Monday, 25 September 2017

Getting seasonal, hits of autumnal & halloween decor

For about two years now i've dreamed about visiting a Home Sense, yes dreamed. I, just like the next blogger, love a home wear shop, specifically one with a rotating seasonal stock. Up until last week i didn't think there was one near enough for me to get to, i was very wrong and having made two trips in the last week, my seasonal decorating game has changed. These are the small changes i've made to make my home a little more autumnal.. cue the pumpkins. 

autumn home decor decorations halloween 2017
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Friday, 22 September 2017

THE coat for autumn winter

Today my friends, is the autumnal equinox, aka the time i come alive. I'm like the witches in Hocus Pocus, autumn is to me, like the eternal youth spell to them. Too many seasonal references in the start of a blogpost? You ain't seen nothing yet. I'm slightly ashamed (or not ashamed in the slightest), to say i nearly always get my autumn/winter coat for my birthday, which is right at the end of August. I'm practical yes, but i also love getting my autumn coat, it's often something that i keep for years so i definitely stretch it to it's full value. 

I kept seeing aviator jackets at A/W previews, so i knew i had to have one for the season; but you'd be mistaken to think i'd go for a "go with everything' black number. Of course, i had to add a pink tint to a usually dark few months. 

Autumn winter blush pink aviator jacket faux shearling Lasula
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Friday, 15 September 2017

Bits i've been loving lately

I challenge you to think of a less imaginative post title than the one above .. impossible? Probably. I abandoned monthly favourites months ago because i couldn't keep up with "favourites culture", and trying to buy new products to fill a spot each month. However, over the last few weeks i've been using products that i've integrated into daily life and wanted to feature, but couldn't quite work out where to slot them- low and behold the good old favourites post came to my rescue. Here are the bits that i've been loving but not just in the last month.. 


Leaving the house without perfume is like leaving the house without trousers on, it would just be wrong by all accounts. Recently i spoke about one of my new favourites, Ghost sweetheart forever, since then i've added the newest addition in the lineup to my collection, Ghost dream. This is what i would call (miranda reference anyone?) a grown up fragrance, the type of thing you'd wear to a job interview or some equally anxiety enhancing situation where you need to be taken seriously. I have this problem with describing fragrance so i'm pretty useless on that front, but i can tell this is a floriental fragrance, which will prove the perfect partner to warm up a cool autumn day. 


Sticking with fragrance, but not the type you can wear on your body (well you could try, anythings possible, but i wouldn't recommend it). Here we have possibly the most instagrammable candle i've ever come across, if you haven't already noticed i'm going through a pink phase at the minute, we all are really, aren't we? This perfectly designed coconut and lime candle is from ARUM London. It's beautifully clean scented with a hint of sweetness from the coconut, and like all good candles i'll probably wait a year to burn it, because hello, new blog prop. 



I've greatly embraced the changing of the season, but there's one thing i don't like about cold weather and that's the impending "dryness", and no i'm not talking about the weather, we all wish it stayed dry in that sense. I'm talking about my skin and hair, already i've experienced an eczema breakout on my finger, and a skincare product reaction which has turned the surface of my face into a similar state to the surface of the moon. So to avoid future impending dryness i've been using a few products recently to prepare myself for the season i love, but my skin hates. 

There's something about the name "Maui Moisture" and the smell of this conditioner that almost makes me want to have dry hair, it's just so delicious, one of those things you just need to go into boots and smell for yourself. I have pretty thick hair so i was worried this might be too heavy but it's actually just right, i only have to use a small amount on the ends of my hair and i'm left with incredibly soft tropically scented hair until my next wash. I have three products from the range but the conditioner is my hero product and the thing i've been leaning on the most lately. 


If i only had one aspect of beauty that i could keep in my life it would be skincare, forget makeup or haircare my loyalties lie with my ever growing skincare routine. Being a skincare obsessive Korean skincare is always something that has intrigued me, we've all watched the 10 step korean skincare routines on youtube, and i have to admit my routine comes pretty close.  To inject a little more Korean skincare genius into my routine, and continue on my quest for hydration i've been experimenting with the OhK masks, but these aren't your regular face masks. 

