I had my tiring week of night shifts this week which meant poor sleep, dehydrated skin, eye bags and acne. To keep my skin looking its best, I opted for a more natural no-makeup makeup look focusing on a good foundation, with contour and highlight. Skipping blush altogether. Lips were lathered in lip balm as often as I could remember. Here are the products I used:

Night shifts call for 12 hours of wear and I used Laura Mercier Foundation Primer to make my foundation last as long as it could. This primer perfects the skin, helps reduce shine and unwanted sheen. It's a great match for the foundation below:

Now I have recently raved about this foundation in THIS POST and I could not adore it enough! It is moderately long-lasting while avoiding drying out the skin. Upon taking my makeup off before bed, I find that my skin improved compared to the beginning of the day. Bizarre and amazing how this foundation perfects the skin.

Another LM favourite this week, this loose powder sets foundation well and looks natural. 

I have been using MAC Give Me Sun! Mineralize Skin Finish as a 2 in 1 bronzer and contour. It can appear too warm-toned for some but with my golden undertones, it works well to chisel on some cheekbones and give me that summer sun glow.

Speaking of glow, this palette, well mainly Incandescent Light, has adorned my cheekbones this week as the other half of my contour/highlight duo. Full review HERE.

Lips were kept nice and neutral with this cult-favourite lip balm. It hydrates and heals chapped lips and I just love the minty fresh taste.

So those were my favourites this week. Care to share yours?

Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog

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29/03/2015

The Weekly Makeup Edit #09

Essie Bridal Collection 2015 Review, Swatches
Essie Bridal Collection 2015 Review, Swatches
With my wedding approaching (a couple of months to go!) I've become increasingly attracted to anything bridal themed and when I initially heard of this Essie Bridal Collection 2015 from the Elle Wedding Magazine I knew I had to have at least part of the collection. After stalking my local Boots for some time I was excited to find that this collection is finally available in the UK. I picked up the Essie Wedding Collection trio. The names are just genius eg. Hubby for Dessert!

Essie Hubby for Dessert, Vanity Fairest, Brides No Grooms Nail Polish Swatches
Essie Hubby for Dessert, Vanity Fairest, Brides No Grooms Nail Polish Swatches

Essie Hubby For Dessert Nail Polish is  a light grey-ed lavender with a very jelly finish. 1 coat makes a very sheer coat, with 2 coats it becomes more opaque. I like wearing it with three coats however like above. Make sure you give each coat time to dry before adding another - to avoid streaking.

Essie Vanity Fairest Nail Polish is such a pretty nail polish! It is a sheer pinkish nude with verrry fine flecks of shimmer. It is so beautiful - looks like perfect nails. The swatch in the photo has 2 coats. An unexpected gem from this trio.

Essie Brides No Grooms Nail Polish is a bright pink red shade. One coat is enough for full opaque coverage and the formula is fantastic.

Essie Bridal Collection 2015 Review, Swatches
Essie Bridal Collection 2015 Review, Swatches
Overall, this collection has very pretty universally flattering and beautiful colours. I admit I can't help but feel a little bit disappointed in Hubby For Dessert as it is a little sheerer, more grey and less lavender than I expected. I'm surprised to find Vanity Fairest in this trio - its so beautiful and perhaps a shade I can get away with wearing for work. Brides No Grooms is a good hot pink, but this will probably be worn confined to my toes or on sunny weekend getaways.

I hope this post was helpful for those looking to try some nail polishes from the Essie Bridal Collection 2015!

Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog

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28/03/2015

Essie Bridal Collection 2015 Review, Swatches


I usually steer clear from gyms as my poor exercise endurance makes me self conscious when surrounded by fit people. Play me a lil El Amor El Amor though and you'll be surprised to see me own the floor with my Zumba moves - the beat of the music distracts me from listening to my aching muscles, feeling rising pulse rates, shortness of breath, and all that sweat and grime. After getting over the release of work out endorphins however the general unpleasant-ness sets in.

