Monday, 30 May 2016

May Loves

May has been a beauty packed month for me. I've been on crazy spending sprees and I need to hold back... but I didn't. All in the name of the blog, right? But honestly, I will need to restrain myself a little more for June. I've found some gorgeous bits though, some that I've already given you glimpses of throughout the month, but now it's time to round them up as the stars of May all in this end-of-the-month blog post.

First up is no surprise. The Dior Forever Fluid Foundation is what has been on my face all month. It is one of the most wonderful investments of the year and I can't wait to keep using it as the summer comes round. I just don't seem to get shiny with this one - it's great! I also wrote an in-depth review on it earlier this month. In that I mentioned that it's a demi-matte formula which I like for days where I want a bit more from my foundation. If you're looking for something similar, definitely give this a whirl.

Eyes wise, the NYX Prismatic Shadows have been a firm favourite of May - in particular, the shade Golden Peach. It's the perfect warm peachy shimmer to dust across the lid for a soft sun-kissed eyeshadow look. Again, I did a whole review/swatch post of these here, so take a look at that if you missed it! 

With summer just around the corner, I've loving bronzer lately, with none other than the Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze & Glow. This gives such a stunning subtle contour and pretty highlight which makes my skin look just radiant. It's a serious summer favourite, I can already tell that I'll be using this non stop in the months to come. The bronzer a gorgeous satin brown-bronze, and the highlight is a glowing champagne shimmer without being chunky or heavy on the cheekbones. It's perfect, honestly. Not to mention the packaging is so gloriously gold that my heart sings every time I see it in my makeup bag.

In terms of beauty tools, the micro mini beauty blenders have been making applying concealer a lot easier for me. They're so small, they fit right into the small areas of my face - making them perfect for applying concealer underneath the eyes and around my nose! A bit of a princess product sure, as the original beauty blender will achieve the same thing - but I like the convenience. 

You might remember my long term love for Nails Inc - they are one of my all time favourite nail varnish brands, and I've been loving them even more since their bottle redesign. The Nails Inc Kensington Top Coat Caviar is by far the best top coat I've ever tried - I've been using this forever but I never thought to mention it on my blog (until now).  

Propercorn has literally become an addiction this month - you may have seen me obsessing over it on my Instagram. I am completely in love with their Sweet & Salty variety and I'm keen to try some more of their flavours (they have so many to choose from!). I could eat the whole sharing sized bag so I've had to separate it into portions so as to not let it get out of hand! This with some Netflix = a very happy me.

What have been your favourites this May?


Friday, 27 May 2016

Three Outfit Ideas for SS16

I love injecting a little bit of floral into my wardrobe when Spring rolls around and this year is no exception. Floral has been a key trend over the years for Spring and Summer, but SS16 is all about taking it to the next level with brighter prints, bolder patterns and jewel encrusted accents. There's a lot of focus on leafy greens, poppy reds and lemon yellows, and all three of these feature in the outfits that I'm sharing today. Farfetch UK have challenged me to create some looks which capture elements from the botanical blooms trend whilst still keeping them wearable for the everyday girl. I've put together three outfits which I think would be perfect for anything from brunch, to lunch - to a weekend getaway. Let me know what you think of them in the comments below! 
The first outfit that I've put together was inspired by my favourite white tee and jeans combination (you can't get more classic and comfortable than that!). I chose a white lace tee for a little texture, with classic dark blue mid wash jeans. With these I chose a bright red bucket bag, a simple gold bangle and these gorgeous Dolce & Gabbana embellished floral pumps. These are some of the most stunning shoes I've ever laid eyes on - they have the bold red poppy print for the botanical trend combined with fresh white daisies and a gorgeous jewelled front. The purpose of such a simple pieces with the shoes as the centerpiece helps keep the trend sharp, without cluttering the overall outfit.

