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That’s right, another eyeshadow palette. And a neutral one at that. Who’d have guessed?! but bear with me on this one folks because I promise it offers something a little bit special.

Say hello to the Smashbox Full Exposure Travel Palette ($22), an itsy bitsy, credit card sized condensed version of the much talked about Full Exposure palette. Containing eight neutral tone eyeshadow shades, four matte and four shimmery, as well as a sizeable mirror, it is the perfect palette for use on the go, thanks to its incredibly compact size.

Now I’ll admit I never actually tried out the full size palette; I felt like it was so similar to products that I already owned and thought my hard earned pennies would be better spent on something else. But when this mini version popped up on one of my regular visits to the Sephora website, I knew immediately that I had to have it.

And I couldn’t be happier about my decision. Despite the incredibly low price ($22 is about £15), the shades are all beautiful, both in colour and formula. They glide on smoothly with great pigmentation and don’t crease or disappear though out the day. It has proved the perfect travel companion, both in terms of holiday adventures and days out and I’m so happy with the variety of looks that I’m able to create with the mix of shades.

In other words, I’m slightly besotted with it and have used little else on my eyes since getting my hands on this beauty a few weeks ago. At this rate I may not need to worry about shipping all my other palettes to NY. Maybe…

About these ads

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As I may have mentioned once or twice, I’m heading off to the big bright lights of New York City later on this month – EEK - and I could not be more excited. Or nervous. Or sad. There are a lot of emotions going on in there.

And while I can’t wait to get my beauty-loving paws on all the amazing American drugstores and beauty shops – hello Sephora! - I am quite sad about all the products here that I’m going to miss. So I want to do a big ole stock up on some of my favourites, and wanted to check with you guys and see what British beauty bits you think I should pick up.

Thus far, my list of assorted brands and products looks like this:

  • Barry M nail polish
  • Collection concealer
  • Bourjois (can you get Bourjois over there?!)
  • Soap and Glory – I know you can get some bits over there but they don’t have quite the same range
  • Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial – it’s even more expensive over there so definitely need to stock up now!

What else do I need to grab? Gimme some recommendations y’all…

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* munchkin pumpkin *

It was my last day at my job yesterday. Which means this whole New York thing is really happening, huh? EEEEEEEK.

Five favourites

Place: The Liberty Christmas hall. It’s a thing of actual beauty and I plan on making many more visits before I head over to NYC.

Food: I know it’s not technically a food, but I had my first Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks yesterday and it. was. great.

Experience: Getting my visa! WOO WOO.

Read/watch: I finally finished Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – it was ace, I shall be reviewing very soon – so I’m open to new suggestions peeps…

Beauty bit: The Sarah Chapman Overnight Exfoliating BoosterIt’s just unbelievable.

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

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* childish, but oh so fun *

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* leaving flowers *

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* get in ma face *

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* leaving drinks *

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As I was making my usual seasonal skincare switch-up in preparation for the colder Autumn months, I found a few product gaps in my normal day-to-day routine, namely in the evening skincare treatment department.

Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Caroline and her marvellous skincare blog, it’s pretty much become my personal skincare bible during the past year and whenever I have a burning skincare question, or a routine query, it’s Caroline’s website that I tend to turn to more often than not. This time I turned to her Routines Cheat Sheet in an attempt to pin-point what my own routine might have been missing.

Conclusion? Some nighttime treatments.

While I”ve been using the Indeed Labs Retinol Reface (£29.99) for a wee while now – as mentioned in my recent evening skincare routine post – I’ll admit I hadn’t really thought about it in a ‘treatment’ kind of way. But then I thought about all of the other skincare issues that I felt really needed some attention (blemishes, dull skin, blemish scarring) and decided that it would be worth investing in a few other treatment products to create a kind of tailor-made treatment rotation.

So in addition to the retinol – which tackles any emerging wrinkles and also helps to encourage healing, which helps to blitz the blemish scarring – I decided to finally take the plunge and purchase the Sarah Chapman Overnight Exfoliating Booster (£57)Now I won’t lie, this stuff is seriously pricey. But after months of agonising over whether it would be worth the cost, I decided to hell with it! and I’m really rather glad I did. Full of natural acids, this serum helps to rid your skin of any dead cells, calms and soothes any angry blemishes and leaves your face feeling seriously soft come morning. Plus you only need one or two pipette drops per use – so here’s hoping that little bottle goes a long ole way!

The third treatment in my newly-designed trio is one which has been praised to the moon and back by bloggers and beauty lovers the world over, the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (c/o £43)Another slightly pricey product, but one which does such lovely things to my face, I really can’t see that I’ll ever want to be without it ever again. Le sigh. Essentially, the ANR fills the gaps which the other two treatments might miss and is a bit more of a general skin-loving product, helping to tackle fine lines and wrinkles while hydrating the skin and leaving it looking generally quite lovely and glow-y. Don’t mind if I do.

With regard to usage, I’m currently using a pretty simple rotation system, changing things up as and when my skin is feeling particularly needy in one area, and I have to admit I”m pretty darn happy with how it’s going.

Consider me one smug skincare obsessive.

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Confession time. When it comes to drugstore beauty bits, I tend to almost always opt for Boots rather than Superdrug. And I’ll admit it’s been years since I really took the time to investigate what own-brand products Superdrug has to offer.

Well it turns out they’ve been upping their game somewhat in recent months and are slowly releasing a whole slew of exciting new own-brand bits – in addition to being the sole high street retailer for big launches like Zoella Beauty and Ruth Crilly’s Colab Dry Shampoo. And before anyone gets the wrong idea about this post, let me just make clear that it is in no way sponsored; I just wanted to share some Superdrug love for a few new products that I think are ruddy great.

First up is the most interesting of the lot, in my opinion at least, is the Superdrug Optimum Phyto Brightener Triple Action Illuminating Black Moisturiser (c/o £12.99)At first glance, I was convinced that this stuff was nothing more than a gimmick – a black gel-formula moisturiser that looks a bit like tar-flavoured jelly and disappears when you rub it into your skin. Errrrr… But I have to admit I’ve actually been quite impressed by this stuff in the few weeks that I’ve been using it. Lightweight, yet pretty darn nourishing with a soothing gel formula that doesn’t leave any tacky residue, it genuinely feels really lovely on my skin – and leaves my face feeling incredibly soft.

Then we move onto a whole skincare range – Superdrug Clearly Youthfulwhich is aimed at helping adults to tackle acne and blemishes, while also working to combine all that blemish-busting brilliance with some anti-ageing ingredients. And while I haven’t had the chance to road test all of the products, this exfoliating cleanser has certainly some hints of genius about it, not least because it is full to the brim of salacylic acid to help fight off any spots. Scent-wise, it’s ever so slightly chemical-y but not so much so that it will really be of any bother.

Last up is another vital element of skincare – supplements. The Superdrug Advanced Beauty Supplements (c/o £8.49) contain a whole heap of goodness – from basic vitamins to collagen to green tea – all of which will help your skin, hair and nails to be as healthy and happy as possible. I’ve been combining these with my usual intake of fish oils and, while I haven’t seen immediate results, I’m happy to know that I’m doing a little something else to give my insides a boost.

So consider me a Superdrug convert; while I won’t be abandoning my beloved Boots any time soon, I’ll certainly be paying its high street companion a fair few more visits in the coming weeks.

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While I’m a big ole fan of autumn, it does have a habit of wreaking a wee bit of havoc on my day-to-day beauty routines. Now usually it’s my skin that has the most negative reaction to the cold, damp weather, but this year it seems my hair is struggling just as much; in recent weeks it’s been dull, greasy and lacklustre and has thus spent much of the time tied back and hidden out of the way.

But after making a few super simple changes in order to revamp my haircare routine somewhat, I’m happy to report that my barnet is slowly getting back to its normal happy, shiny self *flicks hair*.

When it comes to tackling shine and texture, I’ve brought back some old favourites into the mix, which have really helped to add a much-needed somethin’ somethin’. First up is the Johnson’s Baby Shampoo (£1.10)super cheap and cheerful, yes, but also incredibly gentle and nourishing, providing the perfect level of TLC that my locks have been in such desperate need of. It leaves so residue, contains no nasties and just leaves hair feeling totally clean and healthy.

I follow that up with a conditioner – I haven’t quite found my perfect match here – and then a good old dose of the Aussie Miracle Recharge Luscious Long Lightweight Conditioning Spray (£4.49)which helps to make my hair feel so soft when it’s dry, even after I’ve used heat on it. It gives another good whack of moisture, tackles any dry ends and also smells delightful.

Last up is a treatment which I tend to use once a week – usually as part of a regular Sunday pamper – the Kiehl’s Magic Elixir (£25)which is aimed more at maintaining a healthy scalp, as well as helping to strengthen and nourish the roots of your hair. And it’s incredible what a difference it makes to the overall health of my hair, and its general appearance. Added shine, volume, softness – there’s not really much that this treatment can’t do.

Next thing you know I’ll be starring in my own shampoo ad *swish swish*

tarte1 tarte2* tarte holiday palette 2014 c/o *

That’s right ladies and gents, that wonderful time has arrived when all the amazing bits of festive beauty brilliance start popping up in shops, on shelves and online, ready to be swept into your basket or onto your Christmas list.

It’s one of my favourite times of year – for so many reasons – and I’m always so excited to see all of the new products that appear during the autumn and winter months. The festive season seems to motivate beauty brands to push the boat out, innovate, create new things and generally just wow and delight beauty lovers everywhere.

And this new Tarte Holiday Palette is no exception. Due for release next month (I think exclusively through QVC for UK-based peeps, Sephora for those in the US), the 16-piece palette contains the most beautiful buttery eyeshadows in such a brilliant variety of colours. All are neutrally-inclined but there are the odd pops of autumnal/wintery purples and greens. In other words, this palette is pretty much all you need in your arsenal to create any manner of looks, from something subtle and suitable for the daytime to a more dramatic and bold for the evening. While the majority of shades are matte, there are also a few shimmery shades thrown in there for good measure.

