Friday 30 June 2017

June 2017 Favourites

There's something smug making about having filmed a favourites video that can then go up on the last day of the month. It so rarely happens. This month is mostly products that I've used for years and have recently come back to and one new one that is now a bit controversial.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara
MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Dangerous
Urban Decay with Gwen Stefani Lip Pencils in 714 and Rock Steady
Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder
NARS Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer
Eco Tools Define Brush (from the Define and Highlight Set)
Eco Tools Microblending Brush

Some links are affiliate links which means I will get a small commission if you click through and buy from them. There is no extra cost to you and if you are not comfortable with that then do feel free to open a separate window and google the product separately. 

Wednesday 28 June 2017

NARS Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer

It's rare for me to rush out and buy a new release because over the past 11 or so years of doing this I've had to learn some discipline. If I could I could quite happily spend hundreds of pounds on products within the next five minutes and still feel like I hadn't scratched the surface on my wish-list. I could bankrupt us on make-up and beauty.

But after reading a couple of good reviews for the new NARS Sun Washed Diffusing Bronzers and I wanted one. A bit weird as NARS is not one of my go-to brands (not deliberately I just feel like I'm so behind there I don't even know where to start ... I have a long wishlist) and I just don't really have a lot of bronzers for myself.

Then I realised that this, of course is exactly the reason. It is a genuinely legitimate purchase. I don't have a lot of bronzers, it's incredibly hard to find one that looks nice on me and not a bit over the top. I love the Luminous Bronze Light from the Ambient Light Edit palette but use it sparingly or look a fright. A good, wearable bronzer for those of use with pale skin who don't want to look super shiny is hard to find. And I think this is it.

Monday 26 June 2017

June 2017 News

Daniel Sandler Customisable Blush SetI have been a little distracted this month with trying to get the building works finished before the baby arrives and generally getting our lives a bit organised before the baby arrives so there's not a huge amount of news this month. There are some really exciting new releases though and what news there is is pretty huge.

Don't forget you can sign up to the monthly email that delivers everything from the blog to your inbox at the end of the month.

New Releases
  • Daniel Sandler Customisable Watercolour Set - these look absolutely stunning. I cannot wait til I can get my hands on these. As someone who uses these professionally a lot to have a kit that will work on everyone is the dream (well the dream is to own every single one ever made).
  • Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Tinted Moisturiser - god I want to try this. I've heard and seen great things about it. You know I love GinZing eye cream so anything under this branch of Origins
  • Urban Decay Naked Heat - they did a sneaky limited number pre-release of this and it sold out so fast. The proper release date will be 27th July so if you want to get your hands on this huge new release set your reminder.

Friday 23 June 2017

5 Minute Heatwave Make-up

You probably know we have been having a heatwave here in the UK. I usually get cross with the term heatwave because, well it's summer, it's just summer not a heatwave, but 33 degrees celcius is pretty much as hot as the UK gets so I'll let it through this time (and even include it in the title of this video!).

It's not a glamorous look but it makes me feel less washed out and gross and like I can pick the kids up from nursery without making the other children weep with fright. This might be good if you work in an office and can't quite bear to wear foundation. It's too hot hear for me to even bother with tinted moisturiser - though I'm desperate to try the new one from Origins.

Glowy Summer Skin video

The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Protect Lotion SPF 30
Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour in Angel
No 7 Stay Perfect Shade & Define in Cool Mink
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara
Cover FX Setting Powder
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
NARS Sun Wash Bronzer in Seaside
Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Nobody's Baby
La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer

Urban Decay Subversion Lash PrimerFace and eye primers I can generally get on board with. Lash primers not so much. I understand them. I see a difference with them but they are just not something that would end up in my personal or pro-kit. Some love a lash primer, and to be fair I haven't tried that many and though Subversion by Urban Decay is the best I've tried I'm not in a rush to repurchase.