On closer inspection of the packets i realised i wasn't just holding facial sheet masks, but hand masks, under eye masks, even a 2 step for your hair. (and yes the occasional one for your face because you can't forget where you came from.) Adding a mask into my routine has always been something that i do at least once a week, but now that i've got hydrating masks for every inch of my body, i'm hoping i won't have to deal with cold weather dryness any longer.


What have you been loving lately? 


Camera equipment used:


Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples and affiliate links. 
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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Can you fight acne on a budget?

At the forefront of my first ever post was a (badly photographed) big old bottle of Garnier micellar water. Even if that skincare routine post now sits in the archive as a fond memory of someone who used way too many exclamation marks, the enthusiasm behind the products is still there, and two years on i'm still relying on lots of the same products.

It seems like i've almost come "blogging full circle" now that I've actually received something from Garnier through the post. It's funny when you think it didn't even know what blogger mail was when i wrote my first post, featuring the exact brand i'm talking about today. Without getting too nostalgic, shall we get into it?

Garnier pure active clear skin kit review acne oily skincare teen skin
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Friday, 8 September 2017

My dream shirt and the rules i set for wearing it

Maybe embroidery was really in a few months ago, but i failed to jump on the bandwagon with any of my previous purchases, i was trying to be sensible "no Maria, don't buy anything embroidered it'll be out soon" but i couldn't help myself when i saw this shirt in Spain. Imagine the scene, a rather sweaty Maria walks down the stairs of a boutique, and hanging at the bottom is the embroidered shirt of my dreams, could i leave it behind? Even with the easy jet hand luggage restriction, and an already full suitcase weighing on my shoulders (not literally don't worry, i know how suitcases work) i couldn't. 
After all, the biggest excuse of the season comes into play here "I'll need it for autumn winter". 

styling a shirt embroidered autumn winter fashion style 2017

I'm a shirt person, but sometimes i go off shirts and i'm less of a shirt person, i guess it depends on the shirt .. either way i own a lot of shirts, and i go through phases of wearing them and not wearing them again, you get it. With my turbulent shirt relationship i've come to learn a lot about the wearing of them. When i wear a shirt there's a fine line between looking "cool", "relaxed", "off duty" and all of the other words you see thrown at a shirt edit in a magazine, and looking like either a teenager on work experience or like i've pulled something out of the wardrobe from 2007, because it was the only thing that was clean. 

In the past i've struggled with the above, in my collection of shirts i've definitely looked more like the work experience, decade reject rather than effortlessly stylish. I've come to abide by the following rules and they've all come together with this shirt ..

styling a shirt embroidered autumn winter fashion style 2017

Oversized is nearly always better, nearly.

Most of the time when i wear a shirt i'll wear it in the daytime, so i'm trying to achieve the "relaxed but i do still care" type of vibe, for me oversized is the way to go. I made the mistake of buying a shirt in my actual size once (what was i thinking, my normal size? surely not) and because i didn't want to send it back i kept it. I really think wearing a shirt oversized is the difference between looking at something styled ten years ago compared to now, i ended up looking like someone who didn't know how to do smart casual and just mixed jeans with the first thing i could find that wasn't a t-shirt.

The exception to my rule, the "nearly" is if I'm wearing a soft material shirt, like a jersey cotton or silk, rather than an 100% cotton stereotypical classic shirt material - a classic crunchy shirt, if you get my drift. Usually i tuck soft material shirts into high waisted trousers or skirts, so i find it better if they overhang a little bit over the waistband but i pretty much always buy them in the correct size. A daytime Maria shirt is crunchy cotton and oversized, an evening Maria shirt is normal sized and a little bit softer, what an image to have in your head of a Friday afternoon. 

I roll the sleeves but sometimes i don't, it depends on the material. 

