February Favourites.

It’s that time of the month! Sorry it’s up 1st March so technically not February but I was unwell yesterday. Anyway so here are all my Beaty favourites of February 2014:

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1. Laura Mercier crème eye liner in ‘Graphite’ (limited edition, part of the Renaissance collection)

2. Real Techniques accent brush

3. Collection lasting perfection concealer

4. Topshop velvet lips in ‘Plush’

5. Soap & Glory glow all out luminising face powder

6. Bobbi Brown creamy lip colour in ‘Pale Mauve’

7. Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer (my colour is ‘Blush’)

You might be able to notice that I have been getting into more Spring themed makeup, apart from the deep purple Topshop velvet lips (4)! The Laura Mercier crème eye liner (1) is so gorgeous and is the perfect colour for Spring, as it an original hint of colour to the eyes without being too noticeable! I have done a review on this product so click here if you’re interested. I’ve been seeing a lot of purple in terms of lip colour recently, so as soon as I saw this bold colour, ‘Plush’, in Topshop I had to buy it. It is basically like a liquid lipstick and dries completely matte and has incredible lasting power, however can be quite difficult to remove!

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I watch Lisa Eldridge’s YouTube makeup tutorials, and she often applies concealer on a tiny brush to just pin-point imperfections. I decided to give this technique a go, and used my Real Techniques accent brush (2) and Collection lasting perfection concealer (3). I’ve been loving applying a light tinted moisturiser (Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, 7), and then hiding blemishes with this technique. It made me realise that I don’t need as much concealer as I usually use when I apply directly from the applicator, as it is just not necessary and too much product is generally what encourages caking to occur.

The Soap & Glory glow all out luminiser is such a pretty highlighter. I just use an angled blush brush (MAC 168) and sweep it along the tops of my cheek bones. It is subtle pretty pink colour without too much shimmer, so I find it easy enough to be a part of my everyday makeup routine. The Bobbi Brown creamy lip colour in ‘Pale Mauve’, is similar in the way that is is subtle however still makes a difference and is great for everydayDSC_0211

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post, it’s my first monthly favourites and really enjoyed doing it! If you haven’t checked out my Instagram, you should, if you’re interested in seeing more from me on a daily basis! I’m @beautyspicedlatte.

S x

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Review: Laura Mercier crème eye liner in ‘graphite’.

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The other week I was in my local Fenwick store, which has a fantastic beauty department. I found myself at the Laura Mercier counter and was gazing upon the beautiful spring ‘Renaissance’ collection for 2014. The muted green-ish gel eyeliner… Oh god, love at first sight! I looked into it no further and bought myself one.

The collection features the eyeliner in two shades – Graphite (new & limited edition), and Espresso (permanent, re-promoted). There is also a gorgeous palette (Enlightenment Eye & Cheek Palette), limited edition & permanent/re-promoted lip colours, metallic cream eye colours and lots more…

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I have only ever used brown or black gel eye liner, so was intrigued to see how a different colour would work. Usually eye liner that isn’t black of brown would scare me, but because Graphite is off-green, muted and grey toned colour, I could see how it would be a great alternative. Once dry is is a matte colour and has no shimmer, which is perfect because otherwise I wouldn’t find it as wearable. I find it is just a bit more interesting, without drawing too much attention to the makeup instead of the actual eyes & when people are like, “Wow, she has really colourful eye makeup on”. It easily enhances pretty much all eye colours, especially brown I would think (I have blue eyes). I love it because it’s easier to wear than it may initially seem, especially once mascara is applied and it is toned down a little, yet still has the desired effect.

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In terms of the formula, it is wetter than other cream/gel eyeliners that I use (e.g. Maybelline lasting drama gel eyeliner). For me this made it slightly more difficult to apply and achieve a line and flick with perfect precision. Personally, it required a little more patience. This however is also a good thing because it dries quickly and remains so for the entire day and really does not move, which is a real achievement on my eyes!

All in all I am very impressed with the look of the collection and really love this eye liner! It ticks all the boxes; original colour, wearable and long lasting. Unfortunately it is limited edition, which is really annoying to be honest as I can see this becoming a real staple product for me; and as we all know sadly gel eye liner really does not last for ever as it dries. It costs £19, which is on the pricey end but totally worth it. If you want a subtle lift of colour in your makeup, give it a go.

