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

Monday, 31 March 2014

Weekly Favourites #14


This week I have been without a phone and I have hated it! Every day I saw so many lovely photo opportunities and wanted to Instagram them all, I think I am slightly obsessed. On the positive side I broke up for Easter holidays with an armful of flowers and chocolate - the perks of being a teacher. Now that I have a few weeks off I am hoping to get back into the blogging groove and get more organised. I desperately want to revamp the look of my blog and get lots of posts scheduled. I also need to go on a detox as this has been an alcohol fuelled week which my skin does not enjoy even if I do! There has been lots of leaving drinks, celebratory dinners and then I headed home for a big mother's day dinner, delicious! 

Photographs: Flowers // Getting rid of the hangover in Brixton Village //  Organic Surge Blissful Daily Moisturiser // Barry M Coral Polish // Diptyque Figuier // Roses // Easter

Posts this week have included: Organic Surge Blissful Daily Moisturiser Review; Simple Spring Makeup & Diptyque Figuier Candle. 

Favourite post: I have been slightly obsessed with the double hair braid that Suzy from Hello October keeps rocking in her photographs. Sadly my hair is too short to recreate but once it has grown I can see it being my go to style for Spring. I also adored her 100th Video Lily Collins inspired makeup, she looked so gorgeous!

Favourite product: This week it has to be the Barry M Nail Paint in Coral. Such a gorgeous spring shade, although it is much darker than the picture above looks. 



Hope you have all had a good week too! 

X

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Diptyque Figuier Candle

Diptyque Figuier Fig Tree Candle

Diptyque Figuier Fig Tree Candle

I never really got the obsession with Diptyque candles. As much as I love the smell of scented candles I always thought £40 was pretty extortionate really. However I am now converted and I finally get the hype!

On Thursday I was lucky enough to break up for Easter holidays and was thoroughly spoiled by the parents - some of the perks of teaching! One mother bought me this beautiful Fig Tree candle and it really is heaven. The packaging is luxurious and the smell is just divine. You only need it light for short amount of time before your room and flat smell warm, comforting and delicious! As much as I adore the scent I am also excited to reuse the glass holder as I have seen many bloggers do. 

Yes these candles are expensive but if you can I definitely would invest! 

What is you favourite scent? 

X

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Simple Spring Makeup


When the sun finally appears I always want a lighter more minimal look. I know that Spring is very temperamental and although I am aware there was snow today I am just going to ignore it and carry on and pretend it is warm. 

For the base I tend to use the La Roche Posay 50+ Tinted SPF if I am spending a long time out of the house as it has amazing coverage against both UVA and UVB rays. The finish evens out the skin tone and gives a nice glow, although it can at times appear a little shiny so if I am going somewhere nice then I tend to use my much loved Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser. I sing this products praises all the time so won't go into too much detail but basically it has all the goodness of a tinted moisturiser but with quite good coverage. Perfect in my opinion! Find out more here

For those pesky blemishes or dark circles I reach for my beautiful NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer in Custard. This is a heavenly moisturising but good coverage concealer that although is pricey is most definitely worth it. Read a more in-depth review here. To ensure there is not too much shine and that it stays in place all day I have been reaching for the By Terry Hyaluronic Powder. This stuff is amazing, it gives your complexion an airbrushed look whilst having skin care benefits. Although the finish is quite matt it does let a natural radiance through and I find it perfect through my T zone. My review of this was actually one of my first ever posts here.

For the cheeks although in the warmer months I do love a cream blush and pinky cheekbones; for convenience I have been reaching for the Revlon Bronze Highlighter Palate. This is the perfect summer all in one product for the cheeks. It has a gorgeous range of pinky bronzed colours, ending with a very pale highlight. There is a shimmer running through it but it is not as noticeable once applied and blended into the skin. I absolutely love it and it is perfect for touching up once your skin has lost its glow from the morning. Read my ode to it here

Finally I use the Shu umeru curlers, my absolute must haves, and lashings of the L'Oreal False Lash Mascara. I love this product as it gives so much length and definition. 

Obviously my makeup changes quite regularly depending on my mood, but this is what I took home the other week and what I reach for most mornings at the moment. 

What are your summer products? 

