As Christmas Eve approaches, I find myself lighting up these deliciously scented Yankee candles for the festive season.


Yankee Candle Christmas Scents

Are you still searching for that one gift for your beauty loving friend or lady? Look no further! Here are 15 gift ideas that will definitely give her a merry Christmas - provided she doesn’t have them already!


The Last Minute Beauty Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers!

Want to avoid makeup mayhem this holiday season? Here are our tips to help you look your best in your photos this Christmas!


How to Look Good in Holiday Photos - 7 Beauty Tips!

Ever spent money on boldly coloured blush and lipstick, only to find you don't have enough courage to wear them outside your home? These memories were in my thoughts when perusing the NARS Guy Bourdin Collection. Although the selection of bright colours were appealing, I decided to listen to my practical makeup angel and picked the safer nude shades I would probably use more often.


My Picks from the NARS Guy Bourdin Collection!

Just a quick post - aren't they cute? 


New Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer PocketBac Holders!

Everyone loves a good Christmas collection, and this offering by Bath and Body Works will leave you craving more. I've been lucky enough to manage getting a hold of these products. Here are my reviews of the individual scents!


Bath and Body Works Christmas Haul & Review!

Are dry lips bothering you right now? The skin on our lips is much thinner and more sensitive to dryness than the rest of our face. As the effects of chilly winter winds and drying central heating conspire to whisk moisture from our skin, our lips are often the first to show signs of suffering.

Here are our top 10 tips to keep your pout pretty and plump.

1. Drink plenty of water.

2. Be on top of your vitamins.

Increase your intake of B vitamins, especially riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and cobalamin (B12), as low levels can lead to dry cracked skin.

3. Avoid mouth breathing.

Mouth breathing constantly evaporates any natural oils on the lips.

4. Quit the stick.

Smoking dries out your lips similar to mouth breathing. The act of pursing your lips also promotes the development of lip wrinkles - we don't want that! ;)

5. Don't lick and don't pick!

Resist the urge to lick your lips. Saliva contains mild digestive enzymes that can break sensitive lips. As saliva evaporates, yhis dehydrates skin further.

Picking at already thin skin of the lips can lead to bleeding and discomfort. This also slows down the healing process.

6. Exfoliate.

Buff dead skin cells away using a soft old toothbrush or a gentle sugar scrub to help reduce chapping. Lip balms containing phenol, salicylic acid or alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) can also exfoliate skin.

7. Balm it up!

Apply a thin layer of lip balm. Avoid applying a thick layer as this may tempt you to lick off the excess. Avoid flavoured lip balms as they might encourage you to lick your lips even more.

8. Read the label.

For lip balms, look for ingredients such as petroleum jelly (eg. Vaseline), beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, or oils such as almond and jojoba to help lock in moisture to soften and protect lips.

Balms that contain ceramides or purified medical grade lanolin can help restore the natural skin barrier of your lips.

Avoid products that contain eucalyptus, menthol and camphor, which can cause dryness and irritation.

9. Use creamy lippies.

Creamy lipsticks can act like balms and prevent your lips from chapping.

10. Get Glossy.

Lip gloss can help protect against the drying winter elements. They make your pout look fuller too.

Some content used this article has been adapted from Check out her website for more tips on skincare!

What are your tips for dry lips? ♥
Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog



Top 10 Tips for Dry Lips

Beauty addicts all over want that one thing – beautiful skin. My skin is far from perfect but through my beauty ventures, these products have remained as my go-to products for clean healthy skin.

Fresh skin starts with a facial massage with cleansing and hydrating Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser, in soft circular motions. I wipe the lather off with two cotton pads soaked in cold water. After this step is an optional use of facial scrub. My current favourite is the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Refiner, with its tiny tiny beads that softly remove dead skin. I also sometimes use the Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System, for extra scrubbing. Following cleansing, a swipe of L’oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 MicellarSolution comes next, which acts as both a cleanser to remove excess lather and makeup, and toner to tighten the pores. I would avoid using this for removing eye makeup however, as contrary to what it says, it makes my eyes sting! I then take a piece of facial tissues, pop out a nose hole in the centre, and pat my face dry. Moisturising comes next. I apply La Roche-Posay Rosaliac UV Anti-Redness Moisturizer, which contains SPF15, just enough protection against the winter sun’s rays. Before my evening snooze, I love using Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturiser, which contains retinoic acid, a proven miracle worker overnight. My face feels so smooth and supple in the morning.