The second look takes my spin on styling fruitier pieces, with lemons being the focal print. I picked out a green lace dress, again to help bring some texture into this look. With this I paired some sparkling jewelled studs, and a classic black quilted bag. The fun part comes with the shoes - these Dolce & Gabbana lemon printed pumps add a pop of bright yellow and some more sparkle with their embellished points. When put together with the dress, this outfit reminds me of something Blair Waldorf might wear to a garden party in the summer - fresh, pretty and very on-trend!
The third outfit that I've chosen for this trend is all about the green leafy prints cropping up everywhere from catwalks to homeware. A  green and white print top paired with plain white jeans creates a fresh yet minimal colour palette as the foundation for this look. When you add a bright yellow bag, there's a pop of colour to your outfit - along with a statement green cocktail ring for a bit of sparkle. The Dolce & Gabbana daisy printed pumps become the piece that tie the colours of the outfit together - they incorporate the yellow, green and white without overdoing it.

What do you think of the botanical blooms trend for SS16?

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Micro Mini Beauty Blenders

Beautyblender was a brand I was always sceptical about. I mean, £16 for a sponge? It's a bit much. At least, that's what I thought until I tried it for the first time. This sponge is what people make it out to be, it is worth the hype. I love using it with liquid foundation to blend it seamlessly into the skin. I have tried the cheaper sponges out there, and they are good, but there is just something that little bit different about this one. It doesn't absorb much foundation, it swells to just the right size when wet, and the finished result looks flawless.

That's why I was keen to try the micro mini Beautyblenders, for the perfect finish on under eye concealer and smaller blemishes around my nose. When they arrived, I was so surprised by how tiny they were! Perhaps just a little bigger than my nail. They do swell a little with a bit of water but not by much. I wouldn't say they get much bigger than a large grape. There are two in the box, priced at £13.50, so cheaper than a single large beauty blender which is nice (though still pricey for baby sponges). 

They do work exactly like the larger sponge, even though they are significantly smaller. These would be no good for foundation (they're just far too small), but great for concealer. I have small hands so I don't have much of an issue with handling them but I can see them being difficult to use if you're used to the larger one! Overall, I do think they're a bit of a princess product - they're nice to have for convenience of getting around smaller parts of the face, but not essential for your kit. You can get exactly the same effect with the larger sponge with a little more patience. However, if you do like the idea of having a little sponge which makes blending under eye concealer easier (and you have the extra time to switch sponges etc), then these are nice. In that sense, they are perfect little sponge additions for a beauty blender fan.  

Have you tried the micro mini beauty blenders?


Monday, 23 May 2016

Sali Hughes: Pretty Honest

Sali Hughes Pretty Honest Review

I don't often post about books, probably because I rarely ever read outside of my degree, but really I don't have an excuse. I remember the days when I used to read every day, and get through a book within a matter of hours. I'm hoping that the summer will help me pick up that habit again, but for now, I'm going to focus on a book that I have managed to get through. My favourite kinds of books are lifestyle books - that's probably why I spend so much time reading content from other bloggers and enjoying the bite-size nature of blog posts. So when I saw Pretty Honest cropping up on so many different blogs, I purchased it and decided to give it a read myself. 

Firstly, I love the layout of the book. There are so many sections all laid out into specific topics so it's like reading a series of columns in a magazine or blog posts on a blog, but in book form instead. The topics aren't categorized, but are random mini segments of beauty advice, tips and tricks. I love the fact that a lot of the book deals with topics often left out of the regular lifestyle books, like managing counter staff and salon etiquette. I found reading it to be like talking to a big sister, as the name suggests - a straight talking beauty companion. The cover is gorgeous too. I purchased the hardback version, but it's available in paperback with the mirror embossed in gold which also looks very pretty.

The book is scattered with all kinds of witty quotes and pieces of advice from different makeup artists, designers and celebrities which adds some humour. It's definitely far more words than pictures, and is packed full of new beauty advice that I haven't read in the countless other lifestyle books I own. Magazines, TV and even blogging can sometimes over complicate beauty, but this book streamlines everything into a compact, chunky book without any fluff. A beauty bible if you will. If you're after the basics, I'd suggest going for this one. If you're already well versed in beauty advice and have a wealth of knowledge on the subject, I'd still recommend giving this a read as there are things that you will find new. Whether you will find it as useful as complete beauty beginners would is a maybe. On the whole, I really enjoyed the book and I'm glad I bought it - it will be fun to dip back into every now and again for a light read. 

