Beauty

My DIY Bridal Makeup Look – Simple, soft and romantic

Our wedding was very much a DIY affair and my make up was no exception, I did it myself. I spent hours searching for bridal makeup inspiration on Pinterest and found three or four images that I loved but the below was my favourite.

Soft Fresh Simple Romantic Bridal Wedding Day Makeup Look Inspiration

Bridal makeup inspiration: Soft, romantic and pretty

I wanted my bridal look to be soft, romantic and pretty with a subtle, sun-kissed glow. Ultimately, I wanted to look like me rather than a face of makeup that I had never worn before. Our wedding wasn’t about being extravagant or OTT; it was an intimate celebration. As cliche as it sounds, it was about us, our love and life together.

Wedding Day DIY Bridal Makeup

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

In the six months leading up to the wedding I started to buy all of the products I would need. I also booked a makeup lesson at a Chanel counter where the MUA demonstrated the correct way to blend eyeshadows seamlessly. MAC was also quite useful, and a MUA there suggested I fill in my lips with a lip liner before applying lipstick to make it last longer.

My DIY wedding day bridal makeup look soft simple romantic highlighter peonies gypsophila flowers bouquet lace chantilly mantilla cathedral veil

My wedding day makeup look. Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

My wedding day makeup routine:

1. After cleansing I applied MAC’s Prep and Prime as a base to improve the application and appearance of my foundation.

2. I used MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer in NW25 to hide my blemishes and the creamy, opaque finish gave the perfect coverage. This is also a great concealer for acne scars!

3. The foundation I went for is the PERFECTION LUMIÈRE VELVET by Chanel in 30 Beige. I am in love with this foundation. Firstly, this is an incredibly lightweight consistency that applies as a liquid but blends with a smooth, natural matte texture. I used a MAC foundation brush for application and I was left with a flawless finish.

It is the perfect foundation for oily to combination skin and for destination weddings where it is hot and humid.

4. Next up I filled in my brows with my MAC’s Espresso, a basic dark brown that matches my eyebrows perfectly. I use this shade as part of my daily makeup routine and have done for years.

5. The eyes. I highlighted under my brow with Venus from the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette to make them pop. I used Naked 2 from the same palette in the crease and ever so slightly in the outer corner. I then swept MAC’s Yogurt, a pretty subtle matte pink, across the lid. I also added a tiny amount of MACS’ Pink Freeze to the middle of the lid for a little shimmer. I blended. And blended. And blended a little more. In the inner corner I applied the Urban Decay Venus shadow.

As I didn’t want to put eyeliner on my lower lashes but I still wanted to emphasise them, I very gently smudged a little of MAC’S Espresso in the lower lash line.

6. I mistakingly used the Rimmel gel eyeliner across my lash line and wish I used my Chanel pencil instead. It looked absolutely fine but not perfect as I’m not particularly precise with gel liner.

7. Before applying my Eylure false eyelashes, I brushed a few strokes of Dior’s Diorshow waterproof mascara through the top lashes.

8. Next I applied Clinique’s Line Smoothing Concealer in 02 Light under my eyes. This is by far my favourite concealer and I much prefer this to YSL’s Touche Eclat as it gives my quite dark under eye circles full coverage.

9. I then brushed over NARS Pressed Powder in Beach to set my foundation. Another firm favourite in my makeup bag.

10. Bronzer. I love a good bronzer. For contouring I always use Bobbi Brown’s Bronzing Powder in Natural as it is the perfect shade for my colouring, offering a beautiful matte glow. A quality bronzer that I highly recommend. I also used this to contour my nose!

11. For my blusher I applied Mocha by MAC to the apple of my cheeks. It is a highly-pigmented matte, mauve/plum pink that looks lovely with a tan.

12. Highlighting is a process I LOVE. I dab a small amount of MAC’S Prep and Prim Highlighter in Light Boost under my eye, along the bridge of my nose and just above my eyebrows in the middle of my forehead. We have all seen how Kim Kardashian highlights and contours and this is pretty much the pattern I follow.

