2018 Favourites

I think it’s about time that I share what I’ve enjoyed using the most over the past year. I’m not really one to do monthly favourites because my routine doesn’t generally change a great deal month to month. However I love doing an annual roundup, and almost re-discovering products in my own stash that I’ve forgotten about.

Let’s start with fragrance. Back in New York, on the last day of my trip I made my last stop at Sephora before heading to JFK. I really didn’t need to get anything. To be honest I shouldn’t have gone in because I had literally been in a different Sephora every single day of the trip. I saw a stand for a Chloe fragrance. I was almost going to walk straight past it because you can buy it at home, but there was a promotion for a fragrance I had not seen before. Chloe Nomade is very different to the other fragrances I own. It has fruity notes with an intense oak base. I was only able to get a travel spray because I had no more space in my suitcase. It came with a free scented to candle to match and also a bespoke illustration from the artist ‘Bang’. As soon as I got home I bought the full size.

Shampoos are products I constantly change. Once I finish a product, I would just pick out the next one to use. However, the one product that I will always go back to is the Kérastase Specifique Anti Dandruff Shampoo. It is the only shampoo that helps with my dry and itchy scalp. My favourite heat protectant is also from the Kérastase range. The Smoothing Taming Milk helps keep my baby hairs at bay.

The best shower product I have used is the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil. I first discovered this when the brand did a collaboration with The Anna Edit and Lily Pebbles and released a beauty bag. The shower oil is the perfect indulgent shower product for an evening pamper.

I’m not the biggest fan of body butters, purely because of the amount of work needed for the product to be absorbed into the skin. I much prefer body lotions. My favourite was the Mixa Anti-Dryness Lotion. It leaves your skin so smooth and hydrated. My hand cream of the year was definitely the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Hand Repair Cream. It sinks into the skin quickly and isn’t greasy.

Last year I was definitely on the hunt to find products that put as much moisture back into my dry skin as possible. Some of my favourites were Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence, Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist, La Roche-Posay HyaluB5 Serum and Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque.

The best products I’ve tried for makeup removal were Clinique Take the Day Off and Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. The next step in my routine would be the Pixi Glow Tonic, which I would use on alternate days.

Eye creams have always been a step that I used to skip. This was because I had never found one that actually did much. They were all ok but definitely not memorable. This was until I discovered Drunk Elephant’s C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream. It does a great job at brightening and smoothing the eye contour. La Roche-Posay Effaclar H was a re-discovery for me. I had just run out of Clinique Moisture Surge and wanted to switch up my routine a bit. I found Effaclar H in my already open box and it managed to pull me out of my ‘only water-based moisturiser’ rut. Haha! It really helped with soothing my occasional hormonal breakout.

Now let’s talk about some of my makeup favourites. NARS has been my go-to brand for primers. I can’t wear any eyeshadow without applying NARS Tinted Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base first. I got into the habit of just using my concealer on my eyelids, but found that by midday my eyeshadow would crease. Then I tried Nars and have not gone back. My eye makeup lasts till the end of the day and still looks perfect.

My everyday foundation was definitely the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation followed by either the matching powder or bareMinerals Invisible Light Translucent Powder Duo. Concealer is a step I often forget when i’m rushing out of the house in the morning. When I have more time, I love using the YSL Touche Éclat to brighten my under eyes. My trusty Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit 3 is my favourite for both my highlight, bronzer and even a light eyeshadow. On dressier days I like to use Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette or my Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Palette.

No7 still continues to win on the mascara front. I just can’t find any other product that does not smudge under the eyes or have any fall out quite like the No7 Lash Extender Mascara. When I’m feeling fancy, I also use Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyeliner.

I’m definitely still loving these products and have even gone back to some of my most loved from 2017. But right now I’ve stopped buying so many products and have been shopping my stash and discovering a couple of hidden gems along the way.

