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    If you're new around here you may not already know about my obsession with the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector but it's a product I have loved for a very long time. It's pretty much a lip gloss but it's moisturising, creamy texture makes it easy to wear, comfortable and it always looks so good on the lips. So imagine my excitement when Clarins announced the new member of the Instant Light family!! 

    The Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector (out 12th January) is the balm version of it's glossy older sister. They come in six shades and contain some nice ingredients such as vitamin E, mango and shea. The first thing I noticed, aside from the tiny cute packaging, was how sheer they are compared to the Natural Lip Perfectors. Usually I stay away from lip products that are too sheer but with the original product I've always dabbed it into the lips after applying anyway. I really like the sheer wash of product that it gives on the lips but the 05 Red shade is the most pigmented and even that one is still sheer. 

    It's a nice addition to Clarins' range of lip products but the Natural Lip Perfector still wins for me. I'll use the balm a lot and I know I'll really like it when I do but for £18 I'm not sure it's one I'll repurchase. Products like the Revlon Lip Butters are quite similar for only £7.99.  

    If you still haven't tried the Natural Lip Perfectors though, they're completely worth trying! 

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  • 01/06/15--23:00: Hello 2015 // Weekly Vlog

  • It's been a little while now since my final day of Vlogmas and it was weird to start vlogging again! I'm back with my weekly vlog though and this week was New Year's Eve! I had such a great evening with friends and then had some family time on the weekend, ice skating with the kids and starting my 2015 scrapbook. 

    It feels good to be vlogging again! 

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  • 01/07/15--23:00: Oh, just puff off!

  • If you were a dedicated Vlogmas viewer you may remember this vlog when I met up with the people at Benefit and the daughters of the founders! It was all in aid of their new launch, Puff Off! 

    Puff off is a skincare/makeup hybrid that helps to "iron" out any puffiness or creasing on the delicate area under your eye. Inside the little tube is a peachy gel that's glowy without being shimmery. The formula of the product is actually really nice and instantly brightens up the area. There are many eye creams that do this though and that can also be applied alone or over makeup, what makes this one different (and very Benefit) is the custom iron tip. It literally looks like a mini iron and despite the gimmick factor it does actually fit nicely under the eye area. The metal tip also feels really cooling under the eye but note that you do need to squeeze out quite a lot of product to prevent it from dragging under the eye. Keep Puff Off in the fridge and you'll definitely feel an instant cooling effect when applying. 

    Puff Off will be out on 1st February and will be £22.50. I don't think it's a life changer, but it is a nice way to combine a brightening eye cream with a cooling applicator. I think the iron tip is unique but round metal tips seen on other eye creams work just as well. So is this on your list of products to try? 

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    Every year after Christmas I get this huge urge to shop. I think it's a mix of free time, that fresh start feeling, clearing out my wardrobe and the fact that we don't really do presents in my family. So luckily I can shop without feeling too guilty... although I always still feel guilty after shopping. 

    Over the past couple of weeks I've picked up some really nice bits in the COS sale and this weekend just gone I did some much needed drugstore beauty shopping. Enjoy the video and let me know what your favourites are from the pieces in the video!

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  • 01/09/15--23:00: Wear Life Eats

  • WEAR //
    This isn't really something I've been wearing but since clearing out my wardrobe at the end of December I have fallen back in love with my non-slip hangers. Almost all of my clothes get hung up now instead of hidden away in drawers and these hangers make it so easy. Especially if you, like me, wear quite loose oversized tops these hangers do what it says on the tin and stops them slipping off and getting lost on the floor of your wardrobe. I'm stocking up from Morplan and the trouser ones are great too! 

    LIFE //
    I haven't been to the cinema in ages so last weekend my friends and I went to see "The Theory of Everything" because it had good reviews and the fit one from Les Mis was in it (not gonna lie, that's genuinely what I said!). The film is about Steven Hawkin, his life, his love and his story. It's incredibly difficult to make a film based on real people, especially when they are both still alive but I was so impressed with the film, I thought it was incredible. I (like a lot of people I'm sure) quite ignorantly didn't know much about Steven Hawkin and it was amazing to learn about his story from University onwards. Steven and Jane the main characters are both inspiring people and they were played so perfectly by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones (Carrie's twin). The scenes from the sixties were my favourite and I really enjoyed the styling. It's a film I would definitely recommend seeing but be prepared with tissues! 

