Having recently returned to work I’m lucky enough to have a fellow beauty junkie for a boss. So when she went out to New York for her birthday I was giving her a long list of all the ‘USA only’ products that she just had to try.
We’d discussed the launch of the Glossier pop up shop and how some of my favourite bloggers were raving about the Milky Jelly Cleanser. So when I turned up to my desk last week to find a bottle of it sitting there waiting for me I was beyond pleased – very kind of her!
I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, which for me is a decent test of how well a cleanser works for me. Firstly I love the packaging, a plastic bottle with a pump so it’s a) hygienic and b) easy to see when the product runs out. It doesn’t really feel luxurious but it is practical and lightweight for travel which is a real bonus!
Texture wise I would liken it to a balm-like-gel, it’s got a nice slip to massage the product into the skin. I remove it using a warm, damp muslin cloth however my only real bug bear with this product is that it just doesn’t do a very good job of removing makeup.
I’m still left with panda eyes and a decent amount of foundation sticks around though it’s nicely hydrating however I would definitely use this as a second cleanse. Firstly I’d use one such as the Nutrogena Gelée Milk Cleanser which does a good job of removing makeup then use the Glossier to nourish my skin.
It has a pleasant rose scent which isn’t over powering and the texture of the product is one I really enjoy. I’d give this a solid 3/5! Please tell me your cleanser recommendations in the comments below…
Since having my little boy I feel like I’ve fine tuned the art of the ‘5 minute makeup look’ – my aim is to essentially cover the fact that my skin has seen better days. Plus you could carry your weekly shop home in my under eye bags! Here’s the four steps I take to get myself vaugly looking ready to face the day…
Base – After cleansing my skin in the shower I tend to slather on some kind of moisturiser. I’ve always been faithful to the Bioderma Sebum Global moisturiser though of late I’ve been experimenting with various different budget skincare options; I’m yet to find one I like as much as this or the Elemis Marine Cream or Clarins Hydra-Quench. But for this particular look I blobbed on the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (it’s just not rich enough for my dry-as-the-desert skin). Next I apply the Bourjois 123 CC Cream, this stuff is brilliant… it’s super glowy, a nice light/medium but buildable coverage and lasts well on the skin. I would liken this to something like the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow or IT Cosmetics ‘your skin but better’ CC Cream. For concealer I’m obsessed with the Becca Under Eye Brightener! This stuff erases my under eye bags like nothing else and is super easy to blend out with your ring finger.
Eyes – I tend to just smoke a little of the Urban Decay eyeshadow in Cover all over the lid buffing out at the crease and along the lash line. Then I use a volumising mascara such as my trusty Maybelline Colossal Mascara in Black. Then I apply a small amount of brow gel, my current favourite is the Blink Brow Gel in Clear.
Cheeks – For the cheeks I dust on a small amount of the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer in Light. If you live in the UK then something like the Body Shop Honey Bronzer would do a similar job. Then I use the Makeup Revolution Baked Blush in Hard Day (pretty ironic for a new mum huh!) over the tops of the cheeks for a highlight/blush combo.
Lips – Lastly I use a tinted lip balm, my current favourite is the Revlon Lip Butter in Truffle for a really wearable sheeny nude. I’m not sure if these are being discontinued however if you struggle to find it then the Tanya Burr Lipstick in Bear Hug would give a really similar effect.
What’s your go-to makeup product? Let me know in the comments below!
Having become a Mum in August last year I have little money to spend on myself therefore hunting the best budget friendly beauty bargains is something I find myself doing.
I’m currently obsessed with these, finding them brilliant value for money and just as good (sometimes if not better) than their high-end equivalent…
H&M Lip Pencils
(A decent dupe for the ‘Urban Decay 24/7’ Lip Pencils)
On a recent trip to Norwich with a friend of mine I knew I had to have a sweep around the beauty department (as we don’t have one in my hometown of Cambridge) and I got talking to the very friendly sales assistant. She couldn’t speak highly enough of these pencils and having tested them on the back of my hand I just knew I was going to love them. They’re an incredibly creamy formula without being ‘melty’ if that’s even a word however I love the way I can even wear these alone for a matte lip look. I picked up the colours Au Natural and Marsala and have found they both look great, don’t crumble and come in a range of exciting shades.
Bourjois 123 CC Cream
(A good dupe for the ‘IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better’ CC Cream)
I’ve never given in to the ‘CC’ or ‘BB’ cream hype but having seen a vlog with Nicola Chapman from Pixiwoo whereby she recommended this I picked myself up a tube and it’s safe to say I bloody love it. It’s nothing like a CC cream and is very much a lightweight foundation type texture. I apply it either using my hands or buffing it over my skin using a Morphe M439 brush which is brilliant at giving a really soft-focus finish without looking too OTT. It definitely gives a glowy finish to the skin so may not be suitable for those with an oilier skin type however for dehydrated/normal skin it’s brilliant at making your skin look evened out without a tonne of coverage.
Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
(A dupe for the’ Makeup Forever Pro Bronze Fusion’ Bronzer)
After having seen just about every American beauty youtuber rave about this product I knew I needed it. Luckily for me my good friend Emma was off to the states on her honeymoon and very kindly she asked if I wanted anything picking up. As many readers know I could’ve probably written her a book of all the amazing American products I wanted to get my hands on however I gave her a list and bless her soul she picked me up pretty much everything that was on it for my birthday – what a gem! Of the products on my list the Butter Bronzer was the one I really wanted and she managed to pick me up the shade light. I now know why there’s such a hype around this product – it’s subtle whilst proving a glowy (but non-glittery) sheeny bronze which is subtle enough for every day but can be built up for when you want a deeper look.
For a long time I’ve been afraid of a cool toned smokey eye and doing one for me normally takes a) a lot of practice and b) a lot of patience. I was invited to a ball by some friends which was a nice excuse to put my breton tops, snot stained jeans and beaten up trainers into the cupboard for one night only! I’d chosen a dress and had found a bag and shoes that matched and then freaked a bit when I thought about my hair and makeup.
My boss at work had said she thought the dress lended itself to me having my hair off my face a bit (dammit! couldn’t go with my fail-safe waves) so I settled with a kind of messy quiff affair that actually lasted pretty well. I didn’t want it to look too ‘done’ as I knew I was planning on a smokey eye.
For base I prepped using the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo to moisturise and the Dermalogica Hydrablur primer which gives you a hydrated finish whilst also giving a fawless base that gives your makeup some serious staying power.
Next I buffed in The Ordinary Colours foundation (I use the shade 1.2 N) all over using my trusty M439 and down the neck (review on this soon!). Next I concealed using the Becca Under Eye Brightener and just patted this in with my ring finger – I have my friend Ashleigh to thank for buying this to get rid of my knackered-mum under eye bags. I then popped over a bit of the Collection Lasting perfection concealer in the shade 1 Fair under my eyes again and down the bridge of my nose. I used a Real Techniques setting brush to blend this out.
Next I used the MAC Mid-Tone Sepia Cream Colour Base (review HERE) to contour/bronze my face and make it look dewy and healthy using the Real Techniques buffing brush to give a seamless finish. Lastly for the face I used the MAC Mineralise Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle, this is the ‘big Daddy’ of highlight and really packs a punch so I left blush as I felt like I needed to keep it slightly paired back.
For the eyes (the ‘hard’ bit) I simply used the Kiko Milano Cream Eyeshadow Stick in the shade 18 which is a sort of grey/brown/black all over the lid and drew it on directly from the stick. Next I used the Real Techniques delux crease brush to buff the edges for a soft finish. Lastly I used a small amount of black eyeshadow (any will do but I used MAC carbon) over the top of the cream to set it. I then used a black eyeliner (again, any will do but I used the Rimmel liner in Black) in the top and bottom waterline and used a small pencil brush to smudge a little of the MAC Carbon eyeshadow onto my lower lash line. I finished this with the Lancome Hypnose Mascara in Black which is a really volumising, dramatic mascara.
For the lips I just opted for MAC’s Hug Me Lipstick with a little of the Estee Lauder high gloss in Bronze.
This is a super easy makeup that looks like it took a while longer than it did – 12 minutes start to finish!
Since becoming increasingly time poor in the last year I’m all about using multi-use products which are both easy to apply and give long lasting results.
I’ve always been a fan of MAC’s Cream Colour base products and have used Hush for a very long time as a highlight and eyeshadow base. For those of you who don’t know, Cream Colour base is essentially a cream product, packaged in a small pot in a variety of different colours and finishes. Texture wise I would liken it to a cream eyeshadow mixed with a lip balm as it certainly gives you some play time and can be moved and smudged.
I came across the shade Mid-Tone Sepia after watching a video by celebrity makeup artist Lyndsay Harrison. She recommended using this as a cream eyeshadow and as someone who prays to the gods of warm toned brown eye looks on a regular basis I knew this would be right up my alley.
Most commonly I use this product alone with a synthetic brush and buff it all over the eyelid for a low maintenance hue that defines the eye socket and makes blue/green eyes really pop as it has quite a red toned base. I also use it as a primer for a bronze/brown smoky eye and find it gives my eyeshadow some serious wear time when I layer powder shadows over the top.
