SHOP MY WARDROBE

TESTING THE DRUGSTORE


It's pretty clear from my blog that I've turned into a huge make up snob, it started a few years ago and ever since I've refused to put anything on my face that wasn't 'high end.' It's not necessarily a bad habit, just a very expensive one.
Anyway, a few days ago Boots had a 3 for 2 and Soap & Glory make up, and since Christmas just passed I had money to play with, and I was going to get 1 item free? Don't get that in Space NK.
Soap & Glory was a brand I loved when I was younger and only used/knew of make up sold in Boots, I remember being obsessed with their Thick and Fast mascara when I was about 14- and since joining the beauty blogging world, I've heard so many great things about Soap & Glory's beauty range.
So I did it...for the first time in years I bought make up that didn't cost a bomb, in fact, I got all of this for around £18- I'd usually pay that for a single eyeshadow!

The item I was most excited about was the newly released 'One Heck Of A Blot Primer,' I've read so much hype about this, and if Lily Pebbles says its good, it can't be that bad. Priced at £10.00, I didn't think this would be that great, or even great on my skin, but first of all, I was really pleased by the packaging, I love the fact it arrived boxed like high end products, the tube feels more expensive than it is.
I hate to admit it, but I LOVE this stuff, it's better than so many high end primers I've tried. it instantly smoothed my skin upon application, leaving it feeling really silky and flawless ready for any foundation. More importantly, it does what it says on the tin and it blurs out pores, which is something I really really like in a primer. I'm also having a dry skin phase because of the Winter, and this hasn't caused me problems at all, it didn't dry me up or make my foundation look caked, in-fact it looks as good as it does with my £52.00 Hourglass primer, as much as that hurts to say. Very very very impressed, this may easily be one of my new favourite bases. What a statement.

The Supercat liner was something I swore by all those years ago, and I wanted to see if it was still as good as it used to be, and if it was any match for my Stila or Tarte liners.
Again, I really like this, it's so easy to apply and creates the skinny flick I like perfectly, most importantly it's jet black and stays that way.

Last but not least, Brow Archery, another product I've read a lot about, I love my Anastasia Brow Wiz like a child and it's become an essential in my stash, but if I can get it for half the price that's okay with me. I'll start by saying it's not quite as good as Brow Wiz, but it's still not bad.
There was only 2 shades to choose from, so obviously I got the darkest, the brush is identical to the one on ABH Brow Wiz but the pencil isn't as pigmented or easy to use- I also find the Brow Wiz good to blend out for a 'gradient' finish, with Brow Archery it just seemed to wipe away.

Over all, I'm really impressed and I plan on trying more Soap & Glory products.

THE BODY SHOP'S TEA TREE RANGE


If there's one smell I really adore, it's Tea Tree, so when I discovered The Body Shop did an entire range of Tea Tree based products I was sold. I can't usually use anything from TBS because of my overly sensitive skin, so to be honest just the whole experience of actually going into the store and buying something was great. The scent just really chills me out and makes my skin feel cool and refreshed, (sometimes a little too much around my eyes.)

My favourite from the bunch is the Skin Clearing Toner, I love toners to begin with but this is on a whole new level, I'm so obsessed with this, I just want to rub my face in it all day long. Which I suppose would be okay because there's a very generous amount of product in here. I squeeze a few drops onto a cotton pad and wipe it over my face in circular motions, it leaves my face really smooth and feeling deeply clean.

My second most loved is the Skin Clearing Clay Mask, I love a good clay mask and I ran out of my usual REN one a while ago so it's good to have one in my stash again. Clay masks are great for pores and really giving your skin a deep cleanse, this one feels like a really thick yogurt and sits on for face for 15-20 minutes to work it's magic. The Tea Tree scent is strong enough to cool your face down but not so strong it stings my eyes. But it's definitley the texture/consistency of this mask I love the most. Goodbye blackheads.

