Another One | One

7/31/2014 07:00:00 am
Repurchasing doesn't come naturally to me. I am inquisitive, curious, some may say to a fault - but then again, at least I know that if I repurchase anything, it's pretty much worth it's weight in gold!
First up, my deodorant, and yes, it is men's deodorant. I don't really like the floral scents of women's deodorants, or the artificial clean scent that they often try to sell us, so I stick to men's deodorants. My fave and most trusted is the Nivea Men - the Cool Kick 48hour is my usual, but I thought I'd mix it up and live a little with the Stress Protect Version - #wild. Next up, what every girl needs during summer - some razors. I like these Bic Soleil ones - the handle is easy to hold, the blades sharp and triple, they are fun colours and were on offer at Boots for £2.99 for the 8. Last of all, my beloved Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean - perfect for quick cleanses, long massage-y cleanses and for using as a mask.
And that was all my current repurchases.
Much love,
Ani x

Wet Hair | Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash

7/30/2014 07:00:00 am
I have loved my rickety old Tangle Teezer for a good couple of years now - I find nothing as effective as it for brushing out backcombing and knots from my hair. But here's the catch. I tend to de-tangle my hair when I jump in the bath or shower. I tend to then brush it to distribute conditioner and/or masks. Of course, the original Tangle Teezer wasn't made for this, and lo and behold, it deteriorated. Enter Aqua Splash.
This wonderful little brush has a wholly open middle section, which allows the water to drain easily, preserving the life of the Tangle Teezer. It works just as well as the original, plus it stands up by itself to aid the draining action. The bristles are brilliant for my de-backcombing and conditioning purposes, and is a rather genius little invention.
Much love,
Ani x

Summer | Skin Soothers

7/29/2014 07:00:00 am
Skincare probably is my Everest - I love it, but it is a never-ending climb. I doubt very much that I'll ever just stop and think ahhhh I don't need anymore new skincare. Because I always do. And I'm pretty sure I always will. Summer proves an odd one for my skin - if I don't hydrate enough (both from the inside and out) I have eczema patches appear under my eyes and on my lips. But I also have oily skin, so keeping that balanced is one of my key issues. Additionally, a little sun always does wonders for my skin, but obviously, SPF is needed, and mine being once a day UVA and UBV doesn't leave a lot of room for the sun to break through. Today I thought I would share the little saviours I am currently using to soothe summer skin.
My go-to clay mask is the Quick Fix Calming Clay Mask for Red and Sensitive Skin. I have the complete set of Quick Fix Mask, as well as numerous others, and this tends to be my fave. Unlike many clay masks, this is slightly thinner, doesn't dry hard or feel cloying on the skin, and as my sister says, "doesn't make you feel dehydrated." This tends to calm the skin quickly, as opposed to aiming to draw out the impurities in an aggressive way as many clay masks do. Next up, my second fave from Quick Fix - the Mega Moisture Gel Mask for Dry and Thirsty Skin. This is a gel consistency that again doesn't dry, but aims to cool and hydrate the skin, and is nothing short of a miracle worker for plumping parched skin. The Lush Mask of Magnaminty is one that is always in my stash. Another clay-based mask, this time thick, green and unctuous. With honey, peppermint and evening primrose, this soothes, cools and comforts the skin and also doubles up as an exfoliator when you wash it off. Last of all the Avene Soothing Mask - a sample that I have used once and am pretty impressed with - soft and soothing, perfect for summer.
Much love,
Ani x