I also find this makes a fantastic cream bronzer when it’s applied to the highpoints of the face with a synthetic brush and buffed out. My favorite brush to use is the Real Techniques buffing brush for a beautiful natural glow that flatters even the fairest of skin tones.
You could even use it on the lips for a really pretty 90’s hue, it would work really well combined with a lip pencil such as MAC’s Soar or Spice and for a drugstore option Rimmel’s East End Snob would also make it the perfect pinky-brown.
This product is one I know I’m going to repeat purchase time and again as I just find it so useful and low maintenance. What’s your favourite multi-use product?
Okay so way back last year I apologised profusely for neglecting my blog to have a baby. Said baby is now 1 years old and I want to take the time to get back into my blogging grove and take the time to immerse myself in the beauty industry that I know – and love!
These days my beauty spending is not so frequent and not quite so impulsive, so hopefully this means you’ll be getting reviews on products that I truly love.
I feel proud of the fact that since having my son I have rarely gone makeup-less. That’s not to say I don’t applaud the mum’s who do it, only that for me personally I find I feel more myself when I have a little something on my face. At my lowest hormonal moments makeup has been there to pick me back up and I now find myself to be quite the connoisseur of products that eliminate under eye bags and make me look more awake.
There are even particular beauty rituals I’ve continued to keep up and here’s a little run down of those…
- Regular manicures. A little ‘me time’ is so valuable to preserve your sanity! Luckily for me my nail technician Stacie is also a fellow mum and can do home visits after baby bed times. So this meant I was able to have a nail appointment even when my son was two weeks old! It was just the pick me up I needed in the midst of the hormonal fog!
- Gel pedicures, yes… I know, I now sound like the most high maintenance woman on the planet however I only have these every 8-10 weeks as the polish lasts so well. However, when you’re wading your way through a ball bit and hanging out with your new bloody amazing mum friends it’s always nice to have some polish on your toes. If like me, you manage to snatch 40 minutes to yourself on a very rare occasion a £20 gel pedi on your toes is a real game changer!
- Sunday night bath, this sounds like I only wash once a week. I promise, I do shower every single day (morning and night – weird I know!) though my pre-baby self always had a bath on a Sunday night. Complete with candles, a glass of wine, some kind of vlog on my iPad propped on the loo seat; this is a ritual that I have kept in my life and boy do I love it. In days gone by I would eke this out for a good hour (nowadays it’s more like 40 minutes) but it’s a bit of valuable time where I can truly zone out after my little boy has gone to bed.
I hope that the few readers I have will appreciate this and enjoy the content I have to come! Let me know if you have any beauty rituals you like to stick to in the comments below.
I’ve always been honest about the fact that rarely a day goes by where I don’t apply some form of makeup – it’s a part of me and definitely makes me feel more human. I’m due to have mine and my husbands baby in a matter of only 5 weeks and I fully expect this to change therefore I’ve been trying to master makeup looks that take me under 5 minutes! It’s wishful thinking that I’ll even get to shower but I’m keen to nail down a quick makeup look that I can do with only a handful of products.
For my base I used the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation in the shade 52 Vanielle applied using my fingers. I love this for a nice light coverage that gives me a healthy, dewy glow and never seems to look cakey or overdone. Next I applied a little bit of my Collection Lasting Perfection in 01 Fair under my eyes, I have a feeling bags are going to become a permanent fixture on my face and this heavy duty concealer seems to work wonders at getting rid of them. I just pat this in using my ring finger and it seems to blend nice and quickly!
If I’m in a rush this is always the area that gets the least attention however I can’t leave the house without a little mascara. For this look I used my trusty Maybelline Colossal Mascara in Black. I then applied a little of the Rimmel Brow This Way brow gel in Clear through my eyebrows to give them a little shape.
On the cheeks I used another product which lends itself to being applied with fingers therefore I popped on a little bit of the Stila Convertible Lip/Cheek Colour in Lilium. This is one of my all time favourite cream blushers which provides a healthy glow without too much colour.
Finally I applied the Clinique Pop Lip Primer and Colour in Nude Pop all over. You can read my full review HERE but these are brilliantly moisturising balm/lipstick hybrids that don’t need a mirror to be applied.
Just lately I’ve been doing some makeup experimentation (wild – I know!) and have really been enjoying using slightly cooler tones on my eyes. I’ve always stuck to browns/bronzes and don’t get me wrong these will always remain my ‘safety zone’ when it comes to eyeshadow however they say a change is as good as rest! I popped this look on for a day out shopping with my mum and I like the contrast between the bronzed skin, cool eyes and coral lips!
