Saturday, 31 January 2015

1/12: January Wrap Up

I thought that this year instead of doing a favourites post every month, I'd make something a little more wide-reaching in the form of a Monthly Wrap Up. Instead of being solely beauty based, these wrap ups will centre on anything and everything I've been enjoying, experiences I want to share, Ideas and thoughts I've been having, etc etc. Prepare yourself- things will be getting chatty! 

As far as beauty goes, January hasn't been the most explorative, adventurous month. As the new year has begun, I've tended to have stuck with quite a minimal face (post here) as I've been thrown back into exams and the day-to-day stresses of normal life.
This being said, there are definitely a few products that I've been reaching for more often than others.

The Clinique Powder Blush in Iced Lotus is a lovely frosty pink colour that suits my cool skin tone and adds a bit of colour to my cheeks when they're looking a bit lacklustre. It leaves a naturally flushed finish, and goes greatly with...

Revlon's Colorburst Balm Stain in Honey. I think this must be the triple threat product: it moisturises, provides a bit of colour, and -added bonus- smells minty and fresh. The balm goes onto the lips smoothly and does a great job of keeping them hydrated in this weather (which, by the way, is pretty much arctic) The shade is a dusty, browny pink that just adds a bit of depth and life to tired lips- a winner.

I feel absolutely stupid for have waited so long to get on the bandwagon for this next one. The Healthy Balance powder from Bourjois has been a life saver since I finally purchased it at the beginning of the month. I have the shade Vanilla, though it is almost translucent in its coverage. It really does a great job of mattifying that dreaded t-zone shine but also gives the skin a subtle radiance and glow. I could go on for hours- so keep your eyes peeled, there'll be a full post on this coming soon.

The last beauty favourites are 2 nail polishes. Revlon's Gel Colorstay in Trade Winds is, in my opinion, the perfect nude- but I won't go on, there's a full post about it here.  The second is a maroon shade that's been hanging around in my drawer for absolutely ages from Gina Tricot. I really do love a good dark red on the nails, and this one is just lovely.

Body & Face-
It's become a bit of a tradition that every Christmas my sister gets me a Radox Berry Shower Smoothie, and 2014 was no different. I've since re-kindled my love for this shower gel, it's filled with blackcurrant and cranberry seeds that are great for gentle exfoliation, as well as being super softening and comforting on the skin. And as if that wasn't enough, it smells bloody amazing- it's a good thing it has a 'Don't Drink Me' label on it or I would be very tempted.

The Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash from Neutrogena is another firm favourite. It's gentle and goes on quite thickly, and does a really great job of softening and cleansing the skin. Plus, it smells like pink grapefruit- mmmmmm.

I haven't bought many new clothes this month (for which I deserve a round of applause), so there's not too much to report on that front. However I did receive a beautiful necklace from Accessorize from one of my friends for Christmas, and I've been wearing it almost non stop the whole of January. I love the gold finish it has, and its classic and simple nature I can wear it with almost anything.

Ian McEwan recently released a new book, "The Children Act", over which I was ecstatic. Being a huge fan of his other books (especially Atonement), this one particularly caught my interests as I'm going off to university later this year to study Law, and this book is centred around cases that I'm actually familiar with and know a bit about. McEwan is a brilliant author and I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Though not technically a book, I've been really enjoying keeping a "journal" of sorts. It was one of my goals for 2015 (post here) to write more down about anything interesting that happens in my life, or just little things that I might want to look back on or remember. So far, I've really enjoyed documenting my daily thoughts, ideas and recipes- let's hope I have the stamina to keep it up for the whole year haha.

Music-wise, this month's been really quite varied. Though I usually do tend to find myself drifting back to firm favourites (all time favourite album being the Artcic Monkeys' 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' or The Beatles' 'One'), I've really been loving Sarah Close's cover of 'Only One' - what a talent.
My shower go-to songs have definitely been 'Pretty Hurts' by the Queen herself, as well as George Ezra's cracker of a tune 'Cassy O'' .

Well, I think that's everything for this month's wrap up. Apologies for the extremely rambly long post (I'm really not skilled in the art of concise writing), and congratulations if you've made it this far!

