Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Beauty | 5 Everyday Glosses I'm obsessed with


It's no secret I'm a lip colour obsessive and currently my addiction is of the gloss variety. I tend to go for a more natural look in general so I always gravitate towards neutral shades. It's often hard for me to pick just one favourite (of anything) so here's 5 I'm obsessed with.


Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Moscow Mule (£15/4.2ml) 
I picked this gloss up on a whim whilst browsing the plethora of makeup in Sephora whilst in New York. Without knowing much about the brand I felt the urge to buy it which is unusual for me as I tend to research something to death before I part with my coins. This is a glassy gloss - no glitter or shimmer - and it has a plumping effect so it leaves a slight tingle on the lips. My lips are naturally full but this does make them more plump. The colour pay-off on my deep-toned lips is subtle and natural-looking.

Glossier Lip Gloss in Transparent (£11/4.2ml)*
The ultimate super shiny transparent gloss. I've talked about my love for this already in a separate post exclusively on Glossier products so I'll keep this short and sweet. It's hyped for good reason. My lips feel like butter with this on and it lasts pretty darn well (for a gloss).

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminzer in Fenty Glow (£16/9ml)
Another I've already gushed about in my Fenty Beauty review back in September which was love at first swatch. It's described by the brand as universally flattering and the *ahem* 'unicorn of nudes' which is a mighty claim but the Fenty gloss does not disappoint. It's a non-sticky, long-lasting, shiny, slightly shimmery, rose-tinted bottle of pure genius (hence my infatuation).

INC.redicible Glazin Over Intense Colour Lip Glaze in #weekend (£8/3.4ml)*
The newest member of my lip gloss arsenal and the most opaque of the products here. I love this most as my lips are two-toned and this shade is pigmented enough to even out the tone and still look natural.

Ciaté London Liquid Chrome Lip Gloss in Nova (£15/3ml)*
The liquid chrome gloss has a lot more impact than the others featured here as it has a golden metallic feel. This particular shade Nova has the chrome effect but is still super wearable for everyday and gives makeup looks a pop without feeling too over done.


Top left clockwise - bare lips, Glossier, INC.redible, Fenty Beauty, Ciate and Buxom


*samples - read my disclaimer here.


Lesley x

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Style | Stradivarius Knit Co Ord


Co Ord - Stradivarius | Watch - Olivia Burton | Bag - ASOS* | Sneakers - Nike via ASOS 


*sample - read my disclaimer here.


Lesley x

Sunday, 29 October 2017

The UK just got Glossier


Glossier started shipping to the UK earlier this month through their website and as they have their own warehouse here there's no long waits for deliveries or customs charges. The time to freak out is now.

I've already given a quick run-down of the brand in this post but in short there's two important things you need to know about Glossier. Skincare is essential, makeup is secondary. Founder Emily Weiss has created a brand that's beauty stripped back with products that are easy to use in a simplified regime.

The products are good quality, neatly packed (hello pink-accented packaging) and the pricing is fair for the quality. Each product is designed to enhance your natural beauty - it's intended to be killer skincare and products to nail that 'no makeup makeup' look. Whilst the range is small there's still over 20 products to explore (and that's not counting the different shades) so I've been trying to really get to grips with as much of the range as possible over the past couple of months to really suss out what's worth purchasing.


The skincare

I've always taken a simple approach to skincare. My ideal is an uncomplicated routine with quality products which work the way they claim they will. So far I feel like Glossier deliver on those aspects but I feel like they're targeted mostly to a particular skin type - dry with not many other skin concerns.


Milky Jelly Cleanser (£15/177ml)*
It's a pH balanced gel cleanser to remove impurities without irritating or drying out the skin. Interestingly it contains poloxamer which is a mild cleansing agent found in contact lens solution - so this product is safe to use around the eyes to remove eye makeup. It feels so gentle on the skin, leaving it fresh and clean afterwards but without that squeaky, tight feeling. It's a good cleanser but it's not the best makeup remover. I've found removing my mascara separately first is easier. I also always double cleanse in the evenings to ensure all traces of my makeup are gone, so I often use this after another cleanser.