Have you read Pretty Honest?
What other lifestyle books do you recommend?


Friday, 20 May 2016

Five Ways to Stress Less

Over stressing is something I am well and truly guilty of. I've been a stresser my entire life, but recently I've been learning how to manage my stress and direct that same energy towards something more useful. Don't get me wrong, it's not easy. If you're someone that stresses easily, it can be quite difficult to relax but there are definitely several things that you can try to help ease up. Also, this post isn't to say that all stress is bad. I've had exams over the past two weeks and yes, I was stressed, but I used that stress as motivation to keep working hard. In today's post, I'm going to share my top five tips on things that I do to reduce stress - and hopefully, they'll help some of you too.

1. Count your achievements.
One really useful thing I've found when trying to reduce stress is to look at all the things going right, and taking time to appreciate those. Whether it's something as small as seeing a new follower or comment on my latest blog post, or something larger like a good mark back for an essay I wrote, everything counts. And it's all of these things together that work in changing your outlook on life as a whole. If you start adding up all the things that you're proud of, from the littlest achievements to the larger ones, you'll find that the number just keeps growing - and so does your positivity. With all the positive vibes, feelings of stress will go down massively. 

2. Take time out.
Sometimes you need to stop and take a moment to rest. Taking an hour, an afternoon or even a whole day just for yourself once in a while isn't being selfish. It's actually necessary to keep going, recharge and refocus. Having that mental break can give you time to forget the little things, and then when the time comes to get back to work, your mind will be  ready to take on the tasks at hand. Use the time to do something you love - something that excites you or makes you laugh. For me, I love to try out new makeup. I have a little box of new products that I buy each month waiting to be tried out. I love taking time to make up my face and experiment with the new bits I've bought - and if I find a new holy grail item, it's just a bonus! 

3. Get enough sleep.
You heard me. Sleep. It's so important that you get a full seven to eight hours of sleep each night, so you're well rested enough to tackle the next day. There is no point trying to function on any less than that because you just won't be as productive and you'll feel even more stressed with the guilt of being behind. It's also important to improve the quality of your sleep. Make sure that your mattress and pillows are comfortable, and perhaps dab a little lavender oil on each side before bed to help relax. If you find it hard to sleep, try drinking a mug of herbal tea before bed to help you unwind.

4. Be kind to yourself.
This kind of extends from getting enough sleep. You need to be kind to your body and health to reduce stress. This means a clean diet, drinking lots of water and getting some exercise into your day (even if it's just walking). Not only does being kind to yourself involve treating your body right, but also your mind. Meditation is something that lots of people find really helpful to do just before bed - I've been trying out the Headspace app to try and encourage me to do this. It's free on the app store and well worth a look.

5. Remember: one day at a time.
If it all gets too much, I live by this rule. Stepping forward with baby steps, aka, one day at a time, is the best thing you can do. I know it's really easy to get sucked into thinking about weeks, months or even years at a time. I'm very guilty of that myself. But when stress is getting the better of you, this is the best way to tackle it. Focus on the moment, on the things that you want to accomplish in that small pocket of time so that you don't become overwhelmed. I actually wrote an entire post on how to be more productive, which is the basic skeleton of how I tackle each day particularly when I'm stressed or there is a lot to do.

What are your favourite tips for reducing stress?

