And I'm back!

Friday, 31 July 2015

greece blog 1.1
I've just gotten back into my flat, and I'm all excited about getting going again with blogging and everything else. A break is lovely and absolutely necessary for recharging the batteries. Normally, when I'm back I have the post-holiday blues but we prudently decided to only go away for a week, and also take off Monday, so that I have some time to chill at home before getting back to work. Anyway, thank you for your patience while I was away, and hope you all enjoy the forthcoming posts!

Mount Purious Camellia Oil for Skin and Hair

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

mt purious camellia
Everyone loves a multi-tasker don't they? Whether it's a blush that doubles up for the lips, or that eyeshadow that works as an eyeliner and a brow product as well, there's something pretty satisfying about having a multi-tasker that makes you feel justified in handing over the cash for it.

On a recent trip to my local Whole Foods, I saw a new brand had popped up in their beauty section. The new brand is called Mount Purious, and they describe their products as 'raw'. I know, sounds a bit weird and a tad pretentious. The basic concept is that they have pure oils in all their products and these are untouched by any synthetic chemicals and additives. The pure unadulterated oil takes centre stage here, which I find oddly comforting. I'm all for chemicals at times, especially for my acne, but sometimes, I feel like going au natural.

They have a nice range of products, and I was really stuck deciding which one to take home with me to try. I decided on the Camellia oil, as I've heard that this is great for the hair, is chock full of omega-9 oil, has anti-oxidant powers, and really good at penetrating deep into the skin. Since Camellia oil had been on my to-try list for so long, it seemed silly to pass up the opportunity.

The packaging for this oil makes it really easy to dispense, it's a nice flat pump that doesn't have too wide an opening so you won't face the problem of pumping out too much in one go.

This oil has no scent, so it's quite good putting this on before applying perfume. I found perfume 'stuck' to me for a little longer after putting this oil on my skin.

If you have dry patches on your skin, then an oil like this one works really well with getting the moisture back in. I have recently found my legs drier than usual (I have eczema, so always am mindful of dry skin), and slapping some of this oil (alternating with another moisturiser every other day) on has restored them almost completely, and I've only used this a handful of times since buying this a few weeks ago. It also works at taking off make-up which is why I've brought it on holiday with me, it's saved me having to decant and bring lots of things.

If I do have one criticism, it is that the oil is fairly stiff? Think of whipping eggs for meringues, where you're aiming for the egg whites to be solid enough to not fall out of the bowl? Yes, this oil is a bit like that. It comes out runny, but within a couple of seconds of rubbing this into the hair or skin, it becomes really hard to move around, and you end up dispensing more. For me, this means I've ended up putting far too much oil in my hair because I felt that I wasn't able to work it through all my hair, and ended up with an oily mess of a mane, and having to wash it out and start all over again. Not fun.

It's possible that this might just be me, being overzealous with my hair oiling, or it needs a slightly lighter oil blended with it in order to make it easier to work with. I personally will carry on using it more as a skin moisturiser, and I really want to try out their Argan Oil and Rosehip Oil.

If you're looking for an organic hair and skincare option, that can moisturise and take makeup off at once, then the Mount Purious Camellia oil is something to look at, if not, then the other oils they have in their range might be more suited to you. At £12.95 for 100ml, it's a fairly good price, so it's not a massive investment or waste if you do't like it.

Have you encountered this brand yet? If you have, is there anything you're interested in giving a go?

Interrupted service: holiday time!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

greece blog 2

A last minute booking has meant that my planned time for the blog has been thrown off course, so there will be a little bit of interrupted service for the next week. I will try and blog a bit while I am away, and hopefully these posts will come on my usual posting days, but if nothing pops up, please don't worry! I'm just soaking up the sun a bit so that I can recharge my batteries a bit, and be all eager again for work and blogging.

Hope you're all having a lovely time wherever you are!

Scrubbing the hands: Essie Starter Scrub

Saturday, 25 July 2015

essie scrub
I'm all for grooming of the hands and keeping them tidy and moisturised. I buff, smooth, massage in nail oil and use handcream like it's going out of fashion (I have dry hands), and try to keep my cuticles clean, especially since I am almost always wearing nail polish. After all, I have so many, it's only appropriate I wear them, right?

