Friday, 2 October 2015

Obsessed With #13: MAC Velvet Teddy + MAC Whirl

For the last year or so I have been all about fairly pale nude lipsticks but I do like the odd darker lip from time to time in the colder months. My friend had MAC Velvet Teddy and I thought I would just try it on because I fancied trying a more brown nude and I quickly became a bit obsessed with it. I'm not going to lie, I do love a bit of a Kylie Jenner makeup lewk and I think this lipstick combined with my new lip liner (MAC Whirl) is a winning combo. 

I'm really not into buying makeup at the moment, I'm trying to use things up, give things away and I've only really been buying makeup when I've run out of something and it needs replacing. However, as I said I fancied a browny nude and I had tried Velvet Teddy so I kind of needed to get my own instead of constantly stealing my friend's (right?). I got Whirl to go with it because although it is supposed to be a bit rose toned I just find it to be a straight up nude brown on me, similar to Velvet Teddy. I like to overdraw my lips a bit so I do like a matching lip liner if possible. I don't think I have ever owned a Matte MAC lipstick and I have heard that some of the red shades can be way too dry in formula but I find this pretty comfortable to wear and it still has a bit of slip.

I've been wearing this with golden or brown eye looks with brown gel liner. This might be a bit full on for some people but I love love love.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Recent Favorites 9.15.15

I don't know why it has taken me over a month to just sit down and write a post but it has so hello everyone, please don't forget I still exist! I thought I'd drop by and talk about a few products I have been liking recently so here we go...

I haven't worn classic nail polish in months and I applied Essie Petal Pushers the other day and I honestly think it is one of the most beautiful nail shades. It's a really interesting slate grey/blue shade and I think it looks nice with my pale skin tone. I feel like it was part of a collection but I found it on amazon when I looked it up so you can still get it if that is the case.

I'm all about that base (base, base, base, base, buttery biscuit base [put your hands in the air if you get this reference]) and although the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation has my heart, I guess this new guy is kind of my side boi. It's the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation, which I really wish I had acquired sooner because it would've been great during the sweaty summer months but oh well I'm glad we've met now rather than never. I have two shades that I mix together: 101 Classic Ivory and 102 Shell Beige but I think 101 Classic Ivory will be great when I hit peak paleness come November time. This foundation supposedly has a demi-matte finish, 24 hour wear, medium coverage and an air-light texture. I can say that the texture, finish and coverage are all what it claims to be and that the wear is pretty good. In fact I think I did actually wear it for 24 hours when I flew from New York to London and missed out on a night's sleep. It also makes my skin look way more smooth and flawless than it actually is and it doesn't need powdering. I've been using with it the Beauty Blender, which I got recently in Sephora and I am totally converted. I used to think it seemed like a dumb way of applying foundation when you can just use a brush but honestly it's great because it doesn't disturb whatever is under your foundation because you're not rubbing your foundation in. It also somehow doesn't look cakey and I don't know if that has something to do with the fact that you wet the sponge first... not sure. It really makes your foundation look like it was airbrushed on.

I've also still been obsessed with the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Lacquer Liner in Espresso, which is my absolute favorite liner of all time. I prefer a dark brown liner because it looks a bit less harsh than black but it doesn't have any shimmer in it and it is still really opaque. It doesn't wear off on me and it hasn't dried out and I've had it for over a year. Annoyingly, I don't think you can get this in the UK but maybe you can get it online. 

Last but not least is the L'Oréal Paris Brow Artist Plumper in Dark Brunette. I had the blonde version before but it just made my brow hairs look a bit yellowy so I much prefer this one, it actually works with my medium brown brows and it doesn't look too dark. I like that this keeps my brows in place while also adding a bit of thickness without making my brows feel crispy.

I will be back with more regular posts from now on. Promise.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Recent Favorites 7.17.15

What's hip hop happenin', kids? I'm back with another 'Recent Favorites' post featuring a cute picture of messy swatches on a transparent dying hand ft. several blue veins... enjoy!!

The first thing I'm going to rave about it the big-ass swatch on the left which is kind of a rediscovery for me because I had left his product in the South of France and only found it again in April. It is The Body Shop Cheek Colour in '12' which UGH I'm just going to get out the way because I can't find it on their website. I don't know if maybe you can find it somewhere else online like on eBay or something but if not that's a real bummer because it's beautiful. It's an orangey apricot blush with subtle gold shimmer and it blends so beautifully and looks really brightening. There we go, it's over. I'm done. 

