Friday, January 30, 2015

2014 Skincare Favourites

I certainly feel like during 2014 I started to learn more about skincare and more importantly my own skin. I've talked often about how until I started entering the beauty blogging arena my regimes had been lacking. Now I wouldn't be without my arsenal of products and the more I'm lucky enough to experience I learn what does and doesn't work for my skin.

Here are some of my favourites from 2014.

Mask of Magnaminty link
I first used the Mask of Magnaminty last Summer and I've yet to repurchase only because I wanted to sample more masks I had to hand. Despite my day to day regimes being up to scratch I can't say the same for adding masks to my routine and that is a goal for 2015. I'm still resisting the repurchase for the same reason as before but my willpower is starting to wane especially as I think if the Mask of Magnaminty was back in my life I would actually make the time for mask application.

Vichy Idealia Eyes Cream* link
This eye cream which forms part of the Idealia range from Vichy and as two products form part of this yearly favourites post you will note I'm a fan. As I initially reviewed in this post this eye cream is a wonder for mornings, particularly after a harsh night due to it's illuminators. Anyone with a dodgy sleeping pattern needs this in their life.

L'Oreal Refreshing Toner link
At the weekend I waved a bottle of this under my mum's nose to show how it smells of 'man' and she agreed. If you're not a fan of that sort of scent then this toner is not for you, likewise if you're not of the mature ilk. I'm on my second bottle of this toner which I love for it's affordability and brightening properties (do you sense a theme here). My preference is to use this of an evening to date although it originally appeared in my morning skincare line up.

Vichy Idealia Life Serum* link
Slightly questionable lifestyle? Fond of a drink or two? Smoker? If you answer yes to any of these questions then Vichy Idealia Serum is for you. Of course it's not just for those with shall we say, bad habits but targeted for those who have environmental stresses that we all experience at certain times of life.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo[+] link
I would say that I was bored of talking about the Effaclar Duo[+] from La Roche Posay if it wasn't for the fact that I love this product. I was initially introduced to this tube of wonder way back in March 2014 and since then it's featured as a regular part of my skincare line up and been repurchased on numerous occasions. On it's initial use I'd apply both morning and night, now I'm in a position that my skin is clear enough to only require using it on one or two days throughout the week, generally of an evening. During 'that time of the month' I'll amp up it's usage as that's why I typically find one or two hormonal spots wanting to make an appearance but otherwise unless I've been slack in removing make up I'm blemish free. Of course on those occasions I've slipped enough to not even use a face wipe I make sure I feature the Effaclar Duo in my routine.

Soap & Glory Peaches & Clean Cleanser
Finally a cleanser that despite being brought on a whim with no research has become a firm favourite. I use this creamy cleanser of a morning and love both it's formula and scent. My face is always left refreshed without any dryness and the smell is delicious. I'm about 3/4 of a way through my current bottle and I will certainly repurchase when the time comes. It's affordable, often available on offer at Boots and comes with a handy pump dispenser bottle which is clear so you can see how much you have used/have left. There are nothing but good things for me to say about this product.

So there you have a peek at my 2014 skincare favourites, does anything in my list take your fancy?

*PR Sample

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Atelier Cologne Candle

Atelier Cologne Ambre Nue Candle* link
At Christmas I would usually purchase a festive Yankee Candle but this year with limited time at home I decided instead to stick with the Ambre Nue candle I had been sent by Atelier Cologne.

Atelier Cologne is a 'new to me' brand which you'll find in the likes of Selfridges and Liberty so that will give you an indication of it's place as a luxury brand as well as their store locations being in New York and Paris.

Each scent is created with a story, Ambre Nue's being,

"we were staying in the mountains when we met them. She told us about a mysterious flower. He told us where we might find it. The next morning, near the top of the crest, in a moment, a scent seduced us. It was so unexpected and magical: a single flower capturing the wildest ambery bouquet."

