The Review | Benefit PosieBalm

BENEFIT POSIEBALM £14.50

The summer calls for lighter formulas in all make up products, tinted moisturiser replaces foundations, cream blushes replace heavy powders and balms and tints replace glosses. I recently had a lovely little make over in Benefit and this was in the little hoard of products I ended up going home with. It was paired with it's matching tint and the colour was beautiful and lifted my skin tone so amazingly. I decided to choose between the two and I went for the balm.

So what's it like? Well, there has been a plethora of tinted balms on the high street over the past couple of years so in the long term I wasn't expecting it to be much different, I just really liked the colour. However, this is so ridiculously nourishing and keeps the lips supple for a long time. it's the first time I've come home and my lips felt better after just one day. In terms of colour, it's not as lovely without the tint (we know what I'll be getting on my next trip...) but still a lovely fresh summer colour and it's my go to.

What do you think of these new balms?

The Mani | Topshop Speckle Nails



The Topshop next to where I work is evil. They keep things on the till that tempt me - my poor poor bank account. These were one of those purchases, what could I do? I was buying a top with the EXACT same colours in it so - you know. Whoops. 

I don't have any speckle polishes so these were definitely a novelty and the colours are beautiful. Dancing in the Dark looks like a pale grey, but it definitely has some nude tones to it which makes it that tab different and versatile. Everybody Get Up is a summer pale lilac, not mu usual colour but very pretty. I find that the white speckles are really easy to apply - you do need a couple of coats to get a good amount of colour but it is still quite sheer. Longevity wise after five days I've seen no chipping (apart from where I had a bendy nail) so I'm thoroughly impressed. I do find the formula a little thin which is a downside, but I do love the colours and the difference in pattern.

Have you ever tried speckle nails?



The Review | No7 Shade and Define



NO7 STAY PERFECT SHADE AND DEFINE £8.00

These were a drunken purchase one evening at Waterloo station, not going to lie. But I have to say - I should drunk buy more often. Everyone is raving about the By Terry Black Ombre shadow sticks so when a few people said there was a high street dupe I was intrigued.

No7 isn't usually a brand I go straight to when I pop into Boots, I have a love/hate relationship with their products. This is definitely on the love side. First off I picked up Cool Mink, a beautiful nude beige with a definite hint of lilac in it - I think it's definitely a great dupe for the Misty Rock high end product. I love this colour and its been donning my lids every day since its purchase. It's a beautiful all over lid shade. The second shade I picked up was Coffee Bean, a dark coffee brown perfect for contouring and creating a natural smoky eye. 

The thing that really sells these is their quality. Creamy consistency, they don't crease in the slightly and create a lovely natural sheen. They are incredibly easy to apply and equally as easy to blend. They really come into their own with longevity. They literally last all day and into the evening - which for just £8.00 is frigging amazing. Love it.

These have made me realise I really need to pay more attention to No7 products - and I definitely want to pick up more of these crayons in different colours. They are my new eyeshadow love.

Have you tried these high street dupes?

The Review | Bayliss & Harding Great Body Collection

I was very kindly sent the last three steps of Bayliss & Hardings new 5 step Great Body range. Basically, exactly what it says on the tin - 5 step routine to sort your bodies neglected skin out. When I say neglected, I'm talking about me. Step 1 and 2 are a polish and a wash, then there is steps 3, 4 and 5.

This is quite possibly the first product from B&H whose scent I'm not a fan of. It's very herby. This is a very light moisturiser, as a lotion usually is, but it packs quite a punch in terms of quality. It has the lightness and the freshness of a lotion, which is perfect for summer, however it has the deep intense moisture as something like a body butter. Quick and easy to apply and absorb, nourishing and quite possibly my favourite lotion in terms of moisture yet. If only it didn't have the herby scent...