So Subversion claims to give 'thicker, longer, stronger' lashes but for me what I overwhelmingly found was that it made my mascara clumpy. I'm also usually in a rush and with whatever mascara I'm using it takes a while for me to make sure all the white is covered and the clumps combed out. Maybe I would love a black lash primer. But what I really think is, I don't need one. I'm happy to whack on a load of mascara but I still like a reasonably natural look - not like fat spiders legs - and therefore it's better for me to have an extra layer of mascara rather than a primer.

Monday 19 June 2017

Eco Tools

Eco Tools Brushes and SpongesUp until recently I had never tried an Eco Tools brush. I had heard they were good but as I had never managed to get my hands on one to feel the fibers I'd just glossed over them rather. And I have to admit that I did bad maths in my head - Eco+cheap= bad quality. But I went to their launch a couple of months ago (so good I vlogged about it) and not only got to touch the brushes but we got a fantastic goody bag with lots of bits to try and tons of info about the brand and now I'm a complete convert. Not only do they seem properly Eco rather than just saying they are there are little unnecessary extras that make this brand great.

2017 is their 10th Anniversary and they've changed things up a bit completely redesigning the brushes and making the packaging more responsible. The brush handles are made from sustainable bamboo and have been slightly changed to make them more comfortable to hold - I have to say the length and weight are very nice to work with. I have small hands so I often find brushes are too long. These are great and means they fit in most make-up bags. The packaging is made up of recycled, natural, sustainable materials - tree-free paper and rPET clamshell (recycled polyethylene terephthalate). You can tell the new brushes as they have gunmetal (or patterned in some cases) ferrules - the old design are a sort of bronze colour.

Friday 16 June 2017

Summer Glowy Skin Day to Night video

Though I don't deliberately go for a 'look' most of the time I am aware that pregnancy often makes me look tired and spotty and so when I know I am seeing people or when I am not feeling my best I do tend to try and make my skin look as glowing as possible. To hide the fact that it's actually quite dull and lumpy at the moment.

Every time I do this make-up I get told how amazing I look and that's enough for me. I also wear it all day and just add a bit more definition and highlight if I'm going out or seeing people in the evening. For this to be as natural as possible I try to use most cream/liquid products so everything can be seamlessly blended (I then whack powders on in the evening!)

The first part of this make-up is what I do in the morning. I love the Estee Lauder EE cream as it has an SPF 30 (I'm on the hunt for a great powder SPF to top up with during the day). The second part is what I add in the evening before/during/after kids bathtime. It may look that I'm adding extra highlight or blusher on top of stuff that's already there but that's just for the purposes of this video. Imagine that 10 hours have passed...

If you haven't already then please subscribe to my channel, do leave me a comment (you'll make a pregnant woman very happy... unless it's a mean one). All products are listed below (some may be affiliate links) as are links to any reviews or videos mentioned.

Louise Young Studio 54 face of the day
The Ordinary Lactic Acid review

Louise Young Eye Trio Studio 54
Collection #YourStyleYourMood
NYX HD Eyeshadow Base
L'Oreal Superliner Perfect Slim
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
Estee Lauder EE Cream
Dr Hauschka Tinted Day Cream
Pixi Correction Concentrate
Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer
NYX Wonderstick
Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blushes in Rose Glow and Golden Glow
Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder
Cover FX Illuminating Translucent Powder
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Dangerous
Urban Decay and Gwen Stefani Rock Steady Lip Liner
Ilia Polka Dots and Moonbeams Illuminator
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow
Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit
MAC Smoulder
Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara

Wednesday 14 June 2017

VO5 Plump It Up Dry Backcomb Spray

Dry Backcombing Spray by VO5One of my big disappointments with dry shampoo is it never seems to give my hair the oomph it gives other people. I was sent this a while ago and I have to say I just sort of put it to one side as I had just never really tried anything from VO5 that I liked. I just assumed it wouldn't really do anything. How wrong I was. I now use this at least once a week, often after using some dry shampoo on the roots (it's Klorane at the moment) first and then adding this to give volume.

