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* fast food without the guilt thanks to katy perry for claire’s *

Another busy week – and another freezing cold one. For those of you interested, I finally made a decision about the coats… Keeping the snazzy cozy furry one and taking the other one back. Mainly because it makes me look like a burnt marshmallow. Sad but true.

Five favourites

Place: Anywhere inside, basically. Anywhere that has heating at any rate.

Food: Cinnamon rolls. I could quite easily eat my body weight in them and never stop wanting more.

Experience: Navigating my way around the city on a number of different occasions without getting lost. YAY ME.

Read/watch: I’ve just finished John Green’s Paper Towns and it was great. Not quite as good as The Fault in Our Stars (in my opinion) but still an ace read.

Beauty bit: The Body Shop Almond Hand CreamMy hands usually get so dry and chapped in the winter but this has been helping to ensure they stay silky soft and smooth.

Have a good weekend everyone and don’t forget to follow me over on Instagram @CharlieLanks!

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* cacti *

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* pretty dog walks *

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* festive nails are a go *

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* t’was a charlotte tilbury kind of morning *

 

About these ads

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* the organic pharmacy skin radiance c/o £45 *

In preparation for the freezing New York weather, I’ve been trying to do everything possible to take care of my skin and make it feel as healthy and happy as possible, in the hopes that the biting winds and potential snow falls won’t leave my complexion in too bad a state.

So, as well as cleansers, face creams, serums and moisturisers, I’ve also added some new supplements into my daily routine and thought I would share my thoughts on them.

The Organic Pharmacy Skin Radiance supplements are aimed at giving your complexion a bit of a general boost, helping to support your skin and ensure it is looking its best, both inside and out. Each pill is full to the brim of healthy ingredients - acai, bilberry, rose hip, zinc, goji and gotu kola – all of which are blended together to create what The Organic call ‘a highly nutritious formula aimed at protecting and nourishing the skin and helping to promote the formation of collagen within the skin and promote tissue repair’.

Having been taking the pills for a couple of weeks now, I can’t see I’ve seen a huge amount of difference in my skin – but, that said, I haven’t seen any major negative side effects as a result of the weather either which is quite likely to be as a result of the supplements…

Either way, they contain a whole heap of goodness and I can’t see any harm in continuing to take them – unless of course some unexpected side effects start to emerge!

The only major downsides that I’ve found thus far are the sheer volume of pills that you’re required to take in one go – the bottle recommends that you take four pills every morning with your breakfast. Four. That’s an awful lot of vitamins, no?! – and the pretty hefty price tag. £45 is quite a lot to pay for a bottle of supplements that will last for a month, in my opinion at least.

With regard to the first issue, if you’re not the biggest fan of sinking that many pills at one – you can empty the contents of the caplets into water or juice and enjoy them that way instead if you prefer! Just as long as you’re getting your green goodness…!

When it comes to the price however, I can only keep my fingers crossed and hope that they’re worth it in the end. Here’s hopin!

AWface2 AWface1 AWface3

As I’m sure you are all well aware by now, I have built up a pretty hefty make up collection over the years and I have to admit, even I continue to be surprised by the immense amount of choice that greets me when I go to get ready each morning.

But while I love experimenting with different looks either on the weekends or during my my days off, on a day-to-day basis, I tend to rely on one or two tried and trusted beauty looks that I know will work out no matter how little time I have left myself to get ready.

The first look is the more simple of the two and is really the one that I turn to when I know I only have a matter of minutes before I have to be out the door, or worse still, have left it too late and am forced to do my make up while on my way to work. Yep, it’s happened. 

Using just six products – foundation, concealer, blusher, cream eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner – I’ve found it’s pretty easy to make yourself look fairly darn presentable no matter what time crunch you are under. In addition to a few of my regular favourites – like the L’Oreal True Match Foundation (£9.99)  I also really like using an eyeshadow stick, like this Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes (£17)which is a brilliant product in this kind of situation because you’re able to simply swipe and go, without needing to use a brush.

