Aveda Balancing Skincare Facial

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If you’re heading into town tomorrow, run, don’t walk to your nearest Aveda counter. Until January 31st, all Aveda counters are offering free balancing skincare facials. I got to enjoy mine tonight and it was heavenly.

When I arrived a little early, I was immediately seen to with a hot cup of Aveda tea (who knew!?) and I answered a few questions about my skin type and what I wanted out of the facial. Then I was tucked up in a rather comfy chair as my facial began. Since I have sensitive skin, I chose to inject moisture and gain a some radiance.

Over 30 minutes I was cleansed, toned and masked up, and I even got to enjoy  hand and arm massage. It was absolutely heavenly, and it was better than a lot of facials I’ve had to pay for! My skin feels incredibly soft, and, if you’re in Edinburgh, Jenners will be opening up a treatment room where you can enjoy even more luxurious treatments really soon – as you can imagine, I can’t wait to book up!

Clarisonic Aria*

Clarisonic Aria

As a rule, I try to keep my life as simple as possible – my wardrobes are colour-coded, my books are alphabetised, and I try to keep my beauty regimes paired down too. I’m a staunch believer in that if you over-complicate things, your skin will just rebel, so one of the things which I feel like I literally couldn’t live without is my Clarisonic Aria.

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In case you haven’t heard about Clarisonic, they manufacture the very best cleansing brushes you can find. There are a number of models to choose from depending on your skin type, what you need the brush to do and your budget. What they all have in common is that they use sonic technology to clean your skin up to 6 times better than you could possibly hope to do using your hands and a flannel. What I love about the Aria model in particular is, if like me you have sensitive skin, there are 3 different speed settings which encompass slow, medium and fast, that you can choose which best suits your complexion.

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I tend to use my Aria with it’s regular brush head around 2-3 times a week, and if I’ve had a heavier makeup day (think proper foundation) I can’t wait to cleanse at the end of the day. After removing my eye makeup, I dampen the Clarisonic under running water, then squeeze a little cleanser on. Then I get to work using the brush all over my face, neck and décolletage. The sonic motion of the brush means that foaming cleansers come to life, and you can actually feel your skin getting beautifully clean. Most of the time I use the 1st and 2nd speed settings on my face, and ramp up to fast for everywhere else. When I use my Aria, I can see results immediately. My skin completely smoothes out, and the little bumps I sometimes get around my chin completely disappear. I also think my face looks and feels so much ‘glower’ too – it definitely gets rid of any dead skin which might be dulling my complexion.

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The Aria might just be Clarisonic’s handiest brush too! Not only does the brush come with a stand which tucks neatly away in my bathroom to allow the Aria to dry hygienically, but the charger is USB powered. It’s amazingly convenient, and it means no matter where I am, an hour or two plugged into my laptop, and I have full juice. The Aria’s battery life is amazing too! I normally get a couple of weeks between charges, so it’s super easy to pop into my gym bag if I’m going to shower there!

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As if the Aria isn’t amazing enough (seriously, it’s pretty life changing) Clarisonic tuck a travel sized bottle of the Refreshing Gel Cleanser in the box to help you get started. The foaming cleanser is designed to be used with all skin types, and it feels super gentle to use. There isn’t a strong scent, and it really cleanses super effectively. Honestly, if you haven’t tried out a Clarisonic yet, run, don’t walk to your nearest counter. They make such a difference to your skin, and if you live in a city, these are an absolute must have!

The Clarisonic Aria is priced at £155.00 and is available here

Bobbi Brown Almost Pink Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Almost Pink Lipgloss

Every time I clean out my makeup stash, I vow not to buy any more lip glosses (or eye shadows) I have literal boxes of the stuff, but my good intentions flew out the window when I saw Bobbi Brown’s newest lipgloss collection.

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The new Spring Collection is entitled ‘Illuminating Nudes’ and it’s designed to really enhance your natural beauty. I was completely entranced by ‘Almost Pink’ a stunning baby pink gloss which is just the most perfect pinky nude.

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The gloss has sheer to medium coverage, and obviously isn’t designed for creating a statement lip, but that’s what I absolutely love about it. Almost Pink has had a permanent slot in my on-the-go pouch since I bought it, thanks to both the super pretty colour and the fab formula. Unlike a lot of glosses (and I’m looking at you MAC) Bobbi Brown’s feel super nourishing to apply – more balm-like than gloss, and they don’t feel ridiculously sticky or goopy. Instead, when you swipe on the gloss, you get a natural pinky tone and a super flattering sheen. I love the slightly minty scent that it has too! Wear time for the gloss is great – I got nearly three hours before i felt I needed to refresh, and since the colour is subtle I didn’t even need a mirror!

