Saturday, 19 November 2016

Autumn/Winter Wishlist - The Beauty Edition

This year my beauty wishlist has a real mix of everything, we have some haircare, skincare, makeup and a bath product and to me they all sound equally amazing and I want them all now. Some things are relatively new and others I have had my beady little eyes on for a while.

Grow Gorgeous, Overnight to Gorgeous Masque - This is a brand I have been looking into and following reviews about for a little while now, I have seen mixed reviews with some users saying it left their hair feeling heavy and sticky but the majority are in favour and I like to try everything myself before forming an opinion as everyone is different. My hair used to be incredibly thick but I struggled with a lot of hair loss a few years ago (still not sure why) and it just hasn't been the same since. Now with fabulous pregnancy hormones it's been a bit all over the place again and needs some serious TLC, this mask is designed to be applied and work it's magic overnight whilst you sleep and is packed with amazing ingredients. At £22.00 for 190ml it sits in the mid priced range and if it works then I would be more than happy to pay that.

Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil  - Another hair product on my wishlist is this hair oil which was created by Fashion Blogger and absolute babe Negin Mirsalehi. I think Negin was the first blogger I started really following years ago when she first started and I found her so inspiring. Years later and she now has 2 hair products which are part of the Gisou range, a bee based product line created with ingredients that come from her fathers Bee Hives where beekeeping has been in the family for 6 generations. With the honey as the key ingredient it's packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which will rebuild and repair your hair. If that isn't enough to convince you, just check out Negin's incredible hair ♡ at £68.00 it's definitely at the higher end of the scale price wise but you do get 100ml and only need a couple of drops per use so this should technically last you a long time and to me, hair is just as important as skin.

Laura Mercier, Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder - During the winter it doesn't take much to make your skin look dull so I will do all I can to make it look the opposite. Instead of my usual setting powder (I currently use the Bare Minerals Veil) I want to switch it up a bit and use a powder that has a little bit of something to it. This looks and sounds very similar to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder in diffused light but is slightly cheaper and the shade range is much better. You can use instead of your usual setting powder to add a subtle glow rather than a matte finish or you can gain a decent amount of coverage if buffed into the skin. It's £32.00 which for a product like this from a brand I love isn't too bad.

Bobbi Brown Wine Eye Palette - When I first saw this limited edition palette I think I actually squealed. With 4 beautiful shadows that scream winter colours and 3 matte pigment liner colours across the bottom of the palette it literally gives me the feels. I love Bobbi Brown shadows, I find them so buttery, easy to blend and just a pleasure to use so combine that, the shade offering and that packaging and you have yourself a winner. There are 7 shades in there so at £42.50 it isn't too steep and because it's limited edition it makes it that much more special, can you sense me trying to justify this to myself??

Peter Thomas Roth 24k Gold Face Mask - Ever since I first spied this gold shining beacon of light I have had it on my wishlist. Firstly, why on earth would you not want 24k gold on your face? Secondly, when it comes to face masks Peter Thomas Roth generally gets it pretty spot on. I have finished and loved the pumpkin enzyme mask and this is the next one on my list. It's supposed to lift, firm, brighten and smooth whilst packing a punch in the moisture department. Basically a facial in a jar and I am dying to add this to my collection for the cooler months ahead. Have you tried it yet? I would love to know anyones thoughts! It's £55.00 for 150ml which actually when you consider the ingredients really isn't bad at all.

Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts - There's something about pregnancy that just makes you want to lie in a hot bath all day every day, getting out is the difficult part and I don't mean because it's so enjoyable, picture a turtle on it's back - yep, that me. Big belly, slippy bath, not a good combination. It can't just be any bath though, it has to have lots of added goodies to make it feel like a real treat (don't worry, I have researched what is and isn't safe). I have tried and loved quite a few of the Herbivore products, the Lapis Facial Oil and the Rose Hibiscus Facial Mist are 2 of my favourite skincare products so I really want to explore more of the bath and body ones. These Ylang Ylang and Vanilla salts sound like a good place to start with a scent combination that will calm and sooth. I love Herbivores packaging too, everything feels very luxe and looks beautifully minimalist. You get about 4 uses for £14.47 which is great value.

So there you have it, my current beauty wishlist. If you have tried any of the above products I would really love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments below. Now to go and hide my card and forget where I put it...