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The NYX Prismatic Eyeshadows

NYX Prismatic Shadows Swatches

I was so excited when I saw that NYX was becoming more and more readily available in the UK. I had tried a few products from the brand in the past and some of their products (their blushes and jumbo eye crayons) had truly won me over. When I saw these adorable little eyeshadows, I got extremely excited - I mean, aren't they just adorable? They're called the NYX Prismatic Shadows, and are designed to give your eyes an extra sparkle with a highly pigmented metallic lustre. They come in MAC sized pans with cute silver lids fastened with little bow that make that satisfying 'click' every time you shut them. I love how the lid is transparent so you can easily see the shade through it as well - not to mention, the shade names are absolutely adorable

I have six to share with you today: Frostbite, Golden Peach, Liquid Gold, Fireball, Punk Heart and Bedroom Eyes.

NYX Prismatic Shadows Swatches

First of all, the texture of these is like butter. They are so soft, almost molten, and are incredibly dense in pigmentation (see swatches). I've found that they apply best with your finger straight to your lid and then buffed out with a good fluffy shadow brush like the Zoeva Luxe Soft Definer Brush. They wear beautifully throughout the day, and I've found that they wear even better with a good eye primer underneath. There's a really gorgeous shade range, and I definitely will be trying out some of the other shades now that I've fallen in love with the formula. They're priced at £5 each and are available at Boots or ASOS.

NYX Prismatic Shadows Swatches

I've been trying them out for the past few weeks and seeing how each colour wears and looks - and I'm very impressed so far. Here are the colours I've got in a little more detail:
  • Frostbite - a white opalescent shade with a subtle blue sheen. It's the kind of shadow Elsa would wear as an inner corner highlight.
  • Golden Peach - as the name suggests, it's a peachy toned shadow with golden shimmer running through it. Definitely perfect for the summer months, and one of my favourites from the bunch. 
  • Liquid Gold - a deep copper toned gold. This reminds me of Lorac's 'Gold' shadow in the Pro palette, it's so soft and creamy. You need this if you love all things golden.
  • Fireball - a rusty orange with red opalescence. A serious dupe for Mac's Coppering - even better, in my opinion. Another favourite of mine, particularly for the summer months.
  • Punk Heart - a plum purple with a burnt red shimmer. This is the most unique colour that I've got from the range - perfect as a more 'out-there' crease colour or for running along the lash line.
  • Bedroom Eyes - a chocolate brown metallic. Very sultry, and perfect blended out for a perfect summer brown smoky eye. 

NYX Prismatic Shadows Swatches

From left to right: 
Bedroom Eyes, Punk Heart, Fireball, Liquid Gold, Golden Peach, Frostbite

I highly recommend these to anyone looking for high quality, affordable shadows which give the most stunning colour payoff. They really are some of the best shadows I've found yet! I'm keen to try more from NYX so let me know if you have any specific recommendations on what I should try next in the comments below.

Have you tried the NYX Prismatic Shadows?


Monday, 16 May 2016

The Red Lip That Will Suit Everyone

Chanel Rouge Allure Satin Lipcolour Pirate

There's something so classic and gorgeous about a statement red lip. There are so many different shades of red that it can be really hard to find ones that suit your skin tone and bring out your smile. Red is a colour that screams confidence - not really a colour you opt for if you're going for the subtle makeup look!  It's important to get it right so you feel the confidence that the colour is meant to give you

Everyone has their own preference when it comes to red but I love blue based reds because they make your teeth look brighter and whiter. Some of my favourites are Mac Russian Red and NARS Cruella - although both of these are matte formulas and so they both can be quite drying. But - when I found the Chanel Rouge Allure Satin Lipcolour in Pirate, I found the perfect blue based red with great lasting power, and no dry feeling on the lips at all. As the name suggests, it is a satin finish which means there is a slight sheen, but nothing a tissue and setting powder can't blot out. 

Chanel Rouge Allure Satin Lipcolour Pirate Swatch

It's a gorgeous colour which I can see flattering every skin tone so I had to share it - a real gem in the lipstick world. The packaging is also gorgeous of course. It's the kind you keep in your bag and take out when you want to feel extra glamorous - there's a clicking mechanism which unlocks the lipstick bullet so you can take it out of the tube. The stick itself is printed with the word Chanel, and it smells... well, like expensive lipstick. That's the best way I can describe the scent! All in all, yes, it is a pricey one being £26, but it is nice. And for a classic red, you can safely say it's an investment. 

