NYX Ultimate eyeshadow palette in Warm Neutrals review

product review

Over the last few years of reviewing countless make up and beauty products, I’ve really grown to adore eyeshadow. It’s one of my favourite items of make up to buy and use; fundamentally due to its ability to create many looks.

This hasn’t always been the case, at first it was the enemy. I remember looking at the first eyeshadow palette I was ever asked to review. Staring at it aimlessly, expecting it to perform by itself before my very eyes. Stepping into unknown territories, the thought of applying a bright purple above my eyes filled me with absolute fear. The make up of doom. Now, after carefully learning to blend, and which colours shot my eyes – eyeshadow is my best friend. She’s honestly been there for me through thick and thin (and believe me some of the early blending I did really was thick, in a literal sense). If anyone reading this does struggle with the concept of eyeshadow application, my biggest tip is to keep practicing. Practice makes perfect. And as cliche as it sounds, because every MUA on YouTube has quoted this for the entirety of 2018: ‘Blend, blend and blend some more.’

There is just so many looks you can create with different colours and combinations of eyeshadows. NYX is an impressive brand when it comes to eyeshadow, you can get a professional MUA-style quality for drugstore prices. When I received their ultimate eyeshadow palette in warm neutrals for my birthday – I could not wait to test it out!

How does it perform?

The ultimate palette comes in four shade variations and I have the warm neutrals version (perfect for autumnal feels, which I am radiating all over this blog post). It features 16 neutral / nude and warm shades, with 4 shimmery shades and the remaining 12 shades being matte textured.

As expected the colours are pigmented, as I swatched four shades I was amazed at how little fall out there is. Without being deliberately offensive or slanderous, I’ve heard brands which charge triple the amount for their palettes have a huge amount of fall out. I would not be pleased with that.

I like this palette because there is such an array of neutral colours, you don’t need to be an expert to play with these colours. There are also bolder colours, in warm shades for the more daring of us. The combination of shimmer and matte allows so many looks to be created. I would recommend to anyone wanting to expand their nude eyeshadow collection, especially with an autumnal feel 🍁.

NYX Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette is available here, for £16

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My Anti-Ageing Skincare Routine At 25

product review, skincare

You may be thinking it is a little premature for me to start thinking about my skin ageing. Why am I worrying about wrinkles before I even get old? But the truth is, would you wait to clean your car after 6 months? Would you let leaves, pollution, dirty rain water (plus more additionally disgusting things) build up to the point your car is unrecognisable? The answer is no. When we can visually see something depreciating and decaying, we often step in to stop the process. Why should our skin be any different?

In fact we should be even more stringent with our skin because it has to endure a lot. So I’ve decided to actively start to maintain my skin and do everything I can, yes at age 25, to eradicate the chances of premature ageing. Of course, having a good skincare routine isn’t going to roll back decades for us. There are many other external factors which can age skin. Stress, smoking, sun damage and even genetics can make us predisposed to ageing. That is why it is mandatory to replenish the skin where you can.

As a blogger / reviewer / social media influencer / I don’t even know what to refer to myself as anymore, I have reviewed a plethora of skincare products. What works for me personally is keeping to a routine, consistency is key. Decent products that work together.

I’ve recently been using the Drops of Youth collection by The Body Shop, combined with the Oils of Life intensely revitalising cream. These products are from two of The Body Shops Premium skincare ranges, thus, they are a little pricier but well worth it. Here is a breakdown of each product and the order in which I use them;

Drops of Youth, Youth essence lotion, £15 for 160ml

A gel to water toner which is to be used straight after cleansing. It is extremely hydrating, infused with a blend of three plant stem cells. This sits well with my skin in particular as it’s more of an oily toner, as opposed to conventionally stringent toners.

Drops of Youth, Youth Concentrate, £33 for 50ml

This is essentially a serum concentrate designed to target the first signs of ageing. It smells magnificent, and leave your skin with a moisturising glow.

Drops of Youth, Youth Bouncy Eye Mask, £18 for 20ml

An absolute wonder of a product. The eye mask can be applied directly under eyes to refresh them, or used as an overnight sleeping mask. I personally suffer terribly with dark circles and this is the only product that has ever visibly improved them. Enriched with cucumber extract, the non sticky formula helps to address the first signs of ageing.

