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:) x

Beauty Edit: Get Glowing Skin for the New Year

Most people tend to overindulge at Christmas, which is great at the time, but can result is dull, dehydrated and unhealthy looking skin. I've put together a few products which can most definitely give tired skin a boost in the first few weeks of the New Year.

Body: Exfoliate|Moisturise|Tan
Buffing away dead skin and exfoliating using Cliniques Sparkle Skin Exfoliator has been leaving my skin feeling clean and fresh, and it's minty scent adds extra bonus freshness points! Usually I exfoliate twice a week or prior to tanning, and I really like this product when I want that minty feeling. The Clinique Deep Comfort Body Butter is another great Clinique product which makes my skin feel very smooth and moisturised. Winter weather usually plays havoc with my combination skin, but this creamy formula gets rid of dry patches leaving it feeling lovely and looked after. Most people associate tanning with summer, but the St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Moisturiser is a very sheer and light moisturiser that builds up a very subtle and natural glow, which I generally favour in the colder months.

Face: Cleanse|Balm|Serum
Cleansing is an important step of any skincare routine, regardless of the season! I like using the Clarins Water Comfort One Step Cleanser , it's light formula contains Peach Essential Water, and it's so easy to use, wipe on and off using a cotton pad, and that's it. Trilogy's Everything Balm will be on nearly every skincare list I have, it's such an amazing product! It's a multi purpose balm which softens, smoothes, nourishes, brightens.. the list goes on! I love using this as a mask at night, and my skin always feels so soft and fresh in the morning. I also love using a serum for an extra skin boost. In the Winter I like the Yes to Blueberries Intensive Skin Repair Serum, which is an extra little addition I add to my night time skincare routine, especially in the colder months.

Makeup: BB Cream|Powder Usually I am all for going for full coverage on the face, but for days when you want to keep it minimal and fresh, the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector is a nice little BB cream that gives a little bit of sheer coverage when you don't want to go naked. It also brightens up the skin and leaves a nice little glow. Another nice addition to the face is a healthy glow sheer powder, Chanel Les Beiges in particular. Need I say more.

Extras: Illuminate|Highlight
A few little extras I like to add to the face to ensure a healthy glow is a highlighter or illuminator. A few I like are the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, MAC Soft and Gentle or Lightscapade, MAC Strobe Cream or the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Intensity Palette.

Obviously, a healthy diet and drinking loads of water can majorly contribute to healthy skin, but that's another post entirely!
 What are your favourite products for healthy glowing skin? x

MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation

MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation - €37.50/£27

I to-and-fro when it comes to dedicating myself to one particular foundation or brand. I can genuinely say that I have no favourite makeup brand, although some rank higher on the scale than others. MAC is one of those brands that for me, has never really disappointed. Across the board, their blushes, lipsticks, shadows and foundations have always impressed me, and I do tend to reach for their blushes and lipsticks the most when deciding what to wear on my face for the day.

Quite spontaneously, I wanted to try a new foundation. I love Studio Fix Fluid for going out, it's full coverage consistency, beautiful texture and brilliant longevity has made it a personal favourite in the foundation holy grail stakes. However, I wanted to opt for something a bit more dewy, a tiny bit lighter in viscosity, and I ended up with samples of both Pro Longwear and the Mineralize Moisture foundations to try before committing myself to one foundation.

I ended up going back the next day to purchase the full size of Mineralize Moisture. Pro Longwear seemed a tad bit too sheer for me, as when I'm whacking on a full face, I like it to be quite full coverage.

This foundation is more dewy on the skin, and my skin looks fresher and more awake once I apply. I really like the finish, and although it doesn't cover quite every imperfection, the coverage is quite satisfactory, and sure that's what concealer is for. Unfortunately it's more expensive than Studio Fix, which is surprising, but it comes with pump attached, so it's an added bonus.

The only major qualm I have with this foundation is that it isn't available in my shade, NW15. It starts at NW20, even though NC15 is available to purchase. This frustrates me a little as it is a smidge too dark for my ever pale complexion. And I mean just a smidge; so it appears to be a foundation mostly reserved for nights out or for days when I feel like lightly tanning. Not too bad overall!

