Get the glow in January!

I’m sitting here looking out of my office window and it is GREY! In fact almost dark. There is a Nor’easter heading towards us. Fortunately, I think, we are only going to get pummeled by rain as our temperatures are rising. In weather like this I always love wearing my darker greys and blacks, but when it comes to makeup I want my skin to glow with health! I am drinking a lot of water which helps – but you can’t beat some good moisturizer and makeup products at this time of year! I love treating myself to some little ‘feel good’ cosmetics to beat the January blues.

Here are my favorites which I am using constantly at the moment!

Hourglass have become one of my go to cosmetic brands. Not cheap, but their products last forever and do what they say on the tin. So many people have mentioned recently how good my skin looks and I attribute it to this palette. You can use the powder to highlight and apply it intensely on the cheek bones, or apply it more liberally to give an overall glow.

ambient lighting pallette

Buxom lip cream is a favorite of mine. It has an amazing tingly sensation when you apply it which apparently helps to plump your lips. I adore White Russian – it’s a lovely nude gloss that brightens your face.

Buxom lip polish

Recently I’ve gone what I consider to be ‘old skool’ with my skin care. I’ve tried more expensive options but believe me they ain’t worth it. The good old Body Shop comes out tops in my book time and time again. Especially with their Drops of Youth and Oils of Life skincare ranges. I apply this essence every morning after washing and before I put any serum or moisturizer on. It kind of prepares your skin to absorb the moisture.

drops-of-youth-essence-lotion_l

This serum is lush. I apply it in the morning and before bed. Super hydrating and it smells divine.

intensely-revitalizing-facial-oil_l

I also love the gel cream from the same range. I love the texture – it’s not greasy at all and absorbs in an instant ready for you to apply foundation.

intensely-revitalizing-gel-cream_l

The body shop Vitamin C range has always been a go to line for me – especially when traveling. Nothing gives you a better boost than applying some of this in flight (I often decant into smaller pots for travel). This one really does make me giggle because it is perfect for ‘grumpy skin’!

vitamin-c-glow-boosting-moisturizer_l

I’ve just reordered this (if you join the Body Shop rewards program it gives you a 10% discount off each purchase.) I love this and use it each day, with or without makeup.

vitamin-c-instant-glow-enhancer_l

I don’t wear a lot of foundation – sometimes I just apply a little concealer on after the above glow enhancer. When I do wear it Hourglass is my brand of choice – I love their Illusion skin tint – it is a little heavier in consistency than the name suggests and you only need a tiny amount for a flawless finish.

hourglass illusionjpg

Most important to me at this time of year is a fab, fab lip color! I am wearing Mac Pink Pigeon today, and my favorite nude color from them MAC at the moment is Kinda Sexy.

Mac matte lipstick

I doubt I will ever wear another blusher than this – NARS orgasm – it’s just the perfect hue for a glow winter or summer.

Nars blusher

A new discovery this season, for me at least, is the NARS multiple stick. I’ve always been a tad scared about application. I run Copacabana gently along my cheek bone and then Portofino in a line slightly below it, BEFORE applying my blush on the apples of my cheeks. I use a firm angled brush to gently blend the multiple and it leaves a gorgeous dewy sheen.

Nars multiplt

And that folks is how I get my glow on this winter! Along with buckets of water!

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 3.13.15 PM

What are your favorite products this winter? A great hand cream is always a necessity and I am still searching for the perfect hydrating, non greasy formula!

Finally here are a couple of outfits from the past couple of days. It’s been pretty chilly here!

ASOS coatCoat – ASOS on sale // Jumper – H&M on sale // Jeans – Zara (old) // Boots – Isabel Marant by H&M (old) // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

Leopard print coatCoat – Mango on sale // Boots – Stuart Weitzman 5050s // Jeans – Zara (old) // Jumper – Everlane // Scarf – Asos (similar here) // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

Summer makeup

I’ve had a few requests recently related to which products I use, and how I apply my makeup – mainly after I shared my ridiculous haul of paraphernalia on Instagram a few weeks ago. My summer makeup is very different from my winter makeup – I pretty much stop using eyeshadow and foundation. Here’s a brief guide to my morning routine!

