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November Favourites

Commence, the weirdest favourites post I'll probably ever do. My annual cold and flu arrived this month, (woo!) and I've been coughing my guts up, aching like an elderly, had car alarms going off in my head and just generally feeling run down and unwell, wow, I love the cold weather. 
A hot water bottle has been my best friend the past week, as well as cough medicine and pain killers, but I couldn't find a nice way to present a bottle of medicine and ibuprofen in a blog picture...

However, I've been living in my pyjamas, I can't remember the last time I got up and dressed, and these Alice In Wonderland pyjamas so happen to be my newest (and favourite) pair I own. I find a lot of joy in new pyjamas.
Whilst lying in bed wrapped up, I've been having to apply layer after layer of lip balm, my current balm of choice is the 'Born Lippy' from The Body Shop, it smells and tastes like Watermelon and it's super hydrating and long lasting, so what's not to like? If my lips feel extra chapped I go in with some Bubblegum Lip Scrub from Lush, Not only have I been putting this on my lips, but I've been eating it, because mm. This is such a great exfoliant that it removes dead skin from your lips and leaves them smooth again.
If painkillers just aren't enough to tackle my booming migraines, I apply some 4head stick, which my mam just picked up for me in Asda. I didn't think it would do anything but this stuff genuinely works, it's like a giant lip balm that you rub on your forehead, it instantly cools and soothes your strain.
I obviously haven't been sitting putting make-up on everyday to lie in bed, but just to make myself feel a little better and look a little fresher, I've been loving my NARS Radiant Tinted Moisturiser again, I usually mix this with light coverage foundations but it's just been a nice, easy and quick step in the morning that makes me look a little less ill.

Let me know what you've been loving, or if you also like any of the products I've mentioned...also let me know if you're also cold ridden.



January 11th will mark my blogs first birthday, and I know it's going to fly by. I mean it's almost Christmas already, and it certainly doesn't feel like a year since I started up Lipstick Full Of Optimism. I remember the night I sat and created my little space, I was watching The Devil Wears Prada, mind mapping a name, and playing with the layout for a good few hours. It was terrifying and putting my words out there for anyone in the world to see STILL scares me. I've learnt so much in my first year, and I'm grateful for it- what I've learnt this year is going to help me out so much next year, I think LFO will grow a lot next year now I've passed the awkward first stages and never doing things properly. 

I've had a few brands e-mailing me this year interested in working with me, sending products etc, but I've so far turned all offers down because I do claim this blog as high-end beauty based, and obviously, smaller brands have been contacting me about products that don't fit in- and I wanted to stay true to why I was blogging and not just start accepting any free products offered to me.

I've also received some great, lovely and supportive feedback on my mental health posts- they actually prove to be the most popular ones I write, which is great, because I love to write them.
I appreciate support, comments, saves, follows, tweets, etc so much. 

1. Doing it properly, is time consuming, stressful and at times, difficult.
Taking photographs, editing them, thinking of post ideas, writing the post, advertising the post, advertising your blog, sharing your links, interacting with other bloggers, commenting on other blogs...scheduling tweets, joining chats, maintaining the look of your blog, checking old links work, checking for comments and replying to them, scheduling posts, research.
You know, there's probably even more things a blogger does but this is the huge list that comes straight to mind. When I began my blog, I didn't think it would be quite this much work and effort to get it even to where it is now. 

2. It often leaves me feeling deflated.
There's a lot of other bloggers out there, the community is growing so quick, meaning there's even more competition. It's hard to stand out and be seen in such a huge crowd, and sometimes I feel like giving up because I'll never move from the back row. I often think 'there's millions of us, I am not necessary.' I am such a small fish in such a huge pond and half of the time it feels like I'll never grow.
Even things like not getting a comment on a post is really demotivating, I think to blog in this 90% online world you have to be really strong headed, persevere and ignore the progress of others to concentrate on you. 