 

2018 –

Shampoo: Kérastase Specifique Bain Anti Pelliculaire
Heat Protectant: Kérastase Smoothing Taming Milk
Shower: L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil
Hand Cream: La Roche-Posay Lipikar Hand Repair Cream
Body Lotion: Mixa Anti-Dryness Body Lotion

Eye Makeup Remover: Clinique Take the Day Off
Makeup Remover: Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
Toner: Pixi Glow Tonic
Essence: Kiehl’s Iris Extract
Mist: Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist
Eye Cream: Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream
Serum: La Roche-Posay HyaluB5
Moisturiser: La Roche-Posay Effaclar H
Lip Balm: Clinique Pep-Start Night Mask
Mask: Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydrating Masque / Garnier Glow Shot
SPF: Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily Defense SPF 50

Primer: NARS Smooth & Protect Primer
Eyeshadow Primer: NARS Tinted Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
Powder: Bourjois Healthy Mix Powder / bareMinerals Invisible Light Translucent Powder Duo
Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette / Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Palette
Highlight: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Edit 3
Bronzer: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Edit 3
Blush: Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Blush
Mascara: No7 Lash Extender Mascara
Eyeliner: Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyeliner Pen
Brow: Benefit Fool Proof Powder
Lip: YSL Volupte Tint-In Balm / Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

Another Year is Here

2019 is here already! That was quick wasn’t it? What did you get up to on your New Year’s Eve celebrations? I was actually pretty late leaving work, having done a full 12 hour shift on my feet. I was absolutely exhausted and ready to just go to bed. Family friends came over for dinner which is a sort of tradition for our group of friends. We play lots of games like Big 2 and Monopoly, eat lots of food and watch TV whilst we wait to watch the fireworks at midnight. I pretty much spent the whole of New Year’s Day catching up on sleep. I woke up to eat, then didn’t get up properly till 5pm. I’ve had very little time off during the Christmas break, so I definitely needed a day of rest.

I’ve actually spent most of my week clearing out my room. I have far too much stuff for a small room and clutter builds quite quickly. One thing I always try to have is a clean desk. Once it’s clear, I find it a lot easier to sort everything else out.

The start of a new year is a good point to re-evaluate what happened last year. The good, the bad, and everything in between. I have lots of goals and things that I would like to achieve in 2019. Some of which are slightly more personal, and the others are things like, I would like to teach myself how to code and travel abroad more this year. I loved visiting New York back in October. This year I definitely want to travel in and around Europe, as it’s not that far away and quite easy to plan long weekend trips. Essentially this year, I would like to spend more time on myself. Giving myself time to rest, learn new skills and experience new things.

Most people mention weight when a new year starts. Whether it is to gain to lose. Last year, mine fluctuated massively. My only real goal is to now maintain my current weight and continue training and being on my feet as much as possible. Even on New Year’s Day I had the sudden motivation at 23:55 to go on my cross trainer. Haha! That never happens. Long may it continue.

I’ve been a lot more productive ever since I’ve started writing things down. Notes on post-its, to do lists and mapping out my week. Seeing all my thoughts on paper really helps me to visualise what I actually need to do and when, instead of all my thoughts floating around my head. Then I am able to break tasks down in manageable chunks. This is how I manage to be productive with my time.

 

My Trip to New York

I can’t quite believe that I hadn’t been abroad for a holiday in about three years. The last trip away I went on was a family holiday to Florence, Italy back in 2015. The rest of the time off I’ve had in between was mainly spent at home and just catching up with life, or even just working through my annual leave… haha! So this trip felt like a real treat for me.

I found cheap flights online so I thought, why not? £300 return, can’t really go wrong there! I was slightly worried about what the weather was going to be like in October, but actually I was pleasantly surprised with temperatures reaching the mid 20s. To be fair, even back home in London it was very similar with very little rain.

I booked to stay at a AirBnB in Brooklyn. It was one of three private rooms within a flat. I would say that it was quite pricey considering it was a shared property. There wasn’t much to do in the neighbourhood but it was quite convenient to get into Manhattan using the subway.

I was slightly nervous about the flight because I hadn’t actually flown long-haul since going to Hong Kong 10 years ago. I didn’t really have any problems with jet lag. I flew out of London at 5pm and arrived at 1am (10pm local). Getting some sleep on the flight definitely helped. Slept through the night and was right as rain the next day. Coming back home took a little more time to adjust. Got back to London at around 8am and crashed out for the whole day as soon as I got home. I quite literally dropped all my luggage at my front door and jumped into bed.

