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I’ve always been acutely terrible with money; I’ve always been one of those girls that falls for the ‘buying things will make you happy’ scenario. As I hit my twenties and embarked on a new journey in the city, I realised that my spending habits had to change if I were to survive, and more pertinently, get out of my overdraft debt. I also realised that this spending money and happiness thing was only a quick fix; like a drug if you will, a quick thrill and then I was back where I started.

KATE SPADE CEDAR STREET STACY WALLET
Over the last couple of years I have made it my goal to get out of my overdraft. The student debt however, I have learnt to live with because I’m just never going to pay it all back so I don’t really see it as that much of a burden. What I am sick of though is seeing a big minus sign next to my statement, even after I have gotten paid. I’ve been pretty strict with myself and haven’t allowed myself to buy stuff I don’t need this year; which basically means my whole bank statement refers to ‘Sainsburys, Aldi or Tesco’. If I do ever buy clothes, it’s from Primark (totes nothing wrong with that btw) and if I buy make-up, it’s justified because something has run out. I’m also not a total hermit, so I go out for dinner and drinks with friends every so often ‘cus I live in London and have to enjoy it or there’s no point – YOLO and all.

KATE SPADE CEDAR STREET STACY WALLET
It’s an achievement for me that I’ve made a dent in my overdraft in the last year but recently I had the urge to get spendy and go on a shopping trip whereby I – for once - allowed myself to purchase some bits that I didn’t need; things that I just wanted. I work hard and sometimes I need to reward myself instead of beating myself up because I’m not yet in the clear. I’m sure a lot of twenty-somethings can relate. I mean it’s not like I am going to be able to buy a house any time soon so why not buy other pretty things?

Don’t worry, I still got a huge bout of buyer’s remorse and I didn’t go too crazy; I didn’t splash out in Moschino or anything (sadly!). What I did buy - and to the point of this post (I know, I ramble) - is this drop-dead gorgeous Kate Spade New York Cedar Street Stacy Wallet. Now, you may think this was a rather unnecessary purchase but it was totally justified (kind of). I needed a summer coloured purse (yes really, my other is green for winter) and also it was in the sale. I also did the ‘how much do I really want it’ test, whereby I saw it, it was the only one left, and I left it in the store. I then continued my shopping trip. If I thought about it a lot (I did!) I would go back at the end of the day. If it were still there I would buy it. It was there, I said fuck it, and I bought it. Isn’t it beautiful? I couldn’t say no. I of course got that hit of post-purchase endorphins, but I still feel pretty good. It’s a really handy size and as someone who never has cash, the many card slots are very useful. I also adore the colour; I feel since it was the last one, it was destined for me. I can’t wait to go to New York next year and finally get a Kate Spade handbag to match.

KATE SPADE CEDAR STREET STACY WALLET
Have you bought anything exciting recently?

A Little Slice of Luxury // Kate Spade Cedar Street Stacy Wallet

I’ve always been acutely terrible with money; I’ve always been one of those girls that falls for the ‘buying things will make you happy’ scenario. As I hit my twenties and embarked on a new journey in the city, I realised that my spending habits had to change if I were to survive, and more pertinently, get out of my overdraft debt. I also realised that this spending money and happiness thing was only a quick fix; like a drug if you will, a quick thrill and then I was back where I started.

KATE SPADE CEDAR STREET STACY WALLET
Over the last couple of years I have made it my goal to get out of my overdraft. The student debt however, I have learnt to live with because I’m just never going to pay it all back so I don’t really see it as that much of a burden. What I am sick of though is seeing a big minus sign next to my statement, even after I have gotten paid. I’ve been pretty strict with myself and haven’t allowed myself to buy stuff I don’t need this year; which basically means my whole bank statement refers to ‘Sainsburys, Aldi or Tesco’. If I do ever buy clothes, it’s from Primark (totes nothing wrong with that btw) and if I buy make-up, it’s justified because something has run out. I’m also not a total hermit, so I go out for dinner and drinks with friends every so often ‘cus I live in London and have to enjoy it or there’s no point – YOLO and all.

KATE SPADE CEDAR STREET STACY WALLET
It’s an achievement for me that I’ve made a dent in my overdraft in the last year but recently I had the urge to get spendy and go on a shopping trip whereby I – for once - allowed myself to purchase some bits that I didn’t need; things that I just wanted. I work hard and sometimes I need to reward myself instead of beating myself up because I’m not yet in the clear. I’m sure a lot of twenty-somethings can relate. I mean it’s not like I am going to be able to buy a house any time soon so why not buy other pretty things?