I've also been loving my Kiko Universal Fit Hydrating Foundation, which I have written about in *this post* in more detail so I won't repeat myself. Just know that it is still a firm favorite of mine, especially over the last couple of weeks or so. Next up, we have a hair product (a rare feature on this blawg) and that is the L'Oréal Professional Mythic Oil. I find it difficult to explain why I like a hair product but I will try my best. I've been using hair oils since they became a real thing maybe five or six years ago (maybe longer?) and I like to use this one on towel dry hair before I blow dry it. It helps keep the frizz at bay and makes my hair feel a bit less straw-like. Another favorite is the Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara, which I wrote about very recently so click here for that. But basically it's my first venture into waterproof mascara and it's a good'un.

Last but certainly not least - the Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting + Defining, which I use on a daily basis for the contour powder and number 6 shade for my brows. It is just such a useful, multipurpose palette because you can use it for contouring, for your eyes and your eyebrows, so it would be really good to take on vacation. There isn't a single shade in there that I don't use. Love. It.

Until next time folks *kissy face* or *sleazy wink face* - you decide.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Review: Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof

Apologies that I don't have any pictures of my lashes but I honestly can't get a picture of my lashes without it looking too dark, too blurry, too ridiculous... and in a normal selfie you just can't really see them so that is pointless. Apology out the way, I wanted to do a review on the Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof mascara because it is the mascara I am using at the moment. 

I am pretty sure that this is the first waterproof mascara I have owned since I was a teenager. I didn't want one before because I thought they were a pain to remove (which I still think) and I just never really felt like I needed one. I'm still not totally convinced I need my mascara to be waterproof but it is getting pretty sweaty in London so the waterproof aspect might come in handy after all. I'll start off the review by saying I really do like this mascara because it is the only mascara I have ever used that noticeably holds a curl. I didn't think this was something I particularly cared about but then what it is the point in curling my lashes everyday if they're only going to stay curled for a few seconds, Annie? I'm also into big volume when it comes to my lashes and I feel like this one does give really good volume without clumping all my lashes together so that I'm left with three fat spider legs. It also gives really great length and it works well on the bottom lashes too. 

My one problem with this mascara is that it somehow really dries my eyes out. I think that the waterproof situation doing that so I'm not sure if the regular one would do the same thing. I also find it pretty annoying to remove but not annoying enough for me to stop using it.

All in all, I really recommend this mascara for annoying looking particularly for volume and a mascara that holds a curl. But if you're anything like me, be prepared with eyedrops during the day and a strong oil cleanser when you're trying to remove this...

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Budget Brows with Maybelline Brow Satin

I feel like I'm constantly using up eyebrow pencils and now that my Tarte Brow Pencil is on its last legs, I thought I would go for a more budget option. I think it takes me about a month and a half to go through a twist-up eyebrow pencil, so my usual high-end eyebrow pencil purchases do add up... Please refer to me as #BudgetAnnie while I'm trying to be a bit more frugal. Thanks. So I picked up the Maybelline Brow Satin in 'Dark Blonde' just yesterday so this is basically a first impressions post...

I'm going to start with the initial thing that bothers me a little bit about this product and that is the fact that there is no spoolie because one end has the pencil and the other has a powder ft. applicator sponge. I guess they could've added a little brush onto the exterior of one of the lids but oh well, I'm not that into the brush things anyway. So spoolie situ aside, I do think that compared to a lot of the other brow offerings in the drugstore, this isn't terrible. I think the Soap & Glory Brow Archery 2-in-1 is pretty good as well but the colors don't really work for me so I wasn't interested in repurchasing that one.

The 'Dark Blonde' shade I chose is pretty ashy and it works fine on me, it's maybe slightly light and ever so slightly warm but it's still very ashy by drugstore standards. I do feel like the nib of the pencil could be just that little bit finer to make it easier to draw on hair-like strokes. I quite like the powder side because it means you can apply product to the front of the brows without making it look too harsh and drawn on.

Overall? I'm not totally obsessed but I do like it. It's pretty good for £5.99 if you're looking for a more drugstore budget brow option.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Deep Cleansing Duo

I mentioned in my last post that I now have oily skin. For a while I was still using skincare for drier skin types because that's what I was used to using and still thought I should. Now that I have sadly accepted that my skin isn't who I thought it was (it's not you, it's me etc), I have learned that I need to deep clean my skin to stop clogging issues. These are the two deep cleansing products that I have been using and enjoying recently.

