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.

 

beauty gifts

(Clickable links to all pictured products on my Pinterest)

It may be the 15th day of November, but the Christmas excitement is real in my life and I am more than looking forward to the jolly season. Now, I know Christmas isn’t just about giving and getting the best presents, and this post is in no way me saying that I want/expect to receive extravagant gifts, it’s more just me showing my excitement for the most wonderful time of the year and sharing with you the most exciting new releases so that if you want to treat a beauty lover (or yourself) you get an idea of what’s about.

I am a self confessed beauty addict and I love to try new things so one of my favourite things at Christmas time is brands launching sets of little bits for us to try. Mini’s are something I gravitate towards because not only do I never finish anything, it also means you can try a wider range of shades or formulas before going out and buying the biggie. Bauble beauties which have caught my eye this year include the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Morniga Cleansing Balm and Cloth and the By Terry Baume de Rose GOLD. I’ve also noticed on my travels that Soap and Glory and Boots No7 have some super cute trinkets for hanging on the tree or shoving in a stocking.

Sticking with Mini’s Charlotte Tilbury has brought back by popular demand last years Mini Lipstick Charms, three of her best selling K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick shades in teeny tiny size and the NARS Steven Klein Holiday range has something similar in the form of the Killer Heels Mini Lipstick Set. NARS are also offering up a Liquid Gold Face Set comprising their Hot Sand Illuminator, a Mini South Beach Multiple and a Mini Larger than Life Lipgloss in Gold Digger. In a similar vein Becca Cosmetics have launched their Glow on the Go kit featuring a Mini Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector and Mini Liquid Illuminator both in the shade Opal.

Now, can we just take a moment for the Chanel Holiday Collection… The brand have taken one of the best selling nail colours and made Rouge Noir babies in the form of Eyeshadows, Lippies and Glitter. After seeing these IRL my top picks are the Illusion D’Ombre Cream Eyeshadow in Rouge Noir, the Rouge Allure Lipstick in 109 Rouge Noir and the Le Lame Top Coat. Its pretty much all sold out on line but worth sharpening elbows for if you’re passing a counter.

Finally with Christmas comes beautifully scented candles and this year I’ve been drawn to the Sapin offering by Dipytique. I’m also keen on the Space NK Shimmering Spice Christmas Candle and of course Yankee Candles seasonal offerings.

Still stuck for present ideas for the beauty lover in your life? I surrender…

the best products

More often than not, I can be found rambling on about or roaming the aisles for the best dupes. Often with hyped up high end products, drugstore brands catch on to the buzz and create something similar but more affordable; emphasis on the word ‘similar’. Most of the time i’ll settle for the budget alternative but occasionally i’ll get this itch to get my hands on the real deal to see if there really is a difference between high street and high end beauty products and moral of the story is that there is. High end options are usually made with higher quality ingredients making them a higher quality product; hence the higher price tag… You’re not always paying for the name.

I have literally gone on and on and on about alternatives for the hyped up By Terry Ombre Blackstars, and eventually ended up spending more than the due £28 on a number of cheaper options when I could have just splashed the cash and been very happy with my purchase. Compared to similar offerings from Bourjous and No7 to name a few, By Terry Ombre Blackstars are a lot softer on the lid, don’t take as much blending and last a lot longer. Sometimes I have to admit defeat…

Another thing I could’ve searched high and low for in search of something more generous to my bank balance is the BeautyBlender. This £15 sponge expands significantly more than it’s drugstore counterparts, feels softer on the skin, aborbs little to no product and washes well. Plus the shape is in fact completely unique.

Next in the firing line is the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil, a more expensive version of the Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer. Now, I word it this way because something leads me to believe that the high street offering from Bourjois actually came out before the Too Faced option, but nevertheless the more expensive item is much better quality, isn’t at all chalky and comes in a trio of chocolate shades to suit any skintone. We’re on to a winner.

