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afterlight Emily/Twenty/London

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 LOrĂ©al 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.

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