I highlight my cheekbones firstly with Benefit’s High Beam, followed by my Bobbi Brown Rose Shimmer Brick  to create a soft, rosy glow.

13. I used the Burberry Dusty Rose Lip Definer to outline my lips and fill them in and layered over MAC’S Please Me (a rosy pink) and a little bit of MAC’S Creme Cup (a light blue pink). This combination resulted in a rose pink lip which I did love but looking back I would have gone for a slightly more nude pink. My partner doesn’t like nude lips so I guess this was a good compromise.

14. Lastly, I spritzed Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray and I was ready to go.

My makeup lasted, despite a very emotional day with tears rolling down my cheeks the moment I walked down the aisle, during the ceremony, all through the speeches… oh and jumping in the pool after dinner!

For makeup brushes I used a mix from MAC, Bobbi Brown and Real Techniques.

DIY wedding makeup bridal soft romantic look NARS MAC

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

The main lesson I have begrudgingly learnt is to practice my makeup three or four times before a big event. Unfortunately I only had the time to try out my eye makeup once and I am not positively happy with the final result but it is all irrelevant – I married my first love, my best friend, my everything. And he thought I looked beautiful so that is all that matters.

Luckily, my friend a trained MAC MUA painted my face for me for the reception in Cambridge so that makeup was AMAZING.

If you do go down the DIY route, I highly recommend you practice your bridal makeup look several times, time permitting. It is also useful to take photos of your wedding day makeup in different light settings to ensure the texture of products are right for your complexion. A few foundations leave a washed out look (not ideal when wearing a white dress) and if you are having a destination wedding somewhere hot, matte products are ideal.

For my nail polish I went for Essie’s Better Together. It is a beautiful subtle pink, a little sheer but definitely not nude. The name Better Together is so fitting for a bride.

My perfume choice had to be Chanel Chance. This is my all time favourite scent.

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La Roche-Posay ANTHELIOS XL SPF 50+ Dry touch gel face sun cream review

While skin protection was never high on my priority list in my early twenties, it is fast becoming significantly important to me. I need to use a high factor cream that won’t leave my face oily and the La Roche-Posay ANTHELIOS XL SPF 50+ dry touch gel-cream fits my requirements perfectly.

La Roche-Posay is a brand I believe in, they always deliver with the best products for oily/combination skin.

La Roche-Posay ANTHELIOS XL SPF 50+ DRY TOUCH GEL-CREAM Suncream Face Oily Combination Skin

 

A little information on this product first:

– Very high, broad, photostable UVA/UVB protection
– Suitable for oily/combination and sensitive skin
– Optimal SPF 50+ protection reinforced against UVA rays (stricter than the European recommendation) thanks to patented filtering system Mexoplex® combined with La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water
– Dry touch texture with double anti-shine action, immediate absorption and an ultra-dry finish

I had read quite a few negative reviews on this product leaving a white paste, however, if you spread it evenly so that it is fully absorbed, the white marks disappear. I highly rate this skin protectant mainly for the dry touch texture which means there is no sticky or greasy residue and most importantly, no oily shine. As it has quite a light consistency, it is also great as a primer underneath foundation and bronzer!

These days I am less inclined to put my face in the sun and I always wear a hat on holiday so whether it still tans your face, I am unsure.

As with all sun creams, apply 30 minutes before exposure to the sun and re-apply throughout the day to maintain protection.

Pre-wedding Beauty – My Bridal Skincare Routine for Combination Skin

I started quite a strict bridal skincare routine in January of this year, which left me with 9 months to prepare my skin for our wedding.

Bridal Bride-to-be Pre-wedding Beauty regime / routine face mask exfoliant combination skin

My skin condition: With combination skin I have both dry and oily skin. I often break out in blemishes when stressed and/or unwell and I have a few acne scars on my cheeks. This was essentially my focus when selecting beauty products. And the products that I mention below are the perfect skincare solutions for me – my combination skin is finally controlled and the best it has ever been.

