The Lazy Face

We all know the feeling - you have minus three minutes to get out the door and you've only just woken up. What do you do about makeup? More sensible people might skip it entirely in favour of, say, breakfast, but I like to slap something on my face as usually a late start = a previous late night = dark circles and tired eyes.

 For skin, a good concealer is the easiest cheat sheet. The Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is my favourite, but a cheaper option is the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer which is slightly more liquid-y. They're both really easy to blend and the Nars one gives excellent full coverage, although the Rimmel is more like light/medium. 
  Mascara is another essential, my makeup doesn't feel complete without it on. For full, long lashes in an instant I always turn to the popular Benefit They're Real. I really didn't like it at first, actually, but now it's dried out a bit it's become my current favourite mascara! 
The YSL Sheer Candy Lipsticks add a bit of luxury into a routine, all the while brightening up your face and adding a bit of glow. Plus, just look. at. that. packaging. I would really like to try more of these lip balm/colour hybrids as anything sheer for lips is right up my street! Dewy Papaya is the shade I have and I love it, I've been wearing it every single day for at least two weeks.

I'd normally leave it at that and just keep my fingers crossed that it's a good brow day! What are your speedy makeup secrets?

Ella xo

PS: Thanks so, so much for 100 followers!


Miracle Magic Drops

I'd previously heard a couple of things about the Bourjois Instant Dry Nail Drops but I wasn't entirely sure how they worked. I mentioned in my Pharmacie haul that I picked up a bottle in France, so I was interested to try it out and see if it lived up to the hype.

It's essentially a bottle of fast-drying top coat, but with a pipette applicator rather than a brush. After a base coat and two layers of colour, I squeezed out a drop or two onto each nail from about a 1cm height, and it kind of flooded my nail and cuticle with a weird slightly greasy substance. That sounds absolutely gross, but it's really not that bad - apparently it moisturises your cuticles as well as drying your nails. After about 20-30 seconds, I washed my hands, and the excess rinsed of easily. Be careful when towel drying your hands so you don't smudge your polish!

Then, after about 2 minutes, my nails were touch dry, and after 5 or 6, they were fully dry! I was really pleased with the results, especially as I used it over several coats of Essie Fiji, a notoriously slow dryer. If you're into nail art it would be perfect, as there's no chance of smudging your work with a brush. I'd really recommend this little bottle of goodness!

Ella xo


Pharmacie Purchases


I went to France again this summer, and had the loveliest time. In the middle of rural nowhere, there wasn't a whole lot of time for shopping, but I managed to squeeze in a few pharmacie trips here and there!

The first thing I bought was a bottle of Bourjois One Second Remover, it's become a kind of tradition that I buy one every time on holiday because I always forget to bring polish remover!I'm sure you've read plenty of reviews on this, so basically I just agree with all the positive ones. Another Bourjois thing is the Instant Dry Nail Drops, I have a review coming up in a few days so I won't go on about it too much. So far I do really like it though.

Moving on to more typical pharmacie items! I only bought one bottle of Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water because, as much as I like it, I've been using bi-phase removers a lot more recently as I've got back into loving Benefit They're Real. I also bought the Bioderma Hydrabio Exfoliating Cream, this is a repurchase for me. It's a lovely physical scrub for people like me who have sensitive, dehydrated skin and don't want anything too harsh, but I'm sure it would also work for lots of people.

The Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet is something I've wanted for a long while so I'm super glad I spotted it! I haven't used it much as I bought it towards the end of the holiday but so far I've found it works really well with the Pai Rosehip Oil in the evenings.

Finally, my most exciting purchase - and the only one I forgot to put in the photo, although it's shown in this post - the YSL Sheer Candy lipstick in Dewy Papaya. I've wanted a YSL lipstick since pretty much the dawn of time, but they were never really on the cards as £25 is a lot of money for a tinted balm. However, when I found mine in a little discount shop for around €15, I didn't even think twice about buying it there and then! It's such a gorgeous colour.

What's your favourite of my picks?

Ella xo


Sheer Perfection

YSL lipsticks are the most covetable, in my opinion. The shiny tubes and embossed logos just look and feel so high end, reflected in the steep price tag! On holiday in August I spotted a row of YSL Rouge Volupte Sheer Candy lipsticks in a little beauty shop in a tiny French town, and I couldn't resist the shade Dewy Papaya. It was much cheaper than the £25 I would have had to spend in the UK as well! It's extremely sheer but the beautiful soft peach colour looks very subtle and pretty, and it's also super moisturising. It looks really orange in the picture but I promise it's not in real life!

I'm in love with my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion at the moment. It's not as pigmented as I expected, considering the price. At first I found that really annoying (and still kind of do) but the low opacity does make it very easy to apply and blend without risking looking like Aunt Sally!

The Body Shop's Honey Bronzer in 02 is a product I've spoken about far too many times on this little blog, but I love it to bits! Before I tried it I was a bit of a bronzer-phobe, but it's so sheer and natural looking that you end up looking like you have a natural tan (in all the right places of course).

Do you prefer sheer or bold makeup in general?

Ella xo


Almost Dupes

Essie, as some of you may know, is my all time favourite nail polish brand. Their polishes are just so perfect! However, £8 a pop does feel a little steep, and not everyone has access to Essie, so I've come up with a few alternatives.

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine in Pomegranate (£3.99) is verrrry close to Essie Exotic Liras. They're both raspberry pinks with a smudge of red, and they both work all year round. I have to admit, though, Pomgranate can be a little thick and the brush isn't great compared to Exotic Liras. However, they're
both really nice polishes, and I lovelovelove the Barry M Gelly range in general.

