Monday, 22 August 2016

Summer Beauty

Monday, 22 August 2016

This Summer I've been hauling like crazy. I mean really crazy. I actually like having a small makeup collection but working in beauty has given me an excuse to buy excessive amounts of makeup (and it's actively encouraged). It's also made me experiment more as until recently I bought and used mostly MAC makeup. I've now changed almost every item I rely on daily so I thought I'd share some of the products I've been reaching for most this summer.


Bases & Primers 
Priming my skin is now an essential step for me and I've been using Illamasqua's Hydra Veil most*. It's super hydrating which in all honestly I don't totally need (as I have naturally oily skin) but I'm less fussed about having a super matte face recently. I also made the switch to NARS foundation after pretty much only using MAC bases for years. MAC has just been far too pink for my skin recently (even though the same shades used to match perfectly before), which means I constantly have to adjust the tone (see here for how). I'm used to foundations not matching straight out of the bottle so I wasn't expecting much but I'm using the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Barcelona and it's perfect. I also grabbed the radiant creamy concealer in Ginger as so many of you have recommended this concealer to me. I love the texture and have been using it to brighten my under-eye area.


Highlighters
A few months ago I didn't own a single highlighter. I now have 10. It's excessive and unnecessary but I've become obsessed with having glowy-looking skin. My favourites are the Becca Glow on the Go Minis I shared with you back in May (here) and the NARS Illuminator in Super Orgasm (I probably won't get over that name, it literally makes me blush). They're all richly pigmented so you barely need to use any to get beautiful glowy skin. I might actually get another of the NARS Illuminators but in a different tone. I love it but Super Orgasm is a peach/pink shade, so I prefer to use this on my cheeks only whereas the Becca minis look more natural applied anywhere.


Liquid lipstick 
I rarely reach for actual lipsticks anymore and instead liquid or glosses are the products I use most. There's a few brands I've been buying but I have bought more NYX lip colours than any other recently. They're so affordable (well they are until you buy loads at once) and I just love the colour range. I have a few of the Lip Lingerie shades and the Soft Matte Lip Creams but the Intense Butter Glosses are my go-to currently. The wear isn't amazing but the colour pay-off is absolutely gorgeous.

I've changed a lot of other aspects of my makeup routine (like how I do my brows) but I'll save the details for another post.

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

What beauty products have you been using this summer?

Lesley x

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Wash Day with Briogeo & Antidotestreet [Video]

Sunday, 21 August 2016

It's been a while since I've made a wash day video so I've gone back to basics and show how I shampoo and condition my curls here. This video is sponsored by antidotestreet.com, an online retailer for black hair and skincare, and they've kindly provided the Briogeo products used in this video.* I've been using the Briogeo Rosarco Reparative Shampoo & Conditioner for the past few weeks and they're great for adding strength back to limp curls. Check out the video to see exactly how I use them.


The Video 

Both Antidotestreet & Briogeo have also provided discount codes if you're interested in trying these for yourself.

UK & Europe
www.antidotestreet.com
Code: LESLEY15
Discount: 15% off
Excludes Big Hair No Care and Hair Consultations

US
www.briogeohair.com
Code: FRESH
Discount: 20% off all products
Term: 08/17/2016 - 09/17/2016

*This is a sponsored post - read my disclaimer here.

What's your wash day like?

Lesley x

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Style | ASOS Floral Print Dress

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

I've been lazier than ever with styling this summer. I like to keep it simple generally but some days have been so humid here I don't feel like wearing much more than a loose dress and trainers. I bought this floral number from ASOS a little while ago. I don't usually like to wear much white (as I can be pretty clumsy with food) but I love the print and I do have a bit of thing for long dresses which cover the scars on my leg nicely.


I used my new compact camera (Canon EOS M3) for these shots and I'm still not crazy about the quality and the lighting is so off but I may just have to get over it to take more outfit pictures on the go. 

Dress & Bracelet - ASOS | Shoes - Lacoste | Bag - Boopacks | Square Ring - Forever 21 | Twin Bar Ring - Rebecca Gladstone* | Watch - Olivia Burton


*sample - read my disclaimer here.