The daughter of a religious backcomber I rarely remember that it is even a thing and when I do I go about it all half-heartedly. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm lazy. I want hair like Dolly but with minimal effort. This is the closest I've got to that. You don't need very much to give a real boost and it's really quick. I lift and spritz in the roots, leave it for a couple of seconds and then use my fingers to sort of push the roots are.

It also some how manages to give the hair texture but not in that horrible sticky way. If you are someone who likes to style your hair properly this would be great for that. And it's long lasting - even if it flattens a bit a bit of a boost with your fingers and back up it goes. I can't believe I've had this and ignored it for so long. It's great!

What You Need to Know - VO5 Plump It Up Dry Backcomb Spray
  • £3
  • 200ml
  • Part of the Plump it Up range with five other products
  • Available from Boots, and pretty much any drugstore/high street chemist

Monday 12 June 2017

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's day is a tricky one. Men are so different. We used to take my father out for lunch as he was away working a lot, we lived in London and it was really nice to spend some time together. Also I find with men if they want something they usually get it themselves. My husband has a horror of more stuff being bought into the house having spent the last couple of years sorting through his late father's hoarded belongings and acquiring two children and the plastic tat that inevitably comes with them. For our anniversary I tend to take him out for supper.
Skull Cufflinks from The Great Frog

Father's Day though is different. Taking a hugely pregnant wife and two small children anywhere to eat isn't that relaxing and though I'm pretty sure he'd love it if I sent him to the pub for the afternoon I'm not sure that really counts. Of course I'm hoping Ned will create something at pre-school for his dad (I had a beautiful earring dish made) but in case that doesn't happen I have a few back-ups.

Accessories  - I love these skull cufflinks from The Great Frog (all their cufflinks are pretty awesome). I'm also always on the hunt for a vintage silver belt buckle for him but I think I need to go to America to track one of these down. These Gaucho belts look great and go with everything - Joe has the Neopolitan which has lasted for years and he wears it most days.

Friday 9 June 2017

Holiday Makeup

This is a bit of a long one but having done a blog post on how to pack your wash bag (link below) I thought it might be useful to see what I took on holiday with me make-up wise. I know this is a lot more than some of you but for me this is travelling light!

I spend most of a pool holiday with no make-up on but when we go out I put a little on. I take a few things that I am trying out and the everything else either has to be running out, easy to replace or a mult-tasker.

As always if you haven't already then please subscribe to my channel.

All products are listed below - I've put an * next to ones mentioned or shown that aren't actually used in this video. If you see a product that you like you can always check out the directory on the blog (link below) to see a full review. If there isn't one and you'd like to see it then send me a message!

Blog product directory
How to Pack your Wash Bag

Em-J Brush roll (personal which I don't think she makes anymore)
The Makeup Armoury Canvas Pouch
Rosie for Autograph Cream Eye Shadow Stick (Sparkle & Magic shown)
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil (in Iced Mocha and Yoghurt)*
NYX HD Eye Shadow Base*
Accessorize Palette from years ago
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit
L'Oreal Superliner Perfect Slim
MAC Smoulder Eye Kohl*
Lancome Artliner*
Urban Decay Perversion mascara
Dr Jart Premium BB Cream*
Clarins Wrinkle Control SPF50*
Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation
Bobbi Brown Corrector in light bisque
Laura Mercier Caviar Eyeliner in Midnight*
Maybelline Better Skin Concealer
Kiko Velvet Touch Creamy Stick Blush in 02 Golden Peach
Daniel Sandler Waterbrush
NYX Wonder stick
Louise Young Blusher (in Mae and Dolly)
Cover FX Illuminating Setting Powder
Dior Rouge Baume in Lili
Louise Young Lip trio in Enigma*
MUD Lipstick in Lucky*
MAC lip pencil in Whirl
Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Lip Pencil in 714
Ilia Tinted Lip Balm in Nobody's Baby