X


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Organic Surge Blissful Daily Moisturiser Review



I love Organic Surge products and have used the Overnight Sensation Night Cream for years, see my thoughts here, and I would have used the Organic Surge Blissful Daily Moisturiser sooner but it always seemed to be out of stock - which always strikes me as a good thing! So when my Origins GinZing finally ran out I knew I had to give this a go. 

The reason I love Organic Surge products is as the name suggests all the ingredients are natural and they do not test on animals. In addition to this the products are all very affordable even though they do not look it. I love that this moisturiser is only £8.49 on their website but the glass packaging is very luxurious. 

This moisturiser claims to be for normal or combination skin, it contains a range of essential oils, antioxidants and hydrators to balance out oily and dry skin zones leaving you with a healthy complexion.  I have combination skin and although I loved the smell and how nourishing it felt when applied it is very rich. My skin has had a little freak out recently, I think due to hormones and stress so I found this to be too heavy and have gone back to my Kiehl's Skin Rescuer, read my thoughts here

The other day I decided to try this at night and loved the results. I woke up with hydrated skin and a radiant complexion. I have now been using this on rotation with my other evening products and only use it in the mornings when I think my skin needs that extra boost. 

I do really like this product and think for under nine pounds it is definitely worth it but I would be wary if you have oily to combination skin as it might be too rich. It also means I am now on the look out for another day moisturiser if you have any suggestions?

What is your favourite Organic Surge product? 

X

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Weekly Favourites # 13


This week has flown by with numerous glasses of prosecco and cocktails! I think my favourite day though had to be Saturday. It started off at a friends for brunch, she has the most gorgeous flat and I always walk around it looking longingly at all her little bits and bobs. Probably because most of it comes from Anthropologie my favourite store! We had baked eggs in a tomato and chorizo sauce with Bloody Mary's - absolutely divine! I will definitely be making some soon. She then spoilt us with many Bellinis, homemade blueberry pancakes and fresh fruit. The boys then went off the the rugby so we decided to take a walk down Southbank as the weather was nice and sunny. We walked from Vauxhall to London Bridge, stopping off for wine on the way. It was a good job we did stop off as the weather turned from beautiful sunshine to hail in a matter of moments. We then met up with the boys and some more friends to have a large curry with copious amount of red wine back at my flat. It really was the perfect day. If you follow me on instagram (Louise_151 or whatlouiseisloving) you would have seen many of the pictures above! 

Photographs: Southbank views // Bellini Time // Storm Clouds over the Cheese Grater and Walky-Talky // Skateboarding on the Southbank // Baked Eggs // Brunch this morning! 

Posts this week have included: Favourite Five Foundations; Evening Skincare Routine: Eyes, Oils and Creams & Bourjois Volumizing Mascara Review.

Favourite post: This is yet another shout out to Anna from Vivanna Does Makeup, I think she has been mentioned almost every week in this section! I loved her capsule wardrobe video this week and I am now lusting after the majority of the items she showed! See video here if you have 

Favourite product: The week I have got back into using my By Terry Hyaluronic Powder, see my post on it here. Although extremely messy to use it leaves your skin looking so airbrushed I love it!

Favourite clothing: This has to be my Zara camel coat, see picture below. I absolutely adore it and it has been my favourite purchase of the Winter. 




Hope you have all had a good week too! 

X

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Bourjois Volumizer Mascara Review

I am still on a quest to find my perfect mascara and the other day in Boots decided to give this Bourjois offering a whirl. The Bourjois Volumizer mascara is not a new release however, it is one that I have never tried before. There are two steps to it depending on how defined and voluminous you wish your lashes to be. 


Step One 


This is by far my favourite step. The brush gets pulled through a very small tube resulting in minimal product being left on the hairs. I find this separates and lengthens my lashes beautifully if I am going for an understated minimal makeup look. I also find it to be brilliant for the bottom lashes as there is very little chance of smudging - as I am one of the clumsiest people you will ever meet this is an extremely positive point for me! 

The only negative would be the pole or tube (I have no idea what you would call it) that the brush sits on, it is extremely long and thin which means you don't have much control. Being rather heavy handed I find this a bit daunting! 

Step Two


The second stage has a much thicker brush which holds considerably more product. This really does give your lashes that wow factor and makes them exceptionally long and voluminous, like the name would suggest. 

