The Skincare Series: Part Two

I've talked cleanser, make-up remover and toner but now it is time to find out what products I like to use on a daily basis to keep my skin hydrated...

After using my L'Oreal Velvety Soft Toner I like to prepare my skin for moisturiser by using a serum, my current go to is Hydraluron from Indeed Labs, this contains a pure form of hyaluronic acid - an incredibly moisturising ingredient that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water which helps to keep skin feeling hydrated and plumped.

To prepare my eyes for moisturiser I like to use The Body Shop's Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate, like Hydraluron this helps keep the skin plump and youthful, it also helps to reduce fine line and eye bags. I love the cooling sensation of the metal roller ball - this is perfect for waking yourself up in the early winter mornings. The active ingredient is Elderweiss - a plant stem cell proven to help with the skins renewal properties.

After my serums have had time to sink in and work their magic I like to apply my moisturiser, the Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet, again by The Body Shop, is perfect for my combination skin type, this lightweight sorbet texture sinks into the skin very quickly so there's no waiting around to apply my foundation, it is enriched with wheatgerm oil so keeps my skin hydrated all day. For my eyes I have been using the Origins GinZing refreshing eye cream to brighten and depuff. The formula is enriched with coffee bean, ginseng, magnolia extract and natural optic brighteners, these ingredients help to reduce eye puffiness and dark circles.

Next week I'll be discussing skin treatments and skin saviors so stay tuned.....

Disclaimer: Although I work for The Body Shop this in no way effects my opinion. 

Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter

Dressing for Autumn is a lot easier than Summer, the jeans can come out in full force along with all those cosy winter layers, here is an outfit I put together for a lazy Sunday afternoon, details below...

I treated myself to a new pair of classic black jeans for this Autumn, I first saw the Asos Ridley Jeans on Alix from I Covet Thee, she wore them in a recent blog post with a checked shirt and I just loved the rips and the fit of them, they are high waisted and super comfy so I can definitely see myself getting a lot of wear out of these! The Iron Maiden tee was an absolute steal from To Be Worn Again in Brighton, I love the black on black look of this outfit, a leather jacket would really toughen this look up, and also add that all important extra layer now it has started to get a little chilly in England. 

What are your favourite pieces for Autumn? 

Iron Maiden Top - To Be Worn Again, Brighton 
Jeans - Asos Ridley Jeans 
Shoes - H&M
Hat - Asos
Sunglasses - Brick Lane Vintage Shop
Necklace - Native Wolf

Brick Lane Photo Diary

A trip to London isn't complete without popping into Rough Trade in East London and having a look around Brick Lanes famous vintage stores...

On a recent jaunt up to the big smoke to see the Fat White Family at the Electric Ballroom we managed to squeeze in a little time to check out Brick Lane, having been there before we had two things in mind that we wanted to do - go to Rough Trade and have a curry, I mean with all the curry houses there it would be rude not too! 

We also stumbled upon a huge vintage basement full of stalls with rails packed with vintage gems, when it comes to thrift stores though Brick Lane doesn't come close when you compare it with Camden Town and Brighton Laines - the word overpriced comes to mind, although I did manage to pick up an absolute bargain, the sunglasses pictured above were in the sale for five pounds! We also purchased the 1982 classic 'Junkyard' LP by The Birthday Party which our collection was previously lacking.  

Where is your favourite place to visit on a trip to London? 

I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement

After watching The Ramones documentary End of the Century  I felt pretty inspired to dig out my old Ramones tee along with a summer staple - the denim shorts and update the look for Autumn... 

Shorts - Topshop
Top - Brighton Laines
Tights - New Look
Shoes - H&M
Hat - Asos

New Brushes - The Edit

After purchasing my Core Collection set from Real Techniques a while ago I haven't really felt the need to acquire any more make up brushes - but with new releases and collections coming out I thought I ought to treat myself, and my make up, to a few shiny new brushes. Here is what I chose...

