31.7.15

St Tropez In Shower Gradual Tan | Worth The Hype?

Every couple of months, there is always that one iconic product that takes the beauty world and the blogosphere alike by storm. Benefit Roller Lash, Smashbox Primer Water, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette just to name a few. But recently the product on everyone's lips has been this little beauty by St Tropez. But, is it really worth the hype?







InStyle featured a sample of this in their August issue this past month and although I never ever self tan, I just had to give this a try. I am pretty pale and with the claims of this being au naturale, a perfect buy for the lazy girl and great for first time tanners. I, of course became wrapped up in all of this, and tried it out for myself.. without a shower. 

Yep, I'll admit it. I don't actually have a shower, but this did still work using a bath. Have a bath as normal, empty it and get out. Apply the self tan across your body, begin to run the hot water in the bath again whilst you wait three minutes for the tan to set in. Don't forget to rinse your hands thoroughly, to ensure the tan doesn't stain!! Then, just use a bucket or bowl to rinse yourself off with the water you just put back into the bath in those three minutes. The result is still pretty good.

What I like about this self tan is there is virtually no smell, it's pretty faint and from what I can just about make out it's not an off putting fragrance in the slightest. This is also SO EASY to apply, as you're already wet once you apply this it just rubs into the body so quickly and much more smoothly, I can see why this is perfect for the lazy girls out there. Of course, including myself, haha! The three minute wait is slightly chilly but I just brush my teeth in this time, accompanied by a solo dance party in the bathroom. Why not? The tan develops very slowly and I usually don't see much difference until a few hours later. The development is very natural and coming from a seriously pale girl like me, that's saying something! Definitely not on the orange side at all, I actually don't feel afraid to apply false tan anymore. I also love how there is no streaking whatsoever because come on, we've all been there! Depending on how dark of a tan you want, use it everyday until you reach your desired shade. There are a couple of cons with this. As I'm pretty pale, it's pretty quickly for me to reach a desired shade; there's definitely the worry of going overboard so using this everyday isn't necessary for me. If you're naturally of more of a darker skin tone then I don't think this is the self tanner for you. As this is so gradual, I doubt it would make much of a difference for darker skinned girls as from my first use of this there was only a very slight tint of colour. Also, for some strange reason; this does not tan from below my knees well at all. My thighs are beginning to gain more of a colour but below the knee, absolutely nothing. Still as white as snow. As a pale girl, the annoying reality is that you have to use this everyday. When using this every other day the tan fades pretty fast, so to keep up your colour everyday usage is a must.

To end on a more positive note, I would completely recommend this to any first time tanners or pale girls like myself. For a natural and super gradual, streak free finish this is perfect for gaining a slight top up of colour and looking more awake for an event just a couple of days before. Super quick and easy to apply, minus the bad scented smell of usual fake tans. Furthermore, due to the added sweet almond oil, this moisturises the skin for up to 24 hours. Even more convenient for the lazy girl, you can skip the moisturising with this one! For me, this is definitely worth the hype and overall, I would rate this a 7 out of 10! 

Currently, they have this on offer for only £9.50 in Boots. Now that's an offer you don't want to miss! There's also a week left to enter my MAC lipstick giveaway, so if you haven't done so already then you can check that out here. Until next time lovelies!


Have you tried any St Tropez products before?post signature

27.7.15

A/W '15 | Your Guide to the Upcoming Trends!

If you've been reading my blog for a while now then you'll probably know that my dream job is to become a fashion and beauty journalist. I speak a lot about beauty on my blog, which is fine but I felt it was about time I had some more journalistic styled blog posts over here and I love fashion, so why not talk about it more?












If you haven't already guessed by the title, then the focal point of today's post is all about Autumn and Winter 2015. The new season picks are working their way into our wardrobes with pre-fall and the August issues of Vogue, Elle and In-Style the catwalk picks for the latest season have well and truly landed. I would give anything to attend a fashion week show and I really hope I finally do within the next couple of years but until then, my best reporting job involves analysing the trends cover to cover. This month Vogue included the A/W catwalk catalogue and some stunning styles have been put forward for the next season. But the big question on your lips right now is, "Well Toni, what are they?"

Electro Luxe
It's bold, it's vibrant and it oozes celebration states Lucinda Chambers, the fashion director for Vogue. So if you're daring enough, it's time to get your glitter guns out and completely drown yourself in all things sparkly. I bet Ke$ha will be pleased. A few of my personal favourites include Christopher Kane. I am the biggest fan of simplicity, clearly due to the lazy girl within me and the contrast of the forest green and red accessories just screams Christmas to me, therefore making me super happy. I'm a December baby, what can I say? The pleated midi skirt adds an ultra cool vibe, making the transition from legs out to put 'em away perfect for the Autumn time. The coppery, bronzed gold and red colour scheme with Altuzarra are the perfect transitional shades from a sun kissed Summer to a sparking Autumn. The cinched waistline expresses femininity and the wrap front dress once again shows a gradual change in leg exposure. This is your perfect Autumn 2015. 

