Spring Favourites – Beauty and Books

Spring-favourites-2016I’m a little unsure whether I can officially call this a Spring post, considering the weather in London looks more like January than late April, but I am ever the optimist.

Here are a few of my current Spring favourites, beauty things and a couple of books that I am loving and have recently bought over the last couple of months.

Amy-Poehler-Chris-Hadfield

I have been in a bit of a reading slump recently, as it seems every fictional book I pick up just does not catch my imagination. So in order to refresh my mind with something new I chose two autobiographical books from people I admire.

Amy Poehler’ s ‘Yes Please’ follows Amy’s journey into acting and comedy and gives us a glimse of her life. It is witty and honest and although it is a bit too heavy to carry in my handbag for the commute,  I am enjoying reading about her journey. Her take on life is so down to earth, you easily get absorbed into her world. (P.S I am a huge Amy Poehler fan since binge watching Parks and Rec! tell me if you love her as much as I do).

Chris Hadfield’s book ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’ begins by telling how Chris came to become an Astronaut describing how he juggled intensive training with family life. I dreamt of being an Astronaut when I was younger so I was interested in reading his story. I love his voice in this book because it is sincere and refreshing and I’m intrigued to see where his story goes.

bareMinerals

I only picked up a few beauty essentials over the last few months (I’m a total beauty junkie) as I have been making an effort to not spend too much money on products I don’t really need. But when you are faced with rows upon rows of duty free beauty, as I was during my recent visit to Thailand, it can be hard to hold back.

I picked up the Complexion Rescue and the BARESKIN Complete Coverage Serum concealer from bareMinerals as they are my go to beauty brand that is both cruelty free and works with my skin. The Complexion Rescue (£26) is a tinted moisturiser/BB cream and is my favourite beauty product right now because I can use it as a base or wear it on its own for a refreshed look. It is not too heavy and sort of melts into the skin.
The BARESKIN Complete Coverage Serum concealer  (£22) is amazing and is fast becoming my favourite concealer I have ever used. The formula is smooth and it blends so well into the skin and gives coverage that lasts all day. A little really goes a long way so I am hoping that this will last me a little while, because it was a little pricey for a concealer.

The Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder  (£13) from the Body Shop is my favourite ‘go to’ bronzer which I had to  replace after using my last one up. I chose a darker shade (shade 04) this time as I picked the lightest last time as I wanted a more bronzed glow. I couldn’t be happier.

Finally the B. Confident Day Cream (top picture) has been my regular face-cream for a couple of months. I was initially sceptical because it was a highstreet buy, available exclusively from Superdrug, and so cheap – currently half price at £4.95! However the consistency is really creamy and it has not made my skin feel dry or break out. This is definitely a repeat purchase face cream! AND it’s a vegan brand! Win win! 

What are your Spring 2016 favourites? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to know.

Thanks for reading xx

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Nude Make-up – Urban Decay Naked 3 and OCC Lip Tar

nude make

Nude make-up is always a beauty favourite. It looks effortless, timeless and suits all complexions as it is in essence a way to emphasise your own natural beauty. For me when it comes to make-up, less is definitely more, and that isn’t to say that I don’t use minimal products, its more about creating a minimal look. There is no dramatic eye needed here. I’ve had my day with over the top eye-shadow and I’m even pulling back on my black eye-liner obsession (I’m not wearing any eye-liner in these pics! rare for me!) .looking down
Two products that I have helped me create this nude make up look are the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Matte Lip Tar, both of which were much desired Christmas presents from the hubbie. Thanks Sweetie xurban decay
I absolutely love the Naked 3 palette, which is all about rich rose golds and blush pinks. It includes a mixture of matte and shimmer shades to choose from so you can easily build up a deep and rich looking natural eye. I must admit I was dubious about the shimmer/glitter shades but when applied in small quantities to the middle of the eyelid they really add a pop of light and complement the matte colours.

urban decay3My favourites so far are the matte shades in Limit, which is a beautiful dusty pink and Nooner which is a dark blush colour, I love putting Nooner in the socket of my eye to shade and add dimension. I like to then add dabs the glitter shades in Burnout or Buzz to the centre of my lid to add a flash of light.lip tar

The lip colour I have used is from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, who are a 100% vegan and cruelty free company, and of which I knew little of until I opened my presents on Christmas day, the husband had been doing his homework and knowing my crusade to only use products that are cruelty free had found this beauty brand from the U.S.

