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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Schmooze #019

So.. my life recently has mostly looked a little like this. I'm thinking of stopping the whole Sunday catch-up post as I usually just moan through them, forget to update or feel like the content isn't good enough - or indeed, all of the above. It might be best to do a monthly Instagram roundup for those that don't follow me or those that do but have missed some updates, with separate, more sporadic personal updates. My life feels a little 'nothing to report' most of the time - apart from stuff too personal to broadcast for the whole world to see - so maybe if I just post when something substantial is going on we can reach a happy medium on that front. Thoughts?

Kind of an update then. Recently my body seems to have just given up on me. For well over a month I've had numbness in the side of my hand - I know putting your symptoms into Google is dangerous, but I'd rather not go to a GP if I don't have to - and I think it's probably something called Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. There's no strength there and I feel like I might drop something if I'm holding it with my left hand. I tried to open a peg the other day with both hands and the results were laughable. Fun! My jaw has also been seized up for a fortnight on one side, meaning I can't open my mouth very much at all. I had to cut a raspberry in half last week. Things are looking bleak, I know. Let's add a cold and stress-induced skin calamity into the mix and it all equals feeling very sorry for myself at the moment. Time to face the music - and by music, I mean a doctor - and get myself sorted out! I'm sounding very negative but when I list it all together I guess it's pretty alarming and helps explain why I've been a little more MIA than I really wanted to be.

In a bid to cheer myself up and boost future productivity, I may or may not have ordered a new, more portable camera this evening. It's pretty safe to say that I'll be working on video content again too. Deep breaths.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner: £18.50*

Benefit's They're Real! mascara was a huge hit when it was released a couple of years ago and remains the best-selling mascara in the UK to this day. It's a great little mascara, though I'm more used to waterproof formulas these days. My interest peaked, however, when I was recently introduced to the new partner in crime, They're Real! Push-Up Liner. Yep, they're sticking with the boob innuendos for now! After all the hype around the embargo I was at first not that interested in just another eyeliner pen, but within seconds I changed my mind. What got me so excited is the twist-up mechanism and gel formula, meaning no brush required for a perfect feline flick. Think of it as the Touché Eclat for your lash line..

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As with all twist-up mechanisms, first use can take a bit of getting used to what with waiting for product to be dispensed from the tip, and figuring out your perfect amount of product. Benefit advise 1-2 clicks at the most and I'd say it varies for me. Something I've learned to do now is to squeeze the nib gently with my thumb and index finger to use up the gel still there rather than send more up and wasting product - to avoid this it might have been wiser to keep hold of the protector that comes with the pen, but silly old me threw it away. The tip is spongy but firm and makes for a really close, comfortable application, getting right in there at the root of the lashes - those fleshy gaps are a thing of the past. It's incredibly easy to use, the formula is super black and matte. Considering I wear waterproof mascara, They're Real! lasts just as long and doesn't budge until I want it to. I have tried the They're Real! Remover which is good, but not really all that necessary if you have something strong enough anyway (I'm a die-hard fan of bi-phase formulas). I'm hooked!

Have you tried the They're Real! Push-Up Liner? What do you think?


Friday, July 18, 2014

Illamasqua Glamore Nude Lipsticks

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick: £18.50 each*

When the first round of Illamasqua's Glamore lipsticks were released, I fell head over heels for them. Perfect for all skin tones, much creamier and easier to apply and wear than the original Illamasqua lineup and just beautiful to look at. However, a Barbie pink, neon orange-red and a bold berry aren't for the faint hearted on a daily basis. It is with great pleasure that I'm introducing the Glamore Nudes today. Seven really great shades in cool, neutral and warm tones. Once again the formula is lovely; so creamy and pigmented, easy to apply on the go and not drying at all.

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Buff

Described as a fudge brown, Buff has to be my least favourite from the bunch. I think it would look beautiful on darker skin tones, but it's just too brown and old-fashioned on me. I look dead!

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Cherub

Cherub is a warm coral, and the shade I 'warmed' most to (sorry) at first. It's a juicy peach that's perfect for every day and will surely be one of the most popular nude shades.

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Minx

Minx, a warm rose, is pretty dark and pink when it comes to what you'd think of as a nude, but I really love this one. I wore it to dinner last week and received a heap of compliments, plus it appears to stain slightly as it wears down.

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Naked

Naked is described as a creamy nude, but definitely leans towards the warmer side of nude, as it can look almost like a pale orange at times. I'm not sure I have the right skintone for this one but I think it actually looks quite nice above!

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Rosepout

Rosepout is hands down my favourite from the bunch. A neutral pink brown, it's paler than the shade description would suggest but it's easy to wear and has an 'everyday retro' feel about it. If I had to keep only one shade, it'd be Rosepout.

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Starkers

A soft flesh pink, Starkers is definitely a little more brown than expected from the blurb. I'm in two minds about this one; sometimes it looks too brown, and sometimes it has a great 90s pink-brown feel. A really good nude, nonetheless.

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Tease

Tease has that whole 60s thing down, but can be a bit of hard work. It's a very pale pink beige which for me can look a bit too pale and I'm not sure I like that you can see the wet part of the lips when you speak and so on. I'm wearing it to full opacity here but you can also wear it dabbed onto the lips lightly for a less intense effect.

