This Week: A Birthday Trip to London

I've had quite the busy time this week (makes a change from my usual pyjama's on at 4pm schedule) and got whisked away to London for a long weekend which involved a good trawl of the shops - a haul could possibly be making it's way to you very soon, an amazing opportunity to go to Wimbledon to watch Andy Murray play on Centre Court and uh, not to mention probably the highest levels of giddy excitement I've experienced since I was thirteen after Darren surprised me with tickets to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Undoubtedly one of the best experiences my inner child and I have ever had.

May Favourites

After a unintentional three week stint away from YouTube (not sure how that one happened, sorry!) I'm back with a round up of the best of the best in beauty from May - and let me tell you right now, it's a big one. From a new skincare combo I've been trialling with great results to a lipstick I can't confess enough love for and a retraction that needs to be issued after a not so friendly product diss, here are last month's favourites!

This Week: Gluten and Dairy Free Pancakes

After making the decision to eliminate gluten and dairy from the majority of my diet two months ago it's been quite the struggle to stay strict with my eating habits, especially when it came to cutting out all the sweet treats I was used to gorging on daily, packed full of things I really didn't need to be putting into my body.

New In from MAC: Studio Fix Powder

I went through a phase when I first got into make up that was all about MAC, MAC, MAC. I think any girl would look longingly at a brand that carries a million eyeshadow colours and want to have it all, but over the last year my interest has mostly died down.

The Summer Red

Although red lipstick will always be my one true love it's not a colour that I tend to gravitate towards during the warmer months as it's not hard for it to overpower the face when there's a lot of bright light around - and who wants to think about avoiding red smudges all over your face whilst chowing down on a giant ice cream cone?

April 29, 2012

Things I Want This Week #06


1, 2, 3, 4

01. I finally got round to using the Benefit B.right miniatures I bought a few weeks ago and although they didn't last long, I loved them all! This moisturiser was definitely the stand out product but at £26.50 I'm a little hesitant to give in and buy the full size.

02. I've been seeing these funny little lip balms popping up everywhere recently and I think the flavour lemon drop would be perfect for summer. Not that I need any more lip balms!

03. Desperatley want to get my cartilage pierced but until I can pluck up the courage to subject myself to that kind of pain these Topshop ear cuffs would do the job very nicely.

04. I can't seem to say no to anything mint these days! I've actually tried this on a few times and keep putting it back as its quite scandalously sheer but still so lovely.

April 26, 2012

Current Foundation Favourite

Benefit High Beam £18.50 & Rimmel Wake Me Up Founation £8.99

When it comes to foundation, I have to admit I've become a bit of a snob and only tend to head to the premium counters for new purchases. Recently though Rimmel Wake Me Up has had so much hype I couldn't resist any longer! At £8.99, its probably the least expensive foundation I own and I've actually really liked using it over the last week.

I tried this on its own to begin with and found that it gave my skin a really fresh glow, while at the same time being quite a satin finish and not dewy and 'wet' looking as I expected. This is down to the tiny particles of mineral pearls which you can just about make out in the bottle. It's pretty similar in principle to Revlon's Photoready foundation but the pigments are no way near as large and glittery as they're actually unnoticeable on the skin. Its quite a creamy formula which works really well buffed in with a flat top brush and I've even found it smooths out my skin quite a bit. The coverage is medium at first, but very easily buildable to give a flawless finish.

All in all I'm really impressed with this 'drug store' foundation and have found myself reaching for it on a daily basis. The only bad things I'd have to say about it are the staying power, which doesn't quite get me through a full day at work without a top up, and the colour range! Obviously a brand like Rimmel are only going to make room for the most popular colours on their shelves but I wish there would be a better colour choice for the paler minority! This shade Ivory is the lightest they offer and it's still a little dark for me.

What I've found makes this foundation really amazing however, is Benefit's High Beam. I've been loving using the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer that I mentioned in my March Favourites, so much so that I've used it all up! Having yet to repurchase it (which I still very much intend to do) I dug out my old bottle of High Beam which is pretty much an identical pink version. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with this product as I've always thought it was beautiful but never really mastered putting a cream highlighter on top of foundation. I've never actually used it all over as a base though so I popped it all over before using Wake Me Up and wow, the glow this combination gives is really amazing!

Has anyone else tried this primer/foundation combo?

April 20, 2012

Philosophy Purity Cleanser




Hello there everyone, yes I'm still alive and I do realise it's been an actual decade since I last blogged! Naughty me. I've been so uninspired lately and pretty much think I'm boring you all with my rambling but hey ho, hopefully not!

As avid readers will be aware I've been stuck in a bit of a rut with my Clarisonic ever since I started using it nearly a year ago. I've gone through a very strained relationship with this nifty little tool, loving the way it made my skin feel but never really getting into a routine of using it properly and therefore never seeing it's true benefits. I decided it was down to the fact that I was yet to find the perfect cleanser to use with it which surprised me seeing as I'm a bit of a cleansaholic. I wanted something that foamed up, but not too much, was refreshing but still substantial and that really cleaned my skin without leaving it feeling tight and dry. It got to a point where I didn't thing such a cleanser existed until I was came across Purity. I'm not sure why I don't own any other Philosophy products considering how beautiful they all smell but I'm sure I'll be investing in a few more after trying out this cleanser!

