I was gifted the Stila Color Balm lipstick in Natasha* recently; a smooth, fabulously pigmented browny red lipstick. Honestly, I didn't expect to like it much - I generally don't really get on with brownish lipsticks or even very pigmented ones. From the name Color Balm you wouldn't expect something so intense! 

I didn't manage to get a decent picture of me wearing it so there isn't one on the actual post - but you can click here if you must see it (plz excuse the state of my skin). I didn't capture the colour very well though! From my messy application (the bullet it super wide but also I'm terrible) I think it's safe to say you'd be better off using a lip brush or liner - or do what I do, which is dab a light layer over a coating of Rêve De Miel for a sheerer finish.

The colour is slightly cool-toned, (and like I've mentioned) a brownish, darknened red that is surprisingly flattering. I actually really like the lipstick though, the formula has just the right amount of sheen and the shade has definitely grown on me - It's also perfect for A/W and more specifically Christmas (just 92 days, guys)!

Ella xo

*PR sample

Moisturise Me


Although Caroline Hirons (aka Queen) thinks of moisturiser as the 'coat' in a skincare routine, and Lily Pebbles has been skipping it lately, I like good moisturiser! I also, coincidentally, find decent coats almost as hard to find as decent moisturisers. These three are wonderful, though.

The Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins cream is simply perfect. If you have normal-dry skin like me, that is.  To me it feels just like a blanket or a cup of tea does when you're cold... Heavenly. Layer it with Pai Rosehip Oil and you have yourself a dry-skin-fixing dream team. If your skin's a little more combo-oily, they also do an oil free version which I'm sure is just as wonderful!

Morning moisturiser is a little trickier. I want something that's neither greasy or tacky, but feels nourishing and doesn't sink in too quickly either. The closest I've come is with these two - the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief gel and Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet. The Clinique one is a little lighter, but it does provide some serious glow. I don't know what it is, but my skin just generally looks like better skin with this on! 

The Caudalie has an, um, interesting feel, it's not quite smooth and definitely has some texture to it. It's not gritty, though, and it all melts away when you massage the stuff into your skin. It's a little thicker and more nourishing than the Clinique, but still not quir=te enough for me! Please leave me recs below because I'm yet to find my HG day cream.

Ella xo

Face Of The Day #2


Just after taking these photos, I realised I only put mascara on one eye! Oops... I was trying out a new one that was pretty rubbish (Max Factor Clump Defy) so you almost can't even tell the difference anyway haha. If you're a fairly long term reader, you might remember the face of the day post I did absolutely months ago... As you might have guessed, it never really caught on. But I decided to continue it today, with actually a pretty similar makeup look. 

I popped some Nars Pure Radiant Moisturiser in Alaska over a couple of problem areas (dark circles & redness, mostly) because it's really fresh and dewy, but brightening rather than covering. Then I used my current obsession, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion, the most gorgeous glowy peach cheek colour - try saying that ten times fast! My eyes were kept simple with a lack of mascara plus Sidecar and Naked from my Urban Decay Naked Palette. Those two eyeshadows are perfect for everyday. I brushed a little Naked through my brows as well, it's not my normal brow colour but I had my Naked palette out already, and what can we say - I'm lazy! Finally I topped it off with a wash of the Clarins Lip Perfector in Apricot, my favourite balmy gloss.

Ella xo



Oh, Essie. I can't help falling in love with their colours! Wicked is my current obsession, and I have a feeling I'll be using this non stop until February. Vampy nail polishes in general are simply gorgeous at this time of year, but this one has an extra hint of black, which just makes it even more Uma Thurman-circa-Pulp Fiction. Apparently it's a good dupe for Chanel Rouge Noir, too, at under half the price! Me love.

Ella xo



I don't like baths. There, I said it. Lying around in a steaming pool of pink, foaming, (eventually) grubby water once a week or so just doesn't appeal! Five minute showers are more my kind of thing - and whilst I love a good pamper, most seem to be centred around some kind of sparkly, fizzing Lush concoction which, I don't know, isn't so "me" - so I've picked a couple of pampering products for those of us who just like to get washing done and skip on to the good bits! 

