I have been lurking the pages of the Cult Beauty website a lot for the past few days. There are so many things which have been on my mental wishlist of products to try that a cheeky purchase might just have to be on the cards.

I once mentioned in a previous post that skincare is something that I am quite happy to splurge a little more hence why I will just leave you with these products which may include a future order coming through my letterbox. A few of them have been very hyped up and as per usual I am just late to the party. Worth to mention that this little wishlist amounts to over £300. One thing at a time, I suppose then ...

Have you tried any of this products? What did you think?

Up until March I had never purchased anything from ELF. I was more than aware that the brand was highly affordable and people did enjoy some of their products. However, the idea of having to shop solely online without the possibility of physically seeing the foundation shades or feeling the brushes bristles always put me off of making an order.

It wasn't until I stumble upon Kathleen Lights videos that I really started to want to try a few things from the brand. As I had a trip to New York coming up I definitely thought it was the perfect excuse to pop into a store and see everything right there and then. By the time I went over to America my list of products to try was fairly big and useless to say I brought to this side of the Atlantic a pretty big bag of goodies.

The fact that everything is so inexpensive creates a great opportunity to try a lot of different things. I was very impressed with the quality of some of their products. I would highly recommend giving it a go if you're in searching to add a few items to your make up collection without leaving your bank account next to zero.

Here is a list of a few things I've tried and in my opinion are a really good quality for the value.

Brushes - the studio range is pretty good and they stock a good variety too. Some of my favourites include the Contouring Brush, Ultimate Blending Brush, Eyeshadow "C" Brush, Flawless Concealer Brush, Blending Brush. Some of them are even less than a fiver. Can't beat that. It's a good option if you are lazy when it comes to cleaning your brushes (like me) and want to have more options available. 

Eyeshadows - their baked eyeshadows (singles or trios) are very pigmented and they stock some pretty amazing. I have Toasted and Burnt Plum and their trio in Brown Bonanza and will definitely make a cheeky order soon to get my hands in a few more shades. 

Lipsticks - unfortunately the UK website doesn't stock the lipsticks I have and adore. I am a satin lover. A lipstick for me needs to be quite nourishing and I can only find that in most satin ranges. However, ELF stocks lipsticks which can be nourishing without being totally satin and definitely without being matte. My favourites and the ones I would like to try more shades from are, the Matte Lip Colour and I also got a tinted lip balm which couldn't be any more pigmented. Although I reckon this may have been discontinued as I can't locate it in any of their websites. Disappointing. 

Foundation - I actually fell in love with the foundation I bought and that's all I used for months. My bottle is about to finish. The Flawless Finish Foundation offers a medium coverage and definitely a flawless airbrushed finished. It last quite a good time although it doesn't work for me for warm environments as the shine starts to come through like there's no tomorrow. Still, highly recommended. For £7,50 it is definitely good for the price tag.

Blush/Bronzer Powder - the Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder is the only blush or bronzer I got at the time as I was curious to see if this was a dupe for any of NARS shades of blushes and bronzer. This little duo has a pretty good pigmentation and it is handy to carry around.  

 Have you tried any ELF products? What would you recommend?

The beauty world isn't confined to make up alone. There's so much that you can do for your skin, hair, nails and everything in your body really. It's hard to make the time and hard to get into certain habits. Here is a list of good habits I should get into and other I definitely need to find a way to break. 

1. Take my make up off as soon as I get home
Sometimes I get so lazy that even after being at home for hours and hours, I still end up going to bed with make up. It's improving though. 

2. Skincare routine even on pyjama days 
We all have those days that we simply do not leave the house, right? The weather is not great and there are so many things to do, why bother? I tend to forget that I still should cleanse and moisturise my face as normally. Bad, bad me. 

3. Moisturise more 
Apart from my hands, face and neck I am pretty lazy when it comes to body moisturising. Luckily my skin is not dry and I can get away with not doing it during most of the year.

4. Do more face masks 
Definitely don't do them enough. Currently sitting at one face mask a month. Embarrassing. 

5. Have haircuts more often 
I am afraid of the hairdresser. Always end up shorter than what I asked for. 

6. Stop peeling nail polish 
As soon as it chips I start peeling it off as much as I can. 

7. Stop letting it be so long between brush cleaning
The target of cleaning my brushes on a weekly basis is a fail for me. 

8. Deep conditioning my hair more often
Do not remember the last time I did a hair mask. That says it all. 

9. Sleep with my hair tied up or in a bad
When I take it down in the morning, I often have half of my hair on my hand. It can be good. 

