DSC_0029Getting ready in the morning for a day of frolicking in your red lipstick can be quite the task. Slut, vixen, glamorous, whore, classy, overdone, elegant, harlot, vamp, tramp, fancy, tart, polished, bimbo and refined are all words that are used on a daily basis to describe a woman in her red lipstick. Too dark and she’s a vamp, too bright and she’s a whore, too sheer and she’s a virgin, too glossy and she’s an airhead but too matte and she’s polished. It’s no wonder why we get so many mixed reactions from strangers when we dare to step out with a hint (or a lot) of crimson tint pasted (or slicked, patted or smeared) onto our lips.

Thesaurus-swallowing adjectives aside, the Red Lip phase of applying your makeup is a huge step. Do I just do a tinted balm? Will I need a liner? What about gloss? Matte, creamy, sheer or opaque? Oh for God’s sake just choose one. Matte, Charlotte Tilbury’s Red Carpet Red. Committing to a full day of teeth-checking in any shiny surface commences.

Leaving the house is the next step. Hair down with a glossy red lip is a no-go if it’s windy and you don’t want half the tube of gloss smeared over your cheeks by the time you get to work; but hair up and you might be seen as an ‘over-done dolly bird’; or a messy bun and you could might look like the 14 year-old hipster opposite you on the tube. Half-up-half-down? Seems feasible.

It’s been on a few hours, you’re looking fabulous, it’s done a good job of keeping your spirits high through the pain of commuting to work, but now it’s lunchtime. A sandwich is not happening, so a salad it is – starvation will mount, but accepting it is the first step to recovery. Salad has been consumed, you’re still hungry but at least your lips are in tact; now its time for your seventh mirror-check of the day so far.

Work is over and Olivia and Louisa, the Red Lipstick Queens of the Office have invited you out for drinks – a further lipstick-assessment commences.

A few too many peach bellinis later, your lipstick has survived, barely, but you’re a bit too tipsy to care, that salad hasn’t done much in the way of soaking up the alcohol. You got asked for your number by a very handsome man named Pierre, but refrained from a full-on smooch for lipstick reasons.

After a bleary-eyed Uber home, you’re back in the comforts of your bathroom assessing the day’s facial situation. Your lipstick is there, if a bit patchy, dry and making you feel like you have 17 layers of red Pritt Stick smothering your mouth. All that’s needed now is your trusty Bioderma, a stack of cotton pads, and another 20 minutes to scrub the remains of the day off your face. All to wake up in the morning to find the stain on your lips is enough to last for another 5 days. And they say red lipstick is high maintenance…


DSC_0018Last year, Magnitone kindly sent me one of their Barefaced! Cleansing Brushes to try and test on my skin. I have held off on posting my review for a while because I really wanted to give the device a thorough test over time in order to bring you the most well-informed and honest review. Having never owned anything like this before, I was so excited to get started!
Lets break my skin down first, my skin type is sensitive, oily and acne prone. There are also times when I get dry patches, particularly around my nose; I have noticed this become more prominent as the colder months have engulfed us.

I like my skin to feel squeaky clean, those with drier skin types might like to feel more nourished from their skincare, but I like a good scrub. I travel to and from uni most days (a 6-hour all-round commute) and on the other days I’m at work all day, so when I get home, I like my skin to feel like it has had a good clean. Having said that, I don’t like the tight, dry feeling that can come with a good deep clean, I just like the surface to feel fresh and the pores to feel cleared.

Well first of all, the clue is in the name, the Magnitone Barefaced is supposed to leave you with skin that you love so much that you would go barefaced with. That’s quite a claim. As somebody who likes the full coverage porcelain look, I’m not about to go ‘barefaced’ any time soon, however I’ll take whatever this can give me… It claims to ‘deep cleanse pores, tone, and beautifully condition your skin…’. It has a 60-second timer with 20-second intervals to change the location of the cleanse, for example, 20 seconds for the forehead and nose, 20 seconds for the cheeks and chin and 20 seconds for the neck. The bristles of the brush head are soft and do a good job of cleansing without being too scratchy.

