New Job // What I Use To Get A Natural Makeup Look


Going to an interview or starting a new job can be tough especially when it comes to your wardrobe and overall look. Depending on your job you may find that your overall look needs to completely change - this is what happened to me. I went for an interview in December at a fantastic company that ticked so many boxes on my ideal job tick list, the role is an office management come personal assistant role, both of which I could do with my eyes closed. I badly wanted this role but I knew it required someone who was very put together, more so than I normally was and that was scary. 

Typically I try to avoid tight waist bands, full makeup, overly done hair and I suppose the 'typical' secretarial look. I just can't handle the tightness and restriction in my clothing. I actually prefer to wear more of a classic or an almost bohemian look with my hair quite natural and my face with minimal makeup on it and this is how I've been for so many years. Starting a new career I knew I was going to have to change my regular habits and conform to what was expected and those expectations were pretty huge - my hair had to be done and I'm talking all neat, tidy, no crazy colours or styles, my nails were to look  The role is a professional role where I'm expected to be a face for the brand - it's working for a private company and there is a uniform which almost reminds me of an air hostess and I really do like it as it comprises of a white short sleeve slub top, black waistcoat, black pencil skirt and neck scarf. 

I wanted my face to look awake for a start - I'm the worst morning person and my face shows it. I wanted to look healthy, natural and put together sort of like a fifties housewife. Anything too bright or too on trend was never going to work. Although I was going for a natural look I used so many of my favourite products and here they are...


Prepping Your Skin  

La Roche-Posay Effaclar || After washing my face I then clarified and toned it with Effaclar which really gets everything off but doesn't strip away the skin or leave you sore and stinging - even after washing my face I find I still get some grime (bleurgh) off so I know this is a great way to unclog those pores before applying anything else. This came in a gift set but you can get the singular lotion in different packaging here (link)

Skin Shop Silver Serum || After giving my skin a thorough cleanse I apply this almost silver-purple tinged cream to the whole of my face and neck area as it keeps me looking hydrated - but - it also acts as an antibacterial protector and when you suffer from pimples, breakouts and cystic acne anything that's got an antibacterial property is extra special as it ensures no nasty bacterias make you breakout. It also works as a protector in the fight against ageing and is so gentle (but effective).  This is one of those products I continue to repurchase once it's run out. 

Balance Snake Venom Eye Cream || I apply this to the areas where fine lines are going to creep up, in-between the eyes, around the nostril lines, the eye area and around the lips. This cream gives you visible results and I mean almost instantly which is why I continue to use this even though it only costs a couple of pound. When you're looking for an awake and with it look, this cream gives you that asap! 

Eos Lip Balm || I actually don't love the taste of this lip balm as it's honeysuckle and melon, I've never been a melon fan to be honest but I so badly wanted to try out this 'cult lip balm' that I caved and got the only flavour available. This lip balm is much harder than say Burt's Bee's grapefruit balm which I normally use but for some crazy reason it's gone AWOL *sobs* because of that I've had to start using the EOS as a lip base. What I will say is that this is a great lip primer, it's not overly hydrating but as pre-application before applying your tinted balms or lipsticks it's fantastic as it gives them a waxy but featherlight coating that's great for smoothing away patches of dry skin. 


Which Brush is Which 

Real Techniques || This is the Expert Face Brush which is perfect and I mean p-e-r-f-e-c-t for applying blusher. If you're a blush novice or have a habit of applying too much or too little then snap up this brush as you can't get your blush wrong. Simply suck in your cheeks and apply or make a big smile and apply in circular motions to the apples of your cheeks. 

Small Brush || I have no idea where I purchased this brush from but the bristles are super soft. I use this for applying my concealer as it comes in a palette - this holds the right amount of product and applies it carefully to my spots and red areas really nicely. Because it's so dinky I can apply anywhere without fear of getting concealer on my hairline or in my eyes or on my brows etc. 

Squint Brush || Again I have no idea where this came from. The bristles are so soft and are squint which makes this the perfect brush for applying eyeshadow as eyeliner. After applying a liquid liner I also take a super dark eyeshadow and use this brush to apply it to the lash line as it makes your eyelashes look really think and so dark. 

EcoTools|| After using the small brush to apply concealer to my problem areas, I use this brush to get great coverage. Having used this brush for foundation and concealer I'll never go back to using my fingers or sponges. 

