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afterlight Emily/Twenty/London

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

2015 favourites

As we reach the last day of 2015 I felt it was time to reflect on my favourite products. As a beauty and skincare lover I thought it would be useful to look at what has stood out during my stressful and crazy year!

My skincare has remained pretty constant since 2014. Yes, I am still using my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, and my moisturisers are changing every time I finish a tub - one of my 2016 posts will be on some that have stood out! Whilst it is my favourite topic I have tried to keep it short and sweet for your reading purposes. 

Favourite Cleanser is the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing gel. There is no other cleanser that leaves my skin looking so awakened and refreshed. If there is any product that can get me out of bed then it is definitely this!

After my expensive love affair with the Omorovisca toner, I was on a mission to find a more affordable, but still effective, alternative. After the beauty guru Alessandra Steinherr featured this on her Sunday Facial Snap Chats I was hooked. The Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer will be a firm favourite in 2016 i'm sure; it is instantly calming and moisturising, I can't go a day without it. 

A new discovery has been the Elemental Herbology Facial Detox. I let one of the sales assistants in Space Nk talk me in to buying this, and I'm very glad she did. I have had some bad experiences with charcoal masks but yet was looking for a mask/treatment product that would help me fight blackheads. Not only is this mask a gentle, yet equally powerful, alternative it is also full of wonderful ingredients which always equals a thumbs up in my skincare book. 

After beauty YouTubers kept talking about it, I finally purchased the Sarah Chapman Overnight facial. This was a firm Summer favourite which you can read in this post here. I love the simplicity of my skincare routine when I use this: cleanse my face and apply! I don't think I have read one review yet which has said they have woken and up not seen a difference.

There have only been two bases I have used this year: the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue and the
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. The BareMinerals very quickly became my everyday favourite; it's lightweight, easy to blend and the ultimate complexion saviour. When I need that extra boost, or am going somewhere fancy, then I reach for Chanel. I love how thin the formula is, meaning it's not a heavy coverage foundation. It gives such a natural, dewy finish that it has to be my favourite foundation  ever.

This is also the case with my Nars Creamy Concealer  in the shade Vanilla. If I could only love one of these products this would be a very close call to the number one spot. There are infact some days when I only use this for my base. It is great at covering those dark, under eye circles, the redness around the nose and those occasional blemishes. I don't think there has been a day in 2015 when I haven't left the house without it.

The Urban Decay Eyeshadow primer would also be a close one to the top spot. Again, there has not been a day this year when I haven't used this. As I've mentioned time and time again on here, I am 'an oily eyelid gal,' meaning an eyeshadow primer is a must in my makeup routine. Nothing stops my eyeshadow from smudging quite like it.

2015 has also been a year of cream eyeshadows. Beginning with the Chanel Illusion D'ombre in Emmerville (which was a 2014 Christmas present), which very quickly became my favourite everyday gold shadow. My mum then treated me to the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise cream eyeshadow in Norma Jean. These shadows are seriously pigmented and I have especially loved wearing this one over Christmas. 

I will then have to mention more Chanel love for their Long-Lasting Eyeliner in the shade Erablé is the 'bomb' when it comes to bronze/gold eyeliner appreciation. 

Obviously the Bourjois Rouge Velvet has to have a mention. It beat all my high-end products to be my graduation lipstick. This is definitely due to its staying power. Unlike some matt lip products it doesn't leave my lips feeling dry and it doesn't fade even if you're going to be eating a crusty bread roll! My famous shade is So Hap'pink.

This year I have gone through two Soap & Glory Archery 2-in-1Brow Filling Pencil , need I say anymore than that? It is probably my all time favourite brow-product: Simple and purse friendly

The Revlon ColourStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat has become my favourite top coat - ever! Once you've tried it you will see why I never mention Seche Vite. If you're a nail varnisher lover then I would advise this as essential.

What have been your favourites this year?

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Gift Ideas

1. Out of all the Christmas candles this year my favourite has to be The White Company Winter Candle . When it comes to Christmas candles i'm not a big fan of the popular 'I want my house to smell like a forest' trend. Instead, I much prefer spice and vanilla undertones, which is what you definitely get with Space NK's annual Shimmering Spice candle. The White Company Winter Candle is very similar to these notes, creating a warming, Christmas feel. 

2. Charlotte Tilbury is always a great idea at Christmas, mainly because of her wonderful packaging. On my Christmas list this year is the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eye Palette in the shade The Dolce Vita. Who hasn't used this in a tutorial yet? Fingers crossed it will be under the tree!  

3. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is a rather luxurious item this Christmas - it's a whopping £65. These powders are absolutely beautiful - I own one of the blushers and powders - and the set is just so aesthetically pleasing! Whilst I think this is a great way to try all the powders it is a lot of money. So for now I will just look...

4. In my opinion, anything from Jo Malone is wonderful to receive. A few weeks ago my friend and I decided to go and choose our favourite perfumes to add to our Christmas lists. Mine was the new fragrance, Mimosa & Cardamon. If you haven't smelt this yet then PLEASE do, your nose will be very grateful.

5. This Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm is rather cute: a tiny version of the famous cleanser which can be hung on the tree. At £10 this is a great stocking filler for a skincare lover - it even comes with a mini cloth!

6. I have fallen in love with the Champney's repackaging. I love receiving shower gels or bubble baths so the Champneys Heavenly Days Relaxing Collection is definitely on my list. 

7.The Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection  has probably been one of my favourite beauty launches this year. They are some of the best brushes I own: the quality is amazing and the bristles are very easy to blend with, especially the creased shadow brush! I think one of these brushes would be a beautiful gift to receive. 

