Minis giveaway!

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Now you may have noticed over the past month, my presence on Irregular Collection has been errr.. minimal to say the least. This is because for once in my lifetime, life has consisted of more than just school and crappy reality TV shows. I’ve finished high school, inevitably meaning prom (not to mention AFTER prom!) and other Leavers’ celebrations but also, I’ve been moving rooms, getting a new phone, jet-setting off to the south of France… As you can see it’s been pretty hectic – not that I’m complaining. Anyway, enough about that, I’m sure you’ll hear much more about it soon. Today, I have an exciting announcement to make – a giveaway! Take it as sort of a celebration, but also a partial apology for being so bad at finding the time to blog. If you’re interested, keep on reading!


What is a giveaway?

A giveaway is pretty much what it says on the tin; items that a person ‘gives away’ to another – think of it as a raffle. The winner is chosen completely at random and the prizes will then be posted straight to them.

What is in this giveaway?

Okay, so as you’ve probably gathered from the title, this giveaway is about lots of little things instead of one big prize. Included in the box of treats will be minis of: Lancôme Visionnaire Skin Corrector, Olay Regenerist Skin Perfecting Cream, Lancôme Energie de Vie, Kiehl’s Line Reducing Concentrate, Benefit It’s Potent Eye Cream, Estée Lauder Enlighten Correcting Cream and Le Volume de Chanel Mascara in Noir. Now onto the full-size products… Bee Good Plump and Firm Moisturiser, Lush Bath Oil and a mystery NYX product. How does that sound? Pretty good if I do say so myself.

How do I enter?

Entering is simple and can be done via WordPress or Instagram.

Entering on WordPress: Make sure that you are following Irregular Collection and then leave a comment on this post with two other blogging friends’ links so they can get a chance to enter too! 

Entering on Instagram: Make sure you are following me on Instagram (@emiliahurrell) and leave a comment on the designated post tagging two friends so they can get a chance to enter too!


Ends 30th July at 12pm. Good luck!

Emilia x

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Summer Saviours

Well, hello strangers, long time no see! My life’s been pretty hectic recently so apologies for not keeping you updated… My GCSEs have started, I’ve got a new job and I’m back on the dating scene. It really is all change! Anyways, despite the fact that I probably should be revising or ‘getting fit for summer’ (what a joke), I’ve decided to take a break from that and do what I love most. Write a load of crap on here.

Today’s post is oh-so-suprisingly based on beauty products; focussed on the key items that will pull you through the summer. Whether you’re in the ever-unpredicatable Britain or jet-setting off, these products will ensure that you look as good as ever. Foundation slipping down your face? Mascara smudges after a dip in the pool? Nail polish that lasts a day before chipping? Those times are long gone, ladies! All hail the new life-savers of 2016…


Liquid Lipstick

With the appearance of must-have products like Kylie Jenner Lip Kits on the cosmetics scene, many high-street brands have also begun to add these lipgloss/lipstick hybrids to their collections. This means, it’s a hell of a lot easier for normal people like you and me to trial them out. £30 for a product that may not even do what is says? I’ll pass. Brands like NYX and Gerard Cosmetics, the ‘mid-expense’ lot, are stealing the limelight at the moment. With formulas that literally do not budge at anything – drinking, eating, swimming, dancing – this is the product to get you through the long summer days and late summer nights. I’m loving NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Abu Dhabi (£5.50) for a subtle day-time lip or Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick (£9.50) in Everything Nice for a bolder evening shade!

Natural Base

There’s nothing worse in summer than a face packed full of make-up. Summer sun is a treat to the skin and often clears up any problematic areas, so why shield yourself from it? However, I do understand that some people just don’t feel comfortable without a little coverage. For these people, it’s all about compromise – instead of foundation, concealer, contour etc. just try a sheer formula, like a BB cream along with a little bronzer. I’m a huge fan of by Terry Sheer Expert (£45) mixed with Lancome Teint Idole (£30) and Shiseido Bronzer (£34).

Setting sprays

Whether you’re sunbathing in the afternoon heat or dancing the night away, this is the produce that will ensure that all those summer products are worthwhile. Admittedly, this was a beauty trend that I was very dubious about; being someone with shiny skin, the idea that make-up could last for more than half a day was incomprehensible. But, upon purchasing the Make-up Revolution Oil Control Fixing Spray (£5), I was utterly amazed and I have many friends who adore others like NYX’s Dewy Finish Setting Spray (£7). Other highly recommended sprays are Urban Decay’s (from £9.00) and MAC Prep n Prime Fix + (£17.00)…

‘Cream’ cosmetics

This kind of coincides with the idea of a ‘natural base’ – cream products are a lot easier to blend than powders, they don’t ‘suffocate’ your pores and they’re much more longlasting, making them perfect for summer weather. Some of my favourites at the moment are: Rosie HW for Autograph Creme Blush (£14.00), Maybelline Colour Tattoos (£4.99) and Collection Speedy Highlight (£3.99).

Clay-based haircare and skincare

I’ve always been a fan of clay-based skincare – it does wonders for problem skin, as it draws out any impurities without being too harsh. However, it wasn’t until recently, when I tried L’Oreal’s new clay haircare range (from £1.98 at Superdrug) that I noticed how well clay works on hair too! Nourished ends without oily roots? Seems impossible. This shampoo seriously works just as well as some of the most expensive high-street haircare brands and it even works for sensitive scalps – bonus.

Nail sprays

Right, first of all, I’d like to thank Glossybox for introducing me to this absolute wonder product that I didn’t even know existed. In short, this spray by Leighton Denny (£11.00) totally dries your nail polish (whatever it be) in a matter of seconds. Gone are the days when you have to paint your nails hours before you go out – this makes it a 2 minute job and, oh my, you will love it.

All-over heat protection

Heat protection? It’s just slapping a bit of factor 20 on your nose and shoulders right? Noooo, as we’ve realised in modern times quite how much damage UV rays can do, more and more products have been developed. I’m talking hair protection, complexion protection and improved formulas… No more unpleasant ‘suncream’ smells – Hawaiian Tropic have got you covered with their tropical scents, and Benefit’s Dream Screen (£25) will prevent the classic ‘oil slicked’ face. For your hair, Toni&Guy’s Heat Protection Mist (£6.99) keeps it in tip top condition or maybe even try a sea salt spray.


What are your summer beauty must haves? Do you have any recommendations for me to try?

Emilia x

 

April It List

First and foremost, I’d like to apologise for being a bit well… slack. You see, I’d love to be able to blog all day everyday, but this damn frustrating concept called ‘doing your GCSEs’ exists. I’m trying to balance out blog-life, social-life and work-life all on top of revision and it’s proving a little tricky… Me time? What’s that? So, take this as a pre-warning; over the next few months you’ll be hearing a little less than usual from me. No worries, quantity may reduce but no way will quality be slipping!

This post, as many of you accustomed readers will know, is all about my favourite things for the upcoming month – the things you NEED to go and buy/do/wear. April’s, in tune with the current weather, is a lighter, brighter theme – products that will work even as it gets warmer. Enjoy!


