Halloween1 Halloween2

Happy Halloween everyone! 

In honour of this most spooky of holidays, I made my first ever trip to Target to stock up on a few Halloween – and non-Halloween – essentials.

Now, for those of you that haven’t been to Target before, I found it to be unlike anything we really have in the UK. First of all, it’s ruddy huge. I don’t know if that’s just the one that I went to in particular, or whether that’s the case with all Target shops but I was actually quite surprised at just how large it was.

Then I realised the shop’s enormous size was probably due to the fact that it sells pretty much anything and everything you could ever really need. Genuinely. Halloween costumes? Check. Christmas decorations? Check. Food? Check. Beauty? Check. Homeware? Check. The list goes on. And on. And on! 

Needless to say it was quite the struggle to try and prevent myself from buying the entire shop. Particularly in the beauty section.

For one, however, I actually managed to resist temptation and picked up just a few solitary items from the make up and skincare shelves – most of which were genuine ‘can’t live without these essentials’ such as cotton wool pads – I’ve never been able to find the exfoliating cotton pads in the UK and always stock up whenever I’m in the US – toothpaste – always Crest/Oral B. Always – and a toothbrush.

So far, so restrained.

Then we get onto the more frivolous items… A Nyx Butter Gloss – in Praline, it’s great – and a Wet Brush – which I’ve been dying to try for such a long time now and spoiler alert it’s brilliant – some sweets (or candy) – including BIRTHDAY CAKE M&Ms, possibly the best chocolately treat to ever be invented.

And last but not least, there was no way that I could spend so many hours in Target and not pick up one of their many Halloween-inspired items in the form of this super soft pumpkin blanket which, in addition to adding a bit of Halloween chic to the flat, has been keeping me warm and cosy ever since my weekend Target trip.

I hope you all have a very happy Halloween. Mwa hahahaha.

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CarryOn1 CarryOn2 CarryOn3

I don’t know about you guys but flying absolutely destroys my skin. Destroys it. Post-flight – particularly the long-haul ones – I’m left with dry skin, angry blemishes, oily patches and a dull, lacklustre complexion. It’s quite the sight, I’m tellin’ ya. 

In an attempt to stem – or perhaps even prevent…! – all that nastiness, I’ve developed a bit of an in-flight skincare ritual which works to provide my skin with as much TLC as possible while I’m in the air. Stored away in my brand new, super fancy Anya Hindmarch In-Flight Transit Case (£150), each of the products was chosen to tackle a different skincare concern.

And, because of the snazzy case design, I also got to take some ‘Touch Down’ make up essentials to help hide the horror of my airplane face when I landed at JFK…

So, we’ll start with the ‘Take Off’ essentials:

  • A travel pack of face wipes to remove any make up and airport grime
  • A refreshing face toner – the Caudalie Beauty Elixir is my one and only in this instance
  • Some kind of intensive moisturiser – Weleda Skin Food is one of my favourites
  • And/or a face oil
  • A moisturising mask. I took and used the Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Sheet Maskmuch to the horror of my fellow passengers who must have thought I was trying on my Halloween costume early
  • Hand cream
  • Cuticle oil
  • Spot treatment – just in case any in-air blemishes decide to appear, which they did
  • A soothing treatment, such as the This Works Sleep Balm or the Liz Earle Superskin ConcentrateAnything that will help you to feel more calm and relaxed during the flight

As you can see – there’s a lot of hydrating goodness in that line-up… And a mere seven hours later, the products had all worked their moisturising magic and I was gearing up to land in JFK.

