Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Spring Must Haves

In Spring I always find myself reaching for more peachy toned products which are going to give me more glow and warmth to my face. I have two go to foundations at the moment one being Nars Sheer Glow and the other being Rimmel 25 hour. Nars Sheer Glow has been a favourite of mine since I picked it up last summer, it is a medium coverage which feels comfortable on the skin. What I like the most about it is the glow element, it adds luminosity and an overall fresh look to my skin. The Rimmel version is an excellent drugstore choice. It adds great coverage and it does last a great amount of time on the skin (not quite sure 25 hours!).

Monday, 30 May 2016

Lush Hair Care The Shampoo vs The Shampoo Bar

Hello, my name is Amy and I usually blog at callmeamy.co.uk but I’m excited to be guest posting on Annie Writes Beauty today!

As a firm Lush fan I’ve tried A LOT of Lush products and I adore their hair care – it’s kind to my hair and always leaves it feeling and, of course, smelling amazing. Their Curly Wurly shampoo has been a firm favourite of mine for a while now, but recently I picked up the Honey I Washed My Hair shampoo bar to try and thought I’d do a low down of the pros and cons of both so if you’re looking to buy some Lush hair care read on to see which would suit you best!

Curly Wurly Shampoo 

As I said this has been a favourite of mine for a long time. I don’t have curly hair and if I’m honest I originally bought this for the smell alone (and the fact that it contains real coconuts!) but it really manages my frizz as well as adding a bit of volume to my usually flat hair! It is really easy to use once you realise that it doesn’t lather as much as a normal shampoo – this resulted in me using up my first tub far too quickly – so a con is that it’s easy to use more than you need and therefore not get your money’s worth. Speaking of money this is pricey for a shampoo at £10.75 for 220g and all of Lush’s tub shampoos retail between £10.75 and £18.75 for that size. That is the main con of this product for me because I’m not willing to shell out that much all the time!

Honey I Washed My Hair Shampoo Bar 

In comparison to the tubs, the shampoo bars are much cheaper, retailing between £5.75 and £6.95, with Honey I Washed My Hair being at the cheaper end of the scale at £5.95. You also get a lot more bang for your buck with the shampoo bars if you know how to use them – again though you are at risk of using more than you need. All you do need is to wet the bar and rub it between your hands like soap – the lather from your hands will be enough as it really does lather quite quickly with little product. This means the shampoo bars last ages so they are good value for money. The smell from this one was really quite sweet so I would maybe pick a different one in future, but my hair looked healthy and bouncy after use. The only real con of the shampoo bars is that they’re more difficult to store especially when they’re wet after use – Lush do sell tins for them, but I find using a soap dish fine.

All in all I definitely think I’ll be trying some more shampoo bars in the future as I got just as good results and better value for money. I’ve got my eye on Jason and the Argan Oil!

Have you tried either of these? What would your Lush hair care recommendations be? Thank you for reading!

You can also find Amy here - www.callmeamy.co.uk

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Audreystyle Beauty Wishlist

Occasionally as a beauty blogger I get bored seeing the same old brands doing the rounds and it inspires me to sought out unheard of beauty companies. One of the websites I've discovered to help me do just that is Audreystyle, a UK based lifestyle boutique which stocks high quality beauty and lifestyle brands from around the world. It didn't take me long to start filling up my shopping basket so I thought I'd share what I found and have on my wishlist.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

May In Instagram

1. May was kicked off with one of good friend's baby showers. We celebrated Rachel's pending bundle with prosecco, scones and plenty of giggles. 
2. We also celebrated Jess' 21st birthday with afternoon tea at the Beautiful Grand Cafe in South Western House. 
3. As much as May has been a fab month with friends it's also been very difficult. I've taken the time to relax, find myself again and read, while of course drinking coffee. 
4. Arran and I celebrated his 28th birthday with a birthday brunch, Game of Thrones and plenty of Pizza at The Stable. 
5. One Saturday was spent having a family gathering in the sunshine with Pimms, great food and of course cake. What's a party without cake?
6. My oldest friend Alice, took me to Marwell Zoo for a picnic and to see the Penguins. We spent the day spotting Leopards, playing in playgrounds and doing cartwheels through blossom in the sunshine. 
7. I went up to London to work on a special collaboration with Hawaiian Tropic. I spent the morning in the studio with them creating something incredible and I CANNOT wait to show you. 
8. I went to Spain for a few days with my boyfriend and our friends Alice and Tom. We spent the days lazing in the sun and the evenings eating incredible food. It went too quickly and I desperately need to book another trip soon.
9. This is possibly my favourite photo from Spain, the Mar Menor is beautiful and we spent many a lazy day walking along the sand and laying under the baking sun. 