If I am wearing any eye makeup, I apply a few pumps of MAC Cleanse Off Oil on cotton pads and leave them to sit on top of my eyelids for a few seconds. This dissolves any eye makeup gently and easily. This step occurs before cleansing.

Blemishes are zapped with a tiny layer of La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. I find that they are visibly reduced within 12 hours of application.

That was a quick run through of my twice daily routine. It only takes about 4 minutes to do properly (and even less when I am in a rush), and my face feels cleaner, smoother and fresher. 

Care to share - what are your must-have skincare loves? ♥
Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog



Skin Saviours – The November Edit

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(a) will be constantly available, or available at all; or
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4.1 You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.
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Medical Disclaimer

Ever notice a pattern in the way your blemishes come out? Here are a few tips to see whether your current beauty regimes affect the way you develop acne and what changes you can do to minimise these breakouts!
Do you have...
Acne on your back (Bacne) or around your hairline?
Chances are, you are using a hair product that is too moisturising for your skin. Hair conditioners are usually the culprit, but some shampoos can also cause this. Opt for less moisturising shampoos. Sometimes I omit conditioner altogether!
Acne on your chin?

This is usually the site affected by hormones or stress, although they can crop up anywhere on the face. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, get adequate sleep, drink plenty of water, take up relaxing techniques such as meditating and yoga, or simply wait until the cyclical hormones change over. 

Acne on your cheeks?

Sometimes this is a sign our pillows or bed covers need a change!
Dry cheeks are also at risk of getting blemishes. Make sure you moisturise well with an oil-free moisturiser.

Acne all over?

If you develop lots of acne all over, weight gain, irregular periods or notice an increase in overall hair growth (hirsutism), it might be worth seeing your doctor or gynaecologist to investigate for polycystic ovarian syndrome.
For all acne prevention measures, it is essential that you clean you Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise your skin to prevent clogging of pores and subsequent inflammation. Make sure to remove all makeup before bed. Avoid over-cleansing however as this can irritate or aggravate your skin causing angry breakouts.

Hope this helps! ♥
Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog


Acne Patterns

Dear everyone, after working on Princess Livia for so long, I've decided to make a change. When I initially chose the my blog name, I thought it would be a simple blog of my beauty ramblings, and not something I would carry with me as part of my career. 
Years down the line from blog creation, I graduated from Medical School as many of my long-time followers would know. I have always been interested in skin and my life is heading its way to the route of Dermatology - I will get there in the future!
So with the goal of making my blog look a bit more professional and to be taken more seriously, I have decided to leave 'Princess Livia' and replace it with 'The Skin and Beauty Blog'.
I will start talking about skin and skincare, which I have not touched on really. It's something I subconsciously avoided as I felt I was confined to talking about makeup. Of course, I will continue to talk about makeup and beauty which I always have done.
As I get time to update my blog, there will be many changes occurring in the next few weeks including blog URL changes etc.
Stay tuned. I would love to have you on the moving bandwagon!

Any thoughts? ♥
Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog



The Skin and Beauty Blog

What's In My Purse Today?

I decided to be spontaneous and write about the products that my subconscious decided were necessary to maintain temporary or permanent? residence in my purse this week. Turning it inside out, I found the following cheeky bits and bobs:

MAC Keep It Casual Lip & Cheek Colour
Once upon a time, MAC released this beauty that doubles up as a cheek and lip stain. With fingertips, I use this on my lips. It's a medium to dark pinky red in a cream finish that's not too dark but still with enough vamp to make it autumn chic. Wonderfully simple to apply, it's great for on the go.


What's in My Purse Today?