What's on your Christmas beauty list this year? 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

October Favourites

This month I fell back in love with an old favourite - the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. I LOVE this foundation; it has great coverage, it isn't too heavy and it blends really well into the skin. I wear the shade B20 which is my skin tone in a bottle. Whenever my skin is looking slightly lacklustre I immediately pick this up - It creates the perfect natural finish.

I also rediscovered my MAC Pro-Longwear blush in the shade Rosy Outlook - a very pretty pink which creates the perfect natural flush. I find the pro-longwear formulas to be very long wearing  (as you would expect from it's name) but also super pigmented - you don't need too much of this on your brush to achieve a natural pink.

October was a pretty bad skin month for me. I ended taking things back to basics, ensuring that I was really cleaning my skin with fresh muslin clothes. However, I really noticed the benefits when I started to regularly incorporate an oil into my routine. I used the Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate. With powerfully, active ingredients such as camomile and rosehip oil it's perhaps no surprise I would always notice the difference the next day. It also left my skin feeling very nourished and moisturised. A big thumbs up from me with this one.

A new discovery is from Lush. I picked up The Comforter shower gel after seeing a lot of pretty Instagram posts. I think the smell of this is so uplifting and is just what you need when you're feeling slightly under the weather. It's also shimmery pink. I think I definitely need to try the famous bath bomb version

My Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder has been the perfect setting powder. I'm so pleased that I finally picked this up - it really keeps my oil/shine levels at bay. But it is also more than just a powder; it doubles up as a very subtle highlighter. Whilst this is a very luxurious item I can definitely notice the high-end difference in comparison with my drug-store powders.

Also I will give a shout out to my background: my new bed sheets from George. I'm currently having an obsession with grey interiors, please visit my Pinterest to see the depths of this...

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Products I said I would never buy

There have been a few products that have haunted this blog which I have deemed unworthy of their expensive price tag. Two of these were the Nude Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Oil and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. Now, judging from the photo you will guess that I have in fact, now, bought these products. But let me explain. I promise I'm not a hypocrite.

The past two months of blog reading has seen a lot of reviews about the Hourglass Powder. This was then wonderfully peaked in a collab video of Fleur de Force, Hello October and I Covet Thee on their 'Holy Grail High End Products' - great viewing, I really recommend! Then Caroline Hirons featured the Nude Oil on her blog saying (I quote)  'I love this cleanser.' Now how can you say no to the Hirons?! Finally, Space Nk tempted me with £15 off when you spend £60. I took this offer as a sign to finally see what the fuss was about…Now do you understand why I gave in?

One thing I didn't know about Nude was that they are as natural as beauty products can be. This is a quality I always look for when testing new products - I don't like no naaaasties. Infact one of the ingredients in this is broccoli - yes that's right people, broccoli! Now we know I love an oil cleanser due to my regular praise of the Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil. However, I have actually tried a high-end oil, mainly because I didn't see the point in the price tag. But after testing I can firmly say that this a beautiful cleanser: a luxurious oil which thorough cleanses my skin and has noticeably helped to regulate the oil on my T-zone.

This product can be used morning or evening as first or second cleanse. The price for the amount of millilitres you get still scares me a little, making me think it would be a waste to use this as a first cleanse. But you can apply the oil straight to dry skin and then emulsify it with warm water to create a very light milk which will then further help to remove all makeup. On a side note, this product just looks beautiful in the bathroom cabinet!

The Hourglass powder I feel is more of an investment - when you think about it you only use a little bit of powder everyday and there is a lot of product here to get through. I went for the shade diffused light after many bloggers said this was their preferred shade. What's so great about this powder is whilst it helps to set your makeup and blot that shiny nose, it adds a delicate touch of shimmer, creating a very natural glow. So far I've found that my oil control is much better after applying this in the morning: I now only need one touch up throughout the day rather than having to consistently blot my nose every time I go to the bathroom!

Whilst both of these products are indeed quite pricey, they definitely have very satisfying results. Never say never kids. 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The New Browns

As last month was my birthday month, I realised that I had gathered a new, small collection of make up. Weirdly, all products fell into the brown toned category and hence the inspiration for today's post. 

The Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon eyeshadow pencils are a great, no fuss option when it comes to eyeshadow: super creamy, super pigmented no brush, just apply and done. Who needs to blend two or three eyeshadows when these do the job in one go. My new addition is the shade Bronze Garnet - a very rich, golden brown. I find this perfect for sweeping on my bottom lash line for a smokier look. 

I suppose this month could also have been titled the Chanel month. After absolutely loving my Illusion D'ombre in the shad Emmerville for the past year I thought it was time to invest in another colour - yes, I actually treated myself to this one! This is the colour Mirage: a subtle brown in which one coat = great every day brown whilst also being a great base for a night out smokey brown. These eyeshadows (as you will have seen from my last post) are some of the best products in my makeup stash. A powder to cream eyeshadow which are just ridiculously easy to apply. 

After watching Vivianna's thoughts towards the Chanel long lasting eyeliner in Érable there was no way it wasn't going to be on my wish list. I've been on the hunt for a new bronze-toned-brown ever since Rimmel discontinued my all time favourite - boo Rimmel! Seeing as this is indeed an expensive replacement, it might not be able to be as everyday used as my Rimmel favourite. However, this does not mean that I do not love it. I have never tried a Chanel eyeliner before and so far Im really impressed, particularly with its creamy formula - don't you just hate it when you have a scratchy eye pencil and it hurts to apply?! That won't happen with these ones!

I wonder which ones will make the monthly favourites post...

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Cream Eyeshadows

I've lost count of the amount of times I've mentioned on these pages that I'm an 'oily eyelid gal.' Product just does not like to stay on my eyelids; it creases, it smudges and ultimately ends up in a melted mush. Attractive, I know. However, the years of this holding this wonderful trait have led to a lot of testing. Throughout my journey I have discovered that a friend of my mine comes in the form of the cream eyeshadow. 

