Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Transitioning From Summer To Autumn

It's that time of year again where the days are slowly getting shorter and the mornings are turning just that little bit chillier, but at the same time there is still a touch of summer in the air. In Ireland, we are experiencing something of an Indian summer at the moment, so even though we are well into the month of September it doesn't feel quite right to fully embrace the rich, darker hues associated with autumn beauty just yet. Instead, I have been slowly incorporating a couple of 'summer to autumn transitional products' into my make-up and skincare routines, and all have been getting a whole lot of loving from me lately. 

When it comes to base, I have been favouring more of a fuller coverage look lately, and the YSL Youth Liberator Serum Foundation is where it's been at. With it's medium to high coverage, it camouflages a multitude of sins, but still feels incredibly lightweight and comfortable on the skin which is what I love most about it. This radiance boosting base is the perfect one to take me from summer to autumn as it imparts the most beautiful lit-from-within type glow which helps to give the appearance of sun kissed and healthy skin - much needed when sunshine-y days are getting fewer and farther between. The shade is a little too light for my skin tone at the moment so I am still finding myself having to mix it with something like the Bourjois BB Bronzing Cream to get more of a closer match, but nevertheless it is still a base that I have really been enjoying using lately. Blush-wise, I am usually all about those of the neutral toned variety year round, not only when we step into the autumn months, and one of my favourites at the moment is the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Exposed. The end of the summer weather means that it's finally time to start stepping away from the bronzer, and lately I have been opting for either this Tarte offering or my Nars Douceur Blush to add a little warmth and colour back into my skin instead. Autumn is a time for experimenting with bolder lip and eyeshadow shades, and so it's important to keep the rest of the make-up relatively toned down - Exposed is the perfect nude shade which won't detract from a smokey eye or berry lip, but will still keep you from looking washed out. My eyeshadow choices don't tend to change much from season to season (strictly a neutrals kinda gal year round), but there is just something about the Nars And God Created The Woman Palette that just screams 'autumn' to me. It's just so darn pretty and perfect for every occasion, and I haven't been able to put it down recently. For a day time eye make-up look I generally go for either Kalahari or Bellisima all over the lid with a little of Alahambra as an inner corner and brow bone highlight, and for night time I like to darken things up in the crease with Galapagos or Coconut Grove. It is fast becoming one of my all time favourite eyeshadow palettes, and I just love how versatile it is. 

Autumn is a time of year traditionally associated with the berry and vampy lip trend, and while I fully intend to embrace it as much as possible over the coming months, I think most of us will agree that it's just not feasible to pull off that trend on a daily basis. MAC 'Syrup' is the ideal everyday cloudy pink shade that has a hint of a plum undertone to it which makes it perfect for this time of year. It is a little darker in shade than what I would usually go for, but it does make a nice change and is the perfect 'starter' shade for those who want to experiment with plums but still want something relatively muted and neutral. Though I love experimenting with different autumnal lip colours, I will admit that over the past while I have been opting for just a slick of lip balm more often than not. I'm sure most of you will be aware of my love for the Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm by now, but carrying around a pot of the stuff during the day just isn't practical (or hygienic) so I decided to invest in the stick version to take me through the autumn and winter months. It is perfect for use during the day as it keeps my lips intensely hydrated and comfortable without being as heavy in texture as the original version - ideal if you don't want to go lip product free but don't feel like faffing around with drying lipsticks. Skincare-wise, I haven't switched up my routine too much, but I have started to incorporate products which are a little more rich and hydrating. I have been making use of a little sample pot of the Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream which I received a while back, and have really been enjoying using it as my night time moisturiser. It is fairly thick in consistency and very hydrating, and I can see it doing a great job in keeping the dreaded dry patches at bay.           

What are your favourite beauty products to help you transition from summer to autumn?
Lots of love, Rachael 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Taste Of Charlotte Tilbury Cosmetics

It's finally happened. I bit the bullet and splurged on a few long lusted after bits from Charlotte Tilbury, and I have no regrets whatsoever. Despite the fact that I nearly had to go without food for a week in order to fund my little make-up shopping expedition. Charlotte Tilbury was one of those brands that I had lusted after from afar for a long time, that was until it finally became available in Ireland a few weeks ago and, believe me, I did not hesitate to make a purchase as soon I spotted the range on the Brown Thomas website. 

