Brand focus: 5 products to try from Charlotte Tilbury

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Alongside NARS, Bobbi Brown, and Urban Decay, Charlotte Tilbury is one of my favourite makeup brands- and it’s not just because of that luxurious rose gold packaging. I just love that many of the products have been collated into specific looks (making it super easy to pair them together), and the colours are gorgeous.

It’s not just that, though; the quality of the products inside definitely live up to their outer packaging.

Having been a fan of Charlotte Tilbury for a few years now, I’ve tried a number of products from the range, and I’ve found a few firm favourites. So, if you’re unsure of what to try from the brand, here are the top five products I’d recommend…

All of the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palettes are lovely, but it’s the Dolce Vita that has my heart. The brown and red shades are really pigmented, and they work perfectly together to create a warm toned smokey eye. The red can also be used with the lightest shade for a more day appropriate look, making this palette more versatile than it looks at first glance.

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When it comes to base products, Charlotte Tilbury just gets it. The Filmstar Bronze & Glow is probably one of my most used palettes, and for good reason; the contour in the Light-Medium version never looks muddy on my paler complexion, while the highlighter adds some serious glow.

I also love The Retoucher for brightening dark circles (although I do layer it over another higher coverage concealer), and the Magic Foundation. A little of this goes a long way, and it gives a good level of coverage with a satin finish. Definitely a good option for more oily or combination skin types!

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Finally, I’m a big fan of Charlotte Tilbury’s matte lipsticks. Not only are they really comfortable to wear, but they do stick around! My favourite shades are Glastonberry from the Matte Revolution range (a very vampy dark plum), and Super Cindy and Hell’s Bells from the Hot Lips collection. The first is a peachy nude, while the latter is a more pink-y version of Glastonberry.

Have you tried Charlotte Tilbury makeup? What are your favourite products from the brand?


Foundations for every occasion (and mood)

Foundations for every occasion (and mood)

When it comes to my makeup, I’m all about that base, and I have quite the hefty collection of foundations to back this up. In fact, if I was in a rush and didn’t have the time to apply a whole face of makeup, I’d opt for foundation, concealer and powder over eye makeup and blusher.

However, this doesn’t mean that I’m just a fan of super high coverage foundations; as my skin has become less oily and more even in tone, I’ve also discovered a love for some lighter bases, too. So, here’s my round-up of my favourite full, medium and light coverage foundations for all occasions and moods…

Best for: high coverage

If you have a lot of redness and oiliness, then the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in-Place-Makeup is the foundation for you. This might be a little too thick for some people, but it pretty much covers everything; in fact, I could probably skip concealer with this. It’s great for those days when you need your makeup to last all day, though it does leave a matte finish, so you may want to get a sample first if you have dry skin.

The Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Cushion Foundation also offers a good level of coverage, but it’s lighter and not as matte as Double Wear. Nonetheless, this is the foundation I reach for the most as it’s really quick to apply, and never looks cakey on the skin.

Foundations for every occasion (and mood)

Best for: medium coverage

The NARS Sheer Glow Foundation is really popular in the blogosphere, but I don’t use this half as much as I should; being a water-based foundation that offers sizeable coverage, I find it needs quite a lot of buffing and blending. This is something I don’t have time for in the morning, but it’s worth going through the extra work for a night out as this foundation gives such a nice glow to the skin.

Best for: low coverage

Like Sheer Glow, the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup (what a mouth full) has a thinner, more watery texture, so it requires a little more blending time and the right primer. You can’t use anything with too much silicone underneath this, as it will go patchy. This is still one of my favourite bases though as it evens out your skintone, and leaves a very fresh and natural looking finish. I do find this isn’t that long-lasting on my oilier patches, but I think it would be a great pick for dry skin!

In my opinion, the L’Oréal Paris Nude Magique Cushion Foundation is the lightest of the bunch, so I reserve it for good skin days. Like the Lancôme cushion, it’s really quick to apply, though the finish is far more dewy and natural; you can still see your own skin shining through.

Do you prefer a high, medium or low coverage base? Which foundation is your favourite?

My current morning skincare routine

Morning skincare routine for combination skin

Having had teenage acne and both very dry and very oily skin in the past, skincare is something that’s very important to me, and I’m always trying new products to find my ‘perfect’ skincare routine. Put simply, this is a routine that’s able to balance my shiny patches (hello there, t-zone), hydrates my drier ones (a.k.a. my chin and under eyes), and doesn’t break me out or clog my pores.

Because of this, my skincare routine changes quite frequently, though I’m currently using a mix of products that seem to be working well for my skin. So, here’s what my current morning skincare routine looks like… (thanks Amy at A Little Boat Sailing for the post idea!)

When it comes to morning skincare, I want lightly layered products that sit well under makeup, as well as a cleanser that won’t dry out my skin or leave it feeling stripped, which is why I’m loving the BareMinerals Clay Chameleon Transforming Purifying Cleanser. My skin seems to really like a clay cleanser, and this one is no exception; it leaves my face feeling clean and smooth, but never tight due to its clay-to-cream texture.

