Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation

Thursday, November 28, 2013

As someone with extremely pale skin, I have always struggled when it comes to buying foundation. Generally, even the "porcelain" and "ivory" shades on the high street tend to be way too dark for me, meaning my foundation shopping usually takes place at the makeup counters in Selfridges. Not fantastic news for my purse, but I think it's a small price to pay to avoid that pesky visible orange streak around the jawline that comes with mismatched foundation.

For the past couple of years, one foundation in particular has had my heart. Illamasqua were a brand I hadn't heard much about before buying this foundation, but I very quickly fell in love with their high quality and unique products. Skin Base shade 02 is easily one of the palest foundations I've tried and is one of the few that is pretty much an exact match to my skin tone. This in itself is enough to convince me to shell out the £27 it costs, but it just so happens that I'm in love the formula too. It's very pigmented with high coverage, but it doesn't feel at all heavy on the skin and gives a natural, slightly dewy finish. It's very creamy and blendable, so a little goes a long way - I can easily get a good few months out of one bottle. When applied with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush or even just fingers, this gives a really flawless, skin-like finish which lasts all day. The packaging is another huge plus - it's a squeezy plastic bottle, which initially doesn't feel as luxurious as glass but means it's definitely more travel friendly and durable.

Skin Base Foundation comes in over twenty different shades which cater for both yellow and pink undertones, so I'm confident that there's a shade for everyone. As I said, it's £27 which is definitely not cheap, but for me, it's worth it for the perfect colour match - the fact that I love the formula is just a bit of a bonus! I definitely think this is worth a look at if you're after a high quality foundation, especially if you're a fellow pale-skinned girl who struggles to find a colour match. It truly is an amazing product, and is one that I will repurchase time and time again. 

Instagram #16

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hiding behind a cuppa with my lovely sister / Yo Sushi lunch / Hugo being generally beautiful / Possibly my new favourite thing ever - mini chocolate orange segments / Lipstick + tea / Manchester Christmas Markets - starting to get into the Christmas spirit now!

MUJI Log Fire (Feu De Bois) Tin Candle

Monday, November 18, 2013

During my weekly browse through the MUJI section in Selfridges, I deviated from pining over acrylic storage and took the time to sniff some of their candle offerings. I'm a bit of a candle addict, and after spotting Vivianna Does Makeup mentioning that MUJI candles are possible dupes for Diptique, I knew I had to see for myself. Log Fire was one of the first ones that I sniffed and I was instantly intrigued. I then handed it to my boyfriend to see his thoughts, and he headed straight to the counter and bought it himself! Definitely a winner, and for £3.50 it doesn't have to be a guilty purchase either. Unsurprisingly, it's a pretty masculine scent - warm, smoky and woody. It really does evoke feelings of burning log fires and memories of camping as a child, and could not be better suited to this time of year. It makes our little city centre apartment feel like a cosy log cabin in the middle of a forest, which is pretty impressive. Definitely one that I imagine will be repurchased time and time again, especially with the boyfriend on side!

If you're into fresher or girlier scents, MUJI have a plethora of those to choose from, too. I've currently got my eye on Japanese Pear and Elderflower Champagne

Lauren Conrad Beauty

Friday, November 15, 2013

Books and beauty are two of my biggest loves in life, so when the two meet it makes me a very happy girl indeed! Lauren Conrad Beauty is one of those books that's always sat out on my coffee table, ready for a quick flick through when the mood strikes...

This book provides a chatty look into all things beauty, from basic skin care advice to hair tutorials and makeup looks - there's a little bit of everything. Everything is laid out beautifully with different chapters dedicated to "Finding Your Beauty", "Skin Care", "Hair Care", "Stress" and "Fitness and Food", then an entire section on makeup, hair and nail tips, techniques and tutorials. For the seasoned beauty addict, there won't be too much new in here - the tutorials are relatively simple and I found myself reading a lot of stuff I already knew, but I still think it's handy to have it all in one, nicely put together book. This would be a wonderful gift for someone just getting into the beauty world as it strikes the perfect balance between being informative and chatty, and covers all the basics. That's not to say that it's one to ignore if you consider yourself a bit of a beauty connoisseur - I still found it a really enjoyable read, and there's a few parts (such as the section on ingredients) that many people would learn a lot from. This book would be great for fans of Lauren Conrad or The Hills as there are personal anecdotes and photos sprinkled throughout, but don't worry if you're not a huge fan - there's not so many personal bits that it feels overly gratuitous. 