    EATS //
    This year my friends and I have a group new year's resolution and we came up with it together on New Year's Day. We want to, as a group, try a new type of cuisine every month. We've written our list month by month making sure to include interesting cuisines that we haven't already tried. So the first one up is Ethiopian and I can't wait! We've found this restaurant on recommendation but I wanted to ask you guys if you knew any other good Ethiopian restaurants in London? I might be asking for your recommendations every now and again, so be prepared! I'm really looking forward to trying some new cuisines. 

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  • 01/10/15--23:00: THE CLOSE ENOUGH CHANEL DUPE

  • As you would have seen in this post, the new Chanel collection includes 'Tenderley', a gorgeous new nail polish shade. I put it on immediately and it hasn't left my nails since! Surprisingly it hasn't chipped as most Chanel nail polishes do on me and I absolutely love the plummy mauve shade. 

    It took me a couple of days to realise but it's pretty much exactly the same shade as Bourjois' So Laque "Fashion Gris Gris 49". Tenderly is ever so slightly more pink, but both polishes look really sophisticated and pretty on the nails. 

    The Chanel nail polishes are £18 and the Bourjois So Laque polishes are £5.99... I'd say that's a pretty decent dupe. 

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  • 01/11/15--05:00: THE MORNING DETOX ROUTINE

  • *The video in this post contains a paid for advertisement

    This Sunday's video is a look at my January detox morning routine - yes, I'm jumping on the detox bandwagon! As part of my "wake up earlier" new year's resolution I'm reminding myself to never skip my morning routine and to get back into juicing like I used to do everyday before school. 

    I hope you enjoy this quick video and let me know if you've changed up your morning routine at all this month. 

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    Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of catching up with Harriet Hadfield, the makeup artist from Harry Makes It Up. We met on set at the You Magazine cover shoot I did and after she told me about her new YouTube channel (and we bonded over our love of makeup) I offered up my face for one of her videos. I don't usually feel comfortable with other people doing my makeup but I loved the stuff she had in her makeup kit and I could see the beautiful makeup looks she was creating on the other girls. So we got together to film and that'll be coming on her channel soon. 

    Whilst I was there I couldn't help but snoop around her makeup collection and whilst I was supposed to be sitting still like a good model should I couldn't hide the excitement in my eyes every time she used a new product I haven't yet tried. So I came away from the day with a serious wish list and by the time you read this post I've probably bought it all!

    I love almost everything I've tried from Charlotte Tilbury and I've always had my eye on the Sophisticate palette. Four beautiful, wearable mattes that can be built up for an intense smokey eye or worn in a really basic, everyday style. I completely fell in love with two of her brushes, the MAC 188 and a Japanese watercolour brush she picked up from an art store. So many of the top makeup brush brands are from Japan but they're so expensive to buy here and I'd never considered buying a paintbrush, which is pretty much exactly the same thing. The Japanese brushes used for watercolour painting are incredibly soft and really affordable. I'm definitely going to start hunting around art shops for one of my own. 

    When doing my eyes Harriet used one of the Bobbi Brown Gel Ink eyeliner pots which brought back some serious memories for me as I used to use the black one all the time. I stopped using it as it because it was a bit fiddly but after Harriet used Sepia Ink (a gorgeous brown) on me it made me want to get back into it and try using an angled brush instead of the Bobbi Brown brush they recommend with it. She created a simple soft flick that I definitely want to try and recreate. Finally, the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, which she used on a small Bobbi Brown eyeshadow brush just under the eyes and down the nose. It's a really nice, light, glow enhancing powder that also sets the makeup in place. I don't know if it was just the soft brush but something about that loose powder application made me add this product straight onto the list! 

    Warning, don't ever go near a makeup artists' kit. You'll want everything. 