It never crossed my mind though that maybe what my hands could do with would be a little bit of exfoliation to help keep the hands soft. It was on a trip to my local Boots looking for my next nail colour fix that I even noticed a slightly plain white tube at the Essie stand that said after use it would leave my hands 'feeling softer and smoother instantly'. That definitely had me intrigued!

The scrub contains aloe vera for softening and moisturising the skin, and milled loofah as the actual 'scrubber'. To use, you just need to wet your hands, squeeze out a bit onto them, rub in a circular motion, and then rinse off. It feels a bit odd at first, knowing that you're rubbing loofah over your hands, but it seriously works. My hands felt the difference instantly! If you have dry hands like myself, you might worry that this will dry them out more, but you can put that fear away. I didn't find this in the least bit drying, but I would advise using a hand cream afterwards. It has the mildest and faintest of fragrance that goes away quickly so there's very little risk of irritation from this.

I am really pleased I have brought this into my handcare routine, I have a feeling that if I follow this up with the new shea butter and goat milk soap one of my friend's gifted me, it will make a big difference to my dry hands.

I bought mine from Boots along with a couple of other items from the Essie stand, which meant I also got a free minis kit, so if you're interested, get yourself to your nearest stand now!

Diptyque Eau Moheli

Thursday, 23 July 2015

diptyque moheli
Going through my tiny perfume collection, I managed to stumble across Diptyque's Eau Moheli EDT that I had completely forgotten. You might think that having a small collection would mean it's easy to keep using the same perfumes, but this was is so slim, it fell over and I kept missing it until I accidentally knocked over my shelf (oops!). At the time that it came out, I had just decided that I was going to finally buy myself a Diptyque perfume, and this was the one I ended up going for. I had originally intended on getting Philosykos but found that I couldn't stand the scent on me (am I the only one?), whereas this one just called to me for some reason.

According to the Diptyque website, it has notes of Ylang-Ylang Flowers and Leaves, Pink Peppercorn, Ginger, and Vetiver. Thank heaven that they state their notes, because I certainly wouldn't be able to identify them for you! What I can say about this perfume is that it's a very warm, rich and woody floral that dries down to a bit of a musky scent, but the floral aspect is the dominant note. It's quite sweet, but the woodiness balances this out. Also, there's some spice from the ginger and peppercorn that cuts through, so you won't be overwhelmed by the sweetness.

I wouldn't say that this scent reminds me of the beach, nor do I think it's completely right on a really warm day. Rather, I think it would work best for a slightly cooler day, possibly spring or autumn days? It's so warming and rich, I think you might feel a little heavy with this on during a hot summer day. Still, it's a really lovely perfume to wear. I'm not normally a fan of ylang-ylang, but I definitely make an exception here.

The lasting power is about 4 hours, which I guess comes with the fact it's only an EDT, but I bought this in rollerball format, just so that I could keep this in my bag and pull out whenever needed. I wish all perfume houses did this, it would be so much more convenient.

Have you ever tried this perfume? Or are you a die-hard Philosykos fan? Any other Diptyque recommendations for me?

A Gentle Clarifier: Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

clinique clarifying
A little while back I bought the Clinique Clarifying lotion to help fight against any breakouts and spots. At £16.50, I can tell you that this has been an amazing recommendation to me, and I am really happy to have it in my daily routine.

Although it is very simple in that it feels a bit like wiping water on my face, the 0.5% salicylic acid that's a key ingredient gets to work battling any nasties that might be trying to pop up to wreak havoc on my skin. Also, with its pH set to 2.9, it really works as an exfoliating acid for the skin. This apparently means it's one of the stronger acids out on the market.

The Mild version is alcohol-free, so is not drying in the least. I've tried the 3-step plan with the normal lotion and had a horrible time with that routine, but this one has been amazing. I haven't had any tingling from it whatsoever, it feels that gentle, and trust me, if my skin were not happy with me using it, I'd definitely know by now.

