makeup

Lazy Sunday | Things I’m Loving At the Moment

It’s Valentine’s Day weekend and as such I have decided to write a Things I’m Loving post. Here’s a list of the little things I am obsessing over at the moment….

ACCESSORIES | Olivia Burton Winter Garden Leather Watch

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I have been absolutely head over heels in love with Olivia Burton watches ever since I wrote my Top High Street Watches post, back in god knows when. Her designs are simple and delicate, and I always planned one day to invest in a really beautiful watch. I’ve had some really horrible news this week, which I’ve really been struggling with, and my mum and my boyfriend have been really amazing supports on the phone in reassuring me that things are actually ‘going to be ok’. Anyway, I came home on Friday to a parcel from John Lewis and my wonderful mum had sent me this lovely surprise with the note “Just a little something to cheer you up, Love Mum”. I nearly started crying right there, because it was so sweet and thoughtful and the watch itself is so chic and elegant. I am absolutely in love, I can’t stop looking at it. I would definitely recommend having a look at her collection on John Lewis or ASOS, as she does a really great range of watches, some at pretty reasonable prices.

EATS | Hot-Cross Buns

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It’s that time of year again where there are hot cross buns all over the supermarkets, and although I have never liked them before, I am becoming a bit obsessed. Get me a hot cross bun, a cup of tea and a book at the weekend and I will be happy. They’re so yummy and so cheap to buy! I’m very excited to do a little Waitrose shop soon and see if I can pick up a few different flavours – cinnamon and raisin here I come!

FACE:  No7 Makeup Goodies

IMG_0127I’ve had a pretty hectic couple of weeks, with lots of Uni work to do, and as a result my makeup situation has gotten pretty dire. I ran out of foundation completely on the day I planned to go into town to restock my makeup bag, and ended up covering my face in the last smidgen of concealer I could find – not a good look. It was rather embarrassing, when the lady at the makeup counter asked me what base I had used that morning: “Ermm…”.  On the search for both foundation and concealer, I was hoping there might be a good deal in Boots. It was the Buy One Get One Half Price deal at No7, which caught my attention, and of course the added luxury of finding a lady to help me find my perfect shade without too much effort, was too good to pass up.  I ended up walking away with the Beautifully Matte Foundation and the Instant Radiance Under Eye Concealer, both of which match together beautifully. And it only came to £20, a little bit more than I might usually spend, but so far I’m really happy with both products so that’s good news, and of course having proper makeup doing its actual job is always nice.

HAIR: Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Crystal Shine Shampoo and Conditioner

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On this journey to get myself back to some kind of normality (just trying to make myself feel more like myself really) I have also had my hair done – as the roots of my blonde highlighted hair where almost covering the whole top of my head, making it look more like I’d just dip-dyed the ends blonde, as opposed not having enough time/money to sort my barnet out. I did, however, read a comforting snippet in Fabulous Magazine, which was talking about how roots are in, so that was nice for a week or so. But I am happily blonde again, the split ends have been trimmed away and my mother (again the wonder that she is) has found me the best shampoo and conditioner set. I’ve actually had this set since Christmas, but I sadly forgot to take it back with me to Uni and as a result we have only just been reunited. It’s the Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Crystal Shine Shampoo and Conditioner developed with Claudia Schiffer and it is absolutely divine. The scent is a bit hard to put my finger on, it smells quite like coconut and vanilla, and completely like you’ve just had your hair professionally washed in the salon. And it feels like that too, really sleek and soft and light – I am completely in love. The shampoo and conditioner set themselves, do come in at about £10 together, fully priced (fingers crossed for some deals soon), which is expensive when I consider that I usually try and stick to more around the £3-£5 mark, but for a little treat or if you’re got a bit of cash to spare I was totally recommend these products – they literally make me feel like Claudia Schiffer after I’ve blow dried my hair, hair swishing adverts here I come!

WEAR: BDG Mom Jeans 

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I’ve been on the search for a pair of light denim Mom Jeans for a while now, so with Urban Outfitter’s tempting me with £10 off offer, I had to try a pair on. Then of course I had to buy them, just to see if they would potentially go with any of my tops at home – I can always take them back after all…. Although not quite as soft as my faithful black Topshop pair, these jeans are super comfy, and not too tough around the tummy area, which is nice. They’re a great colour for spring and are currently making me feel summery already, even if they do still have the labels in…

That’s my list of things I’m loving at the moment, what are you loving right now? 

Harriette

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Holiday Beauty Essentials

We’ve all been there, you leave the holiday packing until the last possible minute (clever you). Then the minute that you start getting things in some kind of order, the bulging mass that is your toiletry bag threatens  to take up half of your precious suitcase space. My own, sweet, little Cath Kidston cosmetics bag is only marginally bigger than a good-sized pencil case and yet, with just a few extra products it easily swells to football-sized proportions.

