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It’s been something of an odd month this month – loads of exciting stuff has happened, some of it rather stressful, some of it just great – and when it came to picking my monthly favourites, I was a bit stumped as to what products I’d actually been using all month…

One product which really stood out however is the Palmers Cocoa Butter Rapid Moisture Spray Lotion (£5.49). I’ve been so impressed with this spray moisturiser in recent weeks and it’s been an absolute lifesaver on those days when I’ve had mere minutes to get ready for the day. Just a quick spritz and I’m ready to go, feeling seriously silky smooth and with a sweet cocoa butter fragrance to boot. And speaking of sweet scents (see what I did there?!), I’ve barely gone a day in recent weeks without burning the Bath and Body Works Sweater Weather Candle ($22). The scent is so warming and lingers subtly for hours after the candle has been blown out.

The only other non-make up bits in this month’s favourites are the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Spot Stickers (£19) which have been a real dream when it comes to blitzing blemishes, either overnight or out and about on the go, under my make up.

Then we come to the make up itself and a couple of old favourites have snuck their way back to the tip top of my beauty list – the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara (£19.50)one of the best mascaras ever in my opinion, and the Maybelline Color Elixirs (£6.99) which continue to impress me with their immense staying power, brilliant colour range and smooth, nourishing formula.

Some newer bits on the block include Maybelline product, the Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder ($8.99)which has been my go-to powder product of late thanks to its lightweight formula and silky smooth texture. And last up, the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Perversion (£15)the best eyeliner for tight-lining in my opinion. It hangs around all day long, doesn’t sting the eyes at all and won’t smudge. Which is pretty much everything you need in an eyeliner if you ask me!

So, toodle pip to September, on to October – and some seriously exciting things in the works. Watch this space…

About these ads

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I’m so obsessed with the design of this month’s Glossybox (c/o £10); a delightful mint green box (oh how I love mint green) has been decorated with a picture of the London skyline, designed by high street designer Karen Millen. As much as I love the low-key pink design of the usual Glossybox, I feel like these limited edition boxes are really helping to set the brand apart from all the other beauty subscription services out there and I’m really looking forward to seeing what else they’ve got in store…

Now, onto the products – and I’m happy to report that the interior of the box is equally as brilliant as the exterior and includes some of the best samples I’ve seen in a long ole time.

∞ Nails Inc Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat - this is the full size product and worth a whacking £12, so you’ve already earned your money back with this one polish. Bargain! I love Nails Inc products and use the brand’s top coat every time I do my nails so I”m excited to test out the matte version.

∞ ModelCo More Brows Fibre Gel - I’m a bit of an eyebrow noob if I’m honest… I’m working on improving my skills but it’s a bit of a slow and steady process, if I”m honest. Not sure I’m ready to progress to eyebrow gel just yet but I’m happy to know I’ll have this on hand if that day ever arrives!

∞ L’Oreal Mythic Oil - I love a good hair oil – I have some serious split end issues – and I’m always on the lookout for a nice new oil to add to the line-up. Welcome to the family…

∞ SkinPep Enzyme and Acid Peel and Eye Cream - I’m not the biggest fan of sachets (they’re just so… messy!) but these products actually look quite interesting. A quick Google of the brand brought up some seriously pricey products so I’m not sure it will be one which I add to my regular skincare line up but I’m looking forward to dipping my toe in this pricey pond.

∞ Origins Anti-Aging Power Serum - the past few weeks have been so stressful, I’ve definitely seen a few more wrinkles added to my face (shrieks in horror) so this bad boy could not have come at a better time. Work your magic serum…

So as you can see, it’s a ruddy impressive September box – and one which you can still get your hands on for a limited time. Go go go.

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Being the beauty blog obsessive that I am, I come across a lot of product recommendations – many of which, I have to say, are pretty tip top notch.

But every now and then, I come across a product that is mentioned over and over again, by numerous different bloggers, all of whom sing its praises at every available opportunity. In these situations, it can be all too easy to give into the hype and purchase a product that you aren’t necessarily sure is right for you. Been there, done that and ended up with a few horrendous products in the process. And I’m sorry to say that the Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo Mega Instant (£4.99) is one of those less-than-loved products for me.