3. Things do not come easily.
A lot of people (that obviously do not blog,) seem to think that you start up a blog, write a post and then loads of free make up, skin care, clothes etc. are sent your way!
I’ve been working at this for a year and only received 2 offers of any ‘free products’ being sent to me, you have to work and build up your status, build your blog, your audience, and generally get noticed- which is all hard work, which can be really mentally draining.

4. It makes me buy things I don’t need.
Did I need to buy 7 primers this year? No, not at all. Could I of gotten through the year with the 1 really expensive primer I received last Christmas? Probably. Do I need 50 of the same eyeshadow colour? No. Do I need a different foundation for every day of the week? No, not at all. Beauty blogging especially makes me spend a lot of money- it almost makes me sick how many thousands I must of spent this year on make up, some of it, I never even touch. It’s all because beauty blogging gives you an excuse to buy it, you don’t need it? Yeah, but you can blog about it! 


Contouring Tools - The NARS Edit

NARS brushes are probably my favourite, but they unfortunately come with a large price tag- here are the three brushes from NARS in my collection that are perfect for my contour/sculpting routine. 

The Ita (£43.00) 
Probably the most ridiculously priced brush ever, it's super thin, has a thin head and I can't see myself EVER paying that much for the full size, I have the mini, it's the same brush, just with a smaller handle- I got mine included in the Tahiti Laguna Bronzer compact.
I will admit it is good for contouring, not good enough to be worth the full price tag, but if you literally have money to throw away- go for it. I know you can get much better/softer brushes for a little less. The bristles are a little harsh, but it's what makes the application so good.

The Contour (£31.00)
All time favourite brush in my entire collection, I'd take this over the Ita anyday, a super fluffy, full brush that applies contour in the hollow in the cheekbone perfectly, the perfect size and shape, it also picks up the perfect amount of product. I've had this a year in December and apart from a couple of hairs sticking out from harsh washing as you can see above, it's proving a winner.

The Diffusing (£26.00)
NARS actually advertises this as an eyeshadow brush? Strange, it's way too big for eyes! I love this with a highlight or a really light powder from a contour kit such as the one from ABH, it sharpens up the contour perfectly and is the perfect size for the job. I also use it with more 'sparkling' highlights such as MAC Soft & Gentle, the side of the brush gives a gentle sweep of glow.


AM to PM Skincare Routine

I bloody love skincare, talking about it, using it, buying it, trying it, reviewing it, everything. I've been taught to look after my skin from a young age, my mum had me using Liz Earle and Clinique products from about 11 years old, so maybe I've got her to thank for the fact I never experienced any teenage spotty skin, or any issues in general. I'm really happy with my skin- I look after it everyday and it pays off, I rarely see a spot, it's soft, takes to make-up well and I'm so grateful for it.
It certainly hasn't come cheap, I think skincare is something you should always splash out on, even if you don't buy high end make up, if your skin is great, you'll always look better.
Through Spring, Summer my skin is normal, as we go into Autumn it starts getting dehydrated and by Winter it's needing moisturiser top ups 3 times a day, unless I go out and buy a very rich cream.
Prior to this post, I was using all Elemis products- their cleanser, toner, exfoliating paste and moisturiser, so since things have been switched up a lot, I thought I would do an updated skincare routine; the following products are what get my through day to night to keep my skin in tip top condition. (Oh it's also quite sensitive.)

So first I start with the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, "an illuminating vitamin melting cleanser."
I never ever thought I would swap my cleanser from my old favourite, Emma Hardie Moringa Balm, however, I watch a lot of Lily Pebbles and she always talks about this, so when my EH was hitting a low point I got my hands on this from Oskia.
The products are pretty similar, and I can't really decide which one I like best- although the Emma Hardie is a little more convenient because you can actually see how much product you have left, which is probably the only con to the Oskia gel. However, it is cheaper and does exactly the same job, both have a balm to oil like texture when applied, both smell super amazing and both remove make-up effortlessly. At the moment I'm using the Oskia gel to cleanse, and then if my skin is feeling particularly dehydrated, I'll apply a dollop of Emma Hardie and sit with it on my face for hours, sometimes even over night. I'll remove both with a muslin cloth and warm water.
Oskia Gel, £28.00.
Emma Hardie Moringa £35.00-£55.00.