10. Switching up products in my skincare routine far too frequently 
Sometimes your skin won't be as good as there are a number of factors behind it. Not necessarily the product you are using. Well, as much as I know this, every now and again I am still guilty of not being consistent with a skincare routine. Although this has improved a lot. 

Today I decided to share with you my go to combination to help target those blemishes that have made an appearance on my face the past few days. Often, you are either stressed, lacking of a balanced diet and eating all the junk food you can find (yes, this is me) or is that time of the month, again. It really doesn't matter the reason behind those spots that you can now see on your chin or forehead but, they're here to stay. Safe to say that we all want them gone in the blink of an eye although we all know it doesn't work that way. 

As any normal girl, I am no exception and lately I've been fighting a battle and even did a little trip to Space NK in the search of a more efficient cleanser. However, when it comes to blemishes I find myself always reaching for these two products and including them in my skincare routine. 

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. is a breakout corrector and it does wonders for those under skin spots. It's easy to detect these as they are painful to touch and you'll know something is about to surface in a few days. Gross, I know ... But this corrector will do its magic by diminishing the appearance of the blemish. Even with under skin acne you'll be able to feel that the spot will become less painful and won't even make a proper appearance to your face. I tend to apply this at night before bed or even under make up if I really want to prevent that blemish to show. You'll only need a tiny bit of product as it should be applied to the spots. As it contains certain exfoliating ingredients, it can become quiet drying if applied to the whole face.

On the other hand, the very hyped La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo is the other half of a great combo. I apply this all over my face in order to target any other imperfections. It's a great product to accelerate scaring and keep everything in place. I always find that my skin clears up a fairly bit when frequently using this. The cherry on top of the cake for me would be the fact that this is definitely not drying at all for me but I would still keep using my moisturiser anyway. 

I definitely couldn't recommend these two products enough for blemish prone-skin, specially when you can see results from the Effaclar A.I. overnight! 

What products work for you when it comes to acne?
I had a completely different post planned for today but, the time I have been spending on Pinterest has left me utterly obsessed with interiors (if that's even possible). So, this Sunday I come to you with another non-beauty subject. 

It has been a long time coming since I started becoming a little impatient about getting my own flat. I've been renting properties since I moved to Scotland, 4 years ago. It's not a great deal of time if we take into account people that do it since they are 18 until about their late 20s. And truth to be told, I have been fairly lucky with flats I've rented in the past - good conditions, space and most of all, good landlords. Now is no exception: Paul and I live in an old tenement flat in the west area of Glasgow which is very sought after. The flat has high ceilings (obviously), spacious rooms and the rent is good enough to still leave you with money at the end of the month. 

I moved into this flat last March 2014 and Paul moved in December of the same year. It hasn't been that long and I honestly don't understand why am I suddenly getting so annoyed with the rental situation as I never cared this much before. I suppose it must be due to the fact that we often speak about getting a place of our own and we know that both of us wish to build a life with each other (how cheesy of me). However, despite the fact that we are actually in the process of starting to look into buying a place we might just end up staying here for a little while. 

A few points that definitely make me want to have my own place include  things like our landlord not allowing anything that implies doing holes on the walls which makes things a bit hard if you want to hang any pictures - therefore, our walls are pretty damn bare! Still about the walls ... they are cream. Beige, yellowish, something - and I hate it. I positively think that if we had white walls, the flat would seem so much brighter! And this is where everything started. My lengthy browses through Pinterest made me decide to not only paint some furniture but also give it a try and change the walls to white - I am sure the landlord won't even notice to be very honest. The carpet which covers the whole flat is yet another thing I would definitely change if I could, specially when I know that we have wooden floorboards underneath it. But oh well, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change as they say. 

This leads to how (far too) often I find myself stalking Katie's (Gh0stparties) and Rebecca's  (From Roses) instagram so, I knew it was time to react and change a few things (whatever can in fact be changed). Here are some inspirational pictures that trigger all this ...








 By the time you read this, I already have planned a trip to Homebase and Ikea and will be soon covered in paint!

I should probably start this post by saying that by no means I need any more clothes, bags or anything for that matter. But, as any other gal, there's no such thing as too many. Therefore, with sale season upon us, I've been browsing many, many, many websites (just for leisure, I swear) and stumbled into some interesting sale offers. I always like to pick up a few sale things and take advantage of the offers. I don't actually shop a lot merely because I don't necessarily need anything. However, having to physically go to shops have become too much for me in some occasions and most times I rather sit in my flat with a nice cup of a hot beverage and browse away. These are some of the things that I have picked ...






