Tuesday, 30 May 2023

How to Achieve an Insta-Worthy Makeup Look

 (Collaborative Post)

 In the era of social media, capturing picture-perfect looks and moments has certainly become a trend. If you want to be able to create gorgeous and glamorous selfies or you want a close-up shot of your perfect makeup, you’ll need to know precisely what to do to achieve the look you want. You won’t want to post anything less than perfect on Instagram, and although we all know that the reality is often different from the perception, it’s still fun to get involved. 

If you’re wondering how to produce Instagram-worth makeup, keep reading. We’ll take you through the steps you need to ensure you look exactly as intended in every image. Read on to find out more.

Prep The Canvas 

It might sound strange to talk about your face as a canvas, but when you consider that makeup is art, it actually makes sense. And just as an artist will always prep their canvas to achieve the best final result, you’ll need to do the same. 

To begin with, make sure you have a clean face. Remove any dirt and excess oil because otherwise the makeup won’t look flawless and smooth, and it might not even stay on your face for very long, ruining the look well before you’re ready to take a photo of it. 

Once you have washed your face, you need to apply moisturiser to keep it well-hydrated and then follow this with some primer. This helps to minimise the appearance of pores and is another useful tool to ensure your makeup stays in place all day. 

Choose The Right Foundation 

The first element of your makeup that you need to apply once your face is clean is your foundation. This will make your face neutral and make your skin tone all one colour. This will help you when you come to apply other makeup over the top. 

It’s crucial that you pick the right shade of foundation so that it matches your skin, otherwise it will look strange if other areas of your skin - such as your neck - are visible and there is a clear difference. The best place to test the colour is along your jawbone. Once you have applied it, blend it on your face using a clean, damp makeup sponge or brush. This will give you a natural finish without any harsh lines. 

Enhance Your Features 

Once the base is ready, you can move on to the makeup itself. The best thing to do is to pick products that will enhance your features. Beautiful lashes from BELO Lash could be just the thing to enhance your eyes, for example, whereas a deep-coloured lipstick might be the ideal choice for your lips. 

This is where you can really go to town and make your own look, so don’t be afraid to experiment. If you don’t like something, just take it off and try something else. As long as the individual elements look good and make your best features stand out, the rest will easily fall into place, and your Instagram photos will look fantastic every time. 

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Beauty Sleep with Nourish London


 I write about Nourish London products a lot on this blog. They create truly beautiful natural, vegan products that are not only good for your skin but the soul too!

Many of the products are perfectly gift-able as well, including the bits I'm sharing today that are focussed on promoting rest, relaxation and getting a good night's sleep. I've been really enjoying trying these out, especially because I have two small children that can always use a little help with winding down.

The Sleep Essential Oil Blend 10ml - £17

This is a multi-use oil that can be added sparingly to a bath or added to a carrier for a soothing massage/body oil. You can of course use it in a diffuser too or, like me, sprinkle a little on the bed sheets. I've also previously added a few drops of essential oil to a shaker of bicarb, sprinkled on the carpet, then vacuumed it up, so I'll be trying that next with this in the bedroom I think.

This blend contains oils of Patchouli (one of my favourite smells in the world), Lavender, Frankincense, Neroli, Chamomile and Petitgrain, with each oil chosen for its naturally soothing properties.

Probiotic Multi-Mineral Repair Mask 30ml - £26

The first thing you’ll notice when you try this mask is that it smells amazing and spa-like. It’s basically like relaxation in a bottle. Which makes it particularly lovely to spread over your face in moments when you need a little calm and quiet. This cooling, soothing cream mask doesn’t set and you can use it in two ways to reap its anti-ageing, calming benefits: Massage into skin using circular movements, relax, then remove after at least five minutes with a warm cloth or for an intensive treatment, leave it on as overnight treatment and wash your face in the morning. This mask contains Damask Rose and Lavender to relax and calm, Magnesium to heal and hydrate, Copper to boost collagen and Iron and Zinc to repair and protect. The Iron, Copper, Zinc and Magnesium are all ferments, which is what makes this a probiotic skincare product. I really enjoy using this mask and think I’d have trouble finding anyone who wouldn’t like it to be honest.