Rosie HW for Autograph Creme Blush in Camisole Blush

To be honest, ‘celebrity’ lines aren’t usually high in quality when it comes to cosmetics – and I don’t particularly rate the Autograph make-up range anyway, so it was a fabulous surprise when this product actually turned out to be as good as high-end products like MAC Cremeblend Blush (£18.50). The formula is better than anything I’ve tried previously – Bourjois, MAC, Revlon. They’re all so ‘unblendable’ compared to this! This blush is a long-lasting, super easy to apply option, perfect for those who aren’t so confident as well as those who are. It comes in a range of 4 colours – Camisole Blush is a perfect coral-toned blush for fair skin – which all blend out to a silky, powder-like finish. I highly recommend trying this and I’ve heard that the lipsticks in this collection are equally as wonderful!

Decorative Hoops

Hoops? Meh… They’ve been around for ages. But dainty little hoops with decorations make the whole concept a lot more exciting! Perfect for the boho vibe of the warmer weather, just like the earrings below – a high-street option from Topshop. So, let your jewellery take centre stage this spring and get experimenting!

Hey Honey Good Morning Facial Serum

This came in my most recent Glossybox, as it’s supposed to be great for all skin types – even sensitive. Weirdly enough, one of my close friends, Grace, had recently been raving about the benefits of honey for the complexion and I was eager to give it a try. There’s no denying, this serum feels absolutely gorgeous on the skin. Also, using it along with my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (staring from £6) made a noticeable difference to the brightness of my complexion – people even commented that I looked healthier! For me, although it isn’t a miracle worker for my spots, I can see it being a favourite amongst many people without the issue of teenage skin. It’s nourishing, but non-oily properties make it a great option for a lighter, summer serum.

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Beyonce Ivy Park collection for Topshop

I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a clothing line, honestly – I mean it’s QUEEN B who wouldn’t be?! Beyonce has announced that her sportswear collection, ‘Ivy Park’, for Topshop will be released on the 14th of April. This 200 piece collection ranges from around £20 to £150; there’s something for every budget. In addition, she’s created leggings for every body shape and activity, low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise – HOW BLOODY AMAZING! Get ready for some serious shopping, girls, this is one thing you won’t want to miss.

Open-toe Boots

Although they may come across as slightly impractical (surely if you need boots on, you can’t afford to have your toes out?), I think that open-toe boots will be the item that get’s you through the winter-summer transition that we have here in the UK. I picked up these suede, chunky-heeled beauties from M&S for just £35, as I can wear them with pretty much anything – jeans, dresses, shorts. If you’re liking the sound of it, take a look at the following: Hustle Open Toe Boots (£85), Call It Spring Tan Boots (£40), Miss Kurt Geiger Saana Boots (£65).

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Paul Green Trainers

I recently came across this footwear brand in House of Fraser, whilst I was supposed to be looking for prom shoes but instead was drooling over super-cool trainers. I first became a little obsessed with the idea of dressed-up trainers when myself and my mum took a trip to London Fashion Weekend. Many designer brands have always had jazzed-up trainers in their collections, but the high-street hasn’t caught on until very recently. Hi-tops, low-tops all in muted pinks and blues with the occasional pop of colour… if you’re a fan of Superga or the new Reebok ‘Spirit’ collection, I can guarantee you’ll fall in love with Paul Green.

by Terry Sheer Expert

Alright, I’ve already raved about this in my Natural Beauty tutorial, but seriously, I can’t exclude it from the It List. Similar to a BB Cream, in the fact that it’s much less heavy than your average foundation. But there is absolutely no compromise on coverage or lasting-power (which, along with shade, was a bit of a problem with bareMinerals Complexion Rescue). Even if you prefer a heavier foundation for nights out or winter, this is totally the one to get you through the summer months. Believe me, I sat in Space NK and pretty much tried every foundation in there on my face; Nars, Hourglass, Laura Mercier, Shiseido, you name it, I tried it. But, this was a definite winner.

Macaroons

I’ve always loved macaroons, no matter how crazy expensive they can be to buy – I think they’re an ideal summer treat, as they’re not too stodgy or large. One of my best friends, Evie, frequently bakes (and will probably win GBBO one day) and made some gorgeous macaroons as cake decorations. And, well, I’ve fallen in love all over again. If you live in Norwich like me and love macaroons, I suggest you try Macaroons & More or Harriet’s Tea Room.

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 I hope you enjoyed this post and that I’ve given you a little April inspiration! What are you loving this month? Let me know below!

Emilia x

 

Benefit Minis: The Review

Back in the wonderfully-festive month of December, I received the aptly-named and quickly sold-out Benefit ‘Party-Poppers’ (£34.50) advent calendar. My mum decided, on impulse, that it would be a suitable thing to motivate me through my mocks and BOY was that a good decision. Normally, surprises can leave me feeling a little “Ohhh, that’s lovely…”- that feeling when you unwrap your fifth pair of fluffy socks on Christmas Morning, but this one I was truly excited about. 12 mini Benefit staples all for me to test out! Along with this, on Christmas morning, I was given the most adorable set of Benefit skincare minis (£18); and, what is a girl to do with a whole bunch of high-end minis? Test them out and blog about them of course!


 

BADGal Lash (£17.50) 6/10- A tapered, oversized wand with jet black mascara that’s intended for utmost volume. Benefit describe it as “brush-on falsies” and, well they don’t lie… really. It does give ridiculous volume, but wire mascara wands aren’t really for me; I find them way too clumpy – I’m a ‘definition’ kinda girl. So, not really my favourite mascara ever and I don’t think it’s worth the splurge, you may as well buy something like Soap and Glory Thick and Fast (£10) or Revlon Ultra Volume (£9.99) (part of their new ‘tailored-to-your-needs’ collection).

Highbeam Highlighter (£19.50) 9/10 – I genuinely love this liquid highlighter (the best of those I’ve tried so far); it gives a really natural highlight whether you’re wearing makeup or not, and is super easy to use. The only downside to this product is that it becomes pretty difficult to blend pretty quickly – it’s definitely a ‘bit-at-a-time’ application process, but using a brush like Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (£9.99). If you’re interested in seeing a swatch of this or Watts Up (soon to come), take a look at my post on my highlight collection.

Hoola Lipgloss and Sugarbomb Lipgloss (£14.50) 8/10 – Pretty damn expensive for a lipgloss in my opinion, although no different to the prices of other luxury cosmetics. Hoola and Sugarbomb are part of Benefit’s complimenting blush/bronzer and gloss collection, which is a wonderful idea. Both the most moisturising, least sticky lip glosses I’ve ever tried, however, I’m a bigger fan of Hoola due to it’s natural, nude tone. See it here in my Nudes and Corals post.

Rockateur Blush (£23.50) 7/10 – At a first glance this is a bit overly pink for me, but actually, when applied this is a lovely natural blush tone. I love wearing this to give my face some depth when I’m wearing minimal make-up, but it’s definitely not a long-lasting blush. Well, not compared to my crazy-pigmented Emite blush (€19) anyway!

