Sunday, 28 February 2016

My Favourite Candles (And How I Care For Them)

I am well and truly a candle fanatic. Enter my room and you probably can't even count the candles on your fingers - and they are just the ones I use on a day to day basis. All my friends and family know how much I love candles so I am regularly gifted them on birthdays and at Christmas. At the moment some of my main favourites include the Yankee Candles in Red Apple Wreath (Christmas Limited Edition), Soft Cotton (SMELLS SO SO GOOD!!), Pink Grapefruit, and Midnight Jasmine. I've also been enjoying the Strawberry and Cream, and Apricot Blossom scented candles from Next. Getting on to the main reason you clicked a link or decided to read this post as you may be thinking huh? How do you take care of a candle? Well, if you had said this to me a couple of years ago then I would have been thinking the exact same thing. Turns out it's not as easy as just lighting them and letting them fill the room with their sweet aroma. Oh no. They take a little more looking after than one might think. Here are a few tips to get the most of your candles:

Trim the wick to a short length with every single use, don't go too short, though otherwise you will struggle to light it next time. Whenever you buy a candle, there is usually a sticker on the bottom that tells you to keep the wick length at around 0.5cm. This is so there are no dangerously large flames that become a bit of a fire hazard if left un-noticed. When trimming the wick, make sure you do it whilst it's still warm otherwise it may crack and split. And you don't want that as you won't get the most out of your candle otherwise.

Allow to burn till the top layer of wax has completely melted. Granted this can often take for ever, but who doesn't like to spend the entire evening basking in the dim glow of candlelight? It can take a good couple of hours for candles to burn level, but just note that there are some cheaper candles that never seem to burn evenly - however long you burn them. 

Don't burn for short amounts of time, this will cause the candle to only burn down the centre and tunnel. Not only does this mean that they give off less light, it can also make them difficult to light when they have burnt down a little. 

Recenter the wick so it doesn't leave a black mark all around the edge when burning. It looks ugly and can sometimes be quite hard to rub off (depending on the type of candle holder). Plus it also helps the candle burn more evenly!

Always put the candle on something that can handle the heat so you don't damage any surfaces. Why not buy some fancy coasters, a special candle tray to give your candles a home. If you really can't afford to buy something, just use an old hardback book. 

What is your favourite candle?

Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

My Makeup Collection: Highlight and Contour

Although this series has taken a bit of a back seat with all the christmassy posts that went on at the end of last year, it is back in full swing with the rest of my makeup collection coming up over the next few weeks! Out of all the products in my makeup collection, bronzers and highlighters have to be the latest editions. Until the back end of 2014, I hadn't heard of highlighters and I avoided bronzers like the plague thinking they'd all make me look completely orange! Although I don't have many of either, what I do have get used on a daily basis, where I mix and match depending on what other makeup products I'm wearing. As I don't have too many of either, I have combined them into one post, and unlike the rest of the series, I will talk about each of the products instead of just my favourites. 

In the run up to Christmas 2014 I bought a little trio of Benefit sample size products to try, and I fell in love with all of them. One of the items in the trio was the Benefit Hoola Bronzer (my first ever bronzer). I immediately fell in love with it and I wear it on a regular basis now. I thought maybe I'd given bronzers a bit of a hard time and so I took to Twitter to see what people recommended for those just starting out with them. A few people mentioned the Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze and Glow Face Sculpt and Highlight and I decided to go for it after reading the incredibly reviews! I won't go into too much detail as I'm pretty sure have a separate post dedicated to it, but the powders are so buttery and blend really well! I'm still sort of angry at myself for spending so much money on it, but I certainly have got a lot of use out of it and love wearing it!

As for highlight, I have a couple more to choose from on a day-to-day basis. If I'm feeling super lazy and can't be bothered to rummage through drawers to find what I want, I'll just use the Charlotte Tilbury duo as it has both a highlighter and a bronzer in one. I must say that the highlighter is one of the best highlighters I have ever used. To say it's a powder it leaves a gorgeous dewy finish and doesn't look at all caked on! A highlighter that definitely isn't cakey, is the NARS Illuminator in Copacabana. It is a liquid highlighter and one of my favourites for a night out - giving that natural finish whilst still saying ‘hello I’m here’. It isn't one of the cheapest options out there (although it lasts forever!) so if you're on more a limited budget you may want to take a look at the No7 Skin Illuminator Radiance Boosting Beauty Fluid which is a good dupe at an even better price.  Being creamy textures you can easily blend it out, but for me these are more of a daytime highlight as they look a lot more natural.

