What’s in my everyday lip stash

Buying a set of acrylic makeup drawers was a great decision on my part. I’ve had them for the best part of 18 months and although it means I have access to fewer products day to day, it means I can give things a good go. I tend to rotate things every few weeks to make sure I’m mixing up the things I wear, and it makes things more exciting when you rediscover a product you used to love. Anyway, what relevance does this have to this post? Well, welcome to my current lip drawer in my everyday makeup stash. These are the products I’ve been using day to day. Here’s what I love, what’s okay and what I won’t be going back to.

I mentioned this in my last post as it’s one of the favourite things to come out of the 2018 Glossybox Calendar – the Nars Velvet Lip Glide in Burning Love. I have so much time for this product purely because of how versatile it is. I won’t bang on about it too much because I mentioned it in last week’s post (you can read that here) but just know I love it and I think it will be sticking around in my drawer for a long time.

When it comes to lip colours, I’m a bit of a coward. I constantly think I’ll try and be bolder with my lip choices but I always stick to my trusty nudes or a darker variation on my natural pink-y lip colour. But, as per usual in the New Year, I’m determined to step out of my comfort zone and wear something a bit more exciting. Enter the Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle in Candy Venom. When I visited Paris last year we popped into Sephora and in the panic of the people/products/everything, I picked up a box of Sephora’s ‘best bits’. There was a lot of great stuff in there including this mini lipstick. The shade, a vibrant pink, is something that I would normally stay away from, but after giving it a go on a nightout in the French city, I fell in love with it (although at the end of the night it did end up all over my face which wasn’t fun). With this one it’s all about the formula. Hands down the best matte lipstick I’ve ever tried and I really want to pick it up in more colours. Stays put for a very long time but doesn’t make your lips feel like they’re in a desert. I do need to start wearing it more though so I’m hoping that by putting it in my lip drawer I’m more likely to pick it up.

This was a massive impulse purchase (when I say massive, I mean I wanted it for a while and one day picked it up and bought it without looking at the price) but one which has been 100% worth it. It’s the Dior Glow in 001 Pink. So easy to wear, it gives a sheer pink sheen and plumps up my lips a little bit. This was amazing in Summer for just a bit of something and it still works great when I want a lip balm with a little bit extra.

Oh look, it’s another moment where Abz thinks she can wear bright lipsticks day to day and ends up just leaving it in the drawer. It’s really sad because I love this product (Lancome L’absolu Lip Lacquer in Be Unique) and, although it’s bright, the colour but I haven’t been reaching for it much. I think it’s because I bought it at the end of summer and now we’re in the depths of winter I don’t reach for it. I may have to swap this out for something else and then it can come back with a vengeance in the spring. If you love lip products that feel like nothing on your lips then this is a winner for you. It has the consistency of water with a bit of a glossy finish but throughout the day as the gloss wears off you’re left with a really nice stain. I definitely need to get more wear out of this but it might just be in a few months time.

This little Nars duo came with a mini blush and I just love how tiny they are. Both in the shade Orgasm, they’re probably my perfect nude shade of pink that I used to wear constantly. The lip gloss is amazing. There’s so much to love. Great shade, as I’ve mentioned, with a hint of gold to make it pop, and a glossy formula that isn’t sticky disgusting. The size makes it amazing to chuck in my handbag and it works over SO MANY other products. A great buy. The same can’t be said for the lipstick though which is really disappointing. You would think that because they come as a pair they would both be cracking, but the lipstick really isn’t anything to write home about. The colour is nothing really, the formula is dry but not matte and I just can’t get it to work. Also, every time I use it I feel like the bullet is either going to drop out or break off. So the lipstick may have to be relegated to either the main makeup stash or the bin. Lip gloss is a keeper though!

Late last year a new matte liquid lipstick came into my life and I have to say, I’m not mad at it. It’s the LMX Matte Lip in Cupid. The shade I have is a light brown-peach and is probably my perfect ‘autumnal’ shade, so easy to wear for me and works on most days. As much as I love the colour, it’s the formula which makes this product a winner for me. No matter how many times I go over it when I apply it, it doesn’t get crumbly or ‘bunch up’ on my lips. It’s a smooth finish that’s matte without being drying and lasts a pretty long time. A total winner and is what I’m wearing nine times out of ten whenever I leave the house.

