Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 23.37.23

* stop and smell the flowers *

 

I was very glad to reach the end of a very busy week – purely so I could get some time to sleeeeeep! And that’s pretty much all I did yesterday. Yes, it wasn’t the most fulfilling way to spend my time, but boy did I need that rest.

Five favourites

Place: Honestly, I haven’t spent too much time out of the office this week, so I’m really not sure what to put for this one…

Food: I’ve found what is possibly the best buffalo chicken pizza ever and I just can’t stop gobbling it.

Experience: It was bittersweet, but saying goodbye to a lovely colleague and friend, Annabel. While I’m so so sad to see her go, I’m so happy we were able to give her the super send-off that she deserved.

Read/watch: I renewed my iPad subscription for Allure and I’ve been really enjoying catching up on all those old issues.

Beauty bit: The L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte 24-Hour Foundation combined with the Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless PowderSuch an ace base duo.

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

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 23.38.56

* more snow *

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 23.39.37

* this candle is just super *

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 23.39.50

* almost too cute to use *

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 23.40.18

* gobble *

 

unnamed (1) IMG_0939

There was a time, not too long ago, when I refused to even consider buying my foundation at the drugstore – now, I consider a number of drugstore foundation finds to be among my all-time favorites. Funny how things change, huh? 

And while I have a fair few ace drugstore options, recently I stumbled across a formula that is, quite literally, perfect for my skin. Genuinely. Say hello, ladies and gentlemen, to the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte 24-Hour Foundation ($11.99). I picked this up on a bit of a whim a few weeks ago when I went a little bit cray in Duane Reade and literally picked up every new item I could spy on the shelves. Some were ace, others less so, but this bad boy was without a doubt the shining star of them all.

I think the main reason that this foundation works so well for me is because it seems to combine all of the best bits from my other favorite foundations, bringing them all together into one awesome formula. For example, it has all of the cracking coverage offered by the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation, which I have always loved but found a bit too thick, and the great consistency and shade match of the Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundationwhich blends so beautifully intro the skin but doesn’t quite offer enough coverage for those less-than-perfect complexion days.

Add to that an out-of-this-world staying power, and a beautifully matte – yet natural-looking – finish, and you have got yourself what I consider to be the perfect foundation formula. Drugstore foundation FTW…

IMG_0907* chapstick hydration lock night and day // $3.69 *

For all the fancy shmancy beauty products that I work my way through every day, there are also a number of easy peasy simple ones that I rely on.

Sometimes it’s just nice to strip things back to basics and get on with what’s easiest, you know?

Well no beauty product that I currently have in my possession is any easier than the Chapstick Hydration Lock Night and Day ($3.69)This double-ended lip balm has an SPF 12 skin protectant lip balm at one end, intended for use during the day, and then an ultra-moisturising overnight treatment balm at the other end.

Both chapstick options are simple, no-frills formulas – and yet both work so so well when it comes to protecting, soothing and nourishing my lips. Plus, it’s just so easy! I can carry around with me during the day, slick it on at night – and no need for any other lip balms.

Now the question is, what to do with them all….?

IMG_0890 IMG_0891

When you use as much make up and skincare as I do, it’s inevitable that you are going to work your way through one heck of a lot of beauty products. And, for the most part, while I feel a certain pang of sadness every time I finish up a product, I’m always excited to move on to trying the next big beauty bit.

However, there are a certain few pieces in my make up and skincare stash which leave me devastated whenever they are finished up.

And as (bad) luck would have it, FIVE of those products dried up into nothing-ness all within the space of one week. One week! Ridiculous.

First it was my beloved Elizabeth and James Nirvana White Perfume ($55). This unique fragrance has been one of my favorites for months – ever since I picked it up during my trip to New York back in June – and I confess I’ve already picked up another one from Sephora. There’s just something about this rich floral scent that I can’t get enough of. It’s floral without being overwhelming, or at all old lady-esque (if you know what I mean) and it lingers on the skin in that perfectly-subtle but detectable way all the live long day. It’s just ace.

And after the perfume ran out, it was the turn of the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner ($19) and the Kat Von D Lock-it Tatoo Concealer ($25)both of which are consistent staples in my day-to-day make up. The liquid liner, and I know I do go on about it, but it really is the best I’ve ever tried. And as for the concealer, well. It manages to completely cover up any and all blemishes, lumps and bumps, while blending so beautifully into my skin. Not a cake-y patch in sight.

Then there’s my Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime Blur and Redness Control Primer ($9.99)I don’t think I’ve actually had this for any longer than two months – and yet I’ve already managed to drain the bottle, a sure fire indicator of its brilliance. It smooths skin, calms redness and prolongs my make up all throughout the day – in other words, it’s pretty dreamy.