1. I wash with the Body Shop Vitamin C cleansing polish (it smells fabulous) and a flannel for a little exfoliation.

2. I apply a Hyaluronic Acid serum – from either Peter Thomas Roth or Indeed Labs – I really have noticed plumper skin since incorporating it into my routine.

3. I apply a little moisturizer – the brand varies and at the moment I am using Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic cream.

4. I then use a high spf sun block on my face and neck – normally from Neutrogena and my current favorite is from their Ultra Sheer range as it is lovely and dry to the touch with no greasiness.

5. A lot of the time during the week that’s it – I just add a little concealer under my eyes and my favorite is Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind – I love the consistency and the applicator.  If I’m heading out on the town somewhere special I will use a bronzer CC cream from the Sephora Collection.

6. Then it’s a little blush and I am obsessed with cream blush at the moment – I love the sheer color it gives without being cakey. I apply Maybelline’s Master Glaze stick in Coral sheen or Just-pinched pink with the stick in a line across the apple of my cheeks, and then I use a Real Techniques stippling brush to blend it.

7. I keep my eyes simple with either a liquid liner (I always prefer a brush applicator and love Dior Addict liner) or felt pen (Marc Jacobs Precision pen is my favorite) along the top lash line with my favorite Tarte Gifted mascara once I’ve curled my eyelashes with a Shiseido curler.

8. Finally a red lipstick. I always apply with a a lip brush – but sometimes skip the lip liner. My favorite liner is MAC redd and my favorite red lipsticks are MAC Lady Bug, MAC red and NARS Hyde Park pencil – I don’t like matte reds.

9. All dusted off with Rimmel bronzer in sunlight – I love this as there is no shimmer in it.

For summer that is it! I love a glow with a retro red lip! Easy and hassle free on a warm morning.

Does your makeup routine change in the summer? On vacation I never wear it and it’s so nice to let my skin go natural for a while.

Madewell, J.Crew, boyfriend jeans, sandals, NextShoes – Next (also ship to the US here) // Jeans – J.Crew (on sale plus an extra 40% off with SALETHERAPY) // Top – Madewell (on sale PLUS an extra 40% off with EXTRA40) // Bag – Marks & Spencers (old)

 

New beauty products for 2015

It’s still not back to normal here quite yet. The kids and I are off today for a teacher work day and then school starts tomorrow. Poppy is still sleeping here and it is 9.30am – tomorrow morning is going to be hell. I can also say that this has been one of the best, most relaxing Christmas Holidays we’ve spent as the 4 of us, and I am really not looking forward to them heading back tomorrow. I could happily spend another week at home with them. We’re off to the movies this afternoon to watch Into the Woods as my Husband is back at work and I thought it might give me a couple of hours break later 🙂

I had a couple of hours to myself yesterday at the Mall. As I am trying not to buy any new clothes for a while, plus I seem to have unintentionally embraced a sober January, I thought a little indulgence was in order. I used to treat myself to nail polishes but my nails have been such a disgrace since having my acrylics removed that I can’t even consider colored nails right now. More on that later. So instead I have become hooked on lipsticks. Last month I bought 3 beautiful deep plum colors from Mac. Rebel is still one of my all time favorites – it’s not nearly as dark on the lips as it looks in the bullet and it has a lovely soft satin finish – it really makes my teeth look whiter. Odyssey has a beautiful frost finish to it and reminds me of and old Rimmel lipstick I wore years ago – Heather Shimmer, and Hang Up is deeper and creamier than Rebel and full of moisture.

