfully safe when it comes to my skin and even making just one small change it has a tendency to implode with problems, plus in my experience more premium skincare products win every time against a more budget buy, thankfully in this case I was very pleasantly surprised. On first use I instantly noticed that the texture of this balm is definitely harder especially than the almost gooey Emma Hardie balm I have been using forever and so it takes a bit more work to soften and requires a little longer to massage onto the skin, I am talking an extra minute here so nothing drastic but definitely allow to warm to an oil and do not attempt to whack on face as a block of hard product. Once on it turns to a beautiful fluid oil infused with jojoba oil and soothing rose hip, both of which are incredible products to detoxify and brighten the skin. It swiftly lifted away all traces of make up leaving my skin feeling incredibly nourished and squeaky clean minus any feelings of tightness. I did find in using this balm I had to use a separate eye make up remover as for me it was simply too rich to use around my eyes, it affected my contact lenses the following day and left an oily residue I wasn’t too keen on around the eyes, For me however that is no bother, I quickly cleansed eyes before applying the balm with my trusty L’Oreal Absolute Eye & Lip Make up Remover, £3.49. After first use I noticed that this balm left a slight film on the skin after cleansing which I was very sure would break me out big time but luckily never did, I am assuming this was the Shea Butter which is often very rich in texture and harder to break down. I do steam my face twice with this cleanser and double wipe my hot cloth over my skin just to make sure I have everything off and that the residue left is minimal. I looked into this and found most reviews mentioned this waxy film feel on skin after use, very few reported it caused them to break out and the majority like myself had no issue at all. I have been using this cleanser for just over a month and am definitely half way through the pot, I would say you easily get two months use out of each pot which actually compared to the 5-6 months I get out of my Eve Lom balm doesn't make it wonderfully cost effective but is definitely a good option if you are in the market for trying out a cleansing balm for the first time or have more financial peace of mind in having smaller initial outgoings and are happy to replace more frequently. Overall this cleanser has been fabulous, my skin looks well hydrated and pretty darn flawless. I would happily re-buy this cleanser and think it totally lives up to all the hype! Ooh and for any eco warriors out there this product is 97% organic, totally paraben free and tested on humans! woah I am impressed! Get your boots card at the ready girls!
Hi there I hope you all had a wonderful christmas full of beautiful gifts, lots of laughs and a few too many pigs in blankets! We are all now of course counting down to tomorrows New Years Eve plans and so with that in mind I thought I would put together a beauty countdown to getting yourself looking and feeling absolutely fabulous just in time to see in the new year. Enjoy!
The night before….
If like me you have been mindlessly snacking on chocolate for the whole month of December blissfully unaware that come boxing day an army of cocoa induced blemishes would be waiting to pop up in revenge, sound familiar? well first things first we need to detox the skin- big time. Use a deep clarifying mask such as the Eve Lom Rescue Mask, £35 and leave on for at least 15minutes, ideally until totally dry. It contains honey infused kaolin clay which will quickly scout out toxins and encourage them to drain away while honey, unlike many other clay masks prevents your skin from feeling tight after use and instead slightly softening leaving your skin feeling perfectly balanced. I find the camphor and almond oil extracts in this mask give it the most uplifting smell, perfect to kick start your day if your feeling sluggish and brilliant if you are feeling a little sore headed so be sure to keep some handy for new years day also!
For any big bugger spots zap them fast with Malin & Goetz Suphur Paste, £16. I have dedicated a whole blog post to this miracle working stuff. Apply using a cotton bud directly to the spot and leave overnight to work its magic, by morning its guaranteed to have shrivelled into insignificance.
Now I am no official expert hair wise but in my personal experience hair is always better and more manageable when it is a day old and so I say wash your hair the night before your big night out. I shampoo and condition my hair with the Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair Shampoo, £16.55 and Condtioner, £17.25 and then apply a deep condoning hair mask such as the Sachajuan (don’t make me pronounce it!) Hair Repair, £23. This is a new discovery which I have been desperate to try ever since my brothers girlfriend swanned in one weekend with the bounciest, swishyest hair ever and said the only thing she’d changed was using this and thankfully someone must have mailed FC himself as it only turned up under the tree. Leave it on for 15minutes for incredibly silky, de-frizzed, expensive looking hair.
Meanwhile with both masks on give your skin a good scrub using Origins Ginger Body Scrub, £36. This contains dead sea salts that buff away dead skin while super nourishing macadamia and sweet almond oil leave skin looking incredibly radiant and feeling baby soft. Next defuzz, I shave legs using Biona Raw Virgin Coconut Oil, £7.99. It comes as a hard paste, work into the palm of your hands for a few seconds before slathering on legs. This allows for a close shave while replenishing any lost moisture from the harshness of shaving. This is brilliant for anyone who suffers from annoying shaving rash as it is totally organic and so less astringent than shaving foams. Definitely scrub before shaving, not only does buffing lift hairs further out of the follicle allowing for an even smoother shave but also using the Ginger post shaving stings…bigtime! learn from my mistakes girls! owch.
Towel dry hair and comb through with a Tangle Teezer, £11 and then run through a little of the Oribe Gold Lust Oil, £45 for added nourishment. This wonder oil also provides thermal protection and cuts down drying time! I blast my hair until its almost dry with my hairdryer and then blow dry in sections using my Babyliss Big Hair, £45. This rotating hot brush is perfect if like me you love a smooth, bouncy blow dry but have hands that absolutely refuse to play ball when trying to do it. It rotates in two directions meaning that if you get in a tangle all you need to do is simply rotate in the opposite direction. phew! I find in spending a little bit of time using this after washing my hair I can simply give it a good brush the following day it just bounces back into shape.
Moisturise everywhere! after all that scrubbing and buffing your skin will be needing a little moisture. Use Kiehls Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter, £36. This air whipped body cream feels wonderfully light yet provides skin with 24 hours of hydration meaning you’ll see in the new year still feeling super soft. Give your feet a little treat before you slip them into an evening of high heel bashing and lather them in some Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream, £23. Keep handy for new years day as this baby contains Arnica extract to reduce swelling and provide soothing relief for tired tootsies.
24hours to go…
Apply a rich nighttime moisturiser for your skin to soak up while you sleep. I suggest Embroylisse Lait Cream Concentrate, £20 applied generously. By morning skin will look plump and perfectly hydrated. Finally slip under the sheets nice and early and get a good nights beauty sleep. I spritz my pillow with some This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, £16 to aid an even better night sleep. zzzzzzz.
Party day! 12hours to go…
After a restful nights sleep you will wake looking and feeling gorgeous ahead of a day of more party prepping. Firstly after yesterdays scrubbing and moisturising your skin will be perfectly primed for applying your tan. I recommend St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse, £22. This is amazing if like me you hate having sticky, biscuit smelling tan on your skin overnight. I apply using a mitt and leave on for 2 hours for a natural, golden tan. Super effective and less time for tanning mishaps to occur. Leave on for a maximum of 3 hours if you want an even deeper tan.
While your tan is cooking is the perfect time to paint your nails. I of course would go see my old pal Jo of Nail Envy by Jo at The Salon in Leamington Spa but if you havent been that organised a winning combination I have been reaching for over the party season is Chanel’s Rouge Noir, £18 with Essie’s Rock at the Top, £8.95 to add a bit of sparkle on top either on all nails or just on the one accent nail. If your wanting a really professional manicure first buff nails using the Emoji Micro Electric Nail Polisher, £29.99. I got one of these for christmas and its blimmin amazing, it smooths and resurfaces nails in second leaving them with an incredible shine and a perfect canvas for polish.
10 hours to go….
Wash off tan after your desired amount of time. I always opt to do this in the shower rather than the bath, use scrubby mitts gently to remove any excess surface skin tan and prevent it from developing any further. Use Lush’s The Olive Branch Shower Gel, £4.75 to rid skin of any horrid tan smells, the citrus notes of bergamot and mandarin oil give this shower gel an amazingly fresh yet sweet smell while olive oil adds extra silkyness.
3 hours to go…
Slather on some sweet smelling Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Souffle Body Creme, £44.50. This stuff smells incredible, whenever I wear it I always get compliments. It is the perfect mask for a little left over tan smell and will be sure to keep you smelling fabulous well into the night.
Use a little highlighter down the centre of your legs to elongate your pins, I use Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, £33. Check out my previous blog post for even more tips to creating lustworthy legs.
2 hours to go…
Apply a oil-free lightweight moisturiser such as the Origins GinZing face cream, £23. Those of you who read my blogs will know I rave about this product. It's oil free finish mean it sits perfectly under make up while its zesty citrus smell smell is incredibly uplifting. A perfect pre party skin pick me up to keep skin looking radiant all night long. Pat on the matching Origins GinZing Eye Cream, £20 under eyes to reduce any puffiness and refresh eyes ahead of a late night. This eye cream has a subtle pearlised glow which banishes dark circles meaning your concealer wont have to work quite so hard. Slick on a good layer of lip balm and leave to soak in, by the time you are ready for lipstick application lips are plump, hydrated and any dryness expelled, I use the Bobbi Brown Lip Balm, £16.
Next, of course my favourite part- MAKE UP TIME! A few hero products I will definitely be reaching for is the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer, £52. This beyond silky primer helps to even out the complexion and provide a perfectly prepped canvas for make up application, with this baby on your make up wont budge all night. Next apply a hard working foundation such as the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Even Finish Foundation, £31. This oil free formula has an impressive 12 hour wear to with stand even the biggest party animals night life. Apply using a Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush, £30 for flawless skin. Be sure to go sparkly and smokey for the party season, my new eyeshadow palette crush is the Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Palette, £45.
1 hour to go…
Give hair a good brush, it should bounce back into place after using your Babyliss Big Hair the day before. Smooth any frizzy bits over lightly with hair straighteners and finally spritz hair liberally with Oribe Dry Texturising Spray, £39. This cult product delivers body, boost and tousled texture instantly giving sexy full hair that wont go flat all night.