Turn Back Time
2015 has been all about keeping the past alive don't you think? From the 80's denim button down in Spring and Summer, Balenciaga's Autumn and Winter collection now brings you the shoulder pad, as seen commonly throughout the catwalks this season. Tweed also makes a come back, mix your prints and textures for a cool and edgy vibe. When you think the 80's you think loud, flashy and fun and Vogue certainly weren't wrong about that. When I shown the collection to my mum and asked her what felt the most 80's to her, she was instantly drawn towards the Vivienne Westwood Gold Label. I really don't blame her. The grey jogger inspired trousers, bold printed shirt and not forgetting the power shoulders. You can't get more 80's than that can you? Or maybe you can.. the Milly jumpsuit, accompanied with those powerful shoulders, a bold green and yellow print and a belt to extenuate the waist. Bold, brave and powerful. Welcome to A/W '1985. 

Masculine vs Feminine
Dare to rock the suit, or live in colourful pinks that pop. Either way both the masculine edgy look and feminine preppy vibe are both in this season. For suits, think chunky heels, ankle socks with colours and textures that pop. My personal favourites, including Donna Karan due to of course its timeless, classic approach. A white shirt, grey suit. El-e-gant. Become a woman who is ready to do business. Similarly, Versace's striped tailoring with the pop of yellow and green in the shirt goes further with the boldness of the look. Then Prada's powerful green and blue number keeps the fun of the summer with an essence of femininity. Think Chloe meets the military. Prada then continues on the suit vibe, recreating the look in a stunning dusky pink jacket, accompanied with peach trousers and a green shirt. Uber preppy, super cute. Pink takes on a new meaning this season. Vogue advises you to envision sensuality, pretty, intelligent, modern and strong women with the catwalks new twist on the colour. Not to be stereotypical but when we're talking pinks we cannot forget about Chloe. The brand played safe with its iconic romantic low cut blouse alongside further low cut dungarees in a beautiful purple and pink hue. If you're a dreamer, this look is the one for you. 

Monochrome
When you think classic, I'm sure Diane Von Furstenberg comes to mind. The icon recreates the black and white look with a black coat, the bold shoulder, a belt to highlight the waist with a grey toned white print across the front body of the coat. Subtle yet effective. Narciso Rodriguez takes the wrap front dress and makes it a two toned beauty. White top, black bottom with the flesh on display of the white shoulder. Super simple, yet oozing sex appeal. Finishing off with a mullet style length. On colder days, pair with boots for days to show off those long legs of yours.

Go Bold or Go Home!
Vogue describes this trend as a 21st century opulence. Think bold prints and colours, higher neck lines and some very oriental inspired prints. Erin Fetherson really rocks the oriental vibe this season. The most stunning gold dress, embossed with a floral print and cut just above the knee; not forgetting the focus to the waistline and the high round neck. This seasons catwalk girl looked like a real life porcelain China doll. Another number which really called to me was the almost flapper inspired take by Bottega Veneta. A straight down dress, once again cut just above the knee accompanied by black lace with a high neck. Finishing off with a simple yet bold striped pattern. I love. Louis Vuitton upped their oriental game with powerful shoulders, the iconic oriental print alongside the colour of the season; purple. LV infuses purple with pops of deep red and a champagne silver for a feminine yet bold look. Vogue's fashion features director describes this catwalk trend as "Fabrics foiled like Quality Street wrappers, in tempting combinations" and oh boy, Marques Almeida certainly lived up to that comment in an ultra clash of the prints. The brand mixes green with black, blue and orange and a pink, purple oriental wrap around. Super bold, daring and even crazy yet it just works. The look is completed with jagged hems, adding to the fierce vibe. Only MA would be able to recreate your grandma's tablecloths and curtains all wrapped into one dress and make it work. I love it and so does Vogue. 

Moving back to this season's colour; purple. Dior and Kenzo both embraced this colour brilliantly throughout their recreation of this season's suit. Kenzo opted for the tracksuit vibe, perfect for the powerful 'tomboy' approach. There is definitely something for everybody this season.

And now.. you can wear your duvet to work!
No, seriously.. you actually can with this season's ultimate coat trend. Moschino opted for quilting, and bright pops of colour take their form in yellow and purple. Think sleeping bag meets anorak. Celine made this trend super dreamy using peach, burgundy and white as their main colour vibe, opting for the lazy over the shoulder look; remember the cape that everyone was obsessed with last Winter? Well it's back, in the form of added comfort, silk for elegance and allowing you to take your duvet to work! Further coat inspiration this season takes form in the shade of snow white. White is one of my favourite colours to wear so this trend is right up my street. Donna Karan chooses broad and fluffy collars, lining the insides of the coat with fur. Whereas Celine opts for an off white, peach continuing with their romantic vibe. Once again the collars are broad and fluffy but this time with fur mittens to match. Think snow angel, not ice queen! And lastly, for our hollywood dreamer girls there is something for you too. Chanel and Miu Miu opt for the tweed look. Checked print, with Chanel using blues and reds and Miu Miu still looking super summery in yellow and white. Bold shoulders and even the dressing gown belt was included with Victoria Beckham and Max Mara. In the words of Vogue, this season's coats truly are dreamy. 

And what about you?
InStyle teaches how you can tone all of that catwalk craziness down in four stunning ways. Let the t-shirt knit become your layering staple, spice things up with the gothic blouse. Opt for sheer and lace for an uber sexy, evening vibe. To rock it old school, choose a suede coat and fall back in love with the 1960's. Finally, the A-Line skirt is perfect for those girls with the hourglass figure. Super girlie and accentuate your waist line with this simple wardrobe must-have. 

