Beauty, Lifestyle

Bloom: Navigating Life & Style

I’ve got to start off by saying that Est√©e LaLonde is one of my favourite bloggers, and has been since the ‘Essie button’ days. I first discovered her Youtube channel through her blog as I thought if I loved reading her posts, odds are I’m going to love her videos¬†as well. I hate to ‘blow my own trumpet’, but I was right.

My favourite kind of videos are Vlogs, I guess that’s just the nosey gal inside of me really showing. Est√©e’s vlogs on her channel Everyday Este√©¬†and I love seeing what she gets up to in London especially with her amazingly beautiful greyhound, Reggie.

When I heard that Est√©e was going to be releasing a book I was so excited! I love reading lifestyle and beauty books but almost felt like Bloom¬†would be even more interesting because obviously I am familiar with the content that she produces and really love her style. I can hands up say that I finished this on Christmas day, which is when I received the book as a gift. The book covers so many areas such as beauty, food and interiors,¬†but the bit I loved the most was the part where Est√©e wrote about her personal experiences and life in general. It just felt so honest and I couldn’t help but become enthralled within her writing. There are so many positive messages about being more understanding and considerate of your own feelings and having more self-love, which are things I struggle with – as I know a lot of us do.

The amazing thing is that you’re able to overcome them, and I just really love how the way that Est√©e did that was by throwing herself in at the deep end and pursuing something that she really enjoyed. It’s hard to be brave and challenge yourself but it’s even harder to look back on things and¬†regret that you never tried!

I absolutely loved Bloom and the message it puts across and would urge you to give it a read! It’s far more than a lifestyle book with the beautiful imagery and pretty coloured pages, it’s a really inspiring and fab read.

Well done Estée!

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L x

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Kylie Cosmetics: Lip Kits

First of all, Happy New Year!
I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas break, and don’t have the January blues just yet.

I wanted to write a post about Kylie Cosmetics, as I received a couple of the lip-kits as Christmas gifts. I had been ooh-ing and ah-ing to whether I should just take the plunge and order a few colours, however, the shipping and potential customs lurking at the end, really put me off.

However, with Christmas nearing and KC offering 20% off everything on the website at the time, I may have dropped a few, not so subtle hints. And so we here we are! Firstly, I asked the person who kindly purchased them for me, about the delivery and customs when they ordered. The website was offering free international delivery (when ordering over $60) and of course there was the additional 20% off, which saved a pretty penny.

However, the order did have additional¬†customs charges, which added ¬£22 to the order and so this isn’t particularly ideal when you’re already paying quite a lot for the product itself. However, I’d just advise anyone that is making an order to be cautious and just know that you are more than likely going to get charged customs when they reach the UK.

I have the shades¬†Pumpkin, Exposed¬†and¬†Merry (a limited edition Christmas shade).¬†I have swatched them all, but I’ve only worn Exposed out and so, I’ll be doing a post about the quality and wear of the lip kits after I’ve given them all a go. From swatching them, they do have quite a strong sweet smell, and this reminds me of the¬†Lime Crime Velvetines which also have the same, sickly scent. It’s not something I’m overly¬†keen on but it doesn’t seem to linger once the product dries so that’s a plus.

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Pumpkin & Exposed 

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Merry 

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L to R: Exposed, Pumpkin, Merry

I am a fan of the ‘lip kit’ idea, as in the liquid lipstick comes with the matching liner. When I swatched all of the colours, the liners were extremely creamy and reminded me of the Mac Pro-longwear¬†pencils, which are a firm favourite of mine. As for the liquid lipsticks themselves, they are quite liquid-y… which sounds like the most stupid thing I could ever say. However, the Kat-Von-D Everlasting Liquid Lips¬†have a sort of mousse-like texture, and so the change in consistency is something I’ll have to get used to.

I am looking forward to trialling all three shades and will update you on what I think of them!

L x

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The Skin Detox

I’d put it out there and say that masks are one of my favourite skincare products. I usually pop on a face mask when I’ve not had a particularly great day, and instead of sitting around sulking about life, I run a bath and decide to give myself a little pamper.¬†I have two masks that I use on rotation which are both really amazing at clearing the skin, and making it feel super clean. They’re both different in terms of consistency and ingredients but both do an amazing job and so I’ll talk you through them!