Unfortunatly, by the time this post goes live some of the items are already out of stock or I couldn't even link them as they are not available on the website anymore. But, just for reference, the two bags are from Mango.

Have you picked anything on the sales?

Oh primers. What a wonderful thing! So, I decided to share with you today the primers I am loving at the moment and why they work for me. I first discovered Stila One Step Correct through an advert on YouTube. You know those rather annoying adverts that delay the videos we are trying to watch? Exactly. In theory this was a miracle product. We all know that primers can have different colours corresponding to the concern they are suppose to target. Therefore, the beauty of this Stila product lays on being a 3 in 1 kind of thing. The pink tone brightens up the skin and helps reduce signs of hyper pigmentation/sun spots. Green hides blemishes, reduces redness and the blue gives you overall a more even skin tone. I apply this after my moisturiser and before foundation and definitely see how it improves my complexion even at its worst days. Skin looks clear, skin tone more even and fairly smoother.

However, to completely smooth out all the blemishes or any problematic areas I might have at the time, I use the Elf Poreless Face Primer after applying the Stila One Step Correct. This is my final step before moving on to my make up. The Elf primer is a beautiful product that gives you that very flawless airbrushed look. Foundation goes on evenly as the skin becomes absolutely heavenly smooth with this. I apply a really small amount of it as I find it to be quite concentrate. It does contain silicone but its texture is so similar to foundation that I imagine the traces of silica to be minimum. If you are looking for a affordable smoothing primer, I would definitely give this one a try as it is incredibly inexpensive and shows great results. 

This is my primer duo for a more flawless make up application. What's yours? 

Having a beauty blog, following blogs, watching YouTube videos or even being a girl for that matter, puts you in a place of great temptation to go out and shop. Oh if you only knew how much time I spend scrolling through the ASOS app ... It is not surprising that for most of us there is surely a careful consideration before spending our earned money on something. So today I decided to share with you where I normally spend a few more of my pennies and why. 

When it comes to beauty, skincare products are something which I normally won't budge on. There are great drugstore skincare ranges but given that my skin can sometimes be quite unpredictable, I often reach out for more high end brands to get the job done. If you have good skin then everything will look good on you (almost) - that's my motto. 

Foundation is another big statement when it comes to spend a few extra pounds. Again, there are great products for all skin types, coverage and purpose at the drugstore! Revlon ColorStayBourjois Healthy Mix foundationL'Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation are a few of my favourites. I  personally feel that a high end foundation will back you up even at your worst (skin) times. 

Eye-shadow palettes are for me a great way of having a variety of options all in one place. They seem indeed rather expensive however, if you think about the fact that a Maybelline Color Tattoo is about 5 pounds, a Urban Decay Naked pallete with 12 shades at 38 pounds works out quite well - just as an example. 

Primers. A good primer can perform so many miracles when your complexion is just not collaborating much. In this category I stay a little divided as I am currently loving some much less expensive primers from the drugstore. Although I can only say wonders about the more high end ones I've tried in the past. My love for the Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch is still very much alive. 

And finally, brushes. These can be a hit and miss in my opinion. I reckon it is more a matter of brand rather than high end or drugstore. I mean, no one denies how great the Real Techniques brushes are. We all have a great love affair for them. 

What products do you normally splurge on?
Today I come at you with a more visual post. Just something light for this Sunday morning. Past Thursday we were blessed with some sun in Glasgow and Paul and I welcomed it with a trip to the park for a little picnic and a wonder around. The opportunities for a day out in Scotland are pretty rare so we better make some memories and take some pictures to look back to. Here are some photos we got that day ...

What about you? What's your favourite activities to do when the sun is out?

As I mentioned before in this post, I have a normal to oily skin and for most of my life my complexion has been very clear until I changed to a contraceptive injection - I went through this here. Long story short, my skin had hit rock bottom and this product from Origins was the only thing that saved it. I first reached out for this at a time that only god knows why but my skin was SO dry it felt like scrapping paper. The very helpful assistant at the Origins counter at John Lewis suggested this daily scrub as well as the High Potency Night-A-Mins for night time moisture. The combination worked wonders and my skin went back to normal. 

But now my concern was different. I started to have numerous tiny spots all over my skin. They were very visible but they were there and you could definitely feel them. Just as if my face was covered with sand which wouldn't come off. 