30 minutes to go…
Get your party dress on, sparkles of course encouraged. Throw your lippy and a pressed powder in your clutch bag to keep you looking fabulous, I’ll be using Charlotte Tilburys Bitch Perfect Lipstick, £23 a perky peachy nude that’ll be low mantainence to top up and ala Victoria Secret model lips. Take shine down with the Bobbi Brown Brightening Powder in Brightening Nudes, £40 a swirl of this colour correcting pressed powder will take down any redness from over excitable dancing and brighten a complexion suffering after a few too many Gin and Tonics!
Voila, strut out the door looking fabulous! Have an amazing new year whatever you are doing. Thank you to all my clients from 2014 and to those of you have followed my blogs over the past year, I am so grateful for all your support and I look forward to seeing you all again next year!
HAPPY NEW YEAR ! x
Our skin can’t speak which is a pity because if it could it would probably sue us for slander. We are desperate to give it a label – oily, congested, combination, acneic, dry – but what very few of us realise is that skin’s appearances can be deceptive. Some skins are dry – a skin condition which can be controlled –while others are simply thirsty; air conditioning and too little water all compromise its equilibrium.Too often we confuse the two - so what’s your dermalogical diagnosis? Let me break it down for you.
Dry skin is a definite skin condition. Some faces simply do not make enough of the oil and sebum needed to retain much-needed moisture. If left to its own devices dry skin won’t look shiny (hoorah) but will probably appear uneven, patchy or dull and possibly more lined than that of your oily-skinned friends with a slight lack of plumpness (boo). It’s also more susceptible to sensitivity as oil creates a natural protective barrier and so redness, inflammation and irritation are a gloomy side-effect also.
Treat dry skin appropriately by choosing a gentle nourishing cream or oil-rich cleanser. I always recommend a balm or oil consistency and both Oskia’s Renaissance Cleansing Gel, £28 and Emma Hardie's Moringa Cleansing Balm, £36 are beautiful. Be sure to exfoliate regularly to eliminate the dulling, dehydrated surface cells and encourage a more radiant complexion. I would recommend adding a Clarisonic to your daily routine to gently lift away dead skin, the vibrations in this device should boost oil production by stimulating pores and so alleviate dryness. When skin is feeling really dry try applying your moisturiser while skin is still damp after cleansing as this will help to seal the precious water into skin. Be sure to look for products rich in natural oils such as shea butter, beeswax, sunflower seed or jojoba oils in all aspects of your skin care routine. Pick up a tube of cult product Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, £20- a rich yet fast absorbing moisturising lotion rich in fatty acids that will revitalise dry skin and leave it looking incredibly radiant instantly. This is a product I swear by in my kit as it gives incredible results SO quickly, plus unlike many rich creams it sits perfectly under make up. As an added extra keep a facial spritz in your handbag to top-up moisture levels on the go. Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir, £32 is a nutritive cocktail of essential oils, smells incredible and won’t ruin your make up.
Dehydrated skin lacks moisture but can still make oil which is why it’s often a real mixed bag with shiny bits and flaky bobs leaving us totally confused and not sure where to start with solving it. Dehydration is a condition most common amongst those with blemish-prone skin who strip out all the moisture using harsh astringents. It’s also a frequent complaint at this time of year when it quickly becomes cold outdoors and we whack on the central heating, all of which combine to cause complexion mayhem! So if dryness isn't something your usually fighting likelihood is your skin is dehydrated.
The most important step and the cheapest to solving dehydrated skin is to drink plenty of water, this is something I myself am so guilty of but it really is so so important. H20 is a natural detoxifier and so will naturally flush away toxins reducing blemishes while keeping skin plump and moist. To soothe tightness choose sulphate-free, balancing cleansers and absolutely avoid anything that foams up very quickly, the NUDE Purify Cleansing Wash, £20 is one I've stuck to for years now for my morning in-shower cleanse as it helps to freshen up skin and purge pores without ever drying skin.
After cleansing sweep skin with a cotton pad soaked in the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic, £22 - a skin conditioning tonic designed to restore and balance skin with softening ingredients such as vitamin B5 and soothing Camomile and Lavender. gentle Choose a lightweight hydrator so as not to overwhelm skin, instead layer your moisturiser with a serum which is designed to work deep in the dermis of the skin to instantly relieve tightness and ensure your future skin feels soft and supple nipping any dehydration in the bud. Glycerin or hyaluronic acid are your best friend while dehydrated as both help to attract and retain moisture, without suffocating or exacerbating oiliness. My current serum crush is the Sarah Chapman Intense Hydrating Booster, £57 which when layered under my daytime moisturiser gives skin an added kick of Hylauronic acid while leaving it silky soft.
Beat the harsh effects of winter and get treating your dry/dehydrated skin so you'll be glowing this christmas! Enjoy xoxo
I know, I know I haven’t blogged new material for so long! I have been swamped with work but as always I have been searching high and low for blog worthy beauty buys to share with you all and this one has to be worth the wait. Those of you who regularly read my blogs will know that I do have a bit of a habit for falling head over heels for the more pricey products, I do try to avoid this but unfortunately quite often quality does come at a bit of a price tag, BUT this week I am coming at you with a range of lipsticks I absolutely love and best yet you can pick up them up from good ole Boots and they are even on a ‘3 for 2’ offer this week! uh-maz-ing!
I am talking about the Loreal Paris Collection Privee range of lipsticks, they offer a series of nudes (and more recently reds!) inspired by a small elite of super celebs such as Eva Longoria, J-Lo and my current girl crush Doutzen Kroes *I have wished for her face for christmas goddam santa claus make it happen!*. It really does makes lipstick shopping so easy, especially in a drugstore where trying lipsticks on isn't an option and a tester quite often looks as if it has been mauled or eaten. Instead simply choose the celebrity you most relate to in hair colour, skin tone or alternatively opt for the celeb who's look you wish to achieve, throw it in the basket and voila. Personally, there aren't enough days in the week for celebrities I want to look like and so I picked them all up over a couple of months and went through a bit of a phase with using each. I picked up the ‘Eva’ lipstick late last year when the collection initially launched with a slightly different celeb set to the current collection, but Eva has stayed and I am now on my third one!- it is a firm favourite of mine, one that is always rolling around at the bottom of my handbag and I reach for it far more frequently over a vast array of high end lipsticks I own. I find it to be my perfect nude as it has just that little bit of warmth that my skin craves. It has a slight peachy tone that is subtle but adds life to my complexion. I would recommend it to anyone who has tried and failed conquering the nude lip through looking either dead or totally washed out, do not fret not everyone can do that total nude I for one absolutely cant instead opt for warmer, peachy nudes ala Eva.
My second favourite is the J-Lo lipstick, this is a classic beige tone nude for classic, muted lips- combine with a deep smokey eye or quickly swipe on for effortless natural daytime lips in a flash. The texture of the J-Lo lipstick is slightly lighter than Eva’s offering a very sheer, glossy finish that is perfect for those who don’t really do lipstick and have a tendency to feel too made up with it on.
The Doutzen shade also has this lightweight, glossier finish and comes in a sweet, pale pink shade. Although this is probably my least favourite of the four, for me it is just a little too pale, I have used this on many clients with great results. I would recommend this for vary fair complexions or anyone who finds most nudes look too warm or beige toned as its cooler blue base tone will be much more complimentary to brighten while looking soft and fresh.
Finally, the last one I picked up more recently is the Julianne Moore shade. This again is glossier in texture and I would say sits perfectly between J-Lo and Doutzen in that it is a little more pink based but no where near as pale as Doutzen’s. I find this to be much more flattering and so again for a paler complexion but for those who do not want something as girlie as Doutzen’s. It is coming close to my being my new fave but for me it is Eva all the way, obvious really being as how like her I am in skin tone, hair colour, dress size……ok shush a girl can dream!
Go check them out, there is a perfect nude for everyone and at under £7 is an absolute winner! I did pick up the new reds collection the other day, particularly loving Blake Lively’s red- a gorgeous bright cherry I feel like I will be getting a lot of use out of over the festive season! Tra la la la laaaa.
Hey! Gosh can you believe it is the first of October tomorrow!? It seems like two minutes ago we were talking sun creams, travel sized miniatures and holiday must haves- boo! Mind you the weather this week has totally confused us all, I did pack away any trace of summery clothing and said goodbye to summer altogether only to have to haul them out again-not that I am complaining of course!
Todays little nugget of knowledge is one that applies rain or shine, but especially so coming into the colder months when our tans begin to fade and we run the risk of looking a little washed out.
BLUSHER- Now for me it is an absolute must have, I might even go so far as to say it would be the one make up product I couldn't be without and yet I meet so many women who skip on blush. Absolutely everyone benefits from a little blusher. I have heard it all but one of the most common reasons women give me for as to why they do not wear any are that they prefer to wear bronzer, to which I cannot stress enough how they are two totally different products, they work amazingly together and enhance each others effectiveness but one definitely doesn't cancel out the other particularly bronzer over blush. Bronzer will provide your skin with added warmth and can be applied to the majority of the face, apply anywhere the sun would naturally hit first, this is going to be all the high points of the face and any prominent features on the face ie- nose, jawline. Bronzer applied solely to the face can look a little flat, if the skin is predominantly one shade nothing looks lifted. Blush should mimic the colour the skin naturally flushes, everyone will blush naturally most commonly when we are hot, embarrassed or excited, it shows our emotions through our skin and whether we love that or loathe it none can dispute it shows that we are alive and so as you can imagine without it the complexion looks dull and in some cases a little lifeless. Blushing also has a real innocence to it and so we associate a blushing face as a youthful one and so just a swish of blush can instantly make you appear younger. I have a met a lot of ladies who fear blusher or cancel out its use if they have natural high colouring or skin sensitivities such as rosacea, this I can totally understand- it makes sense if you are already red why add more? In this case finding the right shade of blush is more important than ever, mostly I would opt for sheer, light weight consistencies such a cream blush formulas and choose less pinky shades and more fresh peaches. This will have the opposite effect, your skin will look like it is deliberately flushing rather than a sore, redness with all the benefits blush offer as mentioned previously.
