MY FAVOURITE PRODUCT FROM KIKO

I’m not someone who likes to spend ages and ages in the morning getting ready. I’m sure my family will disagree and say that I take an age to get out of the door, however I can be up and out the door in around 30 mins, which I think is pretty good (no?). Part of the get-up-and-go process does include a full face of makeup, and I wouldn’t be without my KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyshadow.

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They go on easily, blend easily, make your face look polished and STAY ALL DAY. Shown here are my first 5 shades, however I do now own 10 of them – I just love them THAT much. I also own the high-end version of these stick eyeshadows, the By Terry Ombre Blackstar, but I prefer the KIKO ones by far.

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First of all, let’s talk price. KIKO – £6.90, By Terry – £30. EACH. Okay, so maybe the By Terry has more product inside? Nope, KIKO contains 1.64g of product compared to By Terry’s 1.2g. Go figure. Performance? They both perform about the same, in my opinion, however I much prefer the colour range of the KIKO ones over the By Terry shadow sticks.

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My favourite shade in the range is definitely 05. I’m almost out as I use it everyday. It’s possible that it is my most-used makeup product ever, even more so than any foundation. The bronze-y warm tone really suits my green eyes and looks just as great on its own as it does with a full-on ‘look’. The wearability knows no bounds.

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I can’t rave about this product enough, I use them everyday, have them in 10 shades and would buy 10 more. If they ever discontinued these, I’d have to go into mourning… Seriously.

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5 REASONS WHY SWITCHING YOUR PHONE OFF IS GOOD FOR YOU

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So it’s a Friday night and I’m sat in with my phone turned off. Not the typical Friday night of a 21 year-old student, but hey, I guess I like to break down stereotypes. Sometimes my head goes all fuzzy when I look at my phone. I begrudge every text that comes in, every email and every annoying Facebook post from people you don’t really like but you have to keep them as “friends” to keep your mum happy. Today was one of those days, so I’ve decided to switch my phone off until tomorrow (Saturday) morning. And it feels SO good. I’ve made a list of 5 benefits that switching your phone off can do for you…

  1. It allows you to regroup with yourself
    Switching your phone off means not being disturbed, so take this opportunity to run yourself a bath, apply a face mask, watch a film, paint your nails and just catch up on some me-time. Sometimes taking care of number one is a huge stress reliever, and the best therapy money can buy.
  2. It let’s you catch up on work
    The amount of times that I’ve procrastinated in doing work by being distracted by my phone is amazing, if I had the will-power to turn my phone off every time I had work to do I would be about 99% more productive. Turning my phone off tonight has motivated me to tick everything off my to-do list with uni, my blog and other tasks that I’ve been putting off. It’s only one night, just bite the bullet and get shit done!
  3. It calms your mind down
    It can be really overwhelming sometimes if you’ve had a long day full of noise and action, it’s nice to sit down and completely relax and unwind. But oftentimes staring at social media can be just as stressful. Keeping up with your Twitter timeline, making sure you’ve liked all of your friend’s status’ and photos or responding to messages that are hours old and have lost their relevance. Switching your phone off completely takes that pressure away, because as “first world problems” as it sounds, keeping up with social media can be totally stressful.
  4. It gives you a healthy break from interaction
    There can be some days when you feel like you are in a constant conversation online. Sometimes that’s a great thing, interacting with people instantly all over the world is an amazing thing that should be embraced, but it can also slow your mind down from doing anything productive. Being in a conversation all day long isn’t a natural process. You wouldn’t particularly be in one conversation with people like that in real life, everyone needs their down time but for some reason, when a conversation is had online or by text, the break seems to go away. Switching your phone off allows your mind to really switch off from your online-mode and connect with the world in front of you.
  5. It gets your creative juices flowing
    It’s true to say that many creative types don’t own TVs, they read books, newspapers and listen to the radio, mostly. There’s a reason for this. Once our minds are full of too much outside info (I mean in terms of “fuzz” or meaningless information that’s not going to serve us in any way) we lose our creative streaks. Without the distraction of a phone, we have the brain space available to make our own ideas, without influence from outside sources. There is nothing more satisfying than creating something purely from scratch. Switching your phone off can only be a positive thing for your creative juices.

So I’ve been “switched off” for about 3 hours so far this evening, a record by my standards. It’s surprisingly refreshing, the possibilities are endless. To be perfectly honest, the silence is nice and my productivity levels feel higher than usual. Or maybe I’m just hyped up on sugar from that Magnum I just ate… Who can tell?