Have you tried any of the other products from the Laura Mercier Spring Renaissance collection?

S x

Makeup Brush Holders.

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For some reason I’ve been having a mini super organised phase… I tidied and re-arranged my entire dressing table/drawers and realised how boring my old plane jars of makeup brushes were. I did some research on YouTube to find a decent tutorial to give me some ideas. It didn’t take me long to come across Ingrid, from missglamorazzi‘s video, which is very popular and I’m sure many beauty bloggers have seen and probably made their makeup holders using her tutorial, like myself!

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Instead of really trying to explain how it works, Missglamorazzi’s video is below. The tutorial was very clear and made the process very easy to do! Good Luck!

What I used:

-Glass jars or glasses (I found the one with silver in Home Sense and the other one M&S left over from Christmas

Loose glitter from Hobbycraft

Mod Podge (gloss) with an old paintbrush

I found when I put the brushes in the newly designed jars, they got lots of glitter on them, so I coated the insides of the jars with matching tissue paper and sealed the edges with some Decopatch glue and an old paint brush! I also just cleaned the jars as one would normally with the washing up – hot water and washing up liquid.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post, slightly different kind for me, but I enjoyed doing it, as I love DIY. Also, if you haven’t already checked out Missglamorazzi’s YouTube channel, you definitely should. She does great beauty and lifestyle videos and she’s so funny!

S x

Review: Tanya Burr’s Lips and Nails.

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As pretty much every single beauty blogger knows, the lovely Miss Tanya Burr has recently created her own mini beauty range, featuring lip glosses and nail polishes. Tanya is one of my favourite bloggers and my love for makeup/beauty was encouraged forward by watching her YouTube videos! I was really excited to try out her new range, so I opted to order two lip polishes and two nail varnishes.

I was very disappointed with feelunique.com – where they are exclusively sold (they are also set to be sold in Superdrug shortly). I made the order the day the range was launched, 30th January 2014. With previous orders with feelunique, my items were always dispatched within around 3 days and would arrive one or two days after that. The products took over two weeks to arrive, as they were dispatched on the 12th February and arrived on the 15th. I had a few emails from the website explaining that due to the unexpectedly thigh demand there would be a delay… For me it was obvious that Tanya Burr’s range would be extremely popular and I would have hoped that they would have been aware of this. Oh well, on with the review!

The lip glosses sell at £6.99 and the nail polishes at £5.99. I was really impressed with the colour ranges, as they cover a wide variety even with only 10 lip glosses and 12 nail varnishes, they cover a broad range of style. I must say that I was more excited about the nail polishes, because I’m just not that big on lipgloss.

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Left: Penguin Chic; Right: New York Night

I was immediately drawn to the nail colour ‘Penguin Chic’, because it reminded me of one of my very favourite colours by Nails Inc, called ‘Granville Place’. It’s a greyish brown colour, and is incredibly sophisticated looking. I really love this kind of colour as it looks classy on the nails and I guess is a good dupe for the Nails Inc one as it is quite a bit cheaper. It’s great for this time of year, however would be acceptable in all seasons! ‘New York Night’, is a really gorgeous deep maroon-purple. To me it is a expensive looking and classic take on an off black nail colour, which I have been seeing in people more and more recently. I love the little bottles of the nail polishes, they look smart on ones dressing table. The formula is great, and goes on the nail opaque in the first coat, which is something I always look for.

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Left: Champagne Toast; Right: Afternoon Tea

