March Favourites

Benefit Creaseless Eyeshadows in R.S.V.P and No Pressure *
These two little pots have been my favourite items this month.  The cream shadows are so easy to apply, the wear time is fantastic and the colours are gorgeous.  They're the perfect quick fix for when you're short of time in the mornings.  These two shades are included in the Easiest Nudes Ever eyeshadow kit, but I have heard that they will be launched as individual shades later in the year.

M&S Autograph Ultimate Wear Long-Lasting Foundation in Ivory
I've been so impressed with this foundation.  My trusty favourite Mac Studio Fix Fluid has been well and truly neglected this month!  I'm eager to try out more of the Autograph cosmetic range.  Marks and Spencer currently have a 20% off promotion too!

Benefit Fake Up Concealer in Light *
I love how hydrated Fake Up makes my eye area feel.  The effects are long lasting and my under eye area is instantly brightened when I use this.  I'll be doing a full review of Fake Up soon, so watch this space!

Green People Cooling Hydrating Mist *
I love this toner!  The difference this has made to my skin is amazing.  My face looks brighter and my pores are smaller and more refined.  Overall, my skin looks healthier.  Yay!  I will certainly be buying another bottle once this one has run out!

Essie nail polish in Bikini So Teeny
I've been wearing this shade a lot recently and it's just SO pretty!  The colour suits my pale skin tone but I also think it will look great with a tan (if the sun ever decides to show it's face)!

What have been your favourite things this month?

Benefit World Famous Neutrals Eyeshadow Kit in Easiest Nudes Ever Review

When I attended the launch of Benefit's Fake Up concealer, I was lucky enough to win one of their World Famous Neutrals eyeshadow kits.  Each kit is made up of four longwear powder shadows and two creaseless cream pots.  I'd seen these popping up on various blog posts before and had my eyes on Easiest Nudes Ever* as the shades seemed really easy to wear.  The colours included in this kit are so versatile and can be worn to create an effortless everyday no-make-up look, but also a more dramatic smokey eye too.

I've been used to using powder eyeshadows and was a little apprehensive about using the creaseless cream shadows.  However, I had absolutely no reason to be scared and now love using both shades.  R.S.V.P. is a beautiful champagne pinky-peach and is fantastic for days when time is of the essence.  A sweep of this across the eyelids using your fingers and a coat of mascara is all you need.  No Pressure is a taupey-bronze shade that looks stunning as a base colour in a brown smokey eye.  Both shades last all day and are super pigmented.

My favourite shade of the powder shadows is Thanks A Latte.  It's a fantastic shimmery bronze-brown and compliments my green eyes really nicely.  Call My Buff is a great base colour for a no-make-up look.  I use it all over the lid and then line my lashes with Quick, Look Busy, which is a matte deep brown.  Pinky Swear is probably my least favourite out of all the shades, but it does work really well at highlighting my brow bone.

Easiest Nudes Ever is a fantastic kit to have in your make-up arsenal.  It would make a lovely gift for someone wanting to start playing around with neutral eyeshadows, but also a welcome addition to any make-up fanatic's hoard!  I've been loving combining them with my MAC shadows to create looks.  So far my favourite duo has to be No Pressure, with Twinks worked into the crease.  I've really enjoyed experimenting with the Easiest Nudes Ever kit, and I've now got my eye on the Most Glamorous colourway too!

What do you think of the World Famous Neutrals eyeshadow kits?

M&S Autograph Ultimate Wear Long-Lasting Foundation Review

I found foundation one of the hardest make-up items to buy and usually religiously use one product that I know I can rely upon. I picked up the Autograph Ultimate Wear Long-Lasting foundation on my last visit to Marks and Spencer (you can read all about this here).  I've been wearing it every day for the past three weeks and thought it was about time to share my views on my latest makeup purchase!

For the past year or so I've been using Mac's Studio Fix Fluid.  However, when my latest bottle began to run out I made the decision to look for something cheaper.  I'm in the process of changing my spending habits when it comes to make-up and skin care.  I'd rather splurge on items that are going to treat my skin's issues rather than on products that are just going to cover them up.  Autograph's Ultimate Wear foundation is £12 for 28ml, compared to £20.50 for 30ml of Studio Fix Fluid.

Upon swatching the foundation in store, I was pleasantly surprised.  I went for Ivory and it's a good match for my skin.  Although I would say that it does oxidise on the skin slightly, which is something to look out for.  The Ultimate Wear provides medium-to-full coverage but is certainly buildable.  I apply mine using the Real Techniques Stippling Brush, first of all stippling the product over areas that I need more coverage (T-zone) and then softly blending it out. 

The finished look is flawless looking skin, with any imperfections or redness blurred and covered.  I set the foundation with Rimmel's Stay Matte powder, in Transparent, and find that it lasts all day.  This also ensures more of a matte finish as the foundation alone gives a slightly dewy appearance.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with Autograph's Ultimate Wear foundation.  I had been rather sceptical about spending less on something so important but I can see this becoming my new staple base product!