I was in New York in March and I started going to a place called Skin Laundry (I went three times), which offers a quick ten/fifteen minute laser facial. I think I'm going to eventually do a separate post on that so STAY TOONED. Anyway, I was at Skin Laundry and I use a Clarisonic so I wanted a cleanser that I could use with the Clarisonic because I didn't like the one I was using at the time. They recommended me the Skin Laundry Extra Deep Cleanser for normal to oily skin ($25), which I really like. It has a gel texture and it works really well with the Clarisonic because it doesn't go super foamy but it also doesn't just disappear on the skin because you do need a bit of slip when using the Clarisonic. What I noticed about this, is that it immediately brings anything in pores/below the skin up to the surface - which seems gross but it means it really is deep cleaning and removing that dirt. 

A similar product (in that it's a gel and it brings everything up to the surface) is the Freeze 24/7 Skin Glacé Daily Detoxifying Cleanser & Mask* (£40 £36). You can either use this like a normal cleanser and it turns from a green gel into a lather or you can apply it evenly over your face on dry or damp skin and leave it on for a minute or two. The mask method gives a really bizarre sensation because you can feel it turn into a foam and bubbles popping on your skin - it tickles a bit. Essentially it gives your skin a similar kind of clean feeling as the Skin Laundry cleanser doesm but it doubles up as a mask, which I think is pretty cool. 

I alternate the two of them and I use them after I have Bioderma'd my face off, then used an oil cleanser to fully remove my makeup. So yes, I double cleanse. I don't always do this, sometimes I am too lazy but if I have time/can be bothered that's what I tend to do. I find that if I properly clean my face before using a deep cleanser, then there isn't any makeup in the way stopping the product from really penetrating (meow) those pores. 

*this is a PR sample (I did not pay for it) that I got through my last work experience but it was NOT sent to me for review

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Recent Favorites 05.13.15

(Swatches: top to bottom: Buxom gloss, MAC eyeshadow, Max Factor blush).

Three months since I've written about beauty favorites so this is long overdue but better late than never amirite? It's Spraaang time on this side of the world so things are heating up a little bit so I'm trying to stay away from the more smokey, dark, intense eye lewks I tend to go for in the colder months. I do wish I could pull off a more 'natural look' but to be honest, I just look fug that way. So anyway, here are five beauty favorites that I have been enjoying recently.

I don't know what has happened*, but I used to have super dry skin and now it's definitely on the oilier side. As much as I enjoy a dewy complexion, I think when it looks like you've dipped your face in oil it's not so much 'dewy princess of light and radiance' as it is 'greasy teen who forgot to wash her face this morning'. I don't know about y'all but that's not really the look I go for. So my favorite powder of all time is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light but that is kind of pricey so I am using that more sparingly now that I am funemployed slash unemployed because it's kind of boring. What I have been using instead is the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Transparent which I had years ago as well and I didn't actually like all that much back then. Now that I have oilier skin, I appreciate how it's not too cakey, not too powdery and how it mattifies the skin but not so much that you get that mask-like effect. I like.

I'm also enjoying a more peachy pink cheek, so I have been loving the Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Lovely Pink. It has a more apricot tone swirled in with a peachy pink (both with golden shimmer) which makes for a really pretty shimmery peach color. It's also nice because you don't need to apply any highlighter with this because that's already incorporated into the blush what with the shimmery vibes etc. I like to apply this with the Topshop Blush Brush, which is really soft and it's pretty much the perfect shape for applying blush. Staying in the peachy pink zone, I've also been getting quite a lot of use out of MAC All That Glitters eyeshadow, which I bought in Toronto about a year and a bit ago. I had no interest in this eyeshadow until a friend told me I had to get it because it's perf for blondes with blue eyes (which is me *hands in the air*). I find this kind of eyeshadow really hard to describe because it looks different on different skin types but on me it's a kind of warm, pinky champagne with mixed shimmer running through. It looks really nice with brown eyeliner.

I went through a massive lipgloss phase last Summer and I really got into Buxom glosses in particular. This one is the Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Lavender Cosmo and I think it looks really pretty on people with paler skin tones and blue or green eyes. I love wearing this kind of gloss with a simple liquid liner eye look.

I'm going to try to upload this kind of post on a more regular basis because I don't really have any exsuses...

