January 2015 Beauty Favourites

I know I have said this before but this year looks like it is going to be a fast one seeing that we are at the end of January already. Personally, I am very glad to see the end of this month and I explained my reason in this post. Most of the products I have been loving this month are all new and have all been probably reviewed already this month so I would link the relevant posts. So, let's get right into it, shall we?

NARS Makeup/Cosmetics
This month (and the end of December 2014) got me hooked on NARS products and it was also my first time trying them out. I can boldly say I now understand the hype and I absolutely love all of them. My favourite product of the lot is the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation (full review here) which has become one of the my most used and favourite foundation already. It is a beautiful shade match, glides on easily, stays put all day and leaves such a subtle healthy glow to my skin. I also tried the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (full review here) which I was not quite taken with initially but I have absolutely love it now. It is a lovely concealer for under eye circles and works great for blemishes as well. I eventually got my proper shade match (Caramel) and I just love it so much. Last products on the NARS front are the NARS Lip Pencils (full review here) which I received as a birthday present from Sephora Beauty Insider.  I really wanted to try the NARS Lip pencils and I was thrilled to get the lovely minis in Cruella (Velvet Matte) and Rikugien (Satin) which are just the best shades ever. They have such great pigmentation and they just look so flattering on the lips.

Lorac Pro Palettte Eyeshadow Palette
How amazing is the Lorac Pro Palette? I just can't get enough of it. I already have a full review of it over here. It is a perfect neutral eyeshadow palette with a dash of colours that are very wearable and flattering on a variety of skin tones. I have used this very consistently and I literally have to tear myself away from it and try other eyeshadow palettes within my stash. The pigmentation is insane and it lasts all day with or without a primer. It's definitely one eyeshadow palette I strongly recommend.

MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick
I knew one day you would be mine despite all the little set backs we had! I searched everywhere for this lipstick until my friend eventually tracked it down from America for me. I hear it is available on the MAC website so grab it when you can. It's a perfect brownish pink shade which is perfect for everyday wear. I fear that it will be worn down so soon because I have worn it so much this month. I have a full review on here and a post on MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick Dupes here as well.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige
This was released sometime last year but I was not really interested in getting it because I thought it may look odd on my eyelids. I was very wrong. While it is not very pigmented on my lids because of my skin tone, I find that it gives it such a beautiful blended shade. I apply it as an all over lid colour and it makes my eyeshadow application much easier . I really love this and I can finally give my Maybelline On and On Bronze a well deserved rest.

Soap and Glory Rich and Famous Shower Gel
I know I already mentioned this lovely shower gel in this post but I am obsessed with it. It is enriched with Almond, Brown Sugar and Oats amongst other delicious ingredients and it is so hard to resist the temptation to have a cheeky taste. It smells really sweet and the fragrance lingers ever so slightly after I take a shower. I recently got the matching body cream and I just can't get enough of them.

Jo Malone Tuberose Angelica Cologne Intense
I already have a review of this perfume here but I can say it has to be one of the best fragrances I have tried. Jo Malone London seriously makes the best fragrances. As the name suggests, this fragrance has Tuberose and Angelica along with other ingredients which gives it its unique decadent fragrance. I really love this fragrance and I now reserve it for outings and special occasions because I want it to last forever...yeah, seriously!!

Lifestyle Favourites
I already made a separate post on my non-beauty favourites here where I featured all my lifestyle favourites. I particularly loved my 5-year Q&A Journal which is essentially a journal/diary where you can write entries everyday for a year. I love how the questions are so short and straightforward which makes it really easy to fill in at the end of the day or whenever you fancy. It is also very portable so you can always pop it in your bag. The best thing is it is valid for five years so you can always check back what you wrote the previous year. I absolutely love it. My last product for this month is this candle from "Our Own Candle Company" in the shade "Ho Ho Ho" which I got in the sales for just £6. It was an absolute bargain because you can keep the Kilner Jar/Cup for smoothies when you are done with the Candle. It is definitely one of my many candles that burns very evenly and I love it for that. That's it folks! I hope you enjoyed this lil' post and I am keen to see/hear what your favourites are. See you in my next post...xx

MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick Dupes

I recently reviewed MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick over here and it is one of my current favourite lipsticks. Before I finally got my hands on it, I tried a few drug store lipsticks which were rumoured to be dupes for MAC Velvet Teddy. I really like trying dupes because they give you a chance to find new gems which may even be cheaper and better. I picked up the Rimmel London Kate Moss 03 and the Collection Deluxe Charleston 03. They are all lovely lipsticks and they really look like MAC Velvet Teddy lipstick on first glance but when it is swatched you notice slight differences.