Don’t worry, I still got a huge bout of buyer’s remorse and I didn’t go too crazy; I didn’t splash out in Moschino or anything (sadly!). What I did buy - and to the point of this post (I know, I ramble) - is this drop-dead gorgeous Kate Spade New York Cedar Street Stacy Wallet. Now, you may think this was a rather unnecessary purchase but it was totally justified (kind of). I needed a summer coloured purse (yes really, my other is green for winter) and also it was in the sale. I also did the ‘how much do I really want it’ test, whereby I saw it, it was the only one left, and I left it in the store. I then continued my shopping trip. If I thought about it a lot (I did!) I would go back at the end of the day. If it were still there I would buy it. It was there, I said fuck it, and I bought it. Isn’t it beautiful? I couldn’t say no. I of course got that hit of post-purchase endorphins, but I still feel pretty good. It’s a really handy size and as someone who never has cash, the many card slots are very useful. I also adore the colour; I feel since it was the last one, it was destined for me. I can’t wait to go to New York next year and finally get a Kate Spade handbag to match.

KATE SPADE CEDAR STREET STACY WALLET
Have you bought anything exciting recently?
A few years back, if you were to mention the word glaze when talking about a lip product, I would have been just as put off as if you had proposed a lip gloss; I’m kinda terrified of the wind challenging my hair stick to my lips and serving me up a hair ball for lunch. Fast forward a few years, and I’ve actually become quite fond of the gloss and glaze formula, mainly because - unbeknown to my teenage self - not all glosses have to be the cheap, sticky nightmares found among the isles of the local Claire’s Accessories.

However much I wanted to be, I also wasn’t a fan of the *let’s sting the shit out of your lips* plumping glosses. To get to the point of this post, and putting all my teenage woes aside, I’ve recently been trying the new Zelens Lip Glaze (£29)* and *wait for it*… I don’t hate it. The new Zelens Lip Glaze claims to be a long lasting, collagen-building lip formula that provides mega shine. The product has also been infused with Volulip, a combination of a high-performance tripeptide and the botanical extract Portulac Pilosa (also known as kiss me quick). To translate, I am pretty sure this is the ingredient, if not very similar, found in those wonderful lip plumpers we used to force ourselves to try in hope of - what would be today - the Kylie Jenner lip.

Zelens Lip Glaze
This formula is definitely nothing to be wary of as the tingling is only very very slight, and it was more of that minty tingling you get if you get strong toothpaste on your lips. Y’know what I mean right? If not, humour me. I see this as a slow lip plumper; over time with continued use you may notice a comparable difference in plumpness but definitely not instantly. The Lip Glaze’s give a very nice subtle wash of colour that lasts a reasonable amount of time (I have the shades Rose, Nude and Rouge out of the five available) and they’re really moisturising, tacky but not sticky and are great for that toned down - rather kissable - summer look. The Zelens Lip Glaze formula is also jam-packed with anti-oxidants to help shield against environmental aggressors - pretty nifty, oui?

An image of Zelens Lip Glaze

An image of Zelens Lip Glaze Swatches: Rose, Nude and Rouge

Kiss Me Quick // Zelens Lip Glaze

A few years back, if you were to mention the word glaze when talking about a lip product, I would have been just as put off as if you had proposed a lip gloss; I’m kinda terrified of the wind challenging my hair stick to my lips and serving me up a hair ball for lunch. Fast forward a few years, and I’ve actually become quite fond of the gloss and glaze formula, mainly because - unbeknown to my teenage self - not all glosses have to be the cheap, sticky nightmares found among the isles of the local Claire’s Accessories.

However much I wanted to be, I also wasn’t a fan of the *let’s sting the shit out of your lips* plumping glosses. To get to the point of this post, and putting all my teenage woes aside, I’ve recently been trying the new Zelens Lip Glaze (£29)* and *wait for it*… I don’t hate it. The new Zelens Lip Glaze claims to be a long lasting, collagen-building lip formula that provides mega shine. The product has also been infused with Volulip, a combination of a high-performance tripeptide and the botanical extract Portulac Pilosa (also known as kiss me quick). To translate, I am pretty sure this is the ingredient, if not very similar, found in those wonderful lip plumpers we used to force ourselves to try in hope of - what would be today - the Kylie Jenner lip.

Zelens Lip Glaze
This formula is definitely nothing to be wary of as the tingling is only very very slight, and it was more of that minty tingling you get if you get strong toothpaste on your lips. Y’know what I mean right? If not, humour me. I see this as a slow lip plumper; over time with continued use you may notice a comparable difference in plumpness but definitely not instantly. The Lip Glaze’s give a very nice subtle wash of colour that lasts a reasonable amount of time (I have the shades Rose, Nude and Rouge out of the five available) and they’re really moisturising, tacky but not sticky and are great for that toned down - rather kissable - summer look. The Zelens Lip Glaze formula is also jam-packed with anti-oxidants to help shield against environmental aggressors - pretty nifty, oui?