However, I do find that this mascara clumps on me. I love how each of my lashes is so defined and separated after the first application but once I have gone in with this stage I find that they can look a bit gloopy, which is not the look I am after! 

I decided to dismantle the mascara so I could have a better idea of how to use it. 

As you can see the wand is the same (not sure really what I was expecting) the only difference between the two stages is how much product is allowed onto the brush. As you can see from the picture above if you pull the wand out of the second tube there is a lot of excess product which is removed. However on the second stage this is still on the brush which although gives you thick lashes does border on clumpy on occasion. To emphasis the difference further I shot a close up of the brush on each stage, showing the in order of application. 


This is a very mixed review as I am still unsure of my feelings completely. I like the first step for my no make up days but I think I will rarely use the second stage, which seems a shame. 

What is your favourite mascara?

X

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Evening Skincare Routine: Eyes, Serums, Oils and Moisturisers

This is the final instalment of my evening skincare posts, read here about my favourite cleansers and toners. I decided to pop these concluding stages together as many of these products I have spoken about before and I do tend to mix it up the most in these final stages! 

Eyes


I absolutely adore the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Cream and it is the only eye product I have ever used that I actually see a difference with. Although this is eye-wateringly expensive (£38) I did get another only slightly smaller one for free with it which made it all a bit more manageable! It has a beautiful silky formula that melts into the skin keeping it feeling hydrated and plump.  During the night it works its magic: eliminating the appearance of fine lines, dark circles and puffiness to name a few. See full review here

Serum / Oil 


I love both these products! The infamous Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair II definitely does not disappoint, the smooth formula glides over the skin leaving it feeling nourished and hydrated. I have had this bottle since early Summer and I am only half way through, making it slightly more appealing for the money. However, I am not 100% sure I would repurchase as although I do love it I think there might be a cheaper alternative. Annoyingly the pipet has broken so I am treating it rather delicately and using it every night before I spill it everywhere! Sometimes if I am having an oily day I will only wear this otherwise I will combine it with one of my moisturisers. Read a full review of it here

The Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is an amazing product and one that I will always repurchase. I bought this in the sale for around ten pounds and use it most evenings. I either put a few drops in with my moisturiser or I apply double that on its own. The formula sinks into the skin and doesn't feel oily at all. It contains natural ingredients which help to alleviate scarring, decongest the skin as well as keeping it nourished and looked after. It is a beautiful product and I cannot recommend it enough. Read more here

Moisturiser 

Origins Night-A-Mins High-Potency Moisturiser

I love Origins, especially when you buy online and have the opportunity to collect amazing samples. I originally bought the Origins Oil Free High-Potency Night-A-Mins which is a gel formula, similar to the Origins GinZing - another obsession of mine! However, although this is fantastic when paired with a serum or oil due to the light consistency I do prefer the normal version as it is much thicker. This second, slightly smaller pot of goodness actually came free with the original purchase. Told you Origins is well worth it! I have written more about these moisturisers here, but basically I could not recommend them enough! 


What products do you use in the evening?

X

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Favourite Five Foundations


The #bbloggers chat on Wednesday got me thinking about my stash of foundations and the ones I actually use on a regular basis. I have tried out many over the years to varying degrees of success, some I just don't get why they are so hyped up - Rimmel Wake Me Up's holy grail status for instance remains a complete mystery to me! So I thought I would share with you my favourite five and the reasons behind why I love them so much.

From the list below you might be able to see that I like a radiant dewy foundation that can turn my tired skin into a healthy glow. I like them to be medium coverage, as I find fuller foundations far too heavy on the skin and I find that if I want a very sheer base then I will opt for a more nourishing tinted moisturiser. 

1. YSL Youth Liberator Foundation

Recently this has not left my face and it has become a firm favourite, which I recommend to anyone who listens. It is partnered with their Youth Liberator range of skincare and so this base has the added bonus of skincare ingredients, which is a complete win win for me! I really love the serum consistency as it feels so soft on my skin and leaves a gorgeous dewy natural finish. Although it is heavier than many of my foundations you do still need to go in with concealer to hide any stubborn imperfections. It also does not look heavy on the skin instead leaving you with a healthy flawless complexion. I find that this lasts all day on my skin and I am never complemented as much as when I wear it. It is expensive but in my opinion it is worth every penny. I am a BD50 which can be a little too dark if not well blended in these pale winter months. You can buy it in Boots for £37, told you it was pricey! 