And that ladies and gentleman, was the Clarke Couture guide to this season's trends. I'm by no means an expert but there really is something for everyone this season. Think comfort, yet power. Think old, yet new. Autumn and Winter 2015 really isn't holding back and I can't wait for all of this goodness to land in the stores. 


Which trends will you be wearing this season?post signature

24.7.15

An Ode To Topshop Beauty | Summer Just Got High

Summer. The time of the year where everyone is desperate to master that dewy and fresh faced glow with sun kissed cheek bones, pouty natural lips and tamed brows. I have always been a big fan of Topshop beauty and have collected a couple of bits over the past year and so when I heard the news of their current promotion I couldn't wait to share it with you all.






To celebrate the launch of their new 'High Summer' collection for this week only (July 23rd - July 30th) they are giving every one of their customers a free Topshop mascara when you purchase two or more beauty products over the course of the next week. Now who doesn't love free make-up?! I know I shall definitely be taking advantage of this offer for sure! 

As I mentioned earlier the promotion shall celebrate Toyshop's new High Summer campaign. The campaign represents everything Summer. Sun kissed effortless skin with that beautiful glow we are all lusting over right now. If the ad-campaign is anything to go by then expect natural yet sexy. Effortless yet screams 'I did try' at the same time. The super sexy 'I woke up like this' look is here to stay.  The sultry purple smoky eye is definitely a big beauty trend for the Summer, as seen throughout the S/S '15 catwalks including the likes of Vera Wang and Matthew Williamson. Purple is definitely the eye colour of the season. 

Topshop beauty never fails to disappoint and over the past year I have picked up a few beautiful bits that I am in love with. Beginning with eyeshadows I have two shades. 'Wax and Wane' and 'Shuffle the Cards'. W&W is a beautiful, golden champagne colour with purple and pink undertones. This colour is so unique in my collection and I absolutely love it. STC is also just as stunning. A shimmering gold through and through with a subtle pink undertone. Both of these shades are absolutely to die for and even though they are shimmers I find they have no fall out, are super pigmented and feel super buttery making them easy to apply. The shimmer is also by no means overpowering. 
Whilst we're talking about shimmer, my favourite Topshop product has to be my Glow cream highlighter in 'Polished'. I picked this pot up in the London Oxford Street store last Summer and it's still going strong. This is my go to highlighter on a daily basis so I would completely recommend it initially on the basis of usage. This lasts for so long it's unreal! The formula is so creamy it glides onto the skin beautifully and gives a super healthy and long lasting glow. Perfect for the Summer. Similarly to the eyeshadows this has a lovely, salmon pink undertone; adding to the stunning champagne toned appearance of this highlighter. If you're going to buy anything from Topshop beauty, then I cannot recommend this enough.
The Magic Liner in 'Engraved' is another well loved favourite of mine. I am not the greatest at applying winged liner but this makes the job so easy it is unreal. This dries matte which I think gives a much nicer look, especially for those who are prone to oily eyelids. Furthermore, this product dries quickly but not too quickly where it's too hard to apply. Not at all. This glides beautifully across the lid, giving an effortless, tight and precise wing. If you struggle with winged liner, this thin tip shall sure help you find your way as it did for me!
Moving onto lips. I have two lipsticks and a lip bullet. 'Petal' is a pretty, candy toned pink which is perfect for everyday wear. Whereas 'Rio Rio' which I recently picked up from the 5 year anniversary collection; is a beautiful rich red colour with a stunning orange undertone making it also great for everyday wear. I speak about Rio Rio in my ode to the red lip, which you can check out in more detail here. The formula of these lipsticks is super creamy and moisturising, perfect for someone like me who is prone to dry lips. The lip bullet however is more on the drier side but it looks great with a clear lipgloss or lip balm underneath. 'Wine Gum' is the most stunning purple shade with a lovely burgundy undertone. This is my go to A/W lip shade and makes a great dupe for MAC Diva. The only negative thing I have to say about this is it is pretty messy, so be careful when applying and I'd definitely recommend using a lip liner first; for a more neater finish. The packaging does get super messy but unfortunately it cannot be helped.
Lastly, I have two brushes from the beauty range which I absolutely adore. The Powder Brush is super soft and is amazing for blending out bronzer and highlighter across my face and of course  applying my setting powder too! The Stippling Brush is great for applying my foundation across my face, leaving me with a nice and even finish. Once again, super soft and no fall out either! I also adore the packaging of these, although simple I find them super cute and I love the coloured tips! You can check out a more in depth review here where I discuss my top beauty tools on a budget!

So I think it's safe to say that Topshop beauty is definitely killing it right now and I think their stuff is super under rated. The price and quality is some of the best stuff out there in my opinion! Definitely a lot of great dupes for some much more expensive products on the market! You can shop all things Topshop beauty here and don't forget to pop into store and receive your free mascara. I know I will be!


Have you ever tried Topshop beauty before?post signature

22.7.15

New In | A Small Clothing and Beauty Haul

Because sometimes we just have to treat ourselves right?! With a month filled with exams in June, of course afterwards was the perfect excuse to treat myself and I've actually never posted a haul onto my blog before so I thought, why not? For the fashion side of things, this won't be a try on haul as I plan on including them all in outfit posts next month! So without further adieu, here's to things that have been upsetting my bank balance lately..