Here's a quick and easy step-by-step Smokey Brown Eyes tutorial featuring the new eyeshadow palette: MAC Her Cocoa Eyeshadow palette from the Riri Hearts MAC Collection. Out of the two eyeshadow palettes, I've picked this one as I love warm neutral shades - they complement my skin tone perfectly. The eyeshadows themselves are good quality -- but more to come in my in depth review and swatches of the MAC Her Cocoa Eyeshadow palette.  In this tutorial, the colours I've used here are not particularly unique to MAC - you can find similar shades with different brands. This post is quite lengthy and picture heavy - be warned! xx


Smokey Brown Eyes Tutorial with Riri Hearts MAC Her Cocoa Eyeshadow Palette

Riri Woo lipstick has been launched in every Rihanna x MAC collaboration this year, and in this collection, it comes in a beautiful rose gold bullet case.


Lip Swatch: RiRi Hearts MAC Riri Woo Lipstick Review, Comparison Swatches

There were two brushes in this collection, and despite my already huge collection of brushes, I could not resist walking away with at least one of them. With baby pink handles and bristles matched with a rose-gold ferrules, these are a such treat for the eyes! I picked up the MAC 187SE brush (SE simply stands for special edition). I use stippling duo-fibre brushes on a daily basis to set my foundation/concealer, and sometimes I also use them to apply blush, so I thought why not pick this one up as I will definitely use it anyway. I have compared it to the permanent MAC 187 brush below, keep reading!


RiRi ♥ MAC 187 SE Brush Review

MAC Talk that Talk Pro Longwear Lip Pencil is a matte dark purple lip pencil from the RiRi ♥ MAC Collection. This was meant to complement the MAC Talk That Talk lipstick from the same collection. With this product, application is neither easy or difficult, it tends to glide on the lips well and deposit colour, however, it can be a bit patchy. Like most lip pencils with the Pro Longwear formula, this tends to be drying and unforgiving on flaky lips. I like using lip pencils all over the lips to act as a longer wearing base for lipsticks, but this product causes lips to 'shrink wrap' as you can see in my photo. Proper lip preparation with a moisturising lip balm is a must. This product itself is long wearing and can hold itself well against drinks, but when combatted against oil containing foods, some product tends to slip off.

Lip Swatch: RiRi ♥ MAC Talk That Talk Pro Longwear Lip Pencil Review and Swatches

MAC Satin Taupe eyeshadow is one of those cult favourite eyeshadows that many beauty bloggers have in their beauty arsenal. It's a shade that is not quite brown and not quite grey - something that sits in between. When worn, it gives that subtle smokey effect that is deemed 'safe' for the makeup shy and also works for the more daring makeup lovers. Here's a simple smokey eye look using Satin Taupe, which I wore to dinner with one of my friends. What do you think?

LOOK: Satin Taupe

This is possibly one of the biggest MAC hauls I've done in a very long time. Word on the street is that the entire collection sold out from the MAC website within 20 minutes of the release. I purchased these from my local MAC store -- products were quickly selling out, I must have had lady-luck on my side! Here is a preview of what I got -- stay tuned for product reviews and swatches.

Did you purchase anything from this collection? ♥
Livia | Princess Livia

PS. If you are interested in these pink and rose gold beauties, the Selfridges website is your best bet. Most products are already sold out, but they have more in stock than House of Fraser and Debenhams!



MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Collection Haul

For this Christmas season, MAC is releasing a gorgeous glittery makeup collection. We will see new Mineralize eyeshadows, blushes and what I'm most excited about- new Mineralize Skin Finishes. I'm sure all beauty geeks (ehm myself) are also looking forward to the special packaging. Although not as creative or stunning as the MAC RiRi collection, we will see products in their usual packaging but with hints of gold - in lipstick bullets, labels, etc. This collection will certainly appeal to many, especially MSF addicts!

MAC Divine Night Collection Color Story Christmas 2013

I was kindly invited to the Superdrug event where they featured the new upcoming products for the fall, especially Superdrug brand products. I didn't even know there were so many! There were tons and tons of beauty products, I felt like a little child in a sweets shop! Parts of the new range include skin care oils and BB creams. Other beauty companies like Cheeky, and GOSH were also in the exhibit. Superdrug is also bringing BlowPro to the UK market - a USA originated one stop shop service for hair styling, excellent for busy people on the go. Superdrug is also going to start in-shop vaccinations, which I think is an excellent idea, fab for the winter. 