Well doesn't that sound exotic. Simply put Ambre Nue has the following notes which I would describe as warm and masculine, everything I would like in a scent. 

Top notes: green mandarin from Italy, Scilian bergamot, tajetes from Egypt
Heart notes: orchid nigritella rubra, cinnamon from Sri Lanka, benzoin from Thailand
Base notes: cistus labdanum from Spain, amber, tonka bean from Brazil

I'm definitely tempted to try the cologne on my next trip to one of the stockists. 

Whilst this wasn't my or anyones traditional Christmas scent it was certainly the perfect one for cold nights in front of the tv with a glass of red wine - and even better now I have finished the candle the luxurious purple glass it was in makes the best brush holder.

*PR Sample

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Products That Didn't Work For Me #5

As I've mentioned in a few posts recently I am trying to work my way through overflowing drawers of products and work out what I do and don't like. Whilst I'm lucky enough to have access to and receive many products through blogging it's good to take stock and pass on the things I don't enjoy to homes where they will be appreciated.

The first product that didn't make the cut was the Anastasia Beverley Hills Perfect Brow Pencil. Perfect for me this was not. I actually purchased this in error believing I'd picked put the Brow Wiz which needing repurchasing. You can imagine the drama when I opened the box and the product was not there that I expected. Nevertheless I decided to give this pencil a try although was disappointed with the results. Whether it was my familiarity with the Brow Wiz and other similar products but this pencil was too harsh and not creamy enough to blend. I appreciate my skills may be lacking but I could not make this work for me and the brow wiz was repurchased and this pencil was ditched.

During one of my US visits there was a white nail polish phased happening so I picked up Essie's Blanc to try. For whatever reason it sat unloved for a long time till, as I've said I was going through my collection and decided to find out if this was a keeper. It's not hence it's appearance in this post. Again as I've said I've a small Essie collection of colours but I've always been impressed and happy with how they apply. Blanc was difficult to work with, it was like cheap watery tippex and need numerous layers to achieve opacity. How did I feel about white nail polish? Not for me, it felt like I was back in school painting on Tippex - just with a worse formula. If I was one to give myself a french manicure I might have kept it for that purpose but as I'm not it's off to a better home.

Finally rather than a product off to pastures new it's a group of, and that group is glitter. I have decided glitter is not for me. I'd blame my age but my mum loves and has always loved some sparkle on her nails and I often seen pictures or manicures either with all or an accent nail covered in glitter of some description and love it but for my stubby nails it's just not meant to be. On one hand I could keep the glitter just in case but quite frankly the effort required to just remove an accent nail of glitter vs the pleasure having it brings is just not balanced.

I'd love to know your thoughts on glitter nails, thumbs up or thumbs down?

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Origami Flamingo Jewellery

Flamingo Origami Jewellery link
Regular readers and friends of mine will know about my love of Flamingos. I have no idea why or wear it came from but a love it is. Myself and Caroline from Cocktails and Caroline do love to tweet one another our flamingo finds ranging from the affordable to the more expensive

Having a 'thing' makes present buying for me very easy so when my brother and his family spotted this Origami Flamingo necklace and earrings it was a given it would find it's way under the Christmas tree for me.

It's the cutest set that adds a little bit of fun to any outfit yet being white gold silver plated means that it's not intrusive enough to wear to the office with a simple black dress or adds something to the weekend wardrobe.

I'm building up something of a collection of flamingo and pineapple jewellery which I love to wear.

What's your 'thing' and do you have any fun jewellery like this?

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Monday, January 26, 2015

December Empties

Like my December favourites I'm 'late' with the products I used up last month and I better get posting as January's are hot on the heels. Towards the end of 2014 I made a conscious decision to start using products I own rather than adding more 'just because'.