What have you been wearing lately?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Look Fantastic Beauty Box | Aug 2016

Wednesday, 10 August 2016


This month Look Fantastic have curated a selection of their favourite British brands for their August beauty box. Most of the brands here I've tried in some capacity before and loved so this box was a winner for me. Inside is Ren Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist (£24/60ml), Renu Lip and Eye Active Lift (£52/25ml), Bloom and Blossom Rejuvenating Facial Spritz (£15/100ml), Percy & Reed Wonder Balm (£18/75ml), Balance Me Congested Skin Serum (£16/15ml), Bee Good Vanilla and Honey Lip Balm (£4.75/10ml).

The stand outs for me are the Bloom and Blossom Facial Spritz and Ren Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist as I've become a little obsessed with face mists lately. They are admittedly a bit gimmicky but the more hydrated my skin is the better it seems to look, so I love that both of these sprays are small and easy to carry for a quick moisture boost on the go. Just close your eyes and spray away - they work over moisturiser and makeup. The Bloom and Blossom spritz is made with Aloe Vera and Lime Oil whereas the REN mist contains ingredients like manganese Amino Acids which aim to protect the skin from harsh environments.

Another favourite is the Bee Good Vanilla & Honey Lip Balm. You all know I love a lip product and this balm smells so good. The ingredients are winners too as it's also made with Beeswax, Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter as well as vanilla and honey. This definitely another handbag hero.



I always slack when it comes to eye creams, I have so many but I always forget to apply them regularly. As someone who never gets enough sleep I could definitely do with having a solid approach to soothing my under eye area to minimise any baggies. The Renu Lip & Eye Active Lift claims to stimulate collagen and firm the thinner skin around the eyes and lips. The full size is pretty pricey so I naturally have big expectations for this sample. Lets see if I can stick to applying this regularly to improve my dark circles.

Percy & Reed is a brand I've used a few times before when my hair was relaxed (straight) a few years ago. I used to apply the wonder balm on damp hair to soften without weighing down my strands before blowdrying and straightening. I'll give this a whirl at some point on my curls but my hair needs a lot of product so this sample is probably more suited to those with (less dense) straight or short hair.

Last but not least is the Balance Me Congested Skin Serum which aims to zap away spots with natural antibacterial ingredients like aloe vera and lemon. The ingredients list is pretty impressive so I'm pinning high hopes on this product to calm my spot-prone skin. If it works I'll definitely be grabbing the full size.

You can get this edition from Look Fantastic here 

*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried a beauty box before?

Lesley x

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Hair Update | August 2016 [Video]

Sunday, 7 August 2016


It's been a while since I sat down for a quick chat on my YouTube channel so I filmed a hair update recently. A lot of you who follow me on Instagram (here) know I've been fully natural since May so this video is really for those who wanted to know what was going on with my hair and whether I was still relaxed/texlaxed. My journey to natural has definitely hasn't been a straight road, there's been a few zigs and zags in there (no pun intended) but I can honestly say I feel a lot happier with my hair now. It feels so freeing not having to worry about the hair growing out of my scalp not matching the lengths! Odd I know but when you've had chemically-treated hair for most of your life it's quite novel accepting (and enjoying) what comes naturally.

The Video

As ever if you have any questions let me know in the comments.


What have you been doing with your hair lately?

Lesley x

Sunday, 31 July 2016

The Bloggers Hangout | Must Haves Box

Sunday, 31 July 2016

The Bloggers Hangout sent over their 'must-haves' box for this month and it was rammed full of beauty and lifestyle products. There was so much in fact a lot had to be sent over separately by some of the brands involved. Due to the sheer amount of product included (45 items to be exact) I knew I wouldn't be able to test all of these and review them here before the end of the month, especially as a lot of the products are skincare products. I prefer to not overload my skin with too much at once (as it can be hard to tell what's working and what's not) so instead I've picked out and starting experimenting with a few products which really stood out to me.


Products were included from a massive variety of brands like Inlight, Dr PawPaw, Ruby Cosmetics, Tints of Nature, Nu Skin, Realine Beauty, Epoch, Greenfrog Botanic, and Neek to name a few.* Of those brands I had only heard of Inlight before, after already using samples of their chocolate and super-food masks which were received in another beauty box (see here and here). The super-food mask is definitely a pricey product but it has such an impressive ingredients list and is packed with natural oils and extracts. I already know it makes my skin feel softer so I'll be using this mask weekly until it runs out.


I swapped out some of my usual skincare items for the Yours Truly Organics products included here which are the Take it Away! Gel Cleanser, Balancing Toner, Fix Me! Repairing Serum and Face Base Face Balm. As you'd expect from the name the products include organic ingredients and have a natural scent. I've only had them a week so I'm only really just getting a feel for how they work for my skin. So far, so good and the gel cleanser leaves my skin so smooth it's my favourite of the bunch.