Sleep Lavender Pillow Mist 100ml - £20

I’ve tried more pillow mists than I can count and can hand on heart declare this one to be a favourite. This relaxing mist contains a blend of 9 soothing essential oils known for promoting a good night’s sleep, including Lavender, Rose, Frankincense, Sweet Orange, Geranium, Patchouli, Bergamot, Sweet Marjoram and Juniper Berry. It also features Epsom Salt, which is rich in rest-inducing Magnesium and something that really sets this apart from other pillow mists. The scent of the mist is very delicate, inoffensive and soothing. It smells beautifully ‘natural’ (which it is!) with a sort of earthy quality to it that I personally really like. I’d recommend this to virtually anyone who either needs a little help in unwinding at bed time or just appreciates a really good pillow mist!

You can find all of these products and plenty more at Nourish London.

Thursday, 18 May 2023

How to Dress Confidently

 (Collaborative Post)

If you look at yourself in the mirror and just don’t feel like your clothing reflects your personality then now is the time for you to make a change. 

Act Now

It’s very easy for you to get caught up in the whole “improve yourself” culture. The start of a new year is often the time when people start to take action, but this isn’t the only window you have to make a change. You can make a change whenever you want, and when you do, you will soon find that you feel way better for it.

Get Rid of Stuff

The first step to dressing better is having clothes that fit you well and that make you feel really good about yourself. If you have clothes in your wardrobe that are too tight, or that do not flatter you at all then you need to get rid of them. You need to put them in the bin or take them to a local donation centre. If you don’t then you may find that they will spur the toxic relationship that you currently have with your wardrobe. Everyone has clothes that they wish they could fit into as well, but now really is the time for you to get rid of them. Wearing clothes that are too small, or too uncomfortable for you will make you appear bigger than you are, and it will impact your confidence too. If you have tried a trend and it has not worked out well for you then now is the time for you to let that trend go. If it doesn’t make you feel good and if it doesn’t make you look good, then purging it is the way to go. If you want to buy some new clothes, be sure to check out The Iconic 

Separate how you Feel

Even if you do not suffer from body image issues, it’s very easy for you to have a skewed vision of yourself. Usually, it is far too harsh as well. At the end of the day, a lot of people struggle with their body image, and they often find themselves struggling and feeling ashamed of their bodies. This is especially the case when it comes to trying on new clothes. Your improvement goals are great to have, but at the same time, you need to make sure that they are separate from your style. If you dress trying to hide certain aspects of your body or if you dress trying to fix things about yourself then you may feel as though you have a constant lack of self-confidence.

Identify Style Types

Now you have taken the time to purge your clothes, or at least the ones that do not make you feel great, it is time for you to work on the styles that help you to feel happy about yourself. If you are sporty then try and edge toward clothes like this. If you like to be edgy, then embrace this style. If you can do that then you will soon find that it is easier than ever for you to get the look you are going for. Of course, you need to identify what styles you have in your wardrobe right now before you delve too deeply into your style journey. If you do this then if there are some pieces that do not work for you, or that you don’t feel confident in then you can easily avoid them.

Don’t Copy Others Exactly

You have to make sure that you do not copy others exactly, and you also need to avoid pretending to be something you are not. You may be tempted to dress like your favourite influencer and there is nothing wrong with this, but you do have to remember that your style is your own and your preferences should be authentic to you. If you copy other people’s passion then you may be trying to embrace what they have in their life, and you may think that as a result, you can gain from their confidence. That is not how it works at all. Ultimately, you are just pretending to be someone who you are not, and this can lead to a bit of a detachment from who you are as an individual. It is okay for you to look to others for inspiration or for some guidance with your style, but if you focus on their style too much then this will work against you and this is the last thing you need. If you need some help with your style, then social media is a great resource.


