SHOP MY WARDROBE

SKINCARE HAUL, FIRST IMPRESSIONS


I don't need to say this again, we all know it, I'm Courtney and I'm addicted to buying skincare products. I love looking after my skin and the money and time pays off big time, and when I came into some birthday money on Friday, I couldn't resist not making some new purchases. I have been really enjoying all of the products pictured above, we all know I've recently been all over The Body Shop's skincare ranges, so it's no surprise I went and spent another wodge of cash on more. (I swear this is no ad or sponsor, I just really love their stuff.) My boyfriend also had the joys of having a bath with me to try out all of these new products and I saw results on him pretty instantly, and his skin aint' too good, (sorry.)

The only thing not from TBS was the Lush Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar, just look at it, how could I see this in the shop window and not want it? It's so pretty and aesthetically pleasing, and it was a joy to photograph. Besides the appearance, it smells insane and feels so moisturizing, the 'horn' feels like a solid oil, so I'm hoping it works some magic on my dry skin. (I still haven't used this, I don't want to let it go) Why aren't they permanent!?

If you saw my recent post about the Vitamin E fact mist, it'll be no surprise I went out and got some more products from the line. (And what's with all the comments on that post!? What is happening?)
I decided to pick up the Vitamin E hydrating toner, eye cream, moisture mask and intense hydration cream.
I'm not even in my 20's yet, but I think for someone so obsessed with looking after their skin it's acceptable to start using an eye cream, I have the worst sleeping habits and some days it definitley shows in the form of dark circles, I've also noticed my eyeshadow primer clinging to my lids recently so I really wanted some hydration for the poor things.
Me and my puppy Bernie both like this, both for totally different reasons but, I love it for hydration and brightening my under eyes, Bernie thinks it's a bone.

I had to try the Hydrating Toner, I'm currently using a Tea Tree toner from Lush and it can be pretty drying- so now I'm using a combination of the two, getting the benefits of Tea Tree but then restoring the hydration. So far, so good. I also like to apply it before make up just to ensure all the moisturize possible is locked in.

The Sink In Moisture Mask is my favourite of the haul, I don't need to go on about how dry my skin can get in Winter because I've talked about it non stop, but this is a savior for the issue...and it doesn't need washing off! Lazy Courtney is happy. The mask has a texture of a gel like cream so a little goes a long way, it sits on the skin for a while and then sinks in leaving it baby bum soft. My skin has been drinking this up! I think I might enjoy it more than my Emma Hardie oil...

I needed a moisturiser, so why not try one from my new favourite range? I picked up the Intense Hydration Cream and I've found it to be absolutely perfect for my skins needs, it gives me the perfect amount of skin drink. Again, it's very rich and quite thick in it's texture, so a pea sized about will cover my face. So far I've had no issues with it clashing with any of my primers.

Away from the Vitamin E line is a couple of purchases from the Aloe range, a line of products all about calming and soothing upset/sensitive skin.
I picked up the Aloe Soothing Toner and the Soothing Rescue Cream Mask.
My skin is definitley one to get a little red and irradiated sometimes, so calming products are a must have. The Soothing Toner does just that, it's cooling, hydrating and really refreshing, I feel like it will be a rescue product if I have a skin meltdown.
I saw the best results of the Rescue Mask on my boyfriends face, it almost banished his redness completely and his blemishes really calmed down.


You can expect a lot more haul posts in the upcoming weeks, from birthday presents to my hefty Sephora haul. Stick around if you're up for some massive enabling. (Also thank you to the handful of you for the birthday wishes on Twitter! I had a lovely weekend.)

GOD CREATED THE WOMAN, AND THEN HE CREATED THIS



Let me just start off by saying, how on EARTH have I went this long without featuring this palette on my blog? I've owned and highly loved this little black box of magic for a long time. (Hence why it's looking a little shabby.) Let's just say if I was stranded on a desert island, i'd take this, if I could only use one eye palette for the rest of my life, this is it. I feel like NARS made this for me, it's the only palette in which I love and use every shade, it's just so me. If my house was burning down, I'd make sure I saved this from the blaze, I wouldn't mind if my hand was burnt in the process of scavenging for it, it's worth it. 

