Putting a spring in your step

Things I add into my routine to feel a little more springy…

Makeup. Lighter brighter eyes and lips. Coral, my fairweather friend, who often brightens but equally as often makes me look my mother makes a tentative reappearance around spring until I decide whether or not I can pull it off.

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Nails. Similar to eyes and lips, pales, pastels and brights emerge. Standard stuff.

Skincare. It is during these transitional periods that my skin starts to act up. At the moment I am really liking the new(ish) L’Oreal Clay masks. I have the purifier, which looks like a ‘green face and rollers’ stock photo when you put it on. My skin felt pretty good and fresh after using it, not too dry which is fantastic from a clay mask. You can tell it is working as you can literally see stuff coming out of your pores….it was strangely satisfying…

Lent. Chocolate. Cake. Biscuits – spring cleaning my body (as it were). Although, I am already finding bad things to replace the bad things I’ve given up. Doesn’t the mind marvel?!

A spring clean. This weekend I spent Saturday emptying out my closet and trying to decide what to keep and what to give away. I was interrupted half way through and now live in piles of old clothes, but we are getting somewhere!

Spring jackets. Leather jackets remain a staple but I like slightly softer colours for day time. My beloved white H&M jacket, now complete with black marks all down the back, remains a favourite (similar here) and my blue jacket, also H&M is a wardrobe staple alongside my green shirt jacket (similar here) and my grey waterfall jacket. I just love jackets, ok?

Floral tops. Obviously this is a massive trend right now, and I’m really impressed by the Marks and Spencer collection. I bought this top in the 20% off event the other week and I think it captures the trend perfectly.

Ruffles. Whilst this is another trend, this is one I feel can be quite difficult to pull off.Ii found the most beautiful top in Topshop last week combining both florals and ruffles – i’ve worn it twice already. I looove it.

These are all trivial things that I love, but how does your mood improve in spring? I love the extra light! What do you add into your routine to put that spring in your step?

Makeup Review: Zoeva En Taupe Palette

I impulse bought this palette, and then agonised over it for days until I decided it was one of the best makeup decisions I have made.

 

Well, dramatic, but I do have a flair for it. Either way, the En Taupe palette is actually fantastic.

I like the fact it includes a white and not a black. As a fair-skinned girl, I find white is really useful to have rather than some strange off-yellow colour that most palettes seem to contain. I was worried the colours would be ‘too’ cool and taupe-y but actually, there is some variety and the shimmery shades are really lovely, though the mattes steal the show. My favourite colours are Stitch by Stitch (matte off-white), Handmade (light pink with a gold shimmer – stunning), Gallery (purple matte taupe), Hour by Hour (matte dusty pink) and Exquisite (red-taupe matte, very unusual, looks more or less purple depending on how you layer). Perhaps the least impressive is ‘Old Master’ which does not have the best colour pay off.

The shadows are:
Stitch by stitch – matte off white
Handmade – pink with gold shimmer
Gallery – purple taupe matte
Hour by Hour – matte dusty pink
Old master – purple with gold shimmer, (fairly disappointing not a lot of colour)
spun pearl – white silver shimmer
Sheers & Voiles – silvery violet duo chrome, if anyone is interested it is an exact dupe of Makeup Geek’s ‘Rockstar’.
Outline – shimmery brown taupe
Wrapped in Silk – more lilac-y shimmery taupe
Exquisite – red taupe

 

 

The colour pay-off is pretty good on all of them, some better than others but for £18 (definitely increased in price, btw – I remember buying the Cocoa Blend Palette for £15 a few years ago), It’s not a bad palette. The packaging is nice, cardboard but sturdy, and nicely slim. The design is very pretty and actually reflects the colours in the palette. Overall, it’s a great palette and I do not regret purchasing it, I urge you all to give Zoeva a try.

8/10

Zoeva can be purchased from Beautybay.com or Selfridges.

Empties – Rimmel Exaggerate Lipliner in Eastend Snob

So, I hate watching long empties videos – I think it is ridiculous to look through other people’s rubbish. Howver, i do think that finishin g a product gives you a definitive feeling of whether or not you liked it. Therefore, as I finish products I will write mini reviews on each one.

So, without further ado, I finished the Rimmel Exaggerate Lipliner in Eastend Snob…

I have several feelings on the subject – this is a product I have had for years, but rarely used. However, after a few weeks of using the product I ran out fairly rapidly, suggesting that actually there isn’t much product actually in the pencil.