I am such a planner. I like to know what I’m doing, when I’m doing it and where. The problem with this trip was that I had very little spare time in the weeks coming up to the trip. I had done very little research and literally had nothing planned out for the week. I even left my packing to the very last minute, which I never do!

Navigating the subway system was a challenge. There are so many different lines both numbered and lettered with different colours. It was such a puzzle to try and get your head around. What I like about the London Underground is that there are signs and maps absolutely everywhere and you also know exactly which direction you are travelling in. The really confusing thing about the subway is that there are signs that say things like “To Lefferts Blvd or Far Rockway. PM rush hours also to Rockway Pk. Late nights A on local track”. If you are a tourist, with little knowledge of the the geography of New York City, then the subway is definitely tricky to use. Some signs even say things like for late nights, transfer to another line, but then there is no sign to tell you how to get to the other line. If it wasn’t for my phone and GoogleMaps, I don’t think I could have managed to get around.

When I think of New York, the first thing that popped into my head was Grand Central Station. I had recently just watched the first episode of Gossip Girl, so decided to start my visit there. Then I went on to visit all the tourist destinations including Central Park, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square throughout my stay. I also spent quite a bit of time shopping too. 5th Avenue reminded me of Oxford Street, but grander. And of course the majority of my money was spent in Sephora picking up gems that are slightly trickier to find in the UK.

Grand Central Station

Empire State Building

Friends Apartment

Brooklyn Bridge

Times Square

New York Public Library

Central Park

I had a lot of fun on my trip to New York and I would love to plan in a few more trips for myself next year. I think the experience would have been even better if I had done a lot more research about where to visit, where to eat and all the other things in between.

October Product Empties ’18

I’ve been in a decluttering mood recently. I think that the strangely warm weather this past month in London has really got me motivated to have a huge clear out before the cold really sets in, and all I would want to do is come home after work and wrap up in my cosy dressing gown.

This time round I seem to be very ‘cleanser heavy’, finishing 4 different cleansing products. I like to alternate between Garnier SkinActive Express 2in1 Eye Make-up Remover and a more premium version like Lancome Bi-Facil as a special treat. They are both very similar, with a non-oily formula and they are great at removing waterproof eye makeup. For the rest of face, I like using the La Roche-Posay Make-Up Remover Micellar Water Gel. For slightly heavier makeup days I will use the Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse to melt my makeup with the balm and then double cleanse with the cream.

Recently I have been battling with an increasing number of breakouts and I still haven’t worked out why. Anyway the one product that I have been using even more is Serozinc by La Roche-Posay. The zinc sulphate in the mist has really been helping to calm any redness and replace any moisture lost post breakout.

When I haven’t been trying to deal with spots, I’ve been attempting to solve my extremely dehydrated skin. For my lips I use a scrub from Lush every other day to remove any flakiness and L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream is the perfect handbag friendly product that prevents any dryness on the go.

Kérastase Specifique Anti Dandruff Solution Shampoo has really helped with my sensitive scalp, as well as treating my dandruff without feeling too stripping. I then add a few drops of Tresemmé Oleo Radiance Oil Elixir to my conditioner to leave my hair smooth and silky. I can also get the same effect with Kérastase Keratine Thermique Smoothing Taming Milk when it is applied to wet hair before blow drying.

After clearing out my mascara collection and using a different mascara every day for a week, I realised that I had actually used up two of them already. The L’Oreal Double Extension Waterproof Mascara gives length to my lashes however I don’t actually use the primer end, so half of the product is wasted on me. The No7 Lash Impact Waterproof Mascara is my preferred choice for it’s clump free formula giving separation and volume.

Hand and Body –
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
Imperial Leather Cherry Blossom & Blossom
Philosophy Sugar Plum Fairy
Soft and Gentle 0% Aluminium Dry Deodorant

Hair –
Charles Worthington Shine Booster Conditioner
Kérastase Keratine Thermique Smoothing Taming Milk
Kérastase Specifique Anti Dandruff Solution Shampoo
Tresemmé Oleo Radiance Oil Elixir

Makeup –
L’Oreal Double Extension Waterproof Mascara
No7 Lash Impact Waterproof Mascara

Skincare –
Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster
Garnier SkinActive Express 2in1 Eye Make-up Remover
Lancome Bi-Facil Non Oily Instant Cleanser Sensitive Eyes
La Roche-Posay Make-Up Remover Micellar Water Gel
La Roche-Posay Serozinc
Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub
Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse

Hylo-Tear Eye Drops

As you can probably tell if you have read any of my empties posts before, I have a couple of products that I can’t seem to get enough of. What would you like me to try next?