An image of Zelens Lip Glaze

An image of Zelens Lip Glaze Swatches: Rose, Nude and Rouge

Cancer charities have - and always will be - close to my heart so I am always very supportive of the charities and products that donate to the cause. Over the past week or so I have been trying the make-up brushes from worldwide cancer support charity, Look Good Feel Better. This is an absolutely brilliant charity that dedicates its time to building the self esteem, confidence and wellbeing of people undergoing treatment for any kind of cancer. The charity aims to improve patients’ self image and appearance through free groups and self help skincare and make-up workshops. The Look Good Feel Better Brushes, created by brush specialists Bespoke Europe, see an 8-12% donation to the charity, with a set lump sum assured to be donated. I have really enjoyed testing out the brushes and putting them to use and thought I’d run through the collection and my favourites. There are 12 professional quality make-up brushes in the range, all of which have been hand made using precision cut brush heads and soft taklon bristles, making them allergy free, cruelty free and suitable for sensitive skin. Each brush also features a weighted handle with the logo and brush name embossed.

An image of Look Good Feel Better Brushes
THE MAKEOVER BRUSH SET (£24.99)*
Probably the most handy set of the bunch is the make-over brush set, which includes four brushes in a handy travel case.

Powder Brush - I really like this large, rounded brush because it’s just the right size. I find some powder brushes can take over your whole face, but this is ideal for dusting loose or pressed powder for a smooth, natural-looking finish.

Finishing Brush - A soft bristled, flat brush that I have been using to make sure my foundation and powders are blended down into my neck, as well as for blending out my contour when I have been slightly heavy handed (come on we’ve all been there, right?). It’s a really handy brush to have in your kit.

Tapered Blending Brush - A hand-sculpted brush designed for contouring and shading. Its tapered tip allows you to accurately buffer for increased definition. Perfect for contouring down the nose, but I have also been using with eyeshadow, perfect eye blender.

Detail Brush - Again, great for the eyes or precise contouring/highlighting. This works really well at placing highlighter down the bridge of the nose and brow bone.

An image of Look Good Feel Better Brushes The Makeover Set
THE MULTI-TASKING BRUSH (£11.99)*
This can be used for absolutely anything; powder, blusher and bronzer. I have been using this for blush because it picks up just the right amount of product and makes it easy to blend for subtle cheek action.

FOAM APPLICATOR WAND (£10.99)*
I have tried many foamy type brushes before, and none have ever lived up to the beautyblender or any other make-up sponge. I just find them quite awkward to use. This one is quite soft and sqidgy (so much so it feels like it’s going to bend off while applying product - it doesn’t FYI!) but I am sorry to say that I still don’t love it. The sponge has been designed with a pointed tip and a flat edge, which is meant to evenly apply foundation and concealer to areas with precision. So this is definitely no good - for me - for foundation application; it takes too long to blend, however - when used damp - it’s great at blending out concealer under the eyes. The sponge is really soft and feels nice on the skin, but I am just not wowed. It has its uses like I said, for concealer, but i’ll probably just stick to my beautyblender unless I am traveling (this is good for that to ensure no product from the sponge gets on your hands). A bit hit and miss I suppose.

Overall though, a great brand with a great cause if you're in the market for new brushes (aren't we always? I always am!)

Make-up Tools With A Good Cause // Look Good Feel Better

Cancer charities have - and always will be - close to my heart so I am always very supportive of the charities and products that donate to the cause. Over the past week or so I have been trying the make-up brushes from worldwide cancer support charity, Look Good Feel Better. This is an absolutely brilliant charity that dedicates its time to building the self esteem, confidence and wellbeing of people undergoing treatment for any kind of cancer. The charity aims to improve patients’ self image and appearance through free groups and self help skincare and make-up workshops. The Look Good Feel Better Brushes, created by brush specialists Bespoke Europe, see an 8-12% donation to the charity, with a set lump sum assured to be donated. I have really enjoyed testing out the brushes and putting them to use and thought I’d run through the collection and my favourites. There are 12 professional quality make-up brushes in the range, all of which have been hand made using precision cut brush heads and soft taklon bristles, making them allergy free, cruelty free and suitable for sensitive skin. Each brush also features a weighted handle with the logo and brush name embossed.

An image of Look Good Feel Better Brushes
THE MAKEOVER BRUSH SET (£24.99)*
Probably the most handy set of the bunch is the make-over brush set, which includes four brushes in a handy travel case.

Powder Brush - I really like this large, rounded brush because it’s just the right size. I find some powder brushes can take over your whole face, but this is ideal for dusting loose or pressed powder for a smooth, natural-looking finish.