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    I hardly ever visit Kiko and come out disappointed. There's almost always something new to try and 90% of the time I love it, so let's talk a bit more about the new foundation that I mentioned in last week's haul video

    The Universal Fit Hydrating Foundation comes in an amazing 20 shades! For some reason they're split into two types of shading, from 01 Light Peach to 10 Cocoa and then there's a group of warm beige shades and a few neutrals. I went for neutral 30 which is ever so slightly dark for me but looks fine when blended out. I was initially drawn to the foundation because of the amazing £6.90 price tag and travel friendly tube packaging. 

    Kiko describe this foundation as medium to high coverage and buildable. They also describe the consistency of the foundation as pliable which I completely agree with, it almost feels elasticated so it creates a smooth illusion on the skin and blends in easily. It sinks into the skin quickly like a lighter foundation would but leaves a really decent coverage. As you can see in the photo above it covers and smooths but still let's the natural skin show through. A benefit for those who need it, is that the foundation is hypoallergenic, non comedogenic, fragrance free and paraben free. It's affordable, has great packaging, hydrates the skin, comes in 20 shades... it seems to tick all the boxes!

    If you pass a Kiko store I'd recommend giving a try and finding your colour match. It's a nice foundation that I'm going to continue to wear daily this month! 

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    It's time for another weekly vlog! I vlogged over a few days this week, catching up and filming with Anna, date night with Rich and a Sunday mooching around Covent Garden. 

    I hope you enjoy catching up on my week! 

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  • 01/14/15--23:00: MAKING TIME TO CURL LASHES

  • For the past few weeks my lashes have disappointed me greatly. I've always been very lucky and had curly long lashes that encouraged many "wow you have great lashes" compliments that I was happy to accept and be thankful for. I usually leave my lash curlers for special occasions and rely on my favourite mascaras to do the job of lengthening and curling. It's always done the trick until recently when my lashes have not been as curly, not as thick and just generally flutter-free. 

    After trying almost all my mascaras I gave lash curling a go and it made all the difference! I don't know why I ever stopped using my eyelash curlers but a quick squeeze of the lashes before applying my mascara gives them the extra curl and lift that they needed. It's almost like a warning to my lashes of what's to come and they can prepare for the layers of mascara that I'll be applying. 

    If you haven't yet invested in a  good eyelash curler, I'd definitely say it's worth it. My two favourites are the Shu Uemura and Charlotte Tilbury. Do you curl your lashes? 

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    I had so much fun filming with Becky earlier in the week. She's such a lovely girl and we always have such a nice time when we meet up. We filmed The Perfect Palette Tag on my channel and aWhat's New at the Drugstorefor hers! 

    Definitely head over and check out her channel if you haven't yet - love her! 

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  • 01/16/15--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • WEAR //
    Alpha H are celebrating 15 years of Liquid Gold. It's a product I spoke about for the first time here in 2013 and it was the first product of it's kind that I'd tried. Skincare Acids are very popular now but Liquid Gold was one of the first to get the blogging community excited. It's a Glycolic based lotion that you apply in the evening before your night cream and it helps restore glow, revitalise and firm the skin. It's a great product and Alpha H should be very prod to be celebrating 15 years of Liquid Gold! 

    LIFE //
    If you don't follow me on Instagram then this random photo might confuse you slightly. During a recent splurge on Amazon I came across a label maker. Like a proper old school, basic label maker. It was only £8 and I LOVE it! I bought some black tape and if you press quite hard you get the most imperfect, gorgeous white embossed text. I've been labelling everything and offering my labelling services to all of my family and friends. It's great. 

    EATS //
    This week my mum made a rather exciting purchase after weeks of researching and obsessively watching YouTube videos. She got herself a Vitamix. So far she has made dips, soups, juices - she's loving it. I wondered if any of you have a Vitamix and if so what your favourite things to make in it? I'm trying not to get too attached as I'll want one myself but I'm excited to use hers for all kinds of things! 

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  • 01/17/15--23:00: THE JANUARY BLUES

  • January is always such a long, draining, tiring and boring month. So what always cheers me up? Freshly painted nails in some kind of gorgeous Essie blue, that's what. 

