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Tuesday 23 February 2016

What's On My Face | No.1

Eyeliner: here. Lipstick: here. Eyeshadow: here. Brush: here. Blush Palette (sold out) - single blush here.
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In case you didn't know, I now have a scheduled upload day on YouTube; Thursday! I'm so happy  with how its going and feel very grateful for the enthusiastic response I've received. Despite that, my blog's been feeling a little neglected lately, and I wanted to start doing a little series that I thought would be quick, simple and fun - but also relatively time efficient for me to photograph and create. So, in-between outfit photos I thought I'd start doing mini posts on my current makeup favourites. I LOVE reading beauty reviews and recommendations from other bloggers, but sometimes (mine included) they can be so lengthy that I just don't have the time to wade through the text. This way,  as well as my style blog posts, you can check out what I've been wearing on my face in a bite-sized fashion!

Eyeliner: a delightful surprise, this liquid liner has been my go-to. So much so, it's almost run out. It's black as the night and stays in place all day long. 

Lipstick: despite the slightly odd shaped tube, this lipstick is incredibly pigmented and doesn't need a great many touch ups throughout the day. Probably one of my top 3 reds.  

Eyeshadow: the perfect soft pink, ideal for everyday wear. It evens the tone of my lids and creates the loveliest subtle sheen, only really visible if the light hits it in a particular way which is exactly what I wanted. The tiny packaging, mirror included, means it's super duper easy to travel with!

Brush: Tom Ford unbelievably soft brushes have absolutely stolen my heart. Due to their very high price point, it almost pains me to use them. However, every time I do, the result is flawless. 

Blush: The above is a Bobbi Brown blush palette. I can always count on Bobbi Brown when I'm feeling in the mood for an easily blendable and bright pop of cheek colour, but don't fancy looking like a clown. Bobbi Brown somehow always manages to get this right; bright colours that complement a variety of skin tones without looking garish.
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What are your current face favourites? 

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Trench Cape & White Polo Neck - Transitioning into Spring

Trench Cape: here. Jumper: here. Trousers: here. Shoes: Russell & Bromley (sold out) - I'd also wear these. Earrings: Dior - alternative here. Bag: Chanel - alternative here.
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By now, I'm sure you'll all be aware of my penchant for capes. Having recently forayed into the world of the trench coat, I knew when I spied this kind of weird but simultaneously beautiful trench-cape hybrid, I had to have it. When styling it, I wanted to keep most of the focus on the cape itself; being such a unique piece. So, I dressed it up with a pair of leather trousers (or what my friend Bianca refers to as 'Topshop's finest pleather') and a white polo neck with button cuff details. 

Spring is obviously the time when lighter colours and fabrics begin make their way into our wardrobes, and trench material is a spring classic. Light, but also durable enough to withstand the April showers and keep the chilly breeze at bay. Or... this would be true, if the 'spring' we're having this year wasn't so dreadfully cold!

FYI: the cape has now been reduced from £75 to £35 - click here to take a peek. 

Monday 8 February 2016

Skincare Favourites; Moisturisers & Serums (Sensitive/Dry Skin)

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Today I thought I'd tell you about a few of my favourite moisturisers and serums. Some are everyday use products and some are products I use on specific occasions in order to combat a particular problem - but I'll go into more detail under about each product. To give you a little context, my skin is prone to dryness and the very occasional bout of eczema, but besides that I would say I have very well behaved skin. I'm recommending these products based on my experience rather than specifically what it says on the packaging - for example, one of the products claims to be suitable for normal/combination skin but I wouldn't call my skin combination, yet the product still works magnificently. Generally, I think it's important to experiment in order to find what suits you!
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1. Chanel Hydra Beauty Serum.

- Suitable for all skin types. 

Claiming to provide intense hydration, protection & radiance, Chanel's Hydra Beauty Serum is one of the more pricey skincare products I own. Gifted to me by my brother, it's one of those things that I absolutely do notice the benefits of, but can't bring myself to use more often than once in a while because of the price tag. Fortuitously, serum is often so rich that you only need a tiny amount anyway. The texture is extremely fine and the product is very quick to absorb, which means you don't have to sit around waiting for this to dry before you carry on with your makeup. I find this gives my skin a beautifully fresh, plumped up feeling, and is best worn as a kind of primer/base for makeup. So, if you're looking to treat yourself to a super high-quality serum that's guaranteed to perform, this is one of the few I'd recommend.

Take a look here.

2. Lancôme Advanced Génifique. (c/o Lancome)
- Suitable for all skin types. 

Childishly, my favourite thing about Lancome's Genifique (as well as how it makes my skin look) is it's pipette-style applicator. I absolutely love this; it's more hygienic than dipping your fingers into a tub, and it also allows you to control exactly how much product you want to use in order to minimise wastage. How many times have you scooped out too much moisturiser and thought 'guess I'll just put it on this random bit of my arm... waste not want not!
Advanced Genefique is my other favourite Serum. I created an entire post on this about 6 months ago where I rambled on about it quite extensively, but I'll repeat myself; this serum just seems to press some kind of 'reset' button on my skin. Again, as it's very rich, it's something I use rarely and only when my skin is particularly dry or troublesome, but when I do the results are quite amazing. My skin feels velvety smooth and consequently, my makeup applies perfectly. The serum claims to restore youthfulness by smoothing fine lines and deep wrinkles as well as improving skin tone, texture and elasticity.

Take a look here.
3. Dior Hydra Life - Pro-Youth Comfort Crème.
- Suitable for normal to dry skin. 
A longtime favourite of mine, the Dior Hydra Life Creme is one of my foolproof ways of combatting what I can only refer to as a dry patch. When I have the occasional patchy flare up, I know exactly what to do - hotfoot it to the bathroom cabinet and retrieve one of my skin saviours - this being one. This cream has a beautiful scent; to me it almost smells of cucumber but I'm not convinced I'm identifying that correctly. Either way, it smells gooood. The word 'comfort' in the name is also very apt - it feels very cooling and nourishing when applied. For me, this is definitely another cream that I use occasionally & when needed. It's more of a 'combating an issue' cream than just a 'maintaining the skin' cream (two of which I'll mention below). It can be applied morning or night, but I tend to use this as a night cream and apply it before I go to sleep.
4. Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. 
- Suitable for all skin types. 

Now, probably my all time favourite. The absolute boss of moisturisers. I have quite sensitive skin that's prone to dryness and a little eczema too, so for my every day moisturising routine I tend to gravitate towards all natural, fragrance free products. For me, Clinque is the one. My skin seems to really react well to Clinique products - or perhaps, not react at all (no break outs etc), which is probably what we're all aiming for. So above, I referred to moisturisers as either products to combat something particular, or products to 'maintain' your skin. By maintain my skin, I mean that I use Moisture Surge every evening without fail, in order to keep my skin looking its best. It keeps it moisturised, refreshed and feeling smooth, but doesn't inspire break outs. It just generally helps my skin plod along happily. This is without a doubt one of my 'holy grail' skincare products that I always repurchase without fail. So, if you have sensitive skin and are on the lookout for an every day moisturiser, this could be the one for you. 

Take a look here.
5. Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser. (c/o Liz Earle)

- Suitable for normal to combination skin. 

Liz Earle is another brand that I know I can trust to maintain my skin's natural balance. Their products are all natural, botanically-based and rich in naturally active ingredients. The Skin Repair Moisturiser is packed full of natural anti-oxidants, beta-carotene and Vitamin E which all contribute to replacing the natural moisture lost by skin over time. This is an alternative to my Clinique favourite, but I also find that it works particularly well at combating areas of dryness. I would say that although I find the formal ever so slightly greasy (it contains avocado oil so this is probably why) it doesn't have any kind of derogatory effects and this always leaves my skin feeling smooth and refreshed. In my opinion, this cream is very rich and so I tend to favour it in the winter months. Again, if you have similar skin to me and are looking for a rich, winter-appropriate moisturiser, give this one a try.

Take a look here. 

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    Monday 1 February 2016

    Review - A New Addition: Saint Laurent Monogram Tassel Satchel

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    Today I wanted to do a little review and explanation of my beautiful new addition; one of Saint Laurent's classic shoulder bags; the 'Classic Medium Monogram Saint Laurent *pauses for breath* Tassel Satchel in Black Crocodile Embossed Leather', or more colloquially known as the Saint Laurent Tassel Bag. 