Collection Deluxe Charleston 03
I like Collection Deluxe Lipsticks because they are much better quality than the normal collection lipsticks. The shade Charleston 03 is a pinkish brown lipstick with a lustre finish. The packaging is really nice although I would not say it’s very sturdy. It’s quite light which is a good thing and the design is much better than the other lipsticks. I always need to use a lip liner with this lipstick. The wear time is average but it is a pretty colour and the formula is quite moisturising which is good given its cost. It retails for £3.99 but there are always offers as always.

Rimmel London Kate Moss 03
I have no idea why I never tried the Kate Moss range from Rimmel London as it has a wide variety of shades to choose from. I love the packaging of this lipstick a lot because it looks so classy (I say this about everything black, mind you) and much more expensive than it is.  I have other Rimmel Lipsticks which I really like because they are moisturising on the lips and have a good wear time. The Kate Moss 03 is a light pinkish brown shade with cool undertones. The pink is more of a cool pink as opposed to a warm one which is why it is not completely nude for me. It has a lustre finish and I think it is the shiniest of the lot. As always, I have to pair this with a lip liner and I find that the wear time is really good; definitely better than the Collection Deluxe Charles 03 but again, I really don’t mind reapplying lipsticks. It retails for £5.49.

MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick
I have already spoken about this here so if you would like a full review, pop on over here. It is a dusky pinkish brown shade with a matte finish but it’s not the typical matte finish. This one feels more velvety than MAC’s Ruby Woo and I don’t have any issues wearing it even when my lips are dry. I really like this lipstick and it’s a typical everyday lipstick for me (paired with MAC Cork Lip Liner as always) especially when I want to play up with my eyeshadow. It retails for £15.50.

Comparison of Shades

Collection Deluxe Charleston 03
Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick 03
MAC Velvet Teddy
Lovely package but it is not as sturdy as the other two
Classy Black Packaging which feels durable with the lovely Kate Moss signature in red
Classic MAC Lipstick packaging shaped in form of a bullet and it is very sturdy

Pinkish Brown Lipstick
Cool pinkish brown lipstick
Dusky Pinkish (almost mauve) brown lipstick

Lustre with a slight shine
Lustre finish with significant shine
Matte but definitely feels velvety

Suitable for:

Would look flattering for most skin tones but may look best on olive skin tones or darker skin tones.
Would look best on people with paler or cooler skin tones but darker skin tones can make this work with a brown lip liner
Definitely flattering for all skin tones; Lip liners closer to skin tones may make application better
Wear Time
About 3 hours but you can always reapply

About 4-5 hours; may be shorter if you eat or drink.
About 5-6 hours; as with any lipstick reapplication is needed if you eat/drink


I guess the pictures speak for themselves; I am sure you would agree that they definitely look very similar. I would say the Collection Deluxe Charleston 03 looks the closest to MAC Velvet Teddy only because it has a warmer undertone compared to the Rimmel London Kate Moss 03 which leans towards a cool undertone. I hope this was useful. Have a lovely weekend and see you in my next post...x

Blogging Tips: Organisation

I started giggling when I typed the title of this blog post mainly because I don’t classify myself as a very organised blogger although I am definitely better than I was a few months ago. For starters, I recently started posting everyday on my blog and it is by no means an easy feat,  if I do say so myself, especially if you work full time. Without being organised, there is absolutely no way I can pull it off especially with my demanding/busy job.  I've learnt a few tips that have helped me stay organised and I though it would be nice to share them. Many of these tips may not be new but nevertheless I hope they are helpful to you if you are looking to stay organised as a blogger..

1. Make a Blogging Calendar/List: I know this sounds super grand but honestly mine is just an old notebook where I have made a list of blog posts for the month. Although I have put in dates for these posts, I keep it really flexible. Blogging for me is meant to be enjoyable and not rigid so while I have a list to guide me, I can publish any post on any day I fancy. My blogging notebook really helps me stay focused and understand what I need to work and concentrate on. If you are not into notebooks, you can always use the notes section on your Phone, Evernote or just a simple Calendar on Google or your Computer. The list is endless; what matters is you understand your plan and it works well for you. I also have another random notebook where I just write likely blog posts which I need to start working on especially products that need to be photographed.