Finishing Brush - A soft bristled, flat brush that I have been using to make sure my foundation and powders are blended down into my neck, as well as for blending out my contour when I have been slightly heavy handed (come on we’ve all been there, right?). It’s a really handy brush to have in your kit.

Tapered Blending Brush - A hand-sculpted brush designed for contouring and shading. Its tapered tip allows you to accurately buffer for increased definition. Perfect for contouring down the nose, but I have also been using with eyeshadow, perfect eye blender.

Detail Brush - Again, great for the eyes or precise contouring/highlighting. This works really well at placing highlighter down the bridge of the nose and brow bone.

An image of Look Good Feel Better Brushes The Makeover Set
THE MULTI-TASKING BRUSH (£11.99)*
This can be used for absolutely anything; powder, blusher and bronzer. I have been using this for blush because it picks up just the right amount of product and makes it easy to blend for subtle cheek action.

FOAM APPLICATOR WAND (£10.99)*
I have tried many foamy type brushes before, and none have ever lived up to the beautyblender or any other make-up sponge. I just find them quite awkward to use. This one is quite soft and sqidgy (so much so it feels like it’s going to bend off while applying product - it doesn’t FYI!) but I am sorry to say that I still don’t love it. The sponge has been designed with a pointed tip and a flat edge, which is meant to evenly apply foundation and concealer to areas with precision. So this is definitely no good - for me - for foundation application; it takes too long to blend, however - when used damp - it’s great at blending out concealer under the eyes. The sponge is really soft and feels nice on the skin, but I am just not wowed. It has its uses like I said, for concealer, but i’ll probably just stick to my beautyblender unless I am traveling (this is good for that to ensure no product from the sponge gets on your hands). A bit hit and miss I suppose.

Overall though, a great brand with a great cause if you're in the market for new brushes (aren't we always? I always am!)
I have been a fan of Soap & Glory for as long as I can remember, instantly pulled in by their quirky, fun packaging and amazed by the product housed inside. When I got my hands on the Soap & Glory Drama Clean 5-in-1 Micellar Water (£6)*, at first I was shocked that I hadn't realised they had one sooner, how did I miss that? I have drenched my face in a number of micelles in my time, and have tried some horrors along the way (sorry L'Oréal). I had always said Bioderma was my favourite, closely followed by Garnier for the cheaper, more readily available alternative, but I think Soap & Glory has knocked Garnier off of its spot. Not only is the Soap & Glory Micellar Water packaged in a way that makes my eyes pop out of their sockets, but it's brilliant. So 5-in-1 you say? well, yes, according to S&G the product removes make-up, dirt and dead cells while peach and goji berry extracts help soften skin, cucumber refreshes and revitalises and cornflower extract calms the eye area (it doesn't sting my eyes thank the high heavens!).

an image of Soap & Glory Drama Clean 5-in-1 Micellar Water
This stuff removes everything. I mean everything, in one or two swipes. I found that I didn't have to scrub my eyes and removing liquid lipstick was as easy as anything. The scent is the only scent of a micellar water that is extremely pleasant for me - the peach and cucumber provide a subtle fresh fragrance that is extremely refreshing on the skin. For £6, you can't really go wrong can ya? This is a new micellar favourite for me and it's paraben, alcohol and soap free too which is always an added bonus! Have you tried the Soap & Glory Micellar Water?

An image of Soap & Glory Drama Clean 5-in-1 Micellar Water

Skin Loves // Soap & Glory Drama Clean 5-in-1 Micellar Water

I have been a fan of Soap & Glory for as long as I can remember, instantly pulled in by their quirky, fun packaging and amazed by the product housed inside. When I got my hands on the Soap & Glory Drama Clean 5-in-1 Micellar Water (£6)*, at first I was shocked that I hadn't realised they had one sooner, how did I miss that? I have drenched my face in a number of micelles in my time, and have tried some horrors along the way (sorry L'Oréal). I had always said Bioderma was my favourite, closely followed by Garnier for the cheaper, more readily available alternative, but I think Soap & Glory has knocked Garnier off of its spot. Not only is the Soap & Glory Micellar Water packaged in a way that makes my eyes pop out of their sockets, but it's brilliant. So 5-in-1 you say? well, yes, according to S&G the product removes make-up, dirt and dead cells while peach and goji berry extracts help soften skin, cucumber refreshes and revitalises and cornflower extract calms the eye area (it doesn't sting my eyes thank the high heavens!).

an image of Soap & Glory Drama Clean 5-in-1 Micellar Water
This stuff removes everything. I mean everything, in one or two swipes. I found that I didn't have to scrub my eyes and removing liquid lipstick was as easy as anything. The scent is the only scent of a micellar water that is extremely pleasant for me - the peach and cucumber provide a subtle fresh fragrance that is extremely refreshing on the skin. For £6, you can't really go wrong can ya? This is a new micellar favourite for me and it's paraben, alcohol and soap free too which is always an added bonus! Have you tried the Soap & Glory Micellar Water?