Beauty

NARS radiant tinted moisturiser 
After months of convincing and so many recommendations by you all in the twitter chats, I finally picked up this beauty. I am so glad that I listened to all of your feedback as this is literally the only base I have been using since I picked this up. With SPF30 and a lovely, natural coverage giving you the 'your skin but better' look there is absolutely nothing bad I can say about this. It's a little bit pricey at £29 but is worth every penny for sure. If you were wondering, mine is in the second lightest shade 'Finland'. 

St Tropez in shower gradual tan
This month, InStyle magazine have been giving away a sample of this and even better, the magazine was reduced to only £2.50 in Tesco and so I just had to pick this up. I am yet to give this a go yet as I thought I would save it for my holiday in August. The sample size is 50ml which I think is pretty generous considering there's 200ml in a full size. I've heard so many good things about this and as a girl who never false tans, I'm excited, nervous and super eager to give this a try! The full size is also on sale for only £9.50 at the moment, don't miss out!!

The Organic Pharmacy skincare trio
Another fabulous magazine buy this month was this sample kit inside Elle. I absolutely loved the Malin and Goetz kit they featured last Summer and brought back again this year, so I am super excited to give The Organic Pharmacy kit a try. Each product is rose scented, aimed towards all skin types and claims to give radiant glowing skin so this little trio shall also be making their way into my holiday travel kit this Summer!


Clothing
I won't be having a try on haul because all of these clothes I am aiming to feature in some upcoming fashion posts throughout August. I've not included fashion on my blog for a while so I'm super excited to get out there and put together some great looks for you all!

First of all, ASOS were super kind and gave me a £20 voucher to spend on their site for becoming an affiliate partner. Of course, I was super excited and spent hours browsing until I finally decided on a pair of harem pants in bandanna print. Unfortunately these aren't available on the website anymore as they are genuinely the most comfortable things I have ever worn. A little bit out of my comfort zone but I wanted to try something a little bit different and I absolutely love them. They are a gorgeous deep navy blue, with white print. The trousers tighten at the ankle too which I absolutely love. It genuinely feels like wearing pyjamas except it is acceptable to wear these outside. Secondly from ASOS, I decided to pick up a new tattoo choker as I lost mine somehow way back last Summer and never got round to purchasing a new one. For £4 you really cannot complain. ASOS also thrown in some crackers in my order, which were super yummy I must say! You can't complain about free food!

I then headed into my local shopping centre and picked up this beautiful, bohemian top from ARK. I have an upcoming fashion post for this at the beginning of August and I am beyond excited to style it up and share it with you guys. I have genuinely never seen anything like this before, it was such a unique piece that I just had to have it. Once again, something very out of my comfort zone but I am loving being a bit more creative with my fashion at the moment. The top has a paisley-esque print across it with pops of blue, green, pink, orange, yellow and purple. I also adore the back of the top with its low back and cute zip design. But the bit that absolutely sold this top for me is the tassled, silver bell/medallion style pendants alongside the entire bottom rim of the top. I thought it was so unique and for only £18 I simply couldn't say no. This top unfortunately isn't available online but I have found a very similar piece from ARK here.

I also decided to pop into Victoria's Secret and picked up this beautiful acid wash styled blue sports bra and I am absolutely in love. It is super comfortable and is a great fit, definitely worth £19.50 I love it. Then from Ebay which you have already seen on my instagram, I picked up this Starbucks phone case. I think it's super cute and definitely so me. I'm all about pink frappuccinos. They should be a thing. The best thing is, it was under £2.50!!

Lastly, I headed to the Topshop sale where I picked up these two crotchet vest tops. One in a beautiful orange toned red and the other in white. I love everything about these and for £8 each I just couldn't say no. I am really in love with the whole festival vibe at the moment, I've been exploring bold prints, crotchet and of course fringing and these two tops will get so much wear throughout  the entire Summer. The only downside is they are slightly see through and so I'll have to pick up some pretty and of course not revealing bras/bralettes. 

And that is everything I have picked up lately. I know it wasn't too much but I wanted to make sure I got a post up and I'm actually heading to a Space NK and MAC in two weeks, so stay tuned and prepare for me to do some damage! 
It's definitely a nice feeling to treat ourselves every once in a while. Until next time,



What goody's have you purchased lately?post signature

20.7.15

Sweat-Proof Make-Up

In the midst of the British July heatwave and with August only around the corner, I thought I'd share with you my take on the sweat-proof makeup look because trust me, you don't want to be looking like an oily mess on holiday! For us girls with oily to combination skin the struggle is real. So here is a list of my favourite products for a fuss free, oily free Summer face. 



Primer
Primers are an absolute must during this heat. Not only do they help your make-up last longer but many blur your pores and leave your make-up looking much more seamless and put together. My favourites for tackling the heat are the NARS oil free, pro-prime; pore refining primer. As this is oil free it is perfect for underneath your base as not only does it make it last longer but it doesn't leave the added feel of a 'caked up' heavy face. Although this product is oil free, its creamy liquid formula works wonders for making your skin feel super refreshed and adds a touch of moisture to any drier parts of your skin. Perfect for those with combination skin. Another favourite for those with enlarged pores definitely has to be the Benefit Porefessional. 

