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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?

About these ads

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Well hello there! I just wanted to pop up a quick post and apologise for the lack of posting action this week. I’m sure some of you couldn’t care less – and I’m sure others didn’t even notice posts were missing! – but it bums me out when I can’t keep up with my regular posting schedule and I hate the feeling that I’m neglecting the blog.

But sadly, sometimes, life gets in the way a bit and I have to focus my attentions elsewhere. While I would love to make this my sole day-to-day work focus, at the moment I have to work it round a demanding, full-time job (which I love and wouldn’t trade for all the world) and that can make it a bit tricky to keep up with my posting schedule at times – particularly in this past week.

So in place of a proper post, I thought I’d share with you a couple of photos from a wedding that G and I went to yesterday. It was such an incredible day, the bride looked beautiful, the groom looked very dapper and all in all it was just a splendid day.

I’ll be back with a bang tomorrow – promise promise – but until then I hope y’all enjoy the rest of your weekends!

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* re-reading for the hundredth time *

This week has gone by in a bit of a blur. A lot of late nights and work issues have all combined to make the whole thing a bit stressful and manic and I feel like I have a hundred and one things to do and nowhere near enough time to do them. While I’m a bit sad that this weekend doesn’t look like it’s going to be any calmer, I’m really excited for some of the stuff I have coming up – including a wedding of some friends and the first lacrosse match of the season. So even if I get no sleep, at least I’ll be having fun… Right?

Five favourites:

Place: We did a work photoshoot at an amazing studio space in East London yesterday and I had the best time wondering around the gardens looking at all the incredible spaces. I’d love to make a return trip with my camera one day…

Food: I know I’m late to the party but HELLO the Cotton Candy Grapes from M&S. Those things are awesome.

Experience: I’m not quite sure what to put for this one – it doesn’t feel like I’ve done anything especially out of the ordinary. Here’s hoping the weekend makes up for that!

Read/watch: I’m still cracking on with The OC – Marissa and Ryan 4eva - but I’ve also branched out back into books and am thoroughly enjoying Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.

Beauty bit: Without a doubt it’s been the Revlon Lip Butter in Red VelvetThe weather may be sunny but I am embracing those Autumn colours either way.

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

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* i need this phone case in my life immediately *

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* mid-blogging cupcake break *

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* new favourite fall shade *

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* an amazing photoshoot location *

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My face is back! And still not quite perfectly healthy just yet – so apologies for the less than perfectly perky appearance – but I just couldn’t wait to whip on some of my autumnal beauty favourites and share with y’all one of my tip top make up looks for this time of year.

Base-wise, it’s all pretty much of a muchness – I’m still using and loving the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation (£32.50) along with the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22) - but it’s on the eyes, cheeks and lips where some true autumnal goodness makes an appearance. On the eyes, I’m all about eyeshadow for autumn and I’m really enjoying playing with new colour combinations at the moment. My current favourite duo is the L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush ($7.99) all over the lip – the coppery amber shade reminds me of the rusty orange colouring found in autumn leaves – mixed up with a pop of purple in the crease. The Aveda Petal Essence Eye Colour in Aubergine (c/o £12.50) is a brilliant option for this as it gives a really great hit of colour that can be sheered out or built up, depending on your preference.

When it comes to the cheeks, I tend to steer clear of summery peaches and light pinks during the colder months and instead whip out a selection of deeper blush shades, some of which even have a tiny hint of purple in them, like the Topshop Metallic Cream Blush in Pulse (c/o £7) which is just the most beautiful shade; it adds the perfect amount of flush and sheen to the cheeks, while still looking nice and natural. It’s just dreamy.

In the lips and tips department, I’m all about the burgundies, deep bricky reds and rich berry tones for autumn. Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet (£7.99) is one of my absolutely favourite lip products at the moment – particularly when paired with a deep wine colour on the nails, such as the Revlon Parfumerie Nail Polish in Bordeaux (£6.49)

Last but not least, I top it all off with a rich autumn fragrance – in this case, Diptyque Eau Duelle (£72) which is the most amazing and unique spicy vanilla scent. It’s one of my all-time favourite cold weather perfumes and I thoroughly recommend giving it a good sniff and a spritz next time you’re near a Diptyque counter.

