ILIA Brand Review – True Skin Serum Foundation, Multi-Stick and Color Haze

When ILIA reached out and offered to send some products over, I nearly fell off my chair. I’ve been testing out their True Skin Radiant Priming Serum, True Skin Serum Foundation, True Skin Serum Concealer, Clear Line Liquid Liner, Limitless Lash Mascara, Colour Haze Multi-Matte Pigment, Illuminator and Color Block High Impact Lipstick, so keep reading for my review!

ILIA Beauty are a clean beauty brand that infuses their makeup with skincare and (unlike some other clean beauty brands) recognises that not every natural ingredient is good for the skin, likewise not all synthetic ones are bad. Their founder, Sasha, wasn’t content with the clean makeup she found on the market as it didn’t perform well. She set out to create her own line that had roots in natural ingredients, be safe to use, look good and perform exceptionally. I personally think she has nailed each one of these with ILIA – I have never found a clean makeup line like it!

I was completely bowled over by the generosity of the brand when they sent over basically a full face of makeup, so here are my thoughts on what was sent over:

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True Skin Radiant Priming Serum

I personally love a primer, so I was really excited to get to try out a new one. This one comes in a tall bottle with a dropper and (as the name suggests) is a lovely, fresh serum. The primer has an amazing shimmer to it (as you can definitely see in the image below) to give a beautiful radiance to the skin, but not a noticeable glimmer once it’s applied. The primer contains hibiscus extract to protect against free radical damage, while beta-glucan helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and Mastic (a resin from a tree from the Greek island of Chios) works to mattify and refine the skin throughout the day.Β  It is silicone, fragrance and gluten free. Some people have said that it helps to balance out skin tone but I can’t say I’ve noticed that as I don’t have a lot of time in the mornings and move straight on to foundation. It definitely preps the skin well for makeup and leaves the skin feeling really hydrated for makeup application. When it dries down, there is a slight tackiness but not in a bothersome sense at all. I haven’t really tried a serum primer before – usually the primers I use feel a bit silicone-y or they are a gel, but this one is unlike any other. This could be a great primer for all skin types!

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True Skin Serum Foundation

The True Skin Serum Foundation is medium coverage that can be built up to for more coverage or sheered out to a lighter coverage. For a serum foundation, it is not as liquidy as you would expect but feels fabulously light on the skin. It contains a blend of botanical actives (including aloe leaf, jojoba, marula and rosehip oils) that help to plump the skin, soothe irritations and reduce redness all while ensuring that the product melts effortlessly into the skin for a more even, luminous base. Pores are minimised and imperfections are blurred to give the ‘your skin but better’ effect. This foundation is cruelty free, gluten free, vegan and non-comedogenic.

This has become my everyday foundation because it holds upΒ so well. My average day of makeup wearing is 12+ hours, with 2 sweaty commutes and an hour long walk in between. While this will still break down in certain areas (between the nose and mouth particularly), it is never noticeable. By the end of the day, my base still looks really beautiful and skin like. I have only ever found that my Clinique Fit foundation lasts as well as this (and this is made to hold up well with sweat). I don’t think it is advertised as a long lasting foundation, but it really is! I usually wear this as a light-medium foundation, but I do find when I build this up a little more that some of my lines are a bit more visible (smile lines around my mouth). I don’t see this as an issue with the foundation, but rather that I went too heavy handed with it – but just be aware that that can happen!

There are 18 shades in total at the moment, and 2/3 of them sit within the light/medium category.Β  This is a decent start but I think ILIA can do better. I would want to see a shade extension to give a much wider variety of shades for those with darker skin, adding an entirely new category to expand on ‘deep’. I’m hopeful that with the recent shift towards inclusion in beauty that this will happen pretty imminently.

True Skin Serum Concealer

I was very impressed with this concealer. After trying the foundation, which was quite liquidy and light coverage, this had a lot more coverage than I was expecting! It contains stabilised vitamin C, mastic and albizia julibrissin bark extract to protect from environmental aggressors and mattify the area all while firming, soothing and nourishing the skin’s surface. While it says that mastic helps to mattify, it does not have a matte finish, nor does it make any area look dry. Upon application, this immediately fixes any dark circles or darkness under the eyes and makes the area look flawless. It can be used to add additional coverage for other areas of the face and has a really beautiful finish.

When I set this with my Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders, it basically wiped the concealer off and made me look as though I had some sort of skin condition? It was very strange. Once I re-applied it and didn’t set it, it was totally fine but also didn’t crease at all. I usually set my under eyes so that my lower lash mascara doesn’t transfer, so I was extra impressed that there was no transfer or creasing. This is definitely a concealer that does not require powder and sets and lasts beautifully on its own.

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Clear Line Liquid Liner in Midnight Express

Thought I’m not an eyeliner expert, I do wear it pretty much every day. This is easily one of the best liquid liners I’ve tried because the felt tip applicator comes to a really small point and is nice and wet. The colour is a really dark matte black that doesn’t smudge at all and stays in place all day. It makes eyeliner application really quick and easy, which I love!

Limitless Lash Mascara

I’m always quite skeptical about trying new mascaras because I have my holy grail mascara that I haven’t strayed away from for 4 years (Benefit Roller Lash). However, I’ve been SO impressed with this one. The lightweight formula contains a blend of bee and carnauba waxes to condition the lashes while keeping them lifted. Because it contains bees wax, this one isn’t vegan but it is still cruelty free and gluten free.

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This brush is really unique – on one side, the bristles go straight across, like the teeth on a comb and are spaced out evenly to separate the lashes. On the flip side, the bristles look softer and are on a curve to hug the lashes and give them some serious volume. I like to start with the curved softer side to lift the lashes and get a good coating on them before using the straight side to separate them out. The formula was good from the start – often mascaras are too wet when you first open them and it’s quite hard to get the effect that you’re after.

