Wednesday, 29 April 2015

My Illamasqua Top 15: Part One

Hi Guys,

If you're a regular reader and/or follow me on Twitter, you will probably know that Im quite the Illamasqua Junkie! So much so that I tried to do a Top 10 post and have found it so difficult that it has now become My Illamasqua Top 15! In two parts as well because I could talk for days about these products! 
Face and Body Products
Illamasqua are probably by far my favourite brand, I'll even scream it from the rooftops, I just cannot recommend them enough! If I was to tell you all the reason's behind why I love them so much we'd have a very long post! So instead I'm going to share with you my very difficult decision on my Top 15 products they do. 

This first part is all about the face and body, then Part 2 will be focusing more on the fantastic colour aspect of Illamasqua in the form of their Lip and Eye ranges. I must also add that these are in no particular order and theres not one favourite shade, it was hard enough as it was! I feel like this is how it feels if you had to pick a favourite child. 
Face and Body Products
First up are the three products that make the most amazing base when paired together, even used alone, these are now three necessities I couldn't live without. The Skin Trinity!

I suffer from very dry skin and Im very pale, MAC NW10 pale. Trying to find a foundation that actually matches my skin tone is a nightmare. Until Skin Base came along, Illamasqua's best selling foundation. Its a medium to full coverage, you can also really sheer it out too. I love that its so versatile and comfortable on the skin, the shade range is also amazing! It has 25 shades to choose from in so many different tones, Im SB3.5, but I also love that they do a white. It is fantastic to contour with or like me have in your kit. Its so handy to mix on set and Skin Base is actually the only foundation I carry in my kit!

However pair Skinbase with Hydraveil and its a dream team! I did a bit more of a post explaining the ins and outs of Hydraveil HERE. As my skin is so dry, I find it really difficult to get a foundation to sit properly without catching in any dry areas. Hydraveil gives such an instant boost of Hydration I don't have to worry about that anymore and it leaves you with such a natural glow too.

Due to the success of Skin Base, the Skin Base Lift concealers were launched. I use them in two shades, Light 1 to brighten and Light 2 to cover any darkness Light 1 may of missed. I have very dark under eye circles and I was giving up on finding a product I actually liked to cover them. What I love the most about these is the fact Illamasqua have made them with a mixture of their Cream Pigment in Androgen, a fantastic peach colour which counteracts any purple tones. They're basically a concealer and corrector all in one!
Face and Body Products
I was never a blush person until I tried the Illamasqua Blusher in Unrequited, which then broke my heart when they discontinued it. As its all down to that Blusher that I actually like to wear it now. They are incredibly pigmented so you only need the teeniest little bit, which means Unrequited is still safe for a little longer! Two shades I have been replacing Unrequited with are Naked Rose and Hussy. They're both pink shades and matte, but there is such a wide range of colours and finishes to the Powder Blushers, you can get purple to shimmers! The shade Intrigue, just a plain matte white, gives the most beautiful highlight and is very natural and blowy, which you just don't expect.

The newest Illamasqua launch has been the Gel Sculpt and Gel Colours, As soon as I saw Gel Sculpt I knew I was going to love it! As I am quite pale, contouring can be that little bit terrifying, but the Gel Sculpt in Silhouette is the most natural contour product I have ever used. Plus it smells fantastic and leaves the skin feeling so refreshed and cooled. Due to its gel texture it goes on so sheer, you'd think whats the point, but it leaves you with the most beautiful natural contour and has fast become one of my favourite products in such a short space of time!
Face and Body Products
Firstly the Illamasqua Loose Powder smells like sweeties, this just makes it the best powder ever because of that. Though it is also one of my all time favourite powders due to its wear time, if you set your make up with this, especially Skin Base. Its just not going to budge, If you have an oiler skin than mine then you will most likely have to reapply it a couple of times through out the day. But whenever Ive used this I've found my makeup to last all day, without the need to re powder whats so ever. Plus because its translucent it doesn't alter the colour of your make up underneath, its incredibly finely milled, so it doesn't look cakey either, win win!

Lastly for this part, Ive chosen the fragrance in Freak. Im not entirely sure, but sometimes I feel like the fact Illamasqua do fragrances are a little overlooked or forgotten about. They are incredible fragrances though and need their credit! Freak is the one I have and its quite dark, its a heavy scent. Which you might not like, Im usually a fresh scent kind of person, but theres something about it I just love. I think even though its a warm fragrance its still floral, so I would still wear this as a daytime scent. 
Face and Body Products
(Swatches - Left to Right: Silhouette, Intrigue, Naked Rose, Hussy, SB01, SB3.5, Skin Base Lift Light 1 & Skin Base Lift Light 2)
There is still so many Face and Body products I wish could make it into my Top 15 but it was such a tight squeeze! Don't worry though Sculpting Duo, Gleam and the Nail Polish range, I still love you too!