Priming Moisturizer (£18/50ml)*
It's stated to provide the ideal base for skin before makeup. It contains hyaluronic acid and mushroom plant extract to add moisture and plump the skin for a dewy finish. Tea and honey also soothes redness and calms the skin. It's a very hydrating moisturiser with a lightweight texture which you can build up as much as you need. It isn't tacky - it just leaves the skin soft and smooth. I like it but not enough for it to replace another 2-in-1 priming moisturiser I use from another brand which feels lighter and more ideal for my oily-prone skin.

Super Pure Serum (£24/15ml)*
Glossier has 3 skincare serums, the Super Pure contains niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and zinc which soothes redness and helps remove impurities as it's primarily for breakout-prone skin. I've now been using this instead of a couple of other products I have containing vitamin B3 for the past couple of weeks but I still think it's too early on to tell how much of an impact this serum has had yet. With other similar products I've seen decent results on congested skin but nothing extraordinary. I still get spots, they're just not lingering around as long as they can do so I'm hoping this serum will give better results.


Soothing Face Mist (£15/118ml)*
I use a lot of face mists to prep skin before moisturising and to refresh during the day. It's key ingredients are rosewater, aloe vera, honeysuckle and glycerine which work together to hydrate and smooth the skin. This feels fresh on the skin, quite tingly and has a subtle herbal scent. I like it but I have other face mists which I'd use over this.

Balm Dotcom (£10/15ml)*
This is a multi-purpose balm for chapped and dry skin. I have a lot of very similar products but I've been using this more as it's not overly shiny. It's great for softening dry areas but I tend to only really use these types of balms on my lips. I mostly apply a thick layer before bed and when I wake up my lips feel so smooth. The original version is what I've been using most which is unscented / unflavoured but it's available in Coconut, Rose, Cherry, Mint and Birthday too. I picked up the latter recently and as it's inspired by Milk Bar's cake it's smells like vanilla and it contains a subtle shimmer, need I say more?

Moon Moisturising Mask (£18/90ml)*
It's a hydrating treatment formulated with sweet almond oil, plant-based squalane, and hyaluronic acid. I use masks regularly for a serious skin pick-me-up and I have so many I love that this had big competition. I've tried this mask 3 times, twice after exfoliating with the PMD* (a device which sloughs off dead skin cells from the outer most layer of the skin) and this was the perfect combination. Each time I applied a thick layer onto damp skin. The product is creamy but gradually seems to sink into the skin after 20 minutes. After rinsing thoroughly my skin is always the softest I've ever experienced after using any kind of mask and I'm so impressed with this product I'd definitely buy it when it runs out.


The Makeup

Throughout the summer I adopted a minimal makeup routine and I felt like my skin was generally less irritated and looked better for it. Most days I skipped foundation and tried to stick to using just the below products and a bit of mascara. My makeup was nothing over the top and the goal was always just beautifully glowing skin - sounds simple but difficult to nail without the right products.


Haloscope Highlighter in Quartz (£18/5.5g)*
I have nothing like this dual-formula stick. The outer ring contains crystal extracts (yes you read that correctly, actual crystals) and the oil core contains vitamins and moisturisers. It's the ideal non-glittery highlight for that dewy, lit from within effect. It looks absolutely beautiful swiped onto bare cheekbones - which is mostly how I wore it during the summer. Now it's colder I've been wearing foundation more often again and I find the Haloscope shifts around anything underneath if applied straight from the stick so I prefer to dab it on with my fingers. The result is a subtle glow and I really love that it's not immediately obvious I'm wearing this. This shade Quartz is probably the most universal but there's also Moonstone ideal for lighter skintones and Topaz for darker skintones.