Color Haze Multi-Matte Pigment in Waking Up

This is a multi use product for the cheeks and lips is really beautiful but I personally find it really hard to use. I just don’t think liquid blushes are for me. This contains jojoba oil and coconut oil to condition the lips and skin. It comes in a tube with a metal tipped applicator, much like a lip gloss or a high-end eye cream. I’m not sure how useful this is as a blush applicator really, because you wouldn’t tend to apply blush in this way. The blush itself is REALLY pigmented so the tiniest bit goes a really long way.Β I don’t find this the easiest to blend out because I apply so little (to avoid MASSIVE amounts of pigment on my cheeks) and when there is very little it dries quite quickly and is difficult to spread it out.

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I can’t say I’ve tried it as a lip product yet, though the shade would make a lovely lip colour.

I find liquid blush really fiddly to use so it wouldn’t be my go-to blush. I’ve had to reapply my foundation over this a few times because it was far too pigmented and made me look like a doll with VERY rosy cheeks. I’m much more of a cream/powder blush kind of girl, but I know that this would be right up some people’s street.

Illuminator in Stella by Starlight

This is a really gorgeous shade when you look at it in the packaging… but unfortunately it doesn’t really translate onto the face. The product swatches really well on your hand but I found that it didn’t perform the same way on the face. I find the formula to be quite dry and hard, so you have to use quite a lot of pressure if applying from the stick or swirl your fingers quite a number of times to get a very limited colour pay off. You can use it directly out of the stick, though it disturbs the base and I’m suddenly very aware of how much I’m pulling at my skin to get the pay off. It’s much more effective to use your fingers to apply as it actually shows up and leaves the base intact. This is definitely a product for those looking for a more natural glow than anything particularly noticeable. I am someone that prefers a more noticeable highlight (though not a blinding one) and I would prefer a product that has a bit more pay off. This is probably the product I’ve used least from the brand just because the stick is so weirdly solid? I don’t really like to use products that are finickity and require a lot of time to perfect because it’s not time I have in the mornings. If the formula was a bit smoother and softer, this would be a lot better for me.

Color Block High Impact Lipstick in Amberlight

IMG_2135I received the shade Amberlight and as soon as I took the top off, I gasped. I actually gasped. Me and my sister both agreed that this is the PERFECT nude shade for light skin. On my skin, this is the perfect pinky-nude, but on darker skin this would probably read a lot more pink. The finish is certainly not matte, but isn’t super glossy either. It goes perfectly with every eye look and just looks absolutely stunning. There is a slight brown-nude tone to it that goes really beautifully with autumn makeup looks now the weather is getting colder. I’ve been reaching for this non-stop and will definitely continue to do so!

Overall, I’ve never been so impressed by a brand, EVER. I posted on my Instagram stories that the shades of foundation and concealer the brand sent over to me were too dark and they reached out straight away and offered to send over a different shade. I was so impressed with that response and even more stunned when two new shades of both the foundation and the concealer arrived at my door. I have never experienced such excellent customer service from a brand. Although two of the products weren’t my cup of tea, I can still appreciate the quality and I don’t doubt that they will be for someone.

This is probably my first time dabbling in proper clean makeup and it has been an absolute pleasure. I would definitely put ILIA up there with my favourite makeup brands now and I have my eye on more of their products (namely their eyeshadow palettes and lip glosses… and maybe more of their lipsticks too!).

If you would like to try out any products from ILIA, I do have an affiliate link down below if you’d like to use it.

Xo

****All products were gifted by the brand with no obligation to review. I have fallen in love and all expressions of love are my own****

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The Best Affordable Brands for Each Makeup Step

The high end often takes the spotlight when it comes to makeup, but it’s important to remember that the drugstore also releases some amazing products. Just like the high end, not everything is a hit, so I’ve broken down my favourite affordable products for each step of your makeup routine!

Foundation

Finding your shade can be a little bit difficult in ‘drugstore*’ brands, especially if you fall at either end of the spectrum. If you find yourself in this category, your best bet brand-wise will probably be NYX. Their recent Can’t Stop Won’t Stop range was a collaboration with Youtuber Alyssa Ashley and was formulated with POC in mind. Makeup Revolution also offer a pretty good shade range. If you’re looking for something a little less matte and a little more dry skin friendly, consider Bourjois – their Healthy Mix foundation, or even the serum version (even more dry skin friendly) are both great options.

Concealer

The Maybelline concealers are great – the age rewind one is great if you don’t mind concealers with a sponge – and likewise their Fit Me range is great (even though the shade order is a bit messed up). My personal favourite and go-to for many years now is the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. It’s full coverage and blends out beautifully.

Brows

For me, there is only one contender here – NYX! Their Microbrow pencil is a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer and there is a pretty wide shade range. Their clear brow gel is another absolute winner – who needs high end!?

img_0039Blush

You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to blush from the drugstore. Brands like Milani, Kiko, NYX, Bourjois… the list is endless! The pigment is really close to more expensive products but just at a fraction of the price!

Highlighter

This one is a little harder, but Sleek and MUA tend to do pretty good highlighters. These are brands that are pretty widely available in Superdrug here in the UK and are really cost effective.

img_0048Eyeshadow

Affordable eyeshadow can be a little hard to find. I don’t find that the traditional ‘drugstore’ brands (L’Oreal, Maybelline etc.) offer much in terms of good, pigmented eyeshadow. Brands that I have decent luck with are Makeup Geek (their singles are fab, but they’re about to relaunch the brand and half their stock is sold out everywhere), Colourpop and NYX. NYX is easily the most accessible of the 3 brands and offer a great assortment of colours at a really reasonable price point. The Colourpop shadows do have a lot of fall out in the pan, but I personally don’t find that to be the end of the world.

Mascara

When it comes to affordable mascara, I am team Maybelline all the way. I was a Maybelline girl since I started wearing makeup until I started wearing Benefit Roller Lash a few years back, but Maybellina hands down makes the best drugstore mascaras on the market. I never found L’Oreal to be as lengthening and voluminising in one, plus they were always that bit more pricey.