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The first one that I absolutely love is Lush Cosmetics¬†Mask of Magnaminty.¬†¬†Firstly, I’ll start off by saying that Lush do the most amazing face masks full stop and there’s such a wide range that will cover any skin concerns that you may have, whether it’s dryness or acne. Most of those masks are fresh and so you have to keep them in the fridge and use them up quite quickly, this one however, has a fresh version and a self-preserving version.¬†It’s vegetarian approved, contains peppermint oil to stimulate, marigold oil to nourish and even has little primrose and aduki beans¬†exfoliate when you wash the mask off. It also contains honey,¬†which is antibacterial meaning that it’s a great for tackling those spots that suddenly appear out of nowhere.

After I’ve used it, my skin always looks brighter and feels refreshed. It also doesn’t make my face dry and the exfoliating seeds don’t irritate my skin due to the marigold oil which protects and soothes. I leave it on for about 10-15 minutes and it doesn’t really ‘dry down’ in the way that some other masks do, which indicate when they’re ready to wash off, but 10-15 mins seems to do the trick. To wash the mask off I find that using a warm flannel is the easiest way to do it. I’ve splashed water on my face to wash it off but then all the water drips down my arms, there’s primrose seeds everywhere and frankly, I’ve ended my pamper session feeling pissed off and so¬†I’d stick with the flannel.

It comes in two sizes,¬†125g which is ¬£6.25¬†(This is the size I have and it’s lasted me for ages) and 135g which costs ¬£10.95.¬†It also smells great, minty as the name would suggest.

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Then we have the¬†Clear Improvement¬†Origins mask which is an active charcoal mask with a main focus to clear pores. Bamboo charcoal¬†draws out all the impurities which are clogging your pores (clogging is a horrible word) and clay and Lecithin dissolve all of the bad stuff that’s lurking within. The skin can really easily become congested through wearing make-up and even being outside due to environmental pollutants and so by using this mask and having all of that drawn out, it makes the skin appear brighter. This mask is really powerful and I find that it can be quite drying in certain places such as around my nose and above my eyebrows and for that reason, I usually avoid those areas. I do however, love it for targeting any breakouts that I’m having because it seems to tone down redness and reduce the swelling of already existing spots.

I get a warm flannel, ring it out and then place it over my face for 20 or so seconds to open up the pores. Then, I use a flat, pointed foundation brush to evenly cover the areas I want to and allow 15 minutes for it to dry. This one is very different from the Lush one because you can definitely feel it drying and getting tight on your face, it also means that when someone talks to you whilst you have it on, you seem to do an odd robot voice to avoid moving your lips. Maybe that’s just me. To remove, I again use a warm, wet flannel to gently wash it away and then once it’s all off, I’ll splash my face with cold water to close the pores. I’ll also whack some moisturiser on afterwards so that the skin doesn’t feel too tight.

It comes in a 100ml tube¬†which I much prefer to a tub because it’s easier to apply to your fingers or a brush and then apply. You can get it for¬†¬£24.00¬†which isn’t the cheapest but it does do a fantastic job. I have however, seen that Loreal have brought out a¬†Clay Detox mask¬†which looks really similar and is a fraction of the price. I’ll definitely look into that one because if it’s as good, I’ll grin and bear the tub it comes in because who doesn’t love a bargain.

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Thank you for reading! Those are my favourite two masks for giving my skin a good ol’ detox, what are yours?

L x

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Summer Nails

When it comes to painting my nails, I’m super lazy, especially in the Winter.¬†There’s literally no point in pretending that I’m that¬†girl who always has her nails painted and quite frankly, has their shit together. That’s not me. However, whenever I do have a spare bit of money, I like to get Shellac nails because they last for ages¬†meaning that they’re not an effort to upkeep. The best place I’ve found is¬†Ragdoll Nails¬†up in Leeds and this is where I’ll go when I’m¬†at Uni. Laura is so lovely and such a perfectionist, so my nails always look lovely and neat. However, now I’m home for summer, no-one else really compares and so it’s back to little old me painting my nails again.¬†That being said, I’m a lot better with my nails in Summer and this is because I love wearing brighter and more pastel colours.¬†I also love the amount of colourful shades that¬†Essie¬†&¬†BarryM¬†do, and this is why all my favourite nail polishes are from these two brands. In terms of cost, they’re both affordable with BarryM coming in at ¬£3.99¬†and¬†Essie¬†on the slightly more pricey side at¬†¬£7.99, but still cheaper than O.P.I (¬£12.50).