Tinted Moisturiser
During the Summer months I prefer a much lighter base as this shall initially reduce the likelihood of my make-up appearing oily and slipping off throughout the day. My new favourite (thanks to the many of you who have recommended it to me in blogger chats!) is the NARS pure radiant tinted moisturiser. This contains SPF30 which is perfect as then you don't have to apply a sunscreen to your face as well, as for me at least; the more layers I apply, the heavier and oilier my face becomes. So this bad boy is a perfect all in one. For a tinted moisturiser this gives amazing coverage with a beautiful, silky feel and I have genuinely skipped concealing my blemishes as using this is honestly good enough for me. The finish is super natural and creates a 'your skin but better' glow. A cheaper alternative is the Maybelline dream fresh BB cream, which also contains SPF30! 

Bright Under Eyes
I love looking fresh and healthy in the Summer and so I try to make my make-up reflect this. Prior to make-up application I love to use the Benefit Puff Off to cool and refreshen the under eye area. Although not a permanent fixture this definitely helps me looking a lot more awake and fresh. My favourite under eye concealer is the MAC Pro Longwear in NC15 this makes my eyes look super bright and conceals perfectly any dark circles which I may have.

Setting Powder
These are an absolute must for keeping my make-up intact on a long, hot Summer's day. My holy grail has recently become the Benefit Porefessional Agent Zero Shine which does exactly what it says on the tin. Zero shine. This is the only powder which has prevented my MAC pro longwear from creasing underneath my eyes! This adds a very natural canvas to my skin, blurring my pores, mattifying and setting my make-up. I love it. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, the Rimmel Stay Matte is a great one.

Natural Brows
As I've only recently hopped onto the eyebrow bandwagon, I have been loving using the Benefit Gimme Brow brow gel to keep them in place all day and adding a very natural and subtle tint. 'Au naturale' is key in the Summer months. To keep my brows looking super crisp and neat, I have been in love with the NARS stick concealer in Chantilly to tidy up any smudging, defining the shape of my brows whilst keeping them looking super natural. My brows are never complete without this product.

Contoured Cheekbones
I love defining every part of my face in the Summertime, yet ever so slightly where things are still looking super natural and healthy. I don't want a full contouring routine in the Summer so lately I have been loving dusting over my Benefit Hoola Bronzer along my cheek bones and temples. Not forgetting to lightly dust the ears and neck for a natural, sun kissed glow. There's nothing worse than a Mrs Bronze Goddess face and a Mr Snowman neck. A cheaper alternative which has been my go to for years is the Rimmel Natural Bronzer. Although I'd prefer to use a cream product in the Summer to enhance the 'au naturale' look I unfortunately don't own any, if you have any suggestions of good cream bronzers, please leave them in the comments below!

Big, Fluttery Lashes
As you probably already know if you have been reading my blog for a while; the Benefit Roller Lash mascara has become my absolute holy grail over the past few months. First I take my Urban Decay Subversion lash primer with a few coats of Roller Lash over the top. This keeps my lashes looking super long and fluttery all day without curling them or adding some falsies. The thought of wearing false eyelashes in the Summer makes me feel uneasy, I can just imagine the glue melting and flopping off in the heat and I really can't be dealing with lashes halfway down my face. I also prefer not to wear eyeshadow in the Summer too, the less layers; the better!

Bright Lips and Glowing Skin
Prior to make-up application, a couple alternatives to a primer are the Benefit That Gal or MAC Strobe Cream as not only do they prime your skin, they keep you looking super fresh and glowing all day long. I love a good bold lip in the Summer to compensate for my natural looking face; NARS audacious lipstick in 'Carmen' is one of my all time favourites. Super long lasting, creamy and amazing pigmentation, this shade adds the perfect pop of colour. Red lipsticks are a classic all year round! Prior to lipstick application, I love the Lush Bubblegum lip scrub to remove any dry and dead skin and keep my lips looking and feeling super smooth. Lastly, my Benefit Watts Up highlighter is perfect for that natural golden glow. Cream products in the Summertime are a must.

Prepare Yourself
The best way to keep your make-up lasting all day in the heat is to prepare. I always carry either my NYX blotting sheets or Benefit License to Blot to help keep on top of the shine throughout the day, And of course, my biggest must have preparation tip is to set your completed make-up look with a setting spray. My favourites for tackling the heat are the Urban Decay All Nighter perfect for keeping your make-up 'perfecto' all day.  Or the NYX matte spray is perfect for all those girls with oily to combination skin who need help battling the shine. 

And there you have it, that's this Summer's oil free make-up menu. 


Which products do you use to battle the heat and shine?!
post signature

17.7.15

Disappointing Products

Unfortunately for me sometimes, not every product has been able to live up to its high hopes and expectations, I have gathered through its reputation as a 'cult product' or as being the latest 'must have hype'. Don't get me wrong here, the majority of products I own have certainly exceeded my expectations but in today's post I thought I would share with you my honest review of some disappointing products.



Benefit They're Real Mascara
I just do not get the hype for this one at all. I find the brush to be quite spiky and can be quite irritating to apply, the actual product itself is also not the best at lengthening my lashes. I will admit however it works brilliantly as for applying bottom lash mascara but it doesn't do anything for my top lashes. Rather than lifting my lashes I find they appear to look almost as if they are drooping. This shall result in excess, frantic application to achieve the perfection I am searching for but then I am left with sore and clumpy looking spider lashes. A real disappointment. 