Here i go on the crunchy, soft tangent again, you'd think i was talking about peanut butter the way i'm going on. With a shirt like the one in this post (a cotton crunchy shirt, if you will) i always roll the sleeves, i can't even go about trying on a shirt like this without seeing what it looks like with the sleeves rolled up. For me having the sleeves rolled up is one of the key things that gives off the daytime "i'm wearing this on purpose" vibe. Also not rolling the sleeves means buttoned cuffs, and i am not here for cuffs. 

styling a shirt embroidered autumn winter fashion style 2017

Embracing the fact i might look like a painter:

Oversized, rolled sleeves sounds familiar doesn't it? It's almost 100% likely that when i put on a shirt like this, i'll say the words "but do i look too much like a painter?" at least 3 times. At the same time though, i kind of love it? I feel like a creative or someone who owns a loft and paints, and if i can get all of that from a shirt i will definitely continue to wear it. I do think accessories are key though, as usual i like to keep it minimalistic but i think without a splash of a watch and dash of a ring this could look too much like a painting smock, sunglasses make me feel extra cool too. You know you feel extra cool in sunglasses too, go on, admit it. 

styling a shirt embroidered autumn winter fashion style 2017

Sadly, i can't link to my new favourite "what i do before buying this" wardrobe addition, but i can show you these similars! 



How do you style a shirt? - Maria x


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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Bad early blogging experiences and finding my place (eventually)

 When i first started blogging i had no idea blogging was still a thing, i've written several times about how i started my blog as more of a personal challenge, to see if i could create something on my days off work, it meant i was oblivious to basically everything that often goes along with having a blog. 

As i've become more and more a part of the blogging community, it becomes more evident to me how crazy it was, that when i hit publish on my first post, i didn't know there were so many other people out there doing the same thing. I didn't know what a PR event was, that people actually got sent products to try out, or that there was even other bloggers out there to be friends with, let alone that i would actually make any friends.


I remember being invited to my first ever press day, i was waiting for the bus after work and i checked my newly set up blog email address, (which got an email approximately once a month) to see an email with an actual relevant subject line, rather than someone telling me i was due 16 million in inheritance. I called my mum, i called my best friend, i googled "what to wear to a press event" and "how to politely ask for a +1". I was excited but also felt like a child on the first day of school, or like i had to go to a party without my friends.

The first events i went to seem like a bit of a blur, they weren't like the equivalent of the online blogging community copy and pasted into real life, they didn't make me feel motivated or excited, actually it was quite the opposite.
 I remember being confused about why i was even there, and even more confused about how everyone seemed to know each other. Everyone else had a fancy camera and looked like they came straight off the ASOS new in page (at this point i didn't know what an Olympus PEN was, who was i?). At one event i tried talking to a group of girls, but i was met with a "hi" and a straight turn away from my direction. In the words of Janice from the movie of our generation "you are a mean girl" and i felt like i had been told i couldn't sit with them.

Before events i was always worried that i would be looked down on, but a part of my mind tried to convince me that i was worrying too much; after that happened i pretty much wanted to give up, now that i think about it i didn't actually want to give up, but i thought that i should.

 From that point onwards i kind of made a habit of talking to a PR or the photographer, it always seemed like i just ended up with them somehow, but i knew it wasn't right and that the bloggers i had met online must exist somewhere outside of the internet. 
If i'm honest i felt inadequate. I left a lot of events feeling like i didn't fit into the world of blogging, that i didn't have enough followers or look like the rest of the people around me, but i now know the image i got of blogging from those events was not what the actual world of blogging is like. I also learned most bloggers are not like the bloggers i talked about above, but some of them are and that's okay. It's good to accept sometimes that not everything is sweetness and light, no matter how much we want it to be.


Thankfully over time i got more confident when it came to going to events, i realised that i was invited for a reason, even if admittedly i did still have the thought in the back on my mind that i wasn't as good as everyone else. The biggest change came for me when i made some friends, it sounds like the simplest thing ever but it's actually much rarer to make new friends once you're not in education anymore. (I realise thats also probably the loneliest thing i've ever written but hey, if i can't be sad on the domain i pay for where can i be?) 

The first event i went to where i had searched out other bloggers going beforehand was so much different to my other early event experiences, it was the event where i met Sophie and Albertine and the first event where i actually felt like i belonged. Finally i had met bloggers who represented the community online, it was almost like i could hear a "i told you so" coming from inside my own head, knowing that i had found the right people and the other event experiences i had were not the norm. 


Now when an event invite appears in my inbox I'm almost certain one of my blogger pals will also have been invited, instead of me arriving to event sweating and probably hungry, i've now got someone to tell i'm sweating and hungry - so no i haven't managed to transform myself into a non sweating lizard just yet, but at-least i've got someone to share it with. 