Similarly, the Sleek Make Up Blush in Rose Gold (£4.99) comes in incredibly handy because of its shimmery formula which adds both a flush and a glow to your cheeks, eliminating the need for a separate highlighter. Then all you need is a slick of eyeliner on the titghtline and a swipe of mascara and you’re ready to roll.

On the mornings when I have more time however, I like to allow myself the luxury of enjoying my make up routine and tend to linger over some of the steps for a little bit longer than I would on a more rushed day.

First of all, I’ll throw a primer or two – both face and eyelid – into the mix to really ensure that my make up hangs around all day long. I follow up with the same foundation, slap on a dash of concealer and then I’ll make a quick attempt at contouring my face using the Sleek Make Up Face Contour Kit in Light (£6.49)

Follow that up with blush - Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed (£23) - eyshadow - Smashbox Full Exposure Travel Palette ($22) - and maybe even an eyebrow pencil - Studio 10 Brow Lift Perfecting Liner (£22)

If I’m feeling really adventurous, I opt to add in some liquid eyeliner and a bold lip, which often sees me reaching for the Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 30 (£6.99) or one of the Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils (£4.99)

And there you have it, my favourite faces of AW14. No doubt things will be taking a turn for the glittery as we begin to head towards Christmas. 

FestiveNails1 FestiveNails FestiveNails2* clockwise from top left: essie peak of chic, essie toggle to the top, opi goldeneye, nails inc kensington church street snowflake effect polish *

That’s right ladies and gents, that wonderful time is upon us once again… Christmas is a-comin’!

I have to admit, the thought of being so far away from most of my friends and family for the festive season – it’s the first time in my life that I won’t see my mum on Christmas Day – is slightly scary and, as someone who usually loves every minute of the holidays, I’m quite worried that this year is going to fall flat on its face.

But, ever-determined to embrace the Christmas spirit with as much enthusiasm as possible, I’ve kicked things off even earlier than usual this year. I think the one single positive to being separated from G by a whacking great Ocean is that he isn’t here to temper my Crimbo craziness.

And believe me, these festive preparations started a long ole time ago… Even while picking what nail polishes would make the journey across the pond with me, I was thinking about the need for festivity in my beauty regime, and as a result remembered to pack some of my favourite festive nail effects.

While I’m not opposed to a touch of shimmer or glitter throughout the year, I feel like I only ever truly embrace the more bright, bold and detailed ones at this time of year. Something about the festive season always makes me feel like getting a bit more jazzy with my make-up and my nails are no exception.

So, my favourites…

When it comes to a proper festive glitter, I love nothing more than a good snowy shade layered on top of a deep burgundy red. So much so that I actually have two of them, the Nails Inc Kensington Church Street Snowflake Effect Polish (£16)which literally looks like a blizzard has covered your nails, and the Essie Peak of Chic ($8.50)which has more glittery/holographic bits in it and offers a slightly more shimmery finish.

When it comes to festive glitz and glamour, I feel like nothing does it better than OPI Goldeneye (£7.99)which is a beautiful, rich gold, full to the brim of shimmer and sparkle; it is the ideal colour for Christmas Day, particularly when paired with a bright and bold festive red.

Last, but by no means least, is Essie Toggle To The Top (£7.99), a dark burgundy red with subtle flecks of glitter running through it. Thick enough to wear on it’s own, or layered over another colour, it’s just the perfect combination of autumnal, wintry colours and festive fun.

Hungryface1Hungryface2

I know some of you will be looking at the title of this post thinking “WUUUUUT is hungry face?!” so I’m going to clear that up first and foremost before I crack on with the post. Now I’m not sure about you guys, but after a long old day at work, I tend to find that a good ole portion of my make-up has completely disappeared, gobbled up by my face throughout the day and leaving my complexion looking a wee bit patchy and messy.

But during the working day, applying make-up again and again is, quite frankly, a massive pain in the bum and isn’t really something that I want to be doing again and again – if anything, giving my face even more make-up to scoff on is likely to make the issue a whole heap worse.

So I’ve come up with something of a cosmetics compromise, a quick few steps that I can take first thing in the morning when first applying my make-up – and then a couple of quick fixes to help me avoid hungry face during the day.