Face of the Day | Bronzed

7/28/2014 07:00:00 am
So I thought it might be about time that I show my face on here again - it has been quite some time, mostly because my everyday make up tends to be the same: some kind of contoured base, defined and smoked eyes, pink cheeks and a nude lip. This weekend though I bronzed myself up to the hilt and these were the results.
Skincare: Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
Primer: Max Factor Facefinity Primer
Concealer: Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Warm Medium
Base: Mix of Becca Luminous Skin Perfector in Toast and Maybelline Superstay Better Skin in Golden. L'oreal True Match Powder in Golden Beige
Contour: Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium, L'oreal Paris Glam Bronze in Brunette Harmony.
Blush: Bourjois Blush Exclusif.
Highlight: L'oreal Paris Lumi Magique Pearl Powder in Rose Boudoir.
Eyes: Sleek Showstoppers Palette: Mix of the bronzey gold and green, with the black through the crease, Rimmel Rimmel Soft Khol Kajal Eye Pencil in Black, Bourjois Volume Glamour Mascara for Sensitive Eyes.
Lips: L’OrĂ©al Paris Colour Riche Extraordinaire liquid Nude Ballet.
And that, I think, is everything.
Let me know if you like Face of the Day posts!
Much love,
Ani x

Sunday's Stories | Three

7/27/2014 01:00:00 pm
Another week, another Sunday's Stories. I like these little posts - throughout the week I tend to save pictures and quotes that I love, along with taking selfies, and pics of things that I think are pic-worthy!
This week has included tiny glimpses of my wonderful niece and nephew, beauty inspirations and life lessons!
What have you seen this week that has inspired you?
Much love,
Ani x

All Used Up | One

7/26/2014 07:25:00 pm
I thought I should start documenting my product usage - I use so many products that it would be nice to see what I use up, how quickly, and how good (or not so good) each product it. So, here goes this month's All Used Ups!
Elemis Tri-Enzyme Mask and Papaya Enzyme Peel - the Tri-Enzyme is one of my fave masks ever, kind of does everything, brightening, plumping, detoxing, all the while calming and soothing the skin, leaving it soft, cool and hydrated. I actually have a few more of these floating around that I will no doubt be using up. I have a feeling this will be my forever repurchased mask. The Papaya Enzyme is a more gentle, more hydrating version of the Tri-Enzyme - a perfect pick for sensitised skins!
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - bought this specifically to repair the damage inflicted on my hair by my blonde months. This is a little bit of an odd product, I thought the results would be comparable to that of a hair mask, but it is entirely different in every way. Applied on wet hair, and left for at least 20 minutes, this doesn't give instant gratification - after shampooing and conditioning, I didn't see any instant results, but I persevered, and after a few treatments the condition of my hair really improved: it is definitely a more deep-rooted repair than a superficial surface type of repair. I actually already have another tube of this that I will continue to use and repurchase after.
L'oreal TXT is my choice of texturising spray for the lengths of my hair. It adds body and texture to the heavy lengths that make up my hair, and really "big" it up, with a small amount of hold, and no sticky or crispy texture. I'll probably have already bought another of these before this post goes up.
VO5 Plumping spray is my spray of choice for the roots of my hair, and is the best one I have found thus far. Adding body and volume, it helps to recreate a vaguely backcombed hairstyle, perfect for everyday, but that can be enhanced with some actual backcombing. Ditto to buying this before this post is published!
Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean - my absolute rock solid favourite cleanser that I can always depend upon. Perfect for taking off heavy make up, although I tend to use this as a second cleanse after a coconut-oil cleanse, this can also double up as a mask. It is brightening, softening and soothing, and is an in-a-heartbeat kind of repurchase.
Nivea Men Cool Kick Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Spray is my deodorant of choice.. I like the clean, slightly masculine scent of this, plus it performs brilliantly even in the hot weather and through my workouts. This has been repurchased numerous times, and will be repurchased again without a doubt.
What have you been using up recently?
Much love,
Ani x

Sensitive | Mascara

7/21/2014 07:00:00 am
I do have quite odd eyes - they will behave for a while and then BANG! Eczema, itchiness, sensitivity all come at once and boy does it hurt. I got to thinking that I probably shouldn't be wearing any make up during these episodes, but this is me, and I don't do no make up. So I changed the most irritating eye wear - mascara - to a mascara specifically for sensitive eyes. Enter Bourjois Volume Glamour Ultra Care.
Now this is a purchase that I'd been thinking about for a while - in the past I have used the various other variants of this mascara, and found them to be pretty good. First off, the brush - traditional bristles, not too big and a straight wand. Just how I like it to be honest. Fine, a larger brush is my normal weapon of choice, but for sensitive eyes, the precision of the smaller brush works brilliants. The brush wiggles right up into the roots of lashes, and de-clumps as you pull it through to the ends. The mascara is pure black, and is perfect for everyday wear (I like my everyday eyes a little heavy), and can be built up. I always looks for volume in a mascara, and this delivers perfectly, all the while never irritating my eyes.
Much love,
Ani x

