Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Empties #1

I am terrible for not finishing products. Shampoos, conditioners, foundations and whatever else sit with only a few days worth of product left while I move on to the next one. Lately, I’ve been trying to finish off as many products as possible in an attempt to clear out my cupboards. I love reading empties posts, so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and start showing off my rubbish too! 

Empties

Ojon Revitalising Mist - this is lovely leave in conditioner that really hydrates the hair but doesn’t leave it feeling heavy or oily. Unlike a lot of spray leave in conditioners this is a proper mist so the product is distributed evenly through the hair. I’m not sure I would pay £20.50 to repurchase but I did enjoy using it. 
L’Oreal Mythic Oil - I’ve spoken about how this is my go-to hair oil here. It really keeps my hair calm and smooths everything down. As you’ll have seen from my post, I do have a few oils on the go but once I’ve finished up a few more hair oils I definitely will repurchase this one.
Klorane Mango Butter Conditioning Balm - another go-to product. This conditioner is one of the few conditioners that manages to hydrate my unruly hair while not weighing it down. I have a backup ready as I mentioned in my Escentual post.
Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair - another hydrating leave in conditioner which helps hydrate, detangle and helps protect hair from heat. Again, I did love this product but I’m not sure I would £22.50 to repurchase. 
Klorane Oatmilk Gentle Dry Shampoo - I’ve spoken about my love for this product in one of my first posts. I have 2 backups, need I say more? 

Empties

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm - this is my favourite for cleansing my skin after I've taken my makeup off. It gently cleanses the skin without any fussy ingredients. As much as I love Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, since I swapped over to this my skin has been a lot clearer. I’ve already repurchased and no doubt I’ll pick up another backup soon.
Origins Make a Difference Plus - I use this every morning. It’s perfect for keeping my skin hydrated without making my skin oily. A lot of moisturisers break my skin out but I've never had any issues with Make a Difference Plus. I stocked up on this before I left Estee Lauder so I have another 2 waiting. 

Empties

Cutex nail polish remover - I’m not fussy with nail polish remover, as long as isn’t too harsh on my nails or too expensive I’ll use anything. 
The Body Shop Papaya Body Butter - for dry skin, this body butter is amazing. If you read my Body Shop Bargain post, you’ll know I have 3 more waiting. I can't seem to find this one online anymore but I haven't found a Body Shop Body Butter that I haven't liked.


Empties

Estee Lauder Suptious Infinite Mascara - this was a lovely mascara, it lengthened and separated and the staying power was great. I really liked the plastic wand, it was easy to use and didn't go clumpy. I have quite a few mascaras in my drawer but I would buy this again. 

Estee Lauder Suptious Infinite Mascara


Do you find finishing a product satisfying or is that just me being weird?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

What I've Been Reading #2

2. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
3. Asylum by Madeleine Roux
4. Looking for Alaska by John Greene
5. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
7. The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg, Rod Bradbury
I bought The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair after Ruth from A Model Recommends tweeted raving about it. Oh my goodness, this is probably my favourite book of the year so far. It was full of twists and it kept you guessing throughout. Without giving too much away, I understand why it’s been compared to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (another amazing book). It’s just not your typical crime novel. 

If you like lies, deceit, drugs, affairs and vengeance, The Luminaries is one to read. For me, it was just too long. I read on my kindle so I’m very rarely aware of just how long a book is but I was definitely aware of the 849 pages with this one. About half way through I found myself drifting off. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s overrated because it’s certainly well written and I has an original concept but I feel it could have been half the length.

Asylum is one of the suggested books after Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (which is being turned into a film!), so I was excited to read this. It has the same kinda creepy pictures but other than that I didn’t really see the comparison. Dan goes to a summer school in an old Mental Asylum and finds all sorts of creepy goings on. Throw in a serial killer and some patient experiments and you’ve basically got a kiddie version of American Horror Story. The characters were just a bit meh and near the end it’s almost as if the author got bored. It was just a bit of an anticlimax. 

I love a bit of teen fiction. I loved The Fault in our Stars, it’s one of 3 books that’s made me cry (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and One Day were the other 2 in case you’re wondering). Looking for Alaska was another beautifully written book from Greene and really gets into the head of a teenage boy. No doubt you’ll see Paper Towns  mentioned in August’s book post.

If you haven’t read A Thousand Splendid Suns you definitely need to add it to your to-read list. This book truly moved me, I read this book over 4 years ago and still remember the emotion, injustice and frustration I felt when I was reading it. Although And the Mountains Echoed didn’t quite have the same effect, it was still wonderfully written. It’s based on a family that was torn apart and how their lives change and how they rebuild their lives and families. 

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is absolutely crazy. I can’t think of any other way to describe it. You find Allan on his 100th birthday and basically in the middle of a crime spree. In between the drama you find out about how he met American Presidents, helped build the atom bomb and basically played a part in most of the major historical events throughout his life time. I could not put this book down. 