I'm talking about the NARS 'And God Created The Woman' palette.
This palette is my go to, everyday and almost signature look. I tend to rock a dramatic, smokey eye with golds, browns and blacks, I just can't get away with anything else. Let me tell you, I have enough palettes packed with golds and browns but nothing has ever quite made me fall in love as much as this did. (Of course there's also the bonus of the handy sized eye primer, which by the way, is amazing.)
From a cool undertoned beige to the bronze and gold and the gorgeous deep brown infested with golden shimmer, this just does it all for me. I find the formula so easy to work with and effortless to blend, and with a primer, my smokey eye aint' budging all day.

If you like warm, dramatic smokey golden/brown eye, this has your name all over it. Pretty sure it's limited edition though, so run fast for this little black compact of gorgeousness.

DRY SKIN TIPS


I love my skin and I love looking after it, both face and body I pamper pretty much everyday. This Winter my skin turned very dry and I've had to change things up a little and I thought I'd share with you what's working really well for me incase you're in the same situation.

Johnson's Baby Oil in the bath is a must do, it's created for babies so it's going to be really kind to your skin- water in the bath dehydrates your skin, so adding this into the mix ensures a good balance. If you're feeling really dry, just smother yourself in the stuff, in or out of the bath, pour a whole bottle all over and you'll be feeling like an oil slick...which is actually a really nice feeling when your skins felt so dry for so long.
If you don't like the Johnson's option, at the moment I'm using the Jo Malone Bath Oil, which is obviously ten times the price but it has an amazing, strong and long lasting smell, it's so therapeutic, although not as moisturizing.

If you don't like oils, I've loved pouring in the Nivea In Shower Moisturiser into my bath in the place of my usual bubble bath. Again, this adds so much moisture to your bath water and fights against the heat stripping it out.

When it comes to bath time, avoid hot baths! The hotter the water, the more moisture it will strip from your skin. Make sure your bath water is just warm, warm showers are best, but if you're like me and hate a shower, make sure to keep the water at a lower temperature. I'm not saying it has to be cold, just not so hot it makes your skin red and you have to slowly dip yourself into it...

Two body moisturisers that work spot on for me are Doublebase, Palmers Coco Butter and Lush's Charity Pot. All three are super rich and hydrating, and keep your skin that way for a long period of time.
Doublebase is formulated specifically for dry skin with rashes/eczema and it's honestly a miracle in a bottle. You can buy Doublebase at a pharmacy/pharmacy online, the huge bottle will last you ages and I promise your dry skin will be no more.
If I want something with a scent I like Palmers Coco Butter, you can't really go wrong with this, it's a lot thicker but also has more advantages like fading stretch marks and toning skin. It absorbs in so quickly and a little goes a long way.
I've talked about Lush's Charity Pot a lot already.

I know Bio Oil claims to be great for dehydrated skin, but if you use Bio Oil on a daily basis, it's going to clog up your pores completely- probably resulting in a rash/breakout. 

If dry skin is really irritating you and making you uncomfortable, my last resort is always turning my bedroom radiator completely off. The central  heating blasting in Winter and my skin are not a good match, I dread it every year, so this year, my radiator is completely off and I've found my skin to feel much less tight and uncomfortable when I'm lying in there at night. Just whip a dressing gown on!

Last of all, water water water, drink all the water. Avoid alcohol! Completely if you can, it's so dehydrating for both your insides and your skin, when I wake up after a night out my skin feels so tight and will do for a few days after, now that I rarely drink my skin is a lot happier. 

If you have any hints or tricks do share them in the comments.

5 REASONS WHY YOU NEED VITAMIN E FACE MIST


A hydrating, multi use product that benefits my skin and make up? Prettily packaged and at a reasonable price? I'm all over it. This little gem from The Body Shop is the newest addition to my over sized mental list of must have products. I want you all to discover the joys of the Vitamin E Face Mist, so I've constructed a list of reasons you should try it out (thank me later.)

1. It's a very quick, very easy but huge advantage to your skincare routine.
It's literally a deep moisturiser in a bottle that you can spray onto your face and have absorbed in 6 seconds, you're coming home from a night out after one too many vodkas, can't be bothered to moisturize? Just have a spritz, no need to even rub it in. Your skin (especially mine,) can become very dehydrated during Winter, and the central heating kills me, this will keep your skin hydrated even when you can't be bothered. Hydrated skin also means better make up application.