My favourite is the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise I have the shade Norma Jean. It is so creamy that it almost feel wet. But I find that it is this texture that helps to make it stay for a super long time whilst also being super pigmented. Whilst I absolutely adore this product, it doesn't sit in my everyday makeup bag because of its pigmentation. 

That is where the Chanel Illusion D'ombre come in. A weird formula, they sit in the tub like a powder but apply as a cream but this makes them so easy to use: no blending just apply. In terms of wearability they do. not. budge. My old and trusted favourite is the shade Emmerville: a lovely, everyday peachy gold which is definitely a cream version of MAC All that Glitters. I have recently purchased the shade Mirage - a light brown colour that I'm hoping will be my smokey eyes in one product. They come with a little brush which is perfect for packing the product on. 

I bought the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear cream eyeshadow in Beach Bronze after watching a Pixi Woo tutorial. It is a gorgeous, sparkly rich brown shade. I find this the trickiest of the lot to use - because it is in quite a small brush I need a small brush and then find it tricky to blend out. I think I need more practice with using this shade as I find that it looks quite heavy on me. 

Unfortunately my Estee Lauder Pure Colour Stay on Shadow Paint in Chained has dried out a bit now. However, it was definitely a firm favourite a few years back for my 'nights out' makeup. Mainly because it just didn't budge. I will definite re-visit this range.

The next on my list to try is Mac Cream Pot in Rubenesque. What are your favourites?

Monday, 28 September 2015

The Probiotic Micellar Water

I've always been slightly skeptical towards Micellar Waters. If you are a regular reader of this blog then you will know I take Caroline Hirons words as gospel: 'micellar waters belong backstage.' However, my other skincare goddess is Glamour Beauty Director Alessandre Steinherr - a lover of micellars. On her most recent Sunday facial Snapchat (you've got to check these out!) she featured this - the Super Facialist Probiotic Micellar Water. I love Unna Brennan's Super Facialist range; she creates great skincare for an amazing price tag so I was curious to give it a try…sorry Caroline. 

What immediately struck me about this Micellar Water is that it contains hyaluronic acid: an unusual addition to a simple cleansing water. Now we shouldn't be scared when we see the word acid in our skincare ingredients. Hyaluronic acid is great for keeping skin hydrated. It's also a key anti-ageing ingredient as it helps to plump and firm the skin.

As a result of this addition, after use my skin is left feeling soft; it doesn't feel stripped or tight like it has sometimes felt with other micellar waters. The addition of echinacea and cucumber also helps to leave my skin feeling refreshed. For these reasons I will therefore say it is one of the best micellar waters I have tried. 

Whilst I'm definitely giving this product a big thumbs up I still don't think micellar waters are for me. You need to use so many cotton pads until you can't see your foundation on them and, in my opinion, that's not a great sign of cleansing. I therefore think I will always be a cleansing oil kinda gal. However, this will definitely be a travel favourite.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Monthly Favourites Update

It seems like a lifetime ago since I did a favourites post. The unglamorous third year life was not very exciting, I rarely changed my routine in terms of skincare and makeup, and being unemployed for a few months left me restrained from Space NK splurges. But there university life is no more and I now have a small part time job which means I can definitely have a splurge or two! Anyhow, there are no more excuses. So here are some of the things I have been loving for the past month…and a bit!

We all know I have been a loyal Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish fan for a very long time. Despite this affection however, the release of their limited edition fragranced cleansers didn't get me excited. I now realise what an idiot I was. The jasmine & osmanthus version is absolutely beautiful and is perfect for a nighttime cleanse due to its relaxing aroma. Exactly the same formula as the original, just with the lovely addition of some floral scents.

The bareMinerals Complexion Rescue has been on my face every day (almost) since I bought it. I am definitely a hoarder of lightweight bases but I think this may be my favourite lightweight base of them all.  No kidding. You can read my full review of it here.

Likewise the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion has not left my makeup bag. It gives my complexion such a radiating boost. I think the best way to describe this is healthy complexion is a box.

The Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial is a hero product in my skincare drawer. When you can't be bothered to do too much with your skin in the evening put this on and wake up feeling like you had a full pre-bed facial. Results from this product are instant and amazing, making it worth its slightly expensive price tag.

Last but certainly not least, I have loved using the Original Source Skin Quench. It was the smell that attracted me to this product - the lime and coconut one. It is so zingy and fresh. But it was the smell of the moisturiser that encouraged me to apply it everyday after showering and my skin really noticed the benefits of a good old moisturise! Goodbye dry elbows and knees.

What have been your recent favourites?

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

September Check List

Inspired by Milk Bubble Tea's blog I thought I would begin a similar monthly goals post. As an organisational freak, I love a good list. Being a recent graduate means there can sometimes be a lot of post-uni blues: job hunting, self-identifying and money desperate times. 

1. Get a job. 
Life has just begun some might say, it is time to begin the steps up the career ladder. So far this has been a hugely, daunting experience. I feel like I have been chucked in the deep end. However, it's time to be brave and apply, apply, apply. 

2. When it doesn't go right go left. 
I can easily get very upset after rejections - a direct consequence of point 1! However, I'm a big believer in the saying 'everything happens for a reason.' I'm going to try and be more positive towards these hurdles and take everything in my stride. 

3. Running Time.
 I have just signed up to run the Brighton half marathon. It takes place in February and I am determined to beat my time of 2 hours 4 mins and complete it under 2 hours. This means a lot training in the winter months. Hello waterproofs, it's time to face the cold and the dark and the rain...

4. Spend less on food. 
Now this is a difficult task for a confessed foodie. I suppose I mean I'll be more economical with food: plan in advance, use the freezer, cook big batches on a weekend. Hello adult life, I'm slowly becoming receipt hoarder. 

