Thursday, 24 December 2015

BBlurfection


Earlier this month La Roche Posay and the lovely girls at Dowal Walker PR were kind enough to invite me to the launch of La Roche Posays latest product Effaclar BBlur. This is the first coverage product added to the Effaclar range, designed to target oily prone skin. 

This really appealed to me as I suffer with an oily t zone which can sometimes affect the staying power of my makeup. 

After trying this for a few weeks I've been so pleased with the results, I tend to use this as a primer mostly before applying my foundation as it blurs the appearance of pores and blemishes. For a more natural look, this could definitely be used alone with maybe a little powder. Despite the amazing coverage, it's a super light weight mouse texture which you can barely feel on your skin. 

It definitely keeps the oil at bay which is great, and can be easily applied with your fingers tips after a good cleanse and moisturise. Overall another great product from an amazing brand that are committed to designing products for sensitive skin. 



Check out some of my other photos from the launch!











With thanks to Dowal Walker PR for hosting yet another fantastic event, Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, 20 December 2015

#WeAreFamily



Last month I was lucky enough to be contacted by Boohoo.com to see if I wanted to take part in their #WeAreFamily campaign.

Being a huge lover of Boohoo I jumped at the chance to feature this on my blog.

As you may have noticed I rarely do outfit posts... For the simple reason that I am crap at photography and very unphotogenic.. Hence why these pictures were taken on an iphone on a recent night out in London next to some loo roll.

However I feel this beautifully represents what this time of year is all about for me (not loo roll!), and that's spending time with close friends and family.

I chose this gorgeous Clarissa Tie Neck Swing dress, which was a total bargain at just £20!

I thought it would be perfect for a New Years Eve party dress, or for over the festive period, what do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts!







Thanks again for reading!


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Christmas Gift Guide: For Her





Welcome to another installment of the Christmas gift guide, only this time for her. Again I've tried to get a good range of presents ideal for your girlfriend, sister, daughter or even mum. Some of this is probably a bit of a wishlist for myself.. (hint hint!) but all great idea's if your struggling on what to get her this year.

1.  Topshop Count Over the Knee Boot - £99.00

2. Victoria's Secret Pink The Date Lace Bra and No Show Cheekster Panty - £25.08 and £7.13

3. Estee Lauder Modern Muse Eau De Parfum - From £45.00

4. Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette - £40.00

5. ASOS Tailored Sleeveless Boiler Suit - £45.00

6. Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm 100ml with Cleansing Cloth - £38.00

7. Olivia Burton Chrono Detail Tan and Rose Gold Watch - £135


What's on your wishlist this year? Leave me a comment below...

Thanks for Reading!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Dior Forever Foundation



Collecting foundations has become some what of a hobby, I'm definitely more open to buying and trying new ones these days. One of my latest foundation purchases is the Dior Forever Foundation. If I'm honest I haven't tried many Dior products before, but the brand has such a good reputation I thought I'd have a browse around the counter. 

Personally I like a full coverage matte foundation, the more coverage the better! I was recommended Dior Forever to achieve maximum matte coverage. It retails at a decent price for high end foundation at £32.50 so I thought I'd give it a go. 




I loved the application of this, the consistency wasn't too watery or too thick, and it goes on great with a buffing brush. True to it's word it provides full flawless coverage that lasts all day with a semi matte finish, however I do use in combination with a primer or BB cream.

If you're like me and suffer from an oily t-zone, I would highly recommend powdering down with a translucent powder. 

Overall I'd give this foundation a solid 8/10, only losing marks simply because I didn't find it to be oil absorbent. 

Have you tried any of the Dior Foundations? What did you think? Please leave me a comment below. Thanks for reading!


Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Christmas Gift Guide: For Him




As Christmas is getting closer, (and if you're anything like me and leave it all to the last minute) I thought it would be good to upload a few Christmas gift guides, starting with ideas on what to get him. I've tried to use a range from small gift ideas and stocking fillers to main Christmas presents, however with my other half liking the finer things in life it's been difficult to keep my ideas relatively in expensive!


1. Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme - From £33.00 

2. Religion Wallet and Card Holder Gift Set - £38.00 

3. Religion Grover Short Coat, Grey - £165

4. Daniel Wellington Classic St Mawes - £179

5. Calvin Klein 3 Pack Stretch Boxer Trunk - £28.80

6. Clarins Men Grooming Essentials Collection - £33.15

7. River Island Mid Brown Chelsea Boots - £45.00



How far have you got with your Christmas shopping? Have you got any great gift ideas? Leave me a comment below!


Thanks for Reading x

Sunday, 29 November 2015

And None For Gretchen Weiners....



Still loving my new phone case from Coconut Lane! They sell perfect little accessories and jewellery that would make the ideal Christmas gift for someone special this year. To receive 20% off your purchase simply use the code ashlee20 at the checkout!


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Maestro Brushes

Top to Bottom: Eyeliner, Rouge, Foundation III, Modelage, Blending.



Up until now I have always relied on Mac and Real Techniques brushes for a flawless makeup application, but back In July I was fortunate enough to be sent this set from Maestro and I've been using these every day since!

Maestro are a company based in Poland that specialises in hand made make up brushes. Unfortunately they aren't available on the UK high street but are shipped internationally, and they are definitely worth the hassle.

The Foundation III is my favourite from the set. It's similar to the real techniques buffing brush and allows you to buff or stipple your foundation depending on the finish you are trying to achieve.

I've found the Modelage brush can serve a few purposes, I mainly use this to highlight but due to it's shape it's also great for contouring. Personally I'm still sticking to my Mac 168 brush for this!






The Rouge brush has been great for applying blusher, which has been handy as I didn't have a designated brush for this job before. Again due to it's shape this could also come in handy for contouring as its slightly angled to give that definition.

The Eyeliner and Blending brushes are pretty self explanatory and are also amazing. Admittedly I've always been nervous to attempt applying gel/liquid eyeliner with an angled brush, like most people it's a rare occasion I achieve perfect wings, however I've braved the change and this brush has made it so easy! It's also great for filling in your brows if you are using a power based product.

I've found the blending brush to be very similar to the Mac 217, which again I love. I swear by good eye shadow brushes to create flawless eye make up so they are always worth the investment.

That being said these brushes certainly don't break the bank, with the foundation III for example retailing at £9.14, which is always good this time of year. If you're feeling generous, they could even make the perfect Christmas gift (get your orders in early for international shipping!).

What are your favourite make up brushes? Have you tried any of the brushes from Maestro? If so what did you think? Please leave me a comment below.

Thanks for reading!

*Disclaimer* These products were sent to me to review, however the views written here are solely my own.


Monday, 26 October 2015

Saddle and Sass: Autumn Inspired Make-up Look


Base: Dior Forever Foundation 031
Concealer: Rimmel Wake Me Up Ivory
Contour: Seventeen Define and Contour Kit
Blush: Sleek Lace Palette, Crochet
Highlight: Seventeen Define and Contour Kit & MAC Soft and Gentle Mineralise Skin Finish
Eyebrows: Maybelline Brow Drama Mascara in Medium Brown and MAC shadow in Brown Down
Eyes: MAC Warm Palette, Saddle and Lemon Tart and MAC Carbon
Liner: Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner 
Mascara: Maybelline the Falsies, Volume Express
Lips: Model Co Party Proof Lipstick in Kitty and MAC lip liner in Nightmoth

Thursday, 30 July 2015

How To Build A Girl - Caitlin Moran



After sunning myself up for 10 glorious days in the Island of Lanzarote I'm back to reality and blogging.

The blogging part I can handle, the reality part.. not so much but I guess it wouldn't be a holiday If I didn't come home.

I've got a few different product reviews and fashion posts in the pipe line for the next couple of weeks but for this week I wanted to try something a little different.

Before I went away I asked my friend Christina for book recommendations to read by the pool and one of the ones she mentioned was Cait Moran's 'How to Build a Girl'.

I genuinely could not put this down, I really had to slow down reading it as I could have easily finished it in a couple of days. It's a perfect holiday book or even a great afternoon binge read. I absolutely loved it!