POREfessional Primer (£24.50) 8/10 – Okay, fair dues, this works. Very well indeed. Any open pores are concealed instantly, but this primer is one of the balm-formulas that I, personally, really dislike the feel of. They make my skin feel a little grubby, to be honest, not what you want right before applying makeup. Instead, I highly recommend No7 Stay Perfect Shine Free Primer (£12.50), as it does a similar job.

They’re Real Tinted Lash Primer (£18.50) 10/10 – I absolutely adore this; it came free from an ELLE magazine a few months ago and I’ve literally used it every day since. Designed as the perfect base coat for They’re Real Mascara (£19.50) (the wand is identical), but I prefer it as a stand-alone product. This brown-toned primer creates gorgeously defined and natural lashes – it looks like you’ve had a real eyelash tint! By far my favourite Benefit mini from this collection.

Lollitint Lip and Cheek Tint (£24.50) 4/10 – Now, I’ve never used a liquid blush/cheek tint previously, so I could have been using this totally wrong, but somehow I don’t think so. According to Benefit, this is ‘build-able’ – I couldn’t disagree more. I applied a teeny bit of this product to the apples of my cheeks and immediately went to buff it out with my Expert Face Brush (£9.99), but it had stained already and become completely unblendable in a matter of seconds! It’s fair to say I looked like a genuine clown. Cream blushes like Rosie HW’s new English Rose Flush Cream Blush (£14) or Bourjois’ Blush Exclusif (£7.99) are much easier to use.

Watts Up Highlighter (£24.50) 7/10 – I ended up giving this away to one of my close friends, as she wanted to try it out before purchasing the full-sized product. It’s truly golden and has great pigmentation, but, unfortunately, it’s just the wrong shade for my ghostly complexion. Relatively easy to blend, but overall, not a stunner.

Ooh-la Lift Under Eye Brightener (£17.50) 9/10 – Admittedly, to begin with, I thought this product was a rather expensive and unnecessary addition to a make-up routine. Surprisingly, I couldn’t have been more wrong; Ooh-la Lift is subtle, but build able and is my secret to looking awake when I feel dead inside. Pinkish tones brighten up the under eye, and with a little Maybelline Fit Me (£5.99) or another creamy concealer over the top, you’re good to go.

They’re Real Mascara (£19.50) 9/10 – Almost as loved as the lash primer, but Benefit Rollerlash  (£19.50) remains my go-to mascara – nothing quite matches it’s defining and curling powers. They’re Real is just as defining and has a plastic wand too, although it’s more a length than a curl type of product. It depends what you want from a mascara really.

Total Moisture Facial Cream (£29.50) 9/10 – First of all, this smells absolutely gorgeous, as does the whole b.right range, however, it also has unbeaten moisturising powers. A thick, creamy moisturiser, it’s just the right amount of nourishment to keep winter dryness at bay without causing an outbreak of spots. This is the perfect cream to add to a night-time routine, but if you struggle with oiliness, pick an oil-free cream like Clarins Hydra-Matte Lotion (£28.00).

It’s Potent! Eye Cream (£25.50) 7/10 – Yep, it’s more nourishing than the facial cream, but it stings my super-sensitive skin (which is odd as none of the rest of this range does). I’ve tried much more soothing eye creams in the past, like Clinique All About Eyes (£26.50), for example, so I really don’t think this product is anything special.

Foamingly Clean Face Wash (£17.50) 8/10 – Again, a lovely scent, this creamy wash is perfect for removing all daily-dirt or even makeup. Although it’s not specifically targeted towards a certain skin type, every who tries it seems to love it, just like Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (£9.75). Creamy cleansers are generally best for dry skin, though.

Instant Comeback Facial Serum 6/10 – Whilst this doesn’t cause terrible breakouts or reactions and feels a little refreshing, it doesn’t really do anything in the long term. Clarins’ Mission Perfection Serum (£53) and the likes may be more expensive, but they do have an effect, so they’re far more worth it in my opinion.

Triple Performing Facial Emulsion Oil-free Moisturiser 7/10 – I’ve tried a few oil-free moisturisers throughout my teenage years to try and keep the oily parts of my combination skin at bay. Clarins and Clinique have proved to be the best so far and this just comes nowhere near them – also, it’s a total pain-in-the-arse to get out of the bottle.


 

What are your favourite Benefit products? Are there any that you’d love to try? Let me know in the comments below!

Emilia x

NYE Make-up Tutorial

As many of you followers would gather from the recent NYE fashion guide, I am a firm believer that NYE is the party night of the year; a night for going all out. So, today, I’m giving you the other side of getting ‘party-prepared’ – the make up. We’re going smokey eye, red lip, G-L-A-M! And don’t you worry, all products I use are listed within the tutorial steps below…

  • Obviously before you begin, ensure that your skin is freshly cleansed, toned and moisturised. At the moment I’m using the Benefit Totally B.Right! skincare set (£15.50) that I received for Christmas – Benefit promise that you can have your money back if you see no difference in 28 days, so I guess it must be good.

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  • A great base begins with a great primer (one of the major cosmetics lessons I learnt in 2015). I’ve been loving Emite Diamond Heart Illuminating Primer (£25.90), recently – it lights up your complexion whilst still banishing oil. This is what I am wearing in this look.
  • I’m sure you’ve all heard before, but I swear by bareMinerals Complexion Rescue (£26) in shade Vanilla (surprisingly my crazy-pale skin doesn’t even need the lightest shade!). As it is light coverage and perfect for sensitive skin, I find that it looks best when applied with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (£9.99).

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Now for the fun parts – contour, eyes and lips! I always like to contour first, so I can sort of ‘complete’ my base, then eyes, then lips.

  • First of all comes dark contour powder – NYX HD Blush in Taupe (£7.99) is the only contour powder not to transform my pale skin into ‘tangerines’ skin. It’s very cool toned, which is perfect for us fair-skinned ladies. I blend this in to the hollows of my cheekbones (top of ear to mid cheek) with Real Techniques Contour Brush (part of the Core Collection (£21.99)) and Real Techniques Sculpting Brush (£9.99), using circular motions.

  • Onto the eyes – I always begin with a base shade of W.O.S from the Naked Basics Palette (£23.00) and then I use Naked 2 from the same palette to begin contouring the eyes. For this particular look, I went for a dramatic eye look, so I contoured further with MAC Cork and MAC Aromatic eyeshadows. After this, I lightened the inner corners for my eyes once more with MAC Cozy Grey and MAC Kitties, then gently tapping MAC Creative Copper onto the centre of each lid. All of these shadows are from my MAC Amber Times Nine Palette (£30.00) and all were applied using brushes from Real Techniques Starter Set (£20.99).
  • Finally for the eyes, I do my brows. Starting with a coat of Miss Sporty Clear Mascara (£2.99) on them, I then start to fill them in using small, hair-like strokes of MAC Brow Pencil in Lingering (£14.00) (the perfect match for my hair colour). With the shape of my eyebrows now sketched, I darken the ends with NYX Brow Gel in Brunette (£5.50) on my Real Techniques Angled Brow Brush for further definition. However, only a very small amount of product and a light hand is required when using the NYX brow gels. They are the perfect dupe for Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade though! Once again, I coat my brows in clear mascara to keep them in place.

