Tuesday, 26 January 2016

25 things to do before I'm 25.

I saw FleurDanielle's post on the 25 things she wanted to do before she was 25, and it struck me as something fantastic that I needed to do. I can't believe that I'm going to be 25 in July. It doesn't seem real... more like I'm 21, and just a little bit wiser. So, in reflection of almost being a quarter of a century old... I thought I'd try and write down a few things... just so I can look back, and hopefully have accomplished something. 

1. I want to have a Spa Day. I'm a very tense person, so I think a massage and just some down time would be wonderful.

2. Do more Yoga. I have the mat, the trousers and a sports bra that compressed my chest just enough so that I can do some poses without them knocking me out.

3. I need, need a new job. My current job has been a wonderful growing experience, but now that I've learnt everything that I think I have, it's time to move on. Of course it's terrifying, but I think it's the year to do it.

4. I need to save enough money to move out.

5. I want to travel more. Scotland, Barcelona, Portugal... those are only a trio of places that I desperately want to go, and with some luck, I'll hopefully be crossing off two of those this year. Oooh, and let's not forget the Greek Islands. It's always been a dream of mine to go there.

6. Realise the potential, that I see for my blog and launch a .com version of OKK.

7. Refine my sense of style. Buy key pieces of fashion, so that I'll always have those staples. On the list are a new trench coat, the ultimate black skinny jeans and a jacket that I can throw on with anything.

8. Figure out my skin. Easier said than done, but a girl's gotta try. 

9. Go to more museums. There are museums right on my doorstep, as well as not far from my boyfriend, so I need to make the effort to let more culture into my life.

10. Read 10 books. I used to be such an avid reader. I'd stay awake at night, for hours, just consumed in books. I want to rekindle that passion again.

11. Hit 1500 followers on my Instagram, 1000 on Bloglovin, as well as 2000 on my Pinterest and Twitter. I think I can do it. I just need to knuckle down and let the passion flow freely.

12. Get a blog schedule, and post on certain days. Currently, I just post whenever I want... and if I want to build a steady stream of followers, then I think organising this will be imperative. 

13. Work hard, play hard. The Store Manager in my store, I think, lives by this. She works very hard, but she holidays about 8+ times a year, just the occasional week away here and there, and that is something I aspire to do. Not necessarily travel, but just take time and enjoy myself.

14. Use my Blogging Journal to plan posts, jot down ideas and inspire me into becoming a better blogger.

15. Attend more blogging events.

16. Let go of negativity in my life, and distance myself from those who harbour bring it.

17. Be more adventurous with food. I like to think that I am, but who wants to eat a disappointing meal? Certainly not me. Hopefully when I go to London next month, lots of street food will make it into my belly. Can you say yum?

18. To not be afraid to say what I think/feel. I can be quite closed off, so hopefully I'll make more of an effort to be more honest and forthright.

19. To save, but not be afraid to treat myself. I can only seem to one or the other, so I'm going to try and create a balance.

20. To be a bit more spontaneous. I can be a bit of a stick in the mud on some occasions, so being more free and wild... no time like the present, right?

21. To not be afraid to show my face on my own blog. So, makeup posts should have a more personal edge in the future.

22. To strive and make goals that are accessible to me, and not feel jealous over what others are accomplishing.

23. To have my own space, decorated to how I want it... and styled exactly to what I would like. That hasn't happened since I lived in Uni, and even then I had to live with an odd shade of pink on my walls.

24. To talk to more bloggers, read more blogs and leave more comments. There are so many wonderful people out there, with such creativeness... I just want to spread some love.