Enter Activbod, a specially designed skin care line to aid post-workout recovery allowing you to celebrate being healthy and active. This skin care line is advocated by a number of athletes - link to their quick reviews HERE. I've tried a few Activbod products. On first impressions, I love the practical lightweight flip top tubes and the bright neon green - you can't miss it! These products are also not tested on animals which is great.

My individual reviews below:

This travel friendly lightweight shower gel has an energising blend of sea minerals, green tea extract and almond oil work to cleanse the skin. It has a refreshing eucalyptus fragrance. It needs very damp wet skin to make it easier to glide on, it is quite thick for a shower gel, a little sticky somewhat and makes it difficult to lather. It is not particularly moisturising so I would definitely recommend a moisturiser after.


This deep cleansing body scrub exfoliates away dirt, pores and stimulate circulation. It has salicylic acid which cleans and fights against acne. The base of this body scrub is similar to the shower concentrate above also - it has a thick consistency and I find it difficult to spread the product evenly for a good scrub. It is quite concentrated with fine grains that I find might be a little rough on the skin.


This lightweight cooling lotion actually feels more like a gel. It contains cooling menthol that relaxes the muscles while providing light moisturisation. It is non sticky and fast drying revealing smooth skin. As a moisturiser it isn't the best for the cold season, but it works well to soothe those aching muscles.

Give me a latino beat and within minutes, I'm into it. I love the feeling of breaking a sweat, somehow it makes me feel healthier and prouder of myself. Out of these three, I would recommend the Activbod Cooling Finish Lotion to soothe those post-exercise muscles. For good a shower however I feel you could look elsewhere for more moisturising better quality products.

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog


27/03/2015

Activbod Post-Exercise Skin Care Review!

Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet Review, Swatches
Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet Review, Swatches

If you are looking for ultra smooth, pigmented and long wearing eyeshadow crayons, the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon eye pencils have got you covered. There are 8 colours to choose from and Charlotte has given her recommendations as to which colours you should pick to suit your eye colour and which to use for day or night.

Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet Review, Swatches
Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Swatches from CT's website - Source
These recommendations are prescriptive, not restrictive. I myself don't necessarily abide by rules on matching eyeshadows to eye colours. If its brown, gold or neutral, like a moth to a flame or a magpie to shiny things, I gravitate to it. Here I've picked out Bronzed Garnet.

Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet Review, Swatches
Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet Review, Swatches

Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet is a reddish brown with flecks of fine bronze shimmer.

Application of these can be a little bit tricky. You only have about a 30-second window before it sets, and once it does, it is virtually un-blendable, untouchable, un-smudgeable. I suggest applying the eyeshadow one eye at a time and follow through with your eyeshadow blending brush or a small angled brush for extra definition if you wanted to add a winged flick. 

The Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleons are chubby sticks with blunt tips as opposed to the conventional thin eye pencils. These require sharpening and you inevitably waste some product to the sharpener, although I don't know of anyone who actually finishes most of their eye pencils, I have probably only finished 1-2 in my lifetime!

Despite the long-wearing power, removing these is easy. I use my micellar cleansing waters - Garnier or Bioderma and easily they wipe off.

Overall I'm impressed by this eyeshadow stick and I look forward to purchasing another. I've got my sights set on Dark Pearl and Amber Haze. Have you picked up any of the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon eye pencils?

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

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25/03/2015

Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet Review, Swatches



Spring is here! That one barren stick of a tree outside my window has finally sprouted some flowers, who'd have thought it would grow beautiful blossoms? Now that flowers are in bloom, its time to bust out those bright pops of colour gathering dust in your makeup wardrobe in the last few gloomy winter months. I've picked out my five. All from our favourite, MAC Cosmetics, of course.


