the story of January.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

New Years Celebrations - The Big Freeze - The Pinboard of my Life

January 2013 has been a month of exams, snow and cleansing; of both the mind, environment and body! I have finally started trying to become a little healthier in my lifestyle, cutting down on sugar (damn you cinnamon buns!!) and committing to exercise 3-4 times a week. I am currently obsessing over Blogilates videos, especially her Victoria Secret workouts... Angel body please be mine! I wanted to start doing a little round up at the end of each month as a little diary of my life- not only to encourage myself to fulfil my resolution of taking more pictures but also to force my worse than average memory into remembering all the good times of 2013! These are my picks of the month...

Northern Wind - City And Colour
This must be one of the most beautiful songs ever produced. City and Colour is not only one of my favourite artists but also has one of the coolest names ever - Dallas Green anyone?! Also check out The Girl and Little Hell, more gorgeous City and Colour songs.

One of the absolute jems of the blogging world, she has beautiful pictures, fantastic content, and a YouTube channel, what more do you need!? Oh... having her hair would be nice please!!

Anything and everything Lisa Eldridge completely floats my boat, and every single video of hers is a must watch in my book. If, by any chance you have been living in a cave lacking WiFi and do not watch Lisa Eldridge, for me her absolute stand out videos are her 'makeup history' lessons and her 'makeup removal' video! I think I speak for everyone who is in any way involved with blogging and/or beauty videos when saying that Lisa is an absolute beauty goddess and an inspiration to me and so many others! 

Modern Family, Modern Family, MODERN FAMILY!! I discovered this show late last year and have been racing through episodes online, currently I am just getting into season 3! Phil Dunphy really brings Modern Family into its own (Ty Burrel is a GENIUS) and each episode has frequent, major, 'lol' moments. I'm obsessed. My favourite line from the last episode I watched was from Dylan's horse song... 'I rode a horse for the first time today/wasn’t surprised when it went NEIGHHHHH' Yeah... I laughed for days.

A Song Of Fire And Ice - George R. R. Martin
After last year's obsession with Game of Thrones the TV show, I finally delved into the humongous book - 800 pages of extremely small text if you were wondering! While at times it was a struggle through some of the less likeable character's chapters, I really enjoyed this book and it was brilliant seeing the character's back stories in finer detail that the show was able to portray. I will definitely be continuing with this series of books in the future. They are worlds away (literally and metaphorically) from my usual 1st person, happy ending, fluffy romance books, but after some perseverance Game of Thrones is bloody amazing!

January is not only the season of resolution, it is also exam season. What with snow being so very disruptive (which I am also not the biggest fan of!) studying has been a little more difficult and procrastination has been my life for the past two weeks. My two exams, Chemistry and Maths, seemed to go relatively well but with university offers rolling in, the pressure is massively on!

-I turn 18!!!
... and finally get back into regular blogging... hopefully.

Have a lovely February!

Laura Mercier Artist's Palette For Eyes

Wednesday 23 January 2013

I received this beautiful Laura Mercier palette for Christmas to add to my severely lacking palette collection- the Naked palette is of course my go to... how did you guess?! This is a half and half mixture of both matte and shimmer colours, although the matte colours are the real gems. I have been looking for a diverse matte palette for a while and this stood out as being a good alternative to the overload of shimmer palettes on the market at the moment. 

All of the eye shadows are very soft and bendable, and as you can see from the swatches, the matte colours are seriously something to write home about. They are heavily pigmented, can be easily used wet or dry as liners and are beautiful for a soft everyday eye, or amped up for a smokier evening look. All of the colours on the top row are shimmer colours, but beware of Chocolate and African Violet especially as they contain a hefty amount of glitter, which can be a nightmare as softer eye shadows are always more susceptible to fall-down. I am a little disappointed with the shimmer colours; they are not as pigmented as I expected and can be a little streaky. The swatches above needed a good 3-4 swipes to impart enough colour for photography, whereas the matte colours were picture perfect in one swipe. That's not to say the shimmer colours are not lovely, as the colours are beautiful, although I would have preferred less of the lighter shimmers (as you can see above they blend completely into my ghostly white skin!) but I think this is a very wearable palette for everyday use. My present was brought from House of Fraser for around £36, and I think this palette is completely worth the money if just for the outstanding matte range. 

This is my first Laura Mercier try and I hope to give her blushes and foundations a try next... any recommendations?

Class of 2012: Makeup

Wednesday 16 January 2013

You'll most probably notice that no lip products were included in my favourite makeup post this year, mainly because I physically cannot choose a favourite! Think MAC Creme Cup, Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector and Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine to name but a few products which graced my lips most often this year, but these products are the best of the bunch for me...

Dr Jart Water Fuse Beauty Balm - Not being a massive lover of the heavy foundation look, this is really the perfect base for me at the moment. It literally blends flawlessly in seconds (with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush) and creates a glowing, healthy base which actually looks like skin! If you have dry or dehydrated skin you need to try this!

Topshop Cream Blush in Neon Rose - The Toppers cream blushes are hands down my favourite blushes at the minute. I also own Flush and Head Over Heels, however Neon Rose has been receiving the most love in 2012. It is scarily bright in the pan but is beautiful when applied to the cheeks, and for me looks best on slightly tan skin.

Jemma Kidd All Over Radiance Creme - My highlighter of the minute, this has pipped MAC's Hush Cream Colour Base right off the top spot this year with its subtle shine. Not content with being beautiful on the cheekbones, this is my all time favourite inner eye highlight which I seem to use without fail everyday for its eye brightening magical powers.

Anastacia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash - The perfect soft, charcoal brown to fill in my already overly dark eyebrows, giving an extremely natural finish in just a few seconds.

L'oreal Super Liner Carbon Gloss - 2012 has been the year of liquid liner and this is an absolute diamond. It is the easiest sponge applicator I have ever used, and stays on a good 8 hours, while being ridiculously easy to remove at night!

L'oreal Telescopic Mascara - Before my lashes were limp, straight and smudging constantly; however after discovering this baby they are long, curled and bulletproof - you need to be a magician to get this stuff off at all!

There are my round ups of 2012 beauty products done and dusted (check out skincare favourites and haircare favourites); here's to more faaaabulous discoveries in the new year!

Class of 2012: Haircare

Friday 11 January 2013

After many hair ups and downs this year I have finally sworn of the high street shampoos entirely after one too many disasters resulting in greasy and sad hair, and I have branched out into the higher end products. While I have discovered a seriously holy grail worthy shampoo for once a week, a second shampoo for mid-week use is still under investigation, with Philip Kingsley and Ojon under the microscope at the moment! But for the time being, here are the products which have stayed with me throughout the last year...

Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo - This, being the aforementioned 'holy grail' shampoo, is my weekly saviour and rinses every last speck of grease or dirt from my extremely dry, easy to weigh down hair. It makes my hair fluffy and light without feeling dry or brittle and I can't see this ever disappearing from my haircare routine.

Kevin Murphy Hydrate Me Rinse - This is a lovely conditioner that smells divine and does leave my hair looking good, but it hasn't wowed me and I doubt this will be on my repurchase list. I am on the lookout for something amazing and would really welcome conditioner recommendations for extremely fine hair please!

V05 Give Me Moisture Hot Oil - As my go to hair treatment, this is cheap as chips and leaves hair smooth and soft!

VO5 Refresh Me Quick Dry Shampoo - After dabbling heavily in Batiste and Tresemme with hideous, grey haired results, I have finally found a high street dry shampoo which I love! This one is a lot less prone to the 'granny' look than the previous ones and smells a whole lot nicer, without making my hair feel like a birds nest!

Tangle Teezer - After many months of deliberation I finally bit the bullet and purchased this, and it was one of the best hair decisions I have ever made! This is the only way to de-tangle my hair after washing, which is usually matted and messy; a symptom of having too long hair! What used to take about 15 minutes to brush out now takes me about 2, meaning less time brushing hair and more time for makeup!

Class of 2012: Skincare

Thursday 3 January 2013

For me, 2012 has been the year that finally, finally, my skin has co-operated. After a few overwhelming  skincare discoveries this year, I have finally ditched face wipes altogether and my skincare-addict tendencies are developing with my endless pursuit for perfect skin! A few products have really stuck out for me this year such as...

Bioderma Crealine H2O Micelle Solution - This little beauty is the easiest and most effective way I have found of removing makeup fast and for once it doesn't dry out my skin. However, on eye makeup I find this a little lacking and prefer...

Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover - This stuff is literally my saviour after switching to waterproof mascara a few months ago. My beloved L'oreal Telescopic (post here) is beautiful but an absolute bugger to remove and I find that two cotton pads soaked in this heavy duty remover and a few minutes of soaking make removing waterproof mascara a fuss free procedure.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - I honestly cannot even consider using a different cleanser, this is such a staple in my routine. I find that this massaged all over the face and lashes and scrubbed off with a muslin cloth removes every last bit of makeup and never, ever irritates my skin.

Indeed Labs Hydraluron - After discovering this only a few months ago I have since realised what an absolute must a good serum is. And this is as good as any; very moisturising and it feels as through it is actually doing something productive with my moisturiser.

Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream - The most perfect moisturiser for dry skin and is constantly saving my skin from the harsh English weather.

Origins Ginzing Eyecream - I only have a small sample of this however this has lasted me a good 4 months bizarrely, and I have since discovered the joys of a good eye cream! It is soft, cooling and makes eye makeup application a dream after use.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask - For my extremely dull, extremely parched skin this is perfect; smells delectably apricot-ey and my skin does literally drink this up.

Origins Super Spot Remover - The only spot cream that I will use, because it seems to be the only one that actually works. This takes down redness and aids healing within a few days and is one product I swear by!

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning Lotion - One last addition to my skincare routine is a self tanner applied every few days and this one is lovely for a very natural glow. Although I find this a little orange on my extremely pale skin if overused, it smells lovely and feels beautiful on the skin.

That's my complete 2012 skincare round-up! What are you holy grail skincare products from the year past?