L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil is a product which makes me go all throwback thursday and reminds me of the early days where I started reading blogs, hoping to save up my £10 per week pocket money to invest in luxury beauty products like the By Terry Baume de Rose and the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. Fact is I always ended up spending it on the cinema or a Maybelline mascara and it’s only now, four or five years on that I’ve got my hands on a few of the cult classics from when my passion began. L’Occitane is a store which I always go into, ooh and aah over it’s beauty and leave empty handed. But on a recent trip with my boyfriend and his dad, I was treated to my long lusted product; the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil.

Now, to put it bluntly, YOU NEED THIS. I wish I hadn’t waited, you might think I’ve taken a funny turn feeling so strongly about something which basically goes down the plug hole, but this oil makes shaving a much more bearable experience and leaves your skin feeling super soft and smooth meaning you could skip that awkward standing naked waiting for moisturiser to dry moment and slip straight into your clothes. What makes this stand out from other shower oils for me, is that it thickens slightly when it touches the skin and really gets to work on nourishing the skin, meaning you see and feel results even if you rinse off imminently.

The smell of the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil is stunning and does smell like actual almonds rather than an overly sweet manufactured scent. Rumour has it you can pop a bit of this in the bath for a spa like silky skin experience…I’ll be doing this in the next couple of seconds.

Will you be treating yourself to this come payday? What products do you remember from the early beauty blog days?

  
You only have to see todays instagram post to know that I, just like a lot of people, have more than five makeup brushes. They’re something I like to buy and one of the most exciting new things to get; there’s something about taking a new brush out of it’s packaging and swishing it around on your face purring “ooh it’s sooo soft” that excites me significantly more than a new lippy.

There are a lot of brands offering brushes, with prices ranging from 99 pence to hundreds of pounds. There are some great brushes on the high street including the obviously fantastic Real Techniques collection and one of my favourites Eco Tools, so you don’t have to give an arm and a leg for a professional result, but sometimes it is nice to splurge a little and get something you know is going to stand the test of time.

So while I do have more than five brushes in my collection, I thought that for today’s post I’d pick the five that I use the most and that I’d suggest for a beginner or for someone who doesn’t want a pot full.

First up, the one that’s not actually a brush is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I’m desperate to get my hands on the Beauty Blender but until I can justify paying that much for a literal sponge I’m settling for the cheaper alternative. I use this bouncy ball of goodness for foundation and concealer blending purposes, and I can’t achieve a look anywhere near as flawless with a brush.

Secondly, the buffing brush. This one is from Sigma and is the F80 Round Top Kabuki. I’ve had this for years (cheers dad) and to this day it still works just as well as when I first used it. I use this to blend in cream products such as highlight, blush or cream bronzer formulas and I did use it for foundation for a long time too.

Third comes the cheek brush, this one is the Eco Tools angled cheek brush and it makes applying powder cheek products a breeze.

Fourth, for eyes you need a base shadow brush – this one is from Real Techniques. This one packs a punch at popping a colour all over the lid and the slight tapered shape means it does a good job at crease work and outer corner colours too.

Finally, a blending brush like the MAC 217 is your best friend. Blend out your eyeshadow into a professional quality smoke or use it for concealer application. I also sometimes use this to apply a very light wash of eyeshadow all over the lid.

And that’s all you really need, if you can go into the store and pick up only these brushes then you have a lot more self control than I do. Which brushes do you use everyday?

    
Recently I’ve been finding that constant scrubbing and rubbing of my eye area with my usual cleanser and flannel combination has left my eyes looking red and feeling sore and sensitive. I’m extremely lazy when it comes to makeup removal, I always do it, and I love the skincare steps which follow but taking off makeup always seems such a tedious job and I often wish someone would just create a magic way for it to come off, leaving my skin clean and nourished.

I’ve been trying out the Amphora Aromatics Refreshing Eye Gel* of late, using it to take off all of my eye makeup. The idea is that this product is applied onto the eyes and removed using a cotton pad, which takes off all of the eye makeup with it. The product contains Seaweed and Aloe and promises to remove makeup, soothe and cool tired eyes. The product is completely natural and is made with essential oils and herbal extracts and is free of all parabens.

The refreshing eye gel works wonders at removing eye makeup and giving tired eyes a new lease of life with the fresh awakening properties of the aloe. It is a strange sensation especially when taking off makeup before bed to make eyes feel more awake, however the following skincare steps usually do the job at putting me back into my place. Makeup comes off in one easy swipe and I find that one pump of the gel is enough for both eyes – even when wearing liquid liner. I also find that the next morning my eyes are significantly less puffy and I generally look more awake and feel rejuvenated. This really is a wonderful product and I would 100% recommend it to anyone who suffers with sore, sensitive, tired or puffy eyes.

What’s your favourite eye makeup remover?