The brand that stole the show in my opinion was MUA. I am Very very excited about the new releases: eyeshadow palettes and matte lip creams which are just divine! I believe this brand will be the next big thing in drugstore makeup, following the likes of Sleek Makeup and Bourjois.

I've taken many photos from the event - enjoy! Xx


Superdrug Beauty Event - New Product Releases!

I have been watching the movie Letters to Juliet a lot lately, and I have been inspired by Amanda Seyfriend's silver eyeshadow look to make eyes pop. Very subtle and makes eyes look brighter. See what you think!


LOOK: A Sheer Wash of Electra

MAC Runway Hit lipstick was released as part of the MAC Retro Matte Collection. Among all the lipsticks in the collection, this is by far the most wearable colour. It is a pinky coral - the type of colour I am always drawn to. It has a matte retro matte finish.


Lip Swatch: MAC Runway Hit Lipstick from the MAC Retro Matte Collection - Review and Swatches

MAC Fixed on Drama lipstick is from the MAC Retro Matte Collection. It is matte brownish plum colour. It is easy to apply over moisturised lips. However because of the matte finish, it is unforgiving on dry flaky lips. I find dark colours a bit more difficult to apply perfectly, so I would recommend using a matching lip pencil.

Lip Swatch: MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick from the MAC Retro Matte Collection Review and Swatches

MAC Trust in Red pro longwear lip pencil was released as part of the MAC Retro Matte Collection. It is a blue-based red with some pink undertones. It dries to a matte finish.

Lip Swatch: MAC Trust in Red Pro Longwear Lip Pencil Review and Swatches

I'm thrilled to share with you my to-go MAC eyeshadow palette. I tend to favour neutral shades with warm undertones to complement my warm skintone, and they are in general much more wearable and versatile than bright bold colours. The new MAC palettes (without inserts) can hold up to 24 eyeshadows, and here are my top 24 MAC eyeshadow picks - most from the permanent collection.


My Everyday MAC Eyeshadow Palette with Swatches!

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation is a powder and foundation in one that combines good coverage with ease of application. Designed to be used dry, the powder and pigments create a matte, velvety texture. It contains Silica, which helps to maintain a matte finish by absorbing oils on the skin, as well as Talc to provide a smoother, less reflective, matte finish. The talc has been milled to a microscopic size to provide a beautiful texture while allowing the skin to breathe. It is available in a wide range of colours. It can be applied with a brush, sponge, or a powder puff. - MAC

This is the one face product that I have repurchased over and over. I have tried several other face powders, but I always go back to this. 

I first discovered MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation from a good friend of mine who was a Dermatologist and she always wore immaculate makeup. Her makeup lasted long days at work and this is what she wore. 


MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation Review

When traveling for short trips on budget airlines (eg. Easyjet!), it is essential to pack light. I am attending and presenting at the International Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ISDS) conference here in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and here are the makeup products I brought along with me:



August Favourites and Travel Makeup: Trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Its fall once again - my favourite season for beauty and makeup trends. I just love the rich vampy reds, pinks and purples. I am so excited to show you a new lipstick trend which has graced the catwalks for this season. This is the season of Petal-Stained lips!



Beauty Trends for Fall Winter 2013-2014 - Petal-Stained Lips

Here's a quick makeup look I wore last weekend on a trip to Birmingham. I'm a big fan of the Revlon Kissable Balm Lip Stains as they are decently pigmented, quick to apply, feel great on the lips, long-lasting, don't melt in the heat, don't irritate my lips as some higher end lipstick pencils do - Bobbi Brown I'm looking at you! I own quite a few of these lip stains and I felt like wearing red that day.

