Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Estée Lauder Clear Difference Oil Control Moisturising Gel

Estee Lauder Clear Difference Gel Moisturiser 5

Estee Lauder Clear Difference Gel Moisturiser 6

I'm used to moisturisers being soft and supple under my fingertips, but gels are an entirely different matter. They're smooth and sleek, almost as if I'm putting hair gel on my face (god, what a disaster that would be). But nope, this stuff isn't hair gel (yeah, I think Esteé Lauder are a bit too fancy for that kinda stuff), it's actually a wonderfully hydrating, oil-free moisturiser that aims to reduce shine by controlling the amount of sebum produced by the skin. I've got oily/combination skin, so anything that helps my t-zone to stay under control is a winner by me; less shine is always something that I am  aiming for with my skincare/makeup routine. Estée Lauder's Clear Difference Oil Control Gel * (£42, here) is not only moisturising to the skin, with or without makeup on top of it, it also acts as a mattifying base for my makeup, and for a natural look, I can use this moisturiser right before applying my foundation, as the product blends so seamlessly on top of a good base. So I can forego a primer and just..well, go. 

It's the kinda product that you massage into the skin after your morning cleanse, then potter around for a bit, getting ready, before going back and applying your makeup; finding that everything just sits well and blends like a dream. Plus it also smells really nice, so that's another win, right? It sinks into my skin like a dream, as I always find that my skin just drinks up moisture, and this product is no different. But as opposed to leaving a sheen on the skin, it just leaves a mixture of a soft glow, with a matte finish... kinda the primer that you always wanted, but never knew you wanted. Or, maybe the primer that I never knew I wanted. I use my Stila One Step Colour Corrector usually before I apply my makeup, as I find that the green counteracts the redness in my skin really well, but some days, i just don't want to use a primer, and I find that using this moisturiser before applying my makeup gives such a natural look, almost a matte glow (if that's such a thing) and although I may have to dab a little bit of concealer on my cheeks to cover the redness, I still adore the look that it gives. After I blend on some bronzer and a hint of blush, I find that my skin looks so natural and barefaced, but in a nice way; not the 'I just woke up with sleep still in my eyes' look, but the 'I'm healthy and ready to start the day' barefaced chic that I long for. It's the natural look that models have on catwalks that always makes me so so envious. Why do they get all the good skin? Well, not so much, anymore.

I apply this moisturiser with my fingers (although I have tried applying it with a brush, and I find that it doesn't bring about as much redness in the skin as to when I pat my moisturiser onto my face with my hands) and I just love that when it's sunk in, and my skin is ready to go, that it's such a simple, easy process. No faffing with multiple products, or anything like that, it's a simple shot of moisture right to the skin. Some mornings, I may even apply Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair underneath it, just so that I have that double hit of hydration that sets me up for the rest of the day. I've found that the tub lasts for a very long time; 50ml full of a blueish white gel has lasted me a good 10+ weeks, and I've still got ages to go with a sizeable amount left - it's a purchase that my skin loves, especially in warmer weather, as this doesn't sweat off, or run off my face like I found other moisturisers tended to do. Y'know, those sweats that feel as if you're sweating off all of the makeup and skincare that you put on earlier that day? Yeah, this does' feel like that. The makeup may have smudged, but my skin felt like my moisturiser was still there. 

I'm a huuuuge huge fan of Estée Lauder skincare, with there being three main favourites; this Clear Difference Oil Control Moisturiser, their Clear Difference Purifying Exfoliating Mask (I reviewed it here earlier this year) and the Advanced Night Repair Serum (which I post about so much, but spoke about here), as I know that I can trust my skin with their skincare products. I also adore their makeup. Like seriously, they're just so damn good. If they start making clothes or you know, boyfriends... I'd definitely see what was going on (sorry to the bf if you're reading this, haha). Oh, and their perfume is wonderful too. I spoke about two duty-free purchases from EL here, my two favourite perfumes from them here, and my relationship with the brand, here. I'm a massive Esteé Lauder fan, and as I keep adding to my collections, my love only grows. Keep on doing good things, EL. I'll be here, waiting and admiring. 

Estee Lauder Clear Difference Gel Moisturiser 7

Estee Lauder Clear Difference Gel Moisturiser 8 Swatch

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Pinterest Bedroom Collage and my Ikea Bedroom Wishlist.