Eloise x

Sunday, 26 April 2015

A Guide To: Eye Primers

Hi Guys,

A couple of weeks ago I started my 'A Guide To...' series to show and explain what products do and are for. There are so many out there and constantly new versions claiming to do it slightly differently from the last it can get so confusing! The first part of the series was A Guide To: Face Primers, so I thought I would carry that on with A Guide To: Eye Primers.
There are many types of Primers as well as things such as Lash Primers too. An Eye Primer is a great thing to own as it not only prolongs the wear of your eye makeup, but helps to boost the pigmentation that you get from your makeup. Which means in the long run you're going to use less eye shadow as you will get a better colour with a primer underneath. 

If you have oily eyelids then an eye primer is great to stop/prolong the wear time of your makeup before it starts to crease. Depending on which type you use you can also even out discolouration around the eye lid. As a lot of people find that their eye area is slightly darker compared to the rest of the face.
PRIMERS
Probably the most well known eye primer in the beauty universe is the Urban Decay Primer Potion. It has quite a creamy texture to it, but once smoothed onto the eyelid it dries to more of a velvet texture. It claims to be 24hr wear, I personally haven't worn my makeup for that amount of time so I cant say it does. The longest I have worn it for is 14 hours and depending on the type of eye shadow I have on, depends on if it creases or not before that 14hr mark, but I do have quite oily eyelids. Another great one like this one is the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, its very similar but the best one Ive found for oilier eyelids.

One I don't see mentioned as much is the Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer, Smashbox of course do their very popular face primers. The shade its self is a lot darker that the Urban Decay one and comes across slightly orange, but this actually counteracts any purple tones on the eyelid. It dries to a matte yet tacky finish, which helps the shadow on top adhere better and boost the colour pay off.

A slightly different one is the Benefit Stay Dont Stray  Primer. Its different as it is marketed as a under eye concealer primer as well as being a eyeshadow primer. Under eye concealer primers are coming more and more popular now, as I think concealer creasing under the eye is becoming such an annoying issue for a lot of people, including me! As an eye primer it does the exact same job as the others, I do love it for under the eye though as it has a slightly orange tint to it again counteracting any darkness. It is very creamy and slightly more liquid in texture compared to the others too. 
CREAM SHADOWS
Cream shadows are another very popular way to boost the colour pay off you get from your eye makeup. I won't go into too much detail with them as Im also going to put some others in my eyeshadow part of the series and Im sure you don't want to hear the same thing twice!

Two of the best cream shadows I have found to have as a long wearing base for your eyeshadow are the MAC Paint Pot's. They're very creamy to apply, but once applied they dry quite quickly to a matte finish if you get a plain shade such as Soft Ochre. MAC do other shades that also have quite a shimmery finish. Two of the best shades available to use as a base are Soft Ochre (yellow toned) or Painterly (pink toned) they're just the most natural shades in the range. Even though they do set quite quickly, you still have a bit of play time when blending them and they do go quite tacky too.

One very similar to the MAC ones are the Maybelline Colour Tattoo's. They are considerably less in price compared to the mac ones. They are a little drier in consistency and don't have the same colour pay off but they do their job. They still boost the colour pay off of the shadows you layer on top. They claim again to be 24hr wear, They do last for a very long time due to the way it sets, however I think 24hrs is a little steep.

OTHERS
Other ways you can prime your eyes are with the NYX Jumbo Pencils. Which I have typically misplaced mine for the photos! Milk is a extremely popular shade to prime with as its a matte white, extremely pigmented and very creamy. As it goes so tacky, any shade you layer over the top will come across extremely vibrantly.

You can also get primers such as the Too Faced Glitter Glue, which is fantastic if you want to have a glittery eye and hate all that fall down you get with it. The glitter just sticks straight to it and I find you get hardly any fall out at all with it, compared to using just a normal eye primer.

Finally Lash Primers are used to coat the lashes underneath the mascara to create thicker and longer lashes. The Clinique Lash Building Primer is a lovely one as it also conditions the lashes too. 
(Swatches: Left to Right - Smashbox, Urban Decay, Benefit, MAC and Maybelline)
Hopefully this has helped decode the vast world that is Eye Primers a little bit, there is just so many I could go on for days! These however are the best ones Ive found so far at doing exactly what they say on the tube! I haven't decided which products to do next, so if you have any you'd like to see then let me know! 

Eloise x

Friday, 24 April 2015

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer

Hi Guys,

Back in January Clinique launched their newest foundation. They came up with a merge between a Foundation and Concealer, so Beyond Perfecting was born! I was desperate to get my mitts on it after seeing some very interesting pictures of the packaging! As well as it being marketed as full coverage for dry skin?
I like a medium to full coverage base, As much as I try out BB Creams and things I always go back to foundations like my beloved Illamasqua Skinbase. So when I heard about Clinique actually offering this kinda coverage for drier skin types, it was music to my ears! Usually because of the high pigmentation levels in full coverage foundations they can be unsuitable for dry skin. 

As I'm used to high courage foundations, I'm used to the feeling of them and don't notice them on my skin. However this is actually really light weight considering the coverage it gives, it doesn't feel caked on to the skin and is comfortable to wear all day. 
This is maybe the most exciting part for me, the packaging! Never have I seen a doe foot applicator this big! It is literally a giant concealer wand in a foundation bottle! You can apply it to the skin using the applicator and then blended into the skin as recommend with your fingers. However I always put it onto the back of my hand and then use my Real Techniques Contour Brush to buff it into the skin.

You can build up the layers to offer more coverage in certain areas, or you can have a really light layer and it will just cover! It's great to use as a concealer too, instead as all over as a foundation. If you used it just as a concealer this bottle may last you forever! 
On my skin is just this foundation, no extra concealer, which I love the fact it actually covers my dark circles! Im also a fan of how natural it looks, it doesn't look like a really heavy layer on the skin but still gives such an amazing coverage. Its a matte finish (my skin is also not powdered) which I don't mind as I don't find it catches in any drier areas. 

Even though it is a great product for drier skin, its also suitable to use on an oiler skin type too. As I haven't tested it on an oiler skin, I cant say how long it lasts. But for me I applied it at 11am and took it off at 10pm, the only wear I really found from it was around my nose. 
(Swatches: Left to Right - 02 Alabaster, Alabaster slightly blended, 3.5 Cream Rose, Cream Rose slightly blended.)
It was going so well till now! I admit these swatches look terrifying! But I think the shade range is the only downfall to this foundation, it may have 21 shades. But there isn't a single one thats pale enough for me! Im a MAC NW10 and Illamasqua 3.5. The lightest shade Clinique do is Alabaster, which if you have warm toned skin is fantastic, on me I looked like an Oompa Loompa! The next shade up, which you would presume is darker, its not, its just pink in tone; Cream Rose! It still may be a little too dark for me, but blending it in and you cant really tell! 

I do love this foundation, it ticks so many boxes when it comes to coverage and skin type suitability for me, but please Clinique bring out a lighter shade! Until then I will be blending away and trying to catch a bit more of a tan!

You can find it HERE at £25 for 30ml.

Eloise x

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

What's in my Handbag?

Hi Guys,

Seeing as Im absolutely smitten with my new bag from Topshop, that I featured in my Topshop Haul. I thought I may as well do a What's in my Handbag Post, I love reading these and I cant believe its taken me this long to do one since I started blogging! Ive been telling myself I'd do one for who knows how long!
The bag that I have is the Topshop Belt Buckle Bag in Rose Gold, any guesses there why I love it so much... It comes in various different options, mainly in the Black leather with Gold hardware, Sadly I can only find it online in the Silver and Black hardware. I have seen it about in stores though! 

It does also come with a shoulder strap, sadly mine doesn't have one as this was a returned bag and whoever returned it never returned the strap! 
 I literally tipped my bag out onto my bed to see what was inside, to say Ive not been using this bag for very long, I still seem to of accumulated quite a bit of stuff...

I have my Ness Houndstooth Purse, which has seen better days but as its fabric and not leather it does bobble quite a bit. But it keeps my ridiculous amount of store points cards in one place so its still going strong! 

I bought a packet of Extra chewing gum the other day as I couldn't find mine, only to now turn my bag out to find the missing packet! But you can never have too many packets of these anyway! I also have a bottle of Juicy Water which I can safely say Im obsessed with, especially the Lemon and Lime flavour, its just lovely and refreshing to have when its warmer outside!

I also randomly found a 50p coin, some McDonalds Monopoly stickers and a card to review Ed's Diner! 

As well as three memory sticks! Which are a essential handbag find for my days in College as I always end up forgetting one! 
 Of course I also have a ridiculous amount of beauty bits just sat in the bottom of my handbag. Plus of course my iPhone 5, to keep me up to date with Twitter!

I always seem to carry around nail polish remover and a nail polish, in the hopes that I'll fix my nails on the go... Which never ever happens but I'll live in hope that one day I'll get round to painting my nails in Barry M Rose Hip. I get a lot of use out of my little Lush Charity Pot however, its teeny weeny and really moisturising as a hand cream!

Im quite upset Lush decided to discontinue their old packaging and some scents including Tuca Tuca!  Of their solid perfumes, as they're fantastic to just chuck in your bag! Im still loving my Zoella Blissful Mistful though too. 

I think its pretty much routine to have a million hair grips just sat in the bottom of your bag, hoping one day they'll be rediscovered! As well as always carrying a couple of hair bobbles and its now a staple to carry my Tangle Teezer with my at all times because my hair is so long!

Finally I have my trusty MAC Fix+ Powder. I think we all probably have a shameful amount of lipsticks in our bags, when I swapped over from my old bag to this one I had 12!! Now I have downsized and currently only carry my favourite nude lip duo from Illamasqua in Glamore Lipstick in Rosepout with Sheer Lipgloss in Opulent. My bright lip options are from MAC in Chatterbox, Sweet & Sour and Girl About Town!

Just looking at all this makes me realise I probably need to do another downsize on the contents of my bag...