Batiste Dry Shampoo, Dark & Deep Brown link
A staple in my haircare line up is Batiste Dry Shampoo. I wear the Dark & Deep Brown shade which obviously compliments my darker hair that other brands and shades don't. I tend to wash my hair daily but find this dry shampoo refreshens nicely before a night out or equally on a lazy day at home. Will I repurchase? Of course, and stay tuned for a haul in which I demonstrate that! It's up - you can read it here.

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara link
I probably could've got some more wear out of the Tarte mascara which I would say was one of my favourites for 2014. Unfortunately as the photo shows the regular lid broke towards the end of it's like and it was made difficult to open without using my teeth - not ideal. I would definitely repurchase again although my collection of mascaras is excessive and as such I need to work my way through those first.

The Body Shop Body Polish, Vanilla Bliss link
Vanilla Bliss Body Polish is just that, bliss. A present from Christmas 2013 that I put away as we went into Summer and brought out again last Winter. I love the scent of vanilla and I can definitely vouch it was more of a polish than a scrub. It's creamy yet softly gritty texture meant you could use alone without adding a regular shower gel. I do have the shower gel to compliment this and it's currently in my bathroom being used. I would definitely repurchase this as an alternative to other scrubs when I was something to gently exfoliate my skin rather than going in heavy duty.

The Wet Brush link
I have posted about my love for The Wet Brush, battled against the Tangle Teezer in this post and my stance hasn't changed. So much love do I have for this brush that as it was starting to show signs of regular use I paid the UK price via Cult Beauty (repurchase post here) to replace it. A traditional shaped brush that works through hair like a dream, it's another 2014 favourite.

Vichy Idealia Smoothing & Illuminating Cream* link
I love the Vichy Idealia Range and you will have seen this moisturiser pop up in morning skincare regime as well as the Idealia Serum and Eyes products in this post. And spoiler... it's also going to feature in my 2014 skincare favourites coming up later this week. Until I was introduced to the 'smoothing and illuminating cream' I hadn't found a day moisturisers that particularly wowed me. I love the light almost gel like consistency of this product and how my skin appears even before I slap on the make up. It's light enough for Summer and looking online I see there is one available for dry skin which would work for this time of year when my skin is on that side of the fence. Again I would repurchase and the only reason I haven't yet is my challenge to use products I already own.

Chanel Nail Polish link
Last Friday I posted about my Chanel nail polish collection and how following some use of the festive period I was using them to confirm my fears that the formula just isn't for me. Two at least have been used in their entirety, 18 Rouge Noir the classic shade we all know and love and 127 Irresistible which was a limited edition shade from some years ago. As last weeks post alludes I will not be replacing and am now on the hunt for a Rouge Noir dupe as it is a favourite shade of mine.

Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Clothes: Brightening link
Shock horror - cleansing wipes! It will come as no surprise that during December, the month of late nights and hangovers I emptied a pack of cleansing wipes. Whilst I generally follow a more pleasing skincare regime there are just some occasions when the fact I use a face wipes should be considered a success rather than what my pillow wipes off during the night. I purchased this face wipes during one of my US trips following some talk on the usual blogs and YouTube channels. I wasn't particularly impressed. Ultimately I don't want to use face wipes as they can lead me to be lazy. I purchased these under the heading 'if I'm going to be 'bad' use a better brand' but I didn't find them any better than the Simple wipes I used during an overnight stop off. Of course I'm sure if I looked into ingredients etc then  I might be swayed but for the few occasions I use face wipes I can't justify the cost. As such this would be a no to repurchasing.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water link
I 'battled' the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water against the L'Oreal Version in this post and Garnier won. Whilst there was little difference I noticed at the time Garnier just pipped the post. Having finished this bottle and took to using a bottle from L'Oreal I had in my drawer before repurchasing I've noticed a bigger difference in how dry my skin feels. As I've mentioned my skin is drier at this time of year so likely doesn't help but I definitely find a slight tightness in my skin from L'Oreal which I don't with Garnier. I use a micellar water to remove my eye and/or face make up before going in with a cleanser of an evening. I seem to be going through the L'Oreal version far quicker than the Garnier but as soon as that bottle sees itself in an empties post I will be repurchasing.

