Beauty Favourites 2014

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I initially wasn’t sure if I would do one of these posts, as most of my favourites have been mentioned previously, and it’s really hard to narrow down, but I’ve managed to pick out the best and most used products of 2014.

Hair and Skincare

There was only one product I could pick out for hair; the Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texturizing Spray. This hairspray-like texturiser is what I have relied on to add volume and grit to my hair. In 2014, I discovered The Body Shop’s skincare, and many products I have tried have become firm favourites, including the super quick and easy Chamomile Cleansing Oil, the spot-fighting Tea Tree Oil and the hydrating Vitamin E Face Mist. Two products which have saved my skin this year are the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo + – which has banished the blemishes – and the Garnier Fresh Essentials Hydrating Day Cream – the only moisturiser which has completely soothed my dry skin. My lip balm favourite is the Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1, a jelly-like moisturising balm which intensively hydrates and softens lips. I go through stages where my hands get really dry, and the saviour for this has been the Garnier Intensive 7 Days Hand Cream (the mango scent).

Makeup

There were loads of favourites from my makeup collection which I could have put in this post – it was quite tricky to choose – but I have tried to go with the ones that I have used and loved the most. The best base of the year has to be the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation. I have talked about it many times before (like here)so I will save you from the details but in short – I love it. The Seventeen Phwoarr Paint Concealer has also been a firm favourite for a while now. Although, it may be meant as an under eye concealer, I find this best for covering up blemishes and redness as it is really pigmented and stays put for ages. I purchased the Clinique Cheek Pop in Berry Pop a few months back and I could not be happier about it. It’s a super pretty colour, lasts well and gives a really natural flush without being too ‘in your face’. For eyes, I have loved the No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Cool Mink, a long-lasting, bronze creamy shadow stick and the Max Factor Clump Defy Mascara, which adds amazing curl, length and volume to lashes. My eyebrow product of choice this year has to be the Collection Eyebrow Kit, a selection of 3 brow shadows, which apply evenly, last all day and look really natural. There are four lip products I have loved throughout the year; the Revlon Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti, my everyday Spring/Summer sheer orange shade of choice, the creamy, brown-nude Rimmel Lasting Finish Lip Liner in Tiramisu which I often paired with the Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Nudist, this was worn a lot on its own too with my usual everyday makeup, and the Rimmel Colour Rush Balm in Keep on Mauving, a long-lasting, plum toned, creamy lip crayon. There are 2 brushes – Real Techniques of course – which I have used regularly throughout the year and could not be without. The Duo-Fibre Face Brush, perfect for applying a sheer amount of blush, bronzer or powder, and the Detailer Brush, which is super small and great for applying concealer onto blemishes or for applying bold lipstick. Finally – the nail polishes. For Spring/Summer, the Tanya Burr Nail Polish in Bright & Early was my favourite, a super bright and shiny coral hue. For Autumn/Winter the Revlon Nail Enamel in Vixen was my most worn – a deep, dark plum shade. But all year round, I would say my favourite nail polish was the chic and classic Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Lychee – an everyday-appropriate nude, pretty applied by itself or with a layer of coloured glitter on top.

There we have it – the best of beauty in 2014, all compiled into a pretty hefty post!

Boots Haul

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My last post of 2014 (oh my word, where has the year gone?) is going to be a little Boots haul. The main purpose for this shop was to pick up another foundation but that’s virtually impossible when there are multiple offers and pretty lipsticks drawing you in…

I wanted to get another Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation as I needed a backup before mine runs out because I cannot live without the stuff. It leaves a dewy – but not shiny – finish on the skin, lasts all day and doesn’t look dry or cakey.

Bourjois had a ‘3 for 2’ offer, so it would have been rude to not take advantage and purchase two products I have wanted for ages. The Healthy Balance Powder is a yellow-toned, lightweight, mattifying powder which so far I am loving – plus it has good quality packaging and a decent sized mirror, something my Rimmel powder is lacking.

I also got the Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in Nude-ist as I have tried one of these before and absolutely loved the formula and wanted to get a more day-time appropriate shade. Unfortunately, it is not what I expected, as when I applied it; the colour was more of a berry, pink hue – still a nice colour, just not what I was hoping for.

From Revlon I purchased the Photo Ready Cream Blush in Charmed. The colour is a really wearable, understated pink and so far I like the formula. It blends easily, lasts well and looks really natural. I also got the Colour Stay Lip Liner in Plum. I’ve been getting into lip liners recently but didn’t yet have a purple toned one so thought I’d give this a go. As I had spent over £10, I got a free Colour Stay Balm. I went for Sultry – a pretty mauve/plum shade – from the matte collection, which I have had my eyes on for a long time.

The Red Lip // Blogmas #22

The Red Lip

Bold, red lips are popular at Christmas time so I thought I’d go into a bit more detail about my favourite red lip product: the Rimmel Colour Rush Lip Balm in The Redder, The Better.

I like this lip crayon in particular, as it has a moisturizing balm-like formula, so it doesn’t dry out lips and is comfortable to wear. It doesn’t apply too glossy, and can be built up to a strong, intense lip or blended in to create a light stain. The colour lasts well, and gradually fades away evenly so you don’t have to worry about awkward patches or darker outlines. ‘The Redder, The Better’ is a vibrant red – perfect to go with glittery, gold eyeshadow this party season.

Christmas Playlist // Blogmas #17

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Christmas is my favourite time of year, particularly because of the festive music. So I’ve compiled a little playlist of the best tunes to get you in the festive spirit.

