Must-have holiday makeup essentials

 

Before venturing Into the world of makeup, the idea of slathering anything apart from SPF onto my skin made me sick to my stomach. Maybe it's just my under eye circles needing more coverage than they used to, but these days you wont catch me dead without clear brow gel and concealer in my carry-on. Admittedly, I did keep my makeup bag fairly streamline whilst in Marrakech last week, but that didn't stop me from throwing on a full face when I was out there. Think your skin but better and enough highlight to bounce that Moroccan sun right back off your face. Here are my top picks..
 

 

 

 

URBAN DECAY CHILL SETTING SPRAY

If I'm wearing makeup, you can rest assured that I'll have doused my face is pints or Urban Decay's Setting Spray before leaving the house - it really is that good. Whilst in Morocco, I took a travel size with me to test out in the 40 degree heat. I wasn't expecting miracles (in fact, I was expecting my makeup to melt off almost instantly)  but it pulled through and kept my face on flawlessly all day long.

 
 

 

 

COVER FX CUSTOM ENHANCER DROPS

I'd like to make an official request here. When I die, I want to be drenched in the Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Sunlight. Never in my life have I come across such an unbelievably blinding liquid highlighter. Alone it gives a radiant, natural glow, but of course me being me I like to use it as a base for other powder highlighters. Sunglasses at the ready!

 

 

ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS DIPBROW POMADE

Pomades are my weapon of choice when it comes to filling in my brows. Usually, I flit between lots of different brands for brow products, but when it comes to waterproof pomades Anastasia Beverley Hills does it best. It's also one of my favourite products to create a faux freckle look with. Create tiny dots across the face and pat down using a finger or beauty sponge. It's an instant age re-winder!

 

 
 

 

 

NYX SOFT MATTE LIP CREAM IN MOROCCO

The NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams have been a part of my every day makeup bag for over a year now, but I usually favour the more nude tones over anything bright. Each SMLC is named after different cities and countries across the world, so it was only natural I took Morocco with me to, well, Morocco! It lasts hours, layers up on the lips and requires no liner. Definitely a new fave.

 

 

MAC GIVE ME SUN! MINERALISE SKINFINISH NATURAL

A new addition to my ever-growing makeup collection, but it immediately became a fave once I swiped it across my cheeks. I'm always very wary of orange-toned bronzers because they tend to make me, well, orange, but Give Me Sun gives me a natural, healthy glow without looking like I'm caked in product and with zero effort - exactly what I'm looking for when out and about on holiday.

 
 

 

 

TOO FACED BETTER THAN SEX WATERPROOF MASCARA

The jury is still out as to whether or not this stuff really is better than sex, but after trying the waterproof version of this mascara in Morocco, I'd say it's a pretty close second. The wand coats all of my lashes, whilst the mascara formula keeps my lashes curled all day long, without transferring onto the lower lash line.

 

Benefit They're Real Double The Lip Swatches

I'm sure we're all very familiar with Benefit's They're Real mascara - AKA the UK's number 1 best selling mascara and the mascara I seem to have back ups of back ups in my dressing table.  A few weeks back, Benefit chose to expand on the 'They're Real' franchise and release eight brand new semi-matte lip colours that act as both a lipstick and lip liner in one. 

At first, I was a little dubious. I mean, are we really so lazy that we can't even be bothered to line our lips separately any more? After using this, I can confirm that yes, yes I am. For quick on-the-go application the Double The Lip lipsticks are a god send, and perfect for fuss-free summer makeup looks.

The lipsticks are 3/4 lip colour, 1/4 lip liner (the lip liner being a slightly deeper shade than the corresponding lip colour) and are shaped in a way that hug the lips perfectly to create a fuller looking pout. Apply lightly for a natural tint, or firmly for a more intense pop of colour. Scroll down for swatches of every single shade!

 

NUDE SCANDAL

"A warm pinky nude"

 

CRIMINALLY CORAL

"A pale coral"

 

FLAME GAME

"A bright red / orange"

 

LUSTY ROSE

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"A rosey mauve"

 

PINK THRILLS

"A bright warm-toned pink"

 

REVVED UP RED

"A coral red"

 

FUCHSIA FEVER

"A cool toned fuchsia"

 

JUICY BERRY

"A medium purple"


Which is your
favourite shade?