There are two lip liners currently in my lip drawer and both of them are fab. First up is my favourite lip liner from 2018 (click here to read my best in beauty post) which is the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk. I think it’s pretty much my perfect lip colour, maybe a little bit on the pinker side, but it looks amazing under any nude lip colour. It’s a perfect base for other products and when the lipstick on top rubs away throughout the day, this keeps it looking okay. The second lip liner is from LMX and is in the shade Hold Up. The formula of this is great, isn’t too hard when you apply it, stays put but isn’t drying. The colour is a deep pinky-brown and this paired with the LMX matte liquid lipstick is a dream combination. Not sure if you can still get the LMX products in Boots but if you can I really recommend the lip stuff.

What’s your top lip product of the moment?

Musicals, glitter and a day at Ascot | June Favourites

Well wasn’t June a great month! I don’t know about anyone else but I seemed to have a lot of exciting things going on and with this nice weather we’ve been having it’s just been a lovely few weeks. With that being said I’ve been a bit selective with my favourites this month and although there isn’t much to mention, the things that are in this post I am 100% obsessed with.

I think I’ve mentioned the Stila Magnificent Metals Liquid Eye Shadow before, and for good reason. It’s literally like magic in a bottle and it’s perfect for when you have a special occasion that could do with a bit of extra sparkle. I have Gold Goddess, a twinkly bright gold that is seriously versatile. I’ve used this with my Naked Heat palette, Naked 3 and a standard brown smokey eye – it’s worked for all of them. No mess as it’s in a liquid form and really easy to build up for a super sparkly lid. Such a great product I could recommend this endlessly.

This month I’ve fallen back in love with the Revlon Colorstay Foundation, specifically in the shade Sand Beige. I’ve been fake tanning a fair bit over the past few weeks so I’ve needed a darker foundation shade so my face matches the my body. This formula is amazing for me. Semi matte so it stays put throughout the day but doesn’t dry your skin out. Lots of coverage but it can be blended out to something a little lighter if you want. Just an all round good egg that I need to not neglect in the future.

Now, over the past month I have become obsessed with musicals, like seriously obsessed. I’ve always been a fan of some but it’s started taking over my actual life. I listen to soundtracks all the time (we’ll get onto those in a minute) and can’t stop watching musical YouTubers. Amy Lovatt and Katherine Steele have been playing on repeat for the last month. They both do videos on musicals, songs, actual shows, etc and I cannot get enough. If you want something easy watching then their videos will be just the thing to pass four hours of your life (I’ve been on some serious video binges recently). It’s through these two that I’ve discovered my new music obsessions – Mean Girls the Musical and Dear Evan Hanson. Yes you saw right, Mean Girls the Musical is an actual thing and the soundtrack is amazing. I think if you’re a fan of the movie then you will love this! I love all the songs but my favourites are Revenge Party, Someone Gets Hurt and Sexy. Easy listening and great to sing-a-long to in the car. Dear Evan Hanson has an equally sing-a-long-ish soundtrack. I’m not 100% sure what the plot is but that doesn’t matter when listening to the soundtrack. Again, easy listening, some songs more jolly than others but they all make you fell good. Anybody have a map and Good for you are my top picks.

A shout out has to go to the events I’ve had on this month. A weekend trip for my friend’s birthday followed by the best day ever at Royal Ascot! It seems to be becoming an annual thing and I’m so there for it – what’s better than a picnic, prosecco and betting with friends? Nothing, that’s what.