What do you guys think of my autumn look? Any suggestions for other products I should try out?

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While the weather is actually surprisingly mild for September – props England, this weather is great – it has started to get a wee bit chiller round these parts of late and as such, I’ve started making a few adjustments to my skincare range in anticipation of the colder months.

I don’t know about you guys but in the wintry weather, my skin tends to get a lot more dreary and dull – a combination of the chilly weather, bitter winds and the sniffles that seem to be part and parcel of this time of year. So in order to give my complexion a bit of a boost, I turn to the Indeed Labs Pepta Bright (c/o £29.99), which works to add a bit of natural radiance to dull and tired-looking skin, and The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Reviver (£15) which brightens the complexion and gives skin a delightful glow that I find oh-so hard to maintain during winter.

Now onto hydration, a vital part of any cold weather skincare routine – whether your skin is oily, dry, combination or all of the above. Just remember, hydration is key to healthy and happy skin. While my skin is normally pretty blemish-prone and leans more towards the oilier end of the scale, I like to give it an extra whack of moisture during the winter months in order to ensure it doesn’t dry out or become dehydrated. I swap my normal, lighter face oils for the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil (£20) which is slightly heavier and more nourishing – ideal for combatting any winter dryness. Similarly, if the winds are really starting to howl, I’ll add on a layer of the Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturiser ($65)This moisturiser is targeted specifically at oilier, more acne-prone skin types and is aimed at providing you with the perfect boost of hydration, without any of the oiliness that can aggravate blemish-prone skin.

When it comes to cleansing, I also like to add something a bit more nourishing into my routine – and that’s where the Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream (£22) comes in. Rich and creamy, this cleanser helps to ensure skin stays completely hydrated and nourished, while also making sure your complexion is free from any and all dirt and make up. An all-in-one wonder in other words

Last but not least is a much-loved multi-tasker, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (£21)This stuff has been my go-to cold weather cure-all for years now and I can’t imagine living through the colder months without it. Chapped lips, sore cuticles, dry hands, dehydrated skin – you name it, it cures it and in doing so has earned itself a reputation for being one of the most trusted beauty products out there. And rightly so.

What skincare bits will you be adding into your routine this autumn?

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As I mentioned yesterday, I spent most of Fashion Week hidden away under my duvet fighting off a bad case of strep throat – living the dream! - but I did manage to make my way to one show, Jean-Pierre BraganzaI was invited to the show by the lovely people over at Nair who were sponsoring the show and working their magic backstage in order to ensure that the models strutting their stuff on the runway were doing so with only the smoothest of skin – courtesy of the new Nair Argan Oil Collection

Nair’s skin specialist Victoria Bond went wax mad behind the scenes of the show, ensuring that each of the models received a perfect pamper treatment before they took to the catwalk, along with hair experts Toni & Guy and the make up mavens from MAC. Now normally I’m not a fan of home waxing – the fear about pulling off the strip usually means I’m left with it stuck to my body for far too long - but in this case I might be able to make an exception. I’m a big ole fan of Argan Oil and according to Victoria it works wonders on your legs in terms of nourishing and hydrating the skin.

Now on to the show itself; I am by no means a fashion expert – shocking, I know - but I thought the show was really ruddy awesome. Full to the brim of sleek and chic monochrome brilliance, the whole thing just worked. And unlike a lot of fashion shows, I could actually see myself wearing a lot of the designs. So do feel free to send some over Mr Braganza.

All in all, a delightful solo show with which to celebrate LFW SS15. And a huge thank you to Nair for having me!

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While I’ve spent most of London Fashion Week holed up in bed – cheers for the memories Strep Throat - rather than out and about at shows, I’ve been able to keep up with a lot of the action on Instagram and Twitter and have spent hours stalking all of the various catwalk shows and backstage beauty bits.