*Ok, I do know... I don't take the contraceptive pill anymore etc so my skin is not cool wif dat but that's another story

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Three Non-Beauty Things

Sometimes I like non-beauty things and I want to write about those non-beauty things.

One of those things is candles and I am particularly obsessed with this beauty picture right here. I discovered Svensk Co through Instagram (they essentially have the perfect Instagram feed: candles, nature, food, you name it... it's incredibly aesthetically pleasing) and thought the packaging just looked so beautiful. The company is pretty new and it's based in San Francisco, obviously with Swedish (<3) inspiration behind it but you can read all about that on their website. The candles are made from organic soy wax so the burn is clean and it comes with a 100% natural cork stopper which looks really nice. I believe the one I have is the Skogspromenad one but there isn't the smell name on the packaging so I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I right. I don't know. I hope so. Either way, the candle I have smells amazing and the packaging is so pretty... I need more of them in my life. I believe I read they will be introducing soaps soon which I will need to get my hands on because I'm all about pretty, simple, nice-smelling thangz

Another Swedishy thing is this tray which I bought when I was in Stockholm recently. I think I got it from Design Torget?! I have a little cube indent in my wall which acts as a bedside table and I have it in there with my bits and bobs on it and I just think it looks pretty and neat.

The final thing is this Pug Iphone Case* from Iconemesis. I chose this case because I think it's kind of ridiculous but in the best way possible and I love dogs. I am seriously going through a phase of really wanting a dog but there is just no way I could have a dog at this age... so I'll just have them on my phonecase for now. This phone case has a rubbery texture which means it feels really soft, you don't get annoying finger marks on it and it's a great texture to grip onto. I just think it looks adorable and I am not into cutesie things at all but I think this is fun without being too girly.

*sent to me for review

Monday, 27 April 2015

KIKO's Under-Eye Offerings

I have some serious blue under eyebags going on. It's just one of those things you're blessed with if you were born with crazy white/basically transparent skin. I've been trying out a couple of KIKO's under-eye offerings and I'm quite the fan. (In second photo: [your left] left under-eye has both products applied, right under-eye is bare - also apologies for the blurriness, dirty phone camera <3).

I've had the Bobbi Brown Corrector for years but it's about to run out so I thought I would try a more budget-friendly option - that being the KIKO Dark Circle Concealer (shade 01 Porcelain). It is quite different to the Bobbi Brown Corrector because it comes in a pump and it has a liquid consistency, which makes it great for blending. The issue I have is that it is really hard to control how much comes out of the pump and it tends to be way too much product. So that is kind of annoying but I really like the product itself. It has an orangey tone which means it actually counteracts my bluey tones really well. Despite the annoying packaging, I really recommend this.

The next product is the KIKO Full Coverage Concealer (shade 02), which is more of an equivalent to the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer. It has the same kind of packaging and the same consistency but I would say it provides higher coverage and I find that it doesn't crease. There is also a pretty decent color range for this product which is always a plus.

Both products together = excellent combo. (Just like filet-o-fish and fries #controversial).

Shop Nasty Gal

Friday, 20 March 2015

Brows: Tarte's Answer To The Anastasia Brow Wiz?

Now, I love the Anastasia Brow Wiz but I've ditched the full-on bleach for more broken up, highlighted roots. So! I wanted to try a darker brow option (I used to use the shade Taupe) because I can get away with it again. I bought the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown ($21) (ahem, correction: my mom bought me the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown) and although the color is fine, it's not perfect. I find it a little bit too warm (not overly so, but a bit) so I randomly picked up the Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Pencil in Medium Brown ($20) at Sephora (oh oops, forgot to mention I'm in New York). Anyway, turns out I love it.

It is quite similar to the Anastasia Brow Wiz, in that it has a small, wind up pencil with a thin nib on one end and a spooley on the other end. The formula is seemingly fairly similar to the Anastasia too as it is quite waxy and it also doesn't smudge. Nothing worse than a soft, smudgey eyebrow pencil. NOTHING. The color is more what I was hoping the Brow Wiz in Soft Brown would be, it's more of a true, neutral/slightly ashy brown rather than a warmer, chocolatey brown. I'm trying to go for a more natural looking brow by filling them in a little bit less and so using a brow pencil that matches my natural brow color better helps achieve a more natural lewk. It says this is a waterproof and I have gotten caught in the rain before wearing a different brow product which smudged onto my forehead (cute look!). Other reviews that I have come across state that this doesn't smudge in the rain or in hot, sticky weather so that's a bonus but I can't say I have really tested the waterproofness of this myself. The only downside with these kind of brow products is that they don't tend to last too long...