An image of Soap & Glory Drama Clean 5-in-1 Micellar Water
When I think of Oribe, I think of its cult classic, the Dry Texturising Spray. I know that product is loved by millions of bloggers, but I must admit I have never used it. I feel like I am missing out and need to rectify that next time I find myself in a Space NK store. I was recently introduced to the Oribe Cote d’Azur Luminous Hair & Body Oil (£65)* and Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color* and my hair has been loving them.

an image of Oribe Cote d’Azur Luminous Hair & Body Oil
I think my favourite product out of the two I have tried is the Oribe Cote d’Azur Luminous Hair & Body Oil, which is pure luxury in a bottle. What I absolutely love about this is that it’s totes multi-purpose; I’ve never had an oil that can be used on the hair and body before, but this is awesome. Not only does this smell divine - notes of Calabrian bergamot, white butterfly jasmine and sandalwood envelop the skin and hair, but it’s also really nourishing. My hair eats this up, but I must say you only need the smallest amount. The first time I used it I went a bit over board with the spritzer dispenser (another cool feature) and doused my mid lengths and ends with product. Let’s just say it didn’t sit very well on the hair and my hair felt very greasy. The next time I used it I only put in on the ends and blow-dryed it in and it worked a treat at bonding my split ends and making them look a lot less dry. The oil offers UV protection and is formulated with a restorative blend of nourishing oils, including sweet almond, meadow foam and starflower and doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates or sodium chloride. Thankfully for my purple tresses, it’s also colour (and keratin treatment) safe. I also like to use a tiny bit of this on dry hair, just on my ends. This is pricy, that’s my only negative, but for a luxury brand it’s worth it if you can afford it - it also looks super chic and fancy on the shelf (always thinking of the shelfie!). I prefer to use this on my hair as I think it will last longer that way, as when used on the body - although it makes skin feel and smell amazing - it dries really quickly so you end up using a lot of product.

Oribe Cote d’Azur Luminous Hair & Body Oil
Once a week - in place of conditioner - I have been using the Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color, which makes my hair super soft and like it’s been painted with a glossy top coat - not much different to a glazed Krispy Kreme actually (which is equally as yummy). Of course, the only difference is that my hair doesn’t smell of freshly baked, sugar-glazed donuts, but instead scented with Oribe’s signature Cote d’Azur fragrance. Again, the bottle insinuates nothing less than luxury, and the formula does wonders at brightening colour, conditioning and detangling. I can’t seem to find this stocked in the UK currently but I’m sure it will be landing soon at Space NK.

an image of Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color
Have you ever used Oribe products? What's your fav!

Oribe Hair products UK

NEW IN // Trying Oribe Hair Products

When I think of Oribe, I think of its cult classic, the Dry Texturising Spray. I know that product is loved by millions of bloggers, but I must admit I have never used it. I feel like I am missing out and need to rectify that next time I find myself in a Space NK store. I was recently introduced to the Oribe Cote d’Azur Luminous Hair & Body Oil (£65)* and Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color* and my hair has been loving them.

an image of Oribe Cote d’Azur Luminous Hair & Body Oil
I think my favourite product out of the two I have tried is the Oribe Cote d’Azur Luminous Hair & Body Oil, which is pure luxury in a bottle. What I absolutely love about this is that it’s totes multi-purpose; I’ve never had an oil that can be used on the hair and body before, but this is awesome. Not only does this smell divine - notes of Calabrian bergamot, white butterfly jasmine and sandalwood envelop the skin and hair, but it’s also really nourishing. My hair eats this up, but I must say you only need the smallest amount. The first time I used it I went a bit over board with the spritzer dispenser (another cool feature) and doused my mid lengths and ends with product. Let’s just say it didn’t sit very well on the hair and my hair felt very greasy. The next time I used it I only put in on the ends and blow-dryed it in and it worked a treat at bonding my split ends and making them look a lot less dry. The oil offers UV protection and is formulated with a restorative blend of nourishing oils, including sweet almond, meadow foam and starflower and doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates or sodium chloride. Thankfully for my purple tresses, it’s also colour (and keratin treatment) safe. I also like to use a tiny bit of this on dry hair, just on my ends. This is pricy, that’s my only negative, but for a luxury brand it’s worth it if you can afford it - it also looks super chic and fancy on the shelf (always thinking of the shelfie!). I prefer to use this on my hair as I think it will last longer that way, as when used on the body - although it makes skin feel and smell amazing - it dries really quickly so you end up using a lot of product.