I've waffled on about the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa cleansing balm countless times, but it really is wonderful. Pricey, but wonderful! Sometimes, I'll apply a bit extra and leave it sitting on my skin for a few minutes before removing it, as a kind of nourishing, cleansing mask-thing. If you've never tried this stuff, get your hands on a sample and, trust me, you will be instantly converted! To be honest any cleansing balm would work for this step, but the EH one is my faaavourite.

I'm not exactly a candles girl, either. (I hate baths and candles - yep, let's do a post on pampering! #logic) Instead, I load up on body cream. I absolutely adore the Origins A Perfect World body lotion, mine is ancient so that's why it's in the old packaging if you're wondering! This stuff smells amazing, kind of like mango and with something else... Probably the white tea extract. It's ridiculously moisturising and doesn't take long to sink in either, although I'll be honest and say I don't actually mind waiting around for my body cream to sink in!

Do you like baths, or are you more like me, a shower person?

Ella xo

Forever Favourites


It's easy to get so caught up in trends and new releases that I forget to mention the products I pretty much use on a daily basis! These are the makeup items that make the cut every day.

Long term readers are probably sick of me waffling on and on about the original Urban Decay Naked Basics palette (did you know they've made a second version?). The shade Naked 2, as you might be able to tell, has been particularly well loved as I use it for my brows each day. The light beige-greige actually suits almost any brow colour, even though it looks far too light for me.

I haven't actually spoken about the Clinique Chubby Stick in Whopping Watermelon much, but I love it so much that I own three! It's the only baby pink lip colour that, I think, doesn't make me look ill, partly because it's so sheer and partly because it's just a lovely shade. Even though they've become a bit over-milked, chubby stick-shaped lip products are actually really useful!

Finally, the mascara to end all mascaras: Benefit They're Real. I've tried out the liner and remover and I hated them, but this has to be my all time favourite mascara, especially when it's dried out for a week or two. My first tube was actually my first ever 'high end' purchase!

What products do you turn to, time and time again?

Ella xo

Makeup Switch-Up


I don't know why I do it, but every season there's a few makeup products I bring in and out of my routine. I generally don't stick to trends when it comes to beauty, but there's something terribly wrong about navy nails in June - not that that stops me from wearing them anyway! But you get my drift.

Last year was the year of the berry/plum/cranberry - whatever you want to call it, deep purplish reds were in, whether that's for your nails, cheeks, lips or even lids. I quite like that kinda colour on me, so I'm just going to assume that the same will apply to A/W14! Every autumn, I dig out my well-loved Essie Sole Mate and do a full DIY mani pedi on myself - cuticle oil, Seche Vite, the works. Dark coloured nail varnishes are messy to apply, but if you spend enough time on them they look amazing.

For the lips there's so many options but one of the most striking is the Topshop Gloss Ink in Cruel, a stunning vampy purple. The formula is quite tacky and messy, and it's almost a little patchy too, but if you put the effort in (and maybe use a lip brush) it can look incredible, and it's the kind of shade that actually suits most people. Not that I'm brave enough to wear it out of the house outside Halloween though! The Bourjois Color Boost in Plum Russian is sheerer, balmier, and altogether much more wearable. I did a video on my YouTube channel where I swatched several autumnal lipsticks including these, so give it a watch if you'd like to see them on!

On my eyes, I don't stray too far from my usual bronzey-champagney neutrals, but using a base of the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Metallic Pomegranate adds some extra dimension and a little bit of 'je ne sais quoi'. Mine is getting a little dried out these days, but the pretty berry purple with gold sparkle is a lovely colour.

For the skin, I stick to my normal "as glowy as possible" mantra, except in Winter it's more to do with highlighter than any natural shine. The Topshop Glow Cream in Gleam (boy do I love Topshop's makeup products) is exceptionally pretty and blendable. Gleam is a gorgeous rose gold with slight hints of bronze, and whilst it's beautiful when I'm tanned, I need to try the shade Polished for when my skin is paler!

Do you change your routine when the nights get longer?

Ella xo
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