Currently Loving 03

23 February 2014

L'amour Josie Currently Loving
Hold the phone - I'm about to talk about some products that I'm currently loving, and I haven't included my Tudors box set in the photograph. Don't worry, I still love it, I've just promoted it to eternal favourite status. Now that you've all recovered from that shock, here's the latest round up of (very pink) products that have been floating my boat lately…

First up, lets talk beauty. I recently extended my concealer collection to include MAC Pro Longwear Concealer. Despite being in liquid form the coverage of this is excellent, and the finish is perfect - not too matte and giving a light, flawless result. As I mentioned in my makeup bag post, I've been enjoying using my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation again recently. This was my favourite foundation throughout university, and it's creeping back up to the top space again. Sally Hansen's Shell We Dance is a polish with questionable wear time. However, the colour is positively dreamy, so I can't resist. Expect to see more from this soon. The final beauty item is Vivienne Westwood Mon Boudoir perfume*. I love the packaging, and the scent is beautiful. I've worn this most days this month, although a new bottle of Flowerbomb been sharing the love too for the last couple of days.

Now for the non-beauty. I bought this pale pink pouch in H&M on a whim a couple of weeks ago and it's the perfect size for overnight make up. I might also have bought it in black at the same time (shh, don't tell). Another H&M purchase were the rose gold rings, which I've been wearing above my knuckles. Hanging up is my big fluffy Marks & Spencer dressing gown, which I've lived in when not at work. This is the comfiest thing ever. Finally, wrapping up the pink theme is the floral photo frame, which I bought from Paperchase. It fits in so nicely with the rest of my room, now I just need to find the perfect photo!

MAC Snob Lipstick

20 February 2014

MAC Snob Lipstick Review
My lipstick policy is nude or nowt. I've dabbled in the occasional berry shade, but tend to steer clear of anything pink. However, I went a little bit crazy at the MAC counter the other day, and ended up walking away with (amongst other things) their lipstick in Snob.

Snob is a satin finish lipstick, meaning that it's more moisturising, whilst still appearing to be quite matte. Whilst I didn't find the wear time of this to be amazing (it didn't make it through a meal), it lasted a good couple of hours pre-dinner, and on a working day, saw me through until my lunch break. The reason that I love this lipstick though, is the colour. It's a bright blue-toned pink which works really nicely with my colouring, without being too in your face. That's the key for me - despite being a statement shade, it manages to do it subtly - I'm not brave enough for something bolder yet. Snob manages to polish off my lazy day makeup perfectly. This lipstick and a flick of eyeliner and I'm good to go.

I'm so glad that I bought Snob on a whim. It's 100% my new favourite MAC lipstick, I'm definitely becoming a pink lip convert.
MAC Snob Lipstick Review Swatch

The Essential Eye Brushes: MAC 266 & LY24

18 February 2014

Everyone knows that when it comes to eyeshadow, the Mac 217 is the boss. But what about the other brushes that finish off an eye look? I've selected the two essentials from my collection - the Louise Young LY24 Sable Fine Liner Brush and the MAC 266 Small Angle Brush.

What do they do?
The LY24 is an incredibly fine eye liner brush. In the top photo it's loaded up with black gel liner, so it looks thicker than it actually is, but it's actually the finest liner brush I've managed to find. Despite being fine, it's also firm enough to make applying liner a doodle - just place it on it's side and drag it along the lash line. 
The 266 is the most precise angle brush I've come across. I primarily use it to fill in my brows (it's a great shape for this as it's quite narrow, so you won't go overboard), but it's also great for dragging shadow up along the lash line. This brush is slim but solid, and like the LY24 is made of natural hair.

Why do you need them?
They're the best at what they do. I've used more purse friendly versions (Ecotools, Real Techniques etc), but they just don't allow for the precision that the MAC and Louise Young equivalents do. If you struggle with applying eye makeup, as I do, these brushes will make the job a whole lot easier! They're easy to keep clean with a bit of Dr. Bronner, and will last a good few years if they're properly looked after (unless you lose them, like I did with my first LY24).

Louise Young LY24 - £11.00 & MAC 266 - £16.50.

Getting Organised

16 February 2014

One of my resolutions for 2014 was to be more organised and consistent with my blog. I've committed myself to scheduling posts every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and that means doing a little advanced planning. Currently 'planning' equals the occasional note on my iPhone, and products scattered around the house. Whilst this method has worked for me in the past, balancing a full time job with home life and my blog can be a little restricting on time, so organisation is now key. Say hello to the blog box...