25. Lastly, I want to be really happy. Like really happy. If I can find a new job, and somewhere to live that looks good, then I think I'll really be on my way to feeling like I've made something of myself. 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Pixi Beauty Correction Concentrate

Pixi Beauty Correcting Concentrate

Pixi Beauty Correcting Concentrate

You know me and my skincare woes. Dark circles, blemishes and redness. Those are the main things that take up most of my attention, so when I find a product that helps to combat one of those main three, you can be that I'm going to tell you all about it. This is Pixi Beauty's Correcting Concentrate in Brightening Peach, a shade that aims to neutralise dark purple shadows under the eyes, and brighten, to give a more awake and 'yes, i've slept and i'm very well rested' look. I really is a wonderful product, but at first I was real thrown by how orange it appears in the pot. I'm really, really pale... and I've learnt from years of walking around with tide marks from foundation that was too dark for me, that orange and I don't really mix, but when I applied this under my eyes, I was very surprised. It's creamy and blendable, but not too creamy so it creases under the eyes very quickly. It's a creamy, but dry formula, and I pat it onto my under eyes before blending it out, by patting it with my ring finger (this finger applies the least amount of pressure, and therefore bounces easier, causing less wear around the eyes). I then apply some trusty concealer on top, and it's like I've slept for a good eight hours, and awoken refreshed. 

When I did my research, I read that it could be compared to Tarte's Correction Concealer, but since there's no way to get Tarte over here unless I make a massive Sephora order, I decided to give this pot a chance. The packaging, I've learnt from over the years, is very Pixi. A soft green lid, with a sweeter than sweet fairy adorning it, and a glass pot that keeps the product air-tight and ready for you to conceal those pesky dark circles away. I'm not saying that it covered them completely... I've never had a product that's done that, so it wasn't expected, but it has made a considerable improvement. My under eyes look brighter and less like I've gone a week without sleeping, which is never a good look, trust me. At £14 for 30g, I would say that this is definitely a go-to product for me, one which never really leaves my makeup bag. I've had it for quite some time, and I've barely made a decent sized dent in it, so I know that the value for money is still there, and will be until I hit the bottom of the glass pot. I'll simply order another one when it's soon to run out, because now, I don't see myself being without this corrector.... especially when I use my Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer on top of it; two products that were made for each other. 

Pixi Beauty Correcting Concentrate swatch

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Jurlique's Iconic Collection

Jurlique Purify Gift set

Jurlique Purify Gift set

You guys know me and my Jurlique, and the fact that I'm obsessed with their natural, amazing smelling goodness; well this collection is no exception. A trio of wonderfully scented products that have all the natural goodness that you skin needs... and let me tell you, my skin loooooves these. I've spoken about a few of their products before but will add a few more little tips and tricks for application, and getting the best out of them and their natural properties. The Jurlique Iconic Collection * is a set of three core products, aimed at tackling three key areas; hydration, fine lines and restoring glow to the skin. All three products do this, and I use them, almost daily to maintain a healthy look, that is quite difficult to keep up if I don't look after myself, and use products that help to  make me look my best.

If I'm feeling terrible, my skin will reflect that in the sense that it looses its glow, and I no longer look fresh faced, I just look tired and worn down; basically, what I feel inside, is reflected through my skin, making it look dull and drab. Yes, makeup can cover it, but to really project that 'feeling good' look, I need to look after myself and my skin. Currently, I feel terrible. Run-down, generally exhausted and in so much pain because of my period, but I'm still looking after myself. Tea, a hot water bottle... and re-running shows on Netflix with this Jurlique serum smothered all over my face are the answers to what I'm feeling right now, and a cheeky trip out for food later with two amazing people. Gotta keep my spirits up, and make myself happy, but now... back to these goodies.

Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum * is something I fully reviewed here last year, and as my skin has evolved, so has my skincare routine. This serum is still something I use in the mornings, under my moisturiser, to look after my skin throughout the day, as the days are getting so cold, so I think that my face needs all the help it can get. Something that I have discovered after reading a few articles, is that serums seep into the skin a lot better if the product is pressed gentle into the skin, as opposed to being rubbed in, so whenever I use this now, I press it into the skin with my fingertips, making sure it's partially absorbed before doing the same with my moisturiser. Not only does pressing products into the skin encourage better absorption, but it keeps any excess redness from appearing on the skin... something I do suffer from, so a more even base is a brilliant way to start my day.