I have been using, and loving the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel (why do these products have SUCH longggggg naaaaames?) for the past 6-7 months and it’s been doing a really good job of clearing my pores and keeping my face feeling fresh. However once I started using the Magnitone, I noticed that my skin was feeling a bit too clean with it, and that I needed something that wasn’t solely aimed at skin clearing and oil control. So I decided to go for something a bit gentler and I’ve been really loving the Aloe Gentle Facial Wash from The Body Shop. It’s just as clean-feeling, with no scent, but doesn’t leave the skin feeling tight after. DSC_0017HOW OFTEN DO I USE IT?
I started off using the Magnitone Barefaced! every day, at night time, after taking my makeup off. I soon found this to be a little bit too intimidating for my skin and my face soon told me off by giving me a slight bumpy rash around my cheeks, my most sensitive area. I persevered with it but reduced the usage to around twice a week and this is still how often I use it and I’ve found the happy medium. This is not for daily use on someone who has slightly sensitive skin, I found it to become an overload of pressure on any section of the face that didn’t really need deep cleansing as much as some other parts such as the chin or nose.

Having used the Magnitone Barefaced! for the past three months now, I’ve found that my skin does feel clearer, I haven’t noticed any difference in terms of oil production, I’ve read reviews where people have said that their skin became less oily after using it, but I haven’t noticed that. I would say however that my skin is a lot smoother since using it, it definitely feels well-exfoliated after and my skin always drinks up the products that I place on top, my night creams and eye creams do tend to sink in better once I’ve used it. 

I would recommend this product to anyone who has acne-prone oily skin like myself but I would say this is more suited to somebody who has less sensitive skin than me. I don’t know how this works out on dry skin as I simply don’t have super dry patches anywhere, but this works well on my sometimes-combination skin.
As for comparisons with other skin cleaners like the Clarisonic, I can’t really comment on as I’ve never owned or tried any of them, however with the Clarisonic placed at a slightly higher price point than the Magnitone which costs £70, I would say that if the two products worked and felt the same and left with the same results, I would rather pay less and get the Magnitone, I don’t think that this kind of result should cost more than the Magnitone anyway. It hasn’t done anything revolutionary to my skin, but it is a really nice product. My skin likes it, doesn’t love it, but everyone’s skin is different. Try it out, see if it works for you!

Magnitone Barefaced! Face Cleansing Brush – £70


So today my blog turned three years old! It feels like I’ve only been blogging for five minutes, so I have no idea where the past three years have gone.

I am not the most consistent of bloggers, I’ll be the first to admit, and every year I set myself goals to ‘be a better blogger’, but at the end of the day I just think that I blog because I love it, I don’t want to force it. I love reading comments, the social media interaction with readers as well as emails sent to me, which I find amazing!

Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read my blog, my readership has dramatically increased in the past year. It is so very much appreciated, I’ve had such a great year blog-wise and can’t wait to see what the next three years hold. I finish uni this year so once I get my free time back I promise to get back into the wing of things with regular posts! DSC_0004


Beauty-Library_Nendo_dezeen_784_14New ways of buying products are cropping up all the time, but the Beauty Library is a true innovation in the experience of beauty shopping.

Walking into a department store’s ground floor beauty department is one of life’s great thrills. All twinkly, bright lights, floral, heady, woody scents from competing perfume counters, silver, gold, shiny, white, clinical surfaces ahead – as far as the eye can see. The beauty department is a haven of hope. Hope that you will be able to achieve the perfect winged liner. Hope that you will walk away with the magic potion of making you look ten years younger. Hope that THAT eye cream will forever banish dark circles and forever give you that natural glow. Hope that the beauty department can pat, smudge, massage and rub all of your beauty woes away.

Whilst the beauty department is, and possibly forever will be, THE place you turn to when in need of some beauty retail therapy, the Japanese (of course) have come up with a new way to try (and shop) new beauty products.

Introducing Nendo’s Beauty Library. A hybrid of a beauty boutique and a café, the newly-designed conceptual space offers customers a way of enhancing their inner and outer beauty at the same time in the same place. Located on a street just behind Aoyama Street in Tokyo, the contemporary space is designed to allow customers to browse organic beauty products on a tablet and order them to try as if they would a beverage… whilst ordering a beverage.

This ‘new breed’ of shopping for beauty products is all becoming a part of a personalisation trend within our modern lifestyles. Everything we consume, eat, watch, do, read, listen to is all tailored to our own tastes and now even the way we shop for our beauty products is purely personalised. What is more personal than sitting in a café with your friends on your lunch break, and pondering over beauty samples and salads?


We’ve seen ‘gimicky’ cafés before with the Cereal Killer Café and Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, but the Beauty Library is less about the gimmick and more about the practicality of combining two pastimes in one. A girl has to eat, and she also has to take care of her skin, combining the two and makes it a lunch date worth penciling in.