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Beauty Pie Review and Product Dupes

Beauty Pie is the one of the latest subscription boxes to have found its way to my door step, and I'm sure it's one that's popped up on a lot of your beauty guru radars as of late. It's makeup, but without the mark-up, meaning you only pay the factory cost of the product, resulting in lipsticks costing less than a latte and high end foundations costing a fiver. I know what you're thinking - what's the catch? And to be honest, there isn't really one. A monthly subscription charge, sure. A £100 allowance (fair enough) and a little bit of secrecy when it comes to what product dupes what. But hey! That's what I'm here for. Here's everything you need to know..

The subscription itself costs £10 a month, but the minimum amount you can sign up for is 3 months. The £10 is the payment you essentially give Beauty Pie (otherwise, how are they supposed to make money!) that in turn allows you to buy all of the products at a factory price - which they break down for you over on the website. There's a limit to the amount of factory-priced products you can buy each month - averaging put at around 4-6 products  depending on what you buy.

It usually works out somewhere between £10-20 for the products. The £100 limit you're allowed relates to the RRP of the products. So if one product usually retails for £20, you can only buy five of them - but at the factory price. Any allowance you have left over rolls onto the next month. Still with me? 

The products are designed to be identical and/or incredibly similar to best-selling beauty products on the market. They don't say what dupes what, but with a little research you can find out products with similar (if not identical) ingredients. Postage costs around £6.50 for two days tracked, which is pretty reasonable. You'll also receive a payment charge of 1.8%, taken by your bank. Overall, for postage and extra charges you can expect to add on around £7 to your order, add that £10 subscription fee on and your average monthly purchase from Beauty Pie adds up to around £30 - although you're more than welcome to save up your allowance and order everything in one go. Is it as cheap as other subscription boxes that cost £10 a month all inclusive? No. But you do get a lot more for the amount that you pay..

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GREAT SKIN FOUNDATION

I'm very picky when it comes to foundations. It's important that I say that before going into what I'm about to say - which is that I am literally head over heels in love with this bottle of beige. It's glowy (but not greasy), full coverage (but not cakey) and one pump covers just about everything I need. Rumour has it that it's Armani's Luminous Silk foundation, which I haven't yet tried, but it's been on my to try list for months.  At less than five pounds for the dupe I don't even feel the need to try it anymore. I love this!
 

YOU PAY: £4.75

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INCREDIBLUR CONCEALER

This one was a little difficult to find a dupe for, and I almost gave up on finding out what this could possibly be, until I used the NARS stick concealer. I did some digging, and whilst the products aren't the same they do give almost an identical finish. Medium coverage, easily blended and fairly long wearing. Great for an under eye concealer! They also do another concealer which appears to be more full cover-age, so we all know that one is next on my to buy list.
 

YOU PAY: £3.02

 

ONE WONDER POWDER

Let me put it this way - I have never come across such a lightweight, but still mattifying powder. It's honestly incredible. I've done the research, but very few results come up when trying to find something remotely similar. The closest I've gotten is the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder. I haven't tried it, but judging by the reviews it sounds a lot like Beauty Pie's variation. Buildable, non-cakey, luminising - pretty much everything you could ever want in a powder. The good price tag helps, too.

 

YOU PAY: £3.68

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PRO-GLOW HIGHLIGHTER

Of course this was the first item that made it's way into my shopping cart, and it did not disappoint. One quick Google and up came my favourite highlighter ever - Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator. On application, the colour 'Cosmic Shine' was a little too dark for me, but still utterly gorgeous. The formulation is almost identical to the Laura Geller Illuminators, which retail for around £21 a pop. Cosmic shine is a pretty great match for LG's 'Ballerina' Fingers crossed they come out with more shades, ASAP.
 