To top it all off, it's only £16.50. £16.50! Even cheaper than my beloved Pixi Glow Tonic! A definite keeper for my routine! This comes highly recommended to people who don't like using glycolic acid or are looking for something that feels incredibly gentle with great results for the skin.

Has anyone else given this product a go?

Perfume Empties

Sunday, 19 July 2015

empty perfumes
I'm not much of a perfume girl. Don't get me wrong, I always wear perfume everyday, so I do like perfumes. I just am extremely picky about them. After all, perfumes last all day and should be considered a part of your wardrobe. Smells also are so important for conjuring up memories, it just seems wrong to not be picky about them.

Because of this, I find I don't tend to have a vast perfume wardrobe. Compared to my boyfriend (I have stopped counting them all, there's just so many!) I have what can only be described as a piddly collection. I always try to take my time choosing them and always go back to try them out more than once to make sure I really like them. This means that when I do finally finish a perfume, I consider it quite a momentous occasion.

It just so happened that I managed to finish three perfumes that I rotated between a lot, around the same time. It was a very sad month for me when this happened. I keep picking them up to see if I can squeeze a little bit more out of them, while I debate between repurchasing, or trying out something new.

First on the list is the Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt cologne. This has been a big big hit since they launched it, and without surprise. There's a warm woody note there that mixes with a crisp sea salt smell, with a waft of citrus over the top. What really does it for me is that personally, I detect a tiny hint of caramel, making it an even warmer scent. I wore this a lot during winter, but found that the overall marine feel of it worked really well in both spring and summer. When I wear it, for some reason it made me feel like I was very sophisticated, which can be pretty hard to do when I'm wearing slacks! Hmm, just writing this has made me miss it even more and want a new bottle.

The next one is also a Jo Malone, but this is one that has taken me much longer to finish. The Wild Bluebell cologne is definitely a warmer month one, or at least on my skin. The notes apparently include clove, white amber and musk, but on my skin, I would call it a sparkly light floral scent. It's definitely a very fresh smell, which works best in warmer months because it is so light. I wouldn't say the longevity or sillage (in very simplistic terms: how much fragrance wafts around a person) is great, especially compared to the Wood Sage and Sea Salt, so I always end up having to carry around the bottle with me.

Finally, I recently finished the Escada Especially Escada Delicate Notes, and this has been a surprise hit for me. I didn't expect to like this as much as I did, and I know next to nothing about this perfume brand, so when I was recommended it in a department store in Greece, I was initially wary of it. Don't let lack of knowledge of the non-major perfume brands hold you back. This scent is lovely. If you like roses in your perfume, then you will really like this I think. It's got rose and wild rose notes in it, along with pear and grapefruit, so it's a wonderful fruity-floral. It's really light on the skin, but lasts fairly well during the day. It's not the most daring or wildly interesting perfume out there, but I really enjoyed it. It's very easy to wear, and is a good perfume for both work or going out. Also, the price is very good. You can get a 50ml bottle from Debenhams for £35, and you can find it cheaper at other perfume shops. A great scent you don't have to give an arm and a leg for.

Have you had any perfumes you have mourned when you finished?

Another BB Cushion: HERA UV Mist Cushion

Saturday, 18 July 2015

hera uv cushion
Another BB cushion, but only a brief review. I initially bought this before my Laneige BB Cushion which I've become a big fan of, but found myself being very confused by this.

The HERA UV Mist Cushion is a very very sheer face base product, which gives the most ridiculous amount of glow to your face that you could imagine. When I say glow, I mean that it looks like I've got water splashed on my face at times. As an all-over face product, I personally find it very difficult to use. I have tried using it on its own and found it didn't really stay in place for as long as I would want it to. I think it would work as a bit of a highlighter, if you gently press it into areas you want to add a highlight effect to.

Another problem is the shade range, which is so minimal, and the fact that the product itself comes across very very white. Perfect for the beauty culture in East Asia; less useful and practical here in the west. I think I would be more likely to wear it in the cooler months when I am paler, and I'm looking for something that is very moisturising against cold and wind. For the moment, it's not quite what I need right now.

Pesentation wise, it comes in the standard BB cushion compact format, which means it's very easy to carry around for touchups.