Where you apply your blush is very important and also completely personal. Face shapes play a vital part on where best to apply, now this could get really technical so to keep things simple: generally for rounder original square shaped faces applying your blusher directly to the apples of the cheeks draws the eye in meaning the face appears narrower. Longer and heart shaped faces should apply blusher in a less round fashion and more so in a straight, horizontal direction, well blended of course to draw the eye outwards and balance the shape of the face. I would recommend that everyone apply a natural blush in the suggested application for their face shape and those who want to really lift and brighten their face then in addition apply a ‘Pop’ shade in a brighter tone to the apples of the cheeks. Using this two tone method creates a very natural looking flush and also makes blending so much easier as the natural blush shade will blur the difference in intensities softening the blush against your skin tone.
The best way to pick your natural blush colour would be to take a good look at your skin and how it changes colour wise throughout the day, see what colour your skin flushes when you are at the gym or just generally throughout the day and do your best job to match this. Take into account also your hair and skin colouring, very fair skins may wish to opt for peachy tones to be slightly softer while black skins will need to look for deep plums and berry tones. Choosing your ‘Pop’ shade would be to take your natural blush and pick up the amped up version of it, it needs to be bright and may sometimes even a little scary in the pan. These blushers you will use the teeniest amount and so while the pigment may look terrifyingly Aunt Sally in the pan on your skin it will work wonders.
I have used lots and lots of blushers over the last few years and use a big variety in my kit of blusher offerings from various brands but detailed below are my real blush crushes, the ones I can totally recommend and personally go back to time and time again. The colours mentioned may not suit all skin tones and so take my recommendation and then go on and check out the counter to pick your perfect shade, also don't be afraid to ask for advice on counter and try some on.
Now a lady who just never disappoints ever in the product department is of course Charlotte Tilbury and her blushers are no different. They have revolutionised the idea of applying natural blush with a pop and her dual ‘Swish and Pop’ Cheek to Chic Blushers provide a blusher that looks a little like a target with a natural blush to swish your brush around the outside and a small circle of a more intense ‘popping’ blush to finish with last thing. This makes using this blush technique easy and also much more affordable. I have the Cheek to Chic Ecstasy Blush, £30 and have been using this in my personal make up bag ever since I brought it back in January and I have to say its showing no signs of running out anytime soon. It’s intense pigment means I need the smallest amount. It is a peachy natural blush with a hot pink centre. I would totally recommend the Charlotte Tilbury blushers and have my eye on the ‘Love Glow’ one when mine eventually runs out. I apply mine with a Laura Mercier Travel Cheek Colour Brush, £39 which is my absolute favourite blush brush. Its perfectly rounded bristles make application a breeze while its super softness blends and applies brilliantly, an expensive brush but mine is nearing 4years old and still in fabulous condition.
I couldn't talk blusher without mentioning the iconic NARS Orgasm Blush, £21.50, A favourite among Kim K, J-Lo and many more celeb glamazons it is a gorgeous wash of peachy pink with gold flecks running through it that suits pretty much everyone. This blush is perfect for days when skin is looking dull and for those who need a little shimmer fix in their cheek product. . I spent a good few years giggling every time someone asked for this blusher during my SpaceNK days..”The one beginning with O…” they’d say, oh how very English of you.
Those of you who maybe are a little weary of blush and want something sheer and uber natural I would suggest opting for a cream or liquid blush. These can be applied simply with fingers and well blended into the skin. Cream blush will have a more dewy finish and so great for mature skins or anyone with a dryer/dehydrated complexion. A total winner in the natural cream blush department is the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Fresh Melon, £19. This soft peach adds an extremely subtle brightness to the cheeks while remaining totally inoffensive to even the biggest blush phobe. Another cream blush favourite is the Illamasqua Cream Blush in Zygomatic, £21.50 a naked browny pink. Still too much!? For a product even lighter again opt for a cheek stain, these are very fluid and so give the lightest wash of colour. I recommend the Benefit cheek stains, they do loads now but the original Benetint, £24.50 is still a classic blush while a newer favourite for a cute barbie pink flush is the Lollitint, £24.50. Note these dry very quickly and so best applied in small doses with fingers and built up, apply to the apples of the cheeks and quickly blend in an upwards motion.
I hope that helps, if you don’t already get cheeky and add a flush of blush to your make up routine.
Todays post is a bit of a shout out to my nail saviour and good friend Jo, owner of Nail Envy by Jo based at The Salon in Leamington Spa. I’ve been thinking about doing a nail related blog post for a while after having a recent little sort through of my abundance of polishes, most of which were very clumpy and yucky mostly because if I am totally honest I rarely really do them myself apart from the few times Jo actually has to take a holiday and I am left haphazardly filing away at my nails like a maniac and so rather than pretending I know what I am doing this post is all about her.
I have been going to Jo for the last year after stalking her nail art on Instagram and plucking up the courage to book in as I was still a little scarred from the horrific gel nails I had for my year 11 prom which were an inch thick with gems, a dodgy french manicure, hell I think they even had some oriental looking nail art on them- all of which happened as some massive miscommunication between myself and the lady sat in front of me! I avoided nail salons since but got so fed up with having rubbish nails. Luckily Jo has never pulled such tricks! I have acrylic extensions with her, I tend to keep them no longer really than my natural nail but just love that they are always a perfect shape and an even length. My polish lasts a good 3 weeks without chipping when regular polish on me generally lasts all of five minutes! I am pretty boring with my polish choices but she's amazing at nail art too, so if you are one of those expressive kinds or are just feeling totally wild she will absolutely be able to fulfil all decorative nail needs.
So I thought I would spread the word to all my local blog followers and clients as it's tricky to pin down a good nail technician. Any of my bridal clients reading definitely book in for a pre-wedding manicure to have those hands picture perfect for the day. The rest of you, treat yourself to a manicure- you wont regret it!
Check out the Nail Envy by Jo Facebook Page for more pictures, prices and testimonials.
Follow nail_envy_by_jo on Instagram.
Those of you who follow my blog will know I am a bit of a fan of Origins skincare, I’ve previously raved about a couple of their masks…The Drink Up Intensive Mask and Clear Improvement are firm favourites in my skincare drawer but it dawned on me when slathering on my trusty morning moisturiser that I just don’t cut it enough slack. Lets face it generally day time moisturisers are a little boring and instead I tend to be more excited by my night time oils, lotions and potions with their fragrant essential oils and jam packed full of promise of the wonders it’ll do for my skin while i’m catching some zzz’s. Previously I was so uninterested in my day cream i’d flit about trying new ones, always using up old bits and bobs here and there and then I tried the Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser, £23, promising to turn me from morning hater to zingy bright eyed seize the day enthusiast- I cannot say it quite does that but its gel-like oil free formula leaves skin feeling lightly hydrated and its citrus-y smell definitely does lift my spirits in the morning while leaving me feeling cool and fresh. I would absolutely recommend this to those of you who are particularly oily or even those naughty people who do not moisturise at all through lack of finding something that isn't too heavy and ultimately evoke a big breakout, in a nutshell for those who don’t really like or think they need moisturiser at all (heads up- you do! everyone does!). Its lightweight texture will slip into your routine without you even really noticing its there. I find it sits really well under make up without in anyway affecting its longevity. Honestly, not all that much more to say except despite being neglected on the blog front so far I am on my third pot and I cant see myself tempted to try anything new anytime soon- I am no longer on the market for moisturiser, a one pot woman- finally! give it a go girls, you’ll like it.
Contouring has become a definite buzz word in the last year or so in the beauty world and I am having increasing amounts of clients desperately seeking advice on how to cheat chiseled cheekbones. We are swamped by pictures of girls on social media sporting an array of scarily dark stripes and white highlights all over their face which are then magically buffed away and out pops a bone structure that would make even Kim Kardashian envious. For those of you who are unsure Contouring works by creating the illusion of shadows and so grey/brown toned products are applied to various areas of the face to withdraw while a highlight will exaggerate and bring out and so the combination of the two is what has the power to completely alter how your face shape is perceived. I have done a previous blog post on how and where best to highlight, including my top product recommendations and so do check that out to compliment this post and achieve ultimate results- http://www.bryonydalton.com/blog/2014/4/29/get-the-glow
I trained originally in theatrical make up and actually contouring is a very powerful tool that has been used by theatrical make up artists for yonks to create character make up, in theatre the stronger the better and I guess what I most of all have to stress with contouring like you see in these social media clips, it looks great on stage, amazing on camera but actually face to face you might look a little strange at best and worst- a tad grubby with all those muddy/grey tones lurking under your cheekbones. And so today I will be touching on technique and where to apply for a natural, wearable contour. The results may not be as dramatic as some of the images you've seen but you’ll look a dam sight better in person I promise.
I mentioned earlier using a grey/brown tone to sculpt, this is so important. The most common mistake made is to solely use a bronzing powder to contour, of course a little bronzer will slightly sculpt the face in the fact that in most cases it will be considerably darker than your complexion but to concentrate your bronzer under your cheekbone will most definitely result in a helluva lot of bronzer and a muddy build up of product that’ll look either Dale Winton or a little like you need a bit of a scrub. Use a little bronzer as always, applied to all the high points of the face and anywhere you would naturally catch the sun first and then use a contouring specific product like the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder, £35. A beautifully silky powder that makes blending a dream with a perfectly natural grey, brown tone that mimics a believable shadow worthy of a week long juice diet bonanza. This is the only sculpting product I use in my kit and this one shade definitely suits all. I apply using my Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush, £35 it’s tapered end allows for easily sculpting and enhancing the hollows of the face while its soft bristles effortlessly blend the product meaning you can forget about any giveaway clumps of product cropping up and the dreaded mars bar stripes appearing.
To find the correct place to contour your cheekbones you can simply suck in your cheeks or I prefer to use the length of my sculpting brush, turning it so its bristle end is facing downwards and line the end of the brush running from the top of my ear through to the corner of my mouth. This works as a perfect indication of where a good sunken cheekbone should sit. Have a good poke and prod of your face and feel where your cheekbone is-*yup I have some under there somewhere!* using both these techniques run the product under your natural cheekbone and do not panic if it looks strong at first. Use your brush in a circular motion to soften and buff in the pigment, always buff downwards as a posed to upwards as to successfully contour the lower part of the face and jawline, anything coming higher than the cheekbone and too close to the under eye will result in a grey looking complexion, instead save that spot for your mega watt highlighter.
Always apply a little blush onto the apples of the cheeks after bronzer and contouring to add a pop of colour to your complexion. Everyone benefits from a little blush to lift and brighten the face and especially when using lots of warm, darker pigments it stops the skin from looking overly warm and ultimately flat.
