What Louise is Loving

A place to share my two loves: beauty and food.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Paris Highlights

For my birthday my boyfriend took me to Paris for a few days. We stayed in the Hidden Boutique which was an amazing hotel with an incredible breakfast and very friendly staff. It was situated right by the Arc de Triomphe, so although a little far for some of the evenings it was perfect for finding our feet in a new city.

1. Food

Being massive foodies we definitely did our research before going and got as many recommendations as we could! The two I would recommend are Chez Janou, the duck was insane, and Chez Ferdinand where I had the best beef bourguignon!

2. Taking in the sights. 

Like all cities I think just walking around as much as possible is the best way to soak up the beautiful culture and buildings. I think we managed to walk just about everywhere and only got the tube to Monmatre to see the Bastille de Sacre Coeur, as otherwise we would have been walking for days!

Notre Dam is part of the island and it is so beautiful to walk across the bridges and wander through the many small side roads.

Monmatre is slightly too far to walk to but so quick to visit by the metro. We wandered around the squares and cobbled streets before visiting the breathtaking Sacre Coeur and the amazing view. Next time I want to visit in the evening as apparently it is incredibly romantic! 

At nine o'clock on the last evening we went to Tricolli to watch the light show on the Eiffel Tower. It is a definite must if you are ever in Paris!

3. The Views

There are many points across the city that you can visit to enjoy the spectacular views but after some research we decided the Arc de Triomph was so affordable for such a stunning perspective of the city.   We went early in the morning, which might not have been the best plan as it was still quite hazy as the weak late winter sun hadn't been able to break through! 

What would you recommend? 


Saturday, 3 January 2015

Estee Lauder Revitalising Supreme Set

This has to be the best beauty set I have purchased in a very long time. Whilst Christmas shopping in Wesfields I noticed Boots had a deal on where the Estee Lauder Revitalising Supreme Set was only £20 - and yes I do now wish I'd bought more than one! In the set you get four miniature skincare essentials, which I thought would be perfect for travelling home to save space. During the Christmas period my skin tends to have a tantrum due to the large amounts of rich food, limited sleep and copious amounts of alcohol, however this year it looks better than ever and I now want full sizes of all these products! 

Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Foam Cleanser/Purifying Mask

This is probably my least favourite of the four but only because I am used to such gentle nourishing cleansers and this one leaves your skin feeling incredibly clean, almost squeaky clean. At first I thought it was too drying however now I think it just gives it a thorough cleanse leaving it blemish free. 

I love this stuff and have repurchased it many times. In fact it was due to this inclusion that I bought the set as I thought it would be so handy for refilling and travelling. This bottle off goodness makes such a difference to my complexion and really does do everything it says it will on the bottle. If you want to invest in 2015 then I would recommend this. A full post here. 

This stuff is so creamy and gentle, I am definitely in love. However the £42 for 15ml does make me weep a little inside and I wish I had gone a but easier on the amount I used every day. It has definitely made me eyes look brighter and tighter so maybe I will have to suck up the price tag as it certainly works. 

This is the other product I wish I had used more sparingly but the problem was it just felt so incredible on your skin I found myself using it multiple times a day! This is one I will definitely repurchase once my products in London run out as the velvety texture is just too addictive. It claims to help with hydration, tightness, wrinkles and dullness and I think that it is one of the few moisturisers I have tried that truly make a huge impact. 

My skin has never looked so good and I am now definitely hooked onto these products. These sets are such a good way of testing new products or for keeping for travelling. I cannot seem to find this exact set online there is the Global Anti-Aging Eye Set for £42 that contains the eye balm, serum and mascara that I my eye on.

What sets have you seen recently?


