Wednesday, 29 November 2017

What I've Added To My Winter Beauty Routine

winter skin and hair care

As much as I love Winter and everything that comes with it (cosy nights in, twinkly Christmas lights and just the general festive atmosphere), my body, on the other hand, certainly doesn't appreciate it quite as much. Having dehydrated skin all year round means that as soon as it starts to get colder and I'm exposed to the cold, then the heating, the cold again, my skin almost cries out for hydrating products. And this year other areas of my body have also followed suit and become quite agitated and flaky. As a result, I decided to try out a few new products, adding them to my everyday beauty routine and today I'm here to share my thoughts on them.

So let's see what's keeping me from turning into some kind of scaly reptitle this Winter;

bilou tasty donut review

First up we have my main priority when it comes to my Winter beauty routine; my skin. As mentioned above, my skin tends to get quite dehydrated regardless of the time of year but in the Winter it really takes it to a whole new level. I also suffer from keratosis pilaris, which is a skin condition where parts of your body, in my case my legs and arms, look like they're permanently covered in goosebumps. In the Summer or when I'm on holiday and exposed to some warmth and sunshine it definitely improves but on the flipside, it becomes even more noticeable and risen in Winter.

I've tried a number of body scrubs over the years, namely from Soap & Glory but was looking for something a little more intensive this time around and that's when the Joan Collins I Am Woman Dry Oil Body Polish* arrived at my door. I hadn't tried anything from Joan's beauty range before but was instantly won over by the way this looked and the fact that it was quite a coarse scrub. I've definitely enjoyed using this and can always see a big difference to the dry, rough patches on my arms in particular, when I exfoliate. I also love the fact that I always, without fail, end up singing 'I Am Woman', a la the ladies from Sex and the City 2, whenever I'm using this.

Now surely I can't be the only one who finds it all the more difficult to willingly want to jump in for a quick shower in this kind of weather. I either need to put the heating on for at least half an hour prior to my shower so I don't freeze when I'm getting out of the shower or when my full body isn't under the scalding hot water or I end up putting it off another day in the hopes that it will be warmer, which it never is. As an incentive to make me actually want to have of a shower, I picked up this Bilou Creamy Shower Foam on a recent trip to Superdrug and believe me when I say, this is a serious gamechanger. The scent alone is enough of a reason to pick one of these up. It honestly smells good enough to eat and makes the whole prospect of showering in the Winter 100 times more appealing to me.

Clinique Moisture Surge Concentrate review

I'm still on the hunt for a really good rich facial moisturiser (leave any recommendations below if you've found one which works for you) but I'm happy to have added a lighter one to my routine after I was given the opportunity to try the new Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate*. I wasn't sure if it would be more of a Summer kind of skincare product but it gives dry patches a real boost of moisture throughout the day and whenever it desperately needs some hydration. I also love the pump applicator. Why can't all skincare and body products come with a pump applicator?!

I've put off trying the next item in today's post for what must be years, even though I love and regularly use some of the other products from the range and that is Kiehl's iconic and highly lauded Creme De Corps. I've resisted trying it out solely because I didn't want to fall in love with it due to it's rather hefty price tag but as I predicted, I did. It's honestly like a suped up version of my other favourite moisturiser, the Garnier Oil Beauty Oil-Infused Nourishing Lotion. I am glad that I opted for the sample size first, which I actually treated myself to before my trip to New York, as that way it wasn't such a big blow to my bank balance but I may need to swoop in on the Boxing Day sales to see if I can grab myself a 750ml bottle, again mostly because it has a pump applicator but also because that size should last me a good while.

aveda pramasana review

Much like my skin, my hair tends to have a bit of a tantrum in the colder months as well and I've found my hair has been feeling much more brittle and almost straw like at the ends, despite never encountering that issue before. I'd heard great things about the Sachajuan Hair Repair* so when Escentual got in touch to see if I'd like to review it, I just had to say yes. This has all the benefits of an intensive treatment without the commitment or half an hour or more sat with your hair smothered in leave in mask or treatment. All you need to do is apply it like a conditioner, whilst in the shower, leave it on for five to ten minutes, depending on how long it takes me to wash and/or shave in that time and then rinse it off and I can definitely feel the difference. I'd given my hair a bit of a break from conditioners in recent months, solely because it was making my hair really greasy, no matter how little or sparsely it was applied and now my hair feels nourished without the worry of it being laden with product afterwards.

