12 Dec 2014

Winter Is Coming: Makeup

The second part of my winter beauty series is focusing on makeup! I know when winter rolls around the trends dictate we get out the berry shades and high coverage foundations for flawless skin and dramatic makeup. Though is it me or is flawless skin always a trend, in summer it's sheer makeup... and flawless, dewy skin. Hello, that's totally unattainable for 70% of us all year round (if you have perfect skin, then lucky you! can we swap?). 

Most of my makeup fits into one makeup bag, granted it's starting to overflow, but still. I don't have much in the way of variety and am quite the creature of habit, however I have a few new things to introduce this winter. 
Starting with base, I have a lot of options for foundation and concealer as I'm always on the hunt for something perfect for me, it hasn't happened yet but I have to say that the Jane Iredale GlowTime* has come in pretty close. This is a full coverage BB cream, it's thick, long lasting and serious business. I seriously think it deserves more love as this is an amazing foundation! I have the shade BB5 which is a pale yellow toned shade, its almost perfect, though I think perhaps I'm closer to BB3  in winter as it's a little more neutral. You need the smallest amount and then you get busy blending. It offers really good coverage and has a skin-like satin finish and most importantly doesn't feel like you're caked in foundation. I will try and remember to post a full review with some swatches in the near future if you'd like?

I tend to be pretty basic with my makeup and often forget to include highlighter so I'm going to try and get on that more for a wintery glow, if that's even humanly possible ;) I love ILIA Polka Dots & Moonbeams as its a subtle silver shimmer and not at all in your face, it looks really pretty down the bridge of your nose and brow bone. I really should use this bad boy more! 

For lips I'm pretty much a broken record, ILIA Arabian Knights & Jump Tinted Lip Conditioners, perhaps my favourite lip products ever. Arabian Knights is perhaps the more festive choice and the one I will reach for most but I find Jump wakes up my complexion a little more with that gorgeous fuchsia hue. 
I also keep the Burts Bee's Lip Shimmers on hand as I love that peppermint tingle and the colours are really flattering, I think the one pictured above is cherry*, a sheer red.

And finally, eyes! I'm perhaps the worst, cack-handed eyeshadow applier in the world but I have this super pretty Kjaer Weis Eyeshadow in the shade Green Depth* that I'm dying to use. Just look at that golden shimmer. I think I'm going to have to get serious watching some youtube tutorials for this as dark green is a unforgiving shade should you slip up! I think it will look nice used as liner too which should be easier for me to manage! You can't go wrong with Kjaer Weis.

Do you pull out the berry shades in winter?

11 Dec 2014

Winter Is Coming: Skincare

Well, I suppose if you're getting technical winter is HERE, it's even been snowing in some places I hear, but I still couldn't resist naming my little 3 part winter series "Winter is coming" because at least winter means we're one step closer to Game Of Thrones returning, yesss!

Today we're starting with skincare, tomorrow is makeup... you get the idea. Now at the rate I've been complaining and sobbing over it I'm sure you'll all know my skin is a hormonal MESS. Literally no idea what to do but I'm avoiding going to the doctors as I really don't want to be given antibiotics.
I'm keeping my skincare as simple as possible as my face plain old hurts and I foresee it being this way for at least another month or two.
I'm still religious using my One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil to remove makeup in the evening, it smells d i v i n e and rinses away clean, no flannel needed. I follow it up with another cleanser but I don't have any particular favourites right now, nothing is really floating my boat, ya'know? I'm looking for a really lovely gel cleanser or bar of soap but can't decide on any.

For toning I still really like Yuli Cocoon simply because it feels so nice and cooling, I haven't noticed any improvement in my skin with using this so sadly I wont repurchase (I'm too much of a toner-floozy) but it's super fancy none-the-less.
I also picked up a little sample of the Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel recently and this stuff is real good. I notice it is extremely similar formula wise to his replenishing serum so I may try a sample of that too before I decide to purchase or not.