What I Got For My Birthday!

21 is a big number isn’t it? Well its the last ‘big’ one people take notice of till you’re 30. I thought I would share what I got for my 21st birthday. I love reading posts and watching videos like this, so I thought I would give it a go.

I was very lucky this year and family and friends were extra generous with their gifts. I was given a few pieces of jewellery this year. I’ve only just got my ears pierced very recently, so I haven’t really changed my earrings very often. So I was so excited receive a pair of Green Quartz Earrings from Sarah Hickey from a friend. I probably wouldn’t have picked these out myself because I haven’t worn anything but my small silver stud Swarovski crystal earrings. Time for a change!

I also got a ‘J’ necklace made by a brand called Silver Origins based in Cornwall.

Two of my Aunties pooled together to get me a very special White Gold Diamond Cluster Necklace. I was so surprised when I was handed this. I really wasn’t expecting something so special.

Of course to fulfil my beauty junkie needs, I asked for a few bits on my birthday list. I was running very low of my favourite serum, the Kiehl’s Hydro-Pluming Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate so asked for a cheeky bottle. The other day I saw a post on Instagram that said that the Urban Decay Naked palette is being discontinued. This reminded me of the fact that I really don’t have any palettes where all the colours are totally wearable. Then I remembered I swatched the Naked 3 Palette and really liked it, so asked for one.

I also got the limited edition Jo Malone Tropical Cherimoya Cologne. Normally it takes me a very long time to choose a fragrance I like. However this particular one is so up my street with it’s warm fruity scent.

My sister asked me what I wanted two days before my birthday and I was completely stumped with what to suggest. Then I mentioned that I’ve been getting back into baking recently baking lots of cakes and macarons and re-watching lots of old seasons of The Great British Bake Off, so then I realised I need more tools, so asked for a thermometer, piping bags and also baking mats.

I also wanted a small card holder and purse for when I can’t carry my great big purse around. I got the Floral Saffiano-effect wallet and matching purse from Mango.

Live Music – George Ezra and Sam Smith

I love going to gigs. I always have. I love playing and going to gigs. This week has been fun because I got tickets to see both George Ezra and Sam Smith.

The album Staying at Tamara’s was released two weeks ago and that’s pretty much the only album i’ve listened to since it was released. My favourite song off the record is the first song,  Pretty Shining People. It always makes me smile. Haha! “Hey pretty smiling people!”

George played at 02 Academy Brixton. It was my first time going to this venue and my first time hearing George Ezra play. The sold out gig was supported by Lily Moore, a singer/songwriter from Brighton. It’s always great to hear a new artist and be introduced to their work. It was great to see live wind and string instruments on stage, and a guitar change after almost every song that was played. Loved it!

I was lucky enough to get my hands on tickets to see Sam Smith back in September at the Hackney Round Chapel. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take pictures but instead we got given a signed lyric poster of Too Good at Goodbyes. We got to hear brand new tracks that were about to be released on his album The Thrill Of It All, as well as some oldies too.

Sam played at The 02 Arena in Greenwich. I saw the first of four nights in London. He is such a great artist live. I loved the onstage band and the dramatic stage set. It really completed the show and I didn’t want it to end. We got to hear tracks from In The Lonely Hour and The Thrill Of It All, including Stay with Me, Writing’s On The Wall, Too Good At Goodbyes and Midnight Train.

I love going to see live music. It really brings tracks to life and I would probably say that I enjoy the music more after going to hear them live at a gig.

Blemishes – Do you have them?

Blemishes, spots, marks, I think we all get them. To be honest, there is probably no escape. Whether it’s a teenage breakout, an allergic reaction, a hormonal imbalance or even food related reaction, something is bound to pop up.

As a teenager, I have to say that I wasn’t plagued with spots constantly. I would call it mild acne. Every so often I would get a breakout, it would then die down but the marks post breakout would linger, for what felt like months.

