Friday, April 18, 2014

Cult Beauty Wishlist

Studio 10 Visible Lift Face Definer  //  Aromatherapy Associates Relax Balm  //  Anastasia Brow Wiz  //  Elemis Jasmine & Rose Bath Milk  //  Aesop Control  //  EOS Honeysuckle Honeydew Lip Balm  

So I might have been having a little bit of a browse on Cult Beauty lately, and if you think it was the first time then you'd be very wrong. I often find myself clicking between that site and Space NK, longing to fill my virtual shopping basket and skip happily to the checkout, but with the prices of premium brands these days it is rarely something that happens - and when it does, I'm more likely to be hanging my head with guilt.

But there's something about such products that are hard for a beauty blogger to resist - or anyone else who enjoys trying and testing high end makeup and skincare, for that matter.

I am completely new to Studio 10, and have never, ever tried any of their products. But the second I saw this Visible Lift Face Definer palette, I knew I had to have it. The muted taupe shade is completely perfect for contouring - with grey tones rather than orange, it would create a really realistic shadow, giving anyone cheekbones to die for. I'm intrigued by the gel blush, too, as I can't say I've ever come across such a formula in the past, but it certainly looks to be a gorgeous, bright shade for Summer. And who doesn't love a highlighter? At £30 for all three, I think it would be well worth the investment, and is a great way to sample a few products from a new brand, all in one go.

I'm a terrible stress head, and by that I mean that I worry and fret about almost everything. Sometimes I think I'm going to drive myself mad, and with my mind racing at a million miles an hour on a regular basis, I've tried pretty much every relaxation remedy out there.
So it comes as no surprise that I gravitated straight towards the Aromatherapy Associates Relax Balm. With a mix of vetyver, chamomile and sandalwood essential oils, this strikes me as quite a different blend from the ones I have tried before, and as such, I'm hopeful that it might provide some new relief!

I'm a little bit obsessed with defining my brows, as I think that doing so can make a real difference to any face. I'm always looking out for the best new brow products on the market, and the Anastasia Brow Wiz ticks all the boxes. With a skinny, mechanical nib it mimmicks even the finest of hairs, giving you absolute control with a really natural looking result.
I must admit, the last three items were added on a whim. I am in love with Elemis bath milks -when it comes to hydration and baby soft skin, nothing else comes close. At £42, I doubt I'd bite the bullet and purchase one myself (I was lucky enough to win one in the past), but it's always nice to dream.
EOS lip balms are always welcome in my handbag, as they smell amazing and get the job done in a pleasant and effective manner. The new honeysuckle honeydew offering sounds like just my cup of tea, and perfect to replace my minty winter Carmex.
I rarely get blemishes these days, but everyone could do with having a secret weapon on hand for the odd occasion they do decide to make an appearance. You can bet your bottom dollar it'll be the most inconvenient timing of all, so the Aesop Control is firmly on my radar. With witch hazel, lemon peel, rosemary leaf and sage oils - alongside antibacterial tea tree and exfoliating salicylic acid to chemically resurface and ease congestion, this one is bound to be a winner.
Better start saving my pennies!

Do you shop at Cult Beauty?
What's on your shopping list this week?


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hydrating Skincare: From Winter to Spring

The weather may be getting warmer, and the evenings longer and lighter, but that doesn't always mean you can slack off on the skincare front. In fact, a sudden change in the climate, and weather that can't make up its mind can wreak havoc on the skin, making it more important than ever to ensure that it's taken care of.

When it comes to hydration, I have a few trusty favourites that I know I can reach for whatever the time of year, and they will always get things sorted in no time. A common mistake a lot of people make is to think that if they haven't got any dry or flaky patches, then their skin is not dehydrated, but actually, this is a long way from the truth in many cases. Personally, I don't tend to suffer from the former, but I'd definitely put a tick in the latter box from time to time. Usual triggers for me are leaving makeup on for too long or skipping on exfoliation (I tend to use AHA toners rather than manual scrubs), but often, an unstable climate is to blame.

The Elemental Herbology Cell Food Serum* is a favourite of mine when I feel that my skin could do with a boost. Containing a powerhouse of proteins, vitamins and minerals, a couple of drops of this applied after my toner and before my moisturiser in the mornings make all the difference when it comes to radiance and vitality. On its own, it doesn't pack enough of a moisturising punch though, so I follow up with my go-to morning and evening moisturiser, Origins Make a Difference Rejuvenating Treatment Plus. With a deliciously orangey fragrance, this is a gel-cream, so although it's incredibly hydrating, it won't feel heavy or greasy on the skin like some products can. It sinks in like a dream, leaving my skin soft and plump, and I know it's a product I can always rely on to keep things in check.

The Balance Me Radiance Oil* is an extra little night time treat, and if my skin is feeling particularly out of sorts then I often mix a couple of drops of this in with my night cream. With a divine herbal scent, it sinks in fairly well - but I'd always recommend pinning your fringe back if you don't want to have to wash it in the morning. The Radiance Oil really does do what it says on the tin, and my complexion looks brighter and healthier after a couple of uses.

I really do find that hydration makes the biggest difference to the appearance of my skin as a whole, as when it's in need of a little extra moisture I look tired and drawn by comparison. It doesn't take much to get things back on track, and it's always worth the extra effort.

What are your go-to products when it comes to giving your skin a moisture boost?
Have you added any new products to your skincare arsenal of late?


Balance Me Radiance Oil review
Elemental Herbology Cell Food Serum Review

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?

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