I actually tried a little sample size of the Aveda Pramasana Purifying Scalp Cleanser, which I still have some left of, at the last St. Enoch event I went to. I had my scalp examined by the Aveda team and was given a few sample sizes to try at home. I popped back in to the Aveda counter at Debenhams in St. Enoch after using the Scalp Cleanser a few times and ended up buying the Protective Scalp Concentrate from the same line. This is more of a leave in treatment which helps to balance sebum levels whilst leaving the scalp feeling nourished and comfortable. If you suffer from an itchy or dry scalp, particularly at this time of year, or get quite a bit of dandruff fallout, I'd seriously consider checking this range out. I've got another St. Enoch event this week and I think I might just need to go in and buy the full size of the Scalp Cleanser as I'm not sure I could go without now.

Do you have a Winter skincare or haircare routine? If so, what do you add to your usual routine? And have you tried any of the products in today's post? If so, what do you think? If not, do they sound up your street?


Sunday, 26 November 2017

The Look Incredible November Deluxe Beauty Box

look incredible beauty box deluxe

Just when you think the subscription free beauty box market can't get any better, see my recent review of the Latest In Beauty Cosmopolitan Party Starter Edit for more on that, Look Incredible raise the stakes, yet again, with their November Deluxe beauty box*. Priced at £35, let's see exactly what it includes;

huda beauty lip strobe review

Look Incredible are one of the rare beauty boxes where you can expect to find full sized beauty products and not just one accompanied by several minis and travel sizes, normally every single item is full sized and that's exactly what we've got in this month's box, plus an additional little bonus product, which I'll go onto discuss further below.

When I first opened the box, one product immediately caught my eye and I still can't quite believe that it was included in this particular beauty box. Huda Beauty is one of those brands that I've been admiring from afar for a while now, namely their lip products, so you can imagine just how happy I was when I saw a Huda Beauty Lip Strobe in this month's box. First of all, it's just the prettiest shade and is designed to work a bit like a lip topper, on top of some of your favourite lip products and I seriously cannot get enough of it. It's also worth £17 alone, which already has me more than a little bit impressed with what you get for your £35 with this box and we've only just begun.

benefit high beam review

Next we have another big beauty brand, something you don't always find in similar beauty boxes. I mean, I'm all for trying out new brands and products but sometimes it's nice to see a familiar face when it comes to already well recognised and much loved brands.

I've actually never tried High Beam before but I'm a big fan of Benefit's face products, as highlighted in this blog post, so I was very happy to finally have a bottle of it for me to try it out myself. And talking of bottles, this is also a slightly larger bottle than the one currently for sale by Benefit, as they recently updated this product to change the lid and reduce the size from 13ml to 10ml, without reducing the price. This is worth £21.50, so with this product and the Huda Beauty lip strobe you've already paid for the price of this box with just two of the products. What a deal, eh?!

too faced perfect eyes eyeliner review

Next we have a product from Too Faced, their Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in the shade Perfect Navy. I'm always more than happy to receive a Too Faced product in these types of boxes namely because I tend to get distracted by the melted lip products and eyeshadow palettes when at one of their counters. The formula is fantastic, it's incredibly buttery and soft without being guilty of smudging, probably due to the fact that it's waterproof. I also don't currently own a navy eyeliner so it's always handy to add something which will actually be useful to my collection. This is also worth £15, for those of you keeping track.

bare minerals volumizing mascara review

And last but not least we have the bareMinerals Lash Domination Volumising Mascara Duo. Again, I've only really tried bareMinerals lip and base products so I was certainly happy to see both of these in this month's box. You also get a full size of the mascara and an additional luxury travel/sample size, this time with a petite precision brush so it isn't the exact same brush as the full size, which I really appreciate. I've popped the mini in my travel makeup bag and have been using the full size in rotation with a few other mascaras over the past month or so and I have to say, I'm impressed. It doesn't flake or transfer, which are two of the biggest things that I look for in a mascara. I also really like the amount of volume it gives me, without making my lashes look spidery, if you know what I mean. The two, which were originally sold as a gift set, therefore have a value of £27.99, aka. almost the price of the full box.

Overall, I still can't quite believe the value for money with this particular box. It really is unreal, as are the brands and products that feature.

What do you think of this particular beauty box? Have you ever bought one of Look Incredible's boxes? And what's the best thing you've ever received or seen in a beauty box?


