My Glowy Makeup Arsenal

glowy makeup nio anastasia beverley hills the balm mary loumanizer bareminerals hourglass ambient lighting powder pixi flawless beauty primerglowy makeup nio anastasia beverley hills the balm mary loumanizer bareminerals hourglass ambient lighting powder pixi flawless beauty primer 2

anastasia beverley hills so hollywood illuminator thebalm mary loumanizer hourglass ambient lighting diffused light
L-R: ABH Illuminator in So Hollywood | theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer | Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer

This is a nice primer for glow and hydration. It’s a thick, creamy formula and is not OTT in terms of glow. It doesn’t really help pores and I’m not sure if it prolongs makeup but it’s a nice base to give your face some life if you have dull skin.

NIOD Photography Fluid

I’ll talk more about this in an upcoming post (which you’ll now find here), but this is really great! A yellowy liquid that’s a lot more watery than the Pixi Primer but I use it in the same way as a base for foundation. It evens out dullness and redness and slightly helps to blur my pores. I’d consider this a glowy, perfecting liquid more than anything else. It has been dubbed an “Instagram filter for your face”.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in ‘Diffused Light’

A pretty, light and finely milled powder I use for setting, sometimes all over my face if I’m feeling like a very dewy face, or just in targeted areas if I’m not. Expensive yes, not sure if it’s entirely worth it but if you like trying cult beauty products or love sheeny base products then its not a complete waste of money. I talked about it a bit more in this post too.

bareMinerals Mineral Veil in Illuminating Finish

Another illuminating setting powder but this time a loose one. I generally prefer loose powders over pressed as I find they offer more coverage and are more effective at making makeup last longer; plus I find them less likely to cake! This is a great powder from a brand that I really like and want to try more from. The packaging is great, with a sifter that stops it leaking every where. A reasonable price point for a good product (you can often find it on offer or discount codes).

theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer

A very popular highlighter, I was drawn into buying this from reading other blogs. It’s a pretty, gold, sparkly highlight that I use on my brow and cheek bones and down my nose. It’s quite an obvious highlight but I like that. There is a fair bit of fall out when you pick some up on a brush as it’s quite a powdery formula but I don’t really have an issue with this.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator in ‘So Hollywood’

Instagram made me want this. I can’t believe I spent £28 on it as I think that’s far too expensive, but that being said there are even more expensive highlighters out there! However, it is a very nice product once I’d gotten over the price and realised I might as well enjoy it now I’d bought it lol. It’s more sheen and less sparkle than the Mary Lou-manizer, which I think I actually prefer. It has more of a wet look effect on your cheek which is beautiful. It’s a truer gold than Mary Lou but that doesn’t translate to it being more intense; if applied in the same way it is probably the more subtle of the two. I kind of wish I’d purchased the colour Starlight instead as I would love to try a white-gold highlight! Unfortunately So Hollywood and Starlight seem to be hard to get hold of at the moment.


Any recommendations on other good highlighters? As I said, I’d love to try a more white/silver one!

Love, Nicole


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Too Faced Beauty Blogger Darlings Kit

too faced beauty blogger darlings makeup better than sex mascara chocolate soleil matte bronzer shadow insurance primed and poreless face primertoo faced beauty blogger darlings better than sex mascara shadow insurance primed and poreless face primer chocolate soleil matte bronzertoo faced eyeshadow primer shadow insurance primed and poreless face primertoo faced cocoa chocolate soleil matte bronzertoo faced beauty blogger darling better than sex mascara primed and poreless shadow insurance

For Christmas, one of my best friends was kind enough to buy me this Too Faced ‘Beauty Blogger Darlings’ collection. It contained four of Too Faced’s most popular products, famously hyped by beauty bloggers every where. Having not tried anything from Too Faced before, I was super excited to try out the cute collection of mini cult favourites! They’re a brand I’ve always been interested in, especially as they are cruelty free and have the cutest packaging. It used to be more difficult to buy products from the brand, but its much easier now that it’s stocked on Debenhams and Beauty Bay amongst other UK sites.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

This product has been so hyped by bloggers, so I was kind of prepared to be disappointed as that’s what often happens when your expectations have been set sky high. However, I 100% agree with all the hype and actually think I would possibly purchase a full size in future, even at the steep £19. It’s truly awesome and gives just the kind of lashes I like: thick, voluminous, lengthened and curled (applying it after lash curlers obv). Not much more to say other than I definitely think it’s one worth trying if you haven’t already and are feeling spendy.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance

Eyeshadow primers are not usually something I look for as tbh, I don’t usually wear eyeshadow. I find it a faff, but having this product has prompted me to wear eyeshadow more often so I can test it out. Makeup generally seems to lasts well on my face/eyes so I can’t speak much for longevity as I have nothing to compare to, however I do think this primer helped with the application of shadows. The colour went on much easier and more vibrantly, it looked so nice, so quickly! The primer alone I think looks nice and helps to neutralise the eye lid of any redness or veins.

Too Faced Primed and Poreless

This primer feels so lovely on the skin! It’s more creamy, which I prefer, to other very silicon-y primers I’ve tried (like NYX Pore Filler and Body Shop Insta Blur). My pores are hugely noticeable around the apples of my cheeks and on my nose and unfortunately this did not work miracles on hiding them, but I don’t think anything ever will. However it did provide for a lovely, smooth foundation application and is probably my favourite primer I’ve tried due to it’s texture.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

This is the one product I haven’t tried yet. I’ve tended to reach more for contour than bronzing the past year, and this is definitely not a contour shade as it’s too orangey. It’s quite pigmented so I can see it needing a slight hand on application as, with many bronzers, I think it’d be easy to go overboard and end up looking like you’re still wearing Maybelline’s Dream Matte Mousse in Nude (how did I ever leave the house like that… sigh). Something I can 100% confirm however is that it smells of cocoa bliss! Who doesn’t want their face to smell of chocolate right… Actually, wait, what? Regardless, it smells yummy.

