Having a L’Oréal Moment

 

Believe it or not, these are the only L’Oréal make-up items that I own.  Just three. I’m not sure why, L’Oréal have never done anything to offend me, I just never think to check their products when I’m in the mood for some spending.

 

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I had been eyeing up the L’Oréal Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer (£7.93 here) for a while before I purchased it in the summer.  As a brightening primer, this one is the best I have ever tried.  I would compare it to the Mac Strobe Cream, but it is less heavy and thick.  When first applied, it is a little scary, as it leaves a white shiny cast across the skin.  Give it a minute though, and it settles and gives just enough glow.  It can be used alone, but I prefer it under make-up to leave my skin glowing and fabulous.

I am a serial mascara and concealer purchaser.  It simply isn’t a shopping trip unless I buy one or the other, sometimes both.  The L’Oréal True Match Concealer (£4.80 here,  or £6.99 here) is just lovely.  It offers good coverage, but isn’t in the least bit drying.   It is the perfect balance of wet, but not runny, and blending it out is ridiculously easy.  My only little grumble would be the colour selection.  I usually go for the lightest shade in a concealer (or second lightest, occasionally) and this one only has five to choose from.  Vanilla is the lightest (the one I have) and it could do with being a little paler, in my opinion.  This can be solved by adding a brightening concealer over the top, but not everyone is going to want to fiddle about doing that every day, I’m sure.

As mascaras go, the L’Oréal False Lash Architect Mascara is up there with the best in my collection.  When it comes to mascara, I am supremely fussy (I really should have named this blog The Mascara Diaries, it would be more fitting), but I actually really like the False Lash Architect (£10.99 here).  It’s not clumpy, and it adds a decent amount of length, without weighing down the lashes too much.

Now that I have dipped my toe into the L’Oréal pond, I may well be making some more purchases.  Next on my list? The L’Oréal Color Riche Extraordinaire Lip Colours – £8.99 look gorgeous; these Infallible Eye Shadows – £6.99; and despite the mixed reviews, I am intrigued by the Color Riche La Palette Nude Eyeshadow Palette Rose – £14.99.  FYI Boots have 3 for 2 on selected items at the moment, so it would be rude not to get all three.

What are your top L’Oréal purchases, if you have any?

 

**This post is NOT sponsored by L’Oréal, or Boots. Sadly.**

 

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Two Easy Fuss-Free Face Masks that You Need in Your Life

It has taken me a long time to find a face mask that I would actually recommend.  I have tried so many over the years, and they have all been a bit meh.  Other than the Clarins one I talked about here, which is really just a rich moisturiser.  Now though, I have found two that I love, and use regularly.

 

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L-R Formula 10.0.6 Get Your Glow On Brightening Peel-Off Mask; MaskerAide All Nighter Sheet Mask

Generally speaking, I do not like masks that have to be applied and washed off.  I just find it all a bit of a faff, and to be honest the results aren’t usually worth the hassle. Peel-off masks are like the Marmite of the beauty world, either you find  the idea repulsive, or – like me – you will find great satisfaction in very s-l-o-w-l-y peeling the thick layer off your face.  The Formula 10.0.6 Get Your Glow On Brightening Peel-Off Mask is perfect for a fuss free treatment.  Firstly, it smells divine.  The papaya and citrus work at resurfacing and brightening the skin, and it also unclogs pores and helps to prevent breakouts.  The mask itself is a very thick gloopy consistency – in fact too thick for the tube.  The first time I used it, the sealed end of the tube exploded and made quite the mess.  That aside though, I can honestly say that I become like a new person when I peel this baby off my face.  My skin is left shining, happy, soft, and looking five years younger.

Even more hassle free are sheet masks.  My current favourites are the Maskeraide Sheet Masks, in particular the All Nighter Hydrating Mask.  Sheet masks, if you aren’t familiar with them, are so easy to use it’s ridiculous.  Simply apply the product soaked cloth sheet to your face – attempting to line up the eye and mouth holes – and relax.  They are very slimy and slippery, so it’s useful if you can lie down, because otherwise you will spend the whole 20 minutes or so trying to stop it sliding off.  The beauty of sheet masks is that when the time is up, simply throw the sheet away, and rub in the remaining product.  It couldn’t be easier, no mess to clean up, and wonderful glowing skin! What more could you want?!

