Friday, 12 May 2017

Bobbi Brown Beauty Basics

Bobbi Brown BeautySo, I have a little confession to make - up until early last year, I had never acquainted myself with one of the biggest names in the beauty world, Bobbi Brown. As you can imagine, when my local House of Fraser announced they were opening a Bobbi Brown counter, I was all over it. I picked out some of the recommended classic/versatile beauty basics and I can't help but feel that I've been missing out all these years.
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation SPF15 in Warm Ivory £34.00
I have a love/hate relationship with this Bobbi Brown foundation, while there are so many elements that I absolutely love about it, (I almost thought I'd finally found the one), my skin really hates it. It was ticking all of the boxes - the Warm Ivory matched almost perfectly with my pale skin, it blended seamlessly, it was my ideal medium but buildable to full coverage and it stayed it place pretty much all day. The SPF15 included to protect my skin was also an added bonus. However, a short while after application, my skin became really itchy and irritated to the point where I had to remove the foundation. I had noticed prior to application that it was heavily scented with lavender, which surprisingly I didn't mind. After a little further research, I found that lavender oil can be a skin irritant so I'd highly recommend that anyone with acne or problem skin stays away from this product. There's no mention of this ingredient on the Bobbi Brown website and knowing that my sensitive skin wouldn't react well to it, I wouldn't have purchased it in the first place if I had known it contained lavender. If you have dry/normal and non-sensitive skin, you'll probably find that this is an ideal foundation for you, but unfortunately, it really didn't work well for me. I'm really hoping that they bring out a fragrance free version very soon because I'll be all over that.
 Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base £42.00
In comparison to the Long Wear Even Finish Foundation, the Vitamin Enriched Face Base is an entirely different story. There are so many positives about this face base and I've been raving about it to everyone who will listen. Multi-use products are always a winner for me; this is a combined moisturiser/primer and anything that saves me time and effort is a definite yes from me. I usually steer clear of products with a thick consistency, but this product is oil free so works well with my naturally oily skin. The scent is gorgeous - a mixture of floral and citrus but isn't overpowering if you're not one for strong scents. At first, I tried applying this directly to my skin and really struggled to move the product around. I've found the best way to use this is to take a little product and press it between your hands to warm it slightly and then apply by pressing it gently into your face. That way, it's evenly distributed and absorbs into your skin much more quickly. It really plumps my skin and gives  a perfect, even base for your makeup or a radiant glow if you're going bare faced. I urge you to buy this especially if you're new to Bobbi Brown like me! It's on the pricey side but it's worth every single penny.
Bobbi Brown Metallic Eyeshadow in Velvet Plum £18.00 
One swatch of this at the Bobbi Brown beauty counter and it had to be mine. I'm utterly obsessed with browns and neutrals, even more so if they contain a little sparkle. The 'Velvet Plum' shade description is a little misleading - I'm struggling to find the plum colour if I'm completely honest but I'm not complaining in the slightest as this metallic brown with gold shimmer particles is much more suitable for my cool skin tone. The texture of the metallic shadow is buttery smooth; it's highly pigmented and glides onto the lid with ease. It's a versatile product that allows you to create a sophisticated eyeshadow look - you can wear this alone for a subtle effect or you can blend this out with darker tones for a dramatic smoky eye look. The most impressive aspect was the longevity of this shadow, while it faded slightly throughout the day, it still appeared to be pretty intense when it came to removing my makeup and I didn't experience any creasing on my eyelids. The only negative I have with this shadow is the immense amount of fall out during application, I guess this is to be expected from a metallic/shimmer product though so I always apply before foundation but it certainly doesn't take anything away from the high quality product.
Let me know in the comments what your favourite Bobbi Brown beauty products are, I'm keen to expand my collection!


Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Antipodes Organic Skincare for Combination Skin

As a skincare fiend, I'm always on the hunt for new brands to try out that work well with my combination skin. This winter has been tough on my skin and I've really suffered with breakouts and severe dry patches - the only good thing to come from this has been that, for once in my lazy life, I've been forced to maintain a consistent skincare routine and my face couldn't be more thankful for it.

Antipodes is a New Zealand based organic skincare brand that combines scientific research and natural ingredients to deliver innovative products to the skincare market. The brand targets women of all ages with varying skin types and highlights the importance of a structured regime to keep your skin looking healthy and flawless. I'm not going to lie, I may have fallen a slightly in love with this brand because one of their anti-ageing ingredients is extracted from the seeds of Sauvignon Blanc grapes and as we all know, I'm partial to the odd glass of Sauvignon on certain occasions (ok, most Fridays).    

Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser £24.99

The Antipodes Juliet Skin- Brightening Gel Cleanser has been my skin saviour; I have been using this for around 4 months and have seen a noticeable difference to the brightness of my skin and it's really helped to keep blemishes and redness at bay. It's not the most aesthetically pleasing cleanser, I was quite surprised to find that it's a thin brown liquid that could potentially be mistaken for something medicinal. You'll soon forgive this though as the scent of kiwi, Manuka honey and hibiscus flower comes through and excites your senses (it smells absolutely gorgeous!). The gel turns into a foam cleanser as you massage it into your face and neck; I always take care to concentrate on problem areas that need a little bit more attention. Daily use, removed with a warm cloth, has helped to reduce dullness and has left my skin glowing.