Friday, 24 November 2017

The Best Of The Black Friday/Cyber Weekend Deals & Every Code You Need

best black friday deals 2017 uk

Looking to bag some serious savings and big bargains this weekend? Then you've come to the right place. As a serious shopaholic myself, I've done all the hard work so you don't have to by listing all of the stores participating in Black Friday/Cyber Weekend this year. And above you'll find some of the pieces that I've already added to my basket. It's safe to say that I'll finally be treating myself to some things that I've had my eye on for a while, especially when some of the items are very rarely discounted. I also need a new hairdryer so maybe it's time to treat myself to one that should hopefully last more than a year. We will see...

Kate Spade New York Watson Lane Very Merry Pink Velvet Backpack (Was £228 - Now £182)
Glossier You (Was £45 - Now £36)
ghd Air Hair Dryer (Was £99 - Now £77)
New Look Dark Green Velvet Wrap Dress (Was £19.99 - Now £15)
Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Icons Gift Set (Was £55 - Now £49.50)
Miss Selfridge Nude Faux Fur Cross Body Bag (Was £29 - Now 20.30)
Accessorize Rosie Bunny Ballerina Slippers (Was £14 - Now £10.50)
Zoeva Luxe Crease Brush (Was £9 - Now £8.10)

And here are the best of the Black Friday/Cyber Weekend deals, which I will be updating daily, as well as every discount code that you need. Just click the retailers name to be taken to their Black Friday/Cyber Weekend sections;

Accessorize - Up to 30% off selected items
Anthropologie - 20% off with the code ITSYOURS
Boohoo - Up to 50% off
Boots - Lots of different deals
Charlotte Tilbury - Different deals everyday with 50% off or more
Cult Beauty - 15% off EVERYTHING with the code 15BLACK
Debenhams - Lots of different deals including 16% off Urban Decay palettes & 30% off Yankee Candles
Dorothy Perkins - Up to 50% off
Forever 21 - Up to 50% off + a further 30% off sale with the code EXTRA30
Gap - 40% off all full priced items with the code BFGAP & 25% off all sale items
Glossier - 20% off EVERYTHING
H&M - 20% off EVERYTHING for H&M Club members
Kate Spade New York - 20% off EVERYTHING with the code GIVEJOY
Mango - 20% off EVERYTHING with the code BLACK
Missguided - 20% off EVERYTHING with the code GIMME
Missoma - Up to 25% off with the code BF25
Miss Selfridge - 50% off selected items
M&S - 50% off selected items (namely home, sleepwear, gifts, lingerie, toys & books)
Nasty Gal - 40% off
New Look - 25% off EVERYTHING
Office - 20% off with the code SHINE
Pretty Little Thing - 40% off EVERYTHING with the code THANKS40
River Island - 20% off EVERYTHING
Selfridges - 20% off (10% off beauty) with the code SELFCCE
Stradivarius - 20% off EVERYTHING
Sweaty Betty - 20% off EVERYTHING with the code BLACK20
The Body Shop - 40% off with the code 19805
Topshop - Up to 60% off
Urban Outfitters - 50% off selected items
Warehouse - Up to 30% off EVERYTHING
Wallis - Up to 30% off selected items
Whistles - 25% off EVERYTHING
Zalando - 20% off with the code BLACKFRIDAY16
& Other Stories - 50% off selected items

And here are some more of the things that have seriously caught my eye this year;

Have you bought anything in the Black Friday or Cyber Weekend sales? What do you think of my top picks? And have you started/finished your Christmas shopping yet?


Sunday, 19 November 2017

John Lewis Secret Santa Gift Ideas

John Lewis Christmas Gifts

When it comes to Christmas gifting, I always find that the most difficult present to buy is the one for your Secret Santa. Something about the usually pretty strict budget and/or normally not knowing the person as well as the other people you'll be buying presents for this year, trips me up every time, which leads to rather unoriginal and unexciting gifts being bought. Also when you think Secret Santa, or at least when I do, I don't tend to have a shop or store in mind for doing my shopping and end up buying them a box of chocolates and a novelty gift that I know they'll never use. This year, however, John Lewis has certainly come to the rescue.

I was challenged to pick out a Secret Santa gift and a couple of other pieces from their gifting range to gift to a fellow blogger and another blogger, would be picking for me. I think I previously discounted somewhere like John Lewis thinking that they wouldn't have a great deal within budget, especially for a Secret Santa gift but I was pleasantly surprised to be proved wrong.

