Best of the Bronzers.


I can take or leave blusher, but with my natural rouged completion (read: tomato red cheeks), bronzer is kind of a must to even it all out a bit. A subtle wash of warmth across the face can make you look so much healthier, and give you the weekend away glow. Plus, done properly, you won't even need any other face products. Here are my top picks for bronzer this summer. 

The Beautiful One - Clarins Aquatic Collection Bronzer - Because have you ever seen a more beautiful bronzer? Have you? Didn't think so. Get this one while you still can - I guarantee it won't be on sale for much longer. 

The Bargain One - Essence Sun Club Blonde Bronzer - A couple of pounds for a makeup product I actually like. I'm in. Matte, subtle and never chalky or orange this is an everyday staple for me. 

The Multipurpose One - Essence Sunclub 2 in 1 Bronzer - With highlighter and blush built in, this is one to sweep all over the face and go. Perfect for rushed mornings. 

The Weekend Away One - Clarins Duo Bronzing Powder - For a full rave about how much I love this one you can visit here, but basically; a real mimicker of the sun's natural tan, this is one to use to trick people into thinking you've gone away for the weekend

The Half Contour One - Soap and Glory Solar Powder - Never orange, never chalky, this has just the right amount of cool tones to double up as a contour too, brilliant for when you need a bit more sculpting. 

So maybe five is a bit excessive, but you've got to have options, right? What are your favourite bronzers?

Seasonal Lips.


Do you know how hard it is to find a nice tinted lip balm? Finding the perfect one is a tough search, with moisturising power and colour not usually matching up, but I've come across a couple that suit the bill really well. A step up from your average Baby Lips, here are my pick of the bunch: 

My favourites at the moment and have to be the Rodial GlamSticks. There are nine shades all together, (pictured are Blow and Revenge - my two favourites). At £25 each, they will tug on the old purse strings, but as usual with higher end skin care products you are getting what you pay for. With ingredients such as castor seed oil, cocoa seed butter, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E—plus SPF 15 protection courtesy of titanium dioxide these little sticks will protect and moisturise your pout all through summer. 

The formulas are super buttery, but not sticky, and did I mention they smell like coconut - mmmmmm... The suggestively named shades are also stunning, and brightening in the way that they make me look a little less zombie like when I roll out of bed in the morning everyday. If you're after the same kind of thing from another brand, the Clarins Lip Butters are also a favourite of mine for the same kind of thing, and for a fancy pH version the Dior Lip Glow is lovely. For something a bit more pigmented the Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shines are stunning, and that packaging ... but if you don't have the cash to splash then the Revlon Lip Butters and Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Puckers are will worth a try too. 

What do you think about this kind of lip products? Are you as much of a fan as me? 

Beachy.


If bumble and bumble is the stuff your hair dreams are made of, but you just can't stomach the price tag, then I've found the perfect replacement. 

The Surf Spray (£21.50) is a cult favourite and celebrated all over the blogosphere for offering tousled, beachy waves and perfect bed-head finish, but for those of us looking for something a little lighter on the pocket, the Got2Be Salt Spray is the perfect dupe. Simple to use, this is glorified salt water in a bottle; spray it in your hair and watch that beachy texture appear - no one will know that you haven't been on holiday to the seaside. It smells salty and slightly coconut-y - perfect for those less than sunny mornings. It adds texture and waves, instantly giving life to flat hair, and works really well with my new slightly shorter cut and highlights. 

I'd recommend it to all hair types, particularly if you're after a bit more zhuzh (is that even a word?), but also works well being sprayed into hair styles such as ponytails and plaits to mess them up a bit and avoid the over perfected look. You could probably make your own some how - but if you're looking for a quick and easy fix this is an amazing option. It's not undetectable in the hair, and can leave you feeling slightly crispy, much like a strong hair spray. It's nothing too bad, and I find that running a little Argan oil (I use the Got2Be one too) through my locks after, stops things getting dry or sticky.

So to anyone after affordable summer hair, this one's for you ... 

Flawless Base Cheat.



As my makeup tastes have improved, I seem to be steering further and further away from heavy cakey coverage and making friends with products that provide a sheerer base instead. Not only does my skin thank me for it, but it feels so much lighter, is easier to take off at the end of the day, and generally has a nicer all round appearance I think. Of course, I by no means have perfect skin, and so I still need something. Concealer is essential, but for a little more perfecting a tinted base can be the perfect answer. With light reflecting particles, they even out complexion without sinking into pores, fine lines and giving a smooth, fresh appearance. 