One of my favourite beauty looks from LFW SS15 was modelled on the runway during the Topshop Unique show and featured a natural glowing complexion, subtly flushed cheeks and – my favourite element – a smudged burgundy lip which, according to Topshop Beauty Consultant, Hannah Murray was meant to look as though ‘he models had been snogging boys at the bus stop’. Cheeky.

And while I know these looks are technically supposed to predict what we’ll all be wearing come Spring, I feel like this deep burgundy lip is the perfect trend to pick up for Autumn, along with the rosy cheeks which help to create the look of a wind-induced flush that is ideal for the colder months. As soon as the show had come to an end – or the Insta coverage of it at least! – I had a good ole rootle round in my lipstick stash to see what burgundy-esque options I had available and to my surprise came up with a fair few products.

Ideally to recreate this look you want a matte/gloss-free finish lip product which really helps to replicate the smudged, kissed-off appearance. Now I’m not a huge fan of matte finish lip products – no matter how hard I try I feel like they just dry out my lips – but had some really good results with MAC Brick-O-La (£15.50), Estee Lauder Pure Colour Long Lasting Lipstick in Plum Couture (£21) and with the Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet and Cherry Tart (£7.99)all of which work really nicely when blended on with a finger rather than straight from the bullet.

If you want something with a bit more of a shine to it, then the Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain in Parisian Passion (£7.99) or the No 7 High Shine Lip Crayon in Berry (£9) are both really good options. Using your finger to blend them down will take away some of the shine and leave you with that ‘smoodged’ effect that worked so well on the Topshop models.

Due to my current sniffly status, I couldn’t bear plonking myself in front of a camera to demonstrate, but as soon as I’m back in action, I’ll pop up some photos of my own attempts, promise promise. Until then, I leave you in the capable hands of Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn…

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I don’t know about you, but over the past few days, it’s really started to feel more like autumn to me. The weather is noticeable cooler, the nights are darker and the leaves are slowly starting to turn a bit brown. And to be honest, I’ve been really rather excited about this change of seasons this year; we’ve been so lucky with the weather all summer – we’ve had actual sun! - and I think that’s made me all the more ready to embrace all that autumn brings. Cozy jumpers, candles, hot chocolates – the whole shebang.

So with that in mind, I thought I’d dedicate this week of posts to the coming autumn months, kicking off with some new autumnal additions to my make up stash from one of my favourite beauty brands, Tarte. While I’m a big ole fan of adding warm winter wear into my wardrobe – love a good scarf and hat combo - it’s really the seasonal beauty additions which get me most excited and this new(ish) drop from Tarte is no exception.

My favourite bit from the bunch is the Tarte Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder (c/o £29.50)a loose translucent powder that comes complete with one of the softest powder brushes I have ever used. It’s amazing. The powder itself is also pretty immense. It feels like air on my skin – and yet manages to smooth over my make up and banish unwanted shine, leaving my complexion looking about as flawless as it’s ever going to.

Then there’s the Tarte Prismatic Eye Color Enhancing Shadow Palette (c/o £29) which is tailored to suit individual eye colours and comes available in Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes and Green Eyes. And while I actually have blue eyes, I’ve decided to shake things up a bit and embrace the brown eye palette (I know, I’m wild). Eager to try out some colours that I wouldn’t usually use – the blue eye palette is made up of brown-y neutrals – I’m really enjoying testing out the purple-toned shadows included in this palette. Formula-wise, they’re a dream. Buttery smooth and long-lasting, I’m a big fan.

I was prepared to be a bit meh about the Tarte Eyelash Curler (c/o £14) – mainly because I’m so head over heels for my Japonesque one – but I have to admit, it’s not half bad. They’re springy ones, which means they naturally stay apart and I think this makes it a bit easier to get your eyelashes in there pre-curling. They’re not quite as wide as the Japonesque ones but leave my lashes looking pretty darn curled after use, so I’m not going to complain!