If you're interested in getting in on the BB Cushion compact trend, then I think a trip to a Lancome counter would be best for you because the product is more catered to western tastes of coverage and has a wider shade range. I'll definitely keep plugging away at the HERA version to see how best it suits and under what conditions, but it's not necessarily one I will pick up again.

Have any of you tried out a Cushion Compact or want to? What are your thoughts on the new trend?

Essie Bridal Picks

Thursday, 16 July 2015

essie bridal 1
No, I'm not getting married anytime soon. I just happened to be at the Essie stand in Boots when I picked up some bottles from their Bridal selection and decided to bring them home with me. I'm having a thing for nude or pale polishes lately, the colours in this range were bound to capture my attention.

The colours I brought home were Hubby for Dessert and Brides to Be. I have an obsession for the colour lilac that Hubby for Dessert was going home with me without even thinking. Essie describe it as a sheer candied lilac, and I wouldn't disagree with that. It verges on a white lilac, and really is very sheer. I had to put 3 layers on, and I could still sort of see my nail white underneath.

I decided to pick up Brides to Be because I've been looking for a more skintone coloured nude for a while for both my lips and nails, and thought this might be it. When I picked it up, the first colour description I could think of for it in the bottle was "peach caramel". Essie describe it as 'soft-spoken caramel blush', and I think my own colour description for it is pretty accurate to theirs. I really liked this colour in the bottle, but liked it a little less on my nails. The colour is again very sheer and again I needed 3 layers and possibly could have done with 4.

As bridal colours, I think they are spot on, they're definitely colours I could see myself wanting to wear should the occasion ever arise (or if I go to a wedding as a guest, these would work). My only problem with them is just how sheer they are. I get very annoyed with having to put on 3 layers because it takes so much time for them to dry completely. These could have done with 4 on my nails, and that is just far too much effort.

If you're looking for pretty pastels for such an occasion, then you might be happy with this range. I personally don't think I'll be pulling these out again for some time.

If anyone has any recommendations for some skincoloured nail neutrals, then I would love to hear them and try them out!

Glowing skincare: Chanel Les Beiges All-in-One Healthy Glow Fluid

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

chanel healthy glow

chanel healthy glow 2

chanel healthy glow 3

I have a fairly well documented love of NARS which is ongoing, but if you've seen any of my Instagram shots, there is another brand that always pops up in practically every single one of my daily makeup pictures, and that is Chanel. I am a great fan of Chanel foundations because of just how natural they look on. I also always carry the Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder in my bag wherever I go. Considering how lately I've been wanting a lighter base, something much more natural. I found myself back inside the Chanel store, and walked away with the Les Beiges All-In-One Healthy Glow Fluid in my hands.

The Healthy Glow Fluid is a lovely lightweight tinted moisturiser. When I say lightweight, I really do mean lightweight. I can barely feel it on. It definitely is more fluid in texture than say the NARS Tinted Moisturizer for example, and much much lighter than the Laura Mercier oil free version I have. In terms of coverage, I wouldn't say that this is the best, far from it. If you have very dark acne scars, you may find that this is just better under a thin layer of foundation. If you don't have any dark spots to worry about or they are fairly light/you're pretty confident, then a layer of the Glow Fluid and some concealer will carry you through the day. If you are on the oily side, you may find the need to apply a little bit of powder across your t-zone.

What the Healthy Glow Fluid will give you is exactly in its name: a lovely healthy glow. You know that gentle sheen you get on your face when you've been on the beach for a couple of hours, and your skin has just gotten a tiny hint of a tan? This definitely emulates that look. You will definitely feel that your skin looks amazing. If you have any redness, smooth this over your face, and you wouldn't even know.

As with all Chanel face products and skincare, this is quite perfumed with their signature skincare scent (which I think is based around Camellia Flowers), so if you're sensitive to perfumed products this might put you off. I personally do't have an issue with them, and rather like the smell.

For summer months also, I would recommend putting on a separate sunblock before applying this, as the SPF in this is only factor 15.