If you aren't one for clay masks, try the Pore Minimiser, this can be used as a primer or just a facial mask/treatment. I personally don't like it as a primer on its own, I like to apply this first and then something more hydrating. This product is a thin clear gel that spreads around your areas of concern and shrinks pore size- this would be a great primer if you have oily skin or just want something to treat blocked pores.

Last but not least, the Tea Tree Body Wash, which I am a little disappointed by. The consistency is very runny and thin meaning that this just doesn't seem to lather at all- it smells great but doesn't give the cooling effect like the rest of the products.

You can buy these four items for a total of £31.50, which I think is an absolute steal. 

WHEN SANTA WENT TO SPACE NK


Along with all the amazing beauty gifts I received for Christmas was a bag full of Space Nk treats! Is there anything better than coming downstairs on Christmas morning and seeing a big Space Nk bag? No.
I'm so obsessed with looking after my skin to keep it in good condition and prevent problems in the future, and I've been applying these products religiously since getting them.

I got a re-stock on my much loved Hourglass Veil primer, I talk about this all of the time and no doubt I'll continue to. It's probably the most expensive primer ever, (£52.00) but once you use this, there aint' no going back! I know I have a ridiculous amount of primers but this is the one I'd keep if I had to throw away all but one. My last bottle which I got last Christmas has just ran out after a year too, so good value for money.

A cleanser I've lusted after since it's launch is the Sunday Riley Blue Moon Cleansing Balm, again, very pricey for a cleanser at £46.00, but Sunday Riley is such a luxurious brand and the ingredients in this balm are amazing. And, to be fair, it does look bloody gorgeous! I've been loving this as both a cleanser and an overnight mask- it's so hydrating and rich but still very tranquil and easy to use. I think this may quickly replace my holy grail Emma Hardie Moringa Balm.

I've never tried anything from Sarah Chapman but have wanted to for as long as I can remember, so opening the much hyped Overnight Facial was very exciting. This product retails at around £46.00 but does vary depending on where you buy it, I got mine in Space Nk (obviously...) So far, it's okay, I can't say much because I've only been using it for two days, but once it's put through its tests a review will be written. I'm expecting very good things from this blogger induced buy.

Last but certainly not least is the Emma Hardie Brilliance Facial Oil. (£31.00.)
I've never used an oil on my face but when Winter arrived my skin got very dry so I was looking out for suggestions in blogger Twitter chats, and this one seemed to be very popular. Emma Hardie is a brand I really trust so I wasn't expecting to not like this- and I was right to, because I love it. It's giving me the hydration boost I really needed, my skin loves to drink this up and I've noticed my face feeling a lot less tight already. Not to mention the fact it smells divine.


Let me know if you got any treats from Space Nk this Christmas!

BANISH THE BLUSH WITH LUSH



Without a doubt, this is my new favourite face mask from Lush, and from now on, I don't think I'll be without it.
If you're looking for a product to relive redness on your face, look no further than Rosey Cheeks (£6.75.) Unfortunately, it is a 'fresh' mask that should be kept in the fridge, so they only do the little pot, but the texture is very rich and thick so a little goes a long way.

First of all, it looks great, I much prefer applying this to other Lush masks such as Cup O Coffee, which do make a mess and can be a bit of a faff to clean off. This refreshing pink mask pretty much feels like very thick yogurt, it's also kept in the fridge, (well, should be...) so it's cooling on the skin.
Almost like a thick creamy paste, this pink pot of wonder sits on the skin for 15 minutes to work its magic.
For me, one finger full is enough to cover the areas of concern (around my nose, cheeks) and it spreads out evenly, whilst sitting on the skin it gives off a floral fragrance that just smells like a pamper evening.

After washing off, redness is banished and my skin is left evenly toned and matte but not too dry.)
If you're suffering with redness or roseca or maybe excessive oil too, this is the mask for you.
I'm left thinking somedays, do I really need foundation on!?