Bioderma (Crealine) Sensibio H20 Cleanser Bridal Beauty Regime Review Blogger

Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise

We’ll start with the basics, the foundation of my skincare regime – cleanse, tone and moisturise. I have used Bioderma (Crealine) Sensibio H20 Cleanser as a makeup remover for a year now and I couldn’t imagine using any other product. You can read my review on this product here. Removing my makeup is something I have become religious about; I just cannot go to sleep with makeup clogging my pores.

I also used the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser around 3-4 times a week after removing my makeup. It isn’t essential and I only use it prior to an exfoliant and/or a face mask but it is affordable at £11 (from Boots) for a 200ml bottle. This is a good cleanser for sensitive skin as the ingredients glycerine and La Roche-Posay thermal spring water make it light and gentle when removing makeup, without any irritation.

I am not as strict with toner as I cleanse quite thoroughly, however, the toner I use is budget friendly at only £2.66! It is the L’oreal Paris Skin Perfection Velvety-Soft Toner, specifically formulated for sensitive skin. I’m not too keen on the scent, although I can’t pinpoint why, it’s just a budget-friendly product.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar MAT Moisturiser Review Bridal Beauty Regime Skincare Blogger

Now, the moisturiser. My favourite moisturiser is the La Roche-Posay Effaclar MAT Moisturiser, an incredible oil-free, gel moisturiser that provides a matte finish on the skin. You’ll find a more detailed review on a previous blog post here.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator Review Bridal Beauty Regime Blogger

Exfoliant My exfoliant of choice is the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. I apply this to my face around 3-4 times a week and leave on for around 10-15 minutes as a face mask. The rice-based exfoliating powder activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain, Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes that micro-exfoliate dead cells, instantly leaving skin smoother. That’s the science of it, anyway. It is the best exfoliator I have found for my oily/combination skin, as it removes excess oil and leaves my face visibly brighter. What’s more, I use the professional-sized bottle and it is still 2/3 full after 6 months – therefore, it is long-lasting and worth the money!

Chanel HYDRAMAX + ACTIVE moisture mask Review Face Mask Bridal Beauty Skincare

Face Mask Although there is a good range of face masks on the market, I love to use the Chanel HYDRAMAX + ACTIVE moisture mask, which costs around £39 from most department stores like John Lewis and Debenhams. This is a product I love to apply on a relaxing Sunday afternoon with a Jo Malone bubble bath, candles and a good book.

The formula contains an exclusive moisturising agent, Ceratonia PFA*, which boosts the dynamics of skin hydration at the very heart of cells to maintain an optimal level of moisture. It is an incredibly moisturising mask, resulting in soft and silky skin.

A little indulgent treat; my guilty pleasure.

Night Creams

Now, the products that I use as ‘night creams’ are not intended to be applied at night. But they work really well for my skin in this routine. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector I apply to blemishes before I go to sleep and it is, without a doubt, my skincare saver – read the full blog post here.

The second product I use in the evening is the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+]. Again, you can read a review on my blog post here.

I prefer not to use an actual night cream as they are often far too nourishing and leave my skin with a shine the following morning. I am sure this will probably change as I get older but for now, I don’t necessarily need one and I would much rather let my skin use this time to breathe.

Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub Exfoliator Review Wedding Bridal Skincare RegimeLip Scrub

To prepare my lips for a pretty pout, I use the Bubblegum Lip Scrub from Lush. Before I apply my makeup and importantly, my lipstick, I prepare my lips by applying with my finger as the caster sugar and jojoba oils exfoliate away any dead skin. It smells delicious and tastes even better. I love this little product!

Dermalogica Facial

Two weeks before my wedding I visited Couture Beauty in Cambridge for a Dermalogica facial. It was, surprisingly, my first facial. My skin felt renewed and fresh with the most amazing glow. I highly recommend you book a facial two weeks before the big day (or even several times in the months leading up to the wedding if you can afford it) as my skin had never felt and looked so good.

