The Overnighter

This post has definitely been a long time coming- I introduced Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair into my evening skincare routine late last year, and I've been secretly hooked ever since. Anyway, here's the low down on what you need to know- and more importantly, why you need this in your life:

ANR is a lightweight serum/liquid hybrid intended to "addresses the appearance of all key signs of visible ageing, with innovative technology for more comprehensive and precise night-time renewal"- as taken from the Estee Lauder site. Although this is supposedly to combat signs of ageing, I find that using a couple of drops of this gently pressed into the skin every evening, either on it's own post-toner or mixed with oils/moisturiser, I wake up with really healthy-feeling, soft, plump skin. Which is hardly surprising as it does contain hyaluronic acid, which I'm usually kind of intolerant to, but in this I find it actually works a dream. 

EL do make a pretty big allegation about the formula, claiming it to be non-acnegenic. I've been suffering from some bad breakouts lately and this hasn't irritated my skin at all- if anything, I've found this to help reduce some of the scarring, especially when I mix it in with some rosehip oil. I've not previously found a product that makes such a great difference overnight but this really does, it does seem to noticeably 'repair' any concerns that I might have, particularly with long term use. 
Now this is some seriously pricey stuff, coming in at a whopping £48 for just 30ml but trust me on this one being a worthy investment- it lasts for absolutely aaaages and ages. I checked back to see how much was left after using it last night (I've been using it every night for about six months so expected to have used loads) but I've barely touched the surface with this one.

Have you tried out Lauder's famous ANR formula yet?

Life is an Adventure...

I have some exciting news that you'll already probably know about if you follow me on twitter, but I'm so excited about it that I thought I'd write up a post as well.. just to keep you informed. I'm going stateside guys! (In June.. so soon!)

I've been getting slightly disillusioned with my gap year- I originally planned to travel with friends but as they opted for university, I ended up getting into the routine of working and I knew that if I didn't plan something, it would lead to plenty of regrets- so after the initial panic of realising my passport would need to be renewed, I decided to just be completely impulsive and book everything up. 

Anybody that knows me is fully aware of how bad my anxiety has been for the last few years but having felt much less anxious over the past few months, I kind of wanted to plan this trip to celebrate that.. However, I am quite nervous as the trip brings with it a whole load of 'first's: I'll be flying out by myself and meeting up with a tour group out there (first time flying by myself, first long haul flight, first trip without family, furthest away from home, longest time away from home) and the trip is a 50/50 mixture between staying in a hotel and camping (first time camping, seriously not looking forward to that), but it's also my first time in the US- particularly LA, which is a place I've wanted to visit for absolutely aaaages, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Overall it's a long, long way out of my comfort zone, but hey- it'll be an adventure! Hopefully it will prompt me to book up some other trips to places on my wanderlust list (Western Cape, Sydney, Reykjavik). Anyway, if any of you guys have any advice on where to go/tips on flying solo/recommendations on any US beauty bits.. I hope you didn't think I'd go all that way and not pick up anything.. then please do let me know in the comments below or tweet me.

When did you last have an adventure?

Pay Day Purchases

I've been an exceptionally good non-spender lately but after a long, hard day a couple of weeks ago, I felt the need to pick up a few bits so here's a little haulage for y'all! (Okay, so I definitely can't rock a 'y'all')...

I made an order from Origins' a couple of weeks back, repurchasing High Potency Night-A-Mins.. I've recently posted about how much I love this so here's that review. Also, I used a tester of Modern Friction and was so impressed with it that I picked up the full size (there's a post to come but here's the jist: I'm aware manual exfoliators are supposedly no-go products, and this even contains SLS as I begrudgingly discovered post-use, but just bear with me on this one. I have my reasons!).

A couple of books from Amazon made their way to my house; I'm a sucker for facts, and for sleek layouts, so me buying Information is Beautiful was kind of inevitable. I actually picked this up for Mother's Day but I have a feeling I'll want one for myself too.. it's basically a bunch of statistics that have been laid out in 'beautiful' diagram form. A Storm of Swords Part I also turned up, I'm completely obsessed with the [book] series at the moment- they're incredibly well written.

I've only had Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 for a few days now so I need some more time to gather my thoughts, but immediate impressions: I can't smell anything at all when it's on, except for perhaps a very light cedar scent. My boss commented that the office smelt of soap and my mum said that she thought it was like sweet violets- I freaked out because Parma violets are my least favourite scent ever but she assured me it wasn't like that- either way, neither of them have particularly refined noses. Hopefully I'm not one of the unlucky ones that it doesn't smell nice on, it's surprisingly frustrating not having any idea what you smell like!

I hadn't previously bought anything from Boohoo but having had a surf of the site, I couldn't resist picking up a couple of bits- I'm not going to do a separate post though, so here are some brief reviews: Firstly, I went for this turtleneck t-shirt dress; I picked it up in both colours and found the neck hole to be really teeny tiny, but the overall dress to just look huge and billowy on me- returning! Now that we're coming into spring, jeans are starting to feel a bit heavy so I picked up some black thick leggings- these are super opaque and feel structured but also really comfortable (mine had a tiny hole in but it wasn't worth sending them back for, nothing a needle and thread can't handle!), I also picked up this skort, again in black, and I really like it, it's not too short and really pulls an outfit together. My favourite buy has to be this baseball tee, I'll definitely be picking up some more of these style tops, they are incredibly soft and very easy to wear- I went for a size bigger than usual because that's what the model was wearing and it looked like a nice fit but in future I think I'll just order it in my normal size.

Are you partial to the odd pay day splurge?