Price-wise though, it is £34 for 30ml. The NARS Tinted Moisturizer is £29 for 50ml with SPF30, and the Laura Mercier ones are £34 for 40ml with SPF20. To make your mind up for you, I would say it really depends on what your state of skin is, and what you want it for. Both the NARS and Laura Mercie Oil Free version (the only one I have) are better for coverage. The Laura Mercier feels quite thick and heavy on my skin. More importantly for me though, the colours in the Laura Mercier range tend to not match my skintone, and almost always oxidise rapidly on me so I look too dark and too orange. The NARS one is lighter in texture but still feels fairly thick on me. The Chanel Healthy Glow on the other hand is extremely lightweight and just makes my skin look naturally glowing and even. I also know that their shade B20 matches my skin spoton, and I don't get any oxidation. Yeah, you can tell, it's no competition for me. The Chanel wins hands down, even if the price/product ratio does make me squirm a bit.

Lovely glowy skin here I come. If only I could turn back the clock to before I used this, for my bank balance's sake?

Summer Blush picks

Sunday, 12 July 2015

edited summer blushes
Warmer months means warmer colours for all round, no? Out with the all-black outfits if I can, in with the brights. This also is true for blushes. Whereas in winter and spring, I tend to go for pink blushes, come summer, I feel the need to reach for peach blushes. Peach seems to work wonders at brightening a complexion, and works really well whether my skin is still relatively pale, or has had a touch of sun.

My all-time favourite peachy blush is Bobbi Brown Fresh Melon. Watermelon colours tend to make me think of bright pinks, but somehow this one is a lovely coral colour, that is indeed pink toned, that can be sheered on and gives a flush of colour with a glow. Also, the cream blush is very sticky in texture, so gives a lovely dewy finish. I've read of people using a stippling brush to apply these Bobbi Brown blushes on, but I've yet to try this method yet. I find this one layers up really well, with one swipe and blend being very very subtle, and more layers makes it more obvious (obviously). It also lasts really well during the day, meaning I keep my blush up for most of my working day.

MAC Peaches Powder Blush is obviously a peach. For me, it's a straight up peach colour. It looks quite strong in the pan, but with my RMK blush brush, one swipe goes on evenly and lightly, and I don't really find the need to apply any more.

The final one I would pick is the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Blush in Stereo Rose. This is the 2014 edition from the Fantasy of Flowers collection, not the older edition which I've seen pictures of around and about the internet. I find I like to use this one when I want to have a lot of illumination, as this has a lot of bronzey-shine to it, which gives off a more pearl-shine on the skin (weird, I know). The actual colour of the peach is a very pink-tinted peach on me. I wouldn't say I use it as much as the other two proper peaches.

Out of all my blushes, I definitely find the Bobbi Brown is my main pick, and have been using this every day for the past two weeks. It took me such a long time to buy it, but when I finally did earlier this year, I was extremely happy I got round to it, and I am so happy I can just pull this out each day, swish it on and go. Beautiful colour, great product.

Do you have a peach blush love, or do you prefer pinks?

Snail Cream! Mizon All In One Snail Repair Cream and Eye Cream

Saturday, 11 July 2015

mizon 1

Another KBeauty review here, and this time, the key ingredient is going to seem disgusting to most people: snail. Or more specifically, snail slime. Sounds so wrong, doesn't it? But you may just change your mind on that after this review.
Snail slime is a pretty popular ingredient in Korean beauty, and is included in a lot of products because it apparently helps stimulate collagen production, reduce signs of photoaging, and help fade scars. Based on these specs, who wouldn't want to sign themselves up for it? I debated with buying some sheet masks with this ingredient in, but decided to go for the Mizon All In One Snail Repair Cream and All In One Repair Eyecream.

Both the eye cream and repair cream come in brown apothecary style glass pots with black lids. For presentation stakes, I'd give Mizon to points. I am a sucker for apothecary style packaging, and this certainly fits the bill for the kinds of product they are.

