Valentine's day treats.

febbraio 09, 2017

Whether you like Valentine's day or the sighting of red hearts and stuffed animals is enough to ruin your mood for the whole week, you must agree it's the perfect opportunity to treat your loved ones and yourself to some beautiful goodies and new releases. As if we needed another excuse, right?
I've put together a quick post full of gift ideas that would be perfect to spoil yourself or a loved one with and of course as a last minute inspiration for the boyfriend.

For the beauty lover, anything Charlotte Tilbury is so lovely and would make for the best gift. Of course the limited edition lipstick Valentine - a romantic petal pink - is the obvious choice, but if you can spend a little bit more the new Instant look in a palette Seductive Beauty holds a total look for every occasion and it's also the best way to try a few different products from the range without breaking the bank. I think the gorgeous Magical mini brush set also deserves a mention, as it would be great for anyone that travels a lot or simply loves luxury brushes. This rose gold brush set is also super pretty and would be perfect for those with a smaller budget.

If you have a friend that loves taking long, decadent baths, Lush went above and beyond with the V range this year and has some of the best gift sets - my top pick is Love and Kisses, which is a nice all-rounder and contains the cream of the crop of this year's releases.
If you're after something smaller, Cupid Bath Bomb will please just about everyone with a pink explosion of raspberry and lime, although I believe that everyone deserves to be a unicorn every once in a while, so the gorgeous Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar is a must.

A lovely Jo Malone cologne is always a good idea if you feel daring enough to gift a fragrance, but personally I think candles are a much safer option and something that people wouldn't usually splurge on for themselves. Because I love fig scents, Diptyque Figuier is one of my all time favourites and something I recommend to everyone that loves fresh, springy fragrances, but I also have my eyes and nose on BYREDO Bibliotheque as I can't imagine anything dreamier than a candle that smells like leather bound books.

If you really want to treat someone to something special, a beautiful watch would go down a treat. For a bit of a splurge I'm totally smitten with Olivia Burton's designs, while for something not so fancy, I also adore this Asos rose gold number - the mesh bracelet looks so expensive - or this boyfriend watch, as I'm partial to big faces and leather straps at the moment.
Also, inexpensive dainty jewelry is always high on my lust list. And other stories is a good place to start for cute little pieces that don't break the bank but last over time - I just bought this ring and I got so many compliments for it -.

Books and stationery are always a fallback of mine, especially if I need a last minute gift. For the social media lover, Capture your style is a cute little booklet full of useful tips on how to improve one's Instagram platform, whilst Eat beautiful is a perfect option for anyone who loves healthy recipes and beauty tips, and The little book of Hygga is the ultimate pick for all couch potatoes out there. As for stationery, you can't go wrong with this cute Ooh Deer weekly planner, this marble notebook set or this very Valentine appropriate zip pouch. A nice pen is also a very thoughtful and unusual gift: I've received this gorgeous Swarovski Rose gold pen for my birthday a few days back and I'm seriously obsessed.

Let me know if you'll be picking any of these up, either for someone special or yourselves - I'm a huge supporter of the 'one for me, one for you' approach when it comes to gift giving...


Quick morning makeup.

febbraio 07, 2017

Even if my sleeping routine is much more regular these days, I still struggle with being a morning person and sometimes early starts can be a real nightmare. On those days my quick makeup routine really comes in handy and allows me to get ready and be out of the door in a handful of minutes. Having a look in mind is key to save time and mine is quite minimal and only requires a few products: it's all about a beautiful, luminous base and perky pinks to look fresh and awake.

I spend most of my time on my base, as it is the most important step for me - with a strong base you immediately look refreshed and put together, so it's definitely worth spending an extra minute on. Because my skin is dry, I like to start with some kind of hydrating and illuminating primer and for the last couple of weeks I've been testing out the Niod Photography Fluid, a lightweight serum-primer hybrid. It's enriched with corrective pigments that even out the complexion, and reflecting particles that make it look like you're carrying the light within your skin, like a real life instagram filter.
For foundation, I can always rely on the Nars Sheer Glow, which combines longevity and excellent buildable coverage with a flawless finish, and it's easy to apply and blend away with my beautyBlender.  As for concealer, I'm having another love affair with MAC Pro Longwear concealer, which is one of my all time favourites as it's perfect to cover both blemishes and under eye shadows, it doesn't look dry and lasts for days.

