Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Festive Red Lip | Three Options

Christmas party season is upon us once again, and you know what that means - it's time to go cray cray with the make-up. It's the only time of year when it's fully acceptable to pull out all the stops, and even though I do tend to avoid the glitter, I am quite traditional in that I just can't say no to a good ole festive red lip. Yes, it's been done to death but what's the harm in one more blog post paying homage to the best red lippies out there for this time of year? No harm at all me thinks. Today I've picked out three of my favourites. One is a traditional lipstick, one is a stain and the other is a lip pencil, but all three have one thing in common - they are matte and incredibly long lasting. Because who wants red lipstick smeared across their cheek halfway through the Christmas party?

sephora lip cream stain in 01 always red  

I was always going to mention this one, wasn't I. I picked this up back in October at a Sephora in Rome, and I haven't had too many opportunities to wear it ever since. So as soon as December rolled around I was determined to crack it out, and it got it's first outing at my work Christmas party. This is an insanely beautiful pillar box red liquid lipstick that just lasts and lasts and lasts. Seriously, it didn't budge even a little bit through a three course meal and one or two drinks. This stuff wasn't going anywhere. The formula is incredibly pigmented, applies smoothly and evenly and dries to a matte finish within a few minutes. I'm not going to say that it's the most comfortable matte lipstick I've ever worn, but I can definitely get away with it for an evening and it feels much less drying on the lips when I remember to apply a light lip balm underneath. Because the colour is so intense application can get a little messy, but that's where the Real Techniques Detailer Brush comes in handy. I apply it straight from the doe foot applicator and then use the Detailer Brush to tidy up around the edges and I'm left with defined shape and a perfect pout.  

rimmel lasting finish lipstick by kate moss in 107 

Ah yes, good old 107. This one always seems to crop up in these sorts of posts and for good reason. I picked up this one last year just when I was starting to get into darker lipsticks as I figured it wouldn't break the bank too much if it turned out to be too scary of a shade for my liking. But it ended up being my most worn red lipstick last Christmas and I can see myself wearing it a similar amount this year too. The shade is most definitely red, but it has more of a wine/berry undertone to it (which is probably my favourite shade of red) and is ideal for this time of year. This is the red for you if you want a good quality, matte and long-lasting lipstick to take you through the holiday season without having to splash the cash too much. I currently have one up for grabs in my Christmas giveaway (along with a few other bits) - why not enter here

nars velvet matte lip pencil in cruella

Looking for a decent red lip pencil with a creamy, comfortable formula that dries to a matte, budge proof finish? Look no further than the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. I feel like I totally get lip pencils now. Like a chubbier version of a lip liner, meaning we get that precise shape and definition and long-lasting matte finish, but without that dragging sensation during application or the extreme dryness that I have come to associate with liners. Cruella is a beautiful rich, deep red with a touch of a pink undertone to it that brightens the complexion and whitens teeth. A must have for this time of year especially if you are a) a #narsissist b) a red lip lover or c) both. If you're looking for a good dupe that's a little less pricey, why not try the Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Red Essential

What's your favourite festive red lipstick?
Lots of love, Rachael 

Don't forget to enter my Christmas giveaway HERE!

Monday, December 15, 2014

An Evening Skincare Routine | Winter Edition

Believe it or not, as much as I am into skincare I have never actually posted a 'current skincare routine' on this space, and since I've made a few changes to it for the winter months I thought that now would be as good a time as any to share it. I spend a lot longer on my skincare routine in the evening for obvious reasons - five more minutes in bed always seems like a better idea (especially on these cold, dark winter mornings), and I don't like to apply too many products underneath my make-up before setting off for the day. I don't tend to stick to a skincare routine too rigidly - I generally like to chop and change products depending on how my skin is feeling on a particular day, and I find that I can get away with doing this just fine as thankfully my skin isn't too sensitive. Recently however, there have been a couple of products that I have been favouring over others and I really believe that they have made a huge difference to the overall health and condition of my skin. 

Starting with cleanser, the Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil has been a stand out product for me this year and I've been using it religiously over the past six months. I have been well and truly converted to an oil based cleanser, and this stuff breaks down make-up like nothing else - I honestly don't know where I have been my whole life without it. I start by massaging two pumps into dry skin (including the eye area - I don't find it to be irritating in the slightest), and once the bulk of my make-up has been sufficiently broken down I remove it all with a flannel soaked in warm water (the ones from Primark do me just fine). The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is a recent addition, but one that I've been getting along with mightily so far. The formula reminds me of the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel (which I love) - it has a soft, balmy texture that transforms into an oil on contact with the skin and then turns milky when mixed with water. It's not quite as hardcore as the Body Shop Cleansing Oil in dissolving make-up, but I do adore how nourished and healthy it makes my skin feel after using it. I have been using it alongside the Body Shop offering if I've been feeling like a double cleanse, and on it's own on days where I've been wearing little or no make-up. 