As a result of this – and because I hate to fuss at the airport with tiny plastic bags and whether or not cream foundation counts as a liquid or not – I tend to restrict myself to packing pretty lightly on the beauty front when I’m off on holiday. If we’re being honest with ourselves there’s really only so much makeup that you need for a beach holiday, and it’s nice every once in a while to give your skin a bit of a break from all the powders and creams. So here it is, a peak into my recent holiday beauty bag and some of my top essential items for taking with you on your break away….

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  1. OK, so maybe I didn’t start with the most ‘essential’ item. But seriously, packing a little eyeshadow palette can be a great way to quickly go from a  casual by-the-pool look to dinner and drinks, just from simply dabbing a few different colours on your eyes. I received the Urban Decay Naked Palette the morning that I went to Tenerife (also my birthday), so of course I was desperate to take it on holiday so I could try it out. The different shades are so feminine and pretty, and instantly make me look and feel, nice and ready to go out.

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2. I think it might take me a while to find my ultimate product that I go to when I start to get a bit of tan, but this isn’t a bad start. I’m generally quite pale so my regular foundation is a no-go when I’ve got a bit of colour. In a panic, a few days before holiday I picked up this Olay Essentials BB Cream in Light and so far I’ve been reasonably impressed. It feels really light on my skin, smells wonderful, and just gives me a nice bit of coverage without making me feel gross in the hot sun. It’s also quite a bit darker than my usual ivory shades, so it gives my tan a bit of a boost without making me look weird. For now it’s doing the job well, I’ve definitely got a bit more exploring to do as far as changing my usual makeup routine for holiday goes, but for now, this little BB cream ticks all the boxes and it even has SPF 15.

 

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3. I’m sure I don’t know enough about what the sun does to your lips, and whether it can really damage them, I could probably do with getting myself some SPF lip balm… but at the moment this lovely little product is my favourite thing to stop my lips drying out in the sun. I’ve been meaning to write this lip balm its own blog post and maybe I will at some point, it’s the Sweet Cecily’s Mojito Flavoured Lipbalm and I absolutely love it. As you can see from the packaging it’s very well loved and has been banging about in my makeup bag for a long time now. The product itself is a lot more solid than most lip balms, which makes it slightly more preferable to take to a hot place. I can apply it quickly to my lips without getting that sticky, wet feeling AND it tastes like Mojito – what more does a girl want?

 

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4. Once you get a Tangle Teezer, you’ll never go back. They are absolutely amazing, especially for anyone like me who resents sitting and carefully brushing their hair through for any significant amount of time – I’ve got things to do! Obviously perfect for any holiday makeup bag, although it’s a weird shape it doesn’t take up too much space [or you can just bung it in your hand luggage] and will quickly and easily tackle those chlorine induced knots.

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5. Bit of a random one here you might think? I’ve only actually discovered Cocoa Butter recently when I went to Exemouth with a bunch of friends after exams and was silly enough to burn the tops of my feet. If you’ve ever done this it’s very awkward and painful, and after watching me hobble around for a bit my sympathetic housemate gave me her Cocoa Butter. I am (most annoyingly) allergic to Aloe Vera – a plant, the extract of which is [ironically] supposed to have soothing qualities and is often put into beauty products, particularly those such as aftersun. Although there are some after suns that don’t include Aloe Vera, it often either takes a lot of label searching or is expensive to track one down. Cocoa Butter, my lovely friend told me, helps in a similar way to most after suns to soothe the skin and re-hydrate it.

Her Cocoa Butter was a Derma V10 version, which she actually gave me the last of to take on holiday with me. I put it on every night and most mornings, just on burnt bits and it worked wonders – in fact I was the only one in my family who wasn’t peeling by the end of the holiday (result!). When I got home I tried to find the Derma 10 version, but through fear of peeling I bought this Palmer’s one, which I have to say isn’t my favourite as it smells a bit too much like chocolate for me and makes me feel a bit sick. The results however, are still the same and I would recommend to anyone who is allergic to products in after suns, or who has sensitive skin, to try Cocoa Butter instead, it is truly a holiday essential for me.

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6. My sister and I are both big preachers for the Toni & Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturising Spray and in fact we both took this little product away with us. The perfect size for travelling, and yet a product that seems to last and last, this sea salt spray is great for giving your hair just a little bit of oomph. In hot, humid weather my hair tends to either go frizzy or just a bit flat and shiny and so it’s nice after a good blow-dry, or just before going out to add a couple of sprays of this to your hair to just give it a bit more life and volume.