Real Techniques Blush Brush
Daniel Sandler Waterbrush
Eco Tools Define*
Real Techniques Contour Brush
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Louise Young LY16
Crown Brush BK38 Round Crease
Eco Microblending
Louise Young LY19
Laura Mercier Smokey Liner *
Eco Tools Angled Crease
Real Techniques Brow
Real Techniques Base shadow
Real Techniques shading brush
Eco Tools Spoolie
Louise Young LY16*
Bobbi Brown Lip Brush
Real Techniques Buffing Brush

Wednesday 7 June 2017

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%Two things worth mentioning from the get-go. 1. It's rare that I radically change my initial opinion of a product 2. I don't usually see that much (positive) difference when using different skincare - I may see slight changes and my skin may feel better but it's rare for it to be really noticable. When testing The Ordinary's Lactic Acid 10% not only did my initial opinion do a complete U-turn but my god I could see the difference.

For my first order from The Ordinary I choose three things; hyaluronic acid which is the basis for a lot of serums that cost about ten times more than this one, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F as an alternative to my beloved Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, and Lactic Acid 10% (the HA 2% stands for Hyularonic Acid) as an AHA since I don't use Retinol while pregnant and my face was looking pretty horrendous. More on the other two to come but it was the lactic acid that was a real eye opener.

Now, having done this for over a decade you'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now but I obviously haven't. So excited was I that I tried them all at the same time, at different times of day, and at the same time used a new SPF and my spots went from quite bad to absolutely horrendous. I thought it was the SPF but also suspected the lactic acid which I had just started slapping on my face at the end of the day. I had no choice but to stop using everything new, give my skin two weeks off and then start again one new product at a time. Like I should have done in the first place.

Monday 5 June 2017

How to Pack your Wash Bag

How to pack your washbagThis may seem really obvious to some but it's actually something that has taken me a long time to get right. Being pretty obsessed with skincare and make-up meant I spent much of my teens and twenties traveling around with bulging wash bags and make-up kits - often adding masses of weight to my luggage and I'd say at least 70% of the stuff never needed or looked at.

In this list I'm not including the obvious things like toothpaste and toothbrush. I of course pack those and a small plastic box with cotton buds and pads in. I also always have a small size talc with me... can't bear clammy feet! I used to just be slightly scared of my wash bag, there was always something leaking in there and I'd just cram more stuff in. Now I start with an empty wash bag and pack what I need for that trip (thanks to my double wash bag situation which you can see below). It doesn't take very long and I no longer have the leak/terror issue. So here's how to pack your wash bag.

Friday 2 June 2017

Everyday Guide to Primers

Primers is one of those subjects that once you get started it's very hard to know when to stop - you can now get photography fluids and other post-moisturiser, pre-foundation fluids that I didn't include here. Nor did I include lash primers. I've gone for basic primers as they were originally - to prep the skin and increase the longevity of your make-up.

For a lot of people you don't need a primer but I often get asked about whether people should use them and if so which ones. Primers are great because you can use them for just where you need them, they don't necessarily need to go all over your face. If I am prepping a brides skin I will often use primer over the majority of the face, then a mattifying primer on the t-zone and an illuminating one on the tops of the cheek bones.

I only use them on myself if I am going to a wedding or going out, out. Otherwise I find my foundations last pretty well all day anyway. I do however, always use them when I am working on brides or on someone with an oily skin.

I do use an eye primer every day as I find it really helps my eye make-up stay in place and I am often testing eye products so I'll use primer on one lid and not on the other to see how it affects the shadow/liner I'm trying.

All the products I've mentioned are listed below. Let me know what primers you love or hate and don't forget to subscribe to my channel.

My Everyday Guide to Brows

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
Laura Mercier other primers
SuperMatte Anti-Shine from Make-up International
MAC Fix+ Spray
Joan Collins Timeless Beauty 10 Effects
Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer
NYX HD Eyeshadow base
Lola Eye Base
Laura Mercier Eye Basics
Urban Decay Primer Potion
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil
MAC Longwear Paint Pot
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