Early in the AM, the key to keeping your make-up as fresh as possible for as long as possible is primer. And not just for your face – I also think eyeshadow primer is a must when you’re trying to ensure your make-up lasts for as long as possible. My personal favourites are the Max Factor FaceFinity All Day Primer (£10.99) for the face and the L’Oreal Magic De-Crease Eyeshadow Base ($8.99) for the eyes. Both really help to lock your make-up in place and create a bit of a barrier between your skin and your products, helping to avoid any foundation etc sinking on in and disappearing.

Sadly however, avoiding hungry face altogether is, at times, impossible. So, I always like to make sure that I carry around a couple of quick fixes whenever I know I’m going to be out and about for the long haul. First up, a good multi-purpose face brush – the Real Techniques Retractable Bronzer Brush (£13.99) is ace and great for travel – which I like to use to re-blend any make-up which may have moved around during the day.

Then, I touch up any really patchy/blank areas with my L’Oreal True Match Concealer (£6.99) and follow up with a good dose of the Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder ($6.99) which eliminates any shine and sets everything back in place.

So, there you have it – #hungryfaceprobs solved in just a few speedy steps!

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I’ve now been living in New York/Connecticut for three whole weeks – I know, ages right?! – and while there are still some things that continue to amaze and astound me (there is no such thing as Boxing Day here, sob, but they do have DRIVE THRU BANKS Y’ALL), I feel like I’m slowly but surely starting to get to grips with life here.

Slowly.

So I thought I would take a quick tick to share with you some of the stuff that I’ve learned thus far:

** The subway will never be a pleasant experience. Ever.

** People The majority of people on the subway don’t follow any kind of etiquette or standard polite behaviours. They will push past you, shove you out of the way and happily trample on your toes without even so much as a sorry.

** There is so much going on everywhere. The city is just one big sensory overload – so much more so than London. It often feels like my eyes aren’t big enough to take it all in, but when they do, it’s a bloody marvel to behold.

** It’s a lot easier to be healthy here. There are incredible salad bars everywhere that will whip you up all manner of tasty – and low fat – lunchtime options…

** …And then they’ll deliver them to you. To your office, your home; they’d probably deliver them to a random spot on the street if you want. So it’s really a good thing I’m eating healthily because I’m not walking anywhere to pick up my lunch…

** Errr, it’s seriously chilly here. Having spent last winter wearing nothing thicker than a Barbour, I’ll admit the frostiness has come as a bit of a shock… Plus I just keep hearing how much colder it’s going to get so….! Winter coats all round.

Anyone else with some additional wisdom to share? Please do go ahead…!

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* office cupcakes *

Holy guacamole has it got cold here in ole Nueva York. Seriously chilly. And I have a feeling it’s only going to get colder… Horrifyingly. So much of this week has been about finding the perfect winter coat and at the moment I’m busy deciding between something totally practical and waterproof – or something unbelievably glam and cosy. Hmmm. Thoughts?!

Five favourites

Place: We took my uncle’s dog for a walk near his house in Connecticut and with the winter sun shining through the orange leaves it was just beautiful. So pretty. Definitely my favourite sight of the week.

Food: This week I discovered Trader Joe’s for the first time. Goodness gracious it’s amazing. Particularly the dark chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds. Delicious.

Experience: I’ve been driving here in the US and got the chance to drive a pretty powerful car which was so fun.

Read/watch: Currently reading The Song of Achilles and loving it.

Beauty bit: I think it has to be the Maybelline Color Show Mono Eyeshadow in Lustrous Beige. As you may have seen in this post, it is the most beautiful taupe-y colour and I haven’t stopped wearing it.

Have a good weekend everyone and don’t forget to follow me over on Instagram @CharlieLanks!

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* blogging mess *

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* prabal for mac is just dreamy *

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* new york is a beaut *

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* frozen on ice was so fun *

T

Recently I’ve noticed a bit of a trend in terms of my eye make up. Despite the array of amazing palettes that are currently lining my shelf, I’ve only really been reaching for a select few single shadows of late – all of which lean towards the more taupe-y shades.

I don’t know what it is but I’ve just become obsessed with that cool beige grey (or greige, if you will) colour – or any eyeshadows that have a hint of taupe about them.