Next up is toner, and my current go-to is the Caudalie Grape Water. Yes, I know that a lot of people don’t see the point in spray toners, but I find this step refreshing in the morning, and I do think it helps to add an extra layer of moisture. After I’ve left this to sink in for a few seconds, I’ll use the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream because it’s light and has a slight sheen to brighten under eyes.

As my skin’s been getting a bit sensitive and dehydrated lately, I’ve been favouring products that contain hyaluronic acid, a natural substance that helps your skin to ‘lock-in’ water from anything you layer on top of it. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum is really affordable and it appears to be doing the job, though it needs to be applied quickly as it’s quite tacky.

Finally, I apply a light layer of the Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturiser. This is a really good pick for summer as it’s oil-free (so great for those shinier days!), it sinks in quickly, and it gives a nice smooth base for makeup. My current tub is on its last legs, and I can see myself purchasing many more of these…

What products are in your current skincare routine? Do you have any good recommendations for oily and combination skin?

How to style leopard print

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Coat: New Look | Jumper: M&S | Skinny jeans: Miss Selfridge | Boots: Primark

Okay, so I know this outfit isn’t the most weather appropriate, but come on, it is the UK; I’m sure the recent warm weather will disappear as quickly as it’s appeared…

When it comes to my own personal style (which tends to change on a day-to-day basis), more often or not I follow the following mantras: ‘more is more’, and ‘the louder, the better’. This is something that is clearly evidenced in my love of all things leopard print, and I own an abundance of jackets, shoes, and other items all emblazoned with my favourite print.

However, I’m well aware that knowing how to style leopard print can be a bit of a challenge (this coat sure does attract a lot of attention), so I thought I’d share my top tips…

It sounds simply, but you should try to make the leopard printed piece the focus point of the outfit. This can be easily achieved by pairing the print with black or dark grey, as well as pieces in other block colours (as I have done). I think this M&S jumper works particularly well as it’s not too fussy; it’s a neutral shade of pink, and although it has a subtle ribbed effect, it isn’t so obvious that it clashes with the leopard print.

As the leopard print coat is pretty fluffy and oversized, I decided to opt for a pair of dark skinny jeans and black chunky heeled to add a bit of shape and structure to the outfit. I must have bought this coat around 4 years ago now, and it’s one of my favourite pieces. It’s just so easy to chuck on over what would otherwise be a simple outfit and it has truly lasted the test of time (and many washes).

It must have only cost around me £40 at the most, and considering it’s still in very good condition, it wasn’t bad value for money in the long-run! I definitely feel like New Look do some great affordable outerwear.

What are your thoughts on leopard print? What’s your favourite way to style it?

Product round-up: moisturisers for combination skin (featuring Kiehl’s and Origins)

3 moisturisers for combination skin

With such a wide variety of brands and products all promising big things, finding the right moisturiser (or even skincare routine) can be a minefield for most people. When you have combination skin, however? This can feel like an almost impossible task.

Not only do you need something that sinks in quickly and doesn’t aggregate your oily patches, but you also need something hydrating, but not too rich; otherwise, say hello to your new clogged pores. Yet with most products being aimed at either dry or oily skin, it can be hard to strike the right balance, which is something I’ve found as my skin has gradually become less oily over the year.

Luckily (for you, not my bank account) I’m a bit of a moisturiser fiend, and I’ve tried quite a few of them. So, with that in mind, here’s my round-up of the best moisturisers for combination skin…

The Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturiser is my current daytime moisturiser of choice, and it’s one of the only ones I’ve ever repurchased. As well as smelling like oranges (which isn’t important, but it still it makes it nicer to chuck on your face each morning), it’s great for wearing under makeup. It doesn’t ball up, it doesn’t leave your face tacky or sticky; its thick formula just leaves it feeling smooth and hydrated.

If I had to choose just one of these moisturisers for the warmer months, this would be it.

Kiehl’s is one of my favourite skincare brands, which is why my next two picks are from them. Starting with the thicker of the two, the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is more like your traditional cream moisturiser (as the name suggests), yet it doesn’t come with the same heaviness. Again, this sinks in fairly quickly, although it adds a touch more hydration than GinZing. However, this would be my Autumn/Winter pick as it was a bit too heavy when my skin used to be oilier.

If my skin is feeling angry, then the Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer is the one I always go to. Aimed at sensitive skin, it contains Rosa Gallica and Chamomile to sooth irritation, while the light lotion-like texture hydrates without leaving you feeling greasy. A great pick for both day and night, as well as all seasons.

Have you tried any of these moisturisers? Which is your favourite and why?

Affordable beauty: 5 things to buy in Boots

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Like a lot of beauty bloggers, it’s no secret that I do love a bit of luxury beauty in my life. With its pretty packaging, high quality formulas, and the wider choice of options that tend to be available, I admit I can be a sucker for it sometimes.