2. Take Photos in Bulk: I am sure this point has been made more times than anyone cares to count but it would have been impossible for me to have any posts without taking bulk photos. If you live in UK or any country with limited sunlight, you would know that getting decent lighting during A/W is a struggle.  If you work full time, just forget about taking photos during the week; it’s not happening so delete those fantasies from your mind. Instead, you need to aim for the weekend and take as many photos as possible. I seriously live for the sun and once it shows up, I jump up from my bed and start snapping away. I know that sounds very sad but I really enjoy taking blog photos and other photos in general. I also check the weather forecast for the weekend (sometimes it's accurate)  so I can plan my weekend better.  I sometimes arrange products that need to be photographed the night before so it’s ready to be snapped in the morning and I don't have to scamper around gathering them (that's also where my random blog notebook comes in handy).  If you have perfect studio lighting, (mind you I am very jealous of you), then you can opt to take photos any time you wish (even during the week). As we speak, I have photos for all my posts till mid February; that’s how much bulk photos I take at any given time. I have not written the posts yet but I have them planned.

3. Make Folders for your posts: I know this may sound very anal but I like to have separate folders for all my pictures because it makes it much easier for me to edit and organise them. This is not compulsory but it absolutely works for me. If I told you the amount of pictures I take on any given blog photography day; you would seriously smirk. I love to take multiple shots because sometimes pictures may look lovely on the camera but when it is opened on my computer, it’s a different story. Taking multiple shots has saved me so many times and all I have to do is delete the ones I don't need and save the rest for editing. Making folders also frees up space in my memory card and it helps me plan all my posts even better. I organise my pictures like so:  Folder 2015-Jan 2015-1 Jan 2015- Pictures. It does not matter if you publish a post on a different day, you can always change the folder name or store it under the name of the post if you like. This folder organisation makes it so easy to sort my photos and I no longer have to scour through my laptop or hard drive to find anything as it is all arranged and named accordingly.

4. Write whenever/wherever you can: I love to write and I find myself scribbling or making notes on my iPhone every chance I have. I already mentioned in this post that writing is the easiest blogging task for me and I usually write during my free time. I use Evernote and the Notes app on my iPhone and they are so brilliant because you can access them anywhere. I also write on my Blogger App on my phone but I prefer the other two. I write when I am on the bus or train on my commute to work/home and it really makes my journey shorter. I only write when I feel passionate and if I am not, I would do other things.  I also make little notes of products I am testing which has been really instrumental in making my product reviews in-depth and thorough (I hope). E.g. If I am trialling a new foundation, I would note how long the wear time is and if it oxidised while I am wearing it on the day, etc.

5. Set out a blogging time: I know many people can be flexible with their blogging time but I usually put finishing touches or edit photos for blog posts in the night between 8-10pm.  I just find that I am more productive/creative in the evenings especially after going to the Gym. During this time, I put on my favourite music/playlist on Spotify (Music makes me type, edit and take photos faster). I can either edit photos on Adobe Photoshop CS6 or Edit Draft posts I may have typed earlier in the day. You need to find your productive time and utilise it. If you love to blog during the day, you should by all means do so. Setting out a blogging time will help you manage your time and your blog so you can have a life and do other things you enjoy apart from blogging.

6. Scheduling: As much as I am a huge fan of experiencing the exciting adrenaline rush of clicking the “Publish” button on my Blogger Page, I have to resort to scheduling. I have been scheduling almost 90% of my posts since September and it has made such a massive difference to the frequency of my posts. I know many people argue that scheduling posts takes away the joy of blogging but honestly, I doubt if I could do it any other way. I still publish some posts every now and then without scheduling but that happens mostly during the weekend. Don’t be shy to schedule at all and don’t let anyone make you feel like less of a blogger because you schedule. You can also schedule posts on Twitter and Facebook using Tweetdeck or Hootsuite although I have not really used them but I hear they are amazing. You can even schedule your Instagram Posts using Latergramme and this is really useful for 9-5ers who don't have the chance to regularly access their phones. That’s it folks and I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you have any more tips on staying organised, leave them in comment section below...toodles!!..xx

January 2015 Favourites (Non Beauty)

I can’t believe we are approaching the end of January already but I am really glad it is ending. I don’t know about you but January always seems like the longest month for me because it feels like forever before I get paid at work. If you work in a regular 9-5 job (and get paid at the end of the month), you would probably have been last paid a week or so before Christmas. This means you have endured a six week gap before you get paid at the end of January * a big high five*. Anyway,  I thought it would be nice to share a few of my favourite non-beauty items just before the usual January 2014 Favourites goes up.