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is another badass pensioners book. This book is so funny and quirky but it doesn’t have quite the same draw as The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. A group of pensions are fed up in their nursing home and decide to rob a museum. As you do. This was really easy to read and would be perfect for taking on holiday.

What have you been reading lately?

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Party Holiday Makeup Essentials - From Dippy Writes

Here is my third instalment on Dippy Writes -

For a clubbing holiday, it’s all about night time. Chances are you’ll spend your day lazing by the pool (possibly hungover), then be off to get down with your bad self at night (I’m sorry, I just at myself too). With the heat, humidity and all the boogying you’ll be doing, I think the key will be a combination of products that will see you through the early hours, so hopefully my selection of long wearing products will help!



For base, I’ve went with something with a little more coverage than my previous posts. Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Light is a gorgeous medium coverage foundation which will help brighten and even out skin tone to keep you looking fresh every night and with that little bit more coverage you’re covered it you get a booze fuelled break out. Although the foundation does have an SPF, it’s photo stable so you won’t end up looking like a ghost in photos. And of course, the Double Wear range is known for it’s amazing staying power. For cheeks, I’d take Estee Lauder’s Star Bronzer. The one I have was from a couple of years ago, but they bring out a similar type of product every year. This is perfect for adding a bit of definition to the cheeks or to add some warmth all over. 

To maximise dancing time, a smokey eye will be cause less drama than a bold lip. No need to worry about touching up after all those cocktails. To keep everything bright and to make everything last that bit longer, Nars Eyeshadow Primer is my lid base of choice. This is amazing, it’s the only eyeshadow primer that actually makes a difference on my oily lids. Benefit’s Smoking Eyes Kit is a great all-in-one product as it has all you need for a simple grey smokey eye as well as a brow wax and a milky pink gel for keeping those eyes looking bright. The instructions that come with the product are great - all you do is use the light pink on the brow bone, cover the lid with the medium grey, then line with the black. Or if you like something a bit more dramatic you could dap your brush into the grey and the black to mix then blend into the crease. To finish off the eyes, Lancome Doll Eyes Waterproof Mascara is perfect. It gives a gorgeous wide eyed look and the waterproof formula means you won’t need to worry about panda eyes. Even after a foam party.

To finish everything off, pop on a light peachy pink lipstick or gloss. I love Estee Lauder’s Hint of Peach. It’s a gorgeous creamy texture which hydrates the lips and the colour is such a pretty peach colour. Perfect to balance out that smokey eye. 

Do you have any other party holiday suggestions? 


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Holiday Wish List - Swimwear

Top - 1 - 2 - 3
Bottom - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4


It’s 3 weeks on Thursday until I go on holiday - not that I’m counting down or anything. I’ve picked up a few bits and bobs in the sales lately but I’m still on the hunt for a few things for the pool and I also fancy picking up a new pair of sunglasses. 

I’m not confident enough with my body to wear a typical bikini but I don’t know if I’d maybe feel a bit better with high waisted bottoms (my tummy is my problem area). Topshop and Dorothy Perkins have some lovely options but I think I’d need to try these bikinis on to see whether I’d feel comfortable enough in them. The swimming suits would definably be a good option for me, both of these are very cute and it’s more the sort of thing I’m used to.

As I’m extremely fair I thought a light kimono would be a good option for covering my shudders (even though I tend to stay under an umbrella I like to be cautious). This one from New Look is really simple and would be perfect if I went for a slightly brighter swimming suit.

I’ve had my eye on Ray Ban Clubmasters for a while now but I just don’t feel I can justify paying £200 for sunglasses when I live in Scotland. These would be a great option and are from Asos so they’re a lot more affordable. The other sunglasses are from Michael Kors and I absolutely love the shape and size of these.


Are you getting organised to go on holiday? What do you like to wear at the pool?

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Bootea - My Experience

While I was writing my dissertation last year I used running as a way of unwinding and taking my mind off all things uni related. I’ve never been sporty and I’ve never particularly enjoyed exercise but I found that running fitted quite easily into my routine - to be honest, it was probably just another way of procrastinating. Food wise, I certainly didn’t cut anything out of my diet entirely (I’m sorry but if you’re writing a 15,000 dissertation chocolate is necessary), but I was more conscious of what I was eating. I managed to lose quite a bit of weight for graduating and I was feeling healthy. Since leaving uni and working full time, my weight has gradually crept back up and I’ve struggled to get back into a routine with running. Last month I joined a gym near my work which is a lot better as I don’t have the 45 minute train home to convince myself that I’m too tired or hungry to go back out to run. As I’m going on holiday in 5 weeks I thought I’d try something to give my weight loss mission a little boost, I’d heard a few people speaking about Bootea and after doing some searching online I’d found some people who’d seen great results with the tea helping to reduce bloating, water retention and giving their weight loss a kick start. I’m not a believer in fad diets, weight loss pills or anything like that - weight loss is about hard work, I know that - but I’m also aware of the amazing things green tea can do for your body and Bootea is essentially a super version of green tea. 

