Tuesday, 25 June 2013

River Island Summer Wishlist

A bit of a different post today! I haven't posted anything fashion related in a while and it's  been a fair few months since I made a wishlist, so I thought why not combine 
the two.

River Island has always been one of my favourite high street stores. It's one of those shops that always has something for me.  If I need a dress for a special occasion, a new pair of skinnys or a particular pair of sunglasses, River Island always seems to have exactly what I need. They're affordable, everything's super on trend and the quality's brilliant. I'm sure you know all this, so I won't ramble about it any longer! I've recently seen LOTS of fabulous new pieces on their website and I thought instead of doing a bog standard wishlist, I'd try something a bit different. So I've created some little look books below, showing you how I'd put the items together as outfits along with accessories too :) I hope you enjoy it and maybe it'll even give you some outfit ideas!  

Cocktails With The Girls

  Dinner Date

 Shopping & Lunch

 Saturday Night Party

 Night Out

Have you got your eye on anything from RI? And please let me know which is your favourite outfit :) I want them all!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Summer Nail Polish Picks

It's seriously difficult writing a post all about summer polishes when it's currently raining outside and I've got the heating on. In June. Ridiculous! But never mind, we'll power on in the hope that these nail polishes will at least get you feeling summery :) 

China Glaze 'Mimosas Before Manis'
Models Own 'Bubblegum Pink'
Barry M Gelly 'Lychee'
Barry M Gelly 'Prickley Pear'
Maybelline Color Show 'Go Go Green'
Lately I've been loving me some neon! Whether it be in the form of clothing, a statement necklace or in this case a nail polish. Model's Own Bubblegum Pink from their neon range has my name written all over it. It's an almost coral toned pink but its super bright and opaque after 2 coats! I recently wore this on my toes on a night out and it really stood out. I'd love to try more from their neon range. This one's definitely my ultimate favourite for the summer.

I couldn't have written this post without including a couple of favourites from the Barry M Gelly range! They've been hugely popular, no doubt due to their affordable price and excellent quality, I've spoken before about my love for Barry M and they're definitely the king of high street nail polishes :) I love their Gelly range, particularly Lychee (a true nude) and Prickley Pear (a pastel lilac) as they give a really shiny finish with no need for a top coat. Here's a photo of me wearing Lychee with some fun holographic glitter.

I'm obsessed with lime green at the moment which is odd because I used to hate it! But I've seen alot of lime green nails on YouTube and Pinterest in recent months and it's perfect for summer. This Maybelline polish in Go Go Green is more of a subtle lime than a neon but I love it! A couple of months ago I paired it with the Prickley Pear Barry M polish when I had my almond shaped acrylics on and I loved having such a fun combo. 

Last but not least, the only China Glaze polish I own! Mimosas Before Manis is a coral creme with an iridescent finish and it's seriously gorgeous. I love the shimmery look to it and coral's always a winner for the warmer months :) 

Let me know what polishes you're loving for this season!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

My Skincare Tips & Routine - Part 2

If you haven't seen Part 1 of my Skincare Tips & Routine then have a look here. 

In Part 1 I talked about some important factors when it comes to choosing the right skincare products and I also showed you the products I use in the morning, so lets jump straight into my evening routine :) 

If you'd like more information on any of the products mentioned or you want to purchase them, then just click on the name of the product and it'll take you to the applicable website.

In the evening I need a cleanser that's going to remove all my makeup and also clean my face ready to apply other products. As I mentioned in part 1, I really like to use natural products if I can and La Roche Posay are such a lovely, natural brand with really gentle yet effective products. This cleanser has no parabens or other nasty chemicals and it doesn't have a scent either which appeals to me. This is excellent for makeup removal and it doesn't dry my skin out at all. I use a seperate makeup remover for my eyes, then I wet my face, massage this into my skin and rinse off which gets rid of the majority of my makeup. I then repeat that step again to ensure my face is really clean. I can't stress enough how important it is to use a cleanser every night. Makeup wipes just aren't going to do the job! They will only remove the makeup on the surface of your skin whereas a cleanser will clean your pores and get rid of hidden dirt. 

Another natural product with no nasty ingredients. This toner spray smells of tea tree which I really like and acts as the final step in cleaning my skin. I spray some onto a cotton pad and concentrate on the areas where I'm prone to break outs. If you suffer with spots then give tea tree products a go as they're great for killing bacteria and helping to clear your skin.

Time for a bit of anti ageing! I mentioned Green People in part 1 and I really love this brand. They pride themselves on their natural, vegan products and I definitely recommend checking out their website. I found this serum on Feel Unique when I was looking for an anti ageing serum and I didn't hesitate when I came across this one! It contains organic chamomile, rose geranium and seaweed and it's suitable for all skin types which is great. I love that it not only firms my skin but it hydrates too, giving me some much needed moisture in the evening. This can be used in the day time too as a base for your makeup but I personally want extra hydration and goodness through the night when my skin repairs itself. 

I actually apply my Estée Lauder eye cream before this lotion but as I talked about it in part 1 I'll skip it :) 

Avene's Cleanance range is predominantly for oily skin and as I've mentioned before I'm normal - combination so at first glance it doesn't seem appropriate for me. This said, I can get quite an oily t zone towards the end of the day and I like to prevent that area becoming even more oily and therefore stopping break outs, that's where this moisturiser comes in handy. Avene products are aimed at those with sensitive or irritable skin, so you know you're getting really gentle products which is great. I apply this to oily areas and it sinks in really quickly, has no scent and controls oil. Sometimes I'll apply this to my whole face if I feel I need it, but otherwise I'll apply my Embryolisse cream to my dryer areas which you can read about in part 1. 

I use this to deal with both break outs and blocked pores. 
I have blocked pores on my cheeks which drive me mad! If you suffer with them too then you'll know they're really difficult to get rid of. 
I started using Effaclar Duo a few months ago and I couldn't believe it when I applied it to a few spots I had, then woke up the next morning to see that they had almost completely cleared up! I was totally amazed and began using a small amount on my blocked pores. I've definitely noticed an improvement and I'll persist with it as they're by no means completely gone. However I still love this for breakouts though I only use a very small amount as it's strong stuff so if I use too much it can sting. 

So that's it for evening products! You may have noticed that I don't use any kind of face scrub or exfoliater and this is simply because I don't really like them. I find they can be quite harsh on my skin and I just don't really enjoy using them, however it's really important that you do exfoliate your face in some capacity to remove dead skin and keep your face healthy and glowing. So with this in mind, I get my exfoliating fix in the form of a microdermabrasion mask which I use once a week. At the moment I'm using Darren Mckeown Tri Mineral Mask which I love. If you aren't familiar with microdermabrasion, it's basically a fancy word for exfoliater and this mask contains 3 minerals, magnesium, copper and zinc. You can read a more in depth description by clicking here. I apply the mask which contains lots of tiny grains, leave it on for about 15 minutes (you don't want to leave it on too long or it can be too harsh on your skin), I gently rub in the little particles and wash it off. My skin really does glow after I've used this and it feels super soft! I actually bought this from Superdrug when it was on offer (I think I paid about £8 for it) but it retails at £21.99. I couldn't find a link to buy it and Superdrug don't seem to stock it anymore but it is available on eBay.

I hoped you enjoyed reading all about the skincare products I use and although I'm certainly no skin care expert, I'd be happy to try and help with any questions you have :) 

Thursday, 6 June 2013

My Skincare Tips & Routine - Part 1

I'm a skin care fanatic! I never thought anything could top my love for makeup but over the past few years I've become obsessed with skin care.

When I turned 25 a year ago I seriously upped my game when it came to looking after my skin. I've discovered that the most important thing to consider is what will work for your skin, not your best friend's skin, your mum's skin or Victoria Beckham's skin, it really is an individual thing. Buying a £50 miracle moisturiser that Mrs Beckham swears by, may result in a total waste of money if it isn't compatible with you. For a start she has acne prone skin so if your skin's dry it's going to have the complete opposite effect on you... You get the idea :)

So firstly and most importantly, determine your skin type! This is crucial to maintaining healthy skin. At the moment my skin is normal - combination. Which means for the most part my skin isn't overly oily or overly dry but I can become oily in my T zone towards the end of the day. I'm also prone to break outs on my chin and forehead. This isn't the case all year round, I develop dry patches in the winter so I tend to change my routine as the weather becomes colder and harsher on my skin. You can determine your skin type by taking this quiz.

The second thing to think about when choosing your skin care products is how sensitive your skin is. My body is much more sensitive than my face, I have to use extremely gentle products on my legs and arms otherwise my skin becomes itchy and I end up with dry patches and redness, but my face is slightly more tolerable. This said, I still try to stay away from harsh chemicals or parabens and as a personal preference I don't like heavily perfumed products on my face, in fact I'd much prefer to use things with no scent at all. To be honest, natural products are going to be better for any type of skin so whether you're sensitive or not I'd suggest sticking to products with the least amount of ingredients to try and prevent adverse reactions.

In all honesty it's all about trial and error! You just need to try new things and see what works for your skin, but do make sure you give yourself a decent amount of time to try a product. It can take 3 months for a product to start giving you the results you want so don't lose hope if your new cleanser isn't making a difference after a week, persistence is key. Also, don't freak out if you have sudden break outs when you begin using something new, as long as your face isn't having a painful or harsh reaction, normal breakouts can be par for the course, it's what's known as purging and normally your skin will clear up after a couple of weeks. Think 'getting worse before it gets better'.

I could ramble on and on about this subject! I really am fascinated with skincare and I love learning about the science behind it, but to save boring you I'll list my key points below and then I'll tell you about my morning skin routine (I'll be writing another post on my evening routine as this will be way too long if I include it all!)