Clarins' Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Bases claim to do just this. And boy do they live up to their claim. I have the shades Golden Bronze and Apricot, the two summer additions to the range, and both are now irreplaceable additions to my stash. Neither a foundation, nor a primer the light texture of these glides over the skin bringing light and luminosity back into the face. To be worn alone or under foundation, they work in both scenarios and even help hydrate and create a more long-lasting base in you are looking to layer. 

These are like nothing I've ever tried before. They provide all I need when my skin needs a little more boost than usual, in particular the Golden Bronze which imparts the most beautiful healthy golden glow. If I'm going bare faced or don't have much time, I'll wear these alone or alternatively I'll layer a tinted moisturiser or BB cream on top to perfect without overloading my skin. At £26.50 each they're at the high end of the price scale, but you get a generous 30ml of product and a pump, which means you don't end up wasting any. 

For perfected skin whilst keeping things uber light, I'd definitely recommend these. They'd be perfect as a summer base, and as always with Clarins, the extra bit on the price tag is definitely worth it. What do you think of these?

Classic.



Pinterest and blogs have been fuelling my makeup inspiration like crazy recently, so I thought I would give recreating a couple of the looks I liked the most a stab. Now, I'm no makeup artist, so please don't judge my skills too harshly, but I really like the way it all turned out, so thought I would share the finished look with you. Who knows, this may even turn into a little series of sorts. Bold red lips seem to be a massive trend at the moment, so I went about creating something of a classic makeup look (inspired by Holly's post, which is where the photo above comes from - definitely go and check her out, she's one of my favourites) with a good red lip, mini cat-eye, well groomed brows and a hint of contouring. The focus is definitely drawn to the lips, so I tried to make everything else look clean and simple, which I find is much more flattering on me.

After perfecting my skin with the Rimmel Lasting Perfection Foundation and Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer (the BEST thing for covering up dark circles FYI), I contoured gently under the cheekbones with my Clarins bronzer to contour and bronzer. The warm tone is perfect for creating a realistic sun kissed glow. I also think it pays off to be as light handed as possible, as it fits better with the classic look. For the brows, I kept them light and a little unkempt, brushing through them with the Benefit Gimme Brow just to give them a little more volume and colour, and filling them in ever so slightly with my Makeup Revolution Brow Fix Palette in any sparse areas. 

Then came the cat eye, which, I won't lie, took a bit of time to get right. I used the benefit Soap and Glory Super Cat liner to map out the shape, and fill it in - it makes winged eyeliner easy enough for anyone to master. To finish the eyelashes off, I used the Rimmel Lash Accelerate to create fluffy and natural looking lashes with volume so as to not over power the rest of the look, and I really like how not going to heavy on the eyes turned out. And finally, the lips. My new Ruby Woo came out to play and I'm absolutely in love with the rich matte red colour that it gives and super white teeth effect. To finish, I blotted it all down to make sure it stayed put, and it makes it a lot easier to maintain if you are going out, etc. 

And that's about it, a relatively simple look that will seem as if you took forever on it. My favourite kind! What do you think of this? 

Messy Ponytail.


Recently I've been loving wearing my hair in a ponytail, totally boring, I know. Moving from a school that allows hair down to one that didn't, I needed to find a way that I could tie my hair up with minimal effort, and something that would work with the awkward 'just past shoulder length' hair that I have. From the style I always used to hate, to something that I now quite like, the ponytail has become one of my everyday staples. 

For me, the key is keeping things quite messy and not too polished, bumps and tangles, I welcome them all. I begin by using my Charles Worthington Texturising Spray to give the hair some volume and grip, which makes the styling part much easier and run some Morrocan Oil through the ends to make sure that they are moisturised and glossy and to banish the frizz that sometimes seems to plague them. A quick blast through with the hairdryer, although this is only if I have time, and I'm left with a voluminous mane which really doesn't come naturally. 

To create the actual style, I pull all of my hair on to the top of my head, leaving my parting showing and leaving a few pieces at the front out to frame the face and soften the look. I'm not careful with it at all, so the result is that there is quite a bit of volume at the crown and a less over done look to it. Finally, I pull all around the roots to give more body to the sides and pull the ponytail up and tighten it to secure. 

And that's it! A super simple hairstyle for everyday and an easy way to get round awkward hair lengths!