5. Plan. 
Whether this be more plans to the theatre, more plans to visit family, I love to have something to look forward too. I'm currently beginning research for a 2016 trip to New York!

6. Be a better blogger. 
I will be strict with myself and blog every other day. This therefore means blog post planning too! 

7. Take more photos. 
I absolutely love my camera and taking photos of my product but I now want to expand my subject. I'm thinking food and my love of London restaurants…it's time to get rid of the social anxiety that overtakes me when I take a photo of my pudding. 

Time for a positive and successful month. 

Monday, 7 September 2015

Superskin Serum

At 22 years old you may think that a serum post is a tad too far. I am assuming that you're thinking this as serums are known as the 'anti-aging product.' For too long now the beauty industry has been bombarded with ridiculous anti-aging claims, all of which have usually coincided with the launch of a new serum. I'm sorry to burst your dreams ladies but I don't think there is ever going to be a product that will actually take ten years off your life! In my opinion we need to change our thoughts towards serum. Whilst it is certainly a powerful product to help slow certain processes of anti-ageing it will also help against environmental factors (something we all need to think carefully about) and, if you're a dry skinned kinda gal it will seriously help improve the skin's moisture. *breeaaath out* rant over. 

With this new perspective in come one of my skincare favourites Liz Earle. After two years of research they have finally added a serum to their Superskin line: the Superskin Face Serum. From a marketing perspective their is a lot to love about their serum approach. Unlike other brands, Liz Earle are highlighting the power of their botanical ingredients; here it is a combination of persian silk tree, rhubarb root extract and pomegranate flower extract. These active ingredients help to firm, improve complexion and plump the skin. Can you think of any other brand that advertises the power of the ingredients first? Didn't think so.

When we then go to an ingredients point of view we can then understand how wonderfully, and naturally, active this serum is. I don't know about you but I would much rather apply rhubarb root to my face than a chemical ingredient which I can't even pronounce. 

Unlike other serums I've used, this comes out almost like a moisturiser - it is quite thick and cream like in texture and consistency. However, with the smooth and press technique it is quickly absorbed into the skin.

For the past three weeks I have incorporated the Superskin serum into my morning routine. The most notable difference has been the hydration of my skin; by 3pm it still feels moisturised! I used to wake up with slight redness but that has now disappeared. Moreover, I have noticed that after application my makeup feels much nicer to apply. So many positives. If you're on the hunt for a serum or have never tried one before then I would recommend choosing Liz Earle and their natural approach rather than a brand that pays a ridiculous amount for advertising. 

Monday, 31 August 2015

The Gel Manicure

Whilst on a hunt for a new birthday polish (a tradition of mine), and with a 2 for £8 offer at Boots, I decided to pick up the Revlon Gel Envy polishes in Up the Ante and the Diamond top coat

I could spend a while talking about how much I love the colour but the formula deserves a lot of attention: a perfectly nail-curved-applicator and thick polish which only needs two coats it deserves a big thumbs up. When it comes to the Diamond Top Coat however we're on a whole different wave length of nail polish history. 

I am always on the hunt for a good drugstore top coat. Whilst everyone raves about Seche Viche - which I'll admit, does do a fantastic job - I don't really want to spend £10 on a flipping top coat. Moreover, I have previously shared my love for the Rimmel Finishing Touch, an equally great and cheap top coat. However, I think I have just made a discovery that kicks Finishing Touch out of the nail polish drawer... 

Excuse the hyperbole but the Revlon Diamond Top Coat is honestly one of the best top coats I've ever tried. It is incredibly shiny and seriously chip proof! Interestingly the applicator is two brushes in one - they join together at the bottom. One thing I suffer from with other top coats is that they can be so thick that I end up peeling the whole polish off…does anyone else do this? This one however seems to almost blend into the polish creating an even layer. This top coat is definitely a must have for a nail polish addict and at £4 (with this offer) how can you say no?!

Monday, 24 August 2015

The Empties #2

I am currently undergoing the stressful process of moving house. Whilst I pack and chuck I thought I would share with you my bag of empties from the past year...brace yourselves, it's a long one!

The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover is definitely the best out there: does  the job (superbly, I might add) and is affordable. Simple. I dread to think how many bottles I get through in a year…! I love a cleansing oil in my evening skincare routine and usually use the matching Camomile one. However the Una Brennan Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Cleansing Oil is a great drugstore option too. My only complaint about it is the packaging: it gets very, very sticky. 

The Soap and Glory Archery 2-in-1 Brow Pencil  is probably one of my hero makeup products. Spooley one end and thin eye pencil the other, nothing gets my brows in to a more presentable shape as quickly as this one does. 

Since trying out the travel size of Colab Dry Shampoo I've had to buy a full size can. It's the first one I've tried that doesn't leave white marks - a big thumbs up from a brunette. 

I recently did a post on the Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream which you can read here. It's a very simple moisturiser that leaves skin feeling hydrated throughout the day. I will definitely add to my repurchase list. 

I discovered La Roche Posay Serozinc after the famous BodyTalks Caroline Hirons YouTube interview (how many times have I mentioned that on my blog now?!). You can read my more detailed post about this item here

If you're looking for a mascara that separates and gives serious length then look no further than the LOréal Telescopic False Lash Mascara. This is the end of my second one. I don't understand why you would pay extra for a high end mascara when you see the results produced by this wand. Equally, the Barry M Blink Eyeliner has been a favourite in my makeup bag for a few years. I'm yet to find another eyeliner pen that is as easy to use as this. 

I always shed a tear when I reach the end of the Estee Lauder Advance Night Repair. Whilst it is scarily expensive it is definitely one of the best skincare items on the market. I loved my skin when I used this: it was visibly more plumper, blemish free and hydrated. 

Then we move to the body and hair empties...