One week with HD Brows Eyeshadow Palette

The second in my ‘One week with…’ series is HD Brows Eyeshadow Palette in Foxy. I got this little beauty in my Look Fantastic Advent Calendar at Christmas and although I’ve used it a couple of times I have never given it a proper rod test so I wanted to spend the week giving it a go to see what I thought of it. There are five shades which are all golds and warm toned browns in a sturdy (but maybe kind of chunky) black packaging with a mirror. The shades are:

Bare – A matte warm toned cream
Golden – A shimmery gold
Honey – A matte light brown
Bronze – A shimmery mid toned brown
Truffle – A cool toned shimmery brown

Now I really like this palette. The shades are totally up my street, golds and browns, and because there are only five it’s really easy to decide which ones to use. I love a palette with a cream shade because that’s what I use as a base to blend out and to highlight my brow bone (some people like a matte black but I need that highlight). Side note: I love the brush in this palette. A fluffy brush that is a bit too small to blend but is good for applying shades onto the lid and a tiny angled, dense brush which is amazing for the brows and to put a little something something on the lash line. This is the perfect everyday palette for me, I can put Bare all over the lid, Honey in the crease and Bronze in the outer corners and that’s me done. I also love that I can use Honey in my brows as it is a great cool toned brown that just beefs them up a little bit.

But, what I love about this palette is also its downfall. The fact it’s so easy to wear day to day means that if I want to do something a bit more smokey means it’s quite difficult. The shadows aren’t the most pigmented so when you want to do something deep it takes four times as long as it would take something like the Naked Palette to do. I tried to do a smokey eye a couple of times over the week and although I liked the look, I wouldn’t use it for a night out or an occasion where I would usually go really dark on the eyes. That is the only complaint I have with this though – it really is a special little palette and I’m glad I’ve taken this week to really test it out because I’d love to start using it more often!

Have you tried this palette? Did you like it?

Are they worth the hype?

When products are hyped up I go one of two ways. Either I’m really not interested and actively don’t search them out to not be the same as everyone else, or, I totally can’t wait and have to have it RIGHT THIS SECOND. These three products definitely fall in the latter category and once I’d heard the hype, I caved and needed them in my life. But are they worth it?

I’ve mentioned Isle of Paradise in the last few blog posts so you can probably tell already that I’ve well and truly fallen for the hype, but there is good reason. Not only do the products look so instagramable you could cry but the one I’ve tried is pretty damn cracking. I have the Self Tanning Drops which I’ve used mixed in with my moisturiser to make my face a little more sun kissed. As terrifying as it I thought it would be it’s actually really easy to use and looks great when it’s on. Blends in with the colour I am when I fake tan and gives me that glow I have been craving during the warmer months. Totally worth the hype – I can’t comment on the brand as a whole but this product is definitely a cracker.

I’ve wanted to try out the Dior Lip Glows for AGES. A lip balm that gives your perfect colour with a bit of a plump thrown in? Sign me up! I think it’s not a bad price (£24) and the packaging is gorgeous. But is it worth the hype? A bit. I know I know! I do love this product, a lot, but I thought it was going to be better. Don’t get me wrong, I really love this product and it works really well on me – like the perfect barely there lip product – but I think I wanted it to be a bit more glossy than it is. It you’re wanting a lip product that needs next to no effort and feels nice on this lips then this is the one for you – but don’t be expecting any miracles.

The Stila Glitter and Glows. Worth the hype? 100 per cent without a doubt. A liquid glitter that stays on your lids all day without budging, sign me up! There’s a reason there’s so much hype around this product because they’re blumming amazing! I can’t comment on the different shades but Gold Goddess could not be any more glittery and shimmery. If you’re going to some sort of event then you need these in your life!

Have you tried any of these products? Thoughts?

One week with Urban Decay Naked Heat

One of my favourite blog posts that I’ve written over the past however many years I’ve been writing on this thing is the ‘A week with the Naked Smoky Palette’. I spent a week where the only thing I used was that one palette to see if I could make it work for a variety of different looks. So, I thought, two years on’ that I’d do the same with the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette. I bought this last year and although I used it a heck of a lot when I bought it, over the past few months it’s been a bit neglected. So I used this palette everyday for a week, different looks for different occasions, and gave it a proper test.

So, how did the week go?

I started off with a makeup look that I used to wear all the time. Back in the day when I was at university I used to do a smoky eye situation everyday. I mean why I didn’t want those extra precious minutes in bed I don’t know! I do love the way it looks though especially with the warm tones of this palette. Basically, Ounce all over the lid (shimmery cream), Chaser through the crease (light matte brown) followed by Low Blow (matte brown) and Lumbre (shimmery peach) all over the lid. Finishing touches are Cayenne (dark warm toned matte brown) on the outer corner and Ashes smudged into my lash line. Loved this look and it wasn’t too hard to do – the eyeshadows are so easy to blend that they’re not hard to work with in the slightest.