HAVING A (SLIGHTLY) 70s MOMENT

Walking into Zara at the moment is like walking into a time machine and being taken back to 1974. And I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand I’m into it, I’m all for a fad trend here and there, but on the other hand I’m not. I’ll never be into flares ( At 5’1 I can’t find any to fit anyway), I’ll never be enthusiastic for suede and I hate paisley with a passion. Having said that, I’m all for some new clobber and I found this dress in there today. It says 70s without being too I-wish-I-had-lived-through-woodstock-and-second-wave-feminism-ish. It’s black & white (of course), a great transition piece for autumn, and was only £19.99 (so it doesn’t matter too much if I’m sick of the 70s after two minutes…).
DSC_0087DSC_0090DSC_0089Dress | Zara
Belt | H&M (old – similar here)
Boots | Topshop

TRIED AND TESTED: THE BEST FAKE TAN EVER

When it comes to fake tan I’ve tried them all, gradual tans, tinted moisturisers, wash off tans, overnight tans and in-shower tans but so far in my quest to finding a golden glow, there has only been one clear winner. And it’s from M&S. No joke. No sponsor. This is the Velvet Touch Luxe Oil for face and body – and it’s brilliant.
DSC_0067Possibly the only product with which I agree to all statements made in the bottle, it says it offers a “flawless luxe-bronze glow” and is “streak free and quick drying”. Because I’m so pale I always find fake tans to be such a chore to apply because I have to make sure I’m extremely thorough in order to cover every single inch of my ghostly white body, other wise I just look like a caramel disaster.
This tanning oil however is the easiest self tan I’ve used, the oil is really moisturising to begin with so you don’t feel like you’re dragging it across your body, which in turn means that it’s a quicker process to blend in so you’re not stood there for ages in your birthday suit scrubbing and scrubbing to get your marmite-looking tan to spread. Another point I’d like to make about this tanning oil is that it stays for DAYS. I’ve probably had a full week with this product where I haven’t needed to touch-up mid-week like most other tans (even ones that claim to last 3 weeks). In the shower, there is no evidence at all of any tan being washed off your body, a big thumbs up from somebody who like to sleep in and be ready in a small amount of time in the morning!
Even the smell isn’t as bad as others. And I really mean this. There have been other tans that I really like for instance the St Tropez Gradual Tan, but the smell really puts me off. The M&S oil really has a nice fresh scent when first applied and dries down to an almost undetectable scent.
Possibly the only downside to this product is the glass bottle. It’s quite heavy to travel with, and it doesn’t contain as much product as I’d like, it’s £12.50 for only 100ml. But that probably won’t stop me from buying it over and over until it’s cold enough to cover up for half the year. Sigh. Definitely not welcoming the colder months with open arms this year.

THE PALE SKIN GIRL’S CONTOURING BEST FRIEND

Contouring the face can be a daunting process in the application of makeup for many people. “Will I have a chiselled complexion or look like a muddy disaster?” is usually my thought process every morning when sweeping that matte bronzer underneath my wannabe carved-out cheekbones. Contouring gets that much more difficult for us pale gals, bronzers are too orange, traditional contour shades are too dark, or too brown, or still too orange and never ashy enough. Until now. I think I may have found my holy grail contour shade. Girls, meet Hollow.
DSC_0078DSC_0083I know I’m not the first blogger to talk about Illamasqua’s Hollow (by far) but after procrastinating one evening when I should have been doing research for my dissertation, I came across many, many bloggers raving about Hollow as a contour shade. I was sceptical at first, cream face products have never appealed to me – I’m always scared I’ll apply too much and end up looking like I was just in a bad car accident.
DSC_0081Officially labelled as a ‘cream pigment’, the product can be used anywhere – as a base for eyeshadow, on the lips, face or body. The shade Hollow is the perfect amount of cool tone and not too strong to add the perfect amount of shade to particular areas of the face, without coming off too “done”. Now, I’m not professing to be a makeup artist here – all I know is what I’ve read on blogs, seen on YouTube and tried on my own face, but from personal experience I’ve never come across a contouring product that is SO suited to pale skinned girls. Both subtle and effective, you’ll go a long way to find another product that matches Hollow.
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TOP 5 FOUNDATIONS FOR OILY SKIN

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Sometimes I feel like my skin is the bane of my life, I have very oily acne prone skin and at age 21, is so far showing no signs of calming down. I currently own 22 foundations, most of which are sitting in the bottom of a draw having only been used a few times, however there are a few that I do tend to return to again and again. I’m always eating new foundations as I’m always trying to find my perfect match in terms of colour, consistency, coverage, finish and longevity and whilst I’m still yet to find “the one”, there are some that I really really like. Below are my top five picks.