2. Giorgio Armarni Luminous Silk

For nights out it is this much raved about base that I reach for as it really does live up to the hype! It does not contain any pesky SPF so I don't have to worry about flash photograph and any Caspar the Friendly Ghost faces the next morning when I browse through pictures. I have written about this foundation in more detail here, but to sum it up for you now I would have to say it is well worth the investment. It comes in a whopping 21 shades so finding your perfect match is considerably easier. It gives you a flawless light finish that leaves your skin looking healthy and radiant. The best thing is that it lasts all evening and I always get complimented on my skin when I wear it. A very close second. You can buy it from John Lewis for £35.50. I am a 5.5 in case you are wondering! 

3. Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum

This is my absolute favourite high street foundation and one I have used since it was released. Although I was initially put off by the fruity smell I quickly got over it when I realised it did not break me out and the scent vanished on application. The scent comes from the three super fruits ingredients: lychee, goji and pomegranate. Together these erase sign of fatigue while evening out the skincare and reviving your skins radiance. I love the texture of the serum based foundations as they are more gel like, melt into the skin and leave a gorgeous radiant natural finish. This lasts me almost all day and if you want a good base for around a tenner then I cannot recommend this enough. The only down side is that it only comes in a very limited six shades but for £10.99 I can get over this. I am a B52 or B53 depending on how tanned my skin is. 

4. NARS Sheer Glow

This was the first high end foundation I bought on the back of lots of rave reviews from both bloggers and friends. One thing I never understand is the naming of this product as it is neither sheer nor glowing! Instead I would say this is medium coverage that can be built up to quite a heavy base if wanted. The finish is not as radiant as others I have mentioned but it does give your complexion a healthy finish. I do love this but I am careful to make sure any dry areas are well moisturised before I apply it as it can get patchy if not. I still love this foundation and it normally makes appearances for nights out or if I want my base to last a long time. One of the annoying things about this foundation though is the packaging, there is no pump which means a lot can be wasted if you don't have a steady hand or do not want to invest in a NARS pump. I have the shade Sante Fe and you can purchase this for £31 from John Lewis. 

5. Bourjois Healthy Radiance Foundation

Fifth place was a bit of a toss up between this and the Revlon Nearly Naked. I ended up going for another Bourjois offering as if I want the sheer dewy finish of the Nearly Naked then I do just reach for my tinted moisturiser; as it gives the same light finish but is much kinder to my skin. This Healthy Radiance Foundation is always compared to the Chanel Vitalumiere, I have not tried the high end alternative so cannot really offer an opinion but it is worth considering if you enjoy the Chanel finish. Read Belle's in depth comparison and review here if you want to know more! I really like this base as it gives you a healthy looking complexion whilst covering any blemishes or uneven skintone. Like other bases from their 'Healthy Radiance' range it does have the fruity smell but this is down to the natural ingredients which are added. It definitely perks my tired looking skin up and for under ten pounds you cannot go wrong. It has eight shades and I tend to be 'Light Beige.' You can purchase it at Boots or £9.99. 


What are you favourite five foundations?

X

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Weekly Favourites # 12


This was a very stressful but rewarding week. Thursday night was the performance of the play I have been doing at school, organising 50 eight year old boys is no easy task so I am glad that it was such a success! Reports were also due in and so by the time it was the weekend all I wanted to do was relax! On Friday I went to Bodeans with some friends for their incredible pulled pork and cocktails. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water! Then I went back home to Kent for my Aunt and cousins birthday in the sunshine. It was also very enjoyable watching England smash Italy, but even scoring 50 points was not enough for us to win the six nations title. I was truly gutted but glad that Brian O'Driscall got to lift the trophy on his last ever game! Today was spent dog walking and relaxing in the garden, the sun was so strong that I even have tan lines! Fingers crossed it is here to stay! 

I was a bit quiet with blogging this week as I forgot to press 'Publish' on some of my scheduled posts! But I have decided to now try to upload on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday so keep an eye out on these days! 

Photographs: Playing with the dogs in the garden // Flowers from my school to say thank you // L'Oreal Dating Coral // Dog walking // Easy Summer Makeup.

