The Travelling Top Shelf

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How many times have you packed a whole load of beauty products to take on a weekend away, but only ended up using not even half of them? That usually always happens to me, so I learnt to stream-line and truly only take what I will use. 

Although I know I could easily take two skincare items away with me, I'm not that streamlined so I will take options with me. I always find that MV Organics Cream Cleanser is the best travel-friendly cleanser, so good that I'm on my third bottle of the stuff as it's hydrated, great for sensitive skin and is perfect for my skin. Alongside that, a miniature bottle of micellar water is always necessary for the odd stubborn, this time the Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water which is one of my favourites. At this specific time, my skin was playing up so I made sure to pack both La Roche Posay Serozinc, Pai Lotus and Orange Blossom Toner and Malin & Goetz Salicylic Acid. Those three products are my go-to when my skin is having a mini-breakdown, which always happens around that time of the month. I have been testing out Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Acid, which I find is a perfect serum to use underneath my daytime moisturiser, First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. Whenever I'm travelling, I can't go without Aesop Fabulous Face Oil as it's always my go-to product to use in the morning. My favourite face oil for congested skin, while it stays hydrated & calm. 

Whenever I travel, I always take more skincare than makeup, as I don't tend to wear much day to day so I know it's not going to change when I travel. My base of choice is usually always Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue applied with a Beauty Blender, with the RMS Un-Cover Up Concealer (aka the best concealer ever). I have been playing with the Marc Jacobs Cover(t) Stick in Covert Affairs, which is a green & yellow tinted CC stick which is perfect for reducing redness. I find travelling with a liquid bronzer means I'm able to use for a little bronze, but also all over for a little colour instead of tinted moisturiser. I use a few liquid bronzers, but my favourite as it's so versatile is Benefit Liquid Hoola. For my eyes, I always ensure I have mascara, a champagne shimmer shadow, bronze eyeliner and a tinted brow gel - all of which can take me from day to night very easily. 

Aside from makeup and skincare, I have been reaching for the Soft & Gentle 0% Aluminum Anti-Perspirant and Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray. The deodorant is one of it's first in the UK and I can report that it really does stop you sweating, while still being aluminium free, which is amazing!

Skincare Lately #1

The seasons are changing and my skin is creeping back into its usual dehydrated state, which means I am lapping up the hydration in all products possible. This year, I have been forcing myself to drink so so much water - my technique is that during the work day, I will tell myself at different times of the day to drink a litre of water such as during a conference call or lunch time. 

My skin reacts to the basic skincare products, nothing fancy is going on here but all of these products work so well for me. Someone introduced me to the Avene Redness-Relief Dermo-Cleansing Milk a few months ago and I have been hooked ever since. I have been using this as my morning cleanse and my second evening cleanse nearly every single day, each time using a 50p size amount of product. Straight onto dry or wet skin, it's super gentle and doesn't tug on my skin. I find that it in the morning it calms down my skin which then looks better post-makeup and in the evening calms my skin after removing makeup. It's £15 for 300ml and an absolute bargain which works perfectly for my skin. A few months ago I had a horrible recurring hormonal breakout which for someone who doesn't break out often, was killing my vibe, and I randomly started to use the La Roche Posay Serozinc every-day. I knew it was a hugely hyped up product and didn't expect anything to happen, but a week later my skin was back to normal. I have since asked my sister to stock me up with the largest bottle she could find in a French pharmacy and it hasn't left my skincare routine. 
I enjoy using masks for both five minutes of quiet time and to help my skin out, so I tend to use them quite often. A new addition is the Vichy Instant Glow Double Peeling Mask, which I've found is the nearest to a drugstore version of Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask. Both very similar, it's a resurfacing brightening mask which removes all the dead skin. I leave it on for around 10 minutes, or until the mask darkens in colour, wash off and find my skin is brighter with a smoother texture. The second mask is one of my favourites, Fresh Rose Face Mask, which hydrates and tones the skin. As my skin has the tendency to be quite dry and red, I often choose products if the main ingredients are rose. Fresh masks are so luxurious, as are all of their other products, so they're hard not to love. 