Monday, 14 November 2016

Revisiting Old Favourites

Ah, old favourites, the products that sit at holy grail status and you use religiously for the first few weeks/months that you have them, then something shinier comes along and they get pushed to one side and forgotten, that is until you rediscover them whilst sorting through your makeup and wonder why on earth you ever stopped using them. Well that's exactly what happened here. 3 products that I was pretty sure I couldn't live without and used on a daily basis that completed vanished from my routine only to be recently rediscovered and I can't get enough...again.

I think most people that own this will agree that the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is up there in your list of favourites. It's probably my favourite base of all time, the ride or die foundation. The coverage is beautiful, buildable, not too dewy not too matte, luminous loveliness. It hasn't got an SPF so photographs really well and the magic pump seems to know exactly how much product you need. I use the shade 4 when I have no summer glow and every time I wear it my skin looks happy which in turn, makes me happy, very happy indeed.

A highlighter is one of those 'I need them all' products (they're just so pretty) so you use one for a couple of weeks then something equally as beautiful and heart eye emoji hits the shelves so the previous get forgotten. Has anyone ever hit pan or finished a highlighter? That's my mission. MAC soft and gentle was my go to highlighter for ages, I didn't use anything else. Then I believe the Mary Lou-Manizer came and stole the limelight, quickly followed my Becca's champagne pop and so on, you get the jist. There's just something about soft and gentle that's ranking it top spot again. I love a champagne/peachy highlight and this one literally makes your cheekbones look like magic. It's also great used on the inner corner of your eye or even on the lid. It's been safely put back in the 'everyday makeup' drawer, for now.

Hand's up if you own and still love MAC Mehr? I'm pretty sure I wore this shade everyday for at least a month, maybe more and 9 times out of 10 it was paired with Soar lipliner, obviously. Then the warmer months roll in and I reach for something a little more sheer and glossy and it gets forgotten and left to collect dust. Now Autumn has rolled back around I have been reaching for the matte shades a little more and that's when I came across Mehr again, hello old friend. It's just one of those 'goes with everything' shades, you can pair it with pretty much every makeup look. A dirty pink thats subtle yet noticeable in equal measures and comfortable on the lips, now where did I hide the Soar lipliner...?

Are any of these hiding away in your makeup drawers that you want to rediscover? Let me know what your old favourites are in the comments.

L x


Thursday, 10 November 2016

Easy Eyes with Mally - Shadow Stick Extra

Don't you just love it when it seems as though you have put loads of effort into your makeup when really you took the easy way out? That, for me, is where eyeshadow sticks come in. They are so handy, save so much time yet the finished look always looks amazing whether you have just chosen to do a wash of one colour or created a smokey eye with a few colours which requires minimal blending.

I had never tried any Mally makeup before I discovered it on QVC, the brand was created by makeup artist Mally Roncal about 9 years ago. Mally created the range to be user friendly, multi-tasking and stay put all day for women that don't have the time for regular touch ups. The website only ships to the US so if you are in the UK/Europe and you want to try the brand out you can do what I did and order here via the QVC website which has a great selection of products to choose from.

My palette collection is getting somewhat out of hand (who am I kidding, you can never have enough). With that in mind I decided to go for something a little different, the Shadow Stick Extra 5 piece collection. I do and have used eyeshadow sticks before but I have never found them quite as exciting as a beautiful palette with an array of colours so when I saw this 5 piece collection I was intrigued. The shades are all, taupes/browns/mauves but not too cool and all very pigmented. You have everything you need for a intense smokey eye or just a simple look. 4 of the shades are shimmer and there is one matte. The lightest shimmer shade 'moonlight' is great for the inner corners and also a really nice brow bone (and cheekbone) highlight. The other 3 shades, Mahogany, Brownstone and Bliss are beautiful and although they look slightly similar in the bullet when applied to the lid are very different. When you first apply them you have a bit of time to work with them so if you want to do any blending then you can with ease but once they set they really aren't going anywhere. They don't crease, smudge or transfer on me at all and will still look exactly as they did when I applied them when I come to remove my makeup so when Mally set out to create long lasting formula's she really succeeded with this product.

I have been so impressed with them and very glad that I decided to try the brand out. I am currently eyeing up the lip cremes because you can never have too many lip products, right?

Have you tried any Mally products? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. All enabling welcomed...


Saturday, 5 November 2016

Autumn / Winter Matte Liquid Lips

When it comes to liquid lipsticks, I tend to have a love hate relationship with them. I love the longevity and the convenience but if it's going to dry my lips out like the sahara, I hate them. Anastasia Beverly Hills are my favourite formula but I wanted to find some drugstore ones that lived up to them. Recently I have been reaching for a creamy nude lipstick but I find when I go matte I want something a little less boring.