Posts this week have included: Evening Skincare Routine: Cleansers;  Evening Skincare Routine: TonersSuperfacialist Una Brennan Face Masks.

Favourite post: This is another shout out to Anna from Vivanna Does Makeup, can't you just tell I love her! This time it was her 10 Skincare Holy Grail products, although this was incredibly dangerous for my spending ban! 

Favourite product: I absolutely adore this L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Polish! Apart from a brief spell of Essie Mint Green last week this colour (Dating Coral) has not left my nails all week. It lasts an impressive 5 days chip free on my nails which is incredible as most polishes chip within hours - I am very clumsy! The best thing is it is £4.99 in Boots and has very slim packaging so is easy to carry around!



Hope you have all had a good week too! 

X

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Super Facialist Una Brennan Masks


A few weeks ago I posted about my two favourite Origins masks, the Clear Improvements and the Drink Up Intensive - see post here. Recently though I have been reaching for theses two affordable Superfacialist masks over my much loved Origins so I thought I would share my reasons why with you.  


Tea Flower Deep Clean Pore Puryifying Mask


This is a deep cleansing mask designed to clear your skin of any dirt, toxins or excessive oil which can lead to congested skin. It contains Salicylic Acid and Dead Sea Mud, which is full of ingredients to detox the skin. The combination of Avocado Oil and Acacia Honey then soothes the skin helping it to rebalance,  leaving you with a very cleansed and refreshed complexion. 

This is quite a thick consistency and much lighter in colour compared to the Origins Clay mask. On application it smells very clean and fresh, almost floral. I love that it needs a minimum of five minutes to work, although I do often leave it much longer, as I do hate those masks which need a good 20 minutes before they dry. 

I have taken a tip from the lovely massure at Liz Earle and now remove these rich cleansing masks with a pre-cleanse oil (although she did recommend the Liz Earle Skine Boost Tonic) and I must say there is a huge difference. I love the how smooth my skin feels afterwards and it definitely helps reduce any blemishes. 


Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask


I think this has to be my favourite over the two, especially in these colder months. I suffer from dehydrated skin, see my post on another saviour for this here, and so this mask is an important part of my skincare routine. It claims it can be used on even the most sensitive skin to boost your moisture levels and radiance. The blend of Vitamin E and Marshmellow extract help to replenish, plump and hydrate the skin whilst the White Willow extract enhances skin cell turnover. 

I absolutely love the creaminess of this product and it feels like applying a thick moisturiser over the skin. It smells faintly of roses but this is not overpowering and does not last during the whole application. It says to leave it on for 5 minutes but I always leave it longer as it feels so soothing and nourishing, I then wash it off with warm water and a muslin cloth. 

The difference is always noticeable, my skin feels so much softer, smother and hydrated after use and my complexion much brighter. I use this a couple of times a week whenever I feel my skin needs that extra little boost.

Reviews have compared this to the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask, however I do think there are noticeable differences. Obviously the amount of time you leave the product on the skin as the Drink Up can be used overnight. The Superfacialist is not as heavy or tacky, instead feeling like a nourishing moisturiser on the skin. However I do think that the outcome and appearance of the skin after use is very similar and if you want to try a more affordable alternative then I couldn't recommend this enough! 

Both these products are £8.99 in Boots, which I think it an absolute bargain and well worth the investment as they will last for ages.

What are your favourite masks?

X

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Evening Skincare Routine: Toners

This is the second step in my evening skincare routine, see the cleansing edition here. Toning is the step I have probably focussed on the most over the last few years. Gone are the days where I thought it just got rid of any remaining makeup and 'tightened' the skin. Goodness knows what I thought that actually meant but thankfully down to my obsession over beauty blogs, I think I finally understand. Toners actually rebalance your skins pH balance, which gets altered after cleansing, far quicker than if left to its own device. However this is not their only use...

Astringent Toner



It is important to use an exfoliating toner as they contain Glycolic acid which helps unblock pores and get rid of the dead skin cells which have accumulated over the day. This gentle exfoliation will also help to smooth and even out your skin tone.  Since using one I can really tell the difference in my complexion and I find it has reduced my breakouts considerably. I tend to only use this type of toner in the evening as I can find them too harsh on my sensitive skin if used twice a day, also I like my sleep so any steps I can miss in the morning I will!

