Boxing day sale finds.

dicembre 27, 2014

Right after Christmas and the delicious food, the Boxing Day sale is the thing I look forward to the most during the Holidays - Christmas money needs to be spent at some point after all and I can't say no to a fine beauty deal, especially if I don't need to get out of my pyjamas to get my hands on it -. I can't help thinking that last year sales were a little more interesting and better assorted, nonetheless after browsing the sale section of my favourite websites, I've found some sweet deals and great bargains. Take a look!

For all the beauties, a peek at the SpaceNk sale is pretty much mandatory. There's always a great selection of Christmas gifts on sale for half the usual price, along with some great limited edition or soon to be discontinued products from our favourite luxury brands. Within the Laura Mercier lineup, the yummy scented Tarte au Citron quartet caught my eye right away. It includes a shimmering mist, a honey bath with its cute honey dipper, a body scrub and a fab body soufflé all infused with the beyond delicious lemon curd scent. Just like last year, all the skincare obsessers will love the REN selection. My pick is the Sensitive Skin Travel kit that features a mini size of my favourite morning cleanser and matching full size serum and day moisturizer, all for the price of the serum only.

I've been lusting over the Multi Facet Palette in Aura for ages now but I never got around buying it. Of course the second I've spotted it in the Illamasqua sale I slipped it in my cart without a second thought. Safely housed in this sleek palette are some of my favourite products from the brand, such as Cream Pigment in Hollow, Gleam Aurora cream highlighter and Tremble blush, along with four powder eyeshadows and an Eyebrow cake, plus a cute little double ended brush. Such a handy little palette, perfect for traveling and on the go.

Beautybay always does well on the sales and it's definitely worth a look. First Aid Beauty is on 3 for 2 at the minute and the Stila Merry and Bright 4 Piece Gift Set will soon be mine. For less than the price of the stunning Convertible Lip Colour in Tulip alone, you get an eyeliner, a lip gloss and a cute headband as well.
Spotted on Beauty Expert, the whole Foreo Luna range is 20% off right now. I've been thinking about upgrading the travel Mini with the full size Sensitive/Normal skin one for quite some time now, since I love it so much and use it every single day, and this might just be the clue I've been waiting for.

Over at Asos, there's a huge sale across the site going on and although anything really caught my eye in the beauty section, I quickly picked up the Frends Ella in ear Headphones that look absolutely gorgeous. I've been eyeing the Taylor ones before Christmas but I much prefer in ear headphones when I'm out and about and I don't want to mess up my hair too much.

Finally, many thanks to Anthropologie for having such a great range and helping clear out my bank account this morning. I'm sure my paws will be warm and stylish for weeks to come thanks to the beautiful Faux-fur Cuff Gloves that are now down to £22.95. I've also treated myself with some brilliant bits and bobs for the kitchen and the house I can't wait to get and set up.

What bargains have you found?


Six to wear on christmas day.

dicembre 24, 2014

I can't believe there is only one sleep left before Christmas! Seriously, where has December gone?
Even if Christmas day is pretty much a chill-out day dedicated to spending some quality time together with close friends and family - and eating all the food of course -, I still enjoy the rituals of getting ready and putting my makeup on. I tend to keep it simple but chic, and while falsies and glitters lay forgotten in a drawer for a little bit, Santa reds and soft golds come into play. Here's the makeup menù...

Having dry skin means that I'm always on the hunt for illuminating primers and highlighters to give that extra oomph to my complexion and add a bit of luminosity to it. The Burberry Fresh Glow in Nude Radiance (£34) is a little bit of both, as it hydrates my skin and smoothes it to help foundation slide on without effort, adding a touch of dewiness and freshness to it at the same time. It doesn't make me look super shimmery or shiny at all - the effect is quite subtle and natural, actually - but it adds just the perfect amount of glow for a healthier appearance. I also like to stipple it on the high points of my face or - since it's pretty much clear - even mix it with my base if I fancy a dewy finish, so it's a great multitasker.
Also from Burberry is the absolutely divine Complete Eye Palette in Gold #2 (£40), which features a combination of soft hues that go from pale gold to dark chocolate infused with fine gold shimmer, passing through a gorgeous golden khaki and a unusual mellow bronze. It has everything you may need for rich, intense eye looks and the quality is of course superb. This has been released as part of their limited edition Holiday collection but it's somehow still available on counters and online, so I strongly recommend you grab one before is too late.

The Maria Galland Ombre Unique in Eclat Doré* is a cute little number that comes in handy to add some extra sparkle to a look, taking it from day to night in nothing flat. It's a pale metallic yellow gold shot through with pearl sparkle that looks a bit too much for all over the lid, but makes for a great inner corner highlighter and it's beautiful dabbed on top of other eyeshadows like an uber festive shimmery top coat.