Despite hearing brilliant things from a lot of people, this formula just didn’t work for me at all. It didn’t help to tackle greasy hair and it didn’t provide me with any volume… On the plus side however, I wasn’t left with any white chalky residue after application. Every cloud. But for me, I’m afraid this one just didn’t work for me.

Sometimes however, the hype is totally deserved. And when it comes to the Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 107 (£5.49)I have to say – in my oh-so humble opinion – all of the praise is completely justified. I’m not usually a huge fan of matte lipsticks (I find them quite drying), but in this case, I was seriously impressed by the formula. It glides on really easily, the pigmentation is tip top and the staying power is excellent. Plus the deep wine shade is just beautiful.

So I guess when it comes to beauty hype, it’s worth remembering – you win some, you lose some.

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On Thursday night, I was lucky enough to attend the launch of Zoella Beauty – the cute-as-a-button beauty range which has just been launched by the lovely Zoe Sugg aka Zoella. Now I’d never actually met Zoe before but had heard so many lovely things about her I couldn’t wait to meet her in person. Spoiler alert, she’s just as lovely in real life as she seems.

And the beauty range is brilliant – not least because it makes a move away from all the other blogger-inspired beauty ranges of the past and carves out its own unique niche. In place of make up, the collection incorporates a delightful range of pamper products, from fizzy bath bomb bars and body sprays to luxurious lotions and brightly-coloured make up bags, all wrapped up in the most adorable packaging I’ve ever seen. The truth is, Zoe has hit the nail on the head when it comes to creating a range of products that will be 100 per cent suitable for her subscribers, a lot of whom are in their early teens.

I’ll do a full review on the bits and pieces that I’ve had a chance to try very soon, but I also really wanted to share my thoughts on the evening – and offer my congratulations to Zoe on all her immense success. As a relatively baby blogger, it’s incredibly inspiring to see someone from the blogger/YouTube community doing so well – and to see so many other bloggers there to support and congratulate her. All in all it really was an evening full to the brim of warm fuzzies and one which I really enjoyed.

Congratulations again Zoe!

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* photobooth fun #zoellabeauty *

This week has been pretty ruddy exciting if I’m honest. There are a lot of big things going on in my life at the moment and while it’s all been pretty overwhelming and scary at times, I’m really look forward to the next few months. Cryptic I know, but all shall be revealed soon. And sadly no, unlike the lovely Zoe, I won’t be releasing my own beauty range any time soon. Sob.

Which brings me to…

Five favourites

Place: My amazing flat, which I’m moving out of this weekend – after two amazing years. On to the next adventure…

Food: My beautiful friend Lori has started a rather wonderful farm company called Bread & Pig and this week I was lucky enough to sample some of their brilliant products. The bread, the sausages, the jam – oh the jam - it’s all ruddy lovely.

Experience: I was lucky enough to attend the launch of the lovely Zoe’s beauty range – Zoella Beauty – earlier this week and boy was it ace. The venue, the decorations and the products were all perfect, full of fun and personality, just like the woman of the hour.

Read/watch: With everything that’s been going on recently, I’ve ended up slacking slightly on my reading and watching rituals. I did however manage to flick through the most recent issue of Allure. Of course.

Beauty bit: Without a doubt it’s been the Nude Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing JellyThere’s a full review headed your way soon…

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

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* #zoellabeauty *

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* a brilliant bread and pig hamper *

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* a favourite nail shade *

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* autumn candles and cosy blankets *

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I’ve spoken about my ongoing struggle with blemishes many a time now; it’s probably my biggest beauty woe and one which has been bugging me for many a year now.

But in recent weeks, I’ve reached a bit of a happy state with my skin – and with my skincare - and wanted to share with you all my current evening routine, which I think is one of the key reasons for the welcome improvement to my complexion.

As you may have seen back in this post, I’m a big ole fan of the double cleanse – using a balmy type cleanser to get rid of any make up or dirt and then a second, more targeted cleanser to actually clean deep on down in the skin and do some ruddy good while we’re at it. I’m currently alternating between a few favourite double cleansing couples, all of which follow the same kind of balm + blemish fighting cleanser formula. I’ve just added the NUDE Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly (£32) to my skincare line up and have been loving it thus far (full review to follow), particularly when paired with an old favourite, the Elemental Herbology Bio-Cellular Super Cleanse (£26) which has a beautifully lightweight, almost gel-like formula that feels amazing on the skin.