L’ORÉAL TRUE MATCH FOUNDATION

DSC_0004Price£9.99
Shade
R1.C1 Rose Ivory
Match – I find this shade to be the perfect match for me, it’s quite pink in tone which is what I look for.
SPFPackaging says SPF 17, although I always wear factor 50 underneath all foundations.
Packaging – Glass bottle with a handy pump, easy to use and hygienic, however a bit annoying to travel with as it’s glass, quite weighty and the plastic cap comes off easily.
Application – Easy application, dries relatively fast, but is easily blended out, not too thick or cakey and has a build able coverage.
Coverage/Finish – I would say this is a medium but buildable coverage, definitely doesn’t look cakey and also doesn’t stick to any dry patches around any blemishes. It has a satin finish on me, however I do always powder that down as I know I will be oily as soon as I blink again.
Wear – This isn’t a particularly long wearing foundation on me, although I don’t tend to find that many are. This foundation does seem to look patchy at the end of the day, with oil break-through on my t-zone.
Overall rating – 3/5 I would say that this is my least favourite of my favourites. However, it is a lot cheaper than my other favourites (except Revlon Colorstay) and I do tend to reach for it often if I am in need of something that doesn’t need to be particularly long wearing.

ESTÉE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR LIGHT FOUNDATION
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Price £29.50
Shade – Intensity 0.5
Match – This shade is ever so slightly too yellow on me, it’s not really noticeable, especially once it’s been powdered and the rest of my face is done, however I do notice it to be a different shade to the normal Double Wear.
SPF – Contains SPF 10, so not much.
Packaging 
– Packaging for this product is great, easy to travel with as it’s so light, the squeeze tube allows for the product to be easily controlled so you don’t use more than you need. One downside is that you can’t see how much foundation you have left in the tube. Some sort of clear panel down the side of the tube would rectify this.
Application – This foundation is so easy to apply, the consistency is really nice, not too thick and not runny either. I find that it blends easily into my skin and doesn’t make dry patches or pores stand out. It doesn’t need too much buffing to blend, it’s quite a seamless application.
Coverage/Finish – Even though the name suggests this is perhaps a light coverage, it certainly isn’t, it’s simply just lighter than the original Double Wear. I would say this foundation is more on the matte side on it’s own, but doesn’t leave the skin looking cake or flat.
Wear – I find that this foundation wears really well on me throughout the day, it’s definitely less of an oily situation on my face than some of my other foundations. I don’t find this foundation to move around a lot on my face throughout the day and it stays pretty matte for many hours.
Overall rating – 5/5 This is possibly dare-I-say-perhaps-maybe my favourite foundation. Of course, I am always testing new ones out, and my skin goes through phases, however I find that I am never disappointed with the finish and wear of this one, even when my skin is going through a hard time. (My skin needs therapy, that’s all there is to it). Considering the price, this is certainly not a cheap product, however I would definitely purchase it again when mine runs out. I would like the product to contain a higher SPF, but that is the only downside I can think of.

ESTÉE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR STAY-IN-PLACE MAKEUP
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Price – £30
Shade – 1C0 Shell
Match – This is a great match for my skin, due to the consistency of the makeup however, I do find I need to perk it up a bit with blush/bronzer.
SPF – Contains SPF 10.
Packaging – The packaging is the biggest let-down of this foundation, it comes in a glass bottle without a pump, so you just have to pour the product out onto your hand which I find to be annoying for a few reasons. Firstly it seems a bit unhygienic, secondly it’s really difficult to control how much product comes out, and thirdly it goes everywhere!!! The glass bottle isn’t the most travel-friendly in the first place, and with an open bottle it seems like a suitcase disaster waiting to happen. The only upside is that the bottle is very old-school glamour and looks great on my dressing table.
Application – This foundation is fairly easy to apply, doesn’t tend to go streaky or leave brush strokes on the face like some other heavier foundations. I do tend to use a buffing brush and a sponge with this, just to make sure the coverage is seamless.
Coverage/Finish – Despite popular belief, I don’t consider this foundation to be too heavy or even extremely full coverage. I do have acne prone skin and I do still use a concealer on top of particularly angry spots. Having said that, I can imagine that this foundation wouldn’t suit those with drier skin types and it probably would come off looking cakey. I really like the finish on this foundation, it’s not totally matte but I always powder and leave the house assured that my foundation will last.
Wear – This is a fantastic foundation wear-wise, I’m always going to have the type of skin that needs powdering and touching up throughout the day, no matter how many shine-free promising products I leave the house with that day. Double Wear however does seem to last all day. I do see oil breaking through by the end of the day if I haven’t touched up my makeup, however the foundation “stays in place”, as it says on the bottle, and doesn’t slide around everywhere.
Overall rating 5/5 I’ll give this one full marks like the other Estée Lauder foundation, I just find that my skin really reacts well to them. This product does have it’s downsides with the less practical packaging and ever-so-slightly more difficult application, however I think that the overall finish and wear on my skin overrides all that, this is definitely a fail-safe product for me and one that I will probably always repurchase.