Stretch Concealer in Dark (£15/5ml)*
It's referred to as 'stretch' concealer as it contains micro waxes which are meant to move with your face so there's no cakiness. It feels flexible on the skin and ultra moisturising that it leaves skin dewy-looking after application. This does settle into my smile lines and creases but I always find this with makeup products so I think it's a lot to do with how I apply and set products. I have a dark scar on my jaw currently and it does cover it well but at the height of summer in London (which is pretty sticky and humid) I found this slipped around on my face and didn't really set so that's just something to bear in mind. Now my skin is drier and it's colder outside it's ideal.

Boy Brow in Black (£14/3.12g)*
I've been filling my brows in less and less lately, especially if I'm wearing my hair down as my hair covers them anyway. I like my brows to still be groomed however so this makes them look a little more polished and softly fills in some of the gaps and sparse areas. It seems very similar to Benefit's Gimme Brow which I've been using for the past couple of years but I've found myself reaching for Glossier's Boy Brow instead.


Generation G Lipstick in Leo (£14/2g)*
It's the lip colour for that just blotted look and uniquely both matte and sheer - not a combination I've seen together. The shade Leo is a warm cocoa brown and can be worn be different skintones as the sheerness of the product means your natural lip colour is visible and affects how the product looks on. My lips are naturally dark purple/brown around the edges and pink in the middle and this shade makes the tone of my lips more even. The result is super subtle but I really love the way it enhances my lips without it being obvious that I even have anything on.

Glossier Lip Gloss (£11/4.2ml)* 
Glosses have been my weakness recently and I love that this gives my lips a super shine without being sticky or glittery. My lips feel buttery soft with this on - thanks to the Vitamin E in the formula - and it lasts well too even throughout eating and drinking.


Overall most of the makeup products were winners for me - they're easy to use and deliver on the type of look I like to create on a daily basis. With the skincare the emphasis is moisture - ideal but I feel there are better options out there which are more tailored to oilier skin types. I'll continue to use most of what I have but the only skincare product I'll be purchasing with absolute certainty in the future is the Moon Mask and I've already picked up the Birthday edition of the Balm Dotcom. I've also recently bought more of the makeup - the Cloud Paint blush in Dusk and the Perfecting Skin Tint (foundation) - but as these are still new I'll review them as I get to use them more in the next few months.


*Samples - read my disclaimer here.


Lesley x

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Style | #FAMyWay



Foot Asylum Womens recently challenged me to style my own look for their FAMyWay campaign. The campaign is all about encouraging women to express themselves through streetwear and has championed a number of female creatives in the process. 

 I often style myself from the shoe up so with this look I started with a pair of burgundy platform Old Skool Vans. The colour screams Autumnal to me so to carry this through the rest of the look I mixed it with a pair of Glamorous heritage check dungarees. As the dungarees have an exposed detailing at the sides I added a classic Kappa logo tee underneath to complete the outfit and keep the streetwear influence.

You can see more snaps from the shoot and read the full interview on Foot Asylum Womens' blog 'The Lowdown' here



If you fancy bagging yourself a £250 gift card and a pair of sneakers from Foot Asylum Womens simply upload a snap of yourself look using the #FAmyway on Instagram and follow @footasylumwomens. The competition ends 16th October and the winner will be announced 17th October (please see the Foot Asylum Womens website for all the Ts&Cs)

Photography - Foot Asylum Womens

*This is a sponsored post - read my disclaimer here.


Lesley x

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Style | In transition


It's not quite layering season just yet and (if you hadn't guessed already) any situation including sun is my ideal. I've been soaking up every minute of the warm Autumn air and trying to be outdoors as much as possible as I know when Winter rolls around I'll be in hibernation mode. Today's look is typical roaming attire - tee, bottoms and sneakers but with a slight nod to the season we're in with AW17 all the about the heritage check. Expect more posts featuring 'Prince of Wales' (Glen Plaid) pieces soon - I love to wear these patterns this time of year.

Tee - Lee Jeans via ASOS | Trousers - New Look | Sneakers - Nike via ASOS | Watch - Shore Projects*




*sample - read my disclaimer here.