Oils of Life, Intensely Revitalising Cream, £26 for 50ml

This cream infuses three well known seed oils from around the world, with perfecting micro pearls that replenish skin. I have been using this as the last step in my routine, both day and night. It is light enough for use in the day, but is excellent as an overnight treatment cream. Designed to fight the signs of ageing and provide intense replenishment to skin. Love it, and how silky it makes my skin feel.

The Drops of Youth and Oils of Life collections are available on The Body Shop website, and in store. You can also order through a consultant like myself; send me a message for further information.

Aadnevik SS19 London Fashion Week collection

Events & launches

Aadnevik is a name in fashion synonymous with femininity; a London based atelier that dresses celebrities alike. The brand was created by Kristian Aadnevik, and is now a design partnership between himself and wife, Hila Aadnevik. Basing their entire brand on values such as family tradition, passion and hard work. With made to measure bespoke pieces available, attention to detail and accentuating the female form have become key characteristics to Aadnevik pieces.

You can imagine my sheer excitement when I was asked last week to attend Aadnevik’s SS19 show for LFW. On behalf of The Beauty Guild Gazette I had been granted backstage access, and a ticket to the main fashion show. I tried to act all coy about it, but truth be told this was my very first fashion show in the flesh! Within my mind I had been attending them since I was a little girl. Aimlessly sitting for hours watching Versace runway shows, fingering my way through Vogue magazines and designing my own stylistic dresses (that were basically huge squares with bows on). This was a huge tick off of my life bucket list.

How was my first fashion show at LFW?

As mentioned I had backstage access, I managed to gather some half decent pictures on my iPhone. Moroccan oil were doing the hair styles on the models, and the look was very natural. The idea was to juxtapose innocent, natural waves with the sensuality of the dresses and fierce eye make up. Think of a grown up sexy version of Alice in Wonderland.

You can see all the models had their hair plaited, with heat applied to help the waves have extra staying power. Then, products were ran through the hair as the plaits were let out. Revealing loose waves that anyone could obtain.

The eye make up was a bold blue, reminiscent of mermaid eye make up. Ethereal feels all round. The entire collection was inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and this theme flowed throughout.

The dresses were nothing short of absolutely beautiful. Lace, leather, sheer, silk. The epitome of luxurious, with a hint of enchantment.

All of the dresses together;

Overall I loved the excitement of the runway. Watching the stunning models seamlessly saunter up and down in these opulent pieces, I was in fashion heaven. Yes fashion shows are hectic. Yes they usually run late and have crowds squeezed into one tiny room with sweat dripping your back. Is the actual show worth all of this? Yes. It certainly was. And this will not be my last visit to London Fashion Week.

Kiko Milano: brand overview & mini haul

make-up hauls, product review

Kiko Milano is a brand that I adore, and the reason why is very simple: great quality for affordable prices. I’ve decided that 2018 for me, is about sacrifice. I’m saving up which in turn means that I am constantly bargain hunting. But what it doesn’t mean is that I’m willing to skimp on quality when it comes to make up or skincare.

On a recent trip to Covent Garden I happened to ‘accidentally on purpose’ fall into their Kiko Milano store. (I only went in for a liquid eyeliner). However I could not resist the alluring charm of their pretty, budget make up. Aside from the three items above I also purchased a Kiko Milano by Isa Arfen Holographic Eyeshadow Palette, (as pictured below). Heres my thoughts so far on the four items I purchased;

1. Fall 2.0 Eyeliner in 04 (grey metallic), £4.40

This metallic liquid eyeliner is great for experimenting with the metallic look within your make up. The brush is thin enough for a precise line, and the range of metallic colours available is grand. Highly recommend for summer nights.

2. Love me lots Lipstick in 05, £4.20

The limited edition love me lots collection is stunning; and this nude lipstick ticks all the boxes. I, personally, live for nude lipsticks. I’m going to be nude for life.

