27 July 2015

Life Lately - July 2015

It's been a busy few weeks; I have been here there and everywhere! I've always loved keeping busy but especially when you feel a bit down or sad, it's good to get out and not sit at home, you need to  see friends and people that love you and it will give you a boost. My friends have been amazing and I have caught up with so many people that would normally be quite busy which is great, it's been lovely to see them all.

I've been to quite a lot of cool places so I thought I would update you on that too.  I went to see The Mentalists at the theater with Stephen Merchant and Steffan Rhodri which was good, although I thought Steffan was a much better actor, Stephen seemed a bit wooden! Steffan was brilliant and really reminded me of my old hairdresser Dennis as they had a very similar personality and it was a very believable performance.  Before the theater I had my first Chipotle and oh my god, it is life! I somehow doubt that will be my last Chipotle, the margaritas are soooo good as well.  

I went to see 50 Cent at the O2 and, despite the very odd old man next to us who appeared to be high as a kite (or just having some...issues) we had a great time, I do love a good concert whatever the type of music where you can get down and have a dance. I like all gigs from small ones to festivals and things at the O2 and I think I have quite a diverse taste in music, from classical, 80's, Rap, Hip Hop to Folky type music which people always seem surprised at.  Speaking of music, one of my favourite new songs out is Everyday by Rod Stewart and A$AP Rocky so give that a listen if you fancy something new.

I decided to finally finish off decorating my apartment, and I am starting with the spare room.  I ordered myself the obligatory blogger dressing table, the white malm Ikea one that is in all of the YouTube videos and every other blogger's home it seems! I have always thought (and been told) I was terrible at DIY but I managed to construct it all by myself and while the drawer does stick a bit, and it took a few hours to make, it's made pretty well. I was quite proud of myself it has to be said. Finally I can stop doing my make-up on the dining room table! I still need to order a bed and get rid of the bookcase that's in there, but the dressing table is a good start.

I've been to some really fun bars including the rooftop bar in Trafalgar Square at the Trafalgar Hotel called Vista. It is amazing and somewhere I definitely recommend going to.  We may have ordered one of the biggest drinks I have ever seen but hey..ironic YOLO moment! The view is great and the staff really lovely.

 Cahoots in Kingly Court just off of Carnaby Street which is really cool and based on an underground station with a 1940's vibe.  You do have to say the special phrase when you get to the door, which we didn't know! That was embarrassing! Try googling it before you get there if you don't get an email with the code.  Its good for those that like going to somewhere a little different and a bit quirky.

The cocktails were good and I wish I could remember the one I had, it's pictured below in the top left corner and was delicious.  The bar was packed and I think you have to book in advance so we were lucky to get a table.  I think this is a place that's much better to go with a group of 4+ as the tables for two weren't in the best location and the chairs were really uncomfortable, so keep that in mind and go for work drinks or a birthday rather than a chat with a friend or a date.

I met up with my lovely friend Jenny who I hadn't seen for ages for dinner at Crazy Homie's in Westbourne park which is a Mexican restaurant (my fave-well along with Japanese), the food was amazing and the drinks, wow I didn't need more than one, it knocked my socks off!  I also went to see my friend Tanya and her daughter Ruby who I've known for years, it was so nice to see her and my Rubes.

Last week I got to go to one of my old favourite places, Burger and Lobster and somewhere I have always wanted to go to - Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. I can't wait to go to Ronnie Scott's again as the music was amazing and we danced for hours. I saw a girl there nearly pass out on the side of the dance floor, it's definitely a dance until you drop type of place! I really recommend it here but try not to pass out!

This weekend I went to Oxford to meet a new old friend Cassie which sounds really weird but we've been chatting on Twitter for such a long time (years) but never met in person as we live so far away from each other so we met up at Bicester shopping village in Oxford and shopped until we dropped. It's so nice to get out of your comfort zone and do things like that. I mean don't just meet up with strangers obviously but someone who is an actual friend and you can quite obviously tell is genuine and normal, why not!

We shopped for so long that my phone battery died and I had to navigate my way home with no map or sat nav from Oxford to Kent! I shocked myself as I  managed to do it quite easily (apart from the rogue swan that was on the motorway)! Perhaps I have the homing instinct of a pigeon?!

