Monday, 27 February 2017

What i've been loving : February


February favourites Charlotte tilbury lipstick amazing grace Kiehl's midnight recovery concentrate barry m lip kit runway


Christmas was yesterday wasn't it? Apparently the first two months of 2017 are gone and you know what that means? It's nearly spring .. oh and February faves. 
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Friday, 24 February 2017

Start and end your day with skincare

Kiehl's ultra facial cream midnight recovery concentrate kathleen naturals caviar eye cream

I've said it before and i'll say it again, my skincare routines are my favourite parts of the day. I don't feel human until i've washed my face in the morning and there's nothing better than taking off my makeup after the day is done; i'd even go as far as to say these are essential to me getting a good night sleep and getting the day off to a good start.  

So here we have my updated skincare routine:
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Free apps you need if you're a blogger



Whether you're a full time blogger or busy balancing a 9-5 along with your internet life, theres one thing us bloggers have in common: Our phones are permanently in hand. Its a common sight but there is good reason for it, while i use my laptop to deal with writing posts and uploading photos, my phone actually serves a huge purpose when it comes to organisation, promotion and connecting with other bloggers and readers. Here are the free apps i use which i think are essentials for any blogger:
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Monday, 20 February 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks review

Legend has it that there's nothing more instagrammable than a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick, legend would be correct. 


At Christmas my best friend got my a set of three mini Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks; it was a perfect gift because it meant i got three shades to choose from rather than just one and having never tried them before i didn't yet have a go to shade. After trying these out i instantly fell in love, with the formula, colours and well.. that packaging.. 
The mini set included the shades very Victoria, Red carpet red and Amazing grace, they're pictured in my what i got for Christmas post which you can view here

Out of the three shades my favourite was amazing grace, in the pictures it looks a lot deeper than it is but its actually quite a muted pink that still manages to brighten your complexion. I feel like amazing grace is a good middle ground between a deep nude and a pink, its not too pink but its pink enough.. are we on the same page? 


I didn't yet have my really "go to" day time shade but after trying the minis amazing grace was that perfect all-round shade, so i took the plunge and got the full size. 
I say took the plunge and i mean took the plunge, at £24 a Charlotte tilbury lipstick isn't just something you pick up casually; i see this as both a treat and an investment - a treat because obviously this is a beautiful thing to have but an investment because i really love the shade and the formula, this is going to be something i reach for every morning over all my others. 


Ever since i started wearing lipsticks i've been committed to liquid lipsticks and as much as i love the intense colour and matte finish sometimes they just get a bit much; somedays you're prepared for that all day long liquid lipstick maintenance but other days you want a quick application and comfortable wear. 
I feel really like this is just the perfect formula, even though this isn't a liquid lipstick you still get a beautiful matte finish that is still somehow soft and nowhere near drying. I'm no longer wondering constantly about what state my lipstick is in, i don't have to think about flaking or drying, i can apply this straight from the bullet and know i have a highly pigmented matte lipstick on without the downsides of a liquid lipstick. 

I only have a few traditional "stick" lipsticks and they've all been pretty lacking when it comes to longevity, but i was pleasantly surprised when i first wore the shade "red carpet red" on Christmas day. If you're going to put a lipstick to the test is there a better way than putting it through a whole Christmas dinner? Although this doesn't have the staying power of a liquid lipstick, for a regular lipstick this has really good staying power and the fact that its so comfortable to wear i'd pick this over a liquid lipstick any day. 


I am absolutely in love with my collection of Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, although i do still have liquid lipstick days its hard to resist such a creamy comfortable matte formula. 
Do you own any Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks? - Maria x

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Friday, 17 February 2017

My guide to shopping in London

When people shop in London they often find themselves looking around shops they already have at home, or if you live here like me, looking around the same old shops and buying clothes everyone else has. So i turned to the KNOMI app to locate some of the best boutiques in London and compile my own guide to London shopping, away from the madness of oxford street.