As for the products themselves, I'm a bit on the sideline opinion-wise with the eye cream. It's an eyecream. Nothing special about it really. At £18, I'd say it's mid-range price wise. You do get 25ml for this, and really need only a tiny dab for each eye, so I expect I will get bored of it long before it runs out. I would say that this is where the packaging fails. For an eye cream, I kind of prefer a tube or a small pump dispenser, purely because there's so much of it, and I'm opening up and dipping a finger in twice a day, which means it's open to the elements and bacteria. It has a shelf life of 12 months, probably for this reason, but I am still suspicious of using it a year from now. It does come with a little spoon to pick up product, but I find this a bit too much faff for me. I also can't really tell if it's doing that much for my eyes. I read that this was a do-it-all for the eyes, including reducing dark circles which is one of the main reasons I bought it, and I can't say I've seen any real difference. This one doesn't fall in my to repurchase list I'm afraid.

On the other hand, I've been really getting on with the Repair Cream. Though the name is 'Cream', it's much more of a gel-moisturiser. This apparently has 92% snail slime extract, which is probably why it has such a gel-like texture. It's quite runny and goopy however, which feels rather nice during the warmer months. I've been really happy with this product though, because I've seen a definite fading in my scars. It's not a really fast effect, but considering some scars have been on my face for months, and they are now fading to the point I don't have to wear foundation and concealer over them everyday, I'm very very happy with this. It also feels fairly hydrating. I wouldn't use this as a moisturiser though, I consider this a bit more of a serum, so apply this on before moisturiser or an overnight moisture mask at night. I find I don't tend to always use this in the morning.

I'll admit the idea of snail slime is not going to suit everybody's tastes or needs (I personally hate snails, so was initially freaked out when I first saw products with slime in), but considering how happy I have been with the Repair Cream, I'm glad I stepped out of my safety zone and tried it out. I'd also say it's good value for money, because for £30, I'm going to have a pot I can use twice a day and probably won't finish for nearly a year. The eye cream is something I'm less enamoured of, so I'm looking forward to switching this out once I've found something more effective.
If you're looking for something that helps with scarring, and can work as a moisturiser for the whole face, then I'd recommend the Repair Cream.

A Highstreet Acid Toner: Clearasil Daily Clear Superfruits Refreshing Pads

Thursday, 9 July 2015

clearasil high st acid

Acid toning has to have been one of the most revolutionising things to boggle my mind in skincare after I got interested in it. The idea of applying an acid directly to my skin just seemed so weird, frightening and confusing at first. After my initial tentativeness however, I fully embraced it. I feel slightly wrong if I haven't applied an acid to my face at least once a day. I've written about my love for the Pixi Glow Tonic, and I'm sure everyone has heard of the P50 (pictured) and the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner (I keep small samples of this for travel). However, today I wanted to talk about what you can find on the high street that ticks the exfoliating box without breaking the bank. Step forward the Clearasil Daily Clear Superfruits Refreshing Pads.

I know, Clearasil, right? Seems like an odd choice, because you would normally associate this as the teenage acne brand. The thing is, sometimes we need a little help with acne. I know I certainly do. These pads come with 1% Salicylic Acid which will aim to deal with any spots that you have. It will also help with the turnover of dead skin cells on the surface, which will help keep spots away. There's also citric acid as a fruit acid, and raspberry and cranberry fruit extract for antioxidant purposes to top it off. A perfect acid combo really.

What I do like about these is the medium. I love the fact that these are single use pads with a particular raised/dipped texture that encourages exfoliation. If I have one complaint, it's the smell. I think a lot of people might find the berry scent quite nice compared to other Clearasil products, but I have very sensitive eyes, and can feel the acid smell on my eyes if that makes sense (in a totally non-lethal way of course!) which makes my eyes water a little.

Price-wise and product pay off though, I don't think you can ask for more. These are great for combatting spots at the acid toning stage, and are great value for money.

I'm not sure why, but Boots and everywhere else seems to be out of stock in store, but I've just seen that Amazon have then in stock for less than £5.