Moving on to skincare step two now – toners. Following another much-loved formula – one which was recommended to me by the great Caroline Hirons, so you know it’s a good ‘un – I pair an acid toner (absolute favourite is the Pixi Glow Tonic (£16)) with a moisturising, soothing spritz toner which at the moment is the Lush Eau Roma Water (£7.50). The rosewater and lavender formula is just, well, lush and works wonders when it comes to calming any redness and soothing any spots.

Step three moves things out of the bathroom and into the bedroom (oi oi!) and kicks off with a nourishing eye cream which more often than not is found in the form of the Ole Henriksen Fresh Start Eye Creme (£31)The next step is an incredibly new addition to my routine – the Indeed Labs Retinol Reface (£19.99)Having heard about the wonders of retinol from several trusted brilliant beauty gurus, I decided the time had come to add one into my own routine. I’m a big fan of the Indeed Labs products and thought this would be the perfect option – and so far, so good. I’ll keep you posted…!

The fourth and final skincare step takes care of nourishing, moiturising and hydrating the skin and changes up depending on how my skin is feeling on a day to day. In the warmer summer months, I’ve just been using an oil – the REN Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil (£23) is an all-time favourite – but the colder weather often calls for a moisturiser to be added the mix, just to ensure my skin is getting enough nourishment. For this, I call on the Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturiser ($65) which does an amazing job of nourishing and hydrating, while still being lightweight and completely grease-free. It’s just delightful.

What skincare steps are you guys taking at the moment? Any products you think might work in my routine?

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My nail polish collection is pretty darn big these days – in fact I didn’t really realise just how much it had grown until this past week while I’ve been packing up my flat and getting ready to move and opened up my nail polish drawer only to realise that it would like require its own suitcase. Yep, it’s that bad. 

But the truth is, no matter how many polishes I have already in my collection, every now and then (read: every other day), I stumble across yet another must-have, can’t-live-without shade that grabs my attention – and, inevitably, my money too. But no shade has quite managed to capture my heart quite like this latest beauty, Essie Take It Outside (£7.99)

Now while this polish might seem like just another grey shade, I must assure you it is oh-so much more than that. One of six limited edition Autumn 2014 shades, Take It Outside is a pale grey bordering on beige with just the faintest hint of purple. It looks great with pretty much every skintone and has that great neutral effect of lengthening your fingers and generally just being delightfully flattering on the hands.

Who knew a nail polish could inspire such love, huh?

Clarisonic

I’m slightly fickle when it comes to skincare. I follow a pretty regular routine  – more on that soon - but when it comes to the products I use, I quite like to chop and change, try new things and shake stuff up. So while I went through a long ole phase of being somewhat obsessed with my Clarisonic Mia 2 (c/0 £120)in recent months, it’s gone rather unused, languishing at the back of my cupboard and feeling a bit unloved. Cue the violins.

But in recent weeks, my skin has been feeling a bit meh. I’m really enjoying my current skincare routine and feel like I’ve finally found a collection of products that work really well on my skin – but there was a bit of a gap in the line-up which the Clarisonic has managed to fill quite nicely. Used just once or twice a week – along with my First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser - it’s really helped to clear any congestion, blitz lingering blackheads and tackle those horrendous under-the-skin blemishes that I really struggle with.

Now a word of caution – I do think that there are a fair few people out there who go a bit OTT on the Clarisonic usage (I was certainly one of ‘em until recently) and I’m pretty sure that all that abrasive cleansing can do your skin more harm that good. In fact there are a lot of people out there who steer clear of the Clarisonic altogether for that very reason. But I personally prefer to go for a bit of moderation… So while I’m more than happy to have the Clarisonic back in my skincare routine – and my life – it’s not going to get quite the same amount of overuse as it did previously!

Price-wise, I admit that the Clarisonic is quite the hefty investment but if you find yourself struggling with constantly congested, dull skin, it may just be worth parting with all those pennies. I certainly don’t regret it yet. 

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As some of you will no doubt be aware from my previous handbag-based posts, I’m not particularly good at packing. Whether it’s a suitcase, weekend away bag, sports bag or handbag, I have a horrible habit of bringing along way too much stuff. I just like to be prepared, ok? 

