A Hand luggage Only Holiday: Beauty

16 January 2018

I'm going away for four days with my parents for their 25th anniversary and my dad just gave the news I had dreaded since he announced he'd booked a holiday: it's hand luggage only.

I don't think that I travel heavy, you know, I just like to have options. As many options as I can stuff into a suitcase, and then some. But the biggest restriction with hand luggage only, is the liquids. Having to pull out all of my toiletries at the airport is not what you want, it all spills out and you already know you packed too much and now it's all just everywhere and why do you even need 4 foundations and then, oh no, I forgot my toothbrush! It's only to be expected.

This time I was being pragmatic. I took time to plan, to give into my Monica-from-Friends tendencies that I manage to push down 90% of the time. I went to San Francisco for two weeks in 2017 , we checked our luggage so that was a whole other situation. Therefore, I just going did the opposite of what I did for that trip. Yep, that meant one foundation y'all.

Before I go away, I make sure to do a few chores to make the trip easier overall:
☑ Get my fringe cut:
Lots of pcitures are taken on holidays. I don't like to be in them and as I have gotten older, I've managed to secure myself as the photographer. But still, it's best to look presentable. There is too much Snapchat evidence of my overgrown and unsightly fringe.
☑ Get my eyebrows threaded: 
I feel a lot better about my alien face when I get my brows shaped, I've come to trust the women at my local salon. They just get me.
☑ weather check:
Almost hourly until we eventually leave for the airport.

So, here is the painstakingly pared down list:

It Cosmetics CC Cream in Medium Tan, £30
My discovery of the year. An exact colour match, a trusted product, a definite repurchase. It makes my skin look like my actual skin, rather than what it would look like when covered and corrected.

Glossier stretch concealer in Medium, £15
This is probably the only Glossier product I've tried that I would repurchase. And then I remember that it costs £15...Anyway, for what it is this is a great and transportable product. I love it under my eyes, it really brightens up that area, and it is a solid acne scar coverer. On especially lazy days, I will just use this little pot all over and feel good about how I look.

Glossier Generation G lipstick in Leo, £14
I know for a fact I won't buy this again. I mean, £14 and I can't see it on my lips at all. But when I go to remove it, there it is, all over my cotton pad, clear as day. Anyway, it is a practical size, doesn't take up much space and easily applicable on the go.

Soap & Glory Archery 2-in-1 Brown Sculpting Crayon and Setting Gel in Brown and Out, £10
I'm pretty sure this has gone up in price, but that shall not deter me. This is one of the few brow products I've tried, but it checks all my boxes. I'm lucky to have enough brow to not need complex products, rather an easy to use and ideally shaped crayon is enough for me, as well as a setting gel. I have a pretty heavy duty fringe, it's enough to sweep away any makeup above my eyes. I find a setting gel is rather important.

Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot transluscent powder, £12
Again, I'm quite sure this has upped in price. This powder is fine, does the job. Nothing really to shout home about. I'm trying to use it, but this sucker is long-lasting. A positive thing for £12, I think.

Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, £19
I did it. I repurchased this rather uncouthly named mascra. I had to, it's so good. It's refuses to be dry and crusty on your lashes, which means you can build and build. Longer the lashes, closer to God they say. The brush is the spunkiest shape, like a time turner if you catch my drift, so it coats all of your lashes. It's the be-all, end-all of mascaras and I would take it with me anywhere on the planet.
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb, £16
I actually bought this from Sephora for $19 which is about £13, but anyway... I like this product, I like anything that takes me a step closer to being Rihanna. It's a standard gloss formula: sticky, temporary, disappears when you eat, most of it ends up in your stomach. The colour is beautiful and universally suitable for any skin tone, you feel jazzed up when you wear it, it smells great. I won't buy it again, but it was nice to get on the Fenty Beuaty hype.

