Monday, 21 July 2014

Sensitive | Mascara

I do have quite odd eyes - they will behave for a while and then BANG! Eczema, itchiness, sensitivity all come at once and boy does it hurt. I got to thinking that I probably shouldn't be wearing any make up during these episodes, but this is me, and I don't do no make up. So I changed the most irritating eye wear - mascara - to a mascara specifically for sensitive eyes. Enter Bourjois Volume Glamour Ultra Care.
Now this is a purchase that I'd been thinking about for a while - in the past I have used the various other variants of this mascara, and found them to be pretty good. First off, the brush - traditional bristles, not too big and a straight wand. Just how I like it to be honest. Fine, a larger brush is my normal weapon of choice, but for sensitive eyes, the precision of the smaller brush works brilliants. The brush wiggles right up into the roots of lashes, and de-clumps as you pull it through to the ends. The mascara is pure black, and is perfect for everyday wear (I like my everyday eyes a little heavy), and can be built up. I always looks for volume in a mascara, and this delivers perfectly, all the while never irritating my eyes.
Perfect.
Much love,
Ani x

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sunday's Stories | Two

And this is my week. A busy, tiring, hot, challenging week - but I managed to snap a few bits and pieces here and there:
| Inspiration | Beauty Inspiration - looking forward to trying it | Pick Your Own squash, strawberries, peas, plums (also beetroot) | Spotty aka my teddy-dog | New going out shoes - ebay bargain | Fave Sigma Foundation brush |
Much love, 
Ani x

Friday, 18 July 2014

Perfect | Nude Lipstick

The quest for the perfect nude lipstick is a lifetime's work. One day you think you have it, then your skin changes ever-so-slightly, and the whole "nude" issue is thrown off-balance. In my quest, I have loved a Maybelline, a Rimmel and a Mac, but today's perfect nude - that has been perfect for around 6 months now - is a L'oreal offering. A Cheryl offering if you will.
I tend to lean towards pink-toned nude - this one is a lot more neutral with hints of peach: somehow this makes for a wonderful true nude lip - like these are my lips, but they are beautifully shiny and soft. The texture is moisturising and ever-so-slightly sheer. A perfect one for applying without a mirror - also perfect for just lifting the face, and completing more or less any make up look.
What are your perfect nude lipstick shades?
Much love,
Ani x

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Damaged Hair | Rescue

I had a phase that lasted a while. A phase of getting the ends of my hair as blonde as possible. It worked, it took me a while but I definitely had an extreme ombre going on, with super-blonde tips. But alas, as all stories go, when you get to what you want, it is never quite as good as you envision. Whilst it looked beautiful when freshly straightened, at all other points of my life, the blonde was rough, coarse, crispy and fragile. I am proud of my super-strong hair, so this was quite the bizarre development for me, and in the midst of trying to sleeken it, I bit the bullet and did an all-over black hair dye, which rescued the hair a little. In the quest for my hair of old (which is almost back to tip top condition) I have discovered some real hair gems that have taken me from someone who used to let my hair solve its own problems - it did this very well - to someone who now takes the time to nourish and strengthen it.
Whilst at the hairdresser, she suggested that I look for something to re-elasticise my hair - it really was at the point where all the elasticity had gone from it, not that it was brittle, but you could really feel it just didn't want to stretch and behave in the way hair normally wanted to. A light bulb moment occurred in my head, and I ordered myself two little tester tubes of Philip Kingsley's Elasticiser.  I have to say that this is probably what has restored my hair back to its former glory. A thick cream, almost like an intensive conditioner, you just pop this on wet hair for around 20 minutes - I leave it longer if I have the time - and wash out. At first, I have to say I was a little disappointed with the results, but I persevered, and after finishing one of the little tubes - around 6 treatments - I have to say my hair is strengthened, and has that lovely elasticity that I was craving, back. This is a miracle product, but not an instant one - you need to keep going with it in order that all the goodness can keep restoring your hair.
Next up, a lovely hair mas from Pantene - this is the 2 minute rejuvenation masque, which is a "deeply nutritive anti-ageing system." I have to say this is one of those masques that you feel and see the results on the first try - it behaves just like a conditioner, and works in the stated 2 minutes, to soften and smooth the hair.  
The last two products are Argan Oil products that I actually picked up in Poundland after seeing them elsewhere. The Hydrating Hair Mask is super thick, and super lovely! This is now my hair mask of choice - it works in a few minutes, but also makes a lovely deep conditioning treatment whilst I sit in the bath and read a book. This seems to add to the hair's shine, resilience and general texture.  I then finish off with the Argan Oil Hair Treatment, which is a thick, gloopy oil, that I massage through the ends of my hair before drying or leaving to dry. I really feel that this particular oil (unlike the L'oreal oils I have previously used) really works deep down in the hair, and doesn't just sit superficially on the surface, really adding to overall hair health and hydration.
And that is all for my hair rescue post, but each product I would recommend a million times over.
Much love,
Ani x