Beauty wise I got back to the blog writing grind and am halfway through writing about Jurlique skincare, a new Fake Bake 5 minute self-tanner and some amazing new super sciencey skincare which I am obsessed with that I can hopefully share soon. I find writing so cathartic. 

It's good to treat yourself and look after yourself and they do say if you look good you feel better, being single at 30 does remind you of your age, so I had a top up of my Botox to cheer me up, it honestly is like therapy in an injection to me, if you can't frown you kind of stop trying, which really helps you stop feeling as tense about things.  It really is my top beauty tip if you are into that sort of thing like me. It definitely works out a lot cheaper than using millions of expensive creams that don't do anything. I always go to SK:N clinic in Holborn in case you want a recommendation. I have blogged about it before if you want to see pictures.

I also had another pedicure at Cheeky Parlour in Holborn which I have also reviewed previously, for £26 the pedicure is excellent and so relaxing.  I might book myself in for a facial and a pedicure somewhere on payday as well. I need a bit of pampering!

Credit https://www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/burj-al-arab/
Other super exciting news is that I am going to Dubai in August! Obviously now my holiday to Colombia is off the cards I have plenty of free holiday days so why not use them and get away to visit friends? I am super exciting to see some sun, have a change of scenery, get away from work and just relax. I haven't had a relaxing holiday in years and with all of the things that I do, and the fact that I am always working or running around I am pretty exhausted and have been for a long time, so I absolutely cannot wait to just do what I want, when I want and see some amazing things. 

I can't wait to sit and read books in peace and see my beautiful friend Farrah and hopefully another friend will join too, fingers crossed she is able!

If you have any suggestions of places to go or things to do, or even books to read, then please do put them in the comments below, I would really appreciate it. I am going to go and read all of Laura's posts of places she's been to get some ideas.

20 July 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Haul and Review

Finally I got around to purchasing some products from Charlotte Tilbury. I have coveted them for a while but the price, it has to be said, did put me off.  I was given a voucher as a gift for Selfridges so I decided to use it to treat myself to some of the beautiful Charlotte Tilbury Makeup range.

I am never one to peruse a shop or make-up counter these days, I seem to live my life on the internet and shopping is no exception. So armed with plenty of reviews and a list I ordered some goodies online.

First up is the Light Wonder Foundation in Shade 3.  This isn't really what I would call a proper foundation to be honest; it is more the coverage and consistency of a tinted moisturiser.  The colour match is spot on for me and the texture is great but there isn't much coverage so you will need powder and concealer even if you’re in a rush.  I like that it doesn't accentuate fine lines or dryness and it gives the 'your skin but better' look that I like so it's quite dewy if you don't use powder. This would be good for those with good skin, dry skin or those with more mature skin or that behaves like mature skin (lines, dryness, and sun damage) as it doesn't accentuate any of those things.

As I was buying the foundation I also splashed out on the primer, Wonderglow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash Primer.  I had assumed at the time of purchase that this would work well with the Light Wonder Foundation since they are from the same brand but I don't really find it does, it tends to sheer out the foundation even more, meaning that there is barely any coverage.  I have tried it with other foundations and I did really want to like this product but it just doesn't really do anything for me at all.

My skin doesn't look particularly glowing or any different/better than when I don't use it. Foundation applies the same as with other primers so it isn't marvellous at smoothing or priming the skin, and didn't make my foundation last any longer than without using it.  The packaging is great and I love the rose gold, but sadly this just wasn't worth the money for me to recommend. Perhaps years of using benefit High Beam mixed in with my foundation to give a great glow has meant that this is so subtle I can't see it.

Blusher is a good test of a brand's products as it can either be very good or very very bad. I ordered the Cheek to Chic Blusher in Ecstasy and this definitely falls into the 'very good' camp from the great size and beautiful packaging to the colour and pigmentation. You can use both colours separately or mixed together and the texture is very smooth which I presume means it is very finely milled.  It applies really well and you don't need a lot of product so be sparing. The colour pay-off is great and it lasts for most of the day on me, although has generally faded by the time I get home from work so do most other blushers (I think my face eats them).