What have you been loving this month? What do you think of this style of posts? I always love hearing what you have to say.

xo, Anna

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Review — Rimmel Kate Moss Lipsticks

Released a few years ago, the Kate Moss line of Rimmel lipsticks have quickly become a beauty favourite of mine and many others. Having 4 and using them all regularly, I thought it might be time to do a review of sorts on the different shades.

Swatches Left to Right: #60, #17, #107, #20
Released a few years ago, the Kate Moss line of Rimmel lipsticks have quickly become a beauty favourite of mine and many others. Having 4 and using them all regularly, I thought it might be time to do a review of sorts on the different shades.

#107: The Cult Classic
I'll make this one short, seeing as it must be one of the most discussed lip products to have graced the aisles of Boots ever. It's a dark, berry red that has a matte finish on the lips and lasts ages without needing to be touched up. It's a lovely shade to wear with little eye makeup or a gold-y eye look, especially in the colder months.

#60: The Bold Berry
#107's satin sheened twin. A warm berry that can be worn lightly patted in to give a lighter, pinker shade or worn all over the lip for a bolder look. As it's not matte, is does tend to wear off after a while and need a bit more touching up than the 107 so I tend to opt for the patted in, lip stain look with this shade.

#17: The Pink
Though not looking like anything particularly special, #17 is the perfect nudey pink that compliments any eye look and just adds a pop of colour to the face. A flattering, rosy pink; this shade looks lovely with both lighter and heavier makeup looks.

#20: The Brown Nude
Probably my most used of all the shades. Giving a natural look, this brown toned pink looks great either slapped on in excess or just swiped in for a lighter effect. Plus, as it's a nude it really doesn't require a lot of maintenance which is an added bonus for those too lazy to be bothered with faffing around with continual touching up.

So that's that: 4 great, versatile shades, all coming in at under £6- what a bargain!

xo, Anna

Sunday, 18 January 2015

About Paris — COLAB Dry Shampoo Review

After Ruth Crilly released her much anticipated range of Dry Shampoo, I knew I would have to give it a go. I picked up the full sized bottle of the floral fragranced 'Paris' a month or so ago from Superdrug.

First things first, let's just take a minute to talk about this packaging. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but sleek packaging and an eye-catching pattern never hurt anyone. The smooth metallic finish gives it a feeling of luxury, which is great for the price of about £3.50.

This luxurious idea is carried through to the scent side of things too. I often find that floral fragranced products can tend to be quite sickly and overpowering, but the balance here is lovely. The jasmine and rose notes just scream I am very busy and important, and will leave your hair smelling great.

Now, onto the powder palava. The formula claims that the product is 'invisible' and this is pretty true- especially in comparison to brands like Batiste. I've got quite dark hair and can use this without it showing- of course there is a bit of powder, but it's only really noticeable if you've sprayed a lot of product into a small area. So on the powder front, it's looking good!

As far as getting rid of grease goes, this dry shampoo is pretty average. I suppose it depends how heavily your hair needs washing or how greasy it is, but I find that this works best on about day 2 after washing, when my hair is slightly greasy but not in need of a serious clean. It's a bit of a shame that it's not more effective in this criteria, but it's definitely something that can be overlooked given the lack of chalky powder.

I mainly tend to use this dry shampoo for a quick bit of oomph if my hair is looking a bit flat and boring- it's really good for just adding texture and volume to the roots, as well as for using as a dry shampoo on days where all my hair needs is a quick refresh. Though it doesn't boast the heavy-duty-grease-absorber status that Batiste dry shampoos do, I absolutely love this product and will definitely be looking to stock up on some new fragrances in the near future.

xo, Anna

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Nailed It

I can always find comfort in a good nude nail polish, and recently more often than not I've found myself gravitating towards this delightful duo.

Revlon Colorstay in Trade Winds is one of my favourite nude polishes. The colour is a muted cream tone that has a very natural look on the nails. The formula of these is great too- it goes on thinly which allows you to build up a decent coverage without it becoming too thick. Just a great all rounder, really.