Of course you can contour other areas of the face, a little shadowing down the sides of the nose will shrink and straighten, use your sculpting powder through the eye socket crease for added definition- I could go on, the pictures below demonstrate where to contour also remember the rule as mentioned before, contouring takes away and highlighters bring out and so use that philosophy and adapt it to your face. Personally- I always sweep a little contour onto the temples to give the illusion of a smaller, less rounded face (!!) and absolutely take whats left on the brush under the jawline to eliminate any damage done by my weekly great british bake off snacks fest.
Hope that helps guys, remember keep it natural and follow the hollow.
Todays post is a big step away from my usual over excitable outpour of praise towards beauty buys and instead I am going to be naming and shaming products that I have purchased over the last few months and have been actually pretty disappointed with. I must add I am not saying these products are necessarily bad, some are OK while others were a definite flop, but all of which I would not rush to purchase again, if at all- hopefully saving you all some pennies (for once!).
First up is the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, £33. I gave this product a really good go, I wanted to like it so much and at first was convinced I must have been doing something wrong. I had read so many good things, it is a total cult product and a bestseller in its own right, even winning the Instyle Best Beauty Buys ‘Best Exfoliant’ in 2010- which to me surely made it’s praise gospel truth!? It claims to be gentle enough to use on a daily basis to leave skin brighter and noticeably smoother. It contains a rice-based enzyme powder of which you shake a generous amount into the palm of your hand and activates into a cream upon adding water. The problem I found was that in adding water, the once abrasive rice powder which looked to promise a good scrubbing action turned to a completely smooth cream that quite frankly didn't feel like it did anything to exfoliate my skin. I tried using less water, keeping some grains completely dry but always it melted down to a thick super smooth paste. This lead me to believe it was more of a chemical exfoliant which I was not adverse to at all. I love and intend to repurchase the Algenist Triple Action Micro Polish and Peel, £58.50 which is a chemical based exfoliant with similar fruit and salicylic acids. My only concern with this was that it is only meant to be left on for a minute which just doesn't seem long enough for these acids to get to work and encourage any dead skin cells to lift away. I found after the minute my skin felt and looked no different if anything it looked dryer. The next time I experimented and left the product on for 3 minutes, after which my skin felt tight, dry and sore especially on areas prone to dehydration such as the forehead and my jawline. I was very disappointed by this purchase, I have a friend who has used this product for a long time and more recently found her skin to be increasingly irritated after using and so maybe I just missed the boat on when this product was actually worth having. If so Dermalogica, why fix something if it isn't broken? tssk.
Next is another skincare fail, the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Anti-Blemish Cream, £15.50. This is one that I bought into late last year, I have used La Roche Posay products in my kit for a while now and have been really impressed and repurchased items such as the Rosaliac Anti Redness Moisturiser, £16 amongst others and so after being totally brainwashed by every youtuber going this didn't seem like a risky purchase at all. I don't suffer from huge or regular breakouts but do seem to always have underlying pimples on my chin that aren't offensive and are easily concealed but I am aware that they are there and of course would prefer it if they weren’t. I applied this gel-cream to the area every morning and evening, before applying my regular moisturiser all over my face. I gave it a good six weeks before noticing that very little had cleared up and my skin became so dry it looked almost flaky. I was so disappointed and I have to say despite there still being adverts on Youtube laying on thick how amazing this product is, pretty much everyone I have spoken to personally about this product found it a massive waste of time. It still sits in my drawer never to be used again, now THAT was a waste of my hard earned boots points!
This is a product that has been lurking about in my (overspilling) skincare drawer for over a year now, I do occasionally go back to it and currently nearing the end of the bottle I am determined to use it up but will definitely not be repurchasing and its the Alpha H Liquid Gold, £31.50. This again was one that totally invaded beauty blogs and glossy mags about a year ago described as an overnight facial in a bottle. It is a liquid that is applied soaked to a cotton bud and swept onto the skin, again I feel slightly misleading that this is described as a serum, a much better description in my opinion would be an exfoliating tonic or fluid. Its key ingredient is Glycolic Acid, a natural acid derived from sugar cane that is brilliant for blemish prone skins to cleanse deep into the pore, lift away dead skin cells thus encouraging smooth and radiant skin. I guess this product worked a little more at what it promised to do than the above items mentioned which is probably why it didn't get thrown into the depts of my skincare drawer quite so hastily however it isn't brilliant, I don't wake up feeling a new woman as was suggested and honestly it has the most pungent smell it feels a bit like using nail varnish remover on the skin followed by a strong stinging sensation. All in all it is ok, not the most enjoyable product to fall asleep with on your face and I could definitely think of plenty other Glycolic based products I would much sooner use than this. humpf.
I hope that helps, do bear in mind these are my personal experiences with these products. I would of course love to hear if you got on differently. Lots of negativity in todays post but it is important to touch on the things that don't work also, it is a risky business being a beauty junkie and unfortunately not everything is as it seems.
Firstly I know, I know I’ve been slacking again, from here on out my blogs may not feature on a strict weekly basis due to a jam packed work schedule but panic not and do keep checking in as I will still be regularly writing and posting as often as I can. SO incredibly flattering to hear that some of you actually noticed and have missed me though, I sometimes feel like this is just me and my MAC, oh and my mum reads them too!
So first week back at work last week after a very indulgent two week holiday, my skin was flawless post holiday after a week of beautiful sunshine and very little make up. Desperately trying to get back into the swing of things all of last week I was detoxing majorly which was brilliant for my waistline (which expanded horrendously while away!) but unfortunately meant my skin decided to seek revenge on two weeks worth of indulgence and break out big time. urgh. and so I have been reaching for my Malin + Goetz Sulfur Paste, £16.50. This stuff is an absolute life saver. I don't have to use it very often, I am very lucky that my skin generally behaves itself however when I do get a spot my oh my it makes up for it!- it is usually big, red, angry and somewhere blatantly obvious. I dip a cotton bud into this solution and apply directly to the spot after cleansing at night time. It nukes the spot, it stings when first applied which call me crazy but I actually love as its that sting that you just know is getting right to the root of the problem *take that zit*. It contains a powerful blend of zit zapping properties including Salicylic Acid which works to exfoliate lifting away dead skin cells to allow the product to work deep into the clogged pore, this is brilliant if you suffer from scarring post blemish or just find you are left with a patch of dry skin long after the spot has gone. Camphor helps to reduce redness and calm and finally the Sulphur Paste which sits at the bottom of the product and is what gives it its thick, white consistency (such a sexy look at night time girls, my boyfriend is one lucky man!) and works to quickly dry out the spot, absorbing all excess oils and puss while disinfecting the area. A pretty yucky subject to touch on but lets face it something we all suffer with from time to time. By morning the spot is dramatically reduced in size, much easier concealed and gone within a couple of days. voila! I use this on ingrowing hairs also. I will say as the name suggests this product is very drying, which is what makes it so brilliant at its job however if you are suffering from a big breakout with lots of blemishes or even acne I would say this would be too drying to use in large areas.
Note: do not shake this product. The Sulfur Paste sediment sits at the bottom of the product immersed in a clear alcohol solution. It needs to stay separate. I also found that the alcohol in mine evaporated after a few months and so I topped it up with surgical spirit as recommended by a Malin + Goetz specialist.
Firstly, big apologies for slacking on the blog front for the last few weeks! July was totally manic for me work wise with lots of beautiful brides and a couple of other exciting projects all of which didn't leave me with a spare minute to throw together a post at least worth reading. I am however back and writing today from beautiful Majorca, accompanied by a breath taking view of the Mediterranean sea and a Mojito in hand and so feeling totally inspired although also a little distracted and wishing I had packed a pair of nerdy binoculars so I could spy on the gorgeous people in the huge yacht that has just moored up below me. *please be Bradley Cooper…please!*
Today, inspired by the constant battle I have with my hair as soon as a little humidity is added into the mix I thought I would share my holiday frizz fighting heroes, very appropriate for me right now and also those of you at home in the UK enjoying the current heat wave. Do bare in mind I am in no way claiming to be a hair expert, these are just products I have tried and tested being the beauty junkie that I am and that I would totally recommend to anyone to add into their haircare routine during warmer weather and some all in every wash.
To begin, I use Shu Uemura haircare to shampoo and condition my hair all year round and have done for the last year or so since my SpaceNK discount stopped and Oribe haircare became totally unaffordable for me at £90 a pop! ouch! As you can imagine stepping away from the creme de la creme of haircare was a difficult time for me and my barnet but Shu Uemura has just about filled Oribes pretty big boots and I am a total convert plus with a little extra cash left in my pocket afterwards! phew! I use the Shu Uemura Moisture Velvet Shampoo, £23.00 and Conditioner, £27.00. The Moisture Velvet range is designed to soften and nourish dehydrated and processed hair and so particularly good for those like myself with thick, curly and naturally dry locks. I do recommend however going to your nearest Shu Uemura stocking salon and have a good consultation to ensure you get the right Shu product for your hair for optimum results. As mentioned previously I use this shampoo all year round but it has been particularly fabulous to flood my hair with much needed moisture especially after exposing it to the drying effects of the sun and harsh chlorine for the last few days. I have been using my Shu Uemura Moisture Velvet Treatment Mask, £35 every other day for a more concentrated hit of moisture, this has been a wonder to calm frizziness and detangle. I usually use this mask a couple of times a month at home for a deep treatment or after colouring.
The first product I use always after washing my hair is the Bumble and Bumble Prep Spray, £16.00. I discovered this product during my Space NK days and have used it after every wash ever since. I spray this liberally through my hair before brushing through with my Tangle Teezer, it works to detangle hair like a grown up version of that stuff in a pink fish bottle your mum doused you with when you were little to stop you screaming your head off after swimming- just me? ok. It is rich in nutrients such as Aloe Vera, Rosemary and Vitamin A all of which not only detangle but strengthen hair to reduce the amount of breakage during brushing and soothe any irritation on the scalp. Perfect if you've forgotten your hat and burnt your head- we've all done that! I’ve heard people use this product as a hair refresher, the best way to think of it is as a wet version of dry shampoo that you spray in and blow-dry out, refreshing hair and banishing the need to wash your hair for another day. Perfect for people with full fringes, very oily hair or when you manage to get suncream well into your hairline- never a good look in holiday selfies. I haven't got round to trying this yet but I really must as it sounds like a certain life saver!