And finally, the Soap & Glory Glow All Out Luminizing Powder, which I haven't really used in a while. It was one of the first highlighters that I bought, and at the time I thought it was amazing. But since trying a few others I've neglected it, and although I'll end up using up - I probably won't repurchase it in the near future.

Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Is Multi-Priming A Thing?

We've all heard of multi-masking, the phenomenon that hit the blogging community over 2015 and became popular with beauty mavens from all over the world. But has anyone ever tried multi-priming - the process of applying different primers to different areas of the face? I'm pretty sure I've made this up (yay for originality), but I do it on the regular as my combination skin means that different parts need specific attention. There is a primer for pretty much any skin concern whether it be for lines, blurring pores, mattifying, hydrating, smoothing - there are so many products available that can help you achieve your desired look.

I've never really given it much thought or questioned my actions as it is something that I do naturally. A mattifying primer down the T-Zone, a blurring primer around my chin and blemish prone areas, and a tinted primer for around the eye area to cover any signs of dark circles or late nights. There is no explicit rule that you can't apply multiple primers, and if truth be told I actually find my makeup looks and lasts much better when I make the effort to mix and layer a concoction of different priming potions. My favourite primers to mix/layer up currently are the Benefit Porefessional, The Body Shop Tea Tree Mattifying Primer, and the Benefit Puff Off eye primer. 

Have you ever tried multi-priming, or will you be trying it out now?
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x


Sunday, 14 February 2016

On The Reading List

Hello everyone! I have another reading list for you today. I last did one of these posts in September, and have been eager to get another one up on the blog. The books on the last post have been read and enjoyed, and I highly recommend 'Yes Please' and 'Not That Kind Of Girl' as they left me in stitches, and actually made me laugh out loud - very loud.  Towards the end of last month (when my student loan came in), I went straight on to Amazon and picked up a few of the books from my wishlist. So here is why they are waiting to be read!

'Reasons To Stay Alive' by Matt Haig // This has been on my reading list for a good few months now, and when I started to see it on Instagram and Twitter I just knew it was going to become the next 'it' book. So I purchased it. The last book I finished reading was 'Yes Please' by Amy Poehler, and as soon as I finished it, I picked up this book. As you can see from the photo, I've managed to read a good chunk of it so far and I love it already! If you haven't heard of the book, it is a real-life account of Matt Haig's battle with depression and anxiety. Being a psychology undergrad I find it so interesting to see what goes through people's minds when they have a mental illness, but I also find it helpful with my own anxiety. The book isn't another story filled with psychological rubbish, it documents Matt's journey with depression from his own experiences. I highly suggest picking up a copy if you or someone you know is battling depression, and even if not it is a highly interesting read. 

'The Fashion Book' by Phaidon Company Press // My friend Sarah bought me this brilliant book for Christmas and I love it! It is basically a giant dictionary of fashion, and includes designers and fashion/beauty brands, alongside photographers and influential people like Madonna and Brigitte Bardot. I love books like this because I am really (and I mean really) into fashion photography, and a lot of my photography portfolio is made up of fashion photography. But not only do I enjoy taking my own photographs, I equally enjoy looking at the work of others - so I am excited to sit down and give this book a proper 'read'. 

'It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be' by Paul Arden // I picked this up on a bit of whim and I'm so glad I did. It's described as a 'pocket bible for the talented and timid to make the unthinkable and the impossible possible'. I've had a little flick through it and there are a few sections that aren't really relevant to me and are aimed more at wannabe business tycoons, but the majority of the book looks great if you're wanting to improve yourself and your careers aspirations. It offers great advice for those finishing university and entering the competitive world of work, but also for those who are self-employed or already have a job. Just flicking through, my favourite section is the 'Wit and Wisdom' section right at the end of the book, which includes lots of motivational quotes that everyone loves. 