I do, however, like the fact that this is a twist up pencil. I, without fail, always ruin liners by sharpening them – i don’t even know how I do it! Therefore, the fact that this does not require a massacre by pencil sharpener, is a definite plus.

In terms of the colour: it is pretty, and paired with a clear gloss, it creates a nice custom lip gloss (which I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago), however, I do feel like it is perhaps a little too pink. This is completely subjective, and obviously preferential, but at the moment, I am definitely into more brown based colours.

Overall, I can definitely see myself buying this again as it is a good product, and a nice shade. I would definitely look into getting different colours as well.

Note: these types of ‘reviews’ are still in flux, but are likely to be more anecdotal than an in depth review.

Review: L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in ‘Extra Black’

The Beauty ‘guru’ bloggersphere has been awash for years with recounts of the wonderful L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black – a particular favourite of Makeup Geek founder, Marlena. However, is it as good as all that?

The mascara is one of the cheaper ones in L’Oreal’s range, which is appealing in and of itself as L’Oreal tends to be slightly ‘up there’ in terms of high street prices. It retails at £8.49, a good few pounds cheaper than others in the range, though obviously still more expensive than other drugstore products. It also features an old-school mascara wand, with bristles. Now, preference dominates here – personally, I don’t feel especially strongly about which type of mascara wand I prefer. My criteria for a mascara is that I want it to give me more volume, make my lashes darker and I want it to be easy to remove at the end of the day. I refuse to ‘build’ mascara – because who has time? – and frankly, I have never found one that can deal with more than one or maybe two initial coats without getting clumpy. This is no exception.

Despite the cheap price tag, and the potentially favourable return to the old-school bristle brush, the main problem with this formula is that it is too wet. This always seems like a silly complaint, but what it actually means is that I can never put it on my eyelashes without also getting it in my eyebrows. Which is a more of a statement than I really want. Furthermore, the wet formula lends itself to becoming easily clumpy, as eyelashes stick together and ‘clots’ (ew) form in the mascara itself. This all means that you have to be pretty careful actually applying the mascara, which irritates me as I really don’t like to spend much time fussing over my make up. Comparatively, I think I prefer the L’Oreal Volume Million Mascara, which has a plastic wand and is not nearly as wet – and as such, it doesn’t clump.

I will say, however, that in the few weeks that I have been using this mascara, it has improved. It is clearly going to be one of those mascaras that gets better with age (if only that were true for all of us!). On the one hand, this is frustrating as you are not getting the best product at time of purchase, on the other hand, this kind of extends the longevity of the mascara – but only if you are willing to dismiss, or take with a generous helping of salt, the recommended three month deadline.

Despite my reservations with this product, I have had compliments – which is unusual. As a glasses wearer, people very rarely comment on my eyelashes/makeup at all, so it must be doing something right, right? I certainly notice that it does give me volume now – it didn’t initially – but now that it has dried slightly it does, and I do enjoy this effect as my lashes are pretty long naturally and any more length lends them a little to spidery for my tastes.

Finally, a trite observation, but it is a very nice shade of black – my tube is ‘Extra Black’ rather than ‘Carbon Black’ which is often attributed to this mascara – it doe not come across as grey or wishy-washy, which is important.

Overall, I’m still on the fence. I would definitely buy it again as it is pretty affordable and does work well eventually. However, this is a far cry from achieving the ‘holy grail’ status some people attribute it too – but we’re all different, I suppose.

This product is available from Boots/Superdrug for £8.49

January Favourites

January favourites – because why not?

Vintage fairs
They seem to be back in force at the moment, I imagine the burgeoning hope of spring has bought them out. I went to one the other week with my sister and we had so much fun. I think that going to things like vintage fairs – for me, anyway – are about the act of going rather than actually buying anything. Although we did make a few purchases, the best part was simply being there with my sister  – and perhaps, the cake we had for lunch.

Challenges
I completed my challenges of last month – went to a yoga class and a ballroom dance class. Unfortunately I haven’t had chance to go back to either, but I think that is something I’ll work on this month. Don’t know if I’ll make it back to the dance class though – I felt as if they only really wanted serious people there, and I would not want to do it seriously: only for fun. Unfortunately I feel like most ballroom classes for people not wishing to take it seriously seem to be for the 60+ group. So I’m not sure what I’m going to do on that front.