I am very impressed with my first experiences of Too Faced and will definitely buy things from them in future.



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2015 Beauty Favourites

These are my favourite posts at the moment as they are so helpful in finding out the very best products in different categories. Whether you’re looking for your ‘holy grail’ foundation (aren’t we all, still) or the missing product to your skincare routine, if people are choosing things as their favourite from the entire year, they must have worked for them at least, so they might work for you too!

In summer 2015 I decided I wanted to start buying only cruelty free cosmetics in future, but I still have lots of non-cruelty free products to use up, so even if I’ve liked them I’m not going to include them in this post as I don’t want to promote them. For this reason, some categories won’t have a favourite from the year as I’ve yet to find one! My main aims with my blog are to be completely honest but also to stick to my morals which now include my aim to buy only cruelty free products.

2015 beauty favourites

Micellar Water

Botanics Hydration Burst 3 in 1 Micellar Cleanser


Superfacialist Rose Hydrate Cleanser

Honourable mention: No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser for Normal / Dry Skin

Chemical Exfoliants (I use these as the ‘tone’ step)

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads (morning and every other evening)

Alpha H Liquid Gold (every other evening)

Day Moisturiser (with SPF)

Soap & Glory™ Feel Good Factor™ Translucent BB Cream SPF25

Yes To Carrots Daily Facial Moisturiser SPF15

Night Moisturiser

Yes to Carrots Intense Hydration Night Cream 50ml for Normal to Dry Skin

Eye Cream

No7 Early Defence Eye Cream

Face Mask

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Treatment Mask

(Cheating a bit as I only got it at the end of December BUT I felt it made an immediate difference, better than any others I used in 2015!)


Too Faced Primed & Poreless Face Primer

Honourable mention: NYX Pore filler


Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

(I am not completely convinced this is my favourite ever foundation but I do love it and other ones I am using I am just using up as they are not cruelty free. I’m sure I will try a few new foundations in 2016!)


Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer – Fair

Loose Powder

bareMinerals Illuminating Mineral Veil

Honourable mention: Collection Sheer Loose Powder in Translucent

Eyebrow Pencil

NYX Micro Brow Pencil

Honourable mention: Soap & Glory™ Archery™ 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush


No7 Dramatic Lift Mascara

Liquid Eyeliner

Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner


Sleek MakeUp Blush


Sleek MakeUp Face Contour Kit


Illuminator by Anastasia Beverley Hills (in So Hollywood)

(I slagged this off for the high price tag to begin with, but months on and actually using it I really like it. I do still think I’d have preferred Starlight though, I think a white/silver highlight would look beautiful!)


KIKO Luscious Cream – Creamy Lipstick

Gerard Cosmetics Lipstick

 And that’s all the categories for this year! Hopefully by 2016 favourites I’ll have a nails category winner, eye colour, serum, brushes, perfume etc!

As always, we want to try new things and search for something even better the next year! Particular areas I want to try new products within are foundation and concealer; I’ve always been most focused with creating the perfect complexion. That’s probably why I love skincare so much! I’m really happy with my skincare routine at the moment, my skin’s the best it has been in years and I largely think that’s down to the products I’ve chosen. However, I am not currently using a serum in my routine, so this is an area I’d like to try something new in. I’ve tried face oils but I swear they just break me out and ruin all my progress! So I think a serum would be a better option for me 🙂

Best wishes,


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Unpacking My Selfridges Summer Beauty Box!

After seeing a post about the Selfridges Summer Beauty Box on The Sunday Girl’s blog, I was all over that. These brand/company and blogger collaborations really work, the power of social media… I set an alarm for ridiculously early on Thursday 16th July to get my order in thinking they would sell out. Luckily for everyone they are still available right here for a rather reasonable £40, plus £4.95 delivery.

The Selfridges Summer Beauty Box Includes:
  • STARSKIN Instaglam foam peel perfect
  • STARSKIN After Party Brightening
  • RIBBAND Ribband Sorbet
  • JAMES READ Day Tan SPF 15
  • EYEKO Fat Eyeliner
  • NAILS INC Gel Nail Varnish Pink
  • ILLAMASQUA Lipstick Luster
  • NARS Mini Orgasm Lipgloss
  • RODIAL Dragons Blood Sculpting Gel 15ml
  • URBAN DECAY Setting Spray
  • CAUDELIE Grape Water 75ml
  • TANGLE TEEZER Original Blue
  • CLARINS Eau des Jardins Smoothing Body Cream 100ml
The contents of the box are supposedly worth £176, so for £40 it’s a great deal if you would use these things or have had your eye on even a few of them! I was drawn in by lots of the brand names that I’ve not previously used because of the expense, like Nars, Urban Decay and Illamasqua. So I saw this as a great opportunity to give them a try. It’s a great concept that I didn’t know Selfridges did, so I’ll be sure to look out for these every year now.
I’ll keep you updated on any stand out products. I’m sure I’ll be able to write about a few of these in future posts.
All the best,


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