10 Beauty Finds Of 2014 So Far.

novembre 17, 2014

Product round-ups are usually a first-of-the-month or of-the-year kind of thing but recently I've seen a few of these posts pop up in various magazines and in my Bloglovin' feed - last but not least, Vivianna's one - and I thought it would be fun to jump on the bandwagon as well. With a few weeks to go till the end of 2014, there' still plenty of time for some new beauty discoveries to find their way into my top list, but here's a little round up of my ten favourite finds of the year up to now.

001. Bumble and bumble Dryspun Finish (£21.50) - A cross between a dry shampoo, a texturizing spray and a light hold hair spray that gives just the right amount of grit to my hair without making them look or feel crispy or dirty. It gives to freshly washed locks that second-day hair look that makes styling so much easier, as it allows the hair to catch on itself and build more volume and texture rather than falling completely flat.

002. LORAC Unzipped Eyeshadow Palette - I'm a big Lorac fan and their palettes are definitely a staple in my collection. With an incredibly silky-soft texture and great pigmentation, this swoon-inducing offering features all my favourite shades for an everyday look and is hands down my most reached-for at the minute. If you're a fool for rose gold, bronze and berry shades like I am, this palette will truly knock your socks off.

003. Foreo Luna Mini (£99) - It's pretty much the answer to all the prayers for a gentle cleansing device that doesn't aggravate sensitive skin whilst still delivering great results. One use is enough to experience smoother and more luminous skin and after using it consistently for a few months I can say that my skin has never looked better.

004. Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial (£45) - I always have it on hand for when things get extra stressful, but on a day-to-day basis I like to use it at least once or twice a week to give myself a good face massage and then leave it on to pamper my skin overnight. This delightful mix of oils is a proper skin hero and leaves my complexion ultra radiant and deeply nourished come morning.

005. Hourglass Diffused Heat Ambient Lighting Blush (£28) - If I had to pick one blush to wear everyday for the rest of my life, it would have to be this gorgeous poppy shade swirled with my favourite Ambient Lighting Powder. It gives the most perfect healthy flush with a lit from within glow to the cheeks and, unlike other powders, it doesn't sit on the skin but blends perfectly into the base for a beautiful natural finish.

006. Daniel Sandler Cherub Watercolour Liquid Blusher (£14.50) - Pinched cheeks in a bottle, that's it. Cherub is a soft petal pink with a waterproof formula that blends like a dream and doesn't budge, and it's basically undetectable on the skin. It's the ultimate bonne mine blush that looks like fresh skin flushing from within.

007. Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint Cologne (£40) - I've been completely obsessed with the whole Jo Malone range, but this one is still the top of the class for me. It's such a lovely combination of mint, white flowers and a subtle hint of rain and manages to be bright and fresh but still quite feminine at the same time.

008. Rae Morris Magnetic Brush range - Beware of Japanese brushes, for they are addictive. My piggy bank is not very happy for my penchant for artist brushes, but I really can't help it and in my defense, Rae's line is simply spectacular. All the brushes are hand-made, oh-so-soft and perfect for precise and controlled application of any kind of product. My favourite picks have to be the Ultimate cheekbone, which is a must have for contouring lovers, and the Liquid Foundation brush, perhaps the best duo-fiber brush I own.

009. NARS Velvet matte Lip Pencils (£18) - Velvety soft and not drying, the formula of these beauties is absolutely spot on. With my chronically dry lips, I used to avoid matte lip products like the plague, but these lovely lip pencils had me change my mind in a second - they stay put all day without making your lips feel like they could fall off at any minute and the shade selection would make even the harder to please squeal with excitement -. My must have shades are Cruella, Never Say Never and Sex Machine.

010. Anastasia Brow Wiz (£15.50) - My go-to product of the moment to cheat the perfect arch, Brow Wiz has a super fine nib to draw all the missing hair and fill in the brow with precision, and a build-in spoolie to blend everything and keep things natural. I tend to use it when I want my brows to look polished and quite defined but not painted on. It's really the best brow pencil out there right now.

What's your favourite beauty find of the year so far?


Evening makeup.

novembre 15, 2014

It may be my inner-grandma talking but there's nothing better than a chill, easy Saturday night at home, possibly involving a nice dinner, pyjama bottoms and a cup of hot coco with mellows. Tonight it's not the night though, and with a fancy evening out waiting for me and hours to get ready - for once I'm not doing anyone else's makeup and I'll make sure to celebrate that with a glass of something colourful that comes with a mini umbrella - I decided to make an extra effort and pull out my million-dollar products.
In the end it's all about the classics, red lips and gold glitters.

For the base, Nars Sheer Glow (£31) is the most obvious choice for special events and any occasion that may involve pictures, because it looks absolutely flawless for hours and has zero spf in it. Its medium coverage formula is easy to build and it leaves the skin looking glowy and perfected, with little to no need for concealer. It has only one downside, which is its tendency to accentuate and cling to any dry patches, but a good moisturizer or a hydrating primer underneath should do the trick. For special occasions I like to pop out my Charlotte Tilbrury Magic Cream (£70), which is flipping expensive but it truly does miracles for dull and thirsty skin, making it look instantly fuller and more radiant.
Since I want the focus to be on eyes and lips, I keep the skin natural with subtle definition, opting for creams rather than powders. I'm far too pale to even consider skipping on blush and a tiny drop of Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush (£14.50) in Cherub is enough to add a hint of colour to the cheeks that instantly makes me look fresher, while Illamasqua Hollow Cream Pigment (£17.50) makes those cheekbones of mine stand out a little bit more without going too overboard. Normally I wouldn't neglect highlighter - seriously, not even during the apocalypse - but a light dusting of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (£38) in Diffused all over is all I need for an immaculate, gorgeous glow and to set my makeup as well.