Firstly, I find it works really well on my pale skin tone, helping to create the perfect pretty, yet subtle, daytime look that can, if needed, be built up into something more dramatic, even when worn as just a single shade. Thanks to the slightly shimmery quality of some of my favourite taupe shades – Burberry Pale Barley is currently leading the pack – one single colour can create a huge amount of depth and shadow without needing any other colour in the crease.

Similarly, I think taupe shades make for a perfect base which can be blended with a variety of other shades if you fancy building up your day-to-day palette a bit. I’ve often used the Maybelline Eye Studio Mono in Silken Taupe to form the foundations of a bolder, smokey eye and during the day will blend it with my other taupe-y favourite, the Maybelline Color Show Mono in Lustrous Beige to create a slightly stronger, more obvious look.

All in all, I can’t see my love affair with this unique colour coming to an end any time soon – and would love some more recommendations for other variants of the shade if you have any! Let me know down below in the comments if so…

Nars1 Nars2nars3* nars virtual domination palette // $65 *

Good lordy do I love a good palette. And having spent several years always missing the boat on Nars’ beautiful blush and bronzer palettes (last year’s Guy Bordain, 2012′s Danmari…) when I spied that the brand would be releasing a new one for Christmas 2014, I knew then and there that I was going to have it. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Nars Virtual Domination Cheek Palette

As you can no doubt tell, this palette is something seriously special; everything from the acrylic packaging – which is a fun move away from Nars’ traditional rubberized black casing – down to the shade selection inside just screams perfection in my eyes.

When it comes to the product inside the palette, I think Nars have done a really great job in terms of deciding what will be featured – and where. In addition to the three blush shades (Deep Throat is an old Nars favourite, Final Cut, a peachy-toned pink, is a new release and Sex Fantasy, a lilac pink shade, is a special edition for this palette), you also get a limited edition highlighter shade – Miss Liberty – and a pretty sizeable Laguna bronzer.

And I’m thrilled that the bronzer gets so much space within the palette – it’s nice to balance out all that blush with a good ole pan of Laguna, particularly as it happens to be one of my ultimate favourite products, ever.

Perhaps the only drawback to this palette is its slight chunkiness – unlike the other, more slimline Nars palettes, this one isn’t going to be the best when it comes to travelling as it is slightly more sizeable than its predecessors thanks to the jazzy packaging. But provided you aren’t only seeking a blush palette that can be squeezed into a super small space, then I can’t recommend this beauty more.

Definitely one to stick on the list for Santa…

Cheek2 Cheek3

I have a whole array of blushes in my stash, from creams and gels to powders and sticks, but I have to admit that, until very recently, I really didn’t tend to venture beyond my small selection of favoured powder blushes during my day-to-day routine.

Then I discovered two rather unique items hiding within my make up arsenal – the MAC x Brooke Shields Creme Colour Base ($31) and the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Cheek Gelee ($22) - both of which have helped to completely revolutionise my cheek colour habits.

Now I know these might seem, at first glance, like your average cream blushers, but believe me, they are so much more than that. The two-toned MAC colour base can be used in any number of ways and applied with all manner of tools – the MAC website suggests brush, sponge, or fingers. Personally, I like to apply it with my fingers and then blend out with a stippling brush to create a more natural look.

And while the product looks a little bit scary in the pan – I mean, it’s really bright – it actually applies beautifully, giving just a subtle flush to the cheeks at first application, which can be layered to create a more dramatic effect if desired. I’ve also been using a quick dab of the darker shade on my lips of late, just to add a nice autumnal stain

On the flip side, the cheek gelee – which is what I am wearing in the picture above – is one of the most subtle cheek products I’ve ever used. Just as the name suggests, it creates a watercolour effect on your cheeks that can be built up ever so slightly, or left as just a light wash of colour.

Application-wise, I think fingers work best for this bad boy too – and most of the time I just leave it at that, without even bothering to reach for a brush. It is the simplest swipe and go product you’ll ever encounter and I have yet to ‘over apply’ no matter how heavy-handed I am!

Needless to say my poor powder blushes have gone a bit unloved of late…

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