Another one of my favourite products, perhaps even of everything I've tried in my most recent years, is Jurlique's Rosewater Balancing Mist *, a facial spritz that calm redness in the skin, and hydrates throughout the day. It's perfect as a boost when I'm writing blog posts, or when I've been rushing about in work, leaving my makeup shiny in places and dehydrated in others. This helps to restore the balance, before I dust a little powder over the top, to combat shine. I've found that misting this over skin, right after a clay facemask helps to soothe delicate facial skin and help to reduce redness, as well as repair any blemishes that may have been brought to the surface by the clay. Whether on my dressing table, desk or in my handbag, this is a product that I will happily recommend to anyone. As not only is the scent uplifting, but the spray is cooling, refreshing and nourishing, and the bottle helps the product to stay cool, no matter where I keep it in my house. I reviewed it last year fully, if you'd like a read.

Lastly, a tube that I always keep in my handbag for on the go applications, is Jurlique's Rose Hand Cream *, a deeply nourishing rose scented cream that helps to repair damaged skin, and help to protect dry skin from cracking, or worsening due to dry weather, or excess damage. I'm almost always on the go, so my hands and nails do suffer from dryness and chemicals, and then at home, it's from washing dishes and cooking... hands take a battering, so with the hashtag #jurliquehands the brand are reminding us to look after our tools, as after all, they are so important with what we do in everyday life. At night, I apply a generous layer before leaving it to sink in, repairing and moisturising all the damage away. They say that your age can always be told by your neck and your hands, so with this trio of natural goodness, you can bet that you'll be keeping everyone guessing. My little tip is to never forget the back or your hands, as well as your wrists and palms... make sure your entire hands are moisturised, believe me, they'll thank you for it in the future.

You can still purchase Jurlique's Iconic Collection on their website, here. A collection well worth it. 

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Serum

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist

Jurlique Rose Hand Cream

Friday, 15 January 2016

Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Polish, Body Wash and Body Oil.

REN Moroccan Rose set

REN Moroccan Rose set

This was one of the Boxing Day sale buys that I was the most excited about. I am a huge huge huge Ren fan, and when I saw this set on Space.NK, I couldn't resist. If you read my blog quite often, then you'll know that I have this obsession with rose; anything rose scented, actual roses... Cadbury's Roses... haha, just all of them. The set is still available to order on sale on LookFantastic for less than £33, which I think is fantastic value for three products that leave me supple, soft and smelling divinely of rose. I actually need a good scrub and moisturising session right now (gotta sort out my greasy hair and dry skin, what a mix, I know). So you can bet that as I'm writing this, I'm dreaming about a hot shower, a good scrub and that feeling when you're all clean, ready for moisturising, and then ready for dinner out with friends later. That's me, and I cannot wait to start feeling like that.

I hadn't used a Rose scented scrub before but you'd assume that I was excited... and you'd be right. A subtle wash of scent, with a finely milled sugar scrub, making it gentle on the skin, and not incredibly harsh so that it damages the skin or enflames eczema (believe me, some scrubs do that). Combined with Almond and Olive oils, this makes it not only moisturising, but a lot less abrasive than scrubs that only have coconut or certain oils in them. It directs you to apply to dry skin, but I apply to damp skin, and it seems to do the trick just as well. I've tried a dry scrub, and that allows for a deeper, more intense scrub, but for a gentle one, damp skin will do. Not only does this, combined with the Body Wash, leave you well scented and divinely soft, but it also gives you a wonderful glow; one of those, 'my blood is circulating really well, and I'm glowing' kinda looks. Like the wide awake and healthy glows that I try to fake with makeup when it's Winter, and I'm full of cold. You can just assume that I'll be wafting around, smelling like rose whenever I use this Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish

REN Moroccan Rose Body scrub

REN Moroccan Rose Body Oil

I think the Moroccan Rose Otto Body Oil was the product that I was most excited about. I love a good oil, whether on my face, hair or body, and anything rose scented was going to be just up my street. It's one of those oils that's so incredibly silky, and just sinks into skin, when the weather is cold, and it's left my skin feeling dry and horrible. With Argan Oil and SeaBuckthorn Oil for restoring suppleness to skin, and Cranberry Seed oil to protect the skin from oxidative damage, as well as premature ageing, this oil has some outstanding benefits to the skin, plus, the packaging is sleek and looks so impressive when sat on my dressing table, next to my body oils. Ren have really shown that they're masters of skincare with an oil like this, as it's combatting my dry flaky patches, especially my eczema which is flaring up something terrible at the moment. I hate eczema at the best of times, but during the Winter, you scratch it accidentally (or on purpose) and you skin comes off like you've cheese grated it (major ew). Back to my original point!: this stuff really helps. Dry skin? Look for an oil, and even give this one a go if Rose scented goodness is your kinda thing. 

