Thursday, 30 June 2011

Transforming Hay Fever Eyes

It's that time of year again. Not much sun, but a lot of hay fever. I never used to suffer from it and then during the summer of my first year at uni four years ago, it arrived completely out of the blue. I had no idea you could suddenly develop an allergy, but the signs were all there and it's been hell ever since.

Here's what I'm faced with in the morning...

Ouch! Puffy, swollen, weepy eyes and a lot of dark circles. Thank goodness for makeup. Having hayfever eyes that look this horrific means a bit of work to get them ready for facing the public. Here's what I do...

Soothe
The first step is calming and soothing the skin. My two favourite products for giving much needed relief to my swollen eyes are Clinique All About Eyes Serum and Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion. Both products are oil-free and gentle on the skin, instantly cooling the eye area to leave them feeling refreshed and hydrated. I particularly like the roller-ball application of the Clinique serum for a revitalising mini massage. This is also a good time to use some eye drops to really soothe the eyes.

Conceal
These levels of dark circles require a heavy duty concealer so I use Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer (a perfect dupe for Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer). This is a full coverage concealer which flawlessly covers blemishes and dark circles without feeling heavy, looking cakey on the skin or having a very matte finish.

Red rimmed eyes aren't an attractive look so I line the waterline with Illamasqua Medium Pencil in Hex. This nude coloured pencil nicely masks the redness and returns my eyes to a natural flesh colour.

Add eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara and voila - healthy looking eyes again!

Which products do you reply on to transform your hay fever eyes?

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

June Favourites

Everyone says it, but I can't believe we're more than halfway through the year! Here are my favourites for June...

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer 
There's been a lot of hype around this product so I couldn't wait to try it and see if it lived up to its claims. It's an amazing product. I suffer from dark circles and I've struggled to find a concealer beside Estee Lauder's Double Wear which covers them. This does the trick perfectly. Not a dark circle in sight, it covers imperfections flawlessly, lasts all day and doesn't dry out the delicate under-eye area. Best of all, it only costs £4.19! Buy it now!

Elemis Freshskin - Skin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash
Part of Elemis' new skincare range designed especially for teens to 20s, this gentle pore cleansing scrub smells of oranges and leaves skin feeling baby soft and smooth. I love using this in the morning for a quick cleanse and polish that leaves my skin brighter and more radiant.

Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows
This fabulous little pencil is one of my daily essentials. It's fine enough to create realistic looking fine hairs and does a great job at filling in and shaping eyebrows. The automatic pencil eliminates the need for sharpening and the effects last all day. The only downside is that it wears down fairly quickly, and at £11 a pop, it's not cheap to replace.

ELF Flat Top Kabuki
This is my go-to brush for pretty much everything. It applies both liquid and mineral foundation fantastically well, leaving a beautiful, airbrushed finish. I also use it to apply loose powder if I want a really matte effect.

ELF Studio Line Kabuki
This brush had amazing reviews on makeupalley so I bought without really knowing what I was going to use it for. After a bit of experimenting, I've found it's perfect to apply Chanel's Soleil Tan De Chanel, by gently buffing into the cheekbones to leave an airbrushed finish. I also use this brush to lightly dust translucent loose powder over my face to set my makeup. It's incredibly soft,  it doesn't shed and I love it.

Garnier Ultra-Softening Lotion
Body lotions aren't something I get particularly excited over, but I loved this one so much I had to write about it. It has everything you'd want from a body lotion - a low price, easy squeezy bottle, quick absorption and oodles of Shea butter for silky soft skin. It's a pleasure rather than a chore to apply and leaves a beautiful dewy glow to the skin.

Xen Tan Transform Luxe
I haven't really used gradual tanners since they're launch years and years ago. Being extremely fair, I didn't want to have to apply tan every day for 3 weeks straight in order to get any colour, so I've been sticking to the extra dark varieties so I only need one application.

I've been so impressed with this one. I slap it on like a moisturiser bare-handed, no need to worry about steaks and what not, and it develops into an even, natural golden tan. I only needed to apply this for 2 days in a row to achieve the shade I wanted and it was so fuss free and non-messy compared to the usual rigamarole I go through when tanning. Containing shea butter and vitamin E, I love how it feels like a luxury moisturiser and hydrates my skin rather than drying it out like my favourite mousse tans do. It smells of vanilla goodness upon application but as with all fake tans, the scent of old biscuits isn't too far off. If you want to look naturally sun kissed with minimal effort, this is the product for you.

Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronze Universel Bronzing Makeup Base
I bought this a few moths ago after hearing good reviews. At first, I wasn't as overwhelmed by its brilliance as I thought I would be. I put this down to the fact I didn't know how to apply it. Then I tried it with my ELF Studio Kabuki Brush and I saw what the fuss is about. It can be used for contouring, bronzing, or for making your foundation just a touch darker.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Soft Summer Scents

Summer is finally on its way! With the birds chirping, the sun peeping out and milder temperatures, it's time to step away from heavier scents in favour of fresh and light citrus and florals. Here are my current favourite perfumes for when I'm wanting a light and feminine scent.

Jimmy Choo
The Jimmy Choo fragrance has caused a stir since its launch in January, selling out in stores, causing queues and becoming the number one women's fragrance just one week after its roll out. If you're after luxury and style, the amber bottle influenced by Tamara Mellon's personal taste for antique and modern objects fits the bill nicely. With a blend of tiger orchid, sweet toffee and patchouli, this perfume is deliciously sweet and long lasting. 

Prices start at £39.00 for 40ml EDP

Mark Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh
Daisy Eau So Fresh is the whimsical new version of the original Daisy. With crisp raspberry, wild rose and deep, warm plum, this is a beautiful, light scent which I think I might prefer over the original Daisy. If you like girly, floral and fruity fragrances, this is a must have to see you through the Summer months.

Prices start at £48.00 for 75ml EDT


Ghost Enchanted Bloom 

Enchanted Bloom is dreamily romantic and floral, opening with fresh top notes of violet leaves, cranberry and bergamot. The gentle heart blends jasmine and waterlily which combine with the scent of freesia to create a long lasting feminine fragrance. As the perfume develops to its fullest, sweet peach caviar and warm amber create a lingering musk. Doesn't this just sound divine? It smells just as good and it's a lot more purse friendly than the other two!

Prices start at £23 for 30ml EDT



Which are your favourite scents for this time of year?

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Four Years Ago...



...my life changed. Today my fiancé Matt and I celebrate our four year anniversary. It seems like yesterday I was writing about our second year anniversary, and shortly afterwards, his magical proposal, and now here we are, just a few months away from celebrating our wedding day. Within six months of our relationship, we were talking about marriage, and all the cliches you hear about love, you suddenly realise they're true - you really do just know instantly when you've met the one! So after years and years of talking about it, the wait is finally over and we will shortly become husband and wife. He's filled my life with more laughter and happiness than I ever could have imagined and I can't wait for us to start our own little family to create an eternity of happy memories with.

I'll finish this post with one of the readings we'll be having at our wedding, it says it all.

"I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you, for the part of me that you bring out. I love you, for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart, and passing over all the foolish, weak things you can't help dimly seeing there, and for drawing out, into the light, all the beautiful belongings that no one else had looked quite far enough to find. 

I love you, because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life, not a tavern, but a temple. Out of the works of my every day, not a reproach, but a song. I love you, because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than fate could have done to make me happy. You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all."

Happy Anniversary my love. With you by my side, I can do anything.

xxx


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