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain in Dutch Tulip, £8
Sometimes I like a natural lip. Something unfussy and subtle. Just helps pull everything together in a really laid back kind of vibe. I read and re-read Emma Watson's ITG Top Shelf, she's Hermione for me, always. This Stain was probably the cheapest thing she mentioned and it was easily available to me, so I bought it. And I really like it. I'm not a huge cheek product user, but it is a solid staple and really comfortable on my lips.

I can attest to the fact that I wanted for nothing when I was away, had all my bases covered and I felt very secure in that knoweldge. And I remembered my toothbrush.

Debating whether or not to post some of my photos from Marrakesh, they weren't very well received on my Instagram. That's giving me pause. Hm.

Blogger Made Me Do It: Glossier Phase 2

27 December 2017

I did it. 
I took the leap. 
I used a 20% off code and there's free shipping for orders over £25.

It was an (very) early Christmas present to myself as I wasn't expecting anything. My family have only quite recently given into the gift exchange tradition, my fault really, I had money around Christmastime a few years ago, bought them gifts because I could and now I think it's a guilt thing. I'm cool with it, we have given into the spirit more wholly now, decorations and trees (albeit, a 1 foot tall plastic one from Paperchase), a huge feast and innumerable Christmas films. So, that's my festive period in a nutshell!

I went for the Glossier Phase 2 set with a lot of trepidation. I have been so suspicious of Glossier since it's inception. The hype was too high, the online interest was too piqued, their advertising too on point if you will. So, when UK shipping was available, I didn't jump the gun. I let it all lie, just kind kept it all at the back of my mind. A few weeks ago, I made a snap decision (ahem, after I had just been paid) to go for it. The name Glossier hadn't been worn out, the brand was still on everyone's lips (srsly, every person I talked to had some version of Balm Dotcom). I wasn't convinced by their skincare, or any skincare to be honest. I've left my skin be for the longest time, and that's been the best thing for it. So, I clicked the makeup tab, scrolled to the Phase 2 box and got really carried away.

Some time has passed, enough for me to judge the products and I can say that I have not been disappointed. And yet, at the same time, I have been.

Let's look inside the Phase 2 box: 

You are asked to BUILD YOUR SET and choose a Generation G sheer lipstick (I went for Leo after a lengthy amount of dithering), a Stretch concealer (Dark was the closest to my skintone) and a Boy Brow (Brown was the one for me).  I also chose a sampler of the Glossier You scent because of the recent hulabooloo over it.

The box arrived quicker than I expected, and because it was, you know, a package, I tore into the sumbitch. Getting post really never gets old. I really should've filmed the process, it's a sight to behold.

First things first, that was a lot of packaging. First there's the brown package, then a pink slip covering the box containing the products inside it, then the pencil case filled with bubble wrap that encases the products in there own individual boxes. Whew. 
Then there's stickers which I hugely appreciated, such a nice touch. I can appreciate the overall aesthetic and the box is labelled 'Please Reuse', but gah, it's so much.

Then, the first disappointment: the product sizes. I shouldn't have been surprised because I'd seen them in people's hands, I'd watched people use them, but still, I was struck by how small it all was. Especially the Boy Brow, (£14 on it's own) and the Generation G lipstick (£14). I went back to the website to figure out if I'd been sent smaller sizes due to purchasing a set rather than the individual products. Not true at all. This makes me hesitant to consider repurchasing, just becasue my, my that's pricey.

Anyway, on to the actual products. They're great quality, I love the vibe, the range of the colours, packaging, the all-around pragmatism of the brand. 

First off, sheer is somehow the wrong word and the right word to describe this lipstick. It's a creamy, easy formula. It's a subtle, barely there, wash of colour if you can see it. It's out-the-door, applicable-in-back-of-the-cab beauty. I think tinted lip balm would be a more accurate description really. Basically, it doesn't show up on my lips. I layer and layer, and nada. Maybe I chose the wrong shade, maybe it's just non-compliant with my skin colour, I don't know. I'm not a loud lip colour user, you know? I use muted shades, your browns, your nudes. Leo was my ideal shade, but I wasn't it's ideal customer (?). 
Immediately, I was wary of the other contents of the box.

