Thursday 1 November 2018

Party Dressing

I don’t want this title to mislead you, as by party I mean either full-on dancing on the table to The Pogues “Fairytale of New York”, to a civilised mid-week drink with friends, to outfits to wear on the big day. If you follow me on Instagram you will know I have been fully immersing myself in the world of sequins and sparkles recently. I am a total magpie and I love any chance to don a sequin or sparkle - I also love sparkly festive makeup too so watch out for a blog post coming on that soon.

Now you don’t have to go total walking festive bauble (as is sometimes my want) but you can add a dash of sparkle or sequin to any outfit to give it a festive twist. I am going to show you options for the huge sparkle fan right through to the ones who maybe just want a light touch of something sparkly.

Right, for those of us ladies who are up for diving into a pot of festive glitter, I am a fan of full sequin dress. Even within this style there are chances to be as bold or not as you like - there are so many colours and styles out there and a sequin to suit everyone. I think it's also how you style these dresses. You can go complete glamour with a heel and faux fur, which I do love, or you can dress it down or toughen it up with a black biker jacket or a blazer. When trying these dresses on I was often in trainers and actually I am a big fan of that look too.

I also found myself loving what I would call a sparkly dress - so not a sequin but something that just has what looks like glitter running through it. Like above, these can also be dressed up or down.

If you want to break your look up a bit or adapt it more for daytime, I love a sequin skirt. These can obviously look fantastic as an evening look with a lovely vest and blazer and a heel, but I love these also in daytime with a chunky knit and a biker jacket. Just such a cool look I think. You can do the same with a sequin jacket or blazer which is so great with a black tuxedo trouser for the evening, but also I love these with a great jean and a heel or jeans and trainers. Sequins and sparkles for me work day or night and all ages. There are no boundaries and to be fair in may eyes they aren’t just for Christmas either.

I have also been loving the sparkly and sequin jumpsuits which are about at the moment. I am a big jumpsuit fan apart from the obvious loo issues...they are to me an easy wear and feel sometimes less dressy than a dress. There are also sparkly playsuits about which I do really like but haven’t found one which suits me yet...

I mentioned sequin skirts above and I also love all the glittery/sparkly skirts (especially the pleated ones) and trousers that are out there. Again a less full on party bauble look but still one that I love. These items can also be dressed up or down depending on your mood or occasion.

I have to give a shout out to velvet while I am here. Another look I just adore for this upcoming season. There so many lovely velvet skirts, dresses and blazers out there in beautiful festive shades or “Quality Street” colours as someone said to me. However, for me the velvet look is great and am going to invest in for the party season is the velvet suit. I just love this look. There are so many gorgeous ones out there and I just think this look is fabulous and for me works both dressed up with a killer pair of heels or with a great pair of trainers.

Whilst looking for sequin inspiration online, I found these three beauties...

Hope you found some helpful ideas for festive fun here and after writing this I feel I need to write one on accessories too. Is it too early to crack open the mince pies and indulge in a Snowball?

Sunday 21 October 2018

My Daily Skincare Routine

If you follow me on Instagram you will know how fond I am of the odd selfie or two. This means that I need to take the best care of my skin I can. I love makeup but I also love skincare too and I make sure I remove my makeup every night or at least most nights...I also try to avoid face wipes as they just dry my skin out, but there are times when I can only muster the energy to use a wipe.

I thought I would share my current favourite products and ones that I am introducing to my routine. I would love to hear some of your hero or must use products. I am 43, with what I always thought was combination skin, but as I am getting older it is more oily.  My skin isn’t too sensitive but I am prone to hormonal spots around my chin. I also am becoming more aware of pigmentation from the sun too - ah the joys of ageing so I always use a sunscreen every day. 

Morning Routine

I like to use a non-foaming facial wash in the morning and I have loved this cleanser by La Roche Posay Effaclar - so much so it has nearly very finished. I would defintely buy again as it has worked so well for me. I then remove any remnants of eye makeup. Although my skin isn't sensitive my eyes can be, and I love Nivea’s Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover.  This is such a good product and so reasonably priced - I always re-purchase when I have finished one.  Toner next and in the morning in an attempt to wake myself up I like to use a spray toner and love the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Sprtizer. This smells so lovely and I spray it during the days sometimes for a little skin boost. 

I am a big fan of facial oils even though my skin is oily. I find they work so well with my skin and definitely help to keep it soft. I am loving my Organic Facial Oil By Sarah London which is natural and organic and is such a lovely product. Eyes next and I have been liking the La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Yeux at the moment but to be honest I have yet to find my definitive morning eye cream and have tried a good few....maybe I am expecting too much from the eye creams - they can’t work miracles on black circles it turns out. I then mositurise and I have been enjoying the Malin + Goetz Vitamin e face moisturiser which is lovely and light and which I have liked over the warmer months. However, as winter and the weather and central heating dries my skin out, I like to use a thicker moisturiser and this Gatineau Defi lift 3D one seems perfect.  I was kindly gifted the Gatineau products so will let you know what I think. I do also really like my Simple moisturiser which I find nice and light on my skin. 