Eyeliner

Hands down Sleek. Their white eyeliner was a staple in my makeup kit for yeeeeears for my lower water line and it would. not. budge. They are lovely creamy formula and last for a really long time! I’m not sure they have a massive array of colours, but for the basics there is none better!

Lips

For lip liners, NYX are very good and offer a great shade range. When it comes to lipstick, there is only one winner for me – Maybelline! Their colour sensational range is SENSATIONAL – there is an amazing range of shades and finishes and they come at such an affordable price point that honestly there is no beating it. Two of my favourites are nude shades 725 Tantalising Taupe and 630 Velvet Beige (pictured above). If you’re a nude fan like me, you need these in your life!

You may notice that there are some steps that are missing – that is because I haven’t found products that I like enough to recommend. I find primers to be a bit hit and miss, bronzers in the drugstore are a mess and setting sprays aren’t that widely available and the ones that are miss the mark.

Let me know what your favourite drugstore products are!

Xo

* I hate the term ‘drugstore’ because we don’t call those brands that here in the UK, but we don’t have a word for it, so I’ll use the American term.

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How to colour match your foundation

Finding the perfect foundation shade is the bane of every makeup wearers life. Fair, light, medium, dark, deep dark – how do you decide where you lie in all this!? Plus adding in undertones just complicates matters even further! Here is a little guide on how to find your perfect shade.

The basics

Let’s start with your overall skin tone. You’ll have some idea whether your skin is fair, light, medium, deep or deep dark. This can often vary from foundation to foundation, but if you’re pale af like me, starting with the lightest shade probably won’t be too far off the end result. This is usually the easy part…

On top of this, you’ll probably need to know your undertone to get the best match. The options here are warm, neutral and cool. If you have warm undertones, your skin will look a little more yellow/golden and you’re likely to tan pretty well. If you have cool undertones, you’ll have quite pink skin (like me) and probably won’t fare too well in the sun. Neutral undertones are when you have a mix of both. Supposedly you are should keep these undertones in mind when choosing a foundation shade and stick to a foundation that reflects your undertone. However, as someone with very pink skin already, I would want a more yellow foundation or at the very least a neutral shade to lessen the redness in my skin. If you prefer foundations with different undertones to your natural one, then that is absolutely fine. While you can’t change the undertone you’re born with, you are in total control of which undertone you choose for your foundation and it’s completely down to personal preference.

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Buy online or in store?

If it is the first time that you’re trying/buying a particular foundation, always try and go in store to test it out first. Pictures on the internet can be very deceiving and can misrepresent the shades, so get yourself in store to have a nose. The people on the counter will be more than happy to shade match you and try it on your skin, and even give you a little sample to take away so you can really test out the foundation before you buy it. Often foundations are pretty expensive, so don’t waste your money by guessing your shade! Going in store (usually) is a fool proof way to get your shade right, and if the shade match isn’t spot on there and then, you can go back and try a different one and at least you’ve not parted with your hard earned money.

Swatches

In case you’re not aware, it’s always recommended to swatch foundations on your chest or your jaw to see whether they will match your skin colour. Don’t just swatch it on your hand. Your face is often much darker than the body due to sun exposure so you need to make sure that your shade doesn’t stand out from your paler neck! When you go in store, they will shade match you by swatching 3 shades on your jaw. They’ll remove any makeup you currently have on and will try shades with varying undertones and see which you like best. They will advise which they prefer but ultimately the decision is down to you. If they don’t offer more than one shade for you to test, then it’s very unusual and not best practice.

Oxidation

Sometimes you’ll notice that your foundation gets darker/more orange after you’ve applied it – and that is called oxidation. It’s cause by a chemical reaction between your makeup and air and generally happens within the first 1-3 hours of wear. Test your foundations out before you buy them! Check it out in all different lighting – especially natural light (indoor light often tricks us!) If you know that a formula oxidises, you might like to get a lighter shade… or skip the foundation all together.

Ultimately, there is a whole lot of trial and error when it comes to finding your perfect shade match, and maybe even settling on a shade that isn’t exact. Lots of people will often find themselves in between two shades and have to mix them to make it work. Other people will rely on other complexion products, such as concealer, to get the undertone they want. The best advice I can give you is 1) do your research online 2) get shade matched in store and know what kind of undertone you want 3) get a sample of the product and test it at home for a few days. If it’s a success after all that, then you’re on to a winner!

Xo

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How to cover up acne

Everyone suffers from the odd break out here and there, but how do you cover your skin when you’re suffering from serious acne? Not everyone feels the need to cover their acne, but if you would like to learn a few helpful tips on how to create the illusion of a flawless base, then keep reading!

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Colour corrector

I honestly believe that this is the most important step in successfully covering your acne. Spots will likely be pink or red, and in order to cover these successfully and avoid red blemishes poking through your foundation, you NEED to colour correct. All you need is a green colour corrector. Let me tell you these do not need to be expensive in the slightest. My favourite one was actually from MUA makeup which is available in Superdrug for Β£2. Apply this using a brush to any areas of redness and blend in. Don’t apply too much – you literally just need a small amount on each spot/area of redness. You don’t want this to be particularly bright once it’s blended – it will likely go a very pale minty colour which is exactly what you want. AVOID bright green colour correctors because the green does not get covered by your foundation (LA GIRL I AM LOOKING AT YOU) and you will look like Princess Fiona. Go for a paler, mint shade rather than a true green.

Layer

As you’ll be applying lots of products to correct and conceal, you want to make sure that you are applying it in thin layers, rather than bombarding your face with thick applications of everything. You can still get really great coverage by applying bit by bit – don’t worry! It will look far more ‘natural’ (as natural as this can look) but more importantly it should avoid the classic ‘cake face’.

Spot concealer

As you’ll be applying a fair amount of foundation, don’t overload your face with concealer. Instead, spot conceal the areas you need (apply the conceal only in little dots to the desired areas) and try and use a concealer a little lighter than your usual foundation shade. This should stop your foundation looking very dark and unnatural.

