Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors

Friday, August 01, 2014

The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors are one of those hyped up products that have been on my beauty wishlist for what feels like forever, and since finally snapping up a couple in Paris earlier in the year I've found myself wondering just how I ever managed to get by without them... Not quite a gloss, not quite a balm - they're a perfect hybrid of the two that deliver a subtle hint of colour along with a glossy yet moisturising finish. Did I mention the smell? It's a sweet, cocoa-butter/caramel scent that I absolutely adore, making them one of those products that I tend to reapply a little bit more than is actually necessary. I love the packaging, too. It's simple and luxe - a squeezy tube in a colour matching the shade of the product, with a soft, velvet applicator and classic gold lid. 

These things are so ridiculously easy and lovely to wear that I've taken to keeping one in my handbag at all times. The shades I have are 01 Rose Shimmer - a soft pink shade, and 02 Apricot Shimmer, a slightly more peachy offering. These aren't highly pigmented products, so I tend to apply them over a lipstick, although they are fine on their own if you want a very subtle look. The finish is lovely - it's glossy without being sticky, and leaves the lips looking ultra smooth, plump and soft. I managed to pick up these two for around 20 euros (£15) in Charles de Gaulle airport in a travel exclusive set, which, while not cheap, was a bargain considering that usually they come in at £18 each. While they are a little pricy, they have very quickly become some of my most used lip products and I'm so glad that I finally gave in to the hype!

Have you tried the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors? 

Lomography 35mm Action Sampler

Sunday, July 06, 2014

I love Lomography cameras. Although I couldn't live without my digital SLR and iPhone for daily snaps, there's a kind of raw realness to film that has been lost slightly in the digital era - the lack of a delete button means that every image you capture makes it to print, even the less than perfect ones, and there's something about that I really like.

The Lomography Action Sampler shoots four images in close succession then stitches them all together in the format you see above. The idea is that you can document movement and create four slightly different images within one photograph. As with all "toy cameras", the Action Sampler is unpredictable. It lets in occasional lights leaks, the exposure changes between every photo and some pictures barely come out at all, but that's all part of its charm. It definitely works better in brighter light so now that summer is finally here I hope that I can get a lot of use out of it over the coming months. I'll keep you updated, but in the meantime here are a few photographs that I've taken using the Action Sampler...

Spring in Paris

Saturday, May 10, 2014

After falling in love with the city last summer, my boyfriend and I were lucky enough to visit Paris again in March. We spent five days there taking in the sights, exploring, drinking too much wine and eating far too many crepes. The top things on my to-do list were to visit the Pont des Arts and see the Eiffel Tower at night - two things we didn't manage to squeeze in last time. While I'm not usually one for soppy romance, the Pont des Arts bridge was lovely - rows upon rows of glistening padlocks inscribed with couples names and dates, declaring their love - we couldn't help adding our own once we were there. The Eiffel Tower in the dark was simply beautiful. Our hotel was literally seconds away, so we ventured there almost every night to watch the sunset and subsequent light show. Other highlights included our hilarious/terrifying tuk-tuk ride around the city, eating pizza in the dark at the top of the Eiffel Tower and of course, shopping. Sephora and City Pharma were my main go-to's, where I finally managed to get my hands on some Bioderma (review here) and La Roche-Posay Serozinc, as well as a couple of makeup bits.

I didn't take as many photos as I'd have liked... We did a lot of walking and my DSLR is pretty heavy (and I forgot to pack my favourite lens...), so it stayed in the hotel most days - I am a terrible blogger! If you fancy seeing some more Paris shots, you can always check out my Instagram. Here are a few from our wanderings...

Instagram #19

Monday, May 05, 2014

Croque Madame in a cafe in my hometown / Cinema in Manchester that doesn't seem to have been redecorated since the 90's - needless to say, I love it / Guacamole on toast / Morning coffee / Above the clouds en route to Paris / First stop in Paris - Sephora, of course / Laduree on the Champs-Élysées / Steak Tartare and wine / Celebrating pancake day with a crepe beneath the Eiffel Tower / Parisian street / Rose wine in the hotel room, from an ever so classy plastic cup / Pretty Paris / Parisian street v.2 / Hugo, happy to be back sleeping in his own (aka our) bed / Another Eiffel Tower shot - it's just too gorgeous / Bed.

These photos are mostly from March, mainly from my trip to Paris which I'm currently writing a post about. I've been on a bit of an unplanned hiatus from blogging since around the beginning of April - dealing with a difficult family loss just made it seem a little unimportant. However, it's something that I really enjoy doing and I've missed it, so I've given my blog a little makeover and I'm throwing myself back into it. It goes without saying that I've been pretty terrible at keeping up with emails this past month or so, so if you've tried to get in touch please bear with me as I attempt to get back up to date!

Find me on... Bloglovin / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

Bioderma Crealine H2O

Monday, March 24, 2014

I'm definitely no stranger to micellar waters. I've made my way through the UK's various offerings over the past couple of years and while I've enjoyed using them, Bioderma has always sat at the very top of my to-try list. Unfortunately, it's not the easiest thing to get hold of in the UK (although it is starting to pop up in some pharmacies, especially in the South!), so I made a mental note to grab a bottle during a recent trip to Paris. This stuff is a cult favourite in the beauty industry and has a very loyal following, so I was excited to finally put it to the test myself.

Bioderma is a gentle, water based cleansing makeup remover. To use, you simply soak a cotton pad and wipe over your face - fuss free and easy! For more stubborn eye makeup it takes a little longer - it helps to hold the cotton pad down for a few seconds to help dissolve the makeup before swiping away, but generally this stuff does a great job of ridding my eyes of even waterproof mascara. This is a makeup remover rather than a cleanser, so I make an effort to follow up with a more traditional cleanser to make sure my face is squeaky clean. However, for lazy (or slightly tipsy!) evenings, the Bioderma alone does the job well enough.

For me, Bioderma beats other the micellar waters I've tried because it's so ridiculously gentle yet effective at the same time. Other offerings have been either a little too harsh and stung when I've used them around the eyes, or been gentle but not quite up to par in terms of makeup removal. Using Bioderma feels exactly like using water, except much more effective. My only wish is that it was more readily available - I'd love to be able to pop to Boots to stock up when my current bottle starts running low, the way I do with my L'Oreal or Vichy versions - however it's easy enough to find online. I'm pretty sure that it works out cheaper to buy from France (I think I paid around ten euros for a 500ml bottle from City Pharma), so I'm kinda kicking myself for not filling my suitcase full of the stuff when I was in Paris! I think it's safe to say that I'm definitely a Bioderma convert. 

You can find Bioderma online at Escentual, Amazon and John Bell & Croydon, among others. Prices vary.  
And Katie © // QUINN CREATIVEs