I FINALLY JUMPED ON THE BEAUTY BLENDER BANDWAGON…

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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.

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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.

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REVIEW: THE BODY SHOP OILS OF LIFE INTENSELY REVITALISING GEL CREAM

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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!

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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.

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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!

10 MAKEUP TO-DO’S WHEN YOU HAVE A SPARE MINUTE

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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.

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  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.

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

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.

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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AU REVOIR PARIS!

DAY THREE
So our third day in Paris started as the day before did, with fabulous food in a famous café, today’s was Café du Flore in the Saint Germain district. We then went on to explore a bit of Saint Germain in the only way two fashion girls know how – the shops. The H&M in Saint Germain is the best one I’ve ever been to, even better than the good ones in London, however I ended up buying a pair of leather trousers which sounds great, but I challenge any of you to try on leather trousers in 35 degree heat in a hot changing room in an upper floor of a busy H&M. It was a pull-them-up-turn-around-in-the-mirror-pull-them-down motion that took all of 3 seconds.

Today was so hot that we decided to head back to the hotel to cool down for 10 minutes before heading to the Notre Dame cathedral. Turns out the queue was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long in the hot sun to be even worth trying so we took some selfies in front of the cathedral like the little Instagram whores that we are and took a stroll around the cobbled back streets instead. Here we found the most quintessentially Parisian garden with rows of perfecting groomed trees next to a canal with iron bridges and a live band playing near a fountain. If that doesn’t scream Parisian then I don’t know what does.

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FullSizeRender-2 copy 16After that we headed back to the hotel for our final dinner in Paris (post to come), before catching a stomach bug and flying back to London the next day… Stomach bug aside, we had such a fabulous trip, Paris is one damn beautiful city, one that I can’t ever imagine tiring of.

Last selfie of the trip... Making the most of that perfect early evening light that Paris is famous for.

Last selfie of the trip… Making the most of that perfect early evening light that Paris is famous for.