My favourite makeup looks from Cannes

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Kirsten Dunst's makeup at Cannes has been amazing but this was my favourite look of hers and my favourite look at this year's Cannes Film Festival. The eye makeup is absolutely beautiful - such a subtle touch of colour and sparkle in the crease. It looks fresh and modern and complements the dusky pink dress beautifully.

Bella Hadid looks absolutely gorgeous. The makeup here is softly polished and monchromatic - her skin is dewy, that contour is perfect and the touch of gold on her eyes looks perfect with the metallic dress. If like me you love Charlotte Tilbury makeup, you can read the products that makeup artist Patrick Ta for Charlotte Tilbury Beauty used on Bella here.

This makeup on Jessica Chastain was done by the legendary Mary Greenwell so I am not surprised at all that it's one of my favorites. That woman is a genius! This is old Hollywood at it's best. Jessica's skin looks flawless, that pinky nude lip works so well with the buttercup yellow dress and the eyes are subtly smokey.

I love a statement matte red lip but it's really refreshing to see the rest of the face toned down with it. The brows look natural and full, the eyes have a gentle golden sheen on them and the warm contour ties it all together perfectly.

What have your favourite looks from Cannes been this year?

All images via Glamour Magazine.

My favourite chemist/drugstore makeup

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The contents of my makeup bag is constantly changing. I have products that I'm testing to see if they're good enough to go into the pro kit (I tend to test them for about a week) and a selection of drugstore products that deliver just as well as their higher end counterparts, but are much more affordable ;)

Here are my current favourites:

Collection Speedy Highlighter, £3.99
This gives the skin such a beautiful sheen. No chunky glitter just a gorgeous glow. I find the best way to apply it is with a stippling brush onto the tops of cheekbones and ideally follow with a cream blush (the Barry M Make Me Blush stick ones are a great affordable option).

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, £9.99
I just love this foundation. It really is on a par with its higher-end counterparts. It provides a medium coverage and a beautifully dewy finish. As my skin is on the oily side, I do have to powder every 3/4 hours or so just to make sure I don't go from glowy to oil slick, but with a finish and price point this good, it's definitely worth it.

Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hour Lipstick in Infinitely Fuchsia, £6.99
I heard of this via Lisa Eldridge's channel and she's right (when is she ever wrong?!) this is the perfect bright pink and has excellent staying power. You can dab it on for a stain or really go for it for a punch of colour. So great with a tan. I like to work it into my lips with a brush, blot, and then apply it from the bullet. It is not going to budge.

Max Factor Creme Puff blusher in Nude Mauve, £8.99
This is the perfect blush for a super natural colour. There is no way to overdo this. Perfect for when you're running out the door and need a bit of colour on your cheeks. And great with a bold lip/eye. It won't fight with the star of the show but it will stop you from looking too washed out.

Do you have any current favourites?

Foolproof chocolate brownies

Sunday, 15 May 2016

I needed to bake these for an afternoon tea my friend had yesterday so thought it would be a good opportunity to share the recipe as these brownies really are foolproof (and delicious!). Best eaten the next day (if you can wait that long - hats off to you if you can!) and lovely with some raspberries or strawberries for just a touch of nutrition to balance out all that butter, sugar and chocolate ;)

If you try this, let me know how you get on!

Foolproof chocolate brownies
Adapted from Felicity Cloake's recipe which you can find here (mine is basically the lazy girl's version)

250g 70% cocoa chocolate, broken into pieces
250g unsalted butter
300g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs, plus 1 extra egg yolk, lightly beaten
60g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
60g cocoa powder
100g walnut pieces

1) Line a 23cm x 23cm baking tin with greaseproof baking paper and pre-heat your oven to 180C.

2) Put a bowl over a pan of simmering water (making sure the bowl and water don't touch) and add the chocolate. Melt slowly and stir occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat.

3) Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (and if you're lucky enough to own one, thank the heavens for KitchenAids!)

4) Keep the mixer running and gradually add the beaten eggs. Beat well between each addition. Leave the mixer on a high speed for 5 mins. This will create that lovely thin, crunchy topping once they're baked).

5) Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the melted chocolate and then the sifted flour, baking powder and walnut pieces.

6) Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 30-35 mins. Test it with a skewer and check that the mixture is coming out sticky but not raw.

7) When the brownies are ready, take out of the oven and leave to cool for an hour. Cut into squares and store in an air-tight container.

By the way, if you haven't tried Felicity's 'How to cook the perfect...' series for The Guardian yet then you must take a look and try some of her recipes. For a complete kitchen newb like me it is brilliant!