The ‘Touch Down’ essentials (depends on if you can be bothered with make up or not!):

  • Concealer to hide any blemishes/dark circles
  • Powder to add some additional coverage and tone down any redness
  • Blusher to help boost some colour if you’re feeling a bit tired and pale
  • Bronzer to do the same – thank goodness for my travel size Nars Laguna Bronzer
  • Eyeshadow, if you’re really feeling fancy
  • Eyeliner and mascara, ditto – the travel size Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes is a dream
  • A tinted lip balm such as the Revlon Lip Butter in Papaya
  • Your favourite fragrance, scent or body spray, preferably in travel size

So, there you have it. Just remember to keep all your liquids under 100ml, sit back and enjoy the flight. It’s the destination that’s the thing…

IMG_8066.JPG* nyx butter gloss // $5 *

I won’t lie to you – there is a lot of beauty brilliance going on here in the ole US of A. Every time I’ve walked into a Walgreens (think of it kind of like Boots…) or a Target (more on that fun later), I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of choice and the number of new and exciting products.

But after arriving in the US, there was just one product in particular that I was seriously eager to lay my hands on: the Nyx Butter Gloss ($5)I don’t know what it is about this lip gloss, but I have been so desperate to try it for such a long time that when I spotted a Nyx counter during my first ever Target trip, I went a bit mad. Sadly others seem to have had the same idea because almost all of my most lusted-after colours were gone. Sob.

Thankfully, I managed to scoop up one – Praline, a natural dusty pink which looks pretty darn good if I do say so myself! Formula-wise, the gloss is as great as promised. Lightweight, non-sticky, pigmented, smooth and nourishing. Everything I look for in a lip gloss.

The one drawback, in my opinion, is the slightly overly sickly sweet scent. It might not bother a lot of you, but I find it a tad overwhelming each time I open the bottle. But, it fades pretty quickly so luckily not a major enough problem to put me off the rest of the product’s brilliant qualities.

Now to find somewhere with a larger stock of colours…

 

Cleanse

Another day, another beauty slim-down.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, it wasn’t just my nail polish collection that took a hit during my move to the Big Apple, even my cleansers had to be culled. Sob.

Now this may not seem like a slimmed-down selection to you – five cleansers?! I hear you ask – but believe me when I say this is just the tip of the skincare iceberg as far as my usual arsenal is concerned…

So, which made the cut? Well, in preparation for what I’m told will be one of the coldest winters I’ve ever experienced – there had better be snow at Christmas… - I’ve opted to bring almost all balm-type cleansers with the exception of the Clarins Extra Comfort Anti Pollution Cleansing Creamwhich is, in my opinion, just as nourishing and caring as a balm but with the added bonus of helping to fight the effects of all that NY smog.

Then there is my favourite basic balm, the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing BalmSturdy, reliable and no-frills, this bad boy has been through everything with me – and has always left my skin feeling ace. Even after tackling a whole face of fancy dress make up. I have a feeling this one will be coming out on Halloween…

Then there is the No 7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanseranother rich and nourishing no-frills formula that rids my skin of any and all make up, including waterproof mascara. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to get hold of this out here – I know there is some No 7 stuff available but not a huge amount – so felt I had to pack it. Just in case!

Same with the Nude Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing JellyThis stuff is just a dream to use – the formula is incredible, the packaging sleek and basically there was no way I was going to leave it behind. Not only does it cleanse, I feel like it also cares for my skin and that’s something I’m going to need during the next few months of wind, rain and snow.

Last up, another favourite – the Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting CleanserNow, I’ll be honest, this pot is pretty heavy and if the cleanser inside wasn’t so ruddy brilliant, I probably would have sacrificed this in favour of adding a few more pairs of pants. TMI? But the cleanser is just epic, there was really no question when it came to packing it along with the rest.

So, there you have it, the New York cleanser collection. Now to hit Sephora and stock up on a few more…

JoMalone1* jo malone wood sage and sea salt cologne // £80 *

My flight to New York was something of a bittersweet experience – saying goodbye to my mum and G at the airport was horrendous and I spent much of my time in the security line sobbing awkwardly by myself. It was a bit awkward… When I got through to the departure lounge however, it struck me that, despite how horrible it felt having to leave them both behind, it was actually a memory that I wanted to hold on to – to remember how much we all cared about each other and how, despite all the distance, all that love was still there, just as strong.

