christmas pjs

Everybody knows that Christmas time is the time of year where it’s socially acceptable to spend all day in your pyjamas. Not only that, with nightwear you can be as inventive as you like, so if you stick to monochrome for the great outdoors, why not go bold with your sleep attire?

I love receiving Pj’s for Christmas as it’s not something I really feel I can justify buying for myself, and while i’m writing this i’m wearing last years offering of which the top has a hole in the armpit.

If you too love receiving Pj’s, are looking to buy some for someone or just love to lounge, I’ve picked out the best of the bunch for the most wonderful time of the year.

Next have some great Pyjamas, and they’re pretty great quality too. I was in there with my mum the other day and we both couldn’t stop stroking the Navy Star Print pair. These are unbelievably soft and very cute too, I’d definitely recommend Next for nightwear. Also from Next is the #Elfie set, which I love. I love when Pyjama bottoms are cuffed at the bottom and I love that these are classic Christmas colours. Oh and I love a stripe, as everybody knows.

Topshop also do a fine old job of nightwear all year round, and this season they’ve brought out some comfies in appropriate colours and prints. The Green Stripe set and the Red Check set are both quite classic in shape and style, meaning you can still get away with them come January.

Finally, I had to include the Cashmere Socks from The White Company. I’m lusting after socks… does that mean i’m a real adult? I love nothing more than cosy toes and I just know these would be a dream for my feet. Please Santa?

party dressesLots of office parties have been and gone for the season, but there’s still the last of the pack and New Years Eve to come, so i’m not too late. It breaks my heart but I never get the opportunity to wear a party dress, nevertheless for today’s (late) post I’m showing you my picks of the party pieces for some last minute inspo or just to get heart eyed over. I am so good to you…

On the left we have the epitome of Christmas Party dresses, its a celebratory champagne shade, it’s heavily embellished and if there’s one time to wear it it’s right now. And it also comes in petite – I love you Topshop.

Next up is a pick at a premium price, but you could absolutely re wear it and it’s so damn gorgeous nobody will judge you. Infact they’ll probably praise you for having such fantastic taste. It’s from Reiss, it’s leather, it’s got gems. Need I say more?

Finally for the more conservative of us all, a black lacy number is a disco dancing classic and this is the most affordable of the bunch. It’s another Topshop number and my fave lady Lily Pebbles wore it to the Gleam Christmas Party and looked pretty superb. I love that lady.

Have you picked a party dress?

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It seems Collection are going from strength to strength as a brand since the massive hype over their pretty brilliant Lasting Perfection Concealer. They’ve gotten rid of their 2000 and rebranded as a modern, affordable brand for all ages and tastes.

I’m currently trying one million and eight (exaggeration) foundations in the search for the one, and on a recent trip to Boots with my favourite shopping buddy I spent some of my advantage card points on their Illuminating Touch foundation. Now, I didn’t have high expectations for this bottle of tint, I paid a mere £3.99 for it and it only came in a choice of four shades which all looked exactly the same. However I was more than pleasantly surprised with the application, look, feel and longevity of this product. It offers a no shimmer glow, medium coverage and blends just as well as if not better than it’s high end counterparts. The shade 3 is a pretty close match to me, just warming up my skintone slightly and making me look a lot less dull and a little less pale. The One? I don’t want to make that commitment, but it’s certainly slowed down my search and opened my eyes to a new drugstore gem.

Have you tried this?

fragraNCE

If I hadn’t already listed enough things I love about the colder months, here’s another: the scents. Fragrance gets darker, muskier, woodier and just better. If you like the sound of this but aren’t sure of the best smelling goodies then here I am, happy to help, as always.

It’s common knowledge that Jo Malone is fragrance queen, and with the vast range available there’s something to please everyone. My warming winter  picks are the infamous Wood Sage and Sea Salt and Pomegranate Noir. Delicious.

Diptyque are also pretty great when it comes to the old smelly stuff, and Eau Duelle HAS to mine by the end of the season. It’s vanillary but in a mature way – a certain je ne sais quoi, if you will. For those who don’t like the sweeter smells, Vetyverio is a bit more of a tree like scent and is fairly unisex so you could always get it for your boyfriend and wear it yourself. Subtle.

If you’re on a budget or have a thing for mixing up a unique scent, The Library Of Fragrance has you covered. They have over 100 individual singular scents which can be worn alone or layered and mixed as you please. I reckon Gingerbread and Marshmallow could smell like a dream come true, or perhaps mix Fig with Paperback.