*This product was sent to me for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased feedback.

beauty news 1
All images c/o Google
Today I’m here with another brand new category and this time i’m cutting out the middle man and bringing the latest beauty news and releases from me, to you. Think of it like being spoon fed.
With more brands making their way overseas to the UK, summer collection releases and Autumn/Winter press images being released, it can be a little bit hard to keep up with whats new. Allow me to walk you through the latest in British beauty.

1. Possibly this years most exciting news, Makeup Forever has made its way across the waves and landed here in the UK. You can now pick up the range in Debenhams stores and online at Debenhams. Now, I haven’t had a look just yet, but I spy a late night shopping spree in the imminent future. It’s only fair that I make them feel welcome, right?

2. Eagle eyed me spotted the stunning promo shots of the Ellie Goulding X MAC collection and I might have done a wee squeal. Think neutral, wearable shades with shimmer and hi shine gloss. The collection is perfectly suited to Ms Goulding’s usual face and I predict a sell out. The collection is expected late December/early January.

3. When browsing the Monki website I spotted a new section, now, i’m not sure how hot off the press this is but it’s not something i’ve noticed before and i’m interested in trying out the collection. It seems a lot of high street fashion stores are attempting to follow the success of Topshop’s beauty line. Runner up? I suspect not, but it’s worth a try if anything floats your boat.

4. Maybelline have released their Master Sculpt Contour Palette this month and it’s already featuring on some of the best beauty blogs. The only real drugstore contender, this compact comes complete with both your highlight and contour shades. Me likey.

5. Last, but by no means least, Urban Decay have released the next edition of their reigning Naked Palette collection. Fourth in line, the Naked Smoky offers another palette for collectors to spend their money on as well as being a great option if you struggle to create a smoky eye with the 36 previous Naked shades. Erm…

    
I’m back, i’m back! And no I haven’t been on my exotic holibobs I went to see my boyfriend in Brighton and forgot any blogging material (doh!) so took a little rest and got my thinking cap on so now i’m back with more content ideas than ever. In homaage to my little seaside trip, before I empty out my makeup bag into it’s correct place I thought I’d tip out it’s contents and show them to you. It’s a well laid out tip I did, don’t you think?

I’ve gotten pretty good at packing, sticking with the minimum and accepting the fact that I probably wont need eight lipsticks for one weekend, nor is it necessary to pack three pairs of jeans in the same fit and colour (oops). This edit isn’t an every time one, but it served me fairly well for my four day stay and to be honest I just wanted to do a makeup bag flatlay.

The makeup bag itself is from Charlotte Tilbury, it’s has on the lipstick prints of iconic ladies such as Ms Moss and one day i’d like the wrinkles of my lips printed on a makeup bag too. On the back it says “Give a woman the right makeup and she can conquer the world” – wise words from Chazza if you ask me.

For my base I popped in my moisturiser of the moment, the Lait Creme Concentrate by Embryolisse, it’s pretty fab and I’ve spoken about it on multiple occasions. I also opted for my beloved NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser because I knew I had no evening plans and this is perfect for sunny days by the sea because it contains SPF as well as giving you that perfect skin look. I obviously packed three concealers – they’re a pretty powerful trio which I have spoken about here. For both blushing, bronzing and sculpting purposes I opted for the one product wonder that is MAC’s powder blush in Harmony, which I swished on with the fluffy angled brush.

For lips I kept it simple with whatever was rolling around the bottom of my handbag and the Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick in Adrienne. For eyes I packed my MAC quad, the Maybelline gel liner and the Bourjois Color Band crayon in Brun Dabaste.

The other random bits and bobs stuffed in were Essie’s nail polish in Fifth Avenue, Stella EDT, a mirror and various brushes.

So, a reasonably well edited selection for a long weekend away. What would you pack?

    

I know we’re nine days into June (halfway through the year oh my) but I wanted to ensure that if I did this Monthly Favourites thing I did it every month, so i’m coming at you today with my favourites from the month of May!

A little non-beauty offering in this months collection is my new watch, which I hinted at in yesterdays jewellery post. It’s from Daniel Wellington and is the Classic Sheffield Lady watch featuring a black leather strap and rose gold bezel(?) with a very simple white face. I love this watch, I haven’t taken it off since getting it and it’s an absolute dream at finishing off outfits.

My base has taken a transformation and I’ve been turning to the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light. The tinted moisturiser glides on easily for a natural skin finish without any imperfections and the powder sets it all in place, removing shine whilst still letting me glow. More on that soon.

The month saw a few additions in the lipstick department and I’ve been opting for Chanel Rouge Coco in Adrienne for daytime and Mac lipstick in Mehr come sundown. I’m really pleased with both of them and they fit nicely into my lipstick wardrobe.

I introduced my new scent to you around a week ago and i’m not lying when I say i’m besotted, fresh enough for everyday wear and womanly enough for evening. I don’t even know where my other perfumes are…

I finally got my hands on the MAC 217, popping my MAC brush cherry and making all of my eye makeup that little bit better. I might even like it better than my Sigma one.