Packaging wise, it’s not the most amazing; I’m used to Tarte products arriving in beautifully-decorated wooden cases, but in this case the cardboard  feels a bit flimsy. Luckily the lovely shades inside detract from the outer appearance and it’s lightweight and incredibly slim which makes it ideal for travelling.

I think it might be love. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what other festive delights lie in wait in the coming months…

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* hello lover *

It’s been a long week, but an interesting one.

Now to enjoy the weekend – before heading into my last week of work in my current job. Eeeek.

Five favourites

Place: The bath. Before I head of to countries new, I have to work my way through a whole heap of bath goodies, including a fair whack of Lush goodness, and given how chilly the weather has been recently, I’m very much enjoying spending as much time in a hot bath as possible.

Food: I’ve had such a massive craving for cookies this week and only the Ben’s Cookies Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Cookies have been able to satisfy them.

Experience: I spent the evening watching my beautiful friend Lilah doing her interviewing thang at the Melissa Shoes store launch on Thursday night and couldn’t have been prouder seeing her interview the likes of Kate Moss (KATE MOSS!) and Georgia May Jagger.

Read/watch: I was so happy to see Zoe AKA Zoella gracing the pages of this month’s Vogue magazine. That girl is doing such amazing things at the moment and it’s incredible to see someone so nice doing so ruddy well.

Beauty bit: During the past few weeks, I’ve fallen back in love with the Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips. That may or may not have something to do with the cute vintage tins that are currently popping up on shelves, who knows?!

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

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* blogging, planning, vogue-ing *

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* lipsticks and porter mag *

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* rocking my custom dairy queen tie dye *

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* hats and fun things *

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Cleaning my make up brushes is without the beauty process that I enjoy the least. I don’t know why but I just find the whole thing so tedious and time-consuming – trying to get all the make up out of them without risking the glue going bad and the bristles all falling out, it’s my idea of a nightmare.

But as my ongoing struggle with blemishes has shown little sign of slowing down any time soon – although they are now much less frequent, hurrah – I’ve come to the realisation that I need to be a whole heap more rigorous about ensuring that my make up brushes are as clean as bloody possible. Because really, if they aren’t, they are essentially just working against you and your cleansing routine and moving a whole load of nasty bacteria around your face. EURGH.

So in order to make the task slightly less arduous and more enjoyable, I’ve come up with a few quick tips to keep the brush-washing boredom at bay:

* Use the time to catch up on YouTube/TV/films/audiobooks. Because really brush washing doesn’t take up so much of your concentration that you can’t enjoy something else at the same time.

* Make it a regular part of your routine. The more you wash your brushes, the speedier you’ll get at it, the more familiar it will feel and the happier everyone will be. I’m currently aiming to wash mine once a week… Who’s with me?! 

* Opt for a sweetly-scented soap. It just makes the whole experience more enjoyable if I’m honest – hence the beautiful rose fragranced Dr Bronner’s soap currently being employed as the prime brush washing liquid by yours truly.

* Dry your brushes lying flat, bristles over an edge. Let the bristles breathe, don’t dry them facing up so the water seeps into the glue and you should be golden and ready to roll with the make up come morning.

So there you have it – a few simple, but seriously effective – brush washing rules. Any others I should bear in mind for next time?

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At last the cold weather has rolled on in – and sadly the rain has come with it – the leaves have started to fall and autumn is well and truly upon us. So in celebration of this long-awaited seasonal shift, I whipped out some new additions to my make up stash in the form of the Chanel AW14 collection.

Now I’ll admit, despite being a mega fan of the brand, I don’t actually have many Chanel beauty products in my stash. I have a couple of nail polishes which I’m not overly keen on (CHIP. CITY.) and one of the cream eyeshadows which I love. But that’s about it – until recently when I decided to invest, shall we say, in a couple of the products from the latest seasonal line up.

Say hello ladies and gents to the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Full Colour Lipstick in Aura (£25) and the Chanel Les Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in Poésie (£40)two of the priciest, swankiest, most luxurious beauty products in my collection. Hold me while I swoon. So the price tags are really rather high – but believe me when I say they are seriously worth it because both of these products are so lovely to use and wear and honestly make me feel oh-so fancy every time I whip ‘em out.

I was slightly worried that the lipstick would be too dark for my wimpy tastes but I’m happy to report that it applies really nicely and is so balmy that it can be used either as a sheer wash – blended out with your finger to really blot it down – or built up to create a much bolder berry-stained look. Perfect for these cold weather days.

And when it comes to the eyeshadow quad, I don’t think I have a single negative thing to say. The pinky-toned shades are all incredibly wearable day-to-day but can be built up to create a more mauve-inclined smokey evening eye if that should take your fancy. The shadows apply beautifully, last brilliantly throughout the day – particularly when paired with a primer – and generally just look and feel wonderful.

Can you tell I’m a bit obsessed?! As with all of these sorts of swanky collections, these products are limited edition BUT there are still some available so if you’re keen… GO GO GO. 

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