I liked the look of the colours of the lip glosses on the website, and went for two nude-pink colours, one with shimmer one not. ‘Afternoon Tea’, does not have shimmer and is the kind of colour I would use as an every day gloss. On the lips it was a lot pinker than I expected, it was pigmented however I found it looked quite like a baby pink more than a nude pink on my lips – for some this may be great but for me I wasn’t too impressed. The formula however was gorgeous and I really love the applicator as it picks up the right amount of product and is bendy so that you can apply with maximum precision. The glosses also do not feel too wet or sticky on the lips, which is always helpful! I have found that as far as lip glosses go, they last pretty well. ‘Champagne Toast’, (which is such a cute name!!) is slightly more orange toned and has shimmer. It has less colour pay off then Afternoon Tea but seems more like something one would layer on top of a lipstick, as the shine pay off is incredible! One thing that I, personally really don’t like about the lip glosses is the smell. I’m sure that I am only part of a small percentage of people who really dislikes sweets (and strawberries) – but I do, and unfortunately they small strongly of sweets, possibly strawberry flavoured sweets. In all honesty it really puts me off wearing them. Initially it told myself to get over it but I can smell it on my lips… It’s unfortunate because I would invest in some more colours for sure, maybe the bright red and another nude, but there’s no point for me as I just wouldn’t wear them enough.

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Overall, I like the range and am more impressed with the nail varnishes more than the lip glosses (but that really is due to my personal preference in scent!). I love the packaging and the quality of products are really good. Well done Tanya 🙂

S x

Beauty Scenario Tag.

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So this is my very first Tag blog post! I was very excited when I saw that Yasmin, from lipsiie3.blogspot.co.uk had taggedme. Yesterday I watched Lily Pebbles‘ YouTube video of her Beauty Scenario Tag,of which she created. Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 17.52.48

1. You have to get rid of all your foundations and you can only keep one high end and one drugstore, which do you keep?

This isn’t too difficult for me, as I tend to stick to foundations that I find work for me. The high end one would definitely be the Benefit hello flawless oxygen wow! as I have been using it so often recently – it’s perfect for my skin type and has a gorgeous finish. For the drugstore option, I would definitely say the Bourjois healthy mix serum – it feels just like a high end foundation on the skin and in my opinion, is worth the hype.

2. You go for an interview and the lady interviewing you has lipstick on her teeth. Do you approach the subject or ignore it completely?

I would probably end up not saying anything, as I would simply panic about ruining my chance of getting the job – even if she comes across friendly…

3. You’re not feeling yourself and need a pick me up. Which lipstick do you put on to make yourself feel beautiful?

As Lily said in her video, a red lipstick never fails to lift my spirits. A classic red will always do the trick – I love Lancôme l’absolu rouge lipstick in caprice. It really works at making you feel pretty!

4. You go back in time for a day to your teenage years, how would you do your hair and makeup differently?

I’ll go back to when I started wearing makeup, around aged 11-13 probably… I didn’t wear too much but I went overboard on things like concealer and mascara that it just didn’t look right. What would I change? I would wear less face makeup as I just didn’t need it, and learn how to do eye makeup properly! I didn’t do a lot with my hair, however I do remember attempting to give it more volume by just adding tons of hairspray until crispy… So I’d try and leave my hair alone in terms of styling to maintain it in better condition for when it really matters!

5. You ask your hairdresser for a shoulder length Pixie Lott hair cut, but they hear wrong and give you a pixi cut. Do you a) Smile, say thank you, leave and call your mum hysterical b) Cry in the chair and things get awkward or c) Complain to the manager and demand a refund.

C) Sort of, I would complain to someone but probably would only demand a refund if I actually had a bad experience with the hairdresser his/herself in terms conversation, attitude etc. Who knows maybe you’d get some vouchers or something out of it…!

6. Your friend surprises you with a 4 day city break and you have 1 hour to pack. Which ‘do it all’ palette do you pack in your makeup bag?

My Clarins the essentials palette. I am totally a neutrals girl, and this will take me from endless day to night looks. There are 10 shades, 8 shimmer and 2 matt. They are absolutely stunning and so easy to work with. Unfortunately it was limited edition over Christmas time, but if you somehow find one, my advice is definitely to get it!

7. Your house has been robbed, don’t worry everyone is safe, but your beauty stash has been raided. What’s the product you really hope is safe?

My Smashbox sheer focus tinted moisturiser. It has been discontinued, which I am so upset about as I just absolutely love it and really rely on it. It has the most beautiful finish and sits amazingly on the skin – doesn’t look or feel like makeup but evens out the skin tone without too much coverage. I’ve had it for a while and it lasts forever so I still have a lot left but know it’s as much as I can ever have! Smashbox, bring it back please!!

