Saturday, 24 October 2015

Haul Week: Sephora Shopping in Nice, France

Whenever I'm in a city that has a Sephora, at least one trip is always going to happen! The things I look at most tend to be Sephora own brand products and in this case, I was looking forward to seeing Marc Jacobs. I've already dabbled with the brand through ordering from however it's always good to see things in real life!

Speaking of Mr Jacobs, a few of the things I had in mind were his nude lipsticks and a lipliner. I'd had the (P)Outliner Longwear Lip Pencil in shade Honey(bun) 302 in my online basket for a while as I thought it looked like a gorgeous colour but the closer it got to my honeymoon, I decided to leave it for that trip. Whilst waiting, I happened to see it on Expat Make Up Addict and when I saw that she loved it, I knew I'd definitely buy it!

I love the sleek black packaging of a Marc Jacobs makeup item however the special nude packaging on the New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel lipsticks is particularly lust-worthy. The shade Strange Magic, a light pink nude, seemed to stand out most so I bought that. I haven't got a clue if it's going to suit me or not but at least I can finally try it since I've taken the photos now!

I'm noticing a nude theme with my haul this time around. I did try to go with products I'd definitely use as I can get a bit carried away with buying random stuff in Sephora because it's rare that I get to visit one! The Sephora It Palette in Delicate Nude is full of my ideal, easy-to-wear daytime shades, half mattes and half shimmers. I'm not particularly keen on the faux snakeskin packaging but I can look past that. The palette also comes with a very handy double-ended brush and a full size shimmery brown eyeliner. The best thing about this palette is that it's very light toned so all of the shades will be suited to my pale skin tone.

Three of the Sephora lip formulations have been tempting me on their site so I went with nude options in those so I will definitely make use of them! First up, I went with one of their Lip Liner to Go in 16 Nude Beige. I like that it's a mini size as there's no way I'll use a full one.

Everyone raves about the Cream Lip Stain, especially in the red shade, so I decided to try 06 Pink Souffle, a gorgeous cool-toned, mid-pink shade. Let's hope they are as good as everyone says!

Finally, the Oil Infusion formula interested me as I thought it might be a cheaper alternative to something like the YSL Volupte Tint-in-Oil Lip Tints. I chose the shade 09 Iced Coffee. I'll definitely have to report back on these products as I haven't really seen much of the nude offerings online.

I bought a few of the Sephora Formula X nail polishes last year in Barcelona so thought I'd try another one. I decided to get something a bit special and selected the glittery, lilac shade Glitter Rocket. The glitter looks really fine in this so I'm hoping it won't be tough to remove!

Excitingly, in this Sephora they had what would be similar to the aisle of doom, as those who shop in the American Sephoras would call it. All of those cute mini sized products near the tills. They haven't had as much of a selection on my visits to other Sephoras so my eyes lit up in this one! I found this super cute little set called Too Faced Happily Ever Lasting Lip & Cheek Duo (link to a bigger but similar set) containing minis of their Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick and Love Flush Blush. I've been wanting to try their new blushes as the packaging reminds me of Polly Pockets so I was glad to see this great value set.

I love to buy the Sephora Eau de Toilettes as they have so many fun scents and the bottle is perfect for carrying in your handbag. This time I chose the Chocolate fragrance and it smells delicious.

There were loads of cute little Sephora Sleeping Mask pods with all different skin benefits and I liked the sound of the Pearl one for perfecting and brightening so added that to my basket.

I quite like a nice scented cleansing gel and thought the Merci Handy Black Vanilla one sounded great so I picked that up for my handbag or desk at work.

For some reason I've really been wanting a longer fluffy eyeshadow blending brush recently so when I spotted one in Sephora's brush line I bought that. It's called the Crease Shadow 73. I've got their Pro Airbrush Concealer brush and find that to be really good so I've got high hopes for this one.

Finally, I saw some cute mini, pink Tweezerman tweezers and I've always wanted some so I decided to treat myself. It sounds a bit weird classing tweezers as a treat, doesn't it?!

Oh, and Sephora like to throw in some samples with your purchases so I got these lovely bits and a male fragrance that I gave to my husband. Still feels weird saying the word husband...

One of these days I will actually make it to an American Sephora but as you can imagine, I'm going to need A LOT of money for that trip!

