MAY FAVOURITES

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Hello beautiful people. Where on earth did the Month of May go?! Here in London Summertime is in full swing (periods of sunshine with lots of showers LOL) so I’ve finally had a chance to try some of my Summer favourites. I’ve been really liking a few things this month so without further ado, here they are…

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BEAUTY

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

This serum is a cult favourite in the beauty industry. The moment I used it I thought to myself “Why did I ever stop using this?”. Advanced Night Repair is one of the only two serums that I have repurchased (the other being Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum). Every night I pat a few drops of this serum into my skin, it absorbs quickly and in the morning I consistently wake up with with clearer and plumper skin. If you haven’t ever tried this serum I would thoroughly recommend it for healthier, supple skin! Read my in-depth review here.

Urban Decay De-Slick Spray

As it’s been a little warmer I’ve been loving using this setting spray to prolong the wear of my make-up. After I put on my make-up in the morning I spray this into my face and it sets my face to a matte finish. I definitely see a reduction in oil production and an elongation in the wear of my make-up. If I’m going out after work I like to spray this on my face again after blotting and it’ll set me for the rest of the evening. This product is a must for anyone with oily skin.

Delilah Sunset Matte Bronzer (Medium Dark)

To anyone with my skin tone (NC42-44) you NEED to have this bronzer in your kit. This is the best matte bronzer I have ever used. It is the perfect blend of warm and cool tones, finely milled, long lasting for the dreamiest bronzed skin. There is a lighter version available too for fairer skin tones. For a full review see here.

Kiehls Avocado Eye Cream

This month I had some dehydration around the eyes so I’ve been applying an extra thick layer of this eye cream at night and it’s really done a great job at getting rid of dry lines and plumping up the skin around my eyes. It’s a simple formula but extremely efficient at what it does. For a full review, click here.

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FASHION

Bershka Bomber

Bomber jackets are everywhere this season, I find myself wanting all of them! I picked this jacket up a few months ago from Bershka, one of my favourite high street shops, and I’m really enjoying wearing it dressed down with jeans and trainers. It instantly makes you look effortlessly cool. The print and colour are really complementary on my skin tone too.

Pieces Backpack

I’ve been searching for a black backpack for ages but always found that they were either too small to be practical, or too large, making me look like a school child! I found this backpack from Pieces and it’s the perfect size, the faux leather is really soft like real leather and the shape is really different to anything I’ve seen before. I will be taking this on holiday in a few weeks as the zip and clasp makes it pretty much impossible to steal from.

Rebel London Sandals

This pair of monochrome sandals from Rebel London are so pretty, smart and comfortable. They match just about any outfit so I will be wearing these a lot this Summer.

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SNACKS

Food For Life, Ezekiel 4:9, Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal

Cereals are one of my favourite foods so I’m always looking for new ones to try. I came across this cereal and the ingredients looked amazing- freshly sprouted certified organically grown whole live grains, legumes, and seeds, no added sugar, no added oil, no artificial flavouring, 100% whole food full of vitamins and minerals. This cereal tastes absolutely amazing, crunchy and wholesome, I can’t wait to try all of the flavours. It’s high in carbohydrates and protein so I love having it with Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit before a weights session at the gym. It’s quite expensive (£5.50/box) but totally worth it, I bought mine online from here.

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That’s all for this month my dears, please tell me what you’ve been loving this month in the comments section below!

Jay x

 

The £85 serum: Algenist Genius – Review

algenistserumWhilst scrolling through the internet for the next product to test for you guys I came across the Genius serum from San Franciscan clinical skincare brand, Algenist. At £85 for a 30ml bottle I knew this serum was not to be bought on a whim. After a lot of research I decided to take the plunge and purchase it.

The Genius serum claims to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce the appearance of age spots and reduce discoloration (my main skincare concern!).

Packaging: I really like the packaging for this product. It comes in a fully opaque pump meaning it is stable to light and air exposure. Having said that, you won’t know if you’ve run out of product, till you run out of product.