Pinterest Collage bedroom 1
one | two | three | four | five 

Sometimes I think it's so easy to decorate. I plan everything in my head, after amassing dozens of images (which are placed into carefully collected folders on Pinterest) and then it's all done. Room after room, they're all perfect in my head... and of course, they change as the seasons change. Grey and red, warm and cozy for cold evenings by a log fire, but for Spring, everything is light and airy, so I think if I was to actually decorate anything... it would take a long time. To get the balance  right between functionality and practicality is something I've long admired from people (my cousin's house is a prime example - it's perfect; pastel and cream, with two mischievous little pugs to add to all that amazingness), and I know that the results of a good home are tried and tested. 

I had polka dot wallpaper and a clown border as a child... I don't like clowns (just no) so the fact that they were on my walls made me quite a nervous child, but as soon as my bedroom walls were lilac, everything seemed to change. I was nearing 10 and growing up. Then, as I continued to grow, my walls were cream and I had a black metal daybed from Ikea. It was beautiful, and I loved it so much. Fast forward to now (life after returning from university and being stuck in the smallest bedroom, until my brother moved out); my small room was cream, white and light... everything was bright and just beautiful. Grey brick wallpaper, with Audrey Hepburn and David Bowie on my walls. Heavenly. My brother's room on the other hand: Dark grey walls, black furniture's all just dark. These choices are courtesy of my brother and his taste (or lack thereof), and once he moved out into his own home with his partner, he left his furniture and I once again, took over the second largest bedroom (moving from the small box room, into the room I occupied as a child). Everything is dark, depressing and I hate it. 

But I have hope. White/cream walls, my white-washed cream wardrobes and a chest of drawers that is tall with numerous drawers. Ikea has become my daydreaming/future bedroom furniture retailer of choice and I cannot help but be excited by the prospect of a light room again. There may be daylight in my room, but dark grey walls suck it all up, as opposed to reflecting it. It's dull, trust me. But a Brusali Bed frame and a Hemnes chest of drawers is going to change all of it. I may even spring for a Tarva Chest of drawers, which is screaming out to me for white paint and metallic gold sprayed legs. Oh the choices. 

Sunday, 20 December 2015

My version of 'Netflix and Chill'

Netflix and Chill 1

Netflix and Chill 3

Netflix and Chill 4

Ironically, as I write this, I am actually 'Netflix and chilling', but y'know, in the sense that I'm snuggled up in bed, with my laptop, a face mask on whilst watching endless episodes of Community. (no boyfriend in sight). So yeah, not to get this confused with the actual definition of 'Netflix and Chill' which is always amazingly appropriate, thanks for that Urban Dictionary. But yes, onto my actual chilling out with Netflix... it's something I tend to do most nights, if there's nothing on TV that I need to catch up with (i.e. First Dates or re-runs of the third season on Sherlock) but when I put on a facemask, and break out something to nibble on, then you know, you just know that this is going to be a good night. For me, after a long, hectic day at work (gotta love retail at this time of the year), relaxing and snuggling up are two of my favourite things, and what's better than sorting your skin out whilst watching something good? 

So, make yourself a steaming hot cup of tea, grab your nibble of choice and head to your chosen 'chilling room'. Deposit said tea and nibbles before heading to the bathroom, for a facial cleanse followed by a face mask of choice. I usually layer up 2-3, depending on what my skin needs. A clay one on my T-zone, an antioxidant one and then a moisture one afterwards, just to plump up my skin. Usually, during the first mask, I choose what I want to watch/marathon and then make my way through my tea, which has cooled down to a sip-able level. Then I start watching. Once my face feel appropriately still (it's the wonderful clay), I'll go gently take it off, before layering on another (like an antioxidant one, or a Glycolactic one) once my skin is clean and supple. 10-15 minutes later, after I've gone back and continued on with my chosen show/movie, I'll remove the mask and then, generously smother on a moisturising mask. Depends on how long I want to leave it, but my skin usually just soaks it up so well. Plus the smells are always beautiful. 

Then after everything is done, my skin is glowing, and I have Netflix... as well as snacks. Such a good way to spend an evening. Or even an afternoon. Hell, it's the best way to spend a day off. Don't forget to smother your hand with Jurlique's Rose Hand cream after you're done snacking... the scent is divine.