The Moroccan Oil Rose Body Wash is silky, heavenly goodness that envelops you with a delicate scent that isn't at all artificial, and it makes you think, whilst you're lathering yourself up, about how many roses and essentials oils are in these products. But there's only one oil. Rose Otto oil, one of the 'most expensive and revered essential oils', and considering that it's won numerous awards, one of the most prevalent being InStyle's Best Body Wash... for not only one or two, but for thirteen years in a row. Thirteen years? For a skincare product, let alone a Body Wash to win that kind of accolade, considering the amount of new products that are released yearly. But back to the body wash. It's scented in a very subtle way, so it doesn't overwhelm you when you're showering, or even putting clothes on afterwards. The scent of rose never overwhelms me, as I love everything about it, which is why I think a soft, gentle scent is perfect for those just dipping their toes into the floral scented world, and this is a fantastic place to start. Although, if you want to amp it up, add the Rose Body Oil afterwards... that'll have you wrapped in a wonderfully warm Rose blanket, and it will cling to your skin, so that you can smell it for hours and hours afterwards. 

What Ren goodies have you guys bought recently? Any that I should be on the lookout for? Is Rose your thing? 

REN Moroccan Rose Body Wash


Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Bumble and Bumble's Hairdressing foursome.

Bumble and Bumble Hair Set

Bumble and Bumble All Style Blow Dry

Bumble and Bumble are a brand that I wasn't really familiar with. Yes, I had the Surf Spray, but didn't everyone? It gave me beachy, wavy locks when I was in the middle of a city: It made me long for lazy holidays with the sand between my toes and a cocktail in my hand. No matter what time of year, beachy hair is something everyone can get on board with, and that was the mind frame I went into with these four products. I was really excited, as even though I'm more minimalist when it comes to my hair, I still love a good product that can sort out some hair concerns of mine i.e. frizziness and excess oil, and I'm actually surprised that two out of these four actually combatted it. I didn't really expect any of them to, so it was a wonderful realisation. 

For frizz, I wanted to combat it right at the source, which is when my hair dries, whether naturally or with a hairdryer. Bumble and Bumble's All-Style Blow Dry (£23 for 150ml, here) is a cream that not only combats frizz (yay), but protects hair from heat damage, styling damage, and also fights against excessive oil production with the powders in its formula. I love this. I use an amount, smaller than a pea, and rub my hands together, before running it through my hair evenly. It then says to blow dry in sections, but I have no time for that, so I just blow dry it the way that I always do, unless I'm going somewhere and want amazingly sleek hair. It doesn't feel sticky or overtly oily, it just feels like a cream that doesn't weigh your hair down. It's a complete winner from me, and I've even converted my mum into using it. Next stop, it's my friends and all those lovely people that I work with. They've gotta know about this heavenly hair product.

Now, if anyone else's hair gets oily and uncontrollable after the 2nd day of washing, and just needs a little pick-me-up, then Pret-a-Powder (£7.50 for 14ml, here) is for you. Dry shampoo, style extender and volumiser... all of those things in a bottle that is so easy to just throw in your handbag and use on the go. I think Bumble and Bumble really did amazing work with this little bottle. The 14g bottle is enough for applications on the go and brilliant to keep with you for day to night, just for a top-up of volume, or to soak up oil (because if you're anything like me, morning hair can be fab, but evening hair is just drab). This sits in a little makeup bag that I take with me to work/out just incase my hair needs a bit of help. You can bet that the full size version of this is going to make it into my stash soon. Really soon.

