Monday, 18 April 2016

What's In My Emergency Toiletries Bag

Following on from my recent post about my emergency makeup bag, I thought I'd also share my travel toiletries of choice. I love this kind of post because well, I'm nosy, but also because I think it's interesting to see what other people like to take away with them (and see which other cute minis are available to buy too!).

Since discovering the OGX Coconut Milk shampoo and conditioner, I just can't be without them. I fell for the scent, and the way they leave my hair looking super shiny and healthy. Typically, when conditioners are this rich and hydrating, they weigh my hair down but this doesn't happened at at all with these.

L'Occitane are one of my favourite brands, so I decided to treat myself to a set of their travel sized shower gels to see if I liked any of them as much as my beloved Almond Shower Oil (spoiler - I don't). The L'Occitane Cherry Blossom Bath and Shower Gel has a beautiful fragrance and is easily my second favourite, I guess their Almond range is just too good to beat...

I first tried out spray moisturisers last summer and I'm completely sold on them. After Superdrug discontinued my favourite Vitamin E spray, I found this little beaut - the Vaseline Spray and Go Body Moisturiser in Aloe Fresh. Aloe Vera is one of my favourite scents and the spray is lovely and cooling, particularly on a hot day! I also suffer with anxiety and find I get very hot so I find this really soothing and calming. The other good thing about these is that you can get dressed almost straight away after use - no more waiting around for heavy creams to absorb #winning

On the theme of summer days (should we ever get any in the UK) Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray is my saviour in the warmer weather. On those hot and humid days when I can't bear to dry my hair, I spray some Surf Spray in and scrunch it - this gives gorgeous beachy waves once it's dried naturally. The great thing about this is it looks even better if your hair can air dry outside. Sun and wind seem to really add to the beautiful, effortless effect you get from this product.

It's so important to have fuss-free makeup removers with me while I'm away, and the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is my choice for at home as well, I always have a bottle of the full size on my vanity, but this tiny bottle is perfect for in my travel bag. I love this more than any other I've tried, including Bioderma. 

The Benefit They're Real Remover isn't actually my first choice, but I need to get this used up. It and works fine, it's just expensive and I prefer to use a dual phase oil based eye makeup remover at home. What this does work really well for is cleaning up winged eyeliner - this really helped me to get the hang of it and I'd definitely recommend to anyone who wants to practice but struggles with it. Muji also do cotton buds that are much slimmer than traditional ones, and slightly pointed which makes them fab to use with this.

I'm a big believer in looking after your skin, and for me double cleansing is a must. I use the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm all the time, and these travel sized pots are so handy (and take up less space in your bathroom) I buy mine in a set of 3 from M&S when they offer discounts on beauty products. This not only removes any last traces of makeup - including the heavy eye makup I often wear - but it can also be used as a treatment when left on the skin for a short while, making it a real hero product. My skin loves it.

My next skincare choice was easy - I simply can't go anywhere without my Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum. This is an excellent product, it hydrates my skin wonderfully and my moisturiser goes on so smoothly afterwards. Makeup goes on over this so well too, I've never had a problem with any of my foundations with this. Best of all though, this serum is only £2.69! You can usually get it on offer as well, which is just incredible. I normally get mine on a buy one get one half price deal. I'm just sad I can't use any of the rest of the range because it all contains either mineral oil or shea butter, which my skin doesn't seem to like.

My Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray is the last featured item in my travel bag. I use the Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief moisturiser every day at home, but this one wasn't getting enough love for some reason, so in my emergency bag it went. I do actually really like this but it needs using up so hopefully I'll get through it. It's not quite rich enough to be a moisturiser but it's more hydrating than a toner. It says you can use it over makeup so perhaps I'll give that a try too :)

What would you put in your emergency toiletries bag?


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

My Favourite Cream Eyeshadow Pairings

I'll be honest, it took me a while to get on board with cream eyeshadow sticks. I mean, they never seemed to last that long on my eyelids, some of the most hyped ones cost as much as an entire palette, and I just couldn't bring myself to use them as an eyeshadow base - I mean why would you spend all that money on a cream to just cover it up with a powder afterwards? Because it looks freaking beautiful, that's why. Yep, I'm super late to this party but adding a powder on top seems to not only improve the performance of the powder shadow but also intensifies the colour of the cream underneath. Mind blown. Here are a few of my favourite pairings:

By Terry Bronze Moon // MAC Mulch

Mulch was one of those eyeshadows that somehow ended up lost and unloved in my collection becaunse of the way my palettes were organised. I'm so glad I rediscovered this beautiful colour though, because the delicious bronze tones complement the by Terry so well.

Laura Mercier Rose Gold // Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita quad (prime shade top left)

A match made in champagne heaven. If you have both, you should definitely try layering them :) If you don't have the Laura Mercier, the Rosie for Autograph cream shadow stick in Almond Eyes is almost an exact dupe.