Whether your budget is £5, £10, £20 or more for bigger gifts, the selection both online and in-store is out of this world and hopefully what I received should show you just that. So let's see what I received from another blogger as part of the challenge;

John Lewis Secret Santa

First up we have the Secret Santa gifts and I feel like the blogger in question actually might know me IRL as my very favourite sweet shop sweet has got to be a good bon bon. All I really need to say about this present is PROSECCO BON BONS! Who knew such a thing existed?! And I can confirm that they are just as tasty as they sound. I'm trying to save some but it's oh so tempting just to empty the jar.

Another great stocking filler or Secret Santa gift has to be a bauble of some sorts but not your typical or average Christmas bauble. So many brands do Christmas baubles containing some of their bestselling products or limited edition ones just for the festive season and I was really happy to see that Whittard have jumped on this trend. I'm really looking forward to brewing up some of this mulled wine tea once we're properly in December

John Lewis Kate Spade

Now when I spotted the Kate Spade New York box as I unwrapped this, I knew that I was in for a treat and that again, the person picking for me had got it oh so right. This business card holder is just so beautiful and something that I'll truly treasure forever. It might have also given me the push that I needed to finally get some business cards printed. It feels like a really nice way to start 2018 too.

John Lewis Christmas Gifts For Her

I've wanted to try Clinique's Pop lipsticks for quite some time now but I can never really justify buying new lipsticks, for example, especially when I regularly receive new ones to review and already have quite the collection so receiving this Clinique Pop Party Set as a gift has made me so happy. And because they're travel sizes I don't feel too guilty about trying out several at the same time. This set is also a John Lewis exclusive so if you like the look of it or know someone who would absolutely love to find this under the tree this year, John Lewis is where you need to head.

I'm so intrigued to find out who picked out my presents as they really did such a great job.

I've also picked out some of my favourite gifts available from John Lewis below;

Who will you be buying for this Christmas? Do you also struggle to buy Secret Santa style gifts? And have you made a start to your shopping yet (I may or may not be holding out for Black Friday/Cyber Weekend to start my shopping this year)?


Sunday, 12 November 2017

The Latest In Beauty Cosmopolitan Party Starter Edit

Latest In Beauty Cosmopolitan Party Starter Edit

As you will probably already know if you've seen any of my recent beauty box reviews, I now far prefer what's available from stand alone/subscription free boxes as apposed to those which arrive on your doorstep every month with surprises hidden inside. Maybe it's because I've found myself left feeling disappointed with what I find inside them or maybe it's my inner control freak making itself known. Either way, one off beauty boxes, ones which you can research first to see what's inside, are definitely my preference and I've found myself over the moon with most to all of the products enclosed inside. And when you see one, such as the one that I will be reviewing today, where you're genuinely excited about everything inside it, that's when you know that you're on to a winner.

This box, the Latest In Beauty Cosmopolitan Party Starter Edit* is one of those boxes. For just £25, a one of payment instead of a monthly subscription, you'll find all the products that you need for party season and more, all of which have been hand picked by Cosmopolitan's beauty director Ingeborg van Lotringen. It's also worth £121! Now how incredible is that?!

So let's see what the Cosmopolitan Party Starter Edit contains;

latest in beauty party box review

Firstly we have some real standout products, ones that you don't regularly see in typical beauty boxes, with those being the Gilette Venus Snap Razor and the Yes To Cotton Comforting Facial Wipes. Both are products that I've wanted to try for a while and I really appreciate the fact that they've been included in this particular box. They're also perfect for traveling or for keeping in your handbag, like most beauty box inclusions but these are products I know that I'll actually use, unlike random hair bands or foundation five shades too dark, both of which I've found in other subscription boxes.

The St. Tropez Instant Tan Finishing Gloss, Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Toothpaste and TIGI Bed Head Hairspray are all the perfect size to pop in your handbag either if you have a party or event right after work or if you need a little refresh on a night out. And when you get home, the Soaper Duper Vanilla Shea Body Wash is a great new discovery, especially as my current body wash had just run out. The Glamglow mask is a such a great brand to receive in a beauty box, particularly when the larger sizes can be pretty pricey. This is a great way to try one of their products out without having to part with that much money at all and it also leaves you looking like the Tin Man with a silvery metallic face after applying, which is such a fun touch. Then we have the Erborian Pink Perfect Creme, which is a nice primer to have to hand, especially when on the move due to it's dinky size and it also leads us on nicely to what else this box has to offer.

latest in beauty cosmopolitan review

I am obsessed with the shade of this Nails Inc nail polish! It's the perfect rose gold/coppery shade and applies like a dream. I'm also a big fan of Sleek and the fact that two of their products made it into this box just feels so right. The shades of both the i-Divine palette and Matte Me lip cream are perfect for the party season and are great portable sizes too. As are the Glitterlution glitter pots. I mean, nothing says Christmas and party season quite like glitter, in my opinion. You might also be able to tell that one of mine chose to share it's glitter with the rest of the box, which certainly seemed apt when it came to the theme. Hehe. And the Eylure Volume No.100 lashes are tried and tested favourites of mine.