Nanshy || I adore Nanshy. Nanshy make the most perfectly, soft and easy to use brushes around this brush in particular I use as a buffing brush to make sure my foundation and concealer is buffed to perfection. Because the tip is slightly pointed it's excellent for buffing around the nose and the hairline too. 

Virgin Vie || This brush is so old and the company isn't even in business anymore however, the chubby bristles are perfect for applying eyeshadow and getting into the eye socket for the perfect smoky eye. 


Face Base 

Mehron Celebre Pro Palette || This is my everything and then some. When no-other concealer or foundation (from Rimmel to Dior and everything in between may I add)  would cover my acne, the Mehron Pro-Palette did, and it lasts all day. I tend to mix the 2 bottom fair tones to get my perfect shade but what I love is that I can mix my perfect colour to suit seasons or worse spots etc. If you love to contour you can also mix a good contour base with this one palette. 

I stay with the small brush to apply it to the most visible spots and darkened areas, I then use the Eco Tools to blend it into the skin and finally the chunky Nanshy to buff away any lines or marks. The palette above is messy but I didn't see the point in cleaning it just for a photo because this is how I am, I'm trying to keep each post as real as possible. I mix the two shades on the actual palette and then apply to my face.  


Cheeks 

Clinique Pop Blush || I wasn't always a blusher fan but the Clinique Pop Blushes changed that in 2014. This is the Ginger Pop shade which is a gentle rosy pink tone that's very natural on the cheeks but buildable. I use the Real Techniques brush and apply in a circular motion - as you can see the tips of the brush are now tinged pink. 


Eye Base 

Benefit Stay Don't Stray || I have no ideas where this sample came from but it's the light/medium shade and I was so grateful to have this in my sample arsenal. I am one of those who finds their shadows migrate into the creases of their eyes, even after applying primers, serums and the sheerest eyeshadow they tend to disappear. I actually tried this out a few days before starting as I didn't want to apply and ultimately wear an additional product on the day if it wasn't going to work, you know what? It kept my shadows in place all day. Keeping in mind that I wore more eyeshadow on the day and dealing with crazy weather and central heating I expected to find my eyeshadow had moved come dinner time but nope, it was still the same as it had been that morning. I will be purchasing a full size of this product. 

Hard Candy Eyeshadow || This colour is Butterscotch. You don't really see Hard Candy anymore and I found this by surprise in my stash. The packaging is awesome as you slide up the heart to open it, the shadow also is so pigmented and dare I say it, out performs any of my neutral MAC shadows. I applied this over the Stay Don't Stray and before applying the PUR to give myself a completely neutral base - as a stand alone eyeshadow this would work also if you were looking for a completely nude eye. 

PUR Minerals Trio || 3 gorgeous wearable shades that can be worn together or singly. The shades work as a base, colour and smoky shade but I actually wear the lightest all over the lid as a colour and then use the darkest shade as a liner. However, for my work wear look I needed something a bit more sophisticated so wore Allure (lightest) all over from the eyelid to the brow bone, then topped the eyelid area only with Icon (fine shimmery neutral gold beige) and then added Fame (matte brown with fine gold shimmer) to the eye socket and as a liner. This trio is really pigmented so works well at covering my eyelids as I have thin skin so my veins show and of course there's the differences in skin colour and tone around the eye. FYI this is on sale at the moment from £20 to £8.99. 

I applied all eyeshadows using my super old Virgin Vie brush. 


Final Touches 

Balance Eye Cream || OK so you put this onto those frown lines right at the start, before I head out the door I apply a teeny amount to the crows feet again and dab it gently into the skin - I find it refreshes me right before heading out of the door. Crazy, yes! but it works. 

Laura Geller Inkwell Gel Liner || Pull out the top to find the little applicator brush, the gel-cream liner is a deep aubergine which applies really nice and doesn't slide about, I of course didn't want a purple liner for my first day so I applied the Inkwell liner and then topped with PUR Minerals Fame (darkest) eyeshadow using the squint end brush - the results was a dark liner that left my lashes looking fuller and darker (the shadow fills the gaps between liner and lash) with a hint of purple in certain lights. 

Benefit They're Real Mascara || You just can't beat this lash boosting, blacker than black mascara. 