Oribe Cote d’Azur Luminous Hair & Body Oil
Once a week - in place of conditioner - I have been using the Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color, which makes my hair super soft and like it’s been painted with a glossy top coat - not much different to a glazed Krispy Kreme actually (which is equally as yummy). Of course, the only difference is that my hair doesn’t smell of freshly baked, sugar-glazed donuts, but instead scented with Oribe’s signature Cote d’Azur fragrance. Again, the bottle insinuates nothing less than luxury, and the formula does wonders at brightening colour, conditioning and detangling. I can’t seem to find this stocked in the UK currently but I’m sure it will be landing soon at Space NK.

an image of Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color
Have you ever used Oribe products? What's your fav!

Oribe Hair products UK

Over the last few months I think I have been fairly vocal about my distress of having very hormonal skin and having to really lay off my extreme cocktail of skincare. I have recently started taking birth control in the hope that my skin clears up and it has actually improved so much, which allowed me to start making a dent in my skincare stash again. I have been using these products from The Hero Project on and off for so long and in recent weeks I have been really making them a staple in my routine, and yes, lovin’ it.

The Hero Project skincare
In the morning, I now cannot be without The Hero Project Glow Drops (£21)*. I was previously using the Zelens Power C drops in the morning but since an unfortunate spillage, I have turned to the Glow Drops to really help prep my skin and help it appear more radiant and - as the name suggests - glowy. The Glow Drops offer a dry-touch oil formula that harnesses 10 scented natural essential oils blended with vitamin c (possibly my favourite ingredient to use in the morning). What makes this so suitable for the morning skincare routine - unlike some other oils I have - is that it is instantly absorbed into the skin and I can really notice a difference in my make-up application following using this. I use this before my daily moisturiser and my skin not only feels nourished but it also appears brighter. No need for a Snapchat filter with this… OK who am I kidding, maybe just one! 

an image of The Hero Project Glow Drops
After being informed that my skin is very dehydrated, which I know is most likely down to not drinking enough water and overusing acid (the exfoliating kind LOL), I have been turning to skincare products that are going to help contribute to better, hydrated skin. The Hero Project Hyasoft Instant Moisture Boost (£19)* is something that I have loved using before my night cream. It can be a little tacky for a while, which is not unusual in a product that utilises a lot of hylauronic acid. This light, fast absorbing clear gel formula contains multiple types of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to help dehydrated skin, ensuring plumpness is restored and skin is soothed with the help of panthenol. I can't say if it's completely re-hydrated my skin as I don't have the original skin tester at my beck and call, but I have definitely noticed my foundation applying better and my cheeks appearing more plumped.

an image of The Hero Project Hyasoft Instant Moisture Boost

These are the only two products currently in the range so I am excited to see what's to come.

All The Hydration; All Of The Glow // The Hero Project Skincare

Over the last few months I think I have been fairly vocal about my distress of having very hormonal skin and having to really lay off my extreme cocktail of skincare. I have recently started taking birth control in the hope that my skin clears up and it has actually improved so much, which allowed me to start making a dent in my skincare stash again. I have been using these products from The Hero Project on and off for so long and in recent weeks I have been really making them a staple in my routine, and yes, lovin’ it.

The Hero Project skincare
In the morning, I now cannot be without The Hero Project Glow Drops (£21)*. I was previously using the Zelens Power C drops in the morning but since an unfortunate spillage, I have turned to the Glow Drops to really help prep my skin and help it appear more radiant and - as the name suggests - glowy. The Glow Drops offer a dry-touch oil formula that harnesses 10 scented natural essential oils blended with vitamin c (possibly my favourite ingredient to use in the morning). What makes this so suitable for the morning skincare routine - unlike some other oils I have - is that it is instantly absorbed into the skin and I can really notice a difference in my make-up application following using this. I use this before my daily moisturiser and my skin not only feels nourished but it also appears brighter. No need for a Snapchat filter with this… OK who am I kidding, maybe just one! 

an image of The Hero Project Glow Drops
After being informed that my skin is very dehydrated, which I know is most likely down to not drinking enough water and overusing acid (the exfoliating kind LOL), I have been turning to skincare products that are going to help contribute to better, hydrated skin. The Hero Project Hyasoft Instant Moisture Boost (£19)* is something that I have loved using before my night cream. It can be a little tacky for a while, which is not unusual in a product that utilises a lot of hylauronic acid. This light, fast absorbing clear gel formula contains multiple types of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to help dehydrated skin, ensuring plumpness is restored and skin is soothed with the help of panthenol. I can't say if it's completely re-hydrated my skin as I don't have the original skin tester at my beck and call, but I have definitely noticed my foundation applying better and my cheeks appearing more plumped.