The only item in the collection that I’ve found a bit difficult to get to grips with is the Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer (£24). I love the concept of this product – an easy-to-use colour correcting formula which glides on to the skin, reduces pores and generally leaves your skin looking sweet as anything. My issue is that it really doesn’t seem to work underneath make up which makes the primer aspect a bit redundant. It has quite a slippery texture which isn’t an issue when it’s used solo but underneath make up, it gets a bit slide-y.

So at the moment, I’ve resigned it to the back of my beauty drawers and will pull it out on those days when my skin is feeling and looking good and I just want a bit of help smoothing it over and perfecting it – not that this happens too frequently, I’m sorry to say. On those fine days, with a bit of powder on top, it works a real treat.

Make sure you tune in again tomorrow for the next instalment of autumn-y goodness…!

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My skincare routine has changed pretty radically over the past few years. From those (admittedly awful) days of just using facewipes and nothing else – I KNOW - to a slightly more impressive cleanse, tone, moisturise structure and then on to what I’m working with today which is decidedly more complex but also really ruddy wonderful on my skin.

One of the most key components of my updated regime, if you can call it that, is the double cleanse. Having gone all those years thinking just the one cleanse was plenty to rid my face of any nasties, my skincare world – routine – was turned on its head when I discovered Caroline Hirons’ super skincare blog and dipped my toe into the double cleansing world for the first time. I haven’t looked back. And while I’m no skincare expert – far from it in fact – I thought I would share with you guys my thoughts on the whole double cleanse trend, as well as offering up my thoughts on some good double cleansing duos that you might like to try.

The way I like to think about the double cleanse is as a two-step system to a) remove all the make up and surface dirt from your face and b) actually get down to some proper helpful work on your skin once all that bad stuff is out of the way. If you just do the first step and not the second you’re skin might be clean on the surface, yes, but you’re missing out on the most important part – what happens underneath all that make up and dirt.

With that in mind – and I’ll admit it’s a quirky and unique take on the double cleanse! – I like to tailor my cleansing duos to fit this basic formula. Cleanser one is likely to be a balm or an oil, something which will break down make up and dirt and leave my face feeling fresh and clean, but also nourished. Cleanser two is more often than not a bit lighter in texture and is usually targeted at tackling one or more of my skincare issues. Most often that’s blemishes but it can change from week to week.

My current favourite combo is the Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser (£24) which is a really unique soft jelly texture that melts down into an oil on your skin, removing any and all traces of make up. Then it’s on to the First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay (£18) for a deep and complete cleanse. This brilliant formula leaves my skin feeling brilliantly clean – right down to the ole pores – but isn’t at all drying. It’s a dream solution for anyone looking for a blemish-busting cleanser that won’t leave your face feeling horrible and tight.

So there you have it, the double cleanse. Any other fans out there with some cleansing combos to share?

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* the cutest invite ever *

Holy moly is returning from holiday hard. This week has hit me like a ton of bricks and I’m really looking forward to spending the weekend relaxing and enjoying some free time.

Five favourites:

Place: Boots. There are so many amazing new releases out in the drgustore at the moment (post coming soon!) and I spent a lovely time in my local Boots trawling through all the exciting products.

Food: I’ve had a seriously sore throat recently and it’s limited my food choices quite a bit. Luckily, Wasabi’s Miso Soup still fits the bill and I’ve been drinking it by the bucketload.

Experience: My holiday. It was just the dream.

Read/watch: I’m taking a trip down memory lane and indulging in some of my favourite old TV series. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the OC have both been high on my list of must-watch programmes of late.

Beauty bit: Technically not a beauty product as such, but I have to give a shout out to the Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey Candle (£38)It’s the last of my summery candle supply and I’ve been burning it as much as possible in an attempt to preserve a bit of summer spirit.

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

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* my first pumpkin spice latte of the season *

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* pure relaxation *

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* #tbt partytime with two of my favourite ladies *

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* flying *

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