Amazingly I’ve got something of some colour to my face lately so I used two pumps of my L’Oreal True Match Foundation in W3 for a healthy medium coverage and worked this really well into my skin using a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. Next I applied a little of the Clarins Instant Light Concealer in 01 under my eyes and down my nose. This gives a really nice medium coverage and keeps things fairly dewy and healthy looking. I’d totally recommend this one for more mature skin tones also as it doesn’t settle into fine lines and doesn’t look heavy either!
On the eyes I used the Gosh Metallic Eyeshadow Stick in Light Copper all over the lid and simply drew it on and then used a nice fluffy brush to buff out the edges which I believe was the Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush. This isn’t actually copper at all, it seems to show as more of a silvery neutral tone to be totally honest! I then went on to apply the Gosh Forever Eyeshadow Matt in 10 Brown along my lower lash line however again this isn’t exactly descriptive of the colour, it’s more of a grey/taupe shade. Finally for the eyes I applied a good two coats of my Maybelline Colossal Mascara in Black and a little of the Rimmel Brow This Way brow gel in Clear.
I then used the Body Shop Honey Bronzer in 01 all over the face! I went a bit to town on the bronzing of this look as this is a very subtle colour and doesn’t pull too orangey on my skin so it works well to give a ‘sun kissed’ glow on even the fairest of us! I then used the MAC blusher in Melba to give me a pretty peachy flush which seemed to work really well with the bronzed skin.
Lastly on the lips I applied the Gosh Forever Lip Shine in Flirty Dreams all over the lips for a pretty coral flush. I must pick up another one of these as it truly is my favourite coral shade as it brightens without looking too over the top for day to day wear, is really comfortable and also seems to have fairly good staying power.
As a big fan of MAC cosmetics I’d had the Studio Sculpt Foundation on my ‘to buy’ list foundation for some time. As I’m sure regular readers will know I have something of an addiction to foundations and seem to be searching for my perfect base however if you read my review of the Giorgio Armani Lumious Silk Foundation you will see that I’ve as good as found it – not that this will stop me buying more!
My wonderful husband bought me a MAC voucher for my birthday this year and it took me all of about 4 hours to spend it! I headed straight to the MAC store in my local city and picked up the studio sculpt foundation. I was colour matched in store to NC25 (my usual shade) and headed home to try this. I used a buffing brush to apply it and unfortunately for me it applied incredibly thickly and streaky. I had to work really hard to sheer it out and stop it from looking cakey despite having applied a good layer of moisturiser before hand.
I was disappointed that this also clung to any dry areas on my face and that the shade seemed to pull quite yellow on me which isn’t normal for me and MAC foundations. I would say that it lasted well on the skin however being sold it as a dewy foundation I actually found it to be quite mattifying. I definitely need to give it another chance and maybe try another application method, perhaps a beauty sponge is the way to go about it with a bit of fixing spray?
Let me know your favourite MAC foundation in the comments? So far mine is Face and Body for a healthy look however I loathe Sudio Fix but maybe there’s another worth giving a shot?
So this year for my 26th birthday my lovely Mum took me and my sister to a Dim Sum making class and following this we made our way to the lovely Jo Malone store at St Pancras International.
In my experience the staff at Jo Malone are always pleasant and welcoming, the stores are always beautifully merchandised and even on a busy day seem to have an air of calm – can you tell I used to work in beauty retail! We were given a arm massage by a lovely sales advisor and then given a spritz of our favourite fragrance.
I spent a while nosing around the store with my Mum and Sister smelling and spraying various different perfumes not really knowing exactly what I was after. I tried the Wood Sage and Sea Salt which I did really like however it was a bit light and didn’t totally cut it for me. Pomegranate Noir was a little too heavy as I wanted something I could wear day or night. Lastly I tried the Blue Agava and Cacao and it instantly appealed to me, soft and warm whilst also remaining fresh and clean.
The notes include sea salt, lime, agava flower which I guess is where the fresh lightness of the fragrance come from and cacao, cinnamon and musk give it the warmth and staying power on the skin. Alongside the perfume my mum very kindly bought me a travel candle and bath oil too which I’m saving for the week after my baby is born when I’m perhaps not feeling the most pampered person in the world!
I would recommend this fragrance for lovers of perfumes such as Marc Jacobs Decadence, Armani Diamonds or even Gurlain Insolence. It’s got a grown up sweet element but not sickly and it’s definitely light enough that it could be worn day or night. Jo Malone fragrances are definitely luxurious, not your every day splash but completely decadent and for that I’m very grateful to my lovely Mum and Dad!