Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Fix Highlighting Sticks

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The worst thing you could say about my complexion? “Matte”. It’s a no-go area for me. Matte is flat, matte is crap.

What I love is a fresh, dewy, healthy glow – anytime of the year, for any and every occasion. My look just isn’t ‘done’ without it. And while I’ve been in a long-term love affair with No.7’s Instant Radiance Champagne Crayon for around three years now, there’s always room in my stash for another stick of glowy goodness to try.

Such space was made for the new-ish release of Revlon’s PhotoReady Insta-Fix Highlighting Sticks, which piqued my interested immediately. This collection currently comprises two shades – Gold Light and Pink Light.

I received Gold Light as part of a GWP just before Christmas, and while the shade is a little too dark and golden for my porcelain winter skin, I really loved the creamy formulation. One quick swipe of this stick, quickly smudged in with fingertips, creates a soft-focus glow that catches the light beautifully, without being at all glittery or sparkly. It takes a fair bit of smudging to get this shade to look natural on my skin, but I imagine that in the summer, or on a more olive-based skintone, it would work beautifully to create a really healthy, sunkissed radiance.

I ordered the Pink Light version this week to see how it would compete with the golden version, and this is much more suited to my winter skintone. This soft, pearlescent pink is really subtle on my pale skin and creates a beautiful soft glow. It’s subtle (it needs a few swipes to get a noticeable effect), and while it’s definitely sparklier than its golden sister, there’s still no obvious glitter particles. It just radiates. 

Overall, I really like both of the PhotoReady Insta-Fix highlighters; Pink Light is definitely more suited to my skintone but both shades are flattering and easy to blend. Creamy, velvety and perfectly radiant, either would be a sensible addition to make to your highlighter stash.

Have you tried the Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Fix Highlighting Sticks?

Monthly Favourites: January 2017

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MY FAVOURITE THINGS

SKINCARE

This month, my skin’s really been suffering from the effects of the chill here in Edinburgh; it’s been so dry and flaky, meaning my makeup’s been looking pretty darn rough too. For that extra dose of moisture every morning and evening, I’ve been reaching for the Hyasoft moisturiser from The Hero Project. This oil-free moisturiser is packed with hyaluronic acid and works to just add an extra injection of hydration underneath your regular moisturiser. It’s been a lifesaver for my flaky nose and chapped cheeks!

BEAUTY

Beauty-wise, January for me has been about taking it back to that retro 60s aesthetic that I adore. Every now and again I find myself straying and becoming the sort of person who wears a bronze smokey eye – and then I remember that I’m definitely not that person, and hastily reach back for the black eyeliner. Big lashes are a key part of this look for me, and my new favourite mascara find comes courtesy of Revlon’s new mascara range – in particular the Dramatic Definition mascara. Two coats of this results in thick, black fluttery lashes to rival Twiggy, and while it’s not waterproof, it lasts really well, with no smudging and just a tiny bit of flaking after a few hours’ wear. For the price, it’s a great purchase.

NEW PURCHASE

Ok, so technically I didn’t purchase this, it was a Christmas gift, but it’s still one of my new favourite things. This beautiful Zodiac Journal from Anthropologie caught my eye the second I spotted it and now it has pride of place on my bedside table, perfect for jotting down my thoughts and ideas. It’s vegan leather, so perfect for everybody, and comes in this metallic grey, rose gold, blue and white variations depending on your starsign, with the constellation embossed in gold on the front. It also comes with a rose gold pen tucked into the side which is super stylish and makes quickly scribbling down ideas too easy to resist.

ITEM OF CLOTHING

As I mentioned above, this month has been all about getting back into that vintage vibe that I love. One of my new year’s resolutions was to have fun with my wardrobe again, and abandon the tidal wave of jeans and jumpers currently coursing through my closet, so I’ve been making sartorial choices that embrace the sixties look I prefer. This gorgeous pale blush blouse from La Redoute has a concertina-style frilly collar and cuffs, and makes me feel like I’m cycling through Paris circa 1964. Ticking all the boxes, then.

SHOP

La Redoute is firmly back on my radar this month, it has to be said. Their sale was amazing, and I managed to pick up a few pieces that otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to stretch to, like the blouse I mentioned above. After payday I’ll definitely be logging in again to snap up some homeware too, ready for a spring update in the flat.

