Tuesday, 6 January 2015

2014 Beauty Favourites

Welcome to my 2014 beauty favourites (aka my beauty Holy Grails). Whether these are new releases, or old classics, I have been reaching for them time and time again and I believe them to be the best products that I have used this year. This'll be quite a long read, so without further ado, enjoy!

This year there have been two primers I've been loving. Cheaper: Rimmel- Fix and Perfect Pro. This is a great everyday primer and really softens my skin too. I use this on normal skin days, and use it the most as it's pretty cheap to repurchase at around £6. Indulge: Nars -Illuminating Primer. This was bought for me as a gift and I love it as on days where my skin looks a bit dull it makes it look more radiant. It's a bit thicker in consistency than the Fix and Perfect but it means a little goes a long way.

Nars- Sheer Glow Foundation. This foundation is my favourite as it delivers dewy,  youthful, fresh looking skin and it's build-able too. It's many bloggers favourite foundation and this is my second bottle now and it's about to run out :(. I wear the shade Punjab. 

Nars Creamy Concealer is the perfect consistency and yellow-toned concealer for under the eyes to cover dark circles, but sadly it IS pricey and doesn't last that long. I use the shade 'Custard'. Pair this with Rimmel's Match Perfection concealer and you get the perfect team in my opinion. I use this in the shade 'Ivory' so it is a few shades lighter than my skin tone and I press it into the skin with my middle finger, rather than try and rub it in (this is important.) Your skin instantly looks more radiant and flawless so I'll be repurchasing this again and again. 

Real Techniques- Expert Face Brush and The Body Shop- Face Brush. Both of these brushes have been my favourites this year, for different purposes. Real Techniques is an amazing brand developed by Nicki and Sam Chapman at Pixiwoo, and this brush is amazing for applying liquid or cream-based foundations and buffing them into the skin to create a more flawless finish. The Body Shop Face brush is lovely to use with bronzer or blush as it gets rid of the harsh lines that may be caused by a smaller 'contouring' brush, leaving you with a much softer finish. I can also use this brush to apply powder, and it's very soft.

Benefit- Hoola. The perfect 'matte' bronze shade and a favourite of so many. I love this for contouring and I also find the colour build-able so I can apply a little less in winter and more in summer. 
The Anastasia Beverley Hills Contour Palette. I got this for Christmas so I must admit it's a late yearly favourite but I'm so in love with it I had to include it! I'm obsessed with contouring and the looks you can achieve so this being in my life makes me very happy. It comes with 3 bronze shades and 3 highlighting shades, to suit different skin tones. Personally I use all of them but the middle bronze shade is my favourite for my current skin colour. 

Nars- Orgasm. I wanted this blush for ages. A cult favourite in the beauty world it was sold to me by the Space NK sales assistant promising that this blush looks good on any skin tone/colour. It's very pretty with a subtle shimmer and definitely brings out the more olive undertones in your skin, which is why I do prefer it on me when I have a little bit of a tan, but I love it. (Again, price is around £28 so it's a splurge item!)

The Body Shop- Macaroon (no.1). As a cheaper alternative to an everyday blush (around £11), we have Body Shop's Macaroon blush. It's so pretty on the apples of your cheeks that I wear this throughout the winter months and into the spring when I'm a little paler.

Benefit- Watts Up. A beautiful golden highlight which looks so beautiful on the top of the cheekbones and on the brow bone. 

MAC- Fanfare and Shy Girl. These two lipsticks are the ones I have been most frequently grabbing this past year. Fanfare is a stronger colour, one which I use when I'm trying to be a little more 'Kylie Jenner' whilst Shy Girl (which I'm almost out of *sob*) is a creamy nude which looks really nice with a bronzed or smokey eye. I'll be repurchasing along with ones I'm desperate to add to my collection in 2015- Angel and Pure Zen. 

MAC- Whirl and L'oreal- Infallible liner. Lipliners were never a staple part of my beauty regime but the likes of Kylie Jenner have seen their popularity take off in 2014. The way they can help create a more fuller lip really appeals to me as I feel I look more 'done' especially for a night out if I've used this. MAC's Whirl is said to be the liner that Kylie herself uses, and it is a nice 'lighter than mauve' shade. For a more subtle look, the L'oreal Infallible retractable liners are great, the packaging is lovely and the fact you don't have to keep sharpening it is useful. It's a 'your lips but better' colour and I love it. 