I used KNOMI to find all of these lovely boutiques, it works by using your location to find and recommend boutiques near you; with 92 boutiques including Victoria Beckham, Gucci and a number of independent brands there will be something for everyone. When heading out on a London shopping spree, KNOMI is the dream companion to direct you to some of the best boutiques around; but if you fancy a London style shopping spree but can't get to the city, you can also shop through the app and create a whole load of lust lists like me..

KNOMI is branching the gap between social media and fashion, you can follow people (like your favourite bloggers) on the app and get to know exactly what they're liking before they've even done their latest #ootd post - thats what i call insider knowledge. 

Here are 5 of my favourite London boutiques, inciting enough to get you away from Oxford street:

SMYTHSON - BOND STREET.


Smythson isn't just a shop, its an experience; you don't just see products on shelves, they're presented to you. I mean where else do you get a wall of notebooks and an entire office set up just to show case products? 


I know we all love stationery but these aren't just notebooks or diaries, they're monogrammed, leather backed and presented in any colour you can dream of. Didn't think you needed a monogrammed passport holder? You do now. 



Accessories aren't over looked either, never before did i think i could want a backpack as much as i want this. The quality and established legacy are evident but that doesn't mean it lacks style, somehow smythson manages to keep their quintessentially British style and stay on trend. 


Wall of notebooks anyone? 

LAYERS - SOUTH MOLTON STREET. 


Take a left when coming out of bond street station on oxford street and you're brought down the quiet south molton street; its almost impossible to believe that you've turned off the busiest street in London and are now greeted with a cobbled street lined with exclusive boutiques.

 Here you find Layers what i would call a "cool" boutique, sometimes i find some boutiques can take themselves too seriously and lack a really cool vibe but this branches the gap between smart casual and street style. Its amazing because this is directly off Oxford Street but i had no idea about it until using the KNOMI app.


Layers stocks a variety of avant-garde and artisanal pieces, you can really see their aim to bring art and fashion together with a really modern urban style running throughout the brands they stock.  


The top floor of the Layers boutique on South Molton street is home to a lot of footwear, even though the Both Paris trainers above are menswear my love for a leather trainer is really drawing me to these.

LA PORTEGNA - MARYLEBONE HIGH STREET.


Thanks to the app i now know that Marylebone high street is home to a load of amazing boutiques, i was particularly fond of La Portegna because it reminded me of my favourite Spanish holiday destination. La Portegna is a collection of bags and accessories inspired by the spirit of travel which really comes across in their designs; everything is handcrafted using natural materials and while everything is practical it is also so stylish. 


Also, can you see a leather backpack theme running through this post? I feel like my subconscious is telling me to invest in one. 
My monogramming obsessing is also catered for in La Portegna, they have their own press downstairs which allows you to get your purchases monogrammed, after all every stylish traveller has their initials on their travel accessories, right? The fact that i can also get my hands on a leather travel accessory with my initials on at a slightly more affordable rate is exciting too. 

WOLF AND BADGER - DOVER STREET. 


A boutique stocking independent brands complete with a linked juice bar? Wolf and Badger Dover street, mayfair has you covered. With everything from clothing and accessories to home wears, you probably won't find a more versatile brand for independent label representation. 



Wolf and Badger work to bring light to independent designers, showcasing and exposing designers to the market. They have a seriously varied boutique which somehow manages to get every brand to work really well alongside each other, everything is so quirky and fun you constantly find yourself surprised every time you set your eyes on a new piece - be that lingerie, jewellery or a plate. 


Seriously, they even have plates. And they look like this. 

FRENCH SOLE - MARYLEBONE LANE.


Last but not least we have French sole, Marylebone Lane - but don't worry even if you're as far away as Beijing or Manilla you'll be able to find a branch. Despite being small in size this branch of french sole perfectly presents a beautiful selection of accessories, boots, shoes and even velvet day slippers.




While sophisticated many of the shoes have such quirky cool designs, i absolutely love these dusty pink velvet day slippers; who needs practical when you could have shoes that say "eat and drink me"?



So there we have it, my guide to shopping in London through the KNOMI app; without it i wouldn't have been able to find all of these amazing boutiques which are all a stones throw from oxford street. If you're planning a London shopping trip or if you live here, KNOMI is a great companion to bring along with you. 