TV SHOW

The Crown is my new obsession! I knew I would love it and yet it still surpassed my expectations. If you haven’t watched it yet then I am firmly urging you to do so! It’s just such a lavish production, beautifully made and a stellar cast – the perfect thing to watch on chilly January evenings.

MUSIC

This month there isn’t a particular favourite music-wise, as we’ve spent the month rediscovering old favourites! We came home from a family Hogmanay with a new (old) record player in tow, and finally we have a proper setup for music. We had a few records lying around but now we can start collecting proper; my first purchase was AM (because why not?) and then I ordered Souljacker as part of Lewis’s birthday present too. Next on my shopping list (aside from all the albums ever) is Lianne La Havas’s album, Blood. It’s the most lush sound, really full and just gorgeous, so I’m looking forward to hearing what it sounds like on vinyl!

FOOD & DRINK

Despite going on the wagon this January and joining in with the typical losing-weight-getting-fit saga that’s wending its way throughout the country, we’ve had some pretty fabulous meals this month. Mostly because it was Lew’s birthday, and we travelled back down to London for it. My favourite meal was his birthday dinner at The Ivy in Covent Garden, where we enjoyed crispy duck, chicken liver pate, roast chicken, swordfish and even a little platter of salted caramel truffles at the end. Plus, the most delicious rose and hibiscus champagne cocktail that was utter joy to drink!

TREAT

My treat this month was a foodie one too, I have to be honest. On the morning of Lewis’s birthday I booked a cosy corner at Dean Street Townhouse for breakfast; it’s one of my favourite spots for something special and I knew he would love it. We got a great table, tucked away from the hustle and bustle (and, as it turns out, it was the table next to a certain Andrew Garfield and a certain Emma Stone…) and enjoyed the most indulgent of birthday breakfasts. It was pricey, as you’d expect, but it was definitely a real treat that we both enjoyed. The poached eggs were perfection – I’m still Instagramming them weeks later!

The Dreamiest Candle Find

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In winter time, when the nights are dark and chilly, there’s nothing I like better than to snuggle up on the sofa and light a cosy candle that fills the room with warmth and a delicious fragrance. As soon as I light one, I feel cool and calm and just that little bit more grown-up.

My latest candle obsession comes in the form of Anthropologie’s Illume Boulangerie Jar Candles, in the fragrance Angel Food. It has such a luxurious, enveloping scent that I just can’t get enough of – even when it’s not burning, I find myself wandering over to the jar to give it a sniff and breathe in that delicious smell.

Angel Food is described as ‘sweet vanilla, butter and caramel’, which sounds sickly I know, but it’s a far warmer, richer scent than it is sweet. It has divine depth and a buttery warmth that I really love, it’s a truly decadent infusion of fragrances. I don’t especially like anything too sweet or synthetic in my candles, and this is neither.

The other main aspect that I love about this candle is the presentation; the porcelain jar features a pretty Parisian-inspired design stamp, and I know I’ll be using this for storage long after the candle has burned down.

If you’re looking for a little treat to pep up these last grey days of January, I’d highly recommend the Angel Food Illume Boulangerie Jar candle – I’ll see you at Anthropologie!

My New Favourite Fragrance

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Perfume is such a treat for me; it’s one of those luxury purchases that can’t usually be justified, but when the time is right, it’s an unadulterated indulgence. Stella McCartney perfumes are usually one of those huge indulgences for me, but in the sales this year, I managed to snap up the newest Stella scent for a steal, and it’s rapidly become a new favourite on my dressing table.

POP by Stella McCartney is gloriously feminine and unashamedly so, but there’s a darker, sexier undertone to this fragrance which takes it back to classic Stella territory. I should say that my all-time favourite fragrance is the original Stella EDP, with its sensual layers of dusky rose – it’s the sexiest perfume I could imagine.

But POP is lighter, fresher and more girlish, the ideal daytime fragrance.

POP blends tuberose with sandalwood, and picks out specific notes of the two, for an unexpectedly bright, crisp and vibrant scent. For me, it really does ‘pop’!