Netflix and Chill 5

My Current choices for actual Netflix and Chilling:

Community (5 series of hilarity. Or 3 series of awesome and then 2 questionable ones, but still funny nonetheless), The Paradise (Costume dramas are always a yes in my book), Reign (a Mary Queen of Scots-Gossip Girl mix, easy to watch and entertaining), Anything Disney - my choices would be Up! and Cinderella, but there are so many choices on there, Pretty Little Liars (OMG I cannot wait for it to come back), House of Cards (There's something to awesomely sinister about this show), Call the Midwife (One of my favourites series... of all time. Gruesome, truthful and brilliant), North and South (One of my favourite costume dramas, think Pride & Prejudice but with Northern accents)

My To-be-watched list is basically endless and there's some that you may recognise:

Orange is the New Black (Yes, I know, I'm kinda one of the only people that hasn't seen this), Breaking Bad (Yes, same applies again), Once Upon a Time (yay, fairytale's all around), Jessica Jones and Daredevil (Yes, all the Comic book love) and I've also got some amazing documentaries to watch about Chatsworth House, Dior and I as well as about Henry VIII's Palace

My favourite Face masks for chillin' with Netflix:

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask, Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, Jurlique Herbal Recovery Antioxident Gel Mask, Queen Helene Mint Julep Clay Mask and Una Brennan Rose Moisture Mask

And hey, if you have Amazon Instant, check out Parks & Recreation and The Man in the High Castle, as well as Outlander plus so many more original series. So much choice. Some amazing film choices too. 
Netflix and Chill 2

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blusher in Dim Infusion

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blusher

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blusher

What can I say about such a beautiful product? Well, it's gorgeous and shot through with a mix of highlighting powder as well as blusher, making the marble effect distinct to each palette. Dim Infusion (£28, here) is mixed with Dim Light (of the Ambient Lighting powders), a soft coral combined with a gentle highlight to give a 'glow from within' look. I am a huuuuge fan. Of course I don't own any of the actual luminous powders from Hourglass, but this blush, as my first dip into the brand, is a wonderful product. Blusher is a product that I cannot get enough of. It lights up my face and makes me look alive; two things that are very important to me and my pale/deathly pale skin (I only tend to go deathly pale in Winter before I've drawn my brows on and dusted bronzer all over my features). This blusher was purchased for me in Las Vegas, by my parents who went into a Sephora, spoke to one of the lovely girls and afterwards gave her a list of things that I had requested. The Sephora girls, obviously well-versed in being given lists of products, called into her headset, 'We've got a list here, we've got a list'. She then proceeded to collect all of the items that I had wanted and then gave them all to my mum, who had been completely overwhelmed by the amount of beauty products in Sephora (even a small Boots overwhelms my mother, so you can bet that she was close to walking out almost as soon as she walked in), and then proceeded to pay before quickly leaving and heading back out into the Nevada sunshine. SpaceNK and Harvey Nichols are the only other place that I know of, that stock Hourglass cosmetics, so you can bet that when I find one, I'll be testing out as many of their products as possible before making a rather large purchase. We don't tend to have fancy stores like that in Wales (maybe in Cardiff one day), so when I do venture to London in February, I'll be spending all my money in the makeup aisles of Selfridges, SpaceNK, Fresh and Harvey Nichols

Soooo back to the formula; it's silky, buttery smooth, super blendable and beautiful. A marble mix of coral loveliness, that is encase is a metallic palette, which looks super expensive and classic, but is actually very wearable - basically, it's plastic and not metal, therefore it looks stupendous on your dressing table, but doesn't weigh you down when you carry it around with you, on your day out, or when you take it with you on holiday (whether for a mini-break or for a week +). I use a Stippling brush, as well as a Real Techniques blushing brush to apply to the apples of my cheeks after my foundation and concealer - I love a wonderful coral, as it's so much peachier than pink, giving me a peaches and cream complexion, rather than a rosy one. I do love pink as well, but until I step away from this one and purchase another blusher from Hourglass, I think coral will be holding a place in my heart. 

For my next purchases from Hourglass, I'm contemplating another blusher in Ethereal Glow and the Ambient Lighting Palette... because it just looks so completely wonderful and... it's everything. I've wanted it for a long time, but I've never worked up the nerve to actually purchase it. 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blusher

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blusher in

Friday, 11 December 2015

Bright Nail Polishes that I'll be wearing into Winter.

