This Week: In Bruges

Another week, another amazing city! I'm beginning to feel just slightly like a jet setter.. although eight hours on a coach and a rather woozy ferry ride didn't feel too luxurious at the time. A few little breaks that have been in the pipeline for a long time all seemed to have fallen within the same two months and honestly, I'm absolutely exhausted!

A Skincare Update

When I last posted about my morning and evening skincare routines back in March I promised to keep a more regular update on any changes to my regular line up of products. Since then a handful of new finds (and some golden oldies!) have been introduced and others substituted out completely so I decided it was about time to dedicate a video to my favourite subject!

A New Favourite Cleansing Balm

If there's one skincare product I enjoy the most, it's a good cleansing balm. The feeling of throwing a rich, oily layer right on top of make up and watching it melt away while indulging in a quick facial massage isn't a bad way to spend five minutes in the evening and makes the tedious step of taking it all off a little more bearable.

Paris Beauty Haul

When I found out I'd be taking a trip to Paris last month not only did I start planning the sights to see and places to go, but also which beauty products I wanted to pick up on our brief visit. From the lure of the French pharmacies, stocked to the brim with amazing skincare brands and a fair few products that are almost imposs

This Week: Cake at the Seaside

Before I start waffling on about cake, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all those who commented or tweeted me about yesterday's post. You truly warmed my heart and I feel so lucky to have such wonderful, understanding readers who have left me feeling refreshed, full of positivity and ready to start a new chapter of I Covet Thee.

January 31, 2012

January Glossy Box - Valentine's Edition




WELEDA ONE STEP CLEANSER & TONER, FAB GENTLE BODY WASH, MURAB HYBRIDS SKIN PERFECTING PRIMER, ORLY RUBY POLISH,
EYEKO EMERALD GREEN SKINNY EYELINER

I was a bit shocked to see how bright this month's fluorescent pink box was when I found it on my doorstep today, even after seeing the spoilers! I think I need to stop reading other people's Glossy Box posts because more often than not I've been disappointed when I've opened mine up and found I hadn't been sent seeing something that I knew I really wanted. For example, I was really interested to try the Davines skin care a lot of people got, and the Eyeko Skinny Liner in the flesh pink tone thats being compared to Benefit's Eye Bright pencil. Instead I got emerald green which is a nice colour, don't get me wrong, but I know I just wont get the wear out of it. I'm not too adventurous when it comes to eye colours!

The rest of the products however, I do like. The FAB body wash is really moisturising and leaves my skin feeling soft but throughly clean. I love the colour of the nail varnish too, deep blood red being one of my all time favourites. Despite having several duplicates of this colour (Chanel Rouge Noir, Models Own Red Black, Revlon Vixen, all brilliant!) I've been wanting to try Orly for a while now and found the application very smooth and easy.

The Weleda two in one cleanser toner left me a little bit on the fence. I like to give my skin a good thorough cleanse and tend to steer clear of time saving 'multi functional' products and as expected this didn't take a whole lot of my make up off but it did act as a nice refreshing toner.

I think the Murad primer might be my favourite so far though. It came out very dark which I was a bit surprised by but it blended away to nothing but a faint glow. For a bit of reference it's not quite as radiant as MAC Strobe Cream which I've been using recently and not as mattifying as Benefit's Porefessional. I tried it with Illamasqua's Skin Base which tends to make me the oiliest of all my foundations and I have noticed a difference in its lasting power. I've had it on for about 8 hours and usually I would have needed to powder a few times by now, but I'm yet to have any extreme greasiness which tells me its doing something right!

How cute was the little sweetie too? I think of all the GlossyBoxes, the themed ones have definitely been the best. Happy Valentine's day to you all!

January 27, 2012

Soleil Tan de Chanel





I have been waiting so long for this! Ever since August Chanel's Soleil de Tan had mysteriously disappeared from every single counter across the country. After hunting high and low and even being turned away by Selfridges, I finally managed to get my hands on it a few weeks ago after nearly driving the Chanel ladies crazy asking at the same counter so many times. But I'm so glad I persisted!

