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Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel is a standard non-foaming gel cleanser for normal to oily skin, detergent-based and water-soluble. While grapefruit and papaya do not have exfoliating properties as claimed (and can, in fact, be skin irritants), I found this cleanser to be a joy to use. It smells fresh, cleanses the skin incredibly well, removing make-up and dirt without drying the skin and causing it to feel tight; it cannot be used to remove eye make-up as it's quite irritating, although the overall cleanse it provides is more than thorough. I originally paired this with the Mario Badescu Cucumber Make-Up Remover Cream and later switched to using virgin coconut oil, and the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel worked well with both providing a double cleanse that left the skin feeling fresh and clean. I'd definitely suggest this as a budget friendly option that doesn't compromise on effectiveness and I would certainly repurchase again.

Every Day

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I've really been putting a dent in the Bobbi Brown Rich Chocolate Palette, using it almost daily to create a soft, natural finish; I pair light fawn shades and subdued pinks for a look that is just so perfect for at home and in the office.

Le Blanc De Chanel creates a soft focused based that blurs imperfections and creates a beautifully illuminated glow that shines through the sheer coverage of Chanel Vitalumière Aqua. I blend the tiniest amount of Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer into the skin to conceal and correct. I fill my brows in with Rich Chocolate from the Bobbi Brown Palette; using Frappe, a fawn shade, all over the lid blending out at the edges for a soft, subtle finish. I line the eyes using the Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in Espresso Ink and give the lashes a light coat of mascara. Rimmel Santa Rose gives the cheeks a gentle flush of natural peach toned pink and with Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight Celestial Powder swept across the cheekbones, this creates a light, fresh, radiant finish. Finally I apply Rimmel Notting Hill Nude, a subtle natural shade of pink that is comfortable enough to wear all day.

What's In My Bag

Monday, January 27, 2014

Since I Met You

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I have a large pin board where I hoard little pieces of everything from ticket stubs to photographs to postcards and stickers; I have little scraps of paper hanging there like giant pieces of confetti, all reminding me of what I did the past few years. Recently I took everything down since it was overflowing and threatening to fall to the floor; I went through every tiny scrap, every picture and postcard pinned there and put them all in a box. I recalled everything from when we first met, to our first holiday in Berlin, when we visited museum exhibitions and art galleries, and our trip to Paris, I remembered the dinners we shared and the train journeys we took.

The board is empty and I am excited to see what the next year brings.

What To Wear #3

Saturday, January 25, 2014

bag | dress | necklace | ring | shoes | varnish

A few things to wear with the Ida necklace.

{ more things to wear }

Tone It Down

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Now the time to celebrate is over I've been reluctant to let the dramatic bronze metallic shades and dark lips go, instead I've replaced it with this toned down version that looks just as pretty but is far more appropriate for the gloomy months.

I pair Le Blanc de Chanel together with the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder to create fresh, healthy looking skin, using YSL Touche Eclat to lighten and highlight key areas. NARS Penny Lane produces a subtle warmth to the cheeks, which is a soft, natural nude-peach shade. From the Inglot Freedom Palette I apply 402, blending outwards a little and then reapplying to the center of the lid for a boost of colour; I apply Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara for long, well defined lashes. For the lips I use Korres Lip Butter in Wild Rose, which can be built up to create a gorgeously deep red shade or worn lightly for a slight flush of colour.

In The Morning

Monday, January 20, 2014

I'm such a slowpoke in the morning; even though I have a full hour between waking and leaving the house, I still manage to dawdle, bleary eyed, through my morning routine. So I like to keep things as simple as possible without compromising on quality when it comes to morning skin care.

I haven't quite got the hang of incorporating a regular toner into my routine so the Oqibo Purifying Cleanser & Toner takes the thinking out of it. If I have time I apply a little La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, otherwise I skip straight to moisturising with the Vichy Idealia Smoothing & Illuminating Cream, which has a fast absorbing lightweight formula making it ideal for daily use. After applying make-up I use a little Smith's Rosebud Salve for a simple, fresh look and finally apply The Body Shop Almond Hand Cream, an important final step especially in winter time.