8. Your friend borrows your makeup and returns it in awful condition. Do you a) Just pretend you haven’t noticed b) Ask them to repurchase it or c) Secretly do the same to something of theirs

A) It would annoy me – as a beauty blogger my makeup is important to me, but I would hope that none of my friends would return it in really bad condition. I would query how it ended up that way though, just so they know I have noticed! Also I wouldn’t lend a lot of my makeup to a friend, like a whole makeup bags worth or anything, I would just worry, haha!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know if you like this kind of thing!

Here are some lovely beauty bloggers that I tag!

Megs Maquillage

A Beauty-Full life

Drained Beauty

If I haven’t tagged you, still do it if you’d like and let me know with a link in the comments! I’d love to read them. Remember to follow & comment so that I can see your answers! Thanks again for tagging me, Yasmin (lipsiie3.blogspot.com)

S x

 

Review: Soap & Glory Kickass Concealer.

DSC_0178A few weeks ago I was in need of a concealer that I could throw in a handbag and use for touchups and on the go makeup application. I went to Boots, and had in my head that I would stick with what I know, Collection lasting perfection concealer – an incredibly hyped (for good reason!) product. I found myself at the Soap & Glory makeup stand and found the Kick Ass concealer. I had heard only little about this product; having said that it has recently popped up frequently on blogs. It immediately reminded me of the Laura Mercier undercover pot, so I thought I’d give it a go as drugstore dupes are something I’m always on the look out for.

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As you can see, you get two concealers – one is a peachy-salmon tone and the other more yellow. There are two colour options: Light and Medium – not too great, I know. I got the colour “Light”. The peachy-salmon toned one is for under the eyes, to cancel out any darkness (blue/purple tones), which, let’s be honest we all get from time to time! The more yellow, natural skin coloured one is to conceal any imperfections elsewhere on the face i.e. blemishes and redness.

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The product retails at £10 – which initially to me sounded like quite a lot for a drugstore concealer, however after realising that it is essentially a three-in-one product, it seemed pretty reasonable. The Laura Mercier undercover pot that I mentioned as a suitable dupe earlier, is basically the same yet three times the price (£30) – obviously there will be a difference in qualities. I personally have never tried it, but have always heard good things about it and thought it as a good idea – so when I saw the cheaper Soap & Glory option, I thought I’d give it a go first. I think that the packaging is really cute and perfectly compact. It’s all there, in the same place and they’re not too stingy with the amount of each product that you get. There is a little sponge applicator with the setting powder (“step 3”), so it’s so handy for on the go and not taking up too much space in your makeup bag. My skin is pretty dry, and when I first tried this I found that the yellow “superwear face concealer” (“step 2”) did not last and enhanced my dry patches. This was really disappointing, but I would think that if your skin is more on the oily side it could be better – although I have read about it simple “sliding off”, haha. If you generally find makeup sits well on your skin, then it should be fine, as when I first put it on and for the first few hours it covered imperfections beautifully and had a nice finish. The coverage was great. The under eye concealer I liked more, as it did cover dark circles really well for me, and lasted pretty well. I myself do not suffer from creasing under the eye, so did not have a problem with this, but I would worry if you generally find this does happen, this might not be a great option for you… The setting powder I really enjoyed using. It is translucent, and really sets the makeup in place, and makes the finish even more flawless without looking “cakey” at all. I have read that it is the same powder as the Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot  translucent powder – if it is, I will definitely be buying it in the full size!

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I think that this product is great, and fantastic value overall, however not something that will work for everyone due to the formula of the concealers, lasting power etc. Give it a go though, if it sounds up your street, or if you don’t want to splash out on the Laura Mercier high end alternative – it also makes a great handbag touchup product!

S x

Today’s Skincare Routine.

