Fall Make-Up Favorites

Fall is well and truly here and while I (unseasonably) lightened my hair a few weeks ago, my make-up looks have made the transition to autumnal hues for sure.

The two looks I have been going for most have been centered around the gorgeous Becca Ombre Rouge palette, which seems to be just perfect for this time of year.

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For a more neutral make-up, I have been using shade 2 and 3 for a tonal, muted and slightly shaded eye. It’s subtle enough to be worn day to day, but the shadows are just beautiful to work with and make for a gorgeous simple eye look. On the cheeks, MAC Buff is one of my favorites as it is a wonderfully neutral sculpting shade that gives structure to the cheek without interfering with any other colors on the face. Finally, I have fallen back in love with MAC Kinda Sexy, a warm nude that is completely on trend with the slightly brownish 90s lip that has come back into style.

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For a bit more color, I have been using shade 4 from the palette all over the lid. A pretty camel shade, this is perfectly on trend as well and picks up the warmer tones from the rest of the make-up. The Becca Mineral Blush in Wild Honey has been my go to in the last little while. A darkened neutral bronze, this works amazingly in lieu of bronzer (or additionally if you are as pale as I am) with a hint of orangey warmth and a completely natural finish. On the lips, Colourpop Poison is a gorgeous brick red that makes for a vampy fall lip with a twist.

So as you can see, my autumn looks fall neatly into a category of neutral warming tones with the occasional pop of color. Seeing as I get so much mileage out of my Becca palette, I am so glad I made the investment and I will for sure be using it well into winter and next year as well.

Brand Focus: REN

Another day, another skincare brand on my radar. I’ve been using different REN Skincare products for a good few years now, and so far, I have loved almost everything that I used. Aside from a face scrub (which I don’t enjoy in general), all of their products from cleansers to masks and serums have been lovely and definitely deserve an honorable mentions.

Now, it’s kind of hard to situate REN in a specific category in the skincare realm. They promise to offer only plant-based, non-synthetic ingredients but I don’t think their a strictly organic brand. Plus, the packaging and marketing invokes a highly technological and clinical feel to the products, ‘high-tech natural’, so to speak.

What I definitely know though, is that I love their products and really value them in my routine. If I am looking for a failsafe product that slots right into my skincare line-up, I look to REN.

REN Skincare

 

One of my favorite products so far has been the Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel, which is a gel to cream cleaner that refreshes and nourishes the skin without stripping it. I love this in the summertime as it is not to heavy and makes my skin feel fresh and clean.

In the winter months, I prefer a thicker formula cleanser and for this, I like to go back to the No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm. This is a thicker, oilier balm that feels super luxurious on the skin and comes with a lovely rose scent just like the gel cleanser. It leaves the face soft and nourished without any residue, so it’s a winner for me.

My all-time favorite and arguably their best-known product is the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask. A chemical exfoliant, this leaves my face soft and clear by eating away at the dead skin cells that dull my complexion. This doesn’t irritate my skin, smells and fells lovely and makes my face look a lot clearer and brighter in a matter of 10 minutes.

Finally, their Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil is a lovely penultimate step in my routine, especially when my skin is feeling dry and lackluster. It is more of an oil than a serum, so I definitely use this more in the colder months as it provides a hefty dose of hydration and feels extremely soothing on the skin.

Have you tried anything from REN before? How did you like it? For me, this brand is  real staple and one that I rely on for great skin without much hassle.

Music Monday #19

Last week, I was driving along in my car, listening to some of the records that have really shaped my youth. I truly believe that the favorite albums from your teenage years become formative of your music taste and make for the fondest of memories.

One of the records in the roster was Fall Out Boy’s From Under the Cork Tree, their 2005 sophomore album that became an instant favorite for me at age 17. While they are certainly no longer under the radar and have become one of the most prominent pop rock bands today, the completely opened up my world to witty, emo pop punk a good ten years ago.

Their lyrics might come across a lot more campy nowadays, but they still are beautifully tongue in cheek and warrant a good car singalong. Their song titles of course, used to be so long and convoluted that nobody could remember them, but after a quick check, here are my all-time favorites from that beautiful record – Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner, I‘ve Got a Dark Alley and a Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song), and A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me’.

I would love to know, what are your formative records that you still love to listen to?

5 Product Face

While I do love to take some time to sit down and do my make-up, more often than not I am in a rush to get out the door with just a few minutes to spare for my face.

I am by no means averse to leaving the house with a bare face, but I do have a little failsafe bundle of products to make me look more put together and awake if need be.

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To even out the face, I start with a little concealer. The Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Light Warm is great because its light tone adds a lot of brightness to any red or dull areas of the face. While it is a little drying under the eyes, it works perfectly in a pinch and a little product goes a long way.

To set the concealer and take away the skin through the center of my face, I dust a little amount of the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder in 52 Vanilla across the skin, which works great and doesn’t look at all unnatural. The powder is finely milled and low coverage, so it is amazing for finishing of the face without caking up product.

