6 June 2018

TRYING US DRUGSTORE MAKEUP // MILANI HIGHLIGHTER PALETTE + FOUND BAKED BLUSH // FIRST IMPRESSIONS


This might be a slightly disjointed way to begin a makeup review but heck, I'm going to start here. I'm from a small family, really small. There aren't many of us and we're all spread out far and wide. I always joke that if I were to get married, my side of the venue would have no more than 8 people there max. When I was younger I always yearned to be apart of one of those big families where you're best mates with your cousins and you have an army of siblings. Maybe a large Walton-esc family will be a new legacy I'll try to initiate if I someday start my own family. And whilst it has been difficult having one portion of my small family based over on the East coast of America, when I do see them, we always have the best time. 

I saw my Aunt and my cousin a few weeks ago, they came to visit me here in Liverpool and we discussed at length the uncanny parallels between my 'borrowed' city, Liverpool and their city, Boston. My Aunt, who also shares an appreciation of makeup and beauty rituals, very kindly brought me over a few US drugstore makeup products to try, a few of which you'll see today and some in next week's post. 

First impressions of the found baked illuminating blush...


So let's start with found. Inspired by natural ingredients from around the world, found products are formulated with natural botanicals and good-for-you-ingredients that are never tested on animals *yay.* I love what this brand is about, I love their packaging and their classic, simple branding.

Their pricepoint (in dollars) sits around the L'Oreal, Revlon mark - a mid-weight drugstore product in terms of price. I have been trying out the Baked Illuminating Blush with Rosehip Oil which retails at Walmart for $8.80 (about £6 in GBP.)


This is an illuminating blush that gives you a seriously healthy glow all thanks to a mineralised mix of pretty pink and subtle gold pigments. This is perfect for summertime when you want that 'Just stepped off the beach' glow without looking like Aunt Sally. I have the shade '70 Pink Glow' and it works really well when I'm wearing a slightly more tan foundation, and when I'm paler. There is a subtle shimmer to the formulation, but nothing too Edward Cullen-esc, don't worry. Do I recommend it? 110%!


First impressions of the Milani 'Stellar Lights' Palette...

If Angels could sing RN! The Milani Stellar Lights palette in the 'Rose Gold' variant is a palette that really packs a punch! Just look at that glow! If you're looking for buttery soft highlighters that are boosted by fabulous pigmentation, then you HAVE to get your hands on these highlighter shades. 




Another cruelty-free brand, I have seen Milani absolutely killing it with some of their eye palettes in particular. Retailing at $13.00 or just under a tenner in GBP, you get 3 large pans of micro-milled product. Perfect for creating a number of warmer looks, I have been alternating between the peachy shade and the frosty white shade. Shade number 3, which is redder in tone looks really gorgeous on the eyelids if you're a pale gal with light eyes like myself. First impressions? Milani are bang on the money with this beauty!


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31 May 2018

THE MAY '18 EDIT // MONTHLY BEAUTY FAVOURITES AND POP CULTURE LOVES


May.
May has been excellent. The weather has been glorious and there have been a few things going on behind the scenes in my life that have made everything that little bit sweeter! No actually, a lot sweeter! Yay! Amongst all this, I've had some lovely moments with my family and friends and really, really appreciate the little nucleus of good eggs I have around me. Oh, and we got a new addition to the family, little Muffin the hamster - Naw.

And whilst there have been some not-so-peachy situations i.e my leg swelling and expanding to four times its size thanks to a bite and a violent infection and a totally unnecessary and cruel occurrence happening to one of my most cherished family members, May has truly been a dream. Thanks, May.


Watching. Reading. Listening to and more.
Reading.

Like many people, on May 25th, I was avidly following the #hometovote hashtag all day. The masses of emotional tweets and videos showing people travelling from far and wide to vote in the 8th amendment referendum got me so, so choked up! I particularly loved the Grandad's and the sheer solidarity from Ireland's sisters was incredibly moving. Great result for Ireland repealing the 8th amendment, but now change must come for Northern Ireland also.

Did anyone catch this article where Ikea ran an experiment asking people to verbally 'bully' one plant for 30 days and give compliments to another plant? Both plants were identical and given the same amount of space, food and light however, the results were truly astonishing. They say talking to plants helps them grow, but I sure wouldn't have the heart to say mean things to a plant, especially knowing the effects it has on them! Let this be a lesson of how we speak/treat ourselves and others!


Watching.

For the last portion of the month, my leg resembled a cartoon meat bone all thanks to an infected bite. Well, of course, a lot of resting and leg elevation ensured my TV schedule was duly fulfilled. I loved the newly formatted 'Who wants to be a millionaire' hosted by Jeremy Clarkson. I genuinely found myself doing better than half of the contestants on there, maybe i'll apply if it comes back again!

A few compelling pieces of television that I enjoyed were: '24 hours in police custody' - such a powerful piece of telly and a huge educational piece surrounding social services, alcoholism and mental health. I won't give too much away regarding what happens in the case, but it was such a difficult case to make your mind up about.

On Netflix, I've watched The Rachel Divide, a documentary centred around Rachel Dolezal an activist who caused a national debate over her self-identification as an African-American woman, when she was actually born Caucasian. Boy has this woman caused people's minds to be bent in a direction they've never been pulled before. In a world where people are becoming freer than ever before to identify and live as they wish, Rachel Dolezal opened up dividing opinion/debate on what exactly it means to identify as a particular race. I found this fascinating and I'll be honest, lies aside, I felt sorry for her. I was particularly moved by the story of her early home life. I've since read that Rachel is living off food banks and is extremely poor following the public exoneration of her name. Jon Ronson's legendary book 'You've been publicly shamed' comes to mind.