For my pout, I've found a super Christmassy combination that should stand its ground during lunch - let's be real, I'm sure I won't care too much about my lipstick with all the delicious food I'll be stuffing my face with; nonetheless, this combo is pretty long lasting and I'm sure won't end up smeared all over my face after a couple of bites -. MAC Cherry Lip Liner (£12.50) is a classic that never disappoints and something any red lipstick lover should own, as it goes so well with a great deal of red lippies on the market and looks stunning on its own as well. I use it to line my lips and fill them in for extreme longevity, and then apply a touch of the beautiful Maria Galland Le Rouge Infini in Rouge Pur* - a true red with a great matte formula that feels very moisturizing - only in the center. The slightly darker and cooler hues of Cherry create a nice contrast with this pillarbox red, giving the illusion of fuller lips thanks to the subtle gradient, while Rouge Pur makes sure that the lip liner doesn't feel too drying and chalky on the lips. They're indeed the perfect pair.

My current favourite nail polish, The Body Shop Relish the Moment (£5), adds the perfect finishing touch and ties the look together. Before this beauty popped out of my advent calendar I wasn't even aware that The Body.Shop made nail polishes, but now I'm officially obsessed and I can't wait to get my hands on another shade, or ten. The formula glides on smoothly and it's fully opaque in one coat, and with the exception of minor tip wear after five days or so, it wears beautifully for over a week without chipping. Relish the Moment is the kind of bright glossy red that works all year round and for that price is a total winner in my books.

What about you, will you be wearing any makeup at all tomorrow?
Oh, and Merry Christmas, everyone!
*Press sample

November favourites.

dicembre 16, 2014

This second to last favourites installment of the year is coming to you a bit later than planned but, as I'm sure you'll all understand, my Christmas shopping had to come first and I've been quite busy elbowing my way in and out of utterly packed department stores and festive street markets in the past few days. Now that all the items in my to-do list have been checked, I can finally sit and ramble about these lovely products I've absolutely adored throughout November.

On with the makeup first, the showstopper of the gang is the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Love Liberty (£23), a fab matte raspberry housed in the most exquisite rose gold bullet - the kind you'll proudly pull out of your purse in the middle of an event to touch up, although you'll find these lipsticks are incredibly long-lasting and don't really need retouches -. I've recently raved about the absolutely superb formula here so I won't rant too much about it. All I will say is that these lippies are beyond amazing and worth every single penny. Love Liberty in particular is the little black dress inside my makeup bag, as it looks so effortlessly chic and adds something extra to any outfit or makeup look.
For the eyes, I've been really into mustards and golden browns lately and I've worn a combination of the Nabla Cosmetics Eyeshadows (£5) in Caramel and Glitz - respectively a matte ochre and a burnished bronzy gold - pretty much every single day without fail. I never get tired of the signature Olsen twins heroine-chic smokey eye that's so in trend at the minute and I love the way these shades make my eyes look brighter and more intense.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette (£56) really speaks for itself. With three gorgeous blush shades, it's a big hit for those lusting over a lit from within glow and definitely something that should be part of any beauty junkie's collection. Luminous Light on the left gives a beautiful Snow White rosiness to the cheeks, while the pop of peach in Incandescent Electra in the middle is seriously uplifting. My favourite of the three and the one I've used the most lately is Mood Exposure, a luminous mauve that instantly brightens the skin and lights up dull complexion in one swipe. Next is another blusher I've reached for a lot, the Stila Covertible Color in Lilium (£16), - a nude-ish pink with just a hint of coral - that is moisturizing and dewy but somehow stays put all day. It's one of the 'best bang for the buck' products I reach for when I'm running out the door or on lazy makeup days, as it immediately lifts the face with a lovely and uber flattering healthy flush.

For the base, I went back to an old friend, the Clarins Instant Concealer (£18.45), to conceal any darkness and brighten the under eye area, whilst keeping the skin nicely moisturized at the same time, as I've been experiencing a little dryness around the eyes recently. Like 8 hours of sleep in a tube, this concealer fakes fresh, radiant skin like no other and covers redness and pigmentation surprisingly well, considering its lightweight formula. If you can find the right shade for you, definitely give it a whirl.
I've also been giving some love to the Wayne Goss Brush #13, which is everything I've ever wanted the MAC 109 to be and even more, as it's ridiculously soft and doesn't shed at all. I particularly love it with liquid and mineral foundations but it's also great to use for contouring and highlighting, and even blush if you're after a rather precise placement.