When the Imperial Leather Foamburst Body Wash is on offer I throw it straight into the basket. Is it sad that I get a tad excited to use this?! The instant foam thing makes me feel extra clean and I like that. On the other hand I regularly pick up the Original Source shower gels. They smell lovely and are Vegan approved so you know they've got no nasties in them. I don't have much to say about the Radox Coconut Kiss I'm afraid. It was nice…it smelt like coconuts?? It doesn't get me as excited as Imperial Leather. End of. 

As you can see, I squeezed every drop out of my Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Shampoo and Conditioner. If you have dry hair then this one is for you - my hair is always left feeling more nourished after my shower. 

Don't diss the addition of my Mitchum deodorant.  I actually had four empties cans of it, but I didn't think a photo of them all together would be aesthetically pleasing! I've used it for years, no other deodorant compares. 

And there was the record for my lengthiest post. Cup of tea followed by an order of the essentials I think!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The Pink Nudes

It's a rare occasion for me to make a bold lip choice. As a result of this fear I have collected a range of pink nudes; the my lips but better kinda shades.

The Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Golden Lustre in the shade 114 is the luxury number - thank you to my friends who know me well and gave it as my 21st present! Whilst it's not as dark as it looks from the bullet, it's definitely the darkest pink in my little collection. However, this makes it perfect for the colder months: it makes your lips wonderfully, yet subtly, stand out when your face is a little paler.

I was all about the Revlon Colourstay Ultimate Suede when they first came out. One of my favourite shades is Socialite, a rich nudey-pink that seems to make lips look fuller.

The Estee Lauder Pure Color in Crystal Nude has made a regular appearance on this blog - it is a trusted favourite. It's the creamiest lipstick of this lot, and almost looks like a gloss when I apply as it has so much shine. I rarely leave the house without this in my handbag.

MAC Patisserie is a lipstick classic. It has a lovely hint of shimmer to it making it the perfect M.L.B.B shade. As Vivianna Does Makeup says, 'When in doubt, reach for patisserie.'

Who doesn't love the Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss?! This is shade 101. Despite this being a matte formula I don't find it drying, in fact it's very velvety. If you like to do an Instagram pout every once in a while then I think this might be your new shade.

Monday, 17 August 2015

The Facial Detox

Last month I had a pesky, blackhead situation occurring on my left cheek. It was not a pretty situation guys. As my friends will say, I regularly told them how I couldn't get rid of a particular bugger which even my mother had attempted to squeeze out under a magnifying glass… was too much information?! The story was that my skin wasn't particularly happy. I therefore began my search for a clay mask that was going to help in the process of extraction. 

A trip to Space NK saw me purchase Elemental Herbology Facial Detox Purifying Facial Mask. I had read quite about of this brand on the likes of gh0stparties and The LoveCats Inc (thoroughly recommend checking these two bloggers out if you haven't done already).  I love skincare brands that use the best of nature and so was particularly interested by Elemental Herbology's approach: made of plant compounds, botanical oils and essential fatty acids they take a holistic approach to skincare. 

The Facial Detox Mask alone contains 3 Patents (antioxidants), 14 actives and 6 Bio-Oils. But it is the Amazonian white clay that particularly helps to extract toxins - aka, evil blackheads. In the past I have often struggled with clay masks, especially charcoal based ones; after removing the mask my skin is bright red. The Facial Detox, however, contains Manuka Honey which really soothes and calms my skin. This mask is particularly good for all you oily skin gals, I always notice an immediate difference on my T-Zone after use. 

Now, the main outcome of this story is that the blackheads are no longer there - yes, it is a miracle! This mask definitely helped in this process, and I am really looking forward to trying more products from this brand. 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Lightweight bases

It is no surprise over on these pages that I am a lightweight/BB base, formula, lovin' gal! I can't get enough of them; I find them so simple, hydrating and dewy, a quality I am ALWAYS on the hunt for. After looking through my stash I thought I would show you my Top Four.

The Diorskin Nude BB Cream is a luxurious hero. It has a watery consistency, making it perfect for summer. For a BB cream it actually provides quite a good coverage, and I especially reach for this one if I want to look tanned!

The Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint is the latest addition to my collection and has quickly captured my heart! It is the most simple of the family; suitable for all skin types, SPF 15, and full of the all-powerful ingredient Vitamin E. This product should be, in my opinion, nicknamed the dew-enhancer.

I would probably class the Estee Lauder Double Wear All-Day Glow B-B as the best all-year-round cream. I take shade one and it is, literally, my skin shade in a tube! I love it in the colder months (pretty much 3/4 of the year in the UK) as it provides me with the perfect skin booster: glowing, even skin. With an spf 30 this is a firm favourite in my makeup bag.

Out of the lightweight gang, the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue is the first to fall - apologies for the drunk related puns! I think this is due to its 'gel' formula: a little goes a long way and it feels so hydrating on the skin. I have actually used this in the past month instead of my moisturiser, it is that hydrating!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Super Oils

After running out of my evening serum, and making a wise decision to not repurchase (and save some pennies!), I decided to pay more attention to my Oil collection.

The Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a trusted favourite in my skincare cabinet: hydrating, soothing and calming, it is a lovely oil. The lavender scent helps to aid relaxation.

The Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate is a new and wonderful discovery. It contains high, natural sources of vitamin E which really help to nourish and protect the skin whilst the neroli provides a wonderful, relaxing aroma - perfect for a great night sleep. Since using this I've found that my complexion has looked more even and brighter in the mornings, which has been a lovely surprise! I would also recommend ordering from their website - the service is incredible!

The Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial completely differs in texture to the other two. It is described as a serum-oil so it is almost glossy in consistency. The smell  is just divine: it really does feel like a spa when you apply this. Like Liz Earle, this contains Vitamin E and Omega Oils which really help to hydrate and plump the skin.