The best thing I bought. But £15... Anyway, I was a tiny bit concerned that Dark seemed to be my match but hey. I apply this stuff with my ring finger for the gentlest touch and I love what it does for my dark under-eye circles. It looks almost iridescent, actually concealing the weird area under my eyes. It doesn't really set at all, it's still like, moveable. Maleable, maybe? I have a few pesky spots on my chin, and this stuff lays on top like blanket, covering comfortably but still breathable. I'm getting some real lines under and around my eyes (yes, panicking), this stuff does seem to settle in there but all in fixed with a quick swipe to redistribute product. It's a winner. But £15...

So, it's a tinted brow gel at the base of it, the real star is the teeny, tiny brush. It works best on groomed brows, strays will not look good or tamed into place. The brush is square edged, perfect for the brow head (the start of your eyebrow, closest to your other eyebrow). The best way to apply is with a light-hand and sort of sweeping upward. The brows truly frame your face, I prefer the way my face looks when I get them threaded. Even though I've been through the process 87653 times, threading still hurts like a bitch. I'm not sure this one is a repurchase for me, the tube is so small; I love the brush shape and the colour is great match, but that price point. I'm sure there are drugstore alternatives that won't make my heart palpitate at the price tag.

Finally, the Glossier, You tester is simply divine. I have a tough time with scents. I don't like anything too feminine or too masculine, nothing too sweet and sickly, nothing spicy or musky. Glossier, You just fit the bill for me. A little spritz goes a long way, it sticks to your clothes and reminds you of, well, you. Yes, £45 for 50 ml is kind of a hefty price but I'm seriously considering it.

I hope my reader (yes, singular, hi!) had a truly joyous Christmas and please have a happy New Year ahead. If this festive period wasn't what you'd hoped, know that there's love for you everywhere you look and you can always try again next year x

8 October 2017

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Home Comforts

29 September 2017

After an unscheduled break, I am back on that blogger train. Not exactly feeling 'inspired' at all, actually in need of a routine. So, here we go. Again.

As a millennial (wow, okay you can stop reading here if you want) who still lives at home, and oscillates between loving it and equally hating it, my room is mine. It's sad, I know. But, I've worked very hard on my little sanctum. It's been through the weird style phases along with me, changing from overpacked to minimal (ugh, did not work for me) and now to a little crowded but comfortable. It's a small space, so too designed will not work and I have to still live in it so fluidity is necessary.

I've reached a happy medium now, somewhere between bohemian functionality and not-very-chic but practical. I take a lot of pride in my space, but I'm always looking to improve it.

I've put together a few photos of little things that I take great comfort in. I'm not having the easiest time in the vast space outside of my room. Despite being a two-time graduate, I'm finding it really tough out there. I'm a little desperate at the moment, so I'm not letting the little things wash over me, I'm really clinging onto them. It won't last for too long, hopefully...

...moving swiftly on.

This Ikea rug came into my life and things changed. A longtime lover of the Persian rug vibe (thank you, Lucy Williams), I came across this £20 version and I snapped that sucker up. The shoes are very old Zara ballet-inspired beauties. 

I got these bulb fairy lights from Primark a while ago and I love them. I got this rail from Ikea also, back when I was on the minimalism train, now I feel like it's just taking up space but also, my room wouldn't be complete without it. The rose gold hangers are also from Primark, they're a bit too cute for my tastes but hey, I need hangers.

This little guy is my ultimate highlight! My peace-sign-shooting-Buddha was £3(?) from Tiger, a shop I never fail to spend money in. I love this little cherub. I see him and can't help but beam. I've wanted a Buddha statue for a while (next up, a skull. Just cuz) but they were all very heavy (read: pricey) and this little buddy just fit. Firstly, on my shelf, and then with my mood (insert super smiley emoji).