Finally, the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors have been reinacted by the likes of Topshop and No7, each creating their own take on the squeezy gloss. The range from Clarins delivers a plethora of shades compared to the mere handful at other beauty stands, as well as having a unique foam applicator with nine pinprick holes for even application, rather than distributing all of the product to the centre… Clever. 

pink lip editIf you’ve been here from the start (almost one year!) then you might remember the original Pink Lip Edit post, consisting of my favourite shades of the moment. In short, i’ve sacked those off and today will share with you what’s been on my lips in the most recent months. Pink. Pout. Power.

The Gloss: For a subtle sheen through the summer I opted for Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 01. A squeezy tube and fuzzy sponge applicator mean you get the right amount of gloss, colour and product. This offering is perfect for no makeup makeup days or for days when you don’t want to worry about having lipstick on your chin and don’t mind a quick reapplication every few hours. Easy Squeezy.

The Mattes: When it comes to paler shades i’m not usually one for a matte finish, but with Charlotte Tilbury’s Miss Kensington and MAC’s Mehr I changed my ways. Both colours offer a matte finish without feeling at all drying and deliver a fuller more healthy looking lip than any other matte I’ve tried.

The Sheeny Shades: For something a little more satin I opt for Sephora’s Little Treat; a creamy mid pink shade which is great for day or night or I scribble on a load of NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Descanso. These shades are muted while still making a statement with their satin finishes and perky pinkness, great with a cool toned eyeshadow.

The Designer Dolls: I’ve grown a little fond of designer pout polish. Chanel Rouge Coco in Adrienne is the ring leader in this one, a peachy pink offering which is perfect for indecisive days. Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Understudy followed suit and these pair are secretly my favourites. Don’t tell the others…

 

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.

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…

   
    
 
I am so excited about this post! Last weekend I picked up my first ever Charlotte Tilbury makeup product. The Selfridges store at The Trafford Centre has just opened a brand new concession filled with rose gold beauty and of course lovely makeup bits. While I could quite literally have walked out with one of everything (if my bank balance let me) I opted for a fail safe option in the form of a lipstick. You can’t really go wrong with one of those.

I picked up the Matte Revolution lipstick in Miss Kensington; part of the current limited edition collection in collaboration with Norman Parkinson. This lipstick is a lovely natural pretty pink colour (basically the same colour as my lips, totally necessary) and is matte in finish.

The formula is what impressed me the most though. It’s matte and longlasting whilst making lips look fuller and smoother. It’s not at all drying and feels lovely on the lips. I’ve pretty much added the entire colour range to my list…

    
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?

               
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?

        

Today I decided to have a rummage through my drawer of samples. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with makeup, especially with early mornings when there’s no time to think or be creative. I have a fairly extensive makeup collection but it’s not massive, and I do have a regular turn around of products. I love trying new things however, and often pick up testers and samples when I’m out and about. Sometimes I get back and use them immediately but others I put them in a drawer and wait until I’m looking for inspiration or until I’m in the market to go out and purchase something new. That’s where this post comes in, with the change of seasons I’m looking to change up my routines a little and try out more products.

I have various foundation samples from the new maybelline dream wonder foundation (which I hate) to nars sheer glow and illamasquas skin base and I’m currently battling the two out to choose my next base purchase. I also have a sample of the origins drink up intensive overnight mask which I reviewed a while ago. I ran out and couldn’t get a full size so I picked up another sample (he he). 

I love taking testers of perfumes. At the top of my list is the Stella eau de toilette which is a fairly new release and is a lighter, fresher version of the well loved original. I’ve also got a few from olfactive and evody, all of which are unique fragrances which I really do need to road test. 

I have various lotions and potions which come free in shopping bags or are glued into the pages of Elle magazine and glamour. These are again a great way of trying something before you go out and spend the money on them. 

Most higher end brands will offer samples without a second thought however if they have low stock or at the drugstore you may have to take your own pot and ask them to pop a little bit of the display sample in it. Most places are fine with this.

So my memory is fresh and I’m looking forward to adding to my ever extensive beauty wish list after giving these a try. What have you tried recently? Is there anything you’d like me to review in full?