Nail Polish obsessions

Nail Polish obsessions

Nail Polish obsessions

Now I'm usually all about dark Nail Polishes for colder months, but then again, who isn't? I love breaking out the burgundy reds, the deep navy blues and blacks, but sometimes... when it's so dark, I just want to paint my nails a bright, tropical blue because I want to go on Holiday again. I miss bright nails, holidays and cocktails on the beach. I reaaaally do. So I had a rummage through my collection, and picked out a select few shades that I would wear in A/W despite them being so Summery. They also turned out to be from my three favourite Nail Polish brands: Maybelline, Sally Hansen and Essie, and I hope that you'll all feel the need, one day, to stray away from the greys and reds, and maybe throw on a pink or even a rose gold, just because it certainly makes me feel like a Holiday is coming soon. But then I realise it's not, and then I feel the need to book one... those colours are actually really enabling for Holiday shopping, so if you're shying away from booking one, maybe a bright Nail Polish is the answer to your solutions. 

If you follow this blog, then you'll know that I love a good blue colour. On clothing, nails and on here (see header) but when I wore a selection of these in Summer, I loved them so much, that I refuse to simply not wear them for months and months at a time. They're just so beautiful. Turquoise, baby blue... a bit of sparkle; it's almost impossible for me not to be drawn to these colours, therefore... I have to wear them. I just have to. 

Nail Polish obsessions

So let's look at them in more detail. From left to right; Maybelline's Uptown Blue, Essie's Naughty Nautical, Sally Hansen in Fruitti Petutie and Mermaid's Tale, Maybelline's Golden Brown and Sally Hansen in Over the RainBlue

Uptown Blue is a gorgeous soft, almost baby blue with a hint more brightness in it, and the formula is everything. It's so long lasting, far better than most polishes that I've tried. I only trust three brands and three ranges of nil polish, and you can be, they're Maybelline, Essie and Sally Hansen. Along with Uptown Blue we've got Golden Brown, which is a familiar hint towards the rose gold/copper trend, as why not wear it on your nails when everything else that you own is in that colour range? I am a huge fan of this colour, and I cannot get enough of it, whatever the time of year. It's especially A/W, but who wants to keep such a gorgeous colour contained in one season? I also think the brush is a wonderful shape... two swipes and the nail is covered; brilliant for hassle free nail painting, as it sometimes can be a very stressful time. 

Onto Sally Hansen, and there are three offerings from her range; Frutti Petiutie, a sharp, vibrant fuchsia pink that looks perfect whether tanned or pale, Mermaid's Tale, a bright, more blue turquoise than the one from Essie, but still a gorgeous shade no matter the time of year and Over the RainBlue, a fantastic royal blue sparkle polish with different sizes of glitter particles. Perfect for a festive look, or to use on one finger as an accent nail. And lastly, we have Essie and Naughty Nautical, one of my go-to Summer shades that I cannot bare to put away for the changing season... I just adore it so much. It's a gorgeous teal, turquoise shade with a shot of shimmer running through it, and it makes the colour shine and sparkle. Just a fantastic shade, and if you look closely on the swatch, you should be able to see the shimmer. 

These shades are in rotation with darker, wine esc colours but I really don't want to see them sitting in my drawer, waiting for me to use them again when the sun decides to come out (knowing the UK, it'll be June before we see much sun) but maybe I'll book a holiday... and then I'll take a few shades with me. That way, we'll both get to see some sun, and we'll all be happy. Menorca or a Greek Island, anyone? 

Nail Polish obsessions

Nail Polish obsessions

Nail Polish obsessions

Nail Polish obsessions

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Two lipstick favourites from November.



Winter, and colder seasons are usually times of the year when I break out the burgundy and berry lipsticks, but this year, those colours have been put on hold whilst I still enjoy the pinks/corals of Summertime, despite there not being much sun around at all. Clinique's Melon Pop and Revlon's Pink in the Afternoon are two soft shades that can be worn with very minimal effort, as they're so light, touch-ups aren't something to worry yourself about. They fade evenly after a few hours, especially if you're eating or work in retail and spend hours speaking to customers - these colours are subtle enough to wear and only touch up when you're on your break, or when you have a spare two minutes. 

