Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Weekly Selection

Life has been going a million miles an hour at the moment, but one thing is for certain: This beautiful sunshine we're having is well worth slowing down for! Yesterday, after work, we went and sat outside one of our favourite places on the harbour for a nice cold cider, and being able to actually do something with my evening and enjoy the daylight made me feel so much more alive. Afterwards, we met up with some friends for tapas and a cheeky cocktail or two - not my usual Monday evening, but I have to say, it was a more than welcome start to the week.
I hope you've been able to enjoy the lovely weather, wherever you are.

Anyway, onto the purpose of today's post, which is to share some of my most reached- for products of late. I'm aware that I usually tend to do this towards the end of the week, but hey, who makes the rules? Last week was so hectic that I didn't have the chance, so here we are, on a Tuesday instead. I don't mind if you don't.
After running out of my previous foundation, I stumbled upon Helena Rubinstein's Colour Clone (shade Vanilla), which had been sitting patiently on my beauty shelf since late last year. I picked this one up on my way back from Amsterdam, but it was one of those things where, once you get home, it just doesn't seem to be the right shade. Now that winter is over, however, and I've got a bit more colour in my cheeks, I have fallen head over heels in love with it. Color Clone gives the most unbelievably natural-looking coverage, almost to the point that it looks as though I'm not wearing foundation - only with beautifully flawless skin. It does an amazing job of evening things out, with special colour-cloning pigments which clone the skin's colour structure, and has an incredibly light, barely-there feel on the skin.
There's very little not to love about this, and I am definitely going to be hunting down some of Helena's other creations as soon as I have the chance.
Next up, it's the beautiful Topshop Glow Highlighter in the shade Polish. A light, pearly cream, this looks perfect smoothed onto cheekbones over a pretty cream blush for a natural-looking highlight without the glitter. For a more glamorous look, it can easily be layered up - and if I'm going out, I apply some down my nose, under my brows and across my Cupid's bow for an extra glow.
I can't imagine that I'm alone in my love for fruity scents once the warmer months roll round, and the M&S Nature's Extracts Indulgent Fig & Orange Oil Moisturising Body Butter (whew-can you say that in one breath!?) is just divine. Light, juicy, with a hint of 'green' this one sells really natural and is not at all overpowering or sickly. Smoothing this on after my shower is an absolute pleasure, and it leaves my skin silky soft.
All three of these are bound to remain favourites well into the summer months, although no doubt there will be a few more beauty treats joining them before long.

Which products have you been reaching for this week?
Have you discovered any new or exciting brands?

Enjoy the rest of your week.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Topshop Makeup Haul

It wouldn't be a trip into town without a quick browse in Topshop - even if the original intention was just to go to the bank.
It had been a while since I last treated myself to some Topshop makeup, and I was keen to have a look at what was new to the shelves. Needless to say, a quick scan turned into a lengthy peruse, and I came away with these three covetable items.
The cream blush in Head Over Heels had been a long time coming, with it initially gracing my wish list this time last year. At the time, I settled for an equally impressive coral pink shade called Flush, but I could resist this peachy coral any longer.
Beguiled has always struck me as quite a wintry shade, but upon further inspection it became clear that it's more versatile than I'd given it credit for. A light layer gives a pretty matte finish, with the shade itself a wearable berry. I actually picked these up at the beginning of March, and this has been my go to shade as we've transitioned through from winter to spring.
Last into my shopping bag was one of the fairly new cream highlighters in the shade Polish. This is a stunning pearly formula which dresses up any daytime look ready for the evening, and it's safe to say I'm sold. Having gone through a minor obsession with highlighters a few years ago, I'd then fallen out of love in favour of a more natural look. But this one is subtle and beautiful, without being overly glitzy. Love it.

If you're considering any of these then I'll be posting reviews on them soon.

Have you made any Topshop makeup purchases lately? What are your favourite items?