However, that’s not to say that there aren’t still plenty of areas where you can save your money; from face masks to makeup removers, to mascaras to makeup brushes, the ‘drugstore’ offering is getting better and better when it comes to more affordable, yet effective, beauty products.

Boots is typically my store of choice, as it has such an expansive range of products from most price points. Plus, there’s always some sort of offer on, and I find it’s easy to build-up points on the good ol’ Advantage Card and save a few pennies!

There are also plenty of great, affordable brands that are exclusive to Boots, with one of the best known being Soap and Glory. Although there’s no denying that their bath and body care products are lovely (smell them. Seriously), there are some hidden gems in their makeup range. The One Heck of a Blot Powder is just one example; a translucent face powder that’s mattifying, but never looks cakey. Unlike a lot of the pressed powders I’ve tried, it also doesn’t go patchy when you apply other powder products over it.

Another brand I like to pick up in Boots is Una Brennan’s Super Facialist range. I’ve tried more expensive clay masks, but the Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask is hands down one of the best I’ve tried. It’s not drying on my skin (which is pretty normal lately, yet sometimes oily in the t-zone), and I can always rely on it to heal spots quickly.

While we’re on the subject of skincare, I don’t see much point in paying a lot for eye makeup removers. As I wear waterproof mascara 80% of the time, I tend to use a lot and go through them far too quickly to justify spending more than a few quid. The Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover does the job and it costs less than £4, even when it’s not on offer. You just can’t go wrong.

Back to makeup, and two other affordable products I’d recommend picking up are the Max Factor Crème Puff Blush in Seductive Pink and the Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara. The latter is quite a wet mascara with a thick brush, but don’t let that put you off as it’s one of the most lengthening ones I’ve tried. The blush is also a lovely light, mauve-y pink that flatters my pale skin tone.

What are your favourite makeup and skincare products to spend your Boots points on? Chuck me some recommendations!

Current beauty and style favourites: March 2017

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It might seem a little early for a monthly favourites post but hey, I’ve been loving (and trying) a lot of new things lately!

Plus, as I haven’t updated in a while (I’ve been really busy with a combination of work, driving lessons, and going on holiday last month), consider this as a bit of a two-in-one as these are products I’ve been using a lot over both February and March.

So, as I have a few makeup favourites, let’s start with those…

I’ve been really into warm eyeshadow looks lately, and have been searching for the perfect red and orange toned palette. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette seemed like it would really fit the bill, and I must say I’m not disappointed. There’s a good mix of warm and cool shades, as well as mattes and shimmers, so you can achieve a variety of looks for both day and night with this. The quality of the shadows is also a lot better than I expected; extremely pigmented and easy to blend.

Make Up For Ever is a brand I’ve been wanting to try for a while, so when I stumbled across the counter in the Bristol Debenhams, I knew I just had to try a few things! One of the items I picked up was the Ultra HD Foundation. Not only does this have a great shade range (the lovely girl on the counter tried 3 colours on me before finding my match), but the finish is perfect on my combination-oily skin. It gives a medium level of coverage, seems to smooth my pores better than any other foundation I’ve tried, and lasts an 8-9 hour workday with minimal fading on my chin and around the sides of my nose.

Lipsticks are something I’ve been wearing a lot lately, and I’ve recently discovered two new favourites. The first is the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick in Super Cindy, which is described as being a “taupey nude”. I just find this to be really flattering on my paler skintone, and it’s versatile enough to be worn with a range of eye looks. The second lipstick to make it into my favourites is the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita I. This has a great formula (very creamy and long-wearing) and I love the mauve-y nude shade; it’s very 90s.

Primark are killing it lately; especially in the jeans department. When I visited the Bristol store a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised by the style and colour range of their skinny jeans, and I just couldn’t resist grabbing a few pairs as they were all priced at around £8-12 each. The only thing I’d advise? Try them on in store, if you can; although I bought the same size, some were harder to wiggle into than others!

As I’m like a magpie (as I’m attracted to anything shiny and sparkly), I also just had to get the silver loafers on the same trip. I love how they look with a baggier style of jeans (such as the Mom or Boyfriend fit), and if I remember correctly, they were only around £8 so they were a total bargain.

Still with me? Good, cause we’re nearly done! In terms of haircare, there’s only one product I’ve really been loving; the Bumble and Bumble Cityswept Finish. This is my go-to for nights out after I’ve straightened my hair as it adds volume and texture back in. As someone with a lot of fine hair, I find my hair can easily look flat without it.

Lastly, I’ve been slowly making my way through Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes, a book that I’ve really been enjoying. I think her attitude (e.g. that “it’s perfectly normal to love both lipstick and literature”) is great, and I like how the book gives honest advice on a variety of things, such as how to shop at beauty counters and apply makeup on public transport, as well as which skincare items you actually need to invest in. If you’re a beauty junkie like I am, I’d recommend picking it up!

What are your current beauty, style and lifestyle favourites? Have you tried any of mine? Chuck me some recommendations!