I am always on the hunt for my next read so I would love to hear about what books you'e been loving recently, as always please leave me a comment below..



Without giving too much away, 'How to Build a Girl' tells the coming of age story of Johanna Morrigan, a young girl growing up on a council estate in Woolverhampton during the oppression of Margaret Thatcher.

Being poor in the 90's during this time wasn't easy, and when Johanna finds herself in hot water after potentially jepordising her families finances even further, and making a tit of herself on national television, she decides to rebuild herself into Dolly Wilde - A cool sexually confident goth with a sharpe tongue.

As with most coming of age tales and life, It doesn't quite go to plan for 'Dolly', and she encounters many social and sexual faux pars along the way that will have you laughing out loud. And above all else it has some very important messages about being true to yourself, finding real love, drinking, taking drugs and most importantly not wanking in a bedroom you share with your brother......


Sunday, 12 July 2015

New to my hair care....


I was all about the Argan Oil craze so whenever I see a similar oil based product for my hair I always give it a try.

I noticed these two Kukui Oil products in the Ogx range a few months ago and have been using them religiously ever since. Kukui Oil has great benefits for the skin and scalp as it can be easily absorbed and forms a protective barrier, it's said to be particularly good for dry, sore, or burnt skin and has even been recommended for use on eczema or psoriasis. This is really appealing to me as I now suffer with a really dry scalp which drives me mental!

Another great benefit is that these 2 products are sulphate free.

I was also recommended to try Castor oil on my sore scalp as this has similar healing properties as well as enhancing growth and thickness. If you haven't used Castor oil before, it is extremely thick and gloopy so I would definitely use this as a treatment product rather than a styling product.

I tend to apply this to my damp hair concentrating on the scalp and leave in over night (or as a 10 minute treatment), I then wash out in the morning. As it is so thick, you really need to massage the shampoo into the hair and scalp, depending on the quality of your shampoo this can sometimes take a few washes! However the benefits are incredible, my hair feels much thicker and it keeps my dry scalp at bay.

You can also make your own sprays and treatments by mixing this in bottles with water and/or other oils such as coconut oil and jojoba oil, and you can even rub a small amount on your eyelids to enhance eyelash growth! Before putting a product anywhere near your eyes and face I would always recommend patch testing behind your ear or on the inside of your arm first.

What are your favourite hair care products? Do you have any special remedies or treatments for soothing the scalp or enhancing hair growth? Please leave me a comment....


Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Budget Skin Care Favourites


Its no secret that I love splashing out on skincare, but occasionally the bank of Brame isn't so flush. So with finances in mind it's nice to have budget skin care back ups. Some high street skin care products I've tried have been disapointing or left my skin feeling dull and lacklustre but these are some of the budget skin care products Ive found really work for me and have enjoyed using...

1. Clearasil Daily Clear Superfruits Refreshing Pads - £3.50 in Asda: These little pads are great for cleansing and exfoliating at the same time. I wouldn't recommend just using these as a first cleanse but definitely as a second (or a third) cleanse.


2. Garnier Pure Active Micellar Cleansing Water  - £4.99 in Boots: This is a great Bioderma dupe for sensitive skin, can't fault it for removing make up and a large bottle lasts forever.


3. L'Oreal Age Perfect Refreshing Toner - £4.49 in Boots or supermarkets (£2.99 on offer!): Although wrinkles may not be an issue for me currently you can never start too early. I love this because its full of vitamin C, so its really refreshing on my skin and gives it the wake up that it needs.


4. Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Sorbet - £12.00: A little more pricey but still a budget product, this mositeriser is great for morning and evening. I love the sorbet texture as it melts beautifully in to the skin.


What are your favourite budget beauty products? How do you find they compare to the high end products? Please leave me a comment below....


Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Morning Cleanse


Recently I've changed up my morning cleanser to the Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser which I absolutely love.

I was definitely attracted to it for it's promise of 'cleanses without over drying..'. There is nothing I hate more than cleansers that leave my skin feeling dry and lacklustre.