Benefit They're Real Eyeliner
This product does work well when you get to grips with it but I still cannot at all. I always seem to dispense too much product as I am sat there twisting it for a good couple of minutes and nothing is happening; it then decides to all come out at once. Annoying, I know. I also find this product to be quite dry, making it difficult to spread across the lid. Furthermore the product comes out in clumps which doesn't make the issue of dryness any easier and lastly, it is super messy slotting the accuflex back into the tip and I am usually left with black covered fingers. I wish I could love this, but I just can't.

Rimmel Stay Matte Primer
This product is such a shame for me because when I wear this without make-up it certainly keeps my skin looking fresh and oil free. However, underneath make-up is a completely different story. I have combination skin and I find that this product will cling to the drier parts of my face, leaving my base looking messy, dry and very patchy. Definitely not the look I am going for.

Percy and Reed Volumising No Oil Oil
A complete and utter disappointment. I picked this up with Elle a couple months back and was really hoping it would actually add even just the tiniest bit of volume to my extremely flat roots. But nothing, absolutely nothing. I have used this on several occasions and it has given no lift to my hair whatsoever, I am completely better off using dry shampoo. A complete and utter let down.

Lush Santa's Lip Scrub
Now I'm not sure if I picked up a dodgy batch but this limited edition flavour is horrible. Over time my product became hard and the flavouring has completely reduced to water, it tastes disgusting. Definitely nothing like coca cola. I had to stab this with a knife several times to bring the consistency back to its original form, however it all began to clump together like a cake mixture. I am assuming this must just be a bad batch considering my Bubblegum and The Kiss ones are perfectly fine but either way, it is disgusting.

A bit more of a negative outlook towards products than usual on Clarke Couture, but hey we can't be impressed by everything! Have you ever tried any of these products? Let me know what you thought in the comments below! Until next time lovelies,


Has a product ever disappointed you before?post signature

14.7.15

The Best Tools For Your Base | On A Budget

It's nice to have a few high end brushes in our collection but sometimes, I can't exactly go and break the bank to purchase NARS ITA and the Zoeva Rose Gold collection. Even Real Techniques have began to up their prices since the release of the Bold Metals collection earlier this year. It's definitely a luxury to have tools like this in your kit but sometimes it is possible to create a look just as good with some budget based tools. In today's post, I have rounded up for you some of my favourite places to purchase decent standard beauty tools on a budget. 



Topshop
Topshop is definitely one of my favourite places to pick up brushes on a budget. Although they don't have many on offer, what they do have work brilliantly for me. The powder brush, £8.00 here is brilliant for of course adding a touch of bronzer. This brush is super soft and blends out any powdered products brilliantly. I love using this brush to blend out bronzer, reducing the intensity and creating the illusion I have a nice and natural glow. Recently I have been loving the stippling brush, also £8.00 here to apply to either a BB cream or even my foundation. I just use downwards strokes across my whole face to create a natural and even looking finish. The fibres of this brush allow you to pick up just the right amount of product, allowing your foundation to have a natural rather than 'cakey' finish.

Wilko
You would probably be surprised this store made it onto my favourites list but their brushes are brilliant. I love using the foundation brush, £2.00 here for applying concealer under my eyes. This also works really well for blending out concealer around the eyebrow area. Leaving you with a smooth, crisp finish which really perfects the look of my eyebrows. The only negative with this brush is it does have a tendency to stain. Originally with a bright pink tip, this brush has definitely seen better days. The Eyeshadow brush, £1.00 here also works really well for applying base shadows to the lid and surprisingly neither of these brushes shed either considering they are made with 100% synthetic hair and the inexpensive price. Definitely worth picking up, also the packaging of these is super cute! And we all know I am a sucker for cute packaging..

Ebay
It's amazing what you can find on this site sometimes. I picked up a pack of two fake beauty blenders for only £3.99 here and these allow me to blend in my foundation and under eye concealer, seamlessly. I generally prefer using sponges rather than brushes for base application in all honesty. I am now using my second out of the pack and the first one lasted me for well over a year, in the end it looked a little bit too mucky and had several cracks beginning to show. But to gain a years worth of usage in each for just under £4, you really cannot complain! I love using these when they are slightly damp to gain a more natural looking finish.

Avon
Lastly, Avon is brilliant for budget beauty buys. The blusher brush, £7.00 here is wonderfully multipurpose. The fan shape makes it brilliant for applying a powder highlight to the cheek bones, as well as making even contouring effortless. The eyelash curler, £5.00 here further adds a lovely curl to the lashes, and the handle makes it super easy to hold all of those lashes down in place. Pain free and fuss free!

So those were a few of my recommendations for picking up tools on a budget, if you have any other budget favourites which I haven't mentioned here then be sure to let me know down below! Also, if you haven't read my last post it involves a MAC lipstick giveaway which you can check out here
Until next time lovelies,


What are your favourite budget beauty tools?post signature

13.7.15

BLOG UPDATE!

So I have now finally purchased my own domain name and I could not be happier. My blog feels more personal and more like my own now, having the 'blogspot' in the url before just made me feel as though it belonged to blogger, rather than me. 