Formula: The formula of the serum is really what convinced me that I needed it in my life. The formula is based on silicones and the main actives are Alguronic acid, Microalgae oil and Vitamin C. Vitamin C in skincare products are my weak spot and this product has a high concentration of it! Alguronic acid is a patented compound which is said to be responsible for regeneration and protection of the microalgae cell. Microalgae oil contains oleic acid (an essentially fatty acid in the skin), phytosterols, tocopherols and tocotrienols which are essential nutrients for healthy skin. The formula also contains a plethora of cell-communicating ingredients for the regeneration and healing of hyperpigmented skin. Unfortunately, it does contain parfum and alcohol derivatives making it unsuitable for sensitive skin.

Application: A single pump of this product is enough for the whole face. The product comes out as a clear gel that feels cooling on the skin and absorbs very quickly. I didn’t find the product to be sticky or uncomfortable.

Long term results: I used this product every night for 3 months. Within the first few weeks I saw an overall improvement in the brightness of my skin. It looked a bit more plump and radiant which is what I usually get when using a new serum. After the first few weeks however I stopped seeing any further improvement in my skin. It didn’t improve the hyperpigmentation around my mouth and eyes nor did it fade dark spots.

All in all despite the amazing ingredients and overall positive reviews I’ve read, I’d say this serum was not worth the £85 price tag. Perhaps my skin isn’t mature enough to gain the full benefits from it, but I definitely will not be repurchasing it as I have gotten better results from cheaper serums that I’ve used in the past.

Have you tried this serum before? What is your  favourite serum? Comment below and let me know!

Jay x

April Favourites

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Hello beautiful people! How are you all today? I can’t believe the end of April has already come! I’d like to say it’s beginning to feel like Spring, but in London it’s actually snowed in the past few days so I’m still waiting to bust out my Spring beauty faves.

To be honest, I haven’t been liking that many things this month so the list is looking a bit sparce, but here are my few April favourites…

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BEAUTY

Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask

Guys I don’t know whats been going on with my skin. It’s like throughout my teenage and early adult years I had perfectly clear skin and now I turned 26 and I’ve been getting breakouts, especially on my forehead! Anyway, this mask from Clinique has been my go-to this month. Whenever I see a small blemish coming up I put this on my face for a few minutes and it really helps to stop the spot from coming up to the skin.

MAC Diva

I haven’t worn red lipstick since last year (literally). For my boyfriends birthday I whipped this oldie out and I remembered why it’s my all time favourite red lipstick. This is just the perfect red for warm medium/darker skin tones like mine and it makes your teeth look SO WHITE. I mean just look!

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Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candelight

Every time I wear this highlight I feel like a million dollars. It can be born both subtly and layered for a high impact look. I love that I can wear it during the daytime without looking like I’ve got too much product on my face and the way it catches the light without being too shimmery or glittery gives it such a classy finish.

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FASHION

Petite Rachel Blush Cross Front Trousers Prettylittlething.com

Oh my gosh these trousers are just LIFE. They have such a different cut that they definitely don’t look like they cost just £25! Also the blush colour is so on trend. I had numerous complements throughout the day from complete strangers when I wore these around London.

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SNACKS

Grenade Carb Killa White Chocolate Cookie

I think it’s officially official. Grenade Carb Killa are the BEST protein bars on the market, yes better than QUEST (IMO). I literally don’t eat chocolate bars anymore because these taste just like one. The white chocolate cookie flavour is perfect if you love white chocolate. These bars are normally quite expensive (£30 for 12) but I managed to get a box of 12 for £20 on sale. I should probably stock up!

 

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That’s all for today folks, please tell me what you’ve been loving this month in the comment below. Until next time…

Jay x

Kiko Mat Base Corrector Primer – Review

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I have an extremely oily t-zone which up until a few weeks ago I’d just given up with. My oiliness is so bad that even when wearing my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation (anyone who wears this knows how drying the formula is) AND powdering it within an inch of my life, it still gets oily by lunchtime.

I’ve never had any luck with mattifying primers in the past with them either just not working or breaking me out. I do love my Hourglass mineral veil primer for special occasions, but in terms of oil control it does nothing for me. I’d been recommended the Mat Base Corrector primer numerous times over the last year and decided to finally drag myself to Kiko to purchase it. At £8.90 for a 25ml tube it’s extremely affordable so I was really excited at the prospect of being oil free on a budget!

I tested this product on and off for around 3 weeks to be able to give a full, honest review.

Packaging: I really like the packaging for this product. It’s an opaque tube with a very small opening that makes it easy to dispense the correct amount of product. There is no air and light exposure making the formula stable.