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Beauty Wish List

Come midweek, I often find myself daydreaming about browsing the shops for beauty bits at the weekend, and today is no different. This time around, I've got my eye on a selection of goodies, most of which I've got Essie Button to thank for. Last weekend, I dedicated a good day or so to catching up with my favourite blogs, and the end result was a list as long as my arm of glorious new eyeshadow palettes, hair masques and suchlike, these ones being the cream of the crop and the absolute musts. In fact, I've already popped into the Body Shop and grabbed myself the Aloe Lip Care, as my lips were in dire need of a helping hand, and I have to say it's been working well so far.
I'll leave you to browse the rest  and see whether there's anything that takes your fancy - sorry to cut this short, but as I type, my keyboard keys are sticking like mad. It's driving me...well, mad. 
Note to self: Use the Ipad next time! But

Hope everyone is having a good week so far. Let me know if you've tried any of these, and what your thoughts are.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Sunday Pamper Session

There was a time when a Sunday pamper came as naturally as breathing to me, but of late I've barely had time to sit back and relax, let alone slap on a face mask. So this weekend, I've decided to set aside some 'me' time and indulge myself with a good couple of hours of luxury.

To set the scene, I run myself a nice hot bath. Usually, I might go with a Lush bath bomb, or my favourite - The Comforter bubble bar. But this time, it's the Radox Herbal Bath Stress Relief Bubble Bath (not pictured). With its calming blend of rosemary and eucalyptus, it's the perfect way to unwind, easing any aches and pains as well as stilling the mind. Add to that some of my all-time favourite, the Elemis Skin Nourishing Bath Milk* and I'm guaranteed silky soft skin to boot - this stuff packs a seriously moisturising  punch, and can even be used as a body lotion, too. 
Before getting in, I usually light a couple of candles and place them around the edge of the bath. This is a new tactic I've started employing of late, as I do have a tendency to get a bit bored after a few minutes if I don't go out of my way to create a calming environment. At the moment, my candle of choice is Diptyque Noisetier*, but I generally switch things up a bit depending on how I'm feeling.
When I'm nearly ready to enjoy my bath, I take a scoop of the Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Intense Rescue Melting Balm and rub it between my palms to emulsify. Smoothing it evenly through the ends of my hair, I then pin my locks up on top of my head and I'm ready to go.
To keep me occupied during my soak, I've taken to bringing in my Ipad and popping on some of my favourite Youtube videos. It's amazing how much longer I can stay put if there is something to watch.
My skin has been looking a bit dull and lacklustre this week, so my face mask of choice this evening is the Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel*. I leave this one on for a good few minutes, then massage it in a circular motion for a couple of minutes before removing with a hot cloth for smooth, radiant skin. If I still feel that I need an extra boost, then I might also pop a layer of Ren Resurfacing AHA Concentrate on when I get out, leaving it to do its magic overnight.
After twenty minutes, it's time to wash off my hair masque. I then shampoo and condition as usual - at the moment I'm using a selection from Aussie, which my locks seem more than happy with.
Once I'm done with my bath, I go for a layer of my favourite body moisturiser - M&S Indulgent Fig & Orange Oil Moisturising Body Butter. This stuff smells nicer than any other product I have ever tried - and that, I'd say, makes it an obvious choice. If you've not heard much about this range then keep an eye out for my review, coming soon.
After that, I usually go for a couple of pumps of L'oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil before drying my hair. Ordinarily, I might slap on a moisture mask before bed, or failing that, my usual toner and moisturiser. But as I'm going for the Ren Resurfacing AHA Concentrate option this evening, I'll leave it at that, as I find it does its best work when left to do its thing alone.

And that's me.
Once I'm done, it's all about curling up on the sofa with a cup of chamomile and my Ipad, with no intention of moving for the rest of the evening.

Are you having a pamper session this Sunday? Which products will you be reaching for?


Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Weekly Selection

I've really been limiting myself when it comes to beauty purchases of late, and it's quite surprising to think how long it's been since I last had a real splurge. I have, however, been picking up the odd 'essential' here and there, and these four treats have most definitely been floating my boat this week.
First up, the Ren Resurfacing AHA Concentrate is back for another slice of the limelight. For those of you who missed it, I'll link my recent review of this skincare must-have at the end of the post - it has made such a huge difference to the feel and texture of my skin, and I can always count on it to revive my complexion, leaving it soft, smooth and radiant.
It took me a while to get into primers - initially I think I saw them as something of a gimmick. The trouble with these 'extra' beauty steps is that once you have a taste and realise they do have a purpose, you keep wanting to go back for more, inevitably upping the cost of your daily face. Until recently, I'd only dabbled, with a couple of swipes of Benefit The Porefessional or Revlon Photo-ready here and there - neither of which had exactly blown me away. But after a recent charity event at my local Boots, I walked away with a goodie bag which just so happened to contain a sample pot of the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. After working it into my routine for a few days and finding myself marveling at how long my makeup was staying put throughout, I was more than ready to part with the pennies and get myself a full-size tube. Of course, what I didn't bargain for was the sheer number of options I was presented with, and in the end I walked away with the Smashbox Photo Finish Luminizing Primer. A peachy, shimmery offering, this sits nicely underneath my Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation, giving off a subtle, radiant glow. This would be a fantastic choice for a night out, as it adds a glamorous edge to any look. However, I wouldn't say it increases the longevity of makeup to quite the extent that the standard Photo Finish does, so I'll be picking one of those up soon to keep in my everyday makeup kit.
I love a good, dark lip in winter, but having seen Topshop Lips in Beguiled on more than one occasion, I wondered if it would perhaps be a step too far for my pale complexion. However, a quick swatch revealed this to be nonsense - applied with a light hand, it translates onto the lips as a gorgeously wearable berry shade, and can be layered up to achieve a darker, more dramatic effect.  It's love.
Fragrance-wise, you'll probably have heard me banging on about the Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne when I reviewed it earlier this week (link below). If you're interested in finding out more about this delightful winter scent then do pop over and have a read - if you like the smell of mulled wine, then you'll love this.

What have been your favourite beauty treats this week?

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne

Now that the sun has started to peek out from behind the clouds at long last, I'm wishing I had shared this winter delight with you sooner. The Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne ( £39 for 30ml), is a rich, almost festive winter fragrance, very much reminiscent of hot mulled wine and open fires, and has seen me happily through the colder months, so much so that I've been reaching for it every day without fail since it first dropped through my letterbox. It's often difficult to do a fragrance justice using the written word alone, but I think Jo has done a great job at summing this one up: 

'The sensuality of a daring red dress. Ruby-rich juices of pomegranate, raspberry and plum are spiked with pink pepper and laced with Casablanca lily and spicy woods. A dark and enigmatic fragrance'.

I'd still go with the mulled wine if you find it impossible to imagine such a complex combination - rich, purple fruit and spices  are very much the overall impression this one gives off. 
All in all, it's been an absolute pleasure, and this 30ml size is ideal for slinging in your handbag for top-ups on the go. However, if, like me, it's love at first spray, then you can always go for the 100ml version, at a slightly hefty £78. Personally, I can see myself making the investment come next October, but now that the sun is shining I'm hankering to switch this one up for one of Jo's more spring-like offerings - top of my list are both English Pear & Freesia and Wild Fig & Cassis.

What has your favourite fragrance been this winter, and have you got your eye on anything for the warmer months?


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February Beauty Wishlist: Groundhog Day

There are some things which just keep popping up on my wish list, again and again, and for one reason or another they never quite make it into my shopping bag. It's certainly not because I lose interest in them, but more than likely because at times, there are just more pressing things to fork out for. High-end beauty products are a real treat, and lately I've really been limiting my spending on the unnecessary.
I'm always on the hunt for a fabulous primer, and for a while now a couple of offerings from Smashbox have been keeping me content (reviews to come), but as I'm nearing the end of my latest tube, I'm ready to give the Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch a good go. I used to be happy to skip on a base product, imagining them to be nothing more than a costly gimmick, but having tried a couple of disappointing ones to begin with, I now couldn't live without a primer. They increase the longevity of my makeup no end, and I couldn't be happier to have finally cottoned on to what I had been choosing to ignore. I can't wait to pair this up with Nars Sheer Glow for a dewy yet flawless finish.
Next up, I cannot wait to get my hands on a bottle of the Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia Cologne. Having snapped myself up Pomegranate Noir for the winter months and fallen in love, my thoughts are already turning to Spring, and frankly I can't think of anything I'd rather smell of!
I'm always game for a new lip product, and these Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks have been on my mind for some time. Sadly, there aren't any stockists near me, and I'm quite fussy with makeup in that I like to see it in the flesh before taking the plunge. However, I'm off up to London next month, and these are high on my Space NK / Liberty's shopping list. I'm not one for lip gloss, but these dry to a highly pigmented, non-sticky finish, and last for hours. Win.
Last up, I've had my eye (!) on the Ren Active 7 Eye Gel ever since I finished up the free sample I picked up with a magazine some weeks back. Soothing and cooling, this is the perfect early morning pick-me-up, banishing puffiness and leaving my peepers looking a whole lot perkier. Check out the aliteration on that.

What's top of your beauty wishlist at the moment?
Is there anything that keeps popping up on yours?


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