I've noticed a lot of gif usage and "cliquey-ness" around blogging friendships, but this sunglasses clad group of camera wielding folk couldn't be anymore different. I'm often reminded of my early event experiences when i'm at an event with my friends and i see someone alone. We sometimes end up picking up a straggler or talking to a bigger group of people, and it hits me that i could've used a group like ours to come along and invite me into an Instagram convo, when i was feeling like the odd one out in the room. 


Having blogger friends IRL has helped me as a blogger online too, there's nothing like talking about how much you hate Instagram to make yourself want to work even harder, or have someone to discuss a dramatic blogging decision with (i mean are blurry backgrounds out?) , and once i properly extended blogging to outside of the internet i found my confidence grew too. Even though i've got blogging friends alongside me now, if i do have to go it alone it doesn't phase me anywhere near as much as it used to. They're not too shabby at taking outfit photos either.. 

I may still have gotten sick before going on TV, and i might still get that worry about not being tall enough or if I'm wearing the right outfit. But if it wasn't for an annoying sense of perseverance (self promote my friends, self promote) and finding my place in the community, i probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to do the things that are now my biggest achievements.   


Without trying to sound like a motivational speaker, there is no such thing as what a blogger should look like, if you have a blog you are a blogger and you belong here. (But i think i can make an exception for the girls who refused to talk to me at that event, you guys can go) 

- Maria x


1st and 5th photo owned and taken by Alexandra Polyak www.alexandrapolyak.co.uk 
Thanks to Fern and Lelanie for organising the London Bloggers Picnic. 
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Monday, 4 September 2017

Finding my perfect canvas

Perfect is a pretty big claim, but i think REN might have just cracked it with their latest release. I'm always on the hunt for something that'll make me look like i've kinda got good skin underneath my makeup, and although i've written about my favourite primers in the past, i couldn't pass up the opportunity to try something that promises so much. The quest for the perfect base, continues.. 

REN Perfect Canvas review

I have problematic skin but i do like to wear makeup and that can often lead to an uncomfortable mix, especially if you're layering a lot of thick products. The whole idea of the Perfect Canvas even down to the packaging is clean and minimal, makeup never really gives off clean and minimal vibes usually (i mean most of the time you're dealing with a little bottle of chemicals) but you can definitely tell the difference with this. If the white minimalism didn't hint enough for you, this is a pure product, it's silicone free so it's completely clear and really thin, meaning it sinks in immediately and really doesn't feel like another layer added into the routine. 

I'd put the REN Perfect Canvas in a category somewhere between a skincare product and a primer - which is pretty much the idea of a skin finishing serum now i think about it..
Moment of realisation over, this is a surprising product, i'm not quite sure what i was expecting but i certainly wasn't expecting what came out. Once you squeeze that ever so satisfying dropper, (can more products come in droppers please?) out comes a completely clear and fairly thin liquid, it's the type of liquid you apply to your face and you're like "this can't do anything to my makeup" but boy would that be wrong. 

REN Perfect Canvas review

For once in my life i followed product instructions and listened to the bottle, i've been using this after moisturiser and before makeup every day since i got it, and i can't quite believe it but my skin is actually smoother. Although this already boasts success in clinical trials i was skeptical, i always am when trying products with huge claims, but my face genuinely is smoother (I just stroked my own face to confirm). 

The first time i used the Perfect Canvas i noticed i was having a good makeup day, but i actually didn't link it to the product, i think i was being a bit slow.. However, once i did my makeup again the next day and i realised i seemed to be having 2 miraculous "good makeup" days, i realised it wasn't the work of the makeup gods, it was in fact, the canvas underneath. 
Everyone says the "perfect canvas" for makeup starts with skincare, but this is the product bridging the gap. Yes the product itself adheres to makeup well increasing longevity, but the increase in smoothness of skin over time is what really makes foundation and other products apply so much better immediately, and in the long run. 

This can easily be used alone, but because i do have pores the size of buckets i've been using the tiniest (and i mean the tiniest) amount of pore filling primer over the top, just in that space of the top of my cheeks that resembles the surface of the moon. The rest of my face like my chin and forehead are perfectly smoothed over with the Perfect Canvas alone. 