    Here are my top picks when it comes to an Essie blue... 

    From left to right there's 'Hide & Go Chic' which is a vibrant but dark, ocean blue. Then there's 'Lapiz of Luxury' which is quite pastel, quite fun and really flatters the hands (if that's a thing?). 'In the Cab-Ana' is a bright aqua, turquoise-y blue that'll take you right back to Summer and finally 'Maximillian Strausse Her' which is kind of green, but also kind of blue. This is for the shabby chic, casual, "I like to keep things toned down" types. 

    Look in my wardrobe and you'll see nothing but black, look in my nail polish collection and there's literally a sea of blues. So what's your favourite blue nail polish?

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    A new year, a new Beauty Chat video. You didn't think we were going anywhere did you? 

    This month's chat was hosted on my channel and with the help of my fellow beauty chatter Anna, we sat down to answer ten of your questions from Twitter. This one's slightly more exciting than other months though because at the end of the video we're making a very exciting announcement. 

    I hope you're all as excited as we are and don't forget to check back here tomorrow for all the details! See you then. 

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    If you watched yesterday's beauty chat video you may have already heard mine and Anna's very exciting news...  we're taking our Beauty Chat video series live!! 

    This February we're going to be touring - am I cool enough to use that word? - around the UK to meet as many of you as possible and chat about all things beauty. Making these monthly videos has been a serious highlight of my time on YouTube and so I can't wait to bring them to life and further involve all of you. We love taking your questions on Twitter and answering them in our videos but this time we can actually meet you, chat with you and answer your burning beauty questions right then and there!

    We'll be going to six different Space NK locations nationwide and holding two sessions in each one. There will be champagne, good company and your £15/€15 ticket with be redeemable on the night if you fancy doing a bit of shopping. In fact start your wish list now as anyone who spends over £50 will get a special Space NK goodie bag on the night! 

    We just can't wait to catch up with those of you we've met before and hopefully meet lots of new faces too. We always have so much fun meeting fellow beauty addicts... I literally cannot wait!! 

    To reserve your place visit the Space NK website (or check below) and call your preferred store and specify your preferred slot:

    3rd February 2015 - Space NK, St Ann's Square, Manchester - 0161 832 9382
    6pm - 7.30pm or 7.30pm - 9pm

    4th February - Space NK, Grafton Street, Dublin - 016778615
    6pm - 7.30pm or 7.30pm - 9pm

    5th February - Space NK, Princess Square, Glasgow - 0141 248 7931 
    6pm - 7.30pm or 7.30pm - 9pm

    17th February - Space NK, Bartholomews, Brighton - 01273 776 774
    6pm - 7.30pm or 7.30pm - 9pm

    18th February - Space NK, Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge, London - 020 7581 2518
    6pm - 7.30pm or 7.30pm - 9pm

    19th February - Space NK, Pelham Street, Nottingham - 0115 950 6715
    6pm - 7.30pm or 7.30pm - 9pm

    I'm already counting down the days. See you then!! 

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  • 01/19/15--23:00: TOP THREE LIQUID EYELINERS

  • I usually go through a liquid eyeliner phase and then spend months not wearing it at all, but the past few months I've been layering on the liner most days when I'm wearing a full face of makeup. I just love the simplicity of it and now that I've got a kit of liners that I'm completely happy with, I'm confident when it comes to creating the perfect flick. 

    My top three liners and the only ones worth me having in my eyeliner pot are the Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen, the DHC Liquid Eyeliner EX and the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. One thing all these liners have in common is that they don't have a felt tip like most liquid liners do, the tips on these liners are like calligraphy brush tips. They're slightly bendy, soft and work almost like a paintbrush. The reason I like these tips is because they contain a good amount of product so you can use them on their side, which is what I do. I find when the tip is quite stiff there is a more pressure on you to draw the perfect line whereas these brushes almost guide you and the whole process is a lot smoother. 