Beanies
Loving Beanies at the moment. The winter essential for when you need to wash your hair!

EkhartYoga Gratitude Challenge
This isn’t a favourite of last month, but it’s something I’m trying this month. We’ll see how it goes!

L’Oreal Paris Eyeshadow in Pin Up Pink
Bought this on a whim (I don’t need more eye shadow!) and it’s really lovely. I’ve been really enjoying pink eye make up recently actually, as shown by my extra eye shadow in the picture above which is The Seventeen Eye Eye Rose Quartz in possibly the worst packaging ever, as it causes the shadow to shatter whenever you close it….

Lipiner plus clear gloss
I saw AmeliaLiana do this a while ago and I just started paying around with it. It’s a really nice way to get ‘custom’ lip glosses and another way to use lip liners, which I don’t tend to reach for on the whole and then they sit in my collection fr the next 5 years…until I throw them out.
My favourite in Janurary was the Rimmel 1000 Kisses lipliner in East End Snob (Ahem. I’ve had this for years….before the hype!) paired with any clear gloss, mine is Miss Sporty because it cost about £2. *shrugs*

TV Show: The Wrong Mans
I’ve been meaning to post a review of this. This is a really fun 6 part series. Unabashedly British, with gentle, ironic humour. Available on UK Netflix

Book: The Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherine M. Valente
I adore Catherine Valente, this whole Fairyland series is probably the best young fiction (aimed probably at 8-12 year olds) that has come out since Harry Potter. I love the way it engages with Fairy Lore, in a way which if you recognize it: great, if not: she;ll explain. I love the way the narrator is woven into the text. It’s absolutely phenomenal – read it no matter what age. The category of books for 8-12 year olds is really overlooked in favour of teen fiction but there is some great stuff.

Best Neutral Nails

I was going through my nail varnishes today, and realised that I had so many more neutral nail varnishes than I though. Oh. But at least it gave me an idea for a blog post.

Before we begin: none of these are Nails Inc’s ‘Porchester Square’, I actually don’t own that one because you can very easily get dupes for approximately £4. See below for details…

8. Ciate Iced Frappe
I’m actually not a huge fan of the Ciate formula, I find it chips easily. However, some of their colours are particularly lovely. Iced Frappe is another one similar to Porchester Square, though perhaps more difficult to get hold of. Some Ciate is available at Boots, but you may have to scout online or TK Maxx for it which is where I got mine as part of a set.
Full size available at ASOS for £9.00, some may still be available at TK Maxx

7. Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Almond
Here is your £4 dupe for Porchester Square. Don’t spend £14 on a polish, but this, spend the tenner else where and be glad.
Available at Boots and Superdrug for £3.99

6 Ciate Chinchilla
This is a mini which also came in the same set as Iced Frappe, and the next one on the list. It’s a lovely pale grey-blue. Very unique from anything else I’ve seen.
LookFantastic has it for £9

5 Ciate Pillow Fight
The last Ciate on the list! This one is my favourite colours, a beige purple. I’ve never seen anything like it and it looks stunning on the nails. I only wish the formula was more chip-resistant.
LookFantastic has the full size for £9

4 Maybelline Color Show in 288 Cool Touch
I do consider this a neutral, despite being a light grey rather than a brown base. I don’t love the Color Show formula, on the whole, and I find the polishes dry out really quickly. But I have uet to discover another light grey that I like this much.
Available from Boots for £3.99

3 Color Club Holographic in 980 Cherubic
This was inspired by Young Wild & Polished on YouTube. This is the most gorgeous holographic nude – I didn’t even know such a thing existed before this! You need it.
Available from Amazon for £8.45 (at time of posting)

2 Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Olive
Again, a move away from the brown-y nudes and into something different. This is one of my favourite nail varnishes EVER. The Barry M Gelly formula is perhaps the best formula ever, and this light olive is so beautiful – neutral but a little different. It was only bested to the top spot by one other…
Available at Boots and Superdrug for £3.99

1. Kiko 221
This is a light satin pink which I never in a million years thought I would wear as much as I have, but it is beautiful on the nails. Not too pink, nor too shimmery…just right. It makes you nails look long and elegant and beautiful., and that is why it’s may unexpected favourite of the bunch.
Available from Kiko for £3.90 (frequently on offer)

2015 Favourites

This post is cliche, overdone and a little late, but I was watching one of these videos on Youtube the other day – I do enjoy watching them actually – and it made me wonder what my favourites actually were from the previous year. I like Make Up, I always have and though I wouldn’t call it my raison d’etre as some people do, I definitely got more into it last year.