Bobbi Brown’s Almost Pink costs £18.50 and is available here

Smashbox Double Exposure Palette*

 

Smashbox Double Exposure Palette

So you could say I’m something of a palette junky – I love having a tonne of eyeshadow choice all in a nifty little package, but all too often what’s on the inside can get a bit same-y. Not so with Smashbox’s gorgeous new Double Exposure Palette which comes with 14 stunning colours as well as a rather handy double ended brush!

Smashbox Double Exposure

What really sets Double Exposure apart from it’s competitors is the fact that Smashbox have formulated the shadows to be used both wet and dry. This means you get to enjoy 28 shadows for the price (and space) of 12! It’s an ingenious idea really – the dry shadows turn metallic, sparkly or deeper when dampened, so if you’re looking to create easy, multidimensional looks, the palette is perfect!

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As if the multi-use shadows weren’t clever enough, I just love the way the palette is laid out. The first six shades on the left are all cool tones, the middle two are a shimmery silver white and black, whilst the six shades on the right are stunning warm tones.

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I’ve never tried Smashbox shadows before, and I have been so impressed with the quality of them! All the colours apply like a dream, with an almost creamy consistency and great colour payoff – even the lighter, metallic shades are easy to apply!

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I usually end up plumping for the warmer shades of day, and using the cooler ones when I’m creating a smoky eye look. It’s the perfect mix of neutrals, as I think it would really work with all skin tones. On a day-to-day basis I use the taupe brown (last shadow on the bottom row) over my lid, line with the black shadow and use a little of the top right shade bone as a highlight. It’s a super easy look that looks and feels super sophisticated.

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The wear-time of the shadows is great too – I use Laura Mercier’s eye primer before applying, and the shadows stick around all day without creasing or fading. Even the metallic shades stay shiny well into the afternoon, and if I feel like I do want to refresh the colour, I normally just pat a little on using a finger. What I also want to mention is the double ended brush which comes with the palette – it’s amazing!

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When you’re spending a tonne on a palette, I hate when you just get a couple of dinky foam applicators (Chanel, I’m looking at you) so getting a full sized double ended brush is a godsend. The angled end is great for creating an easy, subtle line, whilst the domed end applies colour beautifully evenly.

Smashbox Double Exposure costs £37.00 and is available here.

Eve Lom Rescue Mask*

Eve Lom Rescue Mask

Over the past few days my skin was feeling and looking a little ‘meh’. There was nothing horrifically wrong with it, but I just didn’t feel right. That’s where my trusty tube of Eve Lom’s Rescue Mask came, well, to the rescue.

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The Rescue Mask is an absolute godsend if you want a bit of a complexion refresh. Camphor, Almond and Honey-infused Kaolin Clay in the formula all work together to really brighten skin, and pimples don’t stand a chance against it!

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I tend to use the mask once a week, although if I do get a breakout, this is the first thing I pull out, and it’s pretty awesome! It has a clay-like texture which is easy to spread over freshly cleansed skin. There are small exfoliating particles in the mask, so as I apply it, I gently smooth it on using circular motions.

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The Rescue Mask smells amazing – I think it’s the Camphor in it, and it feels super cooling when applied. I apply a light layer, and allow it to dry which usually take 10-15 mins. I then remove it using a hot, clean flannel. My skin feels incredible after using the mask – incredibly fresh and clean, but not dried out. It works miracles on pimples too – I just dab a little on the area, and let it get to work. Within a couple of minutes, any breakouts are seriously diminished!

Eve Lom’s Rescue Mask is priced at £35.00 and is available here.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream*

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream

Since we’re nearly at the end of January, Spring feels like it’s in touching distance. It doesn’t seem to be as dark all the time now, and to celebrate the uptick in seasons, I felt like it was time to update my perfume collection. Rather than the rich, white florals I’ve snuggled up with all winter, I wanted something lighter and fresher. My solution? Marc Jacobs’ gorgeous Daisy Dream.

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Described as an ‘irresistible mix of intricate details, elegance and femininity’ Daisy Dream is a delicate balance of floral and fruity notes, and a perfect introduction to Marc Jacobs fragrances. When I first applied the EDT, the light, fruity notes were strongest – a mix of pear, lychee and blackberries were most noticeable. It felt like the perfect choice for a casual morning meeting. Then, as it started to dry down, the scent became more complex as the notes of jasmine and blue wisteria became stronger.

