5 tips for a long lasting base.

dicembre 30, 2016

Whether you struggle with shine day-to-day or simply want to make sure that all the extra effort you put in your party makeup doesn't go to waist, we all agree that one of the biggest struggles of any beauty lover is not only achieving the perfect base, but also making sure that things hang around for as long as possible. Long wearing formulas only go so far and application is what really makes the difference, so today I'm sharing my top tips for a base that lasts, along with some of my favourite products for special occasions.

MIND THE SKIN PREP - A correct skin prep is key for a long lasting base that doesn't look cakey and stays flawless through out the day or the night. Exfoliating the night before a big event is always a good idea and the Pixi Glow Tonic never disappoints: it makes quick work of dead skin cells and dullness, whilst still being kind to sensitive complexions.
The next essential step is moisturizing and unfortunately this is not as easy as it sounds. The right product will keep your skin perfectly balanced for the whole day, but something too nourishing can make your makeup greasy and unstable, while a product that is not sufficiently hydrating will leave your skin patchy and make foundation and concealer hard to blend. The Caudalie SOS Thirst Quenching Serum is a firm favourite of mine and a true godsend for dehydrated skin, as it sinks in so quickly and keeps the water levels in check all day. I seriously cannot function without this stuff during wintertime. As for the eyes, I have repurchased the Kiehl's Avocado Eye Treatment countless times, as it's like a tall glass of water for the skin and by far the best eye cream to keep my peepers hydrated all day and make my concealer go on and last so much better.

MIX YOUR PRIMERS - One of my favourite things to do is play with my products, mixing and combining different ones to create the right concoction for my skin, and this technique works especially well with primers. For instance, my skin is quite dry around the edges and on the cheeks but normal on my nose and chin. Something like the Becca Priming Filter is ideal to add a touch of glow in those drier areas and create a smooth canvas for the following steps, while a drop of Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer on my nose helps keeping my base intact till cleansing time. For serious oil control on those problematic areas, the Make Up For Ever Mattifying Primer is the bomb, as it's pretty much bullet proof and will keep you opaque even during the wildest parties. Trust me on this one.

SATIN IS THE WAY - You know me, I love my glow and on a daily basis I tend to gravitate toward luminous and dewy formulas, but unfortunately those are not always the most long lasting. However, a flat, matte base is not necessarily the only choice left: in fact, satin formulas are a great compromise between longevity and natural finish and when paired with the correct application, they can last just as long as an opaque option. Thin layers last so much better that one thick lump of products, so layer your base carefully, only adding extra coverage where needed. Finally go over everything with a damp sponge to press it really well into the skin, taking away any excess product. My go-to choices for long days and special events are the Nars Sheer Glow and the Charlotte Tilbury Magic foundation, as they both have great longevity and have a gorgeous lit-from-within finish. Both are also free of any spf, so go on and snap the evening away without fear.
Concealer wise, the Urban Decay Naked Skin and the Nars Radiant Creamy are the perfect pair: the former is especially good for blemishes and redness, 'cause it leans more on the matte side of things and doesn't budge, while the latter is the best full coverage option for those nasty dark circles and since it's so luminous, it lifts and brightens the eye area in a blink.

DON'T OVER-POWDER - I have to admit, I've never been on board of the 'baking' bandwagon. Sure, it sets the base and looks good in picture, but in real life it can look really heavy and ageing, especially under the eyes. Personally I much prefer buffing my powder into the skin with a super soft brush: you end up using less product this way and by pushing it right into the foundation, you'll lock your base in place and keep shine at bay for longer. The Chikuhodo Z4 Cheek/Highlight and the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish truly is a beauty match made in heaven and the perfect combination to achieve a flawless, airbrushed finish within seconds.
To be extra safe, don't forget a light spray of Urban Decay All Nighter that will seal your base and keep you matte for hours, while if you need to tone down the powderiness, a sprinkle of Mac Fix+ is perfect to instantly refresh cakey makeup.

CLEAN YOUR BRUSHES - I can't stress this enough, the right tools are essential for a professional result but a dirty brush can do more harm than good. Old product caught between the bristles can make application cakey and uneven, and because the fibres pick-up the natural oils from your skin, by putting those oils back on your base, you could cause premature shine and ruin all your hard work. Zoeva offers great quality affordable brushes and beautiful sets, so if you're looking to expand your brush collection without breaking the bank, check them out. How gorgeous is the Rose Golden Luxury set Vol. 2? Let's take a minute to swoon.

Do you have any tips for making your base last longer?


Lush Christmas 2016 picks.

dicembre 24, 2016

Who doesn't love a little bit of Lush on Christmas time? No one, that's who. To be fair I don't know anyone that wouldn't be happy to get some gorgeous bath goodies all year round, but there's something extra special about the Lush Holiday range that makes it absolutely irresistible. This year I felt particularly spoilt for choice and together with some old favourites, I've discovered some delightful numbers that made me wish I could buy the whole store and be all stocked up for the whole year. Read on if you want to find out what my top picks are.

Snowcastle - the old Snowcake soap bar - is a classic that never gets old and a truly must have for anyone struggling with dry skin during winter time. It's creamy and seriously moisturizing, bringing relief to thirsty skin and leaving your hands and body incredibly soft. Another favourite is Sleepy body lotion*, a limited edition release that I hope will soon become a regular product. This dreamy moisturizer infused with soothing lavender is a good night of sleep in a pot and something I love applying right before bed to feel extra relaxed. This is definitely one I need to hoard for any sleepless night ahead.

Every year I pick up a new lip scrub and this time around the winner is Sugar plum fairy. With hints of orange and grape, this smells and tastes exactly like the fruit jellies I used to eat as a kid and leaves my lips super smooth and ready for color. Lush lips scrubs are the ultimate essential if you struggle with chapped lips but still want to wear bold or matte lippies, and because a little goes a long way, they seem to last forever.
You can't go wrong with shower gels and the new entry Bubbly*, with the explosive scent of orange and lime, is the perfect companion to start the day with an energizing and uber refreshing shower, but if like me you can't resist the aroma of freshly picked juicy apples, Santa's belly shower jelly is the way to go. Love this one!

Shoot for the stars* wins the crown for the prettiest bath bomb of the year, with its deep blue water and beautiful golden stars made of cacao butter floating around the bathtub and slowly melting to leave the skin nourished and super soft. If you can't choose between bubbles and the show of a bath bomb, you will surely adore Never mind the ballistics. It's probably the least Christmassy of the bunch but is so pretty, swirling around in spirals of hot pink and yellow creating a soft creamy lather, while filling the room with the intense scent of banana candies. I'm definitely going to buy a couple more of these as soon as the sale begins.

Finally, year after year the gorgeous bubble wands end up stealing the show, and this Christmas is no exception. Not only they're extra cute and very instagrammable, but because they're reusable, somehow it feels like I'm getting my money worth even more. The Magic of Christmas is a firm favourite of mine that never fails to cheer me up, as I love the festive combination of almond and cinnamon, while Santasaurus* is a lovely option for the ones that prefer fruity scents. What is Christmas without an adorable dinosaur wearing a Santa hat, after all?

Are you a Lush fan? What's your favourite Holiday release?
*Press samples