REN Perfect Canvas review

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I couldn't think of a more perfect name for the Perfect canvas, it really does provide the best possible base, rather than a primer that just makes your skin look good, this actually makes your skin better.

Have you tried the perfect canvas? - Maria x

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The camera i use / lens used in this post.
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Friday, 1 September 2017

3 new essential palettes for Autumn

Yes, it may be the 1st of September, and i may have used the word Autumn in two post titles in the last two weeks, but hey, can you blame me? I'm seasonally enthusiastic and i can't help it. Today i'm talking about three palettes i've been using sometimes daily over the last month or so, they're GOSH's new Autumn additions and actually couldn't be more perfect for the coming season. 

GOSH palettes review autumn winter colour correcting kit eyeshadow palette blush highlighter

Obviously there's an eyeshadow palette in this lineup, because everyone knows you can't do autumn without a strong eye look to go with a darkened evening. Before using the "To party in London" palette i would've never thought about liking a palette made up entirely of shimmers, but i've shocked myself by falling in love with it. This is the most perfect collection of jewelled and autumnal toned (is autumnal toned a thing?) shadows, and seriously soft shimmers that'll take you from autumnal evening to Christmas party nighttimes.

Yes admittedly it is a challenge to make an entire look from shimmers, but the shades in this palette mean you can put together multiple looks in the most effortless way. You could go full on cool toned smokey eye, a bronzed autumnal warm toned look or go classic with the browns, gold and pink shimmers. 
Even if you do mix these with a few mattes from other palettes, i still think this is an A/W17 staple palette to have in a collection, after all, nothing says the months of September - December more than a little bit of shimmer right? 

GOSH palettes review autumn winter colour correcting kit eyeshadow palette blush highlighter

GOSH palettes review autumn winter colour correcting kit eyeshadow palette blush highlighter

*Bad blogger alert* Before using the Gosh colour correcting kit i had never colour corrected before. Colour correcting filled me with clown like nightmares, and the prospect of coming out the other side looking like i had actual green paint on my face gave me enough reason to avoid it, until now. I took the plunge and went in with this the morning after the Gosh A/W preview and instantly fell in love, particularly with the green shade. 
As i've mentioned time and time again on here (you're used to me, i know) i battle daily with acne and acne scarring from when my skin was particularly bad, it means that my face is generally quite red and because the marks have grown fond of me, they just don't want to budge. This palette has become an integral part of my daily routine, after my primer i pick up the green pigment with my finger and apply it to my reddest areas and then blend it out with a fluffy but still dense brush. I go in with my finger first because these are dense creams, the people from Gosh explained they wanted to make these in a denser formula so that when you applied foundation on top the pigment wouldn't budge, which makes a lot of sense when you know they're designed to be layered. 

GOSH palettes review autumn winter colour correcting kit eyeshadow palette blush highlighter

After using this palette i really see why colour correcting is actually - for want of a better word - a thing now. Using the shades helps to neutralise my complexion before foundation, which means i end up using less product because i'm trying to cover less, magic, i feel like i've cracked the makeup code and just wish i had listened earlier. 

GOSH palettes review autumn winter colour correcting kit eyeshadow palette blush highlighter

Now that summer is making it's way firmly out the back door, i feel like i probably should turn it down in the highlighter stakes - layering an illuminating cream to powder blush and highlighter isn't very autumnal.. The strobe'N'glow kit has stepped in to give my cheeks a matte pop of colour and an iridescent highlight to top it off. Unfortunately the shades don't have names but my go to are the first pink highlight and first matte pink blush. The other two shades are a little too warm for my skin tone, but would work beautifully on a darker toned skin, but as usual i always use blushers and highlighters that i can't use on my face as eyeshadows, so they won't go to waste. 

GOSH palettes review autumn winter colour correcting kit eyeshadow palette blush highlighter

GOSH palettes review autumn winter colour correcting kit eyeshadow palette blush highlighter

Am i willing on colder weather? Probably. What are your go to palettes for autumn? - Maria x


This post contains PR samples and affiliate links.
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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Realistic carry on essentials

We've all read a "carry on essentials post" or watched a youtube video on the same topic, but why is it that the person making the post or video, will talk through a never ending list of "essentials" that they're almost definitely not taking on the plane?