My hair is not loving autumn/winter weather at the moment and it can use all the help not to fall completely flat at the roots and loose shine. Last month I've rediscovered the Redken Body Full Volume Amplifier (£12), a great pre blow-dry texturizing and strengthening spray infused with wheat for instant fullness and volume, and soy for extra strength on the long run. I spray a good helping at the roots then dry my hair upside down for maximum lift that stays around all day - and it's easy to refresh with another spray and a quick shot with the hairdryer -.
Finally, a word about L'Occitane Almond Delicious Hands (£8) hand cream that hasn't left my side for weeks - really, I'm at my second tube already -. The smells is simply divine - not your typical nutty almond scent, but there's a bit of tartness in it that keeps it fresh and interesting - and it leaves my hands feeling soft and supple for hours.

Let me know what your November favourites are in the comments below. Are you done with your Christmas shopping yet?


Party Essentials.

dicembre 06, 2014

Now that November is out of the way, we're finally allowed to get overly excited for the party season and dig out all the glitters. Whether you plan to party hard every night or sit through a four hour long meal with friends and family, I got you covered with long-wearing and reliable products that will see you through the Holidays without fail. It's time to glow!

Starting with the base, my first choice is of course a primer, to make foundation go on more smoothly and make it last a lot longer. A personal favourite is the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance (£29), which leaves my skin looking healthy and more supple and gives it a gorgeous glow that shines through the makeup in a very subtle way, whilst of course keeping everything in place.
For foundation, I always go back to NARS Sheer Glow (£31) as it's ideal for photos, has a flawless radiant finish and stays perfect throughout the day - or the evening -. Despite the buildable medium coverage, it looks natural and I find that when I wear it I don't need to touch up at all during the day, 'cause my skin never looks oily but simply glowy.
To get rid of blemishes and dark circles I've recently rediscovered the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22) and, seriously, what was I even thinking when I put it on a side? It's brightening and moisturizing but it doesn't move around, and gives an amazing coverage without that caked-on effect that only makes imperfections look more obvious.

On to the fun part, I love me some sparkle and falsies, which I'm guessing you all know by now, and I especially love them for the Holidays. ESQIDO mink lashes are my go to falsies at the minute because they're so comfortable to wear - thanks to the cotton band - and make my lashes look absolutely fab without going too overboard. The Unforgettable ($42.99)* ones fall more on the natural side of things and add just the right amount of volume to give a subtle fuller look with a soft gradient that gives a great cat eye lift to the face. If fake lashes aren't your thing, you'll need an extra black mascara that doesn't flake or smudge, holds the curl all day and night, and adds clump-free volume. The NARS Larger than Life Volumizing Mascara (£18.50) ticks all the boxes and has been my number 1 mascara for years now. I strongly recommend it.
The Burberry Effortless Liquid Liner (£23) comes in handy to conceal the lash band and draw a crisp line to give definition. I'm a gel liner girl to the core but I'm seriously impressed with this product: it has a very firm felt tip applicator that allows to draw both super thin lines and extra bold flicks, a great formula that is blacker than black and sets to a beautiful satin finish, and above all it's incredibly long wearing.

When it comes to glitters I have two favourites, MAC Glitter Reflects (£17), either in Pearl or Antique Gold, and Illamasqua Ore Pure Pigment (£16.50). The MAC number is utterly perfect for an ethereal, almost wet shine - and can be mixed with anything, from gloss to nail polish to add extra sparkle to any look -, while the Illamasqua offering is a complex mix of burnished gold pigment and a mesmerizing blend of white, copper and green glitter particles - very Christmas appropriate - that brings a simple smokey eye to a brand new level.

A party look is not complete without a red lip and of course I have to mention NARS Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (£18) which is my must have red at the moment. The long-lasting, non-drying formula lasts well through countless drinks or a full meal and the chubby pencil fits even in the smallest clutch for touch-ups on the go. If it's not red it has to be berry and the Charlotte Tilbury Matter Revolution Lipstick in Glastonberry (£23) is the most perfect deep mulberry out there. The formula is out of this world, comfortable yet long wearing and oddly multi-dimensional, so much that it makes the lips look soft and plump, almost lit from within in a way. For mistletoe-ready lips these are the way to go.

If you find that you need an extra help to make everything stay in place, the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (£20) is great to seal everything in and finish off the look. The gentle mist acts like a top coat for your makeup and makes everything sweat and heat proof for up to 16 hours. It's oil free, it doesn't dry out my skin and I often use it in place of my setting powder to make sure my base looks fresh and glowy yet stays put till cleansing time.

Enjoy your Holidays!
Which are your party essentials?
*Press sample