But this past weekend G and I were going to our friends’ wedding and I wanted to whip out one of my favourite – and smallest - clutch bags for the occasion. And do you know what? I actually managed to fit everything inside it – with room to spare I might add!

I trimmed down the essentials by replacing my wallet with a card holder and slipping my phone out of its case which helped to save a whole heap of space. I also brought with me a Bath and Body Works Anti Bacterial Hand Gel in Pumpkin Spice LatteIt smells ace, comes in a teeny tiny, clutch bag-friendly bottle and I like having some anti bac on-hand for those just in case situations…

All that remains is a couple of beauty bits to freshen up my make up throughout the day. L’Oreal True Match Concealer to touch up any blemishes, Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder to blitz any shine – applied with a retractable Real Techniques Face Brush - and then MAC Plumful and a mini Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Mascara for any bathroom touch-ups.

So there you have it, in a nutshell – or a nutshell-sized handbag if you will!

What are your clutch bag essentials?

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Holy moly was it chilly last night; it’s the first night that I’ve felt a real autumnal frostiness in the air and I have to admit, it made me oh so excited for the coming months. Out came my blanket and my brand new Sweater Weather candle and on went a pair of wooly slippers and my cosiest PJs. Delightful.

My other favourite part about the changing seasons – particularly around this time of year – is the influx of new beauty products that hit the shelves. The drugstores are suddenly full of exciting new launches so I thought it seemed only fair that I road test a good group of ‘em and share my thoughts with you. Right? 

We’ll kick off with hair and body first of all – two of my favourite products of the bunch. The first is the Herbal Essences Clearly Naked Shampoo and Conditioner (£2.35 and £3.99)Formulated without any parabens, colourants or silicones – basically any nasties of any kind – these haircare products are designed to be nothing but nourishing for your locks, providing your hair with total goodness and nothing nasty. And they really do work. Post-wash my hair felt light, silky smooth and smelled ruddy lovely.

Similarly, the Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Rapid Moisture Spray Lotion (£5.49) is another amazingly scented product – provided you like cocoa butter, of course. It’s basically a bit of a richer, slightly more nourishing version of the Vaseline spray moisturisers and I for one think it’s great. I always found the Vaseline products didn’t quite provide my skin with enough hydration but this bad boy gives the full whack. Takes a few microseconds more to sink in as a result, but oh boy is that time worth your while.

Moving on to lips and tips and one of the most talked-about launches of the season, the Rimmel Apocalips Matte Lip Velvets (£6.49). After the original formula Apocalips proved such a success with lip lovers the world over, it seemed only right that Rimmel extend the range – and I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the results. I’m not actually a big lover of matte lips – shocker – but these are genuinely quite lovely to use and well worth a try if you’re looking to delve into the matte lip world for the first time. I’ll report back later when I’ve tested ‘em out in full but they’re certainly one to keep an eye on.

Now I’ve talked about the Maybelline Color Elixirs (£6.99) before, after I managed to lay my hands on a few while in the US. But at last these brilliant things have landed on our fair shores and I can’t recommend them more. Think smooth formula, good colour range and long-lasting colour, all with a nourishing finish on the lips. Just ace.

In the nail category, the Essie Autumn 2014 Collection (£7.99) is a strong contender for tip top tips launch – the purply grey toned Take Me Outside is just beautiful – but I think that award has to go to the House of Ho Ho Ho Elegant Touch Nails (£8.99). I know it’s really early to be thinking about your Crimbo nails just yet but when I saw these in the shop I just couldn’t resist. Just look at how amazing they are!

Last up in my autumnal shopping basket were two of the Maybelline Color Show Mono Eyeshadows (£4.99). Now I’m not sure if they’ve just repackaged their old eyeshadow formulas and added a whole heap of new shades but I’m sure I’ve never seen these in stores before. Or maybe I just missed them? Either way these bad boys are new to me, so in the basket they went. Formula-wise, you have to make a bit of a trade off with these shadows; while the colour pay-off isn’t amazing – they’re quite sheer – the staying power is just awesome, particularly when you pair them with a primer. I’ve been wearing them all day, pretty much every day and have yet to see a single crease. If you ask me that’s a pretty impressive claim for such a budget friendly shadow… Needless to say I’ll be picking up a few more shades in the near future. For research purposes of course!

So what do you guys think of these latest launches? Are there any that tickle your fancy?

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