Eloise x

Sunday, 19 April 2015

GlossyBox April Iconic Hollywood

Hi Guys,

My April GlossyBox finally hit my door step the other day after seeing all the hype gathering up about the box online, its safe to say I was excited! This months box is classed as a Collectors Edition, with its beautifully designed box and classic theme.
The theme is Iconic Glamour and was based around four very iconic ladies. As soon as the designs for the box were released, everyone got very excited. It comes in four colour options this month, blue, pink, yellow and green. Each colour represented an icon; Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor. Although each box still has Marilyn on the front.
 Inside the lid of the box, is a quote from the Lady the box is themed around. I got the blue box, which is actually probably the one I liked the least due to the colour! Though I still loved Rita Hayworth and her quote!

I must admit, although I can see the theme of the products in the box. Just on first glance I wasn't very won over at all. After being so excited when I saw the spoiler in last months box about the Lord & Berry Pencil. Plus seeing all the lovely colours and designs, once I actually opened it, it just wasn't wowing me. Especially after the last few months have been fantastic!
Pop Beauty Kajal Pencil in Sooty Black - £6.50
This is one of my favourites in the box, just as it is useful. Im always looking out for a black pencil to use on my waterline, I also like the smudger on the end. Im going to try out more smudged pencil liner, as I really don't like using pencil for my liner. Im such a gel girl! It's a pigmented product and goes on reasonably softly too. The only downside, I cant find it available in the UK!

Astral Original Face & Body Moisturiser - £3.89 for 200ml
This Im not so crazy about, Ive seen it for years in boots stores and its not something I'd go and pick up! It feels like a nice product when Ive tested it on my hands, I don't think its something I'd use on my face. I find it has a really strong baby powder smell too. Im intrigued to see how well it maybe takes off makeup, as it lists itself at being able to.

Lord & Berry Lip Crayon in Kiss - £10
This is the only product I knew was included in the box and I was very excited as I love a good red! Although now once I have it, Im a little disappointed as its an orange toned red, which I don't go for as I find I suit blue toned reds so much more. It's something I'll still use as I love that its matte and really pigmented. Just not something I'll reach for straight away. 

IDC Luxury Body Lotion in Warm Lavender - £3.59 for 200ml
I like the smell of Lavender and I find it helps me sleep. So the only use I think this will have is to be used after a Lush Twilight bath before bed. Its not a Body Lotion I'd immediately reach for at all, but Its not a bad product. 

Color Club Polish in Barley There - £4.10 for 15ml
This may just be my favourite product, I really quite like Color Club polishes after trying a couple from previous boxes. Im always on the hunt for a nice nude polish that is still quite sheer, something that would be nice as a french manicure colour. I think this shade is something I'll reach for quite a lot, more so than previous shades I've tried. 
(Swatches: Left to Right - Sooty Black & Kiss)

Overall Ive got to say Im a little underwhelmed by this box, even though there is three full size products, which is great! The box value still only works out to around £24, which isn't the best value for money box Ive ever had from GlossyBox. The products I'll still use up, but I think I prefer the make up and nail pieces in the box this month.

Eloise x

Friday, 17 April 2015

Topshop Haul

Hi Guys,

I did a Topshop Wish list post a few weeks ago and obviously it just meant I'd need to do a bit of shopping! So off to Topshop I went, without realising that their sale started yesterday! Complete bonus! So of course I have ended up with a bit of a Topshop Haul...
 I did go in knowing what I wanted, but its difficult to stay focused when theres also a sale going on. So I have bought a few bits extra but at the same time they've been pieces on my wish list for quite a while, so I was so excited to see them reduced!
Firstly I got two pieces from the Tall range, This is why I love Topshop, they have a realistic Tall section! Being 5'11 its very difficult to get arms that fit and crop tops that aren't actually just like a little strip of fabric. Don't even get me started on the nightmare that is jeans! 

I picked up the Tall Scallop Cropped Vest and the Skinny Rib Long Sleeve Crop, both in black of course! The Scalloped vest was in my wish list and when I noticed they were running out (The reason I bought this one when its two sizes two big!) I had to stop putting off buying it, or else I would regret it. I also thought the long sleeve cropped top would be a great essential piece that I can wear with high waisted skirts and jeans!
Two things I've been eyeing up for quite some time are the Heart Print Shorts, I saw these around Valentines Day and loved them but I wasn't 100% sold on the price. Also because they're not in the tall range I was worried they wouldn't fit right, but when I saw them in the sale for £15 I convinced myself I "needed" them. Plus they're black with a little bit of colour, so I can still wear them for college!

Ever since Topshop released their Christmas campaign images with Cara Delevigne, I wanted these  JOAN Patent Kitten Heels. I kept saying I'd buy them but with a £58 price tag and the fact I don't wear heels because Im already so tall. I just kept telling myself It wasn't meant to be, then Topshop reduced them in their sale and I could of screamed with delight! I love how the heel is so tiny so I don't feel uncomfortable being that little bit taller in them. 
I promise you this Crimped Duster Coat is so beautiful on, I just cant photograph it to save my life! Duster Coats are really on trend just now and I wasn't sold, I just thought they'd look ridiculous on me, plus I always look like I've been put in a kids coat if I don't get a tall one. Its warming up here in Scotland but its still quite chilly, so I think this is going to be my new favourite thing as its really lightweight but still keeps you that bit warmer!
Finally I bought a couple of accessory pieces, I actually got the bag reduced because there was a huge scuff mark down the front and the shoulder strap is missing. Ive never asked for a discount before and it was a bit terrifying, but I needed its rose gold goodness in my life and it was the last one. There was no way I was leaving that store without it!