Lesley x

Monday, 25 September 2017

Fenty Beauty


Hot on everyone's lips lately has been the latest addition to Rihanna's growing empire - Fenty Beauty. In her own words her aim was to create a makeup line in which “women everywhere would be included.” The most impressive (and talked about) aspect of the brand is that Fenty Beauty launched with 40 foundation shades which aim to deliver across the spectrum from very pale to dark skintones. Why is this such a big deal? Most established brands only carry 10-20 shades and often there's only a couple of shades at either end of the spectrum. From what I could find MAC, Lancôme and Estée Lauder are amongst a very small number of brands which have 35+ shades and this is usually for their most popular foundations. For a first launch Fenty Beauty has set the bar very high by simply catering to tones constantly forgotten about by the beauty industry as a whole. It's not hard to see why then that Fenty Beauty has become the brand that everyone is talking about.

The launched contained predominantly foundations, concealers and highlighters with a primer, a few tools and blotting products. I ordered Fenty Beauty products when they first dropped in the UK on the 8th September from Harvey Nichols (where it's exclusively available) and I tried to only order products I genuinely thought I'd use regularly. I spent £140 in total which got me 7 products. I've been wearing most of the products daily since so whilst they're still pretty new to my beauty routine I've been using them enough to give some detail on how they perform.


Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 310 (£26/32ml) 
I've tried a lot of new foundations this year and the Pro Filt'r is my favourite. The packaging is solid with the foundation contained in frosted glass with a pump for easy dispensing. I ordered my shade without swatching in-store and there's been long queues around the corner of Harvey Nichols just to take a look at the products! My selection of 310 seems like the best match but it's not perfect and I might have to grab 300 as my skin is already getting paler as the weather gets colder. Shade 310 is made for tanned skin with very warm undertones. The foundation dries slightly darker on the skin than it looks as a liquid (so I'd suggest getting a lighter shade if you're deciding between two) but I haven't noticed any oxidising (turning orange after mixing with the skin's natural oils) after it's initially dried down. The coverage is described to be medium to full but it feels more like a medium to me as it covers dark marks and redness well but not completely. The finish is skin-like and there's no cakiness even when building up the coverage. I've found it lasts really well on my oil-prone skin - especially as I rarely use powder on my face currently and tend to go heavy on the moisturiser - but as with any foundation it lasts far longer when applied after a primer.


Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (£16/9ml)
The Gloss bomb is currently the one and only lip product within the Fenty Beauty line and I of course had to have it. The gloss comes in a hexagonal-shaped package with reflective lid and the large doe-foot wand applicator makes the product easy to apply. It's intended to be universally flattering and the sheerness of the pink means it can be worn by any skintone. I love gloss and this rosy-toned lip luminizer is super shiny without being sticky and it's scented like fruity sweets (very similar to the LimeCrime Diamond Crushers).


Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife (£26/8g) and Duo in Mean Money / Hustla Baby (£26/2x3.5g) 
Being a highlighter junkie, I've tried a lot of great products and let's just say my expectations are always high. There are currently 6 Killawatt compacts currently, 2 of which are single shades and the other 4 are duo compacts. All of the powder highlighters come in white packaging which has tiny holographic glitter in complete with a mirror in the lid. Possibly the most talked about product from Fenty Beauty is Trophy Wife, a glittering green-gold highlight, which you can probably spot from space. I wanted to really love this highlight but on the cheeks it's far too intense for me as it's so pigmented and glittery it's really hard to tone down. I won't be using it as a highlight for that reason but it looks gorgeous on the eyes. It's a different story with the Mean Money / Hustla Baby duo compact which contains two champagne-toned highlighters which are my ideal. The product is so soft and easy to build up or sheer out. Mean Money is a sheen which is more subtle on the skin suited to everyday use whereas Hustla Baby is much more intense. Both highlights are shimmery with an almost iridescent feel to them. Of the two I've been reaching for Hustla Baby most and I tend to just apply it on my cheek and brow bone.


