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…

About these ads

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.

Nails1 Nails2

One of the worst parts about preparing for my impending move to New York – other than waving goodbye to my family and friends – is working out how to pack my entire life into just one single suitcase. We’re talking everything here ladies and gentlemen; clothes, shoes, handbags, make up and skincare. All of it. Into one bag. *Panic breathes*

So in order to avoid a full on breakdown – I’m pretty close, I won’t lie - I’m currently focusing on filling one big bag, which I’ll bring over on my flight, and then a load of other boxes and bags that I can ship over to arrive a month or so after I get there.

When it comes to packing that first bag, I’m working around a capsule collection mentality, putting together the essentials that will tide me over until all of that magical shipping goodness arrives. Surprisingly, when it came to clothes, eliminating items really wasn’t that easy. And actually, neither was my make up selection – which is odd because I thought that would be one of the hardest categories to try and cram in. Skincare on the other hand…? I think we’ll leave that for another post entirely and in the meantime cover another tricky category – nails.

As I’ve mentioned previously, my nail polish collection is huge. Enormous if you will. So trimming it down to just a few key bottles has proved harder than I ever thought possible. But somehow I’ve managed to get it down to just five polishes. Five. Tiny. Polishes. 

First up is a firm favourite and one which I know will work well on my nails no matter what the season – or the country – Deborah Lippmann Flowers in Her Hair (£16)This apple-y mint green shade is one of my all-time favourite colours ever and has adorned my nails on more occasions than I’m able to count. Similarly, Essie Take It Outside (£7.99) serves as one of those ideal day-to-day shades that can be worn at any time which makes it the perfect capsule collection addition.

Moving on to something a bit more bold – Revlon Parfumerie Bordeaux (£6.49)which is just the most beautiful burgundy red colour that is perfect for autumn. And I’m hoping that it might also work in a more festive setting when paired with the Nails Inc Kensington Church Street Snowflake Polish (£16)which is not only the most Christmassy nail polish ever but will also hopefully remind me a bit of home thanks to the cute name.

Last up are another two more festive-themed additions – which I think also work really well for a glitzy night out on the town. OPI Bondettes Goldeneye and The Spy Who Loved Mean ever-so-slightly glamorous pairing of shimmery bright red and glitzy gold – yet another favourite choice for that Christmassy time of year.

What do you guys think of my capsule nail collection? Am I missing any key colours!? There might still be time to squeeze in an extra bottle…

SB2SB3SB1

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…

TheBestofBeauty20134

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 *

Night1 Night2 Night3 Night4

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.

Superdrug1 Superdrug2

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.

Haircare1 Haircare2

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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