Monday, 22 December 2014

The Affordable Lip That Will Survive Christmas Dinner

I wrote this post a couple weeks ago featuring the amazing but rather pricey YSL Glossy Stain. I talked about how this is the perfect lip for the festive season as it survives your Christmas Dinner, drinks, lots of chatting.. Basically all the things we do a lot of at Christmas time. 

However, the weekend after that post, I went out on my staff night out, wearing this affordable little lip duo that really stood up to the challenge. 

This long-wearing duo is from Topshop. The lip liner is the shade Deception (which I could not find on the website, sorry!) and the lipstick in the shade Twin.

Not only did I get a surprising amount of compliments on this glossy, berry lip combo, it also lasted fantastically throughout the night!

First, I applied the lip liner all over my lips. This made a really good, matte base for the lipstick. The formulation of this pencil is super soft and creamy, yet stays in place all night long, without feeling dry or uncomfortable on the lips. It is perfect!

The lipstick looks terrifying in the bullet but applies as a sheer, glossy berry colour. This adds a pretty gloss to the lip, whilst making the colour a little bit deeper. 

Swatches of the two:

A three course meal was no problem at all for this mighty little combo. All my work mates kept commenting on how well my "lippie was holding up!" and how pretty the colour was. 

I nipped to the bathroom at the end of the meal and did feel the need to re-apply a small amount of the lipstick on top again as I felt the shine had worn off slightly. However, there was no smudging or fading of the colour at all! If the formulation of the lipstick was matte, I probably wouldn't have needed to re-apply, it is just because it was a glossy formulation that it worn off slightly sooner. But overall, I was very impressed!

It also lasted fantastically for the rest of the night once we went out and had a few drinks (and received more compliments on it!). I did not feel the need to worry that it was smudged all over my face or worn off at all. I think I reapplied the lipstick one other time once we were out, for the same reason as before but that was all the touching up I needed to do the whole night. 

Okay, so that is my affordable lip combo that WILL survive Christmas Dinner (And the rest of the festive season!). 

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful.

Zoe. x 

Friday, 19 December 2014

Runners Up (Top Skincare of 2014)

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
This is my go-to spot treatment. I recommend it to anyone who had spotty, congested skin. It really is a great product. The reason it wasn't in my Top 5 is because, even though I do love it, I don't reach for it as much any more. I find that my skin has maintained the clear, even texture by just using acid toners and that I don't feel the need to apply this as much. This is definitely what got me to that point though. I saw such a difference since using this. My skin was so smooth, it had no little bumps, my blackheads are far less visible (although they are still there but that's something I'll just have to deal with!) and much smaller. If it wasn't for this product to start with, I'd still have blackheads and loads of little under the skin bumps. So, I love it so much for that and still recommend it to anyone who asks because it really is a great product that I am going to 100% keep in my collection, so I always have it on hand in case I need it.

Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris
I really enjoy this toner, it's a great product. It really helps to balance out my skin and leaves it feeling really soft and smooth. I find myself reaching for other toners between this now, where as before, it was all I used every day. I think I would repurchase it, although the Vitamin E toner from The Body Shop is giving it a run for its money!

Nspa Melting Gel Cleanser (Available in ASDA)
By far the best budget skincare item I have found! I love this stuff. It is a really good quality products, packed with loads of lovely fruit and vegetable oils, which leave the skin feeling really hydrated. It is also really uplifting and refreshing to use, it would be perfect as a quick morning cleanse.

Una Brennan Deep Clean Pore Purifying Clay Mask (Since changed the name but it's still the same product.)
I said in a previous post that I wasn't really that impressed with this but I have changed my mind. It has turned into my go to mask. I always use this if my skin feels a bit spotty and congested as it is really deep cleaning and purifying. I notice the biggest difference on my blackheads around my nose, it flushes them out after one use.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
Again, this is one I think I will always have in my collection. It is just such a good, all round, no fuss cleansing balm. It is great for all skin types, as there isn't really anything in it. It just takes your makeup off and that's that! Especially good for anyone with sensitive or blemished skin because as I said, it is so no fuss and simple that it won't cause any irritation or problems.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

My Top 5 of 2014: Skincare

1. Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet 
This is a fantastic moisturiser for oily/dehydrated skin types, which I have.. Duh. My skin also tends to be quite fussy which moisturiser as well.
It is a super light, fluffy consistency, which means it is really quickly and easily absorbed into the skin
. It sinks in instantly and leaves you skin feeling plump and supple. Despite being so light, it gives a great boost of moisture to the skin, yet doesn't leave it feeling heavy or sticky. It's perfect. I've been through so many of these this year and can not see myself straying from it any time soon.

2. Hydraluron by Indeed Labs
Ahh, I just love this so much. The perfect, simple, does the job and does it well, serum. This is fantastic if you have dehydrated skin as it really gives you the best out of your moisturiser by really holding the moisture within the skin. It sinks in instantly to my skin and then when I apply my Caudalie moisturiser on top, it drinks it up and holds it there for the whole day. My skin feels so plump and hydrated when I use these two products. Hydraluron works amazingly under any moisturiser.

3. Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner.
THIS. This, is easily, by far, my favourite skincare product ever. Yes. I can quite confidently say that. I just adore it! The difference I see in my skin when I use this is amazing. It exfoliates the surface of the skin (acid toner) making it smooth and even but what I love the most about it is it leaves this amazing glow to my skin! My skin literally has that "lit from within" look to it after I use this. It is brilliant. It's so gentle on the skin, so you can use it every day (and trust me, you'll want to!). If you have tired, dull, dry looking skin, please, pick up a bottle of this!
It also does wonders for anyone who has congested/spotty skin, as it kills off bacteria on the surface of the skin, as well as removing dead skin cells that will be clogging everything up (Nice.) PLEASE get yourself a bottle. Or add it to your Christmas list. I could talk about this forever, so I better stop here and move onto the next thing!

4. The Body Shop Silky Camomile Cleansing Oil.
What a surprise, right? I couldn't leave this little gem out. No matter what cleanser I use, whether it is a balm or an oil, cost £50 or £5, I will always, always, always come back to this. It is a staple for me.
For the price, you just can't beat it. It is fantastic quality, the oil is so light and comfortable on the skin. It removes everything in one go, with just one pump of product. And it is effortless to remove off the skin- warm water and a flannel and it is gone.
It is so effective at removing makeup and cleaning the skin, yet will never strip or damage the skin. It leaves it soft and supple but 100% makeup/dirt/grime free. Suitable for everyone, every skin type.

5. Bioderma.
How could I not mention Bioderma?! I have been so in love with the one for over a year now but I just had to mention it. It is fantastic.
Bioderma is a staple item for me, I will never be without it in my collection.
I mainly use Bioderma in the morning, for a quick freshen up. I love it around my eyes as it is so refreshing and cooling, it really wakes me up. It really is just like using water. It is so gentle and has never caused any irritation to my skin.
I have also used Bioderma to remove a full face of makeup, including eye makeup, which it works fantastically for (I always recommend double cleansing with something else after though, like an oil or a balm.) It removes everything so easily and again, it never irritated my skin, no matter how many times I go over it.
I am so glad you can now get this easily in the UK from websites such as Escentual and for a great price too! I buy the 500ml bottles and they last me at least 6 months.

So that is my top 5 skincare items for 2014. Again, there will be a Runners Up post shortly after this talking about some more of my favourite bits from 2014

Thanks for reading!

Zoe x

 Disclaimer: I work for The Body Shop. However, all opinions about products from The Body Shop are 100% my own and do not reflect the opinions of those at The Body Shop. Any product given to me for staff sampling has been marked with an *. Any product from The Body Shop not marked, will have been purchased by myself, with my own money at a staff discounted price. All my opinions are completely true and honest. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Runners up (Top makeup of 2014)

The ones that didn't quite make the Top 5 but I still had to mention! 

Topshop highlighter in Crescent Moon. 
The main reason I didn't want to mention this is because it is no longer available. 
It is a beautiful, intense highlighter that looks fantastic when applied with the Real Techniques Duo Fibre Contour brush. I dust this along the tops of my cheekbones and it adds a real glow to the skin! Not for anyone who prefers a more subtle, natural highlight though as it really pops on the skin. If you can somehow get your hands on this, grab it! You won't be disappointed. 

Benefit Gimme Brow (Shade: Light/Medium) 
I went through a bit of a love, hate relationship with this little guy. I started off by absolutely loving it. I was obsessed! It kept my brows in place, whilst also adding a tint of colour and filling in any little bits that I may have missed. It was great! Then, I started to fall out of love with it. I started noticing it would go a bit... Ashy? It was strange. Instead of blending in with my eyebrows it would sit very obviously on top of the hairs and turn almost a slight ashy, grey colour. It was not a good look! So I stopped using it for a while. 
I recently picked it up again and I am back to enjoying it! I'm not completely in love with it the way I was originally but I do enjoy using it to set my brows in place, it does make a difference. I don't think I'll repurchased though. There has been a lot of drugstore options pop up over the last few months that I'll probably try our next. 

Urban Decay Setting Spray (De-slick)
I really enjoy this product, however, I can't decide if I see a massive difference in the wear of my makeup which is why it didn't go into my top 5. This, combined with my InstaBlur primer make a massive difference in keeping oil at bay throughout the day, which then helps with my makeup stay in place much longer. I just don't know how well it would hold up on it's own but combined with a primer, it's great. I do enjoy using this product and I have put it on my Christmas List! 