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW


With such a vast range of products in the beauty market now, I very rarely re-purchase anything, I'm always wanting to try something new so I can get excited about it. When it comes to eyeshadow primers, it seems there are only two choices, one being the NARS Pro Prime Eyeshadow Base (£20) and the other being the range from Urban Decay. I do love the NARS option a lot but who has twenty pounds to spend on a primer for their eyelids when you can get the same for less, still from a good brand.

The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion will still set you back £16.00, but it's a product I couldn't be without; I think anyone who wears eyeshadow should be using a prep product. Especially if you're buying pricey shadows. A little will go a long way, so one tube lasts me almost a year.
I go for a pretty dramatic dark smokey eye whenever I go out, I use several different shades so it's important that they stay in place and don't crease, I also like to keep my eyes dark so fading eyeshadow is just not an option.

It's been re-packaged since last time I bought some and I love it- it now has an applicator so there's no more of me squeezing too much out and wasting it! It's shaped in a curve perfect for all over lid application.

I never do my make up without this product now, it's totally an essential for me. When your eye shadow palettes can be £40+, there's no time for smudging, creasing or fall out, and this stops it all.


LIFE ACCORDING TO INSTAGRAM #3


So, last week I went and done a little shopping with my parents, I managed to find a couple of things in Zara that I really liked, so they've been wrapped up for Christmas day. Whilst out we went to the Gourmet Burger Kitchen for dinner which is one of my favourite places to eat, ever. They do the skinniest little fries you'll ever see, but they taste so good. I really like the whole vibe of the place, it's like a cosy little warehouse.
After shopping I went and got my nails done, it's the first time I've went and had false nails put on properly, I also got a gel polish. It was only £25.00 for acrylic extensions and gel polish which I thought was really good. The first couple of days were really difficult and painful, but it's been two weeks now and I think I've mastered life with false nails; I opted for a grey polish because I thought it was the most versatile shade that would go with pretty much anything.

The next time I actually left home was to go shopping again for my parents Christmas presents and my best friends. (The Naked Smoky palette is for my friend.)
I picked up treats for my parents in Space Nk, I chose a Laura Mercier product for my mam and some Kiehls skincare for my dad. (Go and take advantage of the free wrapping in Space at the moment, it's gorgeous!) Of course I couldn't go out and not treat myself, so I picked up a new Chanel blusher from Fenwicks, it's the most gorgeous pinky orange shade and it has such a pleasant scent to it.
I also found myself in Jo Malone lusting after the intense fragrances- I fell too hard and ended up getting one bought and put away for Christmas, which I'm so excited about because it's honestly the nicest thing I've ever smelt, literally nose orgasm.
When I was in paperchase looking for cards I come across these really cute coasters with quotes on and I thought the one that related to me best was 'Everything is going to be O.K'. They're from Urban Graphic. That's just sitting looking cute and quirky on my bedside table.


On Tuesday night I spent some time with my friend Shantelle, we went for a Ben & Jerry's milkshake (if you haven't tried these, you're going to die so unsatisfied.)
We also popped into the new shop "Tiger" which sells cute little bits and bobs, we both bought a black fluffy hat with ears on and I was lusting after all sorts for blog photography. They have little mini baskets and jars and ugh, it's the place to be for blog props. I also popped into Lush, and if I'm honest, I had no intention of buying anything, I just wanted a nice Instagram picture, and I got one.

Thursday was spent with my boyfriend Callum, and I don't need to say much more, I was just very very happy. He's my best friend and my rock and I couldn't ask for anything better, feeling genuine happiness is incredible.