Recently whilst shopping with my Mum I spotted this pretty crate, with an address in the Montmartre (one of my favourite areas in Paris) printed on the side. This box is my new blogging best friend - not only does it make a handy prop for taking photographs on, but I've opted to store all of my 'to be photographed' products inside, too - meaning I can visualise which products will be in future posts. Another purchase which has been helpful with my organisation resolution is this feather print notebook from Paperchase. I've divided this book in to various sections such as face, eyes etc and have been jotting down post ideas and products as soon as they come in to my head.

The final blogging related purchase that I'll be making (come pay day) is studio lighting for in my bedroom. Currently I'm saving up products until I get a day off to take advantage of natural light, and shoot everything in bulk, so this investment will help me to speed up the process from purchase to post.

What are your top tips for being an organised blogger?

Vivienne Westwood Mon Boudoir Eau De Parfum

13 February 2014

Vivienne Westwood Mon Boudoir
When it comes to perfume, I likes what I likes. Unless it's Chanel, Marc Jacobs or Chloe, then chances are I won't be wearing it. However, when I was recently given the opportunity to try out a Vivienne Westwood perfume, I couldn't resist. Ladies and gents, there's a new entry to the perfume hall of fame and its name is Mon Boudoir*.

I'd actually never tried a Vivienne Westwood perfume before Mon Boudoir, so after a little research I discovered that this is a recently launched, more floral edition of the original Boudoir fragrance. The packaging remains almost the same, with the instantly recognisable Vivienne Westwood orb on the lid. The only visible difference (other than the name) is that the bottle of Mon Boudoir is frosted glass, as opposed to clear.

This perfume is definitely a floral scent, with the obvious elements being (to my nose) rose and lily of the valley. However, there's also a powdery undertone - similar to my beloved Chloe Love perfume - which I adore, and balances out the sweetness of this fragrance. Once applied, Mon Boudoir quickly settles on to the skin. It manages to last all day, without smelling overwhelming.

A 30ml bottle of Mon Boudoir can be purchased here, priced at £38.00. To view the full Vivienne Westwood fragrance range, click here. Cheeky Alice is next on my to try list!

What's In My Makeup Bag 01

11 February 2014

What's In My Makeup Bag
Lately I've been raving about a lot of products on my blog. Some of those are now staples in my makeup bag, so I thought it was about time I shared the contents with you.

Base wise, I've returned to an old favourite - Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. This gives lightweight, flawless coverage, with just the right amount of glow. I've been covering any blemishes or redness with MAC Pro Longwear Concealer.  This is the newest addition to my collection, and does a great job of concealing without looking heavy. To cancel out any dark circles underneath my eyes, I'm still using my trusty Bobbi Brown Corrector.

Cheeks are easy peasy. I'm still loving my NARS One Night Stand Palette, it houses everything I need. My complexion is warmed up with Laguna, the perfect bronzer, and then I add a flush of Barbie pink blush with Mistinguette. This shade looks really pretty against a tan. Finally, I've managed to drag myself away from my beloved MAC Soft and Gentle to highlight with another shade in this palette, Devotee. This adds a really natural light to the skin.

I've been making more of an effort to wear eye makeup, but still keeping it simple so I'm not having to get out of bed too early. Firstly I prime with the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. This smooths my lids out, creating a perfect canvas for my shadow of choice. Currently, that's the Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes in Ample Amber, as it's so easy to wear and a beautiful colour. I add a flick of winged liner with my Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, and then give my lashes some volume with my current mascara of choice, Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash. I've recently had my eyebrows tinted, so I'm holding them in place with my Anastasia Beverley Hills Clear Brow Gel.

For the finishing touches, I'm skipping lipstick in favour of my Nuxe Reve De Miel balm. This leaves my lips feeling super soft. Finally, I spritz my face with a little MAC Fix +, to soften any heavy handedness and hold everything in place. Et voila - one happy face, and one full makeup bag.

Currently Loving 02

9 February 2014

L'amour Josie Curently Loving
After my first round-up of the products that I was loving a couple of weeks ago, I'm back today to share a few more recent favourites with you all. There's a little bit of makeup and a little bit of Disney - perfect! And yes, I'm still hooked on the Tudors...

My skin has been playing up a little lately, so my neglected Origins Super Spot Remover has been coming in handy once again for fixing any blemishes over night. This gel is the fastest acting treatment that I've come across, you can read my full review of it here. Because my skin hasn't been too happy I've been avoiding makeup, but on the days that I've wanted to pretty myself up, I've been using Mac Fix +. This is great for softening an overly matte base, and making everything look a little more natural. The final makeup product is MAC Myth lipstick. This is one of my least-used lipsticks as it's a little on the pale side, but it's a lovely creamy nude for my tan-free days.