BENEFIT BIG EASY MULTI BALANCING COMPLEXION PERFECTOR
DSC_0008Price 
– £28.50
Shade  01 Fair
Match – A surprisingly good match for my skin, when squeezed onto my hand it looks too dark and not the right tone, a bit too yellowy, however when buffed into the skin it seems to blend in really well.
SPF – Contains SPF 35 which I think is great!
Packaging – A light squeezy tube, great for travelling and really practical in terms of hygiene. Easy to control how much product comes out.
Application – Applying this foundation is really nice, it seems to blend really easily no matter what tools I use. The consistency is not too thick, but thick enough to allow for decent coverage.
Coverage/Finish – This foundation has good coverage, I still use a concealer on spots and any areas I’m feeling conscious about, but overall this gives me a nice, radiant complexion, without the caking or the product sticking to dry areas. The finish is pretty matte, and does last for quite a long time throughout the day.
Wear – This foundation is (surprisingly?) long-wearing for a considerably “light-weight” foundation that is not advertised as a full-on foundation, more as a BB-type product. I am wearing this foundation as I’m writing this post, and so far I’ve been wearing it for almost 8 hours and everything is still in place as it was first applied, with no touch ups so far. I do have oil breakthrough on my forehead, but comparing this to some of my other foundations, the longevity of this product gets a big thumbs up from me.
Overall rating 4/5 I really enjoy this foundation, I love the handy packaging, the amount of SPF claimed to be in this product, the application process is seamless and the finish and wear is great. The only downside to this product is the coverage, this is definitely not a product that will decently cover blemishes or imperfections, and for the price, I would like to not have to use a concealer with it as well but having said that, it does leave me with some sort of radiance that none of the others do.

REVLON COLORSTAY MAKEUP FOR COMBINATION/OILY SKIN
DSC_0009Price
 – £12.99
Shade 
– 110 Ivory
Match – This is a great match for me, the best match I’ve found in any drugstore foundation.
SPF – Contains SPF 6, which is hardly anything, it would probably be better without.
Packaging – Very similar packaging to the Estée Lauder Double Wear, highly impractical with a glass bottle and open bottle lid, no pump. Kind of gross to deal with. Not a lover of this type of packaging at all!!
Application – The application process for this foundation, I find, to be really difficult. First of all, the packaging is impractical and hard to use with the open glass bottle, but the consistency of the foundation itself is really strange! Firstly it stinks. It smells horrible, really chemically, a bit like paint – the smell is bad, but it doesn’t necessarily put me off using it as I can’t smell it once it has settled on my skin. The consistency is hard to blend, it almost has a glue-like quality in that its really streaky when you try and blend it out, with a brush or fingers, I’ve found that the only way I can apply this properly with no streaking is if I first dot it around my face and blend it out slightly with a buffing brush, then blend it in properly with my fingers and a sponge. It takes a long time to blend it all in, not a foundation I would grab to use if I’m in a hurry.
Coverage/Finish – Coverage is good, it doesn’t seem to cover most blemishes and I don’t tend to use a concealer alongside this foundation. The finish is nice and matte, without being too flat.
Wear – Wear is great, lasts all day, just as well as Estée Lauder’s Double Wear and is quite hard to remove it all at the end of the day so suggests that it doesn’t really move throughout the day.
Overall rating – 3/5 As much as I really dislike the packaging and the application process, I really like how this foundation wears throughout the day, the shade is a perfect match for me and the price is great.

So that was my top five picks for foundation for oily skin, please let me know if there are others that I should try, like I said, I’m always on the hunt for the perfect foundation, when I feel like my foundation looks good, it can make a huge difference to my mood that day – I am forever grateful for those ever-rare good skin days!

MONDAY 

Sometimes it’s hard to muster some enthusiasm even for things that you love. Being stuck in a rut is not fun, especially because it’s hard to get out of it. I recently had a realisation that made me realise I was actually in a rut – a rut that had the potential to hold me back from chasing what I really want. It’s time for me to wake up move on. After all, they do say that the first step is admission.

OUTFIT | THE LAST SUPPER

Celebrating my 21st birthday in Paris was a dream come true. Paris itself is a dream city, matched by no other. For our last night there, we decided to dress up a little bit more than we had done on the two previous nights. Here I am wearing all items I received for my birthday – this is by far my favourite LBD that I own, and also one of the most inexpensive at £35 from River Island. My clutch is from Nadia Minkoff, its the Pimlico Tassel Clutch and so adorable! I aways love the quality and timelessness of Nadia Minkoff accessories, see a previous post here where I reviewed a handbag from the collection. My watch is from Tissot and was my present from my parents and my sandals are from Zara, my old faithfuls.
I’m already itching to go back to Paris, there are so many sights that we just didn’t get the chance to see, so many restaurants and cafés that we didn’t get a chance to eat in, and so many quaint little back streets that we didn’t have time to walk through.

This concludes my Paris set, see my previous posts for what we got up to, where we ate and what I wore!
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Au Revoir Paris!
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