Shade matching

This one is really important if you’re going to be wearing a full coverage foundation. If you have the wrong shade, it will be so obvious. Ideally, you want to match your face to your neck as your neck is paler than your face. If you are someone who likes to go a little darker with your foundation usually, I’m not sure that I’d recommend it because it may accentuate texture and make your skin look cakey.

Full coverage

This sort of goes without saying, but you’ll want to go for a full coverage foundation. You could definitely use a medium coverage one and build it up, but sheer is obviously way off here. I personally am not in favour of really HEAVY coverage foundations (EstΓ©e Lauder Double Wear) as this may be too heavy and clog your pores. This is known as the heaviest foundation in the industry and for that reason I avoided it like the plague when my acne was awful. I would stick to my Make Up Forever HD liquid or the stick version. You might want to consider what finish you want too. A dewy finish may highlight any texture you have and make every other step you’ve done previously pointless. A more matte foundation will work best here. If you have drier skin, you might want to consider going for a foundation with a demi-matte or satin finish and if you have oilier skin then a true matte finish should be fine.

No highlighter

Highlighter is a major trend at the moment and having a blinding highlight is a must… unless you have acne. The shimmer in highlight will accentuate your texture 1000000%, especially if it’s on your cheeks. You either don’t apply any, or you have to position it very carefully. I used to apply it to the top of my cheekbones (starting at the back of the cheekbone near your ear and finishing in line with your outer eye). If you have acne on your cheeks, DO NOT apply it on the apple of your cheeks or the lower part of your cheekbones. If your acne is not on your cheeks, then please by all means apply your highlight anywhere you’d like on your cheeks.

I hope that these tips have been helpful! If you have any other tips, please leave them in the comments!

Β Xo

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My 2018 beauty favourites

2018 was the year that my skincare and makeup addiction was reignited, so I’ve tried a lot of new products this year. Here are my highlights across beauty for 2018! ** I will only be including new products that I’ve tried this year (sorry Midnight Recovery Concentrate).

Skincare

Cleansers

My amazing discovery this year has been Beauty Pie, and the best product that I’ve tried is without a doubt their Plantastic Cleansing Balm. It is a really smooth, gentle balm that removes all your makeup in one. I can even open my eyes with this on and it doesn’t get in them and sting them at all. The texture is thick and rich and feels much more high end than the price. I’ve already repurchased this because it’s my go-to balm!

Moisturiser

I finally had the chance to buy the Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream when I went to Sephora in Italy this summer and certainly haven’t regretted it! I have actually repurchased this twice already! This is a really thick moisturiser that is perfect for dry skin. It leaves the skin feeling really nourished and replenished of moisture. It is the moisturiser I rely on if my skin is needing a little extra TLC.

Mask

I’ve tried so many new masks this year, and I’ve got to say I don’t find that many masks do much for my skin. However, the Sjo Skin Happy Honey Mask is absolutely brill! Sjo Skin has been really big on Instagram and just seem like a lovely brand that are encouraging kindness and interaction in the beauty community. I have seen this mask on almost everyone’s feed, and finally bit the bullet on Black Friday. It is really soothing, smoothing and nourishing for the skin and leaves it feeling like it’s just gone to the spa, been drinking a glass of wine and come back relaxed af.

SPF

I have tried a number of new SPFs this year and I have one firm favourite – the Beauty Pie Super Healthy Skin Ultralight UVA/UVB SP25. This is a beautiful formula that does not have the typical SPF feeling but instead just feels like a normal face cream. It sinks into the skin very quickly and doesn’t leave a silicone-y feeling on the skin. The only downside to this SPF is that it is only SPF 25 and ideally I would my SPF to be 50. An honourable mention should go to the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+. I wore this during my holiday in Italy over the summer when I was walking around in the scorching heat and my face was totally protected. I did not get sunburnt in the slightest and I have very fair skin that burns easily.

Oils

I’ve recently discovered Squalane and I’m absolutely loving it! I’m using the One Skin Squalene oil and it’s a really beautiful oil. Before I started using it, I had stopped having the beautiful silky smooth feeling to my skin when I woke up in the morning, but using this brought it back. It’s not too thin (so that it sinks in immediately) or too thick (where it just never sinks in) and sits pretty comfortably on the face. I’ll give an honourable mention to the Herbivore Phoenix oil and the Mauli Supreme Skin Face Serum which are great for those who have drier skin.

Makeup

Foundation

Two foundations this year have really caught my eye and captured my heart – the Beauty Pie Everyday Great Skin foundation and the Hourglass Vanish stick foundation. I stumbled across them both completely by accident and they have both become go-tos for me! I had been interested in Beauty Pie’s makeup line since I fell in love so hard with the skincare range, so thought I would try out their foundation. It is a medium buildable coverage which has the prettiest dewy finish. It is really well pigmented and a little goes quite a long way with this (in that it allows you a nice natural looking base, that still looks like your skin but better). The Hourglass one took me 6 months to work out how to make this formula work on my skin as it’s quite dry. BUT I stuck with it, and am now nearly out of my mists, but it’s just gorgeous. It is THE ultimate ‘your skin but better’ and it is hands down the best shade match that I have ever found in my life. This one I prefer to wear more on the lighter/more natural side, but it is definitely buildable.

Highlighter

Two new highlighters have literally stolen my heart this year – the Hourglass Vanish stick highlighter in Gold Flash and the By Terry Gem Glow Trio Compact. I like to use the Hourglass one underneath my foundation to give me that really natural glow from within. Once I’ve applied foundation, I like to take this on my fingers and tap it onto the high points of my cheeks to really add the glow. The By Terry highlighter is a really new one to me (I only got my hands on it last week), but I’m totally in love with it. I’ve had my eye on it for months and months and it’s been so worth the wait. It is the most INCREDIBLE highlighter that is just so blinding and flattering. This really suits my pale skin, but I can also imagine it suiting people much darker than me too.