The Look Good Feel Better Sculpting Sponge is great for getting precise with your makeup application. I particularly like using it for concealer in the under eye area and whilst I'm there, the it Cosmetics Brow Powder Pencil is another great find. It's also made me want to try more from it Cosmetics even more.

There's also a Beauty Pie 24 Hour Pass card, which I couldn't photograph as I got a little too excited and tore open the little card which then revealed my code, which I couldn't think of a way to cleverly conceal for these photos. It is, however, such an interesting concept for a beauty box as it allows you to buy makeup at trade price, something again, that I've been keen to try out. And you can choose exactly which shades you'd like to receive etc. aka. another big bonus.

Overall, I am so happy with this box! It really does include everything that you'd need to take you from desk to party this festive season.

What do you think of this beauty box? Have you tried any of the products that feature in it? If so, what do you think of them? And do you prefer stand alone or subscription beauty boxes?


Friday, 10 November 2017

The 2017 Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar - On Sale Now!

m&s beauty advent calendar 2017

Every year more and more brands and stores release their own advent calendars and I have to say, I'm not complaining. Whether it be ones filled with bottles of alcohol (check out Aldi's one filled with wine or this Prosecco advent calendar!), candles (enter Yankee Candle) or even CHEESE!! (get this one from Asda), the ones which still excite me the most have got to be the beauty related ones and who can blame me when you see what's on offer this year. There truly is one for every budget and taste but for me, the best when it comes to value for money and the products that it contains has to be Marks & Spencer's offering.

marks and spencer advent calendar

With a value of £250, packed full of some of the biggest and best beauty products and brands on the market, all of which you'll find in the brilliant M&S beauty hall, this beauty advent calendar will only set you back £35! The only stipulation is that you have to spend £35 on clothing and/or home.

If this looks like the advent calendar for you or a loved one, be sure to add it to your basket as soon as you can, as this sold out online in a matter or hours the past couple of years.

Now let's get onto the advent calendar itself. Exactly what will you find in it this year?

marks and spencer advent calendar 2017

The 2017 Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar contains:

  • Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm (15ml)
  • Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Perla (1.5ml) 
  • Percy & Reed Reassuringly Firm Session Hold Spray (50ml)
  • Alpha H Liquid Gold Rose (50ml)
  • Korres Wild Rose Advanced Repair Corrective Sleeping Facial (16ml)
  • Pixi by Petra Lip Lift Max Sheen in Honey (1g)
  • Ultrasun SPF 30 Ultralip Sun Protection Lip Balm (Full size/15ml)
  • Marks & Spencer Formula Absolute Ultimate Sleep Cream (15ml)
  • Percy & Reed Reassuringly Firm Session Hold Spray (50ml)
  • Diego Dalla Palma Ciglione Lash Booster Mascara (Full size/10ml)
  • Shay & Blue Blood Oranges Natural Spray Fragrance (10ml)
  • REN Keep Young And Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot (10ml)
  • Ameliorate Skin Transforming Body Lotion (50ml)
  • Eyeko Black Magic Drama & Curl Mascara (4ml)
  • Nails Inc Gel One Coat Nail Polish in Molten Star (Full size/12ml)
  • Nuxe Prodigieux Huilde De Douche Precious Scented Shower Oil (30ml)
  • Gatineau Melatogenine AOX Advanced Rejuvenating Cream (15ml)
  • Rosie for Autograph Amazing Radiance Body Glow (50ml)
  • Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel (15ml)
  • Balance Me Rose Otto Face Oil (10ml)
  • Marks & Spencer Formula Innovate Radiance Reveal Peel (15ml)
  • Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Star Dust (Full size/12ml)
  • PUR Illuminate & Glow Correcting Primer (10ml)
  • Marks & Spencer Autograph Hydrating Confidence Boost Primer (15ml)
  • Filorga Meso + Soothing Radiance Mask (15ml) 
  • Marks & Spencer Cosmetic Bag