YOU PAY: £5.46

 

PRECISION EYELINER MARKER

There's no denying that this eyeliner looks remarkably similar to Kat Von Ds Tattoo Liner in Trooper. But are they the same? Almost. The two options that come up as close match are the Trooper liner as well as Tilbury's Feline Flick. At £16, the price is right for KVD - but the felt tip is more akin to the Feline Flick. I still reach for my Trooper liner over anything else, but this comes in at a close second. It also comes in at a tenth of the price of KVD's liner. So, you be the judge.
 

YOU PAY: £1.50

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UBER VOLUME-BOOST MASCARA

Another tricky one to source, but I may have a slight lead here. Judging by the ingedients lists, a lot of Eyeko mascaras contain a combination of the ingredients found in the Uber Volume. At around £20 each, the price matches up nicely to the Beauty Pie RRP as well. As for the product itself? Not the best mascara I've ever used, but then again I often favour more plastic wands. At less than two quid, you probably won't find another mascara this cheap - especially not one this good.
 

YOU PAY: £1.93

 

FUTURELIPSTICK

Seriously, how can you really complain when you're paying £2.30 for a lipstick? I can't even buy a coffee for that! But, pricing aside, these lipsticks really are incredible. I have two of the matte shades (Cowboy Nude and Hush Now) and I can honestly say they rival my beloved Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lippies (which, by the way, contains the same ingredients). Beauty Pie also stock more satin finishes if that's more up your street. All in all, a big thumbs up for these babies!
 

YOU PAY: £2.30

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WONDER GEL LIP LINER

Another product that I found to be tricky to source. I checked out some of the top-selling lip liners that fit the price point, but nothing appeared to have the same kind of formulation (which is amazing. and completely non-drying, btw). The only product I found that actually describes itself as also being a waterproof gel lip liner is one from BellaPierre - who I can vouch for as having amazing products. Who cares anyway? It's good, and it costs pennies.


YOU PAY: £1.47

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SUPERGLAZY LIP GLOSS

Lipglosses are generally a pass for me, but these glosses I can get on board with. Are they my new favourite lip product? No. But the Superglazy glosses are by far one of the best that I've tried. Pigmented, flattering and almost balm like? I had to hunt a little for this one, but the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustres come up as a pretty close copy. I decided to dig out one of my own CT lip glosses and - despite being different colours and finishes - the feel of them on my lips was pretty much identical!
 

YOU PAY: £2.16

Will you be signing up to Beauty Pie?
 

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My Philips Zoom! Treatment - Before & After

Growing up, I never had the nicest teeth. I was a small scrawny kid with big, wonky teeth and far too many fillings. The latter still kind of applies now (what can I say? Girl's got a sweet tooth), however thanks to a few grueling years of brace-wearing and a few sessions of bonding, I finally became happy with my smile. Now some of you may remember a short while ago that I had some excess brace glue removed from my teeth, which resulted in them looking whiter. And whilst they did look incredibly white for a while, I soon realised that my natural teeth began to stain a lot easier as well - which isn't ideal when 75% of your daily fluids consist of tea, coffee and red wine. 

I'd heard about so many different whitening treatments in the past, but I'd also heard so many horror stories that instead of going ahead with any  I chose to just live my yellow-toothed-life, slapping on whitening strips to my hearts content. They worked, but they didn't last. And I was kind of starting to worry about the effect they might have on my teeth in the long run. I mean, I wanted white teeth, but I also wanted to keep them in my mouth for as long as possible.

So when I was invited down to try out Philips Zoom! I was a little bit apprehensive to say the least. Dentists terrify me - I'm sure I'm not alone on that one. But I was quickly reassured by the fact that I was going to have celebrity dentist Rhona Eskander performing the treatment on me. If it's good enough for a celebrity, it's definitely good enough for me!

I received my Philips Zoom! treatment at the SW1 Dental Clinic in London. The process itself took around an hour and a half from start to finish, with the whitening treatment itself taking an hour. The first step was to take moulds of my teeth so that I could have personalised trays made to take him with me for the at-home treatment. If you've ever had braces, you'll know exactly how this goes down. Think biting into a big, blue, minty chunk of playdough. Oddly satisfying, also a little bit gross. That part of the treatment takes just around five minutes - the trays are made during the Philips Zoom! process itself. 