I would say that my favourite is BarryM and in particular the ‘Gelly Hi-Shine’¬†range because they’re all highly pigmented and really easy to apply. I use 2 coats with any polish but I think you could get away with just the one depending on which finish you prefer. They give such a smooth and glossy look to the nails and also have a gel-like finish and so they last longer than you’re average. I have the shades¬†Rose Hip¬†(a pastel pink),¬†Prickly Pear¬†(A lilac) and¬†Coconut¬†(a creamy white). I also love¬†Eat my Dust¬†(white based pastel blue) which is part of the ‘Speedy Quick Dry’ range. This range has a wider, and more flat brush than all the other polishes making it really easy to coat the whole nail and actually, they really remind me of the Essie brushes. I¬†only use a top-coat with Eat my Dust as I don’t feel that the others particularly need one.

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L to R: Rose Hip, Prickly Pear, Eat my Dust, Coconut

The Essie shades I love are¬†Bikini So Teeny¬†(more of a blue but does have some lilac in there),¬†Tart Deco¬†(a pastel, pinky orange) and¬†Sunday¬†Sunday (a coral pink with hints of gold shimmer). Firstly, how cute are all of those names. I love it when brands really nail (pardon the pun) the shade names and Essie are pro at that. As I said, the brushes on these are quite wide and flat so it’s super easy to just swipe the colour on. The formula of Essie polishes are more variable in my opinion, for example, I love Tart Deco but on me, it chips a bit more easily than the other two and I’m not sure why. It’s still a lovely colour though and looks so pretty and summery and so I’ll forgive and forget.

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L to R: Tart Deco, Sunday Funday, Bikini so Teeny

Those are my favourite colours to sport in the summertime, I hope you enjoyed reading and I’d love to hear any of your recommendations!

L x

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Favourite MAC Lipsticks

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L to R: Diva, Russian Red, Lady Danger, Cherish

When it comes to make-up, I’m definitely a lipstick gal. Lipstick in my opinion, brings any look together and even the more affordable lipsticks don’t compromise on quality or having loads of colour choice (Rimmel ones are amazing). However, I remember buying my first MAC lipstick and instantly knowing why everyone raved on about them so much. Lipsticks are one of the most famous products to come out of MAC and this is because there is literally every shade you could possibly desire and there are 8 finishes to choose from – Matte, Retro-Matte, Cremesheen, Frost, Glaze, Satin, Lustre & Amplified. My favourites are the Matte & Satin as they are really pigmented and are much better in terms of longevity and staying power. For me, this is what I want from a lipstick and especially with the more bold colours such as reds which can be tricky to maintain.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do love a nude lip but I feel that so many brands can nail nude colours and that’s why 3/4 of my favourite MAC colours are brights as I feel they’re really unique.

Diva¬†(Matte) –¬†This one is absolutely perfect for the autumn/winter as it’s quite dark and it looks different on a lot of people. On me, I can definitely see the deep red, almost wine colour but on others a subtle purple/berry shows through which is so pretty. It’s really comfortable on the lips despite being a matte formula and I’ve never used a lipliner (I just bought a NYX¬†one to try out which you can read about¬†here) but it’s never been hard to apply. This would be a good one to try if you’re a bit intimidated by darker shades because it still has that red undertone giving it intensity but not making it really dark like something such as MAC media/sin.

Russian Red¬†(Matte) –¬†This was my first ever MAC lipstick and I decided to go all out and get a red shade because as I said, I feel like other brands do nudes really well and I wanted to try something different. Russian Red is a blue-toned red which when on the lips makes your teeth look so white and overall, it’s just a really vibrant colour. I have seen a lot of people comparing this colour with Ruby Woo (another famous MAC red shade) and saying that they much prefer Russian Red as it’s not as drying. I can confirm, that whilst Ruby Woo is a stunning colour, Russian Red wins hands down for me because although it’s a matte formula, it applies really creamy and doesn’t drag at all. It dries down yes, but never too much¬†that my lips resemble the Sahara desert and no-one has hurled a chapstick in my direction as of yet, all good things. It isn’t as long wearing as perhaps a liquid lipstick would be, I’ve eaten a massive burger whilst wearing it and things did get a little messy but that was my fault to be honest, I just love burgers. It still remains one of my absolute favourites though.