Beauty Advent Calendars 2014 – Liberty, Selfridges, Benefit, Elemis, L’Occitane

Last year I blogged about 2013 Beauty Advent Calendars and it proved to be one of my most popular posts. It is so much fun searching for these little beauties that I am doing it all again. In September, I hear you say? Yes, apparently so.

You see, companies are really starting to pick up on this whole concept of beauty calendars and this relatively new market is growing quite rapidly. Each year a new beauty calendar emerges, a little bit more special and far more chic than the rest. And the top beauty calendars sell out fast.

My top picks for beauty calendars in 2014: Enchanted Spells Selfridges Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

Selfridges Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

The Enchanted Spells Beauty Advent Calendar from Selfridges is a must-have with 24 luxurious miniature treats including a selection of fragrances, makeup and skincare from some of the world’s best beauty brands including Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehl’s, Victor & Rolf and more.

Last year it was a bestseller and sold out pretty quickly, so register your interest on the Selfridges website today to be one of the first to know when the calendar becomes available.

Cost: £85 Benefit Candy-Coated Countdown Beauty Advent Calendar 2014 Debenhams Benefit Website Benefit Cosmetics Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

The theme of the Benefit Advent Calendar for 2014 is Candy-Coated Countdown. So cute! I love this calendar as it’s filled with miniature-sized samples of Benefit’s bestsellers – ideal to keep in your handbag over the festive season!

Buy Benefit’s Candy-Coated Countdown from October 16 from Debenhams and www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk. You can also reserve a calendar by visiting a Benefit counter at your local Debenhams. 

Cost: £60

Elemis 12 days of Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

Elemis Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

12 Days of Beauty is the focus of this luxurious beauty advent calendar from Elemis, filled with indulgent skincare surprises that are sure to delight ladies of all ages:

  • Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm 20g
  • Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 15ml
  • Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream 15ml
  • Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm 7ml
  • Papaya Enzyme Peel 15ml
  • Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules 14 caps
  • Revitalising Babassu Facial Wipes 4 sachets
  • Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream 50ml
  • Frangipani Monoi Body Oil 35ml
  • Skin Nourishing Shower Cream 50ml
  • Pro-Radiance Hand & Nail Cream 20ml
  • Treat Your Feet Foot Cream 20ml

Available to buy online now at www.timetospa.co.uk/elemis/elemis-12-days-of-beauty-gift-set/.

Cost: £59.50

Liberty Advent Beauty Calendar 2014 Luxury

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

A design based on a replica of the iconic store combined with the quintessential Liberty print makes this a beauty calendar like no other. Packed full of luxurious beauty products from Laura Mercier and NARS to Diptyque and Eve Lom, this is a highly-coveted calendar that will look super chic sitting on your kitchen side at home!

Available in store and at www.liberty.co.uk from November. 

Cost: £125

L'Occitane 13 Pampering Treats from Provence Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

L’Occitane Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

Let’s stop a minute to fully appreciate this L’Occitane Advent Calendar, packed with 13 Pampering Treats from Provence. It may not be the standard 24 products but there is a special reason for this – in Provence, it is a holiday tradition to have 13 deserts on the festival table. A collection of luxurious L’Occitane fragrance, skincare and body beauty treats to delve into over Christmas, what’s not to love?

Available to buy from November 3 at uk.loccitane.com.

Cost: £45

You Beauty Discovery Advent Calendar 2014You Beauty Discovery Advent Calendar 2014

Worth over £240, the You Beauty Discovery Advent Calendar is bursting with a host of premium products and it is available to non-members and members. This beauty calendar will give you more than what you pay for, packed full of products from sought-after brands including Laura Mercier, Sisley and Glam Glow, James Read and my favourite tan, Vita Liberata.