'Women In This Town' by Giuseppe Santamaria // Giuseppe Santamaria is an incredible street photographer, and this book is any fashion maven's bible. It is jam packed full of street fashion photography from the streets of Paris, London, Madrid, etc. This book is totally #stylegoals, and gives you an insight to what normal, everyday people actually wear. The photographs in the book are so diverse and a large collection of styles from people of different ages are incorporated into the book making it great for anyone to read. If you're a male reader, then there is also a male version of this book called 'Men In This Town', which is the exact same book but with photos of males instead of females. 

'Pretty Honest' by Sali Hughes // I honestly have no idea why it has taken me so long to pick this book up as it has been on my wishlist for forever! I was a little dubious when ordering it, as it talks a lot about skincare and I was worried that Sali was going to be promoting makeup wipes and not taking your makeup off. But then I saw a review by Caroline Hirons (the skincare GOD) so all my worries disappeared and it was welcomed onto my doorstep the following day. I don't really know how to describe this book as it literally covers everything and is the ultimate beauty companion! I think it is worth a read for anyone who is interested in makeup or beauty!

'Face Paint' by Lisa Eldridge // Lisa Eldridge is one of my all time favourite makeup artists (alongside Charlotte Tilbury obvs), and I was so excited when I saw she was releasing her own beauty book. I've watched her tutorials online for years, and I was ready to embrace whatever the book had to offer. Rather than showing you how to apply liquid eyeliner, and how to get flawless base makeup, Lisa Eldridge talks about the history of makeup, and the ever-changing reasons as to why we wear makeup. Face Paint reveals stories from Lisa's experiences in the beauty industry, and there are plenty of photos of her vintage makeup collection. 

What are you reading at the moment?
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Another Lush Haul (Ft. Valentines Day Products)

It seems to be a regular occurance for me to share whatever I've been buying from Lush, and this post was requested by you on Twitter, so here we are with another one! The last time I bought anything from Lush was towards the beginning of October when I picked up bits from the Halloween and Christmas ranges. I think I've done pretty well to say that I haven't been into Lush (or even their website) in almost four months, so I have treated myself to quite a few little bits to stock up my collection. Whilst I was shopping, I picked up a couple of bits from the Valentine's Day range as I've tried anything from the range before, and from what I have understood from bloggers' reactions on Twitter, they have brought out a few additions to the range like they did with the Christmas and Halloween ranges.

Bubble Bars

First up is the Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar which looks straight up beautiful. I picked this out because it looks a bit like Candy Mountain from the Christmas range which I am missing dearly. I love all the colours in it and personally think it looks a bit like an ice lolly. It is supposed to leave your bath water a pinky-red shade, and I am so excited to use it! Packed full of neroli and lavender oil, the Unicorn Horn supposedly increases serotonin levels in the brain and acts as a little pick me up! Plus, someone needs to remind me to pick up more this week as they'll all be gone after Valentine's Day! Sticking with the bubble bars, of course I had to pick up another Milky Bath Bubble Bar as it is one of my all time favourites. Surprisingly it is one of the only products from this haul that I have ever tried before. It is so hydrating and leaves your skin wonderfully smooth! Jam packed full of skimmed milk and cocoa butter, Milky Bath doesn't leave your bath all colourful, and although it isn't very impressive, it does however make some gorgeous bubbles and leaves your skin feeling incredibly soft. And with a bit more colour, I also picked up the Rose Jam Bubbleroon which is one of my all time favourites as it creates a gorgeous shade of bath water and plenty of bubbles to go alongside it. 

Shower Gels & Creams

I have a new-found love of the Lush shower gels and creams, and so couldn't resist picking up the Prince Charming Shower Cream from the Valentine's Day range. It smells fruity and sweet, yet creamy at the same time. It smells slightly like marshmallows, but is very different to the Snow Fairy Shower Gel from the Christmas range. I bought the 250ml size, but may be tempted to go back and get another bottle as I really like the smell of it! I also picked up the Don't Rain On My Parade Shower Gel as I really just needed an excuse to sing more Barbara Streisand musicals in my shower. The smell from the bottle isn't one of my favourites from Lush, but when mixed with water it smells a lot nicer and I have really been enjoying using it. And finally, I picked up another The Comforter Shower Cream as I had run out of my 500ml bottle that had kept me going since it's release over the summer of 2015. I did only buy the 250ml size this time as when I purchased my first bottle I didn't stop to look at the price and was mortified when I got home and realised it was nearly £16!!! The 250ml should keep me going for a while though!