After my make-up has been removed, I like to use either the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner or La Roche Posay Serozinc. The Clarins offering is an AHA based chemical exfoliating toner which polishes the top layer of skin and sloughs away dead skin cells. I use it at least twice weekly during the winter to keep my skin balanced and smooth, and on the other nights of the week I go for LRP Serozinc. Serozinc is a zinc sulphate containing solution that works to purify and soothe the surface of the skin from irritations such as redness and blemishes - thankfully I don't suffer from either a great deal, but it does help to keep my skin in check and my skin has definitely become more balanced since I've started using it. This was previously only available in France, but last week we got word that it will finally be stocked on from January and is available to pre-order here now (and currently has 15% off). Hurray! I usually spray it directly onto my face (focussing on more problematic areas like my T-zone and jawline) and then blot away the excess with a cotton pad, before moving onto the serum/treatment and moisturiser stages. 

The La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo + is something that I rarely go a day without using, and is a product that I have found to have made the biggest difference to the overall appearance of my skin. I went through two tubes of the original LRP Effaclar Duo and then switched over to the 'plus' version when that became available - I can't say for certain but I'm pretty sure that it has done a better job in helping to reduce the appearance of those pesky red marks left behind by old blemishes and for that reason I'm happy with the updated formula. I tend to use it regardless of whether or not I have an active break out, just to help prevent any unwanted spots from cropping up, but I find that it does help to speed up the healing time of break outs and on these occasions I will use it morning and evening. After applying Effaclar Duo + I will then move directly onto moisturiser most evenings, but recently I have been adding in an extra step and have been LOVING the results. The Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial is another recent addition, and even though I nearly had to re-mortgage the house to purchase it (not that I own a house or anything), I'm kind of wondering where I have been all my life without it. This serum/oil is the best thing to have happened to my skin in a long time, and I just adore how my skin feels and looks after I've massaged it in. The consistency is just right - neither too light nor too heavy - and it sinks in beautifully without leaving behind any residue or breaking my skin out. A winter skincare staple for sure. The last step is moisturiser, and the one I'm using at the moment is the Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Moisturiser. This stuff is perfection when it comes to night time moisturisers and I highly recommend it if you're looking for something rich that re-charges your skin's batteries overnight, without being too heavy. The final final step before hitting the hay is of course a quick slick of the Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm - I can't bear the feeling of dry lips and this little pot of balmy goodness is the best I've ever come across in helping to relieve dryness and tightness, especially during the winter months. I just can't be without it.  

What are your favourite evening skincare products?
Lots of love, Rachael 

Don't forget to enter my Christmas giveaway HERE!

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Christmas Giveaway

Christmas is less than two weeks away and what better way to get us into the spirit of things than to host a little giveaway! Who doesn't love being surprised with gifts around the festive period (I know I do!), and I think that this little giveaway will make one person that little bit happier on Christmas Day. This little blog of mine has become a huge part of my life since I began it nearly a year and a half ago, and it has grown and developed beyond what I ever thought possible over the past year. So as a huge THANK YOU for sticking with me since I began on my blogging journey, I thought it would be a nice idea to put together a selection of beauty products that I think most girls would love to get their hands on and give them away to one lucky reader. 

I chose the Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in the shade Candy Glow which contains a trio of beautiful baked blushes in heart shaped packaging. The shimmering rose pink, soft coral and peachy pink shades can either be applied individually or swirled together for a custom flush, and can be used as cheek colour or highlight. I also chose the Korres Lip Butter in the shade Quince - these lip butters have turned out to be one of my top beauty picks from 2014 and I really wanted to include a personal favourite. 'Quince' is a beautiful sheer rosy pink shade that is universally flattering, and I think it will suit just about anyone. And finally, I had to include a 'Christmas party' lipstick, and the Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss in the shade 107 was the one I went for. This lipstick is another favourite of mine and is an absolute staple for this time of year.   

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and will be run through the rafflecopter widget. It will run from today  (12th December 2014) to Christmas Day (25th December 2014)

Details of entry:

Mandatory (+ 10 entries)

1. You must follow my blog via Bloglovin (+ 5 entries)

2. You must leave a blog post comment, making sure to leave your email address so the winner can be contacted (+ 5 entries) 

Optional entries for a higher chance of winning (+ 15 entries)

3. 'Save' this post on Bloglovin (+ 3 entries)

4. Follow me on twitter here (@OverdoseDeMaq) (+ 3 entries)

5. Tweet about the giveaway. You can do this every day to gain additional entries (+ 3 entries)

6. Follow me on Instagram here (@overdosedemaq) (+ 3 entries)

7. Follow me on Pinterest here (+ 3 entries)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck everyone!

Lots of love, Rachael