You can purchase the calendar now online at www.youbeautydiscovery.co.uk/luxury-boxes/adventcalendar

Cost: £49.95

Other Beauty Advent Calendars available:

No7 25 Days of Beauty Secrets, £35, available at Boots from October 29

Ciaté’s Mini Mani Manor, £45, available at Selfridges, John Lewis, ASOS and ciate.co.uk

YOU Beauty Discovery CEW(UK)2014 Limited Edition Beauty Box Review #YBDCEW

Beauty boxes always catch my eye. There is something about receiving a box full of beauty gifts once a month and the anticipation of what will be inside that reminds me of Christmas. And we all love Christmas.

I have tried a few different beauty boxes and liked them all but didn’t love them. So, when I was sent the YOU Beauty Discovery CEW(UK)2014 Limited Edition box (#YBDCEW) to review, I was quite excited to see what they have to offer.  In celebration of the CEW(UK)2014 Beauty Awards, YOU Beauty Discovery joined forces with Cosmetic Executive Women (UK) to bring this limited edition box packed full of products from the finalists. Worth almost £100, the box contains some quite impressive brands and at only £16.95 it is definitely worth a try.

YOU Beauty Discovery CEW(UK)2014 Limited Edition Beauty Box Review #YBDCEW

YOU Beauty Discovery CEW(UK)2014 Limited Edition Beauty Box Review #YBDCEW

What is in the box?

  • Elemis Pro-collagen Marine Cream, 15 ml
  • Caudalie Divine Legs, sachet
  • Dr. Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Treatment Serum, 100 ml
  • GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment, 15 ml
  • L’Occitane en Provence Almond Milk Concentrate, 50 ml
  • Manuka Doctor Mini Hero Ket, sachets
  • Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, 40 ml

Overall the beauty box is more than worth the £16.95 price tag. It is full of quite premium brands like Elemis that offer a little luxury but also fairly new names like GlamGlow.

Manuka Doctor Bee Venom Face Mask Review The Dr. Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Treatment Serum actually comes full-sized and Dr. Organic is a brand I’ve used before. Firstly, the packaging. I love it. It’s a beautiful glass bottle that sits perfectly on my beauty shelf. The directions state to put this on towel-dried hair. However, I did do this the first time and it left my hair feeling rather greasy. The second time I stuck to how I normally use Moroccan Argan Hair Oil and that is by covering my whole head in it and leaving in over night before washing off the following morning. I tend to do this once a week as a sort of leave-in conditioning treatment. And it works really well for my hair.
Another product that I loved is the L’Occitane en Provence Almond Milk Concentrate which smells delicious and left my skin moisturised and soft. The blend of silicium and almond proteins, which are similar to collagen, effectively fights skin slackening by restoring skin’s support tissue. I’ll definitely venture into the L’Occitane shop and purchase a full-sized version.
The Philip Kingsley Elasticizer is something that I didn’t see any use for in my daily hair regime. But once used, I was converted. This is the world’s first pre-shampoo conditioning treatment and Philip Kingsley’s hero product. Healthy hair stretches when wet before returning to its original length when dry. Before shampooing, I worked through my hair with my fingertips and left on for 10-20 minutes. It left my hair feeling light and healthy.
Manuka Doctor Bee Venom & Manuka Honey Skincare  Review The Manuka Doctor bee venom range caught my eye straight away. Bee venom in a facial cream is always something I’ve wanted to try. It sounds kind of wrong, which I love. Out of the set I have only used the Rejuvenating Mask so can only comment on this but it is pretty amazing. This deep penetrating skin renewal treatment contains a unique combination of Purified Bee Venom, moisturising Manuka Honey, Avocado Oil and Vitamin E. Its unique formulation deeply nourishes the skin, stimulating collagen growth and renewing damaged skin cells. GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD TINGLEXFOLIATE TREATMENT GlamGlow is a brand I have been watching for quite a while. When a new hero product takes over the beauty blogger world I am quite sceptical. Is it a product they have all bought and genuinely love or something they have all been sent in a mass-marketing campaign? Well, I think it is a combination of both. It is a mud mask with a difference and the tingling effect made me believe that it was working magic on my skin. While I didn’t see instant results, after the third time of using this my skin was radiant, glowing and soft. Although I am not quite sure it is worth the £49.99 price tag for a tiny little tub. I am undecided on this one.
Nonetheless, I have loved trying the products in this beauty box and highly recommend it. You can purchase the YOU Beauty Discovery CEW(UK)2014 Limited Edition box online for £16.95.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Review

