august favourites

I don’t know how I’ve managed to not go on and on and on and on and on about this, but August saw me taking a trip to the city of loooove. As well as holding that pretty great title, Paris also offered me great pharmacies and a number of Sephora’s. I went hard on my bank balance and picked up everything I could ever want, but because this is absolutely not a haul post, I’ve narrowed it down the the absolute best of the bunch. Allow me to introduce to you my August Favourites…

From the Skincare Stash comes a moisturiser which is the bees knees, or the creme de la creme, if you will. When someone says Bioderma, you immediately think of their Micellar Water, however Bioderma as a brand expands wayyyy past water and on Lisa Eldridge’s recommendation, I picked up their Hydrabio Riche. If Lisa loves it, so will everybody else and this lotion applies lightly but works wonders on tight feeling dehydrated skin. I’ve shunned the rest of my cream collection.

Let’s just take a moment for Marc Jacobs. If you don’t like his designs, you will love his lippies and if you do like his designs, you’ll love his lippies too! The price of this badboy took my breath away slightly but it’s so damn pretty I couldn’t resist. I’ve got the New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Understudy and it glides on like a dream, offers up a perky pink shade and looks oh so Parisian chic when you pull out the bullet from your bag. That magnetic closure though.

I finally gave in after buying multiple expected dupes and bought the real By Terry Ombre Blackstar. I opted for Bronze Moon (a light bronze/brown with silvery wet look shimmer) as an easy go to shade and I already want every other shade in the collection. Every single day since purchase I’ve scribbled this creamy dream onto my lids, softened the edges and been done with my eyes. Sometimes dupes just don’t cut it. There’s more of that coming later this week 😉

Lord have mercy my undereye bags have been beaten! My weapon of choice? Urban Decay Naked Concealer. Forget the Naked palettes, this product is an absolute show stopper, in fact it stops everything. Offering unreal amounts of coverage with a feathery lightweight feel, I’ve never looked so awake.

Finally for this months picks, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara has revolutionised mascara for me. It gives me long, thick, fluttery lashes which I can usually only achieve using faux hair and glue. I said it in my review post, but you really do need this mascara.


beauty launches sept 2015
Without full submersion into blogs and beauty on the verge/way past the verge of becoming obsessed, it’s difficult to keep up with the never ending reel of new launches into the industry. It’s time that I, your knight in shining armour/ muppet in tin foil, get down to the knitty gritty of whats new, whats hot, whats not, and what you’re going to have to sharpen your elbows to be in with a chance of even touching. Damn those MAC Collections…

Were seven days in to September (and I still haven’t posted the August favourites which I photographed about eight years ago)and already the month is bursting with brand spanking new beauty bits. Every brand and its sister are launching a new base product, theres a lotta lipstick and even some canine crushin’- we’ve all gone mad.

You might need a pen and paper for this one…

The Bobbi Brown Greige Collection has taken the yawn out of the most boring colour in the whole entire world. The collection offers a gorgeous eye palette, some funky powder liner trios and the usual lips and lacquers. You’re definitely going to need the palette. Add it to your basket asap.

The latest limited edition offering from MAC has had everyone barking mad. Haute Dogs is made up of polishes, lip products, eye quads, the works and with the best bits all gone off the world wide web, you’re going to have to go and grovel in your local for any chance of this neutral array.

The man behind the sexiest shoes has broadened his horizons creating Louboutin Lipsticks. Cheaper than a pair of heels, the lippy collection comes complete with stiletto packaging with more authority than a strict head teacher. You’re on to a winner there Loub.

Sticking with the lippies, Clarins have relaunched and branded their Joli Rouge collection. An expansive range of nudes, pinks, reds and berries there’s a shade to suit everyone. I’ll take one of each.

Blogging babe Tanya Burr has given her entire cosmetics range a lick of paint, offering up a fresh take on some of the old lines favourites and adding on three eye palettes and a brow quad. The well loved lady has swapped her classic packaging for gold and pink, it’s super cute, super girly and super at the top of my shopping list.