 

Can you recommend any good peel-off, or sheet masks?

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Midweek Motivation

C.S-Lewis

 

C.S. Lewis was an Irish author, born in the late 1800s.  He wrote the fantastic Narnia books, amongst many others.  He said, and wrote, many inspiring things, but I love this quote in particular.  I have been struggling lately with finding my niche.  Not in the blogging sense of the word, but in real life.  I often wish that I had a proper talent that would shine out of me like a beacon, but sadly I don’t.  I am fairly average at everything.  So, I like to think that this quote is true, and that there is still time for me to find the one thing that I can be amazing at.  I have many goals and dreams, maybe it’s not too late to achieve them.  And if not, perhaps my job on this earth is to have created  four wonderful children who will go on to be super heroes (not literally obviously, but how cool would that be?!).  We can all dream, right?

 

Thanks for reading, and have a happy Hump Day!

 

 

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My Everyday Make-Up : Autumn Edition

Since the summer when I last wrote about my everyday make-up, the list of products has changed quite a bit.  So, I thought I would do an updated list of my favourite pretty stuff to put on my face.

 

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I usually change up my actual base products depending on how I’m feeling that day, and depending how much coverage I need.  Two products that are pretty constant though are the Make Up Forever Full Cover Concealer, and the Yves Saint Laurent Touche EclatThe Make Up Forever concealer is heavy duty, and I’m not sure it is really designed for under the eyes as it is a little drying.  If used with a good moisturiser and eye cream then it is just about acceptable, although it doesn’t cover my dark circles completely. I use the Touche Eclat to brighten things up a little.  The next three steps may be familiar to you if you have read my blog before; Nars Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Setting Powder, followed by the new(ish) H&M Bronzer, and blusher.  I love the Nars powder for setting any shiny areas, and it is probably the only powder I have ever used that I can use on my dry skin (read more here).  I have been using the H&M Solar Flair Bronzing Powder in Sheer Tan, and the Cream Blusher in Dusty Rose for two months, and I still love them both from the bottom of my heart.  I have more or less used them both non-stop ands I just keep coming back to them; particularly the blusher – it is my absolute favourite (read more about H&M Beauty here).

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Recently, I have been going more for warm eyeshadows, whereas before I would only wear cool toned colours.  I blame the change in seasons.  My technique hasn’t changed much though, that still involves a darker colour in the crease and a complimentary sparkly colour on the lid.  Because my eyes are deep set, I just find that this is the best look for me.  Surprisingly for me, I have been using a brown shade in the crease, and the gorgeous orange shade above (surprising because brown and orange are my least favourite colours, along with yellow).  This is the Makeup Revolution Mermaids Forever Eyeshadow Palette, and despite having it for several months, I hadn’t really dipped into it properly until this month.  I love this peachy orange (second row from the bottom, third from left).  Although it doesn’t look too interesting in the palette, on the eyelids it becomes this amazing shimmery peach/gold loveliness.

 

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I have been trying this Bourjois Fan-Tastic Black Mascara recently, and it is pretty not bad.  The brush is just plain odd, I’m not sure that this picture does it justice.  It is basically a terrifying teeny tiny comb.  It works well separating the lashes, and adds a good amount of length, if you can get used to the idea of several rows of spikes coming towards your eyeball.  For eyebrows, I have fallen for this Brow Pencil in Vicious Circle by Topshop.  It is one of the Topshop Beauty items that I actually like.  It’s just soft enough, and has a built in spooly on the end to brush through brows.  I have found that using a pencil fro blonde hair actually works really well for me, despite the fact that I am very dark brunette.  I find using a dark brown pencil actually looks way too harsh on me, and the lighter shade is much more flattering.

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The Chameleon Glow in Shuffle the Cards is a multi-use product; it is listed with the eyeshadows on Topshop’s website, but I use it as a highlighter too.  It is very gold, so only wear if you want to be mistaken for the sun.  The lipstick that I finish with is the lovely Stila Color Balm Lipstick in Olivia. One of my favourite nude lipsticks. It goes with every look, and gives just enough colour, with a hint of hydration.