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6. Ok so this one is more of a pre-holiday essential I would argue, although you could also take it with you if you wanted. My sister laughed so hard when she found me a few days before holiday putting my Cocoa Brown fake tan on. Ofcourse, the point of a beach holiday, other than relaxing, is to get a lovely natural tan. However, that doesn’t stop the first day of looking a bit out-of-place, and pale in a bikini, whilst you wait for your skin to bronze naturally. I learnt this after I went to New York, where everybody was beautiful and bronzed and me and mum were the pale tourists. Similarly on a package holiday you can always tell who’s just arrived…. So I faked it up and waited for my natural tan to arrive  – perfect. This St Tropez Wash Off Bronzing Mousse, I think is particularly good, for if you just want to give yourself a bit of a ‘starter tan’. You can simply put it on in the morning and wash it off that evening.

I hope you might have found this list useful if you’re packing for a holiday yourself, what are your holiday essentials? How does your makeup routine change over the summer? 

Harriette

 

Getting my Gatsby On…

On Friday night I was very excited to go to my university’s Prohibition Ball organised by the Raise and Give Society (RAG). I had wanted to go to or throw a Great Gatsby themed party for ages, because I love the fashion from the age with all the lace and sequins and feathers. I was particularly lucky, because I already had a dress to wear. I bought this dress from River Island before Christmas, because I walked into the shop and absolutely fell in love with it, to me (without trying to sound too cheesy) it’s like a dress that you would wear on the red carpet – at £50 it was a bit of an investment piece, but I can see that I am going to wear it a lot!

Like any big night out the part that was the most fun was the getting ready. My wonderful flatmate Giulia curled my hair for me, which was really lovely and I was trading lipsticks and dresses with people, lending my Topshop lipstick to my friend Rachel who did my eye makeup with her Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette. Amid all the lipstick swapping and fixing our headbands it was absolutely chucking it down outside, but that didn’t deter us.

Sorry about the poor picture quality. Here I am wearing: MaxFactor Miracle Touch Foundation, Sleek Contouring Kit Highlighter, Bronzer and Blusher, MaxFactor Wild Mega Volume Mascara, No7 Stay Perfect Metallic Eyes Pencil, Maxfactor Lipfinity Lasting Lip Tint 04 and eyeshadows from the Urban Decay Naked Palette 3.

The Ball was held at Exeter Phoenix – a really nice arts centre where a lot of bands come to play and theatre productions are put on. It was really great to see everyone all dressed up, and although their was distinctly more girls, a lot of the boys looked great too in their trilby hats and braces holding fake cigars. RAG managed to get hold of Bristol DJs Toyboy and Robin [I’ve never heard of them either] and they played a lot of jazz music and songs from the Gatsby Soundtrack at the beginning of the night with a projector screen behind them showing clips from the movie in black and white. As well, as this there were some really great dancers, an old fashioned popcorn machine, and even some people poledancing, so there was a lot going on and we had a really fun night.

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Thank you for reading! Have any of you been to Great Gatsby themed parties? If so what did you wear? How did you do your makeup/ hair etc?

Harriette

8 Best alternative Advent Calendars

Yes it’s come round to that time of year again where it’s nearly the beginning of Advent where each day you will open a little cardboard door to unveil a minuscule piece of chocolate, generally in the shape of a Christmas present or a robin or something festive. This year however, it would appear that we might be ditching the daily dose of chocolate as a number of our favourite companies have started putting forward rather persuasive alternatives. Here’s a look at the top 8 alternative Advent Calendars available this year:

1. Freedom Advent Jewellery Calendar from Topshop

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Freedom for Topshop’s debut Advent Calendar is priced at £28.00 and includes: 12 pairs of stud earrings, 4 ditsy fine bracelets and 8 necklaces from the well-known Topshop jewellery brand, so by the 25th of December you’ll be covered in bling.

2. Yankee Candle Advent Calendar

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Yankee Candle’s gorgeous wreath shaped Advent Calendar is retailing at just £21.99. Behind each door you will find a cute little tea light, one for each day until Christmas. Fragrances include: Snow in Love, Balsam & Cedar, Merry Marshmallow, Red Apple Wreath, Snowflake Cookie and Sparkling Cinnamon – to keep your house smelling festive throughout the whole of December.

3. The Body Shop Advent Calendar

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On sale for £30 The Body Shop Advent Calendar includes everything from hand cream, to all of your favourite body lotions, lip butters and delicious soaps. The products themselves are worth over £65 in total so you’re getting a good bargain for you money and a special treat every day. [Sorry I can’t seem to find a link for this online, I will update this post if I do find a link]

4. Benefit ‘Countdown to Love’ Advent Calendar

 

The one that a lot of Benefit fans have been waiting for! The Benefit ‘Countdown to Love’ Advent Calendar is being sold at a somewhat pricey £50 but it does include a great range of travel size products from BADgirl waterproof eye liner to Dandelion blusher. Currently this product appears to be sold out on the Benefit website, but keep your eyes peeled as it’s likely to be back in stock before 1st December. Click here to read a review: http://totalmakeupaddict.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/benefit-advent-calendar-countdown-to.html

5. Boots Beauty Advent Calendar

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Another great value for money gift is the Boots Beauty Advent Calendar. Like the Body Shop one this calendar is worth £65 but retailed for just £30 and includes products from brands such as Mavala, Seventeen, Paco Rabanne and Nails Inc. I’ve got my eye on this one personally!

6. YOU Beauty Discovery Advent Calendar

 

The best value for money, this YOU Beauty Discovery Advent Calendar is available for £49.95, with the contents inside worth £240,so a very good investment if you like YOU Beauty boxes. YOU have been doing advent calendars for a while now and the reviews always seem good, so maybe one worth looking at if you fancy treating yourself or a loved one. Contents include products from brands such as Caudalie, ESPA, Sisley, Stila and many more…

7. Selfridges’ Beauty Advent Calendar

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The most expensive one on the list, but also pretty much guaranteed to be the most luxurious Selfridges’ Beauty Advent Calendar will add a little glamour to your Christmas this year. Priced at £84.00 it is certainly more of a Christmas present than merely a countdown to the day, but saying that you do appear to get a wide variety of products for your money as you can see above. With this cheeky Advent Calendar you will receive fragrances, makeup and skin cares products from Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehl’s, Victor and Rolf and many others.

8. Ciate Mini Mani Month

 

Time to get your nails ready! This Ciate Mini Mani Month Advent Calendar will see that you have a colour for every occasion. The Calendar is available for £42.00 and features 19 of Ciate’s best-selling Paint Pots and 4 textured manicure toppers from Caviar to Sequin, as well as a surprise full-sized paint pot. What is there not to love?

That’s it for my top 8 alternative Advent Calendars for this year. I would love to know, if you liked this post, if you’re looking at getting a calendar yourself or which you would most like to find on your doorstep on the 1st December. Thanks for reading, comment below and let me know!

Harriette Xxx

This week I’m Loving… Elemis Mattifying Moisturiser

Trust me I am the last person to complain when it’s lovely and hot in the summer, but I do feel I have to limit how much foundation I wear in the hotter months. This unfortunately can mean that my skin looks very shiny during the day but OH I have found the perfect solution!

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This week I am loving Elemis Skin Clear Mattifying Moisturiser which delivers hydration to the skin without shine. It’s got a lovely fresh scent – sort of lemony with a hint of cucumber maybe – and works great when applied before primer to the skin helping me to stop looking so greasy in the summer months. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone who has similar issues with their skin.

For those of you living in the UK you can purchase Elemis products at all major department stores including Debenhams and John Lewis.

Harriette xxx

Urban Decay + Makeup Tips

Got my makeup done today at the Urban Decay makeup stand in my local Debenhams as part of this special promotion thing, which was really nice! I had heard about the Naked eyeshadow palettes and wanted to try them out. The lady really knew her stuff, and gave me lots of advice on blusher and primer and blending different eyeshadows, I felt like a total novice! Was really pleased with the final results as a makeup artist is waayy better at my makeup than I am, although I did feel slightly guilted into buying the Pore Perfecting: complexion primer potion (see below) currently looking for anyone who fancies buying me their Good Karma Optical Blending Brush. Please?

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OK so apparently most of the makeup advice I was given was obvious, but incase like me you have pretty much no idea about most things here are some things I learnt:

1> Wearing a primer is very important as it helps to even out the texture of your skin, making it smooth so that foundation is easier to apply and more even. It also helps your foundation stay on longer, so if you’re like me and your bags under your eyes slowly become visible throughout the day, it should prove very useful!

2> Using a foundation brush can be helpful as it allows for even courage and means you should only need a little foundation per application.

3> An eyebrow shadow applied with a brush will be less severe than using a pencil for shaping your eyebrows for daytime.

4> Light neutral-toned eyeshadows make for great highlighters in the arch under your eyebrow.

5>Applying lipstick with a lip brush is much easier than using the lipstick directly and avoids wobbly mistakes.

6> Choosing an eyeliner/eyeshadow carefully can really help bring out the colour of your eyes!  (Today I was advised to choose a deep plum coloured eye-crayon to help bring out the green of my eyes)

Hope this has been helpful to any of those makeup newbies.

Harriette xx