Hurrah! A beauty post! June Favourites already… I can’t quite believe it.

As I mentioned in my last post many moons ago, I’ve been on the move a fair amount this month and so my makeup bag has been packed full of firm favourites, and these are a few things that made the cut.

First up is my new scent of choice which comes in the form of Jimmy Choo EDP (£41 30ml, Selfridges). This is sweet while also being slightly sensual (ha!) which makes it suitable for both day and night.

Next up and possibly the most exciting is one of the many new brow launches from Benefit. They’ve literally gone brow crazy and have released a boat load of new bits all in this swish silver packaging. I managed to nab a copy of Elle which held a Pre-release of the Goof Proof Brow Pencil (£18.50 full size, Benefit) before it came out on counters and to say i’m suitably impressed would be an understatement. This is waxy enough to stay in place while smooth enough so that it doesn’t feel as though you might give yourself a face lift while dragging it across. Shade 2 just happens to be the perfect shade for my blonde hair dark brow combination. I’m feeling pretty smug about the whole thing.

I was having a dig around in my collection and rediscovered my old fave Burberry’s Eyeshadow in Pale Barley (£23, Burberry) and now I wonder how it got to the back of my drawer and how I lived without it for a few months. The formula is outstanding; buttery soft but not powdery and it packs a real punch in terms of pigment. My favourite way to apply this is with a MAC 217 brush in a wishy washy motion. The brush does the work for you making the 7am smoky eye a breeze.

For nourishment, shine and colour on the lips there’s no better thing than the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector (£18, Boots) I’d recommend picking this up in Duty Free for a two for one type deal. They’re great for no makeup days and for pairing with a full face. I’ll probably pick up another when I’m off on my jollys.

Roller Lash (£19.50, Benefit) is my favourite mascara ever. There, I said it. Yes, I’ve dabbled with others but nothing compares to the curling and lengthening that this tube delivers. One coat works wonders but if you’ve time for a second the difference is almost unbelievable. I usually go for a waterproof formula but this stays put all day and doesn’t end up in my eyebrows like others. It’s stubborn to remove but worth it for the look and longevity.

Finally the Collection Speedy Highlight (£3.99, Boots) has changed the way I glow. Alone, this is fine for a super subtle sheen however as a base for a powder highlight this is AMAZING. I use it for the latter because I like to resemble a lightbulb and this with a sweep of MAC soft and gentle leaves me shining like a beacon. In a good way, obv.

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?

september favouritesYou might think that it’s October 8th and I’m way too late for a September celebration, but late favourites are sort of my thing now. It seems at the end of every month I fall out with blogging (although this month I had to wait for internet installation) and then the beginning of the next one reignites my love, so you’ll just have to bear with me until I can maintain some consistency.

September was a funny old month for me, I moved in with the boyf and so a lot of days were spent in Ikea repeating outfits, having greasy hair and not a trace of makeup. However the end of the month saw me back at uni for my third and final year and I had a complete shock and threw on all of the makeup I own as well as picking up a few bits to make my face a little bit more seasonal. It’s no secret that I love autumn and you’ll be hearing me say that in the next months worth of posts (that pre-writing life) but for some reason I find it the most motivating, inspiring and it brings out my favourite shades for both beauty and fashion; here’s a breakdown of Septembers beauty bunch.

Moving stress and being reintroduced to the student life left my skin craving attention and so I picked up the Let The Good Times Roll mask from Lush. This contains popcorn and turns into a bitty paste when mixed with water. It is slightly too abrasive for my skin everyday but on SOS occasions and particularly flaky days this has been my skin savoir, and it smells fantastic.

Autumn see’s me transfer to the lipstick queen and so a subtle wash of Maybellines Colour Tattoo in Creamy Beige is all that i’ve swiped onto my eyes. For lips I’ve been going bold and pairing Rimmel Cappuccino Lip Liner with Nars Cruella and I adore the finished look. For something a little more 9am lecture appropriate I dusted off my old favourite MAC Freckletone Lipstick or have been squeezing on a shed load of the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 01. I’ve also (yes I do only have one mouth) been loving the Fresh Sugar Lip Balm in Nude for off duty days – shoutout to Andie for picking it up for me.

For cheeks I’m still loving my NARS X Christopher Kane Blush in Silent Nude as a blusher sculpter all in one product, and I also picked up a few bits from H&M’s new beauty line; namely the Cream Blush in Cameo Brown. More on that shortly.

Are you tired after that? I am…


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.

So I might be 10 days too late with this one, but it’s better late than never ey?! Today I’m sharing with you the best bits from June’s beauty bouquet. It’s short and sweet this time around with the start of the month seeing more no makeup days than usual and a particularly boring spending ban, meaning that while I havent got too much to write home about, the products that made the cut are ones which not even my pyjama wearing, crap TV watching, carb eating self could avoid. Here’s the run down…

The first product on my cosmetics conveyor belt is a complete lie, I didn’t even buy it in June and realistically it should have been saved for this months collection. That said, in the week or so which & Other Stories Fig Fiction Body Mist has been mine I’ve been spritzing it like nobody’s business. A fresh scent which when thrown in your handbag makes a life saver of a product. It’s subtle and light but at the same time does linger. I should have bought the bigger one.

With a recent trip to London and a lot of time on trains and tubes I was washing my hands significantly more which led to them getting dry. For dry hands SOS I turned to The Body Shop’s Wild Rose hand cream. A feminine scent, great packaging and does a good job at nourishing hands quickly and effectively. No slippy mitts here.