bootea


Bootea essentially cleanses your body. You drink the morning tea every morning and then the nighttime tea every second night. You drink this for either 14 days (£19.99) or 28 days (£34.99) depending on the plan you choose, I went for the 14 Day Teatox. The morning tea contains Chinese Oolong tea, Maté leaves, Ginger root, Fennel seeds, Lemongrass, Dandelion leaf, Ginseng root, Gotu Kola leaves and Nettle leaves. It works to give your metabolism a boost and help suppress your appetite so you’re less likely to snack throughout the day. It’s pleasant enough to drink, it tastes quite similar to normal green tea. The nighttime tea contains Senna leaves, Peppermint leaves, Fenugreek seeds, Liquorice root, Burdock root, Hawthorn leaves, Valerian root and Psyllium seeds. This basically gives your digestive system a cleanse (yes, that means what you think it means), which is meant to stop extra calories being stored as fat. This one isn’t so pleasant to drink. It’s drinkable, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not a taste I would choose. 

On Friday I finished my final tea and I can report that I seen absolutely no difference. After about the third day I felt as though I wasn’t as bloated but that was short lived. There is a suggested eating plan which I took suggestions from but I didn’t follow it religiously (I calmed down on the bread, pasta etc and upped my salad and veg intake like I did before). It says you should avoid alcohol, which I did. It says you should avoid red meat which isn’t an issue for me as I don’t eat red meat anyway. As well as not losing weight, I also found that I was getting a sore stomach for most of the day after the nighttime tea and in week 2 I ended up with a cold. Now, I’m obviously not saying that the tea gave me a cold, but at the start I was feeling fine and full of energy and I’ve finished feeling run down and a bit yucky. Whether or not this is just a coincidence, I’m not entirely sure. I can also say that when I ordered the tea I was given a 20% off code for family and friends which I sent to a few people at my work. Two of them ordered the 14 Day Teatox and started drinking the tea the same day as I did and at the end of their course, they’ve also not noticed a difference.

Moral of the story - if I want to lose weight, I hit the gym. 


Have you tried Bootea

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

City Break Makeup Essentials - From Dippy Writes


Here is part 2 of my holiday series on Dippy Writes

Last time I spoke about beach holidays and today I’m going to chat a bit about city breaks. As much as I love lazing about a pool or on the beach, city breaks are without a doubt my favourite type of holiday. I love sight seeing, wandering through museums and experiencing the different cultures. Packing for city breaks is a little more tricky than for a beach holiday because it’ll obviously depend on exactly where you’re going and what you’re going to be doing. I’ve got a little selection of products which would be a decent starting point and hopefully will cover most eventualities! 



As horrible as it is to say, so many cities are known for the high levels of pollution so for a base, I thought Clinique’s City Block would be a good option. It has a light coverage, an SPF of 25 and is packed full of antioxidants so it should help balance out some of the nasties from the atmosphere. This is lovely on it’s own but if you would prefer to use a foundation on a city break, it’s acts as a good base and with SPF 25, you can’t really go wrong. As for cheeks, Benefit’s Benetint is one of my favourites for it’s staying power and lovely rose colour. If you’re heading out sightseeing all day then going straight for dinner and drinks, then this will see you through to the end. Brush on whiskers (3 stripes along your apples), then blend out for a healthy flush of colour (remember to do one cheek at a time or those whiskers will be permanent!). To set all of this, Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder is a great option as it’s feels light on your skin but is waterproof (or sweat proof depending on where you’re going). Just take a mini kabuki brush for convenience and you’re set (no pun intended).

As for eyes, I’ve picked Urban Decay’s Naked 2 and Benefit’s They’re Real Push Up Liner. They’re Real Push Up Liner is a recent purchase for me but one I very quickly fell in love with. The design of the tip makes it really easy to follow the shape of you eye and the staying power is amazing, it’s perfect as part of the classic french flick and red lips. You can read my full review here. I’m sure the Naked 2 palette needs no introduction. The cool toned taupes remains a firm favourite in my makeup bag and is perfect for day and night. For a light day time look simply pat Booty Call on the centre of you lid, blend Tease into the crease and line with They’re Real. If you like something a bit more dramatic for night, use Suspect all over the lid, blend Pistol into the crease then intensify the crease with Busted. For added drama, you could always add a flick with They’re Real Liner. Just finish these looks off with Estee Lauder Sumptuous Infinite mascara for added length and volume then brush Mac Brow Set through your brows for a light tint.