For years I have associated Elizabeth Arden with ‘older’ ladies for two reasons. The price, as let’s face it, the range of products are quite expensive if you use them daily. And secondly, the rich consistency. I just always thought that a twenty-something didn’t need products with that much mositurisation. My naive nature has taken a step back. Elizabeth Arden Eight 8 Hour Cream Gift Set Winter Essentials Blog Blogger Review My sister-in-law kindly gifted me the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Winter Essentials Kit for Christmas which comes in a gorgeous red patent box. The set includes: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment 30ml, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant 30ml, Elizabeth Arden Eight hour Cream Lip Protectant stick, and moisturizing Eight Hour gloves and socks.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant is the most nourishing moisturiser I have used. I have applied to the following:

– Acne scars (which have reduced)
– To calm my sore, irritated skin after HD brows
– Around my hairline when psoriasis attacks 
– On my nose after a horrid cold
– As an intensive moisturiser before going on a plane

However, the gel-like consistency is a little too rich to use as a facial moisturiser for my combination skin and the unpleasant scent reminds me of antiseptic. Forgetting the negative points, it really is a great multi-purpose skin protectant and I will purchase a full-sized tube once this one has finished.

The Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant stick is also something that I already need to repurchase. Most lip protectants come in a tub or a plastic tube but this one is packaged like a lipstick. I used this all Winter and for the first time my lips haven’t cracked. I also love the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturising Hand Treatment but it’s not as ‘special’ as the skin protectant. Yes, it does work as a good moisturiser but I think I prefer Laura Mercier hand creams for the scent.

Next on my list to try from Elizabeth Arden is the Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face SPF 50.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] and Effaclar MAT Moisturiser Review

Over a month ago the lovely PR team at my new favourite French skincare brand, La Roche-Posay, sent me the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] and Effaclar MAT Moisturiser to review. I had only ever tried the La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector, which I love, so I was quite excited to try these two items.

I’ve been using them both for around 6 weeks and they have become an essential part of my skincare regime.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] & Effaclar MAT Moisturiser ReviewLet’s start with the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+]. I had read quite a few blog posts on this product but didn’t quite believe the hype around it. Now I do.

This is an anti-blemish cream, specially formulated to unclog pores, correct the appearance of blemishes and refine skin texture. The consistency is quite light but it spreads really well and absorbs into the skin, rather than sitting on top – which is what really annoys me about a lot anti-blemish products.

I’ve been a little under the weather recently and my skin has suffered. Sometimes my skin needs a little ‘pick me up’ and the Effaclar Duo has done just that. I apply in the evening after cleansing my face and leave on over night. So in actual fact I am using this as a night cream. And this routine suits my skin needs well.

The Effaclar Duo removes excess oil and dries out any imperfections. It even soothed my red, irritated skin after having HD brows!

It has definitely cleared up my blemishes, particularly around my mouth and cheek, reduced the size of my pores and calms my oily skin almost instantly. For this, I am in love.

 La Roche-Posay Effaclar MAT Moisturiser Review

Now for the Effaclar MAT Moisturiser. At first I didn’t see much of a difference but after only a week of using this product I could see how much it improved my skin texture.

The Effaclar MAT is an anti-shine moisturiser for oily skin with a lovely lightweight gel formula. This is amazing. It literally sinks into my skin and leaves it feeling soft, refreshed and as if it has a protective barrier over it.

An added ingredient is Sebulyse, a sebo-regulating active ingredient that is clinically proven to mattify skin and tighten pores.