I've never come across a cream bronzer before, but after falling in love with cream blushers last year (thanks Topshop!) I knew I really wanted to try it. I think it's quite expensive for a make up product. I paid around £28 for this in John Lewis, but I think it varies slightly as I've seen it in Boots for more. Definitely a splurge item!

As for the colour, its very orangey toned, but don't be scared if you're pale like me because it blends out beautifully giving the skin a warm glow. I've even put it all over my face as a base, then blended foundation over the top to take my skin up a few shades. Great if you're tanning and don't want to go through the arduous process of using a facial tanner each night, only to scrub it off again the next day when cleansing.

At the moment I've been applying it with a Sigma flat top kabuki, the brush of brushes, which is synthetic, making it so much easier to blend. I've tried it with a regular blusher brush as well but find most of the product gets absorbed into the bristles giving a more subtle hint of colour.

I really think I'm in love with this product. The dewey finish it gives together with how natural the colour looks has made it a staple in my make up routine already. I've been using it practically every day for nearly a month now and I've barely made a dent in it so I'm hoping this is going to last long enough to justify its price!

For those who can't quite bring themselves to part with so much money however, Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse is actually a great alternative. Now, I know you might be gasping in horror, and can I just say I would NEVER recommend this as an actual foundation, but if you buy one that's a few shades darker than your own skin tone it makes a great alternative if you're looking for a creamy/mousse bronzer and for around £7.00 you can't really go wrong!

January 25, 2012

Things I Want This Week


Urban Outfitters Letter Watch, Asos Swallow Collar Tips, O.P.I Nail Envy, Topshop Speckle Jumper, Benefit Moon Beam

01. I'm really into wearing watches at the moment and already have a lovely one from UO which you've probably seen me wearing in most recent outfit posts, but I saw this on the website the other day and kicked myself for not getting it instead seeing as it's a little bit more personalised!

02. I've been after the perfect pair of collar tips for so long, and really like these swallow ones which are a little different to the other plain ones that I've seen.

03. This has been raved about by a lot of people recently, and although it's shockingly expensive for what's basically a nail strengthener, I've made a resolution to take better care of my stumpy little nails and try to grow them beyond the end of my fingers this year!

04. I love these kind of slouchy jumpers that can be thrown on with a pair of jeans and worn really casually, or dressed up with a buttoned up shirt underneath.

05. I think Moon Beam gets a little overlooked when it comes to the Benefit highlighters. I use High Beam a lot but at the moment I'm finding it a little bit too icy bright for my skin. I tried this at the Benefit counter a few days ago and its actually a really beautiful golden shimmer with a pinky pearl running through it. Also, since hearing that they're now discontinuing it and bringing out Sun Beam (which I'll also add to the wish list) I have to have it before it's gone forever!

January 22, 2012

This Week #14





Did a little bit of overspending this week, not that that makes a change! Got myself a 50mm lense which I am absolutely in love with. It makes everything look so beautiful. Popped back into Urban Outfitters which is fast becoming my favorite place to shop. Other than that I've been looking through the new spring pastles and scoffing grilled cheese and marmite on toast. TRY IT. Also bought a little stand for my earrings, even though I never wear them anymore and the most beautiful smelling perfume ever that I've been wanting since last March! Hope everyone's weeks been a little more productive than mine!


YouTube - Twitter - Bloglovin' - Instagram

January 21, 2012

Short Shorts



Shirt: Asos
Jumper: New Look
Shorts: Motel
Necklace: Topshop


Can I just say, I didn't realise how sinfully small these shorts were untill looking back at the photos! These are my first purchase from Motel, after finding a 20% off code during Christmas. I ended up wearing a pair of knee high socks over the tights as it was so freezing today. Definitely not shorts weather!

Brought out the trusty wooly jumper that I've been throwing over a lot of things lately. I love how it's such a garish colour but somehow manages to go with everything. Thats in my opinion anyway!

On another completely unrelated topic, I signed up to the She Said Beauty box on a whim today despite knowing nothing about it or the brands it works with. I have a feeling it'll probably end up being a bit hit or miss but I fancied trying something new. Getting a little tired of GlossyBox now but still love the idea of these subsription boxes so I thought I'd give it a go. Has anyone else heard of the She Said?