For lips, I’ve went for a Clinique Chubby Stick in Chunky Cherry. I love Chubby Sticks, they’re perfect for just throwing for a light colour and added moisture. This light, rosey red colour is gorgeous on it’s own, but it matches Benetint perfectly if you wanted a slightly more intense colour. 

Are you off on a city break this year? What will you be taking?



Monday, 21 July 2014

Holiday Hair - Controlling the Frizz

I have a guest post over on Lipgloss and Lashes, I thought I would share it over here too!

Remember that episode of Friends where Monica goes to Barbados and her hair practically explodes? My hair is naturally like that. Not in a cute, naturally curly kind of way - think more Merida from Brave. No joke. I’m Nikki from Nikki and Things and I have large hair. I’ve put together a little list of how I fight the frizz and hopefully this might help if you too get Monica hair on holiday.

1. Smooth it
Over the years, through trial and a lot of error, I’ve managed to find some products which help control my hair. Or as my old flatmate used to say, “help tame the beast”. These types of products are perfect on holiday where the humidity can wreck havoc on even the most well behaved hair. After washing my hair, I comb through a 2p sized amount of oil to the lengths of my hair. For my naturally dry, frizzy hair, I find that using a slightly thicker oil is best as it almost weighs the lengths down. Redken Diamond Oil Intense and L’Oréal Mythic Rich Oil  are two of my favourites for this. If your hair isn’t as naturally frizzy as mine the original versions are lovely and won’t leave your hair looking oily. After I’ve dried and styled my hair (thank goodness for GHDs), I use Tigi Bedhead Headrush Shine Spray (http://www.feelunique.com/p/TIGI-Bed-Head-Headrush-Shine-Spray-200ml) on the lengths, taking great care to avoid the top of my hair roots as it can leave hair looking oily and weighed down. I first bought this spray when everyone wanted glossy, poker straight hair but I’ve since found that it acts as a really good finishing spray and works really well in humidity. 

fighting frizz

2. Restrain it
If you’re more the get up and go type of girl, the pineapple is a classic and takes next to no time. I love this when I’m lazing about by the pool or lying on the beach on holiday as it keeps everything off my face so my hair isn’t getting covered in suncream and sweat (I know, horrible image, I’m sorry). I’m also very aware of how much heat I use on my hair and if your hair is anything like mine in humidity, any style will be long gone by the end of the night let alone the following day. One of the good things about frizz is the natural texture it gives your hair - think more mess and better staying power. To make things even bigger, I like Ojon Hydrating Volumising Foam it gives hair a bit of a boost and injects a bit more moisture into the ends. Just run a pump of mouse through the lengths of your hair, give your hair a bit of a scrunch and leave to air dry. Or if your hair needs a bit more help on the texture front, Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Holding Foam is great for giving your hair a bit more curl, just take care not to use too much as this one can go a bit crispy. After that, all you need is to twist your hair up into a bun, secure with a bobble and some kirby grips and pull out for a messier, fuller look. 



3. Embrace it
Alternatively, you can always embrace the volume. Just add some texturising products (it helps make it look like that was the look you were going for) like Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray or Bumble and Bumble BB Texture Creme, leave to air dry, then ruffle up the roots with Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finishing Spray. The weight of the products will give some hold and prevent your hair from looking fluffy while helping create natural waves. You could add a pretty hair band, or try your hand at a Pinterest plait through your fringe and you’re good to go.  


Do you have any hair care secrets to fight the frizz on holiday?

Becky was so kind for giving me a spot on her blog while she's on holiday. I've read Becky's blog for a long time, she has such a great variety of posts and her photography is always beautiful!






Friday, 18 July 2014

Beach Holiday Make Up Essentials - From Dippy Write

I’ve got a little guest blog series over on Dippy Writes, if you missed it over on Albertine’s blog here it is here - 

While Albertine is off having a great and hopefully relaxing time, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to have a look at some summer makeup essentials to suit all of your holiday destinations. I’m off to Portugal in August, so I thought I’d start off with a beach holiday.  

During the day I only wear a little bit of blush to give me a bit of colour, mascara and some lipbalm. And of course, a good SPF. I find cream blushers last a lot longer on the skin than powder, which is something worth considering especially if you’re going to be topping suncream up throughout the day. My favourite cream blush is Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks. These give a lovely amount of colour and the staying power is fab. The colour I have for this look is Cabo Coral, a gorgeous peachy coral - unfortunately this was a limited edition coral but Calypso Coral is very similar (I think I actually prefer Calypso Coral as it’s slightly pinker). You can pop a bit on your apples then blend with your fingers but I usually use the Real Techniques Stippling Brush to avoid putting too much on. The Pot Rouge also doubles up as a long wearing lip colour, so perfect for popping in your bag for top ups. And it means you can get away with bringing one less lipstick!