Melon Pop is a pinky-coral colour, very upbeat and easy to wear; it brightens up my entire look and makes such a difference from the reds that I am prone to wearing. It goes on glossy, but if you pat the gloss away, it stays quite matte for a long time, making it two looks for one lipstick. Pink in the Afternoon is a colour I would never usually wear, but this colour is such a beautiful pink-nude that it's so easy to just slick on and go. It's formula isn't as glossy as the others, which I really like as I'm not a huge fan of gloss at all (far too sticky for my liking), and on the lips, it makes my lips seem a lot bigger... which is odd as not a lot of colours tend to do that. Must be the fact that it's so light and might even blend into my skin in a strange way. My lips are quite big anyway, but they look even more plumped up in this shade. Definitely something to look at again if you've passed over this shade, unsure of what it would look like on. It's a winner, both of these lipsticks are, trust me. 



Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliant Toner

Pixi Glow Tonic 1

Pixi Glow Tonic 2Pixi Glow Tonic 1

There is soooo so so much hype around this product. So much. I knew it'd be good, because how can so many people be wrong about it? And since when is Caroline Hirons wrong about skincare? Rarely, if ever. It's supposedly a dupe for P50, an exfoliant toner, with all the added goodness of being oil-free, alcohol-free and packed with wonderful Aloe Vera, which is so amazingly kind to the skin. I have very sensitive skin when it comes to certain products, so I was slightly weary at first; I didn't need to be, at all. This is gentle, but powerful. I noticed a difference the morning after I first used it, and no, I'm not just saying that... I actually did. My skin was a bit brighter, and if you suffer from under the skin-but-not-quite-developed-spots then this is a product that will work wonders for you too. I'm not going to say that it completely got rid of those blemishes, but they are certainly reduced - something that I hope will changed with prolonged use; I want to say bye-bye to those irritating little things. 

As part of my nightly routine, I use it after my double cleanse as a way to make sure that my skin is really clean, deep down before adding my oils and serums, which inject all of the moisture back into my skin. It's only a step that I use in the night, although it is suitable to use in the morning as well, although I would definitely not forget to use an SPF on top of it, otherwise your skin might become damaged very easily (see sun-damage, worsening of fine lines etc), although those are two things that this Pixi Glow Tonic Toner is used to diminish. Just keep your face protected if you use it in the day. That's a very important rule if you're going to use it in the morning and then go about your day, outside of your home. But back to the properties of this tonic; we already know that it has Aloe Vera to soothe, but it also has Ginseng to brighten, as well as witch hazel and horse chestnuts to boost firmness and bloody flow to the skin. It's one of those products that I swipe on with a cotton pad, and then enjoy the feeling of my face being so clean and vibrant; it's a must have. It's also £18 (here), which I think is incredible value for money, as this makes such a difference to my skin, and I would gladly repurchase it again and again, especially as the bottle is 250ml, incredibly durable and long-lasting. I only need a few drops to leave my skin feeling refreshed and healthy. This can be seen as a bit of an investment for those who are just getting into looking after their skin, but trust me, this Pixi Glow Tonic Toner will not let you down.

Have any of you tried this Toner? Are you loving the changes it's making to your skin? 

Pixi Glow Tonic 3

Pixi Glow Tonic 4

Friday, 13 November 2015

The Makeup products I keep reaching for.

Summer Makeup to wear into Winter 2

Summer Makeup to wear into Winter 1

You would think that reaching for the same makeup products each day, can be quite dull and then you can grow bored very easily... basically, your entire look can become unsatisfying. But for me, there is nothing boring about these products. I can do my face for work in 10 minutes, and know that this look is one that works for me. Glowy skin, bright eyes, peachy pink lips with a hint of bronzer on my skin, to make the whole look less pale, and more 'oooh has she been on holiday somewhere?'; it's pretty much a look I love to wear. There's nothing here that should be overlooked, as each product, for me, can stand up to a lot of others with more expensive price tags, and give an even better finish. Such as Makeup Revolution's Goddess of Love Highlighter, which at £3.99 is one of the most amazing purchases. It's a baked highlighter and one that I use every day as I adore the glow that it gives to my skin. I'm yet to try a soft, pinky-pearl highlighter that performs to the same standard as this one. Actually, the only products here that cost more than £10, are from The Body Shop, Estee Lauder and Mac, three brands that are well trusted for their quality and selection of shades. 