Foundation aside, I've had a lovely few days off the past week, and I hope you all had a nice Christmas and happy new year! I received some gorgeous beauty goodies over Christmas and I am very much looking forward to posting about them!
 :) x

Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

December already! As soon as Christmas FM goes on air, and the Coca Cola Christmas ad comes on the television, you know it's the beginning of the festive season. With the big day fast approaching, I thought it was about time to pile together a little series of gift guides for you for those in need of a little inspiration. 

I love reading these kinds of posts, I always find something to add to my Christmas list from reading them :) This particular post is dedicated to the lovely lady in your life! Bear in mind, many of these gifts are quite large and excessive gifts, but I couldn't write a Gift Guide post for women without including at least a few extravagant pieces. All of these gifts are items I would absolutely love to receive myself, although I will be posting two more Gift Guides this week featuring gift ideas for him, and stocking fillers or more inexpensive and fun gifts so keep an eye out! 

 1. The Mulberry Willow Tote - I saw a picture of Kim Sears with this tote and absolutely fell for it. It's more sophisticated than the cult Alexa and Bayswater totes from the Mulberry range, and although it is available in various colours, I am always drawn back to this electric purple hue. A beautiful gift for any lady! 

 2. This Works Christmas Deep Sleep Pillow Talk - A lavender scented pillow spray and a stress reliever and relaxation oil make up this little bundle; a lovely gift for the insomniac in your life!

 3. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette - First there was 1.. Then 2.. and now 3! The third edition of this classic neutrals palette promises 12 never before seen shadows. A beauty junkie essential. 

 4. Diptyque Candle in Lavender Leaf - A delicious candle from the esteemed Parisian brand Diptique is a beautiful present for the candle and fragrance lover. Available in a huge range of scents, here I've chosen Lavender leaf. 

5. Jo Malone Cologne Collection - A luxe and lavish present in it's entirety. Jo Malone gifts are a little bit extra special. This cologne gift set includes miniatures of five of their famous fragrances. 

6. Givenchy Turnpin Shark Tooth Bracelet - A luxurious accessory and an amazing gift! Givenchy! I would love this bracelet. It's quite a unique piece. I just love it. 

7. Estée Lauder Zodiac Compact - A powder compact from Estée Lauder embossed with a personalised zodiac sign. A lovely little compact! 

8. Marc Jacobs Baker Gold Watch - A watch is such a thoughtful gift for anyone any time of year. But the gold hardware and Marc Jacobs brand is what makes it a little bit more magical! 
 9. Tom Ford Lipstick in Cherry Lush - This lipstick has secretly been on my own personal list forever! A perfect red for the festive season.

 10. CIAK Pink Daily Diary - For the organiser! A perfect planner to start the new year!

Hope you enjoyed this post :) 
Part two is a Christmas Gift Guide for him coming soon!

The Babyliss Big Hair Styler

Volumising hair tools have been available for yonks. I've had mine for ages, but only recently started using it when I jumped on to the middle parting bandwagon. My hair was in an awkward length phase, past shoulder length but not long enough to have beautiful full and bouncy tendrils a la Kate Middleton or Kim Sears.

I ended up having to get a minor trim, although it ended up being sufficiently more than I had hoped, and I ended up with even shorter hair. To compensate for this, I impulsed cut and asked for a middle parting. I have only ever had a middle parting once in my life; before hitting my teens, so I never really knew how to style it without looking like a Hanson brother.

Enter the Babyliss Big Hair. For me, this has to be used when my hair is 95% dry. Any wetter and it just doesn't work. Essentially, it's a salon blowdry at home. No fancy bristle brushes, no hairdryer attachments, just this.

My hair is slightly layered all around my head, so this affects the overall look, but if I take the time and effort to do it properly, the end result is quite satisfactory. I tend to focus more on the lengths of my hair rather than the roots, so I end up with a more polished look than a 'big hair' look. 

I have seen two other newer 'big hair' products from Babyliss; another 50mm barrel whose only difference is that it includes three temperature settings, and another smaller tool, a 42mm barrel, which would supposedly be perfectly suited to fringes and shorter lengths. Personally, I think one of these tools is enough, so I think I'll stick with my trusty old 50mm.