The Lip Tar comes with a little applicator brush which is crucial in applying the product. The product starts off as a gloss which later dries to a long lasting matte colour. A lot of reviews I read about this product say that it can be tricky to apply the product so that it sets evenly, but I haven’t experienced this problem but I did notice that the Lip Tar is very thick and if you don’t spread it out evenly in the corners of your mouth it can clump a little.

liptar2

I was given the shade Hush which is a beautiful nude shade and after it sets it looks like a natural lip colour. Like your own lips but better!

nude make up

I love that OCC is 100% vegan and has so many other exciting products, you can also purchase OCC in Selfridge’s both in store and online.

Have you have tried any of these products or like this make-up look? If so please leave me a comment below, I’d love to know what you think. x

Finding my glow – bareMinerals vs B. Foundation reviews

foundation review

Finding the right foundation is never easy, especially if you have difficult skin and are looking for something ethical. So I’m excited when I say I’ve not only found one foundation, but two! And both are cruelty free.

bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation

After having several bad experiences with liquid foundations of various brands I switched to powder foundation a few years ago and found the bareMinerals foundation to be perfect for my skin, however it never quite gave the flawless finish I wanted. So when bareMinerals released their liquid bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation I was eager to try it.

As its a serum it is light weight and has a very fluid liquid consistency, so you have to make sure you shake it well to ensure all the pigment and particles come together.  As its a mineral serum foundation you are advised not to use a primer so that the serum can soak into your skin.

I was initially really pleased with this foundation it gave light coverage and didn’t make my skin feel itchy, however on the one occasion I had forgot to moisturise beforehand I did get a tight, mask like feeling to my skin.

After using this foundation for about two months now I have found that it gives a lightweight dewy finish to the skin but not a flawless finish. I have found that it sticks to the dry areas of my skin and seems to enhance imperfections regardless of how thick or thinly it is applied and I can only use this if I’m having a good skin day. I think once my skin has calmed down I would use this foundation for days when I don’t want to look too made up, but for an everyday foundation this doesn’t work for me, at least not in winter.

B.Youthful Anti-Aging Foundation

The second foundation I have added to my beauty collection is the B.Youthful Anti-Aging Foundation from vegan make up brand B. which is exclusively stocked in Superdrug.

I found the B. Youthful foundation really easily to wear and it seems to glide on. It doesn’t irritate my skin either and feels hydrating while wearing it, thanks to the hyaluronic acid , I never experienced the ‘mask effect’ like I have in the past with other foundations. The consistency of this foundation is  also considerably thicker than the bareMinerals and is more cream like, so you can easily create that flawless finish.

B. claim that with everyday use you should be able to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by 18% percent, I’m not sure I can claim to have noticed that but I am definitely happy with the effects of this foundation and its wear-ability.

I have found that it gives great coverage and sinks into the skin. I have been using a Real Techniques make up blender to apply both foundations and I am able to create an excellent finish with this foundation. I find that I am reaching for this foundation time and again when I want to use a liquid base as it ticks all the boxes for me and doesn’t irritate my skin.

Comment below if you have tried either of these foundations and let me know what you thought of them.

Thanks x

My new Skincare Routine – Part 1 – Cleansing

body shop
Skin care has become a very important focus for me recently, as everyone knows as you get older your skin starts to show the signs of ageing and I think its key to ensure you start a routine early before your skin becomes an issue.

I myself have dry skin and I like to wear make-up so I am taking steps to ensure that I treat my skin accordingly and upping my skin care game!

I enjoy using The Body Shop products as I feel they are good quality and are ethical which is important to me. So I made a beeline for The Body Shop to stock up on some skin care essentials.