YouTube - Twitter - Bloglovin' - Instagram

January 19, 2012

Minty


Eyeko Vintage Polish, Essie Mint Candy Apple, OPI Mermaid's Tears, Model's Own Pro Jade-Anna, Barry M Mint Green, George Streamer

I was sorting through my ridiculous sized nail varnish collection today and noticed one particular colour kept cropping up more than others. Ever since seeing Fade To Black's signature minty green nails a few years ago I've been searching for the perfect green of my own. I think my all time favoutire has to be Essie's Mint Candy Apple, although I've got quite a few to pick and choose from! Barry M's Mint Green is another that's been well loved along with it's perfect dupe Eyeko's Vintage Polish (which I still can't believe they've discontinued!). I should probably throw a few of these away instead of gravitating towards the exact same colour every time I go near a nail varnish stand, but I don't think I can help myself! What's your go to colour?

January 17, 2012

I See Lucy In The Sky




Playsuit: Primark
Bracelets: Topshop, Urban Outfitters, eBay


I love it when I find a single piece of clothing that can be worn totally alone and still feel like a full outfit. I've found primark pretty hit and miss at the moment, (rainbow faux fur jumper anyone?) so I grabbed this as soon as I saw it. Playsuits are usually a bit funny on me being tall and therefore my proportions weirdly elongated, but this one fits a treat. It reminds me a little of the oh so coveted Topshop blue velvet playsuit from way back that I know we all regret not buying.

YouTube - Twitter - Bloglovin' - Instagram

January 15, 2012

This Week (or two) #13




I had this post all written out and ready to go at half past seven today, went to click publish and lost it. I would have written it out again but I got so enraged I slammed the laptop down and went off to play Temple Run for an hour.
These are a couple of snaps of the last few weeks, including my amazing New Year's Eve at the O2 ringing in 2012 with Chase & Status and Kasabian. I hope everyone's had good start to January and I'm sorry this post is such a snooze!

Also, don't forget to check out the little blog sale I'm having here. Just a few bits and bobs from Clinique, Nails Inc., Topshop Makeup, Soap & Glory and many more!


YouTube - Twitter - Bloglovin' - Instagram

January 14, 2012

Feel Unique Beauty Box - January 2012



Dead Sea Spa Magik Salt Brushing | Caudalie Vinotherapie Nourishing Body Lotion | Phyto PhytoBaume Color Protect Express Conditioner
this works Clean Skin for the Face | Lierac Creme Mesolift Anti-Aging Radiance

I have to be honest, every month when this little box comes through the door I can't wait to rip it open. I've loved every single one of these since the first and have yet to be disappointed. That being said however, I didn't feel like there was any stand out product this month as there have been in previous boxes. The first thing I saw were the Sea Salts, which I got a few months ago in a GlossyBox. I haven't got round to using them yet and I have a feeling these are going to end up in a draw somewhere. They seem like a good idea, but a messy one and I'd much prefer to use a proper exfoliator.

The cleanser is nice, kind of like Liz Earle minus the cloth. It didn't take all my make up off but I've recently got into the (not so brilliant) habit of wearing Double Wear every day and we all know that takes a whole lot of scrubbing to properly remove. This is beautiful in the morning though when skin needs refreshing and the herby lavender scent is lovely.

The radiance promoting Lierac moisturiser both smells and feels a little odd once its on, but does moisturise nicely. I can't tell you a lot about it because there is absolutely no english on the box, but I've always been very interested in French brands like Avène and La Roche Posay etc. which are all backed up with excellent reasearch so this ones okay in my book! That being said however, there have been a few Claudile products spread between previous boxes but I just can't get into them! I think more than any other product, body lotions are the ones I really choose for their smell over anything else and this one reminds me so much of baby wipes I can't bring myself to use it.

Last of all the Phyto conditioner which I was really excited to try after seeing Laura rave about their products. I almost don't want to say anything bad about this but I just didn't find it moisturised my hair at all and left it feeling quite dehydrated. Still want to try more from this brand though and might take advantage of the 10% discount code that comes with the box!