Shavata Double End Brow Pencil || Each side of this pencil has a different colour and the two colours here are Dusk and Dawn. I love that there's the two because you can fill in your brows so they look natural with the beginning of my brows being lighter I can use the Dawn end and the tail of my brows is always done in Dusk. Again this allows you to fill the gaps but leaves you looking so natural that no-one will ever know. 

Inika Brow Pencil || This is the Brunette Beauty shade of pencil and it comes with a sharpener on the lid. While this is a 'brow' pencil (and a very good one at that) I use it as a liner because it's so pigmented but doesn't look fake. I do use this for my brows but I've come to love Shavata so Inika has been reserved for liner duties, it's especially good for lower lashes too. 

Burt's Bees Tinted Balm || I'm definitely more of a tinted balm woman purely for because I can reapply without a mirror and I'm left feeling more comfortable throughout the day. The two shades I use are Petunia which is a pretty pink shade and Hibiscus which is a purple toned rosy pink. 

Tom Ford White Patchouli || Although I've been known to blind buy fragrances before I wasn't 100% confident with this Tom Ford one purely because it's so expensive. I'm a huge lover of patchouli scents but sometimes they just don't translate which is why I purchased the sample first off. What I will say is this patchouli scent is so much more than I could have ever hoped for, it's simply breathtaking with notes such as white flowers, patchouli, peony, bergamot, jasmine, rose, coriander and ambrette seed. The resulting fragrance is a earthy confident impact with a gentle feminine dry down - it's perfect for those moments where you want to feel empowered and in control. P.S Tom Ford Amber Absolute is amazing too! 

Glasses || These are my red Tommy Hilfiger prescription glasses which I wear all the time - I purchased them a few years back because I was straining my eyes and causing lots more fine lines *grrr*, I hated my glasses at that time as they just didn't fit and eventually I made another appointment but this time with Specsavers. I now won't go anywhere else because they agreed that the last shop (won't name names but it was a private local brand) didn't check that the glasses fitted which made my frames pretty useless. I have quite close eyes and need a petite frame which is why these slight cat eye look frames suit me. 

These Hilfiger frames are so comfortable and because I can wear them I definitely feel that these are one of the best anti-ageing gadgets around, after all I'm no longer squinting to see things - so - if you are suppose to wear your glasses then remember to do it! 

This style's not available but the newer Hilfiger frames in a similar colour and style can be found here (link). 

Hopefully this lot has inspired you to go for a put-together, natural look. Do you have any favourite work suitable cosmetics? 

Some older pr samples & purchased most myself
Not sponsored by any of these brands
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RMK // Vintage Sweets Collection


Japanese brand RMK are launching their Vintage Sweets Collection this month. If you're a fan of the brand then this comes as great news - would you believe I've actually never tried this brand! Although I've not physically tried anything that hasn't stopped me from wanting to snap up everything as it's released as I adore their fun and youthful brand appearance which at times is akin to Paul and Joe Beaute as well as Benefit. 

The new collection includes 

Sweets Face Colour £33 || Translucent powder which leaves the wearer with a healthy but luminous finish. Colours include: Blue-Lilac and Yellow-Green. 

Face Brush || The perfect fluffy brush to apply your face colour with. 

Vintage Candy Cheeks £20 || Two shade cheek colour to give the wearer a healthy glow, this also comes in a cute candy shaped design. Colours include: Candy Pink, Candy Rose, Candy Red Rose and Candy Mocha Rose. 

Vintage Drop Gloss £14.50 || Delicate translucent tint which comes in four shades. Colours include: Maple Syrup, Rose, Cassis and Butterscotch. 

Sugar Eyes £21 || Two shade palette that can be used as solo's or together - both have a sheer finish which is perfect for a daytime look. Colours include: Sugar Pink Beige, Sugar Grey, Sugar Blue, Sugar Blue and Sugar Yellow Gold. 

Nail Colour £14 || Five spring toned smokey pastels. Colours include: Smoky Grey, Smoky Pink, Smoky Blue, Smoky Green and Smoky Purple. 

Nail Art Liner £14 || Looks like a pretty pastel polish but it's a liner, these two shades work perfectly with the nail colours above. Colours include: Smoky Beige and Smoky Grey. 

Ingenious Powder Eyes N £15 || Two shades to boost your appearance. Colours include: Silver Green to freshen your look and Silver Orange to brighten your look. 