Face base With MAC mineralize concealer, and MAC Finishing powder. Neutral eyes with Benefit Hoola Bronzer for contour and Sleek Makeup highlighter on eye lids. Benefit Hoola bronzer to contour cheeks, MAC Instant Chic blush and MAC Pearl Cream colour base to highlight. On lips, I used Revlon Kissable Balm Lip Stain in Romantic blotted with tissues for a more matte finish.

What do you think? ♥
Livia | Princess Livia



Quick FOTD with Revlon Kissable Balm Lip Stain

Here's a scrumptious collection heading our way this Autumn. Aptly named the MAC Indulge Collection, this a large collection to feed your beauty appetite. Along with the regular releases of new lipsticks, lipglasses and eyeshadows, there are also new cremeblend blushes and fluidlines in this collection. This Fall collection focuses on reds, plums and bronzes, along emerald and blue hues. This sounds absolutely amazing. How exciting!


MAC Indulge Collection for Autumn 2013

I am a big fan of MAC paint pots because they are generally creamy, easy to blend, have good colour pay off and are long-lasting when alone or when used as eyeshadow bases. MAC Soft Ochre paint pot from the permanent collection is actually my staple eyeshadow base. The Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadows are similar, but I find that the latter tend to dry up more quickly, perhaps because they are not housed in a tight glass jar like these MAC paint pots in. 

This collection features new paint pots, new prolongwear eyeliners, as well as shade extensions to the permanent range of Prolongwear foundations and concealers. MAC Prolongwear concealer is one of my favourites in the market in terms of application, coverage and longevity. Its a must try in my opinion, especially for those with oily skin!


MAC Prolongwear Collection for Autumn 2013

Eyeshadow pigments are beautiful because they more often than not, have amazing colour pay off, however I barely have any of them as I feel they are a bit too messy to apply and run the risk of spillage, especially when on the go and are therefore not very practical... So you could just imagine my excitement learning about the MAC Pressed Pigments collection - pigments packed into eyeshadow pot form!

Pressed Pigment (All frost):
Vanilla Diamond - Warm yellow beige
Sweet Acting - Mid-tone pink (repromote)
Summer Honey - Pastel Coral
Lime Ice - Seafoam Green
Rock Candy - Mid-tone Fuchsia
Pink Pepper - Deep coral with gold pearl
Enlightening - Deep Silver (repromote)
Moth - Mauve with silver pearl
Black Grape - Deep aubergine with multi pearl
Jet Couture - Charcoal Black (repromote)
Damson - Deep brown with gold pearl
Midnight - Vibrant Deep blue

MAC 213 brush
I love neutrals and I am most excited about Moth, Black Grape, and Damson. Their descriptions sound so beautiful and I hope they do deliver! What about you?
All credits for imaging and information go to

Livia xx

MAC Pressed Pigments Collection for Summer 2013

It's actually summer now in the UK, using my definition: temperature greater than 15'C during the day time. Because of this lovely weather, foundation tends to get all melty and my face more unfavourably luminescent (greasy) as the day goes on.

I'm not one to touch up on makeup during the day especially when at work, so these days I've been skipping
 foundation and concealer all together.
On a daily basis at work, I've just been wearing the bare minimum:
Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara
Maybelline Smokey Eye Pencil in Chocolate
Etude House Brow Pencil
MAC Pearl Cream Colour Base (Highlighter)
At the beginning I used to feel conscious about letting my natural skin show. I know my skin isn't perfect. I have numerous freckles on my cheeks and my nose is plagued by comedones. My eyebags show (this photo is after my 3rd 12-hour on call night shift this week). But despite all this, now that I've decided to take the plunge, I somehow feel a sense of peace and zen having given my skin a rest and chance to breathe after months and months of daily full face makeup. I feel this plunge is for the brave, but I definitely recommend it!
Have you made any changes to your makeup routine in the summer time?
I don't know how long this 'summer' will last, but I'm loving it!
Livia xx


The Bare Minimum

Release Date: Aug 2013

MAC is launching another lippie collection this summer featuring gorgeous Sheen Supreme lipsticks (some new, some repromotes) and new Sheen Supreme Lipglass Tints. I am intrigued by the new lipglass formula, although it seems a little pricey! I can't wait for this collection to launch. Any of these catch your eye?