If you're like me and dislike drying formulas then the Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick from Maybelline is for you. Unlike most formulas this one has been created so that you can wear it in different ways, for a matte finish apply sparingly and press your lips together, if you would rather a stain then blot off excess with a tissue straight after and if you want something with more of a sheen then you can apply generously as you would a normal lipstick. I think it's great that you can get so many finishes with one product and no matter which finish you choose it doesn't go patchy and keeps lips feeling hydrated and comfortable all whilst lasting on the lips. I have the shade Nude Flush which, no doesn't scream Autumn/Winter but everyone loves a nude, right?

My favourite drugstore liquid lipstick has to be the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet, I have managed to build myself quite the collection (Nude-ist! has been re-purchased at least 3 times), but the newest to my stash and slightly more Autumn/Winter appropriate is Beau brun which at first look is somewhere in between a red and a terracotta with brown undertones but when applied to my lips looks slightly more pink. The formula is great and not too drying and it doesn't go patchy. One coat and you get a good opaque finish but I tend to go for two to make the colour pay off a little more intense.

A new find (and the cheapest) comes from MUA, it's their Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer, I have the shade 'Firecracker' which is a rich berry red. For only £3.00 I can't quite believe how bloody good this is, super pigmented, not at all patchy, which you tend to find with darker shades, really long lasting AND it smells like cake. Winner. I'm serious though, once it's on you have to commit because it isn't going anywhere, I like to combine this with a lip liner, not because it bleeds but because I just personally think it makes all dark lips much cleaner. It dries down completely matte which means it won't be the most moisturising formula but it certainly isn't uncomfortable. I have now convinced myself that I need all the shades of this range.

I have to say, I think the cheapest offering from MUA is my favourite and if you are looking for a proper Matte finish I think it might be yours too. Let me know what you think in the comments.

L x


Thursday, 3 November 2016

3 New Skincare Additions

My relationship with skincare has been a long and bumpy road. The amount of products I have tried and tested in an effort to get the best possible complexion really is quite unbelievable, just when you think you've got it down, BAM, there's that bump in the road again. Now, when I find products that work I stick to them and and will only change things up depending on how my skin is behaving. With pregnancy came a change in skin and I have finally pinned down a routine I'm happy with and has been working wonders on my hormonal face. These 3 products in particular seem to have made the biggest difference.

Mama Mio, Gorgeous Glow Balancing Facial Wash - Ok so if you're not pregnant then you may not be interested in this but ever since I started using this face wash my skin changed dramatically within days and has continued to stay clear and glowing since. I may even consider to continue using after little one's here. It is completely soap and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate free and uses natural Lactic Acid to exfoliate so it provides you with a gentle yet very effective cleanse. It's packed with incredible natural products with a scent that resembles a spa visit.

Origins Original Skin Essence Lotion - I dipped my toe into the essence world and boy am I glad that I did. One of those products that you think, is it really a necessary edition to my routine? Let me answer that for you, YES. Now, i'm not 100% sure what crazy magic it is that makes it so wonderful, the active ingredient is Willowherb which, in short is supposed to boost radiance so I don't know if it's all down to this but whatever it is, I love it. No matter what your skin type you can use this, dry, normal and oily, I use after cleansing and toning and before serum by applying directly into my hands and patting into my skin. I started using about 3 weeks ago and since my complexion has felt hydrated, radiant and generally just great.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet - Now I have to admit, the words 'moisturising' and 'sorbet' combined were what first grabbed my attention with this product. If you have sensitive skin then this ones for you, it packs a serious punch in the moisture department but because it's a gel cream it feels so light on the skin. Organic Grape Water and Camomile sooth redness and moisturise whilst natural Polyphenols (found in green tea, cocoa, blueberries etc) provide you with anti-oxidants. I apply as the final step in my routine morning and night, it smells heavenly and my skin absolutely loves it.

Who knows what will happen when baby is here and if things go awol and totally change again but at the moment I really think that these 3 products have played a huge part in helping to make my skin look and feel so much better, I can't recommend them enough. What are your staple products in your skincare routine? Let me know in the comments!

L x


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The 30 Week Pregnancy Update

Holy crap, i'm not sure what it is about the 30 week mark that makes me finally feel PREGNANT but it does. It may have something to do with the fact my midwife said, "just think, in the next 7-12 weeks you will be a mum". If the chair I was sat in didn't have arm rests I would have hit the floor. With a bit of luck she will come as close to my due date as possible which gives me another 10 weeks to prepare.