From left to right – Rebel, Odyssey and Hang Up with Vino pencil

IMG_1403

After a few weeks of wearing these lush darker colors I was craving a heavier eye and nude lip – especially with my darker hair. I spent a lot of time reading beauty blogs as Mac do lots of ‘nudes’, but given my yellowy undertones I was really concerned about going too pale and feeling washed out. I decided, especially on viewing, that their classic nude, Creme d’nude, is just too nude for me. The Mac girls at Bloomingdales were super helpful and in the end I walked away with 2 I had on my list and 2 that I hadn’t even considered before – one of these, Myth, now being my favorite!

Left to right Hue, Myth, Pure Zen and Blankety, with Dior Addict liquid liner.

IMG_1660

Hue is very sheer with peachy tones – it is a great every day color. Myth is stunning – really nude on the lips and perfect for that smokey eye look – very dramatic for a night out. Pure Zen is a little creamier than Hue but still has those gorgeous peach tones. Blankety is gorgeous and really creamy with mauve undertones and gives great coverage. Ironically Myth and Blankety were the 2 that weren’t on my list and yet were recommended and are now my favorites – those Mac girls know what they are doing!

As for the eyeliner well I have been looking for a great liquid liner for some time. Only problem is most these days seem to have the felt tip and I prefer a brush. Having browsed Sephora and ummed and ahhed for a while I decided to take the plunge with the Dior Addict – the packaging won me over 🙂

Dior liner

Back to my nails – I first started looking at the Dior counter as I have recently rediscovered my love for their Nail Glow. My nails have been horrific since having my acrylics removed from over the summer – never again – it has taken months to get them anywhere near the strength they used to be, plus Folic acid and Biotin every day! The only thing that has saved them recently and looks decent on them is the Dior Nail Glow – I cannot live without it now. Not to mention reading “How to be Parisian” has encouraged me to adopt the mantra ‘less is more’.

Dior nail glow

As for my skincare routine this year I have splurged on a couple of new products that I now can’t live without. I’ve always been good at cleansing and moisturizing but I felt the need to switch it up a bit heading into 2015.

For the last 6 month I have been using Shiseido Ultimune serum before my basic Nivea moisturiser. I absolutely love it – you only need a tiny amount so it lasts months. I really have noticed smoother skin – especially on my neck were I need it most. It is now a must have in my daily routine.

ultimune

Following on from this success I figured the Japanese must know what they are doing and I purchased the Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist night emulsion. It is super light and non greasy so I really feel like it is all absorbed before my head hits the pillow. Again it lasts forever – one pump/drop covers my whole face and neck.

Benefiance

As for cleansing I had been using up a trial size of Clinique Take the Day Off and I nearly bought a full size version until I saw Sephora did their own cheaper version. It does exactly what it says on the bottle and I love it and use it before using a drugstore foam cleanser.

Sephora cleanser

So what with my decreased alcohol intake, increased water intake and new products my skin should be glowing! Have you added any new beauty products to your routine this year?

My outifts from the past couple of days have been rather black heavy – it has taken a lot to persuade me out of my M&S cashmere onesie (now only £89 reduced from £199!!).

DSC_0245Shoes – Stan Smith sneakers // Trousers – H&M faux leather // Sweater – Everlane cashmere v-neck // Jacket – Mango (on sale)

DSC_0247Shoes – Stuart Weitzman Leman (half price in sale!) // Jeans – Zara // T-shirt – Asos // Scarf – H&M (old) // Jacket – Mango (on sale)

 

 

What to buy in the UK vs. the USA.

As part of my preparations for my trip back to the UK I collect a few shopping requests from family and friends here.  I think it is commonly perceived that most goods are much cheaper in the USA.  It’s true that many are – but there are also several brands that are FAR cheaper in the UK.

I normally have a little list of places to go when I’m back in the UK on the hunt for a bargain.

1.  Many European brands/high street stores simply multiply by 2 when converting £s to $s instead of using the exchange rate.  Plus our sticker price here is not the final price as we add sales tax on at the register, which varies from county to county and state to state.  This can make brands like Zara and H&M far cheaper to buy in the UK.