Christmas Playlist

Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Michael Bublé

Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea

Christmas Lights – Coldplay

Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) – The Darkness

One More Sleep – Leona Lewis

Step into Christmas – Elton John

Fairy Tale of New York – The Pogues

Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens

Mistletoe and Wine – Cliff Richard

Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney

Evening Skincare Routine // Blogmas #16

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Following on from yesterday’s post about my quick morning skincare routine, today is going to be a look at my evening routine, which – like the morning routine – mainly contains moisturising and anti-blemish products.

First things first: makeup removal. I recently did a post where I put two cleansers to the test, and the one I use most often is The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil. I massage this into dry skin to quickly dissolve makeup so it can be easily wiped away without drying out skin. Once or twice a week, I also use The Body Shop Seaweed Pore Cleansing Facial Exfoliator followed by The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner, for a deep cleanse to prevent spots. The exfoliator is foamy, but contains small beads which aren’t scratchy at all – so this is a good option if you have sensitive skin. The toner does sting a little to begin with but helps to further cleanse pores of dirt.

I then use the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo + and the Garnier Essentials Hydrating Day Cream – the same as in the morning, followed by the Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1, which works over night to smooth and hydrate lips.

Morning Skincare Routine // Blogmas #15

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I missed yesterday’s Blogmas as I was celebrating my birthday – but I’m back today with my quick morning skincare routine…

I start by washing my face with the refreshing Body Shop Tea Tree Foaming Cleanser to remove any impurities and keep blemishes away.

I went through a stage of not using the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +, but since I have brought it back into my daily routine I have noticed a big difference in my skin. I had quite an obvious, red patch of spots on my cheek which has since calmed down due to using this in the morning and evening.

My moisturiser of choice for the cold, winter weather has been the Garnier Essentials Hydrating Day Cream as it is extremely nourishing and has stopped my skin getting really dry. Finally, I apply the Nivea Hydro Care Lip Balm to smooth out lips before lipstick.

NOTD #8 – Urban Purple // Blogmas #13

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To match the skirt I’m wearing with my ‘party outfit’ tonight, I went for a similar colour and a glittery accent nail, for the festive finishing touch.

I applied the Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish in Urban Purple, after 2 layers of a clear base coat, as the colour can stain the nails a little. The Rimmel polish only needs one coat, as the deep, raspberry purple colour is very pigmented and intense. It lasts fairly well and doesn’t chip like crazy.

To top it off, I put one coat of the Revlon Nail Enamel in Stunning as an accent nail. Out of the 4 silver glitters which reside in my stash, I chose this one because I like that it has really fine glitter with only a few bigger flecks.

Eyes and Lips: Party Makeup // Blogmas #12

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As Christmas party season comes around, makeup can become a big deal. Today I’m recommending products for simple, evening-appropriate eyes and lips…

For eyeshadow, the lasting power is most important, which is why I’ll be turning to the No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Cool Mink – a taupe-y bronze cream eyeshadow which ‘sets’ and doesn’t budge all evening. Applying the Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Pencil in Pure White on the waterline will make eyes pop and appear bigger, followed by lots of the volumizing and lengthening Max Factor Clump Defy Mascara for amazing, fluttery lashes.

Yesterday’s post covered my favourite bold lipsticks, but the best party option for a budge-proof pout is the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in Frambourjoise – a matte berry pink, which is easy to apply, lasts all evening and doesn’t dry out lips. However, if you aren’t into dark lips, then a pretty, peachy gloss, such as the Maybelline Color Sensational Shine Gloss in Glorious Grapefruit, will perfectly compliment the glittery eyes.

Winter Bold Lips // Blogmas #11

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When it comes to winter makeup, I like to pair glittery eyes with a bold lipstick. As party season rolls around I thought I’d share with you my top 5…

2 of my favorites are from the Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish range. ‘107’ is extremely popular in the beauty world as the ultimate autumn/winter lip. It’s a matte, berry purple which can be blended in to create a stain or built up to create an intense look. Also from the Lasting Finish collection is ‘01’ which I recently purchased at The Clothes Show, and am already loving. This is a deep red, and slightly creamier than ‘107’. The lasting power of these two lipsticks is good but a decent lip balm is needed underneath to prevent lips becoming dry and cracked.

Also from Rimmel is their Colour Rush range – a line of moisturising, balmy lip crayons which appear slightly glossy, but can be patted down to create a matte stain. ‘The Redder, The Better’ is a bright red hue and ‘Keep Mauving’ is a brown-y purple. These don’t dry out the lips and are probably more daytime appropriate.

If you’re looking for a matte, long-lasting lip, the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipsticks are the best choice. These are super easy to apply, as the liquid formula makes them go on like a gloss – which then dries and leaves a matte, budge-proof stain. I have the shade ‘Frambourjoise’ – a vibrant, berry pink.

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoos // Blogmas #10

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The Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoos are probably one of the most talked about drugstore eye products. The range of cream eyeshadows are available for just £4.99 each and can be used all over the lid or as an eyeliner.

The first shade I purchased was the extremely popular ‘On and On Bronze’ which is a shimmery light brown – it’s good as a base for other eyeshadows, or on its own for a quick, every day wash of colour. I then ventured into the brighter shades in the collection and purchased ‘Pink Gold’ – a rose gold glitter – and ‘Metallic Pomegranate’ – a deep purple. I also recently bought ‘Permanent Taupe’, a matte, dark grey shade, with a slight purple undertone.

I found, with the first three shades, the less you put on the less it creases, although it still does slightly after a while, particularly if you have oily eyelids or don’t use an eye primer. ‘Permanent Taupe’ gradually fades away, instead of creasing, because it is matte and quite dry – which also means it can be a little hard to blend. I don’t find the lasting power an issue though and I regularly reach for all four shades as they have good colour pay off and look great with a darker shadow in the crease, and highlighter in the inner corner to create a quick and simple eye look.