2. It can be used to set make up. 
Yes, the Urban Decay setting spray is great, but it's more expensive and it isn't an actual skincare product, the ingredients aren't as beneficial. This however is packed with Vitamin E, so it's finishing your make up and keeping it in place for the day, but your skins also getting a little treat too. Maybe you've over powdered and you've ended up looking caked to the nines and your face is stiff, this will fix it.

3. It can be used on a Beauty Blender to make a foundation more hydrating and look less cakey.
We all know you can add water to a BB to perfect the finish even more, but with my dry skin, applying this spray has changed the game- no more dry patches, and I suppose it's better for my Beauty Blender than drenching it in warm water and squeezing it. I find this particularly beneficial with higher coverage foundations that can sometimes look too much, I've also seen a huge improvement in the application of Nars Sheer Glow when using this method.

4. It's handy, it's a pick me up.
It's small enough to carry even in a clutch bag. When I drink alcohol, it really dries up my face and by the end of the night it feels uncomfortable, this would be a savior to refresh and hydrate in these situations. Maybe your skin is just feeling dull through the day, make up on or not, this is super refreshing and uplifting, it's a morning coffee for my skin.

5. If your moisturiser isn't enough, this is. If your primer sucks your moisturiser up, this can help.
Sometimes I've moisturized, and then when I've applied my primer it seems like all of it just disappears? Where does it go? I don't know, but applying another layer of moisturizer will spoil the look of my foundation, however, now I have this, if this problem occurs, I have this to spritz around and give my skin another drink before it's loaded with powders.


JANUARY LOVES


January was a great month beauty product wise, with new arrivals from Christmas and having the money to treat myself, I came across a few new loves as well as falling back in love with some old favourites. I'm certainly not one to do a favourites post every month, but I feel like I really had genuinely been favoring products recently and they definitley deserve a shout out.

I've been loving two primers this month, one high end and one drugstore. I've talked about both before in their own posts.
Both are completely different and in totally different price brackets, but both equally as amazing.
If my skin feels quite dry, I'll opt for the Soap and Glory One Heck Of A Blot Primer, this is watery primer that really improves the appearance of pores, giving you a flawless base for foundation. It definitley improves the look and wear time of my foundation, for £10 I'm extremely pleased, it's performing better than some of my high end primers.
My high end primer of choice this month was definitley the Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer, (what a name.)
I can best describe this as a cushiony, mattifying, velvet like and thick paste- but it's totally colour free and it really seems to calm my sensitive skin if it is having a little play up. If this primer was more hydrating, it would be my holy grail without a doubt- unfortunately it's the opposite, and having dry skin this means that I need to very heavily moisturize or use a hydrating primer underneath. If you have oily skin however, this will probably be your new best friend.
It does what it says on the tin, it's quite heavy and thick one the skin, but extremely soft so it's comfortable, it forms a thick layer between your skin and foundation, this layer completely combats pores, lines or other imperfections, my skin is left looking airbrushed and matte, but still pretty natural.

Another pair of products from Lush, I got Charity Pot for Christmas and I've already completely ran out and I'm desperate to re-purchase, I can't go a day without this stuff now, it's pure magic. I raved about this in a post very recently, and my love still goes on. This is my ultimate skin saviour, it fixes scarring, de-hydration and irritation, the 3 problems I suffer with most. I seriously need a lifetimes supply of this.
A lot of people having been loving The Comforter shower cream, it should come as no surprise it's in my favourites, I've been loving it purely for it's smell and bright pink tint. I've asked for the huge bottle for my birthday, because it makes shaving/washing such a joy, it's a little pick me up at the end of everyday. I'm so happy it hasn't upset my skin like most Lush bath products because I am just in love with it's fun, uplifting aroma.

The body shops Vitamin E Face Mist has been the newest discovery, and one of the best I've ever made. I'll be doing a whole post on it tomorrow, so I'll leave out the details, but it's quickly turned into a must have and it deserves a place in my favourites more than anything.

Finally, we have the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in the shade Abu Dhabi. I've literally worn this everyday since it was delivered, there's nothing I can fault about it. The colour suits me well, I love it, the texture is dreamy and the formula is very very long lasting for the £5.50 price tag. Without a doubt I'll be buying a lot more shades of the soft matte lip cream, I'm so impressed with them and they're 100% worth the hype. I've been pairing this with my Louboutin lipliner, and the combination lasts all day, through food, drink and general wear. The super soft doe foot applicator is pretty precise and always gives the perfect amount of product each time.