Your suitcase is heavy enough, the chances of you lugging around hand luggage filled to the brim with face masks or three different hydrating facial sprays are slim. Like most other human beings i find travel both exciting and stressful, i'm a serial over packer of my suitcase but when it comes to moving on and off a plane i don't want to carry a 2 tonne weight along with me. These are my actual carry on essentials, not a face mask or facial spray insight.

Carry on essentials hand luggage blog post sudio sweden
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Friday, 25 August 2017

The perfect palette for summer days to autumn nights

Okay, yes i'm late with this one but unfortunately it landed at my door right before i went on holiday. On the plus side, it means i've had about three weeks of testing each and every shade before i even began to write about it, also it meant i had a brand new palette to take away with me, and it provided the perfect holiday makeup companion. 

Urban decay naked heat review

The Urban Decay Naked Heat has become my go to palette, i tend to go through phases where i use one palette and nothing else and that's what's been happening ever since i got the Naked Heat - everything else has taken a back seat. I've heard a lot of people saying it's hard to create a lot of different looks with this, and i did think the same when i first saw it but i actually couldn't disagree more. The range of shimmers, deep and neutral mattes allow for endless warm toned looks, and even some cooler ones with the shades Ashes and Ember. 
On a first glance you'd assume this is a really glam evening palette, but it's very possible to make wearable day time looks too. Don't assume you have to exclude the shimmers either, the shade Lumbre makes for a lovely almost rose gold daytime eye and the matte's make for a subtle smoky daytime look. 

I would have liked to see a gold in the palette, but it's not the end of the world if i have to dip into another palette to achieve a desired look, other than that small detail it's actually rare i use any other palettes when I'm creating a look with this. 
Urban decay naked heat review

Swatches & pigmentation:

Before i go into the pigmentation of these shadows and talk about the swatches, i want to point out something about the swatches below. The swatches of the shades En Fuego through to Ember let down the picture, instantly i looked back at the pictures and didn't see the shadows i was used to when using this palette. The last three shades in the palette do preform well on the eye but do not swatch well at all, when i saw the deep pink of En Fuego and the purple of Ashes i wished for a really pigmented swatch but it just didn't come out that well. 

I could've applied a primer underneath and applied multiple layers, but i want my swatches to accurately represent what one to two swipes can achieve. I didn't want to effect their performance in anyway, especially when the other shadows have no problem when it comes to swatching on the arm.  
I wanted to point that out because i know a lot of people judge a palette on it's swatching, but when you consider it's how they preform on the eye that really counts, swatching is pretty much irrelevant- En fuego and Ashes are probably two of my most used shades now so that proves it. 

Generally the pigmentation of these shadows are good, especially when it comes to the shimmer shades. I was particularly impressed with the lighter shades in the palette, usually really light base shades can come out chalky but these are perfectly creamy. Even if Ounce pretty much blends with my arm, it makes it a great base shade to use all over the lid over primer. 

Urban decay naked heat review and swatches

Primer VS no primer? 

As standard i always apply concealer to my eyelids prior to eyeshadow application, sometimes primer just feels like an extra added step so i like to have shadows that can stand the test of time without an extra layer on my eye. The shadows in the naked heat get along just fine without a primer, but like most shadows they do wear better with the Primer Potion underneath. I find without primer they do fade a little bit after extended wear, but nothing unlike other shadows and it doesn't happen if you do use a primer, but you could easily get away without it for a normal day's wear. 

When i want shimmer shades to really standout, i'll apply my base colour and then on the centre of my lid i apply a cream shadow, like a Kiko eyeshadow stick. (When i first did this i thought i had ruined my makeup but bare with it, it does really work) Then with a flat shader brush i pat the shimmer shade directly onto where the cream shadow is and blend it out to the outer areas, it means the shadow literally sticks to the cream and appears so much more vibrant and lasts so much longer, it almost gives the shadow a foiled effect too. 

Urban decay naked heat review and swatches

You might look at this palette and instantly be hit in the face with summer, but i see it as a palette that'll really make the transition into autumn winter, after all the go to autumn look is a berry lip and warm toned eye right? I can't wait to see how i'll put this to use in the colder months, can you tell i want autumn to appear, like now please? 