I am not lucky enough to have reviewing makeup and skincare as my full time job and even though I try a lot of new products out of interest, there are a lot of products in my routine that have stayed the same or just didn’t wow me enough.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know what your top products for 2018 were!

Xo

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How to find your perfect foundation

A friend of mine recently asked me how I find foundations. She said she’d spend a lot of money on expensive foundations, not like them and then feel like she’d wasted the money. I have a few tips on how to avoid the same fate! None of them are particularly revolutionary, but if you’re a beauty beginner – listen up!

Do your research!

It’s very easy in the heat of the moment to impulse buy a foundation you’ve seen all over social media or heard your friends talking about. But for all that is good, read up on what you’re buying! Every foundation is designed for a different purpose and a different skin type. If you’re unsure of your skin type, think about what your main skin concerns are. If you have acne and get shiny throughout the day, you probably have oily skin. If you suffer from dry patches, then you are dry. If you are only oily/dry in certain areas, but pretty normal in others, then you have combination. If your skin is easy triggered by lotions and potions, then your skin is sensitive. And if you are really lucky, you have normal skin (aka no real issues at the moment). You need to get a foundation that addresses your skin concerns. Foundations formulated for oily skin will typically be more matte in finish (no shine) and drier in formula, so when the natural oils in your skin start to come through, you don’t look like an oily mess. Foundations for drier skin types are the complete opposite – they are moisturising and leave the skin hydrated with no dry patches poking through. Watch some reviews on YouTube, read some blog posts and google swatches to try and work out whether this will work for your skin or whether it sounds like something you’d be interested in! By all means ask your friends what they’re using, but be sure to ask what skin type they have before blindly buying their favourite too.

Finish

With your skin type in mind, think what kind of finish you want. If you have oily skin, you won’t want a dewy finish (glowy) and if you have dry skin, you won’t want a matte finish (no shine). Don’t waste your money by buying the wrong finish for your taste and skin type.

Coverage

There are three main types of coverage:

Light/sheer coverage – ‘your skin but better’ aka the most natural coverage. When a foundation doesn’t change the overall appearance of your skin too much, maybe just to even out your skin tone a little and neutralise redness.

Medium coverage – the next step up. Covers your skin issues mainly, but without completely covering your natural skin

Full coverage – the highest coverage. Will completely cover any problems you have, but can leave you looking a bit overdone if not applied well.

If you have amazing skin and don’t need to worry too much about covering up blemishes or hyper pigmentation, then you could opt for a light/sheer coverage. You have beautiful skin, you don’t need to cake full coverage on. If you are suffering from acne, you will probably want to opt for a medium-full coverage foundation to create a blank canvas. If a foundation is ‘buildable’, this means that it starts as either light or medium coverage, but by applying more product they can be built up to a medium or full coverage. These are probably the most versatile types of foundations because you can use it for two different types of coverage. Ultimately the coverage you like is completely down to personal preference and what you think suits your skin best.

Get samples

Do yourself a favour and get a sample of any foundation that you’re interested in purchasing. I do not buy a foundation if I haven’t tried it on my skin first. Quite frankly, if I’m going to spend Β£30+, I want to know that it’s going to a) suit my skin b) be my correct shade c) last all day d) work will with the other products in my makeup routine. Most beauty counters will happily colour match you (find your shade) and give you a sample. There is no shame in asking for this. Some companies are a bit funny about giving out samples (Nars) but in my experience most are happy to help you out. The sample size usually lasts about a week depending how much you use of course.

Colour matching

If you are trying to work out your shade by yourself, do NOT try and colour match your foundation by swiping it on your hand. Your body and your face are two totally different colours. The way brands will colour match you is by removing some of your foundation on your jaw and testing three shades on you. One will be your colour but they want to show you all the options. Usually one is too warm (too yellow/gold) for your skin and the other is too cool (too pink/red). If you’re unsure of your shade, go to a counter and ask to be shade matched and that takes the guess work out of it. They will always ask which you think best, rather than pushing a shade that might not be yours down your throat. If you’re looking at ‘drugstore’ foundations or online brands, unfortunately you’re just going to have to guess. If you’re in a ‘drugstore’ (we don’t have a word for this in the UK so we’ll just use the American one) you can try and colour match yourself using the technique mentioned above but it may be more difficult. Getting colour matched by a sales assistant and getting samples are the two ways to avoid purchasing the wrong shade.

What about this ‘primer’?

If you’ve never heard of primer, allow me to introduce you. A primer is something you apply before all your other products to prepare the skin for foundation and to make it last longer. The idea is that it helps to make it wear better (i.e. so it doesn’t wear off so quickly). The primer you use will also depend massively on, you guessed it, your skin type. If you struggle to keep oils at bay, then a mattifying primer is going to be your best friend! Drier skin types may prefer hydrating primers. There are also primers to blur the skin, hide pores, colour correct and to brighten the skin.

Colour correcting

If you suffer from acne, hyper pigmentation, dark circles or any other discolouration you may like to try colour correcting. Lots of people I’ve spoken to seem to find it a little daunting, but I used to do it every single day when I had bad acne so allow me to explain. Some areas of the skin that are particularly discoloured can still remain discoloured when you apply foundation and need a little extra help to be neutralised. For example, if you have some angry, red spots, they will still poke through slightly and your base won’t look even. Adding extra foundation to cover it will just make your base look cakey and more orange, which we don’t want! To colour correct, all you need to do is know which colour to apply to what area of the face and apply it sparingly. If you want to neutralise red, apply green; to cover dark circles use a peach colour if you’re light and a darker orange/red if you are darker. You can use purple and yellow too, though I’ve never seen anyone use them anywhere and have never understood what they’re for. Do NOT apply these heavily to the face because you may find that you can’t cover it and look like Shrek – I had this exact problem when using the LA Girl green colour corrector and had to start my entire base again. Colour correcting saves product, but more than that it’s about being clever and knowing your skin and how to get the most out of your base.

Brush, sponge or fingers?

