October favourites

I think it’s really important to reflect on what you’re grateful for and to express this gratitude on a regular basis. This could be by writing down a list of things that you’re appreciative of, meditating on it when you’ve got a few spare moments in the evening, or simply thanking someone for being a beautiful presence in your life!

I’ve tried to make “gratitude journalling” a habit and it’s slowly been changing my mindset – everything is precious and easily lost; it’s so important to appreciate what you have when you have it.

Life becomes that bit more magical when you reflect on how lucky you are to have the simple things – people that love you, a roof over your head, food on the table. Beyond these essentials are the materialistic luxuries – lots of outfits one can pick from in the morning, a camera-donning 4G smartphone, or maybe a velvety chocolate cake that waits for you after dinner.

This post is dedicated to those materialistic luxuries – the things we don’t need, but can love immensely all the same! Society puts so much emphasis on the importance of valuing relationships and experiences over materialistic things, but I don’t think it’s bad to admit how happy certain objects can make you feel. It’s all about balance! 

This October I’ve been creating a little collection of the fashion / beauty / lifestyle-related bits ‘n bobs that I’ve been particularly loving & appreciating over the past 4 weeks – read on to find out what and where! 🍁🎃🍂

 

 

Fashion

RAPID Chunky Ankle Boots by ASOS

I love a chunky boot – they can toughen-up a girly floral dress, or complement skinny black jeans and a bomber jacket.

I had been on the hunt for some not-too-clumpy black boots for months before I came across this pair from ASOS at the start of summer. At just £30, I had to have ‘em!

These booties are well-made and easy to incorporate into almost any outfit. They’re going to be perfect when the autumn weather gets chillier and the regular rainfalls return.

The side zip adds detail and a touch of colour; I love pairing these boots with an all-black outfit and silver accessories.

 

Short Skirt by H&M

IMG_3140.jpgThere seems to be a black-and-silver theme emerging here 😂

This faux suede black zip skirt from H&M is really versatile and comfortable – I’ve been incorporating it into so many outfits this month!

It’s usually pretty difficult for me to find skirts that fit properly around my waist and my thighs, but this mini has a great A-line cut and fits well.

I like pairing this skirt with big cosy jumpers or an oversized graphic tee tucked in.

 

 

beauty

Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution by The Body Shop

Tea tree oil is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, making it a great ingredient to use in acne-combatting skincare products or for treating minor infections.

One of the most appealing uses of tea tree oil for me is its ability to dry up and get rid of spots. While The Body Shop also sell a more concentrated tea tree oil dipper that you put directly onto spots, their Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution can be applied to the whole face – you only need a couple of drops so this decently-sized bottle will last ages.

This solution has been a great addition to my skincare routine; I apply it all over my face and neck every night after cleansing my skin with Garnier Micellar Water. I then finish off with lots of moisturiser – recently I’ve been reaching for this one from La Roche-Posay.

 

Make-Up Cover by Dermacol

I’ve had Dermacol on my radar for a couple of years now, but have always hesitated about purchasing their products. The brand markets their makeup to the stage and theatre industry, which to me means that it’s probably heavier and more dramatic than your average everyday cosmetics. But after trying out one of their foundations, I regret hesitating for so long…

After another acne flare-up, and with the first day at my new job looming, I purchased Dermacol’s high-coverage Make-Up Cover foundation in the hopes that it would hide the redness around my spots and make my skin look less blotchy.

To my amazement, it did this and more – it evened out my complexion, made the pores on my nose look smaller and even gave me a subtle glow.

This foundation is infamous for being pretty thick but I didn’t find it any more so than the Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation. It didn’t leave my skin feeling sticky or heavy, and it lasted for the majority of the day without reapplication.

I’m now really keen to try out some more of Dermacol’s products!

 

Hoola Lite by Benefit Cosmetics

I have naturally very pale skin – whenever I’m picking out a powder or foundation, I know to go straight to the lightest shade to find my colour! Finding a contour or bronzer than doesn’t look orange or muddy can be a struggle – drugstore brands often don’t cater well to the palest / darkest skin tones.

Last summer I purchased a mini version of the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola bronzer but was worried it would be too dark on my washed-out complexion – and I was right. I loved the texture and wear of the product but it was definitely too orange. I felt really bummed about the lack of other shades.

So, when Benefit came out with Hoola Lite earlier this year I ran to the nearest Boots counter in the first week of its launch to test it out, and I wasn’t disappointed.

This shade is perfect, with cool undertones that complement my skin colour and freckles. It can be used as a contour colour or an all-over bronzer to get that sun-kissed glow. It lasts for hours before the need to reapply and smells beautiful.

It’s also very pigmented; you only need to tap your brush into it to pick up lots product so it will last ages.