Another woman of the world wide web has had an exciting launch too! Fleur De Force (is that her real name?) has launched a collection of lashes with hero brand Eyelure. The range consists of four lash sets, all of which are very wearable, natural and fluttery. Fleur’s individuals in particular are exciting, using a new technology glue which means that they can last for three days! Bravo

If you haven’t yet found your perfect base, then you will in the coming months. Some of the best selling brands are launching brand new products to revolutionize the way we wear foundation. We have Burberry’s Cashmere Foundation, Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation, MAC Studio Waterweight foundation and Estee Lauder Double Wear On The Go! If one of those don’t tickle your fancy then nothing will.

Finally (hurrah!) Birchbox are running a temporary concession at Selfridges Oxford Street where you can create your own box! It’s a great way to try out full and sample sizes of a range of new products and to get to grips with the Birchbox service. Check out their website for more details.

Now I need a nap…

lightweight dewy bases I am a lady who loves to shine bright like a diamond, matte bases ain’t my thang. I’ve got quite a boring face and dry/dehydrated skin and so anything matte looks flat and dull. I always opt for bases with a shine, and i’m quite lucky that i’m comfortable in something fairly lightweight; here’s the rundown of the three best bases for that healthy glow.

For Low Coverage Ladies: The least coverage but easily my favourite of the trio, NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser offers enough pigment to blur any uneven skintone and redness, whilst giving the skin a natural sheen with a skin like finish. This also contains SPF so is perfect for a lightweight holiday base.
For The Real Glow Getter: The MAC Mineralise Moisture foundation is a dry skinned girls dream. Enriched with shea butter, this is a base which glides over even the flakiest of skins, providing a light but buildable coverage for a perfected base. This is one which shines and so for oily skins i’d expect it’s a no go, but for dull skins needing a great big boost of radiance this one’s a winner.
For Beauty On A Budget: I picked up KIKO Universal Fit Hydrating Foundation while I was in Paris and it’s been on my face ever since. Easily the most coverage, but with a natural skin like finish similar to the NARS Tinted Moisturiser. This is an absolute steal for under £10 and comes in an extensive range of shades. KIKO, you’re on to a winner.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset I know that this is technically old news, and that there’s an exciting second edition of this palette out, but i’m just starting what I predict is a long term love affair with Too Faced as a brand. And so whether you’ve heard it all or not, today i’m going to talk about/sing the praises of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar.

Packaged in metal casing which looks suspicously similar to my favourite evening treat, Too Faced Chocolate bar is a palette of 16 buttery eyeshadow shades, enriched with cocoa itself. Colours range from neutrals to brights with subtle plums and deep olive shades bridging the gap between the likes of Strawberry Bon Bon and Haute Chocolate. The product smells like a chocolate surprise and while I probably wont be pressing Candied Violet onto my lids anytime soon, I may well bury my nose in it.

There’s a happy mix up of mattes and shimmers; mattes are smooth without being chalky where shimmer shades blend like a dream. (Can you tell I like it yet?) So far I’ve made a dent in Creme Brulee and Hazelnut but I already know i’ll be swishing on Cherry Cordial or Gilded Ganache come the time for a girls night out. I’m not usually one for mattes, but all bar Strawberry Bon Bon float my boat, my crease has never been so defined…

A great all round palette coming in a tad cheaper than the likes of Naked and with more shades. Have you tried anything from Too Faced?

natural blushes
As a rule, I do not wear blusher. I prefer to be bronzed and sculpted and attempt to hide my chubby cheeks with absolutely no colour on the apples. However, buying blush, i’m pretty great at that and so I had a root through my drawers (and bought more blush.. erm) to pick out and share with you the edit of shades and which don’t leave me looking like a Russian doll. Allow me to elaborate…