To treat my spots I used to use both Benzoyl Peroxide and Niacinamide. I would swap these every so often because they were quite harsh treatments. It would often sting when I applied them to my spots. What didn’t help was that I was obsessed with using The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner to combat my oily blemish prone skin. I used it daily but it was also a product that stung my skin. I made the mistake of using it daily which probably made my skin worse. It was far too stripping and caused my skin create even more oil, and so the vicious cycle of spots began again.

These days my skin is a lot clearer. I only ever get hormonal breakouts every so often. I have actually not used much product to treat them. I just use a flannel, run it under hot water, pop it on the spots to open up the pores, then do the same but with cold water. This has been pretty much the only thing I’ve used for years now, until this month haha!

I had a massive breakout this month. I only usually get them on my forehead and around my nose. This time it was on my chin and cheeks which never ever happens. I haven’t even worked out what caused it. The tea tree toner came back out of my cabinet, this time used sparingly, and thus became the hunt for something to get rid of my outbreak.

I stripped back my whole skincare routine to find out it if it was a new product causing the spots to appear. I stopped using AHA toners daily and that seemed to make the biggest difference. Also La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo+ really helped calm my skin down and of course I used La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc as my toner twice daily so soothe my skin.

Neutrogena’s Visibly Clear Light Therapy Targeted Acne Spot Treatment pen has been out since December, but I hadn’t taken much notice of it seeing as I didn’t have a big issue with spots at the time. It had recently featured by a lot of Youtubers and bloggers that I follow, so I decided to buy one to see what all the hype was about. I found that it reduced the size of spots, or even help them disappear altogether. The UV and chemical free pen produces 2 coloured lights.The blue light targets acne-causing bacteria and the red light reduces inflammation. The pen is perfect for occasional breakouts and the mask is for more regular treatments for multiple breakouts.

The trick is to catch them at the right time, just as you can feel them coming up to the surface of your skin and to also use the pen three times a day. The only downside to this particular product is that it is a little time consuming, You are required to hold the pen to each spot for 2 minutes. In the mornings, sometimes I just don’t have the time to treat a few spots.

For when I don’t have time to use the pen I either use The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution or the Kiehl’s Breakout Control Targeted Blemish Spot Treatment to dry out and reduce the appearance of the blemishes.

I’ve actually had trouble with finding products that help with marks post breakout. Introducing AHAs and BHAs back into my skincare routine has helped, my favourite at the moment being VIchy’s Idelia Peeling Care. It is very important that you remember to use sun protection when using any acid based products and retinols. They can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. I usually use either the Keihl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense or any of the La Roche-Posay Anthelios range.

I also picked up the Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution after watching reviews of the product and it actually works wonders on any marks. I’ve been using it for a week and I can definitely notice a reduction in dark marks on my skin. When my skin is spot free I also sometimes use a low concentration retinol to help improve the appearance of dark spots and as a preventative anti-ageing measure. I use The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane.

My skin has been a lot clearer and brighter now that I have found the perfect combination of products to deal with those pesky blemishes. What do you use when you get a breakout?

 

March Product Empties 2018

Here we are again. It is so satisfying finishing a product. My only problem is that I’ve got so many products on the go at the same time, so it honestly takes forever to actually finish anything.

I’ve found a new favourite brand of cotton pads. It sounds so silly, but it’s true! Boots Double Faced are great, but Glossier Rounds are brilliant. I like them because they are firmer and you can use both sides without them changing shape and falling apart.

I managed to finish 3 hair products this time round. That almost never happens. This winter I felt so determined to so finish some hair products. Each side of my bath is lined with all my products, I’m running out of space. Kerastase Anti-Dandruff Purifying Shampoo and Kerastase Balancing Shampoo are both great if like me you have an oily, sensitive and a dandruff prone scalp. The Anti-Dandruff Purifying Shampoo is great because it has little exfoliating beads which helps to really clean out your scalp. This is followed by the Herbal Essences Silk N’ Shine Conditioner which I run through the ends of my hair.

The one bath/shower product I’ve used up is the Rituals Yogi Flower Foaming Shower Gel. I think I got it free with a code that I found online. Just had to pay for postage. I loved the sweet almond scent so much that I’ve since gone into a Rituals store and bought the bath foam in the same scent.