Sunday's Stories | Two

7/20/2014 07:00:00 am
And this is my week. A busy, tiring, hot, challenging week - but I managed to snap a few bits and pieces here and there:
| Inspiration | Beauty Inspiration - looking forward to trying it | Pick Your Own squash, strawberries, peas, plums (also beetroot) | Spotty aka my teddy-dog | New going out shoes - ebay bargain | Fave Sigma Foundation brush |
Much love, 
Ani x

Perfect | Nude Lipstick

7/18/2014 07:00:00 am
The quest for the perfect nude lipstick is a lifetime's work. One day you think you have it, then your skin changes ever-so-slightly, and the whole "nude" issue is thrown off-balance. In my quest, I have loved a Maybelline, a Rimmel and a Mac, but today's perfect nude - that has been perfect for around 6 months now - is a L'oreal offering. A Cheryl offering if you will.
I tend to lean towards pink-toned nude - this one is a lot more neutral with hints of peach: somehow this makes for a wonderful true nude lip - like these are my lips, but they are beautifully shiny and soft. The texture is moisturising and ever-so-slightly sheer. A perfect one for applying without a mirror - also perfect for just lifting the face, and completing more or less any make up look.
What are your perfect nude lipstick shades?
Much love,
Ani x

Damaged Hair | Rescue

7/17/2014 07:00:00 am
I had a phase that lasted a while. A phase of getting the ends of my hair as blonde as possible. It worked, it took me a while but I definitely had an extreme ombre going on, with super-blonde tips. But alas, as all stories go, when you get to what you want, it is never quite as good as you envision. Whilst it looked beautiful when freshly straightened, at all other points of my life, the blonde was rough, coarse, crispy and fragile. I am proud of my super-strong hair, so this was quite the bizarre development for me, and in the midst of trying to sleeken it, I bit the bullet and did an all-over black hair dye, which rescued the hair a little. In the quest for my hair of old (which is almost back to tip top condition) I have discovered some real hair gems that have taken me from someone who used to let my hair solve its own problems - it did this very well - to someone who now takes the time to nourish and strengthen it.
Whilst at the hairdresser, she suggested that I look for something to re-elasticise my hair - it really was at the point where all the elasticity had gone from it, not that it was brittle, but you could really feel it just didn't want to stretch and behave in the way hair normally wanted to. A light bulb moment occurred in my head, and I ordered myself two little tester tubes of Philip Kingsley's Elasticiser.  I have to say that this is probably what has restored my hair back to its former glory. A thick cream, almost like an intensive conditioner, you just pop this on wet hair for around 20 minutes - I leave it longer if I have the time - and wash out. At first, I have to say I was a little disappointed with the results, but I persevered, and after finishing one of the little tubes - around 6 treatments - I have to say my hair is strengthened, and has that lovely elasticity that I was craving, back. This is a miracle product, but not an instant one - you need to keep going with it in order that all the goodness can keep restoring your hair.
Next up, a lovely hair mas from Pantene - this is the 2 minute rejuvenation masque, which is a "deeply nutritive anti-ageing system." I have to say this is one of those masques that you feel and see the results on the first try - it behaves just like a conditioner, and works in the stated 2 minutes, to soften and smooth the hair.  
The last two products are Argan Oil products that I actually picked up in Poundland after seeing them elsewhere. The Hydrating Hair Mask is super thick, and super lovely! This is now my hair mask of choice - it works in a few minutes, but also makes a lovely deep conditioning treatment whilst I sit in the bath and read a book. This seems to add to the hair's shine, resilience and general texture.  I then finish off with the Argan Oil Hair Treatment, which is a thick, gloopy oil, that I massage through the ends of my hair before drying or leaving to dry. I really feel that this particular oil (unlike the L'oreal oils I have previously used) really works deep down in the hair, and doesn't just sit superficially on the surface, really adding to overall hair health and hydration.
And that is all for my hair rescue post, but each product I would recommend a million times over.
Much love,
Ani x