The 29th of January brings my birthday. so again I'll have money to get my hands on loads of new releases, so a February favourites is highly likely.

NEW ON THE BATHROOM SHELF


Three new products from Soap and Glory have been added to my bath time routine, I've slowly fallen in love with the brand,  probably due to the high count of rave reviews floating about on Bloglovin.

I haven't had a body exfoliator in so long, how naughty of me. Since adding Flake Away to my pamper stash, my legs have been feeling extra smooth. I use this twice a week after shaving and really like to scrub quite harshly to remove hair. I've also found this to be really helpful on scarring, I have some pretty nasty self harm scars and a good scrub of this is vastly improving their appearance and texture. The only downside, it seems to of lasted me five minutes, I've only been using it since Christmas and it's empty already. Maybe I have long legs...but I love to sit and stroke my legs after using Flake Away, in fact, I want everyone to come and stroke my legs.

Glad Hair Day is the superstar of the pack, this conditioner works miracles on my hair. I use way too much, but I do have very thick, very long hair (that's also not mine, and very very expensive,) so I need to look after it.
Glad Hair Day makes the lengths of my hair incredibly shiney, smooth and soft, something my hair hasn't felt like in a long time. Not many conditioners have an instant, dramatic effect on my hair but this has really impressed me, I've used it very quickly but it's definitely worthy of a re-purchase. (Oh and it smells gorgeous.)

Finally the last Soap and Glory bath time addition has been the Clean Girls body wash, which I've actually been using mostly as a bubble bath. I run a few pumps under the hot tap and it creates bubbles and a fabulous smell. I'm down for anything that adds some moisture to my water. Despite it being so scented, if I do wash with it, it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin, which is quite a break through. Unlike the other products, a little seems to be going a long way and it's a pretty hefty bottle, however I'm not impressed enough to re-purchase.

Let me know what Soap and Glory products you have in your bath time routine, or throw me some recommendations! 

THE BODY SHOP HAUL




Well if you know me at all you'll know how much I love skincare, I really enjoy looking after it and it's something I do every day without fail. I tried out Tea Tree products from The Body Shop that I received for Christmas and I was really impressed. Ever since I've been really keen to pick some more bits up. My skin seems to be going through a little dry phase, probably due to the weather, so with that in mind, as well as it's sensetivity, I picked up the following...

Vitamin E Face Mist
Easily my favourite product of the bunch! This is totally what my skin needs right now, a refreshing, soothing moisture boost. This is such an excellent multi use product, today I used it in many ways as possible just to really give it a good test run. I applied it after moisturiser and primer and it made my skin look and feel a lot more comfortable ready for foundation. I then also sprayed this onto my Beauty Blender to blend foundation completely, it made my skin look more dewy and natural and made the foundation feel comfortable on the skin. Finally, I used it as a 'setting' spray over all my powders, contour etc. I really love this so far and I think it'll be one of those products that I can't live without.

Seaweed Pore Cleansing Exfoliator 
A gentle and deeply cleansing product that doesn't leave my face irritated, red, but silky smooth and soft. I used this in the bath tonight instead of my usual Lush Cup' O Coffee and I must say I like this a lot better. Unlike my usual option, it doesn't make a mess, and it isn't a nightmare to remove. It left my skin feeling extremely soft, I felt like it really had a deep clean right into my pores, and it also had a little effect on pore size. This product is a balm like texture with grains within it, so it's super gentle and didn't irritate my sensitive skin.

Strawberry Born Lippy Balm
It's Winter, my lips are dry, so I got this. I like Strawberry, need I say more? It works.

Aloe Soothing Day Cream
The 'soothing' drew me into buying this, I didn't need it and I don't particularly like it...if I'm honest it was just to fill up the basket a little more. It's not moisturizing enough for my dry Winter skin, it might be perfect in Summer but so far I've only noticed that it calms redness very slightly, it doesn't smell too great, it's just, meh. I suppose it'll be put to test better if something really upset my skin and it started burning/itching, but that doesn't really happen...so, this was a bit of a waste of money.

Instablur All-In-One Primer
The product I was most excited about, yet pretty disappointed with. I've seen a few rave reviews and I was expecting to really really like this, but I almost hate it. The only thing I like is the packaging, the logo just looks cute. There's a very small amount of product and it doesn't spread well or evenly, it's a clear, gel texture that feels quite heavy on the skin, I could feel it suffocating my pores as I applied it. Worst of all, when I was applying it seemed to really roll off the skin, it felt like it stripped my moisturiser away and I really had to apply a lot and really blend and push it around my face. The whole experience just wasn't nice, but however, it does blur pores really well. 