After trying every cleanser, moisturiser and acne treatments, I decided to repurchase the Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser as I could at least remember how clear and bright my complexion was when I was using it. And it lived up to the hype. I know it may seem a little exaggerate but in all truthfulness, after the very first use, I could feel my forehead much less bumpy and the tiny spots had definitely been reduced and my complexion was overall smother and brighter. 

All in all this is a beautiful gentle scrub which can be used every day, twice a day without drying out your skin. The properties of the panax ginseng (promoting skin cell regeneration) and the coffee beans (bright up dull complexion) are in my opinion very visible as your skin looks immediately luminous and energized. 

Have you tried this? What is your favourite range from origins?

Every once in a while I am hoping to do a different type of posts which will be a little more personal and that will reflex my opinion and experience in specific situations or subjects. I hereby must declare that I am no expert in any given topics however I truly believe that some times it's good to hear or read from someone who has been there or done it before and what are their thoughts. After all, isn't what we do - everyday - when we read our holy beauty blogs? And I couldn't be more grateful for them. 

The subject is not the most conventional on this one. Contraception surely is not a topic that we just pick over lunch or drinks with friends but is still present in our everyday lives. In my case, as any other gal, I used to take the pill and had always been very responsible about it. So when I heard about a contraceptive injection that would enable you to forget about contraception during a whole period of 12 weeks ... I was thrilled. 

I am not going to go into a very detailed description of this as if interested, you can always have a look through the NHS website. However, I can tell you that my selling point to try this method was the fact that most women would stop having a period altogether. It is ridiculous but we all know well how much hassle that time of the month is for us. So, I went to my GP and after a short chat about what this is, side effects and other options of contraception, I then started taking the injection every 3 months. Everything was going well until I started to notice some of the side effects. They warn you for some breast tenderness but in my case it reach the point of me not being able to sleep on my side with my arm on top of my breast. But the worst was the acne and that's why I decided to write this post. I wish I had been able to have access to more testimonials rather than just the standard list of side effects which come with the injection itself. 

My once clean and clear complexion became more spotty than ever. And unfortunately they weren't just the regular superficial spots ... it was that under skin, enormous and painful acne. Nothing would clear my skin. Nothing that I had used before, nothing new that I decided to try. I had never seen my skin in such a bad state. In the beginning I didn't care much and didn't even connected both things. It wasn't until I had tried every product under the sun that I started to think what had changed and when was it that I started the path to destruction of my complexion. I now decided not to take the injection anymore as I don't think the side effects are worth the rest. Specially when your skin ends up in such a bad state that you don't even feel good about yourself. 

Now my skin is finally clearing up and I just wish I had stop this method sooner. Bare in mind, not everyone reacts the same way and I'm merely expressing my experience so it will perhaps serve as a reference for someone else. 

It's finally here! - and by here I mean in my hands. Although, I have a confession to make: I never bought any of the Urban Decay palettes except the first Naked Basics. I always felt that not all the shades were for me so I wouldn't really get a great use out of them. However, if I had to pick one of the 3 I would probably have bought the Naked 2

But now, the Smoky is upon us and I really appreciate how you they have combined matte and shimmery, nude and darker tones all in one. You get 12 shades which are soft, very pigmented and easily blendable with a long lasting stay power. 

On the left side of the palette you will find the shimmery shades in a range of warm bronzes which includes a beautiful cream colour with a very light rose hue to it, a light bronze, a dark bronze, a silver taupe and also a metallic grey (High, Dirtysweet, Radar, Armor and Slanted). Following on to matte shades, Dagger, Black Market and Smolder go by a dark grey, a black shade and a dark purple/plum specifically. These are the darkest colours of the entire palette. On the right side you can find a combination of matte browns. Password is your light regular taupe, Whiskey your standard dark matte brown, Combust a very pretty cream skin toned pink and Thirteen I would say its a very light cream/beige. 

I find this new addition to be the perfect selection to create a day to night look and the perfect addition to any make-up collection. I definitely can see myself using it everyday from now on. 

Have you splurged on the new Naked Smoky Palette? What are your thoughts?

A couple of years ago, back when my interest in make-up was definitely not as big as it is now this foundation was very much adored. I was over in America for my brother's wedding when one day decided to head over to MAC and with the help of a member of staff I left the store with a much lighter wallet. Of all the stores I could have gone to, I went to MAC. That's to show you that I didn't really know what I was doing. But you gotta start somewhere, right?

According to the official merchandiser, the Matchmaster Foundation includes in its composition pigments which enable the foundation to adjust to your skin tone in order to give you a flawless medium coverage. And it also has SPF 15 so was the ideal choice for the LA weather at the time. Sounds like the dreamy foundation. And it was - it easily became a favourite of mine and I remember wearing it every-single-day. But then, I lost interest and the few times I went back for it, I hated it. 