Pixi Glow Tonic is oil-free, alcohol-free and very gentle on the skin but the best thing is that it is £16 and you can now purchase it online! I have been using this for way over a year now, it is so refreshing on your skin and I know I will always have one in my stash. If I want to be a bit gentler then I will use my REN Clarifying Toning Lotion. This is a beautiful skincare item and I often use this in the mornings as well as evenings if I feel my skin is about to play up! I will definitely be repurchasing once it has run out! 


Hydrating Toner


This is a step I used to always miss out but after meeting Caroline Hirons, see post here, she seemed appalled and quickly persuaded me that this is a very important step. She talked about layering your skin and compared it to clothing in winter. You wouldn't go outside in a vest and jacket but you would layer with vest, t-shirt, jumper, scarf etc… It is the same with your skin, you want lots of thin layers of moisture. Adding in this step will bring the moisture to the top layers of your skin, creating an excellent base for the following steps. 

My favourite and quelle surprise the most expensive is the Darphin Integral Toner. I absolutely adore this product and it is one of Caroline's favourites too. You can decant it into a spritzing bottle if you want to use it as a mist or hydrating top up during the day. I just like to use it on a cotton pad morning and evening. It smells incredible, a combination of flowers and vanilla, and unbelievably soothing and refreshing on the skin. 

My second more affordable is the Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner, I have had this in my collection for a while now and I really like it. It has a much thicker consistency, more gel like, than the Darphin product. The smell reminds me of the Johnson's Baby range which I am unsure of but it does leave my skin feeling very hydrated and soothed. 

The combination of these products provide a perfect base for the next step of  my routine, which will be up over the next few days! 


What is your favourite toner? 

X

Monday, 10 March 2014

Evening Skincare Routine: Cleansers


I recently posted about the skincare products I used in the morning, here so I thought it was only fair I uploaded the second half! I do mix it up quite a lot depending on how my skin is feeling but this is what I use most of the time. I know it looks a lot but I have had some of these products for nearly a year now so I think of them as investments. (I love how I just justified this array of products so quickly and easily to myself!) Originally I was going to talk about every step in one post but it is just far too long. Therefore I am going to break it down into stages so you don't all fall asleep before the end! 

Step 1: Removing Makeup 



This is a stage that probably needs updating. I really want to try the Bioderma but I promised myself I would not pick it up until I had finished my Simple eye make up removers and it seems they last forever! I love this cream one, I find it is very nourishing and it even removes the most stubborn of waterproof mascara. For £3.75 in Boots what more could you want? 

If I have been on a night out and I am wearing lots of makeup or I want a really nourishing cleanse then I tend to reach for a pre-cleanse oil. The Dermalogica and Superfacialist being my ones of choice as I find them very nourishing on the skin and they smell divine!  

Cleansing



Cleasning your skin is vital as it removes any dirt, makeup and general pollutants which have accumulated over the day leaving your skin feeling clean and refreshed. I have a range of cleansers so it really does depend on my mood and how my skin is feeling. However, balms have to be my favourite. The Clinque Take The Day Off Balm is great value for money and leaves your skin feeling very clean and hydrated, however it does feel similar to lard on application! The one I reach for most has to be the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Balm. I will definitely be doing a more in-depth post about these balms soon, the Emma Hardie is expensive but well worth it in my opinion. I have lost count of how many I have owned over the years, I think this one was a Boxing Day Sale purchase! 

If I double cleanse or if my skin is feeling congested then I will reach for my REN ClearCalm3 Charcoal Clarifying Clay Cleanser I can't quite put my finger on the smell, sometimes I think there is a faint whiff of bubblegum but that might just be me! I massage this into my skin and leave it for a few minutes before removing it (like all my cleansers) with a warm cloth, normally a Liz Earle as I have so many knocking around! It leaves my skin feeling so clean and soft, I love it! 

Cleansing is one of my favourite steps at night as it makes me feel so clean and relaxed.


What products do you use? 