Sheen Supreme Lipstick: $17
PrĂȘt-a-pretty - Soft Warm Pink
Gotta Dash! - Pale clean coral (permanent)
Playtime - Bright coral pink
Sweet Grenadine - Bright Orange
Pleasurefruit - Bright Warm Pink
Candy Apple - Mid-tone warm plum

Sheen Supreme Lipglass Tint: $20
Bubble Gum - Soft warm pink
K-Wow - Soft cool pink
Simply Wow - Mid-tone cool mauve
Heart & Seoul - Warm peach
Kiss, Kiss - Cool peach cream
Blushing Berry - Mid-tone cool red
Gwi-Yo-Mi - Mid-tone raspberry
Glorious Intent - Warm Plum

Credits for Images and Colour Story to


MAC So Supreme Collection for Summer 2013

Hello everyone! After 6 years of being with Google Reader, I am sad to say it is shutting down tomorrow. I am ever so grateful to have made so many new friends online and to have reached so many people who follow my blog and continue reading it on a regular basis.
I appreciate every single one of you following my lil blog, and I hope you will continue to support us on an even better, more organised blog feed - Bloglovin':
Follow on Bloglovin
Click on this link Today to continue your support!

Let's keep in touch!
Livia xx
PS. I am organising another of my annual blog giveaways. They tend to be quite popular - Don't miss out! ;) xx


Bye bye Google Reader - Hello bloglovin'!

What better product to use for that dewy summer glow than a moisturising oil with high sun protection factor? La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Invisible Nutritive Oil SPF 50+ is a sunscreen oil with SPF 50.

It comes in an orange transparent bottle with a pump. It smells of typical sunscreen, but as overwhelming as when entering some H&M shops.
As someone whose combination skin is prone to dry cheeks and oily T-zone also has the propensity for developing freckles and sun spots, I'm loving this product.

I use this product on my cheeks and neck, where it sufficiently hydrates and protects my skin from sun damage and premature aging, without causing my skin to break out. For my oily T-zone (forehead, nose and chin), I use an oil control lotion.

It is quickly absorbed by the skin, leaving you a dewy glow. It is non-sticky. I find that it can feel too oily if you apply too much and one pump is sufficient to cover my face and neck.
Available at £17.50 for a whopping 200ml from your local drugstore or the Boots website.
What do you think? ♥
Livia xx


A Summer Must-Have! La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Invisible Nutritive Oil SPF 50+

What I'm Wearing
MAC Mineralize Concealer
MAC Blot Powder
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
MAC Royal Sunset Blush
MAC Pearl Cream Colour Base
Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara
Maybelline Smokey Eye Liner in Chocolate
Etude House Brow Pencil
MAC Flamingo Lipstick
I'm sure many of you will share my love for coral pinks. I find its the perfect wearable girly pick me up when I'm feeling a little bit low or feel need to look pretty without attracting too much attention (hot pinks are reserved for more daring escapades!). I've fallen in-love with all the shades of coral in MAC's latest collection - MAC All About Orange. Both, MAC Royal Sunset Blush and MAC Flamingo Lipstick, I've hauled from the said collection.
What's your favourite girly makeup shade? ♥
Livia xx


LOOK: All About Coral Pinks

Hello everyone, I apologise for the lack of posts lately. I have been so busy with erratic shifts at work, more details underneath. :)

But first, here are the makeup products I've been using pretty much every day lately, listed in order of use for My Everyday Face!

Bioderma Créaline AR BB Cream Anti-Redness SPF 30 40ml
I have this in the colour light. At the beginning, it looks a bit pink-toned on me, but I find that it adapts to my skin tone. It feels like a gel to begin with and dries to a velvety finish. It has medium coverage. It diminishes redness, provides sun protection and adds coverage.

MAC Blot Powder in Medium
This has been one of my staple products, especially during the summer, to minimise shine. Applied with a MAC 187 brush.