Antipodes Certified Organic Light Facial Day Cream £26.99

I'm over the moon that I have discovered the Antipodes Organic Light Facial Day Cream. This is perfect for people with oily skin who really struggle to find a moisturiser that doesn't leave their face looking and feeling greasy. It really is light, allows your skin to breathe and is packed full of natural, organic ingredients. It's lightly scented with sweet almond oil and vanilla pod which is a pretty heavenly combination. On first application, the cream can feel rather thick, however, it absorbs into the skin so quickly and feels almost matte when it's fully dry. It really helps to balance my combination skin so it targets those dry patches but doesn't encourage my skin to overproduce oil as it usually does. A little goes a long way with this as it's so concentrated so be careful not to squeeze too much from the tube - you don't want to be wasting any of this little gem!

I'm more than impressed with what Antipodes has to offer as a brand - I'd seen it floating around the blogosphere for a long while before purchasing and was slightly concerned that it wouldn't live up to its hype. It's very clear that time and effort have been invested into researching and creating this innovative skincare range. You pay high end prices for high quality products and I wouldn't hesitate to repurchase either the Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser or the Light Facial Day Cream. I'm looking forward to expanding my Antipodes collection in the very near future.

Let me know about your favourite Antipodes products in the comments below!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Wanderlust: My Ultimate Travel Wishlist

Image of Ultimate Travel Wishlist
If you happened to read my 5 Reasons to Visit Abu Dhabi post, you'll know that a couple of years ago, I made a promise to myself that I would get out there and see more of the world. Since then, I've been lucky enough to experience Dublin, New York, Budapest, Abu Dhabi and Dubai; the travel bug now flows through my veins and you'll regularly find me trawling Expedia for the cheapest holiday deals. There are so many places I want to visit but here are my top ten travel destinations:


1. Reykjavik, Iceland - Possibly the most blogger cliché destination ever but I've been desperate to experience Reykjavik for at least the last 3/4 years. I'd love to trek around the Golden Circle to witness the wonderful waterfalls and glaciers, go whale watching and wallow in the warmth of the Blue Lagoon. Seeing the Northern Lights would be an incredible bonus too!

2. Stockholm, Sweden - My sister's friend has recently moved out to Sweden and she keeps sending me screenshots of his Instagram with photos of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen. I'd like to spend a whole day wandering around Stockholm Old Town, cram in as many museums as possible (ABBA museum is clearly top of the list) and eat my way through the Stockholm Food Tour.

3. Sorrento, Italy - Considering I have an Italian name and I can't go a week without someone asking if I have Italian heritage, I'm ashamed to say that I've never stepped foot in this beautiful country. I was browsing destinations the other day and the pictures of Sorrento took my breath away. All I'd want to do is book a luxury hotel with a balcony looking out on to the stunning coastline so I could sit and bask in the sun with a glass of top notch Italian wine in my hand.

4. Santorini, Greece - I've never been to Greece and I can't say I've ever had a huge desire to visit the mainland. I don't have a clue why but it's just not somewhere that has ever appealed to me really. Santorini, however, is a completely different story. It looks cosy with gorgeous boutique hotels and the most insane Instagram worthy views. I'd love to take the hiking trail from Fira to Oia along the winding staircases and watch the sunset over Santorini.

5. Salzburg, Austria - So, this destination was inspired by Becky after reading about her adventures in this post 48 hours in Salzburg.  I need to experience The Sound of Music Tour so I can pretend I'm Maria Von Trapp and intensely annoy my sister by screeching out the tunes at the top of my lungs. Festung Hohensalzburg would also be a must see for me too as I'm a huge history geek and who wouldn't want to visit a fortress on top of a hill?


1. Varadero, Cuba - This place looks like a Caribbean paradise with bright white sand and crystal clear ocean. The stuff of dreams. There isn't much to do here apart from lounging around on the beach and drinking cocktails out of a fresh coconut but quite frankly, I couldn't think of anything better. Get me on that plane.

2. Montreal, Canada - A trip to Montreal would be the perfect opportunity for me to practice my perfectly fluent French language skills (just kidding, I can just about manage "bonjour" and "oui"). As previously mentioned, I'm a history geek and I'd be in my element, there are so many beautiful buildings and the architecture looks so impressive. The Notre Dame Basilica looks particularly up my street. If I was visiting Canada, I'd make sure I booked to go during Winter so I could have an authentic freezing cold Canadian experience!

3. Tokyo, Japan - My Uncle has been to Japan on several occasions for work and keeps telling me that I have to book a trip. I'd love to roam around the Japanese Gardens, visit the sacred temples and just generally experience the busy, fast paced way of life in Japan. Culture is important to me when I'm travelling and I think the cultural aspect would be completely satisfied here.

4. Seattle, USA - When I was on the flight back from New York, I got chatting to a guy who was flying back from Seattle; he spent at least an hour telling me how much he enjoyed his travels and his enthusiasm really sold it for me. Venturing to the top deck of the Space Needle to capture the breath-taking 360 views would be majestic and I'd want to spend another day browsing Pike Place Market and sampling all of the freshly prepared food.

5. Auckland, New Zealand - I couldn't write a wanderlust post without including New Zealand. I've heard so many incredible things about this country; you only have to Google it and I can almost guarantee it'll be added to your own travel wish list. Obviously I'd hop straight on a ferry to Waiheke Island, better known as "the island of wine" (I mean, the island was pretty much made for me!) and enjoy their wine tasting tour. I've also heard on the grapevine that you can bungee jump from Auckland Harbour Bridge just in case I was feeling in a particularly daredevil mood...

Let me know in the comments if you've visited any of these places or if you have any recommendations on where to stay/places I need to visit!

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