Cruelty Free Summer Makeup – All Under £10

There’s nothing worse than having your makeup routine completely perfected, only for summer to come around and through humidity, heat and hay-fever your way, and it changes everything.

Not only does summer mess with my skin, but I’m now on a makeup buying ban for a little while, and I’m also no longer buying makeup that isn’t cruelty free, and while you’d think that these bans would limit my options for the summer, I’ve managed to find myself a summer kit that’s not only completely cruelty free, but actually every item is also under £10!

Primer – The Ordinary High Spreadability Fluid Primer – £5.50

This is my all year round primer, but it really holds its own even against the struggles of summer!

Foundation – The Ordinary Serum Foundation – £6

I love both of the foundations from The Ordinary, but tend to use Coverage more in the colder months and switch to Serum from Spring onwards as its a lighter formula but the coverage is still very good!

Blush/bronzer/highlighter – Makeup Revolution – (my set now discontinued)

I’ve had this little palette for a while now, but as the shades are a little darker than what I would normally wear, I save it for summer when I’ve tanned a little bit and can get away with glowing a little more.

Highlighter – Makeup Revolution Baked Matte Lights Highlighter – £3

I love this highlighter as its a great base for building on. I normally start with a good layer of this matte highlight and then go over it with a shinier highlight.

Eyeshadow primer – NYX Proof It! – £6

I swear by this primer, and if you read my blog a lot you’ll have seen this mentioned over and over because it is really that good!

Eyeshadows – Colourpop Supershock Shadows – $5

The only downside of these eyeshadows is having to pay international shipping and customs (I actually bought mine in the US) but I think they’re fab! They blend so nicely and hold up well under summer conditions.

Brows – NYX Tame and Frame Brow Pomade – £6

Ever since I reviewed this recently I’ve been using this pomade. Its such great value for money and such a good product.

Mascara – Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara – £8.50 (for travel sized)

I only bought this in a travel size because I do love my current mascara and I just wanted to try it out, but its a fab little cruelty free mascara.

Setting spray – Urban Decay All Nighter – £10 (for travel sized)

Say hello to your new favourite setting spray and say goodbye to your makeup running. Despite being a travel sized bottle, its still pretty large and will last you through summer no problem!

Here’s to a summer of long lasting makeup!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

NYX Tame and Frame VS Benefit Ka-Brow!

Even when I’ve run out of time/can’t be bothered to do my makeup for the day, my eyebrows are normally a must. I don’t have bad eyebrows, in fact I think I’m pretty lucky that I don’t really have to do much to them at all, but I just feel so much better with everything nicely filled in and looking a whole lot more together.

For the last couple of years, my go-to product has been Benefit’s Ka-Brow (shade 01, if anyone’s interested) and its never really let me down, but I’m trying to make an effort to switch out my remaining non-cruelty-free products for more animal friendly alternatives, and also trying to cut down what I spend on some makeup, and a friend of mine suggested I tried the NYX Tame and Frame pomade, so I’ve been comparing the two.

The reason I’ve always used Ka-Brow is because its really convenient. It has a brush built right into the packaging, meaning that I can throw it in my bag, or take it in my hand luggage when I travel, and never have to worry about whether or not I’ve remembered a brush. I’ve also always used it because its never failed me. The formula is more cream than gel, so its not at all sticky feeling and applies smoothly and its buildable – my one annoyance is that sometimes if I apply it too heavy at first, it doesn’t blend out particularly well, and often by the time I’m coming to the bottom of the product, it starts to dry out and get a little bitty.

I knew that my NYX shade would be Blonde as I have a NYX pencil in that shade, so I didn’t have to worry too much about knowing which one would match for me, although its possibly slightly lighter than its Benefit counterpart, not that it bothers me. As with many other NYX products, the packaging it pretty simple but its nice and does the job – I particularly like the fact that its a frosted glass effect rather than being clear. The formula is more gel-like than Ka-Brow, but is also soft and creamy and not at all sticky. It glides on like a dream and builds up nicely, blending better than Ka-Brow – because its a bit lighter in shade I do have to build it up a little more, but its not like its hard work!

Obviously there’s no brush built into this little jar, but the product holds all day with no problem at all, so its not like I need to be reapplying throughout the day, and its the same with Ka-Brow – all day brows, no fuss. The big difference between the two, however, is of course the price tag: for a Benefit product you’ll be paying Benefit prices of £18-20, compared to NYX’s £6 a pot. For that price, plus the bonus of being cruelty free, Tame and Frame is getting my vote on this one!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

My Beach Makeup and What Stayed Put

Its the classic dilemma for girls. Summer poses a whole new problem when it comes to makeup, because gone are the days of winter drying out everyone’s skin like there’s no tomorrow, and instead its the challenge of finding products that won’t melt off your face during the warmer summer days, but can also stand up to a bit of water, whether that’s from swimming in the sea on a beach day, or just the Great British summer showers (read: heavy rain that shows up right when we think its finally getting good).