MAC Powder Blush in Harmony: MAC’s Harmony is quite well loved in the industry as a contour shade, which is what I originally purchased it for. However, when i’ve got little time (most days) a sweep of this on a blush brush slightly behind the apples adds a cool toned hue which sculpts whilst still being blush and adding a pretty pop of colour. A great one for beginners.
Too Faced Love Flush in I Will Always Love You: Too Faced and I are having a moment. I’m in love with their fun packaging and great quality products. The Love Flush range does actually have a slightly paler more natural shade but for when I’m feeling brave I picked up this peachy offering. Definitely not because of the Polly Pocket espue packaging. Dip the brush in ever so slightly and sweep this on in a similar position to the above and you’re greeted with a natural perky shade, which pairs beautifully with a golden highlight… you know how much I love highlight.
NARS X Christopher Kane Blush in Silent Nude: The entire Christopher Kane for Nars Collection is worthy of every heart eyed emoji and a number of hands in the air praise the lord style ones too. I managed to get my hands on the Blush in Silent Nude; a perfectly pale pinky peach which called my name from it’s top shelf position, making my stand on my tiptoes, peer into the drawers and pray for stock. I got it home, I swatched it, I swept it on and I swooned at it’s natural glory. Not a shimmer in sight, this powder offering blends into the base beautifully delivering a subtle sculpting definition. I can imagine it would be stunning on fair ladies.

natural deodrant
Please note: It wasn’t until I took the photo that I realised I had been using the men’s one!

Recently I was sent the Amphora Aromatics Natural Roll On Deodorant*, a product boasting natural and effective protection of odour and sweat control. Made with naturally deodorising pure essential oils of grapefruit, cedarwood and thyme, this deodorant claims to provide day long odour and sweat protection without the use of aluminium, alcohol or synthetic perfumes.

I put this product to the test whilst in Paris, where the temperature was higher than here in the UK and I was very busy running around after a three year old, shopping and climbing the Eiffel Tower. This deodorant did provide sweat protection through basic tasks, but did not hold out when I was active for a prolonged period of time. The (mens, doh!) scent of it is complimentary however when mixed with sweat is not pleasant and so for gym goers or people on the go I don’t think that this particular offering would be so good. That said, for everyday wear this deodorant is nice and does keep my underarms dry, the fact that it is made with no nasties is a great bonus and so for days when i’m not up to much this will be my go to, meaning i’ll only be using products with less natural ingredients when completely necessary.

This deodorant retails at £4.95 and is available here.
*I was sent this product in exchange for my honest and unbiased feedback.

lately 1
It’s time for me to bundle together the happenings of the last few weeks/ bore you with details about my life. Enjoy!

1. I’ve just (six days ago) got back from a lovely trip to Paris with my boyfriend! We stayed with some friends near Versailles and looked after their very cute little girl for a few days and had the rest of the time to explore. I went to Sephora pretty much everyday and spent a lot of money. It’s not big and it’s not clever, but it does mean I’ve got lots of new bits to talk about on here!

2. I’ve allowed the fact that my blog has moved and had a redesign to be blown under the carpet, but it should hopefully be looking a lot more professional and be significantly easier to navigate. I also have new buttons in the right hand side for you to find me all over the internet! My really great header is by my friend Isobel (@isobelplatt), she whipped it up without any input from myself and I absolutely love it! I’m now also using and am a self-hosted honey so if you used to follow me on, chances are you no longer follow me, you can do so on Bloglovin using the buttons to the right.

3. I’m on the move! I’m currently very stressed looking for somewhere for Will and I to move to next month. We’ve been really busy recently and when we weren’t it was far too soon to be house hunting on the rental market. I’m taking out my frustration on my bank balance buying lots of pretties for an apartment I don’t even have yet, i’m sure when we do get one i’ll be going interiors crazy on here and on Instagram (@abgldwsn).