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara
I discovered this myself half a year ago after watching videos of Miranda Kerr on youtube (she recommended this!) and I can't believe I haven't tried this amazing mascara before. Just a few swipes and I have long thick lashes. It lasts through the day, keeping my lashes curled. It works like magic!

Etude House Drawing Eyebrow Pencil
A staple. It's so easy to draw natural-looking eyebrows with this.

MAC Hipness Blush
This blush I have was from the Fafi MAC collection, but it has been re-promoted more recently. It is a peachy pink blush with amazing pigmentation. It ever so slightly has a sheen, that's flattering on the cheeks. NARS Deep Throat Blush is similar

Benefit Hoola Bronzer
This has been my staple for the last 2-3 years. I can't believe its been that long! It's a yellow-toned matte bronzer that's perfect for creating shadows for my yellow-toned skin. I apply this after blush with a MAC 138 brush over the hollows of my cheeks, temples, underneath the chin. Using my index finger, I apply this on the sides of my nose for extra definition.

MAC Pearl Cream Colour Base
Easy to use highlighter. This is another staple. I have used it for years!

Shiseido Eyelash Curler
Another staple!

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Smokey Eye Pencil in Chocolate
 This product applies creamily. I found this to last longer and smudge less compared to my old staple MAC Coffee Eye Pencil. I definitely recommend you to try this out!

I use lip balm for everyday purposes. But in this photo, I used MAC Made To Order lipstick.
What products do you use for your everyday face?
What do you think? ♥
It has almost been a year since I've started my new job and I must say it does have its highs and lows. At the very beginning, I used to feel so inspired and enthused with what I do. That 6 years of medical training have been worth it. I have been and still do 110% of my best, but lately I have been feeling so low and probably a little burnt out.

I have just finished another long seven day stretch with three 12-13-hour on call daytime shifts for a 'long weekend'. During weekends, my workplace is seriously understaffed and chaotic. Lunch break becomes a 10-minute relief. When you are faced with multiple acutely unwell patients, other individuals continuously pester and criticise you for not being able to act on issues lower down your priority list, it all becomes a bit too much.

All that's left to do is take a 5-minute breather, force a smile, and carry on.
I suppose what they say is right - you can only try your best. There's nothing else you can do!
I don't mean to discourage anyone thinking of entering the medical profession. It is rewarding when you know you've made a difference and It feels wonderful watching people recover. Nevertheless, there are still aspects of it that keep you grounded and feel like rubbish. I knew what I was getting into. And overall, I do love my job. I suppose those who enter this line of work are probably ambitious masochistic individuals who are bored and consistently love a challenge in their lives - I guess I am!
On another note.... GFC is Dying!
I read from several other blogs that Google Friend Connect (GFC) is going to stop functioning from 1st July, so if you haven't yet, please click this button to continue following me on BlogLovin'. It's a great substitute for the blogger feed - so much more organised and tidy!

Follow on Bloglovin

Livia xx


My Everyday Face - and Life Update ❣

Here I have is MAC Altered Beige Lipstick from the MAC Temperature Rising Collection. MAC describes this as a creamy yellow beige with a lustre finish. On my lips, it translates as a glossy light pink beige. These types of shades are best worn with dark smokey eyes as I feel the colour itself makes me look a bit washed out. The lipstick lasts 2-3 hours, typical of MAC lustre formulas, but if you're a shameless lipstick eater like myself it might not last as long!
 Available from your local MAC Cosmetics shop or the MAC website, while supplies last!
What do you think? ♥
Livia xx


Lip Swatch: MAC Altered Beige Lipstick Review, Swatches - Temperature Rising Collection

What a gorgeous, gorgeous fragrance!

L`Occitane Vanille & Narcisse Eau de Toilette is a vanilla based fragrance.

Top notes of Blackcurrant and Bergamot
Heart notes of Narcissus and Gardenia
Base notes of Vanilla and Tonka Bean

It first starts of slightly musky, then evolves into a warm cuddly vanilla scent with a hint of spice. I can smell the Tonka Bean too. There is a sweetness to it but it is not as girly nor as pronounced as some of my other favourite fragrances (see Lancome La Vie Est Belle). The musky spicy-ness to it adds some sophistication and maturity to this fragrance. It was love at first whiff, and somehow, the scent makes me think of root beer or vanilla coke.