THE NEW LUXURY LIP PRODUCT WORTH LUSTING OVER


I was lucky enough to be gifted a Louboutin lip liner for Christmas, and my reaction when I opened it was pretty much 'oh my God no way it's so so gorgeous,' and flapping my arms around. From the black box, to the brand hanging from the lid, it's obvious there's been attention to detail, it's the appearance of this product that makes it so appealing, and the name that gives it such a hefty price tag. If you can't afford to splash out on a pair of seven hundred pound heels, the lipsticks are the next best thing. It's such a pleasure to own, it's something I would never buy for myself, so I'm grateful to have a best friend that knows me so well.

I mean, given the chance to design my perfect lip liner, it would probably look a lot like this, it screams luxury, the dark, modern design is totally up my street, a lip liner so sharp it looks like a weapon. My favourite features are the golden studs and huge black "heel" that's supposed to impersonate that of a pair of Loubs. (Maybe not too handbag friendly.) Not only is the packaging to die for, but it's clever too. The lip liner has a self sharpening feature in the lid, which means that after each use, there's no worries about it going blunt because the in-lid sharpener prepares it for the next use.

Despite it looking so edgy and gothic, inside is the perfect nude shade 'Maya.' It matches perfectly with so many of my matte MAC lipsticks such as Viva Glam II, and NARS matte lip pencil Bettina.
The staying power of the shade is pretty much bulletproof, and even after six hours of wear, the pigmentation remains and the creamy formula stays true to how it felt when applied. Not to mention that application is fool proof, the nib is the perfect shape and size, whether you want the Kylie Jenner look or something more natural.

At £27.00, it's far from cheap for a liner, I suppose you can justify it if you appreciate luxury brands and get joy from owning them, or maybe you're a fan of collectors items.

THANKS FOR THE CHEEKBONES, KEVYN


If you're pale, and struggle to find a contouring powder that isn't too orangey, or too muddy, or just too dark, look no further than the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder (£33.00.)
It's no secret that I love contouring, but being so pale, finding a powder that really works can be a challenge, so far I've only found 'Fawn' in the ABH Contour Kit to work for me.

This powder is all around perfect. It's the perfect colour, (a cool, taupe brown) perfect texture and it's matte, the packaging is practical but sturdy and the quality of the powder its self is beautiful and silk like, making this a dream to blend and apply.
The pigmentation is unbeatable, so a little really goes a long way, and if you put it somewhere, it'll stay there.
The texture of this product is so luxuriously creamy and rich, when I swatched it in Space Nk I fell instantly in love, it was so smooth, a mix of velvet and silk.

The powder gives such a natural finish, it gives you the shadow you want on your face, not just an orangey line that needs blending. I use this with my NARS Contour Brush or my Nars Ita Brush and together they create a gorgeous, natural looking, sculpted to perfection face. It's totally fool proof, and if you still haven't mastered contouring, or, like me, found 'the one,' I highly suggest you get down to your local Space Nk and pick up this little gem.

MY FRAGRANCE COLLECTION


Who doesn't love smelling good? I hate leaving the house without being drenched in scent, I aim to be one of those people you walk past and think 'Jesus Christ that's strong.' I never quite feel complete without a good spritzing, I have different fragrances to match different moods and different styles of dress, and some that I just love endlessly.

The one for special occasions: Jo Malone Cologne Intense, Velvet Rose and Oud (£105.00.)
I lusted after a Jo Malone fragrance for so long and Santa kindly brought one of the intense bottles my way. I love the look of it, the smell of it, the feel of it, and just knowing I have it. It's such a wonderful luxury to own and be gifted. It's so expensive so I'll be saving this for special occasions! It's quite musky and 'different,' but you can smell that it's expensive.

The girly, floral, elegant scent: Love Story by ChloĆ© (£50.00.)
This is the one I'll be saving mostly for Summer/Spring time, it's really floral and light and girly, but still really strong and lingers on my clothes for hours and hours. It's my boyfriends favourite and he always says he can smell it on his bedding when I've been over, so it must be pretty good. It's not my personality at all, but I still really love this, it's so different to all my others. Packaging is a solid 11/10.