A New Blue: Essie Saltwater Happy

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

essie saltwater happy

I love blue nail polishes. Can't help myself. I love the fact that different tones of blues can be so suited to different months, and even the slightest variation somehow becomes a totally different nail colour which is suited to different occasions and looks. Essie is a great brand for blues, which my old favourite Lapiz of Luxury comes from (also, look at all the other blues in their range!). With the release of the SS15 range however, this absolutely has been replaced by my new love, Saltwater Happy.
Saltwater Happy is what I would describe as a pale and pretty periwinkle blue, but with a slightly grey-white undertone, that makes it look vaguely washed out, but in a good way. It makes me think of washed-in denim, and still looks warm despite the undertone, and I think it would look really nice on if you have a tan or not. If you have Essie Bikini So Teeny, you might pass on this colour, but I think Saltwater Happy is a much prettier colour. It looks very chic on, and I would say looks a touch more elegant than Bikini So Teeny on me.

Some Essie polishes can be on the thin side, but this one is slightly thicker than some I like (Meet Me At Sunset, I'm looking at you) to the point that some people might be able to make do with just one coat. I used two however to reach complete full opacity.

I did contemplate buying some of the other colours in the SS15 range, especially because the two different stores I tried for Saltwater Happy didn't have it, but I stuck out and decided just to get this one, and I'm more than happy with that decision. The other colours in the range are really pretty, don't get me wrong, but this is the only one that really hit the spot for me. A definite win I'd say. I can see myself wearing this one constantly this summer!

I picked mine up eventually at my local Boots, but I also found other shades in this particular collection in Superdrugs.

Nude Basics

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Everyone searches for the one nude lip and the one nude nail polish that adds that touch of elegance and chicness to a look. While I keep on looking, there are a few lip selections that I always fall back to, and one nail choice I added this year.

The NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Isola Bella isn't what most people would consider a nude, since it doesn't really look like a 'my-lips-but-better' shade. It is, however, a perfect mix of beigey-nude and coral, if that makes sense. NARS describe it as a 'peach beige'. It looks vaguely orange in some lights, but this doesn't show up on the lips, or at least not mine. For a satin formula, this lasts really well during the day, although I find I do need to reapply after eating. If you bought the NARS Lip Coffret that was out at Christmas, you might think it looks similar to the Torres Del Paine and the Descanso pencils that came in that set. After swatching though , Torres Del Paine shows up very salmon-pink toned, and Descanso shows up as an apricot-pink with a tiny tiny bit of beige. Isola Bella is such an easy shade to pick up and put on, I always carry it with me wherever I go (you can probably tell, by how battered it looks on the outside). This is a brilliant nude for me.

The Burberry Lip Cover in English Rose on the other hand is a much more of a typical nude, which leans a bit mauve, while still having a slightly brown undertone. This is definitely my go-to for a MLBB shade. The formula is very moisturising and goes on without pulling. It's not so sheer that it's pointless, but it's not glittery either. It is definitely the lipstick I reach for when I want a pulled-together look, or for a day where I'm focusing my makeup on my eyes but still want some kind of colour on my lips. Also, look at the beautiful packaging, which snaps together shut magnetically. If I do have one complaint, it's the slightly old-lady scent that this has, but since I love and rely on this lipstick so much, I just ignore it.

I tend to go for brown or beige undertoned nude colours because they go better with my natural lip colour.

The one seeming exception I have here is the YSL Gloss Volupte in 203 Corail Gandoura. In the tube and on paper, it looks a very bright coral. On my lips however, it calms down to a very sheer pinky-coral, that with its gloss texture, adds a very faint brightening tint that has only a hint of colour. I find this a great colour to put on when I want to add a very light touch of colour to my lips-I'd say this is a great lazy-face-day product!

With nude nails however, I've had much less luck. Generally nude pinks or whites don't tend to work with my skintone, which I've found really annoying. Every girl wants a nude nail colour to complete certain looks. Well, a Dior spring release entered my life recently and I couldn't be happier. Dior Vernis in Lady 294 is a beautiful muted, dusty pink that I think would suit most skintones. It sort of has a skin-like undertone which I think helps it go with different skintones. Dior polish formulas are amongst the best in my opinion, so it's very easy to apply. The shade and finish definitely live up to its name. This was part of Dior's Spring 2015 finish, but I think you are able to get it still from Selfridges .