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It’s the just the most perfect Springtime choice – it feels incredibly fun to wear, yet still incredibly pretty and sophisticated. I just adore the mix of fruity and floral notes – and can we talk about the packaging?! An adorable bubble of a bottle is adorned with daisy silhouettes, and it’s been pride of place on my dressing table. It has to be the most adorable bottle of perfume I’ve ever owned!

The 50ml EDT (pictured) is priced at £51.50 and is available here.

Clarins Joli Rouge Brilliant Perfect Shine Sheer Lipstick in 23 Rose Petal*

Clarins Joli Rouge Rose Petal

I feel like the blog has been super makeup-focused this week, but with such gorgeous new releases, can you blame me? I’ve always been super into lip products, so I got more than a little excited to see the new Joli Rouge shades.

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Last week I showed you Coral Dahlia, but I think my favourite might just be 23 Rose Petal. It just feels like Spring in a tube – the lipstick is the most gorgeous cool toned pink with a dusting of glitter which is sprinkled through the tube.

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If you’re in the mood for a gloss, but you don’t like the sticky textures, this is the product for you! Joli Rouge Brilliant Shine Lipsticks deliver the perfect amount of sheen, but it feels super balm like and nourishing. 23 Rose Petal gives lips the perfect pink tint, and it is really rather glossy too!

Clarins Joli Rouge Brilliant Perfect Shine Sheer Lipstick in 23 Rose Petal costs £19.00 and is available here.

Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eyeshadow – Cement

Bobbi Brown Cement Sparkle

I first fell in love with Bobbi Brown’s Cement eyeshadow a couple of years ago. It was tucked into the Desert Twilight eyeshadow palette, and it was the first colour I hit pan on in it. I’m so glad I stumbled onto the palette, as Cement probably isn’t a colour that I would be drawn to – it sits squarely between being grey and taupe, and when I found out there was a Sparkle Eyeshadow version of the colour, I literally ran to John Lewis to check it out!

Bobbi Brown Cement Sparkle 1

Packaged in Bobbi Brown’s signature glossy black packaging, Cement Sparkle Eyeshadow is definitely more of a brown than it’s matte version, but since I live in neutral hues, it wasn’t a deal breaker. If you’re looking to compose a palette for yourself, Bobbi Brown offer little compacts which you pop the eyeshadow pans in, although be warned, you do have to pay a bit extra for them. Since I like mixing and matching brands and shadows, I opted to keep the shadow as is.

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The shadow is absolutely stunning, my camera just about had a fit with all the glitter, and it’s the most beautiful way to add a little glitz to your look. The formula of the shadow is incredibly smooth, and thankfully doesn’t feel bumpy or rough despite how glitzy it is. The shadow is quite a subtle one colour wise though. I’ve been layering it over the matte Cement, the patting a little of the sparkle onto the centre of my lids.

Cement Sparkle Eyeshadow costs £23.00 and is available at John Lewis

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Balm Perfector 01 Rose

Clarins Lip Perfectors Lip Balm 01 Rose

Last week I shared my love for Clarins’ newest offering – the Instant Light Natural Lip Balm Perfectors. Even though I have most of the colours, I don’t believe there is such an idea as too much of a good thing, so I just had to pick up 01 Rose this weekend.

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The formulation of the Lip Balm Perfectors is just heavenly. They slick on like a lip balm, but the glossy slick of colour they leave is just perfect for looking far more pulled together than I actually I am. I just love the handbag-ready size, and 01 Rose is just the most beautiful neutral pink. It’s a perfect choice for Spring, and it’s a joy to use for combatting dry lips!

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Balm Perfector cost £18.00 and are available here

Clarins Jolie Rouge 22 Coral Dahlia*

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So, along with releasing a whole new line of lip products for Spring 2015, Clarins also introduced two new colours of their staple Jolie Rouge Lipsticks – 22 Coral Dahlia and 23 Rose Petal.

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22 Coral Dahlia is a swoon-worthy, perfect Spring lip choice. Like all Joli Rouge lipsticks, it’s formulated to be a wash of sheer colour and shine, and the red-toned coral is just stunning.

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In the tube, you can see some micro shimmer, and it really works to make lips look lush rather than being a glitter bomb. The wear time of the lipstick is great too! I got over three hours before I felt I needed to reapply, and at no point did my lips feel dried out. It applies smoothly and evenly, meaning that when touchups are necessary, you don’t need anything more than a quick swipe!

Jolie Rouge in 22 Coral Dahlia is priced at £19.00 and is available here.