Soap & Glory Hand Food link
Finally, no surprises is another hand cream. This small travel size has floated around in bags, hand luggage and the like and finally come to it's end. A full size sits on my desk at work and I'm sure I'll repurchase another travel size for my Summer holidays. The scent is amazing and product itself does what it should. If you're interested in giving it a try they currently have 3 for 2 on Soap & Glory products so it's a good time to stock up.

I'd love to know your thoughts on any of these products, especially face wipes and micellar waters.

*PR Sample

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Friday, January 23, 2015

December 2014 Favourites

I'm not sure who set the rules about monthly favourites posts and what point we should publish them  but I think it's safe to say I'm late with my favourites for December. Even so these were the products I particularly enjoyed using during the festive season and I wanted to share them with you.

Leighton Denny Miracle Mist* link
I received the speed-drying spray from Leighton Denny in a goodie bag following an event and must confess it had sat unloved for some time, rather strange especially since I'm rather impatient when waiting for nail polish to dry. Over Christmas I was chopping and changing colours to compliment my festive whims and started reaching for this spray and was pretty impressed with how quickly it aided drying time. The reason for this I learn is because of silicone causing a hard film to quickly form on top of the polish and voila. It's worst mentioning this mist also works to condition cuticles, that whilst I like to use a seperate cuticle oil, others may like being able to skip a step.

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil, Cranberry link
I purchased the Bite Beauty Pencil from Sephora whilst in Vegas not last year, but the year before. I do love a good red and I can't deny the fact the colour was called Cranberry was a selling point as I liked the idea of making it my 'Christmas Colour'. Unfortunately I was somewhat underwhelmed but fast forward a year and for whatever reason it was not reaching favourite status.

The matte formula is creamy and doesn't cause dryness and the pencil form makes it ideal for slipping into clutch bags for nights out. Slightly darker than your traditional red it was the lip product I wore most throughout December.

Jo Malone, Ginger Biscuit Cologne link
Way back in November 2013 was when Ginger Biscuit Cologne, part of Jo Malone's Limited Edition 'Sugar & Spice' collection came into my life and it breaks my heart that you'll be seeing it pop up in my January Empties post. I'm not usually one for sugary sweet scents but this one had the right mix of warmth and sugar for me to enjoy and if it were still sold in stores I would repurchase. After working my way through the at least half of the bottle throughout the Winter of 2013 I put it away to use over Christmas 2014 as it's exactly the sort of fragrance you want to wear at that time of year. Jo if you're reading, please bring it back.

Sonia Kasuk Core Tools Synthetic Pointed Foundation Brush - No 121 link
I've used a number of Sonia Kashuk make up brushes over the years, picking them up from Target during my visits stateside and they have stood the test of time sitting alongside recent MAC and Real Technique additions. I'd seen one or two YouTubers using a larger pointed brush for their foundation and I wanted to join in and decided to add No 121 from the Core Tools collection to mine. Used with Maybelline's Fit Me Concealer it created a dream team. The pointed end fits neatly under the eye with enough width to blend concealer and disguise dark circles and it's a duo I'm still using in January.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer link
I first reviewed this concealer back in March and you can read the post here and was in the camp who love this concealer. I still am not in a position to compare this to the higher end Nars version which this is often called a dupe for but let's just say my enjoyment of using Maybelline's version means I'm in no rush.

I think I have quite bad dark circles due to bad sleeping habits, other's tell me they're not so bad but either way I find that Fit Me provides the coverage I need. I have been using Make Up Forever's HD Foundation of late which is of a higher coverage so may explain why I can get away with what others say is too sheer a concealer. If you want to try it for yourself Boots are currently offering buy 1 get 1 half price on Maybelline products so it's a good opportunity.