Ingenious Powder Cheeks N £19 || Two limited edition shades of blush that work with all skin tones to give you a healthy glow. Colours include: Shiny Coral and Shiny Rose. 

W Colour Mascara £25 || Double ended mascara in two shades - one for the upper lashes and one for the lower or just use them individually. Colours include: Black & Pink, Brown & Orange, Blue & Violet, Indigo & Green and Dark Grey & Yellow. 

The collection will launch into Selfridges (link) on the 22nd so pop it in your diary right now or face not being able to get your favourites. I love the look of the Smoky Beige liner which is being worn as a polish on the model in the main image. 

Nothing to Disclose 

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New Year || Silent Celebrations





What ever you do and who ever you are, I hope you and yours have the most amazing New Year and beyond. I appreciate each and every one of you for supporting me over the last few years and also over on my newer lifestyle blog Lady Woolf (link) and plan to make both blogs more professional and relevant to your needs and tastes. 

Here's the 2015! 

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Aromatherapy Associates // Miniature Bath & Shower Oil Collection


Ten miniature bath and shower oils all housed in a cute Aromatherapy Associates box. It's the perfect little gift for anyone who takes their skincare or relaxation routine seriously, I being one of them. I've never been a huge fan of giving or receiving beauty gifts purely because their so specific to a person's own taste and it's the one type of gift that you can get so wrong so easily - kind of like gifting lingerie, it's wrong on so many levels unless you've been specifically asked to buy it. 

This Bath & Shower Oil Collection however is so unobtrusive and suits everyone - we all have skin that benefits from natural, luxurious oils and we all suffer from stress, sleep issues or a need to smell good at some point in our life don't we? If you're anything like me you'll prefer buying something that's going to be value for money while still feeling as though you've treated yourself; I'm so indecisive so prefer mini sizes or products that offer me a choice so this really ticks all of those boxes, the hardest part is deciding which of the nine mini oils to use first? 

Each glass bottle hold 3 ml's of premium oils blended with essential oils which can directly or indirectly. While 3 ml's might not sound huge you'd be surprised at how far it actually goes - if you're choosing to add an oil to your bath for example you're only going to need a third at a time, each vial will do three baths so this gift set will last for nearly a month worth of daily baths. If you're choosing to add some of the oil to a nasal steamer or a bowl and towel steamer you'll literally need a few drops - as for applying directly to the skin each vial will last an age purely because the oils are so saturated the scent lasts all day whereas your £50 to £60 designer spirit based perfume, lasts a few hours at most. I also like to add a few drops to my moisturisers to apply before bed because the oils are released as your body warms meaning that you get your hydration boost as well as the full healing benefits of the oils blend. 

At this time of year I go through far more AA oils than I do in summer as my skin is naturally drier, adding the oil to the moisturiser really works and saves me more money, anything with petitgrain is great for problematic skin and we like to add these blends to even our sons moisturisers - prior to buying this set my families favourite oils are the newer Inner Strength oils which are so gorgeous and the Renewing Rose oil which even my sons adore. Now though, we've added a few new favourites such as the Support Breathe (seasonal winner) and the Revive Evening oil. 

There are two oils from Relax, De-Stress and Revive and three from the Support collection: 

Relax Deep || Does what it says on the tin - relaxes you deeply making it the perfect addition for your evening bath or a few drops added to your pillow. Vetivert, Camomile and Sandalwood make this oil a naturally unisex and earthy scent. 
Relax Light || If you're a great sleeper but just want that extra push or have children who need to wind down in the evening then this is your oil - lavender, ylang ylang and petitgrain soothe and relax the mind, the oils also work as a spiritual perfume which can be used in the oil burner or applied directly and the petitgrain is great as an extra hydration boost in your body lotion. 

De-Stress Mind || Contains frankincense, petitgrain, wild camomile and rosemary and smells really herbal but nice. It's aim is to help focus your clarity but I definitely think it helps me to stay focussed on the task at hand. 
De-Stress Muscle || Warms and soothes tight muscles with rosemary, black pepper, lavender and ginger, great for those lady aches and pains or if you're a sporty person whose muscles are literally needing to de-stress. 