If I want an extra something, I'm having a little pamper night or I'm lying in the bath for a while, I'll apply a generous layer of Mask Of Magnaminty from Lush.
This is a gorgeous mask that reminds me of the Aesop Parsley Seed mask and the REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask. It's not too clay like, so it's not drying at all, it's so so refreshing, it makes your skin feel deeply clean and fresh, it also has a minty aroma which really cools and soothes the skin, as well as just generally making me feel chilled out. I'll sit with this mask on for about 15-20 minutes and then just use my hands to gently wash away with warm water.
I find that it leaves my skin baby soft, a little glowy and radiant and it also helps my pores a little.
Mask Of Magnaminty £9.95.

After applying all this to my skin, I want it back to a normal pH level and I want to make sure every last bit of dirt, make up or product is taken off my skin.
For this I turn to a toner from Lush, the Tea Tree Water toner.
I swipe this over my face using cotton pads, to refresh, cleanse, and just to make my skin feel more supple and clean. I adore tea tree products, I love the smell of it and It's a really helpful product, it's anti-bacterial, so it will keep away bacteria that could cause spots.
Not only do I use this after my routine, but I just use it at any point during the day (when I have no make-up on, obviously,) to refresh, it's just a great little pick me up for your skin and I promise it'll thank you for it. (GREAT when you have a hangover...)
Tea Tree Water £8.50.

As my exfoliant, again, from Lush, is their new mask Cup O'Coffee. 
I LOVE me some coffee, so obviously when I heard about a mask that smelt like coffee and had actual coffee grounds in it, I was all over this straight away,
This is not at all gentle, so I only use it once a week, otherwise I'd probably have no layers of skin left. But when I do use it, it does a wonderful job, it's a paste filled with tiny bits of coffee which Lush claim this keeps the skin caffeinated and energizes the skin.
Any dead or dry skin is sure to be swept away with this down the sink, I have to be super gentle washing it off however because my skin is a little sensitive and I don't want it going red from scrubbing too hard. Again, I don't find it drying or tightening in any way, it's really fresh and obviously it's a huge bonus if you're a coffee lover!
Cup O' Coffee £12.25.

Finally, we have Dream Cream, also from Lush. This is my moisturiser of choice, not only can I use it on my face but my body loves it too. Lush claim this to be soothing, gentle calm and hydrating.
It's not moisturizing enough for my dry skin in Winter, however the rest of the year it's spot on.
It's full of natural ingredients which are great for us with sensitive skin, the lid reads that it's designed to be applied to "even the most easily upset skin." It has a refreshing gentle scent which smells pretty oat like but still good, it makes my skin appear very luminous, soft and generally gives it an all round better texture. It's a perfect cream for a make up base also, it's not too thick and it doesn't roll off any of my make up.
Dream Cream, £19.95


Chocolate Contouring

Okay, so, when I ordered this Debenhams totally sent me the wrong one, so I've ended up with Dark Chocolate Soleil instead of the light. (My mum actually has the original and I think it's too orange.)
I'm trying to make it work...just because it smells good. 
So I am writing this review based on both the dark and the original. Unfortunately, neither have particularly lived up to the hype. 

It is a very matte bronze, so ideal for contouring, just not if you're anywhere from BR10 to BR30 in foundation. 
It's incredibly pigmented and even after tapping excess off my brush I find that still too much is applied, I also found the texture to be quite thick and creamy making it harder than usual to blend out when too much is applied. 