How you apply your foundation will majorly impact the coverage you get. I find that using a brush gives you the most full coverage, while using a sponge gives you a lighter coverage in comparison. I personally would never use my fingers to apply my foundation because I’m lazy and don’t want to have dirty hands and have to get up and clean them. I tend to switch between using a beauty sponge and a brush but generally prefer the feeling of a sponge. I find that it can make foundation look more blended and even, whereas a brush can sometimes leave streaks and can give so much coverage that it looks too much. It’s just a matter of practise.

Hopefully this has given you all the info you need to know on how to find your perfect foundation, but if there is anything I have missed, please feel free to leave a comment or send me a message on Instagram!

Xo

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11 struggles that all pale girls know

If you are as pale as a piece of paper, then you will know the many struggles of a pale girl.

Oxidisation

Everything was going well… Until your foundation started to oxidise and you have magicallyΒ transformed into a carrot.

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The flash ghost

After spending hours putting together the perfect look for your night out, it’s time for pictures! You pout, smile, and try to look as cute as possible… but when you look back through the pictures, you’re not actually there… instead Casper the friendly ghost is in your place. This is an unfortunate fate that has befallen me many a time (see below). I’m starting to question whether I do even have a nose seeing as I can never seem to find it in photos?

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‘Ivory’

Chances are, if a foundation or concealer is called ivory, you can bet that it isn’t.

The neck/face divide

We’ve all done it. Applied the most beautiful face of makeup… and not taken it down the neck. The pasty white vertical wasteland has once again given away that we do not in fact have perfectΒ ‘ivory’ skin. This isn’t just a pale girl problem, but it particularly stark when you’re white AF and your face actually has colour.

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The many joys of shade matching
Everyone has that foundation that they got shade matched for in store by a sales assistant that has ended up being 3 shades too dark. Whether it’s the lighting at the time or whether it’s your ‘summer colour’ (doesn’t exist for me lol), something has gone terribly wrong here. It leaves you feeling rubbish that you spend money on the wrong colour (AGAIN) and leaves you looking like an Oompa Loompa.

50 shades of beige

Living in the UK, pale people are hardly mystical creatures that only come out when there is a full moon. There are plenty of fair guys and girls that will also struggle to find a decent shade among the 50 shades of beige. For years when I was younger, I didn’t wear foundation because I simply couldn’t find a shade light enough. I used to apply moisturiser to my face, and before it dried down I would use a Natural Collection (yes that still exists) that was suuuuper pale and apply it where I needed and blended it into the semi wet moisturiser. I did this until I was 19. Where I lived, I didn’t have access to higher end makeup and could only purchase ‘drugstore’ makeup. Maybelline, L’Oreal and all that lot did not cater for my skin colour. And to an extent they still don’t.

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Pink undertones

As someone who has very pink skin, I do NOT want to be putting cool toned foundation on my skin. While I can’t speak for everyone, who the hell would want to emphasise the pinkness of their skin!?

Muddy products

I remember looking for a bronzer when I was 20 in a department store. I had wanted to go to MAC, but the people in there had ignored me for 10 minutes so I wandered over to Bare Minerals. The lady convinced me that this bronzer was great, it looked good on me and like a total sucker (who knew nothing about bronzing at the time), I bought it. All jokes aside, the bronzer was dark orange. It made me look absolutely ridiculous. I did not, as I hoped I would, look like a naturally bronzed goddess… but rather a poor creature that had rubbed pollen on my face (Y’know when lillies have those big, powdery orange things that stick out the middle – that was the colour of my face).

A high end problem

It was not until I started shopping in department stores and exploring higher end makeup that I could actually find a shade that nearly matches my skin tone. Of all my foundations (7 in total), 4 of them are high end. I don’t even bother going to L’Oreal and Maybelline because I just do not believe that they have my shade. However, with the higher end brands they actually cater for the people that fall either side of beige and caramel.

Going beyond the pale

This has only happened to me once, but it is possible to overestimate your paleness. I tried to shade match myself to the Nars Creamy Radiant concealer and I assumed that I would be the lightest shade, because I am so used to buying the lightest shade. I looked like I was devoid of life. Lesson – do it in person, don’t try and shade match over the internet or you’ll look like Edward Cullen.

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(Fake) tan season

As summer approaches, so does tan comparison season. The epic tan comparison competition is one that I have gracefully bowed out of now I have realised that my sunburnt legs (funnily enough) aren’t going to win. Throwing it back to secondary school, I remember in PE the girls would always compare the colour of their fake tanned legs in summer. Even when I did do mine, I always lost. Avoid a fake tan disaster and stay a pale gal.

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Are you a pale girl? Do you have any more struggles to share? Comment below!

Xo

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Spring time makeup look

I’ve been feeling really inspired by the blossom that’s in bloom everywhere at the moment, and so created this look. It features a pink/coral halo eye with yellow winged liner, rosy pink cheeks and a pinkish coral lip. Scroll down to see how I got this look:

Eyeshadow:
I set the concealer on my lid with a skin tone shadow. I started by applying Chickadee by Makeup Geek to my outer corner and crease before blending it in. I then took this into the inner eyelid, making sure to leave the middle of the lid blank. I then applied Tuscan Sun in the same areas to add a little extra depth and add warmth.

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Then taking the NYX Ultimate brights I took the coral-pink shade in the second row with a smaller tapered brush and applied the most pigment to the outer corner and started to blend out and into the crease.

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In the area that I left blank, I took some concealer on a flat brush and went over the area and carved out upper part of the lid. Then, I applied Shimma Shimma by Makeup Geek (which is a beige/gold colour) to add some shimmer! To blend the into the rest of the matte shades, I used the NYX Jumbo Pencil in Strawberry Milk.

Liner:
For the winged liner, I took the NYX vivid brights liquid eyeliner in yellow and applied a few coats to really build up the colour. To still give the lash line some definition, I applied a black liquid liner close to the lash line. Then I coated my lashes with the Maybelline Temptation mascara.