And, no, I haven't finished reading any of these books on the shelf...

I've been pinning a lot of jungle-theme decor over on my Pinterest. Oh wow, the inspo is real over there. I have moments with Pinterest, sometimes I'm on there every day, furiously pinning and re-pinning, and other times, I can go weeks without thinking about it. Right now, I'm back with a frenzy. This window-sill-sized plant is another Ikea addition, they didn't have a corresponding pot though, bit irritating. I'm branching out from cacti a bit, if I see anything resembling a palm tree, it will be mine. 

This mirror is actually an antique from Pakistan. By that, I'm pretty sure my mum meant that she packed it up and brought it over from her parent's house that is in Pakistan. I love the gold detail so much, I will keep this mirror forever and ever. Anyhoo, the focus here was supposed to be this dreamcatcher from Claire's. I'd wanted one for a while, I'd walked into Claire's for the first time since, well, March (when I got my nose pierced) and spotted it. Not too big, not too expensive, no wolf imagery- you'd be surprised. It's a little nod to when I was 14 and thought I was a hippie. 

Also from Tiger, this mannequin jewellery stand wasn't something I thought I needed until I saw it. There was a peace sign one too, but I have a lot of rings as you can see. Needed that extra finger. Yep. Also, my midi rings don't fit on there but sometimes hipster outweighs practicality.

So these are some of the things that I'm loving in my small space. I just bought 4 candles also, so that's helping with the ambience you know. God, I love Autumn. It's the perfect candle-burning season.

Thanks for the nosy x

Skincare I Can Rely On

2 July 2017

This will not be an exhaustive list.

I love skincare, I love to buy it, research it, read reviews about it, write reviews about it. It just sucks that skincare just doesn't seem to love me back.

Also the 'love to buy it' line is a bit of lie, whenever I log into my Barclays app I feel my heart break  a little more when I see that total available amount. Ooh, shudders.

I've taken time (and time again) to reassess my skin, try to figure out what the hell it wants form me.

Here is my (rough-around-the-edges) analysis:
mild acne sufferer
oily skin
(luckily) have avoided any further breakouts since the eruption of acne around 3 years ago

I'm sure that the brand The Ordinary hasn't managed to escape anyones attention. I've only been using my brand spanking new products for around 2 weeks but I've noticed a change. Is that wishful thinking? Probably. But hope can never be a bad thing, right?

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
I jumped straight onto The Ordinary bandwagon. Like, I wasted no time. The line showed up on ASOS and I clicked and read to my hearts content. The Niacinamide is supposed to balance out sebum production, so as a self-confessed oily gal- and seeing that £5 price tag - it went straight into my basket.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
Salicylic acid is supposed to help remove the outer layer of skin'and according to, '(it) is one of acne's biggest enemies'. This stuff exfoliates the skin and gets up in your pores to clean them out. This is what I understood after around 30 minutes of Googling.

Lush Cup O' Coffee Face and Body Mask
A forever fave. I love the smell, the texture, the composition. I looooove using it, which, in my opinion, is a pretty great signifier of a favourite product. I tend to use it in the morning (maybe three times a week) as a deep exfoliator, cleaning and scrubbing the grubby, oily outer layer that tends to just sit on my face every morning. The beautiful David Gandy's ITG Top Shelf taught me much, and he, as an advocate of exfoliating, says it's a vital step to allow serums and creams to get deeper access to your skin.

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
I'm not sure if this stuff really does what it claims to. Does it feel good on my skin? Yah. Does it soothe my eyes? Um, yep. Does it do much else, that I can notice? Not so much. To be honest, the reason it made it on this list is because I'm using it everyday in an effort to use it up. So, it's skincare I can rely always be left over in that damn pot. I am open to any eye cream suggestions. Anyone? Hellooooo... 