an image of The Hero Project Hyasoft Instant Moisture Boost

These are the only two products currently in the range so I am excited to see what's to come.
Y'know when a blog post seems to take you ages to compile and it feels like you've been working on it for what seems like 10 million weeks? that's exactly how I feel at this point with this post. I have wanted to get this up for a while now, but i've just been stupid with my organisation. I ended up swatching all 10 shades on my lips and then I couldn't work out which shade was which due to my lights making three colours look the same, so I've decided to also add in hand swatches with a few 'on ma lips' shots. If you haven't gathered by the title, I am indeed talking about the Illamasqua Lip Lures (£19.50)*, which I have been totally obsessed with since I received them, and have now worn every single shade. When I say I adore the formula of these, boy do I mean it; the liquid lipsticks glide onto lips with a glossy feel, but then set to become a really creamy lipstick - "dewy without being sticky, bold without being heavy". The formula is so easy to apply too as it's more on the thicker side which really helps with control and precision in over drawing lips if that's your thing. This is made particularly easy with the slender shaped sponge applicator. Some of the darker shades do have a tendency to bleed slightly if you do put them on the skin so it may be a good idea to overdraw with liner first.

An image of all 10 Illamasqua Lip Lures
I am no gloss fan so I was apprehensive about these at first because obviously they're not the matte liquid lipstick formula we've familiarised ourselves with lately, but I think I actually prefer them. The finish is sheeny but looks very similar to some satin bullet lipsticks I have. The Illamasqua Lip Lures are SO comfortable to wear, and even though they're very creamy, they are very long lasting, even the lightest shade. I can wear these (while smoking, eating and drinking) for a good 4/5 hours without feeling like I need to top up and even after that time they still look good, just slightly less intense. Also,  as always, Illamasqua wins points for super sleek packaging. I love how chic these look with each having a different Illamasqua logo on to match the shade inside.

an image of Illamasqua Lip Lures applicator
My favourites are definitely Bloom (pink nude), Orchid (deep purple), Pow (hot pink), Embers (hot orange) and Nebulous (deep green). Yes, Nebulous is amazing and would look great as we come into the autumn; surprisingly I think I can rock a deep green black. 

Illamasqua Lip Lure in Bloom
Illamasqua Lip Lure in Orchid
Illamasqua Lip Lure in Pow
Illamasqua Lip Lure in Embers
Illamasqua Lip Lure in Nebulous
Illamasqua Lip Lure in Bloom (pink nude), Rose (rose pink), Dusk (cool deep pink), Jus (deep berry), Sorbet (warm red).
Illamasqua Lip Lure in Bloom (pink nude), Rose (rose pink), Dusk (cool deep pink), Jus (deep berry), Sorbet (warm red).
Illmasqua Lip Lure in Virtue (box red), Orchid (deep purple), Embers (hot orange), Pow (hot pink) and Nebulous (deep green).
Illmasqua Lip Lure in Virtue (box red), Orchid (deep purple), Embers (hot orange), Pow (hot pink) and Nebulous (deep green).

NEW IN // Illamasqua Lip Lures Liquid Lipsticks

Y'know when a blog post seems to take you ages to compile and it feels like you've been working on it for what seems like 10 million weeks? that's exactly how I feel at this point with this post. I have wanted to get this up for a while now, but i've just been stupid with my organisation. I ended up swatching all 10 shades on my lips and then I couldn't work out which shade was which due to my lights making three colours look the same, so I've decided to also add in hand swatches with a few 'on ma lips' shots. If you haven't gathered by the title, I am indeed talking about the Illamasqua Lip Lures (£19.50)*, which I have been totally obsessed with since I received them, and have now worn every single shade. When I say I adore the formula of these, boy do I mean it; the liquid lipsticks glide onto lips with a glossy feel, but then set to become a really creamy lipstick - "dewy without being sticky, bold without being heavy". The formula is so easy to apply too as it's more on the thicker side which really helps with control and precision in over drawing lips if that's your thing. This is made particularly easy with the slender shaped sponge applicator. Some of the darker shades do have a tendency to bleed slightly if you do put them on the skin so it may be a good idea to overdraw with liner first.

An image of all 10 Illamasqua Lip Lures
I am no gloss fan so I was apprehensive about these at first because obviously they're not the matte liquid lipstick formula we've familiarised ourselves with lately, but I think I actually prefer them. The finish is sheeny but looks very similar to some satin bullet lipsticks I have. The Illamasqua Lip Lures are SO comfortable to wear, and even though they're very creamy, they are very long lasting, even the lightest shade. I can wear these (while smoking, eating and drinking) for a good 4/5 hours without feeling like I need to top up and even after that time they still look good, just slightly less intense. Also,  as always, Illamasqua wins points for super sleek packaging. I love how chic these look with each having a different Illamasqua logo on to match the shade inside.

an image of Illamasqua Lip Lures applicator
My favourites are definitely Bloom (pink nude), Orchid (deep purple), Pow (hot pink), Embers (hot orange) and Nebulous (deep green). Yes, Nebulous is amazing and would look great as we come into the autumn; surprisingly I think I can rock a deep green black. 