Note To Self #4

Friday, January 17, 2014

mask | oil | spray | varnish | liner | serum

Since vowing to use everything up I'm all out of certain products and in need of some skin care replacements. I've been using coconut oil as a cleanser for a little while now but I'd like to try cold pressed virgin coconut oil; the RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream looks wonderful and comes highly recommended. I've wanted this Cattier Pink Clay Mask since forever, it's not available in the UK so either I pay extra to get it shipped over or I find a suitable replacement. I'm all about making my skin look brighter, healthier, and clearer so I'm looking out for Vitamin C products like the Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum.

I'm also in need of a couple of make-up substitutes; since receiving a sample of KMS Makeover Spray in a Birchbox no other touch-up/restyling spray has been as good so I'm finally ditching Batiste. While the black Maybelline Gel Liner is fantastic the brown version isn't so great, I think I'm going to try the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Liner instead.

This last one is a "I totally don't need this but I want it" product; the Christian Dior Nail Glow looks super pretty and I can't help but feel I would love it as much as the Christian Dior Lip Glow. I haven't purchased anything frivolous in a while so maybe this is it..

{ more things to buy }

Vichy Idealia Smoothing & Illuminating Cream

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Vichy | Idealia Smoothing & Illuminating Cream*

Vichy Idealia Smoothing & Illuminating Cream aims to transform skin by reducing pigmentation, concealing wrinkles, correcting uneven skin tone, and providing a radiant, illuminated glow. This moisturiser contains Kombucha, which is said to refine and promote vitality; combined with smoothing AHAs and polyphenols to boost circulation, healthier looking skin is achieved through regular application. The sweetly fragranced and aerated gel texture of this lightweight cream helps it to melt into the skin, rehydrating and creating soft skin with a youthful appearance.

I am a huge enthusiast for Vichy products since their formulas are often lightweight, easily absorbed, and noncomedogenic. The Idealia series really does help skin to appear more naturally radiant with a softer, smoother texture, and youthful appearance. I found the Vichy Idealia Smoothing & Illuminating Cream was quickly absorbed providing a smoother more even skin tone, which instantly appeared refreshed and renewed, leaving it feeling cooled and soothed.

It's always super exciting to discover a product that actually lives up to its claims when so many others are such disappointments. If you're looking for a lightweight, every day moisturiser that will smooth out skin texture and correct light blemish pigmentation, with the added benefit of illuminating then I couldn't recommend Vichy Idealia Smoothing & Illuminating Cream enough.

Vichy Idealia BB Cream

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Vichy | Idealia BB Cream*

Vichy Idealia BB Cream is designed to illuminate, hydrate and smooth the complexion while refining the skin's texture and correcting discolouration. The formula works to boost luminosity in the skin, protecting from the sun with SPF25 and advanced UVA/UVB protection. Vichy Idealia BB Cream is available in two shades both of which are said to be suitable for all skin types and provides extremely light coverage.

The cream applies smoothly, feels light on the skin, and smooths out to create a perfectly soft, matte finish giving an instantly illuminated appearance to the complexion. As with the Vichy Idealia Life Serum, the Vichy Idealia BB Cream made my complexion appear less tired and drawn, creating a more radiant, awakened appearance to the skin. It covers absolutely nothing and instead works more towards smoothing and illuminating than covering and concealing.

For anyone with a 'normal' complexion with few skin complaints, this is a wonderful tinted moisturiser with the added benefit of providing a sheer radiance. But all is not lost for those of you with combination, oily, or excessively dry skin types; Vichy Idealia BB Cream can be worn alone as a straight up BB cream or underneath other products, in which case it would make the most beautiful base or primer for make-up.

I would totally recommend Vichy Idealia BB Cream to anyone looking for an extremely light, multi-purpose product since it works so beautifully at creating a naturally glowing, youthful appearance to the skin.

Old Favourites

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

mascara | blemish treatment | lipstick | primer | moisturiser

Max Factor Masterpiece Max
While I don't always use Max Factor Masterpiece it's the one mascara I faithfully return to time and time again. Either Masterpiece Max or the standard Max Factor False Lash Effect produce long, fluffy lashes without causing mischief on the face. As much as I've enjoyed using Origins Ginzing for the past few months, I have to say the results are the same as either of these alternatives so why pay more?

La Roche-Posay A.I.
I won't ever shut up about how La Roche-Posay A.I. changed my life. Cystic spots don't scare me anymore as a dab of this helps eliminate them almost overnight. You can read my adoring review for more information on how wonderful this product is, I wouldn't be without it anymore.

Christian Dior Lip Glow
If I could only have one lipstick, this would be it. Christian Dior Lip Glow works with everything, producing a wicked tint unique to each individual. If I'm undecided on colour or just want something easy to wear, this is what I throw in my bag and often it's left there indefinitely.

MAC Painterly
I use MAC Painterly as an eye lid primer or base and sometimes as a neutral finish for lazy make-up days. The dull pink tone evens out skin tone, laying a foundation that helps colour to stick around all day, and shows shades off to their full potential.

Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Comfort Balm
I have yet to find a moisturiser that is as lovely as Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Comfort Balm; this moisturiser is light, non-greasy, quickly absorbed, and totally affordable. I might try more sophisticated products but I alway keep a pot of this around to return to.

Time To Celebrate

Saturday, January 04, 2014

As the winter grows darker, as does my make-up. I've been wearing this heavy eyed, dark lipped look every chance I get.

Using Vichy Idealia BB Cream as an sheer illuminating base, I apply Chanel Vitalumière Aqua over the top, with sweeps of YSL Touche Eclat under the eyes and down the nose. I apply 421 from the Inglot Freedom Palette all across the lid, packing colour into the center and blending outward to create a vibrant, deep bronze finish; using Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara to create long, dark lashes. I use the darkest and lightest shades from the Bobbi Brown Rich Chocolate Palette to tightline my eyes, fill in my brows, and highlight the brow bone. I blend a little NARS Penny Lane to give a subtle hint of colour to the cheeks and finish by applying YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats #206, a deep, burgundy shade with plum undertones.

Inglot Freedom System

Friday, January 03, 2014

Freedom System Palette | 402 | 421 | 390 | 344 | 397

Inglot offers various customisable Freedom Palettes ranging from duos and quads right up to giant palettes that can hold twenty or forty shades or even a combination of various products. The colour range is extraordinary providing every finish imaginable.

I decided on a quad palette with four shades I could wear independently yet also pair together. I ended up selecting five shades - 402, 421, 390, 344, and 397. 421 is an exact duplicate of MAC Sable (a shade I've been lusting after) and is actually far more pigmented; a rich metallic shade that my collection has been sorely missing. 421 is a lighter metallic shade, cooler in tone, and could easily be paired with either 421 for a deep, smokey look or with 390 for a softer finish. 390 is a neutral matte shade for sweeping all across the lid, creating an ideal base colour or worn alone for a natural look. 344 has a dusky pink hue that appears darker on the lid than in the pan, it creates a beautifully subtle finish and could easily be paired with any of the other colours. I also purchased 397, a frosty pink shade, which looks hideously unflattering in the pan yet when swept over the lids creates a beautiful fresh, natural look.

I really like the idea of customising a palette and am thoroughly impressed with Inglot. Each of the shades is richly pigmented, apply beautifully, are easy to blend, and long wearing. The colour choice is absolutely outstanding with no compromise made with pigmentation when it comes to cost. I will definitely be purchasing a larger palette with more shades.. if I can ever decide which ones to buy next.

If you're a little nervous about purchasing 'blind' online, I would recommend visiting Temtalia and making use of the Swatch Gallery.


Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Every year I attach a sentiment to the following months, a few simple words that remind me of what I want to achieve. The chosen words are often simplistic yet run deep with a multitude of meanings. This year I want to keep moving forward with work, to grow and to learn; to move past disappoint or failure, to push forward with life's little (and sometimes big) achievements; to move forever onward and upward.