Have you tried any of these products before?

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Haul Week: French Pharmacy Purchases

I went to Nice on my honeymoon last month so it was inevitable that I'd end up looking in a few pharmacies while I was there. I tried not to go too wild and just picked up things that I would definitely use and didn't just buy things for the sake of it because they were cheaper than the UK!

It's been about 3 years since I tried the original Bioderma but I've stuck to using various drugstore Micellar waters ever since so I decided to buy the Bioderma Hydrabio Micelle Solution as it's for dehydrated skin and thought it would be interesting to see if I like it better than my current Garnier one. I knew my Vichy toner was starting to run low so I picked up the Hydrabio Moisturising Toning Lotion to try next. I like a nice, simple toner for days when I'm not using an acid based toner.

I mentioned my love for a Caudalie serum in a recent post so when I saw a night-time oil in the Caudalie section, I really fancied trying it. It's the Overnight Recovery Oil for dry skin and it sounds like a nice way to add some hydration to my skin over the winter.

I love a good cleansing balm and the Nuxe Melting Cleansing Gel sounded like that kind of thing for a very reasonable price so I bought that to try out. It's an added bonus that it's made from rose petals!

Finally, an old school favourite. A few years ago the Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm was my favourite lip balm for healing sore, chapped lips. More recently, I'm obsessed with the By Terry Baume de Rose and I totally notice a difference when I don't use it, but for old times' sake, I thought I'd pick up another Reve de Miel as I think it will be good to alternate with the By Terry.

Do you use any French Pharmacy brands in your skincare regime?

Monday, 19 October 2015

Haul Week: Charlotte Tilbury Fenwick Newcastle Haul plus Giveaway!!

Yes that's correct, haul week! I've had some carrier bags of new stuff building up in my beauty room so I decided it was time to get it all photographed so I can actually start using everything! First up is my Charlotte Tilbury haul!

Charlotte Tilbury has finally arrived in Newcastle! It's super exciting and I no longer have to place random Selfridges orders to get my hands on some of her goodies. As part of the launch into Fenwick Newcastle, I was supposed to visit the counter for a makeover but I got ill for the first time in about two years (which I'm putting down to how much junk food I've been consuming since my wedding. 15lb gain. I'll leave it there...) so I couldn't make it. I was so gutted about this considering Charlotte Tilbury has become one of my favourite makeup brands. To cheer myself up I headed to the counter a few days later once I felt better and had a massive swatching session, and of course, massive splurge!

Charlotte's new Magic Foundation has been five years in the making and after seeing a lot of reviews on it, I was desperate to try it myself! I actually managed to get myself a sample of the foundation from Charlotte's facebook page and tried it the day after I bought the full size. I'm shade 1, obviously, and it's such a lightweight foundation for one that gives such amazing, buildable coverage. I find it gives a natural, non-dewy but not too matte finish. It's great at lightening my dark circles as well as covering redness and blemishes.

I hadn't tried any of the skincare before and the product I was most excited to try is the Goddess Skin Clay Mask. It's supposed to give all of the cleansing benefits of a clay mask whilst leaving the skin super soft. That sounds amazing as I hate the stripped feeling I normally get after using a clay mask.

I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to buy it but I finally bought the Filmstar Bronze & Glow. It's one of the most raved about products from Charlotte Tilbury but it's also quite expensive for just one item so I guess that's what put me off a little. Once I saw it on counter, I didn't hesitate to buy it as it's just as beautiful as I thought it would be.

I hadn't tried any of the Colour Chameleons yet so I decided to pick two of those. I went with Charlotte's expert advice and chose the day and night versions for green eyes. The Bronzed Garnet and Amethyst Aphrodisiac colours are a little out of my comfort zone but I think they are perfect Autumn shades so it's time to get experimenting.

Speaking of Autumn shades, I was very intrigued by The Vintage Vamp look as it's shown on a pale skinned model on the photographs so I could kind of picture how it might look on me and I decided to give it the eyeshadow palette a go. I am tempted to go back for the dark lip colours too. I love these eyeshadow quads as they are high quality and you are given instructions on what shades to use where, if you need help with that sort of thing!

I love Charlotte's Lip Lustres so picked up a gorgeous everyday pink shade called Portobello Girl and the sparkly nude, Ibiza Nights. I find the glosses to be amazing by themselves as well as over a lipstick.