What are your scents of the season?

Image

Note to self: if you’re going to insist on posting makeup pictures, take them in good lighting i.e. the morning.

A few days ago I posted my Classic Christmas Party look with golden eyes and a bright red lip, and today sees the landing of another option, this time playing up the eyes and down the lips.

Nine times out of ten i’ll go for a smoky eye over a bold lip, just because it’s a bit more fun to apply and there’s a lot of freedom with it. Occasionally I’ll sit down with a 15 pan palette and work to create something Picasso would be proud of, but sometimes, and in this case, I want to use as little as possible and have the work done for me.

For base I used the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation which I’m currently using a sample of in my search for perfection and concealed using the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer. I set my concealer with the Hourglass Ambient Light Powder in Diffused Light like I always do. Then I filled in my brows with MAC Omega Eyeshadow.

For my smoky eye I scribbled a fair amount of the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Crayon in Amber Haze onto my lid up to the crease and along my lower lashline – channeling the Olsen twins obv. I blended that out with a clean MAC 217 brush to create a sultry look. You could leave it there and go but I added a little bit of Burberry Pale Barley eyeshadow onto the mobile lid for extra dimension and scribbled Topshop Kohl Pencil in Saddle along my upper lashline. I then applied lashings of Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara which is my current fave.

For cheeks I used NARS Laguna Bronzer as a sculpting and warming product (because even in party season i’m too lazy to contour) and MAC Soft and Gentle along the high points of my would-be cheek bones. I completed the look with Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Adrienne.

Would you wear this? Or are you more of a bold lip lady?

shadow sticks

If there’s one thing that has been my favourite product find of the past few years, it’s eyeshadow sticks. These crayons of creamy goodness make my makeup on the train makeup application a breeze and mean that a smoky eye is a case of scribble, blend and go. Gone is the need for varying shades of brown and a dozen different brushes, a shimmering shadow stick will glide on with a duo-chrome effect and blend out to perfection, leaving a result which looks like you’ve spent a good ten minutes considering shade options, but with so many on the market, at a range of price tags, which is the bees knees?

I came, I swatched, I considered, and the official winner of my shadow stick awards is the By Terry Ombre Blackstar . I have this in the shade Bronze Moon and if i’m completely honest I want it in every other shade it comes in. I’ve spoken about this before but this one really does glide on beautifully, has a few seconds blending time and then doesn’t budge all day. I love the silver shimmer in with the bronze shade as it gives a slight wet look to the eye in an iridescent non sweaty way. It deserves a medal.

Second place goes to the Bourjois Colour Band Crayons which are an unquestionable dupe for the By Terry guys, the only annoying this about these is that you have to sharpen them, whereas the By Terry one twists up. They also don’t last quite as long (but they are 1/6 of the price). It’s the small things…

Bronze award is a draw between Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour Chameleon Sticks and the No7 Stay Perfect Long Wear Shadow Sticks. These are similar in pigment and longevity (pretty decent) but because of this are a little bit stiffer and harder to blend. They can’t all be perfect.

Last place goes to the Eyeko Fat Stick. This one is a twist up (fab) shimmery crayon (fab) which unfortunately doesn’t offer the same pigment or longevity as it’s competitors (not fab).

Do you use shadow sticks?

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I’ve been writing on this little slice of the web for over a year now, and have had my ups and downs. There are days when I have no idea what to say, can’t bear the thought of applying or talking about makeup and there are days where I could easily deliver a four figure word count about one eyeliner. That’s just how it is.

Today’s post was supposed to be a Christmas decor inspiration post, but I’ve come over all reflective so we’ll save that for another day and instead I’ll share with you the five life lessons I’ve learned through blogging.

  1. We’re all small fish in a very big pond. As cliche as this is, we’re all working towards a very similar goal, we all have the same passions and we all specialise in a similar field. It’s important to make yourself a fish with a shiny fin, or a whale…
  2. You don’t have to have the latest high end release to have something to write about. I’m a student and a poor one at that, most months i’m scraping up pennies to pay my electricity bill (internet addict probs) and absolutely cannot go out and spend £50 on a bronzer, but that’s OK. A lot of people can’t do that either and appreciate more when you find the best budget dupe or a drugstore alternative.
  3. It’s not about the numbers. When I first started this blog and had zero followers, I felt useless and like it was pointless me writing. It’s important to remember the reason why you’re blogging which for me is because I wanted a creative outlet to express my passion for the beauty industry and somewhere to keep bits of my writing.
  4. Blogging everyday and juggling a full time uni course is verging on impossible, unless you want to abandon your social life/relationships. We’re eight days into Blogmas and i’m already part of the night before rush. If only I was more organised.
  5. Waiting to take pictures of a product for a post before using it is one of life’s real struggles, and trying to disguise the fact that you just couldn’t wait won’t work. #FirstWorldProbs

foundations

So today’s post ain’t my usual thing. I usually fill out a few hundred words with fact and opinion but for once in my life I have a question, and I’m openly asking for your help.