 

I’m sure the colours of my eyeshadow will change as the days go by, and maybe the basics too.  For now though, these are my everyday go-to products, when I want there to be no uncertainty about the finished look.

Which products have you stuck with through thick and thin? Do you have any everyday products that you can’t part with?

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My Top Five: Barry M Nail Paints

I can’t actually remember a time when I wasn’t fanatical about nail polish.  As a teenager with very little money, my make-up collection was very basic, but I did love to match my nails to my outfit.  Somewhere along the way I stopped matching, but my collection continued to grow. A little while ago I discovered Barry M, and I was hooked. This blog post was meant to be part of my ‘Top Three’ series, but do you think I could narrow it down to three?! Not likely.  So, here are my top five Barry M Nail Paints.

 

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L-R Barry M Nail Paint Lap of Honour; Grapefruit; Sugar Plum; Blood Orange; Eat My Dust

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint – Lap of Honour (£3.99 here  ) This gorgeous muted lilac is a perfect spring/summer shade and is subtle enough to wear to the office. Maybe. The brushes on the Speedy Quick Dry line are a little bit wider and flatter than the normal brushes, and cover the nail in only a couple of swipes.  The formula for all Barry M nail Paints is fabulous; creamy, thick and opaque, and this is no exception.

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint – Grapefruit  (£3.99 here). This unique colour is more than a basic pink, and is so pretty and unlike anything else that I own.  It’s really a summer shade, but that doesn’t stop me rocking it in November.

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint – Sugar Plum (3.99 here ) Another purple/pink colour.  I didn’t realise how many of these I had.  This one is a little less subtle, but just as gorgeous as the previous two.  I love to pair it with either Lap of Honour, or another complimentary or contrasting colour.

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint – Blood Orange (£3.99 here ) Now this bright red polish is such a gorgeous hue.  It is pretty vampy, so maybe not one for a conservative work place.  In my opinion Blood Orange is perfect for all four seasons, and I know I’ll be wearing it loads coming up to Christmas.

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint – Eat My Dust (£3.99 here) I can’t decide if this polish is grey or very pale blue, but either way I love it.  It is easy to wear; being very pale it is less obvious when it chips.  In typical Barry M style, it is another excellent polish, that goes on smoothly and evenly.

 

As I may have mentioned, I have great affection for all Barry M Nail Paints, because they are so affordable, and excellent quality with it.  I have fallen for the hype in the past, and spent crazy amounts on high end nail polishes, but I really do not see the benefit in spending more than a fiver on a bottle of nail varnish.

What is your favourite nail polish brand?  Do you prefer high end, or a more affordable option?

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Glossybox – November 2015

It seems like only 5 minutes ago I was opening my October Glossybox, and now here I am again.  October really flew by, and with two family birthdays and Christmas to prepare for I am pretty sure November will go even quicker. Anyhoo, enough about my surprise at time passing, on to this month’s Glossybox contents!

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Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick – 720 Fire and Ice – £7.99

Let’s start with my least favourite item in the box, this Revlon lipstick.  Firstly, the colour is really not for me.  However, this is totally my fault.  This month, subscribers had the choice of four colours to choose from, and I decided that I would wait and have a surprise.  Secondly, the formula is a bit odd,  I tested it and immediately took it off because I needed to go out.  I could feel it on my lips even after I removed it though.  I would imagine this is because of the vitamin E and avocado oil that have been squeezed into the lipstick. It also made my teeth look way more yellow than I can cope with.

MUA Eyeshadow Palette  – Undressed – £4

I love MUA eyeshadows; they are very affordable and are decent quality.  This palette has some great smoky dark and neutral colours, in mostly shimmery metallic shades.  The only downside is that it doesn’t seem to contain any matte shades, so if you were only ever going to buy ONE palette (madness!) then don’t make it this one.