Have you tried any of the Autograph range at M&S?

Make-up Storage Wish List

My every growing make-up collection has recently started to spill out of the boxes, bags and drawers that it's currently kept in.  I had been tempted by the clear acrylic storage from Muji, but the perfectionist in me is slightly concerned with the potential of grubby finger prints! I'm still considering my options and have compiled a wish list of cute alternatives.

The Yngaren bowl from Ikea would be a great place for my most used nail polishes, rather than hidden away in a drawer.  They also do a larger pink version if grey isn't your cup of tea.

Whilst browsing the Muji website, I came across this quirky pen holder.  I love all the detail in it; how cute are the little trees!  There's lots of sections to hold either makeup brushes, mascaras or pencils.  They also do a Paris and New York version.

Glass sweet jars are adorable and would be perfect new home for cotton wool pads or cotton buds.  Although, I'd be so tempted to fill it up with emergency sweets for those days when I get in a flap about my liquid eyeliner not being symmetrical!

I couldn't resist adding in these paint pot jars from Laura Ashley!  As much as I'd love to have them brimming with paintbrushes and pencils in my imaginary studio, they'd be fab for keeping hairbrushes and my rapidly extending collection of make up brushes in.

I've had my current Cath Kidston make up bag for longer than I remember and as much as I love it, it's starting to look a little worse for wear.  I love the bold print of this one and hope that it will last as long as my current one has!

How do you store your make-up?

Green People Travel & Handbag Essentials

I like to keep a few beauty essentials with me at all times and Green People's travel sized items are perfect for saving space in your handbag.  I've been trying out the Cooling Hydrating Mist* and Soft Lips balm*.

A hydrating lip product is a must have for any handbag.  Soft Lips contains coconut oil, berry wax and cupuacu butter which all help to nourish and condition your lips while also adding a natural glossy sheen.  I pop a bit of Carmex on my lips before bed and having been reaching for the Soft Lips balm during the day.  It also provides SPF8 UV protection which is great for when you're out and about.

The Cooling Hydrating Mist is a fantastic multi-use product.  I've been loving using it as an everyday toner.  It tightens my pores but feels refreshing too.  It smells fresh and lightly floral as it contains both orange blossom and rose water.  I struggle with anxiety and can get a bit flustered when I'm out so the Cooling Hydrating Mist is ideal for calming my skin down when I'm on the go.  The mist will be great for using in the summer as you can keep it in the fridge for a cooling spritz.  My Mum also pointed out that it would be a welcome addition for any women currently suffering from hot flushes.  With so many uses, this is proving to be a must have travel essential!

Green People are committed to creating natural and organic beauty products that actually work.  I really admire their ethics and am yet to be disappointed by any of their products.  Their travel size items are proof indeed that good things come in small packages!

What are your beauty travel essentials?

Benefit Fake Up Concealer | Brighton Launch

Last night I attended the Brighton launch of Benefit's Fake Up concealer*.  It was my first event and I was really excited as Benefit is a brand that I've grown up with.  I met lots of lovely bloggers from the Brighton area and learnt lots about Benefit's latest offering from head make-up artist, Lisa Potter-Dixon, and the lovely Benefit digital team.

 Fake Up is a fantastic hydrating concealer that won't cake or crease.  The center of the stick contains the colour and there are three shades; light, medium and deep.  The outside of the stick is filled with moisturising apple seed extract and vitamin E.  It's a really great product for brightening the under eye area and once applied, the concealer is soft, silky and blends fantastically.  During the event, Lisa gave a demonstration and the best way to apply Fake Up is to draw a 'v' under the eye and blend with your finger.  I was impressed with how lightweight Fake Up feels and, so far, I'm so pleased by how long lasting the effects are.  I'll be writing a more in-depth review once I've had a chance to test out Fake Up properly.

I also have Benefit's new Hello Flawless powder foundation* and World Famous Neutrals eye shadow palette in Easiest Nudes Ever* to try out.  I'm really looking forward to playing around the eye shadow palettes as the cream colours look gorgeous!

Thank you so much to Jo, Rachael and Lisa for inviting me to such a wonderful event!  Fake Up will be launched in the UK on 30th March, priced at £18.50. 

What do you think?  Are you a Benefit fan?

Wish List 005

Seeing beautiful blue skies recently have made me more and more excited about wearing shorter skirts and spring prints.  I'm really looking forward to wearing flirty and feminine casual outfits.  The adorable birds and blossoms of the Warehouse top would look perfect teamed with a skater skirt, like this Topshop one.  (I may have picked up a similar one in New Look earlier today!)  I love wearing skirts and dresses with plimsolls when the weather is warmer.  This New Look chambray pair are a cute alternative to my usual choice of white. 