CHRISTMAS, FEATURING MENTAL HEALTH


Christmas, the time of year we're all expected to be jolly, excited and generally happy.
Of course, that is sometimes easier said than done, yes, it is a wonderful time of year, I really love Christmas myself, but when you've got a battle going on in your brain it can be really overwhelming and difficult to behave and feel how you're 'expected' to.
I think the most important thing I want to tell anyone from this post, is that, just because it's Christmas, it doesn't mean your problems and your thoughts and feelings go away for the day- they don't take a holiday. When I wake up on Christmas morning, my depression and anxiety will be very much still there, my anxiety especially, but don't get me wrong, I am still very excited to wake up and start the festive day.

First of all for example, comes dressing for Christmas day. I can't wear a dress or pretty tops, and everyone will ask why i'm wearing a big fluffy onesie.
It's to cover all of the self harming scars on my arms, my family don't know about my struggle with self harm yet and i'm pretty sure Christmas day isn't the day to be announcing something like that.
I hate wearing a onesie on Christmas day, I get hot and sweaty, I get flustered, I worry about photos, I feel like everyone is judging me, it's just not nice at all, I want to wear a skimpy little party dress and feel good about myself just for one day. I can't.

Anxiety is my biggest problem at Christmas, you're surrounded by people constantly, having to socialise and be watched.
I love getting gifts, but my God do I hate opening them when everyone is watching! I get so sweaty and shaken up and then I begin to worry that everyone can see that too.
If my mood drops during the day due to my depression, I'll always get told off for being 'ungrateful,' and 'spoilt' and miserable- and I suppose that's what it looks like, but it feels horrific to feel that way and I can't do anything about it.

Please if you know anyone with mental health problems who may struggle next Friday, please show them some love, support and understanding. Don't get angry with them if they're texting you telling you they feel like crying, chances are, they're wishing they could feel 'normal.' There is so much pressure to be 'okay' at Christmas, and sometimes it can be impossible.

WHAT'S PLAYING #4


The fourth installment of my 'whats playing' series, where I give you a run down of the songs I've been listening to non-stop over the past month. From mid November to December I've been loving a strange mixture of things, as well as starting with the Christmas playlists on Spotify.

1. Little Mix - Love Me Like You (Christmas mix)
It's just the original absolute corker of a song that I'm addicted to, but with a Christmassy jingle added in the background. Gives me more of an excuse to sing it 24/7 right?

2. Fetty Wap - Rewind
Still loving the Wap. I've now listened to the entire album properly and discovered songs past Trap Queen, Rewind is probably the only song on the album with some meaningful lyrics that say something other than fuck bitches get high.

3. Justin Bieber - The Feeling and All In It
OBVIOUSLY still addicted to this bloody album of his, The Feeling is my all time favourite from the album, closely followed by All In It. Everyone's a Bieber fan now right? So that's okay. They just make me feel so giddy and warm.

4. The Pogues - Fairytale Of New York
This is probably my favourite Christmas song, everyone knows this, it's a classic. The chances of getting through Christmas Day without hearing this are 0.

5. Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas?
Another festive tune, this is such a feel good song that makes me feel really happy and festive. It's a lovely little reminder to remember how lucky you are this Christmas too.


6. Sigala - Sweet Lovin'
I loved Easy Love, and now this. This is my drunken song of choice at the moment, it just makes me want to dance around and jump and sing for hours.


7. Grace/G-Eazy - You Don't Own Me
Ever since Lauren Murray sang this on X-Factor I have been hooked! I honestly thought it was Paloma Faith at first, but Grace, whoever you are, well done. This is so empowering and #girlpower. I feel like it would be a brilliant break up song!


What have you been listening to recently? 

2015 BEAUTY BEST BITS





It's a little too early for December favourites, but I wanted to do a round up of the main products I've discovered and fallen in love with this year. Finding a new product that works really well for you is one of the best feelings, and I feel like 2015 has been a breakthrough year for me and beauty products. I picked out five things that have really stood out from the thousands I've spent this year.