You can catch all my posts on Instagram by following - alicespake 


Friday, 27 May 2016

What's In My Holiday Makeup Bag?

Travelling with only hand luggage and a 10kg limit is hard for most people let alone for a make up hoarder like me. Trying to decide what I was packing in my make up bag proved difficult but after much umming and ahhing, I managed to pack up my essentials...phew. Summer make up to me means healthy, glowing skin plus a statement lip so I tried to pack with that in mind. 

My base of choice has been the Seventeen Stay Time foundation for some time now, it gives the most flawless finish and if it can last through a day at work followed by cocktails, I'm hoping it's going to last in high heat. I've also packed my trusty Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. For bronzed cheeks I've gone for The Balm's Bahama Mama and Jerome Alexander's Magic Minerals Bronzer* which comes with four coordinating matte shades for the face, eyes and lips. It triples up as a bronzer, highlighter and lip colour, you know I love multi-use products. Dew The Hoola is also coming with me as it's so easy to use for adding a glow or used for contour. For cheeks, I've packed Benefit's Posietint cheek stain and my faithful Chubby Highlighter by Clinique and Mary Lou Manizer from The Balm.

For my eyes it's Urban Decay as always. The UD Primer Potion should keep anything from slipping and I'm taking my Naked Basics as it has all the shades I need for either a subtle day or a smoked up evening look. I've been using lashes from Threads recently as they're handmade and have a flexible band making them super comfortable to wear, the feather weight technology also makes them light so it doesn't feel like I'm wearing my Be-Bop lashes*, they give a really natural look too. I'm packing Perversion and Subversion for mascara as used together they give me luscious looking lashes with lift, volume and no smudging or clumping which is exactly what I need when I'm in a hot country. Finally for brows is my Brow Box* from the Urban Decay and Gwen Stefani collection, it comes with two powders, a wax plus tweezers and brushes so I'll be ready for any brow emergencies. 

Lipsticks are my first true love so I couldn't not pack a few shades to keep me going during those balmy nights sipping cocktails. I always pack Pink Nouveau and So Chaud from MAC Cosmetics if I go away as they look incredible with a tan (here's hoping I tan). I've also just bought one of Smashbox's new lipsticks from the Be Legendary range in a matte formula of course. I have the shade Pinch Me which is a bright coral colour, it'll match my orangey coral nails perfectly. 

What are your holiday essentials? Have I gone a bit overboard?

*PR Samples.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

My Beauty Travel Essentials

It wouldn't be a holiday without packing lots of essentials and by essentials I mean a mountain of beauty products I probably don't need and can buy out there. Anyway... with packing on my mind, I thought I'd share exactly what I'll be packing for my sunshine getaway to keep looking and feeling great. From hair to skin and sun protection, I've got it all and thanks to my handy travel bags from Kusshi, everything will be packed neatly and I'll know exactly where to find everything if and when I need it. 

Kusshi keeps all your products in place whether you're jetting off for a city break or spending a week on the beach. The Brush Organiser* has a pocket for just about everything so all your brushes and beauty blenders stay clean, bent free and intact. The pouch is removable so you can either carry your things in the clutch or pop it into the Make Up Pouch* which is so much bigger than it looks. I always get my make up and wash bags really messy because of foundation lids falling off or mascara getting on everything so with these bags being washable and stain resistant, it's kinda a blessing in disguise. If you're a frequent traveller then you need to invest in one of these lifesavers. 