X


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Weekly Favourites # 11


This has been a stressful week on the job front with reports due in soon and a play performance less than a week away so I was in desperate need of delicious pancakes, thank you Beth, and a fun relaxing weekend. Friday entailed a quiz night at school, which was much more fun than anticipated despite doing terribly! Saturday was spent enjoying the sunshine and in the evening I went for cocktails and pizza at Franco Manca with friends. Today will again be spent enjoying the sunshine and watching the rugby with friends. 

Photographs: Pancake flipping // Lemon & Sugar the only combination on Shrove Tuesday // Homemade Brunch // Birthday Cakes // Franco Manca Pizza - I am obsessed! // My prize from the lovely Becky // Sunshine whilst watching the school cross country. 

Posts this week have included: Travelling // Revlon Bronze Highlighting Palate Review // What would you pack for a weekend away? // Beauty Spending Ban for Lent // Liz Earle Healthy Radiance Facial.

Favourite post: This has to be Anna's amazing video about her Sports Relief Trip to Ghana. It looked incredible and I was so jealous as I watched her whirlwind travels. I also enjoyed Lisa Eldridge's Beautifying Video, I must have watched it five times! 

Favourite product: Now the sun is shining again I have gone back to wanting light natural bases. For me there is only one tinted moisturiser that I adore (although that might be because I haven't tried the NARS offering) and that is the Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser. I absolutely adore the stuff and I am worried it will run out before my spending ban is through. It has lasted me over a year and I wear it most days. Find out more of my thoughts on my first ever blog post here. 


Hope you have all had a good week too! 

X

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Liz Earle Healthy Radiance Facial



For my birthday my boyfriend kindly got me the Liz Earle Healthy Radiance Facial at their Kings Road shop and I was so excited to go! The store is situated in the area of shops by the Saatchi Gallery and my favourite Zara, which is very dangerous. The relaxed atmosphere in the store is perfect for browsing and you are offered some lovely refreshments whilst you wait for your appointment. 

The last massage I had was a deep tissue one in Laos which cost about £2 and resulted in me not being able to move any muscle in my body for about 2 days. The whole ordeal was excruciating so I was a little sceptical at how much I would enjoy an hours massage, luckily this was the polar opposite! Instead you were taken downstairs and show into a lovely little room with a wardrobe for all your clothes. You then undressed and slipped between the super soft and comfy sheets, which were heated, to wait for the masseuse to return. The bed was so comfy and the music so relaxing I was almost asleep before she returned.
My hair was wrapped up away from my face; my make up was removed and then my face, neck and shoulders cleansed with a combination of their Cleanse & Polish and Gentle Face ExfoliatorEach product was gently massaged into the skin and then removed with warm cloths. The whole process was heavenly and I soon relaxed into it.

I then had the Superbalm massaged into my face for what seemed like forever, I think every millimetre of my face was worked on numerous times until it felt incredible. 

She then applied a combination of the Deep Cleansing and Brightening Mask to my face, applied some cooling cotton pads to my eyes and started to massage my neck and shoulders whilst the masks did their magic. The latter is actually a personal favourite of mine and a product I have repurchased recently. This part of the treatment was particularly incredible as recently I have developed a very painful right shoulder, which I think is from carrying my rather heavy Mary Poppins style bag to work and back every day. This sorted any pains I was feeling right out and my muscles felt released from any tension. 

The mask was then removed with their Instant Boost Skin Tonic, (their renowned toner) which apparently is an important tip many people do not know. I find that when removing a mask, especially a clarifying one, can leave my skin feeling very tight until I move onto the next step of my skincare routine. By massaging the tonic into the skin first it eases the mask from the skin without causing any dehydration. Since this visit I have been using my Skin Tonic or pre-cleanse oils to remove masks and the difference is considerable, I would definitely recommend giving it a go! 

The final touch was the Skin Repair Moisturiser in Normal to Combination skin, a favourite of mine. The whole experience lasted an hour, which absolutely flew by! I was expecting to not love it and to constantly be focussing on an itch that would appear on my foot but this was not the case. I think I immediately bought a lottery ticket on departure so that if I won I could have a facial every week! 

Also interestingly the lady only asked two questions when I finished: How often do I exfoliate my skin and do I use an SPF? The former I could hand on heart say I do on a regular basis with my exfoliating toners, Dermaologica Microfoliants and assortment of masks but the latter not so much. It is a huge part of my routine in the spring and summer, but in the grey wintery months I forget. I was then mildly scolded and reminded of how damaging the winter  weather can be to our delicate faces. She said that she just used a Soltan invisible spray which could be used under makeup and was an affordable option compared to the Kiehls SPF I know many bloggers adore. She also went through all the products with me and answered my long list of questions! 