The Colour-Coded Luxury Eyeshadow Palettes piqued my interest the most - I mean,  look how stunning that packaging is! - and when it came to deciding on one, I was torn between the Golden Goddess and the Dolce Vita (which seemed to be the more popular). In the end, I went for the latter as the shades seemed to be more 'me' and day time appropriate, meaning I would be able to get a little more wear out of them. Each of the eyeshadow palettes are associated with an iconic look, and Charlotte herself associates the Golden Goddess 'look' with 'tousled, beachy waves, honey-toned cheekbones, glowing skin and gleaming eyelids' which would look more at home in the 'secluded rocky coves of Ibiza, the secret sandy bays of Goa and the chic restaurant terraces of St Tropez'. DreamyNow I wouldn't go quite so far as to liken myself to a 'Golden Goddess', but it is definitely a look I would be more than happy to achieve... Each Colour-Coded Palette contains a 'prime', 'enhance', 'smoke' and 'pop' shade which I suppose is to give you an idea of where each shadow is to be placed. In the Golden Goddess Palette, the 'prime' shade would be described as a shimmering, soft golden champagne shade that can be placed all over the lid, or applied as an inner corner highlight. The 'enhance' shade is my favourite from the palette, and I find that the warm golden taupe shade really compliments my brown eyes. It is intended to be worn in the crease to create more definition, but I have been wearing it on it's own all over the lid and I find that it looks just as pretty when worn this way. The 'smoke' shade is a rich golden bronze which is intended to smoke out an eye make-up look, and the 'pop' shade is a dark bronze with glitter which is the shade that I would reserve for taking my eye make-up look from day to night. All of the shades, bar the glitter 'pop' shade, are incredibly buttery soft (to the point where I almost mistook the formula for being cream on first use) and apply like a dream. The glitter shade is a little drier in texture and harder to work with, but I find it easier to apply when patted onto the lid with the fingertips. Yes, there is no denying that it is a pricey little number (one of these bad boys will set you back €50, *cringe*), but the quality is incredibly good and I know that I will get plenty of wear out of it. 

Now, I'm not really a lip liner sort of person and lining my lips is a make-up step that I tend to skip most of the time, but there was something about the Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk that had me fawning over it from the outset. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Amelia Liana raved endlessly about it... If a product promises to give me full and perfectly shaped Kylie Jenner-esque lips, then you can pretty much be guaranteed that I will be on to it straight away, and this ' re-shaping and re-sizing lip liner' was one that I had to try. Pillow Talk is the perfect mid toned pink shade that blends into my lips with ease, and when I gently trace it along the outer edge of my natural lip line it adds a subtle definition that gives the illusion of perfectly even and fuller lips. I generally pair it with a nude pink lipstick, but I am excited to see how it fares worn on it's own all over the lips. It has a soft, wax like consistency that glides onto the lips easily and doesn't drag, and the waterproof formula means that it lasts for hours at a time. So it seems that my first real foray into the world of lip liners was a successful one, and I can already feel a bit of an obsession coming on...

Have you tried anything from the Charlotte Tilbury range?
Lots of love, Rachael 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask | The Perfect Face Mask?

Face masks are an integral part of my skincare routine, and there is nothing I love more than kicking back and popping on my favourite mask in the evening when I want to relax and give my skin a little treat at the same time. I have a few different types in my stash and I usually chop and change depending on how my skin is feeling - during the summer, when my skin leans a little more towards the oily side of things, I tend to opt for detoxifying clay based masks and I get more use out of my hydrating masks over the colder months. I have oily/combination skin so finding the right product that ticks all the boxes can be tricky, that was until I discovered the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask. I have been using this stuff religiously over the past few weeks and over that time it has managed to climb it's way to the top of my 'most loved face masks' list - I just can't find fault with it and every time I use it I come away thinking 'yep, a face mask couldn't get any more perfect than this one!'.  

The Aura Manuka Honey Mask contains organic and natural ingredients, including manuka honey, pohutakawa bloom, avocado oil, vanilla pod and mandarin which all work together to deeply hydrate, cleanse and detoxify the skin. It is described by Antipodes as a 'moisturising, cleansing and anti-oxidizing treatment', and I think that that little description sums up what it does just nicely. I think of it as a 'multi-tasking' mask - it treats several different skin complaints at once, balances everything out nicely and basically does what I would expect a combination of a clay and hydrating mask to do. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I prefer it to a traditional clay based mask which can often leave my skin feeling a little stripped and dry - it purifies my skin but also adds a decent amount of hydration at the same time, which means that it would be ideal for those with a combination skin type. It is particularly effective in helping to clear blemishes - I'm guessing that the antibacterial properties of the manuka honey have a big part to play in this - and I have definitely noticed an improvement in how quickly break outs heal after using this. It goes on as a thick, creamy substance (which smells amazing, by the way) and slowly dries and absorbs into the skin over the course of a few minutes. I usually leave it on for longer than the recommended fifteen minutes to allow ample time to really let it work it's magic, and then wash it away with warm water. Afterwards I am left with smooth and bright skin that feels cleansed, moisturised and clear. Perfection. And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to remove my make-up and lather on another dose of this little gem...

Have you tried the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask or anything else from the range? What would you recommend?
Lots of love, Rachael