What's your favourite classic red lipstick?


Friday, 13 May 2016

Getting Cheeky with Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit Cheekathon Palette Review

The Benefit Cheekathon Palette has been on my radar ever since it first popped up on my Instagram feed about a month ago. For good reason - it has five full size Benefit cheek products all in one compact palette. There's a variety of bronzers and blushers, with a small cheek brush and mirror in there too. This makes it the most perfect purchase for holiday season. It's currently available on Benefit's website and also exclusively on House of Fraser for £44.50

The value of this palette is amazing - usually each pan retails for £23.50 alone and you get five bestselling shades for the price of less than two! However, I managed to get an ever better deal with House of Fraser's up to 30% off Beauty sale where I nabbed this for £36.50 (with my student discount as well). This palette reminds me very much of the Christmas blush palette which Benefit released last winter but so much better. I was actually eyeing that up when I saw it but I'm glad I didn't purchase now that I have this beauty in my hands. 

Benefit Cheekathon Palette Review

There are five shades in the palette and a mini brush where the sixth pan would be. On first thought, I thought the brush was a bit of a waste, and that it would be scratchy and unpleasant to use. I was utterly wrong; the bristles are soft, natural hairs in a nice compact shape - and although I wouldn't necessarily use it for blush, it would be really good for contour. The five pans are the following (full size): 

  • Dandelion - a sheer, ballerina pink to either use as a blush or as an all over brightening powder for the face.
  • Hoola - a pure matte, light bronze, perfect for all over the face to bronze up and add some warmth to the complexion.
  • Rockateur - a rocking rose gold to add a glowing show stopping flush to your cheeks (a favourite of mine by far!)
  • Dallas - works as a blush or a bronzer and suits all skin tones, it gives a gorgeous radiant glow to the entire face.
  • Coralista - a tropical flush blush with hints of pearl, a beautiful warm coral pink.

Benefit Cheekathon Palette Review

You also get a little booklet with three different looks you can create using the shades. It's nicely presented with large pictures and diagrams which is great if you're just starting out! The box itself is also really pretty - I like to keep my palette in it for now as it's all presented so beautifully!

I would say that if you already own most of the shades in the palette, it's not really worth getting. If not, it's worth trying out. I don't actually own any of the powders in this one so I snapped it up right away. I think it's definitely the perfect product for introducing yourself to Benefit Cosmetics, or if you're on the hunt for an amazing 'everything' cheek palette to take with you on holiday this summer. 

Have you tried the Benefit Cheekathon Palette?

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Five Things to Tell Yourself Every Morning

If you read my post on How To Be A Morning Person, you might remember me mentioning that preparing the night before was really important in setting yourself up for the next day. There are lots of ways to physically prepare for the day ahead (some of which I mentioned in that post), but it's also really important to be mentally prepared for the goals you've set to achieve, regardless of how big or small they might be. It's all about reprogramming the way your mind thinks and asserting some positivity into your day. One way I like to do this is through self affirmations, and that's what I thought I'd share in today's blog post - five things that you should remember before you start each day:

1. I Am Capable of Amazing Things 
and you will achieve the goals that you have set yourself, especially with this positive mindset.

2. I Am Grateful 
because appreciating what you already have will bring more good things into your life.

3. I Am Fearless 
because courage is essential when pushing for your goals.

4. I Love and Accept Myself 
exactly as you are, because this will help you believe that:

5. I Can and I Will 
and that no one can tell you otherwise.

What are your favourite ways to start the day with positivity?


Monday, 9 May 2016

Makeup Musings #3

It's been a bit of a beauty packed month so far with lots of new bits that I've been trialling! Some are new launches, but some are hidden gems that I've only just discovered and bought. 