Step 1 – Cleanse
cleaner

For anyone who regularly wears make-up a good cleanser is essential in your routine. There are so many ranges in The Body Shop that I was tempted by but in the end I chose the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil. This cleanser is oil based so all make- up just melts off, even waterproof mascara!

Using a cotton wool pad I add a couple of pumps before sweeping it over my face. For my eye make- up I take a cotton wool pad add a pump or two of the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil and hold over my closed eye and like magic my make-up dissolves.

 

Step 2 – Tone
toner

I then follow up with the Aloe Calming Toner, which is specific for sensitive skin like mine, which with the wrong type of product is prone to break out.

Taking a cotton wool pad again I add a few drops of the toner and sweep across my face. The toner removes any left over traces of make-up, cleanser but importantly removes impurities from the skin and helps to unblock pores. You really can’t skip to this step and use this a make-up remover but toner is important to remove any excess oil from the skin and prime it for moisturiser.

I love the smell and feeling this toner leaves and I find it really gentle to the skin but at the same time really does the job, I’ve been using another toner recently that had a very clinical smell and contained alcohol which had a drying stripping effect to my skin, so I much prefer The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner, which does not include alcohol.

Step 3 – Moisturise
I then follow up my routine with a moisturiser. I think its important to find a moisturise that is perfect for your skin because in my opinion its the most important skin care product of them all. I am currently looking for a new high quality moisturiser that my skin will be happy with as it is very sensitive and I’ve tried lots of moisturisers and my skin hasn’t been very happy so I don’t like to change it when I find one.

Exfoliate
seaweed

I also bought from The Body Shop the Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator to really clean my skin when I feel that it needs a thorough cleanse. This exfoliator is very tough as its aimed at combination and oily skin – which technically I don’t have but I wanted a clay based exfoliator I knew it would clean deep down and I find exfoliators aimed at sensitive or dry skin to not do very much.

After using this my face felt so clean and fresh and it definitely felt that it my pores had been thoroughly cleansed. This is not a product you should use on a daily basis and for my skin I will probably use it when needed or once a week. My skin did feel a little dried out after use so I will use this sparingly when I want to go deep!

There are a few other skincare items that I would like to add to my routine but I’m happy that I have found these products for the cleansing stage.

Let me know what your skincare favourites are in the comments below.

Pumpkin Spiced Make Up – Autumn Make Up Favourites

PSL 1

I love the season that is Autumn, everything looks so romantic with orange leaves floating down from the sky and the Autumn sun casting silhouettes. Its also the time of year that pumpkins come out to play in various forms in the run up to Halloween.
Pumpkin and squash are my favourite Autumn treats and I also like to indulge in pumpkin spiced lattes (AKA PSL) so I thought I would make a make-up look inspired by the month and the PSL.

I’ve used pretty orange hues on my eyes and my lips to create this cosy Autumn make-up look.PSL 2

The orange eye-shadow and lip products are Topshop products that I bought towards the beginning of the year but I’ve gone back to them to re-work them for Autumn by introducing more earthy tones to my eye colour from my (favourite) bareMinerals eye-shadow palette.

psl 3

To get the pretty burnt orange colour on my eyes I used the orange shade from Topshop’s ‘Long Weekend’ eye-shadow duo and swished this over my lids, I then went over with a small amount of the glitzy gold hue from the duo to add a bit of dimension. I then took the shade ‘Get Ahead’ from the bareMinerals Power Neutrals palette and added this to the outer corner of my eyes blending into the socket. I added a final pat of the Long Weekend Orange to the centre of my lid to make the colour pop.

For the lips I patted on Topshop’s Lip Cream in Pout, a little of this colour goes a long way so I smoothed the colour into my lips with my finger. They no longer sell Pout on the website but Topshop’s Lip Varnish in Fun and Games is very similar.

All make up used for this look:

PSL4

The Body Shop honeycomb bronzer, bareMinerals ‘Get Ahead’ eyeshadow, bareMinerals blush French Kiss, Topshop Long Weekend eye duo, Topshop Lip Cream, Topshop Magic Liner, bareMinerals foundation.

*All the make up used in this look is cruelty free at the time of going to publication.

