Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Best of Beauty Products 2015

As if there is only ONE day left before we enter 2016....if we could just put that on hold because I could do with another month before the year ends?!

2015 has been one of them 'blink or you'll miss it' kind of years...I feel like it was January just yesterday. I've had a pretty good year all round and one of my main achievements has been venturing into the world of beauty blogging (I thought I'd never get my arse in gear...!), so I thought I'd end the year the way it started...with beauty products!

I've put together my most used, staple beauty products of 2015 (these have all won the Fran's seal of approval award, congrats ;)) :
Best of Beauty Products 2015
Base - Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, NARS Creamy Concealer, L'Oreal True Match Foundation and One Heck of a Blot Mattifying Powder. You can read more about my current favourite base products here. I've loved all of these products so much that I've barely made any changes to my base routine this year.

Contour - my trusty Sleek Contour Kit. If I'd have been blogging in 2014, this would have definitely appeared last year too. I love how subtle and buildable this product is and you can't argue with the high street price either. I've pretty much hit the pan now so I need to repurchase for 2016.

Highlighter - I think this one may feature in several of these posts this year and is pretty predictable but Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer in my opinion is worth every bit of the hype. I know everyone has been raving about Becca Champagne Pop but I own both and I'm still all about Mary Lou. Are we ever going to find a highlighter that tops this one?

Eye Palette - Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita....the dream of all eye palettes. I've been reaching for this all year for day and night eye looks and it's really all you need in one palette. I love how compact it is too so I can pop it in my handbag for when I'm on the go.

Mascara - Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes .....ohhhh, CT again!! It's a bit naughty of me to be including this in my products of 2015 as I've only owned it for about 3 months but obviously I fell in love with it straight away. No clumps and no irritated eyes is always a winner for me.

Brows - Another predictable but insanely good introduction to the beauty world, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz has given my wild eyebrows the precision that they have been craving all these years. Hats off to this product for keeping our 2015 brow game strong.

Lipstick - Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick. In 2016, I'd just like to own every single one of these please. I just love everything about these lipsticks from the colour to the packaging to the pigmentation. This has been my most worn lipstick of 2015 and I'm on a mission to build my collection.

The all round winner for me this year has been Charlotte Tilbury. I haven't been disappointed with any of the products I have tried from the brand so far and I've tried and tested a fair few! I think they've got everything on point from product quality, packaging and price point. I can't wait for the 2016 launches.

Have any of these products been your staples throughout 2015? What have been your favourite beauty products this year? :)
 
x
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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

What I Got For Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope Santa was good to you all and you had a wonderful time eating and drinking with family/friends. I've been so lazy over the Christmas period and I've loved every minute of it. I've put on roughly 10 stone and think I may need to check into AA due to my Prosecco addiction.

I was unsure as to whether I was going to write one of these posts but when I asked on Twitter, it turns out that you're all as nosey as I am when it comes to other people's Christmas gifts so here we are. Obviously, this post has to start with a disclaimer to let you all know that I am in no way bragging about the gifts I received. I'm grateful for every single one of them. My family and I like to treat each other at this time of year so we do tend to go all out. Here's what I got:
Kindle Paperwhite- I was so happy when I opened this present, I left my last Kindle in New York and was totally devastated. I love reading and felt a little bit lost without it. I've already downloaded lots of books to read to make up for lost time! I'll be sure to be more careful with this one and not let it out of my sight!

Yankee Candle Set - alllllllll the smells!! I was tempted to rip open the box and burn them all at once but then decided that might be a little too overpowering. Such a perfect gift for candle lovers (who doesn't love candles?!). My particular favourites are Christmas Cookie and Cranberry Ice.

Pandora Earrings- my Mum bought me these beautiful earrings to go with the Pandora statement ring that I posted about here. I've worn these every day since I got them and they're absolutely stunning.

Neal's Yard Organic Defence Spray, Ginger & Vanilla Bath and Shower Gel & Bee Lovely Busy Bee Balm - I've loved Neal's Yard as a brand this year and have been so impressed with the products they have to offer. I've built up quite an impressive collection so really happy I have 3 more things to add to it!
 
Jimmy Choo & YSL Black Opium Perfume - my two favourite perfumes which I had just run out of (someone was obviously paying great attention this year!). I'm really into sweet, girly perfumes so these are just perfect. I think I'm on my 4th/5th bottle of both now.

Benefit They're Real Mascara - got to love my Mum, I was having a Benefit makeover in Manchester and as she was waiting for me at the counter, she felt obliged to buy something. Luckily, this mascara is one of my favourites so the 'obligation to buy' thing turned out pretty well.

Bare Minerals Glow All The Way Set- my manager bought me this as half a Christmas present and half a 'thank you for your hard work this year' present. I'm looking forward to trying this little set as I've never tried anything from the Bare Minerals brand before but I've heard great things.
 
 
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Set - I'm a pretty helpful person when it comes to gifts - I received a Liz Earle Christmas brochure through the post and accidentally stuck very obvious post-it notes on the pages with 'I love this' and 'this would be a perfect Christmas present'.  It obviously worked as I received my beloved Cleanse & Polish and the Limited Edition Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Sweet Orange & Mint. The orange and mint is equally as beautiful as the original and smells as gorgeous as it sounds.