I also picked up the Lulu Guinness Tangle Teezer, I think its great Topshop stock these now. I was actually going to pay £5 delivery on this to order it from LuLu Guinness and Im so glad I didn't. Plus you get 10% Student Discount in Topshop so I got it reduced too! Im also really pleased I finally have a travel friendly Tangle Teezer as my original one was getting a little bent in my bag.

I may of gone a little overboard but I was in one of those shopping moods and they're really dangerous! I also didn't realise I managed to pick up a whole outfit too, so In a way I did myself a favour... At least thats how Im justifying it haha!

Eloise x

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

My Nightly Skincare Routine

Hi Guys,

Ive had a night time skincare routine for years now, but never anything I was extremely happy with. The products I used to use, I still do and love occasionally, but I think I've finally cracked the perfect formula for my nightly skincare routine!
 Of course I don't use every single product every single night, but most of these products I either do, or alternate between. As well as having those few that are used every so often like masks, because Im going to admit it, Im lazy when it comes to masks!
I switch between two types of cleansers, it all depends on how lazy I'm feeling when it comes to taking my makeup off. Ive just finished my Garnier Micellar Water and luckily have a trusty bottle of Bioderma to keep me going! Why cant you be easier to get a hold of Bioderma! I use a water cleanser like these to remove my face makeup, if I'm too tired to do a full cleanse.

If I am doing a full cleanse, which is most nights, I prefer to use a balm cleanser, my favourite at the moment is Ultrabland by Lush. Just a good little dollop of this, rubbed between the palms of my hands so that it melts. Then rubbed all over my face, including my eyes, which I wouldn't do with Bioderma, even though you can. My make up just melts off, which I can then just rinse off with water and thats it done.

Im a big fan of double cleansing though, so thats when I swap over to possibly my all time favourite cleanser. Let The Good Times Roll, It has popcorn in it, need I say more? Double Cleansing means that you remove every last trace of make up and pollution on your skin, as a lot of the time just cleansing your face once to initially take off your makeup won't do it. 

I love this cleanser as due to the popcorn and polenta in it, it gently exfoliates your skin, which is fantastic for a dry skin like mine. I put another little ball of this in my hands and add a few drops of water and rub it until it becomes a thick paste, Ive found this is my favourite way to apply it, make sure your face is damp too!
 If Ive used a water cleanser to remove my face makeup, I always like an eye makeup remover to do my eyes. Especially when Ive had gel liner and mascara on all day. Im also a contact lens wearer so Clinique Take The Day Off is perfect, as Clinique do a lot of products aimed at sensitive skin. It doesn't irritate my eyes at all and as its a oil based remover, the makeup just melts off and removes so quickly.

The past week or so Ive really gotten into using my Pixi Glow Tonic again, I kinda put it in the cupboard and forgot about it for a while. Not because I don't love it, but because I find it really difficult to get a hold of, unless Im near London! Toners are often an item that are forgotten about, but they're actually a great thing to have in your routine as they not only remove last traces of cleanser but rebalance the PH of your skin after cleansing. I really like sweeping the Pixi one over my skin on a cotton pad, as its exfoliating and cancels out my need for an actual exfoliator. 
Masks aren't something I do all the time, mainly as I have a little brother who would probably have pictures of it on Facebook before I could even say Facebook. Thats one reason why I love the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask as its actually not really noticeable on the skin, plus you can sleep in it, so you don't need to allocate time to rub it off your skin! Its so moisturising and I see such a difference when I wake up in the morning after using this, my skin actually looks hydrated for once!

One I find thats good for the bath, mainly so no one sees me in it and because it can be very messy is Lush's Mask of Magnaminty. Even though I have very dry skin, I still break out and this is great, because I don't ever feel like its stripped my skin and made it drier like other problem skin targeted masks do. Again its also exfoliating when you wash it off due to the Aduki Beans (A favourite ingredient of Lush's!), Its also very cooling which is always nice!
I am yet to find a Night Cream that I actually love, so for now the Full Of Grace Solid Serum Bar from Lush is my life saver! Firstly its solid serum, which kinda baffles me and amuses me way more than it should! Plus its so cheap for a serum! Which really amuses my bank! Plus its just awesome because of how much more hydrated my skin has felt since using it, it can be quite thick as it melts so you can really layer it on and let it soak in. You can put it on under a mask to get the full effects of it, or even under a moisturiser too. Which I will be doing once I find a night cream! 

My lips just like the rest of my face get really dry and for years Ive struggled to find something that really works in making them look acceptable for those Matte Lipstick days. I think Ive found the dream team though! In the form of Lush Bubblegum lip scrub, generously buffed all over my lips, I like to remove it with a cotton pad but you can lick it off too. Its all natural ingredients and mainly sugar. I then add a good helping of the NUXE Reve de Miel Lip Balm, which tastes of chocolate orange. This is a thick balm so I do prefer it before bed, so it can work its magic over night, but I am partial to using it during the day too!