Hitting Pan | Everyday Essentials

7/15/2014 05:11:00 pm
It is not often that I hit pan on, or finish products - I am quite the fickle one when it comes to make up, I like to know what's going on, what's new, and what each of those new things can bring to my very full table.  But lately, I have been trying the less waste, more exploring of my own products way of life, and it's been pretty fulfilling actually. What it means is that I am now hitting pan on items, repurchasing things for the first time in my life, and finding those everyday essentials that I can apparently no longer live without. These four products are staples in my everyday life - with three of them actually being used almost without fail everyday.
First up, my chosen all-round powder of the moment - L'oreal The Powder True Match in Golden Beige. This is the best all-round powder I have found, and I have tried soooo many. It is a pressed, coloured powder that finished off a foundation look, adds a soft matte-ness, and a hint of colour to the skin. It helps my ever-oily skin to stay first softly matte, then on the right side of dewy as the day wears on, and doesn't look cakey when reapplied after a blot. This is the powder I used to set my foundation daily, then pop it in my handbag for touch-ups on the go - very unusual for me to only use one product for both.  
Next, the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium - something I have used daily since buying about a year and a half ago - this may be one of the most innovative, best products on the market. Super soft in texture, blends away to nothing, or can be built up to impressive Kimmy K proportions, this is the perfect grey / brown / taupe for creating cheekbone shadow. I absolutely adore it, and use it with a variety of sized brushes depending on how subtle (or unsubtle as is sometimes the case) I wish to be. This is a definite need-to-repurchase product. 
The Balm Bahama Mama is my general bronzing go-to on the days when I fancy adding a little colour to my visage. Equally good at creating cheekbones, or for bronzing up the face, this colour runs a tad "dirty" which I feel looks pretty natural and warm at the same time and looks to be one that would work on all skin tones. This was a steal from T K Maxx years and years ago.
Last up, what may as well be the only blush in my whole collection - I have so much love and time for the Bourjois Blush Exclusif that I have already bought my next little pot, so that I never have to be without it. Apparently, this pulls a slightly different pink on everyone - having only tried it on myself I can only testify to the slight hint of Barbie, cool-toned pink that it leans on me. I use an angled blush brush to apply, and find it can be layered from a wash of pink, to a full-on "I'm out tonight" kind of pink. Beautiful texture, beautiful product.
I hope you liked reading about the items that I so obviously can't live without!
Much love,
Ani x

Simple | Skincare

7/10/2014 06:36:00 pm
I adore skincare - always have, and I'm pretty sure I always will. I feel a little happiness every time someone comes to me for a recommendation or a review - but like any beauty blogger, I can be guilty of overindulging in the mounds of skincare I tend to have. So I decided to go back to basics - not with cleansers, not with masks, but with treatments and moisturisers. In fact, I am keeping it so simple that I am only using two products. Shock horror. Never did I ever think I'd be saying those words! It actually all came about when I decided to give the newest version of La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus a go - it makes such a nice treatment and moisturiser that I decided this would be my main serum/ moisturiser, with others being added in only if and when they were needed. Of course, I could never be without an SPF, and I feel like a once a day formula is the best for me - so I am currently trialling Calypso Once a Day SPF50+. The combination of these in the daytime keeps me protected, hydrated, and relatively matte - albeit slightly dewy towards the end of the day.
The Effaclar Duo is a gel-serum consistency, not much is needed, and it spreads well over the face. I apply this first on an evening, and over my SPF of a morning. The SPF itself is almost an oil-gel texture, very alcoholic smelling, but almost evaporates on the skin, leaving a soft veil.  Together, these two are brilliant, and my skin seems to be brightening and evening with each day!
Ani x