This year, I was faced with this issue a little earlier as going to Hawaii in April meant I had a little less time to perfect my product choices, but it also meant that I could test run some products before the little summer that hits the UK – which seems to be happening right now – actually kicked in. Some of what I took with me were items that are regulars from my makeup stash, and others I took on recommendation from the Twittersphere, and they all went through a somewhat rigorous test in the 27C heat of Hawaii. But would they all make the cut for future wear?

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

I bought this on recommendation from a number of people – I actually bought the travel sized one, y’know in case it wasn’t any good and I didn’t get stuck with a big bottle that I’d spent a lot of money on, but actually the travel sized one is still pretty sizeable which made it seem like pretty good value for money! This product is an absolute trooper. I sprayed it over products that I know aren’t waterproof and knew would probably wash off within minutes and amazingly they held up so well, leaving me bronzed and highlighted even after a whole day on the beach.

NYX Proof It! Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer

I took this with me because I know how well it works. This is the eyeshadow primer that I use every day and I actually believe it to be a miracle product – it turns any eyeshadow waterproof and I’ve even tried running swatches under a tap before and saw absolutely no shadow movement with this badboy, plus at £6 a tube its a steal.

Makeup Forever Aqua XL Waterproof Eyeliner

Call me crazy, but blue eyeliner is my jam, and I’ve always been a Barry M girl but have never been able to find a suitable replacement for my now discontinued favourite shade of pencil, but I stumbled across this one in Sephora last year, and when it claimed to be waterproof as well it was like killing two birds with one stone. The pencil itself is surprisingly soft, so very little pressure is needed on application, and it also blends well which can be fab, but I worried seeing how soft it was that it wouldn’t survive in the water, but was thankfully proven very wrong – in fact, when I swatched it in Sephora before buying, it was several days before that blue line faded from the back of my hand even with daily showering and handwashing.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

So this was another recommendation, and having never tried the cult favourite in its non-waterproof form either, I thought now was a great chance to see what all the fuss was about. Again, I bought this in the travel size tube to save a bit of money until I decided whether or not I liked it. The mascara itself surprised me as I’ve religiously stuck to Eyeko Black Magic for a number of years now and had never found another mascara that gave my lashes the same natural but wow look that Black Magic does for me, but despite being a very different shaped brush, I really liked how this product made my lashes look, so I was buzzed to test it out in the water. Unfortunately, that’s were it fell flat on its face. I felt like just looking at water had it running, and although I wasn’t crying black or anything like that, on more than one occasion I left the poolside looking a bit panda-ish. I’d probably buy the mascara again in its normal formula, but I felt a little let down by this one..

Benefit Gimme Brow

Gimme Brow is not my every day eyebrow product, but I do use it from time to time, and as I feared a little that my usual dipbrow wouldn’t hold up, I took this out with me as well. Now my Gimme Brow was pre product recall, so I don’t know how it differs from the new formula that was re-released recently, and I don’t think either claim any sort of waterproof capabilities, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well this did. I still used my regular dipbrow, but then went over it with this, and I still had decent looking eyebrows at the end of each day, even after being in the sea and the pool, and what more could I ask for?

Other shoutouts go to my current favourite foundation, The Ordinary Serum Foundation, for being SPF 15 so keeping my face a little more protected, and Benefit’s Dandelion Shy Beam and Sun Beam liquid highlighters for giving me a subtle shimmer and glow which held up well thanks to the UD setting spray!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

How I Manage My Combination Skin

My skin is super weird. I mean, I’m quite lucky to have relatively few problems compared to some, but my face seems to take it to the extremes when it comes to having combination skin. Some days, I’m so dry and flaky I practically have scales, other days I’m more oily than a 3am kebab, and sometimes I flit between one and the other in a matter of hours, its fab.

That said, however, the more I’ve learned over the years about my skin and what works and doesn’t work, and the more products I’ve tried and tested, the more I’ve been able to manage the different phases I go through, which is great. It does, however, mean having pretty much two of every product, but I’ve got those nailed now.