Bumble and Bumble Styling Spray Hairdresser Invisible Oil

Bumble and Bumble's Styling Spray (£11 for 125ml, here) is basically hairspray, but so much nicer. It's a spray that you apply in sections before you hair is completely dry, much like a top-up for the Blow Dry Cream above, and then you finish blow drying in sections, styling however you wish. It's kinda like Paul Mitchell's Hot off the Press Styling Spray, but I find this not as heavy or sticky, which is a big thing when you have fine hair, regardless of length. If I'm going to curl my hair, or straighten it, then I'll apply this, just for extra heat protection, before styling my hair how I want. My hair is still bouncy and feels like hair: no stiffness or crunchy hair here! I also use is as a hairspray, just to make sure everything is held to perfection. Apparently it's a backstage favourite as fashion shows, so you know that you're in good hands. 

Last, but not least, is Bumble and Bumble's Hairdresser's Invisible Oil (£20.50 for 250ml, here), a protective primer that you apply to dry or damp hair, before styling however you want. There's basically a trio of heat protection products in this set, I can't quite remember what it was called, because I threw the packaging away (rookie blogger mistake, I know) but I just know that I got it from boots, and it was £37, but was worth far more than that. But back to the oil. I can see it being one of those amazing holiday hair products, the kinda ones that you keep in your beach bag to apply after you've been in the sea, as it has not only heat protection but also UV protection, which is so so important for hair and skin. I think there's also something about the many oils in it that help protect the hair, and of course, it helps to battle frizz. Frizz, the bane of my life. 

So, frizz and excess oil are really being combatted by these products, and hey, two products that fight fizz, two that simultaneously help control oil production and one that just does it's best to hold everything together, whilst looking so stylish. What isn't there to love about these Bumble and Bumble hairdressing products? 

Bumble and Bumble Hair Set

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Palette

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Palette

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Palette

Tarte is a brand I'm quite unfamiliar with. Amazonian Clay was something I assumed you'd use in a face mask, but according to this blush palette, the answer is no in this case. Y'know what? I don't care, because this palette is so incredibly amazing. I know I've spoilt the review, just by saying that, but you will love this palette. It's travelled all the way to a small Welsh town from the big, bright lights of Las Vegas, and with it's glitter, almost clutch like appeal, it hasn't lost any of it's glam. The casing is aptly called 'Bling it on' because... well, what other name could you give it? It catches the light and glimmers, telling you that what's inside is something to definitely be excited about. I'm excited just writing about this. 

Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blush Palette is everything you'd want a blush palette to be. Five divine, long wearing colours, that can be mixed and matched, layered up for a unique colour mixture (my current favourite is Beaming with a hint of Dollface) and they're super soft to wear on the skin. Sometimes some blushes or powders can feel heavy on the skin, but not these. Tarte claims that this comes from the Amazonian Clay, harvested from the banks of the Amazon River, which are then left to bake naturally in the sun. Sounds impressive, right? And for the price of $44, this palette is a wonderful bargain especially when you consider that one blush is $28, or £21. The pan sizes aren't even that different; the palette contains five shades, at 0.15oz whilst the blush, on it's own, is 0.20oz... so it's basically more blush for your money, what's not to love about that? Since my parents returned from Las Vegas in November last year, I've been hoarding this palette, using it only a few times until it had been photographed perfectly (the second time around, as I wasn't happy with the first) but since the second round of pictures, I've been using this Tarte Blush Palette everyday, and slightly ignoring my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush... oops, sorry Hourglass

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Palette

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Palette swatches

Starting at the far right; you've got Beaming, Smashing, Prim, Dollface (and underneath) you have Fetching. I'm trying really hard not to make a Mean Girls joke... because they're all like, so fetch, right? 

The first shade, Beaming, is a soft peach/apricot coral that looks so so good on the skin, like slightly pinker peaches and cream (actually, I think I'm even paler than that...) and is the only colour with a shimmer running through it, so that when the light catches it, it looks beautiful. Smashing is more of a coral pink shade, the brightest, pinkest in the palette and one of four mattes. A gorgeous shade, and one that seems perfect for Winter, as it warms my complexion up so well. Prim is an almost Plum nude shade, which isn't usually a colour I tend to wear, but I was really surprised that it looked so good on my skin. I'd always assumed that such colours would wash me out, but alas, with a bit of matte bronzer, I actually looked very healthy. Dollface, from what I've read online, seems to be the only shade that you can actually get in an individual blush, but is undoubtedly one of the most popular. A cool pink, it's one of those colours that automatically brighten up any skin tone, and look so incredibly sweet as well. It reminds me of those sweet as candy shades that dolls would have on their skin, making them seem so jolly and beautiful. Lastly, is Fetching, a Rose colour that looks so wonderful when teaming with a rosy lipstick and black eyeliner... as you can tell, it's a look that I wear quite often. 