Summer Makeup to wear into Winter 3

Summer Makeup to wear into Winter 4

For the base, we have Estee Lauder's Double Wear Light, Maybelline's Eraser Eye Concealer and Collection's Illuminating Touch Concealer, three products that I have found work together wonderfully well, and can give me a glowy, yet not too heavy look, which makes me look healthy and not as if I've just chucked a load of makeup on my face. It's a base that's light and airy, giving everyone else the impression that you've had a good night's sleep, when really you've been staying up until 2am watching Community on Netflix (*cough* well, I've heard that people do that.. *cough*). A dupe product for Estee Lauder's Foundation, would be the new Air Mat Foundation from Bourjois, another glowy offering that is a key product in faking a 'wide awake look'. Another thing that I've found with these three base products, is that they're sturdy enough to cart around with you all day in your makeup bag, and there's no worry of things breaking, or leaking... they're well formulated and well made, perfect for on-the-go touchups. 

Additional base products are the gloooorious Makeup Revolution Highlighter, Bourjois Aqua Blush and The Body Shop's Honey Bronzer which add to that 'I look alive and well, but inside I'm full of cold and just want pizza' disguise - something which I think I'm close to mastering after years of being unwell, and mainly just wanting to curl up and watch movies, with pizza, as opposed to doing anything productive outside of my house. The Goddess of Love Highlighter is so so finely milled that it looks so incredibly natural and wonderful, that you get that 'glow from within' without a great deal of effort... because some days, you just can't be bothered at all. The Bourjois Aqua Blush wasn't something that appealed to me when it first hit the shops, but after umming and ahhing about it for a few weeks, I bought it for my holiday, with the view that it wouldn't be sweated off too easily in the heat: and the consistency is so light and creamy, it's a shame I didn't buy it immediately, as I would have professed my love for it, much like numerous bloggers out there. With a handy little pump to dispense as much or as little as you want, this hard wearing Blush is a brilliant buy from the French brand. Lastly for this section, we have the much raved about, universally loved Body Shop Honey Bronzer which I've had for what feels like ages, and I've still barely made a dent in it, despite me wearing it almost everyday. Light, blendable and made for layering, this Bronzer is the thing of dreams. 

Two eye products that I adore are from Mac in the shade Bare Study and L'Oreal's Volume Million Lashes Mascara, the former a wonderful Cream Paint Pot, and the other my new favourite mascara. The cream eyeshadow is soft and super blendable, one of those products that I apply and blend with my fingers, nothing fancy and not a product that requires an eyeshadow brush. Naaa, it's a gorgeous champagne shade, lighter and a bit less pink than my other favourite Mac Paint Pot, Vintage Selection, but nonetheless still super brightening when applied to the eyelids, and it stays put all day without wear or smudging. The same can be said for the mascara, except I do get a little bit of smudging on my undereyes, but I would say that it's more due to my oily skin, than the product. Last, but not least, is Bourjois' Rouge Edition Matte Velvet Lipstick in Peach Club, a bright peachy pink that instantly lifts the look and makes everything look brighter, which ties wonderfully in with glowy skin and highlighted cheekbones. 

What products have become your go-to's and what are you reaching for everyday? Let me know xx

Summer Makeup to wear into Winter 5

Summer Makeup to wear into Winter 6

Summer Makeup to wear into Winter 7

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Victoria's Secret Coconut Passion Body Spray

Victoria's Secret Coconut Bliss Body Spray 1

Victoria's Secret Coconut Bliss Body Spray 2

This was my only Duty Free purchase on my last holiday. Shock, I know. Gatwick Duty Free and I come away with only one bodyspray? Yes, that's right. But not any ordinary body spray, it's diviiiine. Coconut and Vanilla goodness all wrapped up in a wonderful 250ml bottle. There were so many bottles to choose from, and I was especially drawn to the Christmas scents; I really regret not picking any more up, as they were gorgeously scented. Maybe I'll book a last minute holiday, or make a trip to London at some point... because we all know that there's an amazing Victoria's Secret Store there, one that I've always wanted to go to. 

Victoria's Secret is usually associated with underwear (obvs) but their beauty section seemed so overwhelmingly beautiful, and I really do wish that I had selected more.. but that's a lesson I must learn for next time. I don't think it'll be the last time I fly from Gatwick, or mooch around the Duty Free whilst my boyfriend is asleep in a comfortable chair after a McDonald's Breakfast. To be fair, it was 4am, and those pancakes would make anyone in their right mind sleepy, but I was far too excited at the idea of looking around, plus there were so many brands to look at. Laura Mercier, Chanel, Dior... the list goes on and on, but I knew that I wanted something that I couldn't get anywhere else, or something that would be incredibly difficult to get - hence why this purchase was the best choice. Coconut and Vanilla are two of my favourite scents, and when combined, I knew that it'd be something that I would be drawn to the most. 