Illamasqua Lip Lure in Bloom
Illamasqua Lip Lure in Orchid
Illamasqua Lip Lure in Pow
Illamasqua Lip Lure in Embers
Illamasqua Lip Lure in Nebulous
Illamasqua Lip Lure in Bloom (pink nude), Rose (rose pink), Dusk (cool deep pink), Jus (deep berry), Sorbet (warm red).
Illamasqua Lip Lure in Bloom (pink nude), Rose (rose pink), Dusk (cool deep pink), Jus (deep berry), Sorbet (warm red).
Illmasqua Lip Lure in Virtue (box red), Orchid (deep purple), Embers (hot orange), Pow (hot pink) and Nebulous (deep green).
Illmasqua Lip Lure in Virtue (box red), Orchid (deep purple), Embers (hot orange), Pow (hot pink) and Nebulous (deep green).

If you're a subscriber of Birchbox, I have to say you're in for a bit of a treat this July! This month Birchbox has revealed its collaboration with Millie Mackintosh to create the Never Ending Summer Birchbox. Not only is the box itself rather pretty, but its contents include Millie's first ever makeup collaboration: a limited edition Love of Color (LOC) lip pencil. Now, I absolutely adore the formula of these lip pencils; they're creamy, pigmented and apply like a dream and this new - and very Millie - shade is no different....

An image of Birchbox Never Ending Summer Box
What makes this collaboration even more special (I know right, a whole lotta specialness!), is the fact that Millie shared a sneak peak of her collaboration on Instagram (oh boy, who doesn't love Instagram) by inviting her fans to choose their favourite of three box designs that she worked on with the brand to create. The winning design was definitely my favourite, mostly because it's pink durrr, but also because it was inspired by Millie's love of sunsets and Bohemian summers. This theme aptly ties in with the LOC x Millie Mackintosh Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil, which has been titled 'Bohemian Rose' - a gorgeous pink shade perfect for warmer climates.

An image of Birchbox Never Ending Summer Box with Millie Mackintosh
In addition to the LOC pencil, the July Never Ending Summer Birchbox contains a selection of Millie's beauty favs such as the Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water, John Frieda Frizz Ease Forever Smooth Anti-Frizz Primer (full size), Nails inc Nail Polish and Indeed Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Sheet Mask. You're bagging a gooden this month gals! If you're not lucky enough to get your hands on this month's box, but adore Milie's LOC Lip Pencil, you're in luck because that will become available to purchase on Birchbox.co.uk from 1 August. You have to be quick though as they're available in limited quantities.

An image of Birchbox Never Ending Summer Box with Millie Mackintosh

July Birchbox // Never Ending Summer with Millie Mackintosh

If you're a subscriber of Birchbox, I have to say you're in for a bit of a treat this July! This month Birchbox has revealed its collaboration with Millie Mackintosh to create the Never Ending Summer Birchbox. Not only is the box itself rather pretty, but its contents include Millie's first ever makeup collaboration: a limited edition Love of Color (LOC) lip pencil. Now, I absolutely adore the formula of these lip pencils; they're creamy, pigmented and apply like a dream and this new - and very Millie - shade is no different....

An image of Birchbox Never Ending Summer Box
What makes this collaboration even more special (I know right, a whole lotta specialness!), is the fact that Millie shared a sneak peak of her collaboration on Instagram (oh boy, who doesn't love Instagram) by inviting her fans to choose their favourite of three box designs that she worked on with the brand to create. The winning design was definitely my favourite, mostly because it's pink durrr, but also because it was inspired by Millie's love of sunsets and Bohemian summers. This theme aptly ties in with the LOC x Millie Mackintosh Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil, which has been titled 'Bohemian Rose' - a gorgeous pink shade perfect for warmer climates.

An image of Birchbox Never Ending Summer Box with Millie Mackintosh
In addition to the LOC pencil, the July Never Ending Summer Birchbox contains a selection of Millie's beauty favs such as the Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water, John Frieda Frizz Ease Forever Smooth Anti-Frizz Primer (full size), Nails inc Nail Polish and Indeed Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Sheet Mask. You're bagging a gooden this month gals! If you're not lucky enough to get your hands on this month's box, but adore Milie's LOC Lip Pencil, you're in luck because that will become available to purchase on Birchbox.co.uk from 1 August. You have to be quick though as they're available in limited quantities.

An image of Birchbox Never Ending Summer Box with Millie Mackintosh

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