I tried to see if you could purchase this anywhere, and sadly, it was a Sephora Holiday exclusive, which means that the entire palette can't be bought... unless you want to spend over $100 on Amazon.com (seriously, it's actually a thing). Sorry to tempt you all with something that you can't buy (sorry about that), but if you do happen to be anywhere where there's a Sephora, around the Holidays, at the end of this year, make sure you snap up one of these beauties. Or at least, one of the Tarte Individual Blushes, because omg, you will not regret it. And if you happen to fancy a shop on Sephora, here's the link to all the Tarte goodness. What's that? You want it all? Duh, join the club. How about we all make massive orders and then bask in all the Tarte goodness? Sound like a deal? 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Palette

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Palette

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Personal and Blogging goals for 2016

Diptyque Baies and Tubereuse

I didn't realise that I actually wanted to write one of these posts until I stumbled upon one, then another, and then another... it seemed like a fantastic way to set up my goals, both personal and blogging for the upcoming year. I've read wonderful things about other bloggers wanting to improve on photography and start commenting more on fellow blogs, and I totally agree with those goals. I want to not necessarily be the best, but be the best 'me' that I can be, in terms of blogging, and the outreach that comes with it. I'm the first to admit, I read loads and loads of comments, on my blog and others, but I always forget to comment - not sure why; I suppose I'm just greedy. I love reading all of the blog posts, until I'm so tired that I can't read any longer. I consume one post, right after the other, but now, I'm going to try my best to comment as I read, as surely the bloggers in question would like to know that I devoured their posts so happily. 

With photography, I think I've come a long way from when I first started. Yes, it wasn't that atrocious, but still, it wasn't what I wanted. I wanted to be so much better, and I would so often become inspired by other bloggers, especially Helen from thelovecatsinc and Carrie from wishwishwish, just to name a few. They have their own unique style, and that's what I want. I also want to branch out, not necessarily into fashion, as I'm really not that well dressed... but maybe a monthly post on outfits that I'm wearing. So not really a fashion blogger, but more of a casual fashion blogger admirer, who does round up posts - as some things that I wear, I think 'yes!'. Others, I'm just like 'No, this is comfy, but it's not something lots of people should see'. But maybe that's a good thing? Not all bloggers are surely glammed up all the time? Maybe a little casual post now and again... it'll give me an excuse to use the boyfriends photography skills. 

I also want to revamp OKK. I do love my blog and its layout, but as I'm evolving as a blogger, I feel like it should look like it too? I've got so so many ideas on what I want to do, and what I want on my blog, so hopefully I can convey everything and you'll all like it, as much as I do.

Personally, I want to do so much: I want to travel... overcome my travel anxiety, become exposed to more culture, get a new job and move somewhere new. I know where I want to go, it's just getting there that's the problem. I need to be more assertive and confident in my abilities. I always think that being humble and smiley will get me what I want, but it won't. I need to know what I'm worth as a person, and go after what I want: Too many times have I just clammed up in interviews, and spoken about nonsense, but now, I want to prove that the companies that I apply for need me for their positions. That there would be a loss to their whole division, if they were to be without me. It's going to take some work, but I think that I can get there. 

Friday, 8 January 2016

Makeup Geek Individual Eyeshadows

Z Palette and Makeup Geek Cosmetics

Z Palette and Makeup Geek Cosmetics

I know, I know; They're beautiful, right? I had to resign myself to three shadows, as otherwise I'd get loads, and then I'd be penniless, but I'd have fabulous eyeshadow... so who would be the real winner there? Hmmm. Maybe that's a question to ask myself next time. Anyway, the three that caught my eye whilst I was browsing on Beauty Bay, were Vanilla Bean, Bedrock and Barcelona Beach. I thought that for my first order, I wanted a trio that could create a taupe/brown smokey eye, whether subtle or dramatic, as easily as possible. It's simple; Vanilla Bean all over the lid, especially in the inner corner of the eye, then Bedrock in the crease to add definition to the eye, as well as along the lash-line, and then blended on-top is Barcelona Beach, to add a sandy brown/bronze smokiness to the eyelids. This is the kinda look that suits so many different eye colours, as taupe, I always think, is universally flattering, and when throwing in a little soft bronze, it's going to warm everything up. For me, my eyes tend to look more green/blue when I wear this look (and now that I'm writing about it, I definitely want to wear this look tomorrow). 