Jo Malone, Pomegranate Noir Body Cream link
I'm not really one to save things for best but I do reserve my Jo Malone Bath Oil's and such for nights out and special occasions. That said because my social life can often revolve around drinks after work the pre-night out pamper session rarely happens. During December I started reaching for my Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir products more either before a night or just because. I've had this small sized body cream for a while and usually because of other body lotions or tanning I've not used it waiting for the right time, well Christmas was it. We all know Pomegranate Noir is one of Jo Malone's best selling scents and I love its dark and enigmatic scent and loved extending the smell from bath oil, body wash to the final step of body lotion.

I hope you didn't mind my tardiness with this months favourites and I promise to be more prompt with January's.

*PR Sample

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chanel Nail Polish Collection

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour link
Chanel Nail Polish. The product worthy of numerous Pinterest and Instagram photos and packaging that doesn't fail to make one happy on purchasing or to view sitting atop a dressing table. Unfortunately that is where the love ends as if I'm honest I wanted to call this post 'products that are crap but we still buy'. 

I was first introduced to Chanel nail colours with shade 113 Koala. My friend (who incidentally now hates Chanel nail polish!) gave this to me many years ago as a birthday gift and it started an obsession that went on for many years. My back catalogue of blog post features Chanel nail colours even before beauty blogging became a staple on Florence and Mary.

As the photo shows there is an abundance of reds all with slight differences, favourites being 475 Dragon (bought by Ben as he thought the name was amusing!) and 08 Pirate which I brought for a Pirate themed fancy dress party - always one to commit fully to a theme. 

I also had something of an addiction to the limited edition colours such as 657 Azure. So desperate was I to track one colour down (which is no longer in my collection) that mum eventually found it in a pharmacy in Ibiza.  

Of course there was the famous Rouge Noir which turned up in an empties post only recently but unfortunately as time as gone on and I am lucky enough to try various other nail polish ranges I'm realising what my friend has been telling me for years, Chanel Nail Enamel just isn't any good.

When I was using the range with acrylic nails they worked perfectly but now with natural nails they just do not stand up against the cheaper brands. Towards the end of 2014 I was particularly impressed with the Bourjois 1 Seconde range. I could paint my nails before bed and wake to no smudges and whilst nail polish doesn't last the weeks it does forever many this gave me almost a week or wear without chipping that is unheard. 

Wanting to maintain the love for Chanel I used one or two reds recently and I was lucky to last one day without chipping. I also find that the older they get and the closer to the bottom of the bottle you are the more difficult they are to apply. Sadly I was becoming more frustrated with a product I once loved.

It would appear that the lack of longevity you get from a Chanel Nail Enamel is well known although speaking to other fans they find the darker colours last longer than the lighter shades but agree that they don't fare as well as others.

It's an end of an era but for now and until the formula improves its time to stop the purchase of Chanel Nail Colours and stick to the better performing budget brands. I'm even going so far as selling my collection as pretty they may be it's time to move on. 

Is it just me or have you had the same problems with Chanel nail colours? 

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A-Derma Nutrialba Rich Nourishing Cream

As we entered the colder months of Winter I was starting to notice that my skin was becoming drier. Foundation wasn't looking it's best and it was time to switch from my favoured Vichy Idealia Moisturiser to something a little richer. Enter A-Derma Nutrialba Rich Nourishing Cream*.

As the name says this is a rich nourishing cream for dry delicate skin and whilst I wasn't suffering the severest symptoms I wanted to halt the possibility in it's tracks. Whilst I do have dehydrated skin and a tendency to dryness I do not like to use anything that is or at least feels too heavy so I had some reservations - all unfounded.

A-Derma Nutrialba Rich Nourishing Cream sits somewhere between a cream and gel texture which makes it almost lightweight. It's certainly heavier than my Vichy Idealia Moisturiser but not so much that I notice a different in application for my skins current needs.