Bobbi Brown Goldstone // Burberry Beauty Gold quad (taupe shade, second from top)

I don't very often reach for the more cool toned eyeshadows, but when I do it has to be with Bobbi Brown Goldstone. Seriously, just go and swatch it - it's beyond stunning. Any shimmery taupe shade would work but I just love the gentle shimmer and blendability of Burberry shadows.

Trish McEvoy Smokey Quartz // MAC Sable

Oh my, these two were made for each other! The plummy tones in each of these products work beautifully together. If you haven't tried the Trish McEvoy cream shadow sticks yet, Stacey at Expat Makeup Addict has an excellent post on them. At £24, they're cheaper than the By Terry Ombre Blackstars, the texture is faultless and the colour is rich and sophisticated.

Kiko 05 // MAC Satin Taupe

Perhaps not the most obvious of them all but when these two are paired, something magical happens. The silver glitter in the Kiko stick is muted by the MAC shadow, bringing out the brown in Satin Taupe and giving it an altogether more grown-up shimmer.

Kiko 19 // Urban Decay Naked 1 (Gunmetal)

The steely tones of this eyeshadow stick from Kiko match amazingly well with Gunmetal from the Naked 1 palette. In fact, since I started layering the Urban Decay shadow over blue/grey cream shadows, I've worn it so often smoked out with UD's Creep that I think I might actually hit pan on those last two shadows in the Naked 1 palette - that's something I thought I'd never say! I just never get tired of the deep metallic navy hue you create when mixing these two.

Do you have any favourite cream / powder pairings?

Monday, 4 April 2016

Lancome Juicy Shaker in Meli Melon

I've been so excited to see what new developments were in store for Lancome after they appointed the inimitable Lisa Eldridge as their new creative director. I watch every single YouTube video she uploads and I've learned so much about cosmetics and application technique from her. The first product which came on my radar after Lisa joined Lancome was the Miracle Cushion foundation. Sadly, this wasn't for me as the coverage is extremely sheer, and as I suffer with cystic acne I really want something with a medium to full coverage. 

So I waited in anticipation for the next big thing, and hoped it would be something I could get on board with. I never would have expected the hype that surrounded the launch of the new Juicy Shakers, nor would I have predicted Lancome working with bloggers on such a large scale. I recieved the Lancome Juicy Shaker in Meli Melon* which incidentally, isn't the peachy melon colour you might expect, more a glossy pink shade. The scent however, is beautiful, just the sort of fruity perfection a melon lover like myself could fall head over heels for. The tint is very light but also achingly pretty, ideal for springtime and a gorgeous accompaniment to a fresh and glowing look.

But here's the big question - would I spend £18 on this? I'm afraid not. As a child of the 80's, I remember the Juicy Tubes phenomenon well. But I'm all grown up now, and the quirkiness of this product is lost on me. I'd have much preferred a more classic applicator, in the style of the YSL Tint in Oils. Actually, I'd have been far more excited had they launched a collection as per the likes of Dior and Chanel, with an eyeshadow quad or palette, a beautiful limited edition highlighter and some chic lip and nail products. The kitsch little shaker and saccharine sweet scents just aren't enough to sway me on this one. Yes, it's a perfectly good product but honestly, I expected more from Lancome. With a rich heritage and an industry leading makeup artist on board, I would have hoped for more than a novelty item and a media storm. 


Friday, 1 April 2016

What's in My Emergency Makeup Bag

My boyfriend and I decided that I should stay over at his more often (so I guess you could say it's prettty serious!) and in true beauty blogger fashion, I set to work on an Emergency Makeup Bag for spontaneous sleepovers or in case I ever forget to pack something essential.

The Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum is a gel formula, super lightweight and hydrating - I don't love this as a first choice foundation as I prefer a lot more coverage, but it's perfectly acceptable for if I'm in a rush, or just want to even out my skintone a little. I've also got a couple of Estee Lauder Double Wear samples, just in case I want to look a bit more polished. 

The Collection Lasting Perfection concealer is something I've heard so much about over the years, but this will be my first time trying it. I know a lot of people compare it to the Nars Radiant Creamy concealer (which was my favourite until I discovered the Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer) so I'm excited to try it. To set, I've got a teeny tiny sample of the By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder which I absolutely love.

I wanted a cream blush in my little kit, as they look really fresh and pretty, and you can apply with your fingers so they're super convenient. I decided to throw in my Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow in Liquifuchsia - it's scary looking in the pan but those bright pinks give the most beautiful flush when blended out.

For eyes, I opted for cream products again. I chose the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze and the No7 Shade and Define in Cool Mink. Both really pretty colours and easy to smudge around the eye with a fingertip.

My mascara pick is an Smashbox sample that came with my Full Exposure palette, so I'll find out if that's any good pretty soon! For lips, I've got a mini Burberry Kisses in Nude Pink and a Pixi tinted lip balm.

Which products would be in your emergency makeup bag?