Although it does mention the word 'foaming', which for me is a worry as I've always found foaming cleansers to be very drying and misleading, it's really gentle on the face. I'd definitely recommend this if you find your skin to be quite sensitive and irritated by many cleansers as it's not overly perfumed and really soothing. Another added bonus is that you don't have to break the bank either, for a large 150ml tube it's just £15!

I apply a small amount to my damp skin (although it works well if your face is dry also) and massage all over in a circular motion. I then use a hot cloth or flannel to rinse and remove any residue, I find this also gives it a little extra exfoliation.


What are your favourite cleansers? Do you have a different routine for morning and evening? Please leave me a comment below....



Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Bye Bye Bags..





There is no better cure for eye bags than a good nights sleep but when that isn't always possible I look no further than my Estee Lauder, Double Wear, Stay in Place, High Cover Concealer (bit of a mouthful) in 3C Medium.

When my eyebags are particularly bad I tend to layer up my concealer by applying a generous amount to the whole eye area before applying my double wear foundation (2N1) , and finally topping up with a further small amount of concealer around the dark circles.

To achieve a highlighted affect I will then apply some touche' eclat or wake me up concealer before finally seeling with a light touch of powder.





What are your favourite concealers? How do you banish the bags? Please leave me comments below....



Thanks for reading!





Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Body Shop Haul




So I finally decided to pull my finger out and turn off Netflix for a few hours to type up a blog post, you're welcome.

I didn't quite realise just how difficult it would be to keep this up when going into full time 9-5, I've just had no motivation to do it.

But I've decided to take some time away from doing nothing this weekend and show you some of the new products I purchased from The Body Shop.

I seem to go through waves with the body shop where I by lots of things over a period then I kind of forget about it. But recently I was invited to a Body Shop at home party, so I picked up a few bits I haven't tried before.







As I may have mentioned before in a few posts, I'm a big fan of the Vitamin E range mainly as it is suitable for pretty much all skin types. So I picked up the Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet and the Vitamin E eyes cube.

I was intrigued by the idea of a 'sorbet' moisturiser and what the texture would be like, and funnily enough it is pretty much like a sorbet.

I love this because you're skin feels instantly hydrated on application. I tend to use this in the morning as my skin needs a good wake up at 6 am.

The eye cube instantly appealed to me as I suffer with puffy eyes, particularly in the morning before work after having an inadequate amount of sleep. It's cool on application and very lightweight so it doesn't leaving the skin feeling sticky or 'curdle' with your make up. I'm a big fan as it's quick and easy skin care which is a huge help now I have a lot less time in the mornings, sleep tends to win the battle against extra time to look presentable these days.







Next was another new product to the Body Shop which is the Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask. Now I probably don't fit in with the target market of this range as It's aim is to battle the signs of ageing and tackle fine lines and wrinkles, but you can never start too early right? It was the unusual texture of this product that that caught my attention, It's essentially like flubber or memory foam and is designed to be left on the skin over night.

On application its clear although it's a thick white cream, and absorbs in to the skin really well. It contains Edelweiss stem cells which helps the skin appear more youthful and bouncy.

I wouldn't say I love this more than my Origins drink up intensive over night mask as that is one of my favourite beauty products, but It's certainly something I'd purchase again.







Next up I purchased this purely on smell alone and that is the Pink Grapefruit Body Sorbet, this stuff smells incredible.. If you like grapefruit that is.  Another appeal is that the sorbet texture promises to instantly melt into the skin, which is works like a dream! I hate applying body moisturiser then feeling like I have to hang out to dry.






And finally I picked up a small Hemp Hand Protector, so many people swear by this product and I can see why. I've never suffered from particularly dry hands but working in a vet practice means I'm washing my hands a lot more and the sanitising gels can be quite drying and harsh on my skin.

The smell isn't exactly to die for but It's something I can get past and It leaves my hands feeling incredibly soft.


So that was pretty short and sweet but I am aiming to once again make this a more regular thing. I hope you enjoyed reading, as always please leave me comments, I love hearing what you think about my posts and am always open to suggestions..

Thankyou!



Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Temporarily Losing My Sanity


As I laid on my bed this evening flicking through my instagram and scrolling through my twitter updates to the dull hum of my laptop fan, I started to reflect on the positives of today. 
Successfully setting up the new phone system at work, organising the accounts, I even ate lunch that wasn't a pot noodle.. But the biggest thing that stood out for me was today, I felt normal. 


This is not something that would stand out for most people, and for me this has never stood out before. As I mentioned in a post a few months ago, the end of 2014 was a  bitter/sweet one that turned my life on its head and presented me with a lot of big life changes. One major one being my new job. 


I thought I was dealing with it okay to be perfectly honest. It was a lot to take on but I've always been a strong minded person, and its always been in my nature to just take things in my stride. But I am this complex thing we call human, sometimes it does all get a bit much and it is okay to struggle. 


So to put it politely I've struggled. To put it quite bluntly and honestly I temporarily lost my sanity and myself. 



I've never understood anxiety, I've known it and witnessed it in other people. I've been there to comfort it. But I've never understood any of it truly, because until this point in my life I've never had it.  


I guess I first saw the signs that something wasn't quite right when I had a panic attack on the central line into London.
 I was able to control it and not cause a scene.
 I just closed my eyes and began talking myself down until eventually the niggling pains in my chest stopped and breathing became easier. 


It oddly didn't deter me from what I was doing that evening either. And sure enough I went back to London the next week alone on the tube, and it didn't happen again. 

It wasn't too long after this I began to be really conscious of my physical health. I started visiting the doctor more during this period too, each time being told there was nothing wrong with me. 

This got progressively worse. I googled, every 'symptom' I had and that is no exaggeration. I must have knocked up the hits on the NHS  website and WebMD by 1000's. I did this to the point where I began to irritate people around me. To me it was debilitating, to them It was utterly ridiculous, and in theory it is. 


I had no idea where this new found 'hypochondria' had come from, I just desperately wanted to be normal and healthy. It seemed a day wouldn't go by without me getting a symptom of something progressively sinister or terminal. The more googling I did, the worse my worrying got. 


It's a crazy thing, this anxiety business because many of the 'symptoms' I had could be explained by anxiety itself. Trust me, I've googled it


  I also found it more difficult to be alone. 
Being an only child and generally an unsociable person by nature, this was rather out of character. 
I usually love my own company but I was terrified of being left alone with my own thoughts.


If I was distracted by someone I could feel happy, normal and safe from my nutty behaviour. 



One of the sadder things about this, is that I've let a lot of things slip by the wayside. 
Like being a good friend, a good daughter, a good grand-daughter. 
I've stopped studying. 
I've stopped doing some of the things I enjoy, like writing on this blog for example. 
I've even let my skin-care and make-up routine slip drastically! For those that know my true passion for skin care and all things beauty related, you will realise that I've clearly been tripping balls the last few months. 


Reading back over some of this now, It seems even more absurd. I mean it's perfectly logical really, all of this. There was no need to get so worked up because that only makes things worse, which then causes a downward spiral. 


That's easier to say now, but anxiety can feel like a thick fog in your mind that prevents you from reading situations logically.


I can't speak for everyone, but admitting I wasn't okay has helped. Opening up to my Dad made me feel like a weight had been lifted and he let me know that I wasn't on my own with this. 
It really is okay to not  be okay. 


Talking about it has gone a long way into speeding up my progress and my hope is that by writing this post I can encourage other people to do the same. 
However, I have to admit that I am slightly skeptical about posting this at the same time. 
Not just from embarrassment but in a bid to make 'mental health' less taboo via blogs and social media, it's sadly become a bit of a fashion statement. 
Yes, fashion retailers have genuinely been selling items 'promoting' the suffering of mental illness. 
I'm not really sure what's more bonkers. 



So please, do not let my insanity influence your zen state of mind. 




Now this may seem like a bit of a doom and gloom post compared to the social norms of a new year, but I see this as a turning point into something positive. 
Today I realised that lately I've felt more normal than I have in what has feels like forever. 


I do however, refuse to conform to the bollocks of 'New Year, New Me' and  '2015 is going to be my year'. 

New year, same me... Just a more alright me.