Dr Paw Paw's balms for dry skin are a firm favourite already. 3 versions of their multi-use balms were included - the Original Balm, Tinted Ultimate Red Balm and Tinted Peach Pink Balm. These are my ideal product for softening chapped, dry lips but you can use them on most areas of dry skin. The balms are made with Papaya (fermented paw paw which is rich in antioxidants) and Aloe Vera. The texture is like a gel but it feels light on the lips. I swapped out my Dr. Lipp balm (see here) for these as they're really similar in terms consistency. The Dr Paw Paw products have much better ingredients however, are over half the price and you get a much bigger tube too. These are definitely something I'd purchase, especially the tinted balms. Confusingly PapayaGold Paw Paw moisturising balm was also included in this box which, from what I can tell, is an entirely different brand but a similar product. It's also made with Papaya but has a thicker consistency and includes manuka honey. 


Dr. PawPaw Original Balm, Tinted Peach Balm, Tinted Ultimate Red Balm (£6.95 each)

Nu Skin is another brand which caught my eye though I haven't had the chance to try all of the products included yet apart from the whitening toothpaste. I was stunned to find out how much some of the products retail for, however the company website suggests the brand leads the way in anti-aging skincare. It will be interesting to see how well these work for me in the months to come. 



I'm still testing out the other products included, so if there's anything specifically you've seen above and would like me to review in the coming months let me know in the comments!


*samples - read my disclaimer here.


Have you tried any of these brands?


Lesley x


Sunday, 24 July 2016

Review | Nudestix Pencils

Sunday, 24 July 2016



Until recently beauty brand Nudestix was only available from a few select places in the UK. Now it’s easier than ever to get your hands on their makeup crayons. I already have the Nudestix Sculpting Pencil which I loved the idea of but found the darkest contour colour slightly too light for my tanned skin. I’ve now been able to get my hands on the Concealer Pencil in Light 2, Blur Pencil and Lip + Cheek Pencils in Whisper, Purity and Kiss - which all retail at £24 each - thanks to Lookfantastic*. 


The brand was created by sisters and models Ally and Taylor Frankel with their mother Jenny Frankel. The 3 are pretty knowledgeable in beauty industry and mother Jenny has over 20 years experience working with beauty brands including helping develop products for MAC and Cover FX. Ally and Taylor say they like to keep it simple when it comes to applying makeup in everyday life and prefer a natural, barely-there face. Their brand has grown from strength to strength expanding into a variety of lip products, eye pencils and bronzing crayons to name a few. Their products are designed to be an easy way to enhance features without covering your skin in makeup. They’re made with skin-loving ingredients like Shea Butter and Vitamin E too. 


I love anything that makes applying makeup simple and these crayons are great for on-the-go application. Each crayon comes in a tin with a built-in mirror and a sharpener so it's easy to throw them in your bag for easy touch ups during the day. Ally and Taylor prefer to apply products with their hands and these crayons mean there’s no need for brushes. You literally just dab on and blend with your fingertips. The crayons here (apart from the blur pencil) have a creamy texture and give a good amount of coverage. The concealer is far too light for my skin (I’d probably need one of the medium tones) and it looks a little ashy on me as a highlighter too. It does help with covering dark areas but the colour is so off for me this pencil probably won’t see much use. The blur pencil is supposed to smoothe pores, lines and wrinkles but I didn't see much of a difference on my skin. I love the lip + cheek pencils apply easily and actually last fairly well too. Whisper is probably a tad lighter than what I’d normally go for but all of the shades work perfectly for my skintone and cover my darkly pigmented lips well. Purity and Kiss matte formulas but are still moisturising on the skin. I definitely prefer these products on my lips rather than cheeks, but it's great to have a multifunctional product so it's one less thing to carry around with me.


It is refreshing to see a brand which embraces the natural look and have provided a simplified way of wearing makeup to enhance rather than cover up our features. I utterly love the concept but can’t help find £24 pretty pricey for a single pencil. If you are looking to buy them though, Lookfantastic are currently offering 10% with the code 'NUDE10' for a limited time. You can get them here.  

*samples - read my disclaimer here.


Have you tried Nudestix before?


Lesley x

Fresh Lengths + BLOG DESIGN BY Labinastudio