Bath Bombs

The final thing I picked up from the Valentine's Day range was the Lover Lamp Bath Bomb. This wouldn't usually be a product that I would pick up, but I was won over by the idea of having lots of little love hearts floating around in my bath water. Because the bath bomb is white in colour, I can only assume that it isn't going to leave my bath water a pretty colour, but that's ok as it has the little hearts. The bath bomb is filled with organic cocoa butter and therefore will leave your skin incredibly soft, so I will be saving this one for a freezing cold weekend where I can warm my self up in a hot bath! 
From the normal line of Lush bath bombs I picked up the Fizzbanger Bath Bomb. I don't even think I've seen this one before, so I'm wondering if it is a newish release? The women in the shop said that it is full of popping candy and changed colour as it fizzes away so I'm incredibly excited to try this one out! I wonder what colours it will change to! It smells quite citrusy with a hint of apple (and maybe cinnamon?), so will leave you smelling nice and fresh! Another newbie product for me is the Dragons Egg Bath Bomb. I'm 90% sure I haven't tried this before, but there is something in the back of my mind telling me that I tried it once in a gift set years ago. Similarly to the Fizzbanger bath bomb, it smells really citrusy and fresh - a bit like lemon sherbert! It is another white coloured bath bomb so I'm not expecting it to change the colour of my bath water, but I may be pleasantly surprised as there appears to be little specs of colour hidden inside! I also picked up another Avobath Bath Bomb after receiving one for Christmas and loving it A LOT. Now I can have avocado in my salads, guacamoles, and my bath! The cult classic that is the Twilight Bath Bomb somehow made it's way into my shopping basket. I'd convinced myself that I didn't like the smell of it, but it isn't as bad as I remembered it to be. I recieved the shower gel version in a gift set at Christmas and loved it so much that I thought I'd give the bath bomb another try. I am yet to use it, but will report back once I do! The last bath bomb I picked up was the Think Pink Bath Bomb, which I picked up purely for the colour of it. I love the products that turn my bath water pink and I don't think this will be an exception! The little flowers on top are cute too!
And finally! I picked up the Happy Blooming Bath Melt (Lush Kitchen Exclusive) online, which is a little exclusive from the Lush Kitchen - hopefully making it's way out into stores soon. I spotted it online and very quickly placed it into my basket as Lush Kitchen goodies are always limited, and are sold out almost immediately - sometimes never coming back into stock. I love Lush bath melts and was absolutely gutted when I realised that some of my long time favourites (Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment, and Floating Island) seem to be discontinued? It smells just like cherries, but has the added fruitiness of passionfruit and passion flower oil. 

Have you bought anything from Lush recently - maybe from the Valentine's Day range?
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x

Sunday, 7 February 2016

My Makeup Collection: The Brows

Eyebrows. The bane of pretty much every beauty maven's life. And to be completely honest, I'm not that bothered about mine. The colour is alright, they aren't at all sparse or patchy, and they have a naturally decent shape (even if they don't match each other). Even though I usually go without filling them in, when I have a little extra time or I'm wearing a look that leaves my eyebrows looking a little lost, I do have a few staple products that leave my brows looking beautiful. 