I love wearing this combined with my Pineapple Perfume from The Library of Fragrance, as it gives that sweet, Summery scent that I just don't want to give up. I know Winter is mostly for heavier fragrances, i.e. Opium by YSL but I don't want to cross over into the realm of those until I really have to (or it gets reaaaally cold, and I'd need a scent that smells quite warm and spicy). But until then, I'm going to keep spritzing myself with this gorgeous scent. It's perfect for warmer months, so yes, i bought it when it's out of season, but it's so wonderful, that I'll be spraying it regardless. 

Victoria's Secret Coconut Bliss Body Spray 3

Monday, 26 October 2015

Esteé Lauder's Clear Difference Purifying Exfoliating Mask

Estee Lauder Clear Difference

Estee Lauder Clear Difference

Estee Lauder Clear Difference

Immersing myself back into skincare (one of my loves) today, and it's this Esteé Lauder Clear Difference Purifying Exfoliating Mask * which I recently took on holiday with me as a solution to my skin, which always gets a bit blemish-y, due to all the sun, sea, sand and sangria - so I always find that a good mask is an essential to take away with me. I wrap it up, nice and safe, hide it within my clothes and pray that it makes it to the other end in one piece; the wonderful about this little tub, is that's it's very, very sturdy, so there's almost no way that it's going to get pierced or start oozing anything, unless it's takes a very heavy knock. But hopefully that'll never happen (*knocks on wood*). Anyway, this mask wasn't even something that I knew Esteé Lauder did, so receiving this Clear Difference product in the post was a wonderful surprise! I'm a huge, huge, huuuuge fan of the EL ranges of skincare, so expanding my product knowledge is always something that I love doing, especially when this particular mask is clay based; for me, clay looooves to draw out all the oil and impurities from my skin, and as I have an oily/combination complexion, this pot is always handy to have around. Plus I love looking at the little 'Esteé Lauder' inscribed on the polished gold lid, making it look so fancy and expensive, when it's no where near as expensive as other clay masks/cleansers on the market. 

Mixed into the clay, are some small exfoliating beads, which aren't abrasive or harsh on the skin, no matter how sensitive you are, and I only find myself using it as an exfoliating when I remove the mask with a soft flannel. For me, it's a brilliant mix of purifying clay, which always leaves my skin with a lovely glow, and tiny beads, which buff away all the impurities and dead skin cells which the mask has drawn out. Another main element of this mask for me, is that fact that it didn't strip my skin or leave it feeling dry (that's always a bad sign, because you know all the natural oils and goodness have been taken away), but this doesn't surprise me, as Esteé Lauder know how to make good skincare, and their Clear Difference range is no different. 

Estee Lauder Clear Difference

Estee Lauder Clear Difference

Estee Lauder Clear Difference

The last time I repurchased my Advanced Night Repair Serum, I received a little tester of the Clear Difference Serum (£45, here), which is aimed at congested and oily skin i.e. my skin, so I was very excited to start trying it out, as soon as my skin got back into it's routine with ANR. Not only do their testers last ages, but I got so much use out of it, that by using the two serums together (ANR every other night, and Clear Difference under my makeup and every other night) my skin loved the combination, and with the use of the mask, started to get itself under control, even during my extremely hormonal phases. I do suffer with a lot of under the skin blemishes on forehead, but these serums really do combat the issues, and the Clear Difference Mask really helps to buff away the build up of skin when I use it twice a week. I've also been using the serum and mask combined with the oil free moisturiser, which is actually more like a mattifying gel, and if you get shiny skin by midday, this is a product for you! It will be getting it's own individual review post, but Esteé Lauder's Clear Difference Oil Control/Mattifying Hydrating Gel * (£42, here) has been a moisturiser I've been reaching for a lot the past few weeks, and it's been sitting really well under my makeup, keeping everything plump and moisturised, but matte for as long as possible, before my natural oils come out to play and start to make me look really glowy. 