Nendo describes the Beauty Library as “for nature’s way”, as all the products, both beauty and food are organically sourced and the atmosphere relaxing.

Department store shopping can be a thrill, but can also come with the burden of brushing off overly-pushy sales assistants offering you all manner of products that you have no interest in. The real pull with the Beauty Bar is that there is no pressure to buy anything, apart from maybe an organic juice. You simply sit down, at an ordinary table or a specially-reserved area of ‘self study’, order the product samples and get applying. All products are fitted with QR codes that customers can then scan with their mobile devices and purchase online later. These QR codes are also filled with information about each product and the ingredient properties so the customer can make fully informed decisions about their skincare preferences and purchases, hence where the name ‘Beauty Library’ derives. The space itself actually resembles a library, all simplistic warm shelving, backlit with LED lights so as to enhance the beauty of the products themselves; the library-like feel of the café enables customers to feel personally attached to the products and services themselves, as one would whilst reading in a library.


Presenting beauty products as books is a new way of looking not only at the products but as the industry as a whole. It’s giving them real value, showing us how valuable they can be.

So the future of beauty shopping is valuing the products on offer, valuing the time, effort and talent that went into producing and presenting them to us, valuing the importance of a buying experience.

Image(s) Source: Nendo



A few months ago, when the Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani palette was announced, I think it’s fair to say that I was pretty excited. Pretty excited is perhaps an understatement considering I’ve been a die hard Gwen Stefani fan since I was 11 and have been waiting for a collaboration like this for YEARS. So yes, I was *pretty* excited.

Now I have to give full credit to my BFF Hayley for this Christmas gift, she was on it like a bat out of hell getting this palette online (which sold out in minutes – go Hayley!).

The palette itself is Gwen ALL OVER. Literally, from the black and white polka dots, to the Gwen-related names of each shade, to the nod to an old No Doubt song Magic’s in the Makeup in the corner of the mirror, this couldn’t be more Gwen if it put on a platinum wig and taught you how to spell ‘bananas’.




Can we just take a moment? How DELICIOUS is this? There is not one colour in here that I wouldn’t use, even the crazier colours Harajuku (the bright pink), and Danger (the blue), are actually wearable and can be so easily transitioned from bright statement shades to blended out, more muted tones. Punk is a fab shade, the maroon in the top right corner, great deepening the crease without being as harsh as a black. My favourite shade though has to be Baby, it just seems to really bring the green out in my eyes and it’s nothing like anything I own, which I love but also hate because it means that once this runs out, that’s it.

From the gorgeous gold, black and white case, to the samples of upcoming lipstick shades (!!!!!!!!!!) this hasn’t disappointed in the slightest. This is basically my favourite palette, partly because I would buy anything that’s even vaguely associated with Gwen Stefani, but mainly because I genuinely really love these eyeshadows. Well done Urban Decay, you have a very VERY satisfied fan.

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette £40.

IMG_2338.JPGTold you I’m a fan.*





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£18 for a sponge is ridiculous by anyone’s books, am I right? It is literally just a sponge, I can’t even imagine how much money they’re making on them. However… IT’S THE BEST THING SINCE THEY INVENTED FOUNDATION. No, really.

I fully expected not to think much of the much-raved-about Beauty Blender, I bought it on a whim when I was feeling particularly spendy – so much so that I didn’t even take photos before I used it when it was brand new, sorry about that.

The magic of this sponge is that it makes your skin look FLAWless. Completely smooth, poreless, and baby-soft. I can’t believe I haven’t owned one sooner.

I’ve used all manner of ‘dupes’ for the Beauty Blender and I totally understand why none of these products even come close to the real thing. How do they even manage it? Surely a sponge is a sponge? Apparently not.


There’s not much to say about the sponge itself – how do you go about describing a sponge?! All I can say is that for some reason, it is different to all other sponges. It doesn’t seem to drink up as much foundation as the dupes, it seems to be perfectly shaped to get a full coverage really quickly without having to use a brush or another sponge to blend it out.

All in all, I really wanted to hate it (although I’m glad I don’t considering it’s the most expensive sponge I’ve ever bought/ever will buy) but I simply don’t.

Is a Beauty Blender an essential? No, I wouldn’t say you need it over, say, dinner. But it has definitely become my most-used tool in my collection, and I would for sure repurchase it.