Previously, by lunchtime my t-zone would be oily with shine but this moisturiser leaves my foundation matte all day long – so it is perfect as a primer.

What’s more, it has improved my skin texture more than I could have imagined. I have a visibly brighter complexion which looks healthy, moisturised and naturally glowing. I have complete faith in this little beauty and know that it will keep my combination skin matte this Summer!

Bioderma (Crealine) Sensibio H20 Cleanser + La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector Review

While in Paris in November there was one thing on my ‘MUST BUY’ list and this was Bioderma. While I know that it can be bought in the UK, the mark up is ridiculous and I just couldn’t justify paying double the price. So, I stocked up in Paris.

And I’ve always had this vision of French women looking forever youthful – due to the amazing French beauty industry.

Bioderma (Crealine) Sensibio H20 Cleanser + La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector Review

The Bioderma (Crealine) Sensibio H20 Cleanser is by far the best cleanser I have ever used. For years I have used Johnson’s baby wipes to remove my makeup but as I am now mid-twenties and a bride-to-be, I must make a conscious effort to really look after my skin.

I have been using Bioderma for two months now and the results are incredible. My skin feels super clean and refreshed after using it in the morning and evening. It gently cleanses, removes all trace of makeup and feels really light due to the micellar water base.

What’s more, although this could just be in my mind, I am almost certain that this cleanser has helped the acne scars on my cheek. Along with the effaclar.

If you suffer from sensitive skin, redness or skin irritation, I highly recommend this cleanser.

I managed to buy two large 500ml bottles for around £13 which is absolutely amazing and such good value for money considering it costs £14.50 for ONE BOTTLE in the UK! It also lasts a long time – I’ve used probably a third of one bottle in 2 months!

The second item I bought in Paris and fell in love with is the La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector. You can buy this in the UK from places like Boots and it costs £9.50.

I first heard of the brand La Roche-Posay on one of the A Model Recommends vlogs. And I coveted the brand for quite some time.

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector is my life saver. I’m not quite sure how I lived for 26 years without it. Seriously, if I had known about this brand when I suffered hideous acne as a teenager, I wouldn’t have wasted a ridiculous amount of money on the typical high street products.

I have been applying the effaclar to blemishes as soon as they appear and leave on over night. It helps to reduce redness and clears the blemish up within a day or two without leaving any scaring.

Furthermore, I have also been applying the effaclar to my acne scars and they have reduced a lot. Quite a lot. This makes me so happy!

I highly recommend these products; they’ll be a beauty staple of mine forever. Well, unless I find another magic potion.

Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream Review – A Winter Favourite

With Winter fast approaching, a blog post on the Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream seems appropriate. I first tried this day cream last Winter after sampling it in a beauty box and my love affair with Dr Hauschka products began.

Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream Organic Natural Face Moisturiser for Winter Dry Skin

I have combination skin and while this moisturiser feels too heavy and a little too oily during Summer, it’s actually perfect for me in Winter.

Although it says it is most suited to dry, sensitive and mature skin, if you do have combination/oily skin, I would still try a sample. And if you find it too heavy, try the Rose Day Cream Light instead.

As with all Dr Hauschka products, the rose day cream is made from all natural ingredients including rose oil, wild rose hip extract, shea butter and the extract of over 1,075 organic rose petals. The combination of ingredients gives a rich, floral scent that could be slightly too overpowering for some but I absolutely love it.

The cream is incredibly rich and moisturising, maintains moisture levels and regenerates the top layer of skin. While the consistency is quite thick, it spreads really well and can be used sparingly.

Simply squeeze a small amount onto the palm of your hands, warm by pressing your hands together and apply to the face and neck. It works really well as a base for makeup and leaves skin feeling super smooth and soft all day.

I initially wanted to use this as a night cream but then I read on the Dr Hauschka website that they don’t recommend night creams – as the skin uses this period to excrete toxins absorbed during the day.