Last, but by no means least, is the Fairydrops Scandal Queen Mascara ($24) which is, and I mean this quite literally, pretty much impossible to get hold of here in the US. Hardly any stores sell it, and those that do are completely sold out. Woe is me.

What beauty products are you guys loving at the moment?

IMG_0853

Years ago, I went on holiday to Portugal with one of my besties Janice. It was an amazing holiday, full of sun, sand, food and drink – and John Frieda’s Beach Blonde haircare collection.

In all seriousness, in addition to all of the fun-filled, sun-soaked memories, those bright blue shampoo and conditioner models are one of the things that I remember most clearly about that holiday; from the amazing turquoise colour, to the fresh tingly feeling from the shampoo, to the sweet smell of the sea salt spray, everything about the range screamed summer and sunshine, and every time I used them in the subsequent months, long after we had returned home, they still managed to conjure up the best memories of summer.

And then, they disappeared. For no apparent reason, John Frieda just took them off the shelves. And I was devastated.

Until now that is. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, at long last the John Frieda Shampoo ($10.99) and Conditioner ($10.99), and the John Frieda Sea Salt Spray ($10.99) have returned. Hurrah!

And while the formulas seem ever so slightly different, for the most part they are still the same great products that they were when they first appeared on shelves. The Cool Dip shampoo adds great texture and bounce to the hair, while cleansing it really well, the Smooth Seas conditioner leaves it feeling silky, soft and frizz-free and the Sea Waves salt spray helps to give it that ‘just spent a day on the beach’ texture.

In other words, this stuff is the perfect summer’s day hair in three bottles. And I just can’t get enough.

Now all we need is some actual summer weather….

IMG_0848IMG_0849So I bought a new handbag a few weeks ago – the Phillip Lim 3.1 Medium Pashli in Navy – and I thought it might be fun to give you guys a sneak peek inside it so you can see what I’m carrying around with me and get an idea about just how much this bag can fit – if you’re interested!

First things first, the basics – my Smythson Card Holderwhich I use to hold my debit card, metro card and work pass, my Kate Spade Coin Pursewhich, surprisingly, holds my coins! Then we have my iPhone 6 Plus (yes, it’s big), my Prada Key Wallet, which keeps my keys from scratching my phone or the inside of the bag, and a notebook from Smythson which I use to jot down blog ideas, to-do lists and shopping lists – any excuse to write a list…!

I also carry round this ‘Sparkle’ pouch from Bath and Body Works, which holds a whole heap of essential items that I would not want to be without on a day to day basis – my old lady-style pill container, which has painkillers and vitamins in it, some gum, because it’s nice to have fresh, minty breath, particularly if you’ve just eaten a garlic-laden meal, a spare hair tie and some curby grips, because my hair is always a mess, a pen, and a mirror, which is the same Victoria’s Secret one that I’ve had in all of my WIMH posts I think.

Said pouch also contains a few beauty essentials, a lot of which, I’ve just realised, are from Maybelline. We have the Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Conecalerthe Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless PowderMaybelline Color Drama Velvet Lip Pencil and a Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar PlumEverything you need for any essential touch-ups on the go.

Last up, a few more random items – my Roxy Sunglasses, in case spring decides to make an appearance any time soon, and a straw from Starbucks because I am incapable of drinking without one, without spilling all down myself. And that, ladies and gentlemen, c’est tout.

Let me know what your handbag essentials are by commenting down below!

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 06.21.43

* bought a bag *

Late again – golly I’m useless.

Five favourites

Place: The lacrosse pitch. It’s so nice to be back – even after a five-month break – and I can’t believe quite how much I missed it.

Food: It’s awfully bad for me but the Annie’s White Cheddar and Shells mac and cheese in a box. It’s just so delicious.

Experience: Honestly? Sleeping at the end of the week.

Read/watch: I have now finished American Horror Story and am on the look-out for something new to binge watch on Netflix so please do holler with any ideas!

Beauty bit: I’m sorry, I’ve said this before but the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. It’s the best liquid eyeliner in the world.  

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

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 06.22.15

* new make up loves *

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 06.22.47

* great marketing campaign *

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 06.23.11

* got pierced *

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 06.23.25

* if it has my initials on it, does that make it mine? *

IMG_0846* me and my new friends *

I’m going to start this post by stressing just how much I love New York. This city has so much more to offer than I ever imagined and I’ve met some seriously awesome people since I moved here – the majority of whom would never have come into my life back in the UK.

In other words, this place is ace.

However, I think one of the most difficult things about moving here – other than missing my friends and family something rotten – is the feeling that I’m missing out on so many different experiences back at home.

It sounds so silly, but I really do feel a surge of sadness even when I’m missing the most ridiculous of things – my friends having dinner without me, my family hanging out together, my former work colleagues going to an event without me, my lacrosse team taking to the field without me. You name it, I get FOMO because of it.