However, some weeks ago, I decided to give it a try again. As I was organizing my foundation stash, I was also looking for something with a decent coverage that I could use at work without feeling the need to peel my make-up off after 2 hours into my shift. Because my current job involves far too much running about and warm environments, I tend to not worry a lot about my make-up and in fact try to wear foundations that I don't like so much anymore. I normally just want something that will even out my skin tone nicely enough and that keeps the shine at bay. 

So I went back to try the Matchmaster and it was better than what I expected. The medium coverage is pretty decent specially if you like light foundations. The finish is slightly dewy giving you a flawless and even complexion. I used this with and without a setting powder as well as with and without primer and I must say that it's great at keeping that shine under control. I also found that even after long periods of wearing it, didn't seem to crease at all - t-zone included. I have the shade 1.5 and all around I see why this can be a really good product however, it has a unusual yellow undertone to it and that is why I am not completely sold on this one. Some days it works out quite well but some others, maybe my skin just doesn't collaborate and it gives me a bit of an ill look. No one wants that. 

If I would repurchase this? Probably not. I actually have no idea if they have reformulated the Matchmaster since I bought it but I have experienced other foundations that work better for me. 

Have you ever tried the Matchmaster Foundation? What are your thoughts?

When I first started purchasing skincare products I didn't even know about the existence of different skin types. Back then, I was just a teenager wearing some concealer and a black Kohl pencil under my waterline and wanted something to wash my face. These were exactly my thoughts. Scary right? Brands such as Clearasil and Clean and Clear were great at that age. When that stopped working I moved on to Garnier face washes. This was all alright at the time as I've always been lucky with my complexion and my skin has been very clear with the occasional breakout. Maybe it was because I wasn't really wearing that much make-up so when that changed, so did my skin. Fast forwarding to now, my skincare choices changed a whole lot. I surely don't just pick some random face wash and I actually try to maintain a skincare routine.

I find important to talk about skin types as this has major influence on the products we should be buying. Nowadays, the blogs we read, the videos we watch on YouTube and all the reviews which are now available at the distance of a simple click will impact the choices we make. Surely having the opinion of someone who has tried the product is rather helpful but in my case, before I go by someone else's opinion, I always make sure to know their skin type too and if that particular product could suit me too. I find that this goes not only for skincare but some make-up as well.

Therefore, for future reference in this blog, I would consider myself to have a normal to oily skin. In a warm environment I can be sure to expect my make-up to melt away and a lot of shine. Heat is obviously something that completely brings up the oily side of my skin and then breakouts happen. Good thing I live in Scotland and warm weather is something we haven't been blessed with. However, the fact that my part-time job includes many hours of me running about ... doesn't help. So there are a few steps that I always try to do to prevent things from going the wrong way and keep my skin at its best. These include having a steady skincare routine and choosing the right products. I'm sure we all can agree that in order to even being able to do this and to know what it's best for our skin, we must be able to identify our skin type.

What about you guys, how long did it take for you to find out your actually skin type? What's your must-do to keep your skin happy?

Many moons ago, my young teenager self decided to create a blog. I can't really recall why. However, I remember it was summer holidays and I had far too much free time on my hands. I could definitely say that I've always been someone who enjoys writing and my obsession for buying notebooks can speak for itself. At the time I guess I just wanted a more 'interactive' space where I could not only write but also customise it to reflect my personality. Who knows what you want when you are a teenager ... 
With that said, the creation of such space and all the free time I had available contributed to me learning a lot about HTML through a process of trial and error. I even developed a huge interest into creating templates and the whole coding process. 

Today I can say I've forgot most of it but it still comes back to me after a while. It's like riding a bike, without having to leave your couch though. 
The thing is, times have changed, years have passed and I've grown up quite a bit. I now have other interests and motivations but the writing bug has never disappeared. Therefore, it has been a long time coming since I have even considered to create this blog. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like it was something I could really enjoy. 

The world of beauty is huge and as I started to learn more about it and have a bigger interest on make-up, skincare and all things related, the more I realised I was leaving products behind which after some time I either couldn't recall the name or even if it had been beneficial for me in any way. 
To stop that from happening and also because I love photography and the whole dynamics of a blog so much, I though that perhaps I could put something out there that could be useful for other as well. In theory I could just do an empties diary but what would be the fun of that ... 

This might be a long shot but bare with me while I share with you my thoughts on all things beauty and mundane.