All of these oils have provided me with instant results.  I couldn't recommend them enough! There's just something extra lovely about evening skincare when we can afford a bit more time, relaxation and care in our routines.

Monday, 27 July 2015

My Charlotte Tilbury Newbies

After finishing University my mum treated me to some Charlotte Tilbury goodies. Whilst I may still be keeping them in their original packaging, an unusual habit of me, they have had some excessive use the past few weeks.

First was the Colour Chameleon Eye-shadow Pencil in the shade Champagne Diamonds. I love an eyeshadow pencil stick and this one is super creamy, making it very easy to apply: a big thumbs up in the book of eyeshadow pencils! The only thing I didn't realise when I swatched this in Selfridges was how glittery this shade is. It is definitely more of an evening buddy. 

My second choice was the Eyes to Mesmerise Long-Lasting Easy Colour in the shade Norma Jean. Any eye-makeup item with the 'easy' in its name is always going to attract my attention. As readers will know, I am a hoarder of gold shadows so this light-golden shade was a winner for me.

The texture is so creamy that is is almost wet-like, making it super pigmented (the photo doesn't do it justice.) I have tried a variety of cream eyeshadows in the past and I can honestly say the Charlotte Tilbury formula is the best I've met so far. 

In fact, I have not stopped wearing this the past few weeks. It has been a staple for the special occasions I've had recently such as my graduation and ball. It doesn't budge at all, so it has made a great base for a smokey eye or a firm, all over shadow. I definitely want to pick up a golden brown colour.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The rude named one

A recent trip to Paris saw me pay a visit to the wonders of Sephora. One of my purchases was the Too Faced Better than Sex mascara, a product which has been on my wish list for a while. I never usually like to buy 'high-end' mascaras as I believe that drug-store ones do just as a fantastic job. However, after seeing this in featured in so many youtube videos I was more than curious to give it a try. 

On first application I was wowed by the volume. Even my boyfriend commented, I mean under what circumstances does a boyfriend notice eyelashes?! The hour-glass shape wand makes it different from any mascara I've tried before. It reaches all my lashes and easily lifts and coats. Whilst it doesn't describe itself as a waterproof formula it definitely lasts all day and holds the curl so well. It even lasted me in the 34 degrees of Paris, which is seriously impressive for my oily eyelids! 

I would definitely recommend this mascara if you're looking for big, long lashes. 

Monday, 13 July 2015

The new complexion rescue

How many times on the blog have I mentioned my love for lightweight bases and BB creams? I'm sure I'm in the hundreds by now, but after reading HelloOctober's love for this one I realised I had to add another to my collection. This is the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream.

As an unusually named 'gel cream', I should probably begin with talking about the formula. The texture is somewhat mousse-like, which was rather surprising. I would not describe it as a gel at all. But as a 'mousse-like' formula, it is therefore very lightweight which I find helps to blend the product well into the skin.

As a normal/combination skin gal this cream has multiple skin-saving properties. Firstly, it hydrates. Indeed, I have used this at times to replace my moisturiser, especially as it contains SPF 30. It evens out skin tone. As a lightweight formula it's great for an everyday, summer base but it is also really easy to build up coverage. On the package it says it contains 'mineral electrolytes' and 'antioxidants' which help to energise and defend your skin. Whilst I don't understand the properties of these ingredients I can safely say that my skin looks noticeable dewier and radiant after applying this. The first time I used it even my mum made a comment about my skin! Moreover, I can vouch that this product is seriously long-lasting. I wore it last week in Paris, where temperatures reached 34 degrees! There was no melting, makeup face, thank goodness. 

I take the shade 02 vanilla which was probably one of the best matches to a base I've ever had.  This has definitely become a firm, lightweight favourite! 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Hydrating Toners

After experiencing five days of extraordinary heat in London I thought it was necessary to share with you one of my summer skin essentials: the hydrating toner. All of these have multiple purposes: They can be used after cleansing to hydrate and purify the skin, to help set makeup or for a top up in the afternoon to help 'revive' the skin. 

The Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic contains naturally active, botanical ingredients including a pure source of Vitamin E. These help to revitalise and refresh the skin. I find this 30ml bottle so handy to keep in my bag, ready for those vital 3pm spraying sessions. 

As you know from previous posts, the Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist is not only a luxurious item but one that I could rave about for hours. The first time I tested this product I had never experienced so many compliments about my skin! It looked noticeably healthy: glowing and dewy, just what I like. The only annoying thing about this product is the price. I am nearly on my last few sprays and I'm not sure if a toner is worth £46 (I know, I hang my head, and purse, in shame!).  Nevertheless, it does probably have the most instant results of the trio.

La Roche Posay Serozinc, however, is the most refreshing of them all, mainly due to its spritzing power. If you're on a budget then I would put my hands up and tell you that this is the one! Whilst it is 'targeted' for oily and blemish prone skin I would advise to ignore this. I would not put my own skin under this category but it has still helped my skin. This product is especially great if you're a city girl as it kills bacteria. 

Another tip, leave these in these fridge and you will have an extra cooling experience!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Evening Skincare Routine

Following up from my Morning skincare post (here) it is now time to share my current evening skin care routine. Whilst I love applying my makeup I will always say that my favourite time of the day is taking it all off before bed. Just like my morning skin routine, the evening has developed into a rather obsessive procedure. 

Firstly, it's step one of cleansing. If you are a regular reader then you will know that this has been The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil for a while.  This is a firm favourite in my skincare cupboard. When they say silky, they really do mean silky. It is such a soothing, gentle oil that quickly removes makeup. I don't think I would ever pay more for a cleansing oil as this does the job perfectly. Sometimes if I have waterproof eye makeup on then I will also go in with the Camomile Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover which, again, has a big thumbs up from me. It doesn't irritate my eyes, or leave them feeling oily, it just quickly does them job. 