Even if you don’t go in the pool, a waterproof mascara is essential. A waterproof mascara is going to withstand sweat, humidity and whatever else is thrown your way while holding a decent curl. For daily wear, I like Mac Splashproof Lash. The brush separates while giving volume and length and it’s still intact after being thrown in the pool (I speak from personal experience…). 

If you read my blog, you’ll know how much I love Korres Lip Butters so it was an obvious choice for me when putting this look together. To keep with the coral theme, I picked up Mango, a vibrant coral colour. These lip butters contain shea butter and rice extract so not only do they give your lips a gorgeous light, glossy colour, but they also deeply hydrate so they’re great for day and night.

For evenings, I like to pop on a tinted moisturiser to give me a little bit of coverage. Bobbi Brown’s Tinted Moisturisers are perfect as they give a light coverage and some extra hydration. A bronzer is another beach holiday essential (especially if you don’t take much of a tan like me!), Laura Mercier Dune Bronzer  is a slightly cooler toned brown and perfect for us pale girls. To keep those brows in check, Benefit’s Gimme Brow gives a light tint and is perfect for keeping everything in place.

And finally, an eyeshadow palette which caters to all sorts of looks! Urban Decay’s Naked Palette is a firm favourite for bronzed goddesses, with the mixture of matte and shimmer brown and gold toned shadows. All you need is some fluffy brushes, a blending brush and an angled brush and you’re good to go! For a light, subtle look take Sin all over the lid and blend Half Baked in the crease and under your bottom lashes. If you like something a bit more smokey, Half Baked is gorge all over the lid with Smog blended in the outer third of the lid, then Hustle used as a liner along the lash line and underneath. 



Do you have any other Beach Holiday essentials?




Thursday, 17 July 2014

Taming the 'fro - Hair Oils

Hair oils are one of the few products that make a massive difference to my hair on a daily basis. I have naturally dry/curly/frizzy hair so any product that gives extra moisture and helps smooth everything down is a winner in my books. I have 4 in my hair basket at the moment, although 3 are almost finished. 

hair oil

I can’t say that I’m a massive fan of Ojon Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy. I actually find it to be a bit too heavy for my hair (and that’s saying something). When I only use a couple of drops it doesn’t really make much of a difference to my hair but if I use the same amount of oil that I would with any of the other brand, it leaves my hair looking oily and feeling heavy. To use it up, I’ve mainly been using it as a pre shampoo treatment or mixing it with Redken Extreme Anti Snap Treatment (or a similar leave in conditioner) to dilute it. Ojon have other variations of this oil so I may pick up a slightly lighter texture in the future as I am a massive Ojon fan as a whole.

Kerastase is definitely my favourite brand for hair oils. At the moment I have Kerastase Elixir Ultime with Immortal Moringa for Damaged Hair which is lovely. It’s so hydrating but it doesn’t weigh my hair down. I mainly use this when I’m going to use heat on my hair as the ingredients actually repair hair and deep hydrate as opposed to just smoothing everything over. 

I was given Redken Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine Intense as a Christmas present and despite using it regularly on wet hair, as a pre shampoo treatment and as a finishing product, I’ve barely made a dent in the bottle. This oil is a lovely rich treatment which leaves hair feeling super smooth and nourished but I would say that it is very easy to use too much. This is another one I like to mix with Redken Extreme Anti Snap Treatment for daily wear although it’s more because I like how it hydrates and conditions without feeling as though I’m using as many hair products rather than because I’m trying to use it up. As a pre shampoo treatment I just run a few pipets worth of product through the lengths of my hair and then tie my hair up for it to do it’s thing. More often than not I leave it on overnight and wash it out in the morning. Redken also suggest mixing this with your usual deep conditioner, I haven’t tried this yet but I definitely will in the future.

When I’m planning on just tying my hair up, L’Oreal Mythic Oil Rich is my go-to oil. This is rich enough that it helps smooth out my hair when I’m just leaving it to dry naturally (it helps prevent a Monica in Barbados style ‘do), but doesn’t leave my hair feeling like it needs washed the following day. This oil is a bit silicone heavy so I’m aware that it probably isn’t doing very much to actually benefit my hair in the long run, but it is a lovely oil if you’re just looking to smooth things out.

Hopefully you’ll see a few of these in an empties post shortly! I’m really bad for not using the last of a product so I don’t have to throw it out. Surely I can’t be the only person who does this?