Match Stix Trio in Tan 300 (£46/3x7.10g) 
There are currently 30 Match Stix products designed for highlighting, contouring and concealing. The magnetic mauve packaging allows them to connect together and it contains roughly 2cm of product. I find them quite chunky given how much product is inside but the packaging is solid enough that the product is protected well for travel. They're priced at £21 each and there's also Match Stix Trio kits for £46 which contain 3 products to conceal, contour and highlight. They're not currently customisable so, providing you love all 3 shades, the kits are a way to save some cash on buying 3 Match Stix products individually. The Trio sets are available in 4 variations - Light, Medium, Tan and Deep. I purchased the Tan set which contains 2 Matte Match Stixs in Caramel (Concealer) and Truffle (Contour) and 1 Shimmer Match Stix in Rum (Highlight). The formula of the products apply and feel like powder so they're not like you're typical creamy makeup sticks but they're fairly easy to buff into the skin and are ideal for normal to oily skin types. The concealer Caramel is too deep and warm for my skintone so it's the only product here I haven't been able to use. Truffle is the perfect contour which is fairly dark but easy to sheer out and I've also been wearing it on my lips as it's a beautiful brown! The Rum Shimmer Match Stix is described as a 'gilded bronze' and it looks this way on my arm but on my face (which is warmer in tone) it looks slightly pink so it's more like a blush on my cheeks. The finish is so beautiful it's definitely made me want to grab more shades of the Shimmer Match Stixs.


When it comes to applying the products together, the first look below is how I've mostly been wearing them for everyday. I start with the foundation applied over a hydrating primer before contouring lightly with Truffle and highlighting with Hustla Baby. I also often use Rum on my cheeks and swipe a little over my lids for a subtle pop of colour before finishing with the gloss. The second look is more how I would wear my makeup for an evening out. I applied my base, highlight and contour the same as the first look but used Trophy Wife on the lids and Truffle mixed with the gloss on my lips.


Overall I'm really impressed with the products I've tried. It's clear a lot of thought has gone into the products and shade range and the selection is so wide for a new launch of products. It's not often I spend a lot on makeup as I receive so much from brands as a blogger and ASOS insider but I would definitely buy a few more items. The Match Stix products are first on my list and possibly a lighter shade of the Pro Filt'r Foundation for when my skin inevitably gets paler during the Winter months. The 'Holiday Collection' was also recently announced to be dropping next month which includes an eyeshadow palette, lip colours and liquid liner. I've already got my eye on a few items from the Holiday collection so it's safe to say I've become a Fenty Beauty convert!


You can get Fenty Beauty in the UK at Harvey Nichols or from Sephora or fentybeauty.com in the US

Lesley x

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

5 curl defining products which actually work


I'm constantly asked "What hair products do you use?" and any curly will know that finding the 'perfect' products takes a lot of trial and error. Achieving defined curls in particular was something I used to struggle with and I've tried so many gels, creams and mousses in the past which don't work well for my hair at all that I thought I'd share what does.


All have pros and cons but these are the products which always deliver for my hair which is mostly closest to 3c in texture (see this Naturally Curly chart). How I prep and care for my hair for definition is key and I've detailed my full process in this post but the most essential part is having clean, wet hair first. I've found that gel-based stylers and creams are most effective for me and I don't tend to use any of these products together as I've found they work enough on their own to provide the kind of hold I'm looking for. The definition from each product usually lasts for a couple of days before it wears off and I can usually get away with spritzing my hair with a light moisturiser or water to revive the product between washes.


The Gels 
I currently rely on the As I Am Curling Jelly (£14.99/227g) most. It was originally gifted to me by the brand last year and I've been buying it on and off since as it's not always easy to get hold of and I've confused it with the As I Am Coil Defining Jelly so many times which performs entirely differently. The Curling Jelly is a gel-like liquid texture containing Aloe Vera, Beetroot extract and Vitamin E. You don't need a lot of it for definition as the hair can look a little crispy if you use too much. My hair needs to be well moisturised with a leave-in before applying but my curls always look beautifully defined with this. I just rake in small amounts in sections and let air dry.