Lets start with the base, out of the many primers I've tried this year Le Blanc De Chanel has stood out the most. It has such a gorgeous texture, it leaves the skin feeling smooth and looking luminous. It isn't advertised as a primer but it does claim to be 'multi use.' Personally I find it perfect for really smoothing out my skin before applying my foundation, it also has a really subtle but fresh scent. (That packaging though...)
My next base pick was a foundation from Givenchy, it's the Photo Perfexion foundation- this was the first beauty product I've ever tried from them and my God has it made me want to try everything! This is my holy grail foundation, it never ever fails to impress me. No matter what my skin is like, what primer I use, it always looks flawless. It gives a medium coverage that looks fresh, glowy and natural with an over all satin finish. This product also has a subtle but gorgeous floral scent that doesn't irritate the skin.

Finally, I found a contour product that works on my pale skin. Thank God I purchased the NARS Paloma kit! The shade of bronzer is perfect for those of us that suffer with Snow White syndrome, it isn't orangey or muddy at all, and the lighter powder in the compact is ideal for sharpening up any lines and highlighting under the eyes without adding all the glow. Both powders feel very smooth on the skin, have great staying power and the Paloma contour shade is perfectly pigmented.

This year was also the year of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, and of course I jumped on the bandwagon. This is now my go to product for my sparse brows, it might not give the most natural finish, but I'm not a natural girl. I mix this with the Brow Wiz and together they make the perfect brow! This was totally a product worth all the hype it got this year. Mine is looking worse for wear, it's just very well loved.

Last, but certainly not least, and without a doubt, MAC's Taupe lipstick has been my most used, go-to shade this year. It's a gorgeous warm toned dark nude, and it goes with pretty much anything I wear or any make-up look I go for. The staying power is amazing much like the pigmentation, the satin finish means it isn't at all drying and I can usually get away with not re-applying all day.

What have your top beauty discoveries been this year?

ALTERNATIVE ILLUMINATORS


When it comes to highlighting and illuminating I'm sure most of us think of glistening powders and vibrant blushes- powders are certainly my weapon of choice for both elements, but I do find myself sometimes impulse buying something a little different. Who doesn't love having something they haven't tried before to play with?
My ultra pale skin is lashed with colour and glow every day, and if I'm feeling like adventuring out of my norm, there are three products in my collection I'd turn to.

My favourite is the new Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer in shade 3.
I ordered this not really knowing how I'd use it- it arrived and it was a lot more pigmented than I expected. The intensity can be adjusted depending on how much liquid you pump out, if I want a orangey golden blush, one pump on each cheek blended well does the job. It isn't really obvious or in your face, it is pretty true to the sheer name. This would be a great product for those of you that like the 'no make up' look. The finish looks natural and can add a little dewyness to the skin. (10/10 for packaging too!)

My second alternative is the BECCA Poured Shimmering Skin Perfector in 'rose gold.'
Funnily enough (not funny at all,) I bought this as an accident, I thought I'd ordered a powder but didn't realize there was also a 'poured' option. Still beating myself up about that...
This is a really thick creamy product that works good as a blush and a subtle highlight- it requires a lot of good blending to really make it look good- but it's great for days my skin is a little drier. The rose gold colour would probably be a lot nicer as the powder- the cream texture takes away any 'goldness' and makes it more of an orangey rose. However, the staying power is slightly better.

I hate to say this, but my least favourite is from NARS, their liquid illuminator in 'copacabana.'
I just haven't ever really liked this stuff, and I usually love anything from NARS, but I feel like this highlighter really emphasizes pores and even more so when it catches the light. Again, it does look very subtle and natural because of its super light pinky shade, but the finish on (my) skin isn't ideal. I find that this also sticks to some foundations and makes my skin feel dry, or it completely rubs away the foundation I just applied! No time for that when your foundation is over thirty pounds.
But, I didn't want money to go to waste, so I've found a way to (very slowly) use this up. I use a tiny soft bristled brush and apply it on my cupids bow, it instantly makes my lips look more plump and makes the outline stand out, likewise on my brow-bone, it lifts my brows and draws attention to the eye make up I spend a lot of time on.