What hair oils do you like? Do you have any other recommendations? 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Pale Girl Foundation

Being as pale as I am, I’ve always had difficulties getting foundation. I have ginger skin without the ginger hair, it’s quite the anomaly. I remember the first time I found a foundation that was the perfect colour for my skin, it was at Bobbi Brown in House of Fraser in Glasgow. I’d just recently started working at Benefit but at the time they only sold Play Sticks and their lightest colour was too dark for me. Until then, I only really used concealer and a bit of powder as I was pretty fortunate with my skin. One of the store managers told me that I wasn’t wearing enough makeup (I had on all of the usual products with the exception of foundation, so looking back on this now I get pretty angry that I didn’t stand up for myself), so I found myself on the hunt for a foundation. I tried on so many foundations but not one blended into my skin (despite what the girls working on the counters said - you’re better going outside to check yourself). I was getting pretty frustrated until I started speaking to one of the girls working at Bobbi Brown. The girl was great, she sat me down and started showing me a few colours. I went outside to look in natural light and it was love at first sight. I actually hugged the girl and I’m not hugger. The first foundation that actually matched my skin was Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation in 00 Alabaster. It was not long after this I started reading blogs and watching Youtube reviews of girls who had similar skin tones. I started trying their recommendations and through working in a beauty hall, I started playing more with the different foundations and found a few more gems that were actually the right colour for my skin. Since then, I’ve found quite a few foundations that work for my skin tone in a range of finishes and levels of coverage. 

Foundation Pale Skin

The Tinted Moisturiser 
Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturiser in Alabaster Tint - this lightweight tinted moisturiser offers a sheer coverage to help even out skin tone. Perfect for in summer when you’re looking for something a bit more natural. I wear this every day to work and it’s still on when I come home. 

Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturiser

The Light Coverage Foundations
Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturising Foundation in 00 Alabaster - hydrating, light coverage foundation. This has a lovely finish but the staying power isn’t great. I believe they have reformulated this one, so that might be something they improved on. 

Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturising Foundation

YSL Touche Eclat Foundation in BR10 - I LOVE this foundation. This foundation builds up really well so although I’ve put it in the light coverage category, it could just as easily fit in to the medium coverage section. The colour of this is perfect for me, it’s light enough but with cooler tones. The finish is gorgeous, it’s dewy but not shiny. As for the staying power, it’s not a foundation I would wear to work but with primer and a bit of powder, it’s not bad. I wear this mainly at weekends, going out for dinner etc.

SL Touche Eclat Foundation

The Medium Coverage Foundations
MAC Studio Sculpt in NC15 - I go through phases with this foundation. Sometimes I feel like it leaves my skin looking great, other times it seems make me look scaly by clinging to any little dry patches of skin. When it’s behaving, the gel formula blends in beautifully leaving a medium coverage with a slightly dewy finish. The colour is gorgeous too, another one that has just enough pink to it. 

MAC Studio Sculpt

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Soft Ivory - this foundation is beautiful, it blends seamlessly into the skin. It covers well and the staying power is great (I do find that I need a powder top up in the middle of the day if I’m wearing it to work though) yet it leaves a luminous finish. Normally you don’t seem to get a middle ground with foundation, you either get good staying power with a matte finish or a dewy finish with average staying power, this foundation is the exception.

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation

The Full Coverage Foundations
Bobbi Brown Long Wear Even Finish Foundation in 0 Porcelain - this foundation is great if you need a bit more coverage but still want something that looks natural. Although this foundation promises to keep skin hydrated I do find that it sometimes clings to dry patches. I have the second lightest colour which is an ok match in the summer but I do feel like I need to blend it out slightly with bronzer. 


Bobbi Brown Long Wear Even Finish Foundation

Estee Lauder Double Wear in Shell - when my skin isn’t looking it’s best, nothing beats Double Wear. The full coverage foundation leaves skin looking flawless and the staying power is amazing - most of the girls who work on cosmetics counters wear this. I do find it slightly heavy to wear on it’s own every day, so I usually mix it with a little Clarins Beauty Flash Balm for a more medium coverage. This is perfect for even the most oily skinned girls. Shell is quite pink but they also have Ivory Nude which is a little more neutral but still light enough for us super pale girls. 
Estee Lauder Double Wear

I’d definitely say that Bobbi Brown and Mac are the best place to start if you have difficulties finding a foundation to match your skin. A lot of the other brands don’t offer the same selection of colours in all of their foundation ranges so sometimes it’s a bit of a hit or miss. Don’t be shy to ask for a sample. If they don’t have a pot you can always nip to Boots to get a pot and ask them to give you a little drop to try. I know how much money I’ve wasted buying foundation only to take it home and realise that the colour isn’t right, so I very rarely will buy a foundation without having tried it a few times first.

Do you have problems finding the right colour of foundation?

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Oils

Oily skinned ladies, do not fear the oil! Yes, I know this is old news and I’m no doubt preaching to the converted but I thought that I’d give a little summary of the oils that have helped me go from grease face to… not to grease face. I still have pretty combination skin but it’s no where near as bad as it used to be and I think a lot of it has to do with not being afraid to use products which promise to hydrate and moisturise. 

face oil


Trilogy Rose Hip Oil was my first step into the world of oils and as I’m sure you’ll soon tell, I never looked back. I first picked up this oil because I was looking for something that would help reduce the scars left on my skin from previous blemishes, which it did to an extent, but I was more impressed with how soft and hydrated my skin felt the following morning. I wasn’t left congested and my skin didn’t look oilier than usual. After a breakout, I press a few drops of the oil on to my skin under my moisturiser. 

The Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil is the best all rounder. This oil is slightly heavier than the Trilogy version but still doesn’t leave my skin congested, I’ve actually found it helps calm angry, under the skin blemishes down. The oil helps your skin repair itself and again, is great for scarring. Also, when my psoriasis is looking a bit out of hand, I rub this in at night and in the morning it’s a lot calmer and the flakes are gone. I find it’s a little bit too heavy for my skin for every day use in the summer but it’s lovely mixed in with my moisturiser. 

At the moment, the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil is getting the most use. The naturally astringent properties mean this is perfect for when I have a few blemishes and although it is still hydrating, it feels light on my skin. In my last post I wrote about the products I love for when my skin starts breaking out, this is another great addition that helps calm everything down while still hydrating your face. It day say that this can be used alone, but even with slightly oily skin, I feel I still need a moisturiser on top. 

What are your favourite oils?



Thursday, 10 July 2014

Bringing out the Big Guns - Breakout Edition

My skin is really temperamental. One day I can look in the mirror and think things are looking ok and the next day I’m break out central. My skin is on the oily side of combination but my skin can be pretty reactive. Over the last few months I’ve found a selection of products which have been working to calm breakouts down without leaving my skin a dry, scaly mess. 

blemish prone skin


First up is Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser, this foaming cleanser contains salicylic acid which is well known for helping clear skin up. It was designed with oily/blemish prone skin in mind so it works to control oil production and gently exfoliate to keep skin clear. I’m not a fan of foaming cleansers as a whole and this one can definitely be a bit drying, but it’s a great option to thoroughly cleanse the skin when things get out of hand. My skin doesn’t really like change so I only use this in the morning until my skin starts to calm down.

Aveda Outer Peace Blemish Spot Relief is without a doubt the best all round spot treatment I’ve tried. It calms redness, reduces spots over night but is gentle enough that it doesn’t leave my skin looking scaly. And it doesn’t nip like some of the other blemish treatments I’ve tried (Clinique Blemish Gel, I’m looking at you). It goes on clear and doesn’t leave a film so it’s also safe to use at work if you need a bit of extra help during the day.

For a more intense treatment, Origins Out of Trouble Mask has been a saviour of mine on more than one occasion. This mask works to absorb oil, gently exfoliate (so it’s great for when you’re skin is a bit congested) and clear out pores. It can be a little intense so I tend to only use this when I have a cystic breakout and I only use this where I need to. If I have a beast of a blemish I’ve also found myself putting this directly on the spot and leaving it to do it’s thing over night. My first instinct when my skin is acting up is USE ALL THE MASKS but in reality this just doing more harm than good with the amount of active ingredients in products for oily/blemish prone skin. Using this once a week then a lighter clarifying mask mid week will help clear your skin but without drying everything out. 

Keeping the moisture balance up is a big factor in reducing the chances of scarring, this is where Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair comes into play. ANR works to repair your skin at a cellular level and the Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II works to clear out cellular debris while you sleep all the while holding on to the moisture levels in your skin. I just pop a moisturiser on top (even over the blemish) and things tend to have calmed down considerably come morning.

What do you use when your skin is acting up?




Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Sales make me happy - ASOS, Warehouse and Topshop

I love sales. I especially love online sales where you avoid people pushing, messy rails and the sheer disappointment when you see the most amazing dress but can’t find your size. Last month I found myself struggling to find anything in my wardrobe to suit the sudden hint of summer we seen in Scotland - I’m a jumper and jeans kind of girl - so when the sales started I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to pick up a few things to inject a bit of colour and some summer clothes into my wardrobe. 



Warehouse orange top - £12 from £28
Topshop Gingham Cigarette Trousers - £25 from £42

ASOS Skater Dress - £11 from £28


Pink Warehouse top - £12 from £28

ASOS Heart Print Cami - £8 from £15



Yellow Warehouse Dress - £30 from £50


ASOS Kimono - £30 (ok, this one wasn't on sale but it's really pretty)


ASOS Kimono - £15 from £30

I'm far from a fashionista - I know that. I love reading fashion magazines and blogs but when it comes to dressing my self I'm always very safe and stick to what I know suits my shape (or at least what I feel suits my shape), so if you have any of your own fashion posts or recommendations I'd love to read them. This is adventurous for me! 

Have you managed to nab any good bargains in the sales?





