an early christmas wishlist.

novembre 25, 2014

I haven't done one of these in so long I was dying to get back into the routine. These posts are actually quite useful to keep track of what I really want to buy throughout the month and now that we're only four weeks away from Christmas they're perfect to drop a few hints here and there for Santa...

001 I'm obsessed with NARS pencils at the minute and Biscayne Park Satin Lip Pencil (£18) - a peachy nude with a sixties vibe - is right up my street. It's one of those shades that can easily go unnoticed as it doesn't pop out as much as its hot pink and deep red counterparts but I saw it the other day on a friend of mine and I fell in love with it instantly.

002 Can you believe I still don't own any NARS Audacious Lipstick (£24)? I check them out every time I pop at Sephora but I just can't decide which shade I like the most and I always end up leaving empty handed. I mean, I clearly need all 40 but that's simply not going to happen and I need to sort out my priorities ASAP. Which one do you recommend?

003 Five years later my old GHD is still going strong but I can't stop thinking about the beyond gorgeous GHD Rose Gold Styler (£130) - my obsession for rose gold is showing -. Do I need another flat iron? Probably not, but I know I'm probably going to buy it myself if Santa doesn't get to it first.

004 Face oils are one of my many obsessions and Caudalie are one of my favourite brands when it comes to skincare, so of course it seemed logic to start lusting over the new skincare offerings from the brand. The Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil (£26) is designed to soothe sensitive skin and nourish dry and dehydrated complexions while the Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil (£29) calms and detoxifies the skin and is apparently a close dupe for my beloved and much more expensive Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial. They both sound so appealing I'm really not sure which one should I buy; on one hand I really enjoy the Polyphenol range but on the other hand I think the Vinosource offering would work better for my skin. Decisions, decisions...

005 One look at the Burberry Holiday 2014 collection and I was sold. Everything looks utterly gorgeous - that gold packaging should become a regular thing - but after checking in out in real life there were only two pieces that really caught my eye and I'm seriously considering picking up: the Complete Eye Palette Gold #2 (£40) features four beautiful variations of gold shadows with that signature dreamy buttery texture Burberry powders are known for, whilst the Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base in Nude Radiance (£34) is the perfect cross between a moisturizing primer and a liquid highlighter that leaves the skin smooth and glowy, ready for foundation.

What are you thinking to buy at the moment?


10 Beauty Finds Of 2014 So Far.

novembre 17, 2014

Product round-ups are usually a first-of-the-month or of-the-year kind of thing but recently I've seen a few of these posts pop up in various magazines and in my Bloglovin' feed - last but not least, Vivianna's one - and I thought it would be fun to jump on the bandwagon as well. With a few weeks to go till the end of 2014, there' still plenty of time for some new beauty discoveries to find their way into my top list, but here's a little round up of my ten favourite finds of the year up to now.

001. Bumble and bumble Dryspun Finish (£21.50) - A cross between a dry shampoo, a texturizing spray and a light hold hair spray that gives just the right amount of grit to my hair without making them look or feel crispy or dirty. It gives to freshly washed locks that second-day hair look that makes styling so much easier, as it allows the hair to catch on itself and build more volume and texture rather than falling completely flat.

002. LORAC Unzipped Eyeshadow Palette - I'm a big Lorac fan and their palettes are definitely a staple in my collection. With an incredibly silky-soft texture and great pigmentation, this swoon-inducing offering features all my favourite shades for an everyday look and is hands down my most reached-for at the minute. If you're a fool for rose gold, bronze and berry shades like I am, this palette will truly knock your socks off.

003. Foreo Luna Mini (£99) - It's pretty much the answer to all the prayers for a gentle cleansing device that doesn't aggravate sensitive skin whilst still delivering great results. One use is enough to experience smoother and more luminous skin and after using it consistently for a few months I can say that my skin has never looked better.

004. Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial (£45) - I always have it on hand for when things get extra stressful, but on a day-to-day basis I like to use it at least once or twice a week to give myself a good face massage and then leave it on to pamper my skin overnight. This delightful mix of oils is a proper skin hero and leaves my complexion ultra radiant and deeply nourished come morning.

005. Hourglass Diffused Heat Ambient Lighting Blush (£28) - If I had to pick one blush to wear everyday for the rest of my life, it would have to be this gorgeous poppy shade swirled with my favourite Ambient Lighting Powder. It gives the most perfect healthy flush with a lit from within glow to the cheeks and, unlike other powders, it doesn't sit on the skin but blends perfectly into the base for a beautiful natural finish.