All in all, the Glamore Nude collection is a release I'm really excited about. I'm told the secret to finding a great nude is down to the tone of your natural nail beds - so if yours are more pink, go for cool toned rose-tinted nude, if they're more golden, obviously go for the warmer nudes. The coral kind of sits in the middle but really there are no rules to which colours you can and can't wear. Also recently released are four more bright shades to the Glamore range, meaning there are 7 'colours' to match the amount of nudes. I'll get around to trying those too to show you soon!

What do you think of the Glamore Nudes? Do you have a favourite shade?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

La Roche-Posay Serozinc

La Roche-Posay Serozinc Zinc Sulfate Solution

Well this was going to crop up on the blog sooner or later, wasn't it?! It's a product raved about countless times - with the hype surrounding it that's most likely down to it not being readily available for us in the UK. I for one would welcome the sight of it in the aisles of Boots with open arms, rather than having to pay over the odds for a bottle on eBay or hopping on the Eurostar whenever I run out. But I digress..

La Roche-Posay Serozinc is a zinc sulfate solution to be used in the toner stage of the skincare routine. Great for skin irritations and imperfections and gentle enough to relieve nappy rash, it feels just like water but helps to calm the skin between cleansing and moisturising. I'm on my second bottle of the stuff this year and while it doesn't really appear to change the state of your skin, I found myself really missing it after I finished my first can and made a prompt repurchase. I usually prefer to spritz onto a cotton pad and sweep over my complexion, but you can also spray all over your face; it really doesn't matter, I think I just like to know where mine is going without any waste. I'm not an obvious candidate for Serozinc as I have dry skin rather than blemish-prone and oily, but it can freak out a little - or a lot - when I'm stressed so for this reason alone, it's a staple in my routine. Now can we please look into UK residency, La Roche-Posay?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation: £32*

For a range that has been around for under a year, Charlotte Tilbury's cosmetics line is absolutely bursting with gems. I've shared my love for the Rock'n'Kohl liquid pencil, the Dolce Vita palette and the Colour Chameleon eyeshadow pencils, but only recently have I branched out to trying out some more of Charlotte's makeup magic.

The Light Wonder Foundation is everything I want from a base. A lightweight formula with a soft glow and skin-like feel. Suitable for dry, normal and combination skins, Light Wonder has a 'shake-to-wake' oil-free formula that helps to even out imperfections, hydrate the skin and protect it with SPF 15. Charlotte describes it as having a 'baby-skin effect' which is pretty on point - I can't tell you the amount of compliments I've had about my skin rather than foundation as it looks flawless yet natural at the same time. There are 10 shades in total, of which I'm the third in the 'Fair' category; that said, the formula seems to blend into the skin seamlessly and I can see the colour lasting me throughout the whole year.

While it's firmly in the luxe category, it's a perfect all-rounder, be it for every day or a special occasion. It also responds well to 'natural dewiness' (aka sweat) and I haven't been able to put it down recently.


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

What Smart Means to Me

In celebration of Clinique's new Smart Custom Repair Serum, today I have been challenged to reflect on what smart means to me. More so than just in the sense of intelligence, for me smart means so much more than that. When I think of all the amazing women I know and am related to I feel very blessed to be a part of it. From the ancestors I never knew that went through unimaginable struggles, to the older women in my life that are no longer here but have helped to shape me into the person I am today, to the inspirational people I choose to surround myself with and keep in my inner circle, I feel I'm incredibly lucky to have so many brilliant women in my life. Smart isn't just about words and numbers. To me it's about independence, having a firm sense of self and not letting anyone get in the way of that.

Today I want to celebrate the first woman I ever knew - my mum. I can't even imagine the strength she must have had to put up with me for all these years. From my childhood disappearing acts to my teenage nightmarishness, we haven't always seen eye to eye but I think it's because we are so alike, after all. And yet I couldn't be more thankful for it.

She's straightforward: you always know where you stand - good or bad. No sugar coating, no holding back. Honesty is the best policy. It's a trait I completely admire and I'm so glad I've inherited it too.

She's maternal: this one sounds almost typical, but I genuinely don't know how I will ever become so selfless. Not a day goes by that I don't feel incredibly appreciative of everything that she does for me and everyone around her.

She's assertive: one of the best things a woman can be. Sure, sometimes you do need to also be aggressive, but simply knowing you are doing the right thing is often enough, no matter what anyone says. Stand your ground. Fight for what you believe in and never back down. Bossy is just a word people use to try to keep you quiet.

She's resourceful: whether it's being money-savvy or being able to concoct an amazing meal from a few ingredients that, on paper, should never be put together, I'm dumbfounded and endlessly impressed. It's a talent!

She's tough: through a whole host of personal hurdles she has managed to keep it all together. I genuinely don't think I could do the same in her shoes but I strive to be just as courageous and strong through whatever life throws at me.

As a feminist - and that's nothing to brag about, everyone should be in the same boat on this one - this campaign really stands out to me and I'm so pleased to have been asked to take part in it. Smart women everywhere should be celebrated; shrug off the oppressive stereotypes and believe in yourself and others around you.

For the launch of Clinique’s latest innovation, Clinique Smart Custom Serum, they’re celebrating Smart Women. Who’s the smartest woman you know? For the chance to win a full size product, tweet a picture of yourself with the smartest women you know to @Clinique_UK with hashtag #SmartWomen

Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum - Available in store and online at Clinique.co.uk

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Clinique via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Clinique.

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