Beauty Secrets...

February 25, 2015

As requested by a couple of you, and keen to have an excuse to use my shiny new camera, here's a post on some of my favourite beauty buys. From cleansers to lipsticks, bubble bath, perfumes and mascara these are my tried and tested brands and my honest routines. 
{And please feel free to tell me your favourites or best beauty tips}

Let's start with skincare; I'm not a girl who spends hours in front of the mirror or hundreds of pounds on the latest lotions and potions. I'm lucky in the sense that my skin is fairly normal and most of the time really good, I suffer from a couple of spots around the time of the month for a couple of days but other than that it's not too dry or too oily. I'm 21 so I'm hoping I don't have to worry too much about wrinkles just yet. I want to look after my skin but without too many lengthy or pricey processes. Every morning, after showering I use Neal's Yard Purifying Palmarosa Daily Moisture which is moisturising without being too heavy or greasy, I love how natural and organic Neal's Yard products are and everything is made in England. I then put on my make up. 

When it comes to taking off my make up and cleansing before bed, sometimes most of the time I use make-up remover wipes. I know, I know some of you will read that and gasp but they're just so convenient and so far I haven't found them bad for my skin. But when I have time, a couple of times a week and before a bath, I'll do a proper routine and give myself a mini facial. My sister in law works for Eve Lom and I love their cleanser, Vogue called it The Best Cleanser In The World. It's a thick paste that you massage over your face before removing with a really hot, damp towel in the sink/bath. Really lovely for your skin and removes any impurities. 

I also recently bought a Clarisonic type massager facial brush {from Aldi of all places for £12! I've heard good reviews about the Clinique one and the Clarisonic but wanted to try this one out first to see how much I'd use it} which works with your existing cleansers and exfoliators for healthier looking skin. It really brightens your skin up. I went on a spa day at Harrod's Urban Retreat for SYGM and since then have loved their exfoliator and elixir for giving myself a mini facial at home. To finish, every night I apply a couple of pumps of Neal's Yard Beauty Sleep Concentrate as a night cream. It's so so heavenly and been a favourite for a couple of years now. It's calming too and definitely helps me sleep better whilst recharging my skin overnight. A bottle also lasts for months and months as you don't need a lot.

Epsom salts are my favourite for baths, we order a huge bulk bag from eBay and use a cup full a couple of times a week. They're really good for aching muscles with the magnesium and have some many detoxing benefits, they're even proven to help lower blood pressure and reduce depression. Seriously good stuff. For some bubbles, my favourites to mix in are any Molton Brown bubble bath which are really silky, moisturising and smell heavenly. The paradisiac pink pepper pod and the purple ones are my personal favourites. Also Neal's Yard English Lavender Bath and Shower Gel is relaxing as is the Aromatic Foaming Bath which has lavender in to help you unwind. I've only recently discovered Jo Malone bath oils, they're silky and smell just like the fragrance but don't have any bubbles. So Jo Malone is good for when you're going out or want to smell heavenly whereas I prefer the others for a bath just before bed. For a quick bath though, you can't beat the price of Radox's Muscle Soak or Sleep Easy although it definitely doesn't smell as good or feel as nice on your skin, you get what you pay for I guess.

Jo Malone's Wood Sage and Sea Salt and Diptyque's Fueille de Lavande are my best candles for burning during a bath. Perfect bathroom scents and super relaxing.

Ok let's talk about what's inside my make up bag;

My bathroom drawer is full of lots of mascaras, lip glosses, eyeshadows and different shades of foundations tried over the years but this bag and the contents is now all I use day after day. Again, I'm not a girl for being caked in make up. I much prefer the natural look and regularly go out sans make up quite happily. But equally I do like products that will make me a prettier version of myself without being too heavy, so this is my daily routine;

After moisturising, if I feel like my skin needs a boost, I'll put on Bare Minerals BareSkin to brighten my face up a bit. It's a brightening serum foundation with a silky texture that you only need a couple of drops of on a brush {I've got the brush recommended to apply it, the deep brown round one in the photo} that gives you an even skin tone without feeling like you're wearing foundation. You buff it on in circular movements. Again, BareMinerals are a company I love with really natural oil free products, this one is derived from a Coconut base with Jojoba mineral pigments and vitamin C. It's hypoallergenic and has an SPF in. I've used Bare Minerals powder foundations and their pressed foundations in the past but I much prefer this and will stock up when in America, it's about a third of the price over there.

If I need any concealer I'll use the Bare Minerals Bisque powder applied with a brush, it's amazing what it can cover up and blends in. I also love Nars Blusher in Orgasm, which is a flattering pretty peachy pink with a tiny bit of shimmer that has become iconic for suiting nearly every skin tone. I apply it with a big soft make-up brush and smile to apply it to the apple of my cheeks.

Next, I'll do my eyes. I first apply black kohl eyeliner, I use a classic MaxFactor pencil and then my favourite ever eyeshadow, the taupey brown out of the Body Shop's Shimmer Cubes. It's subtle but dusky and shimmery, you can blend the colours together too. I apply it with an eyeshadow brush. Then apply my Mascara, I like MaxFactor's False Lash Effect that extends without clumping and isn't too hard to get off. 

Then lips, I like natural pink pretty sheer lip balms rather than sticky glosses or drying lipsticks. They give enough colour whilst being moisturising and not too OTT. The Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipsticks are my ultimate favourites, in Boy {on the left} and Romance {the brighter pink on the right}. They're not long lasting but perfect for being just enough and you can reapply. Also I love Burt's Bees tinted lipbalms, they have lots of colours and again are really moisturising whilst giving some colour. And when I'm going out and feeling bold I'll wear a classic red lipstick.

I always wear Vaseline at night too to prevent dry lips.

I'm a nail varnish addict and feel naked without painted nails. A Shellac manicure is the ultimate and lasts for three weeks without chipping. It stays shiny too and doesn't damage your nails like Acrylics or Gels do, it simply crumbles off with acetone wrapped in foil when you want to take it off. I get shellac for special occasions or going on holiday. But in between I just file and paint my nails myself and have a huge drawer full of different brands and colours. Essie and Chanel are my favourites and have the best range of colours I find and the best quality. Some will chip within a day. You have to try Essie's topcoat too called No Chips Ahead. I find it extends my manicure for up to ten days depending on how much cleaning or gardening I'm doing but without it my nails would chip within three days. It is life changing stuff but does seem to take forever to dry. The good thing about painting your nails and not having shellac is being able to change the colour as often as the weather. I also swear by Boujouir's Magic Nail Varnish Remover, a pot you twist your fingers in and it removes it in one second without cotton wool. I should really wear hand cream but just find it so greasy, even the supposed non-greasy ones.

I'll always finish with a spritz of perfume, Flower Bomb by Victor and Rolf was always my favourite until I had English Pear and Freesia by Jo Malone for my Wedding day. Since then I've also discovered Blackberry and Bay as a favourite, a Christmas present from my Mumma this year and I got gifted a limited edition bottle of Orange Blossom at a Jo Malone tea party for SYGM recently. They all smell so so delicious and I think they're all necessary for different moods/seasons/occasions. I'm also eyeing up Wood Sage and Sea Salt, you can layer the Jo Malone fragrances but I've probably got enough to keep me going for a while.

So that's my beauty routine, how about yours? What am I missing? When do I need to start looking into anti ageing remedies? Not too soon I hope?! Also my best tip is to drink lots of water, I constantly carry a bottle around with me all the time and drink around 3 litres a day. Also q-tip cotton buds and Vaseline are handy for so many things and it's amazing what you can find in Wilko's.

R <3 xx 

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