For some reason I forgot to include an eyebrow product in the picture above but I would never forget to fill in my brows, especially if I have a bold lip going on, as well defined brows are essential to balance out and ground red and dark lipsticks. I've been raving about the Anastasia Brow Wiz (£15.50) for months, so I'll keep it short and sweet: precise and long-lasting, lots of great shades to choose from and absolutely stunning yet believable results. Can you tell I'm in love?
For the eyes, the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette The Dolce Vita (£38) always does it for me. The combo of shimmery off-white, bronze and antique gold is kind of a comfort zone for me and something I wear all the time, but it's absolutely beautiful nonetheless. The quality of these eyeshadows is pretty amazing - they glide on the skin so easily and blend like a dream - and I love that little pop of pressed glitter that can easily elevate even the simplest look and turn it into something really special.
To finish off the look, enter a generous coat of mascara and a pair of gorgeous falsies to make up for the lack of naturally long, jet black, luscious lashes - thanks for nothing, Mother Nature! -. I'm currently completely obsessed with ESQIDO Mink Lashes and with their Oh So Sweet ($45.99)* offering in particular, as they look so full yet are so comfortable to wear. They give this my-lashes-but-ten-times-better look that makes people wonder if you got lash extensions overnight or if you've simply got your mitts on the ultimate mascara that does it all. They're soft and fluffy, and also incredibly durable - I think I've worn this pair over ten times already and they still look like they're brand new -.

For lips at last, I've finally got my fingers on the long coveted Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (£18) in Mysterious Red and I honestly can't put it down. It's the most perfect medium-dark blue red with such a great dimension to it despite the matte finish. It goes on smoothly, without tugging the skin and lasts pretty much forever. I love that comes in a pencil form because this kind of colour can be a little tricky and easy to mess up with, but the pencil allows to outline the lips with precision and then fill them in in a couple of strokes - that's how pigmented this stuff is -. I'm officially obsessed.

What is your night out line up?
*Press Sample 

8 beauty staples + giveaway.

novembre 10, 2014

Next to the products that make me fall in love or fill me with excitement every month, there're those few trusty staples I never quite mention or I don't speak about as often as I should - because they're the ones I either use pretty much daily, most of the time without even thinking, or I've temporarily put on a side but never stopped loving -. Today I thought I would round them up for you to show some well deserved love.

I love MAC lipsticks like the next person and of course every time I visit the store I find new shades to lust over but there's only one colour I can't get enough of and I keep repurchasing over and over again. A semi-sheer watermelon pink with a glossy finish, MAC Lustering Lipstick (£15.50) is a great example of a muted bright that can potentially suit everyone and goes with any kind of look, because despite being definitely hot pink, it's not a complete scene stealer. It's pretty and brightening and so easy to wear I don't think I'll ever be without it. Another MAC love has to be the 217 Blending Brush (£19), which is one of my top five must have brushes and beyond any doubt one of the most versatile I own. I use it with creams and powders, to pack eyeshadows on to the lid or to diffuse the color in the crease, as well as to blend concealer under the eyes and over imperfections. I can't stress it enough, everyone should invest in this brush.
Finally the 33 Lashes (£10.50) are my go-to falsies for any occasion. Those little clusters of brown and black hair look natural but also a bit flirty and complement any kind of look, from the most romantic doe-eyed ones to the sultriest smokey eyes. Sometimes I even cut them in half and wear them as accents on the outer corners to subtly elongate the eyes. They're so dreamy, I really recommend giving them a go.

When it comes to blushes NARS are my favourite brand and even if I get often distracted by new launches and formulas I seem to always go back to their amazing shades at some point. My most recent addiction, the Nars 413 BLKR Blush (£22.50) - a dark rosebud with a soft satin finish - is absolutely perfect for fall and winter as it gives to the cheeks that healthy 'Snow white flush' we all love during the colder months. Just like the rest of the shades in the range, this blush really packs a punch. Such an intense pigmentation calls for a light hand and an extra fluffy brush and one of my top picks for the job is the Sigma F15 Blush Brush (£16.50). It's soft and precise, and delivers a wonderful HD finish with both powders and liquids, and it's also brilliant to apply foundation. An all-around winner in my books.

Illamasqua Raindrops (£14.50) - a sheer light grey with just a hint of light blue and tiny opalescent specks that look like raindrops, hence the spot-on name - is probably my favourite ever nail polish. It's so effortlessly chic, it goes on smoothly and it has one of the longest lasting formulas out there. I really can't fault it. Since we're speaking of great formulas, I have to mention the Rouge Bunny Rouge Long Lasting Eyeshadows (£19). The texture of these shadows is excellent, soft but not crumbly and with a great colour payoff; each shade is easy to blend and so multidimensional it can be used alone as a wash of colour all over the lid or easily mixed with other eyeshadows. My favourite out of the lot has to be Delicate Hummingbird, a gorgeous frosty plum with a soft pink shimmer that I think would look good on anyone.
Lastly, if I had to include one fragrance I'd say Diptyque Philosykos. Our love story goes back to last year and is still going strong. With delicious notes of fig leaves, it's sweet but not sickening and ultimately fresh, like an early summer day - although it's not just a summer scent but I wear it all year around, sometimes even mixed with other fragrances -.

What about you? What are your all time favourites?

Now, without any further ado, on to the giveaway. To celebrate Strawberry Makeup bag's third birthday, I want to share some love with you as well and thank you for all the support by giving away all the beauty products pictured above to one lucky subscriber.

To enter read the Terms & Conditions and then use the Rafflecopter form below.

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