The Pixi Glow Tonic was a product I finally got my hands on after waiting out and trying dupes (like the Freedom Glycolic Glow Tonic which I've reviewed here). I've been using it everyday since it arrived and I can happily say that it works really well at giving my skin that radiance boost that it needs after cleansing. In comparison to the Freedom one, I can see why there is a difference in price. There is a higher concentration of glycolic acid in this one which means it's a stronger formula for getting instant results (the Pixi one has 5% (£18) and the Freedom one has 2.5% (£6)).

Eyes wise, I've picked up six of the NYX Prismatic Eyeshadows to try. Like most other NYX products, these are ridiculously pigmented and are a dream to apply. I've got some beautiful shades which I will share in more detail later on this month in another post.  

I also reviewed the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette last month which I absolutely loved - so I guess it comes as no surprise that when I caved and purchased the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, I loved that too. I had heard about this countless times from so many other bloggers and I just could not wait any longer. I'm so glad I bought it - this is just one of those products where it really is worth the hype. It's pricey but it is gorgeous. The texture and pigment of each powder is soft and glowy, so I can see this being a keen favourite of mine all throughout the summer months. The packaging is stunning too - all sleek and gold (perfect for blog photos, might I add).

There's going to be a LOT of beauty reviews this month because I've also picked up the Benefit Cosmetics Cheekathon Palette. I'm so thrilled I waited out and bought this instead of the holiday palette last year - this one is such amazing value! There are five full size powders in this kit (usually £23 each), but this whole palette is only £44.50. I'm not going to say too much here because I'll have a full review up in the next week or so... but know this: it's one of the best beauty purchases I have ever made. 

I've also been trying out a new matte nude lipstick. You might remember I'm obsessed with Gerard Cosmetics 1995 which is a slightly duskier pinkish matte brown shade. The new shade I've been loving is none other than Mac Velvet Teddy - I finally bought it! It definitely lives up to all that hype from last year, and I promise you it's totally gorgeous. You need it if you haven't got it already. I pair it with Mac Whirl Lipliner (another cheeky purchase) which I find gives that 90s vibe with a brown nude toned lip. Pair this with some jet black eyeliner and there's some serious Clueless flashbacks going on. 

Have you tried any of these products?
What new skincare/beauty bits have you discovered this month?

Friday, 6 May 2016

The Dior Skin Forever Fluid Foundation

Dior Forever Fluid Foundation Review

I purchased the Dior Forever Fluid Foundation on a whim. I was on the hunt for a matte foundation which still gave the appearance of natural radiant looking skin. This foundation claims to do just that - to give a demi-matte finish, and a gorgeous satiny appearance to the skin. It's like it was calling to me. This was my first ever Dior foundation purchase - I had seen it pop up on other peoples blogs lately and so when I saw it, I decided it was finally time to give it a go. It is on the more luxury side of makeup with it being from Dior; at £33 it isn't cheap. However, I do find that investing in foundations is actually worth it though - it's one of those makeup items that I would just recommend splurging on because it sets up how the rest of your makeup applies (so you want it to be good). From my experience, more expensive foundations tend to have better ingredients, higher SPF, better lasting power and coverage, and this one is no exception.

Dior Forever Fluid Foundation Review

I purchased the colour 020 Light Beige and it's the perfect match for me. It's a neutral base so it works well with my skin tone. I'm pretty sure that Dior foundations have a coding system for yellow and pink based skin as well, so it's worth asking at the beauty counter. I love the fact that there is a sturdy silver pump to dispense the foundation - however, it's not possible to remove this and scrape the last bits of foundation out of the bottle when it's nearly finished so you end up wasting product at the end. There's 1 fluid ounce and it will last a good few months if used on a daily basis. It's lightly fragranced but this disappears after a little while and you can't smell it whilst it's on your face. The foundation is one of the lightest I've tried with a really lovely medium (yet buildable) coverage. My favourite way of applying this is with a damp beauty blender after dispensing a pump onto my hand. You only need one to two pumps to cover your whole face so I can see this product lasting a while! 