As I said above, I've been filling my Kusshi bags with anything and everything. Sun protection is a must for me as I'm so milky white and burn after seconds, so I'm packing Hawaiian Tropic* as my sun protection of choice this year, it's light on the skin and smells incredible. The Hawaiian Tropic After Sun* and The Body Shop Soothing Aloe Gel will also come in handy for any burnt bits. I go everywhere with my Bee Good Raspberry & White Chocolate lip balm so to inject some summer vibes I'm packing the Lime Blossom & Honey* balm to keep my lips moisturised, protected and soft. 

Hair protection in the sun is just as important as skin protection and thanks to my Kerastase Soleil travel minis I should have lusciously protected locks. The Anti-Damage Shampoo* and Complete Care Cream* both smell like summer in a bottle too. I've also packed John Frieda Sea Waves sea salt spray for easy waves for cocktails in the evenings. Deodorant is Nivea Invisible with a spritz of Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt as I feel like it's such a beach holiday scent. 

I'm keeping skincare really simple with the Yes To Grapefruit Rejuvenating Facial Wipes which I won recently, followed by the Dior Gentle Cleansing Milk and Instant Eye Make Up Remover. I also have Espa's 24 Hour Replenishing Moisturiser, Eye Moisturiser and Optimal Skin ProSerum. Anything I need or I've forgotten I'll probably buy out there as I love a good mooch around Spanish supermarkets. 

What are your beauty essentials for travelling?

*PR Samples.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Holiday Nails // Barry M Satsuma

You can't go away and not have your nails painted in an extremely typical Summer shade so with just a week or so before I flew to Spain I visited my local Boots to pick up one of Barry M's finest. I love the Gelly Hi Shine range and wouldn't paint my nails with anything else so Satsuma was bought thanks to the points on my Boots card so I could have orangey, red nails for my sunshine getaway.

The Gelly Hi Shine range gives an extra glossy finish to the nails and I find that this particular formula always lasts really well. I regularly wear the range up to a week to ten days at a time without a top coat and they rarely chip. My favourite shade from the Barry M Gelly Hi Shine range is Blackcurrant but to keep my nails looking especially summery this year, I'll be reaching for Satsuma every time. I'm dying to try the Coconut Infusion range so when I'm back from my jollies I'll be adding Flamingo and Laguna to my nail stash. 

What have you bought from Barry M recently?


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Summer Clothing Haul

With my Summer holiday booked it was time I bulked out my wardrobe with some new pieces and I headed straight to New Look and Primark to grab some bargains. I'll be sunning myself in the Mediterranean when this post goes live, drinking mojitos and probably getting sunburnt but at least I'll have some beautiful outfits and bikinis to go with my non existent tan.

Monday, 23 May 2016

The Bikini Partner You Need

With Summer fast approaching and with a fair few of us jetting off to warmer climates, it's time our bodies came out of hibernation. The Winters in the UK get pretty chilly so a little extra body hair is sometimes a necessity but with the time coming to pull out the bikinis we've all rushed to buy in Primark, so does the time to de-fuzz, if that's your choice. I'm personally not a fan of excess body hair so when wearing my bikinis around the pool I like to be leg and under arm hair free and be keeping a pretty tidy V. Thanks to my Wilkinson Sword Hydro Silk Bikini Trimmer, I'm doing just that.

Designed to make keeping your area trimmed and tidy, the Hydro Silk Bikini Trimmer is a handy 2 in 1 device that helps shave, trim, shape and hydrate. It's easy to use and definitely cuts time in half. I've used the Hydro Silk range for a number of years, Wilkinson Sword are a brand used by so many so there wasn't a doubt in my mind that the Hydro Silk Bikini wouldn't be as good, if not better than its sister products. 

The high performance razor has five curve sensing blades which give an incredibly close shave. Each blade is individually suspended to enable them to adapt to your curves while the tips reduce the sensation of the hair being cut. The water activated moisture serum on each razor head contains marine extracts and shea butter meaning with each shave, you get beautifully moisturised skin and if that's not enough the unique skin guards work with the blades to prevent skin irritation. It's like Wilkinson Sword answered all my shaving prays.