  • Almost finished now… but God forbid we forget the showstopper! A bright red lipstick. It holds the power to glam up ANY look. First of all I prep my lips using Lush’s Bubblegum Lip Scrub (£5.50) to ensure the best application of my chosen lipstick. Then, I line my lips using No7 Precision Lips Pencil in Red (£6.75) before applying Bellapierre Mineral Lipstick in Ruby (£20). This lipstick, which came in this month’s Glossybox is AMAZING – possibly the best formula I’ve ever used. It glides on effortlessly to create an even, gloss-like shade, moisturises the lips and doesn’t even come off after eating and drinking!

So, here’s the finished look…

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I hope this tutorial has helped you decide what cosmetics you’re choosing for NYE or any party occasion really! Are there any other products you’d recommend adding to a party-ready makeup routine? Have you created your own NYE makeup look? Let me know in the comments below!

Emilia x

Coconut Oil: Fab or Fad?

Over the past few months, I’ve heard endless compliments concerning coconut oil; it’s a skin-saver, hair-saver – you can even cook with it! So, I decided to order myself a free sample from Vita Coco themselves, the biggest high-street supplier of pure coconut oil (find them in Boots) to see if coconut oil really lives up to it’s reputation. P.S. if you love trying new beauty products, I highly recommend that you get yourself subscribed to Magic Freebies, so that you’re the first to know about exclusive health and beauty samples. Anyways, my two little sachets of extra virgin coconut oil arrived a few days later with vouchers (yay!) and ideas as to how to use it. Now, personally, I’m not much of chef; baking is more of my forte. For this reason, I’ve not yet had the chance to test out coconut oil’s power as a healthy-alternative frying agent. Instead, I’ve been focusing on it’s beauty benefits; hair, body, face. So, let’s get started with the reviews!

Hair

As Vita Coco suggests, just before bed I combed a grape-sized dollop of coconut oil through the ends of my dry hair. I then scooped my hair up into a bun and slipped on a hair turban to make sure all the goodness of the oil wasn’t simply transferred to my pillow. When I woke up in the morning, I hopped into the shower and washed out the excess oil with a quick shampoo – no conditioning necessary. Now, usually, without conditioner my hair is effectively a frizz-bomb, hence I was a little skeptical about the whole ‘no conditioner’ thing. However, upon spritzing some Toni and Guy Heat Protecting Spray and drying my hair –  my hair was the glossiest I’ve ever seen it! Not to mention incredibly soft. Admittedly, it stinks of coconut, but for most people that’s no bad thing! Coconut oil worked better for my hair than any expensive, ‘luxury’ oil like Macadamia Oil or Moroccanoil – so my first impression was pretty damn good. Also, it’s supposed to aid hair growth – and what girl doesn’t want that? Let’s see how it compares to my unrivalled Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment!

Face

Considering I’ve used oil-free moisturisers for the majority of my teenage years due to oil’s contribution to my spots, I didn’t have particularly high hopes for using pure coconut oil on my face. I simply applied a teeny pea-sized amount of Vita Coco to my palms and smoothed it across my cleansed complexion instead of using a moisturiser before bed. In the morning, my skin did appear a little more shiny that usual, no surprise, but it was dramatically brightened and softer than ever before. It feels like babies’ skin! For people with dry skin problems, I would strongly suggest adding coconut oil to your nightly skincare routine – but for us oily ones out there, it’s maybe a couple-of-times-a-month thing. Again, the outcome was WAY better than expected!

Body

I’ve sworn by Sanex and Cetaphil body washes and moisturisers for the past few years because my skin is soooo crazily sensitive, but recently I’ve tried a couple of new products. In winter my skin really suffers, it becomes  dry and itchy, so as part of my weekly moisture routine, I’ve been using coconut oil after a bath in Bomb Cosmetics Bath Brûlée (they contain shea butter, a moisturising ingredient that soaks into the skin whilst bathing). Honestly, I’ve seen such an improvement in my skin this year – it’s so much more comfortable, it looks and feels like healthy skin should! I know many girls that suffer from dry legs; and this would be the perfect fix for them. I urge you to try it ladies!

Overall, the things I loved the most about the use of coconut oil was it’s incredible softening properties, as well as it’s natural purity – making it ideal for sensitive skin. Other ways to use coconut oil include make-up remover, shaving cream, blending into smoothies for it’s weight-loss assisting properties, natural lip balm, stretch-mark/scar removal, tooth whitener, hair masks, tanning oil, dry feet treatment… The list goes on! I’ll definitely be trying it for some of these uses because the results so far are fab. Well done Vita Coco, you know what, I may just have to #SwearByIt !


 

Have you tried coconut oil? If so what’s your favourite use for it?Let me know in the comments below!

Emilia x

Drugstore Beauty Haul

So, as always, it’s Christmas, I’m practically broke and supposedly on a ‘spending ban’; for an evolving beauty addict like myself this basically means going high-street instead of luxury. As you’ll see below, spending bans and me don’t really mix too well… Anyway, this month, I had a bit of a splurge at Boots & Superdrug as a ‘go-me-I-did-all-my-exams’ celebration and I decided to try out the new high-street beauty products I’ve been wanting to test out for a while. I soon discovered that December is a wonderful time for high-street beauty spending; there’s so many deals on due to Christmas, I’ve got countless ‘free gifts’ and ‘3 for 2’s’! Take a look below for my full reviews on these top-trending cosmetics and skincare products…


 

Biore Charcoal vs Ultra Strips Set

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First of all, a big thanks to Bioré for sending me these adorable little nose-strip samples! I love trying out new skincare products for anything related to redness, sensitivity or spots so this was right up my street. I have never used a strip/sheet mask before so this was an exciting new venture for me; one tip though – read the instructions before use if you want to get the right results! This is my experience with the charcoal strip, a strip designed to remove oil and impurities as well as reduce pores:

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Sooo after cleansing my face, upon application, it felt like I had a bit of carpet stuck to my face, which was a bit odd in all honesty and nothing really felt like it was happening. As the instructions recommended, I left the strip on for about 12 minutes before attempting to peel off – this is where I began to really dislike the product… It was painful to remove, like REALLY painful! After finally peeling the strip off and wiping the remaining black gunky stuff off of my nose, I decided to take a closer look at my pores. Okay, they were smaller and okay my nose felt smoother, but this was not a ‘wonder product’ for me. My few blackheads were still noticeable and my nose was bright red for the next half an hour! Talk about festive! I had very high hopes for the Bioré charcoal strips, seeing as they are rather expensive, but they were a bit of a disappointment. Some change was notable but not enough for me to justify the price. I hope the Ultra strip works better than this one! Have you tried Bioré strips range? What do you think?