Monday, 29 December 2014

December Highlights

1. Christmas Day

Christmas is my favourite day of the whole year - I mean what other day can you drink champagne before breakfast? But in all seriousness I do love everything about the day. The way my brothers, sister and I still pretend to believe as in our house if you don't believe then Father Christmas doesn't come! How we all sit in front of the fire in the morning opening gifts before starting on the lunch. This year was much quieter than others as we had 14 and actually we had done so much the night before we ended up making a chocolate roulade as had so much time! Then all the family come over and we eat ourselves to bursting before more presents in front of the fire. Although as a family we often all get together, it is never quite as special as Christmas Day. 

2. Seeing Friends. 

Christmas is the time for a ridiculous amount of parties, either with novelty themed jumpers - Hello Primark! - or more civilised affairs like seeing friends who are normally abroad. Again, I am lucky that everyone from my hometown has moved to the same area of London so I never have to venture out that far. Over the last few weeks it has been so much fun getting into the festive spirit, a highlight has to be the screening of Love Actually with snow and mulled wine - see post here.

3. Crisp Mornings

The winter weather can be atrocious - flash back to my last rather wet Christmas post - but there is nothing better than the crisp sunny mornings for dog walking and horse riding. I think I will always be a country bumpkin at heart!

4. Olympia

I was a horse mad child and have always gone to Olympia every year. I now go with my Aunt, cousin and sister and although I no longer look after my horse I love wandering around the stalls lusting after all the products and wishing I could win the lottery so I can buy it all! The horse riding is immense and although the show jumping might not be everyone's cup of tea, there are many other performances that make it a fantastic day out for anyone. This year there were the dare devil Cossack riders who spun upside down and did head stands whilst galloping around the ring; then the Metropolitan Police Riders who can ride through fire and take their saddles off whilst jumping; and of course the Shetland Grand National which was my dream as a child! 

I am not going to do a December Beauty Favourites post this month as I have just posted My 14 Beauty Favourites of 2014 so there will be many similarities! 

What have been your monthly highlights?

Saturday, 27 December 2014

My 14 Beauty Favourites from 2014

I always love these types of posts as I find it so difficult to narrow all the products you have used throughout the year to a handful of favourites. Therefore you know the chosen ones must be good! So from top left to bottom right here are mine:

1. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (full review) This cleanser has definitely helped sort out my skin and at £8.99 it is such a bargain. You can find it in the Pharmacy section of Boots. 

2. Super Facialist Una Brennan Vitamin C Glow Boost Serum (full review) I don't know how I lived without this product. It is amazing for adding much needed hydration and radiance to my complexion. 

3. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum II (full review) This is definitely worth the price tag as I feel it does exactly what it sets out to do. 

4. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair II (full review) This is a product I have repurchased again and again and can always tell when I have used it. 

5. Soap and Glory Solar Powder (full review) This deserves all the hype it gets. Two perfect bronze shades in one package, with a decent sized mirror and very affordable. 

6. Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie (full review) I don't think I have reached for a lip product more than this. It is the perfect pinky lips that is so hydrating and can be applied without a mirror - winner!

7. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage (full review) This is a holy grail for me as it covers anything and can be mixed with more liquid concealers to give them more oomph. It also lasts years so is well worth the investment.

8. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush (full review) I don't think any other colour has graced my cheeks this year. The ultimate all rounder colour that gives a soft highlight as well. Also the packaging is beyond dreamy! 

9. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (full review) Another product I have used every day as it calms down shine without losing any radiance and helps my makeup last so much longer. Also I have hardly made a dent over the year so well worth the investment! 

10. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers It was very close between these and my Japonesque Power Curlers (review here). I have very straight stubborn eyelashes and curlers are a must. These two have the longest lasting impact and I could not live without them! 

11. Urban Decay Naked Cannot believe I haven't dedicated a whole post to this palette before as I love it so much. Half Baked is definitely my favourite but you can get so many different looks with one set of eyeshadows and the quality is amazing. 

12. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat Again considering I have repurchased bottle and bottles of the stuff I cannot believe it doesn't have its own post! I am someone who smudges their nail polish within seconds of applying, not matter how careful I try to be. This however, is amazing as it dries so fast and leaves the most  beautiful glossy shine. 

