best budget concealersBase products are something I have a real love hate relationship with, I love when I find a good one, but I hate the trial and error process and wish that my base would just look perfect every single day. To perfect it I use a mixture of high end and high street products, the latter of which I want to share with you today. I always prefer sharing more budget friendly products on here to ensure that what I recommend is accessible to a varied audience. (Though we all know in no time at all I’ll be raving about a new high end hero! Oops..)

Moving on… I love a good concealer. And by a good concealer I mean a creamy, full coverage concealer with a lightweight feel and cake free texture. I’m hard to please and to remain in my stash a concealer has to tick all of the boxes. I do opt for something targeted at the under-eye area, as dark shadows are my nemesis and blemishes tend to be something I just smear whatever over.

Everybody and their third cousin loves the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (which I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned on here… eh?) and for good reason. We don’t all sing from the same hymn sheet for a lot of products but this one is a real people pleaser in terms of its coverage, longevity (though I’m yet to test it’s 16hr claims) and formula. Shade 2 is a salmony shade perfect for correcting blue tones under the eyes and it’s thick enough to cover up while not setting into a crusty cakey mess.

The Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer is a firm favourite of mine and one I know a few of my friends love too. It’s lightweight while still packing a punch in terms of coverage and contains kind to the eyes anti aging ingredients to prevent the product from settling into any fine lines meaning it’s crease free. The applicator is super soft around the delicate area too meaning you can shove on a shed load.

Finally the Maybelline Better Skin Concealer is a new one over on these shores and one I’ve seen a fair few raves over by some of my American faves. This is probably the highest coverage of this tempting trio while being a little thinner in consistency than my collection fave. One to try if you suffer a few pesky blemishes.

Have you got a favourite concealer? Post your recommendations below or tweet me @abgldwsn

march faves

Oh hey y’all! Long time no speak. I’m beginning to notice a pattern emerging in my posts, one which consists of constant apology for lack of content but to put it bluntly, I’m busy.

March was an exciting month for me, I finished and handed in my dissertation and had a quality night out with the girlies to celebrate, I gave up chocolate in aid of British Heart Foundation, I popped across to Paris, I interned with a great PR company which meant I lacked time to metaphorically put pen to paper and ponder my favourite subject of all… on with the show!

I’m still on a mission to find the perfect base and this month I returned to an old favourite Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, it’s a light coverage base with a nourishing formula and I like it best applied with a buffing brush over my new favourite Happy Light Luminous Primer. I’ve been testing out their new City Radiance base launch too, i’ll pop a post up asap.

I’ve had the common cold ft a very sore grumbly throat and chapped everything to match. Rose & Co’s Rose Petal Salve is a winner for hydrating and protecting flaky bits, like Vaseline but one million times better. I love it.

Once my lips had endured a little TLC I’ve been plastering on my CT Mini Lipstick Charm in Penelope Pink which I definitely need to purchase a full size of. It’s the perfect pink peach nude shade suitable for day and evening looks.

Finally I’ve fallen out of love with my lashes having had issues with some of my favourite mascaras starting to smudge. I picked up the Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara, a cult classic and an old favourite of mine which leaves me feeling nostalgic of the time’s I’d sweep this on after PE at school. It’s a tiny brush and the product does require work but a few coats and you’re left with long, thick, fluttery lashes that not even a falsie could improve.

What were your favourites things in the month of March?

Mixing things up a bit today with a fancy video, swish isn’t it?! Recently I’ve been a beauty commuter, applying a full face of makeup on the train and living out of a makeup bag as opposed to getting ready at my dressing table. I’ve become a little bit of a makeup bag maestro, a packing princess if you will and thought I’d show you what’s in my current rotation.

I’m currently finding my MAC Mineralise Moisture Foundation a fave, easy to pat on with a damp beauty blender and a base that doesn’t cling to my dry patches, meaning I don’t have to worry about what it looks like throughout the day. Ideal. I top it up with Maybelline Better Skin Concealer and set it all in place with my beloved Hourglass Ambient Light powder.

Brows are covered by the usual culprit and for eyes I have options in the form of a CT quad or a scribble of her eyes to mesmerise depending on how early it is and how bothered I can be. Blush comes in the form of NARS Silent nude which is basically surgically attached to me and for lips I opt for either peach or pink shades to match.

While I am happy with my current product picks, as usual I’m coveting a number of pretties to stock up my stash and has my luxury beauty needs met.

farfetch #ad

I’m desperate to get my mitts on some goodies from Kevyn Aucoin and what better place to start that with some cult classics. My current beauty bag is missing the perfect contour/highlight duo and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Sculpting Powder and Celestial Powder. I’m also on the hunt for something heavy duty and the Sensual Skin Enhancer is a multi use product leaving base needs covered.

