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

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:

Camera equipment used in this post:

Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples and affiliate links.

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


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.. 


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

Shop the post:

What is your carry on skincare like? - Maria x


Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples and affiliate links. 

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

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

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

Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples. 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Harrods Social Butterflies collection

We might be in the first week of August yet i'm getting serious autumnal vibes from the current weather and outfit situation, is it just the travel mug? Maybe. If you've been in or past Harrods recently you would been greeted with thousands of cobalt blue butterflies, all in aid of the Social Butterflies campaign they're running for London's most social season. Think Wimbledon and everything that comes hand in hand with the British Summer Time, these are the pieces from the collection i've been using recently to accent my summer. 

Harrods social butterflies collection zoe bradley review

Shop my outfit:

My favourite thing from the entire Zoe Bradley collection is the bag, no matter how hard i try to be a tiny clutch bag person that's just not me, so throwing everything in here is my idea of heaven. As you'd expect this is the highest quality, the material is thick, sturdy and perfect for throwing some unexpected shopping inside or packing your picnic blanket for an afternoon out on the grass. I'm actually going to be taking this with me as my hand luggage when i go away at the end of the week; my sneaky idea is that i can put my smaller handbag inside here, but also be able to have my laptop in here too - practicality excites me. 

Harrods social butterflies collection zoe bradley review

We all know i'm a stationery addict, the words "back to school" give me all types of feels even when i'm no longer in education. Seeing a beautifully designed thick notebook included in the collection was like the saying "music to my ears", except we're talking about seeing not hearing. I've never felt fancier, whipping out a notebook with Harrods on the front and the beautiful blue butterfly makes it hard to miss. To-do lists in style. Also using a matching pencil adds to the fanciness of it all, nothing like some nice stationery to make you feel like you've got your life together. 

Harrods social butterflies collection zoe bradley review

Is there anything more British than a good old cup of tea? Even in the summer time we just can't escape it (i survive on 4 a day). Journeys have become a stylish affair recently, instead of moaning about paying £3 for a cup of english breakfast in Starbucks, i can put my tea in the thermo travel mug. Hello stylish daily tea fix with a actual handle, so i don't have to keep moving the mug from hand to hand like a game of hot potato. 

Harrods social butterflies collection zoe bradley review

Harrods social butterflies collection zoe bradley review

What's your favourite piece from the collection? - Maria x

This post contains PR samples. 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

A new liquid lip on the block

There was a time when the only matte liquid lip under £20 was the NYX soft matte lip creams, and although they stayed cult for a while it wasn't long until the other drugstore brands followed with their own formulas. It seemed everyone had jumped on the bandwagon, except possibly everyone's favourite drugstore brand, Rimmel. That was until now. 

Rimmel stay matte liquid lipsticks review

Rimmel answered our prayers, everyones favourite stay matte range now has lipsticks, liquid lipsticks in fact and *spoiler alert* they're really good. There's 15 shades available, right through from the everyday nudes to deep purples, signature reds and even a black - who needs a Kylie lip kit? 
Even though these are a liquid lipstick they aren't what i would call a "true" liquid lip, they're definitely a creamier thicker formula but that isn't a bad thing. Sometimes classic runny liquid lip formulas can be very drying, so i do prefer a creamy formula like this a lot of the time. 

Let's talk pigment:

These are a cream formula, so you aren't going to get that shocking opaque pigment immediately like you would with a thiner formula, but the pigment on these is good especially for the price. Some shades are better than others when it comes to getting even application, but it really isn't difficult to apply these and reach an opaque finish in a few seconds and that applies to all colours - some just require a tiny bit more product.

Rimmel stay matte liquid lipsticks review swatches

The Result? 

I am pretty surprised to say i don't find these drying in the slightest, but they're incredibly long lasting. I (wrongly) assumed that because these were more of a cream formula they wouldn't be long lasting, but i was so wrong. The first time i wore one of these i got home and thought the lipstick wasn't actually still on my lips, but when i looked in the mirror i found the colour was pretty much still intact. It did need topping up in the usual areas like right in the centre of my lips but everywhere else was completely fine. 

Eating with these on does mean you'll have to top them up, but for a drugstore lipstick they're incredibly long lasting and comfortable on the lips. I've found myself reaching for them more and more, and i don't have to sacrifice dry lips for comfort any longer. Also they smell a bit like a Christmas candle, what's not to like? 

Rimmel stay matte liquid lipsticks review

Shop the new liquid lips at Boots here.

Have you tried Rimmel's new liquid lips? - Maria x

Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples and affiliate links. 
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