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, 2013

January 2013 Favourites


Somehow January has managed to come and go in what seems like the space of a week and not all of my not-quite-resolutions-but-things-I-wanted-to-do have been kept up unfortunately. A rather important one however was to be more consistent on the blog front and stick to things for more than a few weeks! And thus, my soon to be very regular (I promise) monthly favourites. Although it's been over before you can say 'Naked palette', January has definitely brought some fab new beauty products to the table and I'll be sharing my top picks with you right here!


This Works Black Spice & Cedar Candle, Liz Earle Botanical Essence No. 15, This Works Sleep Balm, This Works Deep Sleep Stressless, This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, Lush Dream Cream, Hydraluron Moisture Boost, Superfacialist by Una Brennan Pore Minimiser, Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, Beauty UK In The Buff Lipstick, Topshop Crescent Moon Highlighter, Soap & Glory Rich & Foamous, Soap & Glory Smoothie Star.


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January 29, 2013

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette




Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette - £20

I think Urban Decay managed to create something extraordinary when they brought out the original Naked Palette back in 2010. Everyone had to get their hands on it at the time, myself included, and this magic power seems to have extended to not one but two additional palettes in the Naked range. The Naked Basics isn't the type of thing I usually go for and I'm not sure I even owned a matte eyeshadow before buying this, but once again something about this cute little compact drew me in.

Despite my sceptical first impression though, I've managed to get so much use out of it and have worn pretty much nothing but these six colours since buying the palette at the beginning of the month. I've always admired the formulation of the Urban Decay eyeshadows, and the Naked Basics is no exception. Well pigmented and smooth to blend, they last all day on my eyes. From right to left the colours are Venus, just off-white with a shot of subtle shimmer running through, Foxy a yellow based cream, Walk of Shame a slightly more pinky beige, Naked 2 a very light greyish brown, Faint a richer brown and Crave a completely matte black. The one downfall with these and something I've actually noticed in all the previous Naked palettes is that the colours are very cool toned. I can just about get away with this but I'm not sure how well they would work for those who need a bit of warmth from their eyeshadow.

Probably the best thing about the Naked Basics palette though is the fact that it's so multi-use. Faint is a great eyebrow colour and Walk of Shame and Foxy are perfect for setting concealer in place. My favourite little extra use of this is the highly pigmented matte black Crave which has pretty much replaced liquid liner in my life. When applied with an angled brush it gives a much softer line to the eyes while still defining them well. I've actually filmed a short video demonstrating how I use the palette in this way for an everyday look, so if you'd like to get some ideas, click here!


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January 27, 2013

This Week #37





01. Off to see Les Mis! (for those who asked, it was fantastic!) / 02. Salted. Always. / 03. A sore throat was a perfectly reasonable excuse for a Costa lunch / 04. My Winter Beauty Essentials / 05. Cooking with Gem's Maquillage! / 06. Successful soup, and yes it was super tasty! (recipe here) / 07. No better way to start the day off than with a pancake / 08. Home made Foccacia qualifies me to the highest level of Domestic Goddess / 09. Naughty but nice treats at the end of a massive baking day / 10. Trying out something Exciting from Dr Jart and proving that my life didn't just revolve around food this week! / 11. Standard Sunday beverage / 12. Getting organised with a pretty new brush holder.

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January 23, 2013

Things I Want This Week #12


1, 2, 3, 4, 5

As much as I love the deep colours and vast layers of winter I'm already looking ahead to spring fashions (despite having quite a while to go yet..) I honestly can't wait for it to be appropriate to start wearing pastels again and I think my standard outfit this year is definitely going to include some serious tailored trousers and crisp accessories. I'm absolutely smitten with Topshop's Debutant Collection (which shamefully 90% of the above items are from) and sure I'll be picking out as many bits and pieces over the coming weeks as I can get my hands on!


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January 21, 2013

Winter Beauty Essentials




Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cram Skin Protectant, Soap and Glory The Breakfast Scrub, Kiehl's Creme de Corps, The Body Show Hemp Hand Protector, Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate, Topshop Mischief Lipstick.

Considering the current weather situation here in the UK at the moment, I could't think of a better video to share with you than my Winter Beauty Essentials. These are all the products that I could't be without on those cold, dull days!


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January 20, 2013

This Works Black Spice & Cedar Candle


This Works Black Spice & Cedar Candle

I don't think theres anything quite as comforting on a cold day than sitting in a room with a candle burning in the background. I picked up the Black Spice & Cedar candle from This Works in TK Maxx (which is fast becoming an unexpected wonderland of beauty finds for me) and have been burning it ever since.

When it comes to candles, I always go for something warm and spicy and the combination of Black spice and Cedar balances this one just between a Christmas scent and something that could be acceptable all year round, the perfect New Year candle!

Although some may be a bit sceptical about spending more than a few pounds on a candle (one reason I still haven't taken the Diptyque plunge) I think this one falls nicely in the 'reasonable' category for a higher end burn, and let me tell you, this thing lasts! The burn time is stated as being around 40 hours which is a whole lot of candle time. I've had this going most nights since the beginning of the month and I've barely even used a quarter of it.