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Hitting Pan | Everyday Essentials

It is not often that I hit pan on, or finish products - I am quite the fickle one when it comes to make up, I like to know what's going on, what's new, and what each of those new things can bring to my very full table.  But lately, I have been trying the less waste, more exploring of my own products way of life, and it's been pretty fulfilling actually. What it means is that I am now hitting pan on items, repurchasing things for the first time in my life, and finding those everyday essentials that I can apparently no longer live without. These four products are staples in my everyday life - with three of them actually being used almost without fail everyday.
First up, my chosen all-round powder of the moment - L'oreal The Powder True Match in Golden Beige. This is the best all-round powder I have found, and I have tried soooo many. It is a pressed, coloured powder that finished off a foundation look, adds a soft matte-ness, and a hint of colour to the skin. It helps my ever-oily skin to stay first softly matte, then on the right side of dewy as the day wears on, and doesn't look cakey when reapplied after a blot. This is the powder I used to set my foundation daily, then pop it in my handbag for touch-ups on the go - very unusual for me to only use one product for both.  
Next, the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium - something I have used daily since buying about a year and a half ago - this may be one of the most innovative, best products on the market. Super soft in texture, blends away to nothing, or can be built up to impressive Kimmy K proportions, this is the perfect grey / brown / taupe for creating cheekbone shadow. I absolutely adore it, and use it with a variety of sized brushes depending on how subtle (or unsubtle as is sometimes the case) I wish to be. This is a definite need-to-repurchase product. 
The Balm Bahama Mama is my general bronzing go-to on the days when I fancy adding a little colour to my visage. Equally good at creating cheekbones, or for bronzing up the face, this colour runs a tad "dirty" which I feel looks pretty natural and warm at the same time and looks to be one that would work on all skin tones. This was a steal from T K Maxx years and years ago.
Last up, what may as well be the only blush in my whole collection - I have so much love and time for the Bourjois Blush Exclusif that I have already bought my next little pot, so that I never have to be without it. Apparently, this pulls a slightly different pink on everyone - having only tried it on myself I can only testify to the slight hint of Barbie, cool-toned pink that it leans on me. I use an angled blush brush to apply, and find it can be layered from a wash of pink, to a full-on "I'm out tonight" kind of pink. Beautiful texture, beautiful product.
I hope you liked reading about the items that I so obviously can't live without!
Much love,
Ani x

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Simple | Skincare

I adore skincare - always have, and I'm pretty sure I always will. I feel a little happiness every time someone comes to me for a recommendation or a review - but like any beauty blogger, I can be guilty of overindulging in the mounds of skincare I tend to have. So I decided to go back to basics - not with cleansers, not with masks, but with treatments and moisturisers. In fact, I am keeping it so simple that I am only using two products. Shock horror. Never did I ever think I'd be saying those words! It actually all came about when I decided to give the newest version of La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus a go - it makes such a nice treatment and moisturiser that I decided this would be my main serum/ moisturiser, with others being added in only if and when they were needed. Of course, I could never be without an SPF, and I feel like a once a day formula is the best for me - so I am currently trialling Calypso Once a Day SPF50+. The combination of these in the daytime keeps me protected, hydrated, and relatively matte - albeit slightly dewy towards the end of the day.
The Effaclar Duo is a gel-serum consistency, not much is needed, and it spreads well over the face. I apply this first on an evening, and over my SPF of a morning. The SPF itself is almost an oil-gel texture, very alcoholic smelling, but almost evaporates on the skin, leaving a soft veil.  Together, these two are brilliant, and my skin seems to be brightening and evening with each day!
Ani x

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sunday's Stories | One

Hola all!
Sometimes, I have a little brainwave - a moment where I think ahhhhhhhhhhh that's a good idea. Today's brainwave is blog-related, and introduces to you Sunday's Stories: a collage of the going-ons in my world over the past week. I loooove looking at photos, and being a bit nosey, so I hope you like this too!
Lots of bits and pieces from this week - food, drinks, skincare and quotes!
Much love,
Ani

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Night Time | Cleansing Line Up

Hola all!
Last night I was washing my face, like the good little skincare junkie that I am, and I realised that it has been quite a while since I shared my night time skincare line up, so that is what I am going to do today! My cleansers are forever changing, but this routine has two of my all-time faves in, repurchased many a time, with a new little product chucked in for good measure!


Coconut oil has to be the most versatile product ever - I love it for a first cleanse: I scoop out a little, melt it between my palms (although in this hot weather, it is already melted!), and massage alllllll over my face, even all over the eyes, and it breaks down every little tiny scrap of make up. I love coconut oil - I adore the idea of oil cleansing oil off the face: that oil grabs and holds onto all the dirt and make up on the face, then whisks it all away when buffed off with a flannel (that red thing in the corner of the pic!). 