006. Daniel Sandler Cherub Watercolour Liquid Blusher (£14.50) - Pinched cheeks in a bottle, that's it. Cherub is a soft petal pink with a waterproof formula that blends like a dream and doesn't budge, and it's basically undetectable on the skin. It's the ultimate bonne mine blush that looks like fresh skin flushing from within.

007. Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint Cologne (£40) - I've been completely obsessed with the whole Jo Malone range, but this one is still the top of the class for me. It's such a lovely combination of mint, white flowers and a subtle hint of rain and manages to be bright and fresh but still quite feminine at the same time.

008. Rae Morris Magnetic Brush range - Beware of Japanese brushes, for they are addictive. My piggy bank is not very happy for my penchant for artist brushes, but I really can't help it and in my defense, Rae's line is simply spectacular. All the brushes are hand-made, oh-so-soft and perfect for precise and controlled application of any kind of product. My favourite picks have to be the Ultimate cheekbone, which is a must have for contouring lovers, and the Liquid Foundation brush, perhaps the best duo-fiber brush I own.

009. NARS Velvet matte Lip Pencils (£18) - Velvety soft and not drying, the formula of these beauties is absolutely spot on. With my chronically dry lips, I used to avoid matte lip products like the plague, but these lovely lip pencils had me change my mind in a second - they stay put all day without making your lips feel like they could fall off at any minute and the shade selection would make even the harder to please squeal with excitement -. My must have shades are Cruella, Never Say Never and Sex Machine.

010. Anastasia Brow Wiz (£15.50) - My go-to product of the moment to cheat the perfect arch, Brow Wiz has a super fine nib to draw all the missing hair and fill in the brow with precision, and a build-in spoolie to blend everything and keep things natural. I tend to use it when I want my brows to look polished and quite defined but not painted on. It's really the best brow pencil out there right now.

What's your favourite beauty find of the year so far?


Evening makeup.

novembre 15, 2014

It may be my inner-grandma talking but there's nothing better than a chill, easy Saturday night at home, possibly involving a nice dinner, pyjama bottoms and a cup of hot coco with mellows. Tonight it's not the night though, and with a fancy evening out waiting for me and hours to get ready - for once I'm not doing anyone else's makeup and I'll make sure to celebrate that with a glass of something colourful that comes with a mini umbrella - I decided to make an extra effort and pull out my million-dollar products.
In the end it's all about the classics, red lips and gold glitters.

For the base, Nars Sheer Glow (£31) is the most obvious choice for special events and any occasion that may involve pictures, because it looks absolutely flawless for hours and has zero spf in it. Its medium coverage formula is easy to build and it leaves the skin looking glowy and perfected, with little to no need for concealer. It has only one downside, which is its tendency to accentuate and cling to any dry patches, but a good moisturizer or a hydrating primer underneath should do the trick. For special occasions I like to pop out my Charlotte Tilbrury Magic Cream (£70), which is flipping expensive but it truly does miracles for dull and thirsty skin, making it look instantly fuller and more radiant.
Since I want the focus to be on eyes and lips, I keep the skin natural with subtle definition, opting for creams rather than powders. I'm far too pale to even consider skipping on blush and a tiny drop of Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush (£14.50) in Cherub is enough to add a hint of colour to the cheeks that instantly makes me look fresher, while Illamasqua Hollow Cream Pigment (£17.50) makes those cheekbones of mine stand out a little bit more without going too overboard. Normally I wouldn't neglect highlighter - seriously, not even during the apocalypse - but a light dusting of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (£38) in Diffused all over is all I need for an immaculate, gorgeous glow and to set my makeup as well.