Im really happy with my routine just now, even if I am on the hunt for that perfect night cream, I will find it one day!

Eloise x

Sunday, 12 April 2015

A Guide To: Face Primers

Hi Guys,

I thought I'd start a bit of a series on different products, Its basically going to be a guide to different variations of each product. Nowadays there are so many versions of one type of make up product It can get a bit confusing on which one is for you. 

Im starting of with Primers, as there are a lot of new launches about for them, plus I think they're often a product thats forgotten about in the bottom of the makeup bag!
Primers were often products that were just used for special occasions but more and more often now they're being used everyday. There are so many available all doing different things and aimed towards different skin types, its amazing when you think about all the different ways they can help.

Primers are basically a base for your foundation, it creates an even blank canvas for you to work your makeup magic on. Not only does it do this but it creates a barrier on the skin and locks in your skincare. For a lot of makeup artists, primers are also used to treat certain skin types. As believe me you cannot carry a million different lotions and potions to target each skin type in your kit. So by having a range of Primers you can prep the skin and prolong the wear time of the makeup at the same time!
HYDRATING
I think there is sometimes I misconception that primers are only for oily skin to stop your make up from moving around all day. But in fact Primers are fantastic for dry skin too. A very well loved Primer for brides is the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer which comes in a variety of different versions. But I love using the Hydrating one as its light on the skin, your skin looks fresh, which is great when you're having one of those dull skin days! Its also a fantastic one for mature skin too.

Possibly my all time favourite Primer is Illamasqua Hydraveil, it might be one of the strangest ones with its jelly form. But it packs a punch when it comes to hydrating the skin, Illamasqua created it as a hybrid, a step between skincare and makeup. It feels lovely and cool on the skin, it also gives you a glow and absorbs practically instantly. My makeup lasts all day with this underneath and my foundation actually goes on without looking awful over the dry patches.

MATTE
Mattifying Primers are great for oilier skin types that struggle with shine throughout the day, as they help to control the shine while prolonging the makeup to avoid it slipping. Water based primer if you have oily skin often works the best, so anything that says Oil Free is great. Silica is the main ingredient to look out for as it is the main ingredient to reduce shine. I like using the Illamasqua Matte Primer on my models.
SMOOTHING
You cant really do a Primer post without including the ever so famous Benefit Porefessional, this balm primer is designed to smooth out the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores. It has a very silky texture and is nice and lightweight. Whats a little different about this product though is the fact you can also apply it over your makeup, as most primers are to go over your moisturiser and before your foundation. A popular drugstore dupe to test out is also the Maybelline Baby Skin  too.

RADIANT
Another great use for Primers is to add some radiance to the skin, they help to brighten and add a glow to the skin, especially if it is looking  a little dull. I love the Clarins Instant Light Complexion Perfector range as it offers a huge range of different tones, the one I have is in Rose which is great for cool skin tones. But obviously not everyone has cool toned skin. Clarins are also bringing out a few darker shades to give more of a tanned look too.
UNIVERSAL
The Clinique Superprimer comes in six variations, my favourite one for me and for my kit has to be the universal one as it suits everyone. Plus Clinique is a great brand for sensitive skin! This one goes on almost like a lotion and is lightweight (can you tell I like lightweight primers yet!). The others in the range are all tinted with a colour, unlike this one as it goes on translucent. The reason behind tinting them is to correct certain issues with the skin, using specific colours (This is the part where it gets a little complicated with colour theory, which I won't dive into!).

The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer is made from silicone so it smooths out the skin and leaves it feeling silky. It is very similar to the Porefessional Primer, but it has more of a gel like texture. It was designed to blur as its purpose was to look camera ready, to give that flawless look. 

The other fantastic thing about the Smashbox primers overall is just their sheer range, they like Clinique also offer colour correcting ones, to lighter formulas and hydrating. But even though they do all of those this original formula works great on oiler skins due to it being oil-free but still works on dry skin too, Its great to have in your kit if you're a makeup artist. 

(Swatches: Left to Right - Hydraveil, Laura Mercier Hydrating, Porefessional, Instant Light Complexion Perfector, Superprimer)
There are so many other primers out there, even primer water now! Which I would of included but Im yet to get my hands on one, I am very intrigued by the idea though.

I hope this post is helpful and makes as much sense as I hoped it would! I also hope the idea behind the series makes sense too, I swear it does in my head! If theres anything you'd like to know a bit more about, then just let me know. I just thought the post was getting long enough as it was! I was going to include Eye Primers too but I'll save that for another post!