Because I am fantastically pale, I will always add a little bronzer to make myself look a bit healthier. The Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer is an amazing shade for pale skins as it is light and not too orange, leaving a believable sun kissed glow.

For brows, I have been favoring the old school method of powder and an angled brush lately, but in a hurry, I will always go back to the Hourglass Arch brow Sculpting Pencil in Ash. It provides color and hold very quickly while leaving the brows natural and defined. I have used the color Soft Brunette before, but Ash is almost the same if a bit cooler.

Finally, Mascara is the essential for me and my love for the Catrice Glam & Doll False Lashes is still going strong. It is quick and precise, creating a beautifully defined and voluminous fan of lashes that lasts throughout the day without smudging or flaking.

And there you have it, a five minute, five product face that looks natural and pretty without much faff.

2015 Favorites: Beauty

2015 has been a great year for beauty. While most (if not all) of my last years’ favorites still stand, I have found a few products that I wouldn’t want to miss from my collection, from drugstore to high end.

2015 Beauty Favorites

The Body Shop Camomile range is a great one all over. I have raved about the Cleansing Oil before as its a great option for make-up removal, but the Sumptuous Cleansing Butter has proven to be a reliable and convenient travel companion that breaks down make-up just as easily and rinses away clean without leaving the skin stripped.

For eye cream, I have relied on the Balea Urea Eye Cream, a drugstore staple that performs well at a very reasonable price. This is nice and hydrating and leaves my undereye area well prepared for concealer. It keeps dehydration lines from being too apparent and helps to make my heavy duty concealing look less cakey. All in all, it’s a winner.

Speaking of undereyes, the Clarins Instant Light Concealer has been a great option for concealing my dark circles this year. While the packaging is a bit messy, the product inside is failsafe. It conceals nicely without caking up or looking heavy. The formula is dewy, so it does need some setting, but it looks beautifully natural.

A more recent discovery, but one I wouldn’t want to miss, is the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. A great shade for the lightest of skin tones, this bronzer looks natural as it is shimmer free but not muddy or dirty looking. I have even used this as an eyeshadow before and while the prominent cocoa scent takes some getting used to, it has fast become a staple in my collection.

Another staple that has made the cut two years in a row is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. With its three shades of powder conveniently housed together in a slim compact, this has been great for traveling and has covered my powder needs from setting to bronzing and brightening.

The Anastasia Brow Wiz is on its way of becoming a forever favorite as well as it is a quick and easy way of getting natural, defined brows. Combined with the somehow brilliant spooly on the other end, this waxy, fine pencil is an absolute all-rounder for my brows and has kept me from reaching for anything else.

Finally, there’s Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk. As with most of these products, I have already sung its praises, but this lip liner is such a great formula in a beautiful, flattering shade that I have to mention it again. The color is one that goes with just about every make-up look and the longevity of the pencil promises a fuss free lip color that will last all day. What’s not to love?

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

On a recent trip to Sephora, I decided to give into the hype and pick up one of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz eyebrow pencils.

Anastasia Brow Wiz

Having swatched the impressive range of colors, I decided to go for Medium Brown, an ashy brown tone that works well with both the natural shade of my brows and my hair color. I’ve professed my love for the Hourglass Arch Brown Sculpting Pencil before, which is a quick and easy option, but I have to say, the Brow Wiz is a strong contender for the top spot.

It probably is the most natura brow pencil I have tried so far, which is down to the precise nib that dispenses a waxy long lasting formula in fine, hair-like strokes.

Anastasia Brow Wiz Medium Brown

I do have pretty full and dark brows, so my aim is not to cheat any kind of shape, but rather to fill in a few gaps and define the shape that is already there. I have a feeling though that the Brow Wiz delivers on both ends of the spectrum. While it works nicely to give my brows some added fullness and shape, I think it would be a pretty easy feat to pencil in natural looking brows with this as well.

The only thing I was afraid of was that the super thin nib might break easily, but so far so good (now that I’ve said this, I will probably drop and smash it in the next couple of days…). And even though the amount of product you get is pretty small, it seems to be lasting a good while as well.

I do love when brands become famous for a specific type of product and Anastasia Beverly Hills seems to reign supreme in the brow department. I am tempted to try out some of their other brow products, but so far, the Brow Wiz is doing a pretty darn good job.

Favorite Halloween Looks

I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween, mostly because where I’m from, it’s a pretty new thing and there’s not much tradition behind it.

But at this time of year, it’s hard to avoid anything Halloween-related and my favorite part still are the insane beauty looks being created for this holiday.

Pixiwoo always do amazing Halloween tutorials and this year, my favorites have been the Harley Quinn look (for an easy one) or the super-elaborate Gamora tutorial.

One that’s not specifically Halloween related, but a lovely take on spooky beauty, is this monochrome skull tutorial by Mariah Leonard.

And finally, while not being scary or spooky at all, Lisa Eldridge‘s succinct history of beauty might offer some inspiration for a beautiful period look.