Currently In Rotation

I'm so glad I ditched the traditional 'monthly favourites' post formula, I've felt so much better without the weight of having to pull together that post. I kept missing out things or struggling to find enough for a whole post, I much prefer just keeping you guys in the loop!

Today's post is a mixed bag of things I'm loving and things I'm still on the fence about, but I've been using a lot so I wanted to tell you about them anyway!

Let's start with two skincare mentions. Now, I'm about to talk about some face wipes, so if you're against that sort of thing, just skip ahead a bit! I'm totally against the use of makeup wipes as the only step in your skincare routine, but for days when I'm just wearing a bit of concealer and mascara, I'm more than happy to use them to take off my makeup before I cleanse. Yes you still need to cleanse after using a makeup wipe. Anyway, I've been loving the Yes To Cucumbers Gentle Face Wipes for those kind of days, they're gentle, they smell good, and they really do a good job of removing product, not just pushing it around your face.

The second skincare mention is the Original Source Skin Quench Quick Drying Moisturising Oil Spray with Watermelon and Jojoba. What a mouthful. This stuff smells INCREDIBLE, just like Starburst, and it sinks into the skin incredibly quickly, just giving a boost of moisture, and a pretty sheen too. For £6.99, if you're lazy like me and can't be bothered with a full on body butter, this is fab.

Revlon have released a mini Spring collection, and I picked up two bits back at the beginning of the month. First of all, the thing that drew me in the Revlon Matte Highlighting Palette in Desert Bronze. I've wanted to try one of these for the longest time, but all the shades looked a bit too disco-ballesque for my shimmerphobic self, so this is the perfect thing! I honestly can't tell you how much I love this, it really gives the skin a good old bronze without being orangey or too subtle, something which can happen. Because it's matte and not orange you can kind of get away with using it as a bronzer contour hybrid, which is exactly what I've been doing.It's seriously gorgeous and may just be my top favourite product right now. I also picked up the Revlon Colourburst Lacquer Balm in Demure, part of the original line that is being repromoted with the Spring collection and I really like that too. It looks shimmery in the bullet which I was concerned about, but that doesn't translate to the lips, it's just a gorgeous glossy nude with a hint of peach.

Since Revlon were on 3 for 2 I ended up finally picking up the Colourstay Concealer too, and I'm on the fence about this. It's a good colour match (I have Fair, the lightest shade) and it looks nice when I apply it, but it doesn't hold up well throughout the day.

Now, I also wanted to mention a second bronzer (I'm having a real bronzer moment, can you tell) the Makeup Forever Pro Fusion Bronzer* a more subtle option than the Revlon, perfect for any bronzer-phobes, but the formula and shade of this are just spot on. Plus, isn't it beautiful?

One last makeup thing and then I'll shut up, another shout out to the Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes. If you haven't tried these yet then get on it, they're seriously

And lastly, I thought I'd drop in two non beauty things I'm loving, this months issue of Vogue, because let's be real here, Daenerys Targaryan is my ultimate icon. I just love her. Also, two teas I've been loving, the Clipper Cloud Nine Tea for the mornings, and Pukka Star Anise and Cinnamon in the evening! Deeelish!

What have you been loving recently?

Simple Spring Makeup

Now bare with me here, because I know this looks like a lot of makeup, but believe it or not, this is the five minute, yes five minute, simple makeup look I've been reaching for recently. I've got it down to an art, on mornings when I've got so much to do, that I've got no time to think about makeup, but I still want to wear it. It's a simple spring-ish look, this lighting definitely washed out the cheeks a little which is a shame, but I assure you it's all very light, natural and quite pretty I think.

Jumping straight in with base, I've come back to (as I always do at this time of year) my Benefit That Gal Brightening Primer, a pretty peachy primer with a hint of shimmer, that really brightens the complexion. I've been layering the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream, my first forray into the world of CC creams. Despite the less than fantastic lasting power of this, I like it, it gives good coverage and can be applied easily with fingers for a very natural, perfected look. My current concealer in rotation is the Revlon Colourstay, which I'm still roadtesting (I'll report back asap).

Cheek wise I've been starting with a swipe of the No 7 Pop and Glow Highlight on the tops of the cheekbones, blended out with either fingertips or a damp Beauty Blender for a subtle glow. Then I've been taking the Revlon Matte Highlighting Palette in Desert Bronze under my cheekbones as a bronzer in big fluffy circles. More on that tomorrow (spoiler: I'm obsessed). I've been finishing the cheeks off by taking just a tiny bit of the Stila Convertible Colour in Lillium on my finger and patting it into the very apples of my cheeks. It compliments the bronzer perfectly, for the perfect spring cheek look.

Moving on to eyes and we are keeping things fairly simple looking. A little of the colour on the left of the NARS Alhambra Duo patted all over the eyelid with a brush or a finger, depending on whether I've done any brush laundry. This just brightens and evens out the whole lid, it's my favourite go to shade. Then taking the Starliner Waterproof Black Liner across my upper lashline very messily, and blending it with a brush to a smudgy lived in line. Then I repeat with the Soap and Glory Smoulder and Kohl Liner in Blue on the outer half of my bottom lashline, for a very subtle hint of colour. Finish with lashings of the YSL Shocking Mascara, and brows not really filled in, but evened out with the L'Oreal Brow Artist Pencil.

And lastly, a swash of lip colour, today I went back to my one true love Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy, but I've also been reaching for Bite Beauty's Fig, and the Clarins Lip Balms. Just a hint of colour is the theme, but I think this look would look great with a bright pink too!

What makeup look are you going for right now?

The Best Of Max Factor

Max Factor The Best of.jpg

Max Factor is kind of a silent high street hero for me. There are a few products from the brand that I really love, but for some reason, it for the most part slips by me unnoticed.

I'm not really sure why that is, because the brand is home to some amazing products, I just seem to forget about it. Today however, I'm shining the light on my favourites from the brand (and giving you the heads up on products you can skip), because there are a few!

Let's start with the products I really love. I've spoken a lot about the Facefinity Foundation (same as the Covergirl 3-in-1 Outlast, FYI), which is my go to for a high coverage, flawless base. Nothing is as long lasting, or as natural looking with high coverage. This stuff won't budge all day, no matter the conditions. It's a little much for everyday, but for long days when you want to look good, or if you know you're going to be photographed, it's perfect. This goes hand in hand with the Facefinity Primer, my favourite drugstore primer by a mile. This stuff just gets the job done, and really keeps your makeup in place all day, no trouble.

Moving on to a more recent addition, the Creme Puff Blushes. I have the shades Nude Mauve and Seductive Pink, and I'm head over heels for them both. They're everything I wanted the Hourglass blushes to be, they've got dimension and they're natural looking on the cheeks. The pigmentation and lasting power is far superior to the Hourglass offering too. I'd go as far as to say these are my favourite high street blushes. Bold claim, I know.

Max Factor has a wealth of fantastic eye options for you, and yet people seem to overlook it. Whilst I wasn't blown away by their powder shadows, the rest of what I've tried has been fantastic. Let's start with my absolute favourite, the Wild Shadow Pencil in Caramel Rage. It's definitely not a caramel, more a cool toned light taupe, but the shade is as gorgeous as the formula. The perfect one wash lid shade, this can be swiped over the eye and blended with a finger for an easy eye look that will last all day. Similarly, their kohl eyeliners are some of the best I've tried, they're seriously longlasting.

That lasting power however, didn't seem to translate to the Excess Shimmer Cream Shadow in Bronze. I've heard people complain that this is messy, which I can understand, but I used a flat shadow brush to pack it onto the lid, and a dense fluffy brush to blend it out and it was great. I love the colour too, and on the eyes it looks seriously impressive, but it just doesn't last very well. I think it's down to the seriously wet texture, and whilst it wears evenly and still looks good, it's not as good as it looks when first applied. It's fine with a primer underneath, but a little annoying.

And a word on mascaras, because in all honesty, I've tried all Max Factor Mascaras and I loved every single one. Granted they're all good for different things, but they are all good. My undisputed favourite is the Masterpiece mascara, which is also fantastic in waterproof!

Also worth a mention, the Nailfinity Nail Polish, which aren't quite as gel like as some of the other offerings on the high street, but they last really well without chipping.

I wanted to touch on a couple of products that I wasn't all that fussed on too, in the interest of giving a well rounded review. They aren't pictures because, as inevitably happens when I don't LOVE a product, they pass on to more loving homes! Firstly, the lipstick range doesn't do much for me, I find the formula pretty drying, and a lot of the shades have an unnecessary shimmer! Secondly, the Miracle Touch Creamy Blushes, which I actually really like, but the packaging put me right off. I gave up after two broke!

Are you a fan of Max Factor? Have I missed out a product you love?

Bedside Beauty Bottles

I did the unthinkable last week, I cleaned my bedroom. I know, I know, but before you pass out with shock, just know I only did it as an act of procrastination. So it's okay, you don't need to phone a paramedic.

Anyway, getting to the point, I was dusting my bedside table and noticed that I've acquired a fair few bottles that I now consider to be 'essentials', so I snapped a picture (once it was tidy) and thought I'd give you the rundown.

Firstly, the most recent addition to my bedside beauty bumf, the Original Source Skin Quench Moisturising Oil Spray with Watermelon and Jojoba. What a mouthful. Anyway, I picked this stuff up because my skin was in desperate need of some moisture, but, well, I'm too lazy to have at it with the body butter on the daily. You simply spray this onto the skin, and it absorbs really quickly, giving a hit of moisture. And best of all? It smells just like Starburst.

A little bit more relaxing in terms of scent, a total must have for me is the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. This stuff is the stress head insomniac's dream come true, it really does help me drift off in the evenings.

Also packed with lavender, amongst other things, it the Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner*, a product I've totally fallen for. As the name would suggest it's much more hydrating than your average toner, it just gives the skin a hit of hydration. It's packed with beautiful natural ingredients to keep your skin happy, and it's got soothing and relaxing properties, perfect for spritzing on the skin before bed.

Another must have for me, I've got a roll on bottle of Bio Freeze. If you struggle with joint or muscle pain, you need a bottle of this in your life. This provides instant cooling pain relief, without the need for chemicals, I use it whenever I'm struggling with my dodgy hips and knees!

And a little on the dinkier size, I also keep a bottle of Rescue Remedy on hand, to help with late night anxiety moments!

Do you have a stash of bedside essentials?

Budget Beauty #11

It's been a while since my last round up of budget beauty buys, and there are a few things that are really rockin' my boat, so to speak, from the aisles of Boots right now.

First up, a base that I am really late to the party for. My skin has been a little on the dry side recently, and I was on the quest for a lighter base that wouldn't cling to the dry patches of skin that appeared on my nose and cheeks. Enter stage left the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream, a budget base that everyone seems to love. My feelings about this are decidedly mixed. The colour is a touch too dark for me, good blending makes it wearable, but Bourjois bases just seem to run a little dark. I love the finish and coverage of this (not too dewy but definitely glowy, with a good light medium coverage), but it's lasting power is pretty crappy. After 4-5 hours it needs topping up, and that's not quite good enough for me.

I mentioned the No 7 Instant Radiance Highlight Stick in my drugstore haul last week, and I hinted that I loved it, well, I really do. This is creamy, easy to blend and subtle, which is the quality I love most. It's not got big flecks of glitter in it, it's more of a subtle sheen and tapped into the cheekbones, it looks bloody gorgeous. You know, if I do say so myself.

I've been head over heels for two Essie shades lately, Peach Daiquiri, a perfect summery pink, and Garden Variety, a gorgeous green based teal. I love Peach Daiquiri, but Garden Variety is just so unique, I'm head over heels for it.

And lastly, I've reignited my love for Soap and Glory's Endless Love Hand Mask. Whilst it's a great hand mask, I love using it as an intensive hand cream, I've even got a mini tube on my desk now!

What budget beauty bits have you been loving recently?