My last purchase was a bit of a fail. I decided I wanted a new blush and swatched a gorgeous glowy pink shade of the Cheek to Chic called Love Glow that I loved, so I bought it. When I got home, I realised I actually already owned that one, silly me! So, this has now worked in your favour...I've decided to run a giveaway to allow one of my lovely readers to win this! Check out the rafflecopter widget at the bottom of the post to enter.

I asked the lovely sales assistant for a sample of Magic Cream as I've been interested in trying it for ages and as well as getting this generous sample, she also gave me sachets of the Multi Miracle Glow and K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick. I love being able to get samples on a makeup/skincare counter.

I left the Charlotte Tilbury counter feeling very happy with all of my purchases and now that I've photographed them, I can't wait to start using them!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Recent Makeup Essentials

In my recent blog posts, I've been filling you all in with the products I've been reaching for recently during my long blogging break. Today I bring to you my recent makeup essentials, the last in this 'catch up' series before I start on new stuff (unless I post any wedding day/honeymoon stuff)!

My go-to daytime look is pretty much always a one colour wash of eyeshadow over the eye and I've found the YSL Couture Variation Palette in NU to be perfect for this job. The eyeshadows are surprisingly pigmented compared to my previous experience with YSL and they feel so creamy and soft. A lot of these shades are beautifully sheeny and look extremely flattering and pretty on the eye. I wore three of these shades for my wedding day makeup as I love it that much. Even the double-ended brush that comes with the palette is good!

Another eyeshadow that I used every day for months in the summer is the MAC Paint Pot in Painterly. I use this one as a base for other eyeshadows because it is the perfect shade to go under any eyeshadow. It really helps to make my eyeshadow more long lasting and even helps it to apply more evenly. More recently, I've gotten into wearing Bare Study as an alternative to this one when I'm wearing a similar shade of eyeshadow.

I discovered the Laura Mercier Secret Concealer back at a Fenwick event in May and fell in love with it. It's a creamy pot of high coverage concealer for the under-eye area that does an amazing job at cancelling out dark circles. This was my every day essential for months however I have been trying other things more recently and I am starting to think this was slightly too dark in shade 1 so I think I would try the next shade down in the future.

Next, I thought I'd show you something bright and wonderful! This is the Bobbi Brown Calypso Cheek Palette (unfortunately can't find this colour combination in stock online but there's a pretty pink one here). I lusted after this for months before caving in and buying it. It's just the most beautiful selection of bright coral shades. The two outer shades are more on the matte/satin side and the middle is a super shimmery highlight shade. Although, on my skin tone it's more of an illuminating blush as it's a bit dark to use as a highlight. These blushes add a lovely pop of colour on the skin to really brighten up the complexion. If you're looking for something similar at a cheaper price, I really recommend looking at the Sleek Blush by 3 palettes as I'm sure I've had a similar palette from them before.

Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish in Fair is now my favourite and only face powder. I've hit pan on it now (the photos are old) which very rarely happens since I'm always buying and trying something new! I love that the colour matches my skin tone and it's really finely milled so doesn't look cakey on the skin. The rose gold packaging is also very beautiful.

My first and only makeup purchase from Guerlain was a little treat I picked up with my birthday money. It's the Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder in Blondes 02 and I was drawn to this because of the mix of light shaded browns, shimmering brown and light pink. Also the tortoiseshell packaging is also incredibly luxe! I love the slight bronzy glow this adds to my face without looking muddy or too over the top. I wore it quite a bit during the summer. This is available in 4 different shades so there should be one for most skin tones.

I often find that MAC foundations can be slightly too dark on me however I've really been loving the Studio Sculpt in NC15. It has buildable coverage and works well with my dry skin.

The Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara was an amazing discovery as it's really inexpensive but it's one of the best mascaras I've ever tried. It adds volume, length and a curl to create dramatic lashes. The brush reminds me of the Benefit Roller Lash mascara and gives a similar effect so I'd definitely try the Maybelline one if you're a fan of that, or if you don't want to pay Benefit's prices! I love this so much that I even bought the waterproof version for my wedding day. Slightly disappointed with that though so I'd recommend sticking to the non-waterproof version!