It claims to be a 3-in-1 gel which removes all traces of make up but I still like to use a hot cloth cleanser like Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish before hand to take away the majority of what's on my face. It comes out as quite a thin white liquid which foams up just enough to feel like it's working and leaves my skin clean, fresh and moisturised at the same time. It smells amazing too, almost lemony. Ever since I got this I've been sticking to my Clarisonic and actually enjoying using it every night!

As for the price, its pretty steep at £28.50 for the full size, although you do get a huge 450ml bottle. I picked up this little 90ml bottle from boots for only £8.00 which I think is great if you just want to try it out. I've been using it for about two weeks now and am yet to make much of a dent, so I think its going to last a good long time!

April 09, 2012

March Favourites


MARCH FAVOURITES VIDEO

Lee Stafford Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner: I can safely say that these two are the first Shampoo and Conditioner I've ever used and actually felt a difference to my hair, and its been an amazing one. After just one wash I could feel how soft and nourished my hair was without being weighed down at all. Love the smell of these too!

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer: Ever since I bought this primer back in February I haven't been able to stop using it! This stuff manages to make even the most matte of foundations glowy and radiant. It gives a beautiful sheen without looking shimmery at all and makes a really great smooth base for make up.

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning: I've really gotten into tanning again this month and the Clarins Facial Self Tan is the only thing I feel comfortable using that I know wont break me out. I'll use this in the evening instead of my normal moisturiser and wake up with a lovely glow that doesn't look fake at all.

Sleek Contour Kit: I've had this for so long I'm not even sure its particularly sanitary to still have it in my make up bag but I've really been enjoying using it again this month. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with bronzer most of the time and I'm never happy with how the colour turns out at me. There will always be a place in my heart for the Soleil Tan de Chanel but I've found its far too yellow toned for me at the moment where as the Sleek Contour Kit is the perfect warm, slightly pinky shade.

Real Techniques Buffing & Contour Brushes: I'm sure a lot of people have been loving these brushes recently and these are the two stand outs for me. The buffing brush has fast become my all time favourite for applying foundation while I've found the contour brush to be amazing for buffing in concealer under the eyes and over the face. I only wish they sold these separately!

April 08, 2012

Things I Want This Week #05


1, 2, 3, 4

01. I'm not quite sure what I'd wear this with but pastels, tie dye and a drop hem all wrapped into one make this skirt pretty much perfect in my eyes.

02. After seeing this gracing Anna's lovely nails I think Essie's Absolutely Shore would be the perfect edition to my ever growing mint collection.

03. I had these sunglasses years ago and recently stumbled across a pretty cheap and cheerful pair on ebay. Trying not to give into temptation and buy every colour!

04. Another pastel themed item. I don't usually like white leather bags but the beading on this is just beautiful.

April 04, 2012

Estée Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup


ESTÉE LAUDER INVISIBLE FLUID MAKEUP - £27

I've waited quite a long time to review this product since buying it over two weeks ago as I wasn't quite sure I was ready to give it a rave straight away. Estée Lauder have moved out of their comfort zone of fuller coverage foundations and created this lightweight yet still perfect looking formula.

If your looking for comparisons, I think it's very similar to the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and even Jemma Kidd's Light As Air at a stretch. All three of these are foundations which despite having a thinner, almost watery consistency give excellent coverage. This won't quite measure up for those who favour Double Wear or other very full coverage foundations but for something which lets your skin breath and feels as though you're barely wearing make up it's really impressed me.

It applies beautifully and is really easily blended into the skin. I bought the Real Techniques Core Collection along with this just so I could use the Buffing Brush to apply it. I think these two make a perfect combination as the soft bristles glide this over the skin effortlessly. The staying power is great. Although I do find that I get a little break through oiliness towards the end of the day, that's easily fixed with a swirl of powder. I think the thing that stands out to me most though about this product is the glow that it gives. It makes skin look so healthy and radiant without verging into greasy or shiny at all.

I really have loved using this foundation and think it's going to be a great one for summer when I don't want to feel anything on my face but still want to look pretty much flawless. I think this has deffinitly made it into my top five favourite foundations, and we all know I'm a bit of a hoarder!

April 02, 2012

Skincare!






Morning: Clinique Liquid Facial Soap, Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam, Liz Earle Skin Boost Tonic, Sanctuary Pore Refining Toner, Clinique Clarifying Lotion #2, Estée Lauder Idealist Serum, Origins GinZing Eye Cream, Clinique Moisture Surge.

Evening: MAC Cleanse Off Oil, Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, Sanctuary Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser, Soap & Glory Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser, No7 Melting Gel Cleanser, Botanics Organic Cleansing Balm, Clarisonic Classic, Bioderma Crealin H20, Simple Eye Make Up Remover, Liz Earle Skin Boost Tonic, Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair, Origins GinZing Eye Cream, No7 Beautiful Skin Dry/Very Dry Night Cream, Boots Viatmin E Facial Oil, Sanctuary Therapist Secret Facial Oil, Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate.