Recently I’ve been all about the one stop eyeshadow. Basically a one swipe wonder that I can put on in the morning and not have to think about for the rest of the day. This palette has got a lot that can work for this. I love Sauced for everyday, a warm toned brown that is way on the reddy side but I’m totally in love with it. A couple of swipes blended out into the crease and I’m all set. The same with Lumbre and Scorched except they’re a bit more jazzy as they have plenty of shimmer in them.

I went out on a big hurrah with another old favourite – a bit of shadow with some winged liner. I realised when I wore it how much a love it but boy does it take a lot of maintaining. The basic shadows I used were Ounce (the shimmery cream) all over the lid with a mixture of Low Blow and Chaser in the crease (matte browns) and then on the outer corner. Easy and simple because, let’s face it, doing winged liner is traumatising enough without having it mess up a load of shadows underneath!

By forcing myself to use this for a week I’ve totally fallen back in love with the palette. I never didn’t like it anymore but I got out of the habit of using it and every time I went back to it – the warm tones scared me a bit. But after getting back into the swing it’s a yes, yes, yes from me. This will be my go to for a smoky eye situation and my one swipe wonders, in fact pretty much anything!

Go to guys: Sauced, Lumbre, Low Blow, Scorched, En Fuego, Ashes

Take them or leave them: Ounce, Chaser, He Devil, Dirty Talk, Cayenne

No thanks: Ember

My evening skincare routine

Welcome to part two of my skincare routine – the evening edition. I love nothing more than getting home from work, taking off my makeup and spending time doing my skincare routine. I have a little box that I keep it in so that in the evening I can easily get it and take it downstairs and chill out, watching tele whilst I spread creams and serums all over my face. For reference, my skin is oily but also dehydrated so my aim is to moisturise but not create grease.

After taking my makeup off with my cleansers and micellar water (read all about my cleansing routine here) I sit down and spray my face with the Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist to the point where my face is soaking wet. I love the stuff, I feel like it revitalises my skin and gets it ready for the rest of my products. Five minutes later, after leaving the spray to sink it, I give my under eyes a bit of TLC. I’ve been using the Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream which does a good job at moisturising under my eyes – I just press it in, do a few taps and wipe the excess on my brow bone. A quick bit of the Glossier Mint Balm Dotcom on my lips and we’re onto what I’d class as the main event!

At the end of last year, I didn’t use a serum and I didn’t really have any interest in getting one, but honestly it’s transformed my skin. It gets down deep in my skin and pumps it full of moisture that it definitely needs, something that the moisturisers I was previously using on their own just couldn’t do. My serum of choice at the minute is The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane and it’s very much an oil. Although it takes a while to sink in (about an hour to sink in enough to put a moisturiser on top) I love giving it time to work its magic. On days when I need a bit moreof a moisture boost (which is most days) I go in with the Body Shop Drop of Youth Moisturiser. It does a good job, and although I’m not totally attached to it, this is my third tub so I must quite like it!

And last but not least, hand cream. I’m not attached to any specific hand cream but I have been enjoying the Soap and Glory Hand Food in the Sugar Crush scent. The PERFECT summer scent and rounds off an evening pamper quite nicely.

Do you enjoy spending time on your skincare routine?

My morning skincare routine

I love reading out people’s skincare routines and finding out what they’re using because I’ve really got into pampering my skin over the past few months. By stopping touching my face on the daily and caking on the makeup as thick as I used to do my face has definitely cleared up a bit but I thought I’d share what I’ve been using as I think these products have been really working for me. For reference my skin is dehydrated but it also gets quite oily so I try to give it plenty of moisture without greasing it up.

