Saturday, 4 July 2015

Be right back

The time has finally come for me to jet off on my holidays and the excitement's currently kicking in. I'm cruising down to the airport as I write this and totally forgot I'd not mentioned my upcoming absence in a blog post. I'm having a break from my blog for the time I'm away as I didn't want to be saddled with the pressure of preparing posts when relaxation is in full swing (and I fail on the scheduling part). So, it'll be ghostly on here until the 21st July but I'm pretty sure I'll be updating my social media accounts with my adventures. In particular, my Instagram which will be cram packed with my holiday outfits. A change of environment with the sun beaming down and swapping the jeans and shirts for shorts, crop tops and kaftans has got me all giddy. If you're the tiniest bit interested in my ramblings, you can find all the links to my social media in the sidebar of my blog.

Until next time, adios!

Bridie x

Beauty: a summer glowing makeup look

Throughout the summer, I love to have that natural gleam but having only just adjusting to the odd highlighting and contouring here and there, I'm still learning. I have moved up in the world in terms of beauty products and I'm finding myself coveting the higher end brands purely because I love the quality upon my face. I'd be lying if I said I stretch far beyond my means in the makeup area because truthfully, I'm boring and tend to stick to the safe smokey eye and basic bronzer. However, this warm weather has got me craving a subtle, nude eye with shimmery, glowing cheeks and a pink lip which is why I collected all my new bits and bobs together (along with some old favourites) to create a playful mix up of my usual routine.

Although all this holiday stress is starting to show in my dull skin and dark under eyes, a good primer, base and concealer can resolve the issue the best it can (which in my case can only do so much justice until a hella' good filter arrives on the case). Starting with my under layer, I applied the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, a new addition to my makeup collection but one I've been missing out on. It gives the ultimate smooth complexion successfully ridding of any prominent pores and blemishes. Next, I followed on with the Jane Iredale Glowtime Mineral BB cream, I swapped to this after some expert advice at a previous blog event and haven't looked back since. My skin has shown great improvement since using a mineral BB cream, I do still get the odd spot (as you can see one unexpectedly popped up on my chin) but it tends to be much clearer and controllable. This BB cream has the coverage of a brilliant foundation but feels less heavy on the skin. With the SPF, it does have a shiny finish but the more satin kind, not the horrible oily kind. It brings your skin alive for the adventurous summer months. 

Once that is done, I then focus on the cover up, using my trusty Bobbi Brown Corrector to erase any blue-toned patches underneath and around the eye area. Still being on the subject of concealer, I then use the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer on any visible marks, spots, red patches or blemishes and blend in carefully. I feel this is definitely the best concealer on the drugstore market and this is the one preventing me from falling victim to all high end! Once the base is complete, I then powder with Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder which is the perfect combination of setting your face  with some extra non-colour changing coverage whilst maintaining that natural radiance. 

Next is the focal point in this formation, and that's the eyes. This is the first time I've practised combining all four shades in my MAC palette but I'm happy with how it turned out. With the Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush I applied Satin Taupe directly over the lid, the most gorgeous cool toned starter base shade, then using my Real Techniques Shading Brush, I blended from side to side along the crease with Naked Lunch and All That Glitters in the outer corners to bring out that shimmer. Then using my Real Techniques Angled Shadow Brush, I highlighted above the mixture of colours and in the inner corners with Shroom. To then balance the match of tones, I brought out my barely used Stila In The Light Palette and reached for Bliss and Sunset to fix a stronger rose colour but not too in your face pink completion to the look. All the shades were then buffed with my Zoeva Luxe Soft Crease brush to make a whirl of colour.

For the brows I stuck to the natural look again and groomed each eyebrow as equally as possible with my MAC Gelcreme in Dirty Blond and my Zoeva Wing Liner brush to trace the hair into structure. As I'm becoming more expertised in winged eyeliner, I swiftly added a fine line of my favourite Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner as the fully formed pointed tip is always a winner for my desired eye creation. I then finished off with my number one mascara, Maybelline Lash Sensational for an intense noticeable cat eye flutter of the lashes. 

Moving further down the face to the cheeks to achieve that flushed definition, I used my brand new Kiko Masterpiece Bronzer which not only looks beautiful but is also beautiful once applied to the skin. It's nice and gentle, just the right amount of golden to give you that sun-kissed glow and when paired with my Zoeva Sheer Cheek Brush sits on the shadows of the cheekbones to develop a natural contour. I also lightly dust the bronzer in the famous 3 shape under my chin and around my forehead and nose where the light would naturally hit. On top of the bronzer, I then pat in a sweep of the Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer in a triangle shape underneath my eyes, along my jawline, higher cheekbone and along the bridge of the nose. The stunning champagne shade makes the ultimate difference to brightening up your complexion. To then add a lighter illumination, on my brow bone and at the sides of my nose, I then use my Kiko Radiant Touch Highlighter Stick as the creamy formula makes it easier for me to reach those sparse parts. Wanting to be flushed but not too I-represent-Tinkerbell like I then finish off with the Sleek Blush in Rose Gold to match the softer tones and make my face pop. I adore this blush and think it's suitable for any decided makeup look! Plus, you don't need to pile it on as it's so pigmented. 