I'll admit, most of my lipsticks are bright reds and pinks, and my nail polishes are shades of every other colour, but there's definitely something about having a perfect nude.

The Bronzer for people afraid of bronzers: Chanel Lumiere D'ete

Saturday, 4 July 2015

chanel le1
chanel le2

I'm not one much for bronzers, I'll admit that straight off. I tend to find them very orange or too dark on me. On the one hand, as I always prefer to look fairly natural skinwise, bronzers add a tad too much colour for me. On the other hand, my skin has normally turned too dark for them to even be that visible on me if I've been on holiday. While I do have a couple of NARS Laguna's (they came with some face/cheek palettes, I've never actually gone and bought Laguna on its own), and the Balm's Bahama Mama, I've never actually gone about using them.

With the Chanel Lumiere D'ete however, things have gotten a little different around here. A medium-toned bronzing powder, this has really really floated my boat so to speak. It may look quite dark in photos, but with a big fluffy brush, I can apply this without worrying taht I'll turn into an orange oompa-loompah. Instead, this gives that healthy, glowing look that I love Chanel products for. This gives just that right amount of a sunkissed look. While I tend to avoid brushing it all over the face, I think placing it here and there for a little light contouring works really well.

As for the looks of the product, well, it's Chanel. What more could you ask for. It's beautiful. Almost too beautiful to use. Almost.

It came in its own elasticated velvet pouch, with a special pocket for a little brush that came with it, but in all fairness, I will never use that brush unless push came to shove for travelling. That, and I hate carrying the Chanel velvet pouches about, it makes me very upset to get them dusty and dirty!

If you're interested in buying, then Selfridges still has some in stock.

A Retinol for Sensitive skin: Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Thursday, 2 July 2015

I won't doubt that you've seen reviews of the Sunday Riley Luna oil all over the place now, but I wanted to write about it from the point of view of someone who has never used retinols before. I've never used retinols ever in my life, although I've always been intrigued by them. A good topical treatment for acne, wrinkles, dark spots etc, it seems like they're a do-it-all treatment for skin, while still maintaining a general aura of being scary? The myths surrounding them put me off for a while though, and I was always worried they would be too harsh on my very senstive skin.

After reading through these posts by Caroline Hirons here and here, I decided however to give the recently launched Sunday Riley Luna a go. Not only would I get to start using a retinol, I'd also finally buy myself a Sunday Riley oil product. Win-win here.

The oil comes in a lovely big square based bottle-my favourite kind for storage. As a someone who is a little OCD about stacking and piling things, a square shaped bottle is my kind of perfect bottle, because it's so easy to stack with no space-wastage. The oil itself is a deep blue, as a result of the Blue Tansy oil, and it smells lovely. Herbaly and fresh without being overbearing, something which has put me off the other oils in the range.

As for using it, I find this as my second to last step in my routine, post toning/essencing (I'm making this a verb now) and serum, and pre moisturising if I do decide to moisturise that night. I do however leave at least 15 minutes between the oil and moisturiser, just to make sure it's completely sunk in, because it's quite a thick oil.

Results wise, I would say that it is quite hydrating and soothing to apply. I wake up with fairly refreshed looking skin, and I would definitely say that spots have been appearing a lot less since I've been using this. In terms of fading scars, I think it might be the reason my scarring is looking less dark, but only marginally. I will have to see how it deals with scars on a longer basis, but it may just be the case I need something stronger for that, which for is something I am wary about. Quite importantly though, I haven't had to deal with all that much irritation, which is great for someone who has sensitive skin like me. I went a bit overboard in the first week I got it, and put it on each night (eek) for about five days, before realising and deciding the best thing for me would be to use it two-three times a week. Since then, it's been smooth sailing.

The only bad thing I would have to say about this product is the price. As with Sunday Riley, it's a steep £85. Even writing it makes my eyes water. On the plus side though, you really don't need much, one-two drops really is all you need, three if you feel like treating yourself, and since you won't (you really probably shouldn't) be using it each night, it should last you a good long while.

If you're looking to try out a retinol for the first time, and want to break yourself in gently, then this is definitely the product for you.