Once you have your legs, underarms and any other areas hair free you just flip the razor around to find the built in waterproof bikini trimmer. With a wide trimmer, sharp blades and a comb design for ease, the trimmer allows you to attend to your bikini area in whatever way or design you please, in or out of the shower.  The Hydro Silk Bikini has a handy grip pattern handle which I adore because I'm forever dropping razors in the shower when they get slippery. I also loved that the pack came with a battery which is super convenient. They've thought of everything! 

I love my Hydro Silk Bikini and it's currently sat on its integrated stand next to my other Hydro Silk. Even the boyfriend has gone out to buy his own Hydro razor as I haven't stopped saying "touch my legs, they're so smooth". If you're in the market for a new razor to give you silky, smooth skin then look no further than the Wilkinson Sword Hydro Silk range, they'll definitely have your back for Summer.

*Sponsored post. 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Top 10 Under £10

My beauty stash is brimming with products, I do love a highend purchase but the highstreet is bursting with bargain beauty staples and more often than not, it's these I grab on a daily basis. I've decided to give you a run down of my top ten products under £10 with the whole lot coming to under £40 which is a pretty standard Boots haul for most of us.

Lush Golden Handshake - £2.95
I was given this in a goody bag after attending a blogger event last year and have bought one every month since. I have to use antibac gel all the time at work so my hands are always left feeling really dry and this brings them back to life. It's so nourishing and my hands are super soft after each use. 

Dove Silk Glow Wash - £1.28 
Dove has been my go to for body wash since I was young. It's moisturising, really fab for skin and always leaves me feeling silky smooth. Plus it's cheap as chips and more often than not on offer in Boots.

Batiste Original - £2.99
The dry shampoo of dreams as long as you use in correctly! I always use this before I go to bed so I don't get the dreaded white dusting on my roots. It's great for volume too, I go through cans of this stuff because I'm lazy and hate washing my hair. It's the ultimate lazy girl product.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water - £4.99 
Micellar water has been booming in the blog world for sometime now thanks to Bioderma but having tried Bioderma and not thinking it was much cop, I'm ever grateful for Garniers version. It soothes skin, removes make up and I've even caught the boyfriend stealing it. Plus you can get a big bottle of 400ml for around a fiver. 

Soap & Glory Hand Food - £6.00
This tube of goodness does not leave my bag. I have a large tube next to my bed so I use it before I go to sleep every night and the small tube stays in my handbag for emergency applications. It smells gorgeous, contains lots of skin soothing ingredients and the packaging is super cute. 

Seventeen Stay Time Foundation - £6.49
This is hands down the best highstreet foundation I have EVER used. I've told numerous people to buy it who have then fallen in love with it too. I know my foundation. It's a mix between Estee Lauder Double Wear and MAC Studio Fix and it lasts all day long. I also mix it with a lighter foundation or liquid highlight for a more dewy finish. Get yourself to Boots girls! 

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Blackcurrant - £3.99
When it comes nail vanish, my heart is with Barry M Cosmetics. They're cheap, last for days and the shade range is huge. As much as I love Chanel and Essie for nail varnish, I'd much rather pick up three or four from Barry M than spend the money on one from a higher end brand. 

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - £4.19
The Lasting Perfection Concealer is the highstreet concealer of dreams which is compared to Nars Radiant Creamy concealer a lot of the time. For just over £4 you get beautifully concealed skin. I use it under my eyes, the nooks of nose and chin blended in with a beauty blender and it gives a flawless finish to my base.

Collection Intense Colour Eye Kohl - £1.99
I'm a pencil eyeliner girl through and through, give me liquid eyeliner and I'll throw it back at you. I use brown kohl pencil as the colour brings out my blue eyes. It's soft, doesn't drag on skin, smudge proof and lasts all day. I haven't bought anything else since my teens. 

Sleek Makeup Lip VIP Flaunt It - £5.49
I'm a huge fan of matte lipsticks, the bolder the better so the Lip VIP lipstick range was made for me. Flaunt It is an orange, red lipstick which lasts for hours without re-application. I was wearing it in my previous Twitter display photo and was regularly asked what I was wearing as it's such a statement shade. For £5.49, you can't complain, I'd rather buy from Sleek than MAC Cosmetics. 