Cruelty Free Beauty and Autumn Fashion Haul – Very First Video Blog!!!

I have a little addiction to fashion and beauty video blogs on YouTube and have been following several beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers for several months now. I especially enjoy listening to them talk about products they have purchased as it gives me an idea of what the product is like before I buy it, its like having a personal beauty advisor at the tips of your fingers!

So I finally decided to make my own beauty and fashion vlog on my own favourites and share it with the world. Eeek!!
I must admit making a video is a lot harder than it looks, but after I was happy with the light, sound and background surroundings I sat down and started to talk about the cruelty free beauty favourites I have been buying and some Autumn fashion buys.

makeup bag

I feel quite strongly about using beauty products that have not been tested on animals and through my research I came across this website called LoveLula.com , which is an online beauty retailer that is dedicated to selling products that have not been tested on animals, and contain the highest percentage of ethically sourced, organic ingredients. I didn’t talk about this website enough in the video but it is amazing! I bought the bareMinerals blusher from them and delivery was free and it arrived the next day!

I’m also excited about the fact that it is now Autumn! I’m a winter baby so I love the winter, just for the fact that you can wrap up in jumpers, tights and woolly scarves.

I talk about my Autumn fashion purchases from New Look, ASOS and F&F but here I am showing you how I like to wear them now autumn is officially here;

Leather Leggings

blue dress swing blue dress 2

Jumper 2 fluffy jumper

So if you want to know what beauty and fashion items I’m loving this month check out my video blog and let me know what you think either in the comments on YouTube or below. Thanks x

You can also follow me on Instagram @bebobchu or like me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/stylespeakslouder 

 

New Beauty Haul: bareMinerals, Body Shop and Topshop

beauty haul

I have been having a bit of  a beauty moment recently and yesterday I went on a mini beauty spree in Westfield and above are the fruits of my labor. We were in Westfield to watch Godzilla and I had a good 30 mins to kill so I took full advantage.

First up was bareMinerals in Boots where I replaced my missing bareMinerals foundation. I have missed this little baby from my beauty box recently and I’m so glad to have it back – I feel like myself again. I originally wanted a slightly darker shade of Light but I had to take the Fairly Light as that’s all they had at the time. I’m happy to wear either shade as both suit my skin tone.

Next up was Body Shop and I need to credit EssieButton here as she is the reason I made my purchases. #thebloggermademedoit.

On her YouTube channel and her blog she has recommended both products that I purchased and after seeing them in store I knew I wanted them.

body shop make up

The first product is the Aloe Lip Care which soothes very dry lips and as Essie explained will fix any problems with dryness you might have with your lips. I tried the product on in the cinema because I couldn’t wait to get home. The smell is amazing and the product is quick thick but not gloopy and really does feel that it is doing good.

The second product I got was the Honeycomb Bronzer in shade 02 which Essie described as giving an excellent al-round glow. They didnt have any out on the shelf so I had to ask a shop assistant who very kindly went and got me one from the back. However there was only one shade, which I swatched before buying and it suited me, but I would have liked to see the full range of shades. Saying that this bronzer is amazing, it has given an excellent natural glow and has not left me looking orange or like I have fallen in a vat of fake tan.

I next trotted over to Topshop, just for a look really, and ended up buying four beauty products. Oops.

topshop

They had an offer where if you spend over £15 you received a free Lip Cream – so it seemed rude not to.

eyeshadow

I had actually had my eye on the Eyes Duo – Long Weekend set after swatching the peachy orange a while ago. I must say it is an excellent eyeshadow. The peachy orange colour is really complimentary and adds a pop of colour to the eye without looking too unnatural. The gold shade on the other side is very shimmery and translucent and I would probably wear it to go out in.

eyeliner

I also wanted to get a more precise eyeliner so I picked up the Magic Liner which has a perfect pointed felt tip end, great for flicking. However after first use it is apparent that I need alot more practice with it.