In my opinion, fragrances and scents have a way of holding on to memories like no other beauty product can. Just one quick whiff of certain scents conjures up a whole world of images and experiences that I sometimes had long forgotten. So I went off in search of the perfect perfume to capture all the intense emotion that I was feeling then and there in that airport terminal – and happened upon the Jo Malone stand, home of some of the world’s best smells.

Having sniffed almost every bottle on offer, I came across the new Wood Sage and Sea Salt fragrance. It was perfect. Fresh, a little bit woody yet fruity at the same time, it’s like no other scent that I own – or will likely own for that matter. And I knew it would be one that both my mum and G would like. Neither are a fan of the sweet scents and my mum isn’t a huge spice fan; Wood Sage and Sea Salt hit the scented nail on the head, so to speak.

As you may be able to tell, I’m not particularly skilled at describing scents, so I’ll leave it to Jo to finish the description off…

Escape the everyday along the windswept shore. Waves breaking white, the air fresh with sea salt and spray. Alive with the mineral scent of the rugged cliffs. Mingling with the woody earthiness of sage. Lively, spirited and totally joyful.

Sounds pretty good to me.

*spritz spritz*

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* saying goodbye to these guys was so super sad *

I’m here, I’m here! I made it to the US with all three suitcases in one piece, hip hip!

The past few days have been crazy. Crazy crazy. And my head is still in a bit of a spin trying to think about it all. But for now, a few of my favourite bits from the last week…

Five favourites

Place: Home. I miss it so much already.

Food: Crumpets with butter and marmite – otherwise known as my last ever breakfast on British soil.

Experience: The journey over here.

Read/watch: I finally got around to watching Maleficent on the plane and it. is. awesome. I cannot recommend it enough. Angelina Jolie is superb.

Beauty bit: My plane favourite – the Weleda Skin FoodHello mega moisturiser.

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

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* new city, new phone case *

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* lush lusting *

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* best. smell. ever. *

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* taking a piece of london with me thanks to whistle & bango *

And one for luck…

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* saying goodbye to this guy was one of the hardest things ever. ever ever. *

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Apologies for the lack of normal post today ladies and gents, packing kind of took over my life…

But I’m at the airport, ready to roll and the next time I post, it will be coming at y’all from the US of A.

See you guys on the other side…

Oils1 Oils2 Oils3 Oils4 Oilws5

As y’all know, I suffer somewhat with seriously blemish prone skin. It is without a doubt my biggest skincare concern and I’ve spent hundreds – possibly even thousands – of pounds on various treatments, creams, gels, lotions and potions that promise to improve it.

Well after all that money and all that time spent testing and trialling various products, I’ve realised that what works best for my skin is actually a balanced routine, filled with products to not only target blemishes, but also care for and nourish my skin. And one of the key ingredients in that routine is a good face oil.

Now I know that sounds bizarre – an oil to treat oily skin? – but I promise, it really does work a treat. You see the thing with my skin is that, in addition to all the blemish issues, it was incredibly dehydrated. My logic for so many years had been: oily skin = blemishes, dry skin = no blemishes. Which I now of course realise is completely ludicrous. What was happening was that my dehydrated skin produced even more oil in an attempt to rehydrate itself and I ended up with even more spots and pimples. It was a bad time, skincare wise.

Then I finally realised what was going on – thanks in large part to Caroline Hirons, as per – and completely re-jigged my routine to include a whole heap of nourishing oils, which I use every evening either as my one hydrating step, or if my skin is feeling a bit dry, as a bonus layer underneath my moisturiser. And I can’t begin to describe the improvement. While I still suffer with spots – and may do forever, who knows – the rest of my skin is so much healthier and happier. Plus my spots tend to clear up quicker, don’t scar like they used to and are far less sore and red. You can’t really ask for much more than that, eh?