Urban decay naked heat review and swatches

Have you tried the new naked heat yet? - Maria x

Shop the naked heat:



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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Skincare, carry on style

Ah the dreaded carry on liquid allowance. How i envy people who check in bags and can bring all of their full size bottles of micellar water, and 200ml bottles of cut price suncream they bought in the sale months ago in preparation. I however, have to fit my entire skincare routine into one of those tiny sandwich bags. So, a lot of thought and pre planning went into streamlining and curating a mini holiday appropriate carry on skincare routine. 

Skincare routine carry on aeroplane travelling liquid allowance

Cleansing:

There are two products i refuse to substitute and both of those products are cleansers, they're my ride or die desert island products i couldn't live without - and while trips to Ireland and Spain aren't quite desert island isolation, i still couldn't travel without them. The first is Estee Lauder perfectly clean, my makeup won't come off without this, i forgot it last year and cleansing was a living hell so i had travel size stocked away for months before leaving. The combination of the perfectly clean and Garnier micellar water is a match made in heaven, and is the entirety of my makeup removal on holiday; i did however have to buy a big bottle of micellar water at the airport because their on the go size is 125ml and won't make it past security. 

For my second cleanse i used no other than Liz Earle cleanse and polish. Last year i thought i was being a genius by decanting this into little pots, (messy does not come close) so i levelled up this year by buying the travel size and it's still going days after i've returned home. There's a reason you hear people saying they've used cleanse and polish for over 20 years, it really is just that good and i feel like i'll turn into one of those ranting skincare people in 20 years too.. 

Treatment: 

Usually at this point i'd get onto toner but i actually didn't bring one on holiday with me - partly because i ran out, but lets pretend i'm being a minimalist for once, shall we? All i packed in the treatment category was my Sunday Riley UFO facial oil, to give my acne prone skin that kick of salicylic acid it needs of a nighttime. I did mss my toner though so i don't think i'll leave that out the next time i travel, mini bottle decanting here we go again. 

Skincare routine carry on aeroplane travelling liquid allowance

Moisturise and SPF:

You may look at pictures of me on instagram after coming back from Spain and think "why is she still a ghostly shade of white?" and that's because i cover my self head to toe in suncream. I learnt the hard way that my body doesn't take kindly to sun exposure, and with the pigmentation i already have on my face, SPF is no laughing matter kids. It's a good thing i kept the rest of my routine in scaled down mini bottles and it's mainly because i needed room for my iS Clinical SPF 30. I would use this on my face during the day and i didn't burn once, i never wear makeup during the day on holiday so i'm always worried about burning but this did the trick. Some facial suncreams cause havoc with my acne prone skin, but i didn't get any breakouts with this, it's also hydrating enough that i was able to double it up as my daily moisturiser too.

My beloved kiehl's ultra facial cream has a new SPF twin, so i couldn't resist picking up a tub before i went away, i brought this as my moisturiser to put underneath makeup and as my night cream. This is a thicker formula than the original ultra facial cream, which i expected with the addition of the SPF 30, but i still didn't get any extra breakouts. I'd say using this with a light hand if you've go oily skin is definitely the way to go. To give the SPF a fair test i wore this during the day on one occasion and i didn't have any problems - even with just one application in the morning. I'd say you could safely get away with just using this for a 2in1 moisturiser and SPF, but if you've got really sun sensitive skin i'd go for a sole SPF like the iS Clinical one. 

Skincare routine carry on aeroplane travelling liquid allowance

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What is your carry on skincare like? - Maria x

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Monday, 21 August 2017

Simplifying my holiday makeup routine

As i write this i am a few thousand feet in the air. I’m not sure if i'm a productive plane person, but i guess we'll find out if i actually get through this by the time the flight is over. 
It seems appropriate given the whole plane situation, that today’s post is all about my holiday makeup routine. I'm a full face girl, but on holiday i do like to keep it minimal - i never wear makeup during the day on holiday because who has time for that when there's a pool to be in? I do however like to dress it up a bit in the evening, the hotel staff probably think there's two of me staying in the one room. It's a bit of a princess diaries style transformation when i go out for dinner after spending the day looking like a sweaty tomato, but if Hannah Montana could have the best of both worlds why can't i? 