The fragrance is quite long-lasting - I can still smell it on my wrists the next day! It has little to moderate sillage. No matter how many spritzes, I don't find it overwhelming at all. I suppose you can say it is quite subtle in that way.

I think this type of fragrance would work best worn in the cooler autumn-winter months due to the cuddly vanilla, although the sweetness is also refreshing for the summer.

Personally, I find this fragrance a perfect combination of sexy and sweet. I have been using it every day, and I love it!

L`Occitane Vanille & Narcisse Eau de Toilette is priced at £49 for 75ml. This fragrance is available from your local L`Occitane shop and their website!

What do you think? ♥
Livia xx


L`Occitane en Provence Vanille & Narcisse Eau de Toilette for Women Review

I don't tend to buy pre-made MAC eyeshadow quads, mainly because each quad usually has at least one eyeshadow dud. But every once in a while, there is an exception. 

The MAC Bare My Soul eyeshadow quad from this year's summer collection, Temperature Rising, contains 4 warm-toned eyeshadows with beautiful well-pigmented finishes.

Romantico is a light taupe bronze in a soft veluxe pearl finish. Bare My Soul is a frosted gold with a lustre finish, but behaves like a frost. Friendly is a deep bronzed chocolate with a veluxe pearl finish. When In Rio is a deep green with copper pearl in a frost finish - this is the better more pigmented sister of MAC Club eyeshadow.

I am truly impressed by this eyeshadow quad and I definitely recommend it!

Available at £38.50 from your local MAC Cosmetics Store, Selfridges and House of Fraser - while stocks last!
What do you think? ♥
Livia xx


MAC Bare My Soul Eyeshadow Quad Review, Swatches

Giles, Diane Von Furstenberg, DKNY
 I have always been a fan of big fat hair,
and I'm especially crazy about the stunning Katherine Pierce's do on the Vampire Diaries 
(yes, I am a fan, and I'm proud of it!) 
However as you might notice, I don't do a lot of hair care posts and reviews on my blog, 
because unlike most beauty bloggers, I am incapable of styling my own hair.
I have never been gifted with talents of using hair tongs and irons for hair curling/straightening purposes.
 And I am, therefore, constantly searching for ways to get the oomph I want with minimal effort.
Enter the VO5 Plump Me Up Hair Care Range!
We have been together for 6 months now and going strong.
I have been religiously using the following products:
VO5 Plump Me Up Shampoo
VO5 Plump Me Up Conditioner
VO5 Plump Me Up Dry Shampoo
VO5 Plump Me Up High Definition Blow Dry Amplifying Lotion
VO5 Plump It Up Heat Defence Volume & Lift Spritz
Reasons why I love this range.
- deliver weightless volume to my hair
- conditioner makes my hair feel soft  without taking too much time to work in the shower
- my scalp does not feel dirty with the dry shampoo, unlike some others
- does NOT cause any acne breakouts
(I tend to get acne on my chest and back with some other shampoos and conditioners)
- volumising hair spritzers have heat protection
- affordable price
My hair care routine.
I wash my hair every other day with the shampoo and conditioner. 
The gaps between washes prevent my hair from drying out too much.
With my trusty hair dryer, I then dry wet hair by flipping my hair upside down.
In between washes if my hair feels yucky or if I'm in a pinch, I use the dry shampoo to quickly dissolve any grease and make my hair feel fresh again.
Before meeting friends or nights out, I spritz some of the hair volumisers, spread through my hair and then blow dry with hair flipped upside down.
If my hair feels dry, I apply 2 pumps of L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil UV Filter on my palms and run through my hair, for added softness and shine.
PK, myself and Kate
These products mentioned are available from your local drugstore or the Boots and Superdrug websites.
What are your favourite products for big hair? ♥
Livia xx
All products mentioned bought with my own money!


Beauty Trends for Spring/Summer 2013 - Big Hair feat VO5 Plump Me Up Range

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