Lady Danger ¬†(Matte) – Another matte, what a surprise. By now you’re probably sick of me rambling on about how creamy and non-drying this formula is, but tough because it’s the same for this one as well! Don’t blame me, blame MAC. Lady Danger is described as a vivid bright coral-red and yep, it’s definitely a bright one. I love orange lipsticks, they look beautiful on every single skin tone and evoke all the summer vibes and so I love wearing this when I’ve gone a bit wild with the bronzer. It stays on for ages and won’t make you look like you’ve just chowed down on a big bowl of spaghetti… which is always good unless you want to look like that, in that case, get that spaghetti down ya.

Cherish¬†– (Satin) –¬†I did say I liked Satins as well! Satins are a bit more creamy than mattes but do give a ‘matte-like’ appearance without being drying. This is described as a soft muted peachy-beige and as you can see from the swatch photo, that pretty much hits the nail on the head. I’m a lover of all things peach and so I always love a peachy undertone in nude lipsticks. This pairs really well with a neutral look on the eyes but also can look just as good with a more golden/bronzed eye look and so it’s very versatile (I’ve loved wearing the¬†Too Faced Sweet Peach palette¬†with this one as well). As a nude, Cherish beats Velvet Teddy for me as it’s just a bit more soft and Velvet Teddy pulls quite dark on me which I do like, but I just¬†find it not as wearable and not as easy to wear with a variety of other make-up looks and so this one has it in the bag.

The MAC lipsticks in tube form are¬†¬£15.50¬†each, which is obviously not the cheapest, but in comparison with other high end brands such as Charlotte Tilbury or YSL, they are cheaper and fall into the middle price range compared with drugstore lipsticks and the higher end examples mentioned. You can also buy a pre-made lipstick palette from MAC which retails at¬†¬£35.00. In the photos I have included the¬†Editorial Reds¬†palette which is actually my mum’s, but I wanted to show you that you can try out¬†6 shades without having to fork out 93 big ones which is what it would cost you to buy 6 tubes of lipstick. In palette form it’s also really easy to transport around and it comes with a variety of shades and finishes. In this palette the shades are Lady Danger (Matte), On Hold (Cremesheen), Russian Red (Matte), MAC Red (Satin), Ruby Woo (Matte) & Dare you (Cremesheen).

I hope that you enjoyed this post & I’d love to know any of your lipstick recommendations!

L x

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Mini Haul: NYX & Benefit

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Going into Boots is dangerous. I honestly only popped in to stock up on some basics (cotton wool etc) and as you may have gathered, I got distracted. I was just browsing through the aisles when I saw¬†a stand that I didn’t remember being there… A giant NYX counter! I¬†have never tried any of their products and¬†so I picked a few to try out! I also nabbed the latest issue of ELLE magazine which comes with a free trial size ‘Goof Proof Brow Pencil’ (part of Benefit’s revamped brow line) and also a voucher for a free eyebrow wax*¬†at the Benefit Brow Bar which can be found in Debenhams stores. (*Book a brow wax and then get a free one on your second visit).

The first thing that caught my attention was the High Definition finishing powder¬†(¬£8), mostly because I had just run out of my bare minerals one that day. I didn’t want to fork out ¬£21 for that one and I have always been impressed with other drug store powders that I’ve previously tried¬†and so this really appealed to me. There are 3 shades – Banana, Mint Green & Translucent. I opted for the Banana shade as I thought this would be a really good colour to set my under eye concealer and brighten up the under eye area. Hopefully I’ll love this one and I will definitely report back on whether it’s a winner. Sticking with face products, I then got drawn to the¬†High Definition Blushers¬†(¬£5.50), I¬†picked up the shade Bitten¬†which is described as a ‘shimmery brick red’ which, I find to be quite an intimidating description. Instead, I think that it’s more of a deep pink with red undertones and some gold shimmer. I’m usually not a fan of glitters in blushers, but thought that with a light hand this would look really pretty on the apples of the cheeks¬†in summer but also¬†pictured it looking amazing with a dark lip on a night out or in the¬†colder months.

In the ‘Eyes’ section, there were so many amazing looking products and I wish I could have thrown them all into my basket. I was torn between two products but in the end picked up the¬†Slide on Eye Pencil¬†(¬£5)¬†in the shade¬†Golden Bronze.¬†I do tend to gravitate towards warm, golden colours as I personally think that these really suit my brown eyes and so when I swatched the tester on my hand, the decision was pretty much made. The actual formula makes me think of this product as more of a crayon than a pencil because it is so smooth and doesn’t tug at the skin like some Kohl pencils¬†do. I thought that paired with a golden eye look (using my Naked palette) this would look amazing smudged along the upper and bottom lash lines to give a really smoky and bronzed effect. I can’t wait to try this out with a tan as I think it will look beautiful.