Friday, 20 May 2016

Urban Decay Subversion & Perversion

I never bought into the hype when Urban Decay first launched Perversion and Subversion, I wasn't a fan of the brushes and Subversion seemed like an unnecessary extra step. Apparently I am wrong sometimes and I did need them both in my life. When I went to the Urban Decay Launch at Brent Cross Shopping Centre, the duo were inside the goody bag so naturally I tried them as soon as I could to see what all the fuss was about. 

Perversion is bigger, blacker and pretty impressive lashes in one handy little tube. Promising to give insane volume, length and longevity without smudging, flaking or the need to use falsies. The formula is really creamy and when I first pulled the wand out I thought it was going to be really wet but it clings and coats every lash without me having to do an emergency clean up operation unless I sneeze. I like plastic wands which separate each lash without clumping which is why I tend to avoid wands like Perversion but I shouldn't of judged because it does exactly what I want just with more volume and a touch of sass. The wand is just the right weight to have complete control over your lash look, making sure you have the most defined lashes in all of the land. 

Pair up Perversion with Subversion and you're on to a winning streak. Subversion is a lash primer which coats the lashes with a cream formula that adds weight to every lash allowing Perversion to grip onto something making lashes appear longer, thicker and stronger. I find that I have to apply Perversion pretty quickly after the lash primer but the end results more than make up for having to do a speedy application and if I can manage it at 7am in the morning before coffee then so can you. 

Have you tried either of these mascaras? What did you think?

*PR Samples.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate

I love facial oils and have been wanting to try the Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate for ages. I finally got my mitts on it last year and started using the oil a little while ago, I already have the Midnight Recovery Concentrate waiting in my online basket ready for payday. I usually only use facial oils at night as I've found previous ones too heavy for using before I apply my make up for the day ahead. The Daily Reviving Concentrate is lightweight and designed for use during the day, it helps to protect the skin when it's most exposed to the environment. The treatment is intended to help improve dullness and lines while helping with daily skin fatigue. 

As it's still essentially an oil, you don't need to use much. Using the dropper, I drop two to three drops into the palm of my hand then work into my skin after cleansing. I tend to faff about for five or so minutes after so it fully soaks into my skin before I apply my daily moisturiser and a SPF as the oil doesn't contain any sun proctection. I then just apply my make up as normal. I was a bit worried that my make up wouldn't last as well while using the concentrate but I can confirm that my makeup still stayed in place, probably helps that I use the Seventeen Stay Time Foundation which does not budge. 

I've mentioned before how my skin has changed from oily to combination as I've hit my mid twenties, I was always wary of using oils previously because I was worried they would make my skin oilier but they seem to do the opposite and I wouldn't, not have one in my routine now. The Daily Reviving Concentrate is bursting with powerful, natural oils such as Ginger Root, Sunflower and Tamanu which all go together in helping the skin feel energised while looking radiant and youthful. The ingredients also help make it smell pretty incredible although not over powering, it does smell fresh so it's great for using when you first wake up. 

If your skin is looking for a boost to really drag it into Spring then it's worth picking up this little bottle of sunshine, It really is a fab product and one that is staying firmly on my dresser.


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Decléor Hydra Floral Skincare

I've been a lover of Decléor for a number of years now, having used their products and been in store for beauty treatments in the past, they are products I can trust and as the weather has been causing havoc with my skin I needed a little boost. Decléor have been the leading aromatherapy skincare experts for more than forty years, combining the purest and best ingredients to make incredible products to target skin needs. I'm a huge fan of the Phytopeel Exfoliating Cream and their Aromessence Facial Oil Serums so with the Hydra Floral range being one of their bestsellers, it was the obvious range to try next. 