Eloise x

Friday, 10 April 2015

Barry M Sunset Nail Paints

Hi Guys,

Barry M have done it again and come up with something new, in the form of their new Sunset Nail Paints. The idea behind them is that you can have a cured gel like manicure at home, with no need for a LED professional nail lamp. As in fact just natural day light will cure the manicure and last for up to 10 days! 
Daylight Curing
 The range has been launched with the Daylight Curing Topcoat, which you apply thinly over two thin layers of your chosen colour from the range. Which will then cure it, it does in fact actually feel like a gel manicure once it has cured, which is amazing considering the fact there is no lamp required. You can also use artificial light, as well natural daylight can be pretty hard to come by sometimes in the UK!

I was a bit sceptical of this working because will it actually last like a professional gel manicure? Ive found however you have to make sure that the two thin coats of colour are completely dry before applying the topcoat. I was too eager and didn't wait, resulting in it lasting less than 10 hours before peeling off my nails, instead of those 10 days! 

I did try it again though and it has worked really well and there is no chips in sight after two days, it looks brand new, which is a miracle for me as I chip everything after two minutes! 

The topcoat has been launched alongside a range of seven colours, which all seem to share names or lines from popular songs. The shades vary from classic colours, a red, navy, nude and pink. To a deeper burgandy which would be lovely in the Autumn and a couple of brighter shades for the current Spring/Summer period. 
Daylight Curing
I only picked up two shades, which are definitely in the spirit of being bright and ready for Spring. Although I did desperately want the nude shade but there wasn't any in stock! The two shades I did get my hands on though were...

Peach for the Stars - A pink toned shocking coral.

The Way You Make Me Teal - A creamy teal with blue undertones.

The actual packaging of the product, comes with the new flat brush Barry M introduced with the Speedy Quick Dry range, which makes applying the product a lot easier as it covers a larger area. The bottles also have rose gold caps, which of course in "no way" swayed my decision of getting them... 
Daylight Curing
(Swatches: Left to Right - Peach for the Stars and The Way You Make Me Teal)
Overall these polishes are actually pretty awesome considering I was so sceptical that they would actually work. I think the trick to them is to wait and make sure each layer is dry and also apply them thinly! The formulation is a little thicker than usual so its important to get them so thin.

The only downside Ive really found to them is the fact that the topcoat apparently doesn't work without the colours in the range. Which is annoying especially when you already have a lot of the colour range. I haven't had time to test it with normal polishes, but I'll give it a go and report back!

The whole range is £4.99 each and can be found HERE. You can also currently find them in Superdrug on 3 for 2 too!

Eloise x

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Homeware Haul

Hi Guys,

I should probably be starting this post with 'Hi Im Eloise and Im an Ikea addict!', seeing as 80% of this Homeware Haul is from Ikea. I cant help it I just love the place! Hence the reason why Ive been ten times in nine months... (Send Help!)
I thought as it was also finally starting to warm up a little and actually finally decide to be Spring time, that I would pastel overload my room. So that of course called for a shopping trip... 
I didnt realise until I came to write this haul that the RIBBA Picture Ledge is actually the ledge that was very popular a few years ago to line your nail polish on. Its safe to say if I had a spare room, Id have these lining the walls with my nail polish collection. But instead I got this small one and the larger one to host a mixture of frames and little trinket and vase like things. They're also fantastic for fairy lights and I actually have mine awkwardly just stuck to the wall.

So to go on the Picture Ledge, I picked up the RIBBA Frame, I just preferred it as its a good size and you can mix and match with which photos and pictures you have inside it, Its great for £5! The pictures inside the frame are actually from fellow blogger Bri's Blog Design Love Fest, who has a fantastic series called Dress Your Tech. It's actually a series for desktop backgrounds, but I printed a few off to use in the frame. 
The ROTERA Lantern was basically one of those Ikea purchases, you know the ones you probably don't need, but you're going to buy it anyway. My mum's version of this is usually a frying pan. Ikea just know even if you're going in for one Billy Bookshelf, you'll be walking out with a bag full of random bits and bobs you've collected on your way round. 

Does anyone else just make piles of paperwork that really should be sorted through. Along with the mountains of receipts, that you just don't want to look at because it proves, yes you really did that much shopping! Or is that just me? So I picked up the KASSETT Storage Boxes, of course carrying on the pastel theme. Just so when I do sort out all those mountains, I can put all of the important paperwork tidily inside!
The bedding in the background of my photos is actually from Primark and I officially love them for it. I got it a couple of months ago and ever since Ive been desperate to change my sheets from my winter ones to these. I had a good discussion before Christmas about how no one ever does mint bedding and Primark must of heard me and answered those homeware prayers!

So when I found out there was a matching cushion, I ended up with that too. Im just a little undecided wether I should go back and get another one so I can put them on my bed, or use it on the chair at my dressing table instead...

Now Im not going to lie, I bought the little yellow cushion because it was £1. I dont have any idea where Im going to put it, as it doesn't really fit in with the whole pastel theme. But it was £1, so how can you argue with that! Why do you do this to me Primark!!!
COLAB Hair LFW
Finally I was lucky enough to win this picture by Will Barras, which is of Brick Lane for London Fashion Week. It was a contest by COLAB Hair and they very kindly sent me this as my prize. I love the fact that its of one of my favourite cities and that its peach, so it ties in so well with my pastel theme!