Saturday, 15 April 2023

Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream

 Tatcha has been readily available in the UK via Space NK for a little while now but I've only just got around to dipping my toe into the brand via The Dewy Skin Cream.

I purchased a travel size of this while I was away for a few days and had somehow managed to forget my usual moisturiser - an excellent excuse to buy and try something new, right?

This little introduction to Tatcha has definitely made me keen to try more from the brand. From the beautiful packaging to the texture, scent and effects of the cream, this is one product I wouldn't hesitate to purchase again. Here's why.

Formulated with Japanese Purple Rice, the Dewy Skin Cream is designed to perform a number of actions, including to hydrate and plump the skin and protect against pollution and stress. But above all it’s the dewy finish it imparts that got me really interested!

Thick yet somehow light at the same time, the dewy cream melts into the skin on application and leaves a gorgeous glow. It can be used both during the day and at night and while I am loving it as my PM post-retinol moisturiser, it seems a shame to waste the gorgeous dewy glow effect!

As mentioned this cream contains Japanese Purple Rice as a hero ingredient. This rice is nutrient-rich and high in the antioxidant Anthocyanin which aids in protecting against stress and pollution, in turn promoting a healthier looking skin. The base of the cream is also made up of humectant Glycerin and Squalane.

Also in the formula is a special Okinawa Algae and Hyaluronic Acid blend. We know by now that Hyaluronic Acid retains moisture and this blend is responsible for leaving the skin feeling soft and nourished. This special blend also helps to create the smoothing and plumping effect that this cream creates.

A range of botanical extracts and oils round off the formula, including Ginseng, Wild Thyme and Sweet Marjoram. These are included to nourish and moisturise and add to the dewy effect of the cream.

On first application I noticed the cream has a light, really calming scent which is what made me think it would be good as a night cream. I thought it was lavender oil until now when I’m looking at the ingredients list and can’t actually see lavender listed – it does contain parfum/fragrance right down the end though. At the end of the ingredients is also Mica, Tin Oxide and Titanium Dioxide (which would give the cream that aesthetic sheen/glow) and also the colour Violet 2. I imagine the Purple Rice used in the formula may have offered a bit of colour but not quite enough!

In case it’s important to you, I also want to mention that the cream is formulated without mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, sulfates, parabens, urea, DEA, TEA and phthalates.

According to the brand’s website, Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream is recommended for people with dry to mature skin and combo skin – people with oily skin types might find this a little too rich for day time but I think it would suit anyone as a comforting night cream, just be sure to double check the ingredients if you are sensitive to certain essential oils.

Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream is available right now at a few retailers including Space NK where you can find the travel size too if you want to try it for a few weeks before committing to the full size. Find it here.

Wednesday, 12 April 2023

Rituals Summer Box of Joy

(affiliate links)
 We all love a beauty advent calendar but why should we only get them around Christmas? If you're feeling that beauty calendar itch, Rituals have just released a The Summer Box of Joy (£64), full of gorgeous miniature beauty bits. It contains 13 items and is beautifully presented and ready for gifting.

The calendar includes:
1 X The Ritual of Jing Hand Mask 
1 X The Ritual of Jing Sleep Pillow & Body Mist 20ml giftset
1 X The Ritual of Mehr Parfum d'Interieur 50ml
1 X Travel - Soleil d'Or Eau de Parfum 15ml
1 X Sport Foaming Shower Gel 50ml
1 X The Ritual of Mehr Foaming Shower Gel
1 X The Ritual of Mehr Body Cream 100ml
1 X Sport 2-in-1 Shampoo & Body Wash 70ml
1 X Sport Anti-Perspirant Spray 50ml
1 X Advent Mini Candle Private Collection - Savage Garden
1 X Gratitude Bracelet
1 X The Ritual of Namaste Velvety Cleansing Foam 125ml  
1 X The Ritual of Mehr Body Mousse to Oil 30ml

The Summer Box of Joy is available now here with FREE delivery and in-store.