No.7 Pop and Glow Cream Blush Sticks (shade: Rose Blossom)
These are great little products. It is a cream blush that you pop onto the skin (I use the Real Techniques stippling brush- fantastic together!) and it dries down to a powder finish. They give a great pop of colour but still look natural on the skin. What I love the most about these though, is they don't end up rubbing away your foundation when you apply them, which is what puts me off using a lot of cream blushes. 
I also ended up picking up the highlighter version as well, which is just as nice! 

Tanya Burr lip glosses.
I seem to have gathered quite the collection of these over the year. They really are great, probably some of the nicest lip glosses I have used. The super pigmented, creamy formula makes them great for throwing on on their own or over a lipstick for extra colour and shine. I have 8 in total now and only 1 of them has been a bit of a fail (Just Peachy- far too pale for me. If it was less pigmented it would be great but the opaque, milky peach lip look isn't for me I'm afraid.) 
My favourite colours are Picnic in The Park, Aurora and Exotic Island! 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

My Top 5 of 2014: Makeup

1. InstaBlur by The Body Shop. *
Easily the best primer I've used. This actually makes a difference in how my makeup looks and wears throughout the day. It keeps oil at bay as well as helping my makeup last much longer. I love, love, love it.

This gives me everything I look for in a foundation. A light, glowy coverage, that is buildable but looks super natural on the skin. It applies well with a brush but flawlessly with my Real Techniques makeup sponge. It is also a really good colour match for me as well, which always helps. 

I've already been through 2 of these and I only started using it a couple months ago! It is perfect. The tiny nib makes it so easy to fill in your brows easily and quickly but also allows you to add more detail and really shape the brow. The colour is also fantastic (I use Blonde-shell). Being blonde, it can be quite hard to find eyebrow pencils that aren't super red toned. This one is really ashy toned, so it looks really natural in my brows and matches them perfectly.

This is the most easy to use, natural looking bronzer ever. It's impossible to go wrong with this. I love how light and natural it is, as it has a very neutral undertone to it. It also has a matte finish which is great as a good, matte bronzer is really hard to find! 

I have been through so many of these over the last year. It's great! It's a felt tip applicator which means it's so easy to use as its really easy to control. I'm able to do a variety of different looks with this, depending on whether I want a thick, winged out look or a thin line. It's so easy to do with this pen. It's super black and pigmented and lasts a really good amount of time before drying out. 

That is my top 5 makeup bits for 2014! I will be doing a Runners Up post after this talking about a few more bits that I do love, they just didn't make it into the top 5.

Thanks for reading!

Zoe x 

 Disclaimer: I work for The Body Shop. However, all opinions about products from The Body Shop are 100% my own and do not reflect the opinions of those at The Body Shop. Any product given to me for staff sampling has been marked with an *. Any product from The Body Shop not marked, will have been purchased by myself, with my own money at a staff discounted price. All my opinions are completely true and honest. 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Red Lip That Will Survive Christmas Dinner

There's nothing more festive than a good old red lip. However, I find that I can be put off wearing one if I know I'm going to be eating (which we all tend to do a lot of over the festive season!) 

Last year I decided to just go for the red lip on Christmas Day. I was feeling bold and up for the challenge!

The one I went for? The YSL Glossy Stain in number 13. I am sure anyone reading this who is even slightly into beauty will know about these. If not, basically, they are the perfect mix between a lipstick/lipgloss/balm/stain.

They have the opaque pigmentation of a lipstick.
The intense shine of a lipgloss.
The comfortable, moisturising texture of a balm.
And the longevity of a stain.

You apply 3 layers to get maximum colour and wear out of them.

Number 13 is a gorgeous, bright and very bold, pinky/red shade. It is stunning. By far one of my favourite lip products I own. 

So, on Christmas Day, I whacked this on and headed through for Christmas Dinner. 

After I was done, I hesitantly looked in the mirror expecting a very worn off lip, with the rest of it smudged around my face but I was very very pleasantly surprised.

My lips looked perfect! There was a veeeery slight wear right in the middle of my lips but something only I, holding the mirror inches away from my face, would notice. I was so impressed! 

It truly stayed in place all night, through the whole of dinner, drinks, lots of chatting, pudding and whatever else I threw at it that night. The colour stayed as bright and as bold as it was when I first applied it and it stayed looking very glossy and shiny as well. 

It also stayed very comfortable on my lips. Majority of the time I completely forgot I was wearing lipstick at all. The glossy texture makes it very moisturising and comfortable to wear for a long period of time.

The YSL Glossy Stains are expensive, coming in at £25 each. However, they are fantastic products and I'd recommend them to anyone. Pop it on your Christmas list! 

Or, for a cheaper alternative, there is the L'oreal L'Extradinaire by Colour Riche. 
I personally have not tried them myself but have read a lot of reviews comparing them to the YSL Glossy Stain and apparently, they are almost identical. L'oreal own YSL so the chances of them actually being the same product is pretty high. 

Thanks for reading! I hope you found this helpful and it inspired you to wear a festive red lip this Christmas!

Zoe x