All-in-all, this gets a big thumbs up from me!

Shop Nasty Gal

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

KIKO Universal Fit Hydrating Fluid Foundation

I feel like I said I would write a post about this foundation so here it is friends and foes! I am in New York right now and the flight totally dried my skin out so I'm having to resort to BB creams (poor, poor me, I know). When I was back in England however, this was one of my most used foundations and I think it will be a favorite in the summer. I am talking about the KIKO Universal Fit Hydrating Fluid Foundation which is not something I would've picked up on a whim. My friend was wearing this foundation and it looked amazing and I had also read positive reviews about it.

So why do I like it? First of all it is a hydrating foundation so it doesn't emphasize any of my areas that can be a little dry. It doesn't visibly sit in any fine lines or pores and it blends seamlessly. The texture of the foundation is really smooth so it creates a nice blurring illusion. It provides good coverage with one layer and full coverage with two layers. However I have the shade 5 which is a little dark for me so I can only really get away with one layer and with blending it down the neck. I think I picked up shade 5 because the lighter shades seemed a little pink for my liking but I sometimes mix in a paler foundation to get a better shade. I feel like this shade will be perfect for me in the summer when I have a little bit more color. I like to apply this with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush if I want a slightly sheerer coverage to make the color work better for me in my super pale state.

You get a decent amount of product for the £6.90 price tag and the packaging is light, compact and great for traveling. It also comes in 20 shades which is a great range for such an affordable product.

Shop Nasty Gal

Monday, 2 March 2015

Origins Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating Moisturizer

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I feel like I don't often mention skincare products because I rarely switch up my skincare and I don't often try out new products. Now I'm closer to my mid-twenties my skin has gotten more temperamental and I can't just throw any old nonsense on it without a reaction. I have been using this moisturizer for just under a year now so I feel happy to tell y'all that I'm a big fan.

I have heard mixed things about the Origins Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating Moisturizer, but for my skin it is great. I have read that this has irritants in it but I actually like to use this when my skin is irritated as I find it really soothing. It goes without saying that what will work on my skin might not work on yours. My skin is prone to dryness as well hormonal cystic acne (which I have found this tends to soothe rather than aggravate). I do also use the Origins GinZing Moisturizer just because I am trying to use that one up - I don't dislike it per say, but I'm definitely not a fan. I find that the Make A Difference Plus + is a lot more hydrating and it helps to plump up really dry, dehydrated skin. I like to use this one in the mornings, especially because it has what I would consider as the typical awakening, citrusy smell that Origins products tend to have (from what I have tried). In terms of the texture of this moisturizer, I would say that it is light and absorbs fairly quickly so it's a great one to apply before foundation. It also doesn't leave any kind of film, which is great because I often find moisturizers that leave films then come off with foundation application and it all gets a bit messy. 

All-in-all, I really rate this moisturizer because whenever my skin needs that extra boost of hydration or the texture of my skin just isn't at its best, this tends to calm everything down and provide the hydration my skin is craving.

Shop Nasty Gal

Monday, 9 February 2015

Recent Favorites 02.9.15

It's about time I threw a few more recent favorites your way, wouldn't you say? I am kind of cheating with this because two of the products mentioned here are very recent purchases but when you know you just know, amirite ladiez?!

First up is a long lost love otherwise known as NARS Luster, which was really my first high end makeup purchase when I first started getting into makeup + blogging. I forgot how perfect it is on paler skin tones because it's quite a bronzey + warm blush so it stops me from looking like I'm just a bit unwell + craving dat Vit D. Also I love me some golden shimmer so it's basically perfect if you love a good statement cheek lewk. 

The second product is the KIKO Crystal Eyeliner in 03 Reflect Burgundy, which is a reddy brown slightly shimmery beauty. It has extreme lasting power - me + my good friend/best friend/partner-in-crime Ellyn (hi Ellyn!) swatched this on our hand in the KIKO store + it refused to remove itself even with some hardcore rubbing (pornographic?). 