Important things to remember when it comes to skin care

- Determine your skin type & choose products suited to your skin.
- Try to keep it natural, check the ingredients and avoid parabens or other harsh chemicals to be on the safe side.
- Persist for 3 months when trying out a new product, even if you have a breakout!
- Start incorporating anti-ageing products in your early to mid 20s, the earlier 
the better.
- Always wear spf! This is so important. You should protect your face all year round, as the sun is the biggest cause of ageing.
- Don't use makeup wipes as the only method of cleansing your face. They only remove makeup from the skin's surface, leaving your pores blocked. If you want to use them then use an exfoliater or cleanser as well.

Now onto my skin care routine!

I have a slightly different way of doing things in the morning and the evening. Everything I use and when I use it is a result of numerous trial and error scenarios over the years. I'm finally happy with my morning routine but I will say that what works for me, may not work for you. Even if you have a similar skin type to me, you may not see the same results so just a little disclaimer there :) you can read a thorough description on each product by clicking the product's name. 

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser

I like to use something gentle to cleanse my face in the morning. Mainly because I don't want to irritate my skin before applying makeup for the day and this is a simple, gentle gel cleanser. It doesn't lather, so if you prefer that then this might not be for you, but it has no scent and it cleans away any excess oil or dirt (yuck) that's accumulated over night. I love this because unlike a lot of cleansers, it doesn't dry out my skin. I like to have a bit of moisture there before I apply any other products.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

I use this as a toner in the morning, it has a gorgeous menthol scent and it really wakes my skin up. I spray it on my face to refresh my skin before moisturising. I actually got this in a beauty box but I'd like to purchase the full size when this runs out.

Estée Lauder Advance Night Repair Eye

A bit of a cult product, this is loved by women of all skin types and it really is an amazing eye cream. This is the only ant- ageing product I use in the morning (I focus on anti-ageing at night), but I use this twice a day and apply a tiny amount under my eye by patting it gently into my skin. This is super pricey at £37 per 15ml but I got this as a Christmas present and I still have over half left 5 months later! So a full jar will probably last the best part of a year. It smooths the skin under my eyes and prevents lines which are my biggest fear!

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre

If I could marry this cream and have lots of babies with it I would (slightly weird!) but seriously I'm in love with this and I'll continue to use it all year round forever and ever! Or until something even better comes along :) it's a total cult product, makeup artists all over the world swear by it as the perfect base for makeup and I completely agree. I use this as my moisturiser and it applies beautifully and sinks into the skin quickly, which is important in the morning as I don't have time to wait for half an hour before putting on my foundation. It provides the right amount of hydration and it preps my skin so well I don't need to use a primer. This wonder product is for all skin types and it's reasonably priced at £18.50 so I recommend this to everyone!

Green People's Sun Lotion spf15

I normally use a foundation with spf in it, I like to go with something like spf25 or 30 on my face. But if, for some reason I'm going without foundation or I'm going to be sitting in the sun etc then I'll use a standard spf product like Green People's Sun Lotion. This is only an spf15 and admittedly it's meant as a sun lotion for the body, but I like to use it on my face because it's not overly greasy (it sinks in quickly) and yet it provides the protection I need plus it's scent free!

So there you have it, not that many products really but I don't like to overload my face with too many things in the day time, I save that for the evening. If you want to see what products I use before bed time then check back next week for Part 2 :)

I'm certainly no skin care expert, but if you have any questions then leave them in the comments and ill try my best to help you out!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Maybelline Colour Tattoos in Metallic Pomegranate & Eternal Gold

If you aren't aware of Maybelline's Colour Tattoo range then here's a quick run down. They're cream eyeshadows essentially used as a base before applying your powder eyeshadow. It's really important to apply a cream base or some kind of eye primer 
for 2 reasons.
1. Your eyeshadow will have tons more staying power.
2. The colours will be much more vibrant.

Maybelline released these a while ago and if you've read my recent favourites post here, then you'll know I've been loving the shade Pink Gold. Well a few days ago I decided to take advantage of a 'buy one get one half price' offer in Boots on all Maybelline products (if you're lusting after any Maybelline goodies then head on over there and stock up while the offer's on!) I picked up Metallic Pomegranate & Eternal Gold simply because they're such pretty colours! I was drawn to the more neutral bronze shades at first but I decided to go with something a bit out of the norm. 

Metallic Pomegranate

Eternal Gold

I love these cream shadows because they don't crease, they have great staying power and there's a really good variety of shades to choose from. Have a look at the Boots website here to see the full shade range.

Unlike the high end alternatives, these are really affordable at £4.99 each and they're definitely going to last you a long time, dependent on how often you use them of course.

I'm off out next weekend for a friend's birthday and in typical beauty junkie style I'm already planning my makeup :) I know I want to do quite a bronzed look with gold smokey eyes so Eternal Gold will make a great base. I'm also thinking of pairing Metallic Pomegranate with my Estée Lauder Raisins palette to create a burgundy look when the occasion arises.

Have you tried any of the Colour Tattoos? Or even a high end alternative? I'd love to hear your thoughts!