The edgy, musky, modern option: Si Intense by Giorgio Armani (£55.00.)
Insane. Gorgeous. Luxurious. Modern. Sophisticated. I am so heart eyes about this, it's my favourite bottle to look at too, the packaging is so me and so is the scent. It smells expensive and slightly musky, again, one I'll be wearing on special occasions, it's one of those scents that stay strong all day and get people asking what you're wearing. I imagine if you walked into a Chanel boutique, it would smell something like this.

The fun, quirky, fruity sweet one:
Viktor & Rolf BonBon (£68.00.)
This is one for everyone, you can't not like this no matter your taste. It's so fruity, fresh and quirky. I totally get the name, it totally smells like something you'd find in a sweet shop, maybe not a bonbon, much nicer than a bonbon. However, I do think it's quite young and I can't imagine anyone over the age of 30 wearing this and suiting it. LOOK AT THAT BOTTLE.

The sophisticated, grown up scent: Chanel Chance, Eau Tendre (£55.00.)
I've sadly come to the last couple of uses of my Chanel, it's been well loved and attracted a lot of compliments during its time. This was my everyday fragrance not long ago, it's easy wearing and suitable for any occasion, but still smells very grown up and sophisticated, it smells like a woman that really has her shit together. It's so refreshing and clean, but still has a sweet hint, very very feminine.

I really cannot pick a favourite from my collection, I love them all equally and I'd wear them all at once if I could.
I'm lusting after so many perfumes at the moment, mostly YSL Black Opium and Jo Malone Dark Amber and Ginger Lily (which I'm hoping to get for my birthday.)


Let me know if you've tried any of these or what you're loving!

HANDBAG BEAUTY BITS


I recently got myself a new bag from Whistles and it was a pretty huge downsize from what I'm used to, so everything had to be streamlined, and here's what happened.

I swapped my bottle of Soap And Glory Hand Food for a miniature tub of this Jo Malone lotion in Peony and Blush Suede. Hand cream is something that only remains in my bag throughout Winter when my skin can really suffer, dry hands make me very uncomfortable.
I realized that keeping a whole bottle of perfume with me on the go wasn't necessary or practical, so I swapped out my Chanel Chance for this mini Jo Malone cologne in Blackberry & Bay. I find Jo Malone fragrances to be intense and long lasting (and so they should be for the prices,) so this little bottle should last me quite a while. This is for times like when I've been sat in Nandos for an hour and I don't want to walk around shopping smelling like Peri-Peri.

I'm a everyday false lash wearer, so some glue is essential, I can't imagine a worse situation than being out and your lash falling off, not only do the lashes fall off but it takes your eye make up with it, better to be safe than sorry. I took out my larger glass jar of Eyelure LashFix and swapped it for this smaller, lighter squeezy tube.
I also keep a spare mascara in there, at the minute I'm using the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara and I found a deal on QVC for 2 of these full sized for just over the price of 1, so one stays in my dressing table and the other lives in my bag. I'm a big cry baby, and I have super sensetive eyes, so I often have mascara running down my face and I hate my eyes looking bald. I also just generally think this mascara needs topping up after a few hours because it isn't as dramatic as I like. There wasn't really a smaller option here, mini's of mascaras are hard to get a hold of in the UK and it definitley isn't worth it's own Sephora order.

If I am going out, 95% of the time it's to my boyfriends house, meaning that a lot of my make up gets rubbed away through out the day. Foundation being wiped away I can cop with, because I like my skin, but when it comes to my eyebrows...don't touch. I used to take out a glass jar of the Tarte Brow Mousse and a brush, so I've swapped this for the skinny little NARS Brow Perfecter. My boyfriend has a tendency to make me lie in bed all day, so sometimes the tails of my brows suffer and I won't leave without darkening them up again.

I also have a weave, (lol why am I so fake) it's very thick and very long, and it gets easily tangled and flat throughout the day. so I need a comb with me at all times to put in some back-combing and attempt to make the lengths look a little less ratty. I hate nothing more than flat hair, and this is about the skinnyest brush I can get through my hair.


What are your hangbag beauty bits and bobs?

NYX SOFT MATTE LIP CREAM




Move over MAC matte lipsticks, I have a new matte must have, in the form of these gorgeous NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream's, (£5.50.) If I designed my perfect lipstick. it would be this fabulous formula, packaged the way a Louboutin lipstick is...I can dream. I'd say the formula was more of a soft matte lip mousse rather than a cream. I'm a sucker for hyped up products, and these were lurking all over my Bloglovin feed having their praises sang, rightly so too.