Dry skin days

Most days tend to start as dry skin days, and so my mornings start with Nip+Fab’s Glycolic Cleansing Fix, which was an impulse purchase at the time but now I cannot imagine my life without it. For starters, it smells amazing, which is odd because they never mention the scent on the packaging but its SO GOOD, but even if it smelt like nothing at all, the product still speaks for itself. The formula seems a little strange, but you get used to it – its quite runny but also gel like, and it also foams up with a bit of a scrub, so I either squeeze a little bit onto wet hands and rub it onto my face, or I take it into the shower with my Magnitone, squeeze it onto the brush head and go to town. It leaves my skin feeling so refreshed but also smooth and moisturised and ready for the day.

My toner of choice most of the time is the wonderful Pixi Glow Tonic, and when my skin is dry this is no exception. I was a bit late to the Glow Tonic party, and worried when I finally got to try it that it would turn out to be over-hyped, but it does wonders for my skin and I noticed a change almost instantly after starting to use it regularly.

Of course it goes without saying that when my skin is dry, I need a good moisturiser and I’ve yet to find anything that works so well for my skin as Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturiser. I love that even the tiniest little dollop goes such a long way, which is handy because this stuff doesn’t come cheap, so the longer I can make a bottle last, the better, but despite the price tag I can’t flaw the product at all – it smells nice, it makes my skin super soft without being at all greasy and it absorbs quickly.

Oily moments

What’s weird about having oily skin now is that I didn’t really have oily skin that much as a teenager, but you know what they say about karma.. When my face is feeling oily, all I feel like doing is washing it, and even though I’m not a teenager, this is where I use Nip+Fab’s Teen Skin Poreblaster Wash, which is designed for exactly this situation. It comes in both a day and night version, I have both but tend to use the day one the more just down to preference. Sadly it doesn’t smell as glorious as the Glycolic Cleansing Fix, but its certainly not awful and it foams up well and leaves my skin feeling lovely and fresh.

My other cleanser for oily days is Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin, which is a solid sorta paste that I grab a chunk of, mix it up in my hand with some warm water to an easier to use consistency and rub it straight onto dry skin. Because its got some exfoliant ingredients it does a great job of picking up and washing away and dirt and grease, plus it smells great.

When it comes to a toner, I also go to Lush and my favourite toner from their collection, which is Breath of Fresh Air. Because it contains sea salt, it dries up oil with a simple spritz and wipe, and its got a calming fragrance to it which is part of the reason I love using it before bed because it puts me in a good mood for sleep!

It might be a pain going between two different skincare routines, but when the products are so great, its not so bad..

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

A Little Lush Easter Haul

I feel like its been a while since I’ve done a Lush haul post, because believe it or not, despite buying a good number of products from the Christmas collection, I never actually blogged about them, even though I think it was the best Lush Christmas to date! But enough about Christmas (psst! 287 days..).

I don’t know if I’ve ever actually bought anything from a Lush Easter collection before – I normally grab a few Valentines Day bits, but seem to miss Easter entirely, so when I went into the Trafford Centre store over the weekend and saw the multicoloured goodness of this year’s offerings, I knew I had to get a couple of things to try, and having had a good Etsy payout earlier in the week, I felt the spend was justified.

So I picked up four things for myself on this occasion, but I think they’re all so stinkin’ cute and I cannot wait to try them out!

My first buy felt like a bit of a two for one deal, and this adorable little chick actually splits into two separate halfs. I noticed in store that they had these Free Rangers in a few different colours, and I don’t know if there’s actually any difference between them, but I liked this little orange chappy so he was the one who came home!

My next choice was the Cream Egg bubbleroon because just LOOK AT IT!! Its like Lush went inside my head and picked out the best colour scheme and turned it into a cute little sandwich of a bubble bar and it smells AMAZING. I imagine I’ll stock up on a few of these before the collection leaves stores because its so pretty and I think I’ll be sad to use this up!

Which Came First? This bathbomb is actually pretty huge, and a dreamy pastel design.

This final buy was a total impulse purchase – I’d gone to pick up my usual shampoo bar (Seanik), but as soon as I saw this little fluffy tail and ears on a yellow shampoo bar all sensible-ness went out the window and whether or not this bar turns out to be any good for my hair or not I don’t really care – its so cute!

I can’t wait to give all these goodies a try in the coming weeks! Have you used any of these before?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

A Lazy Girl’s Guide to Skincare

Skincare is a bit like Marmite, you generally either love it or hate it, and can do both simultaneously. Its also kinda like eating your 5 a day, in that you know you should be doing it but sometimes you just really can’t be bothered. You feel me?

I am both a lover and hater of skincare. Some days I enjoy nothing more than taking the time to properly remove my makeup, then cleanse, tone, moisturise and get my face feeling like a babies bum, and there are other days when I just crawl into bed with a makeup wipe and scrub off whatever I can before going to sleep. Some weeks I’ll be the good person every day, sometimes I can go days on just makeup wipes and trying to get the rest of the dried up mascara off my eyelashes in the shower the next morning. Its not always a pretty sight.