The same type of scent as the last one (boo) and a bit of an anonaly for me. Basically I'm incredibly wary of any cosmetic that claims to be firming or toning as I honestly think that they only way to tone is to get off your arse to sort it out (note to self). This is a nice moisturising balm, definitely more balm like than a cream. I wouldn't say I've noticed a difference in terms of firm skin around my targeted areas, moisturised and smooth yes, but firm? Nope.

This is definitely my favourite of the three steps I've been sent to try out. It refreshes the skin to no end, add a spritz and it's absorbed, it's incredibly light and just really nourishing. It's perfect for the warmer days as a quick nourishing spray. It reminds me of a toner in a way, since using it my skin has looked a lot clearer and just looks brighter as well. This has made such a big difference to my skin and I would highly recommend it out of all of the steps.

Which of these would you like to try?

The Life Post | My First Ascot











You may have seen on Instagram, or Twitter, you will know I went off to the first day of Ascot on Tuesday. I was kindly invited by Adams mum and I was super excited. I'd never been to horse racing before and I wasn't entierly sure what to expect - all I knew was I needed a hat!

Thankfully Adam's mum had one I could borrow so I donned my smart gear, popped on my hat, and off we went. We all went up on a coach, with me texting my older brother for betting tips, and had an M&S picnic with champagne before we went into the race course. We managed to get a table right in front of the course to view all the action and it was amazing. The atmosphere was incredible and the excitement during the races was unexpected. Helps to have some pennies invested! 

Afternoon tea (not actually worth it) and singing in the bandstand later I was shattered but happy. It was a really lovely day out and if you get the chance to go I would highly recommend it! 

Have you ever been to Ascot?

The How To | Sleeping Beauty Lips

Malifiscent came out recently which made me crave Sleeping Beauty, so obviously I ended up with it and all throughout the film I was jealous of her lips, lips even the rose would be jealous of. Instead of thinking of them as red (as the script suggests) I see them a gorgeous deep rose pink, healthy, beautiful and just plain yum. So, I had a rummage through my collection of lip products to try and find those that helped me achieve Aurora's lips. 

Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede lipstick in Trendsetter is a gorgeous rose pink, blue toned and warm it adds a generous amount of colour to the lips. It's incredibly long lasting and really warms the tone of my skin and makes my eyes look brighter. However, this can look quite matte on the lips. So, to add a little more life and fun to the lips I've added Maybelline Colorsensational Shine Color in Fuchsia Flash. The perfect pairing to this lipstick. It gives the right amount of shine that isn't too slippery so that it takes away from the longevity of the lipstick. I love the look of these two together - and if it's the closest I can get to being a disney princess, well done, consider me a Sleeping Beauty.

How would you recreate Sleeping Beauty's lips?

The Review | Kiehl's Micro Blur Skin Perfector


I probably should have reviewed this one a long time ago because I love it just that much. Spoiler alert much. I guess I wanted to wait to make sure it wasn't just a fleeting love, a fling, I wanted to make sure I was in it for the long haul. Well, I am. And speaking of long hauls...

So, the idea behind this purchase was longevity. Commuting to London and back was always going to takes it toll on my make up and I needed a primer to sort this problem out. I wasn't expecting miracles but I was hoping my make up would at least last the whole work day. I saw this reviewed on Suzie's blog and pre-ordered it straight away, sold on her recommendation. I was ridiculously excited to try this - giddy almost - and I have every right to be.

It smooths out my skin like nothing else, it reminds me an awful lot of Benefit's PoreFessional in terms of consistency. It does feel slightly silicony but it doesn't bother me. Not only does it smooth, but it mattifies as well, any oily residue is gone instantly and oiliness is kept well at bay throughout the day. In terms of long wear - well, I am more then a little impressed. With my foundations it keeps it on from 5.45am well done 7pm in the evening - once it was still even there when I got home at 11pm with just a retouch of concealer and eyeliner. In terms of tinted moisturiser, it isn't quite as long lasting but it does still get me through the day.

I am thoroughly impressed by this and completely smitten. Costly, yes, however well worth it - I will be repurchasing the minute this runs out. It's a complete and utter make up saved. Mwah!