Do you like to get away from the highstreet? - Maria x

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This post contains a paid for advertorial. 







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Monday, 13 February 2017

Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit Review

Well, what do we have here? I've got a new favourite drugstore liquid lipstick, keep reading to find out why i think this is a potential Kylie cosmetics dupe. 


I'm both a liquid lipstick and bargain person but the two never really go hand in hand that often, although the drugstore is starting to catch up in the lipstick stakes i was pretty pleased and surprised to see the launch of a lip kit by Barry M. So of course i headed to Oxford street superdrug to pick up a kit for myself. 

There's three limited edition lip kits available, i went for 'runway' which is a deep berry pink but there's also 'pose' a much paler pink and 'go to' an aptly named nude tone. Each lip kit comes with a liquid lip paint (they've also released single lip paints in other shades) and a matching liner, all for £6.99.

Oh yeah £6.99, you heard me right.. So lets get to the important stuff, are these actually any good? 

Lets kick off with the liner because, well thats what you apply first.. I had already heard good things about Barry M liners so i was expecting it to be good and i wasn't disappointed. Immediately i noticed how easily the liner glided on, usually i'm not a fan of pencil liners because i find that they drag but i had no problems with this; the liner was also incredibly soft without being crumbly - i felt like i could be as heavy or light handed as i wanted without being at risk of the liner breaking. 

I'm definitely going to be getting some single Barry M liners after this, especially when my more expensive liners have broken after a few uses .. 


Lets get onto the liquid lipstick because thats what everyone wants to hear about right? The first thing i noticed was the consistency, the lip paint is thin, a true liquid lipstick formula rather than a thick cream like other drugstore liquid lipsticks. I love how thin this is, it means that it dries down completely matte in seconds so you're not left with sticky thick lipstick for ten minutes after application. 
You might think a thin formula means it lacks pigment or could be streaky but that isn't the case, this is full on opaque colour and because it is so thin it means it's matte but comfortable to wear. 

When it comes to longevity the whole lip kit is all around good, obviously for £6.99 you're not getting bullet proof staying power but i reckon you would only have to top this up once after your first application which i think is reasonable, I haven't got any lipsticks that i don't have to top up at least once and a lot of them are much pricer than this. I ate lunch with this on and it put up a good fight, the majority of the lipstick remained but i did get fading in the centre; also because this isn't a thick cream formula when it does wear away it doesn't form any unsightly weird patches, it just slightly fades away which i much prefer.


You may notice above there are two swatches (if you don't notice that well there's no hope for you) and that is because i feel like this lipstick is a potential dupe for Posie K by kylie cosmetics. There is a difference in the undertones in the lipsticks but i do feel like they're pretty close and for a fraction of the price i really couldn't care less if they're not 100% the same! Sorry for my messy swatching, i promise my actual lipstick application is better than this but you get the gist. My kylie lip kit is my longest lasting lipstick and this Barry M one doesn't over take that, but when you bring cost to the table i have my winner. 

There we have it, a Kylie cosmetics dupe for £6.99, i have to say this is the best drugstore liquid lipstick i've ever tried and at £3.49 each probably the cheapest!
- Maria x

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Friday, 10 February 2017

The blogger recognition award


Alina from Alinasirbu nominated me to do the blogger recognition award and really could i refuse? 1, she's lovely and 2 i didn't have anything lined up for a Friday blog post, so no i couldn't really.. So thank you to Alina, she remains one of my original faves.

Lets get to the rules shall we? 
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them, providing a link to the post you created.
So heres how my blog started:don't think I've ever actually written about this on my blog before which seems strange; you would think it'd be a thing i had discussed at one point or another. I had always admired bloggers and youtubers prior to starting my blog, but i never imagined i'd ever be on the other side of the screen. I started my blog while i was on my gap year, i think i went about 2 weeks in full time employment and i suddenly had days off that were actual days off, as opposed to days off where you'd have to write 3 essays. I posted a selfie on twitter with a caption about makeup and it got 50 favourites (which was huge at the time for me) so i thought "why not?" and opened beautymattersbymaria.blogspot.co.uk.