MAC Lady Danger Lipstick Review, Swatches
MAC Lady Danger Lipstick Review, Swatches
Watch out! This bright orange red will become more and more popular as the temperatures rise. It instantly brightens up the face and flatters browner skins. It does emphasize yellowness of teeth, perhaps a good motivator to brighten those pearly whites!


MAC Impassioned Lipstick Review, Swatches
MAC Impassioned Lipstick Review, Swatches
This gorgeous coral pink has been a favourite every springtime. I've featured it HERE. Another one that brightens the complexion, and more tooth friendly than Lady Danger above.


MAC Russian Red Lipstick Review, Swatches
MAC Russian Red Lipstick Review, Swatches
A classic red of the blue toned variety. Good for the pearly whites.


MAC Girl About Town Lipstick Review, Swatches
MAC Girl About Town Lipstick Review, Swatches
Another classic, Girl About Town or "GAT" is your every day hot pink. It is deep enough to avoid looking too bright unlike MAC Candy Yum Yum. GAT is a little more toned down, a friendly colour for all ages. Try it!


MAC Rebel Lipstick Review, Swatches
MAC Rebel Lipstick Review, Swatches
MAC Rebel Lipstick Review, Swatches
MAC Rebel Lipstick Review, Swatches
This berry lipstick has been hailed the most popular berry shade in Autumn 2013 but this type of shade is now making a comeback for the Spring. Check out the Oscars 2015. What I love about Rebel lipstick is how the shade is so easy to apply and the blue undertones brighten up the skin. I apply it straight from the tube and then blend it on the lips with my ring finger. If you are one to use a lip liner with dark lipsticks, I suggest you refer to THIS POST for a matching lip pencil.

And there you have it. My top 5 MAC lipsticks for that bright and bold Spring lip. Pair these up with neutral eyeshadows - matte or shimmer, and you're good to go!


Speaking of going - out, here's the tree outside my window that's taken a spotlight higher up in the post. It has strikingly beautiful lovely little flowers. I'm not quite sure which neighbour it belongs to. Could you help a girl out here - can you name this species?

Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog

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24/03/2015

5 Must Have MAC Lipsticks for Spring

Have you tried a foundation that actually works to clear blemishes and give you perfect skin? Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Foundation does that. It contains an age-defying serum that also aims to reduce the look of lines and also nourish the skin with oil-free hydration.

I've been using Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Foundation for a week now and here are my thoughts:

Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Foundation is a runny watery foundation, similar in consistency to Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation. One pump is sufficient to provide a medium coverage on my entire face, two pumps for a fuller coverage.

It can be applied with the fingers although I choose to apply this with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to buff this evenly on the skin.
Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Foundation Makeup SPF 25 Review
Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Foundation Makeup SPF 25 Review Before & After

It provides a sparkle-free glow to the skin. It instantly makes my skin look brighter fresher. It does not cling to dry patches and is rather moisturising for a foundation without being dewy. With a primer it lasts 6 hours, by itself it starts to break apart around the 3 hour mark.

The special thing about this foundation is that I find it helps reduce acne. At the beginning of the week I had a few acne spots which I had started to collect in this hormonal period. They had completely vanished 5 days later with no new acne formation. I'm in awe and super impressed. It is definitely a skin perfecting foundation.

At £37, Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Foundation is no cheapo but if you are struggling with mild acne or if you would like a moisturising medium coverage foundation, this one is for you.

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Livia
 | The Skin and Beauty Blog

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23/03/2015

Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Foundation Makeup SPF 25 Review

Makeup Brushes, Real Techniques, MAC, Zoeva, Review

This week's makeup edit is different. I've decided to focus on the makeup brushes I have been using almost every day this week to apply my makeup before work. It takes me usually 10 to 15 minutes tops! Quick and easy peasy. Here's the low down:

Real Techniques Buffing Brush. Every now and then I tempt myself to purchase the Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki despite owning this in the past although it unfortunately got decapitated after a year of use. My brush lust is just because of its beautiful rose gold ferrule. I have to remind myself that I already have one of the best buffing brushes in the world. The Real Techniques Buffing Brush is one of the best buffing brushes that I have come across to date. This flat topped brush is made of soft synthetic fibres. It blends foundation effortlessly. It is relatively cheap, cruelty-free in manufacturing.