Such a great mix of brands and products, I think you'll agree. There are some cult classics such as the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm, the Alpha H Liquid Gold Rose and the Rodial Dragon's Blood Sculpting Gel. There's also a great mix of skincare, makeup, fragrance and haircare; basically everything you could ever wish from in a beauty advent calendar.

m&s advent calendar 2017

I also absolutely love the design of this years calendar. It already makes my fireplace, where I'll be housing mine, look so festive even though we've still got a couple of weeks to go before the Christmas decorations will be up. And I adore the little boxes for each day. You can also easily reuse this advent calendar next year and fill it with treats and chocolates. Win win, I say.

Have you bought a beauty advent calendar before? If so, which one did you go for? What do you think of this particular one? And which product or products would you most like to receive from this one?


Sunday, 5 November 2017

Charlotte Tilbury's Hollywood Collection

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Collection

As you might have seen if you saw my 'It's Now Autumn' outfit post, last month I was invited along to the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood trailer when it arrived in Glasgow, where I was treated to a Tilbury Transformation.

If there's one beauty brand that continues to impress and surprise me it has to be Charlotte Tilbury. Ever since meeting her in person and falling in love with a number of her products, I've undoubtedly become absolutely besotted with all things CT. So when it was announced that she would be launching a new line of products, the Hollywood collection, you can imagine just how excited I was.

The collection is made up of ten matte contour liquid lipsticks in an array of stunning shades along with some new and innovative contouring products in the form of the Hollywood Beauty Light Wand, the Hollywood Contour Wand and the Hollywood Complexion Brush.

Let's start with the matte contour liquid lipsticks;

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips Review

I'd been eagerly anticipating and awaiting Charlotte bringing out some liquid lipsticks, especially when you consider how prevalent and popular liquid lipsticks have become in recent years and boy was it worth the wait. I've tried my fair share of liquid lipsticks in the past with some real successes such as NYX's Soft Matte Lip Creams and quite a few that have dried my lips out or applied in a patchy fashion. There are zero negatives when it comes to these though. They're so lightweight on the lips yet incredibly pigmented but you can also go for more of a natural look by applying a single swipe. They also feature ingredients such as beeswax, to keep the lips moisturised and anti-ageing ingredients such collagen and sea lavender to help smooth the lips.

I absolutely love this shade, Dolly Bird and I've already got my eye on Showgirl, which looks like the perfect shade for Autumn/Winter.

Now let's talk contour;

I'm not going to lie, I've always struggled with contouring products. They're either far too dark for me and my fair complexion or when they are light enough, they're kind of chalky and just make my face look dirty. So it's safe to say that I haven't mastered contouring nor have I found products that cater well to me and my skintone. That, however, has all changed ever since these made their way into my life and makeup bag.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Wand Review

Firstly, can we talk fuss-free application because that's exactly what you get with these wands. You don't have to worry about dealing with powder or one of those big chubby crayons, something I've struggled with in the past. The Contour Wand, in the shade light to medium, isn't too dark for me but it still gives me that definition that I've been striving to achieve for so long. That's something I always appreciate about Charlotte's line is the fact that she caters for a whole range of skin colours and tones so well. Whenever I find myself asking, 'will this be light enough for me?' or 'will it work for me and my skintone?', I just ask, would it work for Charlotte herself or one of her most famous celebrity clients, Nicole Kidman. If the answer is yes and it always is, then I'm happy to give it a go too.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Complexion Brush

The Hollywood Complexion Brush truly is the perfect accompaniment to the two wands as it allows you to buff out the contour on your cheeks and around your jaw and/or hairline with ease, whilst also allowing you to get precise, specifically when it comes to the nose contour for me. Ever since meeting Charlotte and attending her masterclass, I've attempted and failed to do a natural looking nose contour and what I mean by that is to use a contour shade in a semicircle around the tip and along the exterior of the length of the nose, whilst highlighting the tip and length of the nose. And you have no idea how much of a difference it makes, particularly if you've got a bit of prominent nose like I do.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Swatches

And when it comes to highlighting this is just the prettiest and most universal of shades. Charlotte always talks a lot about looking as if you're 'lit from within' and that's exactly how this highlight looks on. There's also no shimmer or glitter, like you find with many other highlighters and the formula is just so dreamy.