2. Classic UK brands such as Barbour, Hunter, Ted Baker and Paul Smith are usually far cheaper in the UK.  My Husband has sized himself for a Barbour here which I can then collect in the UK at half the price.

3. There are many books and music titles that are not available in the US.  I can’t find Take That’s Progress on iTunes – nor The Pete Tong Collection (I did manage to buy the latter on Amazon.com).  Again my Husband orders several books from Amazon.co.uk and has them delivered to my Mum – why he thinks I’ll have room in my bags for books I’ve no idea!  I am much more shallow, as ever, and make sure I get my hands on Grazia, Hello and the Sunday papers.

4. In the US we don’t have Primark – now it’s definitely at hit or miss store – but the bargains that can be found are amazing.  I bought my favorite pair of boyfriend jeans there for £12 last year!

5. If only we had the same power and sockets in the US and UK I’d be sorted.  My ghd hairdryer cost a fortune here compared to the UK.  We also unfortunately don’t easy access to other European brands like Parlux.

6. Of course you’re not supposed to travel with some types of food and import it back to the US but I always return with custard creams, galaxy chocolate, pickled onion Monster Munch and Bisto gravy granules:)  I eat as many pork pies and M&S sandwiches as I can while I’m there!

Now for things that you should definitely buy when making a trip the US:

1.  Makeup is far cheaper here – from drugstore brands like Revlon and L’oréal to department store brands like MAC, Clinique and Chanel.  OPI and Essie nail polishes are also only $8 a pop here – my Mum always stocks up:)

2. Sneakers/trainers are much cheaper here – though I think the choice is more varied in Europe.  They normally just switch the £ for a $ making them dirt cheap compared to the UK.

3. My FIL always pops into the Apple store to upgrade his iPad when he’s here.  The fact that Apple use universal power, meaning no transformer is required, makes it far cheaper to buy here – though it has to be said that prices are coming down in the UK.  My Mum and Dad bought theirs at John Lewis – paying slightly more – but having the comfort of the John Lewis warranty made it worth it to them.

4. Housewares are cheaper.  Want a good potato peeler (yes I’ve been asked to take TWO back to the UK), or a good apple slicer?  Buy it here at Target.

5. Designer goods are generally much cheaper here.  My Rag & Bone Newbury boots are cheaper, as are most designer bags.  You will find however the focus on labels varies significantly.  I NEVER see Mulberry here, yet I would never buy Coach or Tory Burch here as you see their logos EVERYWHERE.  One thing to note is TheOutnet.com stocks widely differing brands here compared to the UK so if you are here long enough to receive a delivery it might be worth checking out.  For example this Alexander Wang Rocco is 45% off here and yet it’s not even on the UK site.

Rocco

6. US brands that have traveled across the Atlantic are far cheaper here – J.Crew being the most obvious, but Banana Republic and Gap are also much cheaper here.

7. Here in the US most states have fabulous outlet malls.  One word of caution though stores like J.Crew and Coach often make items just for the outlets – so that bargain you think you are getting may not be so much of a bargain.

Now for my outfits from the past few days…I adore these new H&M trousers that Eve alerted me to.  The fabric is lovely and stretchy but I still needed to size up to a US 10 – the waistband is tiny – no vanity sizing here!

Allsaints leather

Sneakers – Adidas Samoas // Trousers – H&M // Sweatshirt – AllSaints // Jacket – AllSaints // Scarf – Uniqlo

I’ve been trying to wear some fur before it gets warmer.

hermes 2 Hermes

 

Boots – Isabel Marant Dicker // Jeans – ASOS Saxby (just $20 now!) // Jumper – Boden cashmere crew neck // Jacket – Forever21 (old – similar here on sale) // Scarf – Hermés (gift from my Husband)

It was cold but REALLY sunny yesterday!