Lower lash line:
For the lower lash line, I put Chickadee on the inner lash line to the middle of the lash line. I then took Tuscan Sun for the outer crease and blended the two shades together in the middle of the lash line. Then I put the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara on my lower lashes.

Cheeks:
I skipped bronzer on my cheeks but applied it around my forehead and on the sides of my face. I went into a Revolution blush palette in Blush GoddessΒ and picked up two shades – a brownish/pink and a bright pink (middle two shadesΒ on the bottom row)Β – and applied the colour most heavily on the apples of the cheeks before sweeping it back.

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Lips:
I applied the NYX lip pencil in Peekaboo Neutral before applying a light layer of Creme Cup by MAC. With my finger, I applied some of the brownish/pink blush colour to warm up the colour of the lips a little more.

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I felt very out of my comfort zone doing this look, but I think it actually turned out really well!Β What do you think of this look? Let me know what you think on here or on my Instagram!

Xo

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My go-to make-up

My go-to make-up style is full coverage, with glowy, bronzy skin and a fairly natural eye. Even though this is a pretty natural look, it takes a lot of work! Here’s how I get my go-to look:

PRIME:
I apply Mac Prep and Prime Skin Base Visage and Make Up Forever Step 1 Primer in Hydrate, leaving it to sink in before applying foundation.

FOUNDATION:
My favourite is Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in shade 02 Fair. It gives the skin an amazing glow, and has lovely buildable coverage without looking orange and cakey. I take one pump which usually gives pretty decent coverage, but I often take another half pump to cover the redness on my cheeks that peeks through. I use a thick bristled brush (Morphe 439) to buff this into the skin. Using a brush will give more coverage than a beauty sponge.

CONCEALER:
I take the Collection Lasting Perfecton concealer in 1 Fair. I apply it in a triangle shape under the eyes, in three lines on my forehead (from between the eyebrows going upwords), on my nose to correct redness, a little to my cheeks and on my chin. Then I take either the new lighter shade of the Collection concealer (0 Very Fair) or the Naked Skin Concealer in Fair Neutral and put a little under the eye, on the forehead, down the nose and on the chin to give my face a little more dimension. I use a Beauty blender to blend this in with the foundation and make sure that the foundation has no streaks and sits nicely on the skin.

POWDER:
Using a stippling brush, I apply Nars Soft Velvet Loose Powder so my skin feels a bit more matte and less sticky, making sure to pay particular attention to powder my eyebrows so the brow pencil sits better.

BROWS:
I usually do my brows after I’ve powdered and before blush and bronzer. I use the NYX Microbrow Pencil in Ash Brown. I start by outlining the shape of my brow on the underside. Then I outline the top side, and start to make hair like strokes from the front towards the back of the brow. I use a brow powder to go over the entire brow to match it to my hair colour and to make the brow look sharper. I think finish things off with the NYX Clear Brow Gel, combing the hairs at the front of the brow up, and the hair at the end down to keep the perfect shape.

EYESHADOW:
I always like to set my eye with a skin colour shade before I start, my favourite is Vanilla Bean from Make Up Geek. I then like to take Beaches and CreamΒ and put some warmth into my crease. Using a more tapered blending brush, I start to add dimension into the outer corner and crease by taking Malt and Quarry by MAC. If I want to add any more drama, then I apply more Quarry, but I like to keep my eye looking quite neutral and natural. I then take Shimma Shimma by Make Up Geek to add a pop of shimmer to my inner eyelid.

MASCARA:
My favourite mascara is Benefit Roller Lash. It is great for curling the lashes up, and making them nice and thick. Even if I don’t curl my lashes, my lashes still stay nice and curled up.

LOWER LASH LINE:
To make my eye look bigger and more defined, I like to use a cool toned darkish brown on my lower lash liner. I then use the Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N’ Kohl in Eye Cheat, which is a creamy/nude shade to brighten the waterline and to look more awake. I then use Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara to coat my lower lashes. I find that this makes my lashes look really good, but also doesn’t leave that suuuuper annoying black mark underneath your eyes when your mascara touches the area under your eye.

BLUSH:
For blush, I love the Fenty Beauty Match Stix in Trippin’. To make the Fenty Beauty blush work, I don’t apply it straight to the skin as it removes the base. I warm the product up with my fingers first and then tap it into the skin, starting on the apple of the cheek for the most colour pay off, and move it backwards towards the top of the ear.

BRONZER:
To bronze, I have always used the Make Up Geek Contour in Love Triangle. Even though it is technically a bronzer, it is warm enough to be the perfect bronzer for my fair skin! Make Up Geek products are super reasonably priced and the ‘contour’ shades take into account warm and cool skintones, so it’s to find the perfect shade for you.

HIGHLIGHT:
As my highlight, I like The Balm’s Mary Lou-manizer. It’s a gorgeous gold colour that is not too dark on pale skin.

LIPS:
I aaaaadore a pinkish-nude lip. My go-to combination is Mac Lip Liner in Whirl and Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Ex-Girlfriend. To make it a little more glossy, I love the Jouer Lip Topper in Frost.

TO SET:
To finish everything off, I spray my face with Mac Fix + and fan my face dry. I do this once I’ve finished all of my make up, rather than just my skin.

And there we have it! My everyday make up look that still consists of a ridiculous amount of products (:

What is your go-to make up look? Leave a comment on here or on my instagram!

Xo

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Full face of forgotten favourites/rarely used products

It’s super easy to get into a routine of wearing the same products day in, day out. I went through my make up collection recently and found so many old gems that I had forgotten I even had, or stuff I had bought on impulse and never used. I’m going to compare these to my favourites I use everyday, and see whether there was a reason I stopped using them!