Good Things Manuka Honey Creamy Cleanser is a brand new purchase - I have been using it for about a week. It smells yummy, not quite like honey, almost a little sheesha-like, and is a thick cream consistency. I use this for my second cleanse, and to remove any leftover coconut oil: again, I massage all over the face, even the eyes, and whisk off with a flannel. 

Last of all my other long-term fave, the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean, that I have repurchased on numerous occasions.  This cleanser keeps my face in check, and by using it as a third cleanse it means that all the goodness from it - the acids, the brightening ingredients - go directly onto my skin. I massage it in, which the fluid cream texture is perfect for, and again flannel it away. 

As a triad, these are keeping my skin clean, soft and relaxed :)
Much love,
Ani

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The Beauty Faves | June

Hola all!
To get back in the general swing of one of my favourite things, aka writing, it seemed perfect to write about my favourites for June. I know I haven't written since the end of May, but writing is never far from my mind. June has been a month where I have loved contouring in all its forms - both subtle and dramatic. I find that with this I tend to not need too much foundation, and that I generally look more polished and groomed.
First up, in this lovely weather we have been enjoying, the Piz Buin Ultra Light 30, which does exactly what it says on the tube: the texture is fluid and dry to the touch, making it perfect for layering over moisturiser/ serums, and for then applying the next product - the Max Factor Facefinity Primer. This is my most favourite primer ever - I think the reason I like it is because it strikes me as a skincare-makeup hybrid. A lovely soft texture, not siliconey at all, that just sinks into the skin. Unlike most primers, which I get excited about at first, and then realise they do next to nothing, this one I have been using daily for a good month or so, and I have to say it really helps to keep my make up on at least until afternoon tea time! The bullet-stick-like-thing you can see next to the primer is the Becca Stick Foundation in Molasses, and is my go-to for contouring these days. Easily more blendable and believable than a powder contour, I use this after primer and before foundation, quite heavily layering it on and then blending with my Real Techniques sponge, before applying a mixture of Laura Mercier's Silk Creme foundation in Cashew Beige, which has fabulous, flawless finish, with brilliant staying powder, and Becca's Luminous Skin Colour in Toast, which lifts the face and adds the shot of yellow I need for my particular complexion. Together these have been my go-to base since I purchased them from Sandra at The Black Pearl Blog. Lastly, we have the Givenchy Matissime Powder in Mat Nude, which I use only on the parts of my face that I want to keep lighter - the parts where you would place highlighter.  Altogether, these are my June Faves, and they create quite a lovely face!
Lots of Love,
Ani x 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Easing Back In | Blog Sale!

Hola All, 
Apologies for the ridiculously long absence - life has been hectic, but I am back and ready to type away! I thought we'd start easily with a little blogsale:
Have had a clear-out and these are all the bits that I am just not using. Postage is included in the prices, and I will post near the end of the week. Packaging may be a little grubby due to storage of items!
I have bundled things together, but if you want just one thing, or a mixture, let me know and I will give you a price 


1. Missguided Amaline Cross Over Tailored Dress In White - Size 8. Never worn. Have taken the shoulder pads out though! Bought for £26.99, selling for £15
2. Sleek - Kajal Eyeliner and Full Fat Lash Mascara £8 for both (both unused).
3. Max Factor Facefinity Foundation in Warm Almond (used 3 times), Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in Natural Beige (used twice) and L'oreal Caresses in 103, Marilyn (swatched once) - all for £12
4. Yes to Tomatoes Moisturiser and Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser (both used twice) - both for £10
5. skinChemists DD Cream in Medium (used a handful of times) and skinChemists Venom Mask (brand new) - £12 for both
6. Jemma Kidd Signature Shadows Palette (used twice) and Jemma Kidd Crushed Jewel Duo in 03 Imperial Topaz (swatched once) £8 for both.
7. Topshop Limited Edition Cream Blush Duo in Up in the Air (swatched twice) £8.
8. Rimmel Bundle - Stay Matte Primer (used 5 times), Wake Me Up Foundation in 303 True Beige (swatched twice), Wake Me Up Instant Radiance in 002 Radiant Rose, and Wake Me Up Instant Radiance in 004 Shimmering Sand (both swatched a handful of times) £15 for all.
9. Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF50 and The Fab Pore Moisture Lotion (both used a few times) - both for £10.
10. Kiko Hydrating Mask (used 3 times), Kiko Purifying Fluid for Oily Skins (about 70% left), Kiko Eyeshadow in 178, a dark, sparkly charcoal, (used twice) - all for £15
Lots of Love,
Ani x