As mentioned above, I am all about the hydration at the moment. I was recently introduced to the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum and it's hands down the best serum I have ever used. I know it's a big claim, but the reason why I love it is that there are no frills. It's a hydrating serum which does just that without containing mineral oil. It does contain silicone and fragrance, which usually doesn't work for me, but this really just does. It soothes my skin, perfect for sensitive skin, doesn't affect my bank balance too much and Caroline Hiron approves of it. I've been using two pumps of it morning and night before my moisturiser/oil of choice and I love it. To follow, I have been using both Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Cream in the morning and Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Oil. Both perfect for sensitive dry skin, it calms and protects the skin. I've found that the facial cream acts like a great primer for underneath foundation and it hasn't gone patchy by the end of the day. As for the soothing facial oil, it's a thinner consistency than I'm used to but it smells delicious and keeps my skin supple until the morning. The extra little product I have been using is the Blink Brow Oil. I've heard a few people rave about this before and I've only been using it for a week or so now, so we'll see if I see any difference from it! So far I just have very conditioned eyebrows.

A/W Hair Update at Blue Tit

Autumn is finally here, so it was a time for a trip to the hairdressers for a hair refresh.

It's strange to think that I have now found my hair 'thing', but I definitely I have. My hair is naturally dark blonde (although the roots sometimes look darker) and it has been dyed so many different shades of the rainbow - literally - over the years. I've been different tones of blonde since I was 18 and I haven't had hair below my shoulder blades for around two years now - shout out to Sean at Hershesons who literally changed my hair for the best after cutting it short. 

You may remember earlier this year when I first went to Blue Tit in Clapton and had never been happier with my hair colour before. That was the last time I had visited the hairdressers as I let the sun do it's thing to my colour itself over the summer months and let the length grow a little to make it more manageable. Harriet, the adorable colourist and now good friend of mine who I see at Blue Tit, told me next to come back in September to achieve the colour I want. I'm that awkward person who is determined to have a blonde multi-tonal barnet, without the colour being too warm. 

After sitting down with a glass of wine, I had around an inch cut off my hair to take the dead ends off and to even it up. I usually don't have the front of my hair touched when having it cut, but I changed it up a little by adding short-medium length bangs at the front to add a little shape. This time around for my colour, we only did half a head of bleach and took it a little further up my head where the colour had grown up. As it was only half a head of colour, I had less bleach added to the back of my hair and added more around the hairline at the front for the multi-tonal look. As my hair has a tendency to go warmer than most, a cool toned toner was added to most bleach strips but on every other strip, Harriet added a warm caramel colour to accentuate the multi-tonal look I wanted. 

There's no denying how much I love the Blue Tit salons, which are dotted around East and South London. They are partnered with Davines and Olaplex, two of my favourite haircare brands and products I use on a weekly basis. Using the flamboyage technique for dyeing the hair, I find it even better than balayage! Most of my blogger friends and beyond now visit Blue Tit, they're so good at what they do!

Next time? I'm thinking of going ice cool blonde with a hint of lilac!

10 Minute Morning Makeup

I'm not a morning person at all, so I constantly strive to ensure that I have my morning routine down to minimum time. As for my makeup, I have got it down to ten minutes which gives me enough to blend, blend, blend with a beauty blender but also apply a little eyeshadow. Enough for a day at work!

For the base, I'm having another a love affair with MAC Face & Body, which I used to love and have since repurchased. It's a lightweight foundation which has sheer coverage, however, it is buildable. If I'm particularly rushed that day, I will apply with my fingers but other than that, I always apply this with a beauty blender. For concealer, I have been using a combination of two. Under eyes, I will apply the Bare Minerals Stroke of Light, which reminds me of the Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener but with more coverage. For any blemishes or extra redness I'd like to cover, I'm still very loyal to the RMS Un-Cover Up concealer which is my all time favourite concealer. While I still have a damp beauty blender, I dab a little of the Bare Minerals Bare Skin Serum Bronzer onto my forehead, cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose and blend it all together. I love how lightweight this bronzer is with the fluid serum consistency, it blends seamlessly into the skin to add a touch of colour. I can't go a day without wearing highlighter and one I keep reaching for at the moment is the Perricone MD No Highlighter Highlighter, an opal pearlescent highlighter which shimmers in the sun. 

I spend most of the time on my base as I always think that's the most important step in my make-up routine. For my brows, I fluff them up and add colour using Benefit Gimme Brow, which has been a staple in my makeup bag since it was launched. Onto eyes, I use a little of the Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow as a base and to add some depth before moving onto shadow. Sometimes I leave it as that, but majority of the time, I will add Burberry Pale Barley eyeshadow. For the past month or so, I've been using the Tarte Tarteist mascara which I am obsessed with. It reminds me of Benefit They're Real as the brushes are similar, however, it doesn't give you the same intense impact as the Benefit one does. It's high on my shopping list for my next Sephora trip!