The cream is certainly doing it's job as I have been using it daily for some months now and any dryness to my skin has gone, foundation is applying and appearing as it should and all is right with the world.

As mentioned my skin isn't 'severely' dry so I cannot comment on it's performance in that respect but if you are just experience the dryness to your skin that Winter and it's accompanying elements brings I'd certainly seek this product out next time you're in Boots.

If I have learned anything about skincare during 2014 it's the need to change products to your skin's needs, never more so than when the seasons changed. Its almost common sense to me now to switch products as necessary and my skin is thanking me for it.

*PR Sample

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

City Social Dining

City Social sits atop Top 42 in the City of London and is part of Jason Atherton's 'global empire'. All this was news to me and I was sold when my friend invited me to dinner and mentioned champagne. Unable to get a table in the restaurant we found ourselves in the Social Bar which whilst I can't speak with experience I think suited me far better.

Dark, mysterious and sophisticated the bar was full of life for a Saturday evening in the usually quiet City. We had a fantastic table in the full length window looking out across London and iconic Gherkin building. Glasses of champagne in hand we couldn't have been happier.

Before we dived into the menu we decided to move on from champagne to some cocktails. Usually I have a pretty reputation with picking a cocktail but boy did I get it wrong on this occasion. I chose the L'Amuse Goose; Tanquery No 10, gooseberry liqueur, cocchi Americano, absinthe, lemon juice, dehydrated gooseberry raisin. It was awful so much so I couldn't drink it, and let me tell you that never happens. All I could taste was something like sambuca, absolutely foul. Lisa made the much better choice of the Cocchi Buck; Lemon zest infused cocchi americano, ginger syrup, citrus, soda, tankard, ginger wafer

After the disappointing cocktail choice it was time to move onto food. As I mentioned we were unable to find a table in the restaurant so it was the 'bar snacks menu' to choose from. Firstly as you will see there was nothing about this menu that says bar snacks to me - no breaded mushrooms here! And secondly I think I rather preferred picking off this menu heathen that I am.

Whilst we of course shared our starters I picked the Goats Cheese Churros with truffle honey and Lisa the Smoke Pork Empandas, harissa and red onion compote. Whilst not a fan of the traditional churro I do love goats cheese so these were my obvious choice. I think it's difficult to cook and/or serve churros without them being greasy and whilst these were enjoyable and certainly not comparable to the less options offered elsewhere there was still something about these that made them feel that way. Despite this they all disappeared. The Smoked Pork Empandas were delicious and I can find no fault.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that I went for steak. I am not experimental with my food, try a mouthful of someone else's dish maybe but when it comes to dining out I know what I like and I made the right choice for me. Fillet steak served with duck fat chips and a glass of red. There are no words for how amazing this was. Cooked to perfection, a delicious bernaisse sauce - I was in heaven.

Lisa went for the Traditional Fish Pie with lobster. Whilst this would be my worst nightmare (I don't eat any seafood) I won't argue that it look amazing and she was very happy with her choice.

City Social, or specifically Social Bar is the perfect location for a first date or catch up with a girlfriend. The ambience is the perfect mix of lively atmosphere, buzzing with activity yet still enabling you to talk comfortably.

If you're looking for a great night out with food and drinks then I'd highly recommend you booking a table - just stay away from that cocktail.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

2014 Foundation Favourites

2014 was definitely a year for foundation where I was concerned having previously preferred lighter bases and favouring BB creams such as that from Erborian. As we begin 2015 I have made the decision to pare back my foundation collection in large part due to the three products I will talk about today. I only have one face and I'm conscious of beauty products expiring, especially foundations. I want to use what I have and enjoy using rather than excessively buying. Whether this will remain the case I don't know but for now lets chat about, in no particular order what three base products topped my favourites list for 2014.

No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation link
I picked up this foundation in March 2014 armed with those vouchers Boots seem to hand out constantly (I have another pile in bag already this year). In addition to the money off the Superlight foundation was new to the range, I could get colour matched in store rather than working out for myself and I wanted a heavier coverage than the aforementioned Erborian BB Cream but without the weighty coverage some foundations can bring.