How i'm feeling - Mentally I feel ready to be a mum and to bring our daughter into the world with Alex by my side. Everyday that goes by, the more excited I get and I still feel incredibly lucky to be pregnant. However, we are not even close to being ready in any other way, we are still waiting to move into a new house in the next few weeks (fingers crossed) so we haven't even started shopping for nursery furniture or any other baby essentials bar a few clothes that we have started buying. The nesting instinct has already kicked in and I am literally itching to start getting everything sorted and perfect for her. Once we have it all done I know I will be really impatient and just want her here now!

Symptoms - Now i'm in the 3rd trimester all the late pregnancy symptoms have kicked in. Restless Leg Syndrome is just bloody irritating if you ask me, every night without fail when I get into bed my legs do not know what to do with themselves and even my 12 foot pregnancy pillow won't solve it. Combine RLS with Insomnia and you have yourself a grumpy Lauren, I can literally lie in bed awake for hours on end, so far my record is 4am. I am actually going to see someone this week to help with relaxation techniques so with a bit of luck this particular symptom will be over soon. I feel like I am already pretty big for 30 weeks and my pelvis and lower back are feeling the pressure. My pelvis actually crunches when I move in certain positions which I can't say i'm loving. I have also been told my uterus is really high so it feels like all my organs are in my chest but these are all things I will happily go through 100 times over when I know the outcome.

Things i'm loving - FAB ice lollies, honestly I cannot get enough of them. Why I couldn't crave broccoli or something healthy I do not know. Innocent smooth orange juice, it cannot be any other brand, it has to be innocent to satisfy me! Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Tummy Butter has really been helping to sooth the irritating tummy itch, I don't want to jinx anything but so far I have no stretch marks, whether this is helping or not I don't know! The Mama Mio, Gorgeous Glow Balancing Facial Wash. This product is going to be included in an up and coming post but it's a pregnancy safe cleanser that has been working absolute wonders on my crazy hormonal skin. Finally, to some it may sound bonkers but I absolutely love getting a massive kick, whether it's in the bladder or the ribs and takes my breath away. I can feel her move the majority of the day, so far she has 2 careers lined up, a dancer or a gymnast!

It's mad to think that we have such a short amount of time left until we are parents and in that time I will be celebrating a birthday, Christmas and New Year! It's going to be a crazy 10 weeks...

L x


Sunday, 30 October 2016

My top 3 - Drugstore Concealers

When it comes to concealer I think the drugstore is a great and more purse friendly option. The majority of my go to concealers are from the drugstore and under £10.00. Don't get me wrong, i'm partial to a Bobbi Brown under eye corrector and Nars creamy concealer but if you're looking for something a little cheaper then I think that I have 3 really great options for you.

The Maybelline Fit Me concealer is perfect if you're looking for great coverage that doesn't look cakey on the skin. It's a gel concealer which doesn't contain any waxes or fillers which help in giving it a really even and flawless finish. This is the one I reach for when my skin is really not playing ball and I have blemishes, redness and under eyes that just look blah. It is so similar to the Nars Creamy Concealer in terms of coverage and application but at only £5.99 it's a fraction of the price.

The one that surprised me the most is the Seventeen Skin Wow concealer. I won't lie, if it comes in a click-release pen then you have my attention, theres just something very satisfying about it. It comes in 3 shades, fair, medium and dark, I use the shade fair and have to say I was expecting it to be most comparable to the YSL Touche Eclat (mainly because of the packaging) which, don't get me wrong is a firm favourite of mine in terms of light reflecting/highlighting but coverage isn't great. This however has both, it not only highlights under eyes but has a really good coverage too, it works perfectly on blue/purple under eyes so a great one to pull out if you're looking particularly zombie like and I think is really similar to the Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher. Before trying this I hadn't really dabbled too much in Seventeen but I am definitely looking forward to testing a few more products.

Lastly, the perfect everyday concealer, Rimmel Match Perfection. Quite similar to the Skin Wow this is a 2-in-1 concealer and highlighter and I find is a great all rounder. Good at covering dark circles, conceals blemishes, hides redness and generally wakes up a bit of a dull looking complexion. You can be pretty generous with this to get desired coverage without it looking cakey and if you set with a powder then I don't find it creases. I have to say, I'm not a huge fan of the packaging if you squeeze a little to hard then you are going to get way too much product and it would be handy to have a little more than 3 shades.

What's your favourite concealer, are you strictly high-end or do the drugstore concealers take top spot for you too?

L x
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