The reason why I was at the KIKO store in the first place (because lets be honest, it's pretty hellish) is because my aforementioned pal Ellyn's skin was looking absolutely flawless the other day so naturally I was like 'hold up! I need whatever is on your skin immediately'. We've both noticed how our foundations just haven't been sitting on our skin properly so I thought I would give the KIKO Hydrating Fluid Foundation a go because at £6.90, it's pretty affordable too. I tried hers out, loved it, got it. We both have it in the shade 05 Light Beige, which is a tad too dark for me but all the other paler shades were a bit on the pink side + I can just make it work with the right amount of neck blending etc. I will do a post on this so I won't go on too much about it but it's excellent. OK? OK.

OK so the last thing is the By Terry Touche Veloutée - a product I picked up a while back because Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup used to be a big fan. This is something I tend to forget about + then go back to when I remember how great it is. It gives a good amount of undereye coverage, it sits really naturally on the skin, doesn't crease + it has that whole flattering yellow tone thing going on.

Also this pouch is by Pamela Barsky - I have a few variations of this that I buy from Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market in New Yawk citaaay. (I think you can maybe get these on Etsy though?)

What are your favorites? Hmmmm?

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Review: L'Oréal Paris Brow Artist Genius Kit

Before I started using the Anastasia Brow Wiz, I was a powder girl when it came to my brows. MAC Omega + an angled brush was my ish. I saw this L'Oréal Paris Brow Artist Genius Kit (£9.99) when I popped into Boots the other day (I was really there for tights + a travel sized sewing kit but ok). This comes in two different shades so I got the Light to Medium.

It comes with a tinted wax (left) + a powder (right). You're supposed to apply the wax first to create the shape + make sure everything sticks in place, followed by the powder in any sparse areas. What I am actually quite impressed by is the shades because they are quite ashy, especially by drugstore standards. The kit also comes with a mirror in the lid, a little angled brush/spooley + tweezers, so it would be great to put in your makeup bag if you're going traveling or on vacation. I still use my MAC 266 to apply this because hey, I bought it so I might as well use it but the small brush it comes with isn't half bad - it's just a wee bit small. 

All-in-all, I am pretty impressed by this little kit. I've been using it everyday since I bought it about a week ago. It's great if you don't want to spend too long doing your brows in the morning because powder is a really quick way to get them browz filled in.  

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Top Five Nude Lip Pencils

I just wiped these swatches off of my hand + one is refusing to come off which is a great sign (HMMM I wonder which one?! The suspense is real). I did a post on my favorite nude lipsticks + because I'm a long time lip liner wearer I thought I would share my favorite nude lip liners with you too. I remember going shopping with my friend two years ago looking for the 'perfect nude lip liner' but I honestly don't think it's easily found! I have quite pink/mauve lips + I find a lot of liners to be too dark or warm for me. The below liners are in the following order (in the top picture it is from top to bottom + in the swatches image they go from bottom to top - sorry!).

This is probably the darkest, brownest lip liner that I own but I actually quite like this one with my more brown lip liners. Also if applied lightly it can look quite natural. Somehow.

This was the lip liner I got on that shopping trip (mentioned above). It's a lot more mauvey pink than Boldly Bare so it matches my natural lip shade quite well. I find that the MAC lip liners are quite satin in finish so they stay on reasonably well.

This one would be an absolute favorite if it didn't have dem tiny glitter particles :[ The formula is really nice + creamy but it lasts really well + the shade is pretty much identical to my natural lip shade. I can still work with it but because of the glittery bits I do have to put it all over my lip. The glitter really isn't that bad, I just don't understand why it is necessary...

This is by far the best drugstore lip liner that I have come across. It's a really nice natural shade + it's not too dark. The lasting power is nothing to shout about but for the price it is really nice.

Aha! You made it. This is the one that refuses to budge. This is my current love - it stays on even after 17 glasses of wine, 8 filet-o-fishez + kissing every boi in LDN town. The color works great with all of my nude lipsticks + it somehow manages to mimmick the texture of my lips which I think makes all the difference. I do like to pull a bit of a Ky Jen + overdraw my lips (shhh don't tell anyone slash if you follow me on instagram you might have guessed) + this one is the best for it!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

My Skincare Saviours

Now that I am older, I don't like to switch up my skincare too much. It's not a case of trying new colors + formulas as it is with makeup, it's all about what makes your skin look + feel it's best. These are some skin favorites that I have been using for a while (bar one product) + that I don't see changing in the foreseeable future. Because why fix what ain't broke?