I also love the Design Essentials Coconut & Monoi Curl Defining Gelée (£9.50/340g)* which contains Aloe Vera, Sunflower Oil, Marshmallow Root and Coconut Oil. It's much thicker than the As I Am Curling Jelly but I can go heavier on application without the hair looking coated and the hold is natural-looking. I've found the Design Essentials Gelée works best with other Design Essentials products (posted here) as I've found it can go a bit flaky or leave a residue when I've used it with some of the other leave-ins I have - a good way of testing out whether products will work together in your hair is to rub a little of each of them together in your palms before applying.

One of my other favourite gel-like products is the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Soufflé (£10.99/326ml). It's the easiest product for me to get hold of as it's available from Superdrug or Boots, tends to be on special offer a lot and the product lasts me a long time too. You only really need a small amount for hold as too much can also make the hair sticky. Like the other products it contains Aloe Vera (I'm starting to sense a pattern) and I'm convinced the Agave Nectar inside (a humectant which provides hold) makes this product so good at giving my hair definition without drying it out.

The Creams 
I love to use creams too as I've found they provide a more hydrating, natural hold than gels in general. The two cream products I use most are the Aveda be curly curl enhancer (£21.50/200ml)* and the Bb Curl Style Defining Creme (£24/250ml). The Aveda curl enhancer contains Aloe Vera and Marshmallow Root like the Design Essentials Gelée but the texture is quite runny - it feels and looks like a light conditioner. The Bb Curl Creme is much thicker and needs to be smoothed and worked into my low porosity hair for definition and it contains Babassu Seed Oil, Brazil Nut Seed Oil and Beeswax. Both also contain 'cones' which can build up on the hair if overused and not shampooed out thoroughly so I tend to apply small amounts of either of these products on wet hair after conditioning. I've found that I mostly use these when travelling as, unlike the gels, they don't require a leave-in to be applied beforehand. 


These are my favourite products to use but this is not an exhaustive list. I've always made a point of trying as much as I can to find what works best and with curly hair experimentation is key. If you're struggling with styling try the products you have in a different way or add something new. It definitely took me a while to figure out my hair so don't be discouraged if you haven't figured out yours yet.

*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Lesley x

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Style | Adidas Co-Ord


Adidas is one of my favourite sports brands currently and as comfy casual is always the order of the day this jersey two-piece was always going to make it into my wardrobe. It's Adidas without being in your face about it and the embellished eye motif with trefoil logo adds something different - or at least it seems different to the girl with 6 very similar looking logo tees.


I'm planning to see out the rest of the (mildly) warm weather in this pair. On chillier days I just add a denim jacket. The heatwave has cooled off so we're past shorts weather and it's been one of those months where you have sunglasses, an umbrella and a jacket on hand just in case - in other words it's been utterly unpredictable.

Co-ord - Adidas* via ASOS | Shoes - Vans via Schuh | Watch (custom)* - Nixon 






Photography - Mike Burchardt | @burchardtlens


*samples - read my disclaimer here.


Lesley x

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Style | Logo Tee & raw hem denim


I'm an explorer at heart but in lieu of a holiday abroad I've been roaming a lot around London. Despite living here my whole life there's just so much I haven't seen and one thing I love about London is there's such a clash of cultures and architecture that so many parts that feel like you're in a different country or era entirely. The backdrop for these photos is one of those spots and for roaming I keep it simple (as with most of what I do), so a tee and denim skirt was a natural fit.

Top - Lee* | Skirt - Topshop | Shoes - Converse | Watch - Timex* | Bag - Monki (old)







Photography - Mike Burchardt | @burchardtlens


*samples - read my disclaimer here.


Lesley x