After I’ve splashed my face with a little bit of water a give my face a bit of a spritz with the Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist. Just a few sprays does the trick. Eye cream is next up because I think I have quite dehydrated under eyes so putting something on morning and night perks them up a little bit. I’ve used the Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream for a while now (I think this might be my second tube) and I do really like it. It doesn’t do anything sensational but it does the job! A bit of lip balm on the lips (at the minute I’m using the Glossier Mint Balm Dotcom) and then I go back to my face after letting my eye cream sink in. I’ve wanted to try the Glossier Priming Moisturiser for a while and a have to say it hasn’t disappointed. I apply a medium dollop all over my face and a little bit down my neck, really rubbing and patting it in to make sure it sinks in. If I apply it an hour or so before I do my makeup I go back in with a little bit to refresh my skin and make sure it’s nice and hydrated before putting anything else on top of it. The finishing touch to my routine now we have reached summertime is SPF. A new addition to my collection I’ve been enjoying using it because it feels like I’m putting on a super primer. The Glossier Invisible Shield has been doing a great job, I obviously can’t see if it’s doing my skin any good, but it’s not greasy and leaves my skin feeling great.

What’s your favourite skincare product?

A cleansing routine for dehydrated skin

This is first of a three part series (get me, a planned out series) which is all about skincare! In this post I’m going to be going over how I cleanse my skin after a normal day, then I’ll chat about my morning and evening skincare routine. 

Over the last few weeks I have fallen in love with cleansing. Like a deep love. I look forward to nothing more than getting home for the day, putting my pyjamas on and cleaning my skin. Over the years my routine has stayed pretty similar and so have the type of products I use and it really works for my skin. 

To start off with I go in with a cream type cleanser. In the past I’ve used the soap and glory peach cleanser but at the minute I have the Formula Daily Advanced Cleansing Milk. What I like about creamy cleansers is that it takes off the first layer but doesn’t dry my skin out or make it feel oily. It’s a great in between which is perfect for my dehydrated but oily skin. I just massage it onto my dry face, including mascara, and then wipe  it off with a cloth. It does a good job at getting off that first layer of makeup, which makes it easier when I move on to the next step, micellar water. At the minute I’m using the Garnier one and I think that is probably my favourite out of all the ones I’ve tried, cheap and cheerful but does the job. A couple of cotton pads does the trick on a normal day, one for eye makeup and the rest for my base. 

The next step is my favourite, and the newest to my routine. I use the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, a couple of pumps, and then go in with the Formula Daily Advanced Cleansing Brush all over my face for my second cleanse. It. Feels. Amazing. I thought I’d find it a bit boring having to do it everyday but I actually really enjoy taking the time to get every last scrap of makeup off my face. Usually two minutes on the lowest setting does the job, stopping every so often to wet the brush again. It leaves my skin feeling clean but not dried out and gives the perfect start for my skincare routine (a post which will be coming next week!) 

First impressions and test driving Revolution

After having a cheeky purchase of a few Revolution products I thought I’d give them a little road test over one day and give my thoughts! I’ve started to slowly work my way down my friend Rachel’s foundation recommendation list and the Revolution Fast Base Stick Foundation was the first one to give a go. I haven’t tried any stick foundations before but the whole swipe, blend and go situation really appealed to me. Anything to make getting ready in the morning that little bit quicker. Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer – other than the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer has any high street concealer been as hyped up? I think not. But they’ve never had it in my shade! So when I saw there was one left I practically lunged at the stand in case anyone got in my way and took it (there was literally no one else there). Then I saw the Revolution Liquid Highlighter Drops. I’ve never tried this kind of highlight before but always admired the Cover FX drops from afar. Although the shade Unicorn Elixir was the most appealing sounding, it was purple and I don’t think I’d have got much wear out of it. So instead I went for Liquid Starlight, a pink shimmer.

I can’t tell you how fun it was to draw this foundation on my face. It was like colouring in! I did a few swipes and then blended it with a brush, it took no time at all and gave some pretty good coverage. There were a few areas that I just wanted a bit more but it was nothing a few more swipes and blending couldn’t fix. The concealer has THE biggest applicator I’ve ever used, and that was perfect for under my eyes. Again a few swipes and I blended it in with a mini real techniques sponge which I also picked up recently. I loved this for concealer, it could really get to places I struggle to with my normal one such as around my nose and on the inner corners of my eyes. Back to the concealer, good coverage, not massively full but good enough, and C3 was a great shade match for me. Last but not least the highlighter. YOU DO NOT NEED A LOT OF THIS. I put a single tiny blob on the back of my hand and I used two taps of it. This spreads like wildfire, but looks stunning. So sheeny and metallic I don’t own anything like this already. I blended it out with the same tiny sponge and it worked really well.