I’m totally converted. Damn.


Boots // Carvela at Kurt Geiger | Jeans // Zara | Coat // New Look (no longer available, but similar here)

I am now in my third year of uni and for the last year I have commuted each day… 3 hours there, 3 hours back. You maths genius’ would’ve worked out that I travel 6 hours a day when I’m scheduled to go into uni. That’s around 3 times a week. So I guess I would consider myself a bit of a pro when it comes to travelling – my journey includes a car journey to the station, a train, a tube and another train to the campus – and during this time, especially now that I’m reaching the most crucial part of my course, I have found a few ways of staying productive on the commute.

If you travel 6 hours a day like me or just 15 minutes, let that time be productive!

  1. Read a book
    This one is something that I’ve always done without even thinking about it, I read for fun – I always have a book to read, I have to finish any book that I start, even if I’m hating it. Weird OCD habit. The train is a great place to read because you can really zone out from all the chaos of rush hour and escape into your own little world.
  2. Meditation
    Staying on the theme of escaping into your “own little world”, I have mastered the art of meditation on public transport. No weird “ohm-ness” going on with my legs crossed or anything like that, but for the past few months I’ve really become a fan of the Calm app. It’s a guided meditation app that’s really easy to follow and just allows your mind to switch off from everything around you. Earphones in, world out.
  3. Brain training
    Something which might not seem entirely productive is brain training. There have been times when I’ve been so tired on my commute that I’ve become a victim of the fall-asleep-head-roll-mouth-open gaze that seems to affect the best of us (only the very best, apparently) and so I’ve found that doing a sudoku or crossword puzzle helps to keep my brain alive and awake, as well as keeping my eyes open. And besides, something that is training your brain and making you think hard that early in the morning can only ever be a good thing, right?
    I’m not one to sit on the train on my laptop, mainly because I can’t be bothered to lug around my MacBook with me all day, but I do find that if I’ve made notes on something I aim to do when I get home, or if I’ve read a few chapters of a book I’m studying for my dissertation, then I always feel much better and productive once I’m off the train. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you’re on a train with no distractions. Of course, if you really want to work on your laptop on the train then that’s great and totally admirable, I only wish my laptop wasn’t so heavy so I could do the same!
  5. Make a to-do list
    My last point is probably my favourite and most-used. Making a to-do list is so productive for me because it allows me to really plan my time well. Travelling to and from uni every day can take it’s toll on my productivity levels because travelling is so tiring. When I get home I tend to just want to sit around and catch up on Mad Men, but having a list of things that I need to get done helps me to focus. Ticking things off the list is so satisfying that I find that this alone is enough to make me want to reluctantly click away from Netflix and do some work!

Of course there are days when all I want to do on my commute is listen to music, zone out and pretend I’m in a totes-emosh music video whilst gazing out of the window (probably listening to Adele, just to be a total cliché), but I’m trying my best to keep those days to a minimum and try something productive instead.

What do you do on a long commute, I’d love to try some of your ideas – I have another 6 months of commuting ahead of me!



Nice and snappy title there, not. However I do have to say that this moisturiser is the BOMB. I never, ever would’ve thought that I would like an oily product for my skin, having such naturally oily skin anyway. First of all, I’ll say that this smells DIVINE. I won’t go into describing the scent, because I don’t think that really ever works, however if you do one thing this week, go into The Body Shop and smell this line of products!


I’d been wanting to try the moisturiser from this range for a little while now, and in the end I decided on the ‘gel cream’ version, as the consistency was slightly lighter and more fitting to my oily skin. One of the worries I had was that this would make my skin totally oily and repulsive to apply makeup onto, but the opposite is actually true.

With a very slight ‘pearly’ sheen, the moisturiser is very glowy, without being oily, and definitely makes my makeup-free skin look refreshed. Makeup looks great on top of this, I still have a matte face when I’ve used this, I don’t notice a difference with my face becoming any oilier throughout the day or anything like that.


The packaging is great, it feels like a luxury item, a heavy glass jar – although impossible to travel with. Priced slightly higher than the other ranges, the Oils of Life range is priced from £15-£45, with this moisturiser priced at £25. Overall I really like this product and I would highly recommend it to anyone with similar skin traits to me. If you are oily/combination, like to have a glow but not shiny/oily, like to feel moisturised but not slick, then this might just be your next favourite moisturiser. Definitely worth the £25 price tag, and i would definitely purchase again!