Q&A a day 5-Year Journal
I heard about this journal a few years ago but I just forgot to get it. I think somewhere in my mind, I thought it was huge. It’s quite the opposite as it’s really small and easy to pop in your hand bag if you wish. The Q&A 5-year journal is essentially a journal that lets you make an entry for five years. It’s not your typical diary where you write all about your day and all (I had so many diaries when I was younger). Every day you get new questions to answer which gives you something to look forward to at the end of the day. One of my favourite questions so far was "what makes "you" you? I love how easy these questions are and you don't have to think deeply to answer them because they are fun.  I really love this journal and I can't wait to read what I have written by this time next year since it will also be on the same page. I also thought it would be nice to start in 2015 so by 2020, I would have completed it BGG and it would be amazing to look back on what changes I have made in my life. I got mine from Amazon for only £10.49 with free delivery.

Oliver Bonas Scarf
My first Oliver Bonas scarf was given to me by my lovely colleague in my former office and I loved the scarf so much (it's actually the one on my profile picture). One day, it went missing just like that. I was so sad because it was a really sentimental gift from her (it was my farewell gift) and I think I may have left it on the bus to work. So, I really wanted to get another Oliver Bonas Scarf even though they are a little pricey and cost £24. During their sales, I got this Soft Blue Printed Scarf for only £5.00. Can you believe it? Nah, neither can I.  It was originally £24 so I felt really pleased to get such a huge discount. Most Oliver Bonas Scarves are very soft and feel silky even though I think they are just polyester/cotton. This scarf goes with a lot of outfits and adds some colour to my overall look since I usually stick to neutral colours. I think this scarf will be even more amazing during Spring.

Oliver Bonas Socks
These socks were actually what drew me into the Oliver Bonas store because they just looked so comfy and colourful. I don't think I have ever had such colourful socks and I am slightly obsessed with them. They are quite long which is good especially for just chilling at home. They come in this amazing packaging/box which I love to leave them in when they are washed and clean.  It just feels extra special bringing them out from this box (I am so silly). They go on my feet immediately I get home and it makes me feel very relaxed. They were also on sales for £4. I may have even worn it under my Boots to work a few time; they are that comfy...hehehehe

Lauren Ralph Lauren Caldwell Equestrian Wallet
I got this lovely wallet during Christmas and I absolutely love it. I generally love wallets and I tend to change my wallet once a year. This is my first designer wallet even though I think it's one of the diffusion lines from Ralph Lauren. It is a bi-fold wallet which means it does not have a zip closure but it has a small click button or closure which secures the wallet. The only snag is it won't close if you overload it which is really good as it forced me to downsize my wallet to the barest essentials. I love the design and all the lovely compartments it has for cards. It has a small zipped compartment at the back for coins and any other random stuff you want to throw in. It looks small but it's actually a normal size wallet and it can hold  a whole lot more than you would expect. I may do a separate review with more pictures of it. It is a really good quality and I know it will last for ages.

During A/W, I love to burn candles because they put me in a good mood and they actually keep me warm. I am not really too fussed with candles but I like scented/fragranced ones. If they also have lovely packaging, that's even more incentive to purchase them#bloggerissues. One of my current favourite candles is from Our Own Candle Company in Ho Ho Ho (I think it's a USA brand) and I was drawn to it particularly because of its packaging. It smells lovely and burns evenly without tunnelling (what happens when the edges of the candle don't burn along with the middle). It smells faintly of mulled wine and it has lasted me for a long time. I am quite anxious to get my hands on the packaging (Kilner Jar/Cup)  when it is burnt out because it will be useful for my smoothies. Its original price was £12 but I got it on sales for £6 in a store called Chickidees in Bentalls Centre, Kingston.