What's your favourite long lasting primer?


The How To | Father's Day Face



Not going to lie, I love having time to really do my make up. Getting up at half 5 has meant that, although I have perfected 10 minute or less application, I'm never really 100% happy with the application. Sunday we were going out for lunch for Daddy's day so I took the time to do my hair and make up. I was so pleased with the result I felt the need to share! Plus, I was trying to base it on a little simplistic look of Blair's from GG series 4...

I started with my go to primer of the moment, Kiehls Micro Blur Skin Perfector, which I apply with my fingers all over the face - making sure for a little extra coverage over my oilier areas. Then, I took my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, dabbed it across my face and then blended in lightly with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush (btw - best brush ever). I try not to blend too deeply as there isn't much coverage left once it's done but it still gives a gorgeous natural finish. Next, I pop some Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer under the eyes and blend using my Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush. This really brightens the under eye area and is perfect for my tired days.

Next I work on the eyes... I don't like doing my bronzer/blush too quickly after applying my tinted moisturiser but it works better to let it settle first. So they eyes have been promoted! The eyeshadow is a mix of two shades of the No7 Shade and Define eyeshadow crayons in Cool Mink (the base colour) and Coffee Bean, just blended lightly into the outer corner for a bit of natural contour and smoke. I also popped Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter pencil in the inner corners to brighten. After, I pop on my Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner to create my everyday flick and line. Lastly, I finish off with Soap & Glory Thick and Fast HD Mascara in Noir.

Then it's back to the base! Using my Real Techniques Contour Brush (are you sensing a theme with my brush collection) I use the darkest colour in the 17 Glow Shimmer Brick to contour my cheeks, and the two middle colours to pop on my apples for some highlight. Time for some colour - using my Stippling Brush again I pop Topshop Cream Blusher in Heads Over Heels over the apples of my cheeks and blend up to the hairline. I finish off using my Collection Sheer Loose Powder. Parfait!

Finally is the lips - I usually prep with my Lush Lip Scrub, then I finished off today with Topshop Macaroon lipstick. The perfect summer colour.

What was your fathers day face?

The Review | Sexy Mother Blusher



SOAP & GLORY SEXY MOTHER BLUSHER IN PINKER BELLE

So, a new release from Soap and Glory and one that is probably a total gimmick, but it totally bought me in. Every product I've tried from the brand I fall head over heels for so I figured why not give it a go! It's a beautiful natural blush colour and it sucked me in completely. I love Soap & Glory products so I was convinced I would love this - I do love me a cream blush.

So, application-wise I pop this on the apples of my cheeks and blend with my stippling brush. I have to say I found it quite a hard formula so it wasn't too incredibly easy to blend, but once it is blended it is beautiful. My big gripe with this is definitely its last power, which is practically none for me. I just find that within an hour the beautiful flush has disappeared and there's no colour on my cheeks. It's such a shame cause it's a beaut of a colour and Soap and Glory are such an amazing brand. 

Have you tried their new cream blushes?

The Review | Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser

PONDS COLD CREAM CLEANSER*

I'm not a huge cream cleanser person, however when I have used them in the past they've been incredibly nourishing but not so brilliant at removing dirt and grime, so I was on the lookout for one that could do both. My skin has been a bit dry lately so I needed a touch of extra moisture that my other cleansers haven't offered lately. So, in comes Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser. 

I've been using this as my evening cleanser as it's heavy so it wouldn't work as a morning cleanser. It does offer a lot of nourishment and my skin feels lovely and plump and nourished. When removing with a clean cloth you can see it removes a lot of dirt and grim which is great, however a lot is still left over for toner to remove.

One thing I will say for this is that I am finding it a bit too nourishing - what I mean by that is that my oil levels are in excess and I'm feeling oilier then ever, I think it just tips the balance a little too far in terms of moisture. If you have dry skin I believe this would be perfect for you. It's incredibly moisturising and would be great at being gentle whilst cleansing. However, for us oilier skinned types it's just a little bit too far in the moisture balance - which is a real shame as it is a great cleanser.