In more detail, MakeupGeek's Vanilla Bean is a perfect base colour. An off-white, cream that is perfect to brighten up the inner corner of the eye, as well as highlight under the brow bone, as it has a shot of shimmer running through it. Bedrock is actually, one of the best taupe eyeshadows I think I've ever used. It blends like a dream, and doesn't have a dirtiness to it, that I find some taupes have, it's just the perfect shade for wear all over the lid, and especially when blended into the crease, as it gives amazing definition. Barcelona Beach is the colour I ummmed and ahhhed about the most. I looked up swatches, but there was still something questionable about it. After looking up basically every other colour, I went back to Barcelona Beach, and I'm really glad that I did. It's a gorgeous matte light/medium sand shade (sand, hence the name Barcelona Beach) with something almost bronze about it, that I love so much. It makes it a colour that you can layer up with numerous others. 

I store my three shadows in a Z Palette (the largest one.. obviously I need to fill it to the brim with goodies) and so far, I think it's a fantastic way to carry around eyeshadows. All in one place. And I may actually start depotting some well loved eyeshadows into the palette, as it's going to be so much easier to carry around one large palette, than four or five small ones; just think for travelling/holiday purposes and the luggage limits placed on planes etc. You can find MakeupGeek on Beauty Bay for £4.95 for a single shadow, and I've got my eye on a few more (dozen) shades like Latte, Country Girl, Prom Night, Homecoming, Bitten and Cocoa Bear. Have you got any MakeupGeek shadows that you're raving about? Let me know! 

Z Palette and Makeup Geek Cosmetics

Z Palette and Makeup Geek Cosmetics Swatches


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oil Collection

Aromatherapy Associates Bath Oils 1

I've become almost obsessed with bath oils recently. Body oils and face oils are already staples in my skincare routines, but since I first bought a bath oil from Neom Organics, I've been hooked on how they leave me skin feeling supple and hydrated; especially when at this time of year, my skin is usually flakey and dry from eczema, which the cold weather exacerbates. There's something so hassle free, yet luxurious about a bath oil - makes moisturising a lot easier, as the oil seeps into your skin once you've patted you skin dry, and leaves you feeling super soft and hydrated. Gotta love it. My current go-to oils are from Aromatherapy Associates, and it's their Miniature Bath and Shower Collection, a set of nine oils that are perfect for whatever mood you find yourself in, and are especially helpful when you need to relax, or de-stress your mind or muscles. 

January is always a month of unwinding for me, especially after the manic month that is December, so I see no harm in having a lot of relaxing baths, especially to unwind the tension in my muscles, as the build up to Christmas in retail is one of the most stressful things I've ever experienced, shortly following by Boxing Day sales etc. So with the coldness outside, and all of the current rain, I don't mind staying inside and pampering myself - as my skin often reflects the stress and the amount of hours that I work. Gotta look after myself, and catchup on numerous face masks and beauty routines (i.e. caring for my eyebrows, waxing my moustache off etc) as well as paying a lot of attention to my hands and feet (they do take the most battering in a busy retail environment). Bath oils are a brilliant way of adding luxury back into my routine, whilst unwinding and soaking the hard day away. So, let's get to it!

Relax Deep, Relax Light, De-stress Mind, De-stress Muscle, Revive Morning, Revive Evening, Support Breathe, Support Lavender & Peppermint and Support Equilibrium. These are the nine oils that can be used for the bath and shower, and unlike some sets where you just stick to one or two oils, I find myself mixing and matching; a few drops of one, combined with a few drops of another makes a comforting, calming cocktail. I love De-stess Muscle and Revive Evening, and even with a few drops of Support Equilibrium added in, as for me, these oils are all about tailoring the experience to what you need.