Another brand I’m yet to try is BECCA and as a self acclaimed highlighter queen I can barely believe that sentence comes out of my mouth. I just have to get my hands on the Shimmering Skin Perfectors in every type they do. Excessive? Me? Never…

After letting the hype die down a little, I’ve decided that the Artis Oval 6 Brush isn’t optional, I have to give it a go. I can imagine it blending everything to perfection, once I get over it looking like a toothbrush that is…

Finally while it’s all well and good having makeup products coming out of your ears, it’s important to take it off at the end of the day and cult classic Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is well in my radar, and while i’m talking luxury I have to give the By Terry Baume de Rose a go, it’s just like the rules of feminism! (name that film)

*This post contains product placement.

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Short and sweet from me today, sharing with you the few favourites I’ve been smearing all over my face this month. That’s a nice image isn’t it.

The first fave comes in the form of the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, which I’ve spoken about before. This gives me just enough coverage and that fresh skin glow which I’m always banging on about. And it has SPF 30+ which pleases me greatly since finding out about premature aging and becoming convinced i’ll have wrinkles by 21. My shade is Light 2 Alaska.

Sticking with the base I’ve been low maintenance in terms of cheeks and most days been opting for just a sweep of peach on the apples. NARS X Christopher Kane Blush in Silent Nude is my weapon of choice, providing a subtle somethin’ somethin’, you know what I mean.

When I have wanted something more, I’ve been troweling on the Topshop Beauty Colour Chameleon Highlight in Mother of Pearl. This is the opposite end of the spectrum in that it’s not at all subtle, but I adore the combination of golden and pink tones together and sometimes I do want to resemble a disco ball. Highlight queens unite.

For eyes I’ve been pretty loyal to my MAC quad, which I completed just after Christmas with the additions of Amber Lights and Antiqued, both of which are often combined on my peepers. I also have All That Glitters and Patina in there, I wear Patina on just a swish of something days and All That Glitters works wonders with a bit of Antiqued on the outer V. I’ll pop up a more thorough post soon…

Finally the MAC Fairie Whispers collection floated my boat, and I could’ve easily carted the lot home had my bank balance allowed it. Instead I opted for the lipstick in Midsummer Night; a peachy nude not too dissimilar to my HG Shy Girl, and it’s been part of my pout ever since.

What have you been loving recently?



beauty feb 16

You may have noticed I’ve taken a little break from blogging, but I’m back to loving beauty and ready to spend and share with you. To get the ball rolling I’ve whittled down my expansive high end beauty wishlist to just seven products, if only I could have them all…

It’s no recent news that we’ve welcomed BECCA’s collaboration with Jaclyn Hill on UK shores and I’m more than desperate to get my hands on at least 12 of them. Reviews are singing from a positive hymn sheet and I really want to sing along too. It’s hands down my next beauty purchase, my Space NK points are ready…

Things that haven’t yet come over the Atlantic are Kat Von D cosmetics, but that doesn’t stop me lusting over the Shade & Light Contour Kit and the Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, mainly in Bow & Arrow. I’ll be placing a Sephora order when it’s slightly less of a blow on the old bank balance, claiming it as research, obviously.

I recently took a trip to Bobbi Brown for the first time in my life and fell in love with the shade, formula and finish of their Moisture Rich Foundation in Warm Ivory. This ticked all of my boxes when it comes to base requirements and we all know I’ve been struggling to find something satisfactory. I also had a bit of their Corrector in Light Bisque applied to my un-slightly under eyes and to be quite honest the results were outstanding. Bright eyed bushy tailed.

When I met Lily and Anna at Stylist Live last year Lily told me that her lipstick was the Laura Mercier Cream Lipstick in Spiced Rose and I’ve been eyeing it up ever since. I really should just chuck it in my basket and pay the price, perfectly pink but not sickly sweet, it’s divine.

Last on my list is the Smith and Cult Nail Lacquer in Doe My Dear, a muted grey lilac shade perfect for the upcoming spring months. You may remember my obsession with Essie Maximillian Strasse Her last year, I predict this will have similar impact.

What are you wishing for? Is there anything on this list I should buy immediately? Let me know…

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Before Christmas, I was kindly sent the new Frankincense and Rose Face Mask from one of my favourite natural skincare companies, Amphora Aromatics.

I’ve given it a go a few times now and it’s pretty great. I usually steer away from clay masks as I have dry skin and don’t like that tight ‘botox’ feeling afterwards. The Frankincense and Rose Clay mask seems to take out the bad stuff, but leave in the good meaning that it drags out impurities but leaves moisture be. It dries in patches a bit like the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask, with the driest bits where the mask has done the most work.

I take off this mask with a flannel, like I do a cleanser and I comes off without leaving a film residue or that awful tight feeling. Skin feels clean, but not stripped of natural oils or moisture. The mask removes blackheads and other pore-clogging nasties. I really do love it.

The only downfall, for me is the scent. The scent is nice however is very strong and so if I put this too close to my eyes the scent does make them water. If you don’t like rose, the brand do other scents and while it’s definitely something to consider, it doesn’t put me off the product because it works so well for me.