What nourishing cleansers would you recommend for oily skin?


The Review | Soap & Glory Thick and Fast HD Mascara



SOAP & GLORY THICK AND FAST HIGH DEFINITION MASCARA IN BLACK

I've been looking for a new mascara and my research through the blogosphere bought me to two possibilities. Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara (which I do still want) and this, Soap & Glory Thick and Fast mascara. I ended up with the S&G offering thanks to an offer in Boots. I decided to go for the HD version for a little extra oumph, why not! So how did I find it?

Well, I have a No7 offering that I compare all mascaras to so why do I look for? Well, length, lashes and thickness. And no clumping - that is essential. The wand is a bit different than the usual, it has three sides to it as opposed to a round brush which confused me a little bit but I actually love it. I feel like it grips the lashes a lot better and helps to really kinda lengthen them and curl them which I love. The brush also has a lot of bristles, which again I love as I'm finding it's helping to keep my lashes unclumped which is a massive massive pet hate for me. 

It terms of look, I love how this makes my eye lashes look, they look longer and thicker without looking completely false, just really natural which is something I really truly love about this mascara. 

So does it live up to my No7? In terms of looks and hold, oh my god yes, and I do actually prefer the look of this than my usual love. My one gripe? Not waterproof :( make a waterproof version please?!

What's your favourite drug store mascara?

The Review | Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser



So late on the bandwagon with this one, not going to lie. I don't even know where to start with this - there is so much I want to say so I'm just going to break it down into categories...

APPLICATION/COVERAGE
I've had to play a lot in terms of application to find a coverage and finish that really works for me. I've had to change a few bits about my make up routine to maximise the use of this. I pop my primer on, then dot this around my face. I them use the Real Techniques Stippling Brush to dab and blend lightly. The more I blend the lighter the coverage so I try not to blend too much. Then, I do my eye make up before applying any more base products such as powder, concealer, blush and bronzer. This does give light coverage but it is buildable. I found however that the more I built the heavier it felt on the skin so dabbing in with stippling brush is the best kind of coverage.

COLOUR MATCH
With around 15 shades there is a shade for everyone. I would highly recommend getting colour matched as I ended up being popped with a colour I'd never had picked myself - blush. It's one of their pinky toned shades which is perfect for me and honestly, it's the closest match I've ever had to my skin. 

FINISH
I think the finish is quite honestly my favourite thing about this product. As an oily skinned gal I either have to settle with matte or greasy yuck. With this product I can go for a beautiful glow, I look healthy and actually I really do just like how nice and glowy my skin looks with this - I've even had a few compliments which is amazing to me.

LONGEVITY
This is the one category that I'm not totally in love with - it's not bad, just not 100% what I would want. It lasts around 7ish hours before I start to notice slippage and wear, which considering I have 12+ hour days isn't exactly ideal. I have had to play around with application to lengthen it but it's still not quite ideal.

PRICE
For £33.50 I think maybe it should last a bit longer, but I think for my lifestyle it lass as long as it possibly could. In every other category it really is worth the larger price tag and I would definitely think about repurchasing. 

Overall I am very much in love with this product. It gives my skin such a beautiful finish that I would pay hundreds to achieve it. It is a gem of a product and definitely my go to for the summer.

What tinted moisturisers would you recommend?

The Review | ESPA Balancing Herbal Spafresh

ESPA BALANCING HERBAL SPAFRESH

I have a lot of reviews stored up so I decided to do an entire week of reviews. I went and bought myself a new toner the other day with the help of some vouchers. I love my Lush Tea Tree Toner Water, it's converted me to toners completely so I decided it was time to try something new. I found the voucher when cleaning stuff out so thought I'd use this to bag myself a newbie. I was looking for one that was good for oily skin and this beauty popped up in my search. 