Lauren Conrad Beauty is a really nice, girly coffee-table style book that's ideal for any beauty lover. It's packed full of information and tutorials, and presented in a simple and pretty manner. An ideal option as a gift for anyone getting into beauty, or just as a cheeky little treat to yourself.

Instagram #15

Monday, November 11, 2013

Severe hair boredom resulted in me bleaching my hair - I'm currently rather ginger but kinda loving it / Rereading past issues of Allure magazine on my iPad / A misty cable car ride during Alton Towers Scarefest on Halloween / Emails from Space.NK offering me a NUXE birthday freebie make me a very happy girl indeed / Reading Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five again - possibly one of my favourite books ever / Lunch at Trof, NQ - avocado and poached eggs on toast.

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MAC Dark Side

Thursday, November 07, 2013

When summer fades and the evenings start to get darker, so does my lipstick. While summer usually means my lips are adorned with girly and fresh pinks and coral shades, come Autumn the darker hues take the spotlight. Reds, berries, even purples - the colder months are a great time to start experimenting with vampy lip shades, and Dark Side from MAC is one of my favourites.

Firstly it's an amplified creme finish, which is one of my favourites of the formulas that MAC offer as they're always amazingly creamy and pigmented. Secondly, the shade is just incredible. It's a deep, dramatic, berry red shade with an almost purplish undertone that lends itself perfectly to the A/W season - ideal for those crisp dark nights filled with fireworks, chunky knitwear and mulled wine. One  of my favourite things about this lipstick is its versatility. When applied straight from the bullet the colour is dark and rich, with an almost glossy finish, yet the product can also be used as a more subtle stain simply by dabbing the colour on the lips lightly using your fingers. So, while Dark Side is perfect for a glammed up evening look, I think with a more toned down eye and a lighter hand it can definitely be pulled off in the daytime too. Wear time is pretty good for such a creamy product and pigmentation is amazing - this doesn't need building up much at all in order to achieve opacity. I utterly love everything about this lipstick and predict it is definitely going to be one of my go-to's over the coming months.

What shades are you going for this season? Are you a fan of vampy lips?

Lip Balm Love

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Lip balms are one of those little beauty essentials that I am never without. At any time, it's pretty much guaranteed that there will be at least one pot, tube or tin of lip balm somewhere in the depths of my handbag - if not, I start to feel a little bit lost! Lip balm is simply a must for any beauty lover and I'm constantly using them to prep for lipstick application and to ensure I have soft and nourished lips at all times. The following are just a small selection of some that I'm loving at the moment...

First up, one of my favourite lip balms of all time, which unfortunately isn't available in the UK - the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. I am absolutely in love with the scent of this. Identical to the Brown Sugar EDP (a serious contender for my favourite fragrance ever), it's a warm, sugary citrus scent that is just delicious. As a balm it performs pretty well, too. It applies smoothly, leaving the lips soft and protected as it contains added SPF. I also have a miniature rose version, which is ever so slightly tinted (rose, of course) and equally as lovely. Speaking of rose, Balm Balm's Lip Balm in rose geranium is another that I can't get enough of. This 100% organic balm is multi-purpose and can be used all over the body to sooth, moisturise and nourish the skin. A similar option is Figs & Rouge Balm. Again, it's totally organic and can be used all over the body, and it comes in the most gorgeous little vintage style tin. Next up, Jason Lips Bee Healthier. Full of amazing ingredients (sweet almond oil and green tea extract to name a couple), this natural balm packs a surprising punch in terms of hydration while being ridiculously cheap - and it smells like after eights. If it's serious moisture you're after, look no further than Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream. If you can get past the slightly odd camphor scent, this is guaranteed to sort out any problems with dryness anywhere on the body, but works particularly well on the lips - it's one I like to slather generously on the lips before bed as an intensive treatment. Finally, a bit of a fun choice, Lip Smacker's Twister Lip Balm. It's never going to win any awards for effectivity - it's a bit waxy and does next to nothing in terms of moisture - but hello? It's twister flavoured! Yum.

Anyone else as obsessed with lip balms as I am?! Any favourites? 
And Katie © // QUINN CREATIVEs