First up is the Real Techniques Blush Brush, the tapered head of this makes for a flawless application, I have actually been loving this for contouring - paired with my Body Shop Honey Bronzer, the brush is the perfect size for giving the illusion of cheekbones and giving my face a subtle glow. Another pick from Real Techniques is the Angled Foundation Brush - again I don't use this brush quite as intended, nothing quite beats the Sigma F80 for buffing in my base, this angled brush however is great for under eye concealer, the bristles are nice and compact which lets you build the coverage you need for a high definition result.

Lastly I purchased the Models Own Five Piece Brush Collection which includes brushes for powder and lipstick and three brushes perfect for eyeshadow application - one for shading, one for blending an an angled brush perfect for liquid liner. This set is great for traveling as the bright neon handles are short making them easy to transport. The stand out brush from this set would definitely have to be the powder brush - I like to use this with my M.A.C Soft and Gentle Mineralize Skin Finish Powder to highlight the tops of my cheekbones and down the centre of my face.

I am also currently testing out some brushes I recently purchased on Amazon so will update you with a review on those soon so keep an eye out for that one, let's just say the set was a real bargain!

The Skincare Series: Part One

When it comes to my skincare routine I think I have finally got it just right, all that experimenting has paid off and now I am left with a selection of products that suit my skin and a routine that works well, here is what I use to cleanse and tone...

Cleansers come in so many different formulas - creams, balms, foaming washes etc but nothing takes my make-up off better than an oil cleanser, the oil breaks down dirt and make-up like nothing else out there, my current cleanser is The Body Shop's Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil, this is super gentle and melts into the skin leaving it feeling super soft. I massage this into dry skin and then add water so the oil emulsifies, next I take a clean muslin cloth and soak it in warm water, ring out excess liquid and then use to take the cleanser off - make-up and dirt literally melts away to reveal a squeaky clean face.

If I have a little more make-up on than the usual everyday face like a smoky eye or a heavy lip then I like to use something slightly more heavy duty like the Camomile Gentle Eye Make Up Remover, this on a cotton pad makes removing a smoky eye effortless - again the formula is great for sensitive eyes as its incredibly gentle and soothing.

To prepare my skin for moisturiser I have been using the L'Oreal Paris Skin Perfection Velvety Soft Toner - this is specially formulated for sensitive skin and is infused with skin softening actives which leave skin feeling clean and smooth, I like to apply this day and night after my cleansing routine to help improve my skins texture, this is also alcohol free so doesn't cause dryness or discomfort.

The next step is to hydrate and moisturise, stay tuned for part two...

DISCLAIMER: Although I work for The Body Shop, my opinions are all my own. 

Autumn Style Essentials

Autumn layers, stripes and tartan...

With the weather slowly transitioning from the warm Indian summer we have been enjoying into the cold, wet weather of recent it was time for me to add a few extra layers to my usual attire, this stripped Topshop dress with the dropped hem is so easy to dress up or down, I paired it with my beloved leather jacket, I love this bomber style, I purchased this years ago from New Look and added a few studs onto the collar, another New Look find is the tartan scarf, I think Tartan will be big this Autumn/Winter.

Hat - H&M
Dress - Topshop
Scarf - New Look
Jacket - New Look
Bracelet - Camden market
Shoes - Primark

What are your favourite trends for the colder months?

Colour Crush Nail Polish by The Body Shop

Disclaimer: Although I work for The Body Shop, my views and opinions are 100% honest and my own. 

The Body Shop's new nail polish collection has landed - details below...

When I first found out the The Body Shop were planning to release a nail polish collection I was pretty excited, I am forever painting my nails and can never say no to the idea of a shiny new lacquer lining my bathroom cupboard. The range is packed with some seriously stunning colours, one my favourites being Mint Cream, this shade is super pretty and looks great with tribal jewellery. Meet Me At Dusk is also a favourite, its a gorgeous vintage pink that is a great transitional summer to autumn shade.

Most of these shades require just two coats for a super glossy opaque finish, they are also very long lasting especially if you apply the top coat over your desired colour - this adds extra shine too for that salon style glass like appearance. Application wise the brush is somewhere between an Essie brush and a Barry M brush so if your not a fan of a super wide brush or a very thin brush then you will love these.

What shades have you picked up from the new collection?

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Design:Maira Gall.