2 pieces of advice for new bloggers? (Cheeky self promo here but i wrote a post all about how to grow your audience which contains a lot of advice for new bloggers which you can check out here.)

1)The first thing i'd say is to take blogging seriously but take it easy, sometimes i can get so stressed out with all of this that i end up surrounded by a load of blog props on the floor and a load of rubbish photos. When inspiration isn't there don't try to blog, don't try and force it - otherwise you just won't create good content. Ultimately this should be about doing something you enjoy, don't get disheartened by a few days or a week where inspiration is lacking. 

2)The second thing is sign up to google analytics - just do it. 

Here are my 15 nominated bloggers:


I'm off to comment on the blogs of my nominees, click any name to head over to their blog to check them out! - Maria x

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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Follow / NoFollow links and what they mean for bloggers


Up until a couple of months ago, follow and no follow links confused the hell out of me and its likely you're in the same position now if you're reading this; eventually i got a grasp of them but it was only after reading a list of quite complicated articles all written by SEO professionals. It got me thinking that it needed to be simplified, heres my guide to Follow and no follow links for bloggers, written by a blogger. 
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Monday, 6 February 2017

Sunday brunch and charity shop style

 Theres just something about that traffic cone that makes a lovely photo backdrop, don't you think? 



Usually i'm not one for a charity shop, i would always hear of people finding these amazing clothes for a fraction of the price but all i ever found was people's worn out clothes from 2002. My best friend on the other hand loves a charity shop, so while we were in Traid one afternoon i decided to give in and actually have a look at what they had and i was pleasantly surprised. 

Traid seems to be a "cool" charity shop, everything is sorted through and hand picked to make sure everything they're selling is of good quality and basically doesn't look like something your grandma would wear. Nearly every time i picked something off the rail it was from a brand i knew, i was extra surprised to find quite a few designer labels stocked between the highstreet brands. 



I had to restrain myself a little bit because i could've easily bought a lot more but i ended up settling for 2 pieces: A Laura Ashley jacket and Massimo Dutti jumper. Both of these items stray from my usual style in one way but are perfectly in line with the rest of my wardrobe in another, they're both really classic items and remind me of a country walk a tiny bit (can you see it??). 

Let me tell you about this Laura Ashley jacket first because if i have to pick a favourite it would be this; when i saw it i knew i loved it but i wasn't quite sure why - it could've been the rose gold zip, maybe. This is really me but also really not, regardless i've been wearing it constantly since i got it despite the weather still being a bit wintery for a spring jacket. The reason i got so excited about this is because it has literally not been worn, the extra buttons are still attached on a tag inside and you can just tell it isn't lived in. I know the whole point of a charity shop is previously owned clothes but its just amazing to find something that could be hanging brand new in a shop isn't it? 

This jacket set me back £28.99, that might come in the higher price bracket for charity shop clothes but to be honest this is completely worth it. I imagine the jacket new would've cost at least double and considering this was in perfect condition i couldn't let it go. I always get a hell of a lot of wear out of my outerwear, so I'm pleased to have my spring transitional jacket even before the season has started. 



The second item i picked up was this grey, white and beige striped Massimo Dutti jumper; again this was in excellent condition and it had probably only been worn only a few times before it was donated. The worst thing with charity shops is that theres only one of everything, so if something doesn't fit right its not like you can just pick up the other size; luckily enough this (like the jacket) fitted perfectly so i knew it would be coming straight home with me. 

Also, you did hear me right this is Massimo Dutti, from a charity shop. I paid £24.99 for this which again seems a lot for a charity shop but usually i would pay around £30 for a good jumper, if not more and i imagine this would be between £50 and £100 if you were buying it new. 

Finally we have a picture of a fry up, because why not? The day i wore this outfit happened to be Sunday and you can't have Sunday without a big old brunch, i wanted to put this in a blog post because i feel like non instagrammable food doesn't get enough air time. Today, this blogger wanted to pay £5 for a huge fry up (with chips and tea) rather than over priced avo toast. 


Do you have any favourite charity shop finds? - Maria x

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