3. Kiko Milano by Isa Arfen Asian Touch Holographic Eyeshadow Palette, £5.90

Another limited edition capsule collection, which was featured in Vogue magazine. It’s eastern inspired beauty, and in this palette that is portrayed by the bow in the middle of the eyeshadow pods, reminiscent of the bow seen on a kimono. I love the style of this collection, it’s simplicity and hyper femininity is lovely. This Eyeshadow Palette is cute and practical. Plus the Holographic element is as pigmented as can be. Brilliant buy.

4. Kiko Milano by Isa Arfen Asian Touch blush in 01, £3.90

For a while now I’ve been a bigger fan of liquid blush in comparison to powder. I love having the freedom to blot it across my face, the experience feels more intimate and personalised. You also have greater control on how pigmented you’d like it to be. Highly recommend!

Missguided Boss Babe & Babe Dreams perfume launch & review

Events & launches, product review

I’ve been writing for The Guild Gazette which is part of an editorial internship I am completing. I won’t lie, it’s a bit strange doing an internship at 25 years old, it almost feels like everybody around you is progressing and leaving you behind – however, sometimes the best things in life simply take time.

I enjoy every minute of it, writing is my passion and it never feels like work. Another aspect which I love is that I get much more scope when writing articles; The Guild Gazette is a beauty trade magazine. So the articles I write are less fluffy than consumer driven articles, they are more in depth, technical and aimed at a professional audience.

This week I attended Missguided’s new perfume launch on behalf of The Guild, along with Marketing & Editorial Executive Pippa Ward and the Editor of the magazine Rebecca Archer. It was an amazing experience all round. The girls are lovely (most of my writing is done remotely so actually being in their presence was a novelty!) and the launch was uplifting.

Missguided is known for being a sassy brand and their first perfume ‘Babe Power’ was the fastest selling perfume of summer 2017; I was wondering how they could possibly outdo this? The entire night was very pink, blurry (perhaps a few too many cocktails) and confident – words that epitomise the brand as a whole.

I know that Missguided actively promote positivity, this can be seen all over their social media and products alike. It can even come across rather cliche at times, they have really latched onto an array of millennial phrases that exert positivity.

However, I was very pleased to notice diversity at the perfume launch. It was at that point I realised this is a brand that sticks to their word. They talk about positivity, but they also substantiate that with action.

In terms of bloggers attending events and launches, I have personally noticed that unfortunately with some brands, you do not get a diverse range of ethnicities who are invited or attend. I’m glad that Missguided are not part of this. It made me have a new found respect for the brand. Diversity within the fashion and beauty industry needs to be celebrated and promoted as much as possible.

The Perfumes

The new perfumes are called ‘Babe Oud’, ‘Babe Dreams’ and ‘Boss Babe’.

Babe Oud – I smelt this briefly at the launch but didn’t get one to take home. It was a strong, musky scent. Perfect for evening wear and suitable for winter.

Boss Babe – This is my favourite of the three scents and has become my daily fragrance. A musky scent that is lighter than Babe Oud, with undertones of vanilla I love the juxtaposed sweetness with heavy musk. A heavier scent that manages to also be light enough for everyday use.

Babe Dreams – The sweetest of the three fragrances. This one is floral and dreamy, as the name suggests.

All the fragrances come in 80ml atomisers and will be available for purchase soon (dates not released yet!). Eek, exciting.

La Mer: Crème De La Mer Moisturising Cream review

product review

La Mer is one of those luxury brands that I have forever admired from afar. One of the main reasons being that it’s pricey, the skincare range starts from £100+. I have always wondered whether the prices were justified, if you spend £220 on a cream does it make you look 10 years younger? Glow like a unicorn? Or just fit into a certain societal stereotype?

I’m a huge fan of budget skincare and make-up. Who doesn’t want a product that performs as well as a high end one for half the price? It’s just logic. But recently I’ve started to delve deeper, and it’s not always that simple. I started to compare ingredients used within skincare. And you will notice that high end products use the same ingredients as budget ones. Let’s use Vitamin C as an example, two products can contain the Vitamin. However, is there a difference in potency? The way the ingredients are formulated could differentiate? These are the questions we should be asking when buying skincare.

My best advice when purchasing skincare is to research ingredients. If you know what ingredients do for your skin, you are then making more informed choices when choosing skincare. In turn, your skin should reward you.