Formula: The formula for this primer looks promising for oily skin. It’s water based and doesn’t contain any silicone which has been known to break out blemish prone skin. There are a number of oil controlling actives such as the oily absorbing clay magnesium aluminum silicate, propylene glycol and Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract. It also contains antimicrobial ingredients to prevent break-outs such as phenoxyethanol, butylene glycol and oleanolic acid. It doesn’t contain any fragrance or colourant. Unfortunately I’m not a big fan of alcohol in formulas but considering I only wear foundation two or three days a week I’m okay with using a primer with alcohol in it.

Application: This product comes out as a thick clear gel, when I apply it on my skin it doesn’t glide on and leaves a bit of a tacky finish. I find that I have to spend more time applying foundation on top of this primer as it does make foundation drag and catch.Once the product is on my skin looks completely matte and doesn’t look cakey.

Longevity: By the end of my 12 hour day I’d say my skin is around 50% less shiny compared to using foundation alone and remains oil-free for up to 8 hours. There is no oiliness around my cheeks but there is still some shine on my nose and especially above my eyebrows. I didn’t experience any breakouts when using this product either which is great.

Overall I’m quite pleased with this primer, it’s pretty good for everyday use when it’s not too hot or humid outside and keeps my oil at bay for a maximum 8 hours in the T-zone. I don’t think it’ll hold up in the heat of the Summer for my skin personally so the search continues for a really strong oil controlling primer.

Have you tried this primer before? What were your thoughts? Do you have any recommendations for me? Comment below and let me know.

Jay x

L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara – Review

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Having recently run out of mascara, I picked up the L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara from Boots which has a bit of a cult following. I’ve been testing the mascara for a few weeks now I decided it was time to sit down and review for you guys.

The price point for this mascara is a little higher than I’d usually spend for a drugstore mascara at £10.99, so already my expectations were high.

When I took the plastic wand out of the packaging I noticed that it’s extremely long, thin and weak. I did like the fact that I didn’t need to wipe of excess product with this mascara but it was quite difficult to apply onto the lashes. I like that the spikes of this brush don’t poke me in the eye which I do get with a number of other products when I’m in a rush and also I don’t get any mascara on my top lid when applying it.

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Upon application the formula makes my lashes look long but what’s most impressive is the amount of curl I get with this formula and the curl doesn’t drop all day, even after a sweaty work out! Unfortunately what I didn’t like is that the formula is not very buildable and I got some clumping with the second coat. Also  I prefer a feathery, fanned out look to my lashes and this product gives them a very spiky look. Since using this product I haven’t gotten any irritation, flaking or smudging.

I do find that it is quite difficult to remove this mascara due to the formula, I prefer when mascaras sort of peel off as opposed to them melting and smudging everywhere (if that makes sense?!)

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L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara, from top of bottom- No mascara, 1 coat, 2 coats

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Pros:

Lots of curl and hold

Non-irritating

No smudging/ flaking

Cons:

Not buildable

Gives spiky appearance to lashes

Weak wand

Difficult to apply and take off

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Overall I wouldn’t say this is a terrible mascara by any means but there isn’t anything about it that makes me want to repurchase it and I’m not a huge fan of the spiky lash look. It probably has the best curl and hold I’ve ever had from a mascara so if you have issues with your lashes dropping, maybe this is one for you.

Have you tried this mascara before? Let me know what your thoughts were! Also please recommend any new mascaras I should test.

Jay x

L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes So Couture – Review

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Volume Million Lashes So Couture from L’Oreal is such a well rated mascara that I knew I needed to try it. I picked this up from Boots for £9.99 and have been testing it for around a month now.

The brush on this wand is a plastic wand with soft, flexible bristles. I’m pretty aggressive with my mascara application and occasionally have the odd brush in eye situation, but I still haven’t had that with this product. The formula is jet black, creamy and buildable.

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After a full days wear there is still a lot of curl and absolutely NO smudging which is really important for me. Furthermore it doesn’t sting my eyes which I’ve had with a number of other mascaras.