Boden gilet 2 Boden gilet

 

Sneakers – Isabel Marant Bobby // Jeans – Zara (old) // Jumper – Boden St. Ives // Gilet – Boden JohnnieB

My first port of call in the UK is normally Marks & Spencer – more for nostalgia – but I do love a bit of M&S!  What stores or brands would you miss if you relocated to a different country?  I’d love to know!

Enhanced by Zemanta

My first attempt at HACing!

So following on from my post yesterday where I rashly promised photos of my attempts to Highlight and Contour, here’s my first attempt documented with the good, the bad and the down right ugly!

1. The tools of the trade

DSC_0848

2. Straight out of the shower – pimples and dark circles included!

DSC_0863

 

3. Moisturised and then applied L’Oreal BB cream, eyes done using L’Oreal Infallible liner with a smudging brush, MAC Brun powder used for brows, and L’Oreal Volumising mascara.

DSC_0867

 

4. Blush applied on my cheek ‘apples’ using my finger tips and some contouring done with the bronzer – but NOT blended yet – you can see my right cheek looks a little orangey still.

DSC_0875

 

5. Blended bronzing powder and then Maybelline highlighter applied around the eyes and down the nose using a concealer brush.  Revlon super lustrous lip gloss in Pinkissimo applied.

DSC_0887

 

6. Hair dried with a round brush and the ghd dryer and voila!

DSC_0889

 

The verdict – well I certainly need some practice – especially in the application and blending of the contour/bronzer powder – but I love how it has shaded around my nose and eye sockets.  It feels lighter than using foundation, but takes a little more time and patience.  Have you tried it yet?  Let me know how you get on!

And now…with full face of makeup applied we’re off to another swim meet!  Happy days:)

Boden Westbourne jumper

 

Sneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – H&M boyfriend jeans // Jumper – Boden Westbourne sweater // Scarf – H&M (old)

Find these products:

Enhanced by Zemanta

A new approach to makeup.

We all have our favorite blogs and I scroll through hundreds of posts every day on bloglovin’ – some are regular reads and others are posts that just catch my eye.  I tend to read lots of fashion/style blogs, and sometimes food and fitness blogs – normally when I need some motivation to get back on track.  Rarely do I read beauty blogs.  Till now that is.

I have probably used many of the same products and had the same basic makeup routine for 20 years.  Only about 5 years ago did I even attempt a ‘smoky’ eye or try liner on my upper lid. So I’d say I am pretty lazy, or at least unadventurous, when it comes to makeup and my beauty routine.  That was until a friend shared the amazing blog MaskCARA.com with me.  I have been hooked reading Cara’s posts all week.  Her videos are inspiring and make her techniques look so easy that it’s impossible not to want to try them – especially when you see her make over results.

I really want to try her HAC (highlighting and contouring) technique – it looks amazingly simple with the right products and tools, and the results are incredible.  I’ll never look as stunning as Cara, but with some trepidation I have bought the following products recommended on MaskCARA.com, and the great thing is they are all drugstore brands so won’t break the bank!

Bahama Mama bronzer for contouring:

Bahama Mama bronzer

Maybelline Highlighting concealer for highlighting:

Maybelline highlighting concealer

Maybelline Dream Bouncy blush (I’ve NEVER used a cream blush before):

Maybelline dream bouncy

L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in carbon black:

Loreal voluminous mascara

Sally Hansen Lip Inflation:

Sally Hansen Lip Inflation

Some fabulous new makeup brushes – I am embarrassed to even guess when I last washed my brushes – never mind when I bought them!

Sephora brush set

Finally while I was at it I bought this beautiful new Essie nail polish – at least I know how to make my nails look better if I overdo the bronzer and end up looking like Snooki.

Essie cashmere bathrobe

Please check out Cara’s blog – I think you will find it inspiring, as I have, even if you don’t think you are stuck in a makeup rut!  I promise to share some before and after photos of my HAC attempts over the weekend! xx

Find these products:

Enhanced by Zemanta