Prior to the whitening Rhona placed cotton balls around my lips and cheeks in order to keep the product itself away from my skin. She then used what is called a liquid dam to ensure the whitening gel stayed on my teeth and didn't go onto my gums. 

Once I was looking sufficiently sexy the treatment was ready to begin, but not before I was styled up with some seriously glamourous goggles to complete the look. The treatment consisted of four fifteen minute courses, which went surprisingly fast as the goggles connected to a screen that allowed me to watch a film the entire time. I chose American Psycho because, what better film to watch at the dentist that one filled with gore?

An hour later and I was allowed to see the transformation. The pictures below barely do it any justice, so I definitely recommend checking out the video below for a full before and after. I was honestly so thrilled with the results!

But that wasn't the end of it. After being given the trays of my teeth and two syringes of the Philips Zoom! gel I was sent home to continue my treatment. Honestly, a month later and my teeth are still looking just as white as they were on the day I left the clinic, with absolutely zero sensitivity. And if I ever need to top up with more gel again in the future I can go ahead and use the same trays as before. But judging by my teeth now, I won't need to do that again any time soon..

AFTER

BEFORE


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* This post was sponsored by Philips Zoom! *

The best highlighters for every budget

Nothing gets me all hot under the collar quite like a good highlighter. Who am I kidding? Even a mediocre highlighter gets me all flustered. Anything that turns me into a human glazed donut / star / shining beacon of light gets a big thumbs up from me - and I know most of you guys feel the same way. And since my current highlighter stash is at breaking point (by which I mean that my drawer of highlighters literally broke from being so full) I decided to bring out a bunch of my favourites, shoot em, and then share em with you guys. Yes I do have more in my stash, yes I have bought more in the past few weeks and of course I'll be filming a full video about them all over on my Youtube channel. You're very welcome. But, for the time being I'm going to leave you all with these babies - a mix of drugstore dewiness and luxury luminizers. Trust me, you'll be glowing so hard martians will fly down to ask what you're wearing. Send em my way.

TOPSHOP GLOW POT

When it comes to highlighters I'm very much a powder glow kind of gal, but if you're on the look out for a cream that looks great without breaking the bank then head on over to Topshop, cause this baby packs a punch. Buy it here (£10).
 

PUR MINERALS AFTERGLOW

I never hear anyone talk about this highlighter, but in all honesty it's one of my favourites. It's the perfect golden champagne hue and gives an almost wet look to the skin when applied with a fan brush. Buy it here (£22.50).
 

THE BALM MARY LOU MANIZER

A recent addition to my stash, but definitely a solid favourite already. If you're looking for a natural highlight..keep on looking. This bad boy is will have you glowing so hard your friends will need sunglasses. Buy it here (£17.50).
 

BECCA OPAL

 Probably my favourite highlighter right now. I've heard so much about the Becca Skin Perfectors but chose to shy away from the hype because - let's face it - how good can one highlighter be? Answer: Very, very good. Buy it here (£32).

WET N WILD BOOZY BRUNCH

This Wet n Wild highlighter comes in at just four dollars, but it's honestly one of the best powders I've come across. It gives an amazing golden glow without being shimmery. Definitely one if you're a lil tan obsessed. Buy it here (£4).
 

LAURA GELLER GILDED HONEY 

Another hype induced purchase, and another highlighter I wish I bought sooner. Applying Gilded Honey is like applying liquid gold to your face. This one's small, but oh is it mighty. Buy it here (£21).
 

COLOURPOP LUNCH MONEY

Lunch Money is very similar to Mary Lou Manizer in terms of colour and pigmentation, but it has more of a mousse-like texture that sinks into the skin giving a natural 'skin-like' finish. Buy it here (£6.50).
 

ABH BUBBLY HIGHLIGHTER

If I could (afford to) I would literally bathe myself in this on the daily. You can only find it in the ABH 'That Glow' Glow Kit, but to me it's worth the price tag. The other highlighters in that kit aren't too shabby either. Buy it here (£40).
 


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