After loving this one so much however, I'm already lusting after the Deep Sleep Heavenly candle which I'm sure would be the perfect companion for the Sleep Balm I picked up in the sales. This Works is definitely a brand I'm getting very excited about at the moment!

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January 17, 2013

January 14, 2013

Black, White & Orange





Jumper: Primark
Skirt: Lashes of London*
Bralet: La Senza
Necklace: Urban Outfitters
Rings: Love Hearts & Crosses*
Lipstick: Louise Gray for Topshop Mexican Wave

I can't believe how sunny it was when I took these pictures yesterday, and now it's snowing across most of the country! I was kindly sent this pleated leather look skirt by Lashes of London a few weeks ago and have only just gotten round to baring the cold air (albeit it in tights) and wearing it. Flash back to last year when Primark's pleated leather skirt was all the rage, however hard it was to get hold of. I never managed to find one in my size but now I have this lovely little number which I actually prefer. It's made with a much lighter material and hurrah, no awkward elasticated waist band!

I've been getting so much wear out of this jumper and it's black counterpart (see my latest haul for a little look at that!). They're so versatile and I love the lose knit pattern, even if it doesn't make for the warmest of Winter jumpers!

* Gifted PR Samples

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January 13, 2013

This Week #36





01. Forever being blinded by my lighting / 02. A little shopping journey / 03. Moustache toes! / 04. Far too many shopping bags / 05. The days instahaul / 06. Praline White Hot Chocolate, heaven / 07. My bargain sale lantern making the living room look super cosy / 08. Five favourites from the Ciaté Mini Mani Month (posh here) / 09. The first time in months that I've walked out of work into daylight! / 10. Best. Film. Ever. / 11. A sneak peak of my next outfit post / 12. Sunday roast time, yeeey!

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January 08, 2013

The Ciaté Mini Mani Round Up: Top Five



It seems like forever ago I started opening up the Ciaté Mini Mani Month at the beginning of December, and although the countdown is finished and Christmas has been and gone, I've only just about managed to use all of the colours and pick a few favourites to show you! These lovely little numbers are my top five polishes from the set.

Starting off with Cookies and Cream, a subtle greige nude colour, perfect for toes. I've found myself wanting to wear nude nails a lot more this month and love the clean look they give. Completely opposite to that however, Big Yellow Taxi is possibly the brightest of all the bright yellows and an absolute pain in the bum to get on. Despite that I absolutely love the contrast of nearly neon nails against darker clothing. Power Dressing was going to be a winner for me from the start as deep navy blues are always my favourite tone to wear in the winter as they give the nails a dark vampy look that's just slightly less harsh than a full on black. Enchanted Rose was one of the three exclusive shades brought out just for this calender and is everything you could want from a red glitter polish. This was all I wore over Christmas! Finally Candyshop is one of the coveted Ciaté Caviar blends which I've been wanting to get my hands on for a long time. There were four mini Caviars in the set, my favourite of them being this multicolour mix of pinks, blues and oranges. These are so great as an accent nail and really easy to use.

I thought the whole idea of this Advent Calender was great and was so sad to finish it, even if it was incredibly hard not to cheat and open all the windows! Hopefully next year I'll be able to find another beauty Advent (I've got my eye on Liz Earle..) but for now, I'm happy playing with my new little collection of these amazing minis!


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January 05, 2013

Twelve of the Best From 2012



This year I've managed to find some absolute gems of the beauty world, and although it was proabably the hardest blogging related decision I've ever had to make, I've come up with twelve (I thought that was quite fitting..) of the very best products from 2012. Enjoy!

Bioderma Crealine H20 (full review here), Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (full review here), La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, NUXE Reve de Miel Lipbalm, Topshop Whimsical Lipstick, Topshop Beguiled Lipstick, Topshop Ohh La La Lipstick, Topshop Mischief Lipstick, Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation, Benefit Dallas, Urban Decay Naked Palette, Essie Absolutely Shore (full review here), Essie Fiji, Essie Bordeaux, Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover, Real Techniques Buffing Brush (from the Core Collection), Real Techniques Stippling Brush, Real Techniques Contour Brush (from the Core Collection), Real Techniques Setting Brush, Real Techniques Deulux Crease Brush (from the Starter Set), Moroccan Oil


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January 03, 2013

This Works Beauty Balls


This Works Silent Night & Glamour Glitter Beauty Balls

This Works is a brand I've been very tempted by recently, and when I saw their adorable Christmas themed Beauty Balls (te he) were in the sale I had to get them both. There are two different variations; the Silent Night Ball, containing the Sleep Balm and the Glamour Glitter Ball which comes with the Shimmer Balm instead. Both of these products are available all year round in the regular This Works collection but the added bonus of the free baubles had me sold.

First up, the Sleep Balm has to be one of my favourite sale purchases this year. I've never been that much of a fan of lavender products, but the smell of this balm is so soothing as soon as I rub it on to my temples and pulse points I feel instantly relaxed, perfect for the bedside table!

The Shimmer Balm is the type of glowy highlighter I've been looking for, for years. Blended on top of foundation along the cheekbones it gives an impossibly dewy glow to the skin. I wouldn't say that this was out-rightly glittery but has tiny shimmer particles within it that give a subtel radiance wherever it's applied. This would also be a great one for highlighting the tops of collarbones to give that added bit of polish on a night out.


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