Dior Forever Fluid Foundation Review

I have combination skin and I find that I don't actually need to powder throughout the day when I use this foundation which is a real bonus for me. I use the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation on lighter days and with that I definitely need to touch up and powder as it's very dewy, so this was a very nice change. It looks very natural which has to be one of my favourite things about it - it gives me the matte coverage I want without caking my face in the process. The packaging is also a noteworthy point - it comes in a very sleek rectangular glass bottle with frosted glass (to show it's a matte foundation). The lid is embossed with CD in silver - it's just beautiful to have sitting on your vanity. Other than the pump issue I mentioned earlier, I really cannot fault this one. There are approximately twenty shades available on Debenhams, so you're bound to find a match! 

Have you tried this foundation?
If so, what do you think?

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Five Minute Makeup

No matter how organised I try to be, I still somehow often find myself rushing around getting ready in the morning, with barely any time to spare for my makeup. That's why it became so important to me to find fail safe products that gave a polished look in five minutes or less. I know that lots of us can find ourselves in similar situations, where makeup has to be fuss free and quick to apply - so today I'm sharing my five minute makeup routine, for the days when time just isn't on my side! I've adapted my choices to work for Spring, with pretty pinks and illuminating products for a gorgeous glow. Each of these have been tried and tested for weeks now, and I've settled into a fresh springtime look that I really love. What's more, I think these pinks would work with most skin tones as they're subtle but also very brightening, adding a luminescence which sums up this season perfectly. 

For  my base, I start off with a squeeze of the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone. I love this liquid version of the highlighter - it works great underneath foundation to give my skin a boost of radiance and a healthier appearance. Plus, it pairs brilliantly with the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation. These two together as a base look so light and dewy; the foundation has medium coverage, and so is perfect for the warmer weather where I still want a little cover up but not too much. I do find that I can get quite shiny though so I like to set that with a little powder which I keep with me throughout the day.  The foundation actually corrects a lot of my imperfections, and I actually like my skin not looking completely flawless (plus I don't usually have time for lots of steps to cover them up!). The things about this base is that my skin looks healthy and glowy without looking like I've done anything to it. If I do have a larger blemish to cover up though, I'll follow up with my Maybelline Fit Me Concealer which is super easy to apply and blend in with my fingers.

Next up are eyes. I start by quickly curling my lashes with my favourite Shiseido Eyelash Curlers - I've mentioned these so many times but I use them every day without fail! They hold a curl perfectly all day long. I don't usually have time to blend out eyeshadow so cream eyeshadow works best for me. I've been reaching for my Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Bunny Hop - a lovely opalescent pink lilac which can only be described as unicorn shimmer in a pot. It is gorgeous and perfect for a pretty wash of colour over the lid. I add lashings of the Buxom Lash Mascara in Black which I love so very much. I need to purchase the full size of this next time I'm near a Sephora - it's great at adding just the right amount of length and volume to my lashes. The brush is huge but plastic so it really works on separating and building up a lot of lash.

For a bit of warmth and colour to my face, I've been using my Hourglass Edit Palette - this has all my contour/highlight and blush action in one place (plus it gives me choice to switch things up). I use the Luminous Bronze shades to warm up the perimeter of my face and jaw line, as well as my neck. I find myself often using both blush shades, with Mood Exposure across my cheeks and Luminous Flush just on the apples to give them a bit of a pop. For a subtle highlight (I've already got a whole lotta glow with the shimmering skin perfector earlier), I like using Diffused Light. It really gives that lit from within appearance to the skin. To diffuse the look of powder and mesh it into my skin, I love spritzing my Smashbox Primer Water all over my face. It brings the whole look together as all the products seem to look seamless after this step. Last up is a little lipgloss. I did a whole post on my favourite pink glosses for the season, but I love this Chanel Glossimier Lipgloss in 204 Rose Tendre. It's a soft milky pink which adds a gorgeous sheen to my lips, making them look really plump and perfect.

What's are your go-to Spring makeup products?