    Before I go into it, I just want to make it clear that this was a gift from my parents. I certainly don't want to give you the impression that I'm in the position to be dropping this kind of money on a handbag. I do make some money from blogging - the amount varies from month to month, but again, it's not on the buying myself a designer bag scale. Hell, I still need a few minutes to recover from the shock after paying for a full tank of petrol, and I've done it hundreds of times. I don't want you to think I'm sitting in a fort made of gifted Urban Decay Palettes and lighting cigars with £100 notes. I do however, know that I'm very fortunate, and I am hugely appreciative and am grateful that my parents treat me to the occasional gift.

    So, when choosing my next addition, I knew I had to be careful because I can be very fickle; I loved the Celine Tote and the Chloe Drew, but not enough. So, for about 9 months I'd been spying and heart-eye-emoji-ing all over this Saint Laurent piece on the arms of Emma, Sammi & Isabella - all demonstrating it's versatility through different styles and seasons. It's classic and stylish, but a bit more *edgy* than my beloved Chanel. Although *edgy* I am not, I thought I'd just about get away with it. 

    Mine was purchased from Selfridges - the larger size (the one shown here) is currently out of stock but you can find the smaller size here at Selfridges. Alternatively there is always, of course, the YSL website.
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    How I Style It:
    If you you'd like to see how I've styled it thus far, take a look at this blog post. 
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    The bag is 9.4 by 5.7 inches and 2.1 inches deep. 
    The chain handle is 18.7 inches and the bag falls just around hip-length on me. It also has a handy interior slot pocket which is the perfect size for keeping your phone.
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    Made in Italy; it's 100% calf-skin leather with a suede lining. The bag's exterior has been beautifully created in the style of crocodile skin, and I personally favour a textured leather as if you were to scratch the bag, it's much less noticeable. I worry much less about using a textured bag than I would a smooth textured bag.
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    All hardware, both exterior and interior, is silver. 
    It features an interlocking metal YSL signature on the front, with silver chain and magnetic toned hardware. The attention to detail is impeccable.
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    Now, for the actually useful part; how much stuff can you fit in it? I'll be honest, in my opinion it's not the most spacious bag. It probably looks more spacious than it actually is. Don't get me wrong - all of the essentials fit happily, but I suppose after being so used to my Large Chanel Classic Flap Bag, I've become rather accustomed to be able to take all kinds of unnecessaries out and about with me. For instance, I can't fit my travel sized Tangle Teaser in here along with my make up bag, it's a one or the other situation, which I'm not used to. However, I do fully accept that carrying around a hairbrush is hardly essential. So, I am quite enjoying that aspect forcing me to be more discerning about what I carry around with me. 

    I am truly loving this bag - but if I was forced to come up with a negative, it'd be the way the bag opens and closes. I want to give you my fully formed opinion, in case you're thinking of treating yourself to this piece and the way a bag opens and closes is actually really important to you. 

    To open and close the bag, the whole front flaps open and shut, held together by a little round magnet (as seen above). The magnet is VERY strong - and I feel bad criticising this, as I certainly wouldn't want the bag to flap open in the breeze or spilling the contents, but sometimes when I'm trying to open it, I feel like I'm having to be a bit vicious with it in order to pry it open. Secondly, when closing the bag, despite the magnet being extremely strong, it doesn't pop together with great ease. It's not always a smooth closure; you really have to get to know the exact position of the magnet in order to line them up perfectly. I'm used to it now, but initially I did just fold the bag shut a couple of times only to later realise that the popper and the magnet hadn't properly met, leaving the bag not totally secure. Overall, the bag is very sturdy; much sturdier than I expected. 

    1. Compact mirror.
    2. Keys.
    3. Favourite Rouge Coco lipstick.
    4. Estee Lauder concealer.
    5. Antibacterial hand Gel.
    6. Concealer brush.
    7. Lip brush.
    8. Free roaming money - I'm always forgetting to keep change on standby for parking.
    9. Card holder.
    10. Lip balm.
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    Overall, I am of course utterly thrilled to add this piece to my collection. It seems to go with every outfit and works for day and evening looks. I will certainly treasure it for years to come.

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! 

    If you're a fan of this bag but not such a fan of the price, here are some of my favourite, more pocket friendly mock-croc offerings... (p.s. the one that says £65 is actually now only £18!)