Finally, I slide over my lips with the Lord & Berry Lipstick Pencil in Intimacy which is the loveliest vibrant nude/pink and reminds me of the NARS lip crayons with the creamy formula. The pencil style makes shaping the lips a simpler task and the lasting power is fantastic. It can be used with a lip pencil to be more precise but I think this alone is just as effective.

Phew, and we're all done. Typing this seemed to give the impression this was harder than it looked but actually, it's a simple everyday look with a dramatic effect. What products do you rely on to glow?

Bridie x

Friday, 3 July 2015

A guide to the summer holiday essentials

Some may say packing to go away is a stressful situation, something I've found to be more than true after the past few days of not having a minute to even breathe away the holiday tension. Deciding on what to take slowly but surely becomes a chore and it's not long till you end up debating (and arguing) with yourself on what contents to accompany you and what to leave behind. Luckily, there's some reliable bits that continuously make their way into my suitcase because they make life that little easier, and are the basic products that will not only allow you to pack light but prepare you for the upcoming sun, sea and sand.

First up are the non-beauty essentials that are a must in my eyes.

A comfortable bikini - I'm a firm believer in comfort, but I'm also a believer in looking your best whilst you strut your stuff on the beach. Having that one bikini that does both means it must be the first thing you pop into your case. Whether it's a new find, or an old favourite; make sure you choose the one that will transform you into the inner babe you really are. 

A staple necklace - despite attempts to pack light, this may fail, but in the jewellery department you are complete if you have a necklace that will pair nicely with every carefully planned outfit. It may sound difficult but there's always a minimal one out there!

A handy bag - this year, it so happens to be my festival inspired fringed bag. Once again, you need to pick wisely in the accessories area to make sure you have room for the rest of your stuff. It's easy to get caught up in the thought you need a different bag for each day and night but taking a casual, yet summery style bag that is suited for both day and night solves the problem.

A good book - the only time I tend to read is on holiday. Having your head in the book whilst the sun glares down and bronzes your torso and the sound of the rippling pool water keeps your ears vacant is somewhat bliss and I find myself getting lost in the intellectual moment. I'm a sucker for romance based young adult books so this is what I always go for but of course it depends on the personal preference. It's probably worth stocking up on 3 or 4 books too as before you know it, you've read the whole thing and still have a week left of relaxation!

A hat - usually a straw sun hat, but the on trend kind, not the middle aged man kind. With my love for hats growing, I'm taking a variety of them with me this year but you get the same effect wearing the same one throughout your vacation. It saves your head from burning and adds that quirkiness to a basic beach outfit. 

Sunglasses - like both the bag and necklace, a staple pair of sunnies is a must. Although the main importance is to protect your eyes from the rays, it's also fabulous if you find a pair that suits you and makes you feel street to chic. Let's face it, we all spend the majority of time in sunglasses so it's fine to invest in a sturdy pair (just make sure you don't accidentally sit on them!).

Now on to the products that you desire to make you feel freshened and wonderful. It's hard to choose just a few makeup and fragrance bits and bobs but the main ones I think you'll constantly reach for are as follows:

A light base - light enough to give you that sheer, glowy look whilst covering your imperfections but enhancing your natural parts. I never like to go too heavy on holiday as I prefer the more subtle complexion so I tend to swap a foundation for a tinted moisturiser, bb or cc cream. I must admit I struggle with makeup when buying for a holiday, especially for the face. As time progresses, your skin gets tanned and your usual colour is no good so upping a shade or two without going too harsh is an ideal suggestion. This year I've gone for Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream in Light Medium as not only have I heard so many lovely things about it, but it has an SPF of 30 so is perfect for that hot weather. 

A bronzer or highlighter - finding a two in one is a bonus! I love to be shimmery and pigmented once my tan builds up as it's the only rare moment I get to escape the natural paleness. Swapping a powder for a cream formula seems to be more suitable as it's quicker and gives you that whoosh of radiance. I'm giving the new Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome a go this year and I've gone for the darkest shade 'Bronze' to give me those bronzed cheeks!