The Hydra Floral Anti-Pollution Active Lotion* is designed to offer continuous hydration to skin. Pollution and emotional stress can dehydrate skin leaving it dry, tight and unhappy but thanks to the Moringa Olifiera extract it leaves skin protected from pollution particles while plumping and smoothing skin. After cleansing I use a few drops of the lotion and massage into my face and neck, it's lightweight and sinks into skin. All of Decléor products smell incredible and the Neroli essential oil in this gives it a calming scent that I especially love before bed. My skin is left feeling hydrated and soft, exactly what is promised.  

I've also been using the Hydra Floral Hydrating Light Cream* also with Neroli essential oil. It's the perfect pairing for the Anti-Pollution active lotion and the light consistency means it's not too heavy for the warmer months. With moisture boosting active ingredients, you can feel this working from the get go, skin is protected thanks to the plant extracts leaving you with a hydrated glow. The cream is suitable for all skin types including oily skin. I have combination skin now I'm older and it delivers the right amount of moisture to keep my skin in tip top condition also I've found it really helps keep my make up looking fresh throughout the day. There is also a rich version available of this cream which used a sample of in the past and it's velvety soft. 

When I was new to Decléor, I found the best way to understand more about the products was to head to a counter and talk through my concerns with one of their skincare consultants as they have a wide range of products. Booking in for their beauty treatments is also a great way of finding out what works best for you. 

Have you tried Decléor before? 

*PR Samples.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque

If there is one thing I always have to have in my beauty cupboard, it's a face mask. I'm not overly fussy and will more often than not grab a £1 sachet from Boots but if my skin really needs a pick me up there are a certain few I know I can count on, one of which being the Charcoal Rescue Masque* from good old Dermalogica. 

The Charcoal Rescue Masque is an all in one treatment that detoxifies, brightens and invigorates the skin revealing a much healthier complexion. Charcoal has been the go to ingredient for a lot of skincare in recent years with us all becoming more concerned about the damage caused by the environment and pollution, Charcoal is perfect for reawakening the skin thanks to its detoxifying properties. It's Binchotan Charcoal that is used within the masque which helps draw out sebum, toxins and any impurities in the skin as well as Sulphur to help cell turnover, acne, eczema and dermatitis so it's great for any skin complaints! There are also exfoliants to brighten, Niacinamide to reduce congestion and Chilean Wild Mint to refine pores. 

After I've run myself a hot bubble bath, I apply the masque to my face then sit back and relax. It's advised to only leave the masque on for 5-10 minutes as it's pretty heavy duty. I did the full ten minutes the first time but now only do it around 5-7 mins as sometimes my skin can be quite sensitive but the results are worth it. My skin feels so clean, fresh and alive after using the masque. I just follow up with a serum and moisturiser so my skin is 100% good to go.

Have you tried the Charcoal Rescue Masque? What do you think of Dermalogica?

*PR Sample.

Monday, 16 May 2016

For The Dreamers // May Birchbox

It's Birchbox time again! The months are just whizzing past and with each new month comes a new box of beauty samples from the beauty subscription originals. This months theme is For The Dreamers*, a box dedicated to making dreams a reality. The box is inspired by fantastic dreams which come to life once you scratch off the foil top of your box and two lucky subscribers will win a dream holiday courtesy of Destinology. How perfect would that be? 

Each box comes with a full size make up sponge from the colourful brush gods, Spectrum, famed for the ever so beautiful Glam Clam and more. Use the round end for applying makeup to the face then switch to the pointed tip to reach any difficult areas. It's soft, latex free and doesn't soak up product. Next on the makeup front is Stainiac from The Balm, a cheek and lip tint for the perfect flush of colour. I'm loving stains at the moment and this one is small enough to take on holiday with me. 

For skincare this month we have Rituals Exfoliating Body Scrub, Caudalie Moisturising Sorbet and PK Prep Polishing Balm. A little something for the body, face and hair. Lastly in each box you'll find a sample of Vita Coco Coconut Oil. I swear by this wonder product as it works for so many things. I use it regularly as a hair mask and to remove my makeup. It's also pretty fab for cooking too! 

What do you think of the For The Dreamers Birchbox? Don't forget to show off your foil designs on Instagram using #BirchboxUK. 

*PR Sample.
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