The first product is the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, which has become my new Bioderma. I love Bioderma but I simply can't afford to splash the cash on it anymore when this is basically the same thing. The Garnier version is by far the best drugstore micellar water I have come across + it's really good value for money. I usually take off the majority of my eye makeup with this + then use the Una Brennan Vitamin C Cleansing Oil with a hot cloth. This is a more recent addition to my skincare routine - I think I picked it up in Boots about two or three months ago as I saw Vivianna had mentioned it that she liked it. Not only does it smell really zingy + uplifting, but it does an amazing job of taking off any makeup + leaving my skin feeling super soft. 

I don't exfoliate everyday but when I do (probably 4 x a week), I like to use the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. I find that these are gentle enough to use regularly + I do have stronger thangz that I use if I want something a bit more exfoliating. I like to use use these when my skin is feeling a bit lumpy bumpy. Another treatment-esque product is the Glam Glow Thirsty Mud Hydrating Treatment which I've had for about a year now + I can honestly say this stuff is amazing. It smells delicious aka I want to devour it + it is the best facemask for the day-after-the-night-before etc. Great for hydrating + plumping up dull skin. It isn't cheap but a little bit really does go a long way I promise.

Last but not least is the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate which I don't think I will ever stop using (don't hold me to it though please!). It seems to speed up the fixing process of any skin issue. Dry skin? Ok let me fix that. Scabby blemishes? Ew but okay I'll make that go quicker. Inflamed skin? Let's just calm that whole situation down shall we. It's a miracle worker.

What are your skincare must-haves?

Monday, 12 January 2015

My Thoughts On: Goals

Yes yes. This is a beauty blog. It probably always will be until I decide that the world doesn't actually need Nouveau Chique (...wait, it doesn't?!). But sometimes I have thoughts + opinions that I feel like sharing even if y'all don't care. So the first of this series is going to be my thoughts on goals. I am referring to a specific type of goal here. The kind of goal you want to have achieved by the time you're 20/25/30 etc. The kind of goals you want to reach more because you think you should + society tells you should rather than personal goals you've set out for yourself because you're a strong-willed individual. I also feel like this post is definitely more targeted at women than men, which works out well for me because I don't imagine many men find themselves browsing through my favorite shampoos + eyeshadows. 

Below I've put down a few quotes of the types of things I might have said 2-3 years ago + my opinion on them now.

'I want to be on £30,000 by the time I'm 23'
I used to think that straight out of university I would have a decent paid job. I thought I would know exactly what I wanted to do. I'm 23 now + I'm currently still interning (my third internship) because I haven't known exactly what I want to do. My experience is in PR + Social Media but really I'm not sure what I will be doing five years down the line. And that is totally fine. However I'm managing financially is a private matter but the point is that it doesn't matter if you're not earning a certain amount money by x age. It doesn't matter if you're 30 + you still don't know exactly what you want to do. I hate that society makes you think there is an age for everything. You do things at your own pace + things will eventually piece together. As long as you're doing something + you're trying things out then it's fine. It's a process of elimination + it's a journey.

'I want to be married by the time I'm 27'
This is definitely the inspiration behind this whole entire post. Every time there is some sort of family gathering, someone (usually a distant relative) will ask about my love life. 'Have you got a boyfriend? Why not?!' - as if there is something wrong with me. Although the majority of my friends have serious boyfriends, this doesn't mean there is something wrong with me for not having one. I have had two long-term relationships that each went on for over two years + now that I am a bit older I know exactly what I want + what I don't want from a relationship. I am in no way prepared to date anyone that doesn't bring out the best in me anymore, whereas I used to just be scared of being alone. Whether I find someone in a month, a year or in ten years, it doesn't matter. Because as Whitney Houston sang: 'I'd rather be alone than unhappy'.

'I want to have my first child by the time I'm 29'
Actually, I would rather have a child when I am responsible enough to look after one. If I ever decide to have children at all that is. That is all I have to say about that.

Is there something wrong with the fact that I still like going out with my friends, living with my best friend + I would rather go on vacation to Australia when I feel like it than settle down with a man + have a pet pug? Because really I have the rest of my life to do that.

I could go on about this subject forever but whether you're still living at home, single at 40 or struggling to find the right career path... life doesn't go as you planned + it would be sad if it did. When I was younger, I thought I'd have long brown hair + live in a pink + purple house by this point. And thank the lord I don't (ps: shout out to all the girls with long brown hair, it just doesn't suit me). Essentially this post is about living your life at your own pace. As cheesy as it may sound, I think it's important (especially for women) to put their own happiness + decisions first instead of what society expects from them...