Therefore, here’s my list.

Mascara: L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes
Just finished a tube of this, but I bought this a few times, looking back, and I definitely did enjoy it.  am currently using the L’Oreal Voluminous Extra Black Mascara, which I can’t find a link to but I did buy from Boots. I think I like it a little more, but it’s early days yet. And I’ve not really kept track, if I’m honest…

Liquid Eyeliner: L’Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim
Easy. This is the only make up item I’ve ever bought multiples of and had back ups of. An absolute favourite.

Pencil Eyeliner: Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Pencil
Mainly the one in black, I do have the one in Nude but I definitely use the black one more for days where I don’t want a cat eye.

Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat
This was a birthday splurge that I regretted as soon as the money left my bank account. However, SpaceNK was unable to cancel my order and instead I had to suck up the fact that I have a shopping problem. When it arrived, it couldn’t resist giving it a little try, telling myself if I just tried a corner I could still send it back. But I kept trying it, and I fell in love. It is such a nice blush, and the amount of times I’ve worn it make it worth the money. As my mum always says: “It’s only ever a waste of money if you don’t use it!”. Glad I kept it. I would like more, but maybe not for a while….

Bronzer: Revlon Desert Bronze Matte Highlighting Palette
Plllleeeeaaassseee bring it back! I’ve used this loads, and I don’t even really like bronzer. I saved up for the Nars Laguna Bronzer and I’ve barely touched it compared to this one. Finger crossed they’ll have it back for the summer. Note: after that display of dramatics, Boots apparently still stocks it online, not seen it in store though.


Palette: Stila Eyes Are the Window Palette, Mind
Used this far more than I really thought. Love the matte colours, and looks great with winged eyeliner. Some shades are better than others in terms of quality though.

Foundation: Mac Factor Miracle Match Foundation
I got this because it said ‘Blur and Nourish’ on the bottle, and my skin was very dehydrated at the time. I do enjoy this, you can get shiny and I didn’t even know it was supposed to be a ‘Miracle Match’. Works fine though!

Eyebrows: Kiko Eyebrow Expert Styling Kit
Everything I need, not used anything else. Love the fact it’s not orange like any/all Maybelline Eyebrow Products. I think I have the one for ‘Deep Brunettes’ despite not  being a deep Brunette. I find darker eyebrows work better if you have glasses though.

Contour: Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium
Second part of the birthday splurge. I do really like this, but it has been a steep learning curve. You need a light touch my friend, a light touch. Many a time have I left the house thinking I looked Ok, then looked into a mirror and discovered I have a beard. Not great. Note: Does this come in other colours? I swear I’ve only seen the medium, but I’m pretty sure I would need Light. SpaceNK seems to imply that it does, but I think it might be an urban legend…


Lipgloss: Maybelline Color Show Elixir Lip Gloss in Caramel Infused and Rose
These just live in my hand bag now.

Lipstick:
I have two.
Firstly: Nars Audacious Lipstick in Audrey
On the whole, I haven’t worn this that much, but it is absolutely beautiful when I do. Another major reason for picking this is because my grandmother, Audrey, passed away this year. The shade is one I;m sure she would have loved – red was her colour – and it reminds me of her when I wear it.

Secondly: Mac Plumful
This is interesting because I hated it when I first got it. I bought it because of youtube, then I realised that what looks good on other people doesn’t always look good on me, no matter how much people insist that they think it would “look good on all skin types”. However, I wore it nearly ever day in Autumn. A nice soft plum, edging towards pink (probably what put me off initially), it;s easy to wear and a little different.

Skincare:
Not much stood out to me, I have been trying new things but not for long enough to call them a favourite.

Moisturiser: Simple Kind to Skin Light Moisturiser.
Used this for years, still a favourite. No SPF because I use this day and night.

Face Wipes: Boots Botanics All Bright Facial Cleansing Wipes
Best face wipes ever, and almost always on offer. Yay!

There you have it, cosmetic favourites of the last year. It was pretty interesting to look back on and see what I’ve actually used, and when. I could probably do a separate list for nail varnishes, if I’m honest. Too difficult to narrow down to one!

Best,
Jess