    All three liners also have a 'bouncy' lid which is something I'd suggest testing out when you're buying a liquid eyeliner. Take the lid off and when you put it back on check if it feels bouncy when it closes. This special kind of lid stops the product from drying out, which means the liner lasts longer and if you've ever tried applying an old dried out liner you'll know how difficult and dragging it is. 

    For me I think a good liquid liner is worth investing in if it's something you wear daily. If it stays on all day, it's easy to apply and it will last you a long time then it gets a big tick from me. Are there any other liquid liners you'd recommend that are similar to these? I've tried the Stila one and liked it although I felt the tip was a bit too bendy for my liking. 

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    *This is a paid for advertorial 

    If you're a long time reader I'm sure you'll know about my love for the Real Techniques brushes. The original line was launched in 2011 by the dream team, Pixiwoo - amazing makeup artists and genuinely lovely girls. They really were the first affordable brush brand in the UK that didn't compromise quality over price. I recommend them to everyone and now most my friends (and my mum) use them daily. 

    When I heard about the new Bold Metals Collection I was seriously excited. The new collection is an extension of the original line, but slightly more premium for those with a bit of extra budget. The collection is split into three bold metallic shades, gold, rose gold and silver. Each brush has been hand cut with ultra-plush and shed-resistant synthetic bristles, but they feel so incredibly soft almost like it's natural hair. I love the handle on the brushes, they are beautifully made and cut so that they don't roll off a surface when laid down.  They also fit nicely in a pot, which is handy if you store your makeup brushes like I do. They're weighted so that when you use them they sit naturally in the hand and seriously make you feel like a pro makeup artist. 

    The prices range from £22 to £25 and even £25 for the Arched Powder Brush is a really good price for the high quality you get. I really love these brushes and it's nice to have more options to pick from in the Real Techniques family. 

    These brushes (exclusive to Boots) launch officially at the end of the month and sadly as I'll be away I won't be able to make the launch party. BUT I was wondering if any of you would like to go in my place? The event is taking place in the gorgeous Mondrian Hotel in London on the evening of Wednesday 28th January. If you can be in London that evening and you'd like to attend the event with a friend and meet the Pixiwoo ladies, then enter below and the winner will be picked in 24hrs time. The winner will be emailed and announced on the Raffle Copter app below. Good luck! 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Competition T&Cs
    ·         To enter you must be a resident in the UK
    ·         All entrees must be 18 years or over
    ·         This prize allows for one winner and one friend to attend the Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection launch event on Wednesday 28th January 2015
    ·         The event will be held at The Mondrian Hotel in London from 6.00pm – 8.30pm
    ·         The winner will also receive the full Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection brush set
    ·         Train fare to and from The Mondrian will be covered and pre-booked before the event
    ·         This prize is not transferable to another person

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    My weekly vlog went live last night and this week (despite struggling to vlog) I did a few nice things with good friends. 

    Catch up with my week and see what I got up to. Enjoy!

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  • 01/21/15--23:00: THE COMFORTING LIP OIL

  • Whenever my skin is feeling dry, sore or stressed I always reach for facial oils. The oils seep into the skin and always help to smooth the texture and amp up the hydration levels. So it only makes sense to make an oil for lips... it's so obvious! 

    Alongside the Instant Light Natural Lip Balms that I spoke about here, the Clarins Comforting Lip Oils are launching with their Spring collection next month. They come in two shades, Honey and Raspberry but are only slightly tinted. What I absolutely love about these lip oils is the large foam applicator. It fits the lips perfectly, especially the bottom lip and you can really layer on the oil. It may sound strange applying an oil to your lips but this isn't a very liquidy oil, it's almost like the texture of honey - but not sticky. There's no stickiness at all, it feels lovely on the lips. 

    The plant formula used is 100% natural and the lip oil is rich in essential oils like jojoba, mirabelle and hazelnut. The fragrance is natural and not at all overwhelming. At £18 it is quite pricy for a lip balm, which is what I use it for, but it can also be used as a lip gloss as it leaves a gorgeous shine to the lips. I'm a big fan of this and I'm quickly working my way through 'Honey'. 

    So what do you think about the idea of a lip oil? Is this something you'd want to try?    

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