Positives

  • Buildable volume
  • Comfortable wand that doesn’t poke the eye
  • No need to wipe of excess
  • Does not run, smudge or flake
  • Lashes feel soft to the touch
  • Does not sting when you rub your eyes

Negatives

  • Can transfer onto the lid during application. Tip: tilt head backwards during application
  • Not the most amount of lengthening, volume or curl I’ve had from a mascara

Overall, this is a great mascaras you can pick up for under a tenner in terms of ease of application and results. However, I’m not sure I would buy it again as it isn’t as volumising as say the Maybelline Lash Sensational or as lengthening as Max Factor Masterpiece. This is a mascara I’d leave for work days as you get a good amount of volume and separation, no smudging and it’s comfortable to wear all day.

Have you tried this product before? Comment below and let me know!

Jay

DECEMBER FAVOURITES

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Hello hello! How are you beautiful people doing? I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas full of great food, gifts and time well spent with your loved ones  ^_^

I can’t believe we’re nearly at the end of 2015. I’ve decided to start one of my new years resolutions early, because, why not?! I’m going to start doing a monthly favourites post covering not just beauty but fashion, snacks and any other things that come to mind. So without further ado, let’s go!

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BEAUTY

Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick in 1993

I spoke about this lipstick in a previous post and I’ve really been struggling with wearing any other product on my lips. Seriously, I’m obsessed. The colour, the formula, the colour *sigghhhhh*, it’s beautiful.

Nars Audacious Lipstick in Deborah

When day turns to night I like to opt for a deeper lipstick shade. I’ve been on the search for a brown lipstick in forever. This lipstick is very expensive but it’s offset by the amazing formula, very much like the Urban Decay formula but even better dare I say. The colour is stunning and a little bit different from your standard red or berry.

Koji Dollywink Eyeliner

For a long time this eyeliner has been sitting in my collection without use, however recently I’ve started using it again and I can’t remember why I stopped. It is easy to apply, pigmented, long lasting, doesn’t smudge and it easy to remove when used with a good eyeshadow primer.

Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette

I don’t think I’m ever going to get bored with this palette. The warm brown shade is amazing for the crease and THAT glitter shade though! Whenever I wear this shadow and I catch a glimpse of the shimmer I take a second to appreciate how beautiful it looks. It’s amazing for nights out/ date nights.

Narciso Rodriguez Narciso EDP

Narciso Rodriguez is slowly becoming one of my favourite perfume brands. This has become my signature daytime scent. If you’re into your woody, musky, white florals then this is one for you. It’s fresh, subtle, sexy and grown up.

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FASHION

Camel Coat

I’ve been on the hunt for a camel coat in forever and I found the most gorgeous wool and cashmere blend coat in Debenhams AND in a petite size. It is literally the most beautiful thing and fits like a dream. There’s something about a camel coat that make you look put together, classy and chic making it a staple in every closet.

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Dune Trish Over the Knee Boots (Grey Suede / Leather mix)

For the longest time I’ve steered away from boots because high street shops in the UK generally don’t cater to slim calves like mine *sob* However! I took a random gander to Dune and came across this pair which looked unusually slim, I tried them on and my goodness they fit so well! I’ve always wanted to rock the over the knee look and this grey pair comes just over the knees and I love that it is half suede and half leather. I’m looking to purchase a black pair now!

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Nubian Skin Tights in Cafe Au Lait

Any darker skin ladies know the struggle of finding skin colour tights. Either you wear a pair that is too light, buy a £25 pair from Wolford or just go bare legged. Refusing to do either of the three I decided to try this pair from a relatively new brand Nubia Skin and I have to say I am very impressed. I picked mine up at House of Fraser for £8 a pair, the colour Cafe Au Lait is perfect for me and allows me to rock the bare legged look for less.

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SNACKS

Nakd Bar Caffe Mocha

I love Nakd bars, they are so delicious I can’t believe they’re actually good for you. This bar covers my chocolate addiction and has a strong coffee taste, it’s so decadent and makes the tastiest afternoon snack.

Nescafe Instant Coffee – Gingerbread Latte

I’m not a fan of instant coffee sachets, I always find that they taste a bit rubbish to be honest but constantly buying hot drinks from coffee shops always seems so wasteful. I recently tried this limited edition holiday flavour from Nescafe and I have stocked up on them for a significant period of time. They taste delicious, creamy and actually give a good amount of froth. My favourite hot drink at the moment for sure.