Evening Routine

My evening routine is similar in each stage to my morning routine but with different products. I like to remove my makeup with a cleanser and a muslin cloth - I alternate between a balm and a liquid. My current favourite liquid cleanser is Youth to the People’s Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Face wash. I have really enjoyed this product as it’s full of good things and does a good job at getting all my layers of makeup off. When I am in the mood for a balm I love to use the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. I have used this on and off for a couple of years and always come back to it and this one came in my British Beauty Box kindly sent to me this week.

As I do like to go quite full-on with my eye makeup and makeup in general, I usually have to do a double cleanse. For me this just involves going over my skin with some Micellar water. I am currently using the Bioderma one but I do also love the Garnier ones too.  Then for my evening toner I use Pixi Glow Tonic a couple of days a week or La Roche Posay Serozinc. I don’t really use any acids etc at the moment but I think I should be so let's hear some recommendations about what ones you use and love. 

An oil is also an essential part of my evening skincare routine and for the last few years I have used Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate and I love it. I don’t always use a moisturiser in the evening - I don’t really know why but in winter I will probably use the Gatineau one to help my skin out.  I do enjoy doing an evening face mask once a week and at the moment I am using Lowengrips Hydration Mask, which I like a lot. I also love a sheet mask and am looking forward to trying my Patchology ones, especially the eye and lips one. Let me know of any other ones you recommend - I keep meaning to try Charlotte Tilbury’s clay mask and sheet masks as they get rave reviews.

As I get older looking after my skin is so important to me - it’s this or I turn into Cher which to be fair is rather appealing....

Thursday 17 May 2018

Carole's Coral Club

My Top Coral lipsticks for summer

Coral is my absolute favourite summer lipstick shade and these are my current favourite ones. I was aiming for 10 but it turns out my love for a good Coral lipstick runs deeper than even I knew. They range from the brighter lighter ones to the deeper richer shades - I love all and any shade of Coral lipstick. I hope you find one in the selection below that works for you. I have written a blog post on mixing Coral lipsticks with summer fashion and accessories which will be coming to the blog soon.

High Street

Collection - Blissful Peach - £3.99

Maybelline - Craving Coral - £6.99

Sleek - Guest List - £5.50 

L’OrĂ©al Color Riche - Magnetic Coral- £6.99

NYX Lip Cream - San Juan - £6.00

Tom Ford - True Coral (this has to be my favourite lipstick ever) - £40

MAC - Lady Danger - £17.50

Chanel Rouge Allure - Vibrante - £31

Nars - Heatwave - £22.00

Hourglass - I Live For - £28.00

Charlotte Tilbury - Coachella Coral - £24.00

Charlotte Tilbury - Sexy Sienna -£24.00


A cheeky little extra one below. This is maybe more orange than Coral but still perfect for summer.

Charlotte Tilbury - Tell Laura - £24.00
As you can see I am fond of a Coral lipstick, and I hope there is one here for you. Coral is the way forward for summer.

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Wake up Boo....

Updated Everyday Beauty Routine 

Due to my break in blogging (let’s call it that) I thought I would write an updated post on the makeup products that I am using every morning. There seems a lot, I know, but I love makeup and it’s part of my morning routine and sets me up for the day. Not everyone needs to use this many products and you can pick and choose what works for you. 

I make sure my skin is moisturised first and then I use a primer, as I have oily to combination skin, and find my foundation can easily slide off my face before lunch. I have a few primers but my current morning favourite is the NARS Pore & Shine Control one, followed by my NARS foundation which is their All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. If I have a morning where I am going out for a fancy lunch (am not sure what fancy lunches I am going to..) I would use my Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow under my foundation for some extra luminosity to my skin. I also like my YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer for a bit of extra glow - I love the gold flecks in it. Who doesn’t love a bit of sparkle in their makeup?

I have only mentioned maybe a thousand times my obsession with my black circles, so I move on to concealing them next. I am always changing my concealer trying to find the perfect one. I have an old favourite and a new one on rotation at the moment. The one I keep going back to is the Maybelline Eraser Eye concealer with the fab sponge applicator. My new one is the Too Faced Born This Way concealer. I also conceal any redness or any of the crazy hormonal spots I keep getting and at nearly 43 I am just loving these!

I like to powder my face due to its oiliness and I like the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder. I then do my eyebrows and I am currently using two products together as I like a well defined and strong brow. Firstly, I use a Maybelline Browdrama Pomade Crayon and then go over the top with the Glossier Boy Brow. I should say that I do have HD Brows done too to help define and shape my brows.

I am a big fan of bronzer. I did say at the beginning of the year that I wasn’t going to fake tan my face as much but it turns out that I feel happier with some colour on my face and to help with this I use a bronzer too.  I have been using the Tom Ford Ultimate Bronzer in Gold Dust for a while now and for me it’s the perfect bronzer. Blusher - which is my favourite thing - is next and my new go to is by Marc Jacobs Beauty in the shade Lines & Last Night Air Blush. It’s such a great colour and lasts too - it’s so pretty too.

