Romantic make-up… just in time for Valentine’s Day

WHILE I’m not a huge fan on Valentine’s Day, I love an excuse to try out a new beauty look, and I love playing around with romantic colours to create a soft blush look perfect for the “big day”. 

Through playing around with bronzes, golds, blushes and oranges I found one of my favourite eye products of the last few months – Sleek’s i-Art liquid colour in Symbolism which takes five seconds to apply and gives your lids the perfect wash of burnished bronze which I absolutely love! It’s now nestled in my bathroom cabinet next to my toothbrush so even when I don’t have time to do a full look, I can just slick this colour on, smudge it in, whack on a bit of mascara and I’m ready to go! AND it’s £7. Such a bargain!

Eyebrows were shaped using Benefit’s Goof Proof gel pencil which I have found invaluable over the last few weeks and my eyebrows have been looking fantastic.

To create a radiant base, I used a Pur Minerals correcting primer which I’ve had in my collection for years but gives the perfect amount of coverage when you just want to even out skin. It has a lovely powdery finish. I layered this over Diego Dalla Palma’s Radiance Booster and finished with Beauty Pie’s Pro-Glow Highlighter in Cosmic Shine.


To add an extra boost on my cheekbones I used a touch of Girl Meets Pearl by Benefit, and finished off using Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Look palette.

This look was finished using Illamasqua’s Glamore lipstick in Soaked which is lovely and orange and instantly one of my new favourite shades. Now being kept in my handbag for beauty emergencies.

Valentine’s Day may be just round the corner, and let’s face it, a totally ridiculous day to celebrate a relationship, or lack thereof, but there’s still plenty of time to play around with many more romantic make-up looks!



Mega moisture for dry skin

THIS Mega moisture cream for sensitive skin from Basq has been a lifesaver for my husband’s dry winter skin. 

In winter he suffers with parched patches of skin, and really needs a product that is super-charged, and can soothe and replenish the dry skin he suffers from.

When he asked me to help him out with a moisturiser that was one step above the others, I was using this as a moisturiser already and was really impressed with the results, and I felt that this formula would really nourish and soothe his skin.

It has a triple rich blend of Illipe, Shea and Jojoba butters which replenishes dry, stressed skin.  It’s even better as it comes in a fragrance-free formula so that there are no extra irritants to the skin.

Highly recommended for those who need a really caring moisturiser – just like my husband.

Buy Basq NYC’s Mega Moisture Fragrance Free for Sensitive Skin, here.


Acting on Impulse

DOES anyone remember O2 by Impulse? 

This was one of my favourite scents of the 90s, and I used to wear it religiously! If I concentrate hard enough I can still remember the scent of it, and it takes me right back!

I’m clearly not the only one who adored that scent, check out this page on Sali Hughes’ website for a love letter to the famed scent which was perfect for the indie years of my life.

Since that time, it feels like Impulse struggled as a brand and lost their cool factor,  but when I came across these new scents from them I felt really sentimental and wanted to try them again, and they are GREAT!

I’ve tried two scents – one called Burnt Marshmallow & Leather Jacket, and Tropical Beach & Espresso. They are both really lush, not too sickly sweet but a good combination of sweet and musky giving a nice boost for the morning.

Best of all they are still super affordable coming in at under a fiver and are currently on sale at Superdrug.

Still not a patch on O2 though.

Try Impulse’s range of Body Mists for £3.50, here. 

A touch of Noire

THERE’S something so special about Shay & Blue.

Established in 2012, they have certainly made an impression on me with their stunning perfumes which use natural ingredients and an artisan approach to perfume making.

In their own words, they say “We take a ’boutique’ point of view. A boutique point of view means personal passion. It means a concern for detail and craftsmanship. It means that we work with our hands. That we work with the chosen few – the skilled craftsmen and artisans of traditional fine fragrance.”

This scent, called Framboise noire, is the second fragrance I’ve tried from the boutique perfumery, the first being Dandelion Fig fragrance, and both are equally as potent with beautiful staying power. I’m totally addicted.

It has top notes of rare black raspberry and mixed forest berries; a heart note of iris pallid; and base notes of white oud and black woods. It’s a really rich and fragrant eau de parfum that always makes me feel special when I spray it on.