Nail varnish - another tough choice is the amount of nail polish you'll be taking with you on your journey. If, like me, you love a mix of colours but don't want to overdo it then I will forever recommend some nudes, along with some lighter sun kissed colours that will bring out your tan. Essie's Sand Tropez is a gorgeous soft, sandy colour so matches you to the beach paradise and Maybelline's Superstay in Sunkissed is a beautiful shiny peach giving you that pastel finish.

A neutral lipstick - the barely there kind of lipstick is my most favoured for a holiday so what better than to buy Sleek's Barely There True Colour lippy? Its creamy formula gives you that shine and maintains the naturalness of your makeup. Ditching the dark shades and changing to lighter toned shades for the two weeks (or more or less) can add so much definition to the no makeup-makeup look through the day and for a buildable finish at night time, giving a gentle highlight paired with a dramatic eye and cheek creation.

A spritz - perfumes are great but an affordable AND refreshing mist or musk you can keep spraying when you feel you need a top up is the ultimate must have. When they have the scent that reminds you of holidays, it's even better. My utter favourite, Victoria's Secret Coconut Passion, is another re-purchase as I adore the coconut and vanilla smell. Used at each moment from waking up to freshening up on a night, it leaves me feeling sultry. 

As we all know, maintaining a skincare regime can often feel daunting, especially on a trip abroad when all your worries are vanished apart from the worry of keeping up well behaved skin. The sunlight does tend to keep my skin at bay but I still need to take all my regular products with me to make sure I don't prevail a huge break out and/or become an oily mess. However, again, it's hard to try and pack lightly which is why a miniature version of your usuals are super handy. These skincare minis will see me through the duration of my holiday without weighing down my case. From Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish, to Soap & Glory's Clean On Me body wash/shower gel; you don't realise the necessity of those samples or travel kits until you go on holiday!

Taking care of your skin, body, hair and eyes in a hot climate is key. You don't want to neglect the most sensitive and visible parts of your body even if you do require lots of harsh sunlight. Here's some of the products I believe are compulsory to keep your system working.

An eye soother - the sun can be tough on your delicate eye area, you may get soreness, puffiness and irritation turning that sparkle into a negative frown. Liz Earle's Eyebright does the job of soothing any irritability with just one soak, so that will be coming with me this year - but I'm sure there's plenty more products out there that focus on bringing your eyes back to their normal self.

Body cream - peeling is a nightmare, as you see your skin tanning you can be overjoyed with the look of health but the dreaded dry skin just defeats that excitement. I've used after sun lotion for years but decided to ditch that and turn to a moisturising, hydrating, light product infused product with a pleasant scent. The Body Shop's Strawberry Sorbet is a delicious option, with a burst of fruitiness, summer vibes and melting goodness; it ticks all the boxes!

Face mist - sometimes, we just don't have the time to be sprucing up properly so providing a quick pick me up in your beauty bag is a good idea. The lagging feeling of being in the sun all day isn't too refreshing so you need something with a cooling effect to revitalize your face. The Body Shop's Vitamin E Face Mist is a long term holiday staple of mine. The gentle scent and its many purposes (think dampening makeup brushes and using as a setting spray too) makes it an instant winner. 

Sunscreen - the main factor (pardon the pun) of avoiding danger from the sun is applying sunscreen regularly which is why it's mandatory to take along a range of creams, sprays and lotions. I don't think you realise just how much damage you can do to your skin, me included, so it's important to stick to a sunscreen which is going to protect you, not allow you to burn! It's also handy to find the brands that don't aggravate your skin (especially on the face). I can always rely on Jason's Facial Sunscreen to rid of any spots peering through to say hello. 

A clarifying shampoo - it's become a new discovery of mine but one I know will be worth taking with me on holiday because after all, your hair deserves some pampering! All the creams, the sweatiness and the oils entering your scalp causing your hair to be weighed down means leaving time for you to wash your hair in a clarifying shampoo is significant. Lush's deep cleanse I Love Juicy shampoo is a saviour for breaking down that excess sebum, leaving hair feeling squeaky clean!

A surf spray - there's times I love my hair, and there's times I hate it. Adapting to the fact it's naturally straight and still won't form any kind of natural wave, even when in humidity and the 'sea air' is what causes those hatred moments. To produce some body and natural messiness, a surf spray can help give you that beachy look. The Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray is so worth the hype and even comes in a smaller form to add to those minis!

So, that's my holiday essentials. I'd love to know yours so let me know if there's anything in particular you can't be without. Now, back to packing...