I very, very sadly only have two shades so far, London and Stockholm, two nude shades similar to Mac Viva Glam II and Velvet Teddy. I obviously plan to expand my family and get my hands on the rest of the nude shades as well as some of the dark dramatic options.
I can't remember the last time I purchased a lip product that wasn't high end, it's literally been years and years, but these have impressed me so much that I'm slowly losing so much of my make up snobbyness. I really want to try the NYX contour stick next.

Considering they are drug store products, the staying power and pigmentation is amazing, the pigmentation puts some high end lip products to shame, and the colour lasts on my lips for a good five hours, and doing so without getting dry and flakey.
The texture makes them such a joy to apply, I love the feeling of this on my lips, it's so comfortable and feels like there's nothing there, the doe foot applicator is also very easy and pleasurable to use, it's pretty precise and it's just the right size. The finish is ultra soft and smooth, with a matte finish that looks gentle but still highly pigmented.
I much prefer these to the NARS Velvet Matte lip pencils, the application is so much better, the colour pay off is twice as good and it's easier to use, not to mention the fact it's so much cheaper.


I'm absolutely in love with these little tubes of magic, and for the price you can't go wrong.

TWO LUSH CREAMS YOU NEED


Due to my overly sensitive skin, Lush was a store I avoided for a very long time. The bath bombs make me itch like hell so I very sadly had to stop using them, it still kills me. At some point last year I made a huge break through and managed to use products from Lush and have only a good reaction, now I'm obsessed with their shower gels, face masks and hair products, but the more surprising products I've fallen in love with are Dream Cream and Charity Pot, two creams I hate being without.

Dream Cream
really is a dream, it's like a more luxurious, moisturizing version of Sudocrem. (not for spots.) If I have a flare up of a rash anywhere, or my skin just generally feels irritated this fixes it straight away, it takes away any burning, cools the skin and really soothes it. It's full of ingredients that you'd find in dry skin/eczema creams such as oat milk, it's like a hug for my skin when it's upset, either on my face or my body. Dream Cream also has my body feeling incredibly soft, it absorbs very quickly and gives off a light but clean, soothing scent.

In my advent calendar I got a tester pot of Lush's 'Charity Pot.' and being the pessimistic person I am, I didn't think it would do anything but upset my skin, and the fact it's a cream where all the proceeds go to charity, could it really contain anything that great?
I was so wrong, this is my holy grail moisturiser for my body and it's issues- and it actually contains so many amazing ingredients that provide great benefits.
If you're suffering from Winter skin syndrome (dry skin,) you need this in your stash, this is by far the richest most moisturizing cream I have ever come across, and I've tried a lot of cream. It truely hydrates my skin and keeps it hydrated until bath time the following day, and again, has my skin feeling like silk.
Not only that, but the oil in Charity Pot is like magic for scars/stretch marks, I've been applying this to scars on my arms and I've noticed a huge improvement after two weeks- I've also been applying it daily to a few stretch marks on my upper thigh and they've pretty much disappeared already. better than any result I've had from Bio Oil.


I highly recommend these lotions for anyone with dry skin, irritated skin or scarring.

BEAUTY BLENDER VS SPONGE VS REAL TECHNIQUES


Stop wasting your money trying to find a dupe, it isn't going to happen. No sponge is a sponge quite like the original Beauty Blender, I don't care if it's five pounds less, it's less because it isn't the best (in this case.) 
And for all of those asking on Twitter if you should just get the Real Techniques sponge...no, don't, just get the Beauty Blender and thank me later.
I don't know what it is that makes the original so good, but there's something that makes it apply make up better than the rest, obviously somewhere in the way it's made because it feels completely different to alternatives. Even from my rubbish photography, you can see there's a difference to it's material.
(Left to right: Beauty Blender £16.00, sponge from E-Bay, 30p, Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge £5.99.)

Do not waste your time buying these wannabe products from E-Bay, this 'sponge' feels more like a brick, it's just honestly awful. It doesn't expand, or soften when water is added, it's like applying your foundation by patting your face with a slab of concrete. (And concrete doesn't blend well.) It leaves make up sat on top of your skin, looking cakey and unfinished. I'd rather use my fingers than use this again, to the bin it went.