Something that really surprised me was the sheer amount of lip products that NYX has to offer. Having never seen the products displayed before it was really amazing to see all the different products with different finishes and colours. I picked up the¬†Soft Matte lip cream¬†(¬£5.50) in the shade ‘Cannes’ which is a really lovely muted mauve colour and I think that it will go with a lot of make-up looks because it is quite neutral. I did also want to try out the shades ‘Stockholm’, ‘Rome’ and ‘Budapest’ but these were sold out and so I’ll have to keep visiting to see if they come back in stock *that’s my excuse anyway*. Finally, I decided to pick up one of their¬†Lip Pencil’s¬†and I picked up the shade ‘Dark Red’. Looking back, it would have probably been more useful to get a nude shade so that I could test it out for everyday wear and maybe even with the lip cream but oh well, I do love a dark lip. This looked like it would be similar in colour to MAC Diva,¬†which is one of my favourite darker lipsticks. I don’t have anything to line my lips when I use¬†that and so I hope it matches!

The ELLE magazine that the Benefit Goof Proof pencil comes with is unfortunately packaged in a pink plastic cover and so you can’t try and pick the shade of the eyebrow pencil as you can’t see it. However, I managed to somehow pick up shade 2 which is in the light category and so I will be able to try it out¬†and not look like the baby from the Simpsons, amazing. My go-to brow product is usually the Brow Wiz in Taupe which is more cool toned than this one but I’ll definitely give it a whirl and see how I like it!

Also, just a little hint that¬†ASOS¬†sell NYX & Benefit products (including the brow range) and if you’re a student you can use your NUS/Unidays code to get 10% off, which is a nifty thing to know!

L x

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The Miracle Base: NARS Sheer Glow

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Finding the right foundation can feel really daunting and overwhelming, especially when first starting out with make-up. I’m not entirely sure what my¬†first foundation was but I’m pretty convinced it was Dream Matte Mousse and I can tell you now, I went TO TOWN with plastering that all over my face… in the wrong colour obviously. I viewed foundation as the way to cover absolutely everything in a way that made me look like I was actually wearing a mask. It covered everything, but didn’t look smooth or natural and you couldn’t see any of my actual skin through it which is a shame! There’s a difference between full coverage foundations (which I still love) and slapping so much product on that¬†it just looks a bit odd.

Experimenting is all part of it. I’ve tried loads of foundations but finally feel like¬†I’ve found the perfect one for everyday¬†– NARS Sheer Glow. Initially, I thought that it wouldn’t be my kind of foundation, as the name suggests it would be ‘sheer’ and the ‘glow’ made me picture a really dewy finish. It is however, referring to a sheer glow that it gives the skin and so it doesn’t compromise on its coverage.

Sheer Glow is a medium coverage foundation but it could be built up to a full coverage as it feels light on the skin but has really high pigmentation. This is also really beneficial as it means that you don’t need to use as much product and so the bottle lasts me for absolutely ages, plus, saving product means saving money which is fine by me.¬†I would say that it has a Satin finish¬†which I prefer over a completely matte one (as this can look really flat) or a really dewy one (which can look quite oily and not have as much staying power).¬†I apply it with either the¬†Real Techniques expert face brush¬†which is good for blending the product in whilst still giving a really good coverage, or I’ll use a damp¬†Beauty Blender/Real Techniques¬†sponge which gives a more natural coverage and then just apply concealer to any¬†areas that need some extra attention.

There is one negative of this foundation… it doesn’t come with a pump¬†and so you have to buy one separately¬†at an extra ¬£3¬†(annoying when you’ve already forked out¬†¬£31). You can¬†use the foundation without a pump but this means having to pour it out onto your hand which can mean that you waste a lot and also want to cry when it comes¬†flying out at the speed of light onto your cream carpet *eye twitches*. For me, I just think it’s weird that a ‘high-end’ foundation doesn’t¬†come with a pump included when you’re paying a premium price, sort it out NARS, you little sneaks.

Overall though, I do love this foundation and feel that it’s perfect for everyday wear. The high pigmentation means that you don’t need to use as much and so even though I’m wearing it everyday (that I wear make-up) it lasts me a really long time.

What is your miracle base product?

L x

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