Next up I use a nice dollop of the Living Proof Prime Style Extender, £18. This works in the same way as a primer does for your face, it primes the hair ready for any other products you wish to add on top, it smoothes the hair cuticle allowing for an optimum foundation for hair to be further styled on. It has incredible anti-humidity properties that encourage smoother hair and wrap each hair strand in a protective coating meaning moisture from humidity cannot enter and ultimately expand and frizz your once beautiful hair style. Amazing on holidays but also a crucial part of my pre night out hair routine to stop the dreaded post in-da-club-hair fro. This protective coating also helps to keep dirt out and repel oils meaning hair stays cleaner for longer and should lengthen the time in between washes. I apply this product generously from roots to ends.
I would absolutely recommend everyone have an oil for their hair, as you can probably tell if you have read any of my previous blogs I generally love a good oil in the beauty department whether it be for the body, face or in this instance hair. However getting the right one is very important, especially when it comes to hair. There are so many hair oils out there at the moment, a lot of which are loaded with naughty ingredients that are heavy and ultimately suffocating to the hair. Look out for products and particularly hair oils that contain Silicone. Silicone works by coating the hair shaft giving the illusion of an instantly smoother, healthier looking hair- amazing from the view of a styling product for a quick fix but often these products contain so much Silicone in ratio to oil that it prevents any of that super nourishing oil from actually penetrating the hair and so actually doing no good at all in terms of treating and hydrating the hair. A product totally guilty of this and I am definitely going to break a few hearts here is the Morrocan Oil Hair Treatment, £31.00. I know, I know- I got sucked in too, it smells incredible and yes it does make your hair look good but in terms of making your hair healthier which lets face it is probably why you bought it actually it might even be doing the opposite, too much silicone suffocates the hair leading to weak, brittle hair especially prone to breakage and spilt ends. Instead I recommend a silicone free alternative in Oribes Gold Lust Oil, £45.00- yeah I couldn't let go completely! Infused with a rich blend of Jasmine, Lychee, Bergamot, and Argan Oil extracts this stuff is quite frankly the shit and it smells uh-mazing! I use it on towel dried hair before blowdrying for extra moisture and most days after brushing on dry ends. I, sometimes if I am feeling really flush drench my hair in it, putting it in a pineapple on top of my head and letting soak for as long as socially acceptable before washing out like a pre-wash treatment. Oh goodness while doing my research I have just spotted that they have now brought out a shampoo and conditioner in this Gold Lust Oil line, dam you SpaceNK.com now I need THAT!
Finally and continuing along the vein of this Oribe hair care worshipping, I have been reaching for my Oribe Impermeable Anti-Humidity Spray, £37. This is the third holiday I have packed this same can of anti-humidity spray and so despite the hefty price tag it really has been the gift that just keeps on giving for the last few summers. I mostly forget to use this when at home but I have remembered to use it before on nights out, leaving the bar at the end of the night a lot less sweaty and puffy haired than deserved, much to my friends disgust. I honestly do not understand how this works and so I am not even going to attempt to try and explain it but it has been tried and tested on the glamourous people of Miami and is a apparently a favourite of Cheryl Cole and so an instant winner in my books- ‘Cos your worth it!’. It also works to protect hair from UV rays and so I have been spraying generously after applying suncream hoping to prevent my hair from going too OTT bleach blonde in the sun and protect against the drying effects of the sun.
So thats my holiday and mostly everyday must have hair products, I do have a huge basket full of sprays, mousses and creams that I occasionally reach for if I am trying to pretend I know what I am doing hair wise. Better go, mojito is out and its been at least an hour since I last ate something! Happy Good Hair Days! xoxo
In todays post I am praising hard working beauty buys, the products that just keep giving with multiple uses thus helping you to minimise the amount of items in your bathroom cupboard, spend less time getting ready and save some pennies. This post is particularly appropriate to compliment the series of holiday prepping themed entries I have been posting for the last few weeks as these items will also save some pounds on the airport scales!
First up is a fairly new discovery of mine but one that has definitely become a firm favourite is the Loccitane Almond Shower Oil, £17.50. It’s primary use is as a gentle cleansing shower gel, it is especially good for sensitive or dry skin as it is not in anyway drying instead respecting and replenishing the skins natural moisture levels. It’s immediate oil based texture is quickly transformed with water to a milky consistency which glides over skin leaving a delicate, light almond fragrance which is both fresh and sweet. Due to it’s super hydrating properties this product works as an in-shower moisturiser lessening the need to moisturise after the shower and so perfect for those who struggle to make time for body cream everyday. I find after using this product even when completely dry my skin looks moist and luminous and so perfect for a pre night out treat for really expensive looking skin. I also apply this shower oil before shaving, it works as a wonderful lubricant for a razor allowing a super smooth shave while it’s hydrating properties counteract the harshness of the razor leaving skin soothed and glowing.
Next is another oil based product but one applied post shower with an abundance of uses. The NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil, £28.00 is a dry oil and so has fast absorbing properties that mean it never feels sticky on the skin. This oil is made up of a wonderful blend of plant oils and vitamins to nourish and feed skin leaving it in perfect condition. I apply this all over twice a week to keep my skin beautifully soft and moisturised. It works brilliantly as an aftersun, the Vitamin E in it helps to repair and soothe irritation plus keeping your skin well nourished promotes a longer lasting tan as those skin cells stick around for longer. The NUXE oil works brilliantly on both dry and wet hair to provide extra moisture, repair split ends and tame frizziness. For hair that is really frazzled apply generously all over and leave for as long as you can, I have even slept in this before with my hair tied up high on my head and then shampoo the following morning for a deeply hydrating treatment mask. Massage this oil into cuticles to encourage nail growth and prevent nails breaking. I also use this oil as a highlighter and apply liberally to the décolletage, down the centre of the legs and lightly on to the high points of the face. Mix with your powder or cream highlighter or even a golden eyeshadow for added luminosity.
I think everyone should have a clear mascara kicking about somewhere at the bottom of their make up bags as it is so multi functional, you really do not have to spend much at all. I usually pick one up from Boots from Collection or Barry M for a couple of quid. However last summer I did discover ByTerry Lash Coat Mascara, was £28 now £14 in the SpaceNK online SALE. This product is a pimped up clear mascara that has the ability to make every mascara waterproof which I think is pretty amazing as all mascaras generally are better in the non waterproof formula plus for the majority of the year a waterproof mascara is not needed and just makes taking off your make up at night harder work. I use this in my kit for brides and clients and it really does make anything budge proof. It also works perfectly to separate and add subtle gloss to lashes when you don’t want to wear mascara. Take a clear mascara through brows to lock them in place, when brushed in an upwards motion a brow set will keep brows looking fuller and well groomed while working as a perfect base for any brow pencils or powders applied on top by giving them something to cling on to. I also keep a clear mascara in my handbag when I have my hair up to brush back and tame any fly aways that break free and keep pesky baby hairs at bay.
My next recommendation isn't so much a multi-tasking wonder in itself but it has the ability to make your existing beauty products multi functional and expels the need for multiple exfoliating products in your bathroom cupboard. The Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains, £28 are a genius beauty invention, a handy little pot of luxurious exfoliating grains made up of Japanese Adzuki Bean powder, which honestly I am not too sure what that little bean is but I do know it is just the right mix of abrasive without being too harsh on skin. These grains can be added to any cleanser, body wash or even used on there own with a body brush to give any of your current products exfoliating powers. Its simple: for a gentle scrub add a few or for a real scrub down use plenty. I even add it into my lip balm a couple of times a week at night and massage in to reveal smooth, chap free lips- amazing if your planning on wearing a bright lip.
This product was an absolute no brainer for this post, it is a cult product and a bit of a secret weapon in my kit due to its endless uses. Embyolisse Lait-Creme Concentre, £20 is amazing for all skin types. It has a rich consistency which may seem daunting to those with an oiler complexion but it really is a miracle worker for all, it effortlessly treats dehydrated, dull and tired looking skin by flooding the skin with hydration and giving it life in minutes. I use this on clients with very dry and even sore, reactive skin to instantly soothe and reduce redness, and for this reason I would say it is a holiday must to treat any redness from over sun exposure and replenish moisture after a day in the heat. It is amazing applied the morning after the night before for hungover skin or if you are really good slap on clumsily when you get in to fool everyone the next day you had 10 hours kip. I having an oiler complexion prefer to use the Lait-Creme as a quick fix miracle worker, I apply it thickly as a mask when needed and leave for 10 minutes before tissuing the excess off and massaging the remainder into the skin. If you do have predominantly dry skin however then use this miracle worker on a daily basis to transform skin texture and suppleness. This product can also be used as a cream cleanser when applied to a cotton pad to remove make up, it is even gentle enough to be used around the eyes. This product works as a wonderful base for make up to be applied onto, giving the skin a wonderfully healthy looking luminosity and its texture giving foundation something to adhere to and therefore last longer, as so cancelling out the need for an additional primer. Finally the creme concentrate can be used on the body to hydrate and smooth, its cooling and soothing properties mean it is amazing to apply to legs ect after shaving. I am sure there are more uses for this wonder that I haven’t yet discovered, it appears it’s possibilities really are endless!…throwing this into my suitcase as we speak!
So next time you are shopping for beauty buys think about how you can cut down on products and save both time and pennies using some of these multi use beauties. Oh I am good to you all! Enjoy x
This is definitely the most time consuming part of holiday packing for me, it can be quite stressful for a beauty junkie like myself to whittle down a weeks worth of a beauty routine and sensibly establish what is essential and what cannot come along for the ride. I generally still end up with a bulging wash bag but so far haven't been over on my luggage due to an excessive amount of lotions and potions- phew! In todays post I am establishing an essential holiday make up bag checklist designed to be airport scales friendly while also ticking every box ensuring you look gorgeous on your jollidays. Enjoy!