Let me know if you use any liquid products to add any colour or glow to your complexion- I'd love recommendations!

LITTLE LUSHLETS


I love cute little mini things, and I love Lush, so put the two together and you get a very excited Courtney. These little wonders are a great little pick me up to pamper yourself with when you're feeling a bit shitty. (They're also extremely visually pleasing..and good to photograph.)

The Comforter shower cream was the thing I was most excited about, I remember the amazing smell of the bubble bar when I could actually use it a few years ago (sensitive skin suddenly developed, thanks a bunch.) It's all okay, I can now enjoy the amazing scent again but in the form of a shower gel. So far, so good, no irritation. I think this is great for shaving because of the thicker consistency compared to Snow Fairy, I also find it to be more moisturizing, which I really need right now. The smell lingers around my body for hours after washing and If I could wear this as a perfume, I sure would. Without a doubt I'll be getting my paws on a bigger bottle of this stuff.

Everyone and their mother probably knows Christmas at Lush means it's Snow Fairy time. As much as this looks gorgeous and smells insane like candyfloss and bubblegum, I'm not a big fan of the formula. I find Snow Fairy to be very thin and drying on my already dry winter skin. ALSO, WHY have they changed the packaging?! It looks so boring and basic now. Again, I enjoy the smell lingering around my body for hours after a bath, Snow Fairy candle please Lush!
It does however smell the same as the Rockstar soap which again, I love but, all the dryness.

I spoke about the Tea Tree Water Toner in my recent skincare routine post,
I basically just picked up a little bottle because my larger one was running low and I have a huge fear of products getting completely drained and not having anything to use! (Anyone else?)  I think Santa is fetching me another huge bottle but this should see me through until then.

The Lush Charity Pot hand and body lotion is a really handy little beauty product to have in your handbag or on your bedside table. This cream is super nourishing and hydrating, so it's perfect for winter skin syndrome. Sometimes I just wake up during the night and my face or hands will feel super dehydrated, I quickly slather some of this on before going back to sleep to stop my skin feeling tight. It smells really uplifting and fresh and despite the scent it has not irritated my sensitive skin. It's a great product and it helps people in need too, so, whats bad?

THE 'PERFECT BLOGGER' EXPERIMENT


It's almost a year now since I entered the beauty blogging world, I've learnt and seen a lot already. Mostly in blogger chats on Twitter I pick up on things people say such as: 'The key to a successful blog is scheduling weeks ahead, scheduling tweets for the week, having amazing photographs, commenting on other blogs." I suppose if that works for you, that's great- but personally I honestly don't have the energy, motivation or head space to do all of that, all of the time.
I very rarely sit down and schedule a load of tweets for the week ahead, I also very rarely have posts in a line all ready to be published, and if I'm honest, some weeks, I don't even have it in me to sit and publish one post.

When I'm really in my blogging mojo, I'll even take my laptop in the car with me and write out posts on Word ready to publish when I'm home, I'll try to take the best photographs possible all at once, and I'll try my best to comment on a few blogs a couple days a week, and often I find myself feeling like I'm not doing anything right.
Surely, if people say that's what works...it must work?
I tried being the 'perfect blogger' for a week and doing everything everyone recommended both in posts and chats just to see what happened with my followers, traffic, comments and social media...

It started by getting up earlier than usual one morning so I was ready to catch some sunlight, I made the most effort I'v ever made to set up a scene for taking photographs, I lifted my TV off a set of white drawers, pulled the chest of drawers in front of my bedroom window, undid my fairy lights, got out a few props and pieces of white cardboard in attempt to banish shadows I would usually have.

The first picture I took was the 'flat lay' above, which is the first one I've attempted, they seem to work and look amazing for bigger bloggers, so why not? Obviously mine didn't turn out as perfect, and I suppose I'll see if it attracts more readers than my usual photographs do once this goes live.