Bridie x


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Life: my birthday gifts and buys

It feels like my birthday was so long ago now (in fact, with June being over in a flash, it was!) but to avoid blowing everything at once I've taken my time spending the gifted money and vouchers for some luxury treats I don't usually indulge in but ones I know I'll enjoy owning and using. Unfortunately, now my twenties are rapidly growing, birthday's aren't as exciting; surprise presents are rare and you end up providing your friends and family with a list of potential gifts you've had your eye on for a while. However, that doesn't mean you won't wake up to tons of prettiness, bow wrapped gifts, a beautiful bunch of flowers, a variety of rainbow-esque macarons and most importantly, a usual Sunday morning bacon sandwich. It's the little things you hang on to and appreciate on the day you're allowed to be spoiled. 

Unsurprisingly, most suggestions ended up being fashion and beauty based, and that's just what I received. Without talking too much about my love for high end and resounding hate for the realisation of becoming an adult as each year passes, I'll show you both the items I kindly received, and the ones which were screaming my name as I splashed the cash.

Along with some what you could call cliche presents such as body pampering sets, makeup and underwear from my lovely pals and close family, my Mum hit the mark with her choices. She bought me those Mango sandals (luckily before they sold out completely), some retro at eye River Island sunglasses, Nic's Picks Real Techniques brushes, and not forgetting some of Creams' specialty macarons and my afternoon tea experience over at their Leeds tearoom. 3/5 of those gifts are now safely packed away in my suitcase (the other two are tucked away nicely in my stomach). I've been on the hunt for a staple pair of sunglasses and ones which don't drown my face and these are perfect. I also can't wait to pair the sandals with some holiday outfits and accompany my brand new makeup with some well needed fresh brushes. As the saying goes, mother knows best and she knows I'm forever grateful (even if our constant harmless  bickering shows otherwise).

When I opened the packaging containing this highly appropriate card and a MAC gift bag with a lipstick and my beloved Ted Baker body spray mini from my lovely friend, Charlotte, I was not only having a little giggle to myself but was over the moon. It proves she also knows me well. The shade captive wouldn't have been a shade I usually reach for but I love how it looks on (never judge a book by its cover and what not). Aside from a gorgeous Mandara Spa body set (and a stick of rock as a souvenir from the seaside) from my friend Ross, these were the only gifts I had bought and as the rest of the day progressed, was instead handing vouchers and a generous amount of money.

It's safe to say my ASOS voucher didn't last long as I knew exactly what I desired, and that was this boho style, classic dress. I've decided it will be the dress I travel in as it's ideal for this muggy weather we're experiencing, it's lightweight and comfortable, not too short and can be paired with an oversized shirt if it gets a little chilly on the plane. I may even give my Mango sandals their first wear!

Now, on to the final yet favourite part of having a birthday; lavishing in the high end pieces and waltzing around town making sure the posh bags are on show and the Primark bags are hidden (surely I'm not the only one who does this?). Being a blogger, the what you could call much more expensive than the 'normal' makeup is always in sight and demonstrated, meaning I'm successfully influenced into trying it out for myself. Choosing some neutral colours for my quad MAC palette proved extremely difficult but I finally decided on All That Glitters, Naked Lunch, Shroom and Satin Taupe.They make the essential pinky/brown nudes that are ideal for the summer. I'm thrilled to finally own a MAC eyeshadow palette, even if it is only the starter pack! The Illamasqua Sculpting Duo is another prized possession that I'm happy to have. I'm trying to get more into contouring and the stunning, highly pigmented golden shades in this duo will set me off on the right track. Finally, there's a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick. I've been meaning to get my hands on a Matte Revolution lipstick for so long now and the pleasant experience I had in Harvey Nichols urged me to reach for Amazing Grace. It definitely made me feel less guilty about washing away £23 of my birthday money without second thought.

That's all (for now), my birthday money is spent but it doesn't mean I haven't built up another wishlist ready for next year, or for Christmas which is now less than 6 months away! Arghhh.

Bridie x


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: last minute holiday buying with Missguided


Keeping it short and sweet in today's Wednesday Wishlist because not only has July arrived meaning it's only 3 DAYS for me to get fully prepared for my holiday, but Britain has also decided it's going to have its hottest day since 2006 leaving a very sweaty, stressed out me behind craving freezing cold air condition in this overpowering house of mine. 

I can't ever be too exhausted to create a clothing filled holiday list, though. All I can say is thank god for Missguided next day delivery. I did it last year, and it's happened again; last minute buying of all the beautiful pieces Missguided have to offer. It's been a while since I browsed the site and I've ended up mentally ticking off each category as a must-have. From casual day wear to smart yet chic-wear by night, I think Missguided provide everything you'll ever need for a relaxing, comfortable break with that touch of simple class and style.

Do you have your eye on anything at Missguided this season?

Bridie x
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