And this actually makes so much sense as when I have used night creams in the past, my skin has felt very oily the following morning!

At £28 for a 30ml tube, it is quite expensive but definitely a product more than worth the price – particularly if you have dry skin or wish to use only natural, organic face creams.

Beauty Advent Calendars 2013 – Lancôme, Selfridges, Ciaté, Benefit, Boots

Last Christmas beauty advent calendars seemed to be the new must-have item, highly coveted by all beauty fans, bloggers and vloggers. Unfortunately by the time I realised how much I needed wanted one, the majority had sold out.

So this year I have my Miss Organised hat on and have found the best on the market.

Beauty Advent Calendars are fun, exciting and great for trying out new products. They are also perfect for that VIP Christmas gift; To Me, From Me.

You may think it’s too early to use the *C* word (Christmas) but these Beauty Advent Calendars sell out fast, and I mean fast, so make sure you order yours early!

Selfridges Beauty Advent Calendar 

Lancôme beauty advent calendar 2013 selfridges

Brand: Selfridges Beauty Advent Calendar
What: The Selfridges calendar is the crème de la crème of the lot and highly coveted. With a selection of 24 miniature luxurious fragrance, makeup and skincare treats, it is one of the most popular on the market stocking brands from YSL and Lancome to Victor & Rolf.
Where: Sold exclusively at Selfridges.
Price: £84
Date: Available now
Like or Love: A little on the expensive side but the quality of products mean you are getting a lot for your money. It’s also great for those who don’t normally buy higher-end brands and want to try beforehand. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

Ciaté Mini Mani Advent Calendar – Selfridges

Ciaté Mini Mani Advent Calendar - Selfridges

Brand: Ciaté Mini Mani Advent Calendar
What: This beauty calendar features seventeen mini Paint Pots, four mini Caviar blends and three exclusive Paint Pot glitter shades – perfect for experimenting with new colours over the festive period.
Where: Sold exclusively at Selfridges.
Price: £42
Date: Available now
Like or Love: A fun beauty calendar full of nail goodies for the girl who loves to flirt with different nail colours. LOVE.

BOOTS ’24 Days of Beauty Treats’

BOOTS '24 Days of Beauty Treats' Advent Calendar Christmas 2013

Brand: BOOTS
What: The Boots ’24 days of beauty treats’ calendar is their very first and a must-have item for Christmas 2013! Filled with miniature and full-sized products from a range of brands including Soap & Glory, Nails Inc, Paco Rabanne, Juicy Couture, Rimmel, Mavala and Umberto Giannini – this is a limited edition calendar that will definitely sell out fast.
Where: Boots Stores and online
Price: £30
Date: Available now
Like or Love: The most affordable of the range, full of much-loved brands like Soap & Glory and some of the products are full-sized – what’s not to love? Perfect for pampering princesses! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

Benefit – Countdown to Love

Benefit - Countdown to Love Beauty Advent Calendar Christmas 2013

Brand: Benefit – Countdown to Love
What: Benefit’s first Beauty Advent Calendar will contain travel-sized products, including top sellers High Beam and BADgal Lash mascara. It will also come in a fun pop art style box!
Where: Benefit and Debenhams.
Price: £50
Date: November 3rd
Like or Love: This is probably my favourite beauty calendar! The range of products are amazing and ideal for putting in your purse to touch up your makeup over the festive period! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

YOU beauty advent calendar 2013

Brand: YOU Beauty Discovery Advent Calendar
What: The limited edition YOU beauty calendar is lovingly packed with 24 premium beauty and skincare products.
Where: www.youbeautydiscovery.co.uk
Price: £49.95
Date: Available now
Like or Love: A lovely beauty calendar with products worth over £240, including hero products from well-known beauty brands Dermalogica, Sisley and Stila.

I have also been in contact with Latest in Beauty who have not yet released information on their 2013 calendar but as soon as they do, I will update the blog post – along with any other calendars!

Sam xx