I uploaded a video of my entire skincare routine last week, but thought I'd do a blog post along with it too! I can't seem to get enough of skincare these days and probably own more cleansers than make up products put together. My routine changes quite frequently but these are all the products I've been loving recently.

In the morning I don't always feel like using a lot on my face, so Clinique's Liquid Facial Soap is my go to as its quick, light and easy to use. It might be a little too drying if you don't have quite oily skin like me but it leaves it squeaky clean. If I'm having a particularly spotty day I'll use their Anti-Blemish Foam instead which, although I wouldn't reccomend using for more than two days in a row as it can again be quite drying again, really does clear away any angry blemishes.

After those I'll the Liz Earle Skin Boosting Tonic which is the most refreshing, heavenly smelling toner I've ever used. I've recently discovered Sanctuary's Pore Refining one though, which is brilliant equivalent if you don't want to pay as much. It smells very similar and does pretty much the same thing, although I have found it to be a little more tightening which is great as I do have a few large pores around my nose and chin. Occasionally I'll use the Clinique Clarifying Lotion which is an exfoliant as well to get rid of any dry skin patches.

I've been trying to look after my skin for the future a little more recently (its never too early!) so I invested in a few serums from Estée Lauder. In the morning I'll use their Idealist pore refiner which has a gorgeous silky texture, almost like primer, which smooths over any little pores and fine lines and makes a great base for make up. I'll then pop on some Origins Ginzing eye cream which brightens and gets rid of any puffiness and is the only one I've use for years, then finally Cliniqe's Moisture Surge, an amazing moisturiser for oily skin as its oil free but still hydrates so much!

In the evening I start by using a few pumps of MAC Cleanse Off Oil which I'll massage all over to melt away any excess make up. When it comes to cleansers, I'm a bit of a hoarder (if you've read this post, you'll know!) and have quite a few that I go between depending on how I feel. I mainly like to use hot cloth ones as I think they're great at taking everything off and moisturing at the same time. We all know and love the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish and if you've not yet tried it, I seriously reccomend doing so as it really is worth all the hype! A few cheaper but similar alternatives that I use from time to time are these two from Sanctuary and Soap & Glory.

If I want a cleanser that's really luxurious, I'll use something oil based. The Botanics Cleansing Balm has a very hard waxy consistency in the pot but when massaged all over the face it turns into a silky oil which melts away every scrap of makeup and is then polished away with a cloth. This smells beautiful and completely rids the skin of impurities but what I love about it most is how refreshing it is, despite being such a moisturising cleanser. I've been trying out the new No7 Melting Gel Cleanser as well which is very similar but not quite as rich. If I still don't feel my skin is clean enough I'll sometimes use my Clarisonic with the same Clinique cleansers from the morning. I know these are a little pricey but nothing will ever make your skin feel so clean!

I'll still have a little bit of eye make up left over after all that cleansing but that's taken away in one sweep with the Bioderma Crealine H20 (see full review here) which although hard to find is incredibly good at removing make up without scrubbing away. The Simple Eye Make Up Remover is a great alternative though if you're looking for something a little cheaper and easier to find!

I'll then use the second of my Estée Lauder Serums, this time the Advanced Night Repair which I really couldn't be without. Some people might think something like this is only for anti-aging but as the name suggests this acually repairs your skin overnight. I find that if I have any break outs or dullness it really sorts those out and leaves my skin practically glowing! As far as night creams go I'm yet to find anything that amazes me. Although I have oily skin it still gets dry in places and can feel tight when I wake up so I like somehting thats really rich. I've been using the No7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream which does the job, but if anyone has any recommendations of love to hear them!

Last of all, my absolute Holy Grail products are facial oils. I'll use a drop or two with my moisturiser at night to give it an extra boost. My favourites are the Boots Vitamin E Oil, Sanctuary Therapists Secret Oil and Liz Earle's Superskin Concentrate. Ever since I started using these on my skin about a year ago it's never looked so fresh and radiant and I can't reccomend trying them enough!

April 01, 2012

This Week #19



01. I wasn't going to post tonight (lazy, I know) and sorry about the blah photobooth picture, but it just occurred to me that my Real Techniques Core Collection giveaway ends at midnight so if you haven't entered yet and want a chance to win a set of brushes that will seriously change your life, click here!

02. Today has pretty much consisted of getting up late, spending a silly amount of money on snacks and rubbish and watching bad day time TV. Perfect Sunday I'd say! We also went to see the Hunger Games tonight, hence the lateness of this post. I was a bit disappointed that it didn't quite live up to the book which, although a bit gory is a pretty exciting read, but it was still great!

03. I've got a few videos lined up to film but I'd love to know if there's anything particular you'd be interested in seeing? I'd like to think I was actually being informative and not just rambling away at a camera!

04. Most importantly though, I Covet Thee is one year old today! Happy Birthday little blog. I can't believe how quickly a year has gone by but thank you to every one of my readers who really have made it an amazing one!


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