Another Barry M Gelly is Rose Hip (£3.99), a gorgeous pastel pink very similar to Essie Fiji. Fiji is more of a pink tinted white than a pale pink, which I would look over if it wasn't for the fact that Rose Hip has a terrible formula. It's so streaky, and needs at least four coats, which is really unusual for the Barry m Glly polishes which are generally creamy and opaque. It's not as glossy as Rose Hip, but Fiji only needs two coats so I'd pick it over the cheaper option any day.

Essie Sole Mate is my favourite deep berry polish, it's a one coat wonder with a super glossy finish. There are loads of alternatives out there at 1/4 of the price, but nothing came close until I found Bourjois' 1 Seconde in Rouge Obscur (£5.99). It has the same opaque, shiny formula, and deep vampy colour. My one issue with it is that the brush on mine seems to have been cut unevenly, and there are some bristles longer than they should be, meaning it's quite hard to apply neatly. I haven't heard of other people experiencing this before, so I think I'd recommend the Bourjois over the Essie here, in the hope that you get a good brush.

Oh, Mint Candy Apple. It's been 'duped' so many times, but I actually think I prefer the alternative I found in the form of Maybelline Mint For Life (£4.09). Mint For Life has the same perfect balance of blue and green, but the difference is it contains more white, which in my opinion makes it more wearable and flattering. It's also got an incredibly long lasting formula (I'll admit Essie chips quickly on my without Seche  Vite) and perfect brush. I can't believe I haven't yet tried more from the range!

Finally, another one that's less of a dupe and more of a better alternative. Essie's Sand Tropez, meet Barry M Gelly Hi Shine in Lychee (£3.99). Lychee is the perfect nude for my kind of skin tone, it's as light and airy and fresh as beige gets. Sand Tropez does come close, but Lychee also has a glossier, more opaque formula that totally works in it's favour. If you're looking for a nude, skip Sand Tropez and head right over to the Barry M stand.

Would you go for the dupes, here, or the real thing?

Ella xo


Essie Starter Kit

I like to think of myself as a bit of an Essie veteran - I currently own around 22 of their nail polishes, excluding the hefty amount that I recently threw out! I'm fully aware that £8 for a nail polish may seem a little steep (if that's so, then shh, don't tell anyone, but I have a dupes post coming up!) but the quality of the formula and excellent brush make application an absolute dream. I've split some of my favourites by season, starting with spring.

Essie do pastels like no other. I couldn't leave out the cult classic Mint Candy Apple, the most gorgeous bright 'can't stop staring at my nails' type colour. Mint, like pale blue, is one of those colours that randomly just goes with everything, and don't get me started on pairing this shade with rose gold rings. Fiji is one of my all time favourites, in fact, I'm on my second bottle! Again, it seems to go with everything, and the 'is-it-pink-or-is-it-white' hue is a great alternative to nude when griege looks boring and white looks stark.

Fear Or Desire is not one for the faint hearted. It's a summery, punchy, orangey orange that unfortunately for pale girls looks sickly unless you have a tan or naturally medium/dark skin. However, on darker/tanned skin, it's incredible! I love it in summer as it's a real statement colour. Bikini So Teeny is another favourite, the gorgeous not-quite-pastel blue with lilac tones and silver shimmer sounds wrong but looks so, so right. Wear it with white, grey and tan or camel tones.

Watermelon seems to be out of stock everywhere, but I wanted something a tad more autumnal so I went for Exotic Liras. It's very similar to Watermelon, just with an
extra kick of berry which adds beautiful dimension. Have you been searching for the perfect burgundy nail polish? Well I've found your Sole Mate. Whilst you do most definitely need a base coat to protect against staining, this super hi shine one coat wonder more than makes up for that in it's formula.

Another one coater is Midnight Cami, essentially a poor man's After School Boy Blazer (aka for those of us not lucky enough to get our hands on that). It's a glossy deep navy with royal blue pearlescence that, surprisingly, doesn't take away from the beauty of the shade. I normally steer clear of shimmer in nail polish but here it works. Finally, I couldn't help including a glitter, my favourite glitters are mostly Topshop but Set In Stones is so lovely. It's from their Christmas 2013 collection but I've seen it in Boots and Debenhams very recently (as in last week). If you like glitter, you'll love this chunky silver explosion!

Have you tried much from Essie? What do I need to pick up next?

Ella xo


The Summer Playlist

I'm no music expert. I guess I just listen to stuff I like, makes sense really. I don't really have a particular genre I'm into either. There's a few songs I've been obsessed with recently though so I thought I'd share them!

Sam Smith • Lay Me Down
I think I'm in love with Sam Smith's voice! I've actually cried at this song on more than one occasion. There's just something about it! I need to buy the whole album ASAP as his voice is beautiful.

George Ezra • Budapest
 I'm becoming more and more obsessed with Mr. Ezra, I never skip past anything from his latest album songs when I'm on shuffle! This one is so addictive and I don't know, agh, I just love it. Give it a listen if you haven't already (why?!).

Crystal Fighters • You & I
If this isn't a summery tune, what is? Crystal Fighters are the ultimate summery-sounding band and this song screams out that festival atmosphere. It's a couple of years old but there's nothing to stop me from still loving it. It just gets me in a summery mood. I'm seriously obsessed with these guys at the moment!

Peace • California Daze
Peace must be one of my all time favourite bands, they got famous last year and have been churning out incredible tracks for the last few years too . This song is so Beatles-esque, I love it! The perfect relax-on-the-beach-in-the-sun song. It reminds me of last summer, one of my favourite years.

These are just a few of the songs on my Spotify favourites list, but please tell me what you've been listening to in the comments!

Ella xo

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