I was then left to get ready at my own pace, which allowed me to take some pictures. Although the dim lighting was not great for this. I was also given a complimentary product of my choice and another muslin cloth to add to my hoard. I went for the Gentle Face Exfoliator as it is a product I have not tried from the brand. 

I thoroughly adored my afternoon of pampering and if you are very stuck for a gift ideas then this is a great option. I wish I could experience this every week as my skin looked incredible for days after and it definitely made me fall back in love with the brand. All Liz Earle products contain natural ingredients and I think they are all quite affordable in comparison to other brands. It also made me run to Boots with my tail between my legs to stock up on SPF to protect my poor skin! 

What is your favourite Liz Earle product? 

X

Friday, 7 March 2014

A Beauty Spending Ban For Lent


After receiving Muji's much raved about storage drawers in a goodie bag the other week I decided to sort out all my makeup, even those items lurking in the dark depths of dusty boxes and unused drawers. I was actually quite shocked at the sheer volume of products I had once loved so desperately  but then forgotten all about. Or the amount of items I have in almost the exact same colour - yes I am looking at you pinky lip crayons!  With summer advancing and all my friends booked to go to Ibiza without me due to lack of money, it got me thinking about how much I deny spending on beauty. I am forever picking up the odd little bit here and there, justifying it somehow to myself but then squirrelling it away so the boyfriend doesn't notice, only proving that deep down I know it is unnecessary! Therefore I promised myself to give up buying anything beauty or fashion related for Lent. Going out and dinner are allowed, but the Daniel Sadler contouring palate I so desperately need is most definitely not (or not until Easter Sunday anyway). I definitely have enough toiletries, skincare and makeup to last me months so there really is no need to  buy anything new. I am slightly worried my favourite Laura Mercier oil free tinted moisturiser will run out on me but that might help me rediscover another amazing base. I have seen on twitter a few other people trailing this so I am asking you for help: if you see my commenting about any new products then please please berate me! My bank balance will thank you even if I do not straight away! I know this is something a little bit different for me but I thought if I put it in writing I wouldn't be able to tell myself after day 5 that I deserve a treat for being so good! 


Is anyone else on a self imposed beauty spending ban? 

X

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

What would you pack for a weekend away?

I adore weekends away, whether it is a fun night out with the girls, exploring a new city or a romantic break with the other half. However, packing for these occasions can be stressful so I thought I would compile some useful advice that I have learnt along the way. 

My top tip would be to really research where you are going so you can pack for the weather and activities. At the start of my travels I arrived in Buenos Aires with a bag of flimsy dresses and bikinis to find out it was 7 degrees. Not my best moment! Really think about the items you want to take whether it is going to lie by a pool or take in the sights of a city you want to be prepared! 

My second tip would be that you don’t need half the things you think you do. Pack light. Samples are perfect for this, I have a ridiculous hoard which I raid before weekends away. See previous post here


When it comes to makeup you need to think carefully, do you have products which could double up or are small? The Revlon Bronze Highlighting palate is perfect for cheeks and eyes, see my review here. Also SPF is an absolute must wherever you are going, your skin will thank you later! This Roche-Posay can also work as a tinted moisturiser and your base. I would recommend paying a visit to Muji as they do fantastic travelling bottles you can decant foundations into if you would prefer a higher coverage. 


You obvious need all the essentials: money, phone, tickets, passport if you are abroad, music and headphones, but something I would not be without would be my camera as you want to remember all the incredible experiences. I love looking back through pictures from weekends away, it always makes me smile reminiscing about the fun I have had! Here are a few of my favourites over the years.
Whitsunday, Australia
Fraser Island, Australia
Angkor Watt, Cambodia 
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile 
Rugby Sevens, Hong Kong

What would you take for a weekend away? 

X


This post was my entry for the #Blog4Trek which is competition held by Trek America to win a two week Westerner2 trip. I have never been to North America and this is such an incredible opportunity, everyone should definitely check it out but quickly as there are only  few days left to enter! 
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