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Benefit refined finish facial polish (£18.50)

Clearasil deep cleansing toner (£2.53)

La Roche-Posay hydraphase UV intense riche (£16.50)

Quinoderm 5

Lush mint julips lip scrub (£5.50)

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My skincare routine stays pretty much the same most of the time, as the idea of changing it often doesn’t really sound like it’d do the skin much good at all… Due to the ongoing, dull winter weather at the moment, my skin is still suffering. It is so dry, however because naturally I have combination skin, during the day it can get quite oily – ugh. A couple of times a week, I will exfoliate, otherwise when putting on makeup it is just a nightmare, because it’ll be flaky and seriously dry! So what I have been loving to do this with is the Benefit refined finish facial polish, because it really leaves my skin squeaky clean. It leaves a smooth finish, especially as I like to leave it on the skin (after rubbing it in to erase any flaky dry skin) for about 5 minutes. The lady at the Benefit counter suggested I did this, and I really liked the way this technique worked.

After exfoliating, I apply toner on a cotton pad. I have been using the Clearasil deep cleansing toner for quite a long time now, and always find myself going back to it. It is really good for acne prone skin. With the help of this product, I find that I can really remove all the dirt and excess oil, and it also does a good job of tightening those pores!

The La Roche-Posay moisturiser is a fairly new one to my routine, however I have been really enjoying it so far. As my skin is combination, I need good moisture because it does get very dry, however my skin annoyingly also gets oily. This means that finding a super nourishing moisturiser that helps with dry patches, yet does not leave a ton of oil that will make my makeup literally slide off the following is difficult. This one, anyhow, pretty much does what I require! I first heard good reviews about the brand from A Model Recommends (Ruth Crilly) on her YouTube channel. I had high expectations, and was not disappointed. The product feels really light on the skin, has helped a lot with the dryness, and has not added excess oil. A winner, for me!

I have already spoken about the Quinoderm spot treatment products in my blogpost “Three Spot Treatments.”. I opt for the Quinoderm 5 not 10 on a daily basis because it is not so strong – it is still pretty effective however will not dry out my skin so much, seeing as it contains half the volume of benzoyl peroxide.

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I have really fallen in love with this lip scrub by Lush… First of all, it smells god damn delicious. Oh wait, it also tastes delicious! When I first heard about these (originally just the bubblegum and popcorn flavours) people said the rub it into their lips (as you do) and simply lick it off. To me this just sounded bizarre, and I assumed it was a personal preference type of thing. Nonetheless I went and bought one, as my winter cracked lips were simply in need of help! On the cute little pot, I read it and it actually directed that you lick it off! Suddenly it sounded even better. Apart from going on about how tasty a lip scrub is, it does actually work as a scrub – it easily removes and dry or flaky skin. Also I love how it is not messy, I had never really gotten into lip scrubs because they seemed a bit pointless. This one is quite a dry formula, and as you just lick it off, it really is no nonsense of bother.

I hope this was useful for some of you out there who are also under the condition of troublesome, winter skin!

S x

Feeling Under the Weather.

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It’s still that time of year & we’re all coming down with colds and flu’s, especially here in England where we all know winter, seems to be never ending. In the last few days I have been feeling pretty rough myself, so I thought I’d share with you all my essentials for the cold season, from skincare and makeup to ways to really relax.

So let’s kick this off with skincare. In the winter, cold or no cold, skin tends to get very dry and “dull”. When I have a cold, I really try to bump up the moisture levels in my skin – although this really does not happen overnight! Even though you’re not feeling your best, do try to maintain a good, constant skincare routine. Remember to exfoliate once or twice a week, so really get rid of all that horrible dry skin, and then I love to applyElizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Daily Moisturiser for Face. This is so rich and is the most effective moisturiser I have every used on dry skin. I know it’s pricey, but I would really recommend it if your dry skin is just not listening to anything else. Also I find myself applying hand cream pretty religiously as they get so dry in winter, especially when you have a cold… I guess.

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On this mission to make one’s skin appear healthier, and not suggest that you are pretty ill and incredibly tired, here are the makeup items I tend to reach for in such situations. Sometimes, shoving a load of makeup in the hope you will look presentable when feeling ill is the last thing you want to do. When the time comes that you really do need to look alive, awake and a bit more cheery, small amounts of effective makeup will work wonders.

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I have found the use of a brightening concealer under the eyes and on redness etc is really effective, just to lift the complexion form that dullness of a cold. Usually when my skin is dry I wear the Benefit porefessional primer, just act as a barrier between my skin and the makeup, and makes the foundation or concealer last longer with a smoother finish. Curling the lashes will really open up the eyes, and with added mascara on the top lashes only will really make you look awake. I have been loving the Sleek blush because the gold shimmer in it highlights the cheekbones as well as adding the pop of colour on the cheeks, really brightening up the skin – the perfect colour.