Real Techniques Powder Brush. If you love giant fluffy brushes, you will love this one. Like the buffing brush, it has super soft synthetic fibres that retain their shape. I use this to set foundation and it feels so luxurious on the skin, super soft and non-abrasive. No accidental exfoliation here!

MAC 138 Brush. I've stayed loyal and true to this brush for so many years. This is a large tapered brush with soft black bristles, excellent for contouring the cheeks to create the effect of slimming down the face.

Zoeva 127 Luxe Sheer Cheek Brush. This is a small angled brush from the Zoeva Rose Golden Luxury Set. I have been using this to apply blush a la Jen from FrmHeadtoToe see her tutorial HERE. Tap the brush to pick up some blush and start depositing the product from the center of the ear towards the apple of the cheek.

Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush. This is a flat fluffy brush used to apply eyeshadow on the lid. The fluffy tip to it allows you to easily blend out any harsh edges. I use the flat side to deposit colour, then the fluffy tip perpendicular to my eyelid to blend it out on the crease.

Real Techniques Brow Brush. This brush is meant to be for the eyebrows although I use it to blend out my eyeliner to produce a more smokey and less harsh line on the lash line. 

So that's a quick run through of my must-have and well-used makeup brushes this week. It's clear to see that I'm in love with my Real Techniques brushes! Do you have any of these in your stash?

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

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22/03/2015

The Weekly Makeup Edit #08



This week I discovered the Discovery Club. This is a sample box of fragrances picked and chosen by scent experts at The Fragrance Shop. I don't know about you but I often have trouble keeping up with the latest releases in makeup and skincare, and much more so with fragrances and this is a fantastic and super affordable opportunity to try out new scents.

Here are my running thoughts on the fragrances included in my box:



For Her --

This is a fresh floral scent, predominantly of roses with a small hint of citrus. It has moderate sillage.

I love this fragrance. It is a floral with some citrus scents thrown in, avoiding it from becoming too intense. It has a powdery feel to it and it smells a little sweet - but not too sweet. This is one of my favourites among the new releases.

Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Floral Drops
Fresh, floral and citrussy, but it smells like a generic floral perfume, nothing special.

Givenchy Very Irr├ęsistible Mes Envies
This is a very floral fragrance, predominantly rose and it is somewhat sweet. Unfortunately this is one of those scents I cannot tolerate as I find it too strong so I will have to give this away. 

Hugo Boss Hugo Woman
I am impressed by this fragrance. It is a warm cozy cuddly scent with the zing of citrus to liven it up for Spring. It is not too sweet. It smells very youthful and somehow I think all ages can wear it. The only thing I don't like about the sampler as it doesn't come with a pump however the fragrance is pure love!

When life gives you lemons, you make Versace Eros Pour Femme perfume. This is an interesting mix of woody, musky and citrus most especially because of its lemon heart.

For Him --

This is a gorgeous blast of yummy vanilla. Sweet woody and musky. I've given this to my other half and it just smells so good, and despite this being for men, I do spritz some on myself from time to time. What a gorgeous fragrance!


The Discovery Club delivers a new box of fragrances every 3 months. Assorted fragrance samples include female and male samples - for you and your beau! Subscription costs £5 per quarter ie. per fragrance box, with shipping included. If you've decided on a particular fragrance, they would often have £5-£10 discount coupons you can use towards your chosen fragrance. Sign up HERE for the cheap opportunity to try out new fragrances delivered to your door!

Love it or Leave It? Leave a comment below!

Livia
| The Skin and Beauty Blog

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21/03/2015

The Beauty Box for Fragrances Review - The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club

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