As I mentioned in my original post this is a light-medium coverage which I enjoy wearing. It appeared in the following months favourites and then was cast aside as other products can into the mix. Over Christmas I left my current foundation choice at a friends. I was heading out and still wanted to have a sturdy base and reached for the No 7 foundation and instantly remembered why I loved it so much the earlier part of the year.

Make Up Forever HD Foundation link
I first picked up Make Up Forever's famous HD Foundation in Las Vegas back in 2013. I had a fantastic experience in Sephora from one of their make up artists who colour matched me and gave me a mini makeover. Unfortunately I was quite pale at the time so whilst loving the product the shade (115) was off and I was mixing to make it work. When I hit Las Vegas again last year I picked up a darker shade (125) which is much better. I'd usually reserved the MUFE HD foundation for special occasions but as we entered the festive season and I was at work all day and heading straight out of an evening I wanted a foundation that hung around.

This is certainly not a light weight base but as some one who always preferred the lighter end of the scale this works perfectly. Yes it's heavier than my BB creams etc but the flawless finish it leaves is amazing and I find it comfortable to wear. I experience some dry patches which this foundation doesn't work well with so be wary if you have drier skin/make sure you up your moisturiser game before application. I'm lucky that I have minimal blemishes and find that when wearing this foundation my need for concealer is minimal.

Even better with the news that Make Up Forever is coming to Debenhams in a matter of month there's no need for a transatlantic trip to Sephora to stock up.

Chanel Les Beiges All In One Healthy Glow Fluid link
Another product from the Les Beiges range from Chanel which I am in love with. I am a big fan of the Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder and use it daily but wasn't too fussed when they mentioned a liquid form. That changed when I tried some of those magazine samples and absolutely loved the finish. I applied on a nothing day at work when testing base products was suitable and couldn't believe how I looked, I think I described it as looking like I'd returned home after a day on the beach. My skin was glowing and in a good way.

I resisted purchasing until I hit duty free last September and so glad I did. On my return to the UK and as evenings were getting darker and Winter was drawing in it was great to have some Summer glow remain. I wear shade 30, as I do the powder form and it's definitely a lighter coverage and for good skin days but nonetheless it's a product I enjoy wearing. Of course held up against the MUFE HD Foundation there is no comparison but they are obviously completely different products and carry different expectations. I'm interested to try this product in the Summer when we have some 'natural glow' and see how it differs as it's consistency will lend itself well to the lighter bases we want at that time of year.

There you have my favourite foundation/base products of 2014, what have been yours?

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Paul & Felicity Calendar, Marks & Spencer link
So here we are another year, another new beginning. I'm afraid you won't find a list of resolutions from me as I find it quite tiresome watching everyone sign up to 'dry January' and vow to lose five stone by Easter only to have stopped the gym visits by Valentine's Day.

That said it's hard not to enter a new year without think of the prospect of a clean slate and the things you would like to achieve from that year. Unfortunately my plan to spend this week thinking about what I'd like to achieve in 2015 and planning my goals has been thwarted by a nasty cold that has left me with succeeding in nothing more than watching season 4 of Game of Thrones.

This weekend I will be bridesmaid at my good friend's wedding and next weekend I head to Edinburgh for another friends birthday so it's certainly a busy start to the year. Towards the end of 2014 I decided to put more time into, and apologies for the cliche 'making memories' and if I can continue what was a nice balance in 2015 I'll be a happy lady.

Whilst my blog is of great importance to me and my goals for 2015 will of course include improvement and growth of Florence and Mary it is still a hobby and should never be at the detriment of living and as the aforementioned reasons allude to regular positing in January may be slow starter whilst I'm spending time with friends.

All that is left for me now is to say Happy New Year to you and let's see where 2015 takes us.

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