4. I have become a planning princess. I recently got a new diary after my other one running out, this time I opted for one by Moleskine with the week to view on the left hand page and a notes section on the right. This means there’ll be a lot less scraps floating about and i’ll hopefully remember everything! There are a lot of exciting posts planned on here and i’m trying to give it a bit of an edge to make it different to the millions of other beauty blogs out there. Stay tuned.

5. My five month break from university is very nearly over and in a few weeks time i’ll be heading into my third and final year. I have no idea what to expect from it but if you’d like to know anything about my university experience so far then do let me know. For reference, I study Journalism at Sheffield Hallam University.

That’s all from me, what have you been up to?

Sephora Mandarin MuseSephora Mandarin Muse Swatch

Out of everything in Sephora, this is the thing I wanted to try the most. The creamy, long lasting lip lacquers have taken the beauty industry by storm with everyone and their cat picking up at least one of the shades in the extensive range. I opted for Mandarin Muse, after already finding the perfect red in the form of MAC’s Ruby Woo, this orangey offering boasts coral and red tones with a subtle shimmer and packs a punch in terms of pigment.

The Sephora Lip Lacquer applies like a dream, with a doe foot applicator acting quite the companion for it’s creamy formula. One swipe of the stuff provides enough colour for both daytime and evening wear, dries to a matte finish and feels comfortable on the lips. The first time I wore it I must have asked about 800 times if my lipstick was still on because I’d consumed a jumbo hotdog and couldn’t feel anything. Spoiler Alert: it was.

The longevity of this lacquer is better than anything else i’ve tried, staying put through lunch, dinner and several snacks. The colour is beautiful with natural makeup or when worn with liquid liner… sassy ey!

Priced at 10.95 Euros (about 8 pounds) this is a purse friendly product with an expensive feel, and one you NEED to pick up if you’re near a Sephora anytime soon.

Too Faced Better Than Sex MascaraThe name of this mascara makes me cringe beyond belief, but it’s so damn good it gets away with it. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara has made it’s way through the blogosphere with nothing but good feedback, and of course I was keen to give it a try.

Housed in pale pink metal packaging, this wonder wand is weighty and I can already see the pretty outer being scratched beyond belief. Luckily, it’s the inside that counts. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara uses a revolutionary hourglass shaped brush to grip onto each and every lash, providing a generous coating of carbon black formula where needed. It’s very black and delivers great length and volume to even the most stubby lashes, as well as holding any tool induced curl. I have had no trouble with this mascara smudging, nor have I had to scrub to remove it at the end of the day.

It is a more expensive addition to my usual favourite weapons, but I do think that this mascara is well worth the extra pennies. I just hope it doesn’t dry out too soon…

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Sound the monthly favourites klaxon, I’m here with the best beauty products from July.

July was a no money month, I didn’t buy more than a handful of new beauty bits due to working full time and because of this I have very few products to talk about which I haven’t mentioned before. I’ve been pretty uniform in my makeup application, with the NARS Tinted Moisturiser, Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara and a pinky nude lip so this months selection isn’t really one to write home about, but i’ll proceed anyway…

As you know this month saw the purchase of my first ever Charlotte Tilbury makeup item, in the form of the Matte Revolution lipstick in Miss Kensington; a limited edition shade from the Norman Parkinson Collection. This hasn’t come off my lips since I first got my hands on it, it’s creamy, it’s long lasting, it’s a perfect pink shade and the square tip makes application a breeze.

The Muji Toning Lotion has been somewhat revolutionary for my skin this month. Since running out of my Pixi Glow Tonic a number of months ago (read: too long ago) my skin had been suffering and in need of a good toner. This one has fit the bill perfectly. I’m going to do a post on why I love toner shortly.

Finally for beauty bits, I have been loving the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray since going for the chop. This has given my shoulder length hair much needed volume and texture, meaning I’ve spent more days fab than drab.

A non-beauty favourite but a favourite none the less is Yes Please by Amy Pohler. This book is hilarious as well as being insightful. I’d definitely suggest you pick it up if you’re looking for a holiday read.