For a relaxing bath after a long day, with aching feet, my go-to choice would be: Support Lavender & Peppermint and De-stress Muscle, and maybe, a few droplets of Relax Deep, if I want to ready myself for a night of peaceful sleep. Aromatherapy Associates have provided such a wondrous array of scents and combinations that I think it's impossible not to find one that suits you down to a tee, no matter what mood you find yourself in.

For a quick, energising soak, ready to prepare you for the day ahead, I would use a few droplets of Relax Light, Revive Morning and Support Breathe, as not only is my skin supple, but I find that I just glow a little bit more with these oils on my skin. Plus, the scents are divine, and I can always count on them for someone to mention that I smell really nice. What combinations do you find yourselves reaching for? 

Aromatherapy Associates Bath Oils 2

Aromatherapy Associates Bath Oils 3

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Mac Pink Lipsticks and Neutral Paint Pots.



I'm only a recent convert to Mac Cosmetics, and I only own about five products from the company... shocking, I know. Mustn't all bloggers own dozens and dozens of Mac products? Well, I'm close to half a dozen, so hopefully that counts for something. On my to-buy list from Mac is one of their highlighters, Soft + Gentle, in a stunning gold, and I suppose all of the Top 10 lipsticks on the Mac website (which can be viewed here), because my goodness you guys have fab taste; Ruby Woo, Lady Danger, Blankety...all classic colours that would all look amazing on me *hint hint* I want all the finishes; matte, retro matte, satin, cremesheen... I could go on and on. But for now, let's just talk about two lipsticks. Two of my favourite colours right now. Crosswires and Fanfare (both £15:50), two shades that I hadn't heard that much about until I stumbled upon a few Mac centric posts... (who doesn't love posts about Mac lipsticks?) and found that they're very neutral colours, with the hint of pink/red that was perfect for me what I was looking to buy them.

Crosswires is the brighter pink, a pink with an orange/reddish hit that just looks so divine on the lips, and wears so easily, it made me wonder where this formula had been all my life? So easy to wear - a slick of this doesn't highlight flaky lips, or any dry patches and it wears away surprisingly evenly. Such a classic shade for my collection, which I see filling up with Mac in the future. I have to say, this may be my lipstick of choice for tomorrow. Anything to brighten up a dreary Sunday in work. The same cheer can be said of Fanfare; it's a soft pink neutral, with what is described a 'yellow tone'. I don't know about the yellow tone, but for me, it's a wonderfully gentle colour to wear any time of a year. A brighter neutral than I would usually wear, but a lighter pink than I also wear, so I find myself putting this lipstick in an in-between area when it comes to lip product shades. It's the kinda perfect, 'Yes I'm wearing something on my lips, but it's too subtle to do anything other than draw attention to my lovely lips' shade, and one that I feel has become a welcome addition to my vast array of lip products.

Now onto the eyes; Bare Study and Layin' Low. I do really love a Mac paint pot. The formula's are so creamy and blend able at first, but then they switch, and turn into shades that do not move all day. So even though you've got to work fast in the blending, these products are such brilliant additions to my eyeshadow creams - whether worn as a base, or on their own. Bare Study is a champagne gold, the perfect shade to illuminate the inner corners of the eye, as well as worn all over the lid; it makes me look so awake and lively without being too over the top. This is the kind of colour that I get compliments on and questions referring to what it is: Although when I say 'Bare Study Paint Pot by Mac', only a few people will actually know what that is, so then I get to launch into a full on conversation about eyeshadow and formulation, which I love doing. Don't get me started on stuff like that. It takes me so long to actually stop. Next, and lastly, we have Layin' Low, a more creamy sand beige shade, a darker neutral, perfect for the base of a smoky eye, or even blended into the crease of the eye... it's such a useful shade. A fantastic neutral nude for darker skin tones, but for me, and my ghost like skin, I blend in a little bronze to add more definition and it's a glam eye with very minimal effort. For £14, these paint pots have proven to last a looooong time, especially if you keep the lid on super tight, and I'll be perusing the Mac counters soon for my next purchase. Any recommendations or favourites that I should check out? 


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