I found a fab, easy-to-apply eyebrow product in MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set. It has a tiny brush to make application neat and tidy and they have six different shades. I found the Emphatically Blonde shade to be a fairly good match for my eyebrow colour however I'll be honest and say that I've found a better product recently - the Urban Decay Brow Tamer in Taupe!

I think I'm on my fourth tube of the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly now. It's my must-have concealer for covering redness and spots perfectly without looking cakey. It blends into the skin so well and the shade range is fab. I also find this concealer to be great for the under-eye area too so it's a great all rounder. I'll always need some of this in my collection!

Rimmel extended their Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick range with five nudes this year and I only really liked shade 45 for my skin tone as it's more of a blue-toned, pink-nude compared to the warmer shades in the range. This has really got me into wearing nude lipsticks now though! This is great as the shade flatters my skin tone and it is creamy enough to apply smoothly but not wear off too soon! I love the nude coloured packaging for this range too.

The Topshop Nude Eye Contour in Bare was such a great find from Topshop. It's a cool bronze shade with small flecks of gold shimmer that goes so well with my pale skin and I love it so much! It's quite a hard consistency but applies easily to the eyelid using my fingertip. You have a little bit of time for blending then it sets and lasts all day. Seriously, it's my most long lasting cream eyeshadow, possibly even any eyeshadow, of all time!

The final product I've been getting a lot of use out of is the NARS Multiple in Copacabana. I'd wanted this for years before I actually bought it. It's a gorgeous, cool toned, shimmery, light bronzy shade that looks great used as a highlighter. It's so pretty and the stick format makes it really easy to apply. I've since bought the liquid version!

I'm feeling really positive after sharing my love on all of my essential makeup products from over the summer! 
What are your current makeup essentials?

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Recent Fragrance Favourites

These photos are quite old now so I've actually used a lot more than shown but I wanted to share with you some of the fragrances I've been loving over the summer. If you love quite sweet/floral scents, these might be some to check out.

I received the Marc Jacobs Daily Eau So Fresh fragrance for my birthday back in July and it's a very me fragrance. I typically like sweet, floral scents and this ticks both boxes. I really like the Marc Jacobs bottles too, they are always really stylish and one to display in prime position on the dressing table.

I bought the Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Teazzurra fragrance with my birthday money. I'm not gonna lie, I was totally drawn to the packaging with this one. It looks so luxurious! It's a good job this one smells good because I needed it! I find this fragrance to be quite unique. It's very fresh with a slight sweetness to it. It's definitely one to try if you see it in store as I don't know about you, but I wouldn't normally go to the Guerlain counter in search of a fragrance so I'm glad I spotted it randomly!

The Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess fragrance is released every summer in varying formulas and packaging and every year I'm always tempted. It's the most gorgeous coconutty, holiday in a bottle fragrance. This year I finally indulged and bought the 2015 Eau Fraiche version. I love this year's ombre and gold packaging.

Which fragrances have you been loving over the last few months?

Monday, 12 October 2015

Nude Blush Lovin'

As much as I love a good pink or peachy cheek, I've recently got into a nude cheek. Is there such a thing as 'your cheeks but better'? Haha, probably not! Anyway, I find it really works well for those days where you might have a strong colour on your eyes or lips and you aren't sure what cheek colour would go with it. The nude cheek seems to go with everything and gives your face a bit of shape without drawing attention to that area. This post is dedicated to showing you my favourite products from the nude blush category.

First up, I thought I'd dive straight in with my favourite and it's the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in First Love. It's a gorgeous, shimmery beige, nude shade with a pop of a non shimmery, more red-toned brown in the middle. I swirl this all together for a very flattering, radiant look on the cheek. It doesn't look over the top or glittery. In fact, this one is so special, I chose to wear it on my wedding day!

The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed is great when I want something a little more matte. I find it to be a great alternative to bronzer that is more flattering on my skin tone. It's a nude pink-brown sort of shade that perks up my complexion in a subtle way and I really enjoy wearing this.

My final pick is the most budget friendly and it's the Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Nude Mauve. These are the blushes that a lot of people liken to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush due to the veining and radiant finish. I love this shade as it gives a beautiful glow to the cheeks without adding a ton of colour. As the name suggests, it's a mauve toned nude and it's so natural looking. It really suits my skin tone.

Do you like a nude blush or is it something you're thinking about trying?
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