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Foundation – Make Up Forever Ultra HD foundation in 117/Y225
Concealer – Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer in Chantilly
Powder – RCMA No Colour Powder in Translucent
Blush – Nars Orgasm blush
Bronzer – MUA MosaicΒ bronzer
Highlighter – Sleek highlighting palette
Eyeshadow – Morphe 35T palette
Lip pencil – Nyx Peekaboo Neutral
Lipstick – Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick

Foundation/Concealer
I love the Make Up Forever HD foundation and it just fell out of the regular foundations I use because I tried out new ones. It has always been quite dark for my skin tone because when I bought it online, Make Up Forever wasn’t easily found in stores. So to make the foundation work, I thought I would mix it in with the Nars Radiant Creamy concealer. When I bought this, I colour matched myself online and the shade was too light to use as a regular concealer. However, together these two made the perfect shade for my skin tone. So I will definitely be using this combination again! I have the same trouble with some of my other foundations, so now I know I have a concealer that can be mixed in, lasts a long time and has a lovely finish.

Nars creamyMUF foundation

Powder
I saw a lot of people raving about this translucent powder so I decided to try it out. It was my go-to powder for quite a long time, but I didn’t like that it left a white cast on my face when I took pictures with flash. I’d often use this to set my foundation before a big night out, so I wasn’t happy that I looked like a ghost. I used this to bake under my eyes again and lightly applied it to the rest of my face and was pretty content with how it looked. It did take the colour out of my face a little bit, but not as much as before. The finished look didn’t beat the Nars Soft Velvet powder I usually use, so I won’t be turning back to this again soon.

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Blush
When I was living in Spain and got a bit Sephora obsessed I got a set that was Nars Orgasm Blush and Laguna Bronzer in one. But I then thought that the Blush was too pink and the bronzer was too dark for my skin. But I thought I’d give the Nars Blush another go. It actually was a really flattering shade of pink that wasn’t as bright pink as I thought it would be. I was really pleasantly surprised and I’d definitely start rotating this in to my usual routine!

nars blush

Bronzer
I decided to use my old favourite which is the MUA bronzer. I was pretty excited about using this one again because I actually liked this one and only stopped using it because I discovered the Make Up Geek ‘contour’ instead. However, when I applied this I did one swipe and was shocked at how red it looked on my skin. Rather than looking like a nice bronzey tan like my MUG one, I just looked really strange. I really loved this a few years ago, but I’m not sure I’ll be grabbing for this any time soon.

MUA bronzer

Highlighter
This palette was huge in 2015/2016 when American Youtubers stumbled across Sleek for the first time (when us UK gals have known about it for ages). It’s a little annoying to buy a palette and only really be able to use one colour, but I bought it anyway. I used to use this every day after I shattered my Mary Lou-maniser. I decided to try the slightly darker shade in the pan (bottom right) combined with my usual shade (bottom left). Somehow, I think some of the purple residue had fallen onto the darker shade, as my cheek had a purple sheen to it, which I wasn’t happy with. The lighter colour also wasn’t as golden and luminating as I remembered, which was a little sad. Even though my current Mary Lou-maniser has smashed AGAIN, I’m going to carry on using it because it’s just such a beautiful golden glow, especially for pale skin.

Sleek

Brows
This was one I was really nervous for. I had bought the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer when it first came out because I’d been dying to try ABH brow products. But it was such a disappointment! The idea is that you’re supposed to use the wide end of the Brow Definer’s triangular ‘nib’ to fill in gaps and then use the narrow end to draw on thin hair-like strokes. However I found it really difficult to use, it looked patchy and I couldn’t get the brows I wanted. So using this again, I felt like I really had to take my time (which I don’t usually have the time to do that!) The end result was okay – they were a nice shape, they were even (after combing through a lot) but the colour was not quite as dark as I’d like. The NYX Micro Brow pencil is just so much easier to use as the nib is very small and I can get theΒ result I want with less effort and lessΒ stress.Β I would potentially try this again, but with a brow powder as well and not during the week when I’m in a rush to get ready.

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Eyeshadow
I thought I’d find the eyeshadow portion of this make up experiment easy because I do tend to use most of my palettes fairly regularly… except this one. When I reopened this again, I hadn’t realised how dark the shades all were. There is no light shade for a base. There are no lighter transition colours. All of them are dark and that made it really hard for me to do a wearable look. I took one of the ‘lighter shades’ thinking it would be okay to use as a transition colour… NOPE. It was really dark straight away and I was a bit like… oh shit. I stuck to the lighter shades in the palette (aka 4 shades) and had to dive in to my usual go-to palette to make it more wearable. I really don’t think I’ll be able to use this as an every day palette. I’d certainly dip into this for night out make up, but I have other eyeshadow pans in my go-to palette that I’d much rather use.

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Lip pencil
I used to use Peekaboo Neutral all. the. time. It was really tricky to get a hold of and I used to buy it in bulk from Amazon. Because it was tricky to get my hands on, I stopped buying it when I fell for MAC Whirl lip liner. It was much more pink than I remembered, but it wasn’t unpleasant! I prefer a pinkish-brownish nude and this overall look was maybe a little pinker than I would have liked but I was happy with it (: As it is so difficult to find in the UK, I’m probably not going to repurchase this for a while.

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Lipstick
Again, when I was living in Spain and was v. make up happy, I would buy the same nude shade by different brands. I got the Rimmel lipstick in 45 and basically never used it. Then accidentally bought it again lol. When I used it again, it was pinker than I like now, but it felt really nice on the lips, so I’ll definitely be using it again! It won’t be my go-to lipstick, as I prefer my Maybelline and MAC ones, but it’s one I would consider when I want a more pink lip.

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VERDICT:
I was pretty pleased with the over all look. I thought my base make up looked brill, but the red bronzer kind of ruined it a little bit. I did actually apply my Makeup Geek ‘contour’ in Love Triangle before I left the house just to warm my skin up and tone down the redish hue. I was really disappointed how the eyes ended up because I expected more of the eyeshadow palette. However, I. AM. SO. PLEASED. WITH MY WINGED LINER! I never do winged liner (because I can’t do it) but I thought I’d try and it came off really well.

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What products have you rediscovered lately? What do you think of the ones that I used? Leave me a comment on here or on my instagram

Xo

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