Last of all, the perfect remedy is to watch a good few episodes of your favourite TV series – I recommend Keeping Up the the Kardashians as it is so addictive, amusing and is on the channel E! so often. I also love Pretty Little Liars, although some may find this a little dramatic for chill time. Grab a cup of honey and lemon, or if in doubt a good old cup of tea, maybe even a biscuit to go with it and a hot water bottle.

Feel better if you are under the weather – if you’re one of the lucky ones and just feels pretty great, maybe you could use my suggestions another time…

S x

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Palette Alber Elbaz DO5.

I found this little beauty in Boots in the January sales (which are sadly coming to an end…sigh). Although it was limited edition, there are still Hypnôse Doll Eyes palettes available just without the pretty Alber Elbaz packaging and slightly different colours, yet similar enough!

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You can see just how gorgeous the packaging is. I was really lucky to pick it up in boots for just £18 or £19, down from the original price of all these palettes – £37. There are five beautiful colours, and unsurprisingly I chose the more neutral version as opposed to a more blue focussing one.

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All colours are shimmery apart from the black (top middle). It is a very versatile palette because one can easily make a classic, light and pretty day time look and also a smokey, dark and sexy night time look – all very flattering. For the day time I love putting the gold-ish colour (bottom middle) all over the lids, and the either one of the shimmery greys (far left or central middle), depending on how intense I want it, smudged along the lash line; followed by the highlight pink (far right) in the inner corners. For a more sexy, night time look, I’ll sweep either of the greys in the outer corner and crease on top of the gold, and smudge the matt black (top middle) along the lash line and sometimes to add further depth into the crease. Wow… sorry if I made that sound really complicated, it’s really not! I like how the tools that come with it (brush and double ended sponge applicator) are actually worth having, because there is also a mirror so if you really need to do it on the go, which, let’s be honest, does happen even to the best of us, you’ve got everything you need.

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I have really enjoyed using this palette, and will definitely be looking at more of these eyeshadows from Lancôme, as not only are they pretty, the quality is great and they are really pigmented – hopefully shown in the swatches above.

S x

Three Spot Treatments.

I think we’re all in search of the perfect spot treatment, that actually works consistently and quickly. Everyone’s skin is different, and will work differently with every product used on it. My skin is very prone to spots and blemishes, unfortunately! I have tried so many treatments – seriously. So many of them just did not do a lot at all, and what I often found is that they did the first stage, ie. changing from a sore red spot to a white head, and then just did nothing afterwards. These three products work for me more than any others I have tried, so I thought I’d share them with you.

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Origins super spot remover, Clinique anti-blemish solutions spot treatment gel, Quinoderm 10

For each of these three products, I usually just squeeze a little onto my finger, and rub it into the blemish. The Origins and Cinique treatments are gel formulas, and what I use on a daily basis. Whenever I get blemishes (which is pretty often!), they are always incredibly stubborn, so for me, no treatments will erase the blemish completely within a few days. These will help, and make them less visible, and usually eventually get rid of them. The Quinoderm cream is stronger, and something I use when I really need to get rid of a spot for any reason. The brand is not available very easily – I buy mine in local pharmacies, but it can also be purchased online. I think this is because it contains benzoyl peroxide, which is not used as often any more, probably because it is quite strong. I would not recommend this for sensitive skin as it would just be too harsh. There is a less strong version, Quinoderm 5, which would be less harsh on the skin.

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The Origins super spot remover is £14, the Clinique one is £14 too. Quinoderm 10 varies in price but should be less than £5, so very affordable, and in my mind, the most effective out of the three. The only reason I don’t use it on a daily basis (or the Quinoderm 5), is just so that I don’t dry out my skin. If you’re really struggling with blemishes, and like me, they really bother you, give any of these a go, especially the Quinoderm 10 or 5 because it contains the most effective ingredients.

I’d love to know if you have any spot treatments you’d like to recommend, so leave a comment!

S x