Champneys Hand Cream - I received this in my stocking and it's such a great hand cream. I've been using it daily already and it's ideal for your handbag. It's one of them hand creams that soaks in so well and leaves you with the softest hands.

Molton Brown Hand Cream Set - love this gift from my sister. She had the amazing idea of buying me a 3 month Love Me Beauty box subscription (can't wait to receive my first box) and then I was overly spoilt with this set of 3 gorgeous hand creams. I'd definitely recommend these if you can get hold of them in the sale!

 
I'm so pleased with all of my gifts and I've been very lucky as usual....my Mum also bought my sister and I tickets to Harry Potter Studios which I am SO excited about - I've wanted to go for so long and really pleased to have something to look forward to already in 2016!

What did you all get for Christmas?! Let me know in my comments below...leave me any links to your 'What I Got For Christmas' posts :)
 
x
 
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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Current Face Base Routine

Face Base RoutineI thought I'd share my current face base with you all today as I'm pretty happy with it at the minute! That's quite unusual for me because I tend to change my primer/foundation/powder on a regular basis (so fickle) but I've stuck with these products for a good few months now.
 
Firstly, I apply my dream Laura Mercier Foundation Primer. I can't even tell you how pleased I am to have discovered this product. I actually got it in the Harvey Nicks/Glossybox Christmas collaboration last year and I love it so much. I've always struggled with primers, I can't stand them ones that give an almost powdery finish on your skin, you know the type?! Then there's the ones that are just too wet and greasy...no thank you. Laura Mercier, however, have got the gel like formula just right and I will be repurchasing when I've run out.
 
Next, I apply L'Oreal True Match Foundation. I was slightly dubious about this as I'd seen so much hype about it - I'm normally disappointed by hyped products but I was pleasantly surprised. I have the shade Rose Ivory and it's a great match for my skin. It needs building up if you like a full coverage but I like that it's not too heavy.
 
Copious amounts of Nars Creamy Concealer in Chantilly is applied under my eyes (damn those dark circles!), down the centre of my nose and in the middle of my chin. It's so pale that I can use it to highlight areas as well as conceal. 2 jobs done for the price of 1 - brillllll.
 
To finish, I buff Soap & Glory One Heck of A Blot Powder into my skin to set everything and give me a flawless finish and I'm all good to go! (Well, besides highlighter, contour, blusher eyes and lippy but you know what I mean ;))

 What is your current face base routine? Do you own any of the products featured in this post?
 
x
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Monday, 14 December 2015

Body Positivity: 5 Things I Love About Myself


I've joined in with a couple of body positivity chats over on Twitter recently (@franbeautyblog) and they've been great. It saddens me that it doesn't seem to be OK to voice that you love yourself and I promise you it is absolutely OK to be happy with you are and what you've got. At the end of the day you're bloody stuck with it even if you don't like it.

These are the things that I love about myself:

1. My teeth and so I should be after having 6 teeth removed, some sort of jaw realigning thing (loved how unsexy this was, made me lisp and spit everywhere, it really helped bag the boys when I was 15) and then I endured train track braces for 5 years! I've also had them professionally whitened so I have lovely straight and bright white teeth now.

2. My eyes probably the feature that I get the most compliments on. I have big, striking eyes and even though I wear glasses, they still manage to stand out. I love the colour too- green/brown-ish (depends on the day) and I love applying eye shadow and mascara to make them look all glamorous and pretty!

3. My lips really lucky to have fuller lips because I don't need to go down the Kylie Jenner route and whack any filler in the ol' pout (definitely would though if needed). I can get away without wearing any lipstick too which can be good when in a rush.

4. My calves bit of a weird one but I have a love/hate relationship with my legs. I can't stand my thighs as they're so wobbly and covered in cellulite but I'm happy with my lower legs as they're a lot slimmer and more toned. Don't mind flashing a bit of the lower leg on the odd occasion (cheeeeky).

5. My boobs bit of a cheeky one but I'm pretty blessed in the breast department and I love how curvy they make my body look. Definitely not saying you have to have big boobs to look good but I'm a bigger girl and they make my body look in proportion.

We need more positivity in the world in relation to body image, I think there is so much negativity surrounding who's too fat, too thin, too tall, too short. What a load of media driven rubbish. As long as you are happy and healthy, who cares eh?!

What do you love about your body?...Share with me in the comments below!!
Love yourselves ladies 'n' gents.
 
x
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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Christmas Gift Ideas For Her

Christmas Gift Ideas For Her
I'm as late with this Christmas gift ideas post as I am with my own Christmas shopping. I always leave myself rushing around last minute with a million presents left to buy (exaggeration, I definitely don't have that many friends). Christmas is hands down the best time of year though and I love buying presents for other people. It just gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling right?!

1. Benefit World Famous Neutrals Eye Palette I went for a makeover at the Benefit counter in Manchester a couple of weeks ago and I was really impressed with this palette so obviously had to buy it. I think this is an absolute bargain- 2 creaseless shadow pots and 4 eye shadows for £23.50.
Perfect for weekends away/holidays as it has everything in that you need to create day and night eye looks.

2. Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick it's blogger goals to own a CT lipstick. I'd like the whole collection including the colours that don't suit me because y'know it's Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks. I have Velvet Underground already (pictured above) but I'd love to add Glastonberry, Amazing Grace and Stoned Rose to my collection.

3. Molton Brown White Truffle Hand Exfoliator & Treatment these two products have been my saviour for the Winter months and I haven't had dry/cracked hands for the first time in years. I use the hand exfoliator once a week and the hand cream every night. I'm obsessed with the luxurious packaging and the smell is just heavenly. Sometimes I have to remind myself that even though the name includes the word truffle, they aren't edible.

4. Essie Nail Polish in Leading Lady most beautiful Christmassy polish ever. I'm not usually a fan of red on me but this wine colour is so rich and glittery I can't help but love it. I just look at my nails and think WOO IT'S CHRISTMAS and get a bit over-excited. I think that's when you know you're wearing a good nail polish.

5. Charlotte Tilbury Eye Blender Brush buy this for a beauty lover and I'm pretty sure you'll be shocked at how excited someone can get over a brush. It blends your shadow beautifully, I even prefer it to the MAC 217 brush which is a pretty big statement. I'm trying to keep it in perfect condition so I always put it back in it's little clear thing and no one else is allowed to touch it ;).

Have you bought any of these gifts for anyone this year? Is there anything here that you'd like to receive yourself?
 
x



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Friday, 11 December 2015

Things I Should Probably Do As a Blogger But I Don't...

In the grand scheme of things, I'm still a relatively new blogger but I've been around long enough to notice several blogger clichés. Sometimes I think that blogging is taken a little too seriously so I've put together a short tongue-in-cheek list of things that I feel that I should probably do as a blogger, but I just don't:

1. Have Instagram
I think I may be the only 20- something that does not have an account on Instagram. Considering I like snapping pictures wherever I go, I'm surprised I'm not addicted to this social media platform. For some reason, it has just never appealed to me. It strikes me as quite a competitive, self indulgent platform that is something I try to avoid. I'll probably have a look into it for the future but for now, it's just not for me.

2. Have my Twitter account connected to my phone
I only check my blog Twitter after I come home from work for 2 reasons. The first being that beauty/blogging chat popping up on my phone at work would be very distracting and secondly, I try to ensure that social media doesn't take over my life. I prefer to have a casual browse than get involved with everything on Twitter 24/7.

3. Organise/schedule my posts
I am a last minute Larry in all walks of life and I don't think that is something that will ever change. During Twitter chats, I see a lot of bloggers tweeting that they are massively organised and have posts scheduled weeks in advance! I admire anyone that is able to do that but I find it so difficult managing full time work and a blog. My posts are almost always spur of the moment and it works pretty well for me.

4. Religiously monitor my stats
Obviously I'd be lying if I said I didn't monitor my followers/stats at all, but at this stage of blogging it's really not something that is massively important to me. I have a quick check of my Google Analytics every now and then (I'm clueless to be honest with you though, I'd have better luck understanding Japanese!). I'm so appreciative of the followers that I do have and my blogging experience to date has been nothing but positive whether I've had 1 or 100 followers.

5. Have 10 million rose gold/marble pieces for blog photos
I own one rose gold tray and have a marble A4 page that I printed from Google for my photo backgrounds (cheating, eh!?). I do admit that I am also guilty of trawling H&M home and lusting after all of their gorgeous rose gold/marble pieces but I'm happy with my marble A4 paper and my one tray for now- blog props are not something that I feel I need to spend lots of £££ on, I'd much rather have a new lipstick.  

6. Have a fancy camera
I'm still taking my blog pictures with my trusty iPhone 5! I'm no photographer but I firmly believe that you can produce good photos with your phone camera with the help of a little bit of editing and natural light. If blogging was my full time job then I would most definitely invest in an expensive camera but I can't seem to part with my iPhone and I'm absolutely fine with that.

Is there anything you feel you should do as a blogger but don't? Can you think of any more blogger clichés?!
 
x

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Thursday, 10 December 2015

The Ultimate Winter Lipstick: Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate #30

Now that the obsession with Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick 107 has passed, it's now time to obsess over this other little beauty - Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Lipstick #30.
 
I've been on the hunt for a purple lipstick for a while but most have been too dark for me until I came across this gorgeous plum/deep berry colour in Boots. It's so intense and glossy and I can tell this will be my most used lipstick shade this Winter. 
 
Besides the colour, I also love that this shade is so buildable. If you aren't into the bold look, you can use a lip brush to control the intensity when applying it. If you're like me and love a striking, all out look you can apply it straight from the bullet. It's stunning either way. I only had to reapply this twice during my night out which I think is brilliant for a high street lipstick!
 
You can see me wearing this lipstick shade in my Twitter profile picture @fransbeautyblog.
 
 
Have you tried this Rimmel lipstick? What is your favourite Winter shade?
 
x
 


 


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