The one makeup product that I’ve finished is the No7 Lash Impact Waterproof Mascara. This is my current favourite mascara. It’s clump free and separates lashes whilst giving great volume.

Deodorants. I used to be obsessed with Mitchum. The sprays and the gels as well. It was the only brand that I found that actually helped me stay fresh all day long. I still have loads in my cupboard but I’ve actually found a new favourite. It’s the Soft and Gentle 0% Aluminium Dry Deodorant. It doesn’t have any alcohol, aluminium or allergens in it. It’s so gentle on my skin and does not cause any discolouration on my underarms, which occurs when I use deodorants containing aluminium.

I have been painting my nails a lot more recently and what I have found really helpful is having the Boots Moisturising Nail Polish Removing Pads to fix my nails or to remove my polish super quick.

It’s no surprise that most of my empties are skincare products. I have the usual favourites. To start my routine after cleansing, I use my Pixi Glow Tonic as my chemical exfoliator. Then this is followed by my La Roche-Posay Serozinc and Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist.  Every night without fail I will use these mists. Then I use treatments or serums like the Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster followed by my The Body Shop Aloe Eye Defence and then a moisturiser. In the morning I use the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief and at night, the Lancome Energie De Vie Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask. Both moisturisers have a water gel consistency which is great for hydrating my dry combination skin.

Hand creams have been a must over winter. Of course I’ve used a few of my favourite La Roche-Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Creams and a Aveeno Hand Cream too. A few minis have been used up too. I found a few sample sizes of the Clinique Take the Day Off with I love to use to remove my waterproof makeup and also the Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover.

 

Aveeno Hand Cream
Boots Moisturising Nail Polish Removing Pads
Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C
Clinique Take the Day Off
Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix
Herbal Essences Shine N’ Shine Conditioner
Hycosan Extra Eye Drops
Kerastase Specifique Balancing Shampoo
Kerastase Specifique Anti-dandruff Purifying Shampoo
La Roche-Posay Serozinc
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Cream
Lancome Energie De Vie Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask
No7 Lash Impact Waterproof Mascara
Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist
Pixi Glow Tonic
Rituals Yogi Flower Foaming Shower Gel
Soft and Gentle 0% Aluminium Dry Deodorant in Active

Eye Shadow Primers – Do you use them?

Do you use them? I do! I will never go a day without an eyeshadow primer. There is absolutely no point going without. My lids get very oily throughout the day, so I always need to prime them.

For years and years since I started wearing makeup, i’ve been using Clinique Touch Base for Eyes in 10 Canvas. The colour blends in very well and my shadows would last a few hours, but I would still find a split through my shadow at the end of the day.

Annoyingly there aren’t many reviews online on the best eyeshadow primers, so I decided to look on the Boots website and pick a few to try.

A purse friendly primer is from Rimmel. The Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer comes with a doe foot applicator for ease of use. I would say that I normally avoid silicone based products because I really don’t like the texture of them, but on the eyes, it works! I brush a thin layer on each lid, pat it in and it does the job.

The YSL Couture Eye Primer reminds me of a concealer. It has quite a thick texture and needs a lot of work to blend it in. I actually prefer using it as a concealer instead of a primer. I use the colour 01 Fair.

The Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base comes in just one shade. I like the texture, its not too thick but the problem is that it’s too dark. If i had a bit of a tan, it would be perfect, but unfortunately London is currently more snowy than sunny right now. Haha!

I am so excited because I have actually found my new favourite primer. It’s the No7 Stay Perfect Eye Shadow Primer. It’s so smooth and honestly ensures that your eyeshadow remains crease free all day long. I love it. The shadow colour and vibrancy lasts all day long, as if you have just applied your make up. I also prefer it to Clinique Touch Base because the product doesn’t dry out. I generally replace Touch Base every few months. I’m not normally able to finish one in time before it dries.

I will definitely be using No7 Stay Perfect Eye Shadow Primer daily now. It is the only primer that truly lasts all day and remain crease free.

Time to Declutter my Makeup

Seeing my whole makeup drawer laid across my bed, I think it’s safe to say that I have a bit too much product for one person. Some things are not fit for purpose anymore and I can find better homes for others. I have a Ikea Malm chest of drawers to store my makeup, inside drawers I use old Birchbox boxes to separate products.