I keep having a sniff of Soap & Glory's Smoothie Star whenever I'm in Boots but have never picked it up on my way to the tills.  It smells delicious, like cookies and put simply, I need it!  And speaking of sweet things, I'm so happy that Mini Eggs seem to be everywhere!  They're my favourite chocolate and I fully intend to eat tonnes of them in the coming weeks!

What have you been coveting recently?

Spring Beauty Trend | Pastel Nails

Sugar-coated pastel hues are once again a key trend for Spring and Summer.  Pastel nail are the easiest way to wear this trend as there are plenty of options to choose from at the moment.  Barry M's ice cream shades are still in stores and Models Own are launching a scented Fruit Pastel collection at the end of this month.

Essie are my favourite brand for soft creamy colours.  I mentioned Turquoise & Caicos in my February Favourites post.  It's such a gorgeous colour and, according to the Patone Spring Colour Trends, is the perfect shade for this season as it sits between Muted Jade and Emerald.  For days when I want something more girly, Muchi Muchi is the perfect strawberry milkshake shade.  It creates a perfect lady-like look.  Bikini So Teeny is the newest addition to my Essie stash, and is the exact colour of a blueberry gel pen I have!  It also has an incredibly subtle sweep of glitter running through it adding an extra dimension.  Last of all is one of my all time favourite nail polishes; Topshop's Parma Violet.  It's the perfect lilac, applies like a dream and stays unchipped for ages.

Will you be embracing the pastel trend this season?  What's your favourite pastel nail polish?

Beauty & Skincare at Marks and Spencer

I have to admit, I never thought I'd be writing a rave review Marks and Spencer's beauty offerings.  Until recently, if you'd have mentioned Marks and Spencer and beauty in the same sentence to me, a rose scented bath set would have been the first thing I thought of.  I had seen the shiny, new beauty hall on previous visits but had never looked around properly, but the other night, I did just that.

I was initially intrigued by their foundations, as the lightest shade looked like a good match for my skin tone.  I started talking about the range to the beauty consultant, Kim, and before I knew it, my coat was off and I was making myself comfortable on a stool.  Kim started by getting to know my skin by asking about my particular concerns and everyday skincare regime.  I have 'problem' skin and she recommended that I consider changing my skin care routine to tackle the issues I was hoping the foundation would cover. 

Her suggestions couldn't have come at a better time.  After recently watching Meg's video on budget skincare, I've wanted to become more dedicated to using all natural products.  REN and Skyn Iceland were the brands that Kim selected for me and she created a routine tailored to my skin's (very demanding) needs!

I really liked that Kim was able to choose items from different brands, something I've never experienced in other department stores.  All the products felt light and fresh on my face and Kim talked me through each one.  We then started to discuss foundations and I settled for Marks and Spencer's own Autograph Ultimate Wear Long Lasting foundation in Ivory.  It's a lightweight, full coverage foundation that creates a flawless finish. 

Kim added a delicate sweep of bronzer and a pop of pink blusher before finishing the look with Autograph Moisture Colour Lipstick.  She applied the shade Rosie, which is a stunning blue-toned berry pink and really makes green eyes pop. 

Overall, I couldn't be happier with my recent experience.  I bought the foundation on the spot and the other products that I tried are on my wish list!  Kim was fantastic too.  Throughout our chat, she made me feel relaxed and worthy of a pamper!  She was understanding about my skin's needs and it was like talking to a friend.  I've been won over with Marks and Spencer's winning combination of fabulous products and superb customer service. 

What are your thoughts about beauty at M&S?

February Favourites

Image of February favourites

Savlon Antiseptic Cream
Savlon has been my lifesaver product this month.  Looking after my poorly cat has meant constant kitty cuddles.  Unfortunately, this also meant that my skin has been at the mercy of her claws!  Not only is this antiseptic cream essential for cuts and scratches but is also brilliant as an overnight blemish killer.  I pop it on the affected area before I jump into bed, and in the morning the redness has dramatically reduced. 

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl in 005 Nude
This has been a much talked about eye product in the beauty blogging world and I can completely understand why!  The formula is so creamy making the pencil apply like a dream.  This shade is perfect for lining my waterline and as if my magic, my peepers look bright and awake.  

Essie Turquoise and Caicos
The occasional burst of sunshine we've been having has made me so excited for spring.  I've been wearing brighter shades on my nails recently and Turquoise and Caicos is one of my favourites.

MAC Eyeshadow in Twinks
I have green eyes and this MAC eyeshadow really makes them pop.  I use the Real Techniques Detailer Brush to line my upper lid with Twinks.  It's much more subtle than my usual black liner but the results are amazing.

Green People Nurture Body Lotion*
My dry skin loves this body lotion.  It's absorbed in a flash and keeps me feeling hydrated all day long.  I'm almost finished this tube and will certainly be repurchasing!

What have you been loving this month?