Ambar x


Monday, 2 May 2016

How To Be A Morning Person

With the first post of May falling on a Monday, I thought it would be a good idea to make it a lifestyle one. There are so many things I want to try and incorporate into my lifestyle this month, as well as things that I want to keep as a habit. I often find that there's something so difficult about getting out of our warm, cozy duvets every morning, but I've found that there are definitely several  things you can do to set yourself up to be an early riser. Then, after a few days, you'll be doing it all the time because it will become part of your routine. That's the key word in all of this - routine. It's been said so many times but it's true. The minute you establish something as part of a routine, it becomes second nature and you start doing it automatically. It usually takes around three weeks of hard work before you get used to something, whether it be cleaning up your diet, working out more often or waking up earlier. All three of these are good things, but today's post is going to focus on the third, with ways that I've trained myself to get up and get to work without feeling too miserable about it. 

1. Prep the night before.
I always like to fill the kettle, then take out a mug, teaspoon, my preferred coffee and a piece of fruit to put on the counter top. This sets up my breakfast nicely and so I need to do very little in the morning. If I'm having a smoothie in the morning, then I'll take out my Nutribullet too and freeze a banana the night before (recipe here). I'll also tidy up my desk and take out the things that I will need for the first few tasks of the morning. I'm at university doing revision at the moment, so I'll usually prep by taking out a folder full of notes for the module I want to look at in the morning and open it on the pages I will need. A to-do list also helps, I sometimes do these the night before, or I'll do them in the morning depending on how much there is to do that day.

2. Go to sleep a little earlier.
This is one where I actually need to start taking my own advice. I have a terrible habit of not being able to sleep until late so I'm hoping that by writing this down, it will motivate me to change this. I think a good bed time would be around 10pm, where there's the chance to get enough sleep and rise in the morning naturally, without feeling sluggish or low on energy. There are definitely ways you can wind down and things you can do to help yourself seep earlier. I'm going to try a few of them this month and test out what works best for me. Let me know if you'd like to see a post on this!

3. Have something to look forward to.
Writing a to-do list sort of goes hand in hand with this one. Make sure that you have at least one thing that you're excited about during the day. It could be an actual task, a place you're visiting or even a meal you're excited to cook and eat. If you have at least that one thing that you're looking forward to, then getting up doesn't seem so hard. It could just be as simple as getting one step closer to your goal - but that in itself becomes a motivation to get up early and work hard. Or, you could choose to make space for some 'me-time', where you spend time doing something that you love. That way, you'll actually enjoy getting up in the morning, even when your bed is telling you otherwise! I love applying a little makeup in the morning, that's some 'me-time' where I can put on the radio, sip at my coffee and apply some new products.

4. Energize.
This can be done in several ways, but energizing for the day is so important. It gets rid of that sluggish, half asleep feeling when your alarm first goes off and the quicker you can energize, the quicker you can wake up and start enjoying your day. Some people fit in a workout in the morning. I admire those people (this is something I would seriously struggle to do). Getting in a run every morning can boost your mood and help the rest of the day go smoothly no matter what life throws at you. Another way to energize would be with a tall glass of cold water every morning. This is something which I do without fail as it keeps me hydrated (all those hours of sleep mean I often wake up thirsty) and gives me a boost, especially when it's cold. I follow this up with a filling breakfast and a mug of coffee for a caffeine kick. Caffeine isn't healthy in excess, but I like at least one coffee a day and I prefer to have mine in the morning for a bit of energy.

5. Take it slow.
Remember, if you're used to getting up ten minutes before you have to leave the house, it can be hard to suddenly start getting up early. My best advice would be to take it slow, and start setting your alarm a little earlier in fifteen minute increments. This will ease you into having more and more time in the morning without putting you in a grumpy mood through lack of sleep and forcing a sudden change on your body clock. What you will notice is how much better your mood will get after a couple of weeks - the shift is painful at first but it's well worth it!

What are your favourite tips for becoming a morning person?

Ambar x
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