1. THE SWEAT PROOF PRIMER.
I have touched on the importance of primers on a previous blog post so do check that out for a more in depth description of what they do but in a nutshell it is going to give your make up something to adhere to and ultimately make it last so much longer. I will be packing the Hourglass Oil Free Mineral Veil Primer with SPF15, £52. It’s mineral based formula allows your skin to breath leaving you with a such bare skin feeling you won’t even notice you have an extra layer on. It is water resistant and so will fight perspiration and it's slightly bluey green tinge will counteract any redness from heat or over sun exposure. winner.
2. THE BASE.
Definitely the most important addition to any make up bag. I would always opt for a more lightweight finish no matter what your skin type or skins condition is as everyone benefits from stepping down to a lighter coverage while on holiday or in warmer summer months. I would suggest packing either a Tinted Moisturiser or a BB Cream to lightly perfect and even out the skin. I will be packing the Dior BB Cream with SPF 10, £30. I would also throw in a fuller coverage option incase any hiccups arise that require a little extra covering. I would recommend something super portable like the Bobbi Brown Foundation Sticks, £29. They can be swiped directly onto the skin, applied all over or just where needed and so also acting as your concealer. The foundation stick has a semi-matte finish and is designed to reduce shine and control oil production. The brilliant thing about the foundation stick is how versatile the coverage they offer is, when applied directly to the skin it is full but it can also be mixed with your regular moisturiser to become more of a tint and so if faced with a bulging case you could swap out your BB or Tinted Moisturiser and just pack that! easy.
3. THE EYE BRIGHTENER.
Pack a lightweight under eye concealer to keep eyes looking fresh and bright. I will be packing the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, £22. This under eye concealer has a wonderfully natural luminous finish and it's super moisturising formula keeps the delicate under eye hydrated and prevents the product from sinking into any fine lines. This is great to keep in your handbag while out and about to provide quick, nifty coverage not only to the under eye but around the nose and onto the chin for a quick flawless base for beach to pool-bar chic.
4. THE MULTI TASKING BLUSH.
There is an abundance of twist up cream blush sticks available this summer, originally it was NARS that held the torch but now Laura Mercier, Clinique and Charlotte Tilbury are hot on their tails. They are such a wonderful creation and are so quick to apply: one sweep on the cheeks and blot out with your fingers for a perfect pop of colour. They can also be applied to lips for a natural flush, a total multitasking wonder. I will be packing the NARS Multiple Stick in Orgasm, £30. an iconic soft pink with a natural golden shimmer that looks incredible with a tan!
5. BRONZE GLOW.
Definitely pack a bronzer to warm up your complexion, particularly during the first few pasty days. Apply your bronzer to everywhere you would naturally catch the sun first, and so all the high points of the face- temples, cheekbones, the nose and jawline for the most natural finish. Swish your bronzer onto the body to make braving your holiday wardrobe a little less scary in the days before you become a bronze goddess. I will be packing my NARS Laguna Bronzer, £26. A really universal shade that suits most complexions, this bronzer has no orange undertones and so looks natural even on the fairest of skins.
Of course throw in a mascara, ideally waterproof for days at the beach. Also a waterproof finish is generally going to be more weather proof in high temperatures. I love Maxfactor’s False Lash Effect Mascara in Waterproof, £7. I would also throw in some eyelash curlers for pool side days you want to stay mascara free to give your lashes extra oompfh, I use the Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curlers, £20.
It is incredible the power of a little eyeliner combined with lashings of mascara to make you feel ‘done’ with minimal effort. I would recommend packing a soft, kohl pencil in either a black or a dark chocolate for a smudgy look along the lash line. I will be packing MAC’s Teddy Khol Pencil, £14- a wonderful deep bronze which looks great with pretty much every eyeshadow combo and so a total risk free option. Its creamy formula means it can be traced along the lash line as thick as you like and smudged out with a smudgy liner brush (my favourite is Laura Mercier’s Smokey Eyeliner Brush, £27) or a finger for fuss free definition that makes your lashes look fuller in seconds. Of course take it through the waterline for more of an evening look or sharpen well if you are feeling really fancy and wish to add a flick.
Definitely the most exciting part of packing your holiday make up bag. I would always throw in a couple of your favourite eye shadows for added colour. Alternatively, something I always do is invest in or dig out a palette that offers four or five eyeshadow options in one handy compact. This time of year there is an abundance of summery palettes that are perfect to throw into your suitcase. My favourites so far have been the Dior 5 Couleurs Transat Edition Eyeshadow Sundeck Palette, £41. A perfect mix of peachy, bronze and golden shades with a deep plum for added drama. Another favourite is the Bobbi Brown Surf and Sand Palettes, £55. There are two palettes as part of this Surf and Sand collection which launches tomorrow (26.06.14) and I honestly cannot choose between them. They both epitomise summer right down to the raffia packaging they come in. love. love. love! I will definitely be packing my Dior Sundeck Palette and also my Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Luxury Palette, £38 because well I’ve worn it most days since I got it in January and I don't think I can be without its coppery, bronzy beauty for too long !! Another great, portable option for holidays is eyeshadow sticks. As discussed previously I have a total weak spot for them and will definitely chuck a few in for speedy glamour. See my previous blog post on eyeshadow sticks for an in-depth review but Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Sandglow, £20.50 and Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet, £19 will definitely make the cut!
So thats the basics, at this stage hopefully you will have a little extra room to throw in any other products you just cannot be without. I would add in my SUQQU Eyebrow Liquid Pen in Brown, £20 and my TOM FORD True Coral Lipstick, £36 for total indulgence. Also, to help you I wrote this post in the order in which I would recommend applying your make up on holiday, designed so that if applied in these stages you could stop at any point and still look ‘done’! Perfect if you get called away for another pool side cocktail or if dinner just won’t wait.
Happy Packing! x
This week I am continuing to talk holiday beauty must haves for those of you preparing for your summer getaway. I am going to be attempting to make sense and probably merely scratching the surface of uber scientific sun care brand Institut Esthederm. The technology behind this sun care line really is mind blowing. I have used Esthederm on my last few holidays and was so impressed having returned with the deepest, longest lasting tan I have ever had and not burning once! This one was just too good to keep to myself!
Ok lets get technical! Institut Esthederm have been leading sun care science for over 30 years and a lot of the technology they introduced all those years ago high street brands and even more luxury sun care competitors are still struggling to mimic. Their ethos is all about “working with and not against the sun” which in amongst a generation that tends to only stress the negative effects of the sun makes it stand out against the rest immediately and yet it really does make sense. Sunlight is essential to all forms of life as a source of heat, light, Vitamin D, synthesis and even as a natural anti-depressant. Esthederm argue that in overprotecting the skin by always applying high sun block our natural defences to the sun weaken meaning we become more sun sensitive and aesthetically less likely to achieve a deep tan. They truly believe that we will have a generation of sun intolerant young adults on the back of SPF 50 being slapped on from a very young age. I guess the best way to imagine our natural sun defences is as a muscle, and like a muscle if it isn't used it becomes weak and useless. Also, that the very action of tanning is the skins natural defence system against harmful UV rays. Our skin becomes darker as more melanin is produced and melanin is what our body naturally produces to protect us as its super absorption properties means it soaks up harmful UV light and ageing free radicals. Now, I am not suggesting for one minute that you go completely unprotected in the sun NO NO NO, but what Esthederm offer as a sun care range take all of the above into consideration meaning you can be sun safe AND return with an amazing post holiday tan. So onto the dynamic holiday duo……
Firstly their UV InCellium Bronzant, Face and Body Spray, £42.50. This is all about preparing your skin for sun exposure. It is a lightweight fluid that is designed to be sprayed all over the face and body everyday up to 2 weeks prior to your holiday. It is quick drying and not in any way sticky, I would spray this all over my body prior to getting dressed in the morning. As touched on earlier, imagine your bodies natural defences to the sun as a muscle. This product is going to give it a really good workout, meaning by the time you are sun worshipping on that lounger it is super strong meaning you are well protected against burning or sun sensitivities such as prickly heat. This product has no sun protection in it and so is designed to be used in conjunction with something else when on holiday. I used this prior to my holiday last summer and I didn't burn at all from day 1 and I really did have the deepest, longest lasting tan I have ever experienced. I will add that some brands do now offer products like this, mostly ones you can pick up in tanning shops. In my knowledge the technology is no where near as advanced, without wanting to blind you with science we have a number of tan receptors within our skin. These are what upon sun exposure send messages to the skin to produce melanin to protect us, one of these receptors is much larger than the others and often these less advanced tan enhancing products just stimulate this large receptor which over time cause it to become over worked and eventually it can malfunction and continue to fire out receptors to one small section of the skin causing dark spots and pigmentation to form. These dark spots often look like freckles but over time can become large and unsightly and are so difficult to get rid of, so do be careful. I had a little bit of this left after using it everyday for two weeks and so packed it in my suitcase and used it each evening until it ran out to boost my tan after a day in the sunshine.
Secondly is the the Adaptasun, Tan Activating Sun Care for Face and Body, £42.50. This is your sun lotion that you would pack in your suitcase and apply as protection when in the sun. It has a lovely rich texture that is easily absorbed and smells incredible. Esthederm, the total rule breakers, do not believe in SPF as really it is a measure used to give an idea of how long you are protected before you burn. SPF is measured in a lab, using far more product per square inch of skin than the average person would ever apply and they quite literally time until the skin begins to burn. Esthderm of course do not believe in burning and so instead measure there suncream based on sun intensity. So they gage protection using a star system. One star is for everyday UK sun, Two Stars is for normal to strong sun and so Europe, anything up to 30 degree heat. I would say the two star cream would be suitable for most holidays. Finally three star for those who will be exposed to really high temperatures, you lucky lot going anywhere very exotic for a long period of time. Do not be put off by this, we are all so used to seeing SPF it almost feels as though our security blanket is being lifted, I was the same but you can absolutely trust this, if anything more so than any other sun cream you have used previously. The technology in this sun cream boosts the natural production of melanin by 3 times meaning you reach your maximum tanning ability within 7 days as a posed to 21 with average sun creams!- WOWee bring on the tan!