Artificial Potted Succulent Plant
Ohhhh did you think it was just a blog prop? Well, it has served well as a lovely blog prop and has made a few features on the blog already. However, it is one of things I have been loving this month as it is really different from the normal plants/flowers I would go for. It's a fake plant obviously but I think it looks very realistic and it photographs really well. I got it from Sainsbury's for only £2. I buy majority of my blogging props from Sainsbury's Home section because they just have the best hidden gems. That's pretty much all I have been loving this month. What have you been loving this month? See you in my next post...xx
*Affiliate Link Alert

Drugstore Haul (Boots Edition)

A Boots haul never eludes me because I am surrounded by two really large Boots (near my office and house) so I am always spoilt for choice. It also means I have gotten used to Boots so much that I have been in a few times and came out with absolutely nothing (very shocking!). Well, that's what happens when you have too much of a good thing!. However, they sent me a double points card in the mail to celebrate my birthday so all the purchases I made this January had double points. They sure know how to tempt a girl. I bought a few things which I may have already shown on the blog but I thought it would be nice to do a little round up. 

Nail Care
I am not sure what's been going on with my nails but they look a little worse for wear and I don't even wear fake nails so I can't blame it on that. I am suspecting my nail polish remover so I may have to switch to a better formula. I decided to purchase some nail care that would help my nails get back to their usual healthy state. I opted for the Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Strength which has Green Tea and Bamboo (weird combo) and it has really helped my nails. It applies just like a normal base coat and leaves my nails glossy and healthy looking. I also purchased the Boots Nail Growth Activator which I hope will help my nails grow or at least prevent it from being brittle. I have not really noticed any growth per say but I think together with the Sally Hansen formula, my nails have improved. Lastly, I picked up two more Barry M Nail Polishes in Ballerina and Almond (Gelly Hi-Shine Formula), I love Barry M Nail Polishes and I am building a small collection already. Funny thing is I prefer the normal formula to the Gelly Hi Shine formula; no idea why. I love the colours I chose as they are really simple and chic.

Body Care and Skin Care
I particularly love Boots for their 3 for 2 offers on skincare and body care products and I rarely ever buy them at full price. I have had my eyes on the Soap and Glory Rich and Famous Body/Shower Wash for a while and I decided to finally pick it up. It smells delicious, seriously, you would be tempted to eat/drink it. Why is this so? Well, it is made up of a sweet mixture of Almond, Oats, Brown Sugar and a host of other lovely ingredients. I love the way it smells and it makes me look forward to taking a shower even when I don't need to. The best feature is the pump and I find it really useful in the shower. It lathers really well on a Loofah/Sponge and it's also great for a bath although you may want to opt for something with a little more lather. It's just beautiful #endof. I also picked up an old favourite: Simple Kind to Skin Wipes which I really like because it just has the right moisture level to take off my makeup before I go in with my cleanser. There's not much to say really but it's still remains one of my favourite wipes followed by the Botanics Brightening Wipes. Lastly, I picked up this travel size Femfresh Daily Intimate Wash which I love mostly because I love travel sized products and they are so cute. I know many people have various opinions about using VJ washes but I love and use them. This little tube is really handy for travelling and it's much better than lugging around the full size. It's actually really hard to find this mini size and this was actually the last one on the shelf which shows how popular it is or maybe it's just me thinking it is.

Surprisingly, I did not go really crazy in Boots, in fact,I think I have been very good. As mentioned earlier, I have popped into Boots and Superdrug on a number of occasions and came out empty handed. I am getting to the point where I think I have enough at the moment. Of course, that can change immediately hot new releases hit the shelves...only time will tell!! I picked up the Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 03 which has been touted as a dupe for MAC Velvet Teddy. I am putting together a dupe post soon so we will find out then. I am really impressed with the Kate Moss range and this is the first one I am trying. The packaging is beautiful and classy (I have a weakness for black sleek packaging) and the formula applies really well with a moderate lasting power. I would describe the shade as a dusty/brownish pink lipstick with a lustre finish which I really like. I also picked up a backup of my L'Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim which is amazing as always and I can never get enough of it. I added two more Maybelline Color Tattoos to my little collection and I am just in love with this range. I got the Creamy Beige which allegedly has a Leather Effect although I have not noticed it yet and I don't really mind. This shade works well as a base for many eyeshadows but particularly for Light Bronze, Pewter and Champagne eyeshadows in my Lorac Pro Palette. I can finally give my On and On Bronze a well deserved break because I have used it consistently almost every day. The other shade I picked up was the Eternal Gold and I am a little on the fence with this one only because it does not apply as smoothly as the Creamy Beige. It appears to have some tiny particles (I am sure it is part of its shimmer or "metal" effect) but I find that applying it with my fingers makes it much better than with my tiny brush. That's all for my haul. What have you bought from Boots or any Drugstore recently? See you in my next post....xx

© FashStyleLiv All rights reserved . Design by Blog Milk Powered by Blogger