Alongside the happiness. also came a lot of stress. Thinking I had lost 242 followers on bloglovin' was a nightmare so I'm super happy I can actually move them over to my new domain name and they shall all be over there within the next few days. If you would like to follow me over there before bloglovin' makes the changes then you can do so here. I then had a second meltdown thinking I had lost all of my comments forever, however after a few mini breakdowns and some advice I have been able to 'migrate' them over to the new domain. I'd like to say a special thank you to Carolin and Chloe for saving me from my mini meltdown with their kind and helpful advice! I am honestly not the greatest at technology, I can follow instructions pretty damn well but knowing where to find the help isn't the easiest task for me!

So I hope you all like the new domain name, I felt now was the right time to do it seeing as I have just passed my 1st blogiversary! Speaking of blogging birthdays, for those of you who have entered my MAC lipstick giveaway, which you can do here if you haven't already! (The giveaway is open until August 7th!) I have now edited the giveaway with my new bloglovin' link, but as I said earlier if you have already followed my old bloglovin' link to gain yourself a couple of entries, then don't worry! Your follow should hopefully be transferred to my new page within the next couple of days.
Unexpectedly, today's post has been an update rather than my scheduled 'The best tools for your base | On a budget!' So be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that around 12pm tomorrow! 
Until next time lovelies,


Has your blog been through any changes recently?post signature

10.7.15

My Skincare Routine

Just like the seasons change, our skincare routine tends to change too. During the Summer months my skin is more prone to oiliness and then is more prone to dryness in the Winter. My skin unfortunately tends to become resistant and immune to products pretty quickly, particularly spot treatments. Having combination skin can be a down right nightmare sometimes but alongside healthier eating I think I finally have found a skincare routine to attack all of the effects of the sun's heat and Britain's ever changing weather. 


The first thing I like to do in the morning is take my Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water onto a cotton pad and place this all over my face. It's very refreshing and definitely wakes me up! It's also pretty disgusting to see how much dirt can still be left on your face from the night before. After breakfast, and brushing my teeth I then like to use the Clean and Clear Advantage Spot Control facial wash. I'd definitely recommend this for anyone with combination or oily skin as it is an oil free formula yet helps to clear up spots without over drying your skin. The formula contains cedar wood, cinnamon oil and moss rose which are known to act on redness and spot size, which is definitely an added bonus. Once washing my face, I like to use the Nivea Light Moisturising Day Cream for normal and combination skin, this feels super soft on my face and definitely helps to clear up any drier areas which I may have. Particularly around my nose area yet, without worsening the issue of oiliness. With an SPF 15 this moisturiser is perfect for me during the Summer months. I then like to take my Benefit Puff Off just to reduce any dark circles which I may have, I love the look of fresh and bright skin during the Summer months. This feels super cooling underneath my eyes whilst being very light and gentle on the skin, which I love. If I'm going to be wearing make-up that day, I like to use my Benefit License To Blot around my t-zone area. As this is a balm, it works brilliantly to reduce the appearance of pores and any dryness around the edges of my nose whilst leaving me with an invisible finish. This works brilliantly underneath make-up and definitely reduces my risk of oiliness around the rest of my face for much longer.  If I'm not going to be wearing any make-up that day however then recently I have been using the Australian Bodycare Tea Tree Oil Blemish Stick* which was kindly gifted to me by the lovely team at Catalyst PR. I just apply this over any blemishes around 3 to 4 times a day which has definitely helped to reduce size and redness. I've been using this for around 2 weeks now and have thankfully seen a difference! Nothing radical, but a difference nonetheless. I love how the applicator is a rollerball rather than a pump as sometimes I find a pump can get a little bit messy with a habit of squirting out everywhere, rather than just onto my finger. Using a rollerball is also much cleaner as there is no finger to face contact, reducing the risk of oil and bacteria from our hands being spread to our face. Then a touch of my Lush lip Scrub in Bubblegum, which tastes heavenly, I must say! and my Malin and Goetz lip moisturiser I am good to go. This lip balm has been one of my holy grails recently, it is super long lasting and makes my lips look and feel super smooth!

In the evening my skincare routine changes ever so slightly. If it has been a make-up day, I like to use my Simple Kind to Skin facial wipes which removes even waterproof mascara, which is definitely a bonus. As I don't wear much make-up during the Summer months, on days when I'm wearing something a bit heavier I like to use the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil to unclog my pores and remove any make-up which the wipes may have missed. These wipes are catered for even the most sensitive types of skin, further refreshing and toning the skin which I love. I then use my Clean and Clear facial wash as I mentioned earlier, alongside the same Nivea moisturiser I also mentioned earlier. If I'm feeling fancy and I want to look a little more awake the next day, I shall use my Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream just to brighten and soothe my under eye area. Lastly, I love to use the Lush Grease Lightning spot treatment as an overnight treatment for my spots, which works wonders! There is always a clear reduction the next morning! Lastly, a touch of Vaseline over my lips, and even my eyebrows if I feel they are looking a little sparse in places and I'm all ready for bed.


And there you have it. That was my Summer skincare routine. Quick, simple and effective; just how I like it! 

What products do you use to protect your skin in the Summer?
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DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored. Anything sent to me has been marked with an asterisk (*). All opinions are my own. 