Ever since I started filling my brows in around 2013/14(?), I've used the bottom shade from the Boots No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow Palette in Good Earth. I just found that it was the perfect match for my hair colour, and it was sort of a 'my brows but better' kind of product. I use it with the Real Techniques Eyeliner brush or the Lottie London eyeliner brush (pale pink handle). As you can sort of see from the photo, I've hit pan on the bottom shade so I have been mixing up what I use when I go to fill in my brows. This was the only brow product I had in my makeup collection until around the back end of last year where I was sent a couple of brow products to review. The first one I was sent had a very brief mention in 'My First Experience With False Eyelashes' post at the start of last month as I was sent it alongside some false eyelashes. The Illuminata Brow Pencil from Threads*, has become regularly used over the last couple of months. When I first opened up the product I was like 'oh.. it's black, that's never going to match' but I was surprised when it did perfectly! I want to say that it adapts to match your eyebrows (I could be completely and utterly wrong there), as I believe that was said in the press pack. One thing I can definitely remember was that the pencil is waterproof so your brows don't melt away throughout the day, this is useful for those who workout, go swimming, and for those who simply sweat a lot! As far as I know it is exclusive to Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, but I assume they will roll out and become more available across the UK soon. 

And finally! One of my new found favourite products is the Hi Impact Brows palette*. I'm not exactly sure where you can pick this up other than here, but I think it may be available in Sephora for those of you lucky enough to have them in your country. I really love this as the powders are so blendable and you can easily mix them together to create the perfect shade for your brows. The palette also doubles up as an eyeshadow palette - which means it's great for travelling and on the go beauty!

Do you use anything to fill in your brows?
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x

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The Illuminata Brow Pencil (RRP £15), and the Hi Impact Brows palette (RRP £18.99) were kindly sent to me by Harvey Nichols and Dee&Co Innovative Beauty for the purpose of a review. All thoughts are my own and you can read my full disclaimer policy here


Wednesday, 3 February 2016

January Favourites

How has January been and gone already? It only seems two minutes since we were popping open the bucks fizz at the start of the new year. But with the new year comes new beauty products, so there have been a few new bits I have been enjoying using - mainly skincare, but there has been a few other things (including a book) that I have loved throughout January!

First up is a skincare product that I have used at least once a week throughout January. I'd never tried an overnight face mask before, but I'd heard incredible things about it so picked it up halfway through December. The Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Face Mask, has become somewhat of a staple in my skincare routine, and even though my skin isn't dry - I am prone to dehydrated looking skin that refuses to absorb anything to help sort itself out. Whilst I have been using this on the regular I have noticed that my skin is a lot smoother and hydrated, so I think that it is worth checking out if you suffer with dry skin or if the winter weather is wreaking havoc on your face. One thing I don't like about it is the smell - it has that sort of fake fruit smell that I find quite sickly with regular usage, but I can look past it for the brilliant results! Another skincare item that has been working wonders on my skin is the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. This face oil feels so nourishing on the skin and it feels as though your are treating your skin to pamper evening without having to go through the effort of washing something off later on. I really want to get the daytime version to apply alongside it in the morning, but we'll have to see what my student budget will allow for in February. 

Last Sunday, my post talked about 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidying' book by Marie Kondo and how it had well and truly changed my life. Of course I had to include it in my favourites post for this month as it has well and truly been a favourite. Although I technically finished it at the start of the month, throughout the first week I was excited to pick it up and read another section, and the effects of reading it have lasted since picking it up at the end of December. It has changed my outlook on living and has made me kept my bedroom clean and tidy for an entire month!! That is absolutely unheard of for me and the only explanation must be this book! At the beginning of January a follow up book called 'Sparks Joy' was released by Marie, and I'm enjoying that just as much! 

For lips we'll start with  new NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams that have swept the UK like a storm over the last month or so. In my last post I mentioned that NYX has become more readily available in the UK and you can now buy it in Boots and on Feel Unique amongst a few other places. I picked up the shades Antwerp and Prague, and have been wearing them both quite regularly throughout January - but my favourite has to be the shade Prague as it's a gorgeous berry pink shade that is perfect for winter. They'd be ideal for those of you who like the idea of a matte finish but don't want anything to feel too dry on the lips, as they appear matte but feel incredibly creamy on the lips. There are tonnes of different shades available, and I absolutely love how they are all named after capital cities! I have also been enjoying wearing the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Love Liberty, and even though I mainly bought it to wear on Christmas Day, I have transitioned it though into the start of 2016. I adore the shade and will most definitely be wearing it regularly throughout the year! 

What have you been enjoying this month?
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x
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