Overall, I quite like this hair tool, although having to dry my hair with a dryer first, before using this, kind of misses the point of it being a blow dry styler. I may try the Remington Hot Brush next, it seems like the perfect go between tool. Heat and styling, without the blow dry.

 What do you think, have you used this styling tool?

Illamasqua Blaze Lipstick

Illamasqua Lipstick in Blaze - €21/£16.50

There's nothing more in your face than a nice bright lipstick. Pow!

I used to have more of a penchant for statement eyes over statement lips, but I eventually came to love a good statement lip; my first notable encounter was with this baby; and possibly remains my favourite lip colour to date. 

I dabbled with the idea of Illamasqua products for the first time last year when I went to London. Illamasqua is a brand scarely available to us here in Ireland which is so disappointing as it's such a beautiful brand. Although Illamasqua products can be purchased online, certain products like foundations and powders are pretty much out of the question due to lack of swatching/colour matching facilities. So I usually opt for lipsticks, polishes and blush. And shadows.

This lipstick, Blaze, is the first I have purchased from the brand. I had high hopes for it as it looks so beautiful and pigmented, but with the inability to swatch, I had no idea of texture, consistency or possible longevity. But I bought it anyway! And it didn't disappoint.

It's quite reminiscent of Topshop's Infrared, but not quite as popping as MAC's Morange. It's quite satiny but matte in texture, and the pigmentation is beautiful. It's not creamy, but slightly dry, so unfortunately I had to prod it numerous times with the lip brush in the hope of getting any lipstick on it. (Note: I always apply with a lip brush!) It is matte, a texture which I loathe, but this is surprisingly non drying for a dry lipstick. 

I sound somewhat negative with my thoughts on this lipstick, but aside from it's matte texture, everything else about this is quite positive. Beautiful colour, amazing pigmentation, and substantially long lasting. The packaging is beautiful too. 

What do you think? Have you tried any Illamasqua products?

The Autumn Wardrobe Lust List

1.| 2.| 3.| 4.| 5.| 6.| 7.| 8.| 9. 

1. I for one never need an excuse to buy new shoes. I saw the Zara Suede Platform Sandal on their website and obviously, I need them. Obviously. Although I can see myself wearing heeled shoe boots this Autumn, I think these may be a sweet little alternative for an evening out. I especially adore the ankle strap detail.
2.The Zara Leather City Bag has a sort of Celine vibe to it. Not as beautiful of course, but the colour is what drew me in. I can see myself wearing alot of purple/oxblood/burgundy over the coming months, and this bag is just delish. 
3. Every Autumn I go for a new jacket/coat, something a little bit lighter than a full on Winter wool coat. The Topshop Soft Black Trench would fit very snugly into my Autumn wardrobe, and I can see myself wearing this alot. I wear black quite a bit already, but this would go with everything.
4. I usually leave white coloured ensembles and accessories at the door when we transition into Autumn, but these Miu Miu Hexagonal Acetate Sunglasses just called to me when I saw them. I love the shape too, and they would add a bit of interest and freshness to an otherwise dreary coloured Autumn outfit. 
5. Everyone and their mother seem to be jumping on the cut out boot bandwagon. And I love them. The New Look Black Cross Strap Cut Out Boots are the nicest ones I've seen so far, and one of the more pocket friendly pairs too. 
6. In my fantasy 'capsule' Autumn wardrobe, these Topshop Burgundy Tailored Turn Up Trouser would be a definite addition. I love the tailored and modern detail of these, they look quite polished and perfect. 
 7. Continuing with the burgundy accessories theme, the River Island Purple Contrast Fedora also tops the list. I've tried this on numerous times trying to convince myself that the Fedora style does in fact suit me, it's so feminine and pretty. 
8. This Topshop Horus Crop top by Sister Jane isn't exactly Autumn inspired, but I adore the little jewels and Egyptian inspired details on it. 
9. I have lusted after a faux fur collar for ages, and never really found one that ticked all the boxes. This Ted Baker Faux Fur Collar however, ticks all the boxes. In reality it's actually quite large, which means cosy and snug. It comes in a nudey beige too, but I think the black would look better with my hair. :)

What are you lusting after this Autumn?