To add to the luxury and quality, Shay & Blue is handcrafted in England with real flowers, fruits and spices.

Buy Shay & Blue here Framboise Noire for £55, here.



Paw Paw to the rescue!

AFTER living in Australia for almost six years, I’m familiar with the superhero benefits of paw paw (Aussies are evangelical about it), but have never actually tried it for myself until recently. 

What a mistake that has been!

This range from Natralus has been a rescue remedy for my dry skin and chapped lips over the last few months as we’ve battled the bitter winter months here in the UK.

My go-to lip saviour at the minute is the Natralus Essential Paw Paw Ointment (and have had to hide it from my husband a few times!) which seems to work miracles and leave my pout pillowy-soft.

Natralus is a family-run business located in South Australia using only natural and organic ingredients. So a really great brand to support.

After years of denying myself the benefits of paw paw, I definitely won’t be making the same mistake again!

Buy the Natralus range here. 


My first taste of Fenty Beauty

I’VE WANTED to try the Fenty Beauty range for a while, so I was super excited to try out these shimmer sticks as my introduction to Rihanna’s beauty collection.

I must have tried approximately a billion illuminates, highlighters and shimmers in my years of beauty writing, whether that be powders, creams, sticks, liquids or balms. I love the shimmering effect that you get on your skin, and so I’ve explored this product extensively and held it as a passion.

So how do these compare? They are a really interesting texture – almost matte in their application they are a lot less creamy than other sticks I’ve tried. At first I thought this might be as I was applying over powder but today I tried on freshly cleansed skin and confirmed that they are definitely drier in their application.

I thought that this may affect the colour pay off, but I don’t actually think it does. I used the pale shade Starstruck on my cheeks and brow bone to highlight, and the lilac shade Unicorn as a base across my eyes and found it super wearable much to my surprise. I finished with a bit of powder from Beauty Pie and had to sweep my face with a brush afterwards to blend but I’m impressed with these shimmer sticks.

From looking at the full colour range of Fenty Shimmer Sticks, there is a rose gold (dupe for Orgasm by Nars it looks like) called Trippin which I’d love to get my mitts on. And I love the fact that they are hexagonal and magnetised so stick together saving precious make-up shelf space!

First impressions of Fenty? So far so good… definitely keen to try more, more, more!

Buy Fenty Beauty Shimmer sticks here for £21.

Unicorn style!

FIVE years.

That’s the amount of time I feel I have left to experiment with wild makeup before I turn 40, and therefore should probably tone it down a bit.

So in the spirit of having fun with beauty, I wanted to try the holographic/ultra violet trend that is sweeping Instagram at the moment.

To my surprise, I found Illamasqua’s pure pigment in Static super wearable and it really suited my new dark hair colour! I would never have really thought about trying a glittering subtle pigment on my eyes like this, but I’m so glad I did! I’ll definitely be wearing it again.

Fenty’s Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Unicorn (anther lilac tone) was another choice that I wasn’t quite sure about but when I swept it on, it really looked great! The cooling tones against my warmer dark red hair was really complimentary. I’d wanted to try Rihanna’s beauty line Fenty for a while and am still keen to experiment a bit more with these shimmer sticks. The pay off wasn’t as creamy as other sticks I’ve tried, but I was putting it over lots of powdery products so am curious to get to know the line a lot better.

I love this face and body radiance booster by Diego Dalla Palma, I put it all over my skin and then just touch up with Laura Mercier Candleglow foundation to finish off. Then add a sweep of powder – I used Pro-Glow Highlighter by Beauty Pie in Cosmic Shine.

Eyebrows were touched up by Goof Proof brow pencil from Benefit just to fill them in and I used Ciate’s chisel eyeliner to line my eyelids.

So while I think that I’ve only got another few years to experiment with make-up… I’m actually really sold on this subtle yet shimmering beauty look. Maybe I will still be able to have fun with make-up beyond my 40th birthday!

24k Gold

DECADENCE is what I think of when I look at this exfoliating gel from Janjira.