I also picked up the Matte Nails nail colour in 20N11F PNK – which is a pretty pale pink. I have yet to try it on but I’m interested to see what the matte effect    will look like.

lip cream

And finally I picked up the Lip Cream, for free, in Pout – which is a very bright orange. I would have preferred a pinker shade but it was either the orange or a plum shade and I quite liked the orange. The smell of the lip cream is very sweet and nice but the application is tricky, it goes on quite thick and clumps if you have any dry spots on your lips and I needed to rub the colour into my lips to make it look smooth. I still really liked the colour on my lips however but for the quality I’m not sure I would purchase it again.

Well those are my recent beauty buys. Leave me a comment letting me know if you have bought any of the above products recently and what you think. x

Beauty Review : bareMinerals 8.0 Power Neutrals Palette


Its heeeeerrrrre!!!!  I blogged about this bareMinerals palette in a previous post as being one of my eye palette obsessions and now this little beauty is mine and I couldn’t love it more!

I don’t often use eye-shadow and I have quite big eyes so any bold colour can look a little over powering on me or if I’m using colour, I look like an 80’s pop star in a bad way. I already went through my blue eye-shadow phase as a teen and I’ve vowed never to go back.
So a set of ‘Power Neutrals’ seemed perfect for an eye-shadow-phobe like me.

bare min closed


It arrived in a little gold box with an instruction leaflet with some ideas on how to blend the colours which include mat skin tones and more sparkly highlights as well as greys and khakis. The actual palette is also in a reflective gold metal tone to mark it as a Limited Edition palette which I think is really pretty.
The idea of this palette is that it will complement any skin tone and the eye-shadow are made of sea minerals including coffee to soothe and pep up the skin.

I was expecting it to be slightly larger and at first I was a little underwhelmed that the shadows were quite small but less is more and the size is actually perfect to carry around in your bag. It comes with a mirror inside and an applicator brush that is tapered at one end so you are all set for doing your make-up on the go.
The selection of colours are really rich and quite stunning and some of the pressed powders seem more like cream on the skin, they are that luxurious. They blend really well together and the colour lasts all day.

bareminerals

Top left to right: Boss Lady (shimmer bronze) + Moneymaker (dusty olive) + Schmooze (bronze sheen) + Boardroom (deep chocolate) Bottom left to right: Exec (polished slate) + Payday (light granite) + Magnate (nude peach) + Get Ahead (rustic taupe)

I immediately was drawn to the pale neutral shades (Boss Lady, Schmooze and Magnate) which suit my skin tone wonderfully, Magnate particularly is a complete match to my skin tone and make my lids look flawless. I have tried to swatch the colours below but it was difficult to show the colours properly in the light so forgive me.

swatch 3

I was a little wary of the olive coloured ‘Moneymaker’ because it is quite a strong khaki colour on my skin, but after blending it into my lid its a really wearable day colour that isn’t as harsh as wearing a brown or a black. Where as the grey colours, ‘Exec’ and ‘Payday’, work brilliant together to create a subtle smoky eye for day or night.
However my favourite is ‘Get Ahead’ which is a soft brown and looks like velvet on my lids and the Boss Lady is perfect for an under-brow highlight where as I use ‘Boardroom’, which is a very chocolate brown, for my lower lash lines and also to define my brows using the tapered end of the brush.

I think this little palette is perfect for everyday wear, and as the shadow names suggest, it is perfect for wearing to work without looking too done up and over the top.
Its just the ideal palette to have as a go to and you can easily build on the lighter shades to make an impressive evening eye.

It is however limited edition and has been out for a little while, at least in the States so snap this little beauty up at bareMinerals while you can. x

Beyonce’s make-up secrets revealed!

beyonce-single-ladies-613x383

I must admit to you all that I have an obsession with Beyonce. She is one of my idols, I love her style, her music, how she keeps her relationship private and how she is a strong female in our modern culture. I honestly could gush about Beyonce all day.

I think she always looks flawless and stunning so I squealed a little when I read that her long standing make up artist, Francesca Tolot,  had spoken to Into The Gloss website about what it takes to make Beyonce beautiful, I mean it can’t really be that hard a job, can it?