The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge is just, average at best, it really does feel like it's been cut out of a bath sponge from Superdrug. It's a lot softer than the Beauty Blender, but it's too soft, it's really absorbing and delicate, I feel like this one drinks up half of my foundation. It's light, fluffy texture doesn't make it ideal for blending foundation either, using either rubbing or bouncing, it doesn't give you the finish everyone talks about. The only thing I like more about this alternative is the size, it makes the job a little bit quicker, but I'd choose a perfect finish over 3 extra minutes of blending. I don't find the flat side of this product better for bigger areas like the forehead at all, I much prefer the rounded end of the Beauty Blender, because again, the flat side just does not blend well, and it's just too soft unless you're giving yourself bruises.

Finally, The Original Beauty Blender. This is easily one of my best discoveries of 2015, and it'll continue to be highly loved and used this year too, at first I was skeptical about a sponge being so amazing and worth the price tag, but I'm so glad I finally took the plunge and tried this. I'll never go back to using my hands or a brush, this pink little magic applies my foundation amazingly, it blends like nothing else and is perfectly shaped and sized for all areas of my face.

Let me know if you've tried the BB or any alternatives and what you thought.

I GOT NAKED AND I LOVED IT


Wow, well I never thought I would see the day I was writing about or even using any other concealer but my trustee Nars Creamy Concealer. Move over Nars, I have a new favourite- the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer.
This product is seriously worth the hype, and I can't believe it's took me so long to cave in, but thank God for the impulse buyer inside of me that went for this in the Feel Unique boxing day sale, without you, I may never of experienced just how amazing this product is.

Not only is it cheaper than my usual favourite, but it's so much better, from the packaging to the formula, everything is a mile above. If you're looking for a generally perfect medium/full coverage concealer, this is for you...(sooo, everyone, right?)
Goodbye blemishes, goodbye smudged eye make up, goodbye dark circles and dull skin, this stuff tackles it all.
With it's pretty thick but ultra creamy formula, this glides on and into my skin like a dream, brightening areas and concealing the nasties.
Great to apply with either a brush or just your fingers, such a little amount goes a long way because of the high coverage and thicker formula. Although quite thick, it is not at all drying or cakey.
I personally have dry skin and even on days it's really playing up, this still performs at it's best, it feels very nourishing and hydrating under my eyes, and stays put on any imperfections all day long.

It's an un-detectable coverage product- no matter how much I pile on, it still looks pretty natural and leaves skin luminous and healthy looking, despite it's consistency, it feels ultra light weight on the skin, which is a huge bonus if you're looking to use this for under eyes.


Have you tried this? What did you think?


TARTELETTE 2, IN BLOOM



Some things are worth waiting for, and this palette was one of them; Months ago I made a post raving about the original Tartelette palette, and I'm here to do the same again with the new Tartelette (2) "In Bloom" palette. Nothing on this world makes me more excited and happy than a good new eyeshadow palette, they are my ultimate make up weakness.
I purposely kept money behind from Christmas to buy myself this because of how much I love the original, and it seemed like forever waiting for it in the UK, (ordered from QVC, £35.00.) but I'm so happy to finally own this.

Unlike the first palette, this new one includes a mix of matte, shimmer and even metallic shades all with a warm hue, which is a huge bonus for me because I can't seem to get along with cool toned shades. The palette also comes with a decent, full sized brush that features two heads, one perfect for packing a shade on and the other for all over lid application, as well as a very decent sized mirror.
Even though I'm very much a monochrome, minimalistic lover, I do love the packaging of this palette, it perfectly suits the Spring time inside and out with the gold plastic surrounding the 12 shades. The embossing of the Tarte logo into each shadow also makes this palette look extra luxurious, paired with the spring themed names.

Although Tarte shadows aren't my favourite for formula (Too Faced forever, mmm the butter) they have amazing pigmentation and colour pay off. I don't find myself having to go over and over with the light colours to make it recognizable, but even if I did, these shadows are so comfortable and light on the lids you won't even know if you're accidentally wearing all 12 shades...
I love Tarte shadows mostly for their amazing colour pay off and the lack of/non existent drop down that comes with applying them.
The more metallic and shimmery colours in the palette have quite a thick buttery formula, where as the light shades seem to be more chalky- (neither of which are bad!)

I'll be sure making very good use of this palette.