Royal Apothic Body Lotion – £14.50

This travel size lotion contains Lactic Acid, which is great for smoothing and hydrating the skin.  I tried a little bit of this on my arm earlier and continued about my day.  I will say one thing: the smell is super strong.  I genuinely cannot decide if I really like it, but I definitely don’t hate it.  I think when I use it properly, I’ll start with it just on my legs, and will see how it goes.

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Emite Diamond Heart Primer – £25.90

I am a very loyal fan of Too Faced Hangover Primer, so this one will have to be verrrry special to replace it.  My first impressions are that it is more of a hydrating primer than a slippery silicone one.  It is peach coloured, so should offer some colour correcting magic.  I noticed – when I tried a little on the back of my hand – that it has a slight sheen to it, so will potentially be illuminating too.

 

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Eylure Natural Lashes – £5

I have never used false eyelashes *hides in shame* so I have no idea what to even do with these.  I am very keen to give them a go though, and who knows maybe I will become that person in Sainsbury’s with wonderful fluttery lashes.  These particular lashes are a more natural style, so are probably great for a beginner to practice with.

 

So what do you think of November’s Glossybox? Do you subscribe, do you want to?

 

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Top 10 Beauty YouTube Channels

Whenever I have any free time – which is limited with four children – I find myself relaxing with a cup of tea and a couple of YouTube videos.  I have quite a few beauty-related favourites, that offer a little bit of escapism on a busy day.  I actually have a load more than ten that I watch, but these are the cream of the crop in my opinion.

 

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Nicole – Young Wild and Polished – is one of a kind.  She is unique and hilarious, but she also knows her stuff.  Nicole’s original speciality is actually nail art, so if you have an interest in gorgeous designs then check out her Instagram feed.  I particularly love her more chatty style videos, and could quite happily watch them all day.

Kathleen Lights is another favourite of mine; she is both talented and entertaining.  Her tutorials and Get Ready With Me videos are fantastic.  One of the things I like about Kathleen is that she is so genuine, and she understands that not all of her (1.5 million and counting) subscribers have a never ending budget.

Partners in crime Katy (LustreLux) and Desi Perkins really are the whole package.  Although Katy and Desi have only made a couple of videos together, I always think of them as a pair.  This is probably because they pop up in the background of each other’s tutorials more often than not.  Gorgeous, talented and hilarious they both make it all look so easy.  If you are on Snapchat, and you don’t follow them both, go and find them now. Right now.  TYSM.

Batalash Beauty actually consist of three equally talented make-up artists, but I have to be honest Samantha is my favourite.  If you are sensitive to swearing then she may not be the one for you, because there is a fair bit.  Personally, it doesn’t bother me and I love watching her.  Samantha is extremely talented, and she is also a great teacher because she really explains everything that she is doing.

A more recent discovery is Allana Davison.  Allana has a relatively small following – compared to some other beauty YouTubers – and I have no idea why.  She is gorgeous and her eyebrows are ah-maz-ing.  She is a bit crazy, in a good way of course, and never fails to entertain.  Allana also happens to be the ONLY YouTuber that I watch that has totally nailed the sign-off.  Her videos always end with her smiling, and not gurning with eyes half closed like I’m sure mine would if I ever ventured into the world of YouTube (that’s not going to happen. Ever).

I have mentioned Coffee Break With Dani before – she recommended some hair products that I immediately bought, and loved here – and I still avidly watch her videos.  I really believe that she gives honest reviews, and she doesn’t sugar-coat it; if she doesn’t like something she jolly well says so.

Next, is Nicole Guerriero.  Nicole is another fantastic talent, whom I happen to be in awe of.  I don’t personally get involved with Halloween, but I still love watching Hallooween make-up tutorials for entertainment (I’m not ashamed).  Nicole’s are amazing, and feel achievable at the same time.

Laura Lee may not be everyone’s cup of tea (I’m a poet and I don’t even know it), but I think she’s great.  She is a massive ball of energy, so she is best watched when you need a bit of a boost.  She has really upped her game in recent weeks, and her channel is growing by the day.

And last, but not least, MannyMUA.  What can I say about Manny? He’s another unique talent.  My only complaint about him is that he generally only uploads once a week.  Not enough Manny for me!  He makes me laugh out loud, and I have loved seeing his channel grow over the last year or so.