In the interview Francesca, who has worked with Beyonce for 10 years, discusses what it took to create some of Beyonce’s famous looks from her music videos to her magazine shoots.

ifiwasaboy

I was actually watching Beyonce’s ‘If I was a boy’ video just the other day and thinking to myself wow Beyonce looks flawless yet seems to have no make- up on – how does she do that? Well Francesca explains that to create this look that ‘there was really practically no makeup there’ – wow I knew it. Francesca explains that all it took was ‘moisturiser and maybe a little bit of concealer and lip balm’. I wish I could look that great with just moisturiser and lipbalm!

During the interview Francesca explains some of Beyonce’s most well known looks from her ‘Crazy in Love’ video where Francesca describes the make-up as ‘barely there’ and her shoot for W magazine where she bleached Bey’s eyebrows white!

Francesca also talks through what has helped make Beyonce look so amazing and here are some of her top products:

Amazing Concealer ‘It’s very intense, very rich. It really covers a big problem if you need it to…’
La Mer The Radiant Concealer ‘…it’s very moisturising and it doesn’t dry or crease.’

beyonce-b-day-max-vadukul-437x613

On talking about the mascara that makes Beyonce’s killer lashes Francesca said that the MAC In Extreme Dimension Mascara is a staple used on Beyonce ‘it’s the best mascara right now, so that’s kind of a constant.’

Francesca’s other top mascara for Bey is the L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes which is only £10.99!

Francesca also admitted that she does not use false eyelashes on Beyonce anymore as they both find false eyelashes are ‘dated’. Which I agree with – I much prefer real eyelashes – less fuss.

Francesca’s also talked about what exactly made Beyonce glow in the 1+1 video:

Francesca says that there was an ‘ultimate use of baby oil’ in the 1+1 video which leaves the skin ‘nice and smooth’ after being wiped off but that she couldn’t use make-up  ‘because it would be gone in two seconds.’ However after watching the video I assume she is referring the the glow on Beyonce’s skin as it is clear that Beyonce is at least wearing eye-shadow and lip products, so I guess she didn’t let all the secrets slip.

However she did admit that she likes to mix in shimmer and oil into moisturiser to create the glowing skin look that Beyonce is famous for and likes the Nars Body Glow and RCK Luminous Body Glow products for luminous looking skin.

So it seems that Beyonce’s major beauty secret is just simply beautiful skin. That and the fact that she is already gorgeous.

For the full interview by Annie Kreighbaum visit Into the Gloss.

On my radar – Eyeshadow Palettes

urbanOn my radar at the moment are eyeshadow palettes, in particular nude or natural shaded palettes. I don’t usually wear a lot of eyeshadow as I don’t like to look too overdone for the day but I’m falling for eyeshadow in a big way.

You must have heard of the Urban Decay Naked palettes, they are the ultimate eyeshadow palettes and the creamy eyeshadow is excellent for blending and creating a strong eye. Their latest Naked 3 (above picture) looks amazing and Ive see quite a few YouTube bloggers drool over this palette. The colors are centered around a nude palette making them easy to wear during the day. Also with this array of subtle nude shades the blending opportunities are vast. Unfortunately its not a cheap palette and retails around £37 available from Beautybay.com 

sephora

Another palette that has caught my eye is the Sephora – Pantone Universe palette. Available to buy from the Sephora site – this palette looks amazing. 25 shades are centered around the Pantone Color of the Year – which is Radiant Orchid – a pretty pink which is one of spring’s biggest colours for fashion and beauty. I think with this palette you wouldn’t have to buy eyeshadow again as the range is beautiful and includes matt colours as well as shimmer. This palette retails at approx £29. Im not sure where you can get this in the UK but the Sephora website now ships to the UK. Woo hoo.

bareAnd finally I think I have fallen for the bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow Palette – Power Neutrals. This palette looks so simple yet, as the title suggests, powerful. The neutral colours look powerful and I can not wait to get my hands on this palette to play in all its neutral glory.

I am a little obsessed with bareMinerals as a brand. Not only do they deliver excellent makeup coverage the make up itself if good for your skin. This particular palette is enriched with Sea Minerals, borage oil, caffeine and cucumber which aid anti aging. This palette is currently sold at £35 and available from bareMinerals.co.uk