Speaking of samples I also have a sachet of Tata Harper's infamous Resurfacing Mask, I've wanted to try this for so so long now and it did not disappoint. I used it as an all over mask and left it on for about an hour - I really like that it dries, sort of like a peel off mask but not peel-off-able, I was so impressed come morning with the texture of my skin, it looked so good to say I'm in the middle of a skin crisis! I used it again 2 days later as an overnight spot treatment, as I've read reviews saying this works a treat, but sadly I didn't notice any improvement on my cystic blemishes - if anything one of them hurt even more. I have another use left out of my sachet and then this will be going onto the wish list! or impulse purchase list is there's ever a great discount code ;)

For my winter moisturising needs I'm sticking with two trusted favourites, the CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture* and True Nature Botanicals Pacific Face Oil*. I've noticed my skin isn't as dry as it would be this time of year so I haven't really needed to up the ante moisture wise, however it's not full on winter yet. I use these in the evenings and something a little lighter during the day as my t-zone does become oily.

What are some of your winter essentials??

6 Dec 2014

Not Another Beauty Gift Guide...

Wrong! I thought I'd write up a gift guide WITHOUT any beauty products involved for once, though it's been difficult because there are some ah-mazing gift sets this year! (I'll take one of each thanks). I don't know about you but beauty gifts probably only make up about 10-20% of actual gift buying come christmas time, so I don't find the throng of beauty gift guides to be particularly helpful. Show me a gift guide for what to get a difficult dad that doesn't cost £50 & up or a guide to buying for your boyfriends' nephews' mum who you completely forgot about last year and then felt ever-so-guilty when she got you both a little something.

  1. Rifle Paper Co. 2015 Beaute Flip Desk Calender £15 - Okay so it's beauty related, but it's also beautiful. I've put this on my christmas list and if I don't get it I'll be buying it myself haha! 
  2. Cat Alphabet Poster £39 - Great for a kids room, great for a cat lovers room, great for me. 
  3. Succulent Kit with Hand Illustrated Teacup Planter £32 - Such a cute little idea, I love this! 
  4. White Marble Necklace £13 - Handmade and unique, good for a teen to a hip granny.
  5. Dinosaur crayons £12 - What small child wouldn't like these?
  6. Mens Docking Station £24 - A total man gift, I love this. Whenever my boyfriend gets home he empties his pockets and the contents spew everywhere, this is for keeping it all together, neat and tidy.
  7. R2D2 Cushion £22 - Giving a cushion as a gift may seem a little strange but I'm a fan. I'd happily receive lots of beautiful cushions for christmas and even though Michael thinks Im crazy I could probably sell it to him with his own star wars cushion. It's kinda cute.
  8. Golden Leather Purse £12 - I have had a beautiful handmade purse for about 5 years now and it's one of my favourite possessions, I literally don't see myself replacing it until it falls apart (hopefully never, it's very well made). This metallic leather purse is gorgeous and could be used as a makeup bag too.
  9. Laptop Case £14 - I think this looks so smart & there must be more uses than just a laptop case
  10. Cat Polka Dot Cup £12 - Typical cat lover gift, what's not to love?

5 Dec 2014

Five Faves Friday

Another week, another set of faves. Funny bunch this week, I couldn't think of a fifth favourite that I hadn't already mentioned before so we have pens, yup PENS. Some would say I'm scraping the barrel but they're really good pens, okay.

First up is some mints, but I'm not even bothered about the mints (pomegranate and acai flavour, actually quite tasty) it's the TIN I'm excited about. My favourite artist ever is Audrey Kawasaki, I would shed a few tears if I ever managed to get some of her work on my wall, really. I was at the Trafford Centre last weekend and stumbled across an old sweet shop with a pretty good american section and almost had a little wee when I saw these tins! How could I not buy one? My first piece of Kawasaki Art, it will be most treasured.