I then cleanse my skin. PLEASE, note the difference between the oil cleanser to take off my make up and the cleanser to cleanse my skin. For this second step I use Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish - a trusty cleanser that I have been using for over six years now. I love its creamy texture; it never irritates my skin; and is really soothing after a long stressful day.

Now, this is then when the routine gets exciting. About three times a week, or every other day (if its a bad skin week) I go in with an AHA toner. As you will have read from a previous post, this is my preferred form of exfoliation. I find that it provides better results and is less irritating than an exfoliating scrub with beads. After a few seconds I then spray over a hydrating toner. My favourite one for the evening is the La Roche Posay Serozinc. It soothes my skin and ALWAYS solves my bad skin days. 

The rest is then simple. I moisturise, with the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream,  and then apply an oil over the top. In the past I have loved using the Origins Night-a-Mins moisturiser. I really do miss that from my current routine, as it is so rich and moisturising. However, applying the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Oil over the top has made me notice some encouraging results. I seem to have had this in my skincare stash for a while, but only ever used it occasionally. After a routine of application I have noticed in the morning that my skin looks plumper and my complexion much more even. Perhaps I shouldn't have dismissed it so much.

What are you holy-gail evening products?

Monday, 29 June 2015

More Salon Pro Love

A trip back home always means a visit into my favourite Boots. With a lot of points saved up to spend I ended up with a mini-boots haul which I shared on my instagram - oops! As you know from a previous post, I am loving the Rimmel Salon Pro formulas.

I had spotted this shade, Green Dragon, before, and finally decided to add it to my basket. I'm always a fool for a blue or green nail polish and this pistachio-blue shade is just perfect for summer in my opinion.

Now, shall I rave about the formula of these polishes? For under a fiver they really do deserve a round of applause: long wearing, chip proof and high shine. What more can you want from a nail polish. I'm pretty sure you'll be finding me in this shade for a few weeks!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Morning Skincare Routine

I love my morning skincare routine. All of these products help me achieve a healthy, dewy glow and a perfect base for applying my makeup. 

I start off with the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. This is perfect for my skin first thing in the morning. Containing vitamins A, C and E it really helps to 'waken' up my skin. It looks instantly brighter and cleaner. Whilst it is called a gel, once you rub it between you fingers, and apply on to your skin, it turns into an oil-like consistency. This means you have such a gentle cleanse in the morning and really helps to give a glow at the end. I love this cleanser!

I then use the Omorovicza Queen of Hungry Mist. This is a lovely, hydrating toner. Whilst some people may argue that this is far too expensive for its purpose, I honestly have never used a product that has given such an instant glow. Ingredients of rose, orange blossom and sage water help to purify and tone the skin. The apple pectin really hydrates the skin leaving such an instant result. This product can also be used throughout the day when your skin needs that extra boost. 

I began using the Sarah Chapman Intense hydrating booster  last year when my skin was suffering from dryness, especially on my cheeks, and stress. This is a lovely silky, serum that adds such a nourishing layer of moisture in my skin. It really helps me to achieve a natural glow whilst also plumping the skin. 

Finally, I go in with my Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream which I wrote about in my last post. Now I understand that these products are on the luxury side of skincare. But then again, my ethos is that our skin is the most important thing we own - it needs to be looked after. Most of these products I bought when I worked at Harrods. If I had to only use one thing from this list it would probably be the Oskia cleanser. For £28 I think this is a reasonably priced, premium quality cleanser that leaves the skin feeling so smooth and nourished. 

What are your morning favourites?

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Moisturiser

After quite a few months of using the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream I thought it was time to give you some feedback. First things first, lets start with the basics: simple, lightweight packaging makes this great for travelling. It's fragrance free so there is nothing too sickly or sweet to endure. 

When it comes to texture it is very light. It is therefore very easy to absorb into the skin but still extremely moisturising. I've so far found this very easy and simple for balancing out my complexion and leaving my skin feeling comfortable. By that I mean my face doesn't feel heavily caked in moisturiser and I can straightaway move on to applying my makeup for the day. 

Now, at the moment I have been using this day and night. Weirdly I have LOVED it for the daytime, but not so much at night. When it comes to evening skincare I do like a thick, rich texture.  Something like the Origins Night-A-Mins for example, which feels like it will do wonders overnight! However, as a daytime moisturiser that has been great, especially in the warmer months when I want something lightweight.  Then again, this is not claiming to do the specifics of a night cream. It is a simple all-rounder. 

The only negative about the cream is the lack of SPF. I assume that Kiehl's choose this so that it can be applied morning and night. Moreover, Kiehl's do other SPF specific products which can be applied after the cream. Nevertheless, if you are looking for something simple that's going to do the job of moisturising your skin then I would definitely recommend this product. 

Have any moisturisers to recommend? Please leave a comment. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Taste of London

Last week was my lucky week as I won tickets to  Taste of London. A festival of food in Regent's Park which celebrates the diversity and creativity of London's restaurants. If you're one of my instagram followers then you'll know I love a good food post. So instead of my nail themed Monday, I thought I'd share with you some of the delicious things I tried out!

Firstly was this bad boy from Kurobuta. A BBQ pork belly in a steamed bun with a spicy peanut sauce.  Throughout the day I kept thinking back to this, it really did set the bar high! 

Annoyingly this was the only photo I took of the next place, Bubbledogs. I have always wanted to try this restaurant on Charlotte Street. The menu is simple: hot dogs and champagne. In my opinion, that's the perfect combination. However, here I tried their Ranch 'Tater Tots' which were some rather snazzy potato croquets. 