I've also watched 'Evil Genius' dubbed to be the next 'Making a Murderer' and again, what a show and what a truly bizarre state of affairs. The story begins with the barbaric death of a pizza delivery man who robs a bank with a collar bomb strapped around his neck and from then on in, the story unravels getting weirder and weirder. It's hard to believe situations like this one are cooked up and played out. There are some truly twisted people in the world.

And of course, what May 2018 favourites would be without an honourable mention towards the Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan. I'll keep this brief but I thought Meghan's mum, Doria Ragland was so composed, dignified and effortless throughout and it was so moving seeing Meghan walk a portion of the aisle alone - in all honesty it did make me feel a bit sad for her, but if that isn't a huge step forward for the British Monarchy and having someone like Meghan a lead member of the Royal Family, then I don't know what is! I think Diana would have been so chuffed her legacy and wave making is having an affect even to this day!


Listening.

For some reason, over the last couple of weeks i've been on a total binge of anything to do with the iconic and jaw-dropping 1994 OJ Simpson case. Absorbing content that explores the case and the horrendous double murder of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman led me to Kris Jenner's 2011 memoir, All things Kardashian which I found oddly interesting. Sure, there's not much about that family we don't already know, but I have to say, I enjoyed hearing about Kris' life prior to KUWTK and I have all these images of her as a glam Beverley Hills housewife in the 80s.



Beauty Favourites.
This months beauty faves are taking a slightly different guise as I am talking about individual products which are apart of a wider concept - Latestinbeauty.com. Sure, I thought I was over the beauty subscription box concept too, that was until I discovered more about this particular box and what sets it apart in a saturated market.

What I like about this beauty subscription box is that there are a few of different options you can choose from to get your beauty fix. You can purchase 'one-off boxes' which are curated by a particular brand or organisation i.e The Eve Appeal box, or you can choose from one of three subscription deals including:
  • The 'Beauty Novice' box - £9 per month for 3 of your chosen products, or £16 as a one-off purchase
  • The 'Beauty Enthusiast' box - £15 per month for 6 of your chosen products, or £22 as a one-off purchase
  • Or the box I have, The 'Beauty Guru' box -£18 per month for 9 of your chosen products or £25 as a one of purchase 
Latest in Beauty also have this nifty little tool to help you personalise your box based on your answers to a few short questions. This is especially good, if like me you are super indecisive. As you can see my 9 products are pretty skincare heavy and I have to say I really was spoiled for choice, the LIB range is great! You also can add on a 'Latest in Beauty' makeup bag to house all your new goodies in, so this makes for the perfect treat for yourself or someone sassy.


And whilst i've only been trialling and testing my new products for a week or so, for me, so far stand out products include the Tropic Super Greens Serum, the Weleda Skin Food (Apparently a fave of Alex Chung and VB) and the Paula's Choice Clinical Retinol Treatment - I mean it when I say, my skin never looked so good!





* Post contains gifted items from Latest In Beauty
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27 May 2018

MY LATE SPRING TIME BEAUTY ESSENTIALS // MAKEUP & BEAUTY FOR SUNNY WEATHER


Here in the UK, the weather in May has been an absolute joy, and if 'summer' never arrives in July or August, I'll feel satisfied that we haven't been cheated of some good weather in 2018. And whilst my beauty routine consists of nothing more than a generous application of sunscreen and a dab of Olay tinted moisturiser when the temperatures rise, for those relaxing evenings sat outside with a gin and tonic in the garden, or a sunny stroll through the woodlands, there are a few products that I call upon time and time again to make me feel 'pulled together' without worrying I'll sweat them all of from the moment I step outside.

Late spring beauty essentials...


Nails.
There's nothing nicer than slipping into a pair of your favourite sandals and feeling confident that your feet don't look horrendous. And if like myself, you don't have time for a proper pedicure, a steady hand with the nail polish is all you need.

My favourite nail colours and formulas this season are from trusty Rimmel London. Available at supermarkets and drugstores such as Boots + Superdrug, they're so cheap you won't feel guilty about swapping and changing your shade as the range of colours is super extensive. My current faves are; 'Lose your lingerie' (HORRENDOUS name) and 'Coral Queen' which looks particularly good on your toes!


Scent.
I love fresh scents in spring, how original of me, I know. My current favourite squeeze is Eau Dynamisante by Clarins. An icon in its own right, since hitting the shelves in 1987, this is a firm favourite with many people. It's fresh and it acts as a tonic for the skin, especially good after a hot day sitting outside in the sunshine. With citrus, herbal and fresh spicey notes, this is definitely a fragrance that will transport you to a place of utter contentment in an exotic spa. 


Lips.
Whilst I'm very rarely seen without a bold lip, my choice of pink, coral or red lipstick amplifies to full voltage when the sun makes an appearance. I am currently flittering between a punchy, raspberry pink and a loud shade of orange.

The pink is the iconic stalwart 'Cherries in the snow' by Revlon which I have since learned has been discontinued from the normal Revlon line wtf? Say it isn't so. But I have found it is now, along with 'Fire and Ice' a part of their 'Live Boldly' line. Phew. This is one of Revlon's most iconic lippies with an illustrious history which I talked about in this post. The formulation is out-of-this-world, creamy and insanely pigmented. And finally, my favourite orange lipstick, the L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Addiction in '227 Hype' - perfectly pigmented and the staying power on this pocket rocket is INSANE! Looks great with no makeup, makeup, or just a swipe of shimmery bronzer. I particularly like wearing this with my oversized, yellow sunnies from Polaroid




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