My little brother and sister have been in Disneyland Paris for the last few days celebrating their birthdays, there are no words for how jealous I am. To cure my Disney blues I've been watching Monsters University, which I received for Christmas. Back at the grand old age of eleven I was the Newsround press packer for the original Monsters Inc film, so got to attend the premiere and report about it on the show. Because of that, any film with Sully and co will always have a special place in my heart. Lastly, I'm still loving my Tudors box set. I'm well in to season two now and it keeps getting better (although Jonathan Rhys Meyers has acquired a questionable beard).

All About The Brows

6 February 2014

L'amour Josie All About The Brows Eyebrows
I remember once reading that if eyes were the windows to the soul, then eyebrows were the curtains. For an embarrassingly long time my eyebrows went untamed, but now I'm thoroughly converted to the ways of the threader. These products are the most loved ones in my quest for the perfect brow.

I actually gave up on eyebrow pencils a long time ago - I have a tendency to be a little heavy handed with my application, so the result is too fake - however, I discovered that Laura Mercier Eyebrow Pencil, when applied with the MAC 266 (which every girl needs in their eyebrow arsenal) actually gives a very soft, natural look. Laura Mercier is the queen of eyebrow products as she's the whiz behind my beloved Brow Powder Duo. A conventional eyeshadow would also do the job, but a little bit of this powder on my 266 manages to precisely define my brows without looking like too much.

For those times when I want my brows to make an impact, I use my MAC Fluidline in Dipdown. I'll take a little bit of this on my (again) 266 - do you see a theme here? I love this brush - and run it through my brows. This gives me sharp definition that means business, and sticks around all day. This is a great, multi-functional product which featured in my 2013 favourites here.

Finally, whether I'm leaving my brows au natural or using a combination of any of the above, I like to finish them off with my Anastasia Beverley Hills Clear Brow Gel. This holds everything in place without discolouring or making my brows feel too rigid or crisp, you only need a little bit of this product, and the brush just finishes everything off. There we have it - my essentials for the perfect polished brow.

Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again & 24/7 Blending Brush

4 February 2014

Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again & 24/7 Blending Brush
 When Urban Decay launched the Naked 3, I was seriously tempted. The packaging is swoon worthy, and it's full of beautiful shadows. However, the majority of the shades aren't ones that would be flattering on me, so instead I opted for a single eyeshadow that I'd had my eye on for a while: Midnight Cowboy Rides Again.

Other than the Naked Basics palette, this is my first experience of UD eyeshadows. I love the packaging, and how easy it is to pop the shadow out of the pan. The shade itself is beautiful - it's an intensely pigmented pink toned champagne, which sounds bizarre, but works really well. Urban Decay eyeshadows are infamously buttery in nature, but my only gripe with this shade is that it contains small flecks of glitter, which not only give this shadow a more chunky consistency, but also creates some fallout. Not ideal, but a sweeping of concealer underneath the eyes sorts that. I like to wear this all over the lid on a day to day basis, or with a chocolatey shade through the crease for an evening look.

Given that I have quite small eyes, I decided to give the Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Blender Brush a go for applying this shade all over the lid. I'd say that this brush is actually fairly comparable to the MAC 219 in that it's a small, densely packed but soft brush, and this works really well for a more precise application of shadow. It is perfect for crease work, too.

All in all, I'm really happy with my Urban Decay purchases, and will be increasing my collection in the future. For now though, I'm enjoying wearing Midnight Cowboy Rides Again as an easy every day shadow.

Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again - £14.00 & 24/7 Shadow Pencil Blender Brush - £10.00.
Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again Swatch

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

2 February 2014

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner 01 Intense Black
Back in the day, eye liner was an essential step in my routine. I frequently worked a smoky eye, and liquid liner was my number one tool. Since becoming a member of the real (i.e working) world, I've foregone eye makeup in favour of an extra ten minutes in bed. I just haven't got time to faff around with cleaning up smudged, difficult to apply eye liner. That's why this Stila pen is my new best friend.

I like this pen because it's so easy to use. The nib is fine yet firm, so drawing a precise line is a simple task. The shade which I have, Intense Black, is just that - a pure black, which is perfect for a winged eye, or finishing off a smokier look. Finally, what really impressed about this liner is that (as the name suggests) it doesn't budge. I can apply this at 8am, and it still looks exactly the same at 8pm, which is what I want from a liquid liner. My MUFE or Talika eye cleansers mean that removing this product isn't a problem, however.

Priced at £14.00, this Stila liner isn't an unaffordable product, and it's a welcome addition to my makeup bag. I'll definitely be repurchasing it!

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in 01 Intense Black.
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner 01 Intense Black Swatch