Next up is a little skincare treat in the form of the Mel Millis Phytonutri Qi Plankton Skin Remedy* a powder cleanser and mask. I love love love powdered skincare as I don't have to worry about using it up as quickly as they last so well. The ingredients are fresh with each use and this makes them even more potent. The ingredients are gorgeous and this has really been soothing my painful skin with every other day usage, I mix it up into a runny paste kind of consistency and massage into skin then leave for around 10 minutes, it dries quickly so I try and remember to use a facial mist while I'm wandering about or else I find it hard to remove. It's SUPER intense as a true face mask and left me with a tomato face for half an hour after so I wont make that mistake again, instead mixing it with honey or using it as just a spot treatment.

I also picked up the Avalon Organics Scalp Treatment Shampoo this week in Waitrose as I needed something to treat my easily irritated scalp after running out of 100% Pure. I've used this twice and am loving the way it's making my hair feel, really soft and clean. Not sure about the scalp treating abilities but I'll give it a little longer.
I am also rather addicted to Tsi-La L'Absolu Vanille this week. I was sent this little sample from Lilly and it's gorgeous. A spicy, warming vanilla scent. I'm savouring my little sample and hoping I can find it stocked somewhere.

Finally, it's those darn pens. Papermate Inkjoys. Everyone knows how good it is to find a good pen and these are so good! very fluid and they feel so nice to write with, it's the little things y'know?

3 Dec 2014

Adventures In Healthy Eating

I wouldn't consider myself an unhealthy eater really, I love cooking good food but I also love lemon chicken with egg fried rice every now and again, but who doesn't! In the past few months I've found myself drawn towards all those hundreds of healthy eating pretty instagram accounts with unachievable bowls of insanely decorated porridge and banana ice cream, plus lots of blogs like Deliciously Ella & Oh She Glows.
I've been really motivated to eat better, taking more notice of ingredients and the sugar content in my food. I cut down on dairy awhile ago and have all but excluded it from my diet now (except for when I treat myself to a little block of cheddar with caramelised onions from the deli counter), I have also reduced my gluten intake with gluten free flours when baking. I don't have any plans to become veggie or vegan but I've found myself taking on a more plant-based diet, especially when I'm eating alone without having to cater to the boyfriends choices.

I've been having a fresh juice every morning for my breakfast followed by an almond butter smothered banana if I'm still peckish a little while after.
I haven't experimented too much with my juices, alternating either a green (ingredients above) or orange juice with carrots, ginger, lemon and orange. I'd like to brave adding a beet into a juice as they're so good for you and make it bright pink (little things) but I haven't managed to pick any up yet. I hate beetroot in jars so I'm not too optimistic.
I've also tried making breakfast muffins with the pulp but they weren't much of a success.

Trying Gousto last week helped a lot with good-for-me main meals as they're balanced and full of veggies without having to put any thought into it. Yesterday I made myself a paella for tea as a treat while Michael was out (he isn't a fan) and stuffed it full of vegetables. Soup is another go to for lunch or main meals, I'm a big soup fan, they're so easy to make yourself. I also roasted some butternut squash with quinoa, peas, sweetcorn, mushrooms, spinach and served with a little hummus and chia seeds, this was a super filling lunch and lasted really well in the fridge for a few days later. We've also made cauliflower pizza (interesting and an awful lot of effort) and I have a huge addiction to making kale chips in the afternoon, too tasty. Sweet potato chips, lots of fish and gluten free pasta with a nice sauce are go-to. I add baby peas and sweetcorn to everything too, I'm lost if I don't have a bag of those in the freezer. Life savers.

I find main meals the most challenging to make as healthy as possible as Michael is so incredibly fussy. He doesn't even like soup. or courgettes. or tomatoes. save me.
I'm hoping to get a spiralizer from amazon after christmas so I can make all the courgetti known to man just for me.

For snacks I adore these kallo dark chocolate rice cakes, just one or two fill a chocolate craving easily. I also always have dark chocolate cranberries hanging about, a bag lasts me awhile as they're so sweet. I've tried raw desserts such as brownies and energy bits but the texture is all wrong and I'm not a fan. I make chia pudding with chocolate oat or almond milk a lot, I think oat milk makes a creamier tasting pudding. I've also bought a big bag of frozen raspberries I like to have with the pudding or sprinkled on top of some dairy free ice cream.

Do you have any tips for me or amazing food blogs to share?