I then edited all of those photos on an online programme, 'Pic Monkey' which was recommended by other bloggers. I admit they did turn out a little better than usual.

The biggest change I saw came from joining in all of the Twitter chats, scheduling advertising tweets and interacting with other beauty bloggers on social media. My Twitter follow count seemed to zoom up, gaining 40+ in one day after 2 chats! I was suddenly at over 720 followers from about 550 in a week from all the interaction, and of course, that meant extra traffic and 20 new followers on Bloglovin' so I'm closer to my 300 milestone!

However, I found that posting everyday/every other day was difficult for each post. When I only post twice a week, the posts views will be high, when I was posting daily, it was hard to advertise the post enough to a decent amount of 'reads' before the next one was up, so my entire Twitter seemed to be filled with link after link, which wasn't good for the followers I'd gained.

So after this little experiment, I'm still not sure if all of the hard work is the 'right' way to blog, I think the real secret is time. Waiting for your blog to grow.
Let me know how you manage your blog and its content!

Marc Jacobs (Under) Cover Coconut Primer



On a recent Sephora order, I picked up my first Marc Jacobs beauty product, the new Marc Jacobs Under (Cover) Coconut Primer, (not that I needed any more primers, but whatever, you can't have too much of a good thing, right?) 
Before writing this, I've read several other reviews and they all seem pretty positive, but unfortunately I have some bad feedback to share.

Texture? Yes, all good. It leaves the skin smoothed and soft, the perfect blank canvas infused with nutrients for your skin to go under your base make up. It soaks into the skin quickly, and the water like formula means that one pump will cover your whole face. 

Packaging? 10/10. Sleek, modern, monochrome, all the things I love. Frosted glass bottle? Yes please. Black and white colour scheme? I'm all over it, just like my obsession with NARS packaging, my Marc Jacobs beauty obsession is just beginning. 

Formula? It feels very hydrating, perfect for dry skin but still gives a natural finish. The coconut smell only lingers until you cover your face in foundation, but I suppose it's the fact it's 5 of the ingredients that counts. I'm ALL for skin loving make up products. It applies completely clear so it won't help even your skin tone, but it does provide a smooth base for a foundation to do the job instead. It isn't great at filling in pores or lines. 

The downside? So far, every time I've used this primer my skin seems to turn very red and irritated, and my skin will feel uncomfortable under my foundation all day. I don't know what it is in the formula that my skin doesn't agree with, but something makes it a little upset. It doesn't itch or burn or cause me any break outs, it just generally seems to create redness around the cheeks and nose, so I always follow with a high coverage foundation. 


LITTLE EXTRAS FOR PARTY SEASON






Christmas is the season for all things glitzy and glam, it’s the ‘party season’ which gives me a new excuse to bring out all of my little pigments, and nobody can tell you what’s too much, because nothing is too much. Glow all out. I’m all about adding extra highlight in every area possible, so much that Santa could look down and see me glowing from the sky.

I’ve pulled out my Illamasqua white/silver glitter pigment, which looks gorgeous in the corners of my eyes, it makes a smokey eye that extra little party like and festive. Mixed with a drop of Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer, it stays there for a very long time too. I get compliments every time I load this on my eyes about how ‘pretty’ it looks.
If I go for a really warm smokey eye, I’ll replace this for my gold glitter pigment from MAC, this was a miniature from last years Holiday collection, but I find that I get a lot of drop down with this one and sometimes it gets in my eyes, which you can imagine isn’t very comfortable.
For extra glimmer and light on the brow bone, I use a tiny little pot of powder highlight from Bare Minerals. It’s easy to swipe on just with my finger, it adds a little golden incandescent glow which really shapes my eyebrow well and makes me eye make up stand out.