So that’s it for another month, it’ll be 2020 before we know it. What did you love in the month of may? Have you tried any of my picks?

thomas sabo ad
With summer approaching, actual hot weather and my new rose gold watch (more on that tomorrow) I’m getting giddy over summer style and most importantly accessories. In the winter I tend to keep my look a bit more stripped back (oo-er) and opt for basic shapes and very little jewellery. I’m not one for big jewellery and so when I saw the new range from Thomas Sabo, my inner dainty jewellery lover was impressed. The collection contains a lot of rose gold toned metal and not much else; me likey.
The items pictured above are my covets of the collection, and I can’t wait to get spending on the site. Luckily for us the lovely people at
Silver Tree* are giving Northern Nancy readers an exclusive 20% off code for use accross the website, meaning you can take your pick of summer pieces from brands including Michael Kors, ChloBo, Pandora and more! If that’s not enough to fill your basket I don’t know what is…

So you can be like me and go for the rose gold beauties of Thomas Sabo’s latest launch, treat yourself to a Pandora charm or go big and splash out on a new watch. To redeem the discount simply enter BLG_CINAEDIO8AU8 at the checkout. *spends all money and ends up bankrupt*

*This post contains sponsored content

  
Insta Natural Vitamin C Facial Toner* is a pore tightening facial toner offering renewal, hydration and restoration of the skin. Containing witch hazel, glycolic acid and vitamin C this toner is suitable for all skin types and works to repair the skin giving a better appearance and helping skin to feel better on the face.

I have dry, dehydrated skin and so the pore tightening qualities did scare me off a bit because my skin often feels very tight anyway, however other benefits of this toner are of course that it contains natural ingredients, but also works to improve the skins elasticity and to prepare the base to absorb serum and moisturiser.

“Insta Natural’s pore tightening facial toner is an all in one hydrator infused with age defying ingredients to leave your skin feeling refreshed and balanced with each pump of its formula.”

The toner comes in a spray bottle and two sprays of the product covers the entire face and neck. Following first use, I noticed a huge improvement in the texture of my skin and the way it absorbed moisturiser. My skin felt soft and supple as well as being suitable hydrated and feeling well nourished. The area where I do have visible pores didn’t feel tight at all but pores were visibly reduced and I didn’t feel the need to apply a pore minimising primer before my base makeup. This product recieves a thumbs up from me and is a very welcome addition to my skin care routine.

Will you be trying this?
*I received this product for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased feedback.

    
The month of May treated me very well in terms of money to spend at MAC, and I wasted no time before blowing the lot of it on the lipsticks from the other days post and these few bits a few days after.

Firstly I have been desperate to build my own quad of four perfect colours for any occasion. I travel a lot and while I do love my cool neutrals palette it’s sometimes a teeny but large for streamlined packing, where a quad fits in neat and tidy. I picked up an empty four pan palette and picked up just two shades to start it off. The ones that made the cut were All That Glitters; a one wash wonder shade in an easy to wear pinky champagne colour and Patina; a cool toned brown taupe option – both of which are shimmers.

I have been desperate to branch out into the MAC Brush world and so thought i’d pick up a cult 217 eye blending brush. I have one from Sigma which is basically the same but it’s constantly needing a wash so adding another to my collection seems like a sensible option. I’ve used this MAC offering a few times and spoiler: its fab.

Finally, with summer (and every season) comes the urgency for a glowy candlelit base and so I popped the Cream Colour Base in Pearl into my shopping basket. This is a yellow champagne shade which is easily applied with fingers to the tops of the cheekbones and down the nose for that dewy but not sweaty skin look.

Have you tried any of these? What are your must haves from MAC?

               
Hallelujah…hallelujah…hallelujah This is like the Burberry eyeshadow post all over again.
There’s something about luxury makeup that just gets to me; how to comes in a tiny little bag secured with a perfectly tied bow, the divine product packaging, the name or print embossed within… it’s just special, you know?
For my birthday, my lovely boyfriend treated me to something which had been at the very top of my lust list since it’s release a few months back. Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Adrienne is a perfect pink/peach nude which I would imagine would be beautiful on everyone. The finish of it is sheeny-shiny whilst still packing a punch in the pigment department and the formula is a creamy dream. There’s something quite swish about pulling out a Chanel lipstick in the middle of the day that’s a lot more fun than an old drugstore bullet, and the quality, dare I say it, is dramatically better too.
The Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick collection is made up of a number of shades all named after Coco and her closest friends, with the colours representing personalities. Packaged in a sleek black cuboid with gold extras and the traditional CC logo, this collection is a lipstick lovers dream. Coco is next on my list.

Have you tried a Chanel lipstick? Whats top of your beauty lust list?