Make-up Revolution Palettes

Makeup Revolution are my go to brand for high-street eyeshadow; they’re products are so pigmented and incredible value for money. I own the Makeup Revolution Iconic 3 Palette, but I regularly buy other palettes for gifts (one was even included in my recent giveaway!) because I think they’re that amazing. I love the Sex Chromosome shade in the ‘Waiting’ Salvation Palette, it’s a gorgeous burgundy and that’s right on trend this winter. Don’t you worry I’ll be checking up on the recipients of these palettes to see what they think! If you’re looking for a Urban Decay Naked Palette or Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette dupe – Makeup Revolution is the one.


Make-up Revolution Setting Spray (£5.00)

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One of the rare Makeup Revolution products I own that isn’t an eyeshadow palette! Fixing sprays are becoming more and more common in the cosmetics world and are eventually creeping into high-street beauty brands, like L’Oreal and NYX (yay!). However, as part of a recent Makeup Revolution deal, you have to spend £8 with them to get a free 18 shade Salvation palette (worth £6), so this was my product that took me to £8, even though I didn’t SUPER need it… Whoops. Anyway, it’s good to try new things! Oil is a biiiig problem of mine when concerning the complexion; I get shiny really easily even though I also suffer from dry skin – how annoying?! With a spray, I felt that this would be a non-drying way of staying matte and made-up all day. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This spray does nothing but make me more oily and make me break out! I’d really love to find a fixing spray that works for me, but I’m scared to splash the cash on an Urban Decay one etc. if I get the same results as this one. Any recommendations ladies?

 


Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (£5.99)

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I’ve truly heard endless good things about this concealer; it’s coverage, it’s shade range, it’s airy feel, so this month, when I ran out of my beloved MAC Select Moisturecover (£15.50) concealer, I decided to turn to Maybelline for some assistance. Upon trying the shade Light 10 on in my local Boots, it became apparent that it was waaay too warm-toned for me, so I decided to order Fair 15, which is stupidly named as 15 is further down the shade scale than 10 yet Fair is the lightest shade! Also, as I found out, it’s pretty difficult to find Fair in store, hence why I ordered it in the end.

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Anyway, onto the actual product – here’s a swatch of Fair, shade 15. It still looks a little too warm-toned for my skin in this picture, but once blended in on my face, it doesn’t look unnatural. It has a creamy/liquid texture which enables in to be very blendable and not too drying on the skin, a bonus for winter time.

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Tah-dah! Here’s Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Fair 15 (£5.99) on my face. As you can see, it doesn’t look unnatural, but I have to wear it with a full face of makeup really, as it stands out against my bare skin. It’s not wonderful at covering blemishes due to the classic ‘spot was bright red, now is bright orange’ problem, but for under the eyes, this works wonders. Coverage is medium/heavy depending on if you build this product up, but it definitely has better coverage than my MAC Select Moisturecover (£15.50)! No streakiness whatsoever and it gives the illusion of awakened eyes (a thing of the past for GCSE/A-level students). The shade isn’t a perfect match for me, especially when I’m at my palest in winter, but I think this product is really good value for money, so yes I would probably repurchase it.


NYX Brow Gel (£5.50)

Although I swear by my MAC Brow Pencil in Lingering (£14.00) because I’m more of a natural brow gal and this is the perfect colour match for me. I decided it was time to try a new brow product because there’s all sorts of new creams, pomades, gels etc. and who doesn’t love a new possible-life-saver formula? As the loyal readers among you will know, NYX is one of my favourite ever high-street makeup brands; the liquid lipsticks being my favourite of their products (I own Transylvania, a lovely autumnal shade). It’s pretty easy to see why I wanted to try their brow gel, a supposed dupe of Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade ($18.00). I own the product in shade Brunette (worn in the Maybelline concealer review), a thick gel paste which dries to a matte, long-lasting stain of colour. However, you have to learn that a very minimal amount of product is needed to achieve a natural brow look; over do it and you’ll have slug-brows that last for days. (No worries, I made this mistake and they did come off eventually!) The shade Brunette is, surprisingly, still a little dark for my medium-brown hair, I may have to try out Blonde to see if this is in fact the right shade for me. I recommend applying the gel with an angled brow brush like this one with short, hair-mimicking strokes starting from the arch of your brow. Overall, I’m a big fan of this product; it provides easy and quick application and makeup that lasts all day – it’s a pretty great dupe for the ABH Dipbrow Pomade in my opinion! The only problem is that the colour’s not quite natural for me.


 What are your most recent high-street beauty purchases? What are your opinions on the featured products? I’d love to hear!

Emilia x

 

December It List

Halfway through December, an examed-out, exhausted girl looks at her phone screen and realises “OH BALLS! IT’S HALFWAY THROUGH DECEMBER AND I HAVENT PUBLISHED THE IT LIST!” In case you’re wondering, that girl is me. I’ve just finished doing my mocks at school, but there’s still lots of deadlines for coursework and stuff; it’s been a bit of a tiring term. So, unfortunately, because grades on paper matter more than doing something you love apparently, I’ve had to put blogging to the side a little. But, no fear, I can guarantee that over Christmas I will be blogging away my boredom, you’ll be sick of me by January. Anyway, here’s the It List for this month!


Vanilla Chai Tea 

One of those people who can’t cope without sugar in your tea? Yep me too. However, by complete impulse, I purchased this box of Vanilla Chai Tea from Tescos because it looked pretty (I’m a sucker for marketing, I know) and amazingly it totally removes the need for sugar! So, if you’re in need of a change, and a healthy one at that, which is rare around the Christmas season, I highly recommend you pick up one of these.

Sledging

Alright, this one is kind of in the hope that it snows this year… It hasn’t snowed well in my region for probably about 3/4 years now, but whenever it does, my friends and I return to small excitable kids, whip our sledges out and spend the day in the snow. There’s nothing like it – and with our classically British climate, snow is rare, so we have to make the most of it!

Toni N Guy Heat Protection Mist

As per normal, when I’m trying a new type of product I’m dubious; will it even do anything? This one, as I’ve discovered is a little gem! You know those girls you see on adverts with gorgeous shining locks, not a bit of grease or frizz in sight? Well this simple heat protection spray will bring you one step closer to that! My crazy-thick hair never seems to be happy, whether it’s winter or summer, it’s always too dry and blow-drying it never helps, so this product has been a bit of a star-find for me. Also, this came from a very affordable gift set!

The Purse Project

I recently came across this idea when scrolling through Twitter (which is approximately 90% of my day). Basically it involves filling an old unwanted bag with things such as festive foodie treats, sanitary products and little gifts and giving it to a homeless woman on the streets as a Christmas gift. I personally think it’s a wonderfully kind idea of what to do with stuff you don’t like/use and, of course, it could be adapted to suit men as well as women.

Bomb Cosmetics Choc Around The Clock Brûlée 

I’ve always purchased Lush bath products when in need of a bit of a pamper, simply because my local Lush store is right in the centre of the city. I do love the colours and scents of them, but none of them ever seem to do anything for my skin. I was expecting this little bath melt to be exactly the same, maybe even worse than Lush because it’s a less known brand – but oh how wrong I was! This rich chocolately-scented bath melt fizzes gently to produce a creamy colour in the water, then once you’re in, the cocoa butter content moisturises the skin. Afterwards the difference in your skin’s moisture levels is very noticeable, it’s fair to say I love it. If you’re suffering from the usual dry winter skin, get yourself one of these. Has anyone tried any other products from Bomb Cosmetics? What do you think of the brand?

Good Things Five Minute Facial Mask

I’ve mentioned this previously in a skincare post, but I hadn’t actually tried it until recently. Due to Christmas, I am now slightly, if not totally broke, so spending on myself has had to be reduced majorly. As much as I would have loved to repurchase the Clarins Pure and Radiant Face Mask, this one was a quarter of the price and contained similar ingredients. After all, if you don’t try new things, you’ll never discover some of the best products. Anyway, I’ve been using this green-clay-based mask around 3 times a week for the past 2 weeks now (my skin’s been awful so excessive use has been necessary) and I have to say, it is up there is the ranks. Maybe it doesn’t give you the same glow as Clarins and maybe I don’t love the smell as much, but it will do and it’s very good at minimising pores and drawing out impurities for it’s price (there’s £2 off at the moment too)! If you’re looking for a new bargain face mask to try on sensitive but troublesome skin – this is the one for you.

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Spotify

Music;  who doesn’t love it eh? With the high costs of iTunes these days, Spotify is my go-to alternative. With almost every song out there on here, you can create your own playlists, listen offline and even discover new music that Spotify caters especially for you. Can’t get enough of the new Bieber tracks? (Who would’ve though, eh?) Need a bit of Bublé in your life around Christmas time? Download Spotify. To add to this, Spotify currently have a deal on for you to get 3 months of Spotify Premium for just 99p – an unmissable deal when usually 3 months would cost £29.97!

notonthehighstreet.com

The perfect site for secret santa, personalised gifts or just something a bit different. You’ve probably heard me mention it millions of times before – and that’s because, it’s my go to gift-site. Alright maybe some things are a little overpriced, but others are great value; you just have to search for them. Also, there’s an option to search just UK brands – what better thing to do than support local businesses? Delivery is fast and there’s truly something for everyone. Make sure to check it out, particularly if you’ve still got some of that dreaded Christmas shopping to do!


 

What are you loving this month? Do you have any suggestions for things I need to try out?

Let me know below my lovelies,

Emilia x

The Sensitive Skin Struggle

Around a hundred years ago, skin was just skin, you washed it with a bar of soap or whatever and voila it was officially adequately cleansed. Moisturiser? Pfft what’s that? There was only a handful of foundation options, all in the same shade of course, and made a concoction of heavy elements that probably shouldn’t have ever been applied to the skin. As for the rest of it? Well you had a pot of ‘rouge’ for the cheeks and lips and that was about it. Fast forward a century and it’s a completely different ball game, with thousands of names in both skincare and cosmetics and a combined market of roughly £20 billion, it’s fair to say that times have changed. And with the growth of this industry has come diversity – foundation now not only comes in hundreds of different shades, but also brands, textures, packaging. However, the part I’m going to focus on today is how we’ve designed products for alternative skin types – we’ve recognised that we need different features in a product for different skin scenarios. I would describe my own skin as both dry and oily at the same time, redness prone and also extremely sensitive – i.e. incredibly annoying. This is very specific to me and I understand that only a handful of people will share my exact skin struggles, so I’m going to focus on one of these areas, which, in my opinion, is the most relatable as well as the most painfully difficult to cater for. That’s right, I’m talking about sensitive skin.

You know that feeling; you use a new moisturiser, it burns, a new foundation, it causes you rashes, a new cleanser, you look like a tomato. That, my loves, is life for someone with sensitive skin. It probably costs us more time and money than anyone else to find suitable skincare and cosmetic products – and that’s why I’m here to help today. Take a peek!


 

The Best Cleansers for Sensitive Skin

Comfort Zone Active Pureness Gel – £17.00

I discovered this whilst having a spa treatment at Ickworth House (a stunning place for a weekend away!) and I just adore the tingly cleansing feeling it gives and using a muslin cloth soaked in hot water to dampen the skin beforehand and remove the gel really helps give a deeper cleanse. Alcohol-free and using natural botanical extracts, Comfort Zone have created a cleanser which is capable of tackling blemishes but also being gentle.

Clarins Cleansing Milk with Gentian – £19.50

Effortlessly smoothes away make-up and anything else – you don’t even need a micellar water if you own this baby! Also, the milky lotion formula is incredibly gentle on the skin and leaves it feeling hydrated – although the gentian and other plant extracts ensure that this is an oil free cleansing milk for combination/oily complexions.

The Organic Pharmacy Rose Facial Cleansing Gel – £45.96

Another gel, I quite like these cleansing but not ‘disappearing’ or sticky textures. However this one is a TAD more expensive… There’s a reason why though, this cleanser is the most gentle that I know, has a scent to DIE FOR and really makes a difference to the brightness and plumpness of your skin. It feels like luxury. Thanks ELLE for letting me try this one! (A monthly ELLE subscription is a must if you’re obsessed with fashion and beauty.)

and the worst…

Garnier Pure 3 in 1 Wash Scrub and Mask – £2.53

Yes this deep cleans skin, but it leaves it feeling tight and uncomfortable whatever purpose you decide to use it for. I think this is because it contains a lot of salicylic acid to fight spots, but this actually dries out my sensitive skin. I wouldn’t agree that it alters skin tone or proneness to blemishes.

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Witch Oil Control Foaming Face Wash – £3.99

In my experience, Witch products are diluted tea tree oil and that’s all – you may as well go and buy some pure tea tree oil from The Body Shop (because that actually works)! This face wash is the worst I’ve ever used, no tingly feeling, no ceansing whatsoever, is just foams a tad and sinks into the skin with no effect.


 

The Best Moisturisers for Sensitive Skin

Clarins Gentle Day Cream for Sensitive Skin – £39.00

As recommended by a Clarins representative, this was my first ever Clarins product – and as you’ll soon gather, it seeded my love for this particular French brand. This is supposed to desensitise the skin with a few months use so that you can then move on to another moisturiser which is appropriate for your other needs. For example, after 6 months of using this, I now use Clarins Hydra-matte Lotion (£27.00, rather less expensive) for my combination skin.

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Light – £16.50

La Roche Posay is fast becoming one of my favourite skincare brands of 2015, clinically proven to be suitable and beneficial to sensitive-skinned individuals. Recently, I managed to get my hands on a tester of their Effaclar Duo [+], a pore unclogging, anti-blemish moisturiser/serum, I love it so far, but I’m yet to compare it with Clarins Mission Perfection serum. Anyway, Hydraphase is their range for dry sensitive skin, which I suffer from in winter due to the cold winds and central heating. It contains hyaluronic acid just like the REN Evercalm Anti-redness Serum mentioned later on, but around half the price!