Here’s the thing, I cannot for the life of me find my perfect foundation, and I’m really quite desperate to. I know that the perfect base is made up of a number of factors including the tools, primer, concealer etc but while i’m fairly happy with all of that, I just can’t find a foundation which I apply everyday and love the finish of, the feel of and is in an ideal colour for me… Is it just too much to ask?

I’ve been on the hunt for the one for around a year now, and I’ve thought I’d met my match many a time, only to fall out of love as quickly as I fell in. I’m looking for something of light to medium coverage, lightweight on the skin and with a dewy finish and in a pale yellow/olivey tone. Please help me.

I have a few more contenders on my radar, but I have wasted a fair amount of money on the stuff and so before I go out and splash the cash again I thought I’d ask you, my readers, for your knowledge and expertise.

I’m thinking that the possibilities for perfection are NARS Sheer Glow, Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, L’Oreal True Match (New Formula, the old one was too heavy) or the L’Oreal Infallible Satin. Have you tried these? Do you have any shade recommendations?

Comment below or tweet me @abgldwsn with any thoughts and help… desperate times people.

 

festive nails

It’s time for the seasonal nail edit, where I pick out perfect polishes for the upcoming trends and make you want to buy them all.

My polish game is so weak right now, hence this being more of a shopping list with the ones I’m currently sporting up in the top left hand corner. Similarly to Autumn, there’s a few of the deeper shades which we all associate with the colder months, but Christmas welcomes glitter with open arms, and if it was up to me I’d roll my fingers in the stuff while it’s sort of acceptable.

It’s absolutely no secret that I love an Essie polish, and this Christmas they’ve come out with a selection box of really great colours. You get five full size polishes for £25ish which is a bargain considering their individual price tag, and this range would have you sorted for the whole season. If you prefer to hand pick your colours, I’m into Sole Mate (a classic berry), Trophy Wife (deep green with shimmer) and Wicked (one of those is it red is it black shades).

Fashion brand Reiss have teamed up with Boots this year to create a range of luxurious beauty gifts, including this gorgeous nail edit. It contains a couple of the classic shades, a chic nude and a metallic silver which would be a beautiful accent nail.

From my own collection I’ve been opting for a festive red in the form of Nails Inc X Victoria Beckham Judo Red with a glitter tip by either Essie Summit Of Style or Nails Inc Snowflake.

Do you love glitter polish?

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The party season is well and truly upon us and out come the sequin dresses and most sparkly shoes. One of my favourite thing about this time of year is that anything goes; you can wear a glittery number out to the shops and nobody will judge. You can pop on a red lip without questions of who you’ve put in the extra effort for and you can pull out the most out there pieces and rock them at the office party. Now as an unemployed student I do not have a Christmas party, and so I chose to wear this look on a day out shopping with my friend (hence it looking slightly worn in, I didn’t have time to take pictures pre any wind/rain/scarf in face situations and so this is the real deal. I am so glam.

What we’re dealing with here is the super simple go to Christmas party look, with the golden eyes and a pillar box pout. To create my take I started with the Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Foundation, because I figured for a party you’d want a fuller coverage and something with little to no flashback, I then smothered on a generous helping of the Urban Decay Naked Concealer and set my creasy (not greasy) under eye work using the Hourglass Ambient Light Powder in Diffused Light. For a pick me up I added the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer for shape and warmth and was unusually heavy handed with my application of MAC Soft and Gentle Mineralise Skin Finish. After all, it is Christmas. I filled in my brows with a teeny weeny bit of MAC Omega Eyeshadow. For my eyes I used the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette and begun with White Chocolate all over the lid up to the crease before blending in Milk Chocolate through the outer part of the socket. I then packed on a fair bit of Creme Brulee onto the lid to make me look like a golden goddess before applying Max Factor’s False Lash Effect Mascara. For lips I used MAC Ruby Woo lipstick.

Do you like this look? Make sure to follow me on Bloglovin to see my #Blogmas posts everyday at 9am (GMT) and to see the next installment of my Christmas party looks!