Revive Morning || Refreshes and invigorates with grapefruit, rosemary and juniper and helps to waken up the mind ready to start the day energised. 
Revive Evening || If you like to head to events, parties or even just start or continue working late into the night Revive Energy is a great pick-me-up, it contains geranium, ylang ylang, patchouli and sandalwood and is my favourite scent out of this collection, so much so I used (it's finished now so a repurchase is in order) this as my daily perfume for months. 

Support Breathe || which is my new bff. Apparently I've got a blocked sinus tube in one ear so this has helped get rid of that stuffed up feeling and face pain - I use it in my nasal steamer and we pop some of this oil into some hot water and leave it in our sons room before bedtime, it contains eucalyptus, pine, tea tree and peppermint so definitely clears your mind without stinging your eyes. 
Support Lavender & Peppermint || Lavender to relax and unwind, peppermint to invigorate and awaken, this little oil has the dual benefits and is great for stuffy children who can't [or won't] sleep.  
Support Equilibrium || This smells amazing! geranium, rose and frankincense can't fail to make you feel confident and happy. 

The full sized oils cost £40 for a 55ml sized bottle, this miniature set costs £35 (full priced) for nine oils, it's especially great if there's one or two you'd love to test but don't want to drop money incase it's not what you expected, this way you can try out nine luxury oils for less and have the chance of finding a few favourites. I purchased my gift set from the Aromatherapy Associates website (link). AA no longer have this set however because they've upgraded the gift box to a ten oil set so as a bonus you're going to receive Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil also but for the same price *win-win* The Inner Strength scent is incredible, so much so Santa brought me the perfume rollerball (review coming soon guys). 

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15 Christmas Sales || Which Sales Are Now Live!


It's fair to say we all love a good sale and at the end of the year it's great to use the sales to treat yourself - or - to pick it more gifts for the following year. I tend to do both but only when the sales one that you really can't bypass either because the products are a great price or the products are on my wishlist. 

Most in-store sales start on Christmas Day or Boxing Day but online you're good to go right now - you can shop in the comfort of your own home and get the best pick of the bunch without ever having a randoms elbow in your face *win-win* Here's fifteen of the best. 


Sales 

Argos || This sale starts on Christmas Day but it's suppose to be a good one. 

Boots || Up to 50% off. There's French Connection candles, Mini Hot Wheels sets, Mega Bloks for boys and girls and a range of bath and body treats. 

CutEcosmetics  Up to 70% off || Brands in the sale include - Butter, Balm Balm, Bellapierre, BM Beauty, Burt's Bees, Eco Tools, Fair Squared, Hand in Hand, Inika, Korres, Laqa & Co, Lily Lolo, Limecrime, Love & Toast, Lulu & Boo, Megan Miller, NCLA Nails, NVEY, Priti NYC, Revolution Organics, Rosebud & Co, SW Basics, 

Cath Kidston || This has ''just'' gone live so be quick - there's up to 50% off and plenty of bargains for all budgets. 

Goldsmiths || Up to 33% off, if you've ever wanted to own a Marc Jacobs watch now is the time as they're on sale in all colours. Of course there are other items too.

George || Up to half price off everything from dogs jumpers (yes really) to babies to men. 

Harvey Nichols || The sale instore starts on boxing day so be quick of the mark with the online sale which is offering up to 50% off in the women's and men's departments. 

Marks and Spencers || Cashmere jackets, limited edition dresses and beautiful tee's. If you like pieces that are classic, luxurious and are the epitome of beauty then this sales the place to go. 

New Look || Up to 60% off guys so bag your winter warmers and New Year style pieces at a bargain price. 

Next || Half price or less on the usual stuff. You know you'll always find a good deal and lots of products you must have in their sale. 

Nails Inc || Prices start from £5 and the sale also includes the seven full sized shade lucky dip for £19.50. My favourite is their Prime and Polish collection (£8) which contains five full sized products suited to a natural manicure. 

 The People Tree || It's not the cheapest of sales but, it's still a sale and you know you're buying luxury and ethically with this brand. If you love Orla Kiely or cat prints you're sorted. 

Topman || I'm kicking myself as I literally just purchased some of these sales items a few days back *grrr* however, there's really lovely items in this sale for your man type. 

Topshop || Up to 50% off guys. The underwear is especially gorgeous! 

Urban Outfitters || Up to 50% off men's, women's and home products. Skull money banks, front clip bra's, dresses, photo albums, room sprays to farting putty.