Ideally for my super pale skin, I need a bronzer with a cool hue and unfortunately this has super warm undertones which make me look like I'm caked in bad fake tan.
On the plus side, the packaging is super gorgeous, it comes with a really decent sized mirror and a lot of product. I don't know if it's just me and my minimalist monochrome ways, but I think it does look a little cheap and tacky...which, it isn't. Obviously the stand out feature of this product is that it really does smell like chocolate, and I can smell it on my face all day long.


What's Playing #3

Following up from my last 'What's Playing' post, it's now mid month and I've got a whole lotta new loves. I mean, Justin Bieber and One Direction releasing new albums on the same day!? It's too much. I'll admit I used to be totally against both artists, I thought Justin Bieber was tragic when he first came into the scene but this new album is something else. Likewise, One Direction are all grown up, Harry Styles now has hobo hair and looks gorgeous- I don't even think they're guilty pleasures anymore, I don't care who knows I love them. 15 year old me would be laughing at me right now, what's happened to me?

1. Justin Bieber - Purpose (The Album)The art work, the song titles, his voice, the lyrics, everything is so much better than it used to be. This new album Purpose has been on repeat non-stop since it's release, 'Children' is my favourite and I think it's very under-rated, it's up there with the bangers like Where R U Now and Sorry.

2. The Cribs - Burning For No One, Men's Needs and Different Angle
I've known of The Cribs for a long time but I've never gave them a proper listen, my friend introduced me to them properly recently and they're easily a new favourite.

3. Bad - David Guetta (Ft. Vassy)
I've been getting drunk a lot recently (oops), and this is my ultimate drunken happy song. It's always playing when I'm getting ready for a night of alcohol consumption and it never fails to get me in the mood.

4. Robert Miles - Children
Any 90's kid should know this classic, if you don't remember this, get on YouTube now and relive your childhood. What a tune.

5. Fetty Wap- My Way
I expressed my love for Fetty Wap in my last What's Playing post, and it's still going strong. My Way is my new favourite from him, closely followed by 679.  It's a little slower than his other stuff- but his voice just makes me weak. The version featuring Drake is on YouTube and I prefer it to the version on Spotify with Monty.

6. Tyga - Stimulated
Still loving this as much as last time- I couldn't not mention it because I just can't stop listening to it, sorry not sorry.

What have you been listening to recently? Are the Christmas songs coming out yet?


BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Glow Palette

Yet ANOTHER dreamy palette new for the 2015 holidays, and I'm so happy and grateful to have my hands on this beauty from BECCA, the BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Glow Palette.

I always found myself lusting over Champagne Pop, but I never wanted to buy it because I couldn't bring myself to pay the ridiculous shipping from Sephora for just one small product. So when I saw BECCA had released a palette including Champagne Pop, paired with another two gorgeous powders, I couldn't say no.
It felt much better paying shipping for a palette rather than just the one small product. 
Thank GOD I can finally see what all the fuss is about, you were all right, Champagne Pop became my new favourite highlight after my first use, and now I'd totally pay for the shipping now I know just how stunning it really is- I can now finally relate to the heartbreak of this being limited edition, I'm going to save it for special occasions and appreciate every glow. 

If you haven't already, get your hands on Champagne Pop, I swear you won't regret it and you're missing out big style.

As much as I want to and could talk about my love for the one highlighter, this palette isn't all about the one powder, it also includes "Pearl" which is a brand new shade, and "Blushed Copper." Both are limited edition. 
All three shades are extremely pigmented, intense and obvious and a little will go a long, long way.



It wasn't long ago I was talking all things primers in my Primer Edit post- and typically, just as the post went up, yet another primer arrived in the post. This new primer from Tarte is unlike the rest, the Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer (£27.00,) is presented in frosted glass jar packaging and looks more like a moisturiser.