Now onto the 2-in-1 Double Duty Base & Top Coat from Sally Hansen. For someone as lazy as me, once I've put all the effort into painting my nails, I don't want to spend loads of time faffing around with touching up chip after chip. For this, this polish is great. It acts both as a bottom and a top layer, and leaves my nail polish unchipped for around 4 to 5 days- very impressive.

xo, Anna

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Combatting the Winter Winds

As soon as winter sets in and the weather gets colder and drier, my lips are the first to know and out come the heavy duty lip balms.

One of my favourites for when my lips are in need of a lot of love is Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula. It has a lovely warm scent and- as the name might suggest- it has a buttery texture that means it goes onto the lips very smoothly. Once it's on, it lasts ages but doesn't leave any sticky or heavy residue. It's very moisturising and healing for chapped or dry lips.

The Body Shop Lip Butters have been a long term favourite of mine, owning my first one at 10 years old as the cool kid on the balm block. The two scents I have at the moment are Pink Grapefruit and Mango. Pink grapefruit is one of my favourite smells and has a very crisp, clean, citrus-y scent whereas Mango is slightly sweeter and more fruity. As far as moisture goes, these are great: they last well and tend to do the job of dealing with dry lips. The only problem with these is the whole sticking-your-finger-in palava that leaves you with a sticky (but nice smelling) finger.

The infamous Elizabeth Arden and her 8 Hour Lip Protectant couldn't go without a mention here. Mine is sadly coming to an end after a long life (can't you tell by the retro packaging?!), and will be missed dearly until replaced. I find that this is the ultimate 'quick fixer' to any chapped or dry lips, leaving them feeling soft and supple. Admittedly, it does smell quite medicinal which I'm not a huge fan of- but this is easily overlooked as the balm is so great.

When they first became popular a few years ago or so, I eagerly rushed out to purchase the EOS lip balm in Sweet Mint- and I have not been disappointed. It has quite a strong peppermint scent that is fresh and clean. More recently, I received Lemon Drop as a gift, which has a much sweeter, citrus-y smell that I find nice but a little sickly at times. The staying power of these is average, as is the moisturising ability- but what sets these apart is the shape of the balm: a spherical dome allowing for easy and quick application.

And last -but certainly not least- is the Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm. This is a product that is very hard to fault in my opinion. It smells like honey (obviously), lasts ages, is nice to apply without leaving any sticky or heavy feeling on the lips, and it leaves lips feeling soft and moisturised. I've written more about this in my 2014's Most Loved post if you want to find out more about it: but in short, this is a real winner!

So there you go, a few hundred words dedicated solely to things that make your lips less dry- I must be going balmy (haha, ok I'll stop, step awaaaay from the computer Anna). 

Feel free to leave any opinions, recommendations, questions or thoughts in the comments- I love hearing what you have to say!

xo, Anna

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New in for 2015

2015 has begun and it's going to be a big one. I'll be turning 18, finishing school and moving away from home- wow.

Though I've never been a big fan of the whole New Years Resolution idea- tending to find that they last about a week and are then forgotten- I think that now would be as good a time as any to set out some changes I plan to make throughout the year that will hopefully last longer than the end of January.

In 2015, I plan on finally get my act together on the organisational front- and what better way to do so than keeping a diary? Though not a spill-your-heart-out kind of affair, I plan to use it to note down any memorable happenings of the day, or a new recipe that I find, or the discovery of a new blog, or anything really. I feel like getting some of my thoughts down on paper would slightly solve all the mental bumf that's all crowded in my mind.

I also want to get back into that running habit. During the summer period, I was going for lots of runs and building my stamina quite well, however since school and the stress that accompanies it has restarted, I haven't even glanced at my running shoes. I hope to find the time to go out on a jog a few times a week, if only to clear my head and procrastinate work than anything else.

I think this year I need to focus on investing more time into the people that I care about. Be happy for them, and remember that it's a lot easier to see the good in someone than it is to seek out and focus on the bad.

That's all for now on the change front. Though there are only 3, they target different aspects of my life, and I think that in keeping them in mind, I can become a happier, healthier person. 

Happy new year!

xo, Anna