The last product I ordered was basically because on the day I realised I was just about to run out of Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. Panic time! So I ordered the Multi Miracle Glow Balm which can be used as a cleanser, balm or face mask.  

I love this stuff, the pot is huge (and so pretty) and it's a cream to oil balm consistency which feels a bit like a balm mixed with a gel with a sort of marshmallowy texture that I can't really explain. It's full of lovely ingredients such as sea buckthorn oil, rosehip oil and camelia oil and it gets rid of all makeup including mascara and leaves your skin glowing. Using it as an overnight mask makes my skin so soft and smooth and it's great to have a double duty product. 

It's obviously a luxury but for the price it is a great product and I would definitely alternate between this cleanser and the Emma Hardie one in future to change things up a bit.  Tip - use with a flannel to remove, you won't get any makeup off if you're trying to remove with cotton pads.
  • Light Wonder Foundation £32
  • Wonderglow Primer £38.50
  • Cheek to Chic Blusher £30
  • Multi Miracle Glow Balm £45
Overall a mostly successful haul, I got some great products with beautiful rose gold packaging.  Do remember that these are luxury products and have a luxury price tag so only splurge if you can afford it.  I would recommend the Multi Miracle Glow Balm as an absolute must have for those with normal to dry skin or those concerned about anti ageing and hydration and the blusher as it is so pigmented and a great size for the price.

Do you have any Charlotte Tilbury favourites that I haven't tried? Please do let me know in the comments.

14 July 2015

Current Estée Lauder and Urban Decay Favourites

Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer

In need of a new primer I decided to try this Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer after some recommendations from friends on twitter. I like that it is more of a double duty product and a serum and primer in one as it contains many of the anti-ageing ingredients also used in the Estee Lauder serums (which I have always liked). It’s been great for using these last few months as it’s been quite humid even when it’s not been sunny, so my skin has been more normal combination than its usual state which is drier than the desert.

I really like how it makes the texture of my skin really smooth and makes me look poreless, giving a really flawless finish with pretty much all of my foundations and tinted moisturisers.  It means I don’t always have to use powder as it keeps shine at bay for most of the day but I think that would depend on how oily your skin is. This definitely goes above and beyond all the other foundation primers I have tried so far.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer

When I picked up the primer there was a special offer going on if you purchased 2 items, so of course I needed to get something else.  I haven’t tried the double wear foundation as I don’t need that much coverage so I went for the concealer as sometimes after a sleepless night my dark circles make me look like a panda, and I do get a red spot now and again which needs extra coverage.

This product certainly doesn’t disappoint and provides really full coverage with a matte finish.  You do need to blend it fairly quickly as it is quite a dry formulation but that is easily done for small areas like spots or dark circles. You can be very sparing with this so it will last a long time and it’s great for touch-ups during the day to refresh your makeup.  Overall another winner. 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer

I love this concealer. I bought it on a whim as I had heard the foundation was good and it’s amazing. It’s my new favourite everyday concealer and I use it mostly for under eyes or a bit on the nose and cheekbones over foundation to highlight.

This concealer covers dark circles without settling in any fine lines (which I hate, do I NEED a reminder I am not 21)?  It’s really lightweight and it doesn’t get oily as the day goes on, it just stays where it needs to be.  You don’t need to use much and it blends really easily with your fingers or a sponge. Most importantly it really covers my dark circles, and mine are pretty bad as I often have trouble sleeping. Another great product from Urban Decay.

Urban Decay Naked Ultra Nourishing Lip-gloss in Liar

As above this was another whim purchase, and do I ‘need’ another lipgloss….obviously not, but when has that ever stopped me, especially when the product has rose gold packaging? The good news is I love this lip gloss and am so glad I bought it. It’s the perfect pinky nude ‘your lips but better’ shade for me.  It’s really moisturising and doesn’t feel sticky all. It’s light and pretty sheer but lasts for a good time before you need to reapply and it doesn’t have any shimmer, so very work appropriate. I also like that when you first apply it, it feels slightly cool and tingly/minty.  I will definitely get a few more colours. 

What are your current favourite products?