Benefit- They're Real. Build-able and quite unlike any other mascara out there. Shame it doesn't last that long but it's definitely one of my favourite mascaras.
Lancome- Grandiose Mascara- In love with it, see my previous review!
Urban Decay- Pervesion. Great for length and even more so, volume. Fanned out lash effect and very build-able.

Urban Decay- Naked Palette. I couldn't love this palette more if I tried. All everyday colours, some matte, some shimmery, and really well pigmented. With this and the Naked 3 palette in my collection I currently have no desire for any other eyeshadows. It's a steal at RRP £38 for so many shadows, and it's often discounted on feelunique.com (my friend recently got this for £27, amazing value.)

Xen Tan- Weekly Dark Lotion, and Fake Bake- 60 Minutes. These two tans are the ones I've been constantly reaching for this year. Firstly, Xen Tan is such a great brand and has really worked on the olive tones in their tan, and also the smell of this is like almonds which means it doesn't have the classic 'biscuit' smell. The fact it lasts a week before starting to fade off is also a massive plus for me or some of us who are short of time or a little lazy with our tanning. FakeBake 60 Minute Tan is also perfect if you end up going on a night out at the last minute, as it really does develop in 60 minutes. It's a lovely colour and the mitt that comes with it (and all FakeBake products) means it sits on the skin really nicely and leaves you golden bronze.

Perfume is such a personal thing as we all suit and like different ones, however my personal favourites are Flora by Gucci (Gardenia) and La Vie Est Belle by Lancome. I think they smell amazing and aren't too mature nor are they too 'young'. Slightly floral but also a tiny bit fruity. (Describing a perfume is hard!)

Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser- I reviewed this this year and it's amazing for removing every last trace of makeup and leaving you with the softest, nicest smelling skin. It's all natural too which is great for those with sensitive skin.

Garnier Ultralift Night Cream. Whilst this is an anti-ageing night cream it makes my skin feel softer and more plumped up when I wake up in the morning. I also find that makeup sits better on my face after I've worn this overnight. 
Simple Brightening Makeup Wipes. I know you shouldn't use makeup wipes at night to remove your makeup, however these are really good at brightening my skin and stop it looking so dull, so I sometimes use these after a night out when I'm feeling lazy, or in the morning to wake my skin up a bit.

My post-shower hair essentials; Argan Oil, VO5 Plump-It-Up Blow Dry Lotion, and Toni and Guy Volume Whip. Together I feel these look after my hair, protect it from heat, and also give my roots a boost when I blow-dry my hair leaving it more voluminous with some body. 

So that's my favourites for 2014 :)
Although they were my go-to products, there are obviously so many things I'm yet to try and can't wait to in 2015- including Charlotte Tilbury make-up! It looks SO gorgeous. I'll put up my New Years Wishlist soon.

Thanks for reading!

2014 Beauty Favourites

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Sunday, 4 January 2015


Happy New Year everyone! 

I literally can't believe how quickly the last year went, and I know we all say that, but for me, 2014 has been such a roller coaster. I've learnt things about myself and other people- friends, family, loved ones. Now we are into 2015 I have to face the stark realisation that I graduate from University this summer and need to get myself a job- and a career. For so long I have been putting these decisions off; claiming I'd simply 'do a masters' like I could just find the funding out of thin air, or that I'd apply for a graduate scheme and one would simply land on my lap. I wanted to stay living up north and independently so much but financially the cost would be unrealistic at the moment. I'd save so much more money just moving back home and getting a full time job. I'd then be paying minimal rent to my Dad and be able to save my money, potentially affording to take a break to travel for a month or so (I've always dreamed of inter-railing or visiting Australia) and then I can begin to apply for graduate schemes confidently in an area of work I know I'd like to go into, with a year's worth of full-time job experience behind me. Plan! 