Clinique Turnaround Daytime Revitalising Moisturiser – £30.00

This is my daily go-to moisturiser if I’m not wearing foundation. The consistency is perfectly creamy, but feels water-light and cooling upon application. Clinique are right up there in the skincare charts, for me; my mother has used the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel (£18.00) for literally years, although this is for less sensitive skin in my opinion, as it stings a little. Other ranges from Clinique that I would recommend are the Moisture Surge collection and All About Eyes. (Make sure you buy when there’s a Bonus Time deal on to get a handful of free testers!)

Malin and Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturiser – £37.00

The reason why this is so good for sensitive skin is the use of chamomile as a primary ingredient – this helps to soothe and calm areas of redness and sensitivity. Although this has a rather hefty price tag, it’s light, residue-free and so so refreshing (especially with their grapefruit based cleanser!). This is a relatively new brand to me, but so far so good!

and the worst…

Garnier Skin Moisture Match Goodbye Dry – £3.99

I’ve never found any Garnier products that wow me, to be honest, the 5 second blur primer is oily and does NOTHING, their BB cream makes me break out in spots and slides off of my face, so the fact that this moisturiser stung my skin is no real surprise. Garnier is not the one for sensitive skin, in my mind.

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Neutrogena Visibly Clear Oil-free Moisturiser – £4.19

I purchased this along with my Visibly Clear Pore and Shine Reducing Daily Scrub because I thought I’d give Neutrogena a try as it’s widely loved in the USA; although I am pretty fond of the scrub, I’m not a fan of this moisturiser as it really and I mean REALLY irritates my skin – making it burn almost! I’ll stick to Neutrogena’s cleansers and scrubs for now.

Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser – £1.29

Just like it says on the tin, this is a simple moisturiser. It’s not bad, but it’s not good; in other words, you can tell it’s cheap and there is must better out there – I was always a fan of Simple cleansers until my skin become more blemish-prone in my teenage years.


 

The Best Face masks for Sensitive Skin

Clarins Truly Matte Pure and Radiant Mask – £23.00

I find it odd that this is designed for oily skin, as I find it incredibly hydrating for my dry skin. It’s pink clay gives a seriously deep cleanse and refines pores like no other, skin feels baby soft upon removal due to the Linden extract in this mask which is designed to soothe the complexion. This is my No.1 face mask, it’s a shame it’s so expensive haha!

Boots Essentials Cucumber 3 Minute Clay Mask – £1.50 for 50 ml (that’s a cone of chips!)

Another clay hero, and it’s only £1.50 which is utterly amazing value. Cucumber is an ingredient that is frequently used in products designed to soothe because it’s full of moisture. This is most definitely for your shopping list next time you’re in Boots.

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Good Things 5 Minute Facial Mask – £5.99

This smells absolutely gorgeous with avocado and goji berry extract and, once again, clay. Developed by award winning beauty writer Alice Hart-Davis, Good Things contains the right mix of natural ingredients to simultaneously fight spottiness and nourish, qualities that are hard to find together. Great value and faultless reviews from everyone I know – it’s a must try.

and the worst…

Clarins Gentle Peeling Smooth Away Cream – £25.00

I tried this when I was relatively new to face masks and stupidly purchased it after one try. Ugh, I hate impulse! I don’t like how this mask rubs off in tiny bits – it’s like your skin’s falling off and it’s a little freaky actually, if not extremely messy. All that scrubbing also makes my skin all angry and it never fully comes off, it’s like face-glue! Considering that this is a Clarins product, I expect much better.

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Montagne Jeunesse Peel Off Masks –  £1.00 for 1 sachet

These are the face masks that you probably used to use at girly sleepovers when you were about 11 years old, and there’s a reason for it. They’re cheap, they’re cheerful and they’re crap. No cleansing feeling is present whatsoever, it’s a bit like PritStik-ing your face for the fun of it.


 

The Best SERUMS for Sensitive Skin

Clarins Multi-active Skin Renewal Serum – £36.95 at allbeauty.com

For some reason it appears that Clarins have recently discontinued this one, as it is not available on their own website anymore. I’ve got no idea why –  it’s wonderful! A great night time serum for extra moisture and I’ve noticed that it helps to soothe redness and blemishes overnight. Skin undoubtedly feels plumper too.

Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum – £16.66

This one is mainly focussed on moisturising, so if that’s your biggest issue then this one’s for you. Indeed Labs thrives off innovation by combining science and skincare, so good bye skincare of the past! Also, this serum retails at around half the price of most others, so if it gives the same, or even better results for you, like it did for me, it’s a no brainer. Pop to your local Boots today to pick up a tube!

REN Evercalm Anti-redness Serum – £28.00

With a special ingredient called Beta-Glucan this serum soothes redness like no other, whilst hydrating with hyaluronic acid. Redness and dryness are often the two main side-effects of having sensitive skin, I know I definitely suffer; so this product is wonderful for me as it targets them both head on. The whole of the Evercalm (previously Hydra Calm)  range is very good for sensitive skin, but the new pump can be a bit of an issue when the product is low.

and the worst…

The issue here is, I’ve never come across any serums that I’ve particularly disliked, you see. Every one I’ve tried has improved my skin rather drastically, so I can’t really comment on any bad ones. What I can say, however, is that if your skin is uneven in pigmentation as well as sensitive, I highly recommend Clarins new Mission Perfection serum (£53.00); I love it.


 

The Best Foundations for Sensitive Skin

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 16.51.59bareMinerals Complexion Rescue – £26.00

By far the best moisturising foundation that I have ever come across – 215% increase in skin hydration in just one week; I don’t even use a moisturiser when I wear this (although a primer is necessary). Yet, here’s the best part, YOU STILL DON’T LOOK OILY! Furthermore, bareMinerals are a brand renowned for their use of pure and natural ingredients, hence being very popular among sensitive skin sufferers. This has lasted me 4 months so far and no signs of emptiness whatsoever – I’m very impressed. Has anyone tried any of their setting/loose powders? I’d love to hear your opinions on them.

 

MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation – £29.50

Upon having my make-up done at MAC for a birthday treat (this is an excellent gift for any make-up lover as the cost of the session can be redeemed in MAC items) from Evie, this was the foundation that the make-up artist recommend for me when I told her my skin issues and needs.  This gives a lovely light-medium coverage and lasts ages, but wasn’t quite moisturising enough for me and a little ‘flat’. Not my favourite for the hefty price tag, but doesn’t cause sensitive skin to flare up at least!

Diorskin Nude BB Cream – £30.00

This is my best friends ‘luxury’ foundation, she uses MUA Undress Your Skin Illuminating Foundation (£5.00) as her everyday alternative. However, she’s been generous enough to let me try her Dior one out a couple of times and, I have to say, I’m impressed. If your skin is sensitive, but you still like medium coverage, I’d say this is the one to go for. It feels like velvet on application and gives a gorgeous glow. My only problem with this product is the range of shades it comes in; FOUR! Are we in the early 1900’s?!