WOAH- I have totally worn myself out. I hope that all makes sense, as I said there is so much more to it, I really have only scratched the surface but I would totally recommend this to anyone who is serious about sun safety and tanning. Enjoy x
It is fast approaching that wonderful time of year when everyone starts jetting off on their summer holidays and so in preparation, if you are anything like me, begin to spend the next few weeks justifying every beauty buy with “ooh it’ll be great for my holiday”- cue picking up ten different shades of coral lipstick, buying foundations in unrealistically dark shades and re-buying everything in dinky miniature form! And so in the spirit of getting everyone gorgeous for their holidays, over my next few blog posts I am going to be talking holiday beauty must haves to get everyone in the spirit. Not that I am counting or anything…
So todays post is all about kicking the holiday off in style with carry on approved in flight essentials to ensure you arrive at your destination feeling pampered and looking fabulous. All of the products below can also be popped into your handbag or gym bag all year round post holiday for on the go beautifying!
My first recommendation is the This Works In Transit No Traces Face Pads, £17. These really handy little pads have been pre soaked in hydrating Rosewater and blended with Plant Oils to refresh and cleanse the skin in one fell swoop. These ingredients are so gentle on the skin they do not affect the skins natural PH and so do not cause the irritation and tightness often found after using regular cleansing wipes, instead skin is left feeling plump and moisturised. These are great to bung in your beach bag post flight to freshen up skin on the beach, also fab when left in the fridge to relieve sun burn and cool off after a day in the sunshine. The closest recommendation i'll ever get to a face wipe so you naughty girls take note of this one!
A total in flight must have for me is the Caudalie Beauty Elixir, originally it only came in it’s usual 100ml size at £32 but it now comes in an adorable 30ml size for just £11.50. This little wonder hydrates helping to combat dryness from in flight air conditioning. It is so easy to apply and just a couple of spritzes gives skin a burst of radiance. The smell of Rosemary and Mint give it a wonderfully refreshing herbal smell that is so uplifting, especially brilliant on long haul flights or if you are suffering from travel sickness. This elixir is also fabulous used after applying make up to give foundation a more dewy, glowy finish. It is also great to mist over skin throughout the day to pep up your make up and keep it looking freshly applied all year round.
I would always recommend taking a lip balm on flight with you to keep lips hydrated, the delicate skin on our lips is quickly affected by the harsh environment inside the flight cabin and you'll want smooth lips to apply all those bright lipsticks you've picked up to go with you're new tan surely! I love ByTerry’s Baume De Rose Crystal SPF15, £35, a travel friendly equivalent of the original Baume De Rose which comes in a not so handbag friendly glass pot. This version is exquisitely packaged and looks like a lip gloss with a handy sponge applicator but still contains the original ultra rich rose balm which instantly nourishes even the driest of lips and has the same soft rose fragrance. It not only leaves lips super soft but looking full and glossy. The thick, rich formula mutes the lips natural colour giving the illusion of being a nude gloss, a perfect holiday lip.
Pack eyedrops, especially if you are a contact lens wearer or suffer with generally sensitive eyes. I use Optrex Rehydrating Eye Drops, £3.79 to help reduce redness and sensitivity and ensure I arrive at my destination feeling fresh and looking bright eyed.
I would suggest packing a lightweight foundation like a Tinted Moisturiser or BB Cream to even out your complexion and provide a light coverage. Most of these lightweight bases contain a fairly high SPF and so are brilliant to provide added protection when in the sun. I love the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser with SPF20, £34 which is also available in an oil-free formula for those with an oiler complexion or as an option when travelling to very hot destinations to reduce the likelihood of excess shine arising. This product can be applied with fingers for ease or pack a small foundation brush to quickly work into the skin.
Always look out for multi-use beauty products when holiday shopping to keep your routine hassle free and the number of products packed to a minimum. The Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge's,£19 are a brilliant holiday buy and in flight essential. They can be used as a pop of cream blush on the cheeks and sit beautifully on top of lightweight bases like the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser. They can be applied simply with fingers onto the high points of the cheeks to instantly add colour and brighten the complexion. The Pot Rouge can also be patted onto the lip and used as a stain for added lip colour. I love the shades ‘Fresh Melon’ - a subtle peach and ‘Calypso Coral’ a super brightening coral which is amazing on warmer complexions and with a cracking tan.
I would also pack any moisturiser or fragrance samples I've hoarded over the last few months for added pampering. For a long haul flight you could add in a moisturising face mask such as the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask, £22. and simply tissue off the excess before arrival. Throw in a Mascara or Eyelash Curlers if you feel your lashes need a little added help.
Remember everything must be under 100ml’s and be sure to pick up some clear wash bags from Boot’s before you travel to be sure none of your beauty must haves end up keeping the airport security team looking lush and leave you feeling glum.
Today I am talking brushes, generally in my experience I find it to be so much harder to convince someone to invest in tools to apply their make up with. Having worked in beauty retail for a number of years I have sold umpteen bottles of foundation and yet it is still a rarity that they’ll walk away with the correct brush to apply it with. Now, I totally understand when you are already splashing out on a product adding the brush to you're basket can in some cases more than double the cost of the transaction, but applying your snazzy new product without a brush in most cases will cancel out its brilliance and in many ways will mean you can get away with applying more inexpensive products and making them look equally fabulous. Brushes for me are without a doubt the area in which I invest the most money and it is so so worth it and so let me share with you today my must have brushes. I am going to focus on base application brushes today, covering everything you would need to achieve a flawless complexion.
So firstly, foundation brushes. This is becoming a brush that most people have in their make up bag but for those of you that need a little more convincing, every foundation will go on better with some variety of foundation brush it is just finding the shape you prefer and the right one for the constancy of your foundation. By applying your foundation with your fingers the oils in your fingers will immediately begin to break down the pigment in your foundation meaning you are more likely to have to touch up come mid day. Plus using a foundation brush means you can tailor the coverage of your foundation with much more control through pressing and layering in targeted areas. The most obvious shape of foundation brush is a flat synthetic brush with a softly rounded edge, these are good for thicker, creamy foundations and can also be used to apply cream blush. I use the Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush, £32. My favourite brush to apply foundation with is a buffing brush, these are generally thicker and more rounded and as suggested in their title are brilliant to use in circular motions to buff the foundation into the skin. I find these brushes give a very natural finish and work the foundation into the skin so seamlessly meaning it lasts much longer. These buffing brushes work really well with very fluid, more lightweight foundations. I have two favourites in this category which I just couldn't choose between. Firstly the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, £11.99 is brilliant, it works well with most consistencies of foundation and makes application really quick. Also the MAC ‘130’ Brush, £30 is fabulous, I actually picked this up in the MAC store mostly because I have the bigger version and thought this baby one was really cute but its so much more than just cute, its nifty little size means it can get into all those hard to reach areas on the face and can even be used to buff in under eye concealer.
Next, concealer brushes. Concealer brushes are essential mostly for hygiene reasons, especially when covering up blemishes as using fingers will only add bacteria. I also find that using a brush you can work the concealer into the foundation giving a more natural, seamless finish. Often when concealer is just patted on with fingers it just sits on top of the foundation and can actually draw more attention to any pesky blemishes than conceal them. I use a Louise Young LY26 Brush, £10. This brush has a lovely tapered edge meaning you can pin point the blemish, its so easy it is like you are photoshopping yourself. For those of you that suffer with dark circles and so conceal under the eyes you would need a different shape brush to one that would be used more for blemishes or pin point concealing. I recommend the Bobbi Brown Concealer Blending Brush, £24. This brush has a curved edge making it perfect for getting really close to the lash line. Applying your under eye concealer with a brush will ensure even application and in the same way your foundation brush does will work to build up coverage. Most under eye concealers are very creamy and so applying with your fingers will mostly just move the product around leaving it looking uneven and causing it to settle where heavier in any fine lines or creases.
Now to set your make up, as discussed in last weeks post I would always recommend powdering. Generally powder brushes are really big, which I find I can be a little bit clumsy and heavy handed with. I prefer using a smaller fluffy brush so I can target oily areas such as the t-zone and set more delicate areas like under the eyes. I use the Real Techniques Setting Brush, £6.99, it is such a great size and very handbag friendly for taking out mid day shine on the go. I also use this brush for highlighting, at that price I picked up two!
Coming into summer time we are all reaching even more so for our bronzing powders, for best application use a large fluffy brush to give a natural dispersed finish. I love the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Brush, £35. It is big and fluffy and honestly quite often I find myself daydreaming just stroking my face with it it’s so soft. It makes application quick and easy and it’s size makes it brilliant for bringing product onto the décolletage and legs.
To add a pop of colour to your cheeks with powder blush a blusher brush is essential, most people I imagine apply their powder blush with a brush- at least I would hope or you might end up looking a little more Aunt Sally than blushing beauty! The shape of your blusher brush is so important to ensure good application, I'd always opt for a very round brush allowing you to simply press the product onto the apples of your cheeks. Also a blusher brush must be soft, this will mean blending is effortless. I find a lot of these more budget buy blusher brushes are very bristly which can be a little scratchy, we want your blusher to be adding the colour to your cheeks not from a harsh brush. I recommend the Laura Mercier Cheek Colour Blush, £39.
I hope that helps, most of the brushes mentioned above are more of a luxury buy. I would prioritise what brushes you feel you are missing from your routine and slowly build up your collection. Good brushes are an investment but if you look after them you will use them for a long time and so well worth it. I will follow up this post soon with how to clean your brushes correctly as that is so important. Enjoy x
Summer is definitely on it’s way and having been teased with gloriously high temperatures last weekend everyone is keeping everything crossed for a long hot summer! Of course the only slight niggle with super hot weather be it here in the UK or when on holiday is it’s ability to melt away any morsel of make up on your face leaving you looking a little bare. Today I am talking powders and there ability to extend the life of your make up in hotter temperatures and beat that mid day shine.