Pixi Glow Tonic Revisited

Pixi Glow Tonic is back, and it's all kinds of new: new packaging, new online accessibility, new US shipping.. The only thing that hasn't changed is the formula. So theoretically there's no reason why I should be doing another review of this, but my skin has changed. The last time I reviewed this, I was on antibiotics so it seemed as though every product I used was working wonders for my skin, but having stopped taking the antibiotics, my skin broke out like crazy (it's very slowly beginning to recover), so it's reacting differently to all of the products I had been using.

I've been using this every night- that's right- in the evening immediately post cleanse, and I've been waiting for around ten minutes ish for it to begin working its magic, before going on top with treatments, oils, moisturisers and the like. Unlike when I first used this (whilst on antibiotics), this time around, Glow Tonic doesn't feel like a gentle 'nibbling' sensation, I actually found it to make my face feel quite itchy and uncomfortable (which is probably exactly how acid toners are supposed to make you feel), but having persevered, this didn't last for too long and now my face has completely adjusted and the temporary itchiness is gone.

Fortunately, the results of using this remain unchanged, it really does help with rough patches, brightening the skin, cell renewal, the sloughing of dead skin cells.. it's effective where all of those are concerned. Since I've resumed using this, I must admit gradually seeing a difference in my skin- it's no overnight wonder product, but it's a staple of my skincare routine. Scarring is currently quite a big skincare concern of mine, and I even find this to help out with some of that!

If you fancy testing out Pixi's cult classic Glow Tonic, then it's £16 from the flagship London store, or equally you can pick it up online now- delivery charges are applicable. 

The Sunday Post: Weekly Round-Up #3

The lovely Oxford // Metcalfe's have got it going on.. // You'll find me behind the camera for now // Gorgeous blue skies outside

Product of the week: It's easy, this one. Pixi Glow Tonic has been a total babe product this week. I've been using it nightly to help smooth out my poor skin (my forehead issues are finally on the turn, but my chin/jawline are just completely breakout central), and it's been working a dream. I've got the newly repackaged version and the lowdown- coming to you in a post soon.

Added to the list: As mentioned, I've had a really awful skin week- don't do antibiotics kids, they ruin your skin so badly- so after watching Anna's video this morning, I'm convinced that I need to pick up Alpha-H's Liquid Gold and Pai's BioRegenerate Rosehip Oil.

Top Listen: Don't Wait by Mapei has just been on repeat all week, it's great for pre-sleep listening, some getting ready music, a long car journey jam.. you name it. It's just so catchy and the production of the track is on point.

Blog of the Week: I've got to hand it to my girl Allison, her blog is just awesome. I think it recently had a layout makeover (which is totally enviable), plus she has really been bringing her whole blogging game and I'm loving it! Can I just, like, have your face? (also totally enviable).

A Life Snippet: I'm so excited to be moving to Oxford in a few months. I visited the city for the first time yesterday and just loved it, so I came straight home and firmed my university offer (it was unconditional so I'm definitely going- eek!). It was an added bonus that the sun was out all day and the weather was just really gorgeous- I think we're finally coming into spring!

What have you been loving this week?

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpt

Sometime last year I shared with my 'Brow Kit' with you guys, a routine that involved a mix of two different shades of brown eyeshadow with a slim angled brush. Then I met the Hourglass Arch and things kind of changed. A lot.

Using the Hourglass pencil just makes everything so incredibly effortless; just a couple of swipes through the brow and you can be out the door before you know it! I have the shade Soft Brunette for anybody wondering, and I have naturally very dark brown brows, but I've always known that it's better to go a shade lighter for filling in the brows rather than a shade darker (unless you're rocking an Emily Weiss platinum effect, in which case, go crazy with the darker shades). I was, however, slightly worried that this would be too light and wouldn't show up but it's actually the perfect shade. It provides a very cool-toned ashy brown that would suit a whole range of people, and the final look is so natural. It's not a messy kind of wispy natural either, you can really make things very neat and structured whilst keeping it subtle (everyone will think that you've just been blessed with amazing brow genes).

The spoolie on the other end makes it ten times easier to keep unruly brows in check, and using it to comb through brows pre and post-pencil helps to remove  any excess and more evenly distribute the wax. From a price point, at £26 you might say that this is on the pricier side of things but it will last for a long time and is so handy and convenient that it's definitely worth it (for me). If you wanted to play the field, Anastasia's Brow Wiz is similar with a finer nib, and Soap & Glory's new Archery offering looks pretty snazzy too.

Have you got any thoughts on the Hourglass Arch?

The Perfect Peachy Pink

You might recall that at the end of last year, I treated myself to a few things that then became a Beauty Haul #2 post. During that pre-Christmas spree, I picked up Urban Decay's Revolution lipstick in the shade 'Streak', and it definitely didn't disappoint. (caution readers: this post could induce mega swoon, followed by an impulse purchase that you will not regret)

The formula for these lipsticks is undoubtedly the best I have ever tried, and if you know me, you'll know that I've tried a whole bunch- these win hands down. Creamy, smooth, easy and quick to apply, the colour lasts for a good while but fades very evenly. This shade in particular is just the perfect peachy pink (hence the title), and has well and truly been steering me away from any bolder, vampy lips of late. I can't even stress how lovely and simple this colour is to wear, it just really enhances your lips without drawing too much attention or being one of those 'oh my god I went out of the lines- where's the Bioderma?!?!?!' panic-inducing shades, but it's noticeable enough to attract compliments. Oh, and the packaging is just so sleek it makes my heart flutter a little every time I pull it out of my bag to apply.

It's safe to say that, Urban Decay, I am well and truly in love with this range of lipsticks. I'm on the hunt for more. And more. And more. In fact, I probably won't stop until I'm in possession of the entire collection. Besides, they're an absolute steal at £15 from Debenhams (they're sometimes on sale), so they aren't even too naughty a purchase!

What are your favourite Peachy Pink lipsticks?