I love the bottle too; an art-deco inspired pink-stained glass bottle, similar to the classic Stella bottle design, but updated and topped with a bright pink polka dot atomiser. Again, its unabashed in its femininity  and it really stands out against other designs on the shelf for being so contemporary and colourful, yet chic.

The gift set that I purchased also came with a 7ml perfume roller, which is absolutely perfect for travelling and being out and about (and that’s hot pink too!).

Fresh, modern and sweetly seductive, POP by Stella McCartney is one indulgence that I definitely recommend you splash out on.

Have you tried POP by Stella McCartney?

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipstick

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REVLON ULTRA HD MATTE LIPCOLOR

I’ll admit that I’m pretty late to jump on the bandwagon on the liquid lipstick front. After months of seeing velvety matte pouts all over Instagram, and friends boasting about how their lipstick didn’t move, no matter how many cups of tea they sank each day, I decided the time was ripe for me to try one out for myself.

I’ve really been enjoying Revlon’s products recently; I’ve converted to not one, but two Revlon foundations, and their new mascara range is also bringing me deep joy, so it was a foregone conclusion that I’d opt for their liquid lipstick offering too, popping the Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor into my basket.

First up, I love the way this is packaged, it looks so sleek! I love the frosted glass but also that you can see the product inside and know instantly which shade you’re grabbing/how much is left of it. The super-secure lid is another bonus, especially if you carry dozens of lipsticks in your bag all day long like I do! The applicator is a slightly square-shaped doe-foot style, which is much broader than a traditional doe-foot and makes slicking the lipstick on quickly a breeze.

But enough about the presentation, let’s talk about the product itself. I chose the shade Flirtation, which is a gorgeously zingy, peachy coral shade. Punchy and ever-so-slightly Parisian, I could instantly imagine it paired with dewy, fresh skin and blacker-than-black fluttery lashes. I’m fairly pale in skintone and this positively bounces off of my skin; I can imagine it would pop beautifully on darker skintones too, but more olive-toned ladies might want to opt for something less yellow-based.

In terms of formula, the Revlon Ultra HD Matte has good and bad points. On a good day, it’s a plush, velvety formula that sets fairly quickly (although not as quickly as other brands that I’ve tried since) and looks great for hours. I find it needs topping up after a couple of hours, or after a meal, but when you check the mirror, you’ll still have far more colour on the lip than you might expect to. It doesn’t slide or smudge off of the lips and lives up to its promise to keep lips hydrated yet matte.

However, there are some aspects which aren’t so great. As I alluded to above, the formula doesn’t set as quickly as you might like, meaning you have to be very careful for the first ten-fifteen minutes and keep checking that the lipstick hasn’t smudged on to your teeth! Also, the formula can sometimes dry up at the edges and corners of the lip, balling and creating a not-so-pretty flaky effect. It can be managed with regular application of lip balm but it’s not always ideal when you’re on the go.

On the whole, I’d recommend the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolour; for the price it’s a great product, and any flaws with the formula can be dealt with without too much hassle. With careful application and a little bit of maintenance, you’ll be rocking a plush velvety pout for not very many pennies at all!

A Wardrobe Wishlist: Shopping The Sales Part 2

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Last week I shared with you my favourite picks from the sales for party outfits and special items, perfect for those occasions that require something a little fancier. Today I’m being a little more practical, sharing those pieces that have caught my eye that would slot right into an everyday wardrobe.

I made  a resolution this year to fall back in love with my wardrobe; to pick pieces that were perhaps a little more flamboyant than a Tuesday afternoon generally calls for, to always feel ‘dressed up’ and good about what I am wearing. I think many of us fall into the trap of ‘jeans, jumper and trainers’, and I am certainly guilty of this. So my selections here are all about adding a little extra pizazz into the day-to-day, something with a bit of sparkle or flair to take an everyday outfit to the next.

Breton tops are a wardrobe staple for me, but I feel like I’ve probably overworn them in my time. This navy blue style is easy enough to throw on every day but the little detail that really swings it for me is the ribbon back; so feminine, so French, sold! With this bargainous blue leather flap bag from Mango worn nonchalantly on the shoulder, this is the ideal kind of weekend outfit for me.

Prints and patterns are a simple way to add a bit of ‘wow’ to your wardrobe, and this tapestry-inspired jacquard miniskirt would instantly jazz up a simple black top and tights combo. It’s got just the right amount of retro flair to be super wearable too.