 

 

So, these are my top ten.  I hope I have introduced you to somebody new, or maybe you have already discovered these wonderful people.  Have I missed anyone? Let me know below – I am always on the hunt for new beauty channels to add to my subscription list on YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Midweek Motivation

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We all need a little motivation to get us through the week sometimes.  This quote from Message In A Bottle by Nicholas Sparks spoke to me today.  In all honesty, I don’t believe that hard work will necessarily get you everything you want; I will never be a brain surgeon no matter how many years of study I put in.  However that’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of other fantastic opportunities available with a bit of hard graft.

The most rewarding experiences are often those that are the hardest to come by.

Have a great week, and keep at it – whatever ‘it’ may be.

 

 

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Understanding Perfume Terminology

 

Have you ever heard or read terminology about perfumes and wondered what on earth it was all about? I know I have.  Sometimes buying perfume can be a little overwhelming; there is a lot of choice out there, and some cost a small fortune. As sad as it sounds to admit this, one of my favourite things to do is to go into department stores, or Boots, and sniff away.  The perfumes that is.  I invariably find, though, that I get in quite a muddle.  Those little bits of card are all well and good, but to really get an idea of what a perfume will smell like it’s always best to spray it on your own skin.

 

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Having said this, I have bought a few different scents this year, and some of those have been blind purchases.  A little risky possibly, especially considering I am exceptionally fussy when it comes to perfumes.  It’s not essential to understand perfume terminology, but it does help sometimes, even if it only to rule out perfumes that definitely won’t suit.

 

Notes

These are the different layers within the perfume.  The top notes (or opening notes) are those that you smell instantly upon spraying, for example this may be a burst of flowers or fruit. Being the lightest part (literally, the molecules are smaller and lighter), the top notes fade fairly quickly, hopefully blending in to the rest of the ingredients within the perfume. Essentially, the top notes are the first impressions, a ‘hello’, if you will.

Now that you have greeted one another, the middle notes could be compared to small talk.  You like each other, and want to know a little bit more (either that or you’re stuck with each other, and too polite to walk away).  These middle notes will hang around for a little bit longer, and are often flowery or spicy, such as Jasmine, Gardenia, Rose or Pink Pepper.   As the small talk fades, this paves the way for the base notes, which will now start to emerge.

The base notes are the deep conversation.  You know enough to know you want to see them again, now you’re looking for the real nitty-gritty.  Base notes are typically stronger and heavier, and will – hopefully – last throughout the day, and even into the next.  An example of base notes would be Cedar, Amber, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Vanilla or Musk.

Sillage – (see-arge)

This refers to the strength of the scent.  Do you want people to smell you before they see you? Then choose a perfume that has good sillage.  Perfumes with a weak sillage are often described as staying ‘close to the skin’.

Accord

This is the combination of two or more notes that, used together, create magic (or not).  The individual ingredients will be blended together, and will compliment each other.  Some fragrances will have similar accords, if a combination is found that works well.

Dry-Down

This is the final phase, and refers to the scent that will be left behind when the top notes and middle notes evaporate. It will consist of the base notes, so choose these wisely!

Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Eau de Cologne

To put it simply Eau de Parfum (also know as Eau de Perfume, or Millesime) is the more concentrated version of a perfume.  The Eau de Parfum will therefore last longer and will be stronger smelling on the skin.  Eau de Parfums are more expensive, because of the higher levels of perfume oils (typically around 15%), opposed to water and alcohol.  Eau de Parfums are usually dabbed on, rather than sprayed, and will more than likely only need a drop or two to last for hours.

An Eau de Toilette will be a slightly weaker version (although confusingly, some may even have slightly different ratios of ingredients from their Eau de Parfum counterpart), and will contain a lower concentration of perfume oils compared to water and alcohol – often around 8%.

Eau de Colognes (or Eau Fraiche) are lower concentrations still, and are typically citrus scented.  Eau de Colognes will contain around 5% concentration of perfume oils to other ingredients.

Body sprays, splashes and mists will usually only contain top notes, and are not designed with longevity in mind.