Mario Badescu Facial Spray w/ Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater
Did you even write a list about skincare if you didn't include a MB product? Like, did you even? I'm only including this because I find myself reaching for it everyday, just for a refreshing midday spritz.

Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water
I'm a fan of the double cleanse, you would be shocked at how much makeup is left over on your face after that first cleanse. And dirt and sweat, ugh. I can rely on this stuff to give my skin a proper good clean, after the initial makeup wipe cleanse, and then ready to receive the bevy of products to follow.


The Piece Taking Me Through the Summer

25 June 2017

I finally understand the concept of the 'hero' piece. As much as I would like to be a clean cut, square-edged minimalist student of Marie Kondo, I like stuff too much. And I'm never going to stop wanting stuff. That 'New In' tab on ASOS is like my kryptonite, makes my knees weak thinking about it. But, yes, I agree that you shouldn't become so attached to material things- it's just stuff, of course. Doesn't stop me from making never-ending wishlists, damn blogger culture.

Denim jackets are a regular Summer feature, every year there is some new variation that calls to me. I went classic and reliable, from everyones go-to: Zara for £25.99 (of course, I can't seem to clip the image from the Zara site, so I've gone for a H&M alternative). I have worn it every way, every damn day. I haven't gone double denim, purely because the trend scares me...Denim jackets coupled with some of that bang on trend gingham, the colour of the season (mellow yellow), a straw bag and BAM! a capsule collection of sorts. Of course, I couldn't leave it that, I bought a blue gingham skirt too.



ASOS Asymmetric Gingham skirt, £32 

What's your hero piece?

#SpillYourMakeupBag: A Day in London Edition

10 June 2017

So, I'm a Masters' student. I don't think I've mentioned this on my blog, oddly enough. I'm in the dissertation stage right now, so I'm almost done with it too. My uni is in London so I commute bi-weekly. This means I have learned to prepare for every weather-related eventuality and travel with an overstuffed rucksack with not really any room for like, textbooks, or whatever.
London is my favourite city in the whole damn world and spending around 18 hours there a week has honestly been the highlight of my life, even if I have been lost in the end-of-a-work-day foot traffic stampede and/or stressing about how I possibly managed to do so little reading every week. I make a little extra effort on these days, making sure to haul around my makeup bag and strut the streets like I'm not wearing converse because they are the most comfortable footwear option based on how much walking I do...

Here's what I just had to bring into the city today:

My current foundation of choice is an unconventional one, it's the Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot foundation in Happy Medium. I struggle with this one, I freaking love the finish of this stuff. It covers like a dream and looks powdered to perfection when dry; thing is, there are 3 shades and they all suck. Happy Medium is fine for my paler days but even then it's debatable. I have to have my hair down so no one sees the colour of my neck in comparison. But that coverage...why do high street foundations refuse to cater to a slightly wider variety of skin tones? I could rant about this for hours, so moving on. For my dark circles, I'm using the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in Medium Warm 3. A classic choice that I cannot think of anything original to say about it. I carry around the S&G One Heck of a Blot pressed powder just to be safe, I am a super oily gal. Like, story of my life. And then, just to be extra Instagrammer/Blogger vibes, my favourite refresher and skin shaker-upper in a spray bottle: the Mario Badescu Facial Spray.

I desperately have to get my brows shaped, so to mask this I use my holy grail brow product: S&G Archery 2-in-1 pencil in Brown and Out, amazing at mimicking brow hairs and also immovably setting them in place. For mascara, an old fave: Makeup Forever Smoky Lash. An easy breezy choice, no fuss and killer length for accentuated flutter power.

For lips, I recently gave in to the new shades in the NYX Lip Lingerie liquid lipsticks line (#alliteration); I am using the shade Seduction, every damn day. It's a everyday brick red lipstick, muted and wearable on the regular. I love this colour and that price tag, but as soon as you eat, this stuff isn't going to stick around for too long.

Until the next instalment of this series, peace x

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