In 2014 I've really had to grow up. I've learnt that people who you're really close to will sometimes drift out of your life, and that's okay. However, some will remain just as close to you even if you've gone to different University's, or even lived in a different country (love you!). I've also learnt (and read/researched) that people are the way they are because of their life experiences, and sometimes we are not aware of what the person standing next to you has gone through in their life, or what has shaped their personality. Something so insignificant on the outside to you may have affected someone to make them maybe slightly attention seeking, or sensitive, super quiet, shy, or loud and obnoxious. We do not need to pick up on negatives and push people down, for life is to short for arguments and we need to celebrate people's differences, not pick on them for being different.
What I've found most difficult this year to handle is the feeling of being misunderstood, and that truly is the worst feeling. I hope that in 2015 I'll learn and more importantly accept, that it's okay for not everyone to understand you or like you, because you can't please everyone all the time. With that in mind, I've got a list of resolutions this year...

1. Stop caring so much about what people think. If they don't know you, and I mean really know you- then they shouldn't affect you so much. If they don't like you, sod 'em. I want to focus on the positives this year and forget about the negativity. I sometimes feel like I am always putting people before myself, and the one time I put myself first on a trip recently, it all ended in tears. I want to be there for my friends and I always will be, but if something isn't making you happy, you shouldn't do it. It's your life and you've only get one. I'm going to put my happiness before worrying so much about what other people think. 

2. Try VERY hard to stop annoying habits. I really want to stop playing with my hair and looking for split ends- I do this when I'm stressed, tired, or anxious- and it's slowing down my hair growth (and I would loooove my hair to grow). I started wearing a hat recently around the house at Uni and when I'm writing an essay to help me concentrate more. Some of my friends and housemates are now calling me 'the egg' when I wear it... lol. But, hey it's working!

3. Up my fitness game. I've lost 2 stone since last December, something which I am really proud of and did VERY gradually, although I wrote about my weight loss tips in a previous blog post! I do find it a lot easier to lose weight whilst at Uni though, walking to lectures and back, having a gym on the doorstep and controlling what food is in and not in my cupboards. This Christmas has been great, but I've probably gained almost half a stone back from naughty snacks and lack of exercise, and unfortunately I'm someone that gains weight quite easily! I'm eager to get back on track now and start doing my 8-minute-abs in the evening, going to the gym, and cutting down on chocolate, bread, and snacks. Bikini season will creep up on us and this year for once, I would love to be really happy with my body when I go on holiday, and I'm going on such an exciting trip to Italy which will motivate me! Adding onto this I really want to drink more water and green tea, something that I actually am seeing myself improve on!

4. Smash my dissertation! As a beauty lover, my dissertation naturally turned into something along those lines, and to sum it up briefly, i'm looking at people's attitudes towards cosmetic surgery, and specifically anti-ageing procedures. I'm really lucky that I love my topic and find it extremely interesting, but this 10,000 word project is due at the beginning of March and I do feel quite behind. I want to really focus on it and make myself proud.

5. Stop comparing myself to others. I know so many of us do this and it's all natural human behaviour but I'm going to be kinder to myself and focus on my own realistic targets, as comparing myself to supermodels or some of my genius friends gets me nowhere except feeling a bit low about myself, which must affect my mood and confidence negatively. I am a confident person and I want that to always shine through. I also must remember that whilst I may not have the most money or belongings compared to some of my friends...I by no means have a hard life compared to so many people out there. 'It's all relative' and all that, but I want to stay grounded this year and not be jealous, for I am very, very lucky.

6. Blog more :) I love it and sadly it recently became my last priority. Personal stuff happened too- my Dad got a new girlfriend, Anna, and now we're all moving in together this summer (that's my Dad, brother, Anna, Anna's 2 children, Roger the lodger, oh...and 5 dogs!) It's quite a lot to take in and adapt to a life change like that, as well as trying to keep on top of Uni work, seeing my boyfriend, and helping my best friend from home go through a break up. Blogging is such a good outlet for me and I absolutely love it so I've decided that even if I do some shorter blog posts, even just a paragraph or two long, I'll be a lot happier than no posts at all.

I know that was a little deep, but it's nice to get it written down and shared. Now, for some posts about make-up! See you next time :)


Sunday, 4 January 2015

Latest Instagrams

© Liv Tomlinson. Design by FCD.