Carry on makeup holiday makeup travel simple makeup, makeup for travelling
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Saturday, 19 August 2017

Where have you been? Nerja.

 I did it, I took a break. Well i did Instagram the hell out of my trip, but having been in Ireland for a few days and then on a pretty much back to back trip to Spain, i haven't uploaded a blog post in about 2 weeks. Of course i had all the intentions of poolside blogging, but 30 degree heat and the desire to half fall asleep and read my book was just too tempting. So here i am, two weeks later. Where have i been? Nerja is the answer. 

Nerja pictures where to eat what to do 2017
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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Cohorted July, in August

As you can tell from the title i'm a little late with this one, i had to take a last minute trip to Manchester this week and everything has had to be pushed back a bit. Would you believe me if i said these photos we're taken like two weeks ago? I was so ahead, sigh, we'll start again from now shall we? Last month i received my first ever Cohorted box and i was blown away by the contents. I've been lucky enough to also receive the July box, and although you're hearing about it at the beginning of August some of the products in here have made it into my daily makeup routine so it's still relevant, believe me. 

Cohorted beauty box review

Another box packed full of products you say? Pretty much. This month's box contains a lip kit, an illuminating blush, mascara and an entire contour palette - it's basically an entire makeup look when you think about it, you could pull off a whole face with this if you tried. With a combined value of £113, when you pay £35 for the subscription. 

Cohorted beauty box review Bella Pierre contour palette

The first thing we'll go to is where my eyes always go to first, a palette. Last month's box had a Bella Pierre highlight palette and July's box has their powder contour palette; i feel like my contouring game has changed recently, and although i've been dipping my toe into cream contouring, especially when it comes to highlights, i do like powders for a more subtle look. (Is anyone else picturing me putting my toe in a cream contour palette right now? Okay i'll stop, remind me to stop making random comments during blog posts please.) 

These are incredibly soft powders, are creamy powders a thing? If they are, these are the definition because that's exactly what i thought of when i first swatched these. You can see from the swatches the colour payoff and pigment is good, even with the light shades. These also blend seamlessly and allow for subtle shade and light without ever looking like you've drawn lines on your face - like 2015 Instagram explore page vibes.  I probably won't get much use out of the Truffle and Brûlée shades, i'm too pale for something that warm. Expresso on the other hand makes for a great contour and you never know, i might dabble with the warmer shades if i ever get round to actually making my face match my body when i fake tan. 

Cohorted beauty box review Bella Pierre contour palette

The next product is a tiny little compact, it looks like something out of a Disney film - it would most definitely have magical qualities and be the key to saving a princess or something, handed down through generations. In real life however, it's a Ciate "Glow - to" illuminating blush in "Baby Doll".

 This has made it into my everyday makeup, its a kind of cream to powder formula and the perfect mixture between a highlight and a blush, with a pink tone for making me look like i've got a pop of colour to my cheeks.  I feel like this is what my makeup has been missing, this blends incredibly well, i usually stray from cream blushes because i'm scared they'll mess with my base but this just doesn't. It's the type of product that just works, it does what it says on the tin (or compact), i couldn't be happier. If i could only choose to save blusher or highlighter i would choose this, and i think that's really saying something; it does both so technically i'd be cheating the system, but seen as it's an analogy i've created in my own mind i think i'll let myself off. 

Cohorted beauty box review ciate london glow to illuminating blush

The next product is a lip kit but not as you know it, it's by Doucce and is the Lucious lips stain and gloss. Now this is a colour i would have never reached for previously but i'm pleasantly surprised, the colour applies pretty evenly and has great pigment and colour payoff too. This is definitely a summer shade and the type of colour i'd wear if i was matching it to something i was wearing, it's not a colour i'd wear for everyday but the gloss helps to make it into something more wearable rather than a really matte lip. 

Cohorted beauty box review ciate london glow to illuminating blush

The last product is a Doucce Punk Volumizer mascara, it does admittedly look intimidating on the face of things but it really isn't. The brush is fairly hefty but works well to create volume, this isn't a wet formula like i'm used to so it didn't really have that amazing lift my current mascara gives me - but it would be great for everyday when i don't want a really dramatic lash look. 

Cohorted beauty box review

That's it for July's cohorted box in August, what product you would you reach for? - Maria x

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