 

 

lifestyle

These three wonderful little books have been on my bedside table for months – and not because I haven’t gotten round to picking them up but because I keep reading them over and over!

If you’re looking for some inspiration, The Art of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins will get your cogs whirring and ignite your creative flame again.

The Yellow World by Albert Espinosa is beautiful and thought-provoking. Diagnosed with cancer at the age of 14 and losing his leg, a lung and a section of his liver over the course of his ten-year battle with the disease, Albert creates the Yellow World. This world is based on a number of discoveries that are revealed across the pages of his book – inspirational and amusing lessons that can help us reconnect with reality and cope with our ever-changing world. I highly, highly recommend.

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down is written by ‘mega-monk’ Haemin Sunim. It’s full of inspiring advice, life stories, anecdotes and beautiful illustrations. It’s an easy book to read, and perfect to pick up when you’re in need of a pick-me-up.

 

Despite living in London my whole life, I’ve only managed to visit Notting Hill a handful of times. This weekend, I journeyed to North West London with one of my lovely pals from uni for a candy-coloured adventure.

Notting Hill is perhaps best known for Portobello Market – a haven of stalls selling cool vintage items that you never knew you needed, food from around the world, and clothes with a sentimental history. It’s also gained a reputation for being home to many beautifully coloured houses. Pink and blue and mint green and yellow houses are dotted along streets all over the area – it’s an Instagrammer’s heaven 😍

 

I hope you liked delving into my little collection of October favourites – I’d love to hear about what you’ve been enjoying this month too!

Love,

 

3 Beauty Trends I’ve Fallen For This Autumn

Who knew a full-time job would be so time-consuming? 🤷‍♀️😂

Before I officially began post-graduation employment life I thought it was going to be easy to come home from a day at the office and spend the evening blogging and shooting. Unsurprisingly though, my free time has mostly been spent on the sofa surrounded by snacks, intermittently eating and napping.

Although the rush-hour commute is a bore and the 7am alarm can feel a bit painful after a late night movie, the job itself has been a whirlwind of excitement. I’m being introduced to a brand new career and getting trained in skills I never knew existed; I’m lovin’ it ❤️

Enough work-talk though; today’s post is going to be about another little love of mine. A couple of weeks ago I talked about my favourite autumn knitwear trends, and this post will run along the same lines but instead about the beauty crazes that have caught my eye this season.

For me, the perfect autumnal palette consists of rich red and mustard hues, soft browns, various shades of beige and metallic bronze. During the autumn months I want the colours of the changing leaves to be painted in makeup onto my face; nature is the fundamental source of beauty, so why not take inspiration from it each season? For the next few months I’ll be avoiding sharp lines and bright colours (not that I’m ever really one to sport a blue eyeshadow though…!), and embracing bitten lips, glowing skin and rosy “been-in-the-cold-for-too-long” cheeks.

 

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I’ve never really been one to favour a bright lip over a striking eyeshadow look. When I’m getting ready for an event or night out, I always warm towards a smokey and dramatic dark eye, complete with sharp liner & enormous lashes. My confidence tends to dip whenever I wear a bold lip colour because there are so many things to worry about – is it on my teeth? Has it smeared all over the rest of my face? Did I just get some on that person’s shoulder when I hugged them??  This lipstick anxiety usually results in me avoiding those stunning hot red or pretty pink colours.

But, autumn always feels like the start of a new chapter. I have always associated it with the beginning of a new academic year (a milestone more anxiety-inducing for me than January 1st! 😂) and I guess I’m still stuck in that conditioned mindset of something new starting around September/October-time. This sense of starting afresh is often accompanied by the desire to be a lil bit daring and get out of my comfort zone.

My mild version of “getting out of my comfort zone” this season is going to involve deep red lipstick. Enough of simply admiring those who have the confidence to wear a beautiful lip colour (and envying their perfect application skills!) – this season I’ll be joining them in sporting those gorgeous red-berry shades (at least, I’ll try to on weekends 😜). While matte lips were all the rage this spring and summer, autumn calls for contrasting high-shine glossy looks.

red wine lips

My favourite red wine lip colour is the MAC Matte Lipstick in Diva, with a slick of No7 High Shine Translucent Lipgloss over the top. I line my lips with Max Factor Colour Elixir Universal Lip Liner before applying and it stays put for hours. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the MAC Diva, and prefer liquid lipsticks over solid ones, the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen is a pretty great colour match (if perhaps a tad darker).

 

flsuhface.jpg

Rosy red cheeks bring back childhood memories of hours spent playing in the forest after school. We would make dens within the trees and build ‘bonfires’ out of leaves, and once the sun set and the air got cold we would run home to our cosy houses and mama’s warm hugs. I’ve always loved the sensation of burning cheeks when you come into a hot room from wintery weather outside. To me, that beetroot-coloured glow breathes life and energy, and I embrace any opportunity to recreate such a look without having to do the actual running-around part 😂

Rosy pink is the colour of choice this season (for eyes, as well as cheeks). The blush that I have repeatedly been reaching for is the No7 Match Made Powder Blusher in Peach Velvet, and the Real Techniques Blush Brush is perfect for applying it with.