Now there are a massive number of oils out there – and it’s really about finding what works best for you. A few of my favourites include the Pai BioRegenerate Rosehip Oil, which is great for helping to decongest the skin and treat redness, the Nude ProGenius Treatment Oil, which is an all round good ‘un that hydrates and soothes the skin (and hair and nails if you fancy sharing the love), the Tarte Maracuja Oil which provides a great big dose of intensive all-natural hydration, and the Rodial Super Food Facial Oil, which is the newest of the bunch but thus far has been an absolute delight to use. Sadly the price tag means I may not be buying it again, but we’ll see.

But whichever oils you use, please do give ‘em a good old go if you think you might me suffering from dehydrated skin. You and your skin will be oh so grateful, I promise.

Blush1 blush2* tarte amazonian clay blush in exposed c/o £23 *

Now that my face has reached an ultimate level of pallor – it’s become quite Caspar-esque - some of my most-loved summer blushes just aren’t working for me anymore. The brighter, bolder pinks have sadly been moved to the bottom of the pile, ready to return along with the sun, and in their place I’ve been relying on pretty much just one single product, the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush

This warm, dusty pink is so subtle and natural on the face but still manages to add a much-needed dose of colour to your complexion. It has a slight bronze-y tint to it which really helps to warm things up, particularly during these frosty winter days, and I’ve even tried using it in place of my usual contour powder on a couple of occasions and it really works quite well. Tis a proper multi-tasker!

As with all of the Amazonian Clay Blushes, the formula is delightful, feels super smooth and buttery on the skin, lingers all day long and isn’t at all powdery or cake-y. And while it’s not going to provide the brightest pop of colour to your cheeks, I think this subtle finish works a whole heap better for the autumn months – particularly if you’re as pale as I am and can’t be bothered to fake tan…

Primer1 Primer2

There comes a time in every beauty lover’s life when you happen upon a product – or in this case, a pairing of products – that just works so perfectly, you can’t ever imagine your make up arsenal without them.

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to stumble across one such perfect product pairing, quite by accident as luck would have it. Thanks to my upcoming move – which is taking place in just a matter of days, eek - my stuff is a bit all over the shop. Some is at home, some is at G’s – and rest? Who knows. So when it comes to my daily make up routine I’ve been thrown somewhat out of my comfort zone and have occasionally had to turn to products that might not normally get a second glance.

Enter the Nicka K Perfecting Eyeshadow Primer (£4.99)which I actually picked up in a Glossybox a few months ago and then abandoned at the back of a drawer behind all my other primer products. Well after those other primer favourites went walk about, I whipped this bad boy out to try and holy moly was I impressed. The lightweight formula feels just like the much pricier NARS alternative and it helps to keep eyeshadows looking so super smooth and crease-free, I actually gave my eyelids a little nod of approval the first time I came home after wearing this stuff for a day.

And while it works wonders with pretty much every shadow I’ve tried so far, none offer quite as cracking a result as the Maybelline Color Show Mono Eyeshadow in Lustrous Beige (£4.99)I popped this product into my Boots basket on a whim a few months ago now and, much like with the primer, hadn’t paid it a huge amount of attention since. But when I found myself in desperate need of a one-stop eyeshadow solution, it filled the gap pretty quickly, offering a smooth, buttery, metallic finish that is just so ruddy beautiful.

Sheeny – without actually being too shimmery – pigmented – without being chalky – it’s just a great eyeshadow option, and when paired with the Nicka K primer, it does. not. budge. We’re talking 12+ crease-free hours after which my eyeshadow looks almost identical to the moment I first walked out the door, even the if the rest of my face has slipped off in the sweaty tube conditions.

Simple, speedy and oh-so effective, this one is a perfect option for all you guys and gals with little time to spare each morning. Trust me when I say you won’t regret it.

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