JANUARY FAVOURITES

If anyone is a regular reader of this blog - Mum, this is your cue, you're up again - or has been around long enough to have read a post or two, you'll know that I love to chat. About anything. Really I'm just rambling - but we'll pass this off as creative juices flowing yeah? great stuff... - so you can imagine how hard it will be for me to narrow down my January favourites having just had Christmas - and practically receiving the entire skincare department of Selfridges - and not talk you all into 2016 about all the things I've been loving lately.

It's going to be tough, but as Kanye once said, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" (Wtf, did I actually just quote a Kanye West song in a blog post? #CompleteAndUtterTitSays) but here goes...
The Cleansing duo - The Body shop Silky Camomile cleanser (not pictured due to an oil leakage, #BloggerProblems) and Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. Luckily for your (very patient) souls, I have an in depth post on both of these beauties (so feel free to check those both out) but in short - I use The Body Shop oil cleanser to remove all makeup, all. It literally doesn't leave a scrap on your face. Shall I use an Italic 'all' again just to emphasise that?... All! ;) I then follow it up with the Liz Earle cleanse and polish for an extra thorough but gentle cleanse. The perfect combo!
Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser - Again, this is another product I've raved about recently - Oh yeah, I've really got my shit life together when it comes to reviews lately. Miracles do happen ;) - which you can find here. In short, it is an incredibly light, liquid-like formula that is extremely nourishing, it almost turns into a mixture of a face oil and cream when massaged into the skin meaning that your skin is so plump, hydrated and... and it's just good skin in a bottle, OK? Ok...
Urban Decay Half baked - I mentioned recently in this post that I'd been 'having a moment' with this shadow (p.s I promise to stop completely butchering that phrase in every single blog post) and ladies, that moment is still ongoing. The perfect warm, bronzey gold that would work well on all skin tones. Amazing as a one wash shadow but also pairs perfectly for a smokey eye (I like to add a bit of smog in the outer corners) I just love this shadow, and have already hit pan on it in my Naked 1 palette.
Anastasia Archery brow pencil - I did a full review on this product here (Jesus, I really am just so organised with my reviews these days. She says, staring at a basket full of PR samples that need testing out, photographed etc.) But it is just the most perfect brow product. Natural, fool-proof, great value for money.
Korres Body Milk - My body lotion/body butter/body milk [insert your own choice of body product label here] collection is as embarrassing as Kris Jenner. It's huge, it's totally unnecessary and on the most part - it is pretty much unused. I'm just quite lazy when it comes to skincare for your body you see, but this Korres Body milk has completely changed things. (Crikey, this is turning into a bit of an X-Factor contestant sob story, 'journey' isn't it?) But seriously, this stuff is so light. It absorbs into the skin in minutes, no greasy film, no tackiness - this is my biggest bug bear, and also my lame excuse for neglecting my body - but it really is so undetectable. Because of it's absorbability, you could be fooled into thinking that it doesn't really do anything, right? Wrong. This stuff leaves your body feeling so soft, hydrated and smooth... You know what ladies, just go and buy it. It's £11 so it's not outrageously expensive, and it's a beautiful, (much more) natural brand than most on the market right now. And can we just appreciate that packaging please? [insert heart-eye'd emoji here]
Essie Dive Bar - I've had this polish for a long time, and have pretty much always loved it, so I really can't imagine why it's never cropped up around these parts before (Because you're a shit blogger that needs to get their shit together more often?) but alas, I'm talking - the hind legs off a donkey - about it now. It's a stunning metallic, duo chrome dark green colour that pulls navy in certain angles. It's from the Essie diffusion line so it has a great brush and a perfect formulation. Oh, did I mention that I've reapplied this 3 times in January already? As a serious nail polish commitment-phobe, this never happens!

 Random Favourites
Scandal - Oh good lord, Mary mother of Joseph... I am in love with this show. I started it only a couple of weeks ago and have already caught up from the very beginning, to where we are at with Series 4 in the UK. I don't want to give away any spoilers/storylines for anyone who hasn't seen it, but what I will say, is that when I'm older, I would like to be Olivia Pope please. Or at least have just a bit of her sass. #GirlCrush

Genius Gluten Free Blueberry muffins - They're soft, they're moist (hands up who else hates that word *watches all hands raise*) they're incredibly tasty, and they don't fall apart/taste like sawdust like 99% of other GF cake brands. Score!

Twinings Salted Caramel Green tea - Anything salted caramel flavoured is going to go down well in my books, but add in a form of tea and I am right there!

Those Duo boots - I posted about these boots just a few days ago. I've now had them for a couple of weeks and I haven't worn anything since. Head over to my review to see/read just how stunning they are up close.

Blogger Favourites
I'm sure you've all heard - or even regularly read - these wonderful ladies blogs already so I promise not to waffle into 2016 [*insert Gospel Choir-esque Hallelujah! sound effect here] so here is a short - well, this is me, so as short as I can possibly make it. It definitely won't be short - description why I love these blogs so much.

Zoe London - I have read Zoe's blog - and watched her Youtube channel - for a very long time. From the London Lipgloss days to full-time blogger Zoe London, Zoe's blog has remained a firm favourite of mine throughout. With amazing, amazing tips and tricks type posts, beautiful beauty and fashion posts, and an insight into London's hot spots, the latest gigs etc.... Zoe's blog - and her easy-going, friendly personality - is one that will forever remain a go-to, "I need inspiration, please give me all the inspiration" blog. Bookmarked on my computer, saved in my heart. (Too much? Too much...)

Corrie, The Dizzy Brunette - Again, Dizzy Brunette is a blog I have read - and followed closely - for years. However, since Corrie recently went full-time, her blog content and Youtube video's really are next level stunning. (Not that they wasn't amazing before, because they were!) Not only are they funny, informative and engaging, but she also comes across as one of those down to earth, girl next door kinda girls (which is right up street, so much so that it's incorporated in my bloody blog name #loser) that you could easily sit and have a cuppa and a good chat with. My favourite kind of bloggers. Oh, and can we just talk about that hair for a second?! [All the heart-eye'd emoji's here]

Zoe Newlove - Zoe's blog is a new addition to my blogroll and I'm only disappointed by the fact that I didn't discover her sooner. With perfect, pinterest-worthy photography, a clean, reader-friendly layout and just really amazing content, Zoe Newlove has become my perfect distraction from work, procrastination practice, lazy day binge-reading material, going over all of her previous posts. Yeah... dedication to the cause or what? (Pretty sure that makes me some kind of working class hero! Or a massive lazy sloth)

Polly, Polly's pocket book - I'm actually a little lost for words when trying to express my thoughts on Polly's blog. I came across Polly via Twitter, clicked through to her blog and spent the best part of the next 2 hours reading through her posts, and in particular... her cancer story. I pray to god she doesn't mind me mentioning her - or her story - here but I just feel compelled to mention them, as it made such an impact on me. There's so much I want to say - but won't, nobody want's to get to the end of this post and realise it's 2017 - but what I will do is urge you to check out her blog for yourself. In short, she is one of the most inspiring, brave (although I hasten to add that as she's also ridiculously modest and will probably argue that she wasn't brave, and just did what the doctors said) ladies I have ever discovered. And in a community where the biggest thing to "go down" of late has been whether a YouTuber actually wrote their own book or not, reading Polly's blog has put such ridiculously silly things such as that into perspective.

And breathe. That, ladies, is a wrap for this post. January has been a great month for me so far - a combination of blogs I've discovered, people I've met, and opportunities that have arisen through my hard work on this blog (without sounding like an up-my-own-arse twat) has left me feeling more positive and motivated than I have in a very long time.

What I would love to know though, is what has been your favourite moments, products, bloggers/vloggers or thoughts throughout January? Any products I need to try, Blogs I need to know about? Your thoughts make my day so please leave them in the comments below :)

As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog. I hope you enjoyed this post! 

xx

P.S Did I mention that a few days ago I spontaneously booked a 4 day trip to New York? I never? Well, I'm shocked... because my poor family members haven't heard of anything but that since I booked it. Any restaurant, tourist attractions, sights etc. that I need to check out... please leave those below too :)

DUO BOOTS - BEAUTIFULLY TAILORED DESIGN

Everyone has their thing. The thing that they love, that they hoard by the dozen, that matter how many purchases of it you make, they'll always look for more. For some it's handbags, for others it's heels, or makeup for the more beauty orientated of us. But for me, it's ankle boots. (Very closely followed by chocolate, pink lipsticks, skorts, blushers... OK, OK you get the gist)

So when I was approached by a brand recently to pick out a pair of boots to review, I thought it was an offer worth considering. When I checked out said brand's website however, I pretty much hopped, skipped and jumped at the chance (... you know, because I'm cool like that!)

The brand is called Duo, and I have to say that I hadn't actually heard of them prior to the email, and that actually makes me sad having now received my boots and having been surgically attached to them worn them around since I got them, because everything - the quality, the design, the style... - about these boots is utter perfection!

Now, I feel pretty passionate about these - and you know how much I ramble when I love something a lot - so I'm going to let you move on to some pretty pictures of said pretty boots. (Before continuing my fan girl, boot crush, ridiculous rave, love affair even further)
As you can probably tell from my complete and utter inundation of photos, I am utterly in love with these boots (Yep, totally possible to be in love with a pair of shoes and don't let anyone tell you differently) Ever since seeing Miranda Kerr in those Isabel Marant Dicker boots, I have been on the hunt for a similar - much less pricey, ain't nobody got time dollar for those - pair and these Duo Idaho ankle boots* are everything I was looking for and more. Now, ridiculously beautiful style aside, I want to talk to you about the quality of these boots.

As Primark's biggest ambassador, forever on the hunt for a bargain, I have always shunned more expensive pieces and delighted in the act of finding a good, cheaper dupe. These boots however, have changed my mind set in regards to that. I was extremely lucky to have received these boots for free to review on my blog - which I am eternally grateful for, and never in my wildest dreams thought I would be sent something so incredible - however if I wasn't, I would without a doubt pay the slightly "higher than highstreet" price (of £110, if anyone's interested) because no description can do these beauties justice. (Especially not my pre-school adjectives that I impose on you on a regular basis) 

They are made of 100% suede and leather and I cannot even begin to explain how well made they really are. You definitely get what you pay for with these, in fact... screw it, you get so much more. I have seen many shoes/boots in high street stores for a much higher price than these bad boys and the quality, detail, structure etc. doesn't compare. So if you are looking for a pair like these, if you're constantly pinning away those Isabel Marant dickers - I know how you feel, I've been there - on Pinterest, then these are the boots for you.
While I'm here - because you know, I'm a bit of a "go hard or go home" kinda girl (and also a massive tit following that sentence...) - I thought I'd tell you a few items featured on my face in these pictures that I have also been loving lately.
Mac Patina - A stunning cool toned olivey gold eye shadow that works with so many makeup looks, so many skin tones... I'd genuinely say this is one of my most versatile shadows. Beautiful!

Max Factor False Lash mascara - this is one of those classic mascara's that genuinely always has pretty good reviews, which is why I was so excited to try it when I received it a week ago. I've used it solidly over the past 7days and love the result. Volume and length (I'd say slightly more length), long-lasting, doesn't flake... it just makes my lashes look amazing in minimal coats. Thumbs up from me.

Dr Paw Paw - I have this on here (underneath Mac Angel #StandardElle) and it has really done a brilliant job of saving my dry skin recently. I've actually been using this - sparingly - on my sore, dry eye lids and it has been completely non-irritating whilst also really nourishing my eyes. I think I'm on to a winner here...
Special shoutout goes to the winter sun. Gotta love a good sun glare, right? ;)

That's it. You have done what I thought was the unthinkable whilst bashing away at the keys writing this post, and have reached the end. [insert clapping hands emoji here] If you hadn't already realised, I absolutely adore these boots (and highly recommend you check out the Duo website as they have such an incredible range of ankle, thigh high, knee high, chelsea boots etc.) but I would love to know what you think?

Are these boots "up your street?" (Side note: if you can hear that phrase and not immediately hear Cheryl Cole's Geordie accent as you're reading it, you're a better person than I am) What are your dream boots/shoes? Would you splurge on a more expensive pair or are you high street/budget all the way?
I would love to her your thoughts :)

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

xx

*This item was sent to me for review purposes. As with all of my reviews on this blog, my opinion's expressed here are 100% honest and genuine.

THE PINKS YOU ACTUALLY NEED

Let's just put a little disclaimer out there to begin with - Oh, Hi there Fun Police, nice to see you already! - I am well aware that nobody needs pink lipsticks. They're not oxygen, they're not water, they don't 'give you life' - or so I've heard, in all honesty I beg to differ... - so for anyone out there questioning my priorities in life, don't worry girl, I've got them in check. This post is simply about a girl who is obsessed with pink lipstick, to the point of having over 33 in my main makeup collection alone (not including the 15 or so completely necessary options I have in my handbag) who has decided to divulge which ones I would say are completely necessary to live a happy life, to live a complete life, to get the best out of life, to live like Blair Waldorf for your makeup collection.

It was tough. I mean, surely the only thing to rival this kind of operation would be having to pick your favourite child, right? But I battled through - No, no, save the round of applause - and here are my final picks. The elite 5. The spec... 

Shut the hell up and get on with the post, you say? You're right, here goes...

The Luxe Pink
Tom Ford Spanish Pink - this was by far the easiest pick for me. Not only is it by far the most luxurious lipstick I own - at £37 a pop I should bloody well hope so too ;) - but it also extremely unique to my collection. A light, natural peachy pink colour that does the most fantastic job of completely lifting the face and making me look more alive. (No Caspar/Corpse-like looking face for me on a Monday morning, #Winning) Check out my full review here.

The More 'Natural' Bright Pink
Rimmel Oxford Street Fuchsia - I think this is probably the most underrated and least spoken about lipstick across the Blogophere* I struggled to find many reviews and swatches - because I am that sad girl that googles the lipstick whilst in the store - and it really does deserve more hype. It is a beautiful medium/bright bubblegum colour pink (And the award for the worst descriptive skills in existence go to... thank you, thank you very much!) that is as moisturising as it is long-lasting (which is a lot) I think it would suit so many skin tones too, so I highly recommend this shade.

*I may have written the most cringeworthy word in existence in a post again so of course, if you ever see me in real life, you are more than welcome to punch me in the face ;)

The Bold Matte
Sephora Matte lip cream - Strawberry kisses. This choice was incredibly easy for me (and not just because I am an absolute pussy wimp and only own a handful of bright lipsticks) It is by far the best formulation for a matte lip I have ever owned. Moisturising, completey non-drying, lasts all day... and let's just talk about the colour for a moment shall we? A bright, in your face raspberry pink/red shade that I just find flattering on my skin tone. It is a lip colour for the brave - which I am definitely not, but I'm getting there. And hey, I may even wear it outside of the house soon ;) - but I would highly recommend for anyone in the market for a bright matte lip.

The everyday, "My lips but better"
Mac Faux - Now this one was heart-wrenchingly hard. (Yep, you heard that right. Choosing a favourite nude pink was heat wrenching, I am totally aware of how appropriate #FirstWorldProblems is for me right now) It was between Faux and Angel, both by Mac, and in all honesty, I love them both. Angel for me will always hold a sentimental place as the first ever Mac lipstick I purchased, however Faux has had more use in the last few months. If I were to be totally honest, Faux probably just inched it because it has more of lipstick left in the the tube and looks prettier - Beauty Blogger issues! - but we'll ignore that fact for a second. I reviewed Faux here and here (yep, told you I liked it) but in short, it is the perfect natural nude pink, very "my lips but better", and it's just an easy go-to lipstick that goes with all makeup looks. Love!

 The Glossy Nude
Tanya Burr Lipgloss in Chic - Again, I have reviewed this gloss here so I won't bore you all to death - although that may have already happened by now, whoops... - essentially, it is a beautiful nude pink gloss, extremely glossy, extremely moisturising and extremely natural. (I am not being sponsored to say the word 'extremely' as many times as humanly possible) Perfect for an everyday look, or paired with a dramatic smokey eye. Tanya girl, you did so well with this one!

So, pink lipstick rave over - I do apologise if it gets a bit lengthy now and again, I get passionate about all the superficial, sartorial, ridiculous important things, such as lipstick, obviously... - but what I would love to know is;  What are your must have pink lipsticks?  If you had to narrow it down to 5, what would they be? I absolutely love hearing your thoughts :)

As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post :)

xx
© the Elle next door

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