13. Soap and Glory Archery in Hot Chocolate (full review) The best dupe of the Anastasia Brow Wiz and leaves my brows looking natural but much more defined. I have used this everyday and can see me repurchasing for years to come. 

14. Topshop Glow in Polished (full review) I love a highlight but I also love it to be natural and this little pot ticks all the boxes. 

What are your top products of the year?

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Ciate Advent Calendar

I must confess this was actually purchased a fews days into December from TKMaxx for £20. I have always wanted a beauty based calendar but could never justify the price tag so when I saw this I thought I would see if they were worth the hype and believe me they really are! Although I definitely will be raiding TKMaxx again next year to see if I can pick a bargain up. 

In this collection you got one large glitter varnish on the last day, a strip of transfers and 23 miniature bottles that are a range of sparkly topcoats, glitter you pour out (slightly annoying there is no brush), vibrant summer colours, neutral shades and then some metallics thrown in too. There is such a diverse range and the miniature bottles mean they are perfect for travelling. Hopefully I won't be browsing the aisles of Boots for any nail polish for a while! 



Monday, 22 December 2014

Estee Lauder Enlighten EE Cream SPF 30

This stuff is seriously good and I have been using it non stop for the last month. I find the Estee Lauder Enlighten Even Effect Skintone Corrector to be the perfect product to counter the cold weather sapping the glow from my skin, changing my dull grey complexion into a healthy radiance - despite the ridiculously long name! The EE cream is the latest alphabet related beauty product to be released and is a very light weight formula that evens your skintone so is very much for your no makeup days! Although the coverage is minimal I love how it brightens my complexion and really does look like I am not wearing anything. I just team it with the Clarins Instant Concealer - read more here - and I find them the perfect combination. 

The Estee Lauder Enlighten is the latest skincare range that works to correct any skintone issues you make have such as: dark spots, sun spots, post blemish marks, redness or discolouration.  The EE cream is the last step of your routine  and can be used on its own or under foundation. It is full of anti-oxidants that work to smooth, hydrate and soften your skin. I have definitely noticed the benefits from using it and will definitely repurchase. 

I absolutely love the light weight feel and the luminosity it brings to my skin. The SPF 30 is also an additional bonus as the weather in London has recently been surprisingly bright and sunny as well as crisp. You can purchase it for £34 - although many shops have fantastic Christmas deals on at the moment! 

What is your Winter base of choice?

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Clarins Instant Concealer - Worth the hype?

Clarins Instant Concealer

The Clarins Instant Concealer has been getting a lot of hype in the beauty blogging world and I was intrigued to see if it lived up to expectations. Although I love my Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage for pin point concealing blemishes, I find it too dense and the texture too hard for under my eyes and I was on the look out for something new and I have definitely found it! I think that all the hype that surrounds the Clarins Instant Concealer is justified and it is well worth the investment. 

I actually have Shade 01 and 02 as the sales assistant assured me that 02 would work better under the eyes and over the rest of my complexion.  As you can see above the two shades are very different so I would definitely recommend getting matched in store! However after loving the formula so much I went back for the 01 to add more highlight under the eyes. The formula is very pigmented and a little really does go along way! Although it is a liquid formula it does cover really well and I love the glowing and hydrating finish that it gives. Also the high water content means it does not settle into fine lines - an absolute bonus! I find the formula to be perfect for under the eyes as well as any large areas of discolouration - like my chin, which always suffered from redness. Despite loving the glow - as I find many concealers too matte - sometimes it can be a little too much on my forehead or chin but that is easily rectified with a little powder. 

Some people have said that at £21 this is a pricey concealer and although I do agree it does seem a lot, it is definitely worth it. Also you get 15ml and the smallest amount is needed therefore it will last a very long time. I would just recommend swatching berfore parting with your money as there is a big difference between shades!  
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