For that extra glow and definition, I reach for the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow. On an everyday basis I feel that proper contouring can be a little excessive and time consuming, but the golden hues in this palette are perfect to give structure to the face with a healthy, irresistible glow that still looks natural. I then dust a bit of Milani Romantic Rose Blush to add colour back into my cheeks, but I try to use a light touch as especially during winter my cheeks have a natural rosiness that can easily become redness, if I'm too generous with blush.

My brows have been looking quite full on their own recently and since they don't require too much attention, I simply brush them up and fill in any little gap with MAC Fling. As for eyeshadow, I've been completely obsessed with MAC Soba, a soft ochre brown shot through with a hint of golden shimmer that makes my brown eyes pop and gives the right amount of definition in just one quick wash. I finish the eyes off with a generous coat of the Lancome Hypnose Drama WP, which I just recently discovered and I'm really loving at the moment. The formula ticks all the boxes for me as it's extra black, adds lots of volume and holds the curl all day.
Last but not least, Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk is the perfect everyday shade, just a bit darker than my natural lip colour and with a dreamy matte formula that is long lasting, but nourishing and comfortable to wear at the same time.

This simple look usually takes me 5-7 minutes tops and it's uber easy to upgrade as the day goes by with a bolder lip choice - and you can bet I'll be able to find at least a couple options hanging around the bottom of my purse at all times. They like to pile up there for some reason.
What do you wear on a rushed day?


A few MAC essentials.

gennaio 24, 2017

It seems every beauty addict had a MAC phase at some point in her life - mine was at the very beginning, when I was itching to put literally everything to the test and therefore basically burning all my pocket money trying to keep up with their monthly releases -. Even if it's been quite some time since I bought that first pot of Studio Sculpt concealer that started everything, my love affair with them and their cult products is still going strong, hence this emergency shopping trip to the closest counter when I realized I was running low on a couple must haves.

As soon as my old bottle gave out the last spray, I had to race out to buy a new Prep + Prime Fix +. This super fine mist has been a staple in my routine for many years, because it has so many different uses and it's incredibly versatile - it's an hydrating primer and an alcohol-free setting spray, it's great to dampen your sponge for flawless foundation application or your brushes to increase the intensity of powder eyeshadows, but it also works as a makeup refresher to bring back to life old, cakey makeup. I can't be without it.
Speaking of multi-purpose products, I'm just going to blame Nettart for my next purchase, as before I stumbled on her IG account I never felt the need to dive into the oil trend. She uses Essential Oils for pretty much anything, from hydrating base to mixing medium to create all kind of gorgeous concoctions - try mixing a drop with Vanilla or Tan pigment and get ready to swoon. 

Of course, I had to get one of the new shades of Strobe Cream, which is another cult favourite I always go back to. It's a light, non greasy moisturizer with a fluffy consistency that is dreamy mixed with foundation for gentle all-over luminosity, but I simply adore wearing underneath my base whenever my skin looks dull and lacklustre, as it instantly gives it a healthy, non shimmery glow.  I went for Silverlite which gives a lovely pearly glow to the skin and looks especially good on fair skin tones, but I've made a mental note to go back for Goldlite very soon - you know I do love everything golden and champagne when it comes to highlighters.

I also picked up a bottle of Studio Waterweight Foundation, as I was looking for a less glossy but equally natural-looking alternative to the Face & Body foundation for my kit and I wasn't disappointed. I really, really like this foundation, it has the most beautiful your skin but better finish and on closer inspection you can't really tell you're wearing any makeup. It's a light to medium coverage offering, definitely more suitable for everyday wear and dry to combination complexions, and I find it's best applied with a damp sponge that allows to get the most out of the coverage, while foundation brushes tend to keep it on the sheer side. I wish there was a shade lighter than NC15 because this is still a little too dark for me, but other than that I can't really fault this base.

Finally, I've been meaning to jump back on the fake lash train lately, so I grabbed a Lash Applicator on my way to the checkout - this is supposed to make full-strip lashes application smooth and totally hassle free, thanks to its ergonomic shape. I haven't been wearing falsies in a while, but hopefully this little handy tool will help me get back into the swing of things.

Have you picked up anything from MAC recently?