My all time favourite product for adding a little extra something to my eyes is my Eyes To Mesmerise pot from Charlotte Tilbury, in a rich golden shade, this is a perfect match for my everyday brown smokey eye, it really makes my eyes stand out and makes them appear wider. I apply this with a tiny little Real Techniques brush with soft bristles, and paint it on from the very corners to the middle of my waterline.

What products do you turn to for an extra little glow? 


Life According To Instagram #2


Following my last 'Life According To Instagram' post, comes this months filled with things that made me happy, I love writing about life in general for a change instead of reviewing a product, and what could be bad about reminding yourself of the things that made you smile recently?
If you know me well, or have read my blog for a long time and are aware of my circumstances with mental health, you'll know that it's a pretty big deal for me to say I feel happy, which is why I'm making a blog post about it, because even if nobody else enjoys reading it, it's here for me to look back on. Instagram: @crtnygrdnr

The first really exciting thing was putting up the Christmas tree! Christmas is my favourite time of the year and I always get super excited and my mood seems to lift a lot just knowing I have something amazing to look forward to. A lot of my presents have been delivered this week, and I've been signing for them all, which has made me even more eager for the day to arrive. This year I took on the task of putting up the tree and decorating it all by my self, which I got really tired of half way through once the novelty died off, but I think I did a fab job and the living room looks super festive and feels cosy and happy. The theme of the tree is always white and silver, mixed in with my Disney store Disney princess decorations, you might know I was lusting after the Ariel ornament this year...and guess what? I got it three days after and she looks gorgeous as you can see below!
The same day the tree was put up I got my first Christmas card, which was obviously from my parents and of course it was Disney themed. It's Frozen with a huge Elsa on the front and a really cute verse is written inside which relates to the movie, it's really glittery and childish which is right up my street.


Last, but certainly not least is my boyfriend Callum. I've spent a wonderful few days with him recently and he's quickly become my rock, he's been my best friend and boyfriend, in-fact, he's been a good friend for about three years now, we both have our problems but everything is halved and made so much easier and better together, I've just loved every second I've spent with him, my jaw is usually aching by the end of the day from laughing and smiling so much. I generally don't think I would of made it through the past few months without him being there for me, he knows me inside out and for the first time I feel really content and i'm not at all paranoid or worried, he's the first person I've trusted 110% and that's such a wonderful feeling because I never thought that would be possible. For the first time in forever I don't feel pointless/worthless/useless because I know he needs me as much 
as I need him, and again that's lifted my mood levels. 

Let me know what made you happy recently!

An Ode To Eyeshadows From Too Faced



I have enough eyeshadow to last me and 10 other people the rest of their lives, but it never stops me buying more, some people hoard lipsticks and have 10 the same shade, I'm the same with eyeshadow, it's my ultimate beauty weakness and I cannot resist a good nude or warm palette, no matter how ridiculously priced. (Hourglass Modernist, you're next.) I've tried shadows from almost every high end brand but one brands formula in particular really stands out. Too Faced, you're a winner.

First of all, they offer every shade you could ask for within the wide range of palettes they sell, from a palette full of nudes, to bright 'pop colours. Both of which they do very well.
I've tried my fair share of both bright colours, nudes, darks etc, and I'm yet to find one single shadow that I don't love.

The formula of the shadows is incredibly buttery, smooth and they glide onto your eyelid like a dream. The pigmentation is as good as pigmentation could ever be, one swipe of any colour is enough. The creamy, buttery formula means they blend together seamlessly and due to them being quite thick in texture, they last all day long on the lids.
Drop down is pretty much a non-existent issue with Too Faced shadows, it's straight from brush to the eye.
If you thought the Naked palette shadows were soft and bouncy, you need to try out a Too Faced palette this Christmas. I have the "Natural Eyes" palette on my list which I'm expecting from my best friend, it's filled browns, golds and creams, which are generally the shades I use everyday for a smokey eye.

Let me know if you've tried any eyeshadows from Too Faced and what you thought- because clearly, I can't fault them!