It looks beautiful and would make a great Mother’s Day gift for a beauty-inclined Mum and is from a luxurious brand which I really get on with.

However, full disclosure: this product didn’t suit my skin. I’m used to exfoliators with a scrub in it to wash away dead skin cells, however this went on as a gel but then as you rub it in, it turned goopy on my skin and created little “bobbles” of gel which I just didn’t like. The Janjira exfoliating gel contains gold and citrus/fruit enzymes to cleanse the skin rather than a physical scrub so just wasn’t my type of product.

As it wasn’t for me, I passed it onto a friend to try and she loves it! So much so she’s been asking me for more intel on other skincare to buy such as acids and retinols.

She messaged me to say that her skin is glowing and her skin is “so smooth” after using it.

Definitely a slice of decadence, depending on what kind of exfoliating products you are used to using.

Buy Janjira 24k Gold Luminous Exfoliating Gel here, for £35.

Winter skincare when pregnant

THERE’S been a lot on social media about the virtues of ‘self-care’ and looking after oneself, which should seem obvious, but when we’re all so busy socialising, working, parenting, wife-ing and the rest, it can be quite far down on the list of priorities. 

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 16.16.14My version of self-care has started with resigning from a job that wasn’t meeting my ambitions, and therefore taking precious time away from my son; getting as much sleep as possible when six months’ pregnant with a two-year-old son; and finally delving into my beauty stash and making sure I’m using as many lovely face and bump creams as possible to ensure that I have a lovely glow.

So far, so good as my skin is currently glowing so much that I’ve ditched foundation and am just topping up with highlighters and illuminators. My current routine is using this wonderful, luxe Moisture Boost Vit+ C Cream from Emma Hardie which sinks in like a dream on my thirsty skin and makes me feel really refreshed, as well as a Clinique night cream which has really worked wonders on my skin. I sometimes top up with Clinique’s Dramatically Different gel to add an extra halo effect, and before I apply any make-up I use Ren’s Perfect Canvas serum/primer which really, really suits my skin and gives a really gorgeous brightness to my skin.

I’ve also fallen in love with the whole range from Laura Geller and am using her Shine Stick lipstick to give my lips a tint – about as natural as I’m ever going to get for a beauty look!

Meanwhile, I’ve been using Susanne Kaufmann pomegranate oil on my bump in the morning, followed by Rituals’ gorgeous baby bump cream at night. Apparently the pomegranate oil is ideal for after pregnancy, but at the minute my skin is feeling so stretched at the moment, I’m calling in all the big guns.

All in all, my skin is feeling great. If using lovely beauty creams and wonderful make-up can be counted as ‘self-care’ … then count me in!

Glowing for (rose) Gold

JANUARY is a tough month at the best of times, so when I’m feeling the January blues I let my mind wander to beauty and make-up to distract myself and make me feel excited again.

I’ve been using a strict regime of face cleansers and creams, baby bump creams and oils, hair oils and more to make sure I’Rose Gold 2m feeling in tip top condition, and have been experimenting with different make-up looks each morning as I love playing around with beauty looks and it’s so much fun!

One of the looks that I wanted to try was a rose gold beauty look. My skin is in great condition at the moment, so I wanted to add to that glow and really enhance it.

I used Diego Dalla Palma Radiance Booster Face & Body to give my skin a base glow, which is all I really need at the moment. I put on a touch of concealer to cover any flaws, but left my skin’s radiance to shine through. I then dusted on Too Faced’s Love Light powder in Ray of Light, how amazing is this heart-shaped jewel of loveliness?! Totally obsessed. Diego Dalla Palma’s Metal Eyeshadow forms a strong metallic wash for eyes to give that certain sparkle, finished with the divine rose gold eyeliner from Barry M.

I finished off the look with mascara from La Roche Posay and filled in my eyebrows with my go-to Great Brows eyebrow palette from MAC and painted on a wash of metallic using Barry M’s Lip Kit in Couture – a lovely rose gold colour.

I’ve been experimenting with quite bold looks lately – lots of greens and blues – but this rose gold look was one of my favourites. Definitely a good look for these chilly winter months when your make-up can give you a little boost, taking you away from a frosty day.