This product has a very rich formula and a thick consistency, meaning it is brilliant at blurring pores (and lines if you have them,) as well as creating an extremely smooth, soft cushion like base for foundation.
A flaw in it's thick consistency and spongey finish is that applying foundation takes a little longer than usual, it's a little harder to blend and spread- so I tend to use this primer with lighter watery foundations such as Chanel Vita Lumiere Aqua.
It's not hydrating- so I'd stay away if you have dehydrated skin, it's more suitable for normal/combination and oily skin, so I do like to moisturize heavily before use and make sure my skins having a 'good day.'
And if you're looking for radiance or a glow, stay away- if you're after a matte finish to your make-up, this will be the perfect product to add some mattifying effect to any foundation.

Not only can this be used as a primer, but also by it's self as a 'pore' treatment. According to it's packaging this can be used as a face mask like product and be left on the face to decrease pore size, (something I'm yet to try out.)
It does carry a little scent too, but personally I haven't noticed it effecting my super sensitive skin.

Have you tried any Tarte primers? Or is this one you'd want to try out yourself?


Eve Lom Does Expensive Supernoodles, Badly

With my recent Space.Nk purchase I received a pot of the Eve Lom Cleanser, priced at a shocking £85.00 if you want a full sized pot. This is something I always look at when venturing into Space Nk, or online- and receiving this little pot has made me so happy I never went in and bought it.

Save yourself the money, and buy yourself a packet of: chicken supernoodles, curry supernoodles, mix them together, and put them on your face- same smell, exact, same, smell. I can't stress enough how vile the scent of this cleanser is, it's 110% a mixture of various supernoodles, and I've had a few people stick their nose in the pot and agree.

Not only does it have it's extremely foody queer scent, but I think the texture is awful, it's not nice to apply, wash off or enjoy just sitting on your face working some magic. (Which it doesn't.)
It's literally like washing your face with lip balm- it's so greasy, oily and thick to work with- yes it melts away make up, but that's the ONLY pro to the whole product. As well as the lip-balm texture, it has these tiny little odd grains in it, which aren't exfoliating, just add to the awful texture.

My skin has been absolutely flawless for months, and after using this just for the first time yesterday, I woke up this morning and I had redness around my nose and loads of little bumps- I read that this product is full of irritants- If i'd known this before I wouldn't of put it on my face. All through the day after my skin felt like it was burning and just super uncomfortable under my make-up.

I definitley won't be using any more of this sample- maybe they're giving away such large samples because it's so horrid- who knows?



I have it! That palette that everyone is talking about at the moment, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit for holidays 2015, I was debating for so long if to get this or not because of the really small size and huge price tag, but it just looks so insanely gorgeous, If I missed out like I did with the blush palette last Christmas, I would of hated myself.
The palette set me back £65.00 and I purchased from Space.Nk, it came beautifully packaged in this very festive bag with a huge sparkly bow- which just made the whole 'unboxing' experience even more exciting.
When unboxing, I was expecting small but I was pretty shocked when it came to using it this morning when I realized the majority of my brushes are way too big to fit in the pans.

The palette includes 6 powders, 2 blushes, 1 of the new bronzers, and 3 powders:
1. Dim Light
2. Incandescent Light - (which I actually use a highlight.)
3. Diffused Light
4. Mood Exposure
5. Luminious Flush
6. Luminous Bronze (light.)

It's one of those products that I don't really want to use because it's just too pretty to spoil, but so far I'm really liking it- I love the luminosity from the bronzer and the Mood Exposure blush may be my new all time favourite, I've never had anything so purple'y before and it's just a really nice change, also pretty suitable for this time of year.
Diffused light I can use as an all over face powder because I'm so pale, I know some people use this as a subtle highlight but I think it just adds a little glow to my skin.

Is this limited edition beauty on your wishlist? Have you tried any of the powders included?


Velvet & Spice

...and all things nice.

I mentioned Taupe being my favourite ever MAC shade, that is closely followed by the combination of the Spice lip liner paired with Velvet Teddy matte lipstick. 