 

So there we have it; a beginners’ guide to understanding perfume, and the terminology used.  This is obviously not exhaustive, but I was very conscious that the post was getting longer and longer.  I didn’t even really touch on the notes and olfactory groups, maybe that’s a post for another time.  I do love to talk (and buy – eek) perfume.

Do you love perfume as much as I do?  What’s your signature scent?

 

 

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Monthly Favourites : October

I haven’t posted a monthly favourites since the summer, because I just haven’t been able to collect enough things that have wowed me.  Nobody wants to read about my Monthly Mediocres, do they?

October has been a little bit more successful for me, though (I suspect my credit card company is more than grateful), so I have a few beauty and non-beauty loves to share today.

 

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Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh EDT

I really am not very good at describing smells, but I think the name of this one says it all.  An update of the original Daisy by Marc Jacobs – which I don’t have – it is a light and fresh fragrance.  It starts with a soft floral blast (it’s a bit green, if that makes sense), and dries to a more musky undertone.  It isn’t at all overpowering or heavy, and doesn’t linger on for days. I always look for perfumes in the musk and/or Sandalwood family, so the fact that Daisy Eau So Fresh has Musk in the base notes makes it a winner for me.  If you like very sweet scents, then it maynot be for you, but I think it would please most noses. I have this tiny little travel size, which is excellent for a perfume commitment-phobe: £24.50 here.  I think my next bottle will be the larger 125ml: £48.95 here.

 

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Honey Gold Trim Boots – Topshop

I love these boots! They are so comfortable, even with the 4 inch heel.  I am a flat shoe girl through and through (despite being a little bit short and dumpy) and it takes a special shoe to get me to venture away from my Converse, and these are definitely a step in the right direction (ha). They are suede, so I consider them well worth the high price tag of £69 – here 

 

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Ole Henrikson Three Little Wonders Gift Set*

Included in this set are three skincare items; Truth Serum Collagen Booster, a lovely glow enhancing serum; Sheer Transformation, a light moisturiser; and the Invigorating Night Treatment,   Even though these are only sample sizes, I managed to get over a week out of the Sheer Transformation (using it day and night), enough for me to know that it is lovely.  Even on my dry skin, it was luxurious without being slimy, and was just enough moisture overnight.Truth Serum contains Vitamin C – great for brightening – and I was loving it.  Then I dropped it in the toilet, and couldn’t bring myself to continue using it.  So that was that. I mentioned the Invigorating Night Treatment here, as I have been using it as part of my evening routine for a little while. It is a favourite for brightening, and leaving skin smooth and plumped.

 

Blush Brush – Topshop

I have tried quite a bit of the Topshop Beauty range, and really haven’t been overly impressed (see here).  I do, however, like their brushes.  They are affordable, and funky (did I really just use the word funky?).  They also wash well, which is so important. This particular brush is soft and fluffy, and perfect for applying colour to the apples of the cheeks. For £8 here, it’s a definite must. Topshop also offer a purse-friendly set of favourites for £26 here.

 

Ted Baker Pink Body Lotion – 250ml

A little bit goes a long way with this lovely clean smelling body lotion.  The scent is subtle, feminine and light, so it doesn’t interfere with my chosen perfume.  It absorbs quickly, despite being quite a thick lotion.  I know I will come to rely on thicker creams and lotions like this as the weather becomes colder, and my skin becomes drier. The Body Lotion is £8 here.

 

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Seventeen – Deep Red Sparkle No. 24

This nail polish, along with a couple of others, were impulse buys when I was in Boots recently.  They were on a stand near the checkout, and were only £1.99 each (here). Being a bit of a Magpie, I was immediately drawn to this sparkly red.  The lasting power on my nails isn’t great, but my nails are a total mess at the moment, so that doesn’t help matters.  The colour more than makes up for lack of lengevity though; Deep Red Sparkle is a lovely easy to wear red, with just enough shine to add a bit of dimension. I also can’t help but think it is perfect for a certain day that is fast approaching (53 sleeps and counting!).

 

What are your favourites for the month of October? Let me know in the comments!

 

*PR sample – all opinions are totally mine though; from my very own brain.

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