Interesting, day-to-day tops are a bit of a wardrobe must-have for me, and there’s a bit of a dearth of them in my closet at the moment. What I am constantly on the hunt for are blouses and tops that go with skirts and jeans, and can be worn for work or play, changed around, always comfortable and always flattering. I’m not asking for the world… But these two are right at the top of my wishlist. The blue Lovell blouse from the M&S Archive by Alexa collection is down to £16 in the sale, and it’s got just the right amount of detail to make an outfit interesting. I’d pair this buttoned-up blouse with a black mini and Chelsea boots for that scrumptious 60s swing I lust after. Similarly, this classic black Peter Pan collar blouse would work with any number of outfits for an instantly-chic look. Add these bargainous boots to the mix and that’s a serious style update right there.

And of course, any day-to-day wardrobe needs those items that aren’t just for the daily grind. For days out, weekend adventures or just Saturday brunch, there’s those pieces that aren’t super-dressy but just add a little bit of oomph for the occasion. This confetti-spotted culotte jumpsuit is one such piece; wear it over a white blouse for easy weekend chic, or go bare-shouldered and pair with stacked heels for a great afternoon/evening ensemble. And while this pretty pink frock would be dreamy for any day of the week, you could also add it to the list of pieces to wear for those ever-so-slightly dressier occasions too. The blush tone is perfect for spring, and I adore the ruffled collar and crochet details. It appears that SS17 will be a raging retro-mania for me!

 

A Wardrobe Wishlist: Shopping the Sales Part 1

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The sales might be a tricky one to navigate – with ever-decreasing discounts so you’re never sure when to take the plunge, to knowing when to swoop and grab that last must-have in your size, it can be a bit of a minefield.

Personally, I like to divide my sales shopping up into two categories to try and make it a little more organised; I prefer to separate my searching into ‘daywear’ and ‘partywear’ categories. Otherwise I find my shopping basket overflowing with sequins and lace, jumpers and jumpsuits and just not sure what can be worn where and with what. Separating the load into pretty daywear and luxe basics, and glitzier pieces perfect for a night on the tiles, makes it so much easier to know where the gaps in my wardrobe are and what I need (and what I don’t, but will probably buy anyway!).

So for part one of my Sales Wardrobe Wishlist, I’m going all out on the glitz front. Yes, party season may be over, but this is the perfect time to stock up on those glam purchases perfect for nights out, parties and special occasions to see you through the year to come.

Looking at my wishlist, I’m not steering far from my favourite colours; pink, navy and black, with a healthy dose of gold and silver – I’d recommend this way of shopping, picking things in your staple shades as it means they’re far more likely to be worn!

I’ll start with possibly the glitziest piece on the wishlist; this silver sequin sweater from Topshop. It’s the perfect way to jazz up a pair of jeans and would look dreamy paired with messy hair, black jeans or leather leggings, and this sleek Chloe lookalike leather shoulder bag from H&M.

Also from H&M is this blush satin party dress – which is currently winging its way to me and cost just £8.99! Spending so little on such a statement piece makes great fashion maths – this fancy, flouncy frock won’t get worn much but the cost per wear will automatically be so low that it doesn’t really matter.

Not so good on the cost-per-wear scale is this funnel-necked black and silver sequin mini dress, bedazzled with stars. It’s down to £60 in the Topshop sale, which I still think is pretty pricey for a party dress, but it won’t stop me getting all starry-eyed over it… Also starry but much cheaper is this pretty monochrome blouse, which is currently £8 at Boohoo. It’s sheer with a plunging neckline, and would be such an easy piece to throw on for dinner or cocktails, low-key with jeans or you could amp it up with some statement trousers or some stunning shoes, like this gorgeous gold ankle boots which are currently around £16 from H&M.

Finally, a jumpsuit is a great piece to wear for weddings, parties or just a night on the town. This navy velvet pleated numbernavy velvet pleated number from Topshop is just £20 and is super chic; subtly 70s, and navy looks good on everyone. I think this would be so easy to throw on for a last-minute night out and still be the best-dressed person at the bar!

What’s on your wardrobe wishlist? Stay tuned for part two, my daywear sales edit too.