There are so many chores that come along with having a larger than normal makeup collection, some are more pleasurable than others (although still chores…) and some are just a burden. Here is a non-exhaustive list of potential chores to do when you have a spare minute to deal with your (if you’re anything like me) no doubt ever-expanding makeup collection.


  1. Wash makeup brushes
    This one is a given, but it is possibly the most important and also my most dreaded. Clean brushes are always so nice to use, it’s like getting into nice clean sheets at bedtime.
  2. Sharpen eyeliners & lipliners
    This one doesn’t take long at all and can actually save you so much time in the mornings if you like your sleep like me and then have to do your makeup in 5 minutes flat.
  3. … And empty the sharpener
    Another given, but hey, it has to be done!

  4. De-dust powders, blushes & eyeshadows
    This one is another annoying one that maybe you wouldn’t think of as a standalone job, but “de-dusting” any powder products to get rid of any excess dust that’s sitting on top can really reduce the amount of mess that you make in the mornings when doing your makeup. It also greatly reduces the amount of crap that sits at the bottom of the interior of my makeup drawers.
  5. Clean inside drawers
    That brings me onto cleaning the inside of the drawers. So much crap gathers in these drawers from pencil sharpenings, glitter, blush/powder/bronzer dust, dried mascara, gloopy bits of kohl liner, smears of lipstick… Gross. Making sure to keep these areas clean also keeps your makeup in tip-top shape and it makes getting ready in the morning a pleasure rather than just sighing every time you look at the mess.DSC_0008
  6. Organise & tidy up makeup
    Tidying up your stash really makes the world of difference, it helps you to see exactly what you have, and what you do and don’t use.

  7. Clear out products you won’t use
    On the same note, organising your makeup can help you to see which products you never use and can’t see yourself using. My advice would be to just get rid. If you haven’t used something in the last 6-8 months then the chances are that you won’t use it again. Clearing out these sorts of products gives you so much more breathing space to see the products that you really will use again.

  8. Bring forward any forgotten or less-used products
    Clearing out your stash allows you to see any products that you may have forgotten about or cast aside for “another day”. Bring these items to the forefront of your collection to bring them back into view for the next time you do your makeup. you never know, you might re-discover a product as a new favourite!

  9. Throw away any “stuck” mascaras
    Mascaras are my most-hoarded product. I always just seem to keep them as I always think that they’ll get used. But once I finish one and go to use one of the others, they’ve all dried out. So, I’m trying to make a conscious effort to throw away any stiff or gooey (haha) mascaras and just use ONE AT A TIME.
  10. List any replacement or missing items
    My last tip is the best one… Write a list of all the things that need replacing or that you’ve found to be missing. A few months ago I did this and realised that I was missing a decent brown kohl pencil and it’s now something that I use almost every single day. Go through your lipsticks and note any missing shades or shades that you could possibly stock up on if it’s an everyday nude or something that you wear all the time.


I hope you liked these 10 tips, let me know if you have any others!


After getting a new job (yay!), being totally stressed out at how much uni work I have to do, as well as keeping on top of things on my blog (which has been a bit lax lately – sorry about that) I decided to make one of those “treat myself” purchases, a new handbag. Now it’s nothing spectacularly expensive, but unnecessary enough for me to feel a bit naughty walking out of the store. It is, of course, from Zara.

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I’d seen this bag in Zara for a good few weeks now, tried it on, put it back. Tried it on, looked in the mirror, changed the length of the chain, put it back etc etc. for the past few weeks now and after a long weekend of working, I decided to to pick it up, try it on, look in the mirror and BUY IT.

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Justifiable-for-purchase features include: Durable, classic and damn beautiful ridging and quilting on the fabric (it isn’t leather, however it really feels like it, such great quality), a sturdy clasp, two interior pockets for the 14 MAC lipsticks that I’m likely to ‘need’ in there, and a double-length chain that you can have long as a cross-body bag, or short as a shoulder bag. I actually prefer it as a shoulder bag with the double chain, I think it tends to work better on me like that as the longer chain reaches almost down to my knee. #shortgirlproblems

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Let’s face it, I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to afford a Chanel, so this is my next best thing. It’s not a complete carbon copy, and well within its own rights in design, however it does have that classic shape, size and stature of a high-class (and high price tag) designer handbag. And at only £39.99 I think it’s a bit of a steal.