To save my skin I have absolutely adored the Vitamin C Serum* from InstaNatural. This promises to hydrate, boost youth and give skin a radiant glow and my face can’t get enough of the stuff. This rids dehydrated skin of that awful tight feeling and makes a great base for any following layers of product. It’s orange coloured and has a fresh orange scent making it a great choice for mornings due to it’s awakening properties.

My only makeup pick this month comes in the form of MAC’s Cream Colour Base in Pearl. This has been giving me that much needed glow following a few early mornings and doesn’t look sweaty or greasy even in the current heatwave.

When I have worn makeup, I’ve been taking off any eye makeup with the Amphora Aromatics Soothing Aloe Eye Gel*. This product takes makeup off my tired, sore eyes leaving no residue and ridding the need to scrub the sensitive eye area. I’ve already popped up a review.

Finally my choice of mani this month is from Essie and is the shade Bikini So Teeny. Like the name, LOVE the colour. This is a blue toned lilac (lilac toned blue?) with bits of glitter and it really floats my boat. I’m not sure it’s MSH teritorry just yet but it’s definitely well on it’s way.

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

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I feel as though in the past year or so the drugstore/high-street beauty stores have really upped their games and are coming up top trumps. There are a lot of gems to be found in the aisles and there’s something about finding something great that beats the satisfaction of buying its high end alternative.

I often find myself pondering Boots and Superdrug whenever I walk past one or when I have a bit of time to waste and so with many years experience swatching, sampling and spending, I’ve come up with my pick of the bunch. These are my top 10 products under £10.

1. Nivea Pure & Natural Moisturisers are an easy pick coming in at under five pounds each. These can often be found on offer too. (Superdrug constantly have skincare offers, I always pick things up when they’ve got a bit of money off.) These moisturisers are hydrating, nourishing and moisturising and are perfect for those with dry or dehydrated skin, they feel cooling and sink in quickly while still providing hours of hydration and moisture, leaving skin soft, plump and ready for makeup.

2. Topshop Highlighting Powder in Crescent Moon has been discontinued (sob) meaning I do use it sparingly. This is a buttery soft subtle glowy highlight with a rose golden undertone, suitable for all skintones and skin types. The product contains little or no shimmer and adds a beautiful candlelit radiance to the skin. I love.

3. Rimmer Natural Bronzer is a warm toned bronze with a subtle shimmer which doesnt really translate onto the skin. During last summer, this bronzer had holy grail status for me and warmed up my complexion in a way which none of its competitors managed. It has a slightly red undertone making the colour natural looking and leaving you looking like you’ve had two weeks in the Bahamas… if only.

4. Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish in Soul Session. Part of Rimmel’s ongoing collaboration with Kate Moss, soul session is my pick of the drugstore polish. A lovely nude shade which elongates the fingers and again would look lovely against any skin tone. The polish is created with Lycra technology meaning it goes on smoothly and lasts longer than others.

5. Maybelline Colossal Go Extreme! Mascara in Leather Black has just tipped my beloved Great Lash off the top spot with its incredible lengthening power. This mascara provides length and volume and a leather black coating to the lashes.

6. Maybelline 24hr Colour Tattoo Leather Effect in Creamy Beige is my new favourite eye colour, I wear it as a base under other shadows to make them pop and to increase the longevity as well as wearing it alone on those mornings where i’m too tired to even pick up an eyeshadow brush. Easy to use and great pigmentation.

7. Tanya Burr Lipgloss in Chic is my favourite gloss from the drugstore. Pigmented, glossy, smells lovely and isn’t too sticky on the lips and the shade range is outstanding.

8. Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in Tantalizing Taupe is a lovely cool toned everyday nude shade. The formula glides on well and covers a multitude of dry lipped sins. I tend to pick this up most days and am currently looking into more shades from the ever expanding range.

9. Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Nude Delight. Gosh i’m a sucker for a nude, this is the latters peachy alternative in my collection, and one I tend to go for in the summer months when my skin is a little darker and makeup is warmer. This has a moisture rich formula (Genius) and again glides over any dry patches. The longevity isn’t quite as long as the Maybelline nude, however, for the moisturising properties I don’t mind reapplying every so often.

10. Palmers Cocoa Butter Original Formula Lip Balm is something I can’t rave about enough and which, in hindsight, should have been at the very top of this post. I LOVE THIS LIP BALM. If you pick up one thing this week, make it this. Thank me later.

So, those are my top picks for under £10. What are your drugstore favourites?

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetLife is going far too quickly, not only has 2014 been and gone but we’re now going into the second month of 2015, it’ll be christmas again before we know it. This month, I spent a lot of time experimenting with new products which I bought and received over the festive period as well as adapting my everyday makeup to my hair colour change.

I found that with dark hair, comes a lot of bronzer and with a lot of bronzer comes a lot of highlight and for this my first favourites have been the NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle. The NARS Bronzing Powder is just a dream, by far the best bronzer i’ve tried to add natural warmth and to subtly sculpt the face.

Next in line to the favourites throne are my two top pics from the NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret which I posted about earlier in the month. My most worn have been the Satin Lip Pencil in Descanso, a lovely natural pink-nude and the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, a deep cool toned red.

From Lush i’ve throughly enjoyed working through my christmas collection of Snow Fairy shower gel, it literally smells like the sweet shop of dreams and I’d get it on your lists already for the next time it rolls around. I’ve also used up this little pot of their Charity Pot hand and body lotion, this is a lovely combination of cocoa and shea butters which smells divine and is wonderfully nourishing, now I must pick up the large pot….

Finally, the product that will probably be in every favourites post until the end of time, my love the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lip Balm. This is the most nourishing, smoothing and hydrating lip balm i’ve come across and even beats high end favourites in my opinion. Go and get it.

What have been your favourites this month?