The texture of the mask feels luxurious on the skin, and the packaging is nothing less than I would expect from Esteé Lauder; they've always been one of those super sleek, classic, sat on your dressing table kinda brands for me, and I'm sure they'll stay that way for decades to come. It sells for £35 for 75ml (here), and considering that I've used this 10+ times, the amount really doesn't seem to be going down anytime soon - which makes it such a brilliant investment if you're looking for a clay based mask to draw out all of the impurities and blemishes from your skin, as well as something which can also be used to buff away at the skin, making your appearance brighter. I love a good clay mask, and this is a very welcome addition to my stash, and something that I reach for weekly when my skin feels flustered and heavy. I would gladly repurchase this after it runs out, although I don't see that happening for a while. That's another amazing thing about Esteé Lauder, their products just seem to go on and on... and hopefully, on and on. 

Estee Lauder Clear Difference

Estee Lauder Clear Difference

Estee Lauder Clear Difference

Sunday, 25 October 2015

My post-Holiday Tale: Travelling, anxiety and sickness.

Monthly Favourites September

I've always been one for travel sickness, as far as I can remember. Packing is all excitement and organisation, as is the trip to the airport/ferry port etc, but when I get there... that's when the anxiety comes in. The sweaty palms, the nausea, the hyperventilating ... I don't know why it happens, it just does. I know when I get to my destination, I'll feel fine. There'll be no illness to speak of... it'll just be the beforehand that I have to deal with. It's horrible, because I never thought that it was anxiety, but perhaps just nerves? But surely nervousness would go away after flying a few times? I don't know, I'm still undecided about what exactly this is... It feels like a kind of bubbling, doubt-filled mood... where you feel sick and kinda don't want to go anywhere? Like I'd take a sleeping pill and wake up when I get there. But let me tell you this, my flight to Menorca was two hours long. Two hours! That is nothing at all in flight length, but I still felt like I couldn't do it. Earlier in the year, my flight to Turkey was about four and a half hours long, and that seemed fine... from what I can remember (my boyfriend may have a different story to tell) and on the flight back, I just remember thinking that I couldn't wait for the flight to end, and to get home to bed. I think I was actually quite relaxed about the whole thing... I even remember breaking out my really intricate colouring book, so it could pass the time quicker. It did, if you're ever looking to pass the time somewhere - colouring is the option for you. I remember flying to Egypt once, with my family, and I was so nervous and anxious beforehand, that I actually vomited... close to the duty free... not a good look. Maybe it's because it's just me and my boyfriend? Or maybe just the unknown? Why does anxiety happen, is like one of those unanswerable questions, to me. I just don't know why it happens to me.

I think I used to be an okay traveller when I was younger. I remember long driving holidays to the Lake District, and not feeling anything but sleepy... mainly because I was small, and those drives were always so long. So I don't know where this...fear(?) came from? Is it the unknown or just the uncomfortable idea of things changing? I'm not the biggest lover of change, but sometimes I do feel like it's called for - like I really feel the need for it. I could really do with a new job and a move to a bigger city, but I think there's also some subconscious anxiety that makes me mess up job interviews, and shut out anything productive or appealing I could say to an Interviwer. Yes, I can do the job, I would give it everything I have... but can I get that across to the person? Nope. I get horrendous;y nervous... basically so nervous I'll be close to being sick, and then I'll just be this sweet, almost vapid person with nothing interesting to say, but a notebook that says 'Pugs not Drugs'. I don't know what's wrong with me. I can do these jobs that I apply for, but it seems that I'm my own worst enemy; I think I need to overcome some serious doubts about myself. About what I'm capable of, and of who I am. I think I'm okay at writing, photography and the many areas that come with blogging, certainly not the best at it, and i'm good at my job. But trying to sell myself to someone who doesn't know me for me, is incredibly difficult.

I'm not sure why I'm writing this on here, but a blog, aside from all the skincare and makeup, is basically an online diary, yes? Perhaps it's also a way of saying things that would usually take a lot more effort and gumption to say in real life? Perhaps it's also a way of saying something, without actually having to say it out loud? Maybe I'm still afraid. I wrote a blog post about fear back in August, and although I've given it a lot of thought, I think it's going to take a lot more than a few months to knock myself out of it. I don't think fear is necessarily is a bad thing, it reminds us of the fact that we're human, but I don't want it to control my life. That's something I need to work on. 
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