For some reason I forgot to include an eyebrow product in the picture above but I would never forget to fill in my brows, especially if I have a bold lip going on, as well defined brows are essential to balance out and ground red and dark lipsticks. I've been raving about the Anastasia Brow Wiz (£15.50) for months, so I'll keep it short and sweet: precise and long-lasting, lots of great shades to choose from and absolutely stunning yet believable results. Can you tell I'm in love?
For the eyes, the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette The Dolce Vita (£38) always does it for me. The combo of shimmery off-white, bronze and antique gold is kind of a comfort zone for me and something I wear all the time, but it's absolutely beautiful nonetheless. The quality of these eyeshadows is pretty amazing - they glide on the skin so easily and blend like a dream - and I love that little pop of pressed glitter that can easily elevate even the simplest look and turn it into something really special.
To finish off the look, enter a generous coat of mascara and a pair of gorgeous falsies to make up for the lack of naturally long, jet black, luscious lashes - thanks for nothing, Mother Nature! -. I'm currently completely obsessed with ESQIDO Mink Lashes and with their Oh So Sweet ($45.99)* offering in particular, as they look so full yet are so comfortable to wear. They give this my-lashes-but-ten-times-better look that makes people wonder if you got lash extensions overnight or if you've simply got your mitts on the ultimate mascara that does it all. They're soft and fluffy, and also incredibly durable - I think I've worn this pair over ten times already and they still look like they're brand new -.

For lips at last, I've finally got my fingers on the long coveted Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (£18) in Mysterious Red and I honestly can't put it down. It's the most perfect medium-dark blue red with such a great dimension to it despite the matte finish. It goes on smoothly, without tugging the skin and lasts pretty much forever. I love that comes in a pencil form because this kind of colour can be a little tricky and easy to mess up with, but the pencil allows to outline the lips with precision and then fill them in in a couple of strokes - that's how pigmented this stuff is -. I'm officially obsessed.

What is your night out line up?
*Press Sample 

8 beauty staples + giveaway.

novembre 10, 2014

Next to the products that make me fall in love or fill me with excitement every month, there're those few trusty staples I never quite mention or I don't speak about as often as I should - because they're the ones I either use pretty much daily, most of the time without even thinking, or I've temporarily put on a side but never stopped loving -. Today I thought I would round them up for you to show some well deserved love.

I love MAC lipsticks like the next person and of course every time I visit the store I find new shades to lust over but there's only one colour I can't get enough of and I keep repurchasing over and over again. A semi-sheer watermelon pink with a glossy finish, MAC Lustering Lipstick (£15.50) is a great example of a muted bright that can potentially suit everyone and goes with any kind of look, because despite being definitely hot pink, it's not a complete scene stealer. It's pretty and brightening and so easy to wear I don't think I'll ever be without it. Another MAC love has to be the 217 Blending Brush (£19), which is one of my top five must have brushes and beyond any doubt one of the most versatile I own. I use it with creams and powders, to pack eyeshadows on to the lid or to diffuse the color in the crease, as well as to blend concealer under the eyes and over imperfections. I can't stress it enough, everyone should invest in this brush.
Finally the 33 Lashes (£10.50) are my go-to falsies for any occasion. Those little clusters of brown and black hair look natural but also a bit flirty and complement any kind of look, from the most romantic doe-eyed ones to the sultriest smokey eyes. Sometimes I even cut them in half and wear them as accents on the outer corners to subtly elongate the eyes. They're so dreamy, I really recommend giving them a go.

When it comes to blushes NARS are my favourite brand and even if I get often distracted by new launches and formulas I seem to always go back to their amazing shades at some point. My most recent addiction, the Nars 413 BLKR Blush (£22.50) - a dark rosebud with a soft satin finish - is absolutely perfect for fall and winter as it gives to the cheeks that healthy 'Snow white flush' we all love during the colder months. Just like the rest of the shades in the range, this blush really packs a punch. Such an intense pigmentation calls for a light hand and an extra fluffy brush and one of my top picks for the job is the Sigma F15 Blush Brush (£16.50). It's soft and precise, and delivers a wonderful HD finish with both powders and liquids, and it's also brilliant to apply foundation. An all-around winner in my books.

Illamasqua Raindrops (£14.50) - a sheer light grey with just a hint of light blue and tiny opalescent specks that look like raindrops, hence the spot-on name - is probably my favourite ever nail polish. It's so effortlessly chic, it goes on smoothly and it has one of the longest lasting formulas out there. I really can't fault it. Since we're speaking of great formulas, I have to mention the Rouge Bunny Rouge Long Lasting Eyeshadows (£19). The texture of these shadows is excellent, soft but not crumbly and with a great colour payoff; each shade is easy to blend and so multidimensional it can be used alone as a wash of colour all over the lid or easily mixed with other eyeshadows. My favourite out of the lot has to be Delicate Hummingbird, a gorgeous frosty plum with a soft pink shimmer that I think would look good on anyone.
Lastly, if I had to include one fragrance I'd say Diptyque Philosykos. Our love story goes back to last year and is still going strong. With delicious notes of fig leaves, it's sweet but not sickening and ultimately fresh, like an early summer day - although it's not just a summer scent but I wear it all year around, sometimes even mixed with other fragrances -.