I have, however, picked up a few hacks along the way, so that even when I’m short on time – or short on bother – I don’t have to live with the consequences of a face that makes me want to peel my own skin off. Enter my lazy skincare guide..

Wash your face mask off in the shower

With the exception of sheet masks, obviously, I find there’s nothing more annoying than having to wash off a face mask after its done its business. I tend to use clay masks and Lush’s fresh face masks, which are generally super thick and I can spend ages with my face over a sink winding myself back up having just unwound courtesy of said mask. So I’ve started using face masks before showering, so that I can just hop into the shower when I’m finished and wash it all off in one fell swoop! This is also handy if you’re in a rush, as well as if you’re just lazy like me.

In fact, do everything in the shower

If I’m in a hurry in the morning, especially if I’ve been to the gym and am dealing with the aftermath of a sweat-fest on my face, I grab my cleanser and my Magnitone and do my face in the shower as well as the rest of my body. Like with face masks, being under a constant supply of running water makes everything super easy to wash away and also means there’s no mess to clear up round the sink!

Put everything within arms reach of your bed

I have a little basket on my bedside table that’s complete with micellar water, cotton pads, toner, facial moisturiser and body moisturiser – as well as the dreaded face wipes – so even if I do get straight into bed after coming home from work, there’s no excuse for why I can’t at least have a little bit of a skincare routine.

Guzzle water

If nothing else, drinking lots of water is never going to be bad for your skin. When it comes to dry lips, I actually reach for my water bottle before I reach for my lip balm, which is saying something cos I do love my lip balm. Dry lips especially are a sign of dehydration, so I at least make sure I’ve had at least 250ml of water before going for the balm.

Bare all

I know that going barefaced isn’t everyone’s scene, but its really important to let your skin breath. I do at least 2 days a week without any makeup, normally the weekends but often when I’m at work too and I feel so much better for it, plus it saves me time in the morning and I don’t have anything to take off in the evening! However I do know that a lot of people can’t face leaving the house without any makeup on for a lot of different reasons, but if that’s the case then just trying to go a few hours every evening before bed is also a way of getting a bit more free-skin time!

Do you have any skincare hacks that you use to save a bit of time?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Things I Didn’t Buy In Sephora

This post is a little belated, given that my Florida trip was back in November, and I almost wasn’t going to write it, but that was until I saw the lovely Roxie’s anti-haul post based on a similar concept, so I decided to bite the bullet and publish it.

Every time I go to America I think about the Sephora trip, whether its because I’ve already planned a million things I want to buy, or I’m dreading the credit card bill that will inevitably come following the trip, and the last trip was no different. On this trip, I hadn’t really thought too much about products I wanted to buy, but that’s because its Sephora – there will always be things that I want.

That said, however, there were quite a few products that I rushed towards, but that didn’t end up in my basket in the end for various reasons, and here’s a few of those..

Too Faced Peaches and Cream collection

When Too Faced announced that they were releasing a full range of products following on from the Sweet Peach eye palette, glow kit (which I own) and a handful of blushes and lip glosses that they had before, my heart skipped a beat. I adore the glow palette, I’m a sucker for anything peach scented and Too Faced packaging is always the cutest, so that was the first stop when I entered the store. That said, however, I was a little disappointed. The packaging of some of the items felt a bit cheap, and I didn’t anything smelt as good as the original products, so for what they would have cost me, I just felt like my money could have been spent better elsewhere..

Anastasia Beverly Hills Sugar Glow Kit

This was the first ABH glow kit that I actually wanted, but as it had been out of stock when I was there in February, I opted for the Nicole Guerriero kit instead, which I was actually really happy about at the time because I love that palette. But this was in stock again, so I picked it up, looked at it, tilted my head and put it back. The fact was, the shades were just very similar to the ones in the kit I already had. Sure, none were exactly the same and I loved them all, but I just figured that I already had a pretty great set that still has plenty of use left in it, so I decided to stick with it.

Fenty Beauty

Firstly I was a little taken aback by how tucked away in the store the Fenty collection was, but nonetheless I did have a quick glance. The problem for me, however, was that the range had only been out for about 2 months, and I hadn’t seen that many reviews on the products to know where to even start. Its probably something that I’ll go back to, but it just wasn’t on the cards this time.

The minis

I normally love choosing from the huge range of minis in Sephora, but the fact is I was already quite stocked up from two previous trips that year! I ummed and ahhed over one or two things, but eventually left with no tiny products at all.

I guess that by being good on this trip, it means I can be a little naughtier next time though, right?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram