Friday 14 May 2021

5 Easy Sustainable Beauty Swaps You Can Make Every Day

sustainable beauty swaps

Sustainable beauty is a hot topic right now and rightly so. As a beauty product loving human, I am not perfect but I'm certainly trying to make sustainable beauty swaps every day to be more conscious of the products I am using and reduce waste. 

Before you read any further, I must add a disclaimer that if you are looking for a sustainability expert, I hold my hands up that I do not know enough about this topic to be considered an expert.

Swap out single use cotton pads for re-usable pads

I was skeptical at first but honestly, I'm embarrassed that I didn't make this swap sooner. The product is a diamond! Not only are these re-usable pads softer on the skin than disposable cotton pads, they're very easily washable by hand with soap and water or in the washing machine with detergent for a deeper clean. I use the Garnier Reusable Makeup Remover Eco Pads, linked below.

Use refillable containers 

As cute as they look, it's time to ditch the travel sized mini beauty products in favour of refillable bottles. By buying minis, you're wasting additional plastic that didn't need to be wasted. Save yourself a few pennies by investing in refillable travel beauty bottles and top them up with your full size product every time you go away.

Recycle containers

Avoiding plastic where you can is a good idea but it's often difficult to avoid in our current day and age. Opting for glass or aluminium containers is a much better option than plastic because it can be recycled indefinitely, meaning it can be recycled over and over again without ever losing its quality. Once your beauty products are empty, if it's eligible to be recycled, give the bottle a rinse and pop it straight in your recycling bin or bottle bank. Alternatively, certain beauty brands such as MAC will offer you incentives to bring back your empties into the store to be recycled.

Swap liquids for solids

One of the easiest ways to turn your beauty routine either plastic free or less plastic reliant is by switching from liquids to soaps or bars instead. In addition to requiring less packaging, solids such as soaps are more affordable and will last longer than liquids due to their higher concentration.

Wave goodbye to single use face wipes

I gave these up long, long ago! While the convenience of a single use face wipe is undeniable, their cost on our environment is ghastly, especially when they're disposed of in the wrong places and end up blocking drains and littering up our rivers. 

In fact, I've never used a disposable face wipe and found it to cleanse my skin as thoroughly as a hot face cloth and cleanser so you'll be doing your skin a favour. Since removing face wipes from my beauty routine, I've swapped them out for a muslin cloth. The fabric is ever so soft on my skin but gently cleansing too. 

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5 Easy Sustainable Beauty Swaps You Can Make Every Day

Saturday 14 March 2020

A Full Face of Makeup | Urban Decay 'Naked Honey' Eyeshadow Palette

Since the first palette launched in 2010, Urban Decay have since launched seven twelve shade 'Naked' eyeshadow palettes. After a decade of these popular palettes, I thought I'd pull together my thoughts on the latest Naked Honey set of shades, alongside a very wearable makeup look that you can achieve at home.

As a perfect curation of classic golds, warm ambers and rich chocolate browns, this palette will suit any eye colour. At a first glance, I definitely had my favourites: Flyby, Sweet, Hive, and Hbic. However, as I've used the palette more and more, I've developed an individual love for how each and every shade can create a different look. From sweet summertime honey to a sultry smokey eye, the Naked Honey palette oozes experimental creativity and is everything you want as a beauty fan.

urban decay naked honey eyeshadow review

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With a warm day-to-night look in mind, I strived for makeup that tied modern glamour with subtle sophistication. I started with a strong base of the Collection Lasting Perfection foundation and concealer, to which I then added my favourite bronzer - the Hoola bronzer by Benefit. When seeking a glowing skin look, I'll always add a good dose of highlighting powder to the bridge of my nose and my upper cheekbones. This emphasises your bone structure and gives the appearance of healthy, well hydrated skin. To warm the apples of my cheeks with a flush of colour, I swept the Mary Kay 'Shy' blusher in circular motions using a kabuki brush.

Now to the nitty gritty of my eye makeup! I've got into the habit recently of not really fussing with my eyebrows. I've actually been really lazy with plucking, but that's another story for another day. For this look, I brushed my eyebrow hairs in an upwards motion with a mini spoolie brush. Brushing upwards will provide an instant lift and achieve that supermodel fluffy brow look that's everywhere at the moment.

Starting with a base colour for my eyeshadow, I applied the palette shade 'Sweet' across the whole eyelid, taking it right up to the eyebrow. I usually start with a natural nude shade to allow the pigments to blend nicely with my foundation. Next, I applied the shade 'Swarm' to set the tone for the warm amber look that I was striving for. Along the eyelid crease and underneath my lower lash line, I applied 'Hive' to define and deepen the pigment. 

Emphasising the drama without harshening the look, I added a small amount of the darkest tone, 'Sting', to the outer corners of my eyes. In contrast, I used the lightest tone in the palette, 'Flyby', to highlight the inner corners of my eyes. I find that applying a highlighting shade in this way enhances the whites of your eyes, making them appear brighter and more awake. Similarly, adding a nude eye pencil to your waterline has the same effect. 

For me, eyes wouldn't be complete without a lashing or two of black volumising mascara. Before application, I always curl my eyelashes. It's become a lash ritual. For this look, I used the Rimmel London Volume on Demand mascara in Black. 

I purposely didn't go heavy on my lip makeup because I wanted my eyes to be the main feature. I normally stick to lipstick, but for a sparkling alternative, I decided to use some plumping lip gloss by Soap and Glory. Prior to applying the lip gloss, I softly defined my lip shape by smudging in a MAC lip liner in the shade 'Soar'.

I've added shoppable links to most of the 'Naked' eyeshadow palettes at the bottom of this blog post. Be sure to click through, if you'd like to see the colour differences and shades for yourself.

warm eyeshadow makeup tutorial

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A Full Face of Makeup | Urban Decay 'Naked Honey' Eyeshadow Palette

Saturday 11 January 2020

Product Review: Mac Honeylove Matte Lipstick

mac honeylove matte lipstickIt's been years since my last beauty product review blog post, but I figured it was time to get back to basics for the products that I love the most with this good old fashioned style of blogging. Whenever I'm looking to purchase new beauty products, I tend to always do my research online, mostly to see what the shade looks like on a blogger with a similar skin tone to me. Since the popular surge of matte lipsticks began a few years back (thanks Kylie Jenner), I trialled a few but there's only ever been one standout matte lippy that I always rely on.

I originally purchased the MAC Matte Lipstick in shade 'Honeylove' as a dupe for the sold out at the time lipstick shade, 'Velvet Teddy'. Since trying out both, I can now say 'Honeylove' wins every single time for me.

I would describe this lipstick as the perfect nude. It's classic and timeless, with a modern matte twist. It's not too light, and it's not too dark. It's complimentary to a lot of tones because of its perfect peachy base.

On the formula side of things, we've all been there with crumbly matte lipsticks that leave your lips dried out and sore, but not this time ladies! This is one of the most comfortable matte lipsticks that I have worn. I typically partner it with the MAC lip liner in the shade 'Soar', meaning it doesn't budge or feather. Upon application, it's soft and silky, just how a lip product should be.

I'd buy this colour time and time again. It's an essential in my makeup bag now, and a favourite of mine for the last three years. As you can see below, it pairs well with a neutral smokey eye and fluffy brows for a elegant look.

honeylove lipstick review

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mac honeylove matte lipstick

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Product Review: Mac Honeylove Matte Lipstick

Sunday 3 November 2019

A Full Face of Makeup | The Subtle Smokey Eye

smokey eye makeupsubtle smokey eye
full face subtle makeup
charlotte tilbury lipstick the duchess

As a brunette myself, smokey eye makeup is always marketed towards me, but it has resulted in far more makeup disasters than I would have ever expected. I've always been a fan of the idea, but whenever I have attempted it previously, it resulted in more of an undesirable bewitched look. I have found that the darkness of a typical smokey eye can be harsh against my dark features so I've been on the hunt for a eyeshadow look that works for me. Finally, after a little experimentation and getting to know what compliments my facial features, I've mastered the perfect subtle smokey eye makeup.

Today, I'm taking it back to the old school days of beauty blogging. The days where you'd experiment with a new makeup style in your bedroom, then quickly snap pictures to share a review online. So here we are! 

Beginning with a flawless base, I used the Dior Backstage Face & Body Primer with the Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation in my shade 1,5N. Due to the light formula of this foundation, it's very easily blended in with just a beauty blender sponge. I find this one of the most comfortable foundations to wear. It's weightless and completely non-sticky, without compromising on a fantastic coverage. I added the E.L.F 16hr Camo Concealer to conceal any areas of redness or blemishes. This concealer is of a fairly thick consistency, therefore it works well to mask uneven pigments. However, it does dry a little darker than when you originally apply the product. With this in mind, I use a separate concealer to conceal under my eyes. I religiously use the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer on an everyday basis. In fact, it's been one of the only products that I have re-bought and re-bought over the years - I remember using it when I first started testing out makeup as a curious 14 year old. Here I have used the fair shade, deliberately on the lighter side of my usual shade match, to brighten up my under eyes for a more alert look. It's my favourite way to wave goodbye to those pesky dark circles!

For an extra glow, I applied a small amount of Dior Backstage Face & Body Glow to my upper cheekbones, along the bridge and the tip of my nose, onto my chin and cupid's bow. On top of this, I swept a light dust of golden highlighting powder to enhance the look of my skin and aid the contour of my face. I then added further definition by applying the all time favourite, the Benefit Hoola Bronzer. I contoured with this product using an angled brush for an easier application. With this product, I added shade to the sides of my nose, beneath my chin and under my cheekbones for a structured yet subtle look.

For my brows, I'm enjoying the natural look currently. Since I have grown them out, I tend to just brush them in an upwards motion with a simple spoolie brush. Grooming the hairs upwards flatters the facial features, almost like a natural face lift if ever there was one. 

One of my favourite eyeshadow palettes of all time is the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette. If I were an eyeshadow palette, I think this would be it. With subtle golds, mauves and gorgeous browns, all of the shades flatter my dark tones perfectly. To create my smokey eye look, I initially covered my eyelid with the shimmering brown shade, Mugshot. With a flatter eyeshadow brush, I then gently applied the well pigmented gold shade, Buzz, under my lower lash line, flicking it outwards at the outer corner of my eye. Using my little finger, I tapped a small amount of the light cream shade, Strange, to the inner corner of my eyes. This softens the smokey eye, giving a brighter effect and complimenting the whites of your eyes, instead of dulling them out. I deliberately kept the eyeliner fairly minimal with this look, using a simple elongated winged line to add definition to my upper eye lid. To do this, I used the incredibly easy to apply Mary Kay Liquid Eyeliner Pen. Finally, to complete my eye makeup, I curled my lashes and carefully applied two coats of the Benefit They're Real Lengthening Mascara.

Complimenting the smokiness of my eye makeup, I decided to go with a blossom pink shade for my lips and blusher. Using a blusher brush, I gently dabbed the blusher upon the apples of my cheeks. To prepare the lips for my lipstick, I initially line them using the Mary Kay lip liner in the shade Coral. Lining the lips prior to lipstick not only defines the shape of your lips, it also prevents your lipstick from smudging. Additionally, it acts as a great base colour to enhance the final product's pigment. I often gravitate towards subtle nude lipstick shades but every now and again, I like to switch it up with a bolder choice. Accompanying my smokey eyeshadow today is the Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in shade The Duchess - an elegant favourite! This burst of colour lifts the look as a whole, converting it from a smokey eye attempt to glamorous photo-ready makeup.

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A Full Face of Makeup | The Subtle Smokey Eye

Sunday 20 October 2019

Best Beauty Advent Calendars For Christmas 2019

As the most magical time of year fast approaches, I thought I'd combine my love of beauty and Christmas advent to bring to you, the best beauty advent calendars on the market for Christmas 2019. I'll warn you now, you may want to take each of them home with you, but hopefully this will give you a quick overview of what the beauty world has to offer this year on our countdown to Christmas. From the product selection, to design, to unique details, I'll outline all that you need to know to pick your perfect advent calendar this Christmas. After all, if you can't treat yourself at Christmas, when can you?

For the beauty enthusiast - John Lewis & Partners - £150 (worth £255)

John Lewis
john lewis beauty christmas advent calendar 2019
John Lewis

"A delightful gift for beauty enthusiasts or to treat yourself, our collection of 25 full and deluxe size products is brimming with radiant skincare heroes, makeup must-haves and beautifully scented fragrance favourites." 

I'm all for going big at Christmas, and this calendar does just that with 25 luxury treats behind its doors. The product list contains some big brand names such as Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy, which are most certainly a special treat for the price. Included in the mix are a few of my own tried and tested hero products: NARS Bronzing PowderNeom Organics London Scented CandleThis Works Pillow Spray; and the iconic Charlotte Tilbury Magic Skin Cream. Overall, you can sense the thought that has gone into this product by the John Lewis & Partners buying team. There's absolutely no controversial shades, all are completely wearable for a everyday look. The curation of the range is very complimentary, and the box design is beautifully detailed. In a pretty design and strong structure, you could most certainly use the box again. Flip the boxes the other way around and you'd have a fabulous jewellery box!

Buy it now


For the skincare fanatic - L'Occitane Advent Calendar £49 (worth £79)

l'occitane advent calendar 2019
L'Occitane at John Lewis

"Take a journey through Provence with the calendars lovely illustrations, and discover the story of how our sustainability commitments have helped with the revival of the almond trees in Provence."

If you've ever tried the L'Occitane hand cream, then you'll understand my obsession. It's the hand cream I swear by, and this calendar contains not one of them, but SIX. That's very nearly one for every different day of the week! Aside from that, this calendar has been curated to make the most out of L'Occitane's luxurious and perfected product range. From shower gels, to face creams, this calendar has it all. All wrapped up in an delightful illustrated design, you get to unwrap the products along with uncovering the story of the almond tree. In the 1950’s, almond trees completely disappeared from the Provence landscape. L'Occitane tell the story, and share how the brand reintroduced almond trees to the Provence in the year 2000. Now the Provence is full of beautiful almond trees. 

Buy it now


For the girl who loves to pamper - Molton Brown Advent Calendar £175 (worth £262.50)

molton brown beauty advent calendar
Molton Brown at John Lewis

"Behind these coveted doors is a clandestine celebration of our fragrance experiences. From indulgent rituals to aromatic home infusions, count down to the festivities with the perfect gift for them or a tantalising treat for you." 

- Molton Brown

Aromatic sensations! Molton Brown create shower gels that turn your washing regime into a relaxing experience rather than just a practicality. When you've come home from a cold commute, there's absolutely nothing better than a warm bath that delights your senses. I especially love their winter scents because they're so festive. As expected, the design of the box has been kept classy and sophisticated - just like the Molton Brown brand.

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Best Beauty Advent Calendars For Christmas 2019

Saturday 28 September 2019

Product Review: Rouge Dior Ultra Care Lipstick in Shade '999'

rouge dior ultra care lipstick shade 999

Shopping for lipsticks can be tricky, especially when we're faced with so many different shades, finishes, and brands. I especially find shopping for red lipsticks even more difficult since they're a bolder choice of makeup. However, I recently discovered the Rouge Dior Ultra Care Lipstick in shade '999' and all my red lipstick prayers were answered! 

This lipstick epitomises fierce elegance. For me, it defines the 21st century woman. In terms of pigment, shade '999' is an iconic deep, powerful red. It's bright, but it's passionate. It's very London in the sense that it reminds me of a telephone box red, and I completely love it.

rouge dior ultra care red lipstick shade 999  

"Brave, bold, and romantic. It epitomises fierce elegance."

In a satin finish, '999' has a slight lustre which is incredibly flattering and uplifting on the lips.  The formula contains naturally hydrating ingredients, such as moisturising beeswax, and you definitely feel this upon application. The added lip care makes the formula far more comfortable to wear than other red lipsticks on the market. It does not dry the lips out at all, and is soft and non-sticky. Despite its moisturising properties, '999' is long-lasting and therefore perfect for any work meeting, afterwork drinks, date night, or night out with the girls.

Dior claims this lipstick suits all skin colours, and I agree! When you apply this lipstick, it makes you feel confident, beautiful and ready to take on the day.

Overall, I would give '999' a rating of 9.5 out of 10. My reason for knocking off half a point is purely based on wearability. I personally wouldn't be wearing red lipstick every single day, but it is the perfect red that I will always reach for when I'm looking for a bolder lipstick choice.

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Rouge Dior Ultra Care '999' Lipstick 

rouge dior ultra care lipstick shade 999

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Product Review: Rouge Dior Ultra Care Lipstick in Shade '999'

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