Just reading this is making me want to go shopping!

Eloise x

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bars

Hi Guys,

I love Ikea and you're probably wondering how that has anything to do with recipes. But I actually got the idea to do this after having the Ikea version and deciding I needed it in my life more often, not just when Im at Ikea. So the Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bars were born!!
Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bars
YOU WILL NEED:

For the base:                                          For the middle:                                    For the top: 
200g Rice Crispy Cereal                        397g Condensed Milk                                 250g Milk Chocolate
200g Milk Chocolate                                     75g Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 tbsp Golden Syrup                                100g Sugar
                                                                       1 tbsp Golden Syrup

The Base:
1. Line a tin with baking paper, I used a tin that was 20cm x 20cm but you can use a shallower and longer one too.
2. In a microwave friendly bowl, pop in your chocolate, broken into roughly equal sized chunks. Then put it in your microwave, in 10 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted. Make sure to keep checking it so not to burn it!
3. Once your chocolate is melted, add in your golden syrup and stir till combined. Then you can add your rice crispies! I found it was best to do it in little batches.
4. Finally pop it in your tin and press down so its compact but not squished. Then chill in the fridge for an hour.

The Middle:
1. Put your condensed milk, syrup, sugar and butter into a pan. Heat on the hob at a low heat, constantly stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved.
2. Turn the heat up slightly so that the mixture is slightly simmering for 5 minutes, still constantly stirring so not to burn it.
3. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then spread evenly on top of your base. Allow to set in the fridge over night.


The Top:
1. Again melt your chocolate in the microwave on 10 second intervals.
2. Once it is fully melted, pour onto of your toffee layer, spreading it evenly.
3. Put back in the fridge for an hour to allow it to set.
4. Once its been chilled you can remove it from the tin and cut it up into slices to devour! 
Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bars
If these weren't so rich I'd of eaten the entire lot within the hour, I think these will be a new favourite to make. So if I disappear for ages I may be in the kitchen making continual batches of these guys! haha. Plus they're perfect if you have a lot of easter eggs you don't know what to do with, because thats how I got the milk chocolate for them! Hope you enjoy them as much as I am if you do give them a go!

Eloise x

Friday, 3 April 2015

Hillary's Crafternoon

Hi Guys,

Back at the start of March! (Sorry this post is so late by the way!) I was kindly invited to go along to the Hillary's Crafternoon hosted by Joe Blogs and The Crafty Hens. It was held at The Butterfly & The Pig in Glasgow and was a way for Hillary's Blinds to show case their new pattern designs for this year! 
Hillarys Blinds
I was so excited to go a long to the event, not only because it was my first event in Glasgow! So I got the chance to meet so many lovely bloggers in my area. But also because crafting and definitely sewing is something I really loved doing, especially in school. I haven't really done it since I left though and the event has really got me inspired! 
Hillarys Blinds
We started off by making a fabric cover for a Muji (Oh they know us bloggers so well!) Notebook, does anyone else remember having to do this with wrapping paper for your school textbooks? This is probably my favourite thing I made out of the two things that we did, its also so practical and I just loved the design on the fabric.

The plus side to the fabric being a curtain and blind fabric too meant that its very sturdy and thick, while also very easy to work with. Its perfect for a book cover that you can interchange and know it will last! 
Hillarys Blinds Butterfly & The Pig
 We then had a cake break, if you're ever in Glasgow, I cannot recommend The Butterfly and The Pig Tea Rooms enough! I had the white chocolate and pear cake and it was just amazing! Im basically going to go back and try every single cake on the menu! Plus the whole decor was very vintage slog with the vintage cups and plates and the most adorable miniature forks!
Hillarys Blinds
 After cake we made a fabric bird... which isn't featured in this post because I basically killed mine... Turns out I sewed the entire thing together without realising and had more of a 2D bird than a 3D one. Im determined to try again and actually get it right this time!

One of the best bits of the day was actually getting to meet so many lovely bloggers, its great to have fun at these events and try something new. But its always a pleasure to meet other bloggers. Plus as the nature of the event appealed to so many genres of bloggers, It meant you could meet food bloggers, to lifestyle bloggers and many more. Which you wouldn't usually get at say a beauty event. I got to especially chat to these lovely ladies below, who all have fantastic blogs that you need to check out! 

(Who I got to meet before the event and put my mind at ease, although Bex is from Edinburgh and me Glasgow, where the event was held. I had absolutely no clue where I was even going!) 
Nicola & Lindsay at Cakehounds
Hillarys Blinds
Hillarys also treated us to a lovely little goody bag, including a Yankee Candle and Green & Black's Chocolate! A perfect combination really! As well as a little more information on their brand new lines. Although I don't need new blinds, these designs are really making me want some curtains. I love the bunting design they have done and the tartan (very Scottish!) too.

Thank you again to Hillarys, Joe Blogs, Crafty Hen and The Butterfly & The Pig, for such a fantastic day. Also all the bloggers I met for making it that bit better too! It was amazing to see what you can do with a bit of curtain, I think I need to get crafting now...

Eloise x
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