Eyeshadow is next, and as you saw from my previous blog post I love a palette and at the moment I seem to alternate between the two NARS ones - The Loaded and Wanted Palettes. I then use a black liquid eyeliner and I have just bought a new one by Guerlain which I am really liking. It is expensive though and I still really like my much more purse friendly Collection Fast Stroke Eyeliner.  Then I apply a black kohl pencil to my waterline and I again have a more expensive pencil and a cheaper one which I seem to alternate between. My Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Eye Liner one is lovely and soft and could be used on the eyelid too, and it has a handy smudger on the end to do a smokey eye, or to make it look more natural. My more budget alternative is a Rimmel black kohl pencil which is very good.

I change my mascara so much as I can never find one I really love and I am currently using the Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot which I really like. I am a big fan of the Maybelline and L’Oreal mascaras and for the more expensive ones I like the Clinique High Impact Volume Mascara, Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Lashes and Dior’s Diorshow Pump ‘N’ Volume mascara.

I think I may own more lipsticks than anything else. I love them and to me they can make an outfit and brighten my mood. I tend to wear brighter colours. I just can’t seem to find a natural or nude shade that suits me. I tend to go for Corals, Pinks and Reds. The ones I use on rotation are my YSL Rouge Volupte Shine no.12, Charlotte Tilbury’s Lost Cherry and Coachella Coral and Tom Ford Patent Finish Lip Colour in No Vacancy.

All these products make up my everyday look.  I have been known to be seen without it on but these are rare occasions as makeup makes me happy and it is best not to scare people I find.

Friday 2 March 2018

Hungry Eyes.........

Eyeshadow Palettes

I am a big fan of eyeshadow palettes. They are all I tend to use these days, as I like to apply more than one colour on my eyes, so it makes life much easier for me. It’s probably out of date now but I still like to sweep a main more neutral shade over the whole eyelid. I then use a darker one on the outer edge of the eye and into the socket line. I then use a lighter colour in the corner of the eyelid nearest to the nose.  Then for my evening makeup I apply sparkle or glitter to the middle of the eyelid. To make the eye “pop” as they say.  

My two current favourite palettes are both by NARS- the NARSissist Loaded Palette and the Wanted Palette both containing 12 shades. Loaded is more gold/bronzey in tone and Wanted more pinky/rose gold. They both contain a mixture of matte and glittery shades which I really like as I do enjoy a bit of sparkle for a night out. 

I really like the Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow quads as they have the perfect colours and shades for a smokey eye which is my go-to look. They also tell you on the bottom how to apply them which I think is so helpful. My favourite two are The Dolce Vita and The Legendary Muse. Dolce Vita has copper and bronze shades while The Legendary Muse is more golden. As you can probably tell my usual look is a copper/bronze smokey eye for the day and the same - but more intensely with some sparkle - for the evening. Recently though, I have been liking more pinky shades on my eyes which I incorporate into my bronzey smokey eye look.

Other palettes I like are the Anastasia ones. I enjoy her Modern Renaissance one which is shades of brown/bronze and berry and I have her new palette which is called Soft Glam on my wish list. It looks perfect for me. I also like my Huda Rose Gold palette which is pretty but I find the foil shades tricky to apply.

I mustn’t forget the Urban Decay palettes. Their range of NAKED palettes are so successful and I think for good reason. I have 2 or 3 of the palettes and have used them well. I think for me the original palette and the Smoky ones are my favourite. I also rate the Heat one but to me it feels more of a summer palette and think it will get most use when the sun comes out. The sun will re-appear won't it?

The mini MAC palettes are also really nice and have 9 shades in them. I have the Burgandy one and all the colours are very wearable. The other palettes in the range look great too and are reasonably priced. I particularly like the look of the Amber one.

I do use the odd individual shadow  - there are some MAC individual shades I really like such as one of my favourites called Amber nights. I also like individual ones to add glitter or sparkle to an evening look. Top Shop has a couple including one called “shuffle the cards” and for a bit of va va voom of an evening I love my Stila Magnificent Metal in bronzed bell - just the right amount of glitter. No longer being 17 I don’t need glitter flying all over my face and landing in all my wisdom lines!

I must give an honourable mention to an eyeshadow duo from NARS which is my staple at the moment for my evening eye look.  The duo is called Isolde and are the perfect copper/bronze/gold shades. To say I love it isn’t too strong a statement - my feelings run deep for this eyeshadow.

I keep meaning to try the NYX palettes and the Colllection or L’Oreal ones as these all look like they have some lovely shades in them. The NYX Ultimate Shadow palettes in particular look very good. Please let me know if you have tried any of them. 

On my wish list currently is the new Charlotte Tilbury Smokey Eye Makeup Palette, and her Vintage Vamp quad, the MAC Warm Palette x 15, Huda Beauty Smokey Obsessions Palette and the Too Faces Chocolate Gold one as it looks all kind of glitzy.

I would love to know your favourite palettes or ones that you are thinking of burying. I can never have enough eyeshadows or makeup in general......I have only spoken about eyeshadows and palettes here but my love of eye makeup runs deeper than this. Keep your smokey eye out for further eye related blog posts.