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So guys tell me what have been your monthly favourites and also what are you getting up to on New Years Eve? Comment below and let me know.

P.s. See you next year!

Lots of love,

Jay

Nars Audacious Lipstick in Deborah – Review

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Hey folks just a quick post here. I apologise in advance because this post may make you want to part with your money. Everything you’ve heard about the Audacious lipsticks from Nars is true.

I’ve been looking for the perfect dark brown lipstick for ages, one that is not too dark and not too red. I’ve also been meaning to try out the Audacious lipsticks from Nars for a while, so when I saw tried “Deborah” by Nars in store it was love at first swatch.

At £24 a bullet these lipstick are not cheap, but to me a brown lipstick is a staple in my lipstick wardrobe so I really thought of this as more of an investment.

The packaging is Nars’ signature sleek, matte, black packaging and the lid magnetises close. So satisfying.

When I first tried this lipstick on I applied it with the gentlest hand and I was AMAZED at the pigmentation. Like seriously AMAZED. I didn’t have to apply any pressure and in one swipe there it was, the colour fully deposited on my lips with full opacity.

The formula is very creamy and hydrating, very similar to the Urban Decay Matte Revolution lipsticks and dare I say maybe even creamier. The finish is satin and lasts a full 8 hours without budging. There is no bleeding of the colour around the lip line and it is so, so comfortable to wear.

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Swatches from L-R: MAC Film Noir, Nars Deborah, MAC Diva

I would seriously recommend this lipstick if you’re looking for comfortable, PIGMENTED, long wearing, satin finish lipstick. By far one of the best formulas around.

Jay x

Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick- 1993 (The MAC Whirl Dupe!)

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Hey folks! Long time no speak, sorry about being AWOL, I’ve been rather busy doing coursework, studying and working 😦 However, I’ve taken some time out to talk to you about one of my recent purchases.

I feel like I’ve been through a bit of a change recently. I had a make-up cleanse around a month back where I threw a bunch of products away that I was just holding on to for the sake of it. I looked through my collection and thought about what products work for my skin type and tone. Once I came to this understanding, suddenly I haven’t been so obsessed with buying every new product I see but really thinking about where a product places into my lifestyle.

I also feel like my everyday make-up routine has gotten a lot more relaxed, I’m not sure if this is a result of laziness or just having no time but I tend to gravitate towards very similar colours and products that are “low maintenance” or easy to wear everyday.

Having said that, when I went out with one of my friends recently she was telling me about MAC Whirl and how I MUST buy it. Whirl has been on my wishlist for a while now but I’ve been trying to step away from MAC and try lipsticks from other brands too. Don’t get me wrong I love MAC but I do find their matte finish lipsticks really drying, on my already dry lips.

So off I went and did some research for a Whirl dupe and came across this gorgeous colour from Urban Decay called 1993. It looks like 97% similar to Whirl but a teeny, tiny bit darker. I’d heard really great things about the formula of the matte revolution lipsticks, so I went online and purchased one. Currently there’s a lot of sales going on and I bought mine from House of Fraser for £13.95 over the original price of £15.50 (the same price as a MAC lippy).

1993 is a neutral-cool toned brown lipstick, very much “my lips but better”. I’m usually someone who prefers warm toned colours but this actually looks rather nice on me (even if I do say so myself!). It’s very 90’s, very Kylie Jenner and I absolutely LOVE it. The formula is one of the best matte formulas I’ve ever tried and doesn’t dry out my lips throughout the day. It dries matte but because it has a lot of nourishing oils in the formula it can smudge a little. It lasts around 6-8 hours before a top-up is required.

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Comparison swatches, no flash, & flash: From L-R. Verve (MAC), 1993 (Urban Decay), Bond Girl (Charlotte Tilbury)
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Me wearing Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick in 1993. Pulls a lot more pink in pictures but is definitely very brown in real life.

This lipstick isn’t by any means a drugstore dupe but I think the formula is far superior to MAC Matte finish lipsticks and for a person like me who spends at least 12 hours out of the house each day, I don’t need to be faffing around with my lipstick or walking around with dry, flaky, uncomfortable lips, especially in this weather. Urban Decay is slowly becoming one of my favourite brands and for good reason too. I can’t wait to try out more of their products.

Have you tried this formula of lipstick before? Comment below and let me know
your thoughts…

Jay x