7.7.15

Happy 1st Birthday Clarke Couture! + MY FIRST GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

Today is July 7th and so this day last year, as I was preparing to start applying to university I decided it would probably be beneficial for me to have a blog to include on my personal statement. In September I shall start my first year of International Fashion Promotion which I am super excited for but it almost feels quite selfish to say I created a blog to make myself 'look good' on my university application. 


I still remember my first post. I had just recently picked up the Benefit: They're Real Push Up Liner and decided to do a review on it. You can check that post out here if you fancy a laugh at my shy writing and pink tinted photographs. My set up wasn't my strongest at the beginning. I remember using a dust sheet back when I first started blogging and I would use black tape to stick it to the wall behind my bedroom door. I then would either use the torch on my iPhone or a lamp to create some lighting. Oh how things have changed, nowadays I just place a white plate on my printer as the walls in my office are white. I'll open the blinds and stand there (usually in some form of pyjamas) hoping that nobody on my street can see me, it's casual haha! 

My blog has gone through some serious changes since I began. I unfortunately cannot find any screenshots for the life of me but initially I had the standard blogger template with the stripes and my entire blog was pink and every photo had a white border around it. At the time I thought it was simply fabulous. The current blog template I have was designed by Kotryna and you can shop her etsy store here

Clarke Couture back in February!


Since my first year of blogging I have now gained over 15,000 page views and I couldn't be happier. I have people reading my blog in the craziest of places! Clarke Couture appears to be pretty popular in Israel haha!! But no matter where you are in the world thank you so much for taking the time out to read my posts, to follow me either on twitter, bloglovin' or instagram and even if you have only ever left one comment it means the absolute world to me that people are actually interested in what I have to say. I may have began blogging possibly for the wrong reasons but I have now grown to love it so much. 

So the bit you are probably only reading this post for haha! The giveaway!! To say thank you to all of my readers I would like to give something back to you, by giving you the opportunity to WIN A MAC LIPSTICK OF YOUR CHOICE!! If you've been reading my blog for a while then you will know I am a complete lipstick addict and so I thought this giveaway just perfectly represented my personality. I recently posted my own MAC lipstick collection which you can check out here

Just complete the requirements below and boom you're entered! GOOD LUCK!!
The giveaway begins JULY 7TH and shall end AUGUST 7TH AT 12PM UK TIME! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


I shall announce the winner on my twitter once they have been randomly selected by Rafflecopter. Make sure you are following me on there as I will then DM the winner for their address and their chosen shade of MAC lipstick. Once again, good luck!! Until next time lovelies,



How long have you been blogging for?


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4.7.15

July 4th | The Red Lip Edit

Happy 4th of July to all of my American bloggers out there! Now, I thought nothing screams 4th of July better than a red lip, so in today's post I have narrowed it down to just four of my favourites. 2 high end and 2 drugstore, so there's definitely at least one option affordable for everyone here! 







NARS Audacious Lipstick in 'Carmen' £24.00
Now I know this one is a little bit on the splurging side of things but I promise you, the price is 110% worth it. I am definitely a MAC lipstick addict and I really thought no other lipstick could exceed my love for a good MAC shade but the finish and staying power of this is phenomenal. The colour is super pigmented, you seriously only need around 3 strokes to fill your whole lip. It's that crazy!! The formula of this is super creamy and I certainly love a good satin finish to a lipstick. The packaging of this is also magnetic which to me, is super slick and I love the added touch. A little bit on the intense side of things but if you're feeling daring this bold, bright red is the one for you.

MAC Red  £15.50
I have a full post about my MAC lipstick collection here where I speak about this shade in more detail. Whereas Carmen is more on the bright and bold side of things, MAC Red is slightly more of a blood toned red. Slightly darker in colour as Carmen but still just as gorgeous and less severe on the bank balance haha! Due to its satin finish of course this made it to my favourites, as a girl who is prone to dry lips this formula is perfect for me. If you're looking for a good lip liner to match, REDD by MAC is perfect.

Maybelline Baby Lips in 'Cherry' £2.99
If you're not looking for an intense red lip but still want to give your lips a touch of colour and moisture then this product is the one for you. Affordable but still adding a lovely touch of colour and is definitely a much more affordable version than the Benefit Benebalm and for £2.99 you really can't complain. For the price this definitely adds a decent amount of colour to the lips so if you're not feeling overly daring, this product is the one for you. 

The Body Shop do a great range of red lip balms, my personal favourite has to be the frosted cranberry one I picked up last Christmas, it smells heavenly and adds a lovely and very subtle red tint to the lips. And if these products don't meet your needs, a tint may be what you're looking for and Benefit Benetint is definitely one of my favourites, plus you can pop it on your cheeks too which is an added bonus!

Topshop Lipstick in 'Rio Rio' £8
I actually purchased this recently from the 5 years of beauty rose gold collection, as you already know I am a sucker for nice packaging. But the colour of this is just stunning, it has a beautiful orange undertone. This is super easy to apply due to the smoothness of its formula and even though it appears more orange in the packaging it is a clear red on my lips with a subtle orange tint, definitely very unique in my collection.


I hope that's enough choice for you all. Are you a fan of the red lip or will you be rocking an orange or even a nude today?! Happy fourth of July! Until next time..



What is your red lip of choice?post signature