But how will it last throughout the day?

10.30am
My first thoughts were ‘oh my god what has happened to this highlighter?!’. My nose and cupids bow had both kind of set and were no longer glowy but pink blobs of glitter, it looked stupid. I rubbed it in and it was fine but I think I might avoid putting it on these places in the future. It wasn’t too bad on my cheekbones but it had gone a bit chunky on one side – nothing that a little dabbing couldn’t sort out! Foundation and concealer still look great. Nothing to report other than that my skin shows no signs of getting oily just yet – an amazing sign.

12pm
Starting to get a little bit oily but not so much I was in serious need of a blot. Other than that my base is still looking good. As for the highlighter it’s shining bright on my cheekbones but after dispursing the mess earlier it’s totally gone from my nose and cupids bow. But to be fair I don’t think my usual powder highlight lasts long there anyway.

2.15pm
Not much more oily than I was earlier but I gave myself a bit of a blot to take off some of the shine. Everything still looks okay but I don’t think I properly blended one side of my highlight because I’ve ended up with a really harsh line by my eye where it begins.

4pm
Exactly the same as 2.15pm
8pm
After going out for a meal I came back to take my makeup off and was very impressed with what I found! Everything looked exactly the same from when I last did a blot and check at 2.15pm. Foundation was still sticking around as was the concealer and although it was a little chunky, the highlighter was still shining bright. If I had one complaint it’s that my skin was going a bit dry (which never happens!) but it didn’t feel like all the moisture was sucked out of it, just not oily.
Overall, I really liked all three of the products. my least favourite was the highlighter just because it went a bit weird but that being said it might have been my application. The foundation was the star of the show I think 

Stranger Things and Shiny Lips | April Favourites

This month has been a little bit lacking on the beauty front and there are just a couple of things that I’ve been obsessed with. I recently declared love for the best matte lipstick I’ve ever tried (read all about that here) but I’ve also been going between another lip product which is on the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s the Dior Lip Addict in Tout-Paris. It’s a bright pink colour that looks quite scary in the bullet but because the formula is so glossy and sheer it just makes the lips look juicy and totally transforms any lipliner it goes on top of. It’s so easy to wear, the formula is really moisturising and I just love it. I would definitely get more shades of this because I’m just finding I reach for it all the time day to day. I’ve also been obsessed with the Body Shop Vitamin C Spray. Is there anything nicer than giving your face a quick spritz? No, I thought not! I’ve been using it all the time, in a morning when I wake up, in the middle of the day on a weekend to perk myself up and as a toner in the evening before I go in with my full on skincare routine. This one smells amazing too and it is one of those unnecessary products that I don’t need but would now be lost without!

Stranger Things. Wow was I an idiot to put off watching this for as long as I did. I’ve been told time and time again to watch it but it took for me to be physically sat in front of it before I actually did. I’m fully obsessed. I powered through series one and I’m now waiting until I can have a real binging session before I start on series two and I’m so excited to watch it! It’s just on the edge of my scary limit, I did find I was hiding behind a pillow for some of it, but then again I am a massive wuss!

I’ve been listening to a lot of music this month – well lot for me anyway which is basically on the way to and from work. I’ve started a three month trial with Apple Music and so far I’m totally into it. Whether I’d download enough to get my money’s worth is yet to be seen but for free I’m enjoying downloading random songs to listen to on the way to work. My listening list this month has basically consisted of songs with complicated lyrics/fast tunes that I can learn the words to. Alexander Hamilton from the musical Hamilton is literally the most satisfying thing to sing/talk. It’s been my go-to car song. if you haven’t tried learning the lyrics then do, it’s such an achievement to get through the song word for word (wow Abz big life goals there!).

What have you been loving this month?