19 April 2015

New York, New York

If you've read my blog for quite some time then you'll already know I've been to New York plenty of times. Despite this, every time I go I just fall in love with the city a little bit more. 

Two weeks ago we set off for NYC; this trip was my mother's 50th birthday present off me. I am the best daughter ever, right?! I thought I would just share a few of my photos on the blog, as these kind of posts have gone done well in the past.

Central Park looking beautiful in the sunshine. I climbed up a big rock for this photo! Just the best view.

Me and my mother in Central Park. 

Alice in Wonderland statue, Central Park (best day ever).

Magnolia Bakery (Avenue of the Americas near Rockefeller - didn't make it to Bleecker St this time!)

Two red velvet cupcakes please! We ate them in Central Park. Perfect.

Probably the most half decent photo I've had on Liberty Island - always so windy!

Lady Liberty in all her glory.

Stood on the red steps, Times Square.


Early morning Times Square - it's usually ten times as busy!

NYPD. Standard tourist photo!

Rockefeller building; in my opinionTop of the Rock is so much better than Top of the Empire State.

Hope you enjoyed having a nosy at my photos. Not much else to say! I will be sharing my Sephora haul on here soon.

Lydia xox

14 February 2015

By Terry Ombre Blackstar - Misty Rock & Bronze Moon

The Ombre Blackstar eyeshadow sticks from By Terry had been on my beauty radar for quite some time thanks to a plethora of other bloggers singing their praises. 

Last month I was swatching away at the By Terry counter in Space NK and decided to buy one to try out. If the beautiful, heavily pigmented swatches were anything to go by then I was sure I wouldn't be disappointed. I went with Misty Rock and was so bowled over by it that I went back the other day and picked up Bronze Moon. 

The packaging is gorgeous. Gold metal sticks that feel pretty weighted and luxurious; you kind of instantly get the impression that you are getting your moneys worth with packaging alone. Is it sad that I feel happy just looking at how pretty they are on my dressing table? Hashtag beauty blogger problems.

The top swatch on the left is Misty Rock  - a beautiful taupe shade that definitely has a hint of purple to it. In good lighting it shines a beautiful shimmery mauve colour. Really flattering on my brown eyes, although I think this would look great on any eye colour. 

The bottom swatch on the right is Bronze Moon - a golden bronze shade that is universally flattering. This is great neutral that works well on it's own which makes it an easy everyday shade to grab. 

The Ombre Blackstar formula apparently contains an uber-smoothing Tahitian black pearl extract which means most of them have a brightening effect on the lids - this is down to the reflective shimmer particles. The texture is creamy and they are well pigmented. I find them easy to control but you need to blend quickly after application as it doesn't't stay creamy for long.  Once it sets and dries it will not budge, however it definitely feels natural and comfortable on the lids after it dries. I apply this at 6am and when I get home from work - anywhere from 4.30pm - 5.30pm - the shadow is still intact. Really impressive stuff! 

They retail for an eye-popping £28, but I can testify that they are well worth the money. 

Do you have any other shades to recommend to me? I can see a new obsession forming here... 

Lydia xox 

25 January 2015

Loving Lately - Jo Malone, Nars Audacious, Dior Star

I haven't done a monthly favourites post in what feels like an eternity but it's still a bit too early in the month so I thought I would do a little post on what I'm loving lately. 

These 3 products have been floating my boat...

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt - I've been wearing this perfume constantly since buying it a few months ago. It's a great layering scent and works with just about anything because it's so fresh and non-offensive. It's kind of a neutral scent if that makes any sense? I can't see it clashing with anything as it just smells so pure and clean. My favourite combination is JM Wood Sage & Sea Salt paired with JM Peony & Blush Suede. Props to Laura from buynowbloglater for giving me the inspiration.

Nars Audacious Lipstick in Brigitte - This has become my everyday lipstick since receiving it as a Christmas present. Described by Nars as a "nude rose" which is not necessarily correct in my opinion - it's certainly a rose shade but it is not nude at all. Brigitte is more of a medium pink with a hint of coral that is so easy to wear. I would imagine this would suit and flatter a really wide range of skin tones. I also really love the formula of the Audacious line. They are so highly pigmented and go on so smoothly. They feel lovely and hydrating too. Really recommend checking them out. 

Dior Star Foundation - When I first started using this I just couldn't make my mind up about it. Some days it looked great, other days not so great. I guess I just wasn't bowled over by it so soon enough it made its way to the foundation drawer of doom and was forgotten about. Fast forward a few months to the beginning of January and I retrieved it from the foundation drawer just to give it another try. I'm not sure how or why but I totally fell in love with it. I think the key with this foundation is to apply it to freshly moisturised skin. It doesn't look so great if you apply it when your moisturiser has already sunk in for some reason. To sum it up, Dior Star photographs really well, looks fresh and radiant on the skin and provides a nice medium coverage.