January 12, 2012

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer



Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer - Light

I got a little overly excited about a month ago when I walked into work and saw the shiny new Soap & Glory stand sitting in the makeup isle. We all know and love their range of bath and body products with their signature scent, and judging by the already empty shelves people were just as excited as I was to try their newest venture into cosmetics.

Needless to say, I had very high hopes. I only bought one thing as like the rest of their products, this makeup doesn't come cheap. This concealer was £10.00 which I think is a little steep for a 'drugstore' brand, but I bought it anyway. It's quite a clever little package with two concealer shades, one for brightening under the eyes and one for the face, along with a setting powder. I've been wearing it everyday for about two weeks now and to be honest I haven't loved it. Every morning I've applied it slightly differently hoping that it would turn out a little better, but so far it's been cakey, thick and not that pleasant at all. Even with the powder my mascara still smudged really badly as the product never really seemed to set and stayed slidey and thick all day.

In terms of colour, the under eye shade is great while it lasts. Just warm enough to cancel out the blue tones of my dark circles, but the other is really yellowy and completely wrong for my skin. These little sets only come in two colours - medium and light, which is what I got. As we all know, I'm slightly on the unnatural side of pale and probably don't represent the majority of the population but I was a little disappointed at the limited range and how wrong this shade was.

Its one redeeming quality though is the setting powder. I never powder under my eyes as I find after a few hours that area becomes dry and flakey, but when I used this with my holy grail concealer, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection, I found that it kept it looking fresher for longer and it stopped the 'panda effect' we all know and hate.

Overall I found this concealer a bit of a waste of time and money, but that hasn't stopped me wanting to try more products from Soap & Glory. Particularly love the look of the Love at First Blush powder and Glow All Out highlighter. Has anyone else tried Soap & Glory Cosmetics? What did you think?

January 10, 2012

Faux Fur and Burgundy




Dress: Topshop
Coat: New Look
Faux Fur Stole: H&M
Bag: Primark
Watch: Urban Outfitters


I finally braved going all the way into Southampton today to have a wander around the last dregs of the sales. I've never been big on sales and usually just end up looking at the full priced stuff, but I managed to find a few little bits that I liked, along with this carpet bag from Primark which was a measly fiver! I also popped into the brand new Urban Outfitters that's just opened here, which I've been waiting for forever. Fell in love as soon as I went in and spent more than I'm proud of.

It's still wintery and cold here so this faux fur stole has been making an appearance over every outfit I've been wearing at the moment. So toasty! I've been getting back into wearing dresses this week as my post-Christmas belly will no longer permit me to wear the single pair of Asos jeans I've been living in for the past month. Oh the shame.

I also made a cheeky Illamasqua order last night after seeing Holly's posts about all the amazing discounts they had on at the moment. Never occurred to me that a beauty brand like Illamasqua would have a sale on! I bought the intriguing looking Illumine Oil and another blood red lipstick which I probably didn't need.


YouTube - Twitter - Bloglovin' - Instagram

January 03, 2012

Best Products of 2011



Hello everyone and happy 2012! I thought I'd start off the year by getting back into posting with my ten favourite beauty discoveries of 2011! It was really hard choosing only ten, but I decided to limit myself to things I'd only started using last year or the list was just going to be endless!

Liz Earle Skin Repair Light Moisturiser: If you're a regular reader of my blog you should know by now how much I love Liz Earle. The only products I don't rave about however, are the moisturisers. To me they have just been too heavy and greasy, but after a bit of an impulse spree in John Lewis a couple of months ago I decided to give this one a go and I was very glad I did! It's still a very rich moisturiser but doesn't sit on the skin like I find the regular Liz Earle ones do. It smells amazing, like all their products, and sinks in to give a really soft, supple feel to your skin.