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser – £28.90

For a good year or so, this was my holy grail; I adored it. Totally moisturising and just the right amount of coverage for me – I wish I would have tried the oil-free version, however. To this day, I still love Laura Mercier cosmetics, especially for the base, but Complexion Rescue is simply better than this, in my opinion. Also, this somehow had a tendency to explode every time I got on an airplane…

and the worst…

L’oreal Nude Magique Eau De Teint – £10.00

I received this as a tester from Elle magazine in summer 2014, when it was new out and I immediately loved how it felt and looked on my skin; even my dad complimented me on it and that’s unheard of! It really does give the no-makeup feel, which is usually a sign that a product is good for sensitive skin, but after just 15 minutes my skin began to itch and it left me looking like  I’d coloured my entire face in with red Crayola when I took it off! Such a shame, but if you haven’t got such sensitive skin, I’d highly recommend this product.

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream – £28.00

This is another product which I had to try IMMEDIATELY when it was released and seeing as I love the rest of Clinique’s Moisture Surge collection (the eye cream is amazing), I thought that this would be great. Oh how disappointed I was when I tried it! No matter how much blending, it remained streaky and didn’t seem to moisture my skin at all, only make it look oily. Also, the shade range is awful for anyone with extremely pale or dark skin! This is a no-go, especially for £28.

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse – £7.69

Well, for starters, I would say this foundation is less of a dream and more of a nightmare. Talk about suffocating your skin! The much-loved ‘cake-it-on’ foundation by the girls who think that makeup is more of a theatre mask than a natural enhancement, once on your skin, this feels nothing like airy mousse and more like mortar.


 

What are your recommendations for sensitive skin? Have you found this post helpful? I’d love to know, leave a comment below!

Emilia x

What’s On My Birthday List This Year?

As much as I love surprises, I find that my friends and family whinge at me an awful amount if I don’t give them some sort of guidance towards what I would like for birthdays/christmases. Honestly, opening gifts that I have no idea what they are is much more fun for me than opening stuff which I’ve instructed people to buy me. However, I usually have to settle for somewhere in between. I’ve decided to share this with you guys because, well it’s my 16th in just two days and why the hell not! Now, I know that this is a stupidly long/expensive list, but the point is that I’m still surprised by what is bought for me (because to expect to receive all of it would be mad).

Earrings (I love the Lisa Angel ones)

After finally ‘manning-up’ and having my ears pierced this summer (which, by the way, was so painless, that I now want my seconds done) – I am obsessed with adorable little earrings. I’ve mentioned it previously – but simple, geometric shapes scream style to me. It’s not all about the glitz and glam when it comes to jewellery – although, as you’ll soon see, I have fallen in love with yet another pair of Vivienne Westwood earrings… Whoops.

Olay Regenerist 3 Point Super Cleansing System

As I’ve gone into my teenage years, my skin has become more and more combination – dry but spotty! What a pain! However, I found out earlier this year (thanks to Neutrogena) that exfoliating actually does my complexion wonders, and I feel as if this would be the perfect product to assist me with my regime. It’s at the lower end of the ‘cleansing brush’ market, at around half the price of Clarisonics and Foreos. But, as I’ve discovered from the reviews, each product, no matter how expensive, has similar varied reviews. Some people love them, some people claim they do nothing but irritate their skin. So, if your going to give these pieces of beauty tech a trial, I’d suggest going for the cheaper option, such as this Olay brush.

Benefit Roller lash

I’ve had the teeniest tester of this (thanks ELLE Magazine!) for about 6 months now; I just can’t admit to myself that it’s practically empty. I love it too much. Giving my lashes the perfect curl, separating each one and and overall flattering natural look – I have never loved a mascara more. Personally, I’d put this over Benefit They’re Real any day.

Clarins Mission Perfection Serum

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Whilst trialling this when making another order from Clarins, I was stunned to see that it actually did what it was supposed to. I mean, you’d expect it to for it’s hefty price tag, but still WOW! It smoothed my skin and the evenness of my skin tone was like never before – for someone with such pale skin, this is a big problem for me. Hence, I’d love to treat myself to a high-end product, especially seeing as it’s my birthday.

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blusher in Truth/Angel

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Confession: I am actually AWFUL at applying blusher. One minute there’s too little on my cheeks and the next I’m looking like a clown having a hot flush. Bourjois Blush Exclusif helps me a little with this issue, but I think a super-blendable liquid blush could be perfect for me.

Topshop Cable Knit Scarf in Mustard

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I am a rather avid scarf collector too – my favourite’s got to be my vintage Salvatore Ferragamo scarf, but it’s just not practical for winter – so I’ve decided I need a fashionably-tasselled, chunky winter scarf to add to the collection! And what better than a reasonably priced Topshop one.

Ecote Sherpa Gilet

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I’ve always wanted a sherpa jacket – think classic aviator, but the camel tones and shape simply don’t suit me. So, I’ve opted for this mix of a sleeveless jacket and an aviator jacket in a wear-with-anything black shade. Also, it’s not RIDICULOUSLY expensive, like many other suede and sherpa jackets. And the sherpa is fake, so it’s animal friendly (which is extremely important to me)!

Vivienne Westwood Candy Earrings Light Topaz

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OKAY, maybe Connor did only just buy me one pair of gorgeous Viv Westwood earrings, but these are new season and they’re stunning! Gold-tones to suit super-fair or super-dark complexions and a modern ‘climber’ style – and at only £55 I NEED THEM!!

Next Crombie Coat in Blue

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I’ve been swooning over this coat for ages now, the colour just suits me so well and it looks much more expensive than it actually is (£65). Hopefully, people have got the message from my frequent stroking of this coat when I see it in Next stores that I simply cannot live without it…

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Miracle Complexion Sponges and Stippling Brush

There has come a time when my Boots foundation brushes that I used when I was 12 to badly apply Dream Matte Mousse foundation just don’t cut it anymore. The MAC set which I received last year for Christmas has helped me with applying my make-up well, but I’ve heard great things about these three Real Techniques products in particular. I’d love to give a few of them a try.

Hollister Supersoft Knit Jean Leggings in Medium Wash

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Fact of life: I cannot wear jeans since I’ve discovered jeggings (aka the most comfortable trousers in the world). I practically live in my Uniqlo jeggings and Hollister jeans are of great quality –  so what better purchase to make than Hollister Jean Leggings?!

Mac Honeylove

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I adore my MAC ‘Kinda Sexy’ Lipstick and MAC Subculture Lipliner which Evie bought me for Christmas last year (check out Ev’s new blog at www.evieoliverphotography.wordpress.com and Honeylove is a similar, but more natural tone for my ghostly pale skin. I need to keep searching for the perfect nude lipstick (the new Rimmel collection is on my hitlist too!).

A record player

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I love music and gigs, but I just don’t listen to music enough! I feel as if a cheap-ish record player and a couple of my favourite albums on record could get me dancing and singing around my room again.

What do you think of my selection? Do you have any recommendations?

And, of course I’ll be letting you guys know what I actually get for my 16th asap, but for now, I’m off to enjoy my last couple of days as a 15 year old…

Emilia x