What about you? What are your all time favourites?

Now, without any further ado, on to the giveaway. To celebrate Strawberry Makeup bag's third birthday, I want to share some love with you as well and thank you for all the support by giving away all the beauty products pictured above to one lucky subscriber.

To enter read the Terms & Conditions and then use the Rafflecopter form below.

October Favourites.

novembre 03, 2014

Less than two months till Christmas, everyone! Aren't you beyond excited? I surely am but I'm trying to stay focused and instead of thinking about decorations and gifts, I thought about the great products I purchased or rediscovered in my stash in October and, trust me on this one, I've got some seriously good stuff here for you.

I've had two foundations on rotation lately and they're both filed under 'glowy and moisturizing', which is my favourite combination when it comes to foundations in general but also almost a necessity when the weather gets colder and my skin starts to suffer from it. Probably my favourite drugstore base of all time is the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation (£10.99) that combines decent coverage and lasting power to a great radiant boosting treatment that keeps my skin feeling nicely hydrated all day long. I can't get over how beautiful this foundation looks and how much more expensive it feels on the skin. It goes on beautifully, is slightly yellow toned so it counteracts redness really well and overall feels light and looks very natural.
My second love is the Chanel Les Beiges All in One Healthy Glow Fluid (£34) that I purchased only a couple of weeks ago but I've worn everyday without fault ever since. This falls more into the tinted moisturizer category, but instead of being rather pointless like some sheer bases can be, it evens out my skin so nicely and gives me enough coverage that I only need to add concealer under the eyes and over particularly angry-looking spots. The finish is absolutely gorgeous and out of this world - glowy and uber radiant but not dewy -, and it works really well underneath other foundations to prime the skin and add some extra luminosity as well.

Can't forget the awesome brush I've been using in combination with both of these bases and basically the only one I've used for my whole face lately. The Rae Morris Liquid Foundation (£47.50) is super soft and simply fantastic to stipple and blend in foundation. It doesn't soak up product or leave streaks, and works wonderfully with loose powders and mineral foundations as well as with liquid ones.
Speaking of makeup brushes, I've also been loving the Clean Lavender Goats Milk Brush Shampoo (£11.95) to deep clean them. The goat milk in this soap bar removes all the stains from the bristles and then softens and nourishes the hair without leaving a film on them, like some oils and conditioning products can do. It's a very nice alternative to liquid shampoo, especially for natural brushes with white bristles, and I adore the faint lavender scent it leaves behind.
Last on my list for makeup is my current lipstick obsession, the Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (£17.50). A beautiful deep fig shade that's oh-so-chic, this looks awesome as a semi-sheer tinted balm that can be built up for a slightly more intense payoff, or layered on top of a dark lip pencil for a deeper and sultrier result. It's the kind of shade that draws a heap of compliments in every situation and it's quite moisturizing, which is a great extra.

Moving on to skincare, I'm well and truly addicted to LUSH Full of Grace Serum Bar (£8.95) and LUSH Yog Nog Soap (£3.40). The first one is a wonderful solid serum that sinks in pretty much instantly and leaves my skin soft and bouncy. It's not the most hydrating serum out there, but it's calming and soothing, and I can see it work for all skin types all year around. Yog Nog on the other hand may look like a regular soap bar but it has the most delicious of scents - spicy egg nog and cocoa powder - and, thanks to the soya yogurt in it, it's extra creamy and really moisturizing. It's a limited edition for Christmas and I suggest you scoop it up before it's gone, but be aware you may find yourself washing your hands about fifty times a day just to keep the lovely scent around.

My final pick is The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (£10), which is my current cleanser of choice to remove the bulk of my makeup in the evening. I spend a couple of minutes massaging it into the skin to melt all of my makeup off and break down spfs and any waterproof formula, boosting my circulation at the same time as well. It's quick and efficient and doesn't leave my skin feeling stripped or irritated, but it's actually quite nourishing.

What have you been loving in October?