Having an oiler complexion I have tried and tested many powders over the years and do use a powder last thing in my make up routine everyday to lock everything in place. I even keep one knocking about in my handbag to blot out a mid day oil slick that often occurs down the centre of my face- niiice! So really once you have found the right powder I would recommend, if you don’t already, introducing it into your daily ritual. My absolute favourite powder and one that is very hard working and so brilliant for combination to very oily skin types is the Shu Uemura Sheer Face Powder in Colourless, this is a translucent loose powder which provides a wonderful light finish helping to prevent shine without ever being visible or looking cakey on the skin. I find I can reapply this powder as many times in a day and it still be completely undetectable. I only wish this came in a pressed form to be a little more handy for on the go touch ups, I have actually decanted a small amount into a little round acrylic pot I picked up in the travel section in Boots so it’s not quite so bulky to keep with me. This is an amazing product and one I reach for the most in my kit for brides, it also proved to be a real life saver while working at Mens Fashion Week earlier this year when all the models were melting wearing huge fur coats in the already unbearable heat backstage- hot and sweaty male models as you can imagine was an absolute nightmare to witness *wink wink*.
If you find your skin is prone to dryness you’ll probably not be used to needing to reach for a powder however for times when you really need to ensure your make up will last or in high temperatures where even the driest complexions look glossy it is important to find the right powder for your skins needs. Most powders are predominantly talc based which can be even more drying and will often cling to any dehydrated flakey skin thus highlighting the issue even more so. There are a couple of newer powders that have come onto the market to solve this issue and even hydrate skin while mattifying. The best one I have found in this category is the ByTerry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder, which contains Hyaluronic Acid- a moisture peptide we naturally produce, that encourages the skin to create and retain more moisture while also working to fill and smooth large pores and fine lines. ByTerry say that this powder is so pure that it can be used at night time after applying your evening lotions and potions to lock them in and boost hydration while you sleep, also getting rid of the slightly unattractive super shiny just moisturised face look if you’ve got someone you really want to impress!
A slightly newer discovery on the powder front but one that I have become a little obsessed with over the last few months is the Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder in Brightening Nudes. This is an illuminating finishing powder that can be used over the entire face. To look at it’s a funny mix of pearlised mauves, soft pinks and white but with a powder brush swirled over the entire compact to pick up a little of each shade it works on all skin tones to lift and brighten the complexion giving you instantly healthier looking skin. It works also to secure make up in place and get rid of shine without being too matte. This is the perfect solution to those who, like me love a dewy foundation. It works perfectly over a foundation like my favourite Armani Luminous Silk because it sets it without loosing that gorgeous healthy glow. As some of you may know I have been working for Bobbi Brown for the last few months as a make up artist and this has by far been my favourite discovery, I recommend it to everyone and have been selling it like hot cakes. love love love!
More of a budget buy option is Rimmel’s Stay Matte Powder which at £4 isn't my favourite of the bunch but comes pretty close for a fraction of the price, a good one to have for nights out or keeping in your handbag where you won’t be too upset if it gets lost or smashed. Talking of smashed products, check out last weeks post for a miraculous fix for crumbled powder products.
I Hope that helps to keep you looking shine free and your make up intact for longer during this warmer spell. Enjoy the bank holiday weekend! x
Upon opening my kit at a job last week I was met with sudden panic in realising that one of my blushers had obviously been knocked and had exploded everywhere, turns out NARS Orgasm Blush has a LOT of glitter!- nightmare! This dilemma reminded me of an amazing trick I thought I would share with you to breathe new life into crumbled or smashed powder based cosmetics. This method can be used on powder blush, powder bronzers, powder eyeshadows...you get the picture.
So all you need is some Surgical Spirit, I bought mine from the pharmacy section in Boots for a couple of pounds. You will also need a Brush to re-mould the product and smooth, I like to use a flat synthetic brush. These are generally used as angled eyeliner brushes, but use whichever shape brush you feel most comfortable.
Pour half a cap full or a teaspoon of Surgical Spirit onto the product for a blush sized product. I’d suggest adding it a little at a time, for a smaller eyeshadow you’d obviously need a much smaller amount. You don’t want the consistency to be too wet, instead it should be a thick paste. Using your brush mould the product into the desired shape or to fit the product pan, finally flatten and smooth. Then simply leave to dry at room temperature, the alcohol in the Surgical Spirit will dissolve leaving your product exactly how it was before- Voila!
This tip is also brilliant at pre-empting the dreaded crumble of the last few dregs of that product you totally loved or if you are desperately digging out the ends of an almost empty product which is sitting in the outer corners of the product pan and difficult to reach. For this simply crush the product using a flat spatular or a cotton bud and repeat the process as above.
A quick tip but one that every gal needs to know!
It appears spring has finally sprung, a couple of months late but it is so refreshing to finally be seeing some regular sunshine, especially over a bank holiday weekend!- what a treat that was! I have discovered a few must have spring time beauty products that I have been reaching for over the last few weeks to warm up my complexion and compliment a more summery wardrobe. A couple of weeks ago I found myself in a dangerously close proximity to the Dior counter in John Lewis which resulted in me falling hook, line and sinker into the arms of the new collection which I would quite happily have taken all of, I did have my sensible head on and so instead modestly treated myself to the limited edition (always gets me!- what if it runs out!?) ‘Sundeck’ palette. I think I might have let out a little embarrassing gasp when I saw it as it was a dead ringer for a palette Dior discontinued a few years ago called ‘Beige Massai’ which broke my heart terribly at the time. This new offering is the shimmery, slightly more sassy, pimped up big sister which has instantly filled that little hole in my heart once more. It has a beautiful peachy, champagne which makes such a pretty eyeshadow even when just washed over the lid on it’s own. A matte, cream tone offers a subtle highlight, great used under the brow or as a base over the entire lid. A gorgeous warm, shimmery gold which is definitely the eye catcher for me and I can imagine most in this palette, very wearable and perfect for spring/summer skin. There is an orange sitting in the centre of the palette, a bright firey orange, totally eye catching but also a little daunting- do not fear, I recommend mixing this orange with a little of the gold tone to soften it and apply through the eye socket crease. This adds warmth which is very effective to give the illusion of a more defined eye. If you are feeling really brave then play with this orange applied all over the lid, this is amazing on darker skins and with green eyes. Finally, a deep plum which is so creamy it can be applied as an eyeliner along the top lid in a sexy, smudgey fashion. Also a little applied through the socket crease instantly adds more drama. Apply all over the lid with the gold for a twist on a classic smokey eye. I have worn this palette everyday since I bought it, it’s only downside is it’s imminent limited availability- I may have to stock up before it’s gone to avoid Dior heartbreak number two...yes I am a loser.
Another new find is the Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster which is a concentrated facial fake tanner designed to be added to your regular daytime or evening moisturizer to keep a pale face at bay. I love this! I have used a couple of products from the Clarins fake tan family before and have been really impressed so I knew this wasn’t too much of a risky purchase. It takes the hastle out of having to slot one more product into your skincare regime. I had been using the Xen Tan Face Tanner which gives a great colour but I always feel that it isn’t doing as much good for my skin as my regular moisturizer and so find I slack on applying it as often. I’ve been adding a couple of drops of this stuff to my night oil every other night to keep up my post holiday tan, which always fades so much quicker on the face! no orange-ness and no biscuit whiffs which stops my boyfriend from complaining! A fabulous spring/summer find!
A couple of wonderful new discoveries. Head to your nearest Dior counter to swoon over the new collection, there is also an amazing gold highlight which brought out my inner magpie and I spent a good few minutes trying to justifying buying another highlighting product, plus there new Fluid Sticks Lipsticks are incredible! Let me know any new spring/summer beauty launches you have been loving! and enjoy this beautiful weather while it lasts! x
This week I am talking highlighters and adding a gorgeous, healthy glow to your skin to really bring your skin and face to life. Highlighter can give your skin a more polished look whilst lifting and accentuating the contours of your face. I believe everyone looks better with luminous skin, even those with an oilier complexion, it is all about applying the product in the right place allowing the skin to shine in a way where we look healthy as apposed to well, sweaty!
So where best to apply? Use all of these application techniques for uber luxe skin or pick and choose where you want to glow for a more subtle approach:
- One of the most effective and well known places to add highlight is to the tops of the cheekbones. As well as looking gorgeously glowy this will give the illusion of a more lifted bone structure and when teamed with a contour or bronzing powder will give you super chiseled cheekbones.
- Apply under the brow bone to lift the brow, this is great if you are in-between brow appointments as the highlight will instantly make the brows appear more polished and distract from any pesky stray hairs.
- Highlight the cupids bow of the lips before applying lipstick to make the lips appear fuller, be careful to highlight only along the natural lip line using a small brush to ensure lips look juicy and less so like a sweaty upper lip which is of course never a desirable look! Highlight can be applied down the centre of the nose, this will make the nose appear longer and slimmer. Be careful doing this if you are prone to oiliness as it can accelerate the look of shine.
- Finally a dot of highlight applied to the inner corners of the eyes works wonders to brighten the eye area and widen the appearance of the eyes.
Highlighting products come in both liquid/cream and powder formulas, either have their benefits and I use both frequently both for myself and in my professional kit. I’d say for dryer complexions use a liquid as it will sink into the skin and give a more natural seamless finish. Using powder products on a dryer skin will be more likely to cling to any dehydrated skin thus accentuating it’s visibility. I recommend the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector’s, they give the skin a wonderfully natural highlight, they provide a sheen without being glittery and as a result photograph perfectly. My favourite shades are ‘Pearl’: a classic white based highlight, great for paler complexions and ‘Moonstone’ a warmer more golden highlight suitable for darker complexions or post holiday skin. Another liquid highlight fave is MAC's Strobe Cream, this is sold as part of their skincare line and so can be applied instead of moisturiser and offers an instant quick fix for dull, lack lustre skin. It contains vitamins and green tea and so will also encourage a natural glow as well as having cosmetic light reflecting properties. Apply all over the skin simply avoiding the centre of the face, or apply as mentioned previously to specific areas of the face you wish to accentuate. Both of these liquid products can be mixed with your foundation to turn a previously more matte foundation into one with a glossy finish.
In powder form I love Kevyn Aucoin’s Candlelight Powder, this product has the silkiest finish and is so creamy to touch it applies to the skin like a dream with the most gorgeous glow designed to mimic the natural luminosity of candle light on the skin. I have to say this is probably one of my most favourite products ever, I use mine every single day. It looks gorgeous linking back to last weeks post used on legs or the décolletage. I apply mine using a Real Techniques Setting Brush which is an ideal sized miniature powder brush enabling you to dust the perfect amount.
Get glowing girls! x