The 3 things that have transformed my skin

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Let me start this by saying that I'm definitely not a skincare expert. However, quite a large proportion of my job is actually spent on prepping skin before the makeup goes on so my knowledge is improving and, to be honest, I'm totally fascinated by skincare at the moment. The better the skin the better the makeup goes on - and the less of it you need - which makes my life easier ;)

There are 3 things that I've personally started doing in my daily skincare routine over the last few years that have really improved my skin. Apart from those fun hormonal spots, my skin is pretty clear and it now actually has some semblance of a natural glow to it which feels huge to me. It's amazing how much better you feel about yourself when your skin is in better condition.

These are the three tips that I like to share with the people I work with if they are struggling with their skin. I really hope they help you too!

Ditching the wipes and picking up the flannel
I've definitely gone through phases of using wipes which did no good for my skin and, if that wasn't incentive enough, made me feel awful for not realising the impact that they have on our environment (this article by Sali Hughes was an eye opener).

Once I changed, for good, to washing my face with a proper flannel I was shocked by how fast my skin started looking better. I buy mine in bulk here. 12 for around £7 is pretty good value. In terms of cleansers, I alternate between the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. I've used cheaper cleansers (I love the L'Oreal Age Perfect Cleansing Milk) and, combined with the flannel action, they also work a treat.

Doing the double cleanse
If you're like me and wear makeup most days, then the double cleanse is a must. Think of the first cleanse as getting rid of that layer of makeup, and the second cleanse as giving the skin a good old clean.

For that reason, I think it's always nice to save your pricier cleanser for that second cleanse so that you don't use up expensive product on makeup removal.

Acid toning
After I've cleansed my face, I do a quick wipe of a gentle acid toner on a cotton pad to exfoliate my skin and prep it for the serum. If I cut this out, my old friends the chin spots come rushing back, so it's something that is a non-negotiable part of my daily routine.

The Pixi Glow Tonic is my absolutely favourite for the price as it's gentle but exfoliating and, as the name suggests, gives the skin a lovely glow. I did give the Zelens PHA+ Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads a try towards the end of last year. These were much stronger than the glow tonic (and much pricier), but my skin had honestly never looked better. I'm really tempted to invest in these again but £60 is a bit of a splurge! Watch this space...

What are the daily skincare practices that improve your skin the most? I'm always looking for new ideas!

Oui or Non?

Sunday, 8 May 2016

I didn't think I was a big fan of slogan tees until I came across this picture of model Camille Rowe and went on a manic search for the ridiculously cute Oui/Non t-shirt:

Via So It Goes
And I found it. And it's affordable! (That almost never happens).

You can get it here at Urban Outfitters for £30:

Via UO

The affordable matte lipstick that I'm loving

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

If you happen to wander into Boots this week, do yourself a favour and head on over to the Soap and Glory concession to have a look at their latest lipstick line. The matte lipsticks are incredible!

I was after a pinky red for a job I have coming up and after seeing the swatches on Jane's blog, knew that Pommie Girl was the exact shade I was looking for.

Swatch of Pommie Girl and bonus ropey selfie ;)
It is beautifully creamy and pigmented and yet nice and matte on the lips. As a fan of matte lipsticks but not a fan of an overly drying formula, these are for the win.

And at £9 I think they're worth every penny. They have 25 lipsticks in this new line, split between reds, pinks and nudes. I'm currently trying to resist popping back to pick up Tom & Cherry (that name is adorable) to check out the satin formula...

You can find the Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker lipsticks here: 

What Bank Holidays are made for...

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

I hope you had a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend! Here are a few highlights from our rather laidback few days that, now I'm writing this, seemed to consist mainly of food and shopping...

We finally got around to trying Homeslice in Neal's Yard and it completely lived up to the hype. After briefly debating about whether to get one slice each, we ended up going for the 20" pizza (ahem...), with the rocket and parmesan on one half and mushroom on the other. Absolutely delicious. Definitely worth a visit.

I came across this beauty in Urban Outfitters for the ridiculously low price of £25 so I snapped it up to replace the rather battered old Ikea paper lampshade that was in our hallway. I'm a little disappointed that I can already see a little of the copper paint coming off but it's in such a tiny corner and to be honest, is so high up that I think we can get away with it.

I also popped into Cos in Covent Garden and picked up quite a few items there. This jacket which suits me far better than the bomber jackets I'd tried on and this beautiful pink jumper (which must have been inspired by this post as it's my first item of pink clothing in my wardrobe). It goes perfectly with boyfriend jeans. And a lovely soft grey tee that annoyingly I can't find on their site but if you pop into the Covent Garden store soon you'll find it right by the main door!

As is the norm at weekends, I baked. This time I went for Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake and let me tell you, this is amazing. I'm trying to forget the scary amount of butter and sugar that went into this as we have already got through half in *let me check...* less than 12 hours but that is just testament to how moreish this is. I ended up splitting the mixture into two cake tins and sandwiched them together with the cream cheese topping. Lovely.

I hope you enjoyed that extra day. Don't you just love May and the two Bank Holidays we get?!