Thursday, 8 January 2015

2014 Makeup Favorites

A lot of my favorites haven't changed since my 2013 favorites post, including the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, the Urban Decay Primer Potion, the Anastasia Brow Wiz + L'Oréal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush. So I didn't want to repeat myself + include them, if you want my opinion on those products then you can click here for that 2013 post.

This has been the Year of the Primer for me. I never really knew what a difference it could make + I really like this one because it feels moisturizing + I like a bit of a radiant skin finish so this helps add an extra glow. 

Last year I was all about dat Nars Radiant Concealer but I actually found that it would crust a bit under my eyes. I still really like it for blemishes + on my face but I find that the Maybelline concealer blends a lot more nicely under the eyes.

This is probably my favorite discovery of the whole entire year. I love a good nude lip + I have harped on about this one way too much recently but if you want to know more about it then click here. 

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in 'Pillow Talk'
I started wearing lip liners quite a long time ago + I have been looking for the 'perfect nude' lip liner for... probably years now. I think I own at least ten different nude lip liners + for me that is quite a lot. This is my favorite on thus far because it mimics the texture of my lips + the color is also great. It has excellent staying power too. Because smudged lip liner is not a good lewk.

I haven't bought a blush in absolutely ages + if I were to then it would definitely be another shade from Hourglass. I love how iridescent this is + the plumy shade is really pretty, especially in the colder months. It applies really nicely too. 

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter
I will forever favor a more glowy look than a matte one. This is a buttery soft powder highlight that isn't too yellow nor too cool toned + it just gives the perfect glow.

MAC Eyeshadow in 'Antiqued'
I love a good reddy brown eyeshadow because I think it makes any eye color really pop. I have blue eyes + I think the contrast looks really pretty. This one is probably my favorite because it isn't too red but it definitely creates a really nice contrast with my eye color.

L'Oréal Paris Miss Manga Mascara
I like my lashes to be super voluminous + this is a great mascara for really building up some volume without clumping all of the lashes together. I wear it in 'Black Brown' on a daily basis (ever since my homegirl Chelsea from Chelsea Wears told me she was into brown mascara one day when we were chilling on the subway in NYC).

Urban Decay Naked Palette
The original. The best. I got the Naked II before getting the original + I now have all three. I like the original way more than the other two. I think the second one has too many boring, cool toned blah shades + although I do quite like the third, it just isn't something I reach for on a weekly basis. I love the shade 'Toasted' in particular from this palette + I just think the shade range + quality is incredible.

Let me know what your makeup favorites were in 2014!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Start of 2015 Non-Beauty Favorites

Oh hi everyone. Apparently I still exist so I should probably get back on this whole blogging thang. I hope you're all well etc. I will be doing a 2014 favorites post but as per usual, I like to be fashionably late. But for now, here are a few random non-beauty faves that I have been loving... (because I do like things aside from beauty, believe it or not).
During the last few months of 2014, it crossed my mind that I desperately needed a diary. I'm not particularly into phone calendars etc + I definitely remember things better if I write it down. I got this 'Vintage Bicycles' diary at the bookstore at Chelsea Market in New York + it's by Cavallini Papers & Co. So far, I have been using it on a daily basis so long may that continue!

I didn't have a phone case for my iPhone 6 + I was almost reluctant to get one because I loved my Louis Vuitton iPhone 5S case so much that I didn't want anything else. Now obviously those don't come cheap so it wasn't a realistic option to keep buying them every time I changed phone. I chose the Cat Sims Feathers Case from Iconemesis + I am now really glad I got a case. I think it looks really pretty but without being too girly because y'all know that just ain't my style. It's not too thick so it doesn't make my phone bulky + it is also quite soft in texture which I didn't expect. I thought it might be quite plasticky but actually it feels really nice + has a great grip to it. It is actually on sale at the moment for £9.99 - so definitely worth getting now if you like it!

Raw Revolution Chunky Peanut Butter Chocolate Food Bar
This tastes like a seriously naughty treat but luckily for me, it ain't so bad. It comes in at 200 calories + is full of organic goodness. I get these at Whole Foods in the US, I am not sure if they stock them in the UK but if you can get your hands on these then you will be thanking me...

*sent for review, chosen by me

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