Friday, 31 March 2023

Boots Premium Beauty Little Luxuries Easter Egg Bundle

 (affiliate links used)

Just a quick one to tell you about a very cool limited edition set at Boots - the Little Luxuries Easter Egg Bundle.

Priced at £55, this very cute bundle of goodies contains over £190 worth of products. The full contents is:

Fenty Skin Hydra’Reset Intensive Recovery Hand Mask 75ml (full size)
Elizabeth Arden Hyaluronic Acid Capsules 7 pcs 3g 
Elemis Superfood Midnight facial face mask 50ml (full size)
OPI Nail Polish - Alipine Snow 15ml (full size)
Dr Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Enzyme Foam Cleanser 30ml
Patchology Serve Chilled Bubbly Eye Gels 13g (full size)
Iconic Triple Threat Mascara 9ml (full size)
Erborian Red Pepper Pulp 5ml
Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting 10ml 
Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream 3ml
Clinique Moisture Surge 100H 15ml
Morphe Glow Show Radiant Pressed Highlighter - Rose Glimmer 7g (full size)
Nudestix Eye Color Pencil - Terra  2.8g (full size)

It's bound to sell out pretty quick, so if you're interested I'd grab it now! You can find it here.

Tuesday, 28 March 2023

YSL Black Opium Le Parfum

 (affiliate links)

YSL Black Opium is a hugely popular fragrance but despite wanting to love it, I've never been very keen on it. There's something in it that makes me feel a little nauseas - I think it's because the coffee note is quite prominent and a bit much for my nose? Whatever it is, something has stopped me wanting a bottle. I was excited by the release of Black Opium Illicit Green last year (the fig note really appealed to me) but on sniffing it, the juice was just too similar to the original. The latest flanker for Black Opium however, Black Opium Le Parfum, is one of the most gorgeous things I've had my nose on recently and I'm lucky enough to have the 90ml bottle.

Black Opium Le Parfum takes the heavy vanilla from the original and really elevates it and I think it's absolutely gorgeous! 
This fragrance is an elegant mixture of fruity, floral and vanilla notes but the vanilla really dominates.
The top notes are sustainably sourced Green Mandarin from Italy, Pear and Cinnamon.
Middle notes are Solar Jasmine Sambac and Orange Blossom.
Base notes are Coffee (specifically espresso accord), Indonesian Patchouli, Ambrox and a 'vanilla quartet' that includes Madagascan Vanilla Planifolia Absolute and Vanilla Pod Absolute, Vanilla Bourbon Infusion and Tahitian Vanilla.
Everyone smells things a little differently and to me Black Opium Le Parfum is a total vanilla bomb, with a subtle hint of coffee and bright white flowers very much in the background. Vanilla is absolutely the star in this, with a hefty sprinkle of brown sugar on top. I'd describe it as like sitting in a cafe, eating a big slice of vanilla cake with buttercream icing, with a beautiful vase of flowers on the table before you. The vanilla cake is the main character, while there are wafts of freshly ground coffee floating about in the air and a touch of floral elegance somewhere at the back.

It's been compared to Kayali Vanilla 28 and I have to say that the sugared-vanilla aspect of Le Parfum is very similar but there is no spice or woodyness in this like there is in Vanilla 28.
That said, if you like Vanilla 28, Billie Eilish's Eilish fragrance, Victoria's Secret Bare Vanilla and any bourbon vanilla type scents, chances are you'll really like Black Opium Le Parfum.
In terms of longevity, it lasts and projects on my skin for a couple of hours before drying down into a cosy skin scent but lasts for ages on clothing. For example, I sprayed this on my coat collar yesterday and it's still very much there!
The le Parfum bottle is smooth black, whereas the other Black Opium iterations are textured, and is quite sleek and elegant, but also shows up every smudge and fingerprint (as demonstrated below!).

 You can find YSL Black Opium Le Parfum at quite a few places where it retails for £75 for 30ml, £102 for 50ml and £135 for 90ml. Right now, Boots are having a fragrance promo where it's a little cheaper - I've linked to the 30ml for £63.75 here.