And I know, I know, that there are more than enough things for me to do here, experiences for me to enjoy, memories to make, and yet I just can’t help feeling like I’m missing out on stuff at home.

Now I don’t want y’all to think that I’m here crying into my pillow every night – seriously Mum, I’m fine – but I do want to be totally honest, moving to another country, no matter how brilliant, isn’t without its negative aspects, and there are a lot of things back home that I do miss. Equally, there are a lot of things here that I have truly come to love and enjoy.

Thankfully, the positives are far outweighing the negatives, so if a little FOMO is the worst thing to happen to me, I’ll count myself lucky.

IMG_0736

It will undoubtedly come as no surprise to you guys to hear that I have quite a large skincare collection currently weighing down my bathroom shelves. From cleansers to toners to serums (oh my!), it’s safe to say I’ve got all of the skincare bases covers – several times over.

And what I really love about my skincare collection is how varied it is – there are budget products, there are mid-range products and there are some pretty pricey high-end products. And while I care a lot about what I put on my face, and what I use to care for my face,  I think there is a bit of a misconception that the pricier, posher products are automatically going to be better for you.

Because, as much as I love my high-end products – all of which are ruddy brilliant when it comes to curing certain skincare woes – I also love the cheaper, more budget products in my collection – all of which are also brilliant at sorting out certain skincare woes.

For example, I’m a huge fan of my NUDE Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly which I find does a really great job of removing all of my make up, while giving my face a really good nourishing cleanse. It makes my skin feel soft and smooth, and it doesn’t sting my eyes or irritate them when I’m taking my mascara and eyeliner off.

However, during the summer, when my skin is naturally feeling a bit oilier and I want something slightly more lightweight, I turn to the No 7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel CleanerMuch like the NUDE alternative, this cleanser works wonders when it comes to getting rid of my make-up, and it provides my skin with a really nourishing cleanse – it’s just slightly less rich than the NUDE option. And it’s about a third of the price. But in this instance, price doesn’t really matter.

Both of these cleansers are perfect at sorting out my skin in different situations, and both have a special place on my top skincare shelf, no matter what price label is attached to them.

The same goes for the Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Mask and the Sanctuary Spa Deep Cleanse Facial 5 Minute Thermal Detox MaskWhen I’m after a spot solution that will really get down deep into those pores and clear out all the nasties – or sit on a spot and calm it down until all the redness and inflammation is gone – I opt for Aesop.

However, when I’m in a rush and want something quick, easy and oh-so effective, I turn to the Sanctuary option, which, again, is about a third of the price of the Aesop alternative.

Again, both products do their thang so so well, regardless of how much they cost.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, when you are out shopping for your next skincare must-have, try to see beyond the fancy packaging, luxurious appearance and high price points – and look at what the actual product inside does for your skin. In other words, look beyond the budget because really, whether it’s $1,000 or $1, it’s all about what’s good for you and your face.

IMG_0713 IMG_0714 IMG_0715

Seeing as I was on a bit of a haul-related roll, I thought why not bundle in a quick review of the new Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art Lid + Line + Lash.

Having been a huge fan of Revlon’s double-ended nail part products for ruddy ages now, I have to admit I was thrilled when I saw that they had come out with an alternative option for the eyes and immediately plumped for two colours – Desert Dazzle, which is a beautiful deep green, and Burnished Bling, which is the coppery shade.

And this time, in place of nail polish – obviously – the eye art products have an incredibly-pigmented cream eyeshadow on one end, and a glittery liquid eyeliner-esque product at the other.

Now in theory, I feel like this should be a fairly simple product to use – one swipe of the shadow on each lid, followed by a bit of glitter, and tick tick boom, you’re done. However, while the pigmentation and staying power of the cream eyeshadows cannot be faulted (seriously, they stick around forever), applying the product is a lot more complex and fiddly.

The eyeshadow dried really ruddy quickly, leaving you with hardly any time to blend the product into your lids before it sets, and sits there for all eternity. Indeed, the first time I tried these out, I fannied around for a bit after applying the shadow, went to blend a few minutes later and realised it had all set and left me with two weird coloured blobs of product on each lid. Not the nicest of looks, it has to be said. 

To be honest, adding the glitter at that point was really just a formality – nothing was going to save me looking like utter crap-o-la – but I went for it anyway, all in the name of a fair test, and it really wasn’t half bad. The precision brush means you can stick with a thin line, colour in the whole lid, or – a bit of a bizarre option – use it to decorate your lashes. Whichever works best for you.

All in all, I think these products are fun, I really do – and if you’re looking for some long lasting staying power, combined with some fun colours, then these might just be the products for you. But when it comes to my day-to-day look, I think these are just a tad too fiddly for me to bother with each and every day…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,225 other followers

%d bloggers like this: