2014: January Favourites (...and my first favourites post)

This is my first favourites post, which considering I've had my blog for over a year now, I suppose is quite significant. (Favourites Posts being significant, #BloggerProblems) I think the reason I've never posted a favourites before is a combination of - A) constantly comparing myself to other bloggers favourites posts and being well aware that mine will probably be utter shite in comparison. B) not wanting to remind myself of how much I've spent that month as my favourites tend to be new new-ish products and C) that no matter how much I try - which in all honesty isn't too much - I'll never be able to photograph pictures with dreamy, Pinterest, "everything in life is so white and perfect" quality. Shoved on top of a desk-chic will have to do for now. Oh and lastly for D) how on earth will I be able to narrow down my favourites into a list that doesn't take you until 2015 to read through?

But despite all of those superficial/trivial/ridiculous reasons, I'm taking a wack at it anyway (...to quote Allie in 'The Parent Trap' Ohhh what a film that is, and what a complete loser I am.

Onto the favourites - and a quick word of warning, there's a lot of them - first up, a look at what's floating my beauty boat.
Loreal true match - I picked this up after hearing Amelia compare it to Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk. I - and my extremely tight-wod self - get no bigger thrill than discovering a dupe, and boy have I (... well Amelia) found one here. I love Loreal True Match, in fact I'd go as far as to say that I prefer it to Luminous Silk. A semi-matte finish which means that it lasts extremely well on my combination skin whilst giving a luminous/flawless glow. Great coverage, great lasting power, great finish. Thanks Amelia you little gem!

Hourglass ambient lighting powder in Dim Light - well this purchase - I will readily admit - broke my heart (along with my purse's) when I purchased it. At £38 it's not cheap, but thankfully the price reflects the quality in this case. For me, I use when I'm going out, am going to be photographed, or basically when I need to fake an amazing complexion. It's not mattifying enough for me to wear if I know I'm going to be working an 18hour day (oh yeah, you read that right. 18hour days = the life of a TV researcher!) in which case I use Rimmel stay matte with dim light over the top. Talking of the devil...

Rimmel Stay Matte translucent powder - I won't ramble on about this product - which I could, and easily would if it wasn't for my "try not to bore the life out of your readers" new years resolution - as every man and their dog (...and also a certain Tanya Burr) sings the praises of this product 24/7 but I will say that it is perfect for anyone with combination/oily skin that needs to keep their makeup in place all day. I don't have extremely oily skin so I can't say how it would hold up on you if you do, but it's a great product to use for touch ups as layering the product doesn't make your face look cakey, so it's a winner all round!

Rimmel Moisture renew lipstick in Oxford St Fuschia - this isn't a very well known - or talked about - product on the blogosphere (Oh god, there's that poxy word again. For the thousandth time, feel free to punch me in the face for using it) but in all honesty, it should be! The new-ish formula from Rimmel is a real winner. Moisturising enough to apply amazingly and feel really comfortable on the lips, but pigmented and creamy enough to last really well too. The colour is a beautiful mid toned - bright pink that I definitely didn't need or lack in my collection, but I am definitely glad that it is.

Urban Decay Naked 3 - Again, I am well aware that there are a ridiculous amount of reviews on this palette so I'll leave the proper reviews to the experts that can photograph pictures in focus, get reviews up on time and not 3months later etc. ;) but what I will say if that I 'treated' myself to this at the beginning of December, I haven't used anything else on my eyes since. The perfect nude eye palette for me. Particular favourite shades being Dust, Buzz, Nooner, Liar, Limit and Factory. May as well have listed the whole palette you tit!

Sleek Blusher in Rose Gold - I don't own the Nars orgasm (that's the name of the blusher in case any family member who don't have a clue what Nars is, reads this!) but I have done that extremely sad thing of swatching it in store and immediately swatching Sleek's Rose Gold next to it (has anyone else done that or have I just confessed to being the biggest loser to have ever graced the planet?) and I have to say, it is pretty damn similar. Dupes aside, Rose Gold is a gorgeous peachy pink with gold shimmer running through it. It's bright, it makes you look awake and alive - always a bonus in my books - and has quickly become my go-to "I look like death warmed up, help me God" blusher of choice!

I will very swiftly move onto Hair and Nail favourites before I send myself to sleep, let alone you to sleep!
John Freida Deep Repair mask - As with pretty much all of my beauty items, the process of purchasing this hair mask went something along the lines of this - Beauty blogger gives it rave reviews (this time is was Lily Pebbles and The Sunday Girl) I buy it, I try it, I love it. Well, most of the time I'll love it but for the sake of my purse and my heart...we'll go with the 'I buy, I love' verdict. This time thankfully, I did love it. A lot. Almost as much as nando's and hazelnut chocolate. Yeah... that much. Personally I find it hard to find products that are deeply nourishing for my very long hair, without weighing it down and making it look as flat as Britney Spears singing voice, but this does just that. Smoothes frizz, makes hair incredibly shiny and well conditioned. A must have for the straggly, straw like, dry hair. Sexy!

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment - this is sample size because quite frankly, my purse takes such a battering with beauty products that I can't quite bring myself to spend £30 on a hair product. So when I received this in a goody bag from an event, I was over the moon. It's something I'd always wanted to try and I'm so glad I did/really wish I didn't. Reasons for ridiculous contradiction? This product is beautiful. So nourishing, keeps my hair in such great condition, cuts down drying time, I use let heat to style my hair as it really de-frizzes and tames my Hagrid-esque barnet...I can't praise it enough. However a small part of me - namely my purse - wishes I hadn't tried this as I will now without a doubt have to repurchase once it's used up *weeps*

Barry M Matte nail colour in Vanilla - Now... - here we go - in general I've been loving dark nail colours this winter but I have to say, I am in love with this colour (what are you talking about, of course it's possible to be in love with a nail polish. Duh!) Although, there's a slight catch here. I love the colour and I love matte nails. A matte black, navy and white nail in my opinion, looks so stylish and chic, but with Vanilla? It makes my hands look, how can I put this?... dead. Yep, that's the one, dead. Which pissed me off annoyed me an unbelievable amount as I'd just spent good money on it, however this is where Seche Vite's top coat comes in and saves the day - as always - applied thinly on top of two coats of Vanilla, and you have yourself a perfect neutral, greige-ish, nail. It's love. Also, special shout out to Essie Luxedo, Barry M Blue Grape and Maybelline Mint for life - yep, we give shout outs to nail varnish on this blog - who come a very close joint runner up to Barry M's Vanilla this month.

Seche Vite Top Coat - Not much needs to be said on this - and I'm aware this is shaping up to be an extremely long post - dries your nails in seconds, and I mean seconds well of course you bloody do, that's what you just said! - whilst making your nails extremely shiny. I must have re-purchased this at least 10 times. Nothing compares (*wacks out my best Sinead O'Connor voice* nooooothing compares, nothing compares to youuuu)

Next up is Skincare. At this present moment in time, I couldn't be happier with my skincare routine *touches every bit of wood in sight in the hope of not waking up to a broken out, pizza face* and I put this happiness down to these little gems...
Now, for your sanity/boredom/will to live, I'm not going to go into detail with these products as I have either mentioned them in my 2013 favourites or previous posts and I'm also planning a skin care routine post coming up soon. But what I will say is that this combination has helped reduce redness, the visibility of pores, completely amped up the level of hydration - thank you Hydraluron, and Caroline Hirons for the rave review - and just generally has made my skin more awake and glowy. Basically, my skin doesn't look like I have an Indian, Thai and Chippie takeaway at least 4/5 times a week. My arteries on the other hand...

And finally - yes there's more, I promise you I'm nearly done - my blogger and vlogger favourites.
Lily Pebbles and Vivianna Does Makeup's Guide to Blogging and Vlogging - Lily and Anna's blogs/videos could quite easily be in my favourites every single month. They're the select few blogs that I read and enjoy everyday without fail, but in this case I'm talking particularly about their tips and trick series. If you've been blogging for a while, you'll pick up some helpful little tip to improve your blog, and if you're thinking of starting one...then get over to the post now as there's everything you need to know!

Suzi's - Hello October - blog - From skin care to makeup looks, Zara hauls to eyebrows (yep, you read that right, I bloody love her eyebrows) Suzi's blog is a constant source of inspiration and must-haves. I have purchased far too many products Suzi has raved about and she has been spot on with everyone. Her dreamy photography is also very easy on the eye. Blog crush of the month!

What Olivia Did - I will not be able to say anything about Olivia without sounding like a complete and utter loser, stalker, freak, fangirl. If Hello October is my blog crush of the month, then What Olivia Did is my blog crush of the year. Every out photo looks like she's just stepped out of magazine. Dreamy - I promise I'm not being paid to overuse the word 'dreamy' - doll-like perfection. When I grow up, I wold like to be Olivia please!

Sammi's - TheBeautyCrush - Vlog chanel (thesammimariashow) - For starters, Sammi is just ridiculously (and almost unfairly) stunning. She has that ability to be able to wear anything and make it look cool. But girl crush/fan girling aside, I adore her vlogs. I'm a nosey bitch at the best of times, and despite being a born and bred londoner, she always seems to visit trendy, new places that I've never heard of. Basically, she is the reason that I spend far too much money on trying to sample every single coffee shop and cake (all in the name of finding gluten free items, obviously) in London.

So that's it for my extremely long Favourites video this month - "Thank f**k for that" screams everybody reading this post - Apologies for it being such a huge one, I'm shifting the blame onto the fact that last month we had Christmas. Christmas means presents. Presents for me, means beauty products. So totally not my fault and nothing to do with the fact that I ramble for England anyway. Nothing at all!

I hope you enjoyed this guys, please leave me links to your January Favourites, or just let me know what you've been loving this month in the comments below. I would love to know what tops your list!
As always, thank you so much for reading!


Holy Grails #1 - Skincare Saviours

There are certain items in my arsenal of products that I love. Like, really love. The ones that no matter how much of a skincare/makeup/anything beauty related floozy I am - floozy? I clearly went to sleep a 21 year old last night and woke up as an 80 year old granny today! - I always come back to. They get a bit neglected in a world with so much choice, a bit cheated on with all of those other enticing products out there...but deep down, they're the ones you return home to. Ladies and gents, here are - in the words of Jay Z and JT - my holy grail(s)

Yes, I definitely just quoted Jay Z and Justin Timberlake in a blog post about skin care holy grails.

Yes, that does make me extremely sad/a massive loser.

And no, I don't care.

Well, maybe I would a little bit if Justin found out and no longer wanted to marry me anymore.

Onto the point of this blogpost which still - after making a resolution to cut down on my rambling nonsense - takes a ridiculous amount of time to get to. Here are the skin care products, namely moisturising products, that I really can no longer live without. (My resolution to cut down on exaggeration is also working a treat)
The Shard (to the right) isn't one of my holy grails, just to clear up any confusion.
Origins Drink up - Intensive - Oh Origins Drink up, whoever invented you, I will happily track down and marry. (As long as I'm not already married to Justin, obviously) In all honesty, I was a tad sceptical about this mask. I had no real reason to buy it as I have normal to oily skin and have never struggled with dry skin/needed a boost. Well, that's what I thought was the case anyway. I bought this due to a combination of Lily raving about it and the fact that I have the willpower of Fat Amy in front of a red velvet cake. It turns out I was absolutely right to be Fat Amy in this circumstance (and have listened to lily) because this mask is nothing short of amazing. It minimises my pores, hydrates my skin and even calmed some minor redness that I only really noticed I had, once it had disappeared. If that makes any sense at all? My skin looks more youthful, luminized - jesus I sound like an over dramatic actor in a commercial. "Buy this toothpaste and it will save your life" *Insert huge, Simon Cowell white, teethy smile here*) - and for want of a better word that I cannot conjure up in my slob sunday state, peachy. It also has the most amazing peachy smell, so peachy is a winner all round! (And yes, if I had a pound for every time I said the word peachy, I'd be able to buy this product in bulk without shedding a tear with my purse!)

Indeed Labs Hydraluron - I have had this little beauty for a long time now, it is probably my 3rd tube of the stuff and I can't rave about it enough. Accept, I haven't (awkward) because it has become such a staple everyday product that in all honesty, I totally forgot to write a post about. I did indeed start one not long after I first bought it i'm pretty sure, but as per usual, never had the time to write it. Which seems to be *cracks out best 1D voice* "The story of my liiiife". Shit jokes over, onto the product (Hallelujah, sings the world) Indeed Labs describes this as a facial moisture boosting serum that starts where your moisturiser stops. And it does exactly that. On it's own, it's just 'nice', but wearing this underneath your usual moisturiser completely amps up the level of hydration. It doesn't make skin greasy, it doesn't make skin oilier. Somehow it just makes any little dry areas - you know the ones, around the nose, between the eyebrows. Attractive - just...vanish. Yes that sounds totally dramatic, but it just works. It's one of the only products that I genuinely agree suits all skin types. For the dry and normal skinned girlies, this will make your moisturiser go so much further. For the oily skinned out there, please do not rule this out. Oily skin can still be - and often is - dehydrated too. Try and I promise you, you'll love it. And if you don't, just be happy you tried it and don't attempt to hunt me down and kill me? Thanks guys!

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo - Now, luckily for your sanity and the length of this post - I bet blogger hates me - I have a full review of this product already which I will link here. All I will say is, my skin has never been so blemish free since I started using this. Neither has at least 4 of my friend's skin, who i recommended it to, too. It really is wonderful and will take something short of magical to knock this out of my holy grails list!

So there you have it, the skin care products that have not only saved my skin, but also some pennies as I no longer buy new products every other day in search of 'the one' (Come on, we've all been there right? No? Just me then...) I will of course continue to repurchase all of these and in all honesty, I really can't imagine purchasing anything else. I highly, highly recommend each of these products and would love to hear from you if you manage to pick any up, have already tried them, and just what you think of this post in general :) I always love reading your comments and genuinely appreciate you taking the time to make them.

Hope you enjoyed this post. As always, thank you so much for reading!


Boyf' Takeover : Having a Blogger as a girlfriend

I've been a little lost for inspiration in what post to write over the past few days - on the 5th January, great start to my "I'm going to write more posts" year - so I thought I'd let someone very important, and much more creative than me - and I don't hand out compliments lightly, so take it and run with it ;) - take over my blog for today. Ladies and gents, here's my boyfriend's take on what it's like being with a blogger...

So that's my boyfriend's take on being with a blogger (for now, I think he's getting into this blogging malarkey) vein, superficial, and a beauty freak...I'm such a catch!

Hope you all enjoyed this post guys, I think it makes a nice change from my usual ramblings don't you think? (don't agree with me too much or i'll never get this blog back) I would absolutely love to hear what your boyfriend's make of your beauty habits? At least reassure me i'm not alone? :)

I hope you've all had a great start to 2014. As alway, thanks for reading!

© the Elle next door

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