I am always talking about my Becca primers. I use both the Backlight and First Light Priming Filters. They both provide a perfect base and a glowy finish. I also have the Estée Lauder Illuminator to try. I’m going to bin my Bourjois Happy Light Luminous Serum Primer because I’ve had it too long and it clogs the nozzle every time I try to use it. I’m going to also give away all of my silicone based primers because I don’t like the texture of them anymore. These include L’Oréal Infallible Mattifying Primer, Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, Benefit Pore Fessional and Garnier Perfect Blur Primer.

I started wearing foundation when I was about 16. I started on loose mineral makeup because it was the quickest to apply and looked the most natural for when I spent most of my time studying at sixth form. My favourite being No7 Mineral Perfection. Now I find them a little too messy and they only provide a light coverage but are great for no makeup makeup days.

Cushion foundations are my go to when I need to rush out the door. They are buildable and provide a light to medium coverage. The only downside them is that they can try out quickly. Top tip – Product gets saturated at the bottom of the sponge so take out the cushion and flip it over to continue using the foundation. I do this constantly with my L’Oréal Nude Magique Cushion. Lancome provide refills for their Miracle Cushion so you don’t have to shell out for the whole compact when you run out.

I chop and change my liquid foundations all the time. I like glowy foundations like Chanel Les Beiges and Bourjois Healthy Mix. I also have the new EX1 Invisiwear foundation to try out. I have the only pink toned shade in the collection 3.5. It has a lightweight texture and is designed with ‘true colour’ pigments to create a ultra-blendable formula. I also have The Ordinary foundations to try. For just £6 each, what can go wrong?

I’m going to give away my Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint because I prefer a more dewy finish and not matte. I’m going to bin my No7 Instant Radiance, No7 Airbrush Away and Clinique Superbalanced because I have had them too long and they’ve split.

I have combination oily skin so I always want to set my makeup with a powder. I like using Bourjois Healthy Mix, Rimmel Stay Matte and Bare Minerals Translucent Duo. I will always carry one in my handbag too, just for any touch ups.

Concealer is a step I often forget. I normally would use Glossier Stretch Concealer of Maybelline Anti-Age Eraser under my eyes and either Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer or Bourjois Healthy Mix on any marks and blemishes.

I get stuck in a rut with eyeshadows. I will find a couple of colours that I love using and will use the same combination for weeks on end. Currently my favourite is blending Mac Omega and Mac Satin Taupe together. I’m going to give away my No7 Christmas Shadow Palette because it has very similar colours to the other palettes I own. I’m going to bin some of my  monos, again because i’ve had them for years.

I will always experiment with mascaras to find the right formula which lengthens, provides volume and is most importantly WATERPROOF! Finding black flecks across my cheeks or having darker under eyes than I actually woke up with is a big no no. I’m going to give away all the miniature and full size mascaras I have because they are not waterproof. Clinique, Estee Lauder, Benefit,  Lancome, Laura Mercier to name a few.

Eyeliners are the same, they must not budge. I prefer felt tips or liquid liners. Gel and khol seem to smudge everywhere on me. That’s why my favourites are of course Lancome Artliner and Clinique Pretty Easy.

My bronzers, highlights and blushes are almost all powders. My favourites are currently Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit 3 and Bourjois Maxi Delight Bronzer. I’m going to give away my Kiko Silk Peal Illuminating Bronzer because the packaging is just too bulky and my Glossier Haloscope because the formula is a little too tacky for me.

I haven’t managed to cut down on any of my lip products apart from just the one lip gloss because it’s a little too shimmery. I find balms and oils like Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector and Clarins Lip Comfort Oils easier to wear at the moment because of my dry lips.

I’ve only just recently started taking proper care of my brows. I normally get them threaded at Blink Brow Bar every few months. I try to make a treatment last as long as possible and pull out any strays myself. I have tried brow products from Benefit, but my all time favourite is a powder by Fleur De Force and Eylure. It has the perfect colours to give you control over where you want to define.

Long story short, I need to get into the habit or actually getting rid of products that are past its use by date and finding new homes for products I don’t find myself using on a regular basis.