I love how much of a soft shade Velvet Teddy appears against my skin tone- some people say it looks too "orangey" for them, but I totally disagree, I think it's super warm, soft and easy to wear. It's warm undertones make it very suitable for Autumn when you don't want to rock a berry lip. 
The only downside to VT is that it's a pretty dry matte, after only a couple of hours my lips can feel shrivelled up- however the colour still remains put; I cannot fault the staying power. 

Spice liner is the perfect darker nude shade to outline with, I find that this has cooler more red tinged undertones to it, which cancels out any orangeyness from the lipstick.

Have you tried any of these products?


What's Playing #2

Following my first 'What's playing' post at the beginning of October, it's time for a new round up of the music I've been loving through October and into November (NOVEMBER! Eek)

1. Justin Bieber - Sorry

Hating Justin and his music is so 2012, he's releasing some great songs at the moment that are insanely catchy and lift my mood instantly. I loved Where R U Now and I love Sorry equally as much. I genuinely can't wait for his new album to be released, it looks insane, and so far, sounds insane too.

2. Pia Mia - Touch

She was once just known as Kylie Jenners friend that could sing but after the 'Do It Again' hit with Chris Brown she's totally risen up, I really got into her other music after listening to Do It Again over and over again. Touch is such an upbeat, dancey song but still with decent lyrics- it sounds similar to stuff from Ariana Grande.

3. Fetty Wap - Jugg

Not only is Trap Queen amazing, but I am loving Fetty Wap's entire album, Jugg just happens to be my favourite from the lot. And can anyone not love the way he says baby?! 17 38.

4. Tyga - Stimulated 

I'll admit this is probably my most played of the month, it's constantly on repeat. I'm pretty sure it's about Kylie Jenner which makes it even better, but there's just something about the introductory tune and dirty lyrics that has me hooked.

5. James Bay - Let It Go

No it's not a Frozen cover, I'm totally late to the James Bay hype but oh my god this song makes me weak, (likewise so does his face.) It's much more chilled out than anything else I've listened to recently.


The Beauty Blender

£16 for a sponge smaller than my hand? My thoughts exactly, and the reason I'm so late to the hype with trying out a Beauty Blender. I'm not overly happy I spent that money on such a tiny little piece of sponge, but it's done so I'm making myself love it...

Depending on the base products i'm using, some days I just stick to my good old hands, and others I prefer to use 1 of 2 foundation brushes I own.
I used this with my mattifying Givenchy foundation and Tarte primer, I ran it under the cold tap and squeezed all of the water out of it before using, so the sponge was just left moist, (ew.)
First I tried pouring foundation onto the back of my hand and dabbing the sponge in, but it just seemed to be taking way too long- so I ended up dotting foundation on my face and then using the 'bouncing' method to blend it into my skin.
The tapered end of the sponge was perfect for applying product around my nose and eyes, and the round flatter base of the brush was a great size for my forehead, chin and blending down my neck.

Using a BB does take longer than applying foundation with  your hands or a brush, but it gives such a nicer finish- and there's no foundation left caked all over my fingers afterwards.
With a brush, sometimes I feel like it can look a little streaky and it's hard to perfectly blend into the skin around my eyebrows without wiping my Pomade away- with my BB this isn't a problem, I think it's very intelligently shaped and sized.
It also just generally feels nicer, if you think brushes can be rough or feel sticky like I do, this is such
a comfortable tool that bounces on your skin, it's such a pleasure to use. (There's also no shedding!)
Over all, my foundation looked very natural, and I think it also minimized the amount of foundation I was using- I also used my BB to blend in concealer, and again, it was much easier, quicker and nicer to apply and look at than it would be with my usual Real Techniques brush, which I find can leave it streaky a lot of the time.
I can see myself cleaning this once a week- I give it a really good rinse with warm water after I used it but there's still foundation stuck inside, so i'm on the hunt for a good cleaning method.

Worth the hype? Yes. I probably won't ever go back to using a brush, i'm totally Beauty Blender converted. (I bought mine from BeautyBay and it arrived super quick!)

Edited by Courtney for for Blush and Blend. Powered by Blogger.