Lydia xox

9 January 2015

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

When it comes to skincare, I really rate Kiehl's products on the whole. Every product I've tried I have loved. Today I wanted to talk about the moisturiser that's really been rocking my socks for the past 7 months - Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. 

It's not really scented (it smells clean, sort of like baby products) which is what initially drew me to the product at the start of last summer but now as I crack open my second pot I can safely say I love everything about it. 

Although it is dubbed a cream you shouldn't be fooled by this - the consistency is very light and it sinks in to the skin within seconds. The sort of gel-like texture provides a perfect base for foundation in the mornings and equally makes a lovely, non-fussy night time moisturiser. I'm not sure if the 24h moisturisation claims are true (I wash my face twice a day!) but I can honestly say that when I wake up in the morning, having used it the night before, my skin still feels moisturised and plump. 

I should note that I have normal-oily skin so this works brilliantly for me year-round; it's lightweight but still provides adequate moisture. If you have a more dry skin type then it may be worth getting a sample of this first as I can't really comment on how it would work for you. 

Just to top it all off, this product is very decently priced (in my opinion at least) at £24 for a 50ml pot or £43.50 for a super duper 125ml pot. I purchase mine from John Lewis

Lydia xox

1 January 2015

Giorgio Armani Si Perfume

Welcome to my signature scent of 2015; Giorgio Armani Si. 

For the longest time I used to be a one-perfume kind of girl. Chanel Chance was my signature scent and I never strayed. About 5 years ago I went a bit perfume crazy. Now I usually have around 15-20 perfumes on the go at any given time (don't judge me!) and I wear a different scent every day to suit my mood. I guess nothing has ever been as good as Chanel Chance for me. Well, that was until I discovered Armani Si. I spritzed it on my wrist whilst out shopping around 2 weeks ago and just couldn't stop thinking about it. 

Fast forward to the day after Boxing Day and I am queueing in line to exchange the perfume I had received for Christmas for Armani Si instead. I was still thinking about it and just had to get it (the beauty junkie struggle is real, yo').

As I am absolutely rubbish with describing scents and perfume notes I have borrowed the official description below:

"The fragrance opens with notes of Sicilian Bergamot, Mandarin oil and Liquer de Cassis which is supported by a heart which bursts with Rose de Mai absolute, Neroli absolute and Egyptian Jasmine absolute. Warm undertones caress the unique chypre base notes of Patchouli oil intertwined with Blond Woods, amber and musky undertones known as Orcanox™. Finished with a sweet animalic accord of Vanille absolute which, gives this fragrance, longevity and an unforgettable silage."

The reason I love this scent because it is so potent. Strong but not overpowering I should add. It has incredible staying power but doesn't choke the person next to you like some strong perfumes.  It's the kind of perfume you can spray one morning and still smell it on your coat or scarf the next day. I am ALL for low maintenance perfumes that you only have to spray once!

In terms of scent, when I spray it I instantly acknowledge that it is vanillary sweet and girly but there is a definite edge of sophistication. It is much more grown up and elegant than your ordinary sweet scented perfume. Intense yet soft at the same time. Absolute genius if you ask me!

The next time you are loitering around a perfume hall make sure to give it a sniff. I would 100% recommend!

Armani Si retails for £45 for 30ml, £64.50 for 50ml and £79.50 for 100ml. I got mine from Boots

Happy 2015 all.

Lydia xox

28 December 2014

2014 Beauty Favourites

Compiling my 2014 beauty favourites was quite the task; I have tried and loved so many new beauty products this year. I have also rediscovered old favourites that are now used again regularly. How could I pick?!

After much debating I have managed to whittle my favourites down to the following 8 wonderful products....

Kiehl's Midnight Recover Concentrate

This little bottle of goodness is now my new holy grail skincare product. I bought my bottle back in February and was bowled over by how much of a difference it made to my skin on first use. I apply 3 pumps from the pipet to my face every other night and when I wake up in the morning my skin is noticeably improved. When my skin has dry patches it balances my skin and sorts the dry patches out. When I have blemishes it also significantly reduces them. I can't sing its praises enough. If you're on the fence about this product I say go for it!

Dior Creme De Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm

This heavenly pot of rose scented lip balm makes me so happy each time I use it. Not too heavy or thick in consistency but amply nourishes the lips with a slight tint of pale pink colour. I have never loved a lip balm so much; bittersweet really because this product is now discontinued. Dior, you are so not in my good books. Please hear the voice of us beauty bloggers and bring Creme De Rose back!

MAC Patisserie Lipstick

Ahh Patisserie, you are the epitome of a 'my lips but better' lipstick. It rarely leaves my handbag and is swiped on my lips on a regular basis. Part of the Lustre formula line, this lipstick is very glossy and feel hydrating on the lips. If you're looking for an easy to wear, non-fussy lipstick then check out Patisserie.

Essie Russian Roulette

Red nails are my thing; it's just what I like. But how many red nail polishes can one person own? A lot, let me tell you! The one that really stood out for me this year was Essie's Russian Roulette. It's a bright red-orange colour that compliments pale and tanned skin alike. It is also very classic looking, so it's hard to go wrong with this. I love how creamy and opaque it is. Looks good with one coat, looks fantastic with two. As with all Essie nail polishes; it applies like a dream and lasts for ages (for me at least!). 

MAC Mineralize Blush in 'Petal Power'

I'm still a fan of obnoxiously shimmery blushers. A matte blusher? No, not for me sorry. I like my cheeks to have sheen! My shimmery blush of choice this year was definitely Petal Power. MAC describes this shade as a coral pink with gold shimmer - spot on in my opinion. It has a luminous glow on the cheeks with a gorgeous golden peach pink finish. Similar to Nars Orgasm and Benefit Coralista (both old favourites of mine) but just so much prettier. 

Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Cologne

I had this perfume for Christmas last year and have worn it consistently throughout 2014. I always receive lots of compliments when I wear this and I think it is a general crowd pleaser. Let's just say you aren't going to offend anyone if you spray a hefty amount before leaving the house. It is a gorgeous, girly fragrance that isn't sickly sweet or overbearingly floral. It's very much a sophisticated, feminine scent. A repurchase for me in the new year for sure!

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF15

This was probably the hardest product for me to pick. I'm a foundation junkie, ever on the hunt for that perfect one. Having thought about it recently in anticipation of this blog post, I realised I wore Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation more than any other foundation this year. When I'm in a rush I reach for this without thinking. When I travel, I tend to take this because it does well with my skin whatever condition its in (be it dry patches or an oily mess). I've actually come to the end of my bottle and plan to repurchase ASAP. 

Urban Decay Naked Palette

The original and the best in my books. I always gravitate towards this palette; whether it is for minimal weekend make-up or an evening out. For me, this palette covers all bases. I love Naked and Buck for a matte, neutral eye and also for using in the crease with any kind of look. I wear Sin on a regular basis (I've hit pan, sob!) and also love Half Baked for daytime and nighttime alike. Half Baked and Darkhorse are my ultimate gold smokey eye duo. 

On a side note, hopefully I'll be blogging a lot more in 2015. I have a laptop again now which makes blogging a million times easier! Please let me know of any requests in a comment, via Twitter or drop me an email if that's what you prefer. 

Lydia xox

26 December 2014

MAC Syrup Lipstick

The most recent addition to my MAC lipstick collection is Syrup

Syrup is a lustre formula and is part of the permanent line. This shade is described by MAC as a 'cloudy pink' but I think there is so much more to this colour than that. It is not just your average pretty pink lipstick. 

Although it definitely fits in to the 'my lips but better' category, it also has a tinge of purple to it that makes it that little bit more interesting. Perhaps better described as a cool toned, muted mauve pink. 

As you can see from the swatch below, Syrup leaves a very shiny finish when applied. This means also feels hydrating on the lips which is always a plus in my books! 

Below is a photo of me wearing the colour. I am so in love with it! It's so easy to wear and it goes with literally any kind of eye make-up. I think this will become an everyday staple for me, a lipstick that I can just grab and apply on the go. A handbag staple for sure.

MAC lipsticks retail for £15.50; I purchase mine from Debenhams.

Hope you've had a wonderful Christmas. 

Lydia xox

20 December 2014

Festive Glitter Nails with Essie Summit of Style

This blog has never really heavily featured nail polish but over the past few years I've become a nail polish obsessive. I'm particularly partial to the brand Essie, who in my opinion have the best formula with the best brush. 

As soon as December rolls around, out comes my array of glitter polish. Glitter polish = instant festive nails, right?! Last year it was all about Essie Set in Stones (a silver glitter) but this year I decided to switch it up and buy Essie Summit of Style (bronze gold glitter). It's safe to say I've had more than  my money's worth because I haven't stopped using it! 

Here are some of my favourite combos from the past few weeks...

Essie Russian Roulette with Summit of Style

Essie Fishnet Stockings with Summit of Style

Essie Jiggle Hi Jiggle Lo (Winter 2014 collection) with Summit of Style

I think for Christmas day I am going to go for Essie Lacquered Up (a bright poppy orange red) paired with both Set in Stones and Summit of Style on top. 

What are you planning to use for your Christmas nail? I'd love some more inspo!

Lydia xox