If you've dined at Duck and Waffle then this photo is recognisable: Bacon wrapped dated. This photo does not do any justice to this plate of deliciousness. Situated at the top of Heron Tower Duck and Waffle is, without a doubt, one of the coolest restaurants I have been to in London. The menu is so unique.

This Barbecoa pretty pudding is a salted peanut butter Cheesecake with black cherries and sour cherry candy floss. I chose this mainly due to other Instagram posts on the day, it just looked so inviting! But I've never been one to say no to cheesecake. This was good, but I did expect more of a peanuty taste…

HALF TIME. It's time for a classic Sipsmith Gin and Tonic and a rest to digest. 

 I had never heard of Mazi before, but I was certainly all hands up for their Grandma's meatballs with handmade crisps. They were rich tasty meat balls that left me and my boyfriend with a big grin. We just wanted some tomato sauce and spaghetti on the side.

I'm sure a lot of you Londoner's will have heard of MEATliquor. I, however, have never tried the famous burger chain. I know, I hang my head in shame. This is one of their Dead Hippie Sliders. A mustard-fried beef patty, with dead hippie Sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions. Drooling yet?! Whilst it may not be a fancy as the more expensive restaurants, this was definitely one of the tastiest things I ate the whole day. 

Then, my last dish of the day was from Chop Shop. A Roast pulled pork sausage roll with apple ketchup. Mmm, the pork was perfectly cooked. My only criticism was it was too small. 

Now I did just say I had my last dish but what I meant to say was my last savoury dish. I wasn't going to just walk past the Primrose Bakery stand now was I?! I chose one of their malteaser brownies. A lovely sweet treat to end a day of stuffing my face.

Friday, 19 June 2015


One thing I have't talked about in a while  is skincare. But this post on acid toners has been waiting a while to pop up. When we see the word acid we perhaps get a little scared, of course why would we want to put acid on our face?! However, the % of acid in these toners is relatively low and therefore safe enough to cause some impressive results on our skin.

The whole process of acid based toners was introduced to my by the goddess of skincare Caroline Hirons. She believes that toner should be the second step in our routine; it should balance the ph levels of your skin after cleansing, exfoliate, hydrate and, most important, help for the next steps of your routine (serum and moisturise) to penetrate more thoroughly.

Now before I learnt this information my every other day routine would be a gritty exfoliator. What I then learnt from Hirons is that this can help to spread infection if we have a spot and does not restore the ph level on our skin. Acid toners are applied on a cotton wool pad and then just smooth them over my face and neck. 

Since introducing this step I can honestly say that I've seen improvements in my skin like no other. My skin now doesn't experience crazy blemishes, it feels smoother and almost more radiant. The two toners I switch between are the Clarins Gentle Exfoliater Brightening toner and the Pixi Glow Tonic. Now I feel almost embarrassed to admit that I can't really detect anything different between these two products apart from the smell. If I was 'suffering' a period of bad skin however, I would perhaps be more inclined to use the Clarins one as, from experience, this has always helped to clear my skin. I tend to put these toners in my nightie routine, as suggested by Hirons, and I only use them about 3 times a week. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The New Foundation

It is a rare occasion when a foundation graces the pages of FolkesThinks. However, with a SpaceNK incentive soon to expire I (as always) gave I good think as to what my splurge was going to be. I was pretty confident that I wanted a new foundation due to some important events coming up over the summer. After a lot of deliberating with friends I finally decided that the 'one' was going to be the updated formula of the Laura Mercier Silk Crème Moisturizing Photo Edition Foundation

Now I never owned the original. Infact my only experience with the brand is the tinted moisturiser, the famous secret camouflage concealer and, of course, their bath range. I had read a lot of mixed reviews about the updated foundation but decided to take a leap and try it (note this was a definitely a leap at £35!).

You all know I love a dewy, luminous base which is why I opted for this formula rather than the oil free version. I also was sucked into the label 'photo edition.' One trait I always suffer with is flashback on photos, and with one of these summer events being my graduation ceremony I do not want a record of my big shiny forehead. 

Trying to find my perfect colour match was a little difficult. That would perhaps be the main down point of this foundation, the colour range is not particularly impressive. The one I have isn't peeerfect, but once blended and buffed into the skin it gives a really nice base. In the after photo (the second one) please note I do not have concealer on. I just wanted to focus on the difference in complexion. 

So far I am loving this foundation. I've even worn it on a day when I didn't have a special event - now that's saying something in the Emily Folkes makeup bag. The coverage is on point, and it lasts so well. For example, I wore this for my graduation ball a few weeks ago and it lasted from 1pm in the afternoon till 1am. That deserves a round of applause I think. Oh and most importantly, the photos from the evening are not scarred with my flashback face. Bingo. 

What are your favourite high end foundations or Laura Mercier products for that matter? I would to try out more from her brand.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Manicure Heroes

Instead of boring you with another post dedicated to my love for the Rimmel Salon Pro formulas I thought I would share with you some of my favourite products for the perfect manicure. After all, I do like to keep Monday posts aligned with the #ManicureMonday theme. 

One of my first steps is to use the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. A cool tingly gel that you apply over your cuticles, leave a few minutes and then push down. Simple. I then like to buff down my nails to get rid of any ridges. The Nails Inc 4-Way Buffer is my go to tool for this step. Sometimes I just leave my nails after using this as it helps to create shiny, healthy nails. 

After using my chosen polish and leaving it a few minutes to dry I use the Rimmel Finishing Touch Ultra Shine Top Coat. This stuff is a hero product in my beauty books. Infact, it's probably a number 1 in my nail polish collection. It not only provides a seriously good shine but it reaaally helps against chipping. The price is the final bonus. I can't recommend this product enough. 

Finally, I spray my nails with the Mavala Mavadry Spray because who has time to wait around for their manicure to dry? This stuff dries my nails in seconds.

What are your favourite things to help with your DIY manicure?

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