If you are planning on trying both the highlighter and the contour, it makes sense to go for the duo, which is an online exclusive, as it saves you some money.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood collection review

So there are my thoughts on the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood collection.

Have you tried anything from Charlotte Tilbury before? If so, what is your favourite/holy-grail product? If not, what do you have on your wishlist? And do you have your eye on anything from the Hollywood collection?


Friday, 3 November 2017

My Go-To 'Look Put Together' Outfit

Glasgow fashion bloggers

As mentioned in my last outfit post, Autumn is easily my favourite season when it comes to buying new fashion and accessories, which is why I've been so keen to share what I've been picking up in the shops recently. Over the past month or so I've been going through my wardrobe and drawers, mainly to switch out my Summer dresses, jumpsuits and strappy tops for Autumn/Winter ware but also with another purpose. I've been making a conscious effort to really only buy pieces that my wardrobe is lacking. For me it's things like basic tops (H&M is where it's at for these BTW!), real blue jeans (which I've yet to find the perfect pair) and dressier tops and that's why the first of my recent purchases happened.

I had been stalking the Topshop website for a number of weeks, waiting for this top to come back into stock, after spotting this polka dot plisse wrap top on a few of my favourite YouTubers and bloggers. I think it was only in stock long enough for me to snap it up before it sold out again. But I'd definitely recommend doing a bit of refreshing if you're waiting for an item to come back into stock as I do usually manage to get the item I'm looking for by doing just that, especially when it's sold out in stores too.

Topshop Baxter Jeans review

This top instantly makes a simple outfit, which is essentially just a pair of black skinny jeans and a top, look as though I've put a lot more thought and effort into it. I also absolutely adore this plisse material, which is why I make sure to buy practically anything that either Topshop or New Look release in it. They also have the dress version of this top which is just as dreamy and also more readily available in-store and online.

I also picked up a new pair of black jeans this month, namely the Topshop Baxter jeans. I love the cropped style and fit of this pair but what I so often don't love about a pair of black jeans is the fact that they fade so quickly and easily. Surely I'm not the only who's had to repurchase black jeans over and over again because they continue to fade to grey each and every time.

How to keep black jeans black

So I was really intrigued when Surf got in touch to ask if I'd like to take part in the #SurfPerfectBlack challenge by trying the latest innovation in their range; Surf Perfect Black liquid. Can you believe that these jeans have been washed five times? You heard me right; five times! Normally there would be some serious signs of fading and they just wouldn't look as black as they were when first bought. I am so impressed!

How to keep black jeans black Surf

And the proof really is there right before your eyes when you take these out of the washing machine. Straight away you can see the difference in this image of my same jeans with the first being the original pair of jeans when first bought, the second being the same pair of jeans having been washed with Surf Perfect Black liquid 20 times and the third being the same pair after being washed 20 times with your average laundry powder. I mean, the difference is clear!

Surf Perfect Black Review

If you're looking to keep your black denim and darker pieces of clothing looking newer for longer, then this is a great product. Straight away, think how much money it will save you on having to repurchase your favourite black jeans after they inevitably start to fade! It also leaves your laundry smelling dreamy with it's beautiful exotic midnight orchid and lily scent. And the great thing is that you can use it on all your dark clothing from denim to basics and even heavier knits and sweaters. It's safe to say, I'm converted and hopefully I won't need to buy another pair of black jeans for at least a season or two. If you want to give Surf Perfect Black a try for yourself, you can purchase it online here and from Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda.

And speaking of black and darker pieces, my little rose gold backpack has been put back in my wardrobe for now so that I can wear my new Kate Spade New York black cross body bag over the colder months. I managed to pick it up from the Kate Spade New York outlet store when I was in New York and it's just such a great size for day-to-day wear.

Scottish fashion bloggers

You might also notice the coat from my last outfit post and the fact that I just had to treat myself to another pair of the H&M tassel earrings, especially when I saw that they'd released them in burgundy.

Do you have the same problem of your black jeans or denim fading quickly? Have you got a specific pair or brand that you always repurchase? And are you a fan of velvet?

Written in collaboration with Surf


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

My First Time Cult Beauty Haul

Cult Beauty Haul

As you'll have seen if you read Ellis Tuesday on a regular basis, I don't really shop in one particular store or on certain sites when it comes to my beauty buying but for some reason or another I've never ordered anything from Cult Beauty. You'll also have seen me do some serious beauty hauling in recent months, namely from Unineed, Fragrance Direct and Bath & Body Works, NYX and Sephora, following my trip to the US and those two things are what inspired today's blog post. That and the fact that the team at Cult Beauty were ever so kind to send a box over containing some of the brands and products that they sell on their site.

Unlike other beauty sites, of which I've mentioned above and in previous blog posts, Cult Beauty cherry-pick and sell only the cult products. This means that you'll find brands and products that you won't find anywhere else. Despite blogging about beauty, when it comes to making certain purchases I like to do a lot of research before adding an item to my basket and a lot of the time, even after countless hours spent trawling the net for reviews, first impressions and YouTube videos on said products, I'm still left a little bit disappointed. Either that or I know that there's a better or more appropriate product for me out there and I've ultimately gambled with some of my hard earned cash and I have a feeling that I'm not the only one.

Having said this though, you'll also find some of the biggest and most well renowned brands out there such as Charlotte Tilbury, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Morphe and The Ordinary, as well as other brands which really do live up to their hype, that I hadn't necessarily heard of or seen on the blogosphere, of bloggers that I follow anyway. So let's see what I received in my Cult Beauty order this month;

becca glow on the go set review

First up we have makeup and just look at that stunning rose-toned hue! In addition to knowing that the brands which feature on Cult Beauty are really hall of fame style products, they also do a brand of the month each month, with October's being Bleach London. You get free shipping on that specific brand making it well worth trying them out, especially if you've been meaning to for a while now. I actually only associated the brand Bleach London with fun and colourful hair products so this was a really pleasant discovery. As I say, you find yourself discovering some real hidden gems on Cult Beauty, something that's not as easy to do on other online and in-store beauty retailers.

Not only is the Matte Le Blanc name ingenious (you've got yourself a die hard Friends fan here!) but the colour and pigmentation of it is unreal. If you've been meaning to jump on the lip kit bandwagon but didn't want to shell out an absolute fortune on fees and shipping from the US, for example, then this is the product for you. Their Illuminati is another huge hit for me! I've been on the lookout for an affordable liquid highlighter and just hadn't been able to find one on the High Street. Enter Cult Beauty and I've finally found one and at just £6 it's a real must-buy. Talking of highlighters, I've been dying to treat myself to one of BECCA's cult Shimmering Skin Perfectors for quite some time now. I always make sure to swatch them when in Sephora, in the US or in Space NK, here in the UK but I always ask myself if I will really use and finish a full size of them. So these little travel sizes are perfect! BECCA seem to bring out one of these limited edition Glow On The Go sets every year (I'm still more than a little bit miffed that I missed out on the Moonstone one) and this year's is this gorgeous rose gold and it's just the prettiest shade.

Another brand that I've always wanted to try something from are Jouer and the formula of this has totally sold me on their creme liquid lipsticks. I've already got my eye on the Petale De Rose and Creme Brulee shades, which I may or may not have added to my Christmas list this year. This particular shade, Dulce De Leche, is the perfect cool toned nude.

cult beauty brand of the month

The next four products I actually hadn't heard of before but a quick check of their reviews cement why they've gained cult status. The first two are unlike anything I've ever seen before in regards to their consistency but I was so excited to try both of them out.

I think we've all probably heard about the benefits of charcoal so I was really intrigued to see how this cleansing stick from Caolion and the Odacite masque would utilise charcoal. Firstly the masque actually comes in powder form, something I've never seen or tried before. If you're looking for a multi-tasking mask and want to invest in your at-home skincare, then this is something you need to check out. I've also never tried a cleanser in stick form either but this melts from balm to oil and I've been using it after removing my makeup with the Skin Laundry Gentle Foaming Wash to do a bit of a double cleanse. I've already noticed a difference in particularly congested areas such as around my nose and chin, which I'm certainly putting down to these two products. I also love the feeling of the Skin Laundry Wash as it doesn't feel drying on the skin afterwards, like many other foam style products do.

And last but not least we have a perfume. I don't tend to review perfumes and fragrances all that often on here anymore mainly because I stick with what I know and switch it up between my two favourites; Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream and Viktor & Rolf's Bon Bon but this Kai Rose Perfume Oil is such an elegant and grown up scent, something I was definitely lacking. It's also a great travel size, meaning it will be coming with me on my next trip away.

So there we have it my first Cult Beauty haul and it certainly won't be my last. I've already got my eye on the following products. Is it too early to start planning my Christmas list?

Have you shopped with Cult Beauty before? If so, which brands do you typically buy from them? And have you tried any of the products in today's post?

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