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Hi everyone, I hope you enjoyed blogmas (or the 17 days I managed). I’ve taken a much needed rest over christmas and am now fresh and ready for the year. I’ve only just finished my Christmas break really, having stayed at home for over three weeks and working at a local publishers for two, I’m now back at my own flat in Nottingham and ready for whatever the new year throws at me.

This morning, I got up at 8am and went to the gym, of my own accord, and i’m feeling pretty chuffed with myself. I’ve bought a few new bits of clothing for the gym and it’s motivated me massively. How you look does massively affect how you feel and I felt pretty bad ass in my neon pink crop top and matching socks. (Obviously I did wear trousers, but they weren’t pink.)

I haven’t set any new years resolutions, but have set myself some goals to achieve by the year end. The first being to book a trip to New York. It might be that I book it at the very end of the year for the very end of next year but that’s OK. I also want to have abs of steel, I say a six-pack but I don’t want it too defined, so abs of steel will be just fine. If I do well with this whole fitness thing I’ll probably share it on here… if you don’t hear anything, I’ve failed.

I’m going to enter the real world of non student life this year, having been in education for 16 years. It’s a pretty scary prospect but one that i’m excited about and hopefully I’ll be able to achieve great things.

I’m at a bit of a loose end with blogging, in that I don’t really know where I want it to go. I have loads of new products to share with you but I’m not sure how to and so until I’ve got my Mojo back i’m just going to let it be. There’s no point in forcing a post that people will be able to tell isn’t genuine or passionate. You know?

So, if you’re wondering where I am, I’ll be at the gym or knee deep in my dissertation and other final projects. Help.

beauty baubles

What a dream to come down on Christmas morning and see that Santa has packed your tree full of beauty baubles. I’d take that over hanging Dairy Milks any day.

This year the beauty industry has gone absolutely mad for beauty baubles, and they’re available from a variety of brands with a variety of products. Here’s my picks…

No7 have an array of hanging goodies, from lip crayons and nail polish to body wash; they’ve got all sites covered. I’m also a fan of the Ted Baker Shimmer and Shine Duo which combines a creamy lip and cheek stick and a colour coordinating nail polish and is available in two shades. The best thing about these? They’re 3 for 2 at Boots.

For something a little more luxe, Space NK have quite the collection of miniatures attached to a hanging loop. I’m lusting after the By Terry Baume de Rose gloss and the Aromatherapy Associates The Star. Also available are a Caudalie Beauty Elixir and and Eve Lom lip balm. These make perfect stocking fillers and are worth getting for last minute gifts for any beauty lover.

Do you love these?

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With the last few parties for the festive season coming up, I thought I’d share with you my top desk to disco essentials; the things you need to take a look from everyday to evening chic – you could even apply them hiding behind your computer screen so the boss doesn’t know.

One thing which instantly transforms a look is a lip option, and for the evening I like to opt for a dark/bold colour or a pretty gloss, depending on my eye look. I really like Topshops Lipstick in Beguiled for an evening look, paired with a flick of liquid liner and lots of lashes.

You can quickly transform a daytime smoky eye into one suitable for evening with some black kohl liner along the water and tight lines, or blended into the lashlines. I love the Scandaleyes Kohl’s by Rimmel which you could pick up with Boots Advantage Card points during your lunch break. Winner.

Finally to freshen up your look it’s nice to refresh the base with a sweep of an illuminating powder like the Hourglass Ambient Light Powder in Diffused Light. This will smooth over any cakey concealer and give you a youthful radiance, so that nobody knows you’re straight from nine hours at work. I’d also add bronzer, and in my case lots of it. NARS Laguna Bronzer is a great one as you can’t really go too overboard with it, and it deepens the complexion in a not just rolled through the mud way. I’m a fan.


This little palette has been doing the rounds in the blogger world of late, and because of this has been a nightmare to get hold of. I eventually picked it up with my boots points and was initially impressed by the size of the product and the size of the individual pans.

Blush and Glow is a quad of powder cheek shades, offering everything you need to bronze, sculpt, blush and glow in one handy compact. In regards to the packaging, I think the magnetic closure is a great addition however I would have preferred metal or plastic packaging over cardboard, as this can get ruined very easily. I like the see through panel so that I can see what colours are in there when I’m looking through my collection and the lack of mirror doesn’t bother me at all.

The shades are VERY pigmented, so much so that I ended up looking like I’d rolled in mud upon first application of the bronzer. It’s tiny price point made me go in hard with the brush and I ended up with far too much product for one or even several faces… a light tap will do the trick.

The bronzer is a nice universal shade with no shimmer, making it ideal for both bronzing and sculpting the face and reducing the need for two separate products which is ideal for travel. The blushes are both very wearable shades and can be worn lightly for blush phobes like myself or built up with the exceptional levels of pigment. The highlighter isn’t my favourite as I find the pink toned iridescence too much for my skin, but if you like a pinker highlight over something gold then this is a lovely buttery formula which you absolutely cannot fault for the price.

Have you tried this?