Estée Lauder Modern Mercury Illuminating Powder: My holy grail, wonder product, THE best thing to happen to make up this year. The fact that this was limited edition and is now sold out makes me want to weep because it's the best highlighter I have ever used. As soon as I swatched it at the Estée Lauder counter I knew it had to be mine, despite the hefty price tag. It gives the skin the most gorgeous, glowing, fresh look that I've never been able to mimic with a similar product. It looks quite dark in the pan, and can be used as an eyeshadow too, but when swept onto the skin with a little kabuki brush as I like to use, it leaves a radiance that isn't overly sparkly or shimmery. Just perfect.

Models Own Juicy Jules: Another product that I've mentioned too much. I always find myself reaching for this whenever I've painted my nails. No matter the colour this looks amazing over anything. It's a real silver sparkle but unlike other similar glitter polishes, reflects all the colours of the rainbow giving it a really unique and fascinating finish that I always find myself staring at.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat: For some odd reason I like to paint my nails a at night just before I go to bed and for a long time unless I slept in some strange, hands in the air position, I'd wake up to find my nails smudged or with fabric/hair imprints all over even though they were dry to the touch. I grabbed this from Boots randomly when I ran out of the Barry M top coat I was using and three bottles later I've never looked back. This dries SO fast you can press down and scratch your nails as much as you like after only five minutes and there will be no marks, dents or anything. And it gives an amazing shine!

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer: Probably the most raved about concealer in the beauty blogging world but with much justification. It goes on lovely and creamy and is easily blendable, but then sets on its own so there's no need for cakey powdering over the top, and the excellent coverage really does last all day. The only bad thing I have to say about it for me is the colour. I have to get a bit fancy with the back of my hand and some brushes as I use a mix of shades 1 and 2 over my face and 2 under my eyes, although don't let my oddly coloured skin put you off, it really is an amazing concealer if you can find the right match.

Boots Vitamin E Facial Oil: I know the majority of the world wouldn't even consider putting oil on their face, especially those prone to blemishes like me but this product really has changed my skin this year. I have quite oily skin, but it can become very dry if I don't use a good moisturiser. I used to wake up in the morning with that horrible tight feeling across my face, so I started putting this over the top of my night cream and massaging it into my skin for a few minutes. It's seriously improved suppleness and even calms down the odd spot I get every now and then. Plus, it's less than £3.00!

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer: Thanks to Feelunique and GlossyBox this year I've not had to purchase the full size of this yet, which I'm dreading as its pretty pricey! I've always used hair masks but never really felt more of a difference than if I'd just used a regular conditioner, but this one is a little different. It goes on damp hair for around ten minutes (although I leave it for a lot longer) before shampoo which seems a little odd as I thought the effects would just be washed out. But it really does leave your hair feeling brand new and so light and manageable. Definitely worth investing in.

Topshop Rapturous Lip Stick: I do love a good red lip every now and then but hate having to worry about smudging and touch ups all day. This apply named lip stick has a beautiful velvet matte finish, my favourite kind for red lips, and the colour is ever so slightly on the orangey side which I think really suits anyone. You can see me wearing this here.

Moroccanoil: I was so sceptical to try this because as much as putting oil on your face makes sense to me, using it on your hair does not. After ombreing my hair earlier this year with an ill advised tub of peroxide I was just about ready to cut it all off when it became so damaged I was waking up with chunks of it on my pillow. I had nothing to lose so I bought a little 5 ml sample from ebay and started using it when my hair was damp and then every morning and night in between washes. I wouldn't advise using it twice a day on hair thats not too damaged as you only need the smallest amount, but mine was awful and this saved it. I'd definitely advise getting the pump version, as pouring the right amount out of the bottle can be a little tricky and wasteful. Of all the products I've mentioned here I'd say this was the best investment. Your hair will have never looked or felt healthier after using this!

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara: For as long as I've been wearing make up I've always suffered from mascara smudging under my eyes within only hours of applying it. No matter what combination of concealers, powders and mascara I'd use, I was always left with those tired black smudges. I'd nearly resigned myself to the fact that I would either have to stop wearing mascara or accept the fact that I'd look like a Panda for the rest of my life when I found this. THE cutest mascara in the world, it has a tiny little brush which, although a little time consuming, gives your bottom lashes a perfect, easy to apply coat of mascara which, to this day, has yet to smudge on me.