Sunday, 6 July 2014

Escentual Lovin'

Escentual is definitely one of my favourite online retailers. Their French Pharmacy promotion is probably one of the reasons why. Escentual stock a great selection of Bioderma, La Rochey Posay, Avene, Caudalie etc and occasionally they offer up to a third off. While the promotion was on I thought I better stock up on a few essentials. 

ecsentual


The Klorane Mango Butter Conditioning Balm is my go-to conditioner at the moment. It’s rich enough that it helps hydrate my naturally dry, curly hair without weighing it down. It’s also amazing as a hair mask. Like the Ojon Rare Blend treatment, I like to pop it on while I’m in the bath so that the heat intensifies the treatment.

One of my first posts declared my love for Klorane Oatmilk Gentle Dry Shampoo and this love affair is still going strong. This dry shampoo is a firm staple in my hair routine, I use it almost every day. I’m just coming to the end of my current bottle so I thought I’d be better picking up 2 while they were offering such a good discount. I like to be prepared. 

The Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm is a blogger classic and for a good reason. I was given this as a present at Christmas and I’ve never looked back. The smell is gorgeous and it leaves lips feeling so soft and hydrated. I mainly use this at night and I have the stick for every day wear.

Yes, I’m sorry, I’m continuing with the cliche. I only tried Bioderma Sensibio H2O a couple of months ago and I really wanted to not like it. But I can’t. It’s wonderful. I fully understand the hype. I only use this when I’m wearing a lot of eye makeup or if I’m being lazy (to take my makeup off before I properly cleanse instead of using an oil), but it removes makeup really effectively (even Double Wear and Benefit’s They’re Real Push Up Liner)

Klorane Peony Shampoo for Irritated Scalps was a last minute addition to my basket. As I’ve mentioned before, I have psoriasis on my scalp so I have to be conscious of shampoos as a lot of things can irritate my scalp. As this promised to have soothing and calming properties I thought this would be a possible alternative to my favourite shampoo, Philip Kingsly Flake Away. It didn’t aggravate my scalp but in all honesty it didn’t really wash my hair either - and I wouldn’t say I had particularly oily hair. I normally wash my hair every other day but I found myself having to wash my hair the following morning as my hair just didn’t feel clean. I’d image this would help calm everything down if I did try something that doesn’t really agree with my skin so I can’t see it going to waste but it certainly doesn’t make it to the shower shelf.

Did you get anything during the French Pharmacy promotion? 


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

How to Survive T in the Park

I’m by no means seasoned festival goer but I have went to T in the Park a couple of times and surprisingly I made it home without any major breakdowns (mud/urine/camping aren’t really my thing). I think going to a festival is something that needs to be done and for many, it’s a right of passage. For any festival, being organised is key. Especially if you’re camping. Yes, there are vendors who have most of the essentials so if you do forget anything, don’t panic (although their definition of essential is massively different from mine - hello skin care). If you’re going to T for the first time, I will just warn you that the walk from the drop off points to the camp site is horrific, so I would seriously consider how much you can actually carry. 

T IN THE PARK

Clothing

1. Take a jacket
Although everyone wants to look fashionable, the temperamental weather in the UK is something that needs to be considered. A light, waterproof jacket with a hood which can be thrown on if it rains, but can be folded away into a bag if it’s hot is essential. New Look and Primark are perfect for this as they’re pretty inexpensive. Chances are it’ll get covered in mud anyway. 

2. Avoid jeans
If you get wet, they’re heavy and take an age to try. If it’s sunny, you’ll get too hot. Dresses etc are light to pack and easy to wear. 

3. Waterproof footwear
Hunter wellies definitely are an investment, but oh my goodness, they are comfortable. I bought mine 5 years ago and they’re still immaculate, even after a couple of festivals/having a horse/crazy snow/general Scottish weather. If you’re looking for something purse friendly, be aware of how long you’ll be wearing them each day. You’ll be standing a lot. 

Toiletries

1. f you’re going to overpack anything, make sure it’s hand sanitiser. 

2. Pack light
Unless you get a Refresh Band (which was the key to my survival), you have much access to running water other than the taps spread across the campsite. In terms of skin care, micellar waters are great. Pack some micellar water, lots of cotton pads, moisturiser and a good SPF. It’s tough, but a few days won’t kill you. 

3. Babywipes and suncream
Classic festival essentials.

Extra

1. Take black bags
You’ll need them for bringing clothes home. And they’re handy to sit on.

2. Don’t just take alcohol. 
Being hungover at a festival does not sound appealing to me in the slightest. I always took capri sun, they’re easy to pack and don’t taste horrible if they’re slightly warm. 

3. It can be an expensive weekend.
Take some cash. There will be cash points but chances are the queue will be crazy and/or they will charge a fortune to withdraw money. Like everything else.

Yes, I used to be blonde

And of course, have fun! There's such a great atmosphere at festivals and everyone is always really friendly. Just remember, if something cold lands on you, you're fine. If it's warm, you're not...


What are your festival tips?