Crème De La Mer Moisturising Cream, £120 for 30ml – Review

When we read skincare reviews, it’s often important to remember that everyone has a different skin type. What works for one person, doesn’t always work for everyone. Crème De La Mer is a heavy Moisturising cream that is aimed at those with dry skin. It claims to minimise pores, reduce fine lines and give a natural glow.

In terms of ingredients, these aren’t mentioned explicitly on the La Mer website. I found this odd, as high end face creams often boast about their natural ingredients. I did some online searching and I found that the cream does contain some natural products; Seaweed Extract, Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, Mineral Oil & Sesame Seed Oil. All of these ingredients are known for their hydrating properties to skin. But, disappointingly the cream also contains Linalool (for Fragrance), preservatives and Alcohol – all of these ingredients aren’t great for those with sensitive skin, or or allergies (Quora, 2018).

I have only been using the cream for a few days but I do notice a huge difference. I have stubborn dry patches that are often irritated by creams, this one soothes it. As soon as you apply Crème De La Mer, your entire complexion is lit up. It’s like putting on a spotlight in a dark room. I can visually see from the difference in my own skin, why this has become a cult cream for many woman.

It’s very rich in texture and thick. You don’t need a lot of it. Before you apply to your face, you must rub it in your hands to warm the cream. As it becomes translucent you rub onto your skin. This is brilliant for those who want bare faced beauty, and a natural glow.

Worth £120 for 30ml?

I’d say this really comes down to personal preference. In a sense, yes it is worth it. Simply because it is a heavy cream, you only need apply a small amount. It will last you at least 6 months. It performs as it claims. It just comes down to how much you are willing to or can afford to invest in your skin!

How to stay motivated as a freelancer

opinion piece, top tips

It’s that question that we all dread at family functions; if you’ve studied a subject and are now working a ‘normal’ job until you are able to get into what you want. Then you’ll fully understand.

‘So what’s your new job then?’

‘It’s an admin job. ‘

It’s at that point they stare at you with both confusion and dismay. But you studied journalism, aren’t you working for the BBC?

Anyone who studies / studied any of the subjects that come under the diverse umbrella of ‘creative industries’ will understand my struggle. Creative industries are highly competitive – and experience based. Meaning, if you are not funded by financially supportive parents it can be very difficult to enter such an industry. Often, journalists are expected to complete several unpaid internships before being able to compete for an entry level job.

Sometimes I feel real low about this. I feel like a failure because I’m not where I want to be. But it takes time. I write, I write as much as I possibly can. On top of my blog that you are reading right now, I’m also doing a freelance internship at The Beauty Guild Gazette (pictured the latest Easter issue).

Which is the most read beauty trade magazine in the industry. But when the stresses of life and your day to day admin job hit you – it can be difficult to keep your sights on how well you are doing and how far you’ve come.

Here are my top tips for any freelancers in any of the creative industries:

1. Networking is key

Networking is going to be your best friend. If you are socially inept now is the time to re think your strategy. Most of my best opportunities to write have come from chance meetings at blogging events. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to meet the right people who can help you. Remember, social media is great – but maintaining and creating a real life connection with someone is sometimes priceless.

2. Don’t lose focus & keep practicing

Set yourself a goal to keep yourself in check. For example ‘I’m going to publish at least one blog post per month’. This helps you stay on the right path, and will keep your focus in the forefront of your subconscious mind. Otherwise, when you are juggling a normal job and a freelance career – it’s easy to get comfortable in the normal job as it becomes a routine. Writing, as with most other creative practices are talents that need to be practiced in order to be maintained. Every single time I write my passion is reignited.

3. Lower your standards

I mean this in the sense of, not expecting to graduate become to editor of Vogue magazine. Of course, we can set our sights and visions high and this is a positive attribute. However we must also be realistic, or we set ourselves up for failure. Have the highest standard of goals, but by realistic of when you can achieve them. You’ll find by comparing yourself to others or setting unrealistic goals only makes you less motivated. Think about your goals and focuses with a logical mind. As previously mentioned, you’ll also need to be willing to do a lot of work for free.

Never give up on your dream.