Sunday's Stories | One

7/06/2014 04:32:00 pm
Hola all!
Sometimes, I have a little brainwave - a moment where I think ahhhhhhhhhhh that's a good idea. Today's brainwave is blog-related, and introduces to you Sunday's Stories: a collage of the going-ons in my world over the past week. I loooove looking at photos, and being a bit nosey, so I hope you like this too!
Lots of bits and pieces from this week - food, drinks, skincare and quotes!
Much love,

Night Time | Cleansing Line Up

7/05/2014 06:10:00 pm
Hola all!
Last night I was washing my face, like the good little skincare junkie that I am, and I realised that it has been quite a while since I shared my night time skincare line up, so that is what I am going to do today! My cleansers are forever changing, but this routine has two of my all-time faves in, repurchased many a time, with a new little product chucked in for good measure!

Coconut oil has to be the most versatile product ever - I love it for a first cleanse: I scoop out a little, melt it between my palms (although in this hot weather, it is already melted!), and massage alllllll over my face, even all over the eyes, and it breaks down every little tiny scrap of make up. I love coconut oil - I adore the idea of oil cleansing oil off the face: that oil grabs and holds onto all the dirt and make up on the face, then whisks it all away when buffed off with a flannel (that red thing in the corner of the pic!). 

Good Things Manuka Honey Creamy Cleanser is a brand new purchase - I have been using it for about a week. It smells yummy, not quite like honey, almost a little sheesha-like, and is a thick cream consistency. I use this for my second cleanse, and to remove any leftover coconut oil: again, I massage all over the face, even the eyes, and whisk off with a flannel. 

Last of all my other long-term fave, the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean, that I have repurchased on numerous occasions.  This cleanser keeps my face in check, and by using it as a third cleanse it means that all the goodness from it - the acids, the brightening ingredients - go directly onto my skin. I massage it in, which the fluid cream texture is perfect for, and again flannel it away. 

As a triad, these are keeping my skin clean, soft and relaxed :)
Much love,

The Beauty Faves | June

7/02/2014 07:00:00 am
Hola all!
To get back in the general swing of one of my favourite things, aka writing, it seemed perfect to write about my favourites for June. I know I haven't written since the end of May, but writing is never far from my mind. June has been a month where I have loved contouring in all its forms - both subtle and dramatic. I find that with this I tend to not need too much foundation, and that I generally look more polished and groomed.
First up, in this lovely weather we have been enjoying, the Piz Buin Ultra Light 30, which does exactly what it says on the tube: the texture is fluid and dry to the touch, making it perfect for layering over moisturiser/ serums, and for then applying the next product - the Max Factor Facefinity Primer. This is my most favourite primer ever - I think the reason I like it is because it strikes me as a skincare-makeup hybrid. A lovely soft texture, not siliconey at all, that just sinks into the skin. Unlike most primers, which I get excited about at first, and then realise they do next to nothing, this one I have been using daily for a good month or so, and I have to say it really helps to keep my make up on at least until afternoon tea time! The bullet-stick-like-thing you can see next to the primer is the Becca Stick Foundation in Molasses, and is my go-to for contouring these days. Easily more blendable and believable than a powder contour, I use this after primer and before foundation, quite heavily layering it on and then blending with my Real Techniques sponge, before applying a mixture of Laura Mercier's Silk Creme foundation in Cashew Beige, which has fabulous, flawless finish, with brilliant staying powder, and Becca's Luminous Skin Colour in Toast, which lifts the face and adds the shot of yellow I need for my particular complexion. Together these have been my go-to base since I purchased them from Sandra at The Black Pearl Blog. Lastly, we have the Givenchy Matissime Powder in Mat Nude, which I use only on the parts of my face that I want to keep lighter - the parts where you would place highlighter.  Altogether, these are my June Faves, and they create quite a lovely face!
Lots of Love,
Ani x