This toner promises to help refresh, decongest and protect the skin. Peppermint revives and refines the pores, whilst Witch Hazel and Elderflower help to protect against congestion, outbreaks and blemishes. I use this toner after I've double cleansed in the evening, and cleansed in the morning and I have to say - wowzers. In the evening, after double cleansing, the amount of dirt this still managed to find is kind of scary. I've not changed my cleansers so I'm thinking maybe the Lush toner was not quite as good at removing dirt as this little baby. 

I have to say as well, I absolutely love the packaging. It's a beautiful thick glass that has a matte finish and a marble patterned lid, it really is a beaut. Overall I really do love this product. My skin is so much brighter and clearer since I've been using this, I'm not sure how I will ever live without it - though there is an awful lot of it so I probably won't have to worry!

ESPA is a brand I'm completely unfamiliar in so it was really nice to try something completely new and I definitely want to try more from the brand - I would definitely recommend going to check them out and have a peek. If the other products are anything like this toner they are a beaut of a find!

Have you ever tried anything from ESPA?

The Life Post | A New Commuter

For those of you who don't know (well you should cause I have said about it a million times) I have recently started a new job in London. I am however not planning on moving up as my partner is based down here and really I just don't think it's fair to ask him to uproot his life when he's been working hard at his job because I have started a new one. We are planning on moving closer to the train station, however until further notice I am now a commuter. In my real life I get so many questions about commuting, my experience and how I feel about it so I thought I'd just throw together some tips from my experience...

#1 Make the most of the journey up
So, my routine is this - get up at 5.30am, leave house at 6.20ish and get the 6.50 train. Tired tired tired. When I then get to work I'm not in the brightest of states. I've now learnt to just nap on my way up. My train on average takes around an hour and a half, so I stick my headphones in, pop on a playlist (at the moment it's either Rudamental or Foxes albums), pop my head back and nap. Now, it's not a full on sleep but it does give me some rest and it means I'm definitely more awake and brighter when I get to work.

#2 Do your research on travel prices
I live just outside of Portsmouth, so a season ticket to London isn't exactly the cheapest thing in the world. There were so many stations I could go from so I did major major research. This included ticket price, car park price, car park spaces, petrol, time etc. I even had a look at Oyster prices compared to just adding the underground on my train ticket. In the end I had to balance it all out for pricing and timing and I'm really happy in terms of where I go from.

#3 Chill on the way home
I am really scared about falling asleep on the way home in case I miss my stop (case and point father) so I try to keep myself busy on the way home but also something that is just going to chill me out so I can come down from my busy work day and underground travelling slowly. For me this is reading! My kindle lives with me at the moment and I'm reading none stop on the way home and it's just really good for winding down. That is one thing I love about commuting, I have the opportunity to wind down before I get home.

#4 Don't let it rule your life
At the moment, as I'm still new with this, I am a bit anti social in the evenings, however I am slowly getting back to my normal evening routine of seeing different people - just a little later than I used to. This is so important for me as my new job is like a whole new life which I love, but I don't want to leave my old life behind either and I love my friends, my family and of course Adam so I am having to work twice as hard to stay awake and alert to see them but I am determined not to let commuting rule my social life.

#5 Always carry water with you, and concealer
A bit of an odd combo... I literally carry a bottle of water everywhere with me since I've started commuting. Running for trains, hotness on the underground, tiredness - water solves everything and it's just a really good little safety net if you feel a bit weird on the train. And concealer? Well, that's for the baggies under your eyes that keep threatening to surface! Obvs...

I am incredibly lucky to have colleagues that understand why I'm tired sometimes and others that think I'm completely insane for doing what I do - but honestly, it's not a huge deal to me. I've always wanted to work in London, but in terms of living there I've not been too bothered. My life is where I live, so it's better for me to commute and for the moment I couldn't be happier!

What are you tips for commuting?

The Favourites | Comeback Kids

We all have those products, the ones we forget we have that we once loved, replaced by a newer more exciting product - only exciting because it's new. Yup, everyone does. I have a bucket load (curse of the beauty blogger). Recently I cleaned out my bathroom and rediscovered some delights... 

#1 | Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer
Why did I ever stop using this? The perfect under eye concealer, it lightens and brightens so my now constant dark circles (curse of the communter) are disguised mwaha. Cheap and cheerful it's a winner. It stays for a good few hours and doesn't slip or crease. I pop this on top of my foundation/tinted moisturiser and blend with my buffing brush. On top of blemishes it's not quite as amazing - it's definitely one for under eyes - it highlighters more than hides in this case. Otherwise, total winner winner, chicken dinner.

#2 | 17 Instant Glow Gold Bronze Shimmer Brick
I gave this up a little while ago in favour of a more matte bronzer. I went off shimmer for a while, however my matte bronzer died (long story) so I picked this back up. I've been using the darkest shade for contour, which I didn't before, and the middle two colours for added colour in my cheeks. I've fallen back in love with this product and I love how the tones match my face and the glow it gives. It's a beaut of a product and I can't believe I ever stopped using it.

#3 | Origins Zero Oil Cleanser
This somehow got lost and I was devastated. I didn't want to fork out for another so I thought it'd be the perfect time to try something new, which I did and I did fall in love with it. However, I recently refound this and have been using it again ever since. Nothing cleans my skin like this and nothing sorts my skin out as much as this as well. It's the perfect cleanser for oily, blemish prone skin and well, it just works.

#4 | Gosh Intense Eye Liner Pen in Brown
This was one of the first things I was ever sent to review on the blog and I loved it from the off. I put it away to play with some newbies which was pretty much all black. Some I loved, some were a bit meh. I decided to try again with this when I was using a lot of nude and brown shadows to create a brown everyday smokey eye and this looked amazing as opposed to black liner with this and this has become my everyday look.

#5 | Nivea Daily Essential Express Hydration Primer
Last, but definitely not least, is this beauty of a day moisturiser/primer. I don't really see it as a primer but as a very light gellish moisturiser that I use every morning. I'm not even entierly sure why i stopped using this as it is amazing, not gonna lie. It's super super nourishing for my skin and is the perfect pre make up moisturiser as it really smooths the skin and isn't too heavy (hello primer properties). This isn't leaving my side again, like, ever.

I do think it's so much fun going back through your collection and finding old products you've forgotten. Love it.

What are your favourite comeback products?

The Review | Topshop Macaroon




TOPSHOP LIPSTICK IN MACAROONIt seems like forever since I've done a lipstick review - or actually bought a lipstick full stop. I've been getting more into lip glosses this spring however I couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy this little beauty. I don't have the best track record with Topshop lipsticks... I usually find the formula very hard and drying and I've never been 100% about the colours. I've heard some lovely things about Macaroon though and I've loved the swatches so when I saw it sitting on the till when making another purchase it miraculously found its way into my bag. Whoops!So has this converted me to Toppers lip products? Well, yes. I don't know if they've changed the formula or if my lips have changed (I have been focusing on sorting them out) but I've found this isn't really as drying as the other ones I have. The bullet is still quite hard which isn't the easiest way to apply but once it settles it's really comfortable to wear, not too heavy, soft and has a lovely velvet finish. Not too matte which is perfect for me. The colour is beautiful, I'm completely in love with it and it's been my go to lip product since I bought it. It's the perfect everyday colour for my skin tone and really brightens my complexion. So, I have officially been converted to Topshop lipsticks - the fact that there is a Toppers right near where I work? Well, that just helps... (if you're my bank balance it however hinders...)What's your favourite Topshop lipstick?  



The Favourites | May Beauty Picks

May has been one of the best months I've had for a long time. I left my job in retail, got my first tattoo, went on holiday and started a new career in London. In terms of favourites, I've been using a lot of new stuff towards the end of the month so there aren't many for May! Click here to see the video and all the details - don't forget to subscribe!
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