 

minimal

On the spectrum of cake-face foundation to barely-there BB cream, I can land on both ends. For the right occasion I will embrace a high-coverage foundation to create the illusion of “flawless” and matte skin. During general day-to-day activities, I’ll warm towards a lighter BB cream to even out my skin tone and add a natural glow; I’ll just dab some concealer onto blemished areas.

This autumn, the “no-makeup” makeup trend returns once again. While in previous seasons there was a focus on bare skin and soft brows, AW17 puts more emphasis on those finishing touches – wispy lashes, perfectly groomed brows (touched up with powder, if needed, and held in place with some brow gel), a touch of pearly highlighter or pale gold on eyelids, and a sleek hairstyle to accompany.

To keep my skin looking bright and glowing, without an oily effect, I use the Topshop Glow Prime & Finish underneath a light/medium-coverage foundation. For a subtle highlight you can also dab it along cheekbones, cupids bow and the bridge of your nose.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the beauty trends I’ve fallen for this autumn (get it? Fallen? Fall? Autumn? Yah, punny). I’d love to hear about the makeup fads you’re enjoying too!

Love,

Ellie

REVIEW: Vanity Planet “Ultimate Skin Spa – Facial Cleansing System”

Last month I was invited by the lovely people at Vanity Planet to join their Brand Ambassador programme, and along with this came the opportunity to sample some of their amazing products!

I only had to wait a couple of days until my first item arrived in the mail – the Ultimate Skin Spa – Facial Cleansing System. This post will be my unbiased review of this product after having tested it out for a couple of weeks.

Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa Facial Cleansing System

Cleansing facial brushes have been around for years, promising a deeper clean and improved complexion in comparison to standard “motor-less” methods. Soft-bristled brush heads are attached to a battery-powered machine and once turned on, the brush moves in a repetitive motion (either side-to-side, or in circular patterns) over your skin. This motion is designed to remove the dirt and grime that collect in your pores (pollution, makeup residue, sweat, etc.). The brushes simultaneously exfoliate your skin, removing the surface layer of dead skin cells, and leaving a glowing and more even complexion.

The Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa came with a set of three brushes – a Daily Cleansing brush, an Exfoliating brush and a Silicone brush that’s particularly good for sensitive skin (like mine!). All you need to do is squirt a bit of cleanser on top of the brush and buff buff buff ya face.

Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa Facial Cleansing System

The device can rotate at two speeds – the lowest speed is perfect for using with the Daily Cleansing brush before bed when you’re getting rid of any excess makeup or grime. The highest speed is great to use with the Exfoliating brush to create a deeper clean and improve your complexion.

The Silicone Facial brush has got to be my favourite though. At first appearance, it looks slightly intimidating – it consists of a collection of sharp-looking spikes stuck to a wide plastic plate. However when it touches your skin you realise how gentle and soft these so-called ‘spikes’ actually are. When it is rotating at a low speed against your face it feels like a tingly massage – heavenly! Rather than scrubbing or buffing like the other two brushes, the Silicone brush is designed to have a more gentle cleansing and massaging effect.

Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa Facial Cleansing System

My fave things about the Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa?

  • It exfoliates, buffs and cleanses – what better all-in-one tool could you want for your skincare routine?
  • My skin feels softer, cleaner and not taut after use – I often find that using cleansing products/tools can make my skin feel stiff and tight afterwards, but not with this one!
  • It’s thought that these motorised cleansing brushes can be particularly beneficial for those with acne! It’s too early for me to conclude that it has/hasn’t helped with my own acne but I’m keen to see how long-term use might improve the overall quality of my skin.
  • The Silicone brush really does feel amazing.
  • Vanity Planet is a completely CRUELTY-FREE company!

What isn’t so good about it?

  • It requires a bit more effort and time compared to your average rub-ya-face-with-soap routine, although I’d say those extra few minutes are worth it to get a deeper clean.
  • Those with particularly sensitive skin should be more wary of cleansing brushes in general – I have sensitive and red-prone skin, so I take care not to put too much pressure on the brush on my face or buff too vigorously. As recommended by Vanity Planet (for all skin types), I only use the Exfoliating brush once per week.
  • The set doesn’t include batteries.

My overall opinion of the Ultimate